Recently I wrote about Rhino’s Monkees reissue campaign in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary. More news now on the Monkees front. Mike, Micky and Pete have recorded their first new album in 20 years. Good Times! reached the inspired choice of Fountains of Wayne‘s Adam Schlesinger and features songs written for the band by folks like Weezer’s River Cuomo, XTC‘s Andy Partridge, Death Cab for Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard and Rogue Wave‘s Zach Rogue. The songlist contains a tune by each Nesmith and Tork as well as several songs that the band started back in the ’60s but only completed now. One number “Love To Love” was written by Neil Diamond that has a Davy Jones vocal and the title track is a Nilsson song that also includes him on the vocal track. Micky and Pete will also be taking their show on the road for a 50th anniversary tour later this year.
50 is a magic number for the pioneering garage rock band The Sonics. Last year, the group put out their first studio album in nearly 50 years and this April they will release the live album Live at Easy Street. The Sonics will be touring too, first with Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters in March and then they will be part of the Little Steven’s Underground Garage tour with The Woggles and Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, which sounds like a wild fun night of raw rock ‘n’ roll.
It’s not a surprising that ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons is into hot rods (remember their videos) so it isn’t surprising that he will have a show about cars. On Feb. 28, the Discovery Channel will air Rockin’ Roadsters. We’ll have to see if this show has legs.
It seems like if you see the name Dave Cobb as the producer on an album, then you will want to check it out. In May, the Cobb-produced Mary Chapin Carpenter album The Things That We Are Made Of will come out on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers. It will interesting to hear how this collaboration sounds.
Another veteran country songstress Terri Hendrix plans to have a very busy 2016. Hendrix has just released Love You Strong, which is the first of four albums (and one book) that she has scheduled to put out this year.
Those Americana icons, the Jayhawks, will have a new CD coming out April 29 via Thirty Tigers. Jayhawks frontman Gary Louris co-produced Paging Mr. Proust with Tucker Martine and Peter Buck. I heard them play a couple of these songs in concert and I’m eager to hear how they sound on disc.
One last semi-random note – that rock ‘n’ roll troubadour Willie Nile will deliver his new album, World War Willie on April 1. Besides some of his straight-shooting originals, Nile also does a version of “Sweet Jane,” in honor of Lou Reed.