Sons Of Kemet are born of many vital elements – including a name that nods to ancient Egyptian culture, and a line-up that comprises some of the most progressive 21st-century talents in British jazz and beyond. Band-leader, composer and sax and clarinet don Shabaka Hutchings (himself named after a Nubian pharaoh-philosopher) brings together his fiery vision alongside London-based bandmates Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford (forming a dynamo duo on drums here) and latest addition Theon Cross (taking over from Oren Marshall on tuba).
Bare Bones is a mellow, mostly acoustic collection of original and previously recorded Wishbone Ash songs. The only remaining member from the British outfit's '70s glory days, guitarist Andy Powell selected some numbers from the Argus and Wishbone Four years that blend nicely with some late-era compositions. Soft-rocking country tunes like the superior "Hard Times" and "Baby Don't Mind" dominate most of the Bare Bones track list. Classics like "Errors of My Ways" are low on folk/country appeal, but still sound very different than the original recordings. Despite this offering's unique textural quality, Wishbone Ash fans will definitely recognize the easy melodic sense that the band always captured in the studio. For a group so separated in time from their glory years, Powell and company do a remarkable job keeping things fresh on Bare Bones.
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard first teamed up on record for Pancho & Lefty in 1983, a record released some 20 years after both singers began their careers. Back then, they were both hovering around 50, already considered old guys, but Django and Jimmie arrives 32 years after that record, when there's no question that the pair are old-timers. Appropriately enough, mortality is on their minds throughout Django and Jimmie, a record whose very title is taken from Willie and Merle's childhood idols. It's a song that seems like a confession, as does the casual admission that they didn't think they'd "Live This Long," but neither Nelson nor Haggard wrote this, nor the title track or the album's first single, the near-novelty "It's All Going to Pot."
Two Mercury label country albums dating from 1972 and 1973. Both albums reached the Top 10 US Country chart, spawning the hits 'No More Hanging On', 'Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough', 'I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone' and 'Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano'. With his new biography getting rave reviews, Jerry Lee's profile is as huge as ever. Digitally remastered and slipcased, and with new notes by Andrew McRae.
"Hell, everybody's sick of all my f–-ing happy songs anyway," Steve Earle declares in the liner notes to his 2015 album Terraplane as he explains why he chose to cut a blues album. If you feel like you somehow missed Earle's Pollyanna period, you're not the only one, but if he was motivated to turn to the blues because of personal troubles – he was going through his seventh divorce while he wrote and recorded these songs – it sure sounds like he chose the right kind of musical therapy. Terraplane is the most relaxed and least fussed-over album Earle has made in quite some time, and frankly, he sounds like he's having a ball on these sessions; with rare exceptions, this isn't music that ponders the dark night of the soul, but semi-acoustic roadhouse boogie that rocks with a steady roll and gives Earle a chance to crow like a rooster as he ponders broken hearts, long lonesome highways, battles with the forces of destiny, and the enduring appeal of women in go-go boots.