Old school rhythm and blues meets modern soul on Nick Black’s sophomore release, Deep Blue. The follow-up to 2012’s The Soul Diaries, Deep Blue is a natural progression; mastered by Grammy award-winning engineer Brad Blackwood and co-produced by acclaimed musician Victor Wainwright, the album bounces from ballad to blues to boogie. Looking for love in all the right places, Black navigates timeworn matters of the heart over the course of ten songs. Solid in sound, Deep Blue offers a sweet escape down memory lane.
Sounds like — Soul; R&B
Check out — “Reason to Stay”
Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, founding members Aaron Tyler King, Joe Regan and Gant O’Brien were in creative cahoots for about 10 years before they made the move to Nashville. There they joined forces with Scott Harper, and, in 2012, adopted The JAG moniker. Acid rock bleeds into 70s glam, laying a trippy framework for innovative hooks and brooding bass. After 2012’s Mississippi Acid Pine Highway Tour EP, The JAG went on to record its sophomore effort with Bomb Shelter’s Andrija Tokic. The new record is set to release this fall.
Sounds like — Psychedelic rock
Check out — “White Horse”
A melting pot of mixed influences, Rosco Bandana began as a straight-laced Americana act and has evolved into a progressive southern rock band. Elements of blues and bluegrass fuse with alternative country on the group’s sophomore release, Time to Begin. Released on Hard Rock Records, the album resulted from winning the 2011 Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands. The win took the band from dive bars and restaurants on the Gulf Coast to the main stage on a national tour.
Sounds like — Country
Check out — “Woe Is Me”
Slow things down with Oxford native Sanders Bohlke. The singer-songwriter expertly weaves powerful vocals with folk-tinged melodies for a haunting finish. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Amos Lee and Ray LaMontagne, Bohlke’s soulful croon leaves even the most casual listener wanting more. Including his eponymous debut in ’06, the artist has only released two full-length albums; instead, Bohlke peppers fans with bits and pieces across a handful of EPs. February’s The Night EP is the latest, with five songs chronicling his sonic journey.
Sounds like — Indie folk
Check out — “The Return”
Although the Tupelo native has taken up residence across the pond, John Murry hasn’t lost sight of his Southern roots. His critically acclaimed debut, The Graceless Age, combines familiar instrumentation with substantive lyrics, and weeping Americana glistening with gothic realism. Last year’s four-song follow-up, Califorlornia, shifts Murry’s focus from raw and uncut to something more modern. The timeworn traveler continues to flex the heart on his sleeve, crying out for something more while rejecting the absurdity of everyday existence.
Sounds like — Folk rock
Check out — “Southern Sky”