1. It always warms my heart to see young people embrace the sound that Houndmouth excels at. It's inviting, comfortable and capable of so much expression in such a simple form. This song, "Penitentiary", claims all of those attributes in the guise of a mid-tempo shuffle in the spirit of The Band. Expect great things.
2. This column is typically a new music showcase, but sometimes you just got to reach for a classic jam, especially when your life needs a bit of funkifying. Enter: The Meters - "Funkify Your Life". In the running for funkiest of all time.
3. For an up-and-coming band, landing an Audiotree session is usually a pretty good indicator of quality, the only question is can they take advantage of it. Caspian doesn't hold back during their opportunity, delivering a "Gone In Bloom and Bough" that clocks in at over ten minutes, pretty representative of the epic scope of this band.
4. Funky Knuckles are signed to Snarky Puppy's groundUP label and it's easy to draw comparisons. Balls to the wall jazz with bold and assertive changes that don't bother with subtlety. This tune is called "16 Bars".
5. Steve Gunn has spent time in Kurt Vile's band, The Violators, and therefore knows his way around a great tune and lengthy, yet unassuming guitar solo. On his solo record, he wraps some nifty playing around a handful of songs that explore soft, dreamy, handmade acoustic sounds. "The Lurker" hits points along that continuum as well as any from Time Off.
6. Handclps, bass, drums and horns is all you get with Get The Blessing. But thankfully, it's all you need on "OCDC", a rumbling piece of bass-led jazz that somehow manages to rock without a guitar. A very cool band from the UK. Their latest album Lope and Antilope is worth a spin or two as well.