The Black Keys

To kick off the launch, Spotify tapped The Black Keys to curate a portion of the inaugural list.  The playlist dives into the history and heritage of the genre, a special regional style of the Blues specific to Northern Mississippi that inspired the The Black Keys’ new covers album, Delta Kream (out May 14 on Nonesuch).

“Don’t Walk Away” heralds the arrival of Cincinnati quartet The Heavy Hours. The extraordinary song was co-written with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and produced by Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Jade Bird, Matt Maeson) and produced and mixed by David Baron in the Catskill Mountains. The song, released through S-Curve/BMG, is available for streaming and download here.

Marcus King today shared a new song “Beautiful Stranger.” Timeless vintage soul with shimmering steel and haunting gospel harmonies, the song features Marcus’ rasping vocals which take centre stage on his solo debut record, El Dorado. The release has established him as one of the most soulful voices of his generation and is set to be his most critically acclaimed yet. El Dorado, produced by Dan Auerbach will be released next week on Fantasy Records, on Jan 17 2020.

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes wants you to visit his juke joint in Bentonia, Mississippi. Consider his new album, the 11-song Cypress Grove, your invitation. 

Another year of Outside Lands flew by this weekend, and like it does every year, went out with its crown held high. Despite temperatures in the 50s and the festival’s pricey location in the heart of $an Francisco, droves of music lovers flocked to Golden Gate Park for the 8th year in a row to dance the cold gray away. With a top notch lineup for music, food, beer, and wine, it’s hard to imagine a single fan went home unsatisfied.

To most of us who really pay attention to the current state of music and journalism, it comes as no surprise when I say that the quality and quantity of genuinely good music news and coverage coming out of the major media outlets has diminished substantially over the last decade or more.  They tend to focus more on pop artists, movie stars, and political discourse rather than covering and featuring truly great music (as they once did). 

Last weekend Louisville, Kentucky hosted the eleventh annual Forecastle Festival on the banks of the Ohio River. Over 75,000 fans, four stages, 65 musical acts and one festival evacuation made for an exciting weekend. With live music comes the element of surprise and it was plentiful this year. Unfortunate cancellations were made by acts Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings due to illness and the threat of powerful thunderstorms shifted the schedules during two day of the event.

This year seems to have introduced more new music festivals than ever. In a sea of established fests and emerging talent, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. BottleRock Napa, however, seems to have it all figured out. (Wine Enthusiast Magazine has already named it one of the top five music and wine festivals in the nation!)

The Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama this past weekend has officially cemented itself among the heavy-hitting top-notch summer festivals of the year, both in terms of musical content and festavarian (read: festival-goers) satisfaction.

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