In The Groove
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with ‘L.W.’, their seventeenth studio album and the third volume in the band’s explorations into microtonal tunings. A companion piece to its 2020 predecessor, ‘K.G.’, as well as a stand-alone work of art in its own right, L.W. displays a collision of musical worlds. After a decade of frenzied productivity and a recent inability to tour, the band was able to “reset [their] brains” and embark upon a search for “the notes between the notes”. Out via KGLW
Throughout their career, Blackberry Smoke has embodied Georgia’s rich musical legacy, honoring the people, places and sounds of their home state. As the band celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, their reverence for Georgia has only deepened.
On their latest album, You Hear Georgia, the follow-up to 2018’s critically acclaimed Find a Light, Blackberry Smoke is further celebrating these roots with 10 new songs that feel like Georgia, accented by the addition of Grammy-winning producer and fellow Georgia-native, Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile). “Dave and I had spoken for the last few years about making a record,” Starr says. “Finally, it worked out, our schedule and his schedule, and we said, yes—let’s make a record.”
Blackberry Smoke worked quickly, spending just 10 days at Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A, Cobb’s home base since 2016. The band recorded live on the floor, giving You Hear Georgia a crisp, outgoing feel. Like other Blackberry Smoke efforts, this album leans into well-crafted Southern rock driven by jagged guitar riffs and rich instrumentation, as the band layers on rollicking piano (“Live It Down”), funky grooves (“Hey Delilah”), and introspective acoustic sounds (the stripped-down, folk-leaning “Old Enough to Know”).
The title song, “You Hear Georgia” features a narrator who’s underestimated because of outward appearances and misguided stereotypes, which is a theme of Starr’s lyrics this time around, particularly as it relates to the band’s Southern roots. “Lyrically, the song is about the South being misunderstood. It’s obviously a rough and tumble world, and there’s a lot of bad people. But there’s a lot of good people too. It started with the idea of how people might have a preconceived opinion of you because of a thick Southern accent, then expanded into the reality of how some people just seem to have such a hard time getting along, thanks to political or religious views, or simply what part of the country you come from.”
Many of You Hear Georgia’s songs describe characters that are restless and prone to seeking out a change of scenery, in hopes of finding a place where they belong. Against cinematic backdrops with vivid details, it’s easy to empathize with these protagonists as they share pearls of wisdom (“Don’t ever trust a grown man with a nickname”) and exhibit deep self-awareness (“Anywhere’s better than staying here, with the ghosts running thru his mind”) along the way.
You Hear Georgia reinforces that the band members have come so far together because they also can rely on one another for support and creative direction, no matter what the circumstances.
Concurrent with his time in the Jayhawks, Louris has been a charter member of the part-time alt-rock supergroup Golden Smog, which at various times has included members of Soul Asylum, Wilco, the Replacements and Big Star.
Along the way Louris has produced records by various artists, contributed songs to Grammy Award-winning albums by the Tedeschi/Trucks Band and The Dixie Chicks; and recorded with acts as diverse as the Black Crowes, Counting Crows, Uncle Tupelo, Joe Henry, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Roger McGuinn, Maria McKee, Nickel Creek, Carrie Rodriguez, Tift Merritt and the Wallflowers.
Louris released his first solo album, Vagabonds, in 2008. His long awaited 2nd solo album, Jump For Joy, is scheduled for a summer 2021 release.
"Listening to the story of Canadian duo cleopatrick is a bit like hearing the plot of the best, most righteously validating coming-of-age film never made. Two friends meet aged four in Hicksville, Nowheretown (real name: Cobourg, Ontario, population 19,000), grow up completely inseparable, form a band and, against numerous obstacles, blossom into a genuine, global underground sensation. There are heroes and villains, highs and lows and, crucially, some of the most poetic plot twists that could seem almost too perfect, were they not completely true.
Take the story of 2017 breakthrough track ‘hometown’ for example. “It’s one of the craziest, most ironic things that’s ever happened,” begins vocalist and guitarist Luke Gruntz. “I was going to college because I was too scared to put all my chips in the band pile, and that’s what ‘hometown’ is about: it’s a song about feeling like we’re doing all this stuff and we’re working so hard and we’re just never going to be heard. It’s literally a song about people probably never hearing our songs. And then by some act of the universe, that song ended up unlocking all the doors for us.”
Today, cleopatrick has logged 77 million streams and counting - all from an increasingly dedicated fanbase who’ve found the duo, completed by drummer Ian Fraser, their own way: no major label, no big budget, just two best pals knuckling down, cementing a unique sonic alchemy and filling a space of honest, empathetic yet undeniably heavy-hitting rock music that they’d been searching for themselves for years. Between multiple sold out tours in Canada, the US and the UK/EU and appearances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Reading/Leeds, the pair have been crafting BUMMER: a debut album that sees cleopatrick harness all the magic they’ve been brewing over their two-decade friendship and funnel it into a record that aims to reinvigorate the rock landscape from the ground up. Taking the ethos of their New Rock Mafia collective - a group of friends and fellow bands, united in making a more inclusive, equality-driven space in rock music - and imbuing it with the sonic ambition and ferocity of a record designed to be played hard and loud, it’s an album about two friends, who’ve been with each other since the formative first steps that adorn ‘BUMMER’’s heartwarming cover image and made something that’s a testament to the power of sticking to your guns."
The term “Front Porch Singin’” may actually be a metaphor for many creative and conceptual musical ideas. But, for us, this title has become more of an attitude than anything else. What if the four of us were sitting on a porch together and someone begins to sing a favorite old Gospel song, like “Swing Down Chariot,” or a country and Western standard like “Red River Valley,” and everyone else just joined in? That is what happened at RCA Studio A. But, as usual under producer Dave Cobb’s leadership, this album turned into so much more. The Front Porch Singin’ attitude remained prevalent throughout, as songwriters, musicians, Dave and all four of us kept coming to the table with terrific creative ideas to enhance our Front Porch experience.
This project is quite honestly one of the most heartfelt albums we have ever recorded. Perhaps it is because we recorded these songs in the middle of a raging pandemic that changed the face of America and obviously took a huge toll on those of us in the music business. It was a bit strange to social-distance from each other in the studio, but we believe it drew us all closer and, in doing so, we may have inadvertently recorded the perfect project for this time period. These songs, whether new or old, reflect a certain optimism and a deep-seated faith that God will work all of this out as we move forward. “Life is beautiful,” as one song says. We must embrace it and celebrate it with all of our being.
Join us on The Front Porch and, if it is God’s will… Let’s keep on SINGIN’.
—The Oak Ridge Boys
The brand new studio album from one of the biggest reggae bands in the world. IN THE MOMENT finds Rebelution ruminating on time, living in the present and making your future better. The grammy-nominated band's first full length studio album since FREE REIN in 2018. It brings 15 new tracks including guest appearances by Busy Signal, Kabaka Pyramid, Durand Jones and Keznamdi.