TJ’s Summer Sonic Six Pack [Parker Millsap, Nicki Bluhm, Speedbuggy and more]

By Brian Rock

Summer’s here and the time is right… for updating your backyard BBQ and road trip playlists. With so many great new releases this summer, it’s hard to focus on just one. So, here’s a musical six pack to pair with your poolside six packs and six pack abs. Enjoy in good health!

Parker Millsap Other Arrangements

Americana with Soul-infused Country sensibilities like A.J. Croce and Justin Townes Earle. This is his strongest album to date and shows an up and coming performer and songwriter truly hitting his stride.

Powerful Southern Soul with tinges of Gospel as Millsap combines the spiritual and sensual, singing, “So let me take a long look, ‘cause you sound sweeter than a songbook.” Like a spiritual epiphany, he can feel something stronger than himself getting ready to overpower him and the song perfectly conveys the majesty of the moment.
Standout track: “Coming On”  |  fb  |  buy


Ike Reilly Crooked Love

A high-octane Bob Dylan meets Ray Willie Hubbard rave up. Part social commentary, part stream of consciousness layered on top of electric guitar, organ, and attitude.

Prominent electric Dylan influence. Singing about lost love and regret, he opines, “But she was right, I shouldn’t be there ‘cause I was cruel and didn’t care. And I should rot in hell, alone with both guitars.” “The Byrds Play Dylan” musical arrangement creates a jubilant feel in counterpoint to the lyrics which hint at regret and shame over his past misdeeds.
Standout track: “She Haunts My Hideouts”  |  fb  |  buy


Nicki Bluhm To Rise You Gotta Fall

A classic Country songbird in the style of Linda Ronstadt. Singing songs of love and loss with heartbreaking earnestness.

Brilliantly captures that “Dusty in Memphis” soulful Country vibe. Singing, “How can you know good, until you know better. You’re gonna have pain on your way to pleasure. But it’s the bumpy roads that lead you where you need to go,” Nicki helps us navigate the rocky road to success, however we may define that.
Standout track: “To Rise You Gotta Fall”  |  fb  |  buy


Karen Jonas Butter

A vocal disciple of Roseanne Cash with a subtle jazzy flair. With beautiful melodies and vocal inflections, Jonas sings of love and life on the road.

Showcase for Jonas’ jazzy torch singer talents. Turning up the heat, she sings, “Momma cooks with butter, of course she does sugar; soft and warm right on the counter. She looks like Grace Kelly, she tastes like Betty Crocker.” Something tells me there’s more than food heating up in the kitchen.
Standout track: “Butter”  |  fb  |  buy


Jeffrey Foucault Blood Brothers

Authentic Americana as real as calloused hands and weather-worn leather. Foucault’s earthy voice and pastoral lyrics evoke the essence of America’s heartland.

A prayer in song that celebrates the simple things in life. Like Lyle Lovett’s “A Simple Song,” it uses a sparse arrangement with lingering steel guitar notes to create an atmosphere of reverence and joyful awareness.
Standout track: “Dishes”  |  fb  |  buy


Speedbuggy Kick Out The Twang

Old 97s influenced Cowpunk with a few “Tear In My Beer” numbers for good measure. Blue collar, beer and peanuts, hard rockin’ Country for hard workin’ people.

Combines Country twang with electric guitar pyrotechnics to simulate the frenzy of 8 frantic seconds in the saddle. This song includes the soon to be famous line, “Kick out the twang!” Start using it now to impress your friends.
Standout track: “Rodeo Star”  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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