Let it Rock: Pack Your Bags, We’re Traveling
This week we’re going to do some traveling. Whether it’s back in time, to another country, or just down South; this week’s new music releases are taking us away. And I don’t know about you, but I love traveling. So grab your bags and don’t bother making a mix tape for the ride, because all the music you need is right here.
Chris Isaak- Mr. Lucky
Oh, hi Chris Isaak. You’re back. Remember “Wicked Game”? You know, “And I wanna fall in love…with you” Yes, I told you we were traveling back in time. Despite the fact that we haven’t heard from this guy in awhile, Chris Isaak just has one of those voices I’ll always be a fan of. Not only is he back with a new album, Mr. Lucky, but he’s got a new TV show as well. The Biography Channel will soon be airing his Inside the Actor’s Studio like program for musicians. So obviously now is a good time for him to come out with some new music himself. The album is great, and comes with a huge perk: a duet with Michelle Branch (yes, I am a fan). While ”I Lose My Heart” is a really pretty song with a country-ish twang, I wish he gave Michelle a larger part (like a solo somewhere in there). Isaak also has a duet with Trisha Yearwood, which is one of my favorite songs on the album, showcasing Trisha’s beautiful voice throughout. I’m not sure any of the songs on Mr. Lucky will surpass “Wicked Game,” but it’s nice to hear Chris singing again.
And now we’re traveling far, far away. What? You’ve never heard of K’Naan? OK, neither had I. But I’m telling you, you totally need to start listening. First of all, Troubadour, K’Naan’s second studio album, was mostly recorded at Bob Marley’s home studio in Jamaica. So you already know the guy’s pretty cool. K’Naan was born and raised in Somalia and raps about his home country, his experiences, and so much more. I’d describe him as a much cooler, more hardcore version of The Black-Eyed Peas. It’s rap, but it’s rap that you can sing along to; rap that holds incredible meaning behind the words. K’Naan sings lyrics like: “They don’t teach us the ABCs/We play on the hard concrete/All we got is life on the streets” and “How did Mandela get the will to surpass the everyday/When injustice had him caged and trapped in every way/How did Ghandi ever withstand the hunger strikes and all/Didn’t do it to gain power and money if I recall.” Umm, but I swear, it’s fun music! If you don’t believe me, just listen to “Bang Bang,” which features Adam Levine of Maroon 5. I’ve had it on repeat all day and you probably will too.
Joe Bonamassa- The Ballad of John Henry
Joe Bonamassa is going to take us down South. OK, so really he was born and raised in Utica, New York, but his blues-rock music will make you feel like you’re down South; or at least in an underground Chicago bar somewhere. I’ll admit I’m not a big listener of the blues genre of music, but something about Joe Bonamassa’s new album, The Ballad of John Henry, has me really feeling the blues. But in a totally good way. I mean, come on, he does a cover to the song titled “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter.” I have absolutely no idea what that means, but the song is pretty much a blast. The title track and “Happier Times” almost remind me of a cleaner version of the Drive-By Truckers, so I automatically liked it. But my favorite track might have to be “Feeling Good” a bluesy-rock take on the recently made popular by Michael Buble Bobby Darin original. Who ever said the blues would make you sad? After listening to Joe Bonamassa, I know I’m feeling good.