Music News 5/8/2019


The Spellcasters, MUSIC FROM THE ANACOSTIA DELTA (Cuneiform, $16.98) – DC and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs has a great history of Fender Telecaster masters, namely the late Danny Gatton and the late Roy Buchanan. Now, three contemporary Telecaster guitar slingers pay tribute to those pioneers. Joel Harrison, Anthony Pirog, and Dave Chappell, ably assisted by bassist John Previti (who played with Gatton for twenty years) and drummer Barry Hart. Gatton was famous for mixing genres: “a crossroads of styles that straddles the Mason-Dixon Line, where jazz, rockabilly, R&B, country, and rock ‘n’ roll are one.” The three guitarists remain true to the sound, and expand upon it, with covers from Gatton’s repertoire (“Harlem Nocturerne” and “Rock Candy”), Buchanan’s version of  “Sweet Dreams,” and pieces by Thelonious Monk, Bill Frisell, and originals by each guitarist.

Esperanza Spalding, 12 LITTLE SPELLS (Concord, $15.98) – Esperanza Spalding, bassist, singer and composer, first made a name for herself in the jazz. But over her last albums, she has expanded her music to encompass a pop influenced “by Prince and Joni Mitchell.”  12 Little Spells was first released (digitally only) last October, after she live-streamed entire process of making the album over 77 hours.


Rodrigo y Gabriela, METTAVOLUTION (ATO, $11.98) – Rodrigo y Gabriela are virtuoso Mexican guitarists who combine flamenco and classical technique and mix in the energy of acoustic rock and folk—such as their epic version of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” on their new album.

NOTE: Rodrigo y Gabriela will be at Wolf Trap on Friday, June 7.

Lila Downs, AL CHILE (Sony Latin, $13.98) – The Mexican singer and songwriter’s takes the double meaning of chile—both the many peppers used in cooking, and saying things “al chile”—telling it like it is. She sings in Spanish, English, Mixteco, and Zapoteco, tackling the border stories in our news daily. Listen to her talk about the album on WNYC.

NOTE: Lila Downs will be at the Birchmere on August 13.