This week we recommend new stuff from a solo Drive-By Trucker, a legendary bard and space rock kings which you download (legally, of course) or stream to your iPod, iPhone, iPad or other personal media device.
"Come Back Little Star" by Patterson Hood
Born of the swamp music of Alabama, Patterson Hood is the son of David Hood – bassist in the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Patterson Hood grew up to champion and define Southern Rock. His work as a founding member of Drive-By Truckers has framed the perceptions, the historical failures and triumphs of what it is to live below the Mason-Dixon Line and drink out of a mason jar. Hood further enriches this picture with his new solo album, “Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance.” This ballad is lush with lap-steel guitar. Hood’s twangy vocals meld with a sweet Kelly Hogan duet on the chorus. This digs down to the root of what is great about southern music.
"Duquesne Whistle" by Bob Dylan
At the age of 71, with 50 well-documented years in the music business, after changing the face of rock history so many times it has split personalities, on his 35th album…well he’s free to do whatever the hell he wants. And what does he choose to do on his 35th album? Get traditional, of course. On “Tempest,” Dylan retraces the history of American music, gathers it all up, and burns it into a wax. This track starts with a ragtime intro before barreling down the tracks of slide-guitar blues. Dylan’s voice is a battered rasp, beautiful and at home, in doing whatever the hell he wants.
"Madness" by Muse
Yes, we have all been swept up in the extravagant, prog-rock anthems of Muse. For five albums, it’s been an evolution of science-fiction/rock-opera of weird storylines and complex music. Now, on the second single from the sixth album, “The 2nd Law,” the trio tones down. The high-flying fireworks are temporarily replaced with a throbbing bass track, electric melodies, guitars cutting unpredictably into the droning rhythm. The lyrics and vocals, complete with Queen-inspired harmonies, soothe – instead of incite an uprising. It’s unexpected, but every wave needs the stabilizing to increase the impact of the crest.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge