Releasing September 25 on Ricky's own Skaggs Family Records, the project will feature a collaboration withBarry Gibb of the Bee Gees and a tribute to the late Doc Watson.
Ricky Skaggs has barreled down an eclectic path since going independent at the turn of the century after two decades as an award-winning contemporary country singer.
In the last dozen years, he has shown off his skills as one of the most revered bluegrass and gospel artists of his generation, he's honored influences with tributes and collaborative works, and he has challenged himself with projects that explore adult pop songs and complex singer-songwriter themes.
On individual albums, he has concentrated on a specific premise. However, on ''Music To My Ears,'' he and his skilled Kentucky Thunder band have decided to incorporate all of his interests at once. It makes for an album of surprises, with the variety of styles connected by Skaggs' expressive tenor and forceful mandolin playing.
All together it shows that Skaggs, at age 58, continues to create powerful music that doesn't rest on laurels or reputation.
No Doubt fans have been waiting for the band's sixth album anxiously for the past 11 years. In the decade after releasing ''Rock Steady,'' the four members have toured together, started families (separately) and pursued a few solo projects.From the first listen one can tell it was worth the wait. ''Push and Shove'' returns to the group's type of ska mixed with dancehall, electro pop and a pinch of magic, expertly dished out by producer Spike Stent.
On September 25th, multi-platinum selling and Grammy Award winning group Green Day will release ¡Uno! , the first of the ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! Studio album trilogy. On that same day “Oh Love,” the first single from ¡Uno! – The band’s ninth studio album – will be available on the Rock Band Music Store.
Deadmau5's new anti-titled electronic dance music album, '' album title goes here ,'' is a lot of things. It's a thumping dance tapestry. It's pockmarked with features from the likes of Cypress Hill and Imogen Heap.
And it also underscores Deadmau5' global reach and feel. It just isn't very good. The album from the Mickey Mouse mask-wearing electronic dance music vet pushes no boundaries that weren't already pushed 10 years ago. From Joel Zimmerman, better known to his considerable fan base as Deadmau5, the lack of creativity is a sin. There are scores of EDM specialists crafting new approaches these days, from Grammy-winning Skrillex to live beat-maker AraabMuzik to up-and-comers like HeRobust. Amid their inventive progressions, Deadmau5' latest album feels a tad old and dusty. ''Superliminal'' is all buildup and very little payoff. You'll be left waiting minutes for the drop, and perhaps scanning forward to the next track in hopes of getting the pulse racing. Good luck. ''Fn Pig'' is one of the few tracks on board with some sizzle. It's an eight-minute track that teases you for the first two before any semblance of a proper beat emerges. But once it gets going the bass line grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go. It's an addictive, repeat-worthy track. But mostly, we find Deadmau5 longing for some sort of house music yesteryear. On ''Maths,'' the corny digital samples feel extremely dated and required a much smarter approach than this track as synth stabs bounce around in the background.
Mumford & Sons, “Babel,” the second album from the breakout stars, who wrote most of it on the road since they’ve rarely left it since 2009’s “Sigh No More” exploded.
Pete Seeger, ''A More Perfect Union'' and ''Pete Remembers Woody'' (Appleseed Recordings) At 93, no one expects anything new from Pete Seeger, but that's not stopping the folk music icon from putting out two new releases on the same day. Seeger gets some help on ''A More Perfect Union'' from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and Dar Williams. And on the aptly titled ''Pete Remembers Woody,'' Seeger offers his own memories in spoken word of Woody Guthrie, timed to commemorate what would have been the folk legend's 100th birthday. The more esoteric release of the two, ''Pete Remembers Woody'' is still fascinating and engaging as Seeger offers recollections of Guthrie, interspersed with new versions of his songs performed by Seeger and others. On ''A More Perfect Union,'' Seeger collaborates with longtime friend and fellow singer-songwriter Lorre Wyatt. But Seeger is the star of the disc, even when a children's choir and the celebrity guest stars step to the mic. While the disc could have used some tasteful editing, maybe cutting down to 12 tracks instead of 16, it's a minor quibble for someone of Seeger's stature. At this point, let the guy release what he wants.
