This is the biggest week so far this year for new music releases. They always seem to pick up this time of year.
Record Store Day normally would have been this Saturday, but it is not coming until June and July this year. So the labels seem to be emphasizing new music to make up for the delay. All of the albums mentioned here will be released Friday, April 16.
n First up is Tom Petty’s “Finding Wildflowers.” This single CD or two-LP set on gold vinyl is made up of 16 tracks taken from studio outtakes from the original “Wildflowers” recording sessions from 1992–1994.
Three of the tracks — “You Saw Me Coming,” “Driving Down To Georgia” and “Girl on LSD” — were not on the original version of the record.
n Speaking of Petty, Lucinda Williams will release “Runnin’ Down A Dream: A Tribute To Tom Petty.” This is Volume 1 of Lu’s Jukebox In Studio Concert Series.
Williams covers 13 tracks from albums recorded throughout Petty’s glorious career. From the title track to “Rebels,” to “Down South,” “Louisiana Rain” and, of course, “Wildflowers.” Williams does a wonderful job with all of the songs on this amazing tribute.
• The 69 Cats will release “Seven Year Itch.” This psychobilly group is made up of members of the Rockets, the 69 Eyes, the Cramps, and Blondie.
Its sound, to me, is a blend of rockabilly, hard rock, psychedelic and goth rock. It reminds me of a blend of the Stray Cats, Sonny Burgess and Reverend Horton Heat. It is refreshing and fun to listen to.
n Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac can be heard on “Stranger Blues-Live.” As well as founding Fleetwood Mac, the late Green was my favorite British blues guitarist and was considered by many to be the greatest of his generation.
This five-LP boxed set displays Green’s incredible talent across numerous broadcasts, studio performances for the BBC and live sets from San Francisco to Finland and Sweden. It showcasing him and the band between early 1968 and late 1969, when they were firing on all cylinders.
n Greta Van Fleet will release “The Battle At Gardens Gate.” This group is considered by many to be the modern day version of Led Zeppelin. Its last album garnered the band four No. 1 singles and a Grammy award.
Now it has come out with a highly anticipated single CD or two-LP set containing 12 songs. There are images of war and Biblical references on songs such as “Broken Bells,” “Heat Above,” “Age Of Machine” and “My Way Soon.” If you have not heard these guys, you should give them a listen.
n Norah Jones will release “Til We Meet Again (Live).” Jones fans have been calling for her to release a live record for years. In my opinion, this was worth the wait.
There are 14 songs on this album offering 75 minutes of music. It features a tightly knit band fronted by Jones, who is one of my all-time favorite singers. From “Tragedy” to “After the Fall” to “Cold Cold Heart,” this amazing recording is for all Jones fans.
• Imelda May will release “11 Past the Hour.” This, the sixth release from the Irish born singer, is one of her best.
Seamlessly blending jazz, blues with a hint of rockabilly results in a wonderful sound that is all hers. it is one that doesn’t fit inside the parameters of pop music and its culture.
From torch songs to all out rock, this might be my favorite release from May.
And there are more releases out there if you care to take a look, but I could not fit them all in this report.
Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St. Email him at email@example.com.