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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Music Reviews

30A Fest Veteran Buzz Cason and More... The Beat’s Record Roundup

Musicians: Send your CDs to The Beachcomber, P.O. Box 5707, Destin, FL 32540-5707. Email MP3 files and streaming links to chris@beachcomberdestin.com.

Listen to some of our picks here.


Spearman Brewers

One Drink Minimum

spearmanbrewers.bandcamp.com

Piedmont-style blues with a distinctive gravel-infused voice, this Pensacola talent will have you asking for a second round. Six songs about drinking, women, and occasionally drinking with women that will hit the spot for fans of traditional roots music.

- Nikki Hedrick

 

Buzz Cason

Record Machine

Plowboy Records

The prolific songwriter, Americana performer and 30A Fest alum once again delivers an album of impeccable stories told through memorable tunes. Comparisons to Dylan and Randy Newman aside, Cason continuously hones his craft and doesn’t rest on his past successes. Record Machine blends tales of past and future, and makes us all hopeful that more music is around the corner for us to Buzz about.

- Nikki Hedrick

 

Ethan Farmer

Farmer’s Vineyard

Ropeadope Records

Farmer’s Vineyard is Chicago-Los Angeles bass master Ethan “Ebassman” Farmer’s debut album for Ropeadope. The project has him wearing a number of hats—he produces, composes, leads and plays whatever you hear that isn’t being played by the rest of his ensemble, which goes heavy on percussion-keyboard-sax, including Boney James on one track. There’s plenty of background shimmer, lush electric atmosphere, even some call-and-response doop doop girls, but Farmer gives himself plenty of time front and center.

- Bruce Collier

 

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Live in Cuba

Blue Engine Records

It took nothing less than America’s thawing relationship with Cuba for trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to get back his joy. His past few years saw a succession of duet albums that, while perfectly good, seemed more labor than love. Live in Cuba is a big, chewy extravaganza, with the JLCO at the top of its game and Marsalis sounding more relaxed and inspired than he has in a long time. There’s stuff by Monk, Ellington, Chico O’Farrill, and a big chunk of Wynton’s compositions, including “Sanctified Blues,” a personal favorite. Oh, and it was recorded in Havana.

- Bruce Collier

 

Palafoxx

Time to Rise

palafoxx.bandcamp.com

Pensacola rock band leans on ‘80s metal style with a dash of glam vocals and British harmonies. They embrace their fun retro sound with gusto and, more importantly, technical knowhow. Every note, tone and tempo is a great ode to the vintage genre, and you can tell they’re doing it out of admiration for the musical heroes that preceded them. They’re one of the newer bands on the scene, but Palafoxx are already leaving quite an impression with both live audiences and online listeners.

- Nikki Hedrick

 

The Popheads

Never Saw It Coming

thepopheads1.bandcamp.com

Tallahassee band labels themselves “psychedelic indie rock,” and that’s as accurate a description as any. The album successfully takes chances—“We’re Gonna Die” is a gleeful, uptempo tune, but the lyrics reveal a different reality. In a world that plays it safe, this band takes admirable risks that pay off nicely. If you’re a fan of alternative sounds—from Bowie to Portishead—give the Popheads a spin.

- Nikki Hedrick