This week on Vinally Friday:
• It’s rare to find a musician – or any artist, for that matter – who embraces self-imposed exile at the peak of his or her fame.
And for the few of which we are aware, most of those careers ended in addiction and/or suicide.
So it’s a bit perplexing that cowboy folk-rocker Dan Hicks decided to bow out of his major studio label contract after a single release in 1969. And the fact that he did it again – and this time for good – after he and his backing crew actually enjoyed some commercial success, even headlining Carnegie Hall? That calls his sanity into question.
Whatever his motivations, we’re just thankful for the material he did put together. And this week Craig will honor that with a few spins of the live (and swingin’) album he released in 1971 – that’s after he left Epic but before he reconvened for that short, short run of commercial success.
Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks‘ Where’s the Money? is 12 tracks – all originals – recorded live from the Troubadour in Hollywood. And if Craig does us right, we’ll get as much satisfaction out of the jams as we will with the in-between banter.
We invite you to learn more about Hicks and his contribution in this Rolling Stone obituary from 2016.
• Alanya will follow up with third release from LA-based Americana group, HoneyHoney.
The aptly titled 3 was put together with the help of hot shot Nashville super-producer Dave Cobb and released in 2015.
The album is notable for marking a semi-transitation away from the band’s traditional sound into something a little more indie rock.
“Suzanne Santo has never sounded better, her voice alternating between the husky huffs of a soul singer and the ballsy acrobatics of a bar band frontwoman who’s slammed just enough shots to convince her to try all of those difficult runs,” Rolling Stone said of the frontwoman’s contribution to the alum.
Alanya’s choice is rather timely, too: Santo will bring her solo act to the Top Hat for a performance Friday night.
• If Kate Bush were a young black man just now learning how to make waves on the musical tapestry, she might come across a lot like Benjamin Clementine.
We’ll be honest – we weren’t familiar with this English non-genre musician, poet and artist until Robert named his sophomore album, I Tell A Fly, his selection for this week’s Vinally Friday. And after a half-hour of Internet research and reading album reviews, we can’t say we’re really any more familiar.
Here’s what we do know: Clementine was a homeless busker on the Paris Metro when he was discovered, his debut in 2015 won the Mercury Prize and the New York Times named him one of 28 cultural “geniuses” for 2016.
Oh yeah, and I Tell A Fly – which dropped last fall – is an avant garde concept album about two flies in love and has something to do with the refugee crisis, bullying and Aleppo.
Whether that qualifies as “knowing anything” or not, our interest is definitely piqued.
• Tommy will close out the day with one of our favorite breakout bands of this century’s second decade – Alabama Shakes‘ Sound & Color.
The southern rockers were under a lot of pressure to deliver something great after the breakthrough success of Boys & Girls in 2012 – and in 2015 deliver, they did.
Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the album received six Grammy Award nominations and won four – including Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) – as well as Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “I Don’t Wanna Fight.”
We were excited to learn lead singer Brittany Howard is headed on tour with her new band, Bermuda Triangle, starting new month. That said, we hope this is truly a side project and that her original crew will hit the studio – and road – again soon.
Finally, it’ Friday! It’s Vinally Friday, all day on the Trail 103.3!