- Artist: Jack Broadbent
- Album: Along the Trail of Tears
- Country of Origin: United Kingdom
- Released: 2015
- Genre: Blues, Blues Rock
- Available on: Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube
- Recommendation by Ian Magnuson
The blues have always evoked an unusual feeling for me. While the music has its customary chord progressions that we’ve come to associate with more energetic rock and roll, at its heart it’s a tortured genre. Deeply rooted in African-American history, it’s rather indicative of the long and difficult journey of the black man and woman in American history. Sometimes deeply painful and sometimes celebrating life’s simplest and most impactful moments, you never know how you’ll feel until you feel.
I really have to stress the contrast that I’m about to make, as I’ve written before, the British have this weird ability to master (or the pessimistic might argue masterfully imitate) truly American musical styles. Perhaps they serve as some fairy-tale like mirror reflecting the best of us, or perhaps it just illustrates the deep cultural heritage we share as countries. Either way, Jack Broadbent, of “rural England” as his website ambiguously notes, has (or at least will likely) joined the ranks of previous masters like Jimmy Page, Mick Jager, and Eric Clapton as those who just “get it”.
Along the Trail of Tears, a title which I have mixed feelings about, is appropriately labeled outside of its historical context. This is the best late-night road tripping album I’ve heard in a long while. My favorite song of the album, and perhaps my favorite blues song not by an American artist, is just so… aesthetic, to use a dead horse metaphor, where you can almost feel the deep south summer heat comfortably being satisfied by an open window drive down a vacant highway.
Finally, Jack is a rather prolific street performer and I’m fairly certain I found this video of him playing in the Amsterdam years before learning of him as a professional performer.
Notable songs: On the Road Again, Far Off Galaxy
Fusing traditional music of the “Kel Tamsheq (as the Tuareg people call themselves)” with modern western rock music, they’ve created a fascinating and enigmatic sound that certainly feels at home in the desert of Kidal.
Perhaps they serve as some fairy-tale like mirror reflecting the best of us, or perhaps it just illustrates the deep cultural heritage we share as countries. Either way, Jack Broadbent, of “rural England” as his website ambiguously notes, has (or at least will likely) joined the ranks of previous masters like Jimmy Page, Mick Jager, and Eric Clapton as those who just “get it”.
It’s difficult to explain the dynamicity of Totorro’s Home Alone. The four-piece band originated in Rennes, France. Home Alone represents a notable departure from post-metal toward the guitar-driven textures of post-rock and the complex rhythmic structures of math-rock.
Yosi utilizes a great deal of environmental and acoustically scintillating sounds to start off many of his tracks. For example, “Bubbles” begins with bouncing rubber balls on what is probably a wooden floor and “Wandering” leads us in with a stroll on a crushed gravel pathway.
Using only two acoustic guitars, the duo mashes up a wide array of genres including jazz, metal (track Misty Moses has some very Metallica-y riffs), flamenco, rock, and whatever-the-hell “world music” means together to create a powerful auditory journey.
"Shintaro Sakamoto feels like an audible version of Japanese fashion. Having both Western and Eastern roots, its eclectic combination creates a whole that seems to be greater than the sum of its parts."
"Their beats may sound somewhat familiar as their music is often sampled, perhaps most famously by Grandmaster Flash himself. Reflecting upon my timeless sentiment, the band almost confirmed my thoughts saying upon their breakup that “their music arrived in the U.K. long before its time”."
"If you’re looking for some of the best blues music around, there are some obvious places to look: Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit… but Belgrade? I wouldn’t have believed it until I heard her but Ana Popovic of Belgrade, Serbia, could probably be Europe’s Susan Tedeschi.
"Keeping with a longish British tradition of mastering American music styles (such as the Rolling Stones growing up on early American blues music), Gibbons styles his music as something that might feel at home in the height of the Motown era. He jumps from R&B, to poppy rap, to smooth funky ballads, and even some jazzy backbeats, all in the same album.
"I’m starting to feel a bit homesick for a place I've never been after watching the official music video of "Africa". Its dazzling shots of the African savanna, sprawling metropolises, and, most importantly its lively and beautiful people show a side of Africa we unfortunately rarely see here in the United States."