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New Album Releases: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Johnny Cash, Eric Johnson, Moreland & Arbuckle…

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Weeks like this are the ones I live for when it comes to doing this column.  There are a ton of compelling new releases.  I didn't realize some of these were streeting this week.  I feel an Amazon order coming on.  I'll have the links at the end of this article.  Best you go ahead and jump on a few of these as well.

Johnny Cash
American VI: Ain't No Grave

We are pretty sure this is the final chapter of Cash's collaboration with Rick Rubin.  I suppose it's possible there is more.  Rubin released a terrific box set of previously unissued material and has now released two posthumous volumes.  Very little of what Cash and Rubin did was less than excellent and some of it stands among the best things this icon ever recorded.  Rubin hasn't always been on the right side of every moment in his career but he deserves a lot for helping Cash get that great final act.  I'll likely have a review of this up soon.  In the meantime, would you all please read this excellent review my friend El Bicho has written?

Carolina Chocolate Drops
Genuine Negro Jig

I'm not independently familiar with Carolina Chocolate Drops but I'm hearing some buzz about them.  My cursory research indicates they have some blues/roots elements in their sound and seeing how I'm — forgive the blatant self-promotion, dear readers — in the midst of an exhaustive examination of albums and artists nominated for the 2010 Blues Music Awards, that is something that has my attention.  I've also found that Nonesuch is one of the few major-mini labels that has etched out an identity for itself and I've found myself enjoying some artists that might have otherwise fallen out of my standard musical ambit.  This is on my "to-do" list.

Eric Johnson
Tones

This is a remastered, re-issued edition of Johnson's out-of-print debut.  Metalheads and guitar geeks know and respect Johnson.  Unlike some of the other players in this genre, Johnson can't be strictly pigeonholed as a "metal" guy.  He's an interesting player who stays gone for years at a time and only occasionally emerges.  Fans of his work will be glad this one is back in print.

Moreland & Arbuckle
Flood

This blues/roots duo is fast becoming one of the more interesting on the blues circuit.  This release for Telarc features mainly original numbers.  Aaron Moreland and Dustin Arbuckle have a great record collection.  They know the right artists to listen to and they've taken good notes.  They understand the tradition but have also found their own voice within that scope.

Joanna Newsom
Have One On Me

Let me again confess my ignorance.  I know the name, not the music.  What I can tell you is this a 3-CD set and I've been seeing/hearing buzz about this in the blogosphere and Twitterverse (I hope to never use those two terms ever again).  This is a 3-CD set of new material.  I'll give her this: a triple-album is ambitious as balls these days.

There are some other gems tucked away this week.  Take a look and get those credit cards ready!  This is the week we start America's economic recovery.

Carolina Chocolate Drops
Genuine Negro Jig

Johnny Cash
American VI: Ain't No Grave

George Jones
George Jones: The Great Lost Hits

Joanna Newsom
Have One on Me

The Plimsouls
Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal: October 31, 1981 Whisky a Go Go

Quasi
American Gong

Various Artists
Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox

Xiu Xiu
Dear God, I Hate Myself

Alkaline Trio
This Addiction

Andrew W.K.
Close Calls with Brick Walls/Mother of Mankind

Martha Argerich
Argerich plays Chopin

Balmorhea
Constellations

Cindy Blackman
Another Lifetime

The Blues Brothers
Made in America

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Who Killed Sgt Pepper?

David Broza
Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt

Sarah Buxton
Sarah Buxton

Charlie Byrd
The World of Charlie Byrd

A Certain Ratio
Force

Clem Snide
The Meat of Life

Deadstring Brothers
São Paulo

Georgia A. Muldrow/Declaime
SomeOthaShip

EPMD
Strictly Business

Eazy-E
Eazy-Duz-It

Efterklang
Magic Chairs

Electric President
The Violent Blue

Eluvium
Similes

Flatt & Scruggs/The Stanley Brothers
Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers

