I say this every year but where has the summer gone? In the blink of an eye it seems the pretty flowers give way to fall foliage and gorgeous New England colors. Summer 2021 brought lots of heat, lots of rain and lots of great new records. Typically summertime is slow for new music but not this year. These are a few of my favorite things we’ve been playing on WUMB!

At first listen I liked the latest album from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, A Few Stars Apart. After spending time with it, the insightful songwriting about his lockdown experience and what he’s taking out of it as things open up, really talented musicianship from Lukas and the band and a surprising twist to his vocals have made me LOVE the record. He’s not trying to emulate his dad Willie, but wow…on this particular song you can really hear the similarity.

Charlie Parr is back with his first release for the Smithsonian Folkways record label. Last Of The Better Days Ahead is the new album from this Minnesota based roots/blues singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. Thematically, it’s a record of memories, regrets, hopes and dreams. I always feel a little sad listening to Charlie but I think some of the most impactful music comes with a bit of melancholy.

Yola’s first record Walk Through Fire from a couple of years ago showcased her 70’s Laurel Canyon breezy folk/soul side. On Stand For Myself, her latest with producer Dan Auerbach, her voice is bolder and the music is funkier.  Born in England, she now makes her home in Nashville and has been embraced by that community as well as being welcomed into the Newport Folk Festival family. 2022 could just be the year of Yola!

~ Randi