Discovering new artists or rediscovering old favorites is easy thanks to a number of recent releases available now.
Artist: The Beau Brummels
Title: The Very Best of the Beau Brummels (Varèse Sarabande)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles' early recordings, the Monkees' "Headquarters"
Tell me more: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who were not the only great rock artists to emerge in the early 1960s. The Kinks, The Zombies, the Byrds and other groundbreaking artists were among the young acts that helped pave the way for rock's greatest-ever decade. Another essential early '60s-spawned artist worth discovering is San Francisco's Beau Brummels, the focus of the newly-issued collection The Very Best of the Beau Brummels. Kicking off with the band's successful 1965 hit "Laugh, Laugh," the 16-track set includes a slew of ambitious and memorable cuts including "Just a Little," a buoyant cover of John Sebastian's "Good Time Music," a fervent take on Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings" and the original psychedelic-tinged folk rocker "Lower Level." Information: VareseSarabande.com.
Artist: Sonny Landreth
Title: Recorded Live in Lafayette (Provogue)
You might like if you enjoy: Derek Trucks Band, Sonny Landreth
Tell me more: Born in Mississippi and a long-time resident of Louisiana, Sonny Landreth celebrates his Southern blues roots via an outstanding new collection aptly titled Recorded Live in Lafayette. Landreth is one the world's great guitarists, and is well known for his slide work that is enhanced by his distinctive picking style. It is a bona fide bonus that Landreth's baritone voice is more than up to the task of delivering the memorable songs that span the release. The audio CD version of Recorded Live in Lafayette features a full-length acoustic-styled set on the first disc, and a high-octane selection of electric material on the second disc. The decidedly Delta-falvored Key to the Highway," the zydeco romp "Creole Angel," infectious "Back to Bayou Teche," and dazzling instrumentals "The Milky Way Home" and "Brave New Girl" are among the many great cuts on the collection. "Recorded Live in Lafayette" is also available on vinyl. Information: SonnyLandreth.com.
Artist: Bryan Adams
Title: Wembley Live 1996 (Eagle Rock)
You might like if you enjoy: Bryan Adams
Tell me more: Bryan Adams' concert at Wembley Stadium broadcast live around the globe and recorded on July 27, 1996, came to DVD in late 2016. Now the concert release has come to audio CD for those who want this great companion release. Performing before a sold-out crowd of 70,000 or so, Adams and his band sailed through two dozen tracks covering the artist's best-known '80s and '90s material in energetic fashion. The mix of guitar-anchored rockers ("Kids Wanna Rock," "Run To You"), melodic rock tunes ("This Time," "Cuts Like a Knife") and power ballads ("(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," "Heaven") will please fans of the Canadian rocker. Melissa Etheridge joins Adams for a particularly powerful "It's Only Love." Information: eagle-rock.com.
Artist: Willie Nile
Title: Positively Bob (River House Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Bob Dylan, Willie Nile, Little Steven
Tell me more: Top-tier songwriters such as George Harrison, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Neil Young have all found a myriad of great reasons to perform songs penned by Bob Dylan at live performances or via recorded interpretations. Now acclaimed singer-songwriter Willie Nile has released the wonderful Positively Bob, a full-length tribute to Dylan. These are versions that fully celebrate and embrace the lyrical and musical muscle of the originals while providing the gifted Nile to rework the masterworks with his own artistic touch. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and "Blowin' In The Wind" have been artfully transported into anthemic rockers. "I Want You" is an absolutely beautiful love song, and is delivered with a particularly affecting touch. "You Ain't Going' Nowhere" soars as if it was recorded in a festive Irish pub, complete with an a cappella vocal break. Information: willienile.com.
Title: Crushed (honeychain)
You might like if you enjoy: The Muffs, the Ramones
Tell me more: Mixing up straight-forward melodic power pop with pop punk, the songs that fill honeychain's new album Crushed are penned by lead singer-guitarist Hillary Burton and revisit some of the themes that made pioneering discs from female rockers ranging from the Go-Go's and Bangles to The Muffs so refreshing and inspired. Produced by legendary Muffs singer-songwriter Kim Shattuck, "Crushed" speeds along thanks to strong songs performed with aplomb by Burton, band mates Andre Tusques (guitar, backing vocals) and Loye Aubrey Jr. (drums), as well as Emma Jenson (bass) and Shattuck (adding vocals and some lead guitar). Standouts include the rocking opener "Bombs Away," the exhilarating "Some Other Girl," the lovely "When I Stumble" and punk-styled "Messy Love." The album's final entry, the confessional "Welcome To My Life," is a welcome detour with its acoustic guitar-anchored approach. Information: honeychainMusic.com.