A little of everything

Music | Christian releases from earlier this year bend genre boundaries
by Jeff Koch
Posted 7/02/20, 05:50 pm

Coby James by Coby James: With John Mayer–level talent and similarly infectious bluesy pop-rock, the buzz around Coby James makes sense. The kid himself (he was only 17 when the album released) even admits, “I’ve got finesse,” when facing his haters in “No Trouble.” Tooting your own horn is an incomplete answer to bullying, but “Pressure” shows the singer and multi-instrumentalist ascribing the source of his strength more clearly to God, amid sticky rhythms and a great hook.

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Lonely pilgrimages

Music | Noteworthy new or recent releases
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 6/11/20, 03:56 pm

Love in the Midst of Mayhem by Joe Ely: Ely has said that he recorded this album to avoid “going completely batty” once the coronavirus lockdown hit Texas. And he didn’t waste time, releasing the soft copy in mid-April. The songs, however, gestated slowly, comprising as they did lyrics long in search of melodies and vice versa. (He began writing “Soon All Your Sorrows Be Gone” in 1972.) Given such provenance, it’s not surprising that they’re among Ely’s most difficult to pigeonhole.

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Dion and friends

Music | With new Blues album, an aging DiMucci sounds sharp in the tooth
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 6/11/20, 03:47 pm

“I feel like I have a good new friend.”

So says the slide guitarist Sonny Landreth of his relationship with Dion DiMucci, a connection resulting from Landreth’s playing on a cut from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s new album, Blues With Friends.

“Choosing a song that lines up with a particular artist is really quite an intimate thing,” Landreth told me. “There has to be a chemistry, and I think Dion recognized that. I really dug the groove, and he was real happy with the results. I had fun.”

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