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The Record Roundup

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Chasing Lovely

Things We Don’t Talk About


This sister duo is the hallmark of the direction pop-folk is taking. It’s airy with ambient rock instrumentation to elevate emotional swells, while fearlessly tackling relatable topics on the journey to self-discovery. Under all those descriptions are two lovely young women forging their way onto the music scene with heart and words of wisdom. Chasing Lovely performs at the 30A Songwriters Festival Jan. 12-15.

– Nikki Hedrick

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion

Bright Examples


This duo, appearing at the 30A Songwriters Festival, stares down an impressive lineage. Guthrie is a Guthrie—granddaughter to Woody, daughter to Arlo—while Irion is a Steinbeck, as in Thomas and John. Their marriage and music mark a wonderful expression of American culture. Bright Examples is warm, delicate folk music bursting with lovely harmonies and a feeling of nostalgic innocence.

– Nikki Hedrick

Greta Van Fleet

From the Fires

Lava Music

Incredibly, the album’s four new tracks are every bit as stellar as the four previously released ones. And, yes, GVF still sounds incredibly similar to Led Zeppelin, too. It’s as if Robert Plant’s vocals have been reincarnated in Josh Kiszka’s throat. Apparently, this isn’t a deliberate dupe, as the younger band’s members have tried to earnestly disassociate themselves, stating repeatedly that they don’t want to be a band known only for sounding like another one. It’s also worth noting they don’t have a dupe equal to Jimmy Page. Still, it’s clear their musical abilities are all up to par. And their sound, though eerily familiar, is also authentic and fresh.

– Joni Williams

Heather Newman

Burn Me Alive

Vizztone Label Group

Nebraska-born blues singer and guitarist Newman recently released her first studio album, Burn me Alive. The sexy cover photo promises a program of sultry bad girl blues, and she delivers on it. She’s tamed her guitar into service, backing up a voice that laments, growls, sneers, and commands your full attention for all 12 tracks. She deftly keeps things on simmer, taking her time before cutting loose and testifying on songs like “Dirty Blues” and “I’m Through with You.” You’ll hear echoes of Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Holly Cole, and a whole line of blues and country hot mamas.

– Bruce Collier

Piercarlo Sacco and Andrea Dieci

Piazzolla: La Calle 92

Brilliant Classics

Astor Piazzolla should be even more famous than he is. He took the most tradition-bound musical genre in Argentina—the tango—and remade it for the 20th century sensibility, infusing it with classical and jazz style. Violinist Sacco and guitarist Dieci team up once more (they recorded an earlier Piazzolla collaboration in 2014) for La Calle 92. The album offers 14 tracks, only one them longer than five minutes. It’s lively, intense, and manages to be dramatic and humorous at the same time—like the average tango. Listen with a partner, because it still takes two to…you know.

– Bruce Collier

Various Artists

Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection of Music from the Arab World

Habibi Funk

No kidding, this album—compiled from a list of Arab artists (some no longer alive)—sounds like Little Richard Live at Marrakesh, if there were such a recording. Habibi Funk label was founded in 2015 to give the world a taste of a whole lotta shakin’ that was goin’ on in Morocco and other Arabic countries from the ‘60s through the ‘80s. It’s quite a sampler, alternating English and Arabic, with quotes from British and American rock ‘n’ roll, funk, and, on one track (titled “Unknown”), Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” The recording’s basement tape quality only adds to the immediacy.

– Bruce Collier

The War and Treaty

Down to the River

Strong World Entertainment

Have you ever pushed play and fell madly in love? That deep feeling that gives you chill bumps and makes you want to tell everyone who will to listen? That was Down to the River for me, a powerful take on neo-soul with blues roots that take hold and never let go. Only a minute into the first track, I knew everything I needed to about this group, and I fell in love.

– Nikki Hedrick – Since 1997, P&P has been the definitive place for music fans to find out when a new album is coming out. Also stay up on the latest reissues and music‑related DVD/Blu‑rays and books. Elton John says he uses to keep track of new music, and Entertainment Weekly has included it on its list of “The 100 Greatest Web Sites,” one of only 17 music sites to be selected.

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