Pew Playlist: 3 Albums That Should Be On Your Radar, 5/19/17

Pokey LaFarge—Manic Revelations

On his last album, Pokey LaFarge and his swoon-worthy trembling tenor seemed to celebrate the sounds of the late 1940s and early 1950s, and on Manic Revelations, out today, LaFarge has dipped a toe or two in the early 1960s. Though he relishes the sonic styles of yesteryear, his lyrics are timeless, and at times, ripped from today’s headlines; album opener “Riot In The Streets” is a snapshot of his St. Louis hometown’s struggles in the wake of political and racial tensions. Named for the state where artists create, LaFarge says of the album: “I got to the point in writing these songs where I felt like a house on fire that just kept burning. This album is about confronting yourself. It’s about confronting your city, its relation with the world, and all its people.”

Colter Wall—Colter Wall

Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, Canadian artist Colter Wall’s recently-released self-titled debut was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A. Upon a cursory listen, you might imagine him sharing a post-show drink with the likes of Waylon or Willie, a contemporary of our favorite outlaw music makers who follow no one’s path but their own. His grizzled voice and masterful balladry are the stuff of legend, and create vivid desert-esque mental imagery. He’s only 21 years old, y’all. Don’t miss this one.

Will Payne Harrison—East Nashville Blues

Louisiana-bred Nashville-based troubadour Will Payne Harrison is back with East Nashville Blues, a ten-track album of brutally honest introspection delivered through the sounds of rockicana with a touch of bluegrass—and thank the good Lord those beautiful fiddle-infused Louisiana roots periodically peek through. Harrison follows in the footsteps of his heroes, telling stories that can make you smile right before they make you cry. Willie Nelson and John Prine would be proud.

Susan Hubbard

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