It’s been quite a while since THE FLUFFY JACKETS delivered their bluesy milestone “Fighting Demons” that brought this British band to the attention of many an aficionado of good music, but finally, five years later, the ensemble return with a new album. “Something From Nothing” that’s marked for release on August 16th promises to be as impressive, judging by the inclusion on the record of “44 Blues” – the Howling Wolf classic they laid down in 2016 to benefit Teamrock crew who got laid off then and re-hired further down the line – and a few more covers, alongside original pieces.
Once again, the ensemble’s line-up has been bolstered with Manny Charlton of NAZARETH fame, who played guitar and produced new songs, and ex-WHITESNAKE bassist Neil Murray, who contributed to the bottom end. The result will see the light of day as a limited edition digipack, with the “Making Of” DVD to accompany a CD and give the listener extra material, while a digital download version will have two bonuses: a take on Johnny Cash’s “Hey Porter” and a radio edit of “Everything Must Change” a video of which is set for the July 24th debut.
Four live records in four decades don’t seem like a lot, but THE PRETENDERS never pretended they were able to perfectly capture their concert experience – yet their fourth on-stage offering is close to it. More so the “The Pretenders With Friends” – out today – goes beyond the regular performance in front of the audience by having stellar colleagues join Chrissy Hynde and her boys in a New Jersey theater and deliver many a hit. Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of GARBAGE fame, KINGS OF LEON and INCUBUS can’t be predictable in such company, so there’s much to enjoy on this document, especially given it’s a package comprising not only CD but also DVD and Blu-ray with stereo and surround sound options.
Neither flautist John Hackett nor organist Marco Lo Muscio are strangers to chamber settings – they played in such a setting both with other performers and a duo – but their new album “On The Wings Of The Wind” that’s out now to mark the tenth anniversary of the instrumentalists’ joint concerts is a bit different. Using 2013’s “Playing The History” as a template but going beyond classic prog covers and into classical realm, the pair – alternating between solo and ensemble pieces as well as between symphonic and rock numbers- invited old friends to join in the celebration. Playing the gems by the so different composers as Ravel, Ligeti and Telemann, alongside the two, are John’s older sibling Steve Hackett, David Cross and David Jackson – of, respectively, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON and VDGG fame.
Fifty years on after HAWKWIND’s rise, the band’s family continues to grow, and the latest branch on its tree is HAWKESTREL: a new project driven by bassist Alan Davey and featuring a plethora of former members. A couple of them – Huw Lloyd-Langton and Lemmy – are no longer with us, and Ginger Baker’s parts also presumably come from the past, yet Nik Turner, Simon House, Paul Rudolph and Bridget Wishart obviously contributed to it rather recently, as did William Shatner who recited an intro to “Sonic Attack.”
“The Future Is Us” – scheduled for the August 9th release on CD and blue vinyl double LP – is the collective’s first album, although whether there will be more remains unknown. If there won’t this must remain a wonderful one-off.
Those who ever listened closely to Pat Travers‘ music can’t be hard pressed to acknowledge the Canadian guitarist’s love for jazz. It might not have been so obvious on hard-edged, if radio-friendly, numbers such as “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)” that the veteran’s associated with, but the genre often reared its head in his solos. Yet “Swing!” will be the ultimate revealing of Travers’ jazz roots, because on this album, scheduled for a July 26th release, Pat covers perennials that aren’t easy to imagine done in his style. One can go for the approximation of Duke Elligton’s “Take The ‘A’ Train” or of “In The Mood” from Glenn Miller’s oeuvre, while Louis Jordan’s “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” and Woody Herman’s “Apple Honey” would be difficult to see delivered as rock pieces – although the latter was based on a well-rocked Gershwin’s number. In any case, the record’s worth the wait.