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Music Releases 04-10-20

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The Strokes

The New Abnormal is the long awaited new album from The Strokes, and the band’s first album in seven years. The album was announced with the first track and video, “At The Door.”

The New Abnormal is The Strokes’ sixth studio album and was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, California, with producer Rick Rubin. The album’s cover artwork is a painting called ‘Bird on Money,’ by famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The Strokes are singer Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr, bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti.

The Strokes
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Pokey LaFarge

'The man singing these songs isn't exactly the same man who wrote them,' says Pokey LaFarge of Rock Bottom Rhapsody, his eighth and latest studio release. 'This album is about the story of who I used to be.' In early 2018, LaFarge ' searching for the sort of artistic freedom and inspiration he wasn't finding in the Midwest ' relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment, but new temptations soon found him, as well. Though he declines to get into specifics, LaFarge admits that he experienced a significant 'fall from grace' during the last months of 2018. 'Things sort of started to unravel in my mind,' Shortly before the recording of Rock Bottom Rhapsody began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening ' and the faith he re-embraced in his hour of darkness helped to buoy him through the making of the album. Though he was struggling for spiritual equilibrium at the time, LaFarge at least had some rock-solid musical support to lean on. Recorded primarily at Reliable Recorders on Chicago's Northwest side, Rock Bottom Rhapsody was produced by LaFarge's friend and collaborator Chris Seefried (who also co-wrote several of the album's tracks), and features the considerable talents of guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. Musically, LaFarge continues to mix and match a wide variety of styles and traditions, while never losing track of his own vision This record is kind of like Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan hanging out with chanson singers and French jazz bands in like the forties, but I was never trying to make it sound like a particular person. Despite the trying period that preceded its recording, Rock Bottom Rhapsody is ultimately far more uplifting and life-affirming than its title would suggest. 'That desperation, that struggle,' LaFarge ponders, 'Did it add something to the record? It certainly did. I mean, I don't know if it made it better; it just is what it is. It's not up to me to decide if people are going to feel that'

Pokey LaFarge
New Vinyl: $22.98 Video
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Watkins Family Hour

Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Returning to the studio as Watkins Family Hour, Sean and Sara Watkins consider 'brother sister' a duo-centric record - yet one that feels bigger than just two people. With Sean primarily on guitar and Sara on fiddle, and with both of them sharing vocals, the siblings enlisted producer Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara) and mixer-engineer Clay Blair to harness the energy and honesty of their live sound.

Watkins Family Hour
New Vinyl: $19.98 Video
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Joe Satriani

Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release, the 18th studio album from the acclaimed guitarist. The single 'Nineteen Eighty' is a song that harks back to the period of his first band, the Squares, and to the sounds of that time. "I've always been a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen," Satriani says. "In my mind, he just crystalized that era. The late '70s and early '80s, he kind of saved rock guitar. So that's what I would have been doing."

Joe Satriani
New Vinyl: $21.98 Digital Tracks
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Sparta

Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release, the first album in 14 years from Sparta, the El Paso band featuring Jim Ward. Includes the single "Believe." Of the single Ward notes, "'Believe' is a song that's been on my desk for 10 years, I've recorded numerous versions but couldn't quite get it where I thought it was ready until now. Once we had the basic track I sent it to my friend Carlos Arevalo from Chicano Batman for some guitar touches and was over the moon with his contribution. I couldn't think of a better song from Trust The River to kick this new chapter off."

Sparta
New Vinyl: $22.98
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Maddie & Tae

Award-winning duo Maddie & Tae are drawing praise for their new music “anchored around their stellar vocal pairings and some of the tightest harmonies on Music Row” (Rolling Stone). Maddie & Tae first broke out in 2013 with their brilliant take down of bro-country, “Girl In A Country Song,” which took Country radio by storm, skyrocketing to the top of the charts and quickly going PLATINUM. The duo became only the third female duo in 70 years to top the Country Airplay charts, also earning trophies from the Country Music Academy and Radio Disney Music Awards along with multiple ACM, CMA and CMT Award nominations. Receiving widespread praise from NPR, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, Glamour and others, country music’s hottest stars including Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Brad Paisley have welcomed Maddie & Tae on the road, with Carrie Underwood recently inviting the duo out as direct support on her 2019 The Cry Pretty Tour 360. On April 10th, Maddie & Tae will release new album, "The Way It Feels". CD packaging includes a free poster offer, valid thru 10/1/20.

Maddie & Tae
New CD: $11.99 Video
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Nightwish

When Finnish sextet NIGHTWISH announce a new studio album people tend to take notice. They know that something special is brewing. Band leader Tuomas Holopainen once said that whenever he creates a new record he has the intention of capturing something rare and unique, a monument and a true album experience. In 2020 he’s certain to achieve his objective once again. NIGHTWISH have completed the recordings for “HUMAN. :II: NATURE.”, their 9th studio album.

“HUMAN. :II: NATURE.” will be released on 10th April 2020. The long-awaited record, following 2015’s critically-acclaimed, conceptual masterpiece “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, will be a double album containing 9 tracks on the main CD and one long track, divided into eight chapters on CD 2.

“HUMAN. :II: NATURE.” was recorded from August to October 2019 at Röskö campsite, Petrax Studios and Troykington Castle, as well as Finnvox Studios, by Tero Kinnunen, Mikko Karmila and Troy Donockley. The mixing was done by Mikko Karmila at Finnvox, with Tuomas Holopainen and Tero Kinnunen. Mastering was done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox.

Nightwish
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John Anderson

Years is the new album from John Anderson

John Anderson
New CD: $14.98 Digital Tracks
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Steep Canyon Rangers

Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, North Carolina's GRAMMY winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin. The Rangers can now add their hometown Asheville Symphony to their long list of musical companions on the new album Be Still Moses. Each track on Be Still Moses features the Rangers and symphony breathing new life into signature Steep Canyon Rangers songs through newly inspired orchestral arrangements.The album's title track features what is perhaps their most singular musical partnership to date ' Steep Canyon Rangers teaming with not only the Asheville Symphony, but also Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men to completely overhaul the Rangers' original 'Be Still Moses,' which was first recorded on their 2007 breakout album Lovin' Pretty Women. The collaboration was recognized for its 'sublime harmonies and soulful ad-libs by Rolling Stone and resulted in both the Rangers and Boyz II Men performing the song live together in October 2019. The First Edition LP arrives on translucent blue vinyl.

Steep Canyon Rangers
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The Sleep Eazys

The Sleep Eazys is comprised of Joe Bonamassa, Anton Fig, Michael Rhodes, Reese Wynans and John Jorgenson with special guests appearing throughout the album. Produced by Joe Bonamassa. The album pays tribute to Joe's mentor, friend and one of the greatest guitarists of all time - the late great Danny Gatton - who fused blues, rockabilly, jazz, and country to create a unique musical style.

The Sleep Eazys