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Welcome to the second edition of First Impressions where we check in on some recent and upcoming new releases and give you our - you guessed it - first impressions.
2020 is off to a rousing start - as evidenced by the Release Calendar which you can find at the bottom of our daily posts. Periodically, we are going to offer some quick thoughts about these new releases as we take a first (or nearly first) listen. If all goes as plans, we will have some longer posts about these releases, but the purpose here is to cover as much ground as we can. Strap in...
Davis Raines - Turquoise and Silver (LP)
Davis Raines is one of Nashville's finest songwriters. His writing is in the tradition of Nashville's great writers. He writes with heart and he sings with conviction. He is a staple at Brown's Diner (as "Old Nashville" an establishment as you can get), and many of his usual cohorts show up on his latest album. My first impression is that this is an excellent album and a fine addition to respected career. The songs are top-notch and the recording is perfect for the songs.
John Dennis - Mortal Flames (LP)
Not my first impression, as I have been listening to this one for a while, but I wanted to post here on the eve of the release. Mortal Flames is a concept album, and it is an ambitious concept which John Dennis manages to pull off in impressive fashion. My first impression was one of appreciation and awe, and the more I listen, the more impressed I become. I am confident this one will high on my list of favorites of this young year.
Ryan Sobb and the Dead Mall - Concrete Feelings (EP)
Reigning E2TG Band of the Year, Ryan Sobb and The Dead Mall are hitting the new year hard with this powerhouse EP. My first impression of this (full disclosure, I got to hear it a couple of weeks ago) is that they have managed to do something that many bands cannot, and that is to effectively capture the energy of their live shows on a studio recording. These are great songs, played by a killer band that has hit their groove and yet are still constantly improving. I predict this will serve as a time capsule of an important moment in time for these young artists.