The week arrives with cool opportunities to experience classic Flash with Peter Banks, Los Lobos in a nervy, stripped-down format, and a warmly recommended Yuletide offering from Nick Lowe.
New Music Monday
Motorhead gears back up, while a series of favorite acts get the splashy reissue treatment. It is, in fact, a huge week for reexaminations of classic rock recordings.
Paul McCartney is sounding as Paul McCartney as ever, making for an infectious return to rock after years away. Lonnie Smith is also tracing his own roots, only in this case it’s soul-lifting organ jazz.
An intimate moment with Alex Chilton provides incredible new musical insights into his off-beat genius, while Marc Cary takes his keyboard into a series of new intriguing directions.
New Music Monday: Dave Stewart, Martin Barre, Alice Cooper, Rush, Tim Berne, Nirvana, Metallica, Soulfly
Dave Stewart continues to absorb Americana and roots influences into his work, with terrific results — while Martin Barre sticks his toe in the warm waters of a post-Jethro Tull solo career.
Elton John has returned with an elegiac Tumbleweed Connection-era style triumph, while Gov’t Mule, Sammy Hagar and Willie Nelson are joined by a series of famous friends. Sting, meanwhile, disappoints.
New Music Monday: Gregory Porter, Left Lane Cruiser, Carcass, the Band, Starship, Gwar, Tony Joe White
Gregory Porter is like a next-gen Donny Hathaway, so smooth and yet so talented. Left Lane Cruiser is back with another raucous outing. And Mickey Thomas’ Starship returns with its own flinty recording.
A meeting of the minds combining members of King Crimson, Dream Theater and Steven Wilson’s band tops this New Music Monday slate. Meanwhile, Mark Knopfler’s celebrated Privateering finally sees U.S. release.
The North Mississippi Allstars invited friends and family over, yet their new album is anything but trapped in nostalgia. Meanwhile, UB40 has added a distinctive new element to its tried-and-true reggae method.
Massive box sets devoted to the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and Sly and the Family Stone took us on wildly disparate musical journeys this week. Then, there was Stephen Stills’ blues-rocking new trio, the Rides.