Andy Timmons Band - "Sgt. Pepper."
I'd never heard of Timmons until I read a review of this CD in Goldmine magazine. As long time readers of this blog know, I am a fan of good covers, so an instrumental album covering Sgt. Pepper instantly hits my sweet spot. Now some of these Beatles-related cover projects work (Smithereens, Big Daddy, Cheap Trick) and some don't... happily this one is the former. Timmons' guitar playing is almost hypnotic at times, not drone as much as soaring. Tasteful, powerful, it's just a great listen. And now I've got to hear some of Timmons' other stuff!
The King - "Gravelands", "Return to Splendor."
I've been fan of The King (aka Jimmy Brown) since these two CDs came out in the late 90's/early 2000's. Basically, "King" does an uncanny Elvis Presley impersonation while covering songs Elvis never did. Stuff like Nirvana's "Come As Your Are" (a hit in the U.K. back in '99), the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil", the Doors' "L.A.Woman" -- you get the drill. I figured he had drifted into obscurity after not hearing a peep after album #2, but turns out he's been recording and performing in Europe quite a bit. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to get your hands on his newer material. The one I've been trying to get is called "The American Sound Show" featuring The King plus the Memphis Boys. As far as I can tell it was a limited 2 CD pressing from the German Elvis Presley fanclub, released in 2007. Part of me is mentioning this on the off chance somewhere out there can share a copy, but also to reveal my sad collecting mania has yet to fade. (However, while scouring the internet looking for King material, I did find a bunch of CD singles...)
Billy Bremner - "Trouble Boys".
It's the same deal with Billy and his new band. Bremner was a member of Rockpile, the 70's/80's band featuring Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, but after Rockpile split up Billy (or Bill now) moved to Sweden, where he's been putting out a record every once in awhile, sometimes colluding with a Swedish rockabilly-ish group called The Refreshments. Now he's got his own band called "The Trouble Boys" and they released a CD last year that was only available at their shows and is now out of print. Grrrrr. Endless searching has turned up nothing, I'm trying to convince someone on the Bremner listserv (yep) to find me one, and I WILL NOT BE DETERRED. Well, I may well be deterred, but not yet!