Thursday , February 29 2024
New albums from big names and some great re-issues top a hot week for summer new releases...

New Album Releases June 16, 2009: George Harrison, Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcaster, The Wallflowers, The Jonas Brothers

I was going to start this week's column with a reference to the passing of the torch to me from the mighty Iguana Glen Boyd, but I realize this is a music column so I should either go with Sonny & Cher's "The Beat Goes On" or Metallica's "The Shortest Straw."  Either way, I'm on a probationary period with our beloved New Album Releases column.  If I pass, you'll be able to continue turning to Blogcritics as your source of what's new and what to think about it.  To that end, we have some major releases on the docket for June 16, so let's highlight a few of them.

George Harrison 
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison 

On the day George Harrison was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was announced that EMI was finally going to release a true, career-spanning retrospective of Harrison's solo work.  

With Let it Roll, all four Beatles now have definitive retrospectives of their post-Beatles work.  I haven't gotten my copy of Let it Roll yet, but I've perused the tracklisting and at first glance EMI seems to have gotten this right.  I was afraid my personal favorite, "Blow Away," would be forgotten, but am pleased to report it was not.  Some folks — and I bet when I do sit and listen to this I'll be one of them — would prefer the tracks were sequenced chronologically, but that's a small quibble.  We live in the digital age!  You can re-sequence this in any way you see fit.

Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam
Coming Up For Air

Before I fall all over myself extolling the wonders on this disc, I feel I once again must tip my cap to El Bichowho turned me on to Back Door Slam on one of his legendary appearances on my short-lived BlogTalkRadio program, B-Sides Concept Album.  The appearance wasn't quite as legendary as the time he called in after having a few beers at an NHL game, but it was legendary all the same.  It was also a bit more helpful, because he was completely right about how talented young Mr. Knowles is.

In fact, you can now hear what it is that got Bicho so hot for these guys that he then passed on to me.  Their performance at Bonnaroo is now available digitally through your iTunes and Amazon.  He's even got a review of it written, that Bicho of ours.

That's the past, now let's roll with the new.  Knowles has parted with his former bandmates, but still has possession of the Back Door Slam name.  His upcoming album is being sold under the moniker Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam, but it's really just him and with all due respect to those other blokes, that's really quite enough.  Those fine fellas contributed, but Knowles' voice and guitar are really where this 'band' lives. If you're curious what the new BDS sounds like, El Bicho has you covered there having seen Knowles open for Jeff Beck.

Besides, Knowles went and found some big boy contributors for this new album.  Benmont Tench of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers is here to lay down some Hammond B-3 organ.  Benmont Tench and Brian Eno are the keys.  If one or both of them show up on an album, best you just go ahead and buy it.  Peter Frampton produced the album, co-wrote a couple tracks with Knowles,  and even contributes some guitar on an incendiary cover of George Harrison's "Hear Me Lord."

This is an absolute contender for my 2009 year end list.  I'm not telling you it will place or how high, but it's going to be considered strongly and not just because it was released in 2009.  Here is my full review of this album.

Ronnie Ear & The Broadcasters
Living In The Light

When I finish my Back Door Slam review, I'll finish my review of Ronnie Earl's latest.  Once again, I owe a tip of the cap to one of my fellow Blogcritics writers.  Mark Saleski introduced me to the wonders of Ronnie Earl's playing.  To call Earl a virtuoso seems to small.  He's more than that.  It's almost like the guitar is a video game, and Earl has beat the game.  He transcends it.  If you want to hear a real Guitar Hero, Ronnie Earl is a name you need to know.  Living In The Light is more than that, though.  This album is as intensely personal and confessional as reality TV is fraudulent in pursuit of those same ideals.

Big Star 
#1 Record/Radio City [Bonus Tracks] 

I don't know a lot about Big Star other than two artists I love — Elliott Smith and Garbage — both covered their song "13."  A couple of BC Writers (General Jabbo and The Other Chad) have reviewed this re-issue so if, like me, you're unfamiliar with them, you can get familiar and decide if this is one you need to get.

The Wallflowers 
Collected: 1996-2005 

Like a lot of children of famous performers, Jakob Dylan's greatest sin seems to have been not being his father, Bob.  If we fired all the songwriters who can't touch Bob Dylan, this and every subsequent New Album Release column would be a lot shorter.  For some reason, the Julian Lennons and Jakob Dylans of the world never get a fair shake because they're expected to equal their more famous fathers.  The Wallflowers weren't groundbreaking, but they recorded some good songs.  This collection has all the ones you'd recognize and a few others.  If you ever liked them and have since gotten rid of your copy of their breakthrough Bringing Down The Horse, this might be as good an option as replacing it the next time you have that fit of '90s nostalgia.

Here's the full rundown courtesy of our friends at AMG:

George Harrison 
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison 

Jonas Brothers 
Lines, Vines and Trying Times 

Spinal Tap 
Back from the Dead 

Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara 
Tell No Lies 

Among the Oak & Ash 
Among the Oak & Ash 

The Avengers 

Big Star 
#1 Record/Radio City [Bonus Tracks] 

Deanna Bogart 
11th Hour 

I'm Not a Fan But the Kids Like It 

Michael Bublé 
Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden [CD/DVD] 

Rodney Carrington 
El Niño Loco 

Dave Douglas/Brass Ecstasy 
Spirit Moves

Will Downing 

Ha Ha Tonka 
Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South 

Don Henley 
The Very Best of Don Henley 

Hilltop Hoods 

State of the Art 

Monuments & Melodies 

The Legends 
Over and Over 

Gunar Letzbor 
Antonio Bertali: Prothimia Suavissima, Parte Seconda 

Major Lazer 
Guns Don't Kill People… Lazers Do 

Christian McBride & Inside Straight 
Kind of Brown 

Clara Rodriguez 
Clara Rodriguez Plays the Music of Teresa Carreño 

Stefano Scodanibbio 
John Cage: Dream 

Herwig Zack 
Essentials: Work for Solo Violin 

Andy Pratt 
Live at the Village Underground 2003 

Daryle Singletary 
Rockin' in the Country 

The Sippy Cups 
The Time Machine 

Charlene Smith 
Feel the Goodtimes 

Tim Sparks 
Little Princess 

Street Sweeper Social Club 
Street Sweeper Social Club 

Tiny Masters of Today 

Various Artists 
Chess in Concert: Live From Royal Albert Hall 

Various Artists 

Various Artists 
Pleasure is the Law 

Rhonda Vincent 
Destination Life 

The Wallflowers 
Collected: 1996-2005 

Hank Williams, Jr. 
Red, White and Pink-Slip Blues 

Holly Williams 
Here with Me 

Masada Quintet 
Stolas: The Book of Angels, Vol. 12 

About Josh Hathaway

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