Thursday , June 20 2024
Chris Isaak opens for U2.

New Album Releases 02/24/09: Chris Isaak, J.J. Cale, Black Lips, Shemekia Copeland, Joe Bonamassa, Jonas Brothers, The Who, and More

With the new U2 set to hit stores next week, it's not surprising to see a lack of heavy hitters volunteering to play opening act on this week's new release list. For his first new album in seven years however, leave it to Chris Isaak to step up to the plate.

Time will tell whether or not Isaak's Mr. Lucky proves to live up to the promise of its title, but you really can't beat the setup — Isaak's new show on cable's A&E gets him plenty of tube time just in time for the release. Isaak's retro-crooning gets a bit of a facelift here in terms of production, but his smooth voice and retrograde vibrato guitar sound as sharp as ever. Now if he can just find that followup to the karaoke classic "Wicked Game."

At the ripe old age of 70, J.J. Cale shows he isn't about to roll over just yet on the follow-up to his Road To Escondido collaboration with Clapton a few years back. Clapton is back to help out the guy who penned his own hits "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" on Cale's Roll On. The new album features such songs as "Cherry Street," where "the girls are lookin' fine/when they put their hand in your pocket, they ain't lookin' for no dime." Seventy years old you say?

Those Jo-Bros are back this week with Music from the 3D Concert Experience, the soundtrack from their 3D concert movie (which presumably means this is a live album). The Black Lips rock the garage-punk on 200 Million Thousand. Joe Bonamassa's The Ballad of John Henry should earn him his rightful place among the blues greats, at least according to Pico's review.

El Bicho's pick this week upgrades a classic 1970 Who concert with Blu-ray bells and whistles. And speaking of Pico, he's sticking with the blues this week and is here to tell us all about the impeccable blues pedigree of Shemekia Copeland.

Pico's Pick: Shemekia Copeland – Never Going Back

Shemekia Copeland is the offspring of one blues legend (Johnny Copeland) in pursuit of the lofty status of another one (Koko Taylor). With Never Going Back she gains more ground on Taylor. Never Going Back is bolstered by Oliver Wood's tradition-minded production, guest appearances from such terrific musicians such as Marc Ribot (a Top Ten Greatest Guitarist according to Mark Saleski), and a uniformly strong set of songs. This one deserves to be on a lot of year-end "best of blues records" lists.

El Bicho's Masked Music Pick: The Who – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Blu-ray)

The Blu-ray of Live…1970 marks its fifth entry into the home video market and the enhanced audio makes the upgrade worth it. Capturing The Who at the height of their power, Academy Award-winning documentarian Murray Lerner and his team recorded the band at 2am on August 30, 1970 to an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 600,000. Although not presented in its proper order, the 85-minute set reveals why the band is held in such high regard among rock aficionados and why all four excelled at their respective roles. The audio is massive and demonstrates both the power of The Who and Blu-ray to drive the parents and the neighbors crazy.

Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

Black Lips
200 Million Thousand
Garage Punk, Garage Rock Revival

J.J. Cale
Roll On
Boogie Rock, Roots Rock, Blues-Rock

Chris Isaak
Mr. Lucky
Wicked Game/Reprise
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop/Rock

And Then There Were None
Who Speaks for Planet Earth?
Tooth & Nail
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Dance-Rock, Indie Electronic

Laura Barrett
Victory Garden
Paper Bag
Indie Pop, Indie Rock

Diego Bernal
For Corners
Left-Field Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop

Joe Bonamassa
The Ballad of John Henry
J & R Adventures
Blues-Rock, Modern Electric Blues

Pete Brown & His Battered Ornaments
A Meal You Can Shake Hands with in the Dark
Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Soul

Pete Brown & Piblokto!
Things May Come and Things May Go But the Art School Dance Goes on Forever
Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Rock & Roll, Soul

Pete Brown & Piblokto!
Thousands on a Raft
Jazz-Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Safe as Milk
Proto-Punk, Psychedelic, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Blues-Rock, Experimental Rock

Johnny Cash
Original Sun Singles '55-'58
Rock & Roll, Traditional Country, Rockabilly, Country-Pop

Clem Snide
Hungry Bird
Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock

Company of Thieves
Ordinary Riches
Indie Rock

Norman Connors
Star Power
Smooth Jazz, Quiet Storm, Crossover Jazz, Urban

Shemekia Copeland
Never Going Back
Modern Electric Blues, Soul-Blues

Brian Dewan
Ringing at the Speed of Prayer: Brian Dewan with the Liverpool Cathedral Bell Ringers
Romantic & Contemporary Arrangements for Bells & Tuned Stones

John Fred & His Playboy Band
With Glasses: The Very Best of John Fred and His Playboy Band
Fuel 2000
Pop/Rock, Frat Rock, AM Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Bill Frisell
The Best of Bill Frisell, Vol. 1: Folk Songs

Green River Ordinance
Out of My Hands
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop/Rock

Uri Gurvich
The Storyteller
Avant-Garde Jazz, Progressive Jazz, Folk-Jazz, World Fusion

Lightnin' Hopkins
Blues from Dowling Street
Fuel 2000
Electric Texas Blues, Electric Blues, Country Blues, Acoustic Texas Blues, Texas Blues

Jonas Brothers
Music from the 3D Concert Experience
Pop/Rock, Teen Pop

Alternative Rap, Political Rap, Underground Rap

Alternative Dance, Rock en Español, Alternative Pop/Rock

Monteverdi: Teatro d'Amore
Virgin Classics
Baroque Vocal Music

Lamb of God
Death Metal/Black Metal

Jerry Lee Lewis
Sun Singles Collection
Rock & Roll

Kurt Masur
Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8; Liszt: Wanderer-Fantasie
Romantic Orchestral Music

Jackie McLean
Bluesnik [RVG]
Blue Note
Hard Bop, Post-Bop

Original Soundtrack
Original Score, Soundtracks

Jake Owen
Easy Does It
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Contemporary Country

White Bird Release
Experimental Ambient, Dark Ambient, Post-Rock/Experimental, Electro-Acoustic

Shawn Phillips
At the BBC
Jazz-Rock, Folk-Rock, Soft Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Django Reinhardt
Postwar Recordings 1944-1953
Continental Jazz, Gypsy, Bop, Swing

Roberto Juan Rodriguez
The First Basket
Jewish Music, Avant-Garde Jazz, Hebrew, Son, Rhumba, Klezmer, Latin Folk, Mambo, New York Salsa, Salsa, World Fusion

Tom Rush
What I Know
Contemporary Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Folk-Blues, Traditional Folk

Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers
Continental Jazz, World Fusion

School Boy Humor
School Boy Humor

Screaming Blue Messiahs
Live at the BBC
Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

Horace Silver
The Tokyo Blues
Blue Note
Hard Bop, Soul-Jazz

Various Artists
Adventures in Sound: Schaeffer, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Varèse, Henry
Modern & Contemporary Electronic & Electro-Acoustic Music

Various Artists
Elliott Carter: A Nonesuch Retrospective [Box Set]
Contemporary Vocal, Chamber & Orchestral Music

Various Artists
Singing Through the Hard Times: A Utah Phillips Celebration
Righteous Babe
Neo-Traditional Folk, Folksongs, Folk Revival

Baby Face Willette
Stop and Listen
Blue Note
Hard Bop, Soul-Jazz

Tony Williams
Blue Note
Post-Bop, Avant-Garde Jazz

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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