Hello new music lovers. Welcome to NEXT. We have a simple goal: Find you a NEXT, new favorite song. #NextFavoriteSong

Let us begin NEXT week 752 with Hailey Knox. “I always said like soul-pop, but I think it’s sort of evolving into different things with the music I listen to. I think because I have a soulful voice, I feel like it tends to lean towards that soulful world, but I’m also a singer-songwriter, and there’s some of the indie sound too. It’s a lot of different things.” Of the track, which she also co-produced, Hailey said “I wanted to make a song about two fictional characters. While writing, we really pulled from our imaginations and put ourselves in the shoes of Pluto and Genevieve, the characters we created. I feel like one idea leads to the next when I write – I rarely go in with a main concept. I often write from my own experiences but I wanted to try a different approach – writing a story about other people.” Of the personal meaning this song holds for her, Hailey added “This song means a lot to me because it’s the first song Angelo and I wrote together. We are both perfectionists so saying that this song has evolved is an understatement. From countless vocal takes, to spending hours just to find one word, it’s fulfilling to see the song at its final stage.” Hailey Knox has been called a “music sensation” by People Magazine with a “preternaturally soulful voice” (Billboard) and the “ability to create a symphony of sounds with just her voice, a guitar and a looping pedal” (Earmilk)

Nashville outfit Rainbow Kitten Surprise have delivered a gift to fans in the form of a new track called “Our Song.” The track is described as a collaboration with and for the band’s fans, as it’s accompanied by a fan-animated live video, captured over a week of shows in Athens, Georgia, with the same fans showing up for three performances from the band. “This one’s for you,” says lead singer Sam Melo to the fans regarding today’s release.

Stevie Nicks featuring Dave Grohl, Dave Stewart. Stevie Nicks has shared a new single, ‘Show Them The Way’, recorded with Dave Grohl on drums and produced by Greg Kurstin. In a recent interview with Associated Press, Nicks said the song was inspired by a dream she had in 2008 where she played at a political benefit attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, John Lewis, John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. The inspiration is reflected literally in the lyrics.

Middle Kids sharing their first new music since their 2019 EP ‘New Songs For Old Problems’, Australia’s Middle Kids are back with brand new track ‘R U 4 ME?’. “I was at university once and there were all these signs on the walls saying ‘BE NICE IT’S NOT THAT HARD’,” lead singer and songwriter Hannah Joy says of the song’s inspiration. “The tone of the message itself actually wasn’t very nice or kind…. We are always looking around at other people thinking “are you on my team?”. I think this just results in us all feeling lonely.”

Some great live albums out now…and since live music is good for your soul and we can’t get out to many right now…a few live tracks On NEXT….and we’ll start with Tom Petty – Girl on LSD (Live). The sessions for Petty’s best album bore more fruit than what made it onto the disc. Now, those additional songs are being presented as part of a sprawling new box set. Some of his closest collaborators and his daughter Adria reflect on the legacy of ‘Wildflowers,’ the legendary recording, and how the new collection came together. Thanks to the new, massively expanded Wildflowers & All The Rest box set, we can finally hear some of those seemingly divine inspirations for ourselves, along with a bevy of thrilling live recordings and totally unheard songs that have remained locked in the vaults for decades. Spread over five discs in its most expansive form, this collection offers the fullest glimpse yet into the process and brilliance of one of America’s greatest songwriters working at the very apex of his powers.

More live music. Kieth Richards And The X-Pensive Winos. On December 15th, 1988, Keith Richards and his incomparable band, The X-Pensive Winos, played the Hollywood Palladium. It was the penultimate show in a 12 city US tour and a night both band and audience will never forget. Now this legendary concert is available for the first time as a limited edition box set. Exclusive to the Boxset and Digital formats are 3 previously unreleased tracks ‘Little T&A’, ‘You Don’t Move Me’ and the Lennon-McCartney penned hit ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’.“The real stuff,” is how Keith Richards describes The X-Pensive Winos.“I wish to thank all the guys in this crazy beautiful band. Something to love. I know I do.” Keith had assembled the core of this band throughout 1987 and ’88 during the ‘Talk Is Cheap’ sessions. For this first ever live solo Keith Richards tour, the stellar line-up was a who’s who of the finest musicians on the planet: guitarist Waddy Wachtel (Everly Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstandt, Stevie Nicks), drummer Steve Jordan (long time Keith collaborator), bassist Charley Drayton,  keyboard player Ivan Neville (Rolling Stones collaborator), singer Sarah Dash, and on saxophone, the inimitable, late great, long time Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys.

I said live music was coming out. This one. Was something to see on SNL. Jack White – Ball and Biscuit, Don’t Hurt Yourself, Jesus is Coming (Live on SNL)

The Struts featuring Phil Collen, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard. This song is a tale of love lost and maddening lust, “I Hate How Much I Want You” finds Struts frontman Luke Spiller trading throat-shredding vocals with Elliott to magnificent effect. Meanwhile, Collen unleashes his notoriously ferocious guitar work, a perfect counterpart to the track’s swaggering groove, thunderous drumming, and shout-along-ready chorus. “I loved the sound of The Struts since the moment I first heard them so it gives me great pleasure that Luke and the boys asked myself and Joe to participate in some mutual, mischievous, explosive rowdiness,” says Phil Collen. “When Luke called me up and asked if I fancied lending my voice to The Struts new album I said yes before I even knew what he wanted,” says Joe Elliott. “I’ve been a massive fan of the band since I first heard them so it’s not just a pleasure, it’s an honor to be part of this ‘born in Covid’ album, & what a song! Makes me feel like a kid again every time I hear it!” Spiller adds, “Phil and Joe really gave the song so much personality to the point it sounds like a timeless glam rock stomper that your mum sang along to in the 70’s.” With its high-voltage energy and catchy hook, “I Hate How Much I Want You” is just one of several songs on Strange Days graced with an appearance from rock-and-roll royalty — an organic turn of events for a band who opened for The Rolling Stones before they’d even put out their first album.

Let us begin the second half of NEXT with John Lennon and his Watching The Wheels – The 2020 Ultimate mix. What the Gimme Some Truth box does—just as it did with 2018’s Imagine collection—is make Lennon’s solo output sound better and brighter. I’m probably not alone in stating that so much of Lennon’s post-Beatle work sounded so muddy or inconsiderately mixed that listening for pleasure (beyond picking out barbs toward Paul and other sacred figures) was a chore. Here, however, whether it’s Lennon the lyricist’s diