|Rock Bottom Rhapsody [LP]||Pokey LaFarge||NEW WEST RECORDS||Vinyl||2020-04-10||$22.98|
|Kiki [2LP]||Kiana Ledé||REPUBLIC||Vinyl||2020-07-03||$25.98|
|The Mike & Micky Show Live||The Monkees||RHINO||CD||2020-04-03||$16.98|
'The man singing these songs isn't exactly the same man who wrote them,' says Pokey LaFarge of Rock Bottom Rhapsody, his eighth and latest studio release. 'This album is about the story of who I used to be.' In early 2018, LaFarge ' searching for the sort of artistic freedom and inspiration he wasn't finding in the Midwest ' relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment, but new temptations soon found him, as well. Though he declines to get into specifics, LaFarge admits that he experienced a significant 'fall from grace' during the last months of 2018. 'Things sort of started to unravel in my mind,' Shortly before the recording of Rock Bottom Rhapsody began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening ' and the faith he re-embraced in his hour of darkness helped to buoy him through the making of the album. Though he was struggling for spiritual equilibrium at the time, LaFarge at least had some rock-solid musical support to lean on. Recorded primarily at Reliable Recorders on Chicago's Northwest side, Rock Bottom Rhapsody was produced by LaFarge's friend and collaborator Chris Seefried (who also co-wrote several of the album's tracks), and features the considerable talents of guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. Musically, LaFarge continues to mix and match a wide variety of styles and traditions, while never losing track of his own vision This record is kind of like Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan hanging out with chanson singers and French jazz bands in like the forties, but I was never trying to make it sound like a particular person. Despite the trying period that preceded its recording, Rock Bottom Rhapsody is ultimately far more uplifting and life-affirming than its title would suggest. 'That desperation, that struggle,' LaFarge ponders, 'Did it add something to the record? It certainly did. I mean, I don't know if it made it better; it just is what it is. It's not up to me to decide if people are going to feel that'
Breakout artist Kiana Ledé dropped debut album, KiKi, via Republic Records earlier this year. Features hit single “Mad At Me” which is climbing the Rhythm radio charts. In 2019, Ledé’s track "EX" achieved RIAA Gold Certification and her YouTube channel –where her career began by posting viral cover songs like “One Dance x Needed Me mashup”– surpassed 1M+ subscribers. KiKi will be available on vinyl June 5th. Double LP.
2020 live release. Produced by The Monkees' archivist Andrew Sandoval and mixed by Christian Nesmith, The Monkees - The Mike & Micky Show Live was recorded live in March 2019. The collection includes performances of all three of the band's #1 hits: "Last Train To Clarksville," "I'm A Believer" and "Daydream Believer." In addition to those hits, the live album also spotlights many of Nesmith's finest compositions, including several songs that were never performed live during the Monkees' heyday, like "St. Matthew" and "Auntie's Municipal Court." Other Nesmith-penned tunes on the collection include live versions of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Listen To The Band," "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Just May Be The One" and "You Told Me." Dolenz takes the spotlight singing hits like "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Randy Scouse Git," "Mary, Mary," "Goin' Down," "For Pete's Sake," and "Porpoise Song." The collection also features live versions of "Me & Magdelena" and "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster" from The Monkees' most-recent studio album, Good Times (2016).