Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TOMORROW ON OUTQ: OLD GUYS WHO ARE NEW TO YOU (and new guys who sound old)

Longtime No Expiration readers know that every Wednesday morning, I go on SiriusXM OutQ's Morning Jolt with Larry Flick to talk about music. Tomorrow's theme, as the headline says, is old artists who may be new to you, and also some new artists who just sound like they are old. None of these artists are huge in the mainstream (yet). But you never know!

Charles Bradley is a 60-something soul singer who just released his debut album. So, he's a bit old for a debut album (but there's no time like the present) but he may be new to you.  No Time For Dreaming is out now on Daptone Records. No surprise there: it's the same label that Sharon Jones is signed to.  You can read Charles story on his bio at his official website. He spent years honing his very James Brown-like act, but he also has a lot of Otis Redding in him.  This guy can sing soul music because he's lived the life.  I gotta give a lot of credit to the label for signing people like him and Sharon Jones and letting them do their thing.  I should also mention that I was introduced to this artist by a former colleague at VH1; VH1 has been pretty supportive of him, and even recently featured him in a news segment.

Seasick Steve has been around for a minute, he's kind of like a rock and roll Forrest Gump in a weird way.  He's a 70 year old dude. Again, a bit old, but maybe new to you. He used to be a hobo, traveling the country by hopping on freight trains. In the '60s, he was friends with Janis Joplin.  In the late '80s, while working in a studio, he became friends with Kurt Cobain. In the '90s, he produced early recordings for Modest Mouse. And in the '00s, he started making his own records on customized guitars.  He recently signed to Jack White's Third Man Records.

I don't know as much about Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, but they sound like an old time Stax band or something like that. They play southern sounding hard driving soul music. So I was kind of surprised to learn that they aren't that old. (They're a new band who sound older than they are.)  It is hard to imagine a band like this getting too popular these days, but I hope that they prove me wrong. If you went to a party and these guys were playing, you would probably be drinking, sweating and having a great time. Their new album is Scandalous.

Fitz & The Tantrums is probably the most popular group I'm bringing with me this week. I saw them perform in the SiriusXM studios recently, and I thought they were a hell of a lot of fun. They sort of split the difference between '60s Stax and Motown.  (Also a new band who sound older than they are.) They write really great songs in that style, but they don't sound like rip-offs. It takes a lot of earnestness to write like that, maybe that's why I enjoy them.  I would love to see them get huge. Their new album is Pick Up The Pieces.

I wrote about William Elliott Whitmore last night, so you can check out that post. I'll talk about him tomorrow as well. And we'll also probably discuss Ted Hawkins, a guy who signed his first major label deal in the twilight of his life.  Ted will get his own No Expiration post in the near future. I'm a big fan.

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