A pair of albums from the overlooked George Hamilton IV – back to back on a single CD! First up is Abilene – a seminal album from the great George Hamilton IV – a richly-voiced singer on 60s RCA, and one who was maybe a key link between Nashville and some of the folk boom of the time! George's music is definitely country, but it's also got maybe some of the younger appeal of the other scene – still given some of the RCA polish that Chet Atkins could bring, but delivered with a voice that might have been equally at home in a coffee house. Titles include the classic "Abilene", plus "The Little Lunch Box", "The Everglades", "Tender Hearted Baby", "Jimmy Brown The Newsboy", and "Come On Home Boy".
Only a handful of records each year perfectly embody the strengths and hallmarks of an entire subgenre. And New York’s Pontus (founded by guitarist Pontus Gunve) have curated one of those records in their 2016 EP, IV. The complexity and dexterity shown on the album is unheard of, as Pontus spiders across the frets on “Ten,” complemented by the weeping sound of cellist Eric Allen. While the individual talents of each member are on display (bassist Bryan Percivall and drummer Tripp Dudley shine on the closing “Felix”), the straight-up magic that happens when the elements come together must be heard to be believed.