January 23, 2020

Anderson East – Encore – New Elektra

By Kristi Kates | Jan. 20, 2018

Recorded in Nashville at the historic RCA Studio, East taps some big names to assist with his songwriting on this collection, including the uber-catchy “King for a Day,” which includes musical penmanship by Chris Stapleton, and “All On My Mind,” with contributions from Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid. The quirky set nicely showcases East’s gravelly, dark vocal range, on songs that nicely place that sound against his soulful pop-country excursions. *** 

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College – Legacy
Is this re-release really just the two of them? Longtime pals Matthews and Reynolds cruise ably and in rich acoustic fashion through a long list of Dave Matthews Band tracks on this collection. Matthews especially delves into unusual chord formations and adds depth and seemingly more notes than you’d think his guitar capable of. Their pared-down takes on “Jimi Thing” and “Tripping Billies” are the best tunes here; this is a must for any DMB fan. ***

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures - Vagrant
After a half dozen ambitious albums, BRMC’s latest seems to step back a little, in that it seems comfortable relying confidently on the sound the band has crafted. It opens the set with an instrumental (“DFF”), then dives right in to the rest of the album with the in-your-face rawk of “Spook” and “King of Bones.” Several tracks feature some casually experimental components, like the keys on “Circus Bazooka” and the hints of a New Orleans sound filtering into “Question of Faith.” ** ½ 

Umphrey’s McGee – It’s Not Us – NTFMusic
The Indiana band has spent most of 2017 touring, have much of 2018 already booked for more road time yet, somewhere in the middle, it carved out a week to record this album, which is a mix of live favorites and some new songs that have reportedly been sitting on McGee’s back burner for a while. Active fans will recognize tracks like “Remind Me” and parts of “The Silent Type” that were played at live shows; the rest of the set is a good enough intro to a band that’s something of an acquired listen. **



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