BTRC On Air: September 2020 Spotlight Album and New Store Additions

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Blind Tiger Record Club Graphic
Blind Tiger Record Club Spotlight

Lightning 100 is excited to present Blind Tiger Record Club On Air every other Monday following the615. Starting at 8 pm, you will hear B.T.R.C. founder, David W. Williams, and Product Manager, Rudy Newman, discuss albums released on vinyl each month. B.T.R.C. champions music from all genres and believes vinyl is king. It’s a great way to be in-the-know about newly released music. Check out their records of the month, spotlight albums, new store additions, and more at BlindTigerRecordClub.com

Today’s episode focuses on a standout spotlight album that is not included in the subscription for this month. You may ask, what makes a spotlight album? Well, Blind Tiger picks an album they wanted to be in the subscription program but was not picked either for price reasons or its part of an exclusive release. Along with our spotlight album, NEEDTOBREATHE’S Out of Body, there are three other releases we want to touch on in today’s episode, Colter Wall’s Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs, Elizabeth Cook’s Aftermath, and My Morning Jacket’s The Waterfall II.

Spotlight album of the month: NEEDTOBREATHE- Out of Body 

On August 28th NEEDTOBREATHE released their seventh studio album, Out of Body, this is the first brand new release since the 2016, H A R D L O V E.  

Out of Body is the first release without founding member Bo Rinehart, who left the band in April of 2020. This has turned the pop-rock group into a trio, consisting of Bear Rinehart, Seth Bolt, and Josh Lovelace. 

This album debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200, #2 on alternative, and #2 on the rock radio charts. Fans were so excited about this new release, the first single off this record was featured at the beginning of this episode, a track called, “Hang On”. Another song they released to tease the album feature songwriters and performers, Drew and Ellie Holcomb. They recorded this track from different studios due to COVID, but it came together to make a beautiful song, “Survival”. This track has their signature upbeat tempo, but the mix of Bear, Ellie, and Drew’s voices make this song an angelic listen. 

The most recent single, “Who Am I” was written with the help of Thomas Rhett. This song is really about evaluating if you are worthy of being loved.  Whether it’s past mistakes or insecurity, at the end of the day you are so worthy of being loved despite anything that makes you feel otherwise. This song definitely has a more somber feeling but builds in such a seamless way, you can’t help but get emotional. 

This album is really about NEEDTOBREATHE stepping out as a new band, and finding their new sound. This new release is testing the waters and really highlights the talent of the other members like Bear, who has to take over and make more creative decisions for the future of the band. This whole album represents a new chapter for NTB, releasing an album during a pandemic, working with collaborators remotely, and going on without a crucial member, but despite all the hardships, this record is fantastic. It represents new life for this band but still holds true to their signature sound.

Colter Wall- Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs

On August 28th, Colter Wall released his third album, Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs. The 25-year-old Saskatchewan native is redefining the western genre. This record is a cowboy record through and through with touches of Wall’s own personal flare. This album is a collection of mostly covers by country greats and only includes three Colter Wall original songs. 

“Cowpoke” was originally written and performed by Stan Jones in the ’60s, but Colter Wall covers this song beautifully. Listening to him really confuses the ears because his voice does not sound 25 or like it was recorded in 2020. His smooth soulful voice sounds like vintage leather. It’s truly mind-blowing that he seems to be keeping this style of music alive so effortlessly. This album is simple but stunning, mirroring the less is more ethos of the genre.

This album is on limited edition natural pressing. The vinyl itself looks like candle wax and only 1,000 units were produced, so be sure to get this edition if you can get your hands on Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs. This album truly is a standout of 2020. 

 Elizabeth Cook- Aftermath 

On September 11th, Elizabeth Cook released her seventh studio album, Aftermath. 

This is her first release since her 2016 album, Exodus of Venus. Cook also hosts a regular show on SiriusXM’s outlaw country channel, Elizabeth Cook’s Apron Strings for over 10 years. Having hosted the Opry over 400 times, Cook is a raw country artist that has been a mainstay despite an ever-changing genre. Her gritty style of country sticks to the true roots of the genre while still adding modern flair to her music. 

Cook wrote all twelve tracks on this album, which are all personal stories. She sticks true to older country songs that tell a more narrative story through the lyrics. Cook said in an interview that her songs are all confessional, sort of her version of hillbilly catholicism. To set up this album, she released the first single titled, “Two Chords and a Lie”. Her voice is unreal on this single and the album as a whole. She has the maturity and raw quality like Kitty Wells but also has an almost Stevie Nicks like grit to her voice. This single really sets up this album to be a wild ride of vintage style country rock with some softer ballads to show her true range. 

When Cook sits down and tells her stories that are from her upbringing, you can’t help but get sucked into her world. This country-rock mixed with Americana is reminiscent of Nashville great, Lilly Hyatt, but with a twist. Listen to Cook’s new album to be taken on a journey of love, loss, and heartbreak. 

My Morning Jacket- The Waterfall II 

My Morning Jacket released their 8th studio album, The Waterfall II on July 10th with ATO records. This is the follow up to their 2015 release, The Waterfall. This 2015 album was nominated for the best alternative album at the Grammy’s. This follow up album is really a continuation of the first, many of the songs were written in 2013 when the first album was being recorded and mastered. Recently frontman, Jim James started to review many of these songs that didn’t make the cut on the original album and decided the band had too many great songs to not release a second part to this iconic album. It really is possible without COVID putting everything on halt, we may never have gotten to hear these new tracks, but as everything slowed down, MMJ realized they had plenty of material for a new album. James told Rolling Stone in 2017 that this album existed, but would probably never see the light of day, until now. 

James made the decision over quarantine while listening to his music on shuffle and “Spinning My Wheels” started to play. He thought people needed to hear this song, along with so many others on The Waterfall II. The first single which debuted at #1 this week is called, “Feel You”. This track makes you feel like you are butter melting on toast, truly. Jame’s signature high vocals paired with the layered instrumentation of this song make this single a huge hit. My Morning Jacket has such a unique way of building anticipation in their songs that really keeps the listener hooked. Despite this being a continuation album, these songs are filled with nostalgia, but with a new twist. Even though this wasn’t a planned release it still is a stunning album that reigns true to who My Morning Jacket is as a powerhouse in alternative music. 

Listen to the whole episode here. 

Written by: Madison Sharp

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