Kreayshawn, ''Somethin 'Bout Kreay''' (Columbia Records) It's unfortunate that the beats throughout Kreayshawn's debut album are brilliant, but her lyrics and stories are not. 'Somethin 'Bout Kreay''' features top-notch production work from Free School, Diplo, Boys Noize and DJ Two Stacks and these beats would be another rapper's dream. But Kreayshawn, the charismatic 22-year-old newcomer, doesn't use them well: While she's playful throughout the album, there is no depth to her rhymes.''Gucci, Gucci'' has a catchy hook, but the overall song about her disregard for designer brands is annoyingly repetitive. The uneven ''Left Ey3,'' about a deceitful boyfriend, references TLC's Left Eye, who burned down her boyfriend's house. She also raps on the song: ''Heard my man is cheating with another (girl) in my house, now I'm finna make a scene like I'm Amy Winehouse.'' REALLY? Try again.Kreayshawn tries singing on ''luV Haus,'' but the drowning track is uneventful. This album will leave you asking: Foxy Brown and Missy Elliott, when will your records be released?
Sandi Thom, ''Flesh and Blood'' (Guardian Angels) After the success of ''Merchants & Thieves'' in 2010, Sandi Thom returns with her fourth album ''Flesh and Blood''_ an album she calls ''a coming of age.'' Produced by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes and released on her independent label Guardian Angels Records, Thom proves that she is still relevant and in great vocal shape. From the moment you hit play, the raw soulfulness of Thom's voice on upbeat track ''Help Me'' makes it obvious it's coming from the heart. It's not just the voice that tells you this but also the fact that Thom draws from personal experiences to create a record full to the brim with emotion by way of fierce and honest storytelling: ''I'm leaving and scales of justice are even I still believe in, you own the air that I breathe in, I cried more you cried less, and I paid my debt in loneliness, so I owe you zero, I owe you zero.''These lyrics accompanied by an acoustic guitar to begin with and later joined by an electric guitar, make ''I Owe You Zero'' a powerful performance. Primarily a blues-country record, it's layered with Motown influences as well as rock elements. ''Stormy Weather'' is all out rock and this mix of genres is definitely a style that suits her. Those not familiar with Thom's music prior to this will be as delighted as established fans.
John Hiatt, ''Mystic Pinball'' (New West Records)Some performers can sound good singing a grocery list, and it turns out John Hiatt is one of them. ''Eggs,'' Hiatt warbles on the ''Fargo''-esque “Wood Chipper.'' ''Hamburger meat. Bread. Funyuns.''Fans hungry for fresh Hiatt will be well satisfied by ''Mystic Pinball,'' his 21st album. When he's not contrasting mundane shopping to murder, he offers tuneful observations on addiction, gratitude, faith, doubt and love gone right or (mostly) wrong.Hiatt gets bluesy on some of the best songs, including the sax-driven ''One of These Damn Days'' and the ballad ''Blues Can't Even Find Me.'' There are also nods to classic rock, from ''Sweet Jane'' chord changes (“I Just Don't Know What To Say'') to a ''We Are The Champions'' beat (“We're Alright Now''). The acoustic waltz ''No Wicked Grin'' is sweet without being sentimental.The dozen cuts include a couple of throwaways, but even those tunes swing thanks to a crack band led by guitarist Doug Lancio and bassist Patrick O'Hearn. They're a fine complement to Hiatt, whose distinctive tenor always brings a smile, especially on a word like Funyuns.
Jarabe de Palo, ''Orquesta Reciclando'' (Nacional) If there had been a love child born of Steely Dan and Santana during a tryst in Barcelona, a child who ran off with a Gypsy band and grew up strumming guitar in the romantic airs of the Caribbean, that child might sound like Jarabe de Palo. A dozen years ago, Jarabe de Palo (a euphemism meaning Syrup of the Stick) landed atop the Spanish alt-rock wave with a rhythmic longing for ''La Flaca,'' a dark, Cuban girl, ''a hundred pounds of skin and bone/40 kilos of salsa,'' who leaves the narrator pleading he ''would give anything, for one kiss of La Flaca.'' On ''Orquesta Reciclando,'' Jarabe de Palo reimagines ''La Flaca'' and 14 of its other most popular songs. These rebooted interpretations are innovations, rather than replays thanks to fresh instrumentation and new, underlying rhythms. The technical skills of the band are superb, and each fits one another with the sort of maturity that comes from years of playing together. The songs' melodies still have the sound of a young romantic composing alone in his room, but the depth in singer Pau Dones' voice now gives them a weight that enhances the nature of the band's signature melancholic chord changes. This sophistication makes the collection both a new album and a career review for new listeners and established fans alike.
Zahra Shahid Hussain – PTI leader gunned down
Anguished relatives and friends react to the news that Zahra Shahid Hussain, a politician in the PTI party was gunned down by unknown assailants. Deborah Gembara (Reuters) reports.