Dan Fogelberg
Dan Fogelberg Live: Greetings from the West

The Fugs
Be Free: The Fugs Final CD, Pt. II

Robin Guthrie
Sunflower Stories

Merle Haggard
Kern River/Chill Factor

High on Fire
Snakes for the Divine

Hot Tuna
Double Dose

The Irish Tenors
Ireland

Jaga Jazzist
One-Armed Bandit

John Ellis/Double-Wide
Puppet Mischie

Eric Johnson
Tones

Neeme Järvi
Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Brahms: Double Concerto

Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Black Man's Cry

Hector Lavoe
Greatest Hits [2010]

Héctor Lavoe
La Voz: A Man and His Music

Alan Licht/Loren Connors
Into the Night Sky

David Lloyd-Jones
Sir Arthur Sullivan: Ivanhoe

Lonelady
Nerve Up

Madlib
Madlib Medicine Show No. 2: Flight to Brazil

Madlib
Miles Away: The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble

Master P
Ghetto D

Daniel Merriweather
Love & War

Milow
Milow

Holly Miranda
The Magician's Private Library

Essra Mohawk
Essra Mohawk

Essra Mohawk
Primordial Lover

Sandy Hurvitz
Sandy's Album Is Here at Last!

Moreland & Arbuckle
Flood

Mutiny Within
Mutiny Within

My Dying Bride
Angel and the Dark River/Darkest Eyes [CD/DVD]

Nazareth
Loud 'N' Proud

Carrie Newcomer
Before & After

Terry Riley
Terry Riley: Autodreamographical Tales

Gerard Schwarz
William Schuman: Symphony No. 8; Night Journey; Variations on 'America'

Morgan Page
Believe

Jackie Paris
The Jackie Paris Sound

Past Lives
Tapestry of Webs

Lucky Peterson
Heart of Pain

John Pizzarelli
Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute To Duke Ellington

Helen Reddy
Ear Candy/We'll Sing in the Sunshine

Terry Riley
Terry Riley: Autodreamographical Tales

The Rocket Summer
Of Men and Angels

Jack Rose
Luck in the Valley

Diana Ross
Touch Me in the Morning

Sambassadeur
European

Scorn
Evanescence/Ellipsis

Shearwater
Golden Archipelago [Deluxe Edition]

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    oh gawd, that Caroline Chocolate Drops disc is fantastic.

  • Josh Hathaway

    It’s high on my list. The Cash disc is pretty wonderful, too.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    tip o’ the hat, Josh

  • Josh Hathaway

    My pleasure. You really captured the essence of a beautiful record.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    and thanks for turning me onto CCD. I dig their old time sound

  • Jordan Richardson

    Joanna Newsom is weird and a-fucking-mazing.

  • zingzing

    newsom is one that i’ve not been able to get into. i’ve got both her previous full-lengths, and there are some beautiful moments, and i love her quirky voice and songwriting, but the arrangements don’t do much for me.

    her first one had some great pseudo-pop on it, but the second one… i loved the ambition, but it just didn’t pan out for me. there seemed to be little connection between where one (looooong) song started and where it ended. i’m not a lyrics guy by any means, so maybe that’s the problem. and van dyke parks had a hand in it, which makes sense (song cycle is one of my favorite albums and it has the same problem that newsome has, except the songs are 3-4 minutes instead of 10+), but damn if that thing isn’t a chore.

    still, if you like intricately-arranged pop with strange vocals and complex lyrics, she’s your woman. it’s an acquired taste, for sure. i might yet acquire it.

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    The new Newsom sounds very intriguing from what I’ve heard online. Couldn’t stand any of her previous stuff, but she’s singing with what appears to me to be a new-found soulfulness. I also figure with 125 minutes run time, there’s got to be a regular album’s worth of solid material in there.

    On the other side of the conversation, that Carolina Chocolate Drops sounds like a nightmare to me. 30 second clips on Amazon had me pawing to get to the pause button, almost yelling out “Let me out of the trailer, Cletus!” I have a mind for some bluegrass but it clearly isn’t the ground they’re covering. Maybe “newgrass” is the genre I’m thinking of. This, like I said . . . nightmare.

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