The Top Ten Songs of the Week welcome songs coming from some big releases due this coming Friday, February 5, 2016. The list features new music by Lucinda Williams, from her sweeping double disc of songs, The Ghosts of Highway 20, and The James Hunter Six, from their new release on Daptone Records, Hold On!. Singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks, offers a track from his April 1, 2016 Bloodshot Records release, Upland Stories, alongside label mate Freakwater who see their new album, Scheherazade, drop this week. East Nashville is represented with new albums by Amelia White, with Feb. 5 street date, and Don Gallardo with a single, “Midnight Sounds”, from his upcoming 2016 release, Hickory. Rounding out the chart are Sea Caves, Stephen Kellogg, Honor Finnegan, and MODOC on the Top Ten Songs of the Week for Saturday, January 30, 2016.
01 This Is Where We Come In - The James Hunter Six (from the album Hold On! Available 2-5-16 on Daptone Records) - The James Hunter Six announce their track, “This Is Where We Come In”, with an organ riff signaling the game to begin. The snare cracks like a bat hitting a ball into the stands as the UK’s number one smooth soul man, James Hunter, slinks up to the microphone to make his case.
02 If My Love Could Kill - Lucinda Williams (from the album Ghosts of Highway 20 available 2-5-16) - As a musical source, Lucinda Williams is a chameleon. She weaves herself with intricate lines into each style of music that crosses her path. On Ghosts of Highway 20, she continues to gather music as her own, drifting her vocals on a tex-mex breeze through “If My Love Could Kill”.
03 Midnight Sounds - Don Gallardo (single) - Don Gallardo is gearing up to release his latest album, Hickory. He offers a single from the recording with “Midnight Sounds”. The song is new though the memory is an old one, and Don recalls ‘I wrote “Midnight Sounds” with my friend Jesse Cole. He had an idea that sparked my memory of living in Los Angeles. I lived there from 2005-2007 in a small one bedroom apartment with one roommate. My bedroom was the living room that had only a Japanese room partisan for privacy. The opposite side of the wall that my bed was against was the lobby to the building and also where all the mailboxes for the tenants were. So it was constantly loud. Each time I perform this song live it takes me right back there. I can still hear the drunk partying twins coming through the front door to the building with all their friends screaming and laughing at all hours of the night.’
04 What the People Want - Freakwater (from the album Scheherazade on Bloodshot Records available February 5, 2016) - Arguably, the very first song was about two hearts beating for one another. What is for sure is that the second song wondered exactly where that love was lying down, and with whom. Freakwater continue the tradition asking ‘who’s baby are you anyway’ in “What the People Want”, from their Feb 5 release, Scheherazade.
05 Dogs Bark - Amelia White (from the album Home Sweet Home available on 2-5-16) - Amelia White will tell you that the real Home Sweet Home for a traveling musician is on the road. She has the key to the highway in each song on her upcoming (February 5, 2016) release. In “Dogs BarK” Amelia points fingers at those who are naming names.
06 Winter - Sea Caves (from the album Bright Forest available on 2-5-16) - Sea Caves nestle in Portland, Oregon. Their latest album release, Bright Forest, is an Indie Folk collection of songs that uses a pastiche of sound to create luminous tunes that shine and sparkle as they follow musical paths fly off the track like laser beams.
Listen and buy “Winter” by Sea Caves from AMAZON or iTunes on 2-5-16
07 Learn to Live - Stephen Kellogg (from the album south, west, north, east) - Stephen Kellogg used multiple locations to create his upcoming double-disc release, mapping out the locales of the recording in the title of south, west, north, east. Stephen’s voice guides the songs capably as he controls the emotions with whispers and impassioned pleas of ‘hold on’ in “Learn to Live’.
08 Alabama at Night - Robbie Fulks (from the album Upland Stories available of April 1, 2016 on Bloodshot Records) - Robbie Fulks has a Steve Albini (The Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) produced album release, Upland Stories, due on April 1, 2016. The song was originally written for a potential play about author James Agee’s 1936 trip to Alabama, a Fortune magazine sponsored, fact-finding excursion meant to dramatize the plight of white rural sharecroppers during the Great Depression. His content was published in 1941 in his book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
Listen and buy “Alabama at Night” by Robbie Fulks from his website
09 Movie Star - Honor Finnegan (from the album Roses and Victory) - A lazy slide guitar welcomes Honor Finnegan in to talk “Movie Star”. Once the track clicks in, there is nothing slow about the rapid fire vocal that Honor uses to balance the pluses and minuses as she discovers what a difference a day makes.
10 Black Eyed Lover - MODOC (from the album Automatic + Voluntary) - MODOC knocks out quick bursts of feral rock’n’roll on their upcoming release, Automatic + Voluntary. The Nashville-based band is produced and released by Brendan Benson (The Racontuers).