Quick Spins: Avril Lavigne, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lissa Schneckenburger, Pezband, Ken Sharp

Avril Lavigne

Head Above Water (BMG)

www.avrillavigne.com

$13.99

Her first release since 2013’s “Avril Lavigne” finds the former skater girl dipping her artistic toe in the adult pool. There’s still a bit of old-school snarl underneath, though, especially on the attitudinal “Dumb Blonde.” A feminist redux of “Oh, Mickey,” it’s as catchy as all-get-out.

Lavigne’s voice sounds stronger than on past releases, and “Head Above Water” and “I Fell In Love With The Devil” are anthems for her peers, currently trading in skate boards for mini vans and suburban lives. It’s an interesting point of view, and these songs are strong enough to command repeated listens.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Signs (Fantasy)

www.tedeschitrucksband.com

$15.99

Music can do many things, make the listener feel so many emotions. Simon and Garfunkel will always remind me of my Mom cleaning house when I was a kid. The Monkees will always remind me of excitedly racing home after school to watch their reruns. “Twist and Shout” makes me think of the band I played in in high school, with a smile on my face. “I Love You Truly” was played at my wedding, when my daughter was born, she was instantly happy when she heard Blues Traveler. My Dad always liked Roy Orbison and now that both have left us, hearing those songs makes me sad.

Whenever I’ve listened to The Tedeschi Trucks Band, the same feeling of calm always comes over me. There is such intent and honesty in their music, that its beauty makes it a really rare gift. Vocalist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks are husband and wife, which undoubtedly impacts their sincerity. Encompassing everything from Southern rock to blues, jazz and back again, their releases are always a joyous, emotional listen for me. “Signs” is one of their best. Listen, and experience it for yourself.

 

Lissa Schneckenburger

Thunder In My Arms (Footprint)

www.lissafiddle.com

Wow, is this ever an interesting piece of work. After decades of being a touring musician and releasing her own music, Lissa Schneckenburg took a left turn with “Thunder In My Arms.” Based on her own very personal experiences as a foster and adoptive parent, it’s an album that gives voice to families across the world who’ve opened their homes and hearts to children in need.

Sung with a tenderness that only that personal experience could bring, Schneckenburger emotes with a loveliness that is certain to comfort many. The instrumentation is sparce, giving her voice the perfect, quiet setting it deserves. If your eyes are still dry after “Since The Day We Met” and “I’ll Stick Around,” you’re far stronger than this critic. Highly recommended.

Pezband

Cover To Cover (JEM)

www.pezbandofficial.com

Like a lot of their Chicago-area power pop brethren, Pezband was criminally overlooked when they were at their prime in the late 1970’s. Though early releases were well-received by critics and fans of the genre, national attention always seemed just out of reach.

Thankfully, the JEM imprint has seen fit to remaster and rerelease the group’s 1979 Passport Lp, “Cover To Cover.” Beginning with the high-energy “Stella Blue,” this is an absolute clinic in Beatlesque rock, with a slew of infectious shoulda-been-a-hit singles.

“Meika” bursts with new wave energy, as does the hyper “Cover To Cover.” This reissue includes all eleven original tracks, as well as a new version of “Didn’t We.” A McCartney-inspired ballad if ever there was one, it’s a perfect example of why this band was (and still is) great.

John Pavletic’s remastering is tastefully done, and just the right refresh that these tracks deserve. “Cover To Cover” belongs in the car with you this summer. Seek it out and enjoy!

Ken Sharp

World’s Fair (Digital Track)

Ken sharp.com/bandcamp

$1

Ken Sharp’s “World’s Fair” is a Beatlesque ode to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. A dreamy bit of late-1960’s pop, it’s a pleasant, sunshine-emitting song guaranteed to put a smile on your kisser.

New Releases:

BTS/Map Of The Soul (B.E.)

Melissa Etheridge/The Medicine Show (Concord)

Norah Jones/Begin Again (Blue Note)

Danny Gokey/Haven’t Seen It Yet (Sparrow)

Bruce Hornsby/Absolute Zero (Zappo)

The Rolling Stones/Honk (Interscope)

Tech N9ne/N9NA (Strange)

Stevie Nicks/Stand Back: 1981-2017

CD’s Provided By CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th Street, Kenosha, Wi, 53142,

(262) 942-9400