What’s News: Slobberbone, Feelies and Hard Working Americans


The Hard Working Americans are living up to their name. The group – Todd Snider (vocals, guitar), Dave Schools (bass guitar, background vocals), Neal Casal (guitars, background vocals), Duane Trucks (drums and percussion), Chad Staehly (keyboards, background vocals) and Jesse Aycock (guitars, lap steel, background vocals) – will have a new album out on May 13. Rest In Chaos (Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers) was recorded live in 6 studios while the band was out on the radio. It features a dozen originals and the Guy Clark tune “The High Price of Inspiration.”


Slobberbone is one of the criminally overlooked alt. country rock bands of the ‘90s. Ragged but hooky, fun but smart, loud but…not always loud – these Denton, TX boys had everything you’d want in a band. Their debut Crow Pot Pie came out around 20 years ago and they are celebrating with a retrospective release Bee And Seas that New West Records will be putting out.

More news from Texas. A couple years back, Anthony Farrell and Andrew Trube formed the Greyhounds in Austin. I dug their debut Accumulator for its R&B-soaked R&R, and they will return with a new album Change of Pace (April 1, Ardent Music). Give a listen to their album trailer: https://youtu.be/D-PidpjAxHo

The legendary Dallas gospel/soul band The Relatives have a new album Goodbye World due April 15 on Luv N’ Haight. It’s a bittersweet occasion since their singer Reverend Gean West passed away during the recording of the CD. I interviewed him a few years ago and he was just lovely to speak with. Here is one of their new tunes:


The Quaker City Night Hawks are a rawkin’ rock band with touches of roots music and science fiction. The Ft. Worth group’s debut El Astronauta lands May 20 via Lightning Rod Records.


The Batture Boys: Tommy Malone & Ray Ganucheau

Two longtime New Orleans roots rockers Tommy Malone (The Subdudes) and Ray Ganucheau (Continental Drifters) have teamed up as the Batture Boys. They have recorded a six-song EP Muddy Water (produced by Jim Scott) that has an April 15 release date.



John Doe, of X & the Knitters fame, describes his new CD The Westerner as his “psychedelic soul record from the Arizona desert.” You can hear for yourselves on April 29. Produced by Howe Gelb, the disc’s guest list includes Debbie Harry, Chan (Cat Power) Marshall and Tom Brosseau. On May 1, Da Capo Press will publish Doe’s first book, Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk, which takes a look at the Los Angeles punk rock scene from 1977-1982,

Tanya Donelly (Breeders, Throwing Muses, Belly) will unveil Swan Song Series, a 3-CD set out May 20th on American Laundromat Records. The 31-song collection includes collaborations with Rick Moody, Robyn Hitchcock, John Wesley Harding and Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom). Here’s a tune she wrote with Damon & Naomi https://soundcloud.com/laundromat13/tanya-donelly-storm-blown-bird

One of my favorite bands from the Hoboken scene, the Feelies will see two of their prime albums reissued – 1988’s Only Life and 1991’s Time For A Witness – on Bar/None on March 11; both will include some bonus tracks.



Bar/None also is reissuing Petra Haden’s first two albums Imaginaryland and Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out April 22 digitally and on vinyl.


Petra Haden also is one of the guests on the new solo effort from Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek). What To Fear, due March 18 on Thirty Tigers, also has contributions from Jesse Harris, Benmont Tench, Matt Chamberlain and Mike Elizondo.

And keep an eye out for these March releases:

The eclectic Americana outfit Elephant Revival have a new disc Petals that Thirty Tigers will put out on March 11.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will release Something Real on March 9 via Royal Potato Family. This is their first album since they went out on tour with Neil Young, who sits in with them on their cover of “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).”


Red hot producer Dave Cobb has put together a compilation album, Southern FamilyAnderson East, Brent Cobb, Brandy Clark, Holly Williams, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, John Paul White, Miranda Lambert, Morgane and Chris Stapleton, Rich Robinson, Shooter Jennings and Zac Brown – that come out on his Low Country Sound label March 18.

Big congratulations are in order to Chris Stapleton, Leon Bridges, Benjamin Booker, Natalie Prass and Tweedy as they are among the nominees for the first-ever American Music Prize that will be awarded to the best debut album.

The Blues Hall of Fame will be inducting  John Mayall, Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson and The Memphis Jug Band  are this year’s inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame – and a worthy class this is. The induction ceremony will happen May 4 in Memphis, the day before the Blues Music Awards show. It will also mark the first anniversary of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum.

That’s it for now…

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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