Asheville, North Carolina’s The Honeycutters have followed up 2015’s sublime Me Oh My with the completely wonderful On The Ropes. It’s good to have them back with such strong, satisfying material. Vocalist and songwriter Amanda Anne Platt’s voice is a treat: maybe older and wiser (by a year), but still hopeful. Hearts have been broken and mistakes have been made, but she’s not giving up. Ever.
By Eric Weber
The time was 1991; the place was Wax n Facts in Atlanta, Georgia.
Flipping through the packed cardboard box, my jaw dropped when I saw the huge white letters emblazoned across the top of the record sleeve: DIVINE.
I quickly snatched it up, examining every inch of the album. I couldn’t believe it. Divine: Greatest Hits. He had hits?
Louisiana Swamp Pop king Gregg Martinez has the kind of powerhouse voice that seems to grow slow and deep, like the roots of an ancient tree, straight up from the earth. It’s an incredible voice, and Martinez has a gift for adding an extra lagniappe of soul to everything he sings.
By Tyler Hodg
Debut albums are meant to hook to a listener, and make a fan out of them. Royal Tusk, a Canadian rock’n’roll band, is sure to accomplish such a feat with their graceful premiere effort titled DealBreaker.
Ben Wheatley adapting a 1975 JG Ballard novel into a film starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, and Luke Evans? It sounded too good to be true. With three planned screenings at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival which were then reduced to two, and rumors of six hour lineups for the second screening’s rush line, it was not an exaggeration to suggest that High-Rise was one of the most hyped films of last year.
It’s difficult to listen to The Blind Boys Of Alabama’s Higher Ground (2002) and not compare it to its predecessor, Spirit Of The Century (2001). Both are Grammy-winning collaborations with producers John Chelew and Chris Goldsmith and both feature bold, spiritual covers of songs by contemporary artists, with the Blind Boys Of Alabama being backed by a band in “musical conversation.”
The Blind Boys of Alabama have performed together for nearly seven decades and have recorded over 60 albums. Joining together as glee club singers at the Alabama Institute For the Negro Blind in 1939, founding members Jimmy Carter, George Scott, and Clarence Fountain (with newest member Joey Williams joining in 2001), The Blind Boys of Alabama make honest, American music, rooted deeply in gospel, focusing on the truly glorious way that their voices blend.
By Tim Murr
Toronto, Ontario’s Black Absinthe demand your attention and they have the songs to keep it! Blending classic and modern metal, Black Absinthe hasn’t just done their homework, they’ve innovated the game. Yes, you can hear Maiden, early Metallica, and Motorhead in their sound, but these influences blend into the band’s own flavor, rather than sounding like the source of its parts. As metal albums go, Early Signs Of Denial prove that new life can still be breathed into old monsters.
The music that Those Pretty Wrongs makes is familiar in the best of ways. It’s sun-dappled melancholy, 1970s AM radio-friendly songs that soar with warm harmony and delicate guitar. It’s quiet power pop with heart, which makes sense if one looks at their pedigree.
Hey, I just met you,
and this is crazy,
loves lucha libre!
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve visited the Temple, and with Dario Cueto back in control and his feral brother Matanza as champion, the whole show has a different feel. Gone is Mil Muertes looming over the Temple on his throne and the candles and other spooky touches Catrina put in Dario’s office. Instead we’re back to having live bands play us into the shows and a general feeling that chaotic violence can erupt at any time. I have to say that I’m glad to have Dario back in the backstage vignettes in particular, because he’s a much better actor than Catrina and has his sadistic douchebag character down pat.