New Music Monday: Benmont Tench, St. Paul, Adrenaline Mob, Jimbo Mathus, Matt Schofield

The heartbreakingly underrated Benmont Tench steps out for a rare turn in the spotlight, offering a comfy set with plenty of throwback charm. Jimbo Mathus, meanwhile, dives deep into his own troubled soul.

There are surprises aplenty from the sizzling Birmingham, Alabama-based soulsters St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and a much-needed chance for reevaluation of an often-forgotten early-1980s classic from Aztec Camera, too.

Matt Schofield continues pushing — and pushing hard — on the edges of blues convention, while Shawn Maxwell does the same with the old big band aesthetic. Flotsam and Jetsam return to an earlier favorite, while Randy Ingram channels a jazz great in Bill Evans.

Then there’s Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb, this still completely weird amalgam …

ADRENALINE MOB – MEN OF HONOR (POP/ROCK): I’ll admit I had more fun than I expected with Adrenaline Mob’s debut, Omerta. The only tune I’ve heard from this record, though, didn’t do a whole lot for me. Maybe there’s better on the rest of the album. — Fred Phillips

AshantiBraveHeart (R&B)
Ahmad JamalComplete Live at the Spotlite Club 1958 (Jazz)

AZTEC CAMERA – HIGH LAND HARD RAIN (POP/ROCK): A must-have early-1980s jangle-pop masterpiece, Roddy Frame’s youthful debut masterpiece has aged well — as confirmed by this 30th anniversary reissue. Released on Rough Trade in the UK, and Sire in the America, the album produced a should-have-been anthem for the era in “Oblivious,” though it somehow never charted in the U.S. It still stands not only as this album’s touchstone moment, but also Frame’s. High Land has been remastered from the original analog, with scores of extra goodies added in. — Nick DeRiso

BENMONT TENCH – YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY (POP/ROCK): Perhaps only “Blonde Girl, Blue Dress,” the song that includes Tom Petty, could be confused with Tench’s regular working gig. This isn’t a Heartbreakers record masquerading under the name of one of its most important contributors; we’re finally hearing, it seems, what Tench sounds like unadorned, not trying to pitch something, not trying to fit in. Even the Bob Dylan-related covers end up sounding of a piece. Tench is so comfortable in his own skin, he can simply let his prodigious talents carry the day. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Bill Evans TrioAutumn Leaves (Jazz)
Bobby CharlesBobby Charles [180 Gram Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)

Bob DylanTimes They Are A-Changin: Limited Edition (Pop/Rock)
Chet Baker and StringsComplete Sessions (Jazz)
ChicagoVI [SACD] (Pop/Rock)
David TornThat Awkward Moment: Soundtrack (Pop/Rock)

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM – NO PLACE FOR DISGRACE 2014 (POP/ROCK): According to band members, a remastered version of Flotsam and Jetsam’s second album from 1988 is one of the most requested things by fans. The master tapes for the album, though, proved to difficult to get. Instead, the band financed a complete re-recording of the record through fan donations, and it now gets a release on Metal Blade. — Fred Phillips

Guided By VoicesMotivational Jumpsuit (Pop/Rock)
Guy ClarkOld No. 1 [180 Gram Vinyl] (Country)
HelloweenDark Ride; Rabbit Don’t Come Easy (Pop/Rock)

JIMBO MATHUS – DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL [with Tri-State Coalition] (BLUES): Mathus’ solo career away from the ragtime-on-steroids Squirrel Nut Zippers has set new standards for brutal honesty. As the title of this new Fat Possum album no doubt implies, Mathus goes deeper still here, reveals something more personal still, peels away more layers still. It’s an even more raw-boned version of Mathus’ typical roots rock — darker and harder, like a grittier, more visceral take on the mythical parables of the Band. And that’s no small thing. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Jim HallClassic Quartets-Impromptu + Burnin’ (Jazz)
Jim SuhlerPanther Burn (Blues)
John ZornAlchemist; Psychomagia (Jazz)
Junior Wells and Buddy GuyPleading the Blues (Blues)

Lake Street DiveBad Self Portraits (Pop/Rock)
Lou ReedWinter at the Roxy (Pop/Rock)
Mark RiveraCommon Bond (Pop/Rock)

