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Bowie Gets Jazzed, Gaslight Anthem Evolves, And We Plant Seeds For September

Monday, August 25: Look Again To The Wind is a new re-creation of Johnny Cash’s 1964 album Bitter Tears. The original remains perhaps the most controversial in Cash’s career. Concerned with Native American rights the album saw Nashville temporarily turn its back on Cash when the record first emerged. We’ll hear from both the original album and this new tribute, which features Gillian Welch, Kris Kristofferson, Milk Carton Kids, and Steve Earle.

Tuesday, August 26: Swimmin’ Time is the new release by Shovels & Rope, the acclaimed Americana duo featuring the husband and wife duo of Carry Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. The couple has been called “the punkabilly Johnny and June.” We’ll hear from that record as well as from Don’t Wait Up For George, the new tribute to country music legend George Jones from Shooter Jennings, son of the late Waylon Jennings.

Wednesday, August 27: Low, “Heroes” and Lodger form David Bowie’s acclaimed Berlin trilogy. Deeply addicted to drugs and fearful that his death was imminent Bowie retreated to Berlin to begin again. He emerged with three of his greatest albums, which are now the subject of a new record by British drummer Dylan Howe. Howe, the son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe, has just released Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie’s Berlin, featuring jazz-influenced takes on classics such as “Art Decade” and “Warsawa”. We’ll hear from that new record as well as from East!, the 1968 album from guitarist Pat Martino.

Thursday, August 28: Get Hurt is the new album from the New Jersey band Gaslight Anthem. The record is the band’s first album of new material in two years and represents a shift in the band’s direction. Unlike previous records such as American Slang the album does not have as strong a unifying lyrical theme, nor does it rely as heavily on stadium rock mannerisms heard on those earlier records. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from No Code, the 1996 album from Pearl Jam which was a departure for that Seattle band.

Friday, August 29: Phenomenon is the 1974 album from the British band UFO. Although the group had begun as a space rock outfit several years earlier and would become one of the most influential heavy rock acts of the decade, this recording finds the group in a transitional period. Joined by teenaged guitarist Michael Schenker, who’d left the German band Scorpions to write most of the material on Phenomenon, the quartet produced what is arguably its finest record of the 1970s. Featuring classics “Crystal Light,” “Doctor Doctor” and “a cover of Willie Dixon’s “Built For Comfort,” the record is a classic example of British blues rock with tinges of European melodies and American rhythms. We’ll hear from that recording as well as from Lonesome Crow the debut by Germany’s Scorpions which also featured Michael Schenker and which was also far away from the heavy rock sound the group would later become popular with.

Saturday, August 30: When Led Zeppelin came to an end in 1980 the band’s vocalist Robert Plant wasn’t sure what was ahead for him. After some soul-searching Plant emerged in 1982 with the album Pictures At Eleven. With the help of Genesis drummer Phil Collins, the record retained many of the hallmarks of Led Zeppelin recordings while moving Plant forward into the new decade. We’ll hear selections from that recording by Robert Plant, whose music will be featured throughout September on Strange Currency, along with music from our other September featured artist, David Bowie.