New releases enhance the legacy of The Stray Cats and the Vince Guaraldi Trio, while Irish troupe Pugwash will surely win a growing American following via the band's forthcoming studio album.
Title: Play This Intimately (as if among friends) (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: ELO, XTC, The Beatles
Tell me more: Memorable and wide-ranging songcraft, incredible vocal harmonies, top-tier musicianship and artful arrangements only begin to illustrate what makes Dublin-based Pugwash so amazing. The amazing quintet's new studio album Play This Intimately (as if among friends) (set for release via Omnivore Recordings on Sept. 4, 2015) has plenty of far-flung material showcasing everything from power pop ("Kicking and Screaming," "Hung Myself Out to Dry") and sunshine pop ("Clouds") to neo-psychedelia ("The Fool I Had Become," "We Are Everywhere") and baroque pop ("Feed His Heart With Coal," "Lucky in Every Way"). It doesn't hurt that high-profile guests who show up along the album's fantastic 12-track run include Jeff Lynne (ELO), Ray Davies (The Kinks) and Andy Partridge (XTC). Pugwash is in the midst of a rare U.S. tour. Upcoming dates include an appearance at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles, CA on Aug. 28, Strange Brew in Austin, TX on Aug. 31, and Springwater Supper Club in Nashville, TN on Sept. 3. Information: omnivorerecordings.com.
Buy 'Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)' on (Translucent Red vinyl, Includes Download Card)
Artist: The Stray Cats
Title: Live At Rockpalast (MIG-Music)
You might like if you enjoy: The Stray Cats, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly
Tell me more: Time has been especially kind to The Stray Cats' authentic neo-rockabilly sound. The outstanding Live At Rockpalast (available on both DVD and audio CD) features the trio via a full-length concert staged in July 1981, and an equally fine appearance captured in August 1983. While the uptempo rockabilly material (notably "Double Talkin' Baby," "Rock This Town" and "Rumble In Brighton," all featured at both performances) comprises the majority of songs, the lovely "Lonely Summer Nights" and playful "Stray Cat Strut" display Brian Setzer's potent vocals while "Drink That Bottle Down" is a strong bona fide blues tune featuring Lee Rocker on lead vocals. Dave Edmunds guests during the first encore of the 1983 show, tearing up on lead guitar and singing the George Jones country classic "The Race Is On" and a version of the 1956 classic "Tear It Up." Information: mig-music-shop.com.
Purchase 'Stray Cats - Live At Rockpalast' DVD here
Artist: Vince Guaraldi Trio
Title: Peanuts Greatest Hits (Fantasy Records)
You might like if you enjoy: The Vince Guaraldi Trio, Woody Herman
Tell me more: While Charles M. Schulz created Peanuts with his timeless comic strip, there is no doubt that pianist-composer Vince Guaraldi provided a musical voice to Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and a cast of other animated characters with his jazzy sound blending his own piano with stand-up bass and drums. On the newly-released Peanuts Greatest Hits, the Vince Guaraldi Trio's most beloved works are collected on a 12-track set that includes the iconic "Linus and Lucy" along with choice selections from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" TV special and the "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" feature film. While much of the music will be familiar to many, the sophisticated "Little Birdie" features a rare vocal track from Guaraldi in an arrangement further enhanced by a full horn section. The collection includes outstanding liner notes by Derrick Bang adding a wealth of information about Guaraldi and the other musicians featured on the recordings. Information: concordmusicgroup.com.
Buy 'Peanuts Greatest Hits' today