New releases for 28 June 2024

Kicking off this week’s goodies is Neil Young with Crazy Horse. There is something so historic about the band’s earliest recordings that even their most devoted fans cannot contain their excitement when new releases are scheduled. Early Daze collects together in one album some of the most iconic originals by Neil Young, and several with contributions by band guitarist Danny Whitten. These recordings are made by Young’s first band after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, and set one of the high marks of rock ’n’ roll at the end of the 1960s when these songs were written. This collection includes several original versions that have not been released before.

Emerging once again from the unending waves crashing upon our fragile time-craft (adrift on the eternal ocean, and taking on water), Dirty Three – Warren Ellis, Mick Turner and Jim White – are (a) back, (b) tangled in seaweed, rank with saltwater and possessed of three rather ominous thousand-mile stares (at least!), and (c) not wasting another minute, as nothing is guaranteed. For their first album in over a decade – yep, since 2012’s Toward the Low Sun – they flew in, got together and started playing. End of story. What else is there to say or do but that? Music’s their language, their true love; they never stop listening to that. And like the label says, Love Changes Everything.

The Felice Brothers’ new album, Valley of Abandoned Songs, is a 13-song collection of recordings from sessions primarily for the band’s 2019 album, Undress, as well as for their most recent release, 2023’s Asylum on the Hill, both of which were captured live in an 1870s church with the band’s current lineup of Ian Felice (guitar, vocals), James Felice (piano, vocals), Jeske Hume (bass), and Will Lawrence (drums).

South of Here, the fourth full-length studio release from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, reckons with a lifetime of pain and trauma and transforms it into a stirring and soul-baring rumination on love, loss, hope and resolve. Following And It’s Still Alright, Rateliff’s beloved 2020 solo LP, and The Future, The Night Sweats’ acclaimed 2021 release, the new album blends both sides of his immense talent: emotionally potent, vivid storytelling and the rugged, rhythm & blues revivalism that has powered the band to world-wide acclaim over the past decade.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds is a name familiar to anyone into contemporary blues and blues rock. Now the band celebrates their 50th anniversary with the release of their first new studio album in eight years, Struck Down, which features nine original new songs co-written by Hamilton bluesman Steve Strongman and Kim Wilson plus a stellar cover of Memphis Minnie’s song ‘Nothin’ in Ramblin’. The album was produced by Kim Wilson, Steve Strongman and Glen Parrish, recorded in New Jersey and Hamilton, and mixed by Shelly Yakus (John Lennon/U2/Tom Petty). Guests include Billy Gibbons on the first single, ‘Payback Time’, and Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’ and Mick Fleetwood on ‘Nothing in Rambling’.

Our release of the week comes from the legendary Johnny Cash. In early 1993, when he found himself between contracts, he recorded an album’s worth of demos of songs he’d written over many years at his daughter Rosanne’s studio in Nashville. Not long after the fruitful session, Johnny met producer Rick Rubin, and the recordings were shelved as the two embarked on a prolific musical partnership that revitalised the Man in Black’s career. Some thirty years later Johnny’s son, John, rediscovered the songs and stripped them back to just Johnny’s powerful, pristine vocals and acoustic guitar, then hand-picked a group of musicians who played with Johnny to breathe new life into the tracks that make up Songwriter.

Johnny Cash - SongwriterNeil Young with Crazy Horse - Early DazeDirty Three - Love Changes EverythingThe Felice Brothers - Valley of Abandoned SongsNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - South of HereThe Fabulous Thunderbirds - Struck Down

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