Best of What’s New

A selection of newly released music that caught my attention

Happy Saturday and welcome to another installment of Best of What’s New, my weekly look at newly-released music. Unless noted otherwise, all tracks are on albums that were released yesterday (April 22)

Bonnie Raitt/Livin’ For the Ones

I’m absolutely thrilled to start this post with new music by one of my long-time favorite artists, Bonnie Raitt, who I guess doesn’t need much of an introduction. Raitt grew up in Los Angeles in a musical family and got into the guitar as an eight-year-old, after receiving a Stella as a Christmas present. She taught herself by listening to blues records. In the late ’60s, Raitt moved to Cambridge, Mass. and started studying Social Relations and African Studies at Harvard/Radcliffe. Three years after entering college, she decided to drop out to pursue music full-time. Her eponymous debut album appeared in 1971. Fast-forward nearly 51 years to Just Like That…, Raitt’s 21st studio release and her first in more than six years since Dig In Deep from February 2016. Here’s Livin’ For the Ones, a tune for which she wrote the lyrics, with music from longtime guitarist George Marinelli. A statement on Raitt’s website notes the song is a rocking dedication to the friends and family she has lost in recent years. It’s got a cool Stonesy sound – love it!

Fontaines D.C./Roman Holiday

Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C. have been around since 2017. They were formed by Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass) and Tom Coll (drums), who met while attending music college at British and Irish Modern Music (BIMM) Institute in Dublin. After a series of singles released in 2018, the group’s debut album Drogel appeared in April 2019. This brings me to Skinty Fia, their third and latest album. Here’s Roman Holiday, credited to all members of the band. While the video clip isn’t particularly memorable, the song is pretty cool. Check it out!

Old Crow Medicine Show/Honey Chile

Old Crow Medicine Show are a Nashville-based Americana string band formed in 1998. According to their Apple Music profile, they have influenced a generation of 21st-century roots musicians with their infectious mix of hollers, jug band favorites, and pre-rock ’n’ roll blues. The group caught their big break when bluegrass giant Doc Watson watched them busking in Boone, North Carolina, and invited them to participate in his MerleFest roots-music festival in 2000. Relocating from North Carolina to Nashville, they made their Grand Ole Opry debut in 2001, and they were inducted into the esteemed country music institution 12 years later. From 2004 to 2019, seven of their eight albums hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart—the only LP that missed the top spot, 2014’s Remedy, won the Best Folk Album Grammy Award. Heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, they’ve cowritten two songs with the legendary singer-songwriter, including their joyous, Platinum-certified 2004 hit, “Wagon Wheel.” Here’s Honey Chile, a great-sounding track from Old Crow Medicine Show’s new album Paint This Town. The song was co-written by Ketch Secor and Joe Andrews, a current and a former member of the group, respectively.

The Million Reasons/If Not For The Fire

Next up is new music by Chicago rock band The Million Reasons. I must give a shout-out to Jeff from Eclectic Music Lover who earlier this week reviewed Haven, the group’s first full-length album released on April 15, which brought these guys on my radar screen. Founded in 2016 as a trio, the band has since grown to a five-piece. Their debut EP The Roundaround appeared in February 2017. A second EP, If Not For the Fire, came out in February 2020. The Million Reasons have also released various singles. Their current line-up, which has been in place since 2019, features Taylor Brennan (lead vocals), Ken Ugel (guitar), Mike Nichols (guitar), Jason Cillo (bass) and Colin Dill (drums). For more background on the band, check Jeff’s excellent above review. Here’s If Not For The Fire. Like all other tracks on the album, it’s credited to the entire band. This really rocks – also strong lead vocalist!

Walter Trout/Ghosts

Closing out this week’s new music revue is the latest single by blues-rock veteran Walter Trout, an artist I’ve come to dig over the past few years! During a nearly 53-year recording career, Trout who in March turned 71 has survived many ups and downs. This includes overcoming drug and alcohol addiction in the ’80s, surviving liver failure and recovering from a liver transplant in 1994, and dealing with dishonest management people. Trout really has seen it all! Quite appropriately, he decided to title his 2019 blues covers album Survivor Blues. I reviewed it here and subsequently saw him at the Iridium in New York. I can highly recommend him – a great guitarist and an authentic no BS-type artist. After releasing Ordinary Madness in August 2020 (reviewed here), Trout recently announced his 30th solo album Ride, which is slated for August 30th. The opener Ghosts came out as the first single on April 14. This sounds great, and I’m really looking forward to the new album!

Last but not least, here’s a Spotify list featuring the above tracks and some additional tunes.

Sources: Wikipedia; Bonnie Raitt website; Apple Music; Eclectic Music Lover; Walter Trout Facebook page; YouTube; Spotify

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12 thoughts on “Best of What’s New”

  1. Much to love here. Boy, was I happy to see Bonnie Raitt. Maybe as much because it’s nice to see a name I know on a new music list as anything else. Firstly, yes, the beginning sounds EXACTLY like a Ronnie Wood/Keith Richards guitar weave. (That’s what Keef calls it – a weave.) But Lord and mama 🤣 – what a rockin’ number. I think it’s one of the best things she’s ever done. Sometimes Bonnie is too laid back but not on this one. The Fontaines didn’t do much for me. They have that indie sound that doesn’t resonate with me at all.

    I liked but didn’t love Old Crow Medicine Show. But the Million Reasons! I’m a sucker for a killer riff. And what more can we say about Walter Trout? I checked out his tour schedule and he’s mostly in Europe. Oh, well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really enthusiastic about Raitt’s new album. Right now I feel it may be the best she’s done. I just love the sound and her singing is really soulful. She’s going to tour, and I’m so tempted to see her again, but it would be my fourth concert in June!

      And, yes, it’s great to hear a rocking band like The Million Reasons.

      I’ve also come to appreciate Walter Trout, even more so after I saw him live a few years ago. Looking forward to his new album.

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      1. Well, I suppose that’s true and largely dictated by circumstances. That being said, none of my current three concerts scheduled for June are tribute shows.

        BTW, Bonnie’s upcoming tour includes a scheduled gig at Leader Bank Pavilion on June 17…

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      2. Great facility. We saw Sting and Santana there. Outside. Not too big. Right on the harbor. But I probably wouldn’t go for two reasons: one is, like you, I have a bunch of shows lined up. Two is because as much as I like Bonnie, I’m not a huge fan and never really wanted to see her.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I suppose this makes it an easy decision for you. I saw Bonnie Raitt in NJ during the supporting tour for last album and really enjoyed the gig.

        At least you won’t run into “concert overload”. Two of my three shows scheduled for June were rescheduled. I guess I should be happy there’s no overlap!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the Bonnie Raitt song…great music and lyrics. That is the best thing I’ve heard in years from her…I really like that.
    Old Crow Medicine Show…I like that music…and love their name.

    Walter Trout….always great blues playing

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