Bluesky Bullet Points: May 26, 2024

Phillip Lammonds and Ruth Moody provide this week’s high points.


Lily Rose

Runnin’ Outta Time [EP]

Difficult to separate her problematic statements at the CRS panel from the mainstream-pandering quality of the material here: This all tries a bit too hard for a type of acceptance that is unlikely, however talented Rose absolutely is.


Kim Richey

Every New Beginning

One of the very best ever to do the thing, she remains a songwriter of uncommon empathy and wit and a singer of clarity and nuance. Those virtues are all present here; the production wants for a bit more variety and heft, but Richey’s gifts shine more often than not.


Connie Smith

Love Prison Wisdom and Heartaches

Perfectly produced re-recordings of hits and deep cuts from her catalog make this is a thoughtfully curated set. The selling point is the absurdity of how her voice sounds. Her power and phrasing have barely diminished; she puts on a vocal masterclass here.


Phillip Lammonds

Cowboy Things

Songwriters’ songwriter mines his own back catalog and enlists some famous friends (Rucker! Pickler!! Tillis!!!) for a long, long-overdue debut record, and it’s a real winner. Accessible but still unfussy arrangements highlight the strengths of his narratives.


The Coal Men


The vibe here is a slightly twangy version of early Black Keys, and I am not immune to the specific charms of that exact thing. Revelatory? Not at all, but the arrangements are super sturdy and the songs are well constructed.


Iron & Wine

Light Verse

The production here is much noisier than his norm, and that only intermittently serves these songs well. Tremendous stuff when it does hit– the Fiona Apple collab and opener (“You Never Know”) are both highlights– but the messiness doesn’t truly become him.


Pokey LaFarge

Rhumba Country

A major talent, yes, but this particular record leans way, way too hard into schtick. It’s an enjoyable enough listen with some cleverly-turned phrases and lively arrangements, but the seams in his cosplay start to show when you look closer.


Ruth Moody


Absolutely lovely, as her work always is. The restlessness of her narratives is reflected in melodies that amble and take unexpected turns, and her vocal tone is just stunning. A fine example of contemporary Americana.


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