Good guitar can’t save Jesse Dayton’s ‘Mixtape’

Seasoned music industry pro Jesse Dayton is out with his 12th studio album, “Mixtape Volume 1,” a bawdy collection of ho-hum country, masquerading as edgy outlaw stuff.

‘Finch’ from Penny & Sparrow is a gem

Texas-raised duo Penny & Sparrow had to do some heavy touring to truly search their souls. They explore the resulting range of emotions and deliver it on

Cuco brings layers to lo-fi love songs on ‘Para Mi’

Love songs may be known for their traditionally jovial tone, but on Cuco’s full-length debut he gives his love ballads a darker tone. “Para Mi” has lighter moments and

Tycho takes new direction on ‘Weather’

California-artist Scott Hansen, better known as Tycho, is back with his fifth studio album “Weather,” one that begins much as one might expect. Opener “Easy” is

The Flaming Lips’ concept album will blow your mind

The new album by The Flaming Lips is a head trip — literally. The ever-evolving, mind-blowing alt-rockers have somehow upped their game with a concept album

K.Flay celebrates all her sides on CD ‘Solutions’

It’s always been hard to pin down K.Flay’s music. She’s a bit of a sonic chameleon, mixing elements of hip-hop, rock and indie pop with moods that

Joanna Wallfisch’s travels result in unique album

Songstress, poet and darn good cyclist Joanna Wallfisch draws from both disappointment and wonder on her latest album. The emotions chronicle a west coast road trip and

Hollywood Vampires rise again on great second album

When Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and movie star Johnny Depp formed a band in 2015 to pay homage to dead drinking buddies, it might have

‘The Maze’ could be a breakthrough for Ariana Gillis

Ariana Gillis doesn’t linger on the lyrics when she starts to sing on “The Maze,” her staccato alto suggesting a young artist in a hurry to share

Review: Justin Rutledge turns the pages in ‘Passages’

Justin Rutledge stands in a strong tradition of literate Canadian singer-songwriters — think Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell or the late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. Like

The Stray Cats in mostly fine form on 1st album in 26 years

After 26 years, the Stray Cats are back with a new album. And the seasoned felines are in mostly fine form. The boys who brought rockabilly

Alan Parsons quotes from his past on ‘The Secret’

Magic is one of the themes of “The Secret,” Alan Parsons’ latest project, and it is best represented by the instrumental opening tune, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Its many moods

Josh Ritter’s ‘Fever Breaks’ is especially engaging

Josh Ritter’s “Fever Breaks” is a work of stacked marvels, the result of an auspicious collaboration with Jason Isbell — who also produced — and his band,

‘Hurts 2B Human’ offers a predictable Pink

Right out of the gate on her new album, Pink gives you just the song you expect from the punk superstar: a pop ballad oozing with confidence

J.J. Cale’s posthumous album is vital and inviting

J.J. Cale’s “Stay Around” is a posthumous collection of 15 previously unreleased tracks that is as authentic as any of the original and compilation albums he’s released

Supergroup LSD’s debut both too much and too little

When solo artists combine into supergroups, the results are usually fun, if fleeting. But all too often, they have an Achilles’ heel: Too many cooks in the

Songs are the stars as Will Kimbrough focuses on South

Given the opportunity to showboat, a masterful guitarist using Kickstarter to finance an album might be expected to let ‘er rip on the record. Not Will

Peter Gabriel’s skill with film songs stars on album

If you’re a fan of Peter Gabriel, you probably know his popular hits like “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time,” as well as maybe some older classics like “Games

Gino Vannelli’s emotions carve up ‘Wilderness Road’

Looking for a jazzy follow- up to George Michael’s “Kissing a Fool”? Try Gino Vannelli’s “Gimme Back My Life.” It’s one of the standout tracks on “Wilderness Road,” the

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