Get it or forget it – Rusty Young, Calico the Band, Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

It’s Friday again, and time for the release of new albums from two of our indie favorites as well as the solo debut of a rock legend.  Please grab a cup of joe and let’s review these sure to be classic albums.

Artist Name:  Rusty Young

Album Name:  Waitin’ for the Sun

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Roots Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Waitin’ for the Sun; 2.  My Friend; 3.  Honey Bee; 4.  Sara’s Song; 5.  Heaven Tonight; 6.  Hey There; 7.  Seasons; 8.  Innocent Moon; 9.  Down Home; 10.  Gonna’ Let the Rain

Publicist:  None

Review:  Rusty Young was the former lead singer for Poco, and has signed with Blue Élan Records as a solo artist.  He and Poco have reunited for several shows, including a few at this week’s AmericanaFest in Nashville.  His debut solo album, Waitin’ for the Sun, is being released today,   Stylistically, Young’s solo album fits like a continuation of the Poco legacy, and reminds us why Poco is still as popular in 2017 as it was when it emerged from Buffalo Springfield in 1969.  It reminds this writer of the amazing country rock music that sprang forth in the early 70’s from bands like The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina and the Little River Band.  Although it features the simpler sounds of music without all the added layers, it comes from such a pure place that it makes the listener feel at peace in the world.  We love every song on the CD, but especially the title track, “Honey Bee, “Sara’s Song, “Heaven Tonight,” and “Hey There.”  We also love the instrumental track, “Seasons.”  Welcome back Rusty – we simply love your solo effort.

Recommendation:  If you’re in Nashville, definitely get over to the Blue Élan showcase on September 15 at the Filming Station to check out this amazing artist, and run to your nearest music outlet and Get this album.  You won’t regret that decision.

Artist Name:  Calico the Band

Album Name:  Under Blue Skies

Label:  California Country

Genre:  Americana/Country

Track Listing:  1.  Fine Line; 2.  Cold Cold Love; 3.  The 405; 4.  Roll Away the Stone; 5.  The Leaving Kind; 6.  California Dreamin’; 7.  Free Man (ft. Jason Charles Miller); 8.  Under Blue Skies; 9.  Fly me Away; 10.  Love Gets in the Way; 11.  Come to Me; 12.  Into the Unknown; 13.  Ladies of the Canyon

Publicist:  MSO PR

Review:  One thing that has always set Calico the Band apart from their peers is the incredible harmonies of founding members Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit.  That trend continues on the sophomore release, Under Blue Skies, which will only strength their position as one of the premier Americana bands in the world.  It doesn’t hurt that the duo has created their own label, California Country, which supports not only their music, but their vision as well, with the addition of such amazing acts as the Alice Wallace Band, who, like Calico, are multi-LA Music Critic Award winners.  Two of the songs have already been released as videos, “The 405” and “Cold Cold Love,” and the band is showcasing their talent in Nashville this week at AmericanaFest.  This is an album you listen to from start to finish, and never need to skip a track – every single one sets the Americana bar high, allowing Calico to lead by example.  Besides the first two singles, we really love “Roll Away the Stone,” their dynamic cover of “California Dreamin’,” “Free Man,” “Fly me Away,” and “Ladies of the Canyon.”

Recommendation:  If you are in Nashville, definitely check out one of their three showcases at AmericanaFest.  We also strongly encourage you to Get their album and put it on perpetual repeat.

Artist Name:  Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

Album Name:  Something for the Pain

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues/Roots-Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Didn’t do It; 2.  Oh Boy; 3.  Singles; 4.  Singing Angel; 5.  Something for the Pain; 6.  Hush Little Baby; 7.  Teenage Girl; 8.  Hard Times; 9.  Hearts Were Made to Mend; 10.  Like we Used to Do; 11.  Medicine and Chains; 12.  Born in the Valley

Publicist:  None

Review:  When we first moved to Missoula, Andrea Harsell was one of the first local indie artists we met.  We have loved her solo material, but had not had a chance to see her perform with a full band until the recent Flathead Lake Blues and Music Festival.  Her band, Luna Roja, gives her the dynamic edge she needed to add to her amazing voice and incredible songwriting chops.  With the band, she adds a strong roots rock vibe to her bluesy songs, creating a sound that lifts the spirits and gets the toes first to tapping and then onto the dance floor.   Their debut album is a fabulous collection of songs that should serve to elevate Harsell & Luna Roja into the elite ranks of great musical bands.  We especially love “Oh Boy,” “Singing Angel (with its gentle reggae sound),” the title track, “Hush Little Baby,” and “Hard Times.”

Recommendation:  We can hardly wait to attend the CD release show on September 15 at Missoula’s Top Hat Lounge.  If you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, we encourage you to join us and to grab a copy of her CD.  It is the perfect culmination to any musical library.