I planned to trip back to September 18, 1984, this morning and bore into my first two published reviews – in the Ogontz Campus News, the weekly newspaper for what’s now known as Penn State Abington. But my archives are not as organized as, say, Neil Young’s. From the time I hit on the idea – Friday – to Saturday afternoon, when I finally located said newspaper, something happened: I discovered two new-to-me artists whose music made me feel young again.
So, here’s today’s Top 5: New Music, Vol. XLI.
On Friday night, while browsing the Paste Magazine sessions (always a rewarding endeavor), I stumbled across singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson’s four-song set, which was live-streamed earlier in the day.
Her latest album is All I Ever See in You Is Me (2017) and, based on the above performance, I’ll be checking it out this week.
Then, Saturday morning, a fan post on the Nanci Griffith Facebook Fan Page recapped a Nanci tribute in Austin that was organized and hosted by Austin-based singer-songwriter Nichole Wagner. That led me to look Nichole up on YouTube. Here’s her boss rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s classic “Tougher Than the Rest,” a track that has been covered by a coterie of cool artists in the past, including Emmylou Harris and Shawn Colvin.
That led me to check out her own songs – and, as I’m apt to say, wow. Just wow. I’m looking forward to her forthcoming album, which is slated for release on July 13th.
Another group that I came across on Paste’s YouTube channel, albeit earlier in the week: Haerts. They’re originally from Munich, but moved to Brooklyn some time ago. Very cool retro vibe and harmonies. As Diane just remarked, “they’re fabulous.”
Another band with a cool retro vibe: the UK-based Treetop Flyers, who borrowed their name from a Stephen Stills song. Here’s the lead single from their forthcoming self-titled set, “Needle.”
I’ve mentioned Mikaela Davis’ Delivery, due out July 13th, before. Here’s the funky “Get Gone” as performed live at the Layman Drug Company in Nashville.
I’ll close out with what a classic track for the bonus – Willie Nelson’s “Living in the Promiseland,” which I’ve returned to quite often in recent months. The David Lynn Jones-penned song was a No. 1 hit for Willie that same year, and the cornerstone of Willie’s 1986 Promiseland LP, which I believe was the first album of his I purchased.