It’s Fixin’ to Blow
Avera mixes alt-country with a wicked sense of humor. Whether taking on classic country music troupes, delivering off-kilter anti-love songs, or warning of the hazards of small-town life, this is not an album for the faint of heart. From top to bottom, It’s Fixin’ to Blow is Avera’s brainchild, as he takes on every role necessary to complete an album. Character and gruff attitude make this one a welcome anomaly from your typical sugary-sweet country.
– Nikki Hedrick
Holey Miss Moley
Live at Hometeam New Year’s Rally
560367 Records DK
Ready for a funky, soulful live album that’s full of energy and jubilance? With a smattering of special guests and jams that let every member of the group have their moment in the spotlight, Holey Miss Moley is out to prove they cook up a live music performance that you won’t want to miss. And we will all get the chance to hear it for ourselves at this year’s RevFest, as they’ve nabbed one of the headliner slots.
– Nikki Hedrick
Pensacola’s Hubbert takes the concept of one-man bands into modern possibilities. Using a series of looping pedals, Hubbert recreates and reinvents popular songs bit-by-bit directly in front of your ears. Wonder what The Pixies would sound like as a reggae band? Or what Willie Nelson would sound like as a soul band? Hubbert fearlessly answers those questions in his venture to prove that even the most well-known songs can be transformed through creative freedoms.
– Nikki Hedrick
Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock
After the Fall
The trio of Jarrett, DeJohnette and Peacock has come to be nicknamed “The Standards,” referring to its collaborative subject matter. After the Fall is the 20-years-later release of a 1998 concert recorded in Newark, New Jersey. It was Jarrett’s return after a two-year break. Fans of Jarrett’s more cerebral work should check this out. It’s 12 solid gold covers of the stuff all jazz musicians used to tackle—American Songbook fare like “When I Fall in Love” and Bop classics like “Scrapple from the Apple.” As for DeJohnette and Peacock, like Jarrett, they came up with Miles Davis. Certified.
– Bruce Collier
Three for the Road
Forty Below Records
Blues legend Mayall recorded this live concert album about a year ago in Germany with bandmates Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums). At 84, the lithe Brit is still a force, commanding the stage from the jump with a nine-track program and perhaps the clearest diction of any bluesman you’ll ever hear. I never thought of the Germans as blues people, but they eat it up. There’s a broad, flavorful cross-section of songs, with northern, midwestern and southern styles. The feel of the show is rough, immediate, almost improvised, like it was thought up at the last minute.
– Bruce Collier
Capture the Moment
Area percussionist and 2017 Beachcomber Music Award winner for Best Latin Artist Salaz and I have two things in common, sort of. In Beachcomber Editor Chris Manson’s Nov. 6, 2003 profile of Salaz, he notes that Salaz first came to Destin in the mid-1990s (so did I), then left to work in Dayton, Ohio (I grew up there, but left). Anyhoo, Capture the Moment showcases Salaz in a variety of jazz styles and genres. Salaz puts his joyous stamp on songbook standards like “The Shadow of Your Smile” and jazz classics like a Latin-commandeered cover of Miles’ canonical “So What.”
– Bruce Collier
Man of the Woods
JT’s newest album isn’t as bad as its critics would have you believe. He hasn’t gone country or Bon Iver folk, though every now and then there are some twangy lyrics and steel guitar to be heard. While none of the tracks measure up to earlier dance floor classics like “Rock Your Body,” “Sexy Back” or “Cry Me a River,” it’s a good album just the same. Wisely, JT again collaborates with Timbaland, who can still crank out some infectious beats. “Say Something,” one of the album’s best, most danceable tracks, is decidedly pop rather than country, despite the presence of Chris Stapleton. The rest of the LP often borrows from other musical genres but still bears the decidedly musical signature of Justin Timberlake. That’s reason enough to give it a listen, especially if there’s a dance floor nearby.
– Joni Williams
Pauseandplay.com – 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 Pauseandplay.com 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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