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Monday, June 12th, 2017
Music Reviews

Flow Tribe, Girlpool, New Earth Army + More... Beachcomber’s Record Roundup

Musicians: Send your CDs, vinyl and/or cassettes to Beachcomber, P.O. Box 5707, Destin, FL 32540-5707. Email MP3s and streaming links to chris@beachcomberdestin.com.


The Allman Brothers Band

Fox Box: 3 Nights Live at Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA

Peach Records

Superb 2004 performances, with only one repeat (“Dreams”) over the course of three nights and roughly nine hours of ear time. If this doesn’t help with the grieving process, nothing will.

- Chris Manson


Chris Cornell

Higher Truth

Ume

Though best known for his bands Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, Cornell put out more than a few solo albums in the past decade. Higher Truth, the most recent, is filled with reflective, soul-searching songs with a personal feel—almost as if Cornell was singing to a small, familiar audience. The undeniable standout here is “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” with its lilting mandolin track and Cornell’s signature vocals billowing from subdued, simplistic crooner to hardcore, full-throttle rocker. Worthy of owning on its own merit, but as the final work of one of modern music’s true legends, Higher Truth is now a must-have.

- Joni Williams


Flow Tribe

Boss

Faction Entertainment

Flow Tribe dishes out all-new funktastic tunes and reveals some new directions. The standout track “You Know What It’s About” has a synthesizer hook and vibe similar to Morris Day and the Time. This is still Flow Tribe in rare form with catchy melodies, big New Orleans horns, and danceable grooves. If you’ve never seen them live, Boss makes a strong argument for Flow Tribe’s continually growing fan base and their appearances on mighty big stages.

- Nikki Hedrick


Girlpool

Powerplant

ANTI-

Girlpool’s Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad are best friends—you can hear it in the way their voices work together as they harmonize and shout. The band’s Los Angeles-born brand of folk punk digs deeper than ever on their second album, Powerplant. Their signature stripped-down guitar and vocals welcome the addition of drums on this album, as their expanding sound elevates their intimacy. These songs are tender explorations of everything in their world from mundanity and longing to explosiveness and togetherness. Girlpool continues to make the best music for the overwhelming moments when your feelings seem like the strongest force in the universe.

- Jane Morgan


Jim Keaveny

Put It Together

jimkeaveny.com

If you’re not familiar with Keaveny’s music, this an excellent starting point. Keaveny’s original tunes are tales of a true wandering spirit—world traveling, yet seasoned by the southwest. Bill Palmer’s engineering and the use of local New Mexico instrumentalists (this is Keaveny’s second album recorded at Santa Fe’s Frogville Studios) give the songs a true borderland flavor—a number of them wouldn’t sound out of place in a modern Western film. Yet it is Mr. Keaveny’s lyricism that truly takes us on a journey through the wilds and to the heart.

- Bruce Salmon


Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’

TajMo

Tajmo Records

Blues doesn’t get better than this, no matter what kind of music you like. I first heard Taj Mahal in the 1970s, when he was scoring and performing in movies like Sounder and turning out album after magnificent album. He just turned 75. Keb’ Mo’ is 65, and I don’t know if this is their first collaboration (they are currently touring). If it is, I’m damn glad they finally got around to it. Taj’s sly, gravelly voice provides a worldly underpinning, while Keb’ glides over the top. The pair lob riffs and lines back and forth like veteran tennis players.

- Bruce Collier


New Earth Army

Rebirth

Independent

What an apt title .This five-song EP is all about transition with the band’s new lineup. Melissa Joiner’s soulful delivery leads the way, as the band takes on new songs and a jazzy rendition of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” to showcase the evolution of the New Earth Army sound. They still are very much the funkified jam band we all love, but it’s nice to hear how the additions of Joiner, drummer Breyson “Boogie” Robinson, and saxophonist Matt McCarty steer the band to venture out with new ideas and sounds.

- Nikki Hedrick


Nite Jewel

Real High

Gloriette

The latest album from Ramona Gonzalez’s solo project takes the singer-songwriter’s synthy R&B to new heights. Gonzalez turns her intense introspection into her most danceable work yet, looking to her childhood idols Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson for inspiration in her sonic investigation of nostalgia and yearning in our contemporary moment. These songs can easily be interpreted and enjoyed as disco-forward love songs, but the crux and beauty of Real High is found in Nite Jewel’s deeply human struggles with self-destructive tendencies and her burning desire for pleasure and growth.

- Jane Morgan


Ulf & Eric Wakenius

Father and Son

ACT Music

Father and son acoustic Swedish guitarists put two good instruments together and hit the ground running. Ulf has played with pretty much everybody (geniuses like Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin count themselves as fans). Eric gets to step up with dad, knocking out a master class and album in one sitting. There’s jazz, folk, pop, ballads and lonesome blues here, and the guys stay neck and neck through all 12 tracks. The best duo albums are meetings of the minds. This one adds flesh and blood to the mix. It’s thoughtful, effortless, masterful.

- Bruce Collier


Whyte Caps

Broken Record

Independent

Whyte Caps’ long awaited full-length debut blends rock and acoustic elements, creating indie rock with a strong beach vibe. There is a dreamy quality to Broken Record that’s hard to resist. The funky “Pretty Little Thing” and high-energy “Homebound” showcase the range of songs the Gulf Shores, Alabama, band can deliver in style.

- Nikki Hedrick