Wednesday, October 09, 2019

New releases celebrate legacy of groundbreaking artists

Omnivore Recordings continues to release essential albums featuring new music and reissued classics.

Artist: The Muffs
Title: No Holiday (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Joan Jett, Honeychain, Pixies
Tell me more: When Kim Shattuck passed away from complications from ALS  commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease  on Oct. 2, 2019, it silenced one of Southern California's most dynamic and original musical voices. However, the good news for fans of the celebrated singer-songwriter/guitarist is she had recently completed work on the Muffs' latest album No Holiday. The ambitious 18-track album   featuring songs the Los Angeles native had written between 1991 and 2017   is a fitting tribute to Shattuck who also produced the disc. Along with her talented band mates (bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald), the Muffs' first new release in five years, No Holiday reigns in the sonic moodscape located midway between power pop and pop punk. The songs charge ahead with the melodic firepower brandished on the band's past classics. "Down Down Down," "Late And Sorry," "Pollyanna" and "On My Own" are among the tuneful rockers; "No Holiday," "A Lovely Day Boo Hoo" and "Happier Just Being With You" are more wistful and melodic. All the material on No Holiday gloriously showcases the range of the Muffs. Information:

Artist: Fred Rogers
Title: It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"
Tell me more: You don't have to be a young child to enjoy the terrific collection of jazzy songs on It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers featuring the enduring talents of singer-songwriter Fred Rogers that were originally showcased on the PBS series "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" – it certainly doesn't hurt to be a child at heart. The 23 songs here will bring back a flood of memories and positive feelings for generations of listeners; indeed the themes addressed in this lively set were apt when penned and resonate just as strongly today; "Be Brave, Be Strong," "You Can Never Go Down the Drain," "I'm Looking for a Friend" and "Look and Listen" are among those gems. And of course, the show's best-known tunes ("Won't You Be My Neighbor," "It's You I Like," "Tomorrow") are here as well. Information:

Artist: Johnny Costa
Title: Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Vince Guaraldi
Tell me more: Jazz pianist Johnny Costa's lively accompaniment on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" set the stage for the terrific and dazzling performances showcased on the 1984 LP Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz. That 13-track album has been reissued and sounds terrific, with the talented Costa, drummer Bobby Rawsthorne and bassist Carl McVicker delivering reworked and truly masterful instrumental versions of Fred Rogers' compositions. Fans of Vince Guaraldi's "Peanuts"-related jazz material will be equally drawn to the top-tier takes on "Won't You Be My Neighbor?," "You Are Special" and other selections on this long out-of-print set (now titled Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood). Information:

Robert Kinsler

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