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Record Roundup

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Big Bill Broonzy

Sings Folk Songs

Vinyl Me Please/Smithsonian Folkways

Reissue of the blues great’s seminal 1962 posthumous release, with excellent liner notes (old and new). The best thing that’s turned up on my doorstep in five months of Vinyl Me Please membership, though Black Sabbath’s Paranoid made a nice Halloween treat.

‑ Chris Manson

Hymnal Music

Faded Roses

hymnalmusic.bandcamp.com

An addition to the Pensacola indie scene, Hymnal Music mixes folk, rock and experimental sensibilities to create an intriguing ambience. With dashes of punk‑style messages and armed with not much more than acoustic guitar and reverb petal, this one‑man project is a reminder of how embracing our creative endeavors is always worth pursuing.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Jones and Company

Raise the Roof

Circle Dance Records

On Raise the Roof, Cheryl Jones and krewe—Brent Purcell on drums, Denny Jones on bass and guitar, Paul Scurto on trumpet and flugelhorn, Ike Bartley on saxes, and Ellis Jones on trombone—offer 15 tracks of all‑you‑need party tunes. Jones’ voice, showcased throughout, combines youthful strength with worldly humor, moving effortlessly from purr to scat to growl. The menu varies—reggae, funk, smooth Latin, a touch of hip‑hop, Big Easy and Coastal. You might find yourself thinking of ‘70s fare—Mangione, Chase, BS&T or Chicago—but it’s not an imitation. The Company fields its own Big Band sound in a tight, ready‑to‑travel package.

‑ Bruce Collier

Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

All My Yesterdays

Resonance Records

This is a lengthy release of 1966 recordings of jazz trumpeter Jones and the Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard. The 17 tracks (“Big Dipper,” “Willow Weep for Me,” etc.) were recorded on site by an amateur engineer—age 19, therefore probably not legally present. Little is filtered out. You hear the audience clapping, musicians cheering each other on, pretty much everything but the flick of Zippo lighters. It’s a ready‑made soundtrack to any film noir you care to name. The ambiance isn’t clean, but it’s closer to live theater than you’re likely to get anywhere else.

‑ Bruce Collier

Michael Francis McCarthy

Migrant

mikemccarthymusic.com

With roots in Pensacola, Migrant is an apt title for the oft‑traveling McCarthy. Whether he’s paying homage to Junior Kimbrough or crafting original tunes, he does it all with heart and fire. His skilled acoustic guitar playing—including some lovely slide work—and gruff, textured voice signal McCarthy as a discovery transcending all expectations. A fine example of how an acoustic album can have a vibrant personality.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet

Self‑Titled

pawpawsmedicinecabinet.com

Southern funkified jam band is a fitting description for this Mobile group. They’ve only been around about a year, but their debut EP proves to be an engaging introduction. A full‑length album is in the works as Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet prepares to make their mark across the Gulf Coast.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Wolfmother

Victorious

Universal

The rock ‘n roll fuzz warriors return with a new stable of songs as they continue their journey into the ‘70s. This time, there are hints of arena rock, moving just slightly away from the low tuning featured on their previous releases. Victorious tries to recapture much of the energy and spirit that Wolfmother’s self‑titled debut enthralled audiences with 10 years ago—it falls short of recapturing that fervor but is solid ear candy.

‑ Nikki Hedrick
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