LUKE WINSLOW-KING on Bloodshot Records

 

Bluesman Luke Winslow-King represents the spirit of his New Orleans home with gusto. After growing up in Michigan and studying jazz guitar, Winslow-King moved to Louisiana at 19 and learned gospel and jazz standards over the following years. He’s since made his own mark with masterful slide guitar and a traditionalist approach. Mississippi Delta blues and roots with a personal touch come through loud and clear on his four Bloodshot Records releases, including 2018’s Blue Mesa. Dusty, vintage Stax Records-era soul colors his latest record, recorded in Tuscany, but retaining his signature style nonetheless. 

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KATE FAGAN on MANUFACTURED RECORDINGS

Prior to founding local legend ska group Heavy Manners, Kate Fagan made a splash with the 1980 cult new wave single “I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool.” A short, high-powered anthem decrying the allure of ‘coolness,’ Fagan wrote the track after finding this culture pervasive in both New York and Chicago. In 2016, Manufactured Recordings dusted off the song as part of a reissue EP also featuring a raw, politically-charged cut called “Waiting for the Crisis” and two previously unreleased tracks which Fagan recorded in the early ’80s. 

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SARAH SHOOK and the DISARMERS on BLOODSHOT RECORDS

Grizzled vocals and rock-tinged country feel make the North Carolina-based group one to be reckoned with. After playing regularly in the Chapel Hill, NC area for several years, Sarah Shook formed the Disarmers and eventually released her Bloodshot Records’ debut Sidelong in 2017. It’s a personal, vulnerable, whiskey-soaked album: there’s even a song entitled “Fuck Up.” Her 2018 follow-up Years is sonically sleeker — Shook took classes in vocal technique in preparation for the album — yet it continues with more tired yet fervent and urgent songs of romance, loss, whiskey and outlaw country. 

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