MATT SCHOFIELD – FAR AS I CAN SEE (POP/ROCK): It would have been easy enough for Matt Schofield, the most heralded blues guitarist to come out of England in recent memory, to leave at slow burns and nifty shuffles. But Far As I Can See displays broader ambitions — and from the first. We’ve barely settled in before Schofield’s opening track reveals itself to be inspired by Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Not exactly grits and groceries fare, that. This stirringly complex album is as recommended for subject matter and textures like that as it is for Schofield’s justly celebrated performances on guitar. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Miles DavisLive in Saint Louis 1957 (Jazz)
Nat King ColeLive in Tokyo (Vocals)

NATE JONES BAND – THE NATE JONES BAND EP (POP/ROCK): The combination of Jones’ acoustic and Chris Hanna’s B3 organ showcases a prime intersection of folk and soul on the advance single “Another Night, Another Town,” and Jones shows off some pretty good electric guitar chops on “Honest Man” and “Wandering Love.” He can pilot the emotional current in a ballad like “What Goes Up,” which swells up from just his voice and acoustic guitar to something anthemic before returning to its simple roots. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Peter BuckI Am Back to Blow Your Mind Once Again (Pop/Rock)
Quiet RiotCum On Feel The Noize [Studio Re-Recorded]; Backstage: Live 1983 (Pop/Rock)

RANDY INGRAM – SKY/LIFT (JAZZ): Ingram seems to be finding his inner Bill Evans this time. His only cover for the new album, in fact, is Evans’ sublime composition “Time Remembered” where the progression of expressionistic chords is same as original, but he puts his own mark in the interpretation via subtle differences in the cadence and flow. Elsewhere, Ingram’s songs and the way he performs them evokes Evans, but infused with an affinity for contemporary styles of music both within jazz and outside of it, he brings the icon’s vision forward into the present. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

SantanaBorboletta [180 Gram Vinyl] (Pop/Rock)

SHAWN MAXWELL – SHAWN MAXWELL’S ALLIANCE (JAZZ): A large jazz band album that’s made for those skeptical about large bands, Alliance works well off the beaten path of Benny Goodman/Glenn Miller/Paul Whiteman. Maxwell, a Chicago-based reedman who normally leads small groups, decided to see what would happen when he cobbled together a collective of friends without regard to conforming to instrumentation structure or even formal styles of music. What this special union begat is predictably unpredictable — in the best possible way. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

SLOUGH FEG – DIGITAL RESISTANCE (POP/ROCK): Slough Feg rarely disappoints with their no-frills, old school approach to metal. I expect more of the same from this album. — Fred Phillips

Snoop Dogg7 Days of Funk (Rap)

ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES – HALF THE CITY (R&B): Close your eyes, and Otis Redding, James Brown or Al Green come to mind — not an ex-bank teller named Paul Janeway. But that’s just who is at the switch of this hurtling R&B train. And he’s surrounded not by some grizzled gaggle of Stax or Hi Records vets, but by a group of similarly committed kids. Together as St. Paul and the Broken Bones, to put it as simply as possible, they blow their ever-loving asses off. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

THOMAS EDISUN – THE RED DAY ALBUM [with the Electric Light Bulb Band] (POP/ROCK): Shaped of unusual hooks, melodies and arrangements, The Red Day Album makes for a very fine psychedelic pop experience. Not bound by rules, Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band aimed to craft a piece of music pairing conventional ideas with freaky insights, and if you ask me they succeeded in doing so. (More here.) — Beverly Paterson

TOMMY CASTRO – THE DEVIL YOU KNOW [Vinyl] (BLUES): There’s a different attitude surrounding these recordings, which find Tommy Castro collaborating with a tough new group of blues-rock loving youngsters. Even tracks like the subsequent “Second Mind,” which starts with a loping cadence powered along by original Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald, soon catch another gear — and they proceed to rattle along like a classic muscle car running with a serrated muffler: They are strong, they are a little scary and they are loud as hell. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The Allman Brothers BandBoston Common 8/17/71; Live At Great Woods and Martin Pitts; Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theater 1992 (Pop/Rock)
The Presidents of the United States of AmericaKudos To You! (Pop/Rock)
Walter HortonLive at the Knickerbocker [with Ronnie Earl] (Blues)


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