Best of What’s New

A selection of newly released music that caught my attention

It’s Saturday and the new music show must go on! This installment of Best of What’s New includes two familiar names and two artists who are completely new to me, featuring Celtic punk, instrumental rock, pop and country rock. Nuff said – let’s get to some music!

Dropkick Murphys/Turn Up That Dial

Dropkick Murphys are a Celtic punk rock band formed in the Boston area in 1996. They are named after former pro wrestler Dr. John “Dropkick” Murphy, who also operated an rehab facility for alcoholics in Action, Mass. The band gained first attention when fellow Bostonian ska punk group The Mighty Mighty Bosstones invited them as opening act for their 1997 tour. Later that year, Dropkick Murphys got a deal with Hellcat Records, which was followed by their debut studio album Do or Die in January 1998. Fast-forward 23 years. The band’s present line-up, which has been together since 2008, consists of original co-founder Ken Casey (bass, lead vocals), along with Al Barr (lead vocals), Tim Brennan (lead guitar, accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboards, piano, tin whistle, backing vocals), James Lynch (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jeff DaRosa (banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, keyboards, piano, harmonica, tin whistle, backing vocals) and Matt Kelly (drums, bodhran, backing vocals). Dropkick Murphys first entered my radar screen in 2013 when they teamed up with Bruce Springsteen to record a new version of their song Rose Tattoo. The single appeared in May that year in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing – hard to believe it’s been eight years! Turn Up That Dial is the title track from Dropkick Murphys’ new album released yesterday (April 30).

Peter Frampton/Isn’t It a Pity

I trust Peter Frampton doesn’t need much of an introduction. The self-taught guitarist has been playing in bands since the age of 12. He first gained prominence in 1966 as a 16-year-old lead vocalist and guitarist in English rock band The Herd. In 1969, he co-founded Humble Pie together with Steve Marriott, frontman and guitarist of Small Faces. Frampton left Humble Pie in 1971 and launched a solo career. After four largely unnoticed studio albums, he got his big breakthrough with Frampton Comes Alive! The huge success led to an infamous shirtless photo on the cover of Rolling Stone, which turned Frampton into a teen idol and diminished his credibility as an artist. He continued to release albums but was unable to repeat the success of Frampton Comes Alive! In early 2019, Frampton announced his retirement from touring due to a progressive autoimmune disease causing muscle inflammation, weakness and atrophy, which eventually is going to impact his ability to play guitar. He launched a farewell tour in June that year. The UK leg, which had been slated for May 2020, was canceled because of you know what! Isn’t it a Pity is a track from Frampton’s new album of instrumental covers ingeniously titled Peter Frampton Forgets the Words and released on April 23. “This album is a collection of ten of my favorite pieces of music,” he stated on his website. My guitar is also a voice and I have always enjoyed playing my favorite vocal lines that we all know and love.” This is certainly a beautiful rendition of the George Harrison tune that originally appeared on his 1970 solo debut All Things Must Pass.

Parker Millsap/The Real Thing

Parker Millsap is an American singer-songwriter from Purcell, OK. According to his profile on Apple Music, As a youth, Millsap alternately spent time singing hymns at his local Pentecostal church and saturating himself in old blues albums, which influenced his unique style along with folk, country, and vintage Elvis-flavored rock & roll. While still in his late teens, Millsap recorded his mostly acoustic debut, Palisade, with childhood friend Michael Rose accompanying him on double bass. Two years later in 2014, his self-titled second LP introduced his signature sound, bringing him national acclaim and leading to support slots with heavy-hitting roots acts like Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Lake Street Dive. Millsap’s new album Be Here Instead, which is his fifth, came out on April 9. As is the case for most artists I feature in Best of What’s New, I’m completely new to his music. The Real Thing grabbed me right away. To me, it’s got a bit of a Paul McCartney vibe!

