Hailing from various states in the U.S., The Plott Hounds released their debut record, Living Free, on July 7th. The band, consisting of Noah Alexander on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Jeff Powell on lead guitar, Shea Maranaon bass guitar, Ross Schulz on the drum kit, Colin Wymore on slide guitar, and Zach Sershon on keyboards, combines their talents into a record that reminds one of Skynyrd or contemporaries like Whiskey Myers.
With its undeniable southern rock feel, the album kicks off with “Southbound;” full of electric guitar and piano, the song is about heading to that place, Georgia, that’s always on his mind. That authentic working man sound, brought to life both with the instrumentation as well as Alexander's Eddie Vedder like vocals, continues into the anthemic “Living Free or Dying To Try,” The Man You Need” and the rollicking “Drinks With Ghosts.”
With fourteen songs, the record does include breathing room on tracks like “This Ain’t No Country Song,” “Daylight,” “Where Did You Go” and the stand out, “You & Me,” an emotional duet that highlights the band’s ability to pack that emotional punch.
Living Free also includes the spirited “Growing Young,” about sharing life and chasing dreams with the one you love, the bluesy “Better Go,” the swaggering “Sweet Lovin’,” the mid-tempo “Flying Away” and concludes with the somber “Storm Clouds.”
If you are a longtime fan of Southern Rock or if you are looking for something new, definitely give The Plott Hounds’ Living Free a listen, it’ll be worth your while.
After showing a softer side with her previous single, "Superman," Anjelia Pelay returns with the fun, uptempo "Get Down." The crunch of guitars kicks things off in this tune about a night out on the town, meeting someone special and having a great time. Blending country, southern rock and pop, "Get Down's" chorus is incredibly catchy and the bridge leads into a crowd sing along with some seriously infectious hand claps.
"Tonight is gonna last forever
I hope you like to dance, dance baby
You and me shot of Jack
Let's put the bottle back
Nothing's gonna stop us now"
Listen to "Get Down" and see behind the scenes clips of Anjelia from Stagecoach here.
After the release of her duets album, Bridges, Mary Sarah returns with an original mid-tempo tune ripe for summer. "Dress Up This Town" is a song embracing youth, good times and having fun, but not in the way we have come to expect from the typical radio single dealing with those same themes. The breezy standout melody (with it's nod to tradition emphasizing that oh so perfect fiddle) accompanying Mary Sarah's sweet vocals lends itself to an altogether different vibe; one that is fresh, innocent and downright enjoyable.
"Let's dress up this town and have some fun
And shut them streets down while jaws are dropping
We're taking over til the night gets all decked out
And dress up this town"
"Dress Up This Town" is the perfect song whether you are getting ready to go out on the town, driving around to nowhere in particular or sitting around with friends on the porch. Give it a listen.
Georgia native Ty Bates' new single, "Tongue Tied," is a romantic, yet humorous track about a guy wanting to alter his plans for a night out on the town with his lady in favor of staying in (with her). The romance is in how he loves his lady, while the humor is in how he tries to approach her with the change of plans. "Tongue Tied" has clever lyrics, a melody that you'll tap your toes along to (especially in the verses) and a chorus that is ripe for a crowd sing along.
"I hate to break the plans we made to paint this town
I hope you understand I'm trying as hard as I can to even make a sound
I don't wanna be rude
But I'm so far from smooth, girl if you only knew"
The song, from his 2014 self titled EP, was written by Bates and Thomas Archer.
Fred Abbott, formerly the guitarist and keys player for the now disbanded Noah and the Whale, is releasing his first solo project, Serious Poke, on July 20th. The album includes the first single, the Tom Petty-esque “Funny How Good It Feels” as well as nine more original tunes. Serious Poke kicks off with the aptly titled “Adrenaline Shot” a pulsating thumper about connecting with that one person who you know will alter your life. From there on out, there is never a shortage of guitar riffs and catchy melodies. Melodically reminiscent of Petty’s “Learning to Fly,” “Awake” has an undeniable and instantly likeable roots rocker feel while the same ear friendliness can be found in “One Hot Night” and “Hollywood” which pays homage to that certain city in California.
“Honey” finds him ready to lend an ear, “Are you only happy at the bottom of a bottle of gin/You don’t smile no more the way you used to do,” while on “Don’t Look Like Him,” sounding a bit like Bowie, he warns a female that what she thinks is love with someone, probably isn’t. “Learn About Love” is a funky, groove laden track that at just under four minutes hits the sweet spot. The piano ballads “Still Told A Lie” and “Lucky People” close out the record.
On Serious Poke Abbott, both vocally and sonically, recalls the sounds of Petty, The Cars, J Geils Band, and maybe even a bit of Dylan. It’s a solid debut definitely worth a listen.
Based in North Carolina, singer songwriter Aaron Burdett released his sixth full length project, Tinderbox (Organic Records), this past June. The album, which was recorded with his road band, was produced by Tim Surrett from the award winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. Tinderbox is a collection of songs about love, life and heartache centering on a theme of persevering and moving forward with hope.
The album starts off with “Old Oak Table” about a handmade table that is the centerpiece of memories good and bad. “I’m not looking back on what used to be/Nothing left to be learned from yesterday/All because what it was is over/ And it’s all gone like dry oak up in flames.” Memories are revisited in “Rattling Bones” reminding us that they can haunt, but really can’t hurt when you’re in a different place and leave the past behind.
Learning and moving forward with hope--sometimes needing to look back to do so--is the theme of the bluesy “Boots and Bandanas.” Standout track “Weather Any Storm” is a soulful anthem that celebrates overcoming those obstacles that seemed unsurmountable and even learning from them. “In time that pain subsides leaves us with what we need inside.”
The title track is a folksy piece of honesty about the ease of how his heart can fall in love, for better or worse, ultimately pondering if he’s “better off lonely than hurt.” The revved up, rock a billy feeling of “Stark Raving Sober” finds him a bar stool poet on a Saturday night again wondering about love: why he continues to want someone so badly when she clearly left him behind, while “Write What You Know” also focuses on that loneliness.
The picture of the life of a married mother dreaming of something else, something for herself is found in “Next Big Thing” on which The Honeycutters’ Amanda Anne Platt provides harmonies. “She’s the only one thinking about how far she’d go.” Concluding track “Daydream,” with its beachy acoustic vibe leaves you wondering of the endless possibilities of one’s own life. “Your life is your life/Your choice is your choice.”
In the tradition of the singer songwriter, the songs on Tinderbox are lovingly crafted, thoughtful and sincere. Burdett’s music is indeed his own, but it is also familiar, warm and comforting-like home.