Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros first came to prominence in 2009 with their well-received debut album, Up From Below. Led by former Ima Robot front man, Alex Ebert, the band has made a name for itself by expertly evoking the emotions and sounds of the free love, hippy zeitgeist of the 60s and early 70s. More of a music collective than a band, the group consists of both artists and musicians, with a touring lineup of approximately 10 people.
While this may seem daunting and could easily create a muddled musical experience, each member understands his or her part and delicately adds his or her tonal texture until the music is exactly as it should be – fun. Taking a page from the Jethro Tull playbook, no one in the band is actually named Edward Sharpe. Rather, he is Ebert’s semi-messianic alter ego, whose trials, tribulations, thoughts and inspirations provide the lyrical and emotional foundation around which the music is made.
More than 16 months in production, the band’s new album has been a long process, with many of the songs having been written more than a year ago. The album is constructed without singles in mind, but rather with the intent of creating a purposeful flow between the songs. This allows for an immersive listening experience, as there are no jarring breaks or pauses. The album is fun, the band is fun; everything about the experience is fun.
Rhythm & Blues
Blues legend, Buddy Guy, returns to the spotlight with his new album, Rhythm & Blues. Praised by Eric Clapton as the best guitar player alive, Guy is known for his singing guitar passages and charismatic on-stage persona. At 77 years old, Guy’s professional career has already lasted more than 50 years, and the man shows no signs of slowing.
His technical abilities, inventiveness, and steadfast dedication to his craft have earned him several notable accolades and honors. Guy is an inspiration to everyone who has played the guitar and is often cited as a major influence by other great musicians, such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Jimmy Page.
Guy's career is as profound as it is prolific, and his new album, Rhythm & Blues is a continuation of his excellent blues-backed rock-and-roll. The album is packed with guest appearances including: half the members of Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Beth Hart and Austin-based blues man Gary Clark Jr. Like any good album, Rhythm & Blues has its ups and its downs but never dips in quality. Guy is a master technician whose impact on music is just as powerful now as it has ever been. He may play blues, but he’ll certainly make you smile.
Blood n’ Bones
Green Light Pistol
Green Light Pistol is a new band that proudly hails from our favorite Fort. Almost a family band, GLP consists of five siblings and one long-time boyfriend. Despite having only played together for a year, the band has already recorded an EP, Blood n’ Bones, and is set to release a full-length album by the end of August. This is fast – I mean, this is REALLY fast. Most bands require at least a few years before they are cohesive enough to record anything of substance, but not so for Green Light Pistol. They grew up together, lived together, played together, and now they are rocking together. The interpersonal dynamics have long been established, and it allows the music to flow like sweet Texas tea. The band shares writing duties and treats each other with more than respect; they treat each other with love.
Blood n’ Bones is a five-track EP that only scratches the large surface of GLP’s abilities. But that is not to say it is shallow. For the most part, the sound is stripped down, with each instrument and each voice (of which there are five) providing just enough to keep the music going. It is both delicate and gritty – it is a flower in one hand and a pistol in the other. GLP does not fit easily into any one category, but is rather an amalgam, utilizing the best parts of country, jazz, rock-and-roll, and bluegrass. In particular, Songs of the Scarecrow is a powerful example of what the band has to offer: unpredictable melodies, a five-part harmony that resonates so sweetly only a family could produce it, powerful yet accessible lyricism, catchy boot-stomping beats, and all the grace and comfort the South has to offer.