Album: National Freedom
Artist: Lonnie Holley
Release Date: July 3, 2020
- Like Hell Broke Away
- Do T Rocker
Lonnie Holley of Alabama works in many art disciplines, visual media and sculpture, as well as experimental blues music. This album collects music recorded in a 2014 session. His music is rooted in blues with his gravelly vocals reminiscent of Howlin’ Wolf but his performance draws on the improvisation of jazz (particularly on the 11-minute final track “So Many Rivers (The First Time)”). The result is oft-time weird, but not inscrutable, and evocative of deep human emotions.
Album: What Will We Do
Artist: Lula Wiles
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Thoughts: “Love Gone Wrong,” “If I Don’t Go,” “Good Old American Values,” “Shaking as it Turns,” “Morphine,” and “What Will We Do.”
Lula Wiles is the folk/roots music trio of Isa Burke, Ellie Buckland, and Mali Obomsawin, who met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Their harmonies and spare arrangements are reminiscent of The Be Good Tanyas and Crooked Still (and the various bands and solo acts that have emerged from those bands). Their music has a melancholy sound that makes me want to weep happy tears. It’s also steeped in the fine folk tradition of melding the personal and political, such as songs like “Good Old American Values.”
The full album is currently available via NPR’s First Listen.