Poe, Anthony W. Rogers, Duwayne Burnside and Jann Klose

Our spotlight on new vinyl releases listens to titles from Poe, Anthony W. Rogers, Duwayne Burnside and Jann Klose.

Poe - Hello

It's been a long time coming, but Poe's excellent debut album is finally available on vinyl after 28 years. So fans can think of this as her saying "hello again." And what a nice greeting it is! Appropriately enough the title cut opens the album and the song has numerous hooks including a sublime dance floor groove and an extremely catchy "la la la da la" chorus delivered with childlike innocence. "Trigger Happy Jack (Drive By A Go-Go)" completely shifts gears with its Hendrix-like guitar parts and punky attitude while "Angry Johnny" moves with downbeat jazz and mostly spritely vocals that both belie the song's underlying violence. "Fingertips" is another jazzy cut where you can just picture Poe singing in a dimly-lit hip club; "Junkie," a sort of dub jazz cut, is about getting hooked (more specifically, not getting hooked) on a love affair, not drugs. Through the variety of arrangements it is Poe's voice, sometimes sounding a lot like Sheryl Crow, that is the star here. An insert with lyrics is included.

Anthony W. Rogers - High Five

High Five is full of great pop music like the Side A opener "Whether You Get Me," an example of how to write and produce a perfect piece of radio ready ear candy while "Slow Boat Ride" is yes, slow, with confection provided by Crosby, Stills & Nash-like harmonies. "Kensington" closes the first side in a dreamy mood with understated jazz and a swirl of somewhat cryptic lyrics; the song is a relaxing listen but at some point the curious listener is going to want to consult the lyrics printed on the included insert. Side B begins as the A Side does, with a catchy pop tune called "All Saints" that has instrumentation and vocals in a style that many will associate with that of 10cc. Rogers has clearly been influenced by Brian Wilson too as is evident on the lush but delicate pop of "The Sky King of Georgetown." Two cuts here are informed by specific places; the dreamlike "West Virginia" (W. Va. Is Rogers' home stomping grounds) and, more topically, "Slava Ukraini," a haunting English interpretation of the Ukrainian national anthem that's made all the more eerie by the sax work of side man Rich Norwood. On limited edition 180-gram vinyl.

Duwayne Burnside - Acoustic Burnside

A treasure out of the north Mississippi hill country, the dozen songs here were recorded in Holly Springs, Mississippi, the home of the Burnside clan, whose patriarch was Duwayne's late father, the great R. L Burnside. While Duwayne is known for his electric guitar playing these songs were cut in mono as a "field recording" and feature Duwayne on acoustic guitar. The album's A Side keeps it mostly all in the family as Duwayne performs four of R.L.'s songs ("Going Down South," "See My Jumper Hanging on the Line," "Poor Black Mattie" and "Alice Mae") along with his own "She Threw My Clothes Out" where he indulges in guitar picking that goes beyond just strumming chords. The A Side wraps up with a take on the classic "Dust My Broom" which was written by fellow Mississippian Elmore James. Songs of another great Mississippi blues man, Junior Kimbrough, are featured on the B Side as Burnside tunes into "Meet Me in the City," "Stay All Night" and "Lord Have Mercy on Me." Rounding out the set are an alternate take on "She Threw My Clothes Out," R.L's somewhat mysterious "44 Pistol" and the self-penned "Bad Bad Pain" where Duwayne again plays more intricate parts on his guitar. Don't be concerned with the description of this album as a field recording; the fidelity is fine and Burnside is hot. Pressed on colored vinyl with spatter.

Jann Klose - Surrender

Klose is one of those artists whose talent is not limited to one discipline. Even if you think you're not familiar with his work as a musician (he was the singing voice of Tim Buckley in the movie "Greetings from Tim Buckley") you've probably heard his songs on MTV Cribs or in movies like "Married Young" and "Dead Broke;" he also does commercials and voiceovers and has his own podcast where he's interviewed luminaries like Annie Haslam of Renaissance, Simon Kirke of Bad Company and Frank Bello of Anthrax. Surrender is actually Klose's seventh album and it offers a great opportunity for new fans to get on board with songs like the title cut which will resonate with fans of singers like Neil Finn, the extremely catchy pop song "Sugar My," which yes, features honey-sweet vocals, "Flesh and Blood" where Jann briefly hits near-falsetto highs and the bouncy jangle pop of "Here in My Heart." Klose closes the album with the rocking "Even if it Takes a Lifetime;" it won't take that long for fans to get close to these songs as Jann makes it real easy to surrender.

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