Happy Friday…I hope everyone is staying cool. Speaking of cool, we have a bunch of cool stuff for you this week. We don’t have as much as some weeks, but there are still over 30 releases this week. I have a few I am interested in hearing and some I’ll get to eventually and those will be bolded. Let me know what you want to hear this week or what we may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend!
James Bay – Leap – (Mercury Records / Republic Records / UMG): James Bay is back and it has been awhile as it has been 4 years since his last one. He is a fantastic guitarists and his music leans between folk, pop, rock, Americana and whatever else he feels like playing. I am excited to get some new tunes.
Journey – Freedom – (Freedom JN / BMG): Speaking of being gone awhile, Journey hasn’t had a new album in 11 years…that’s right…11 years. It is about time. Can’t wait to hear Neal rip on guitar and Arnel sing his heart out (man what a voice he has). Even Dean Castronovo sings on one song so this should be a good listen. Can’t wait to hear it.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
Happy Friday. Not a ton of releases that have caught my attention this week. There are two that I will be diving in to and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for sure. There are a couple more I will try out eventually, but the first two will get most of my attention. All the releases I will be checking out are highlighted in Blue. Take a look around and see what else you might like and let me know in the comments. If you want to see all the new releases coming in the universe over the next several weeks (or months), CLICK HERE.
James Bay – Electric Light – (Republic Records): Finally, the super talented James Bay is back with his sophomore release. Is the sophomore jinx in place or not, we will have to hear it first to decide. I have heard three singles so far and the first was completely different than his last album which can be good and bad as you don’t necessarily want to alienate the fans you built off that sound. The next two were a little more in the wheelhouse we expect. He is a great songwriter, singer and guitar player so we will check this out. In the meantime, have a glass of “Pink Lemonade”
Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice for None – (Prospect Park): Now for the other end of the spectrum, there is Five Finger Death Punch. The music is just that, a death punch to the face. Every now and again, I like it hard and I like it loud and this is exactly what I need right now. So prepare your ears to be decimated.
Calum Scott’s debut release, ‘Only Human’, came out on Friday, March 9th. A day surrounded by albums from some Hard Rock artists such as Judas Priest, Myles Kennedy, Three Days Grace and even Jimi Hendrix, how did this pop artist catch my ear? Easy, two years ago this former Britain’s Got Talent contestant released a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”. That song made me stop and take notice. It was absolutely fantastic (more on it later). I have been anxiously awaiting an album from him ever since.
And now, the long wait is finally over. Calum Scott is a cross between many artists. I would say he is a little bit Sam Smith (without the depressing ass songs), a little bit Adam Levine (his vocal stylings only), a little Gavin DeGraw (catchy pop love songs) and a little bit of James Bay (his first record and even a little of his guitar sound). He is the best of all those people rolled into one.
There are 14 tracks on the CD version of the album (vinyl only has 11) so I won’t go through all the songs in detail, but I will highlight several of my favorites. First off, there are two types of songs throughout the album. You get the love song ballads and the upbeat pop songs. I have to admit, I am a sucker for a good love song and Calum has no short supply. The ballads are beautiful showcases of his amazing, soulful vocal abilities.
2018 is upon us and always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year. There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet. From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2018, but no dates announced yet. The ones I want will be highlighted in Blue.
Stone Temple Pilots (I know this is coming as they have said)
My Sunday Song #68 is “Hold Back the River” by James Bay. You could say I have become a huge fan of this young man. I have his album “Chaos & the Calm” (on vinyl and a picture disc at that) and my daughter and I have seen him in concert (Great show – read the review HERE). He has been posting pictures on Facebook of him in the studio and a new album coming in 2018 which got me listening to him again.
When I hit this song in the playlist, I remembered how much I love this song. The quiet opening with just some slow picking on the guitar and his voice. The slow build up and a little faster pace and faster and faster. It actually has the feel that as you try to hold back the river, it get harder and harder and more intense.
In an interview with The Sun, James said the following about the song:
“I wrote it after my first really busy period as an artist, when music had taken me around the world for the first time, and at the end of the year, I’ve become really eager to see friends and my family properly. ‘Hold Back The River’ is a metaphor for that feeling.”
Welcome back to T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts. I didn’t expect to do another post so soon, but the Rock T-Shirt collection has taken a little twist. It has become a family affair. Not only have I been buying, but now my kids have to have band T-Shirts as well.
My oldest daughter is the worst. Almost as bad as I am. She has some concert T’s and now she has quite a few band shirts as well. Here are her concert shirts for Ed Sheeran, James Bay and Tori Kelly…
My fellow blogger Jason Ritchie over at The Rockin’ Chair Blog is doing a series saluting fellow bloggers and the current victim is none other than Me!! Go check out the interview and then stay around and check out the blog. You won’t be disappointed.
John Snow has been writing about music he loves for a over a year now over at the impressive blog he runs 2Loud2Old. What inspired you to start writing/blogging about music? It was a who inspired m…
For some insight on The Rockin’ Chair I have stolen ( I mean borrowed) his bio from his site so you can have an idea of what to expect from his blog.
Bio: I have been blogging about mainly Stoke City FC over on the Rock ‘N’ Oatcake and am currently News & Reviews Editor at Get Ready To Rock! – my main love in the musical world 🙂
The Rockin’ Chair is a place for me to highlight new and old music. It won’t be just press releases or feature music that would score an average rating, it is more hand picked music. The blog will feature guest writers and contributions from fellow music fans and musicians.
The opening act for the James Bay concert on September 25th at the Fillmore in Charlotte was a female trio called Joseph. Joseph are three sisters who come to us from Portland, Oregon. My daughter has really enjoyed their new album ‘I’m Alone, No You’re Not’ that only came out a few weeks back. She got me to listen to it as well so I would be familiar with the band when we went to the concert. And I have to say the album is really great and worth a listen.
Now before the show, as we were standing behind the sound boards, there was a young lady standing in front of them talking to the sound guy. My daughter started getting exciting as she turned to me and said that it was one of the girls from Joseph. And sure enough, it was Natalie. Why my daughter didn’t snap a picture of her I don’t know.
The band consists of only Natalie, Allison & Meegan Closner and when the show started, the three sisters walked out on stage by themselves with only Natalie carrying a guitar. A very simple set up. They did have a drummer during the show, but he was off stage and out of sight. When they started singing, it was apparent they really didn’t need anything more than their voices. They were amazing. The 3 part harmonies were spot on and I have to tell you these women can sing.