The Pink Stones/Put Me On

The last tune I’d like to call out here is Put Me On, a song by The Pink Stones, a country rock band from Athens, Ga. According to their website, the group revolves around Hunter Pinkston, a former punk rocker who discovered country in 2015 when listening to the B-side of the The Lemonheads’ rendition of Brass Buttons, which featured the original by Gram Parsons. This led him not only to explore Parsons’ catalog but also listen to similar other artists. In 2016, Pinkston who is from Albany, Ga. transferred to the University of Georgia in Athens for their music business program. He immersed himself into the local music scene and eventually met what became the core of The Pink Stones: Will Anderson (organ, piano, vocals), Logan Brammer (guitar, vocals), Adam Wayton (guitar, vocals) and Jack Colclough (drums). John Neff (pedal steel guitar), a founding member of Drive-By Truckers, is also part of the band’s current line-up. Put Me On, written by Pinkston, is a track from their debut album Introducing… the Pink Stones released on April 9. Check out this beautiful warm sound!

Sources: Wikipedia; Peter Frampton website; Apple Music; The Pink Stones website; AllMusic; YouTube

15 thoughts on “Best of What’s New”

  1. Peter Frampton’s rendition of that song is beautiful…and that is maybe my favorite song of George Harrison.

    Parker Millsap…you are right…he sounds much like the modern Paul McCartney.

    The Pink Stones…it has a slight 90s alt-country slant to it…I like it. Great choice Christian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Max. Overall, I’m happy with my “findings.” I’ve since listened to Frampton’s entire album. While it’s sad he is suffering from this progressive muscle weakness, it’s reassuring he still sounds great. I’m also intrigued with Millsap and want to further explore him. As for The Pink Stones, it was their warm sound that drew me in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the video of Peter Frampton and at the end it brought me to tears (with a hopefully smile), because it remembers me of my regularly video chats with my parents.

    Parker Millsap and the Pink Stones sound good!

    And Dropkick Murphys: I had the luck to see the boys live in January 2013 after they released my favourite album “Signed And Sealed in Blood”. One year earlier they popped to my screen after Bruce Springsteen sang with them “Peg O My Heart” on their predecessor album.
    And two weeks before I went to see the boys live in 2013 I could hear their recent album on the internet for free and shortly after this I bought a ticket for the concert in Vienna. Frank Turner made the support.

    Greetings from a stormy Vienna!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I imagine seeing the Dropkick Murphys must have been a lively affair.

      As for Frampton, I’ve since listened to the entire album and really like it. Admittedly, the clip I posted also really touched and made me well up at certain points. The footage from his tour finale where he says, ‘I won’t say goodbye, even though it’s a hopeful message; when the dates for the UK leg of his farewell tour disappear from the computer screen because of the f…ing virus; or when sitting on a sofa he plays the acoustic guitar but puts it way are all highly emotionally charged moments.

      I’ve also checked out some additional tunes by Parker Millsap and The Pink Stones and like what I’ve heard thus far.

      Hope you have a nice evening despite the stormy weather! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All nice tunes Christian. I especially enjoyed Peter Frampton’s terrific guitar playthrough of the Harrison classic, as well as the poignant video. Such a shame he’s been afflicted with that disease. The Pink Stones song is really good too. The vocals remind me a little of Kurt Vile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice eclectic set. Murphys and Bosstone guys are, of course, a big deal in these parts. Every year at year’s end the Bosstones do what they call a Hometown Throwdown in a local small club and it’s impossible to get in. Let us not forget the Murphys also did “Shipping Up To Boston” which was used not only in the film “The Departed” but also in the show Rizzoli and Isles with (sigh) Angie Harmon. Way back in the early part of the last century, Red Sox fans had a song called “Tessie.”The Murphys kicked it up a notch although I’m not sure how well it travels to other parts of the country (especially NYC).

    The Frampton cover is nice, poignant. I like the other two tunes, as well. I find I like that kind of country better than the shit-kickin’, hillbilly Hee-Haw stuff that guys like CB love so much.


  5. I came to this post to check out the new Frampton Harrison cover and listened to them all. I heard of Dropkick Murphys earlier this (?) year when they did a fundraiser concert in one of Boston’s (?) baseball stadiums. I love their sound. All of these tunes sound great.

    Liked by 1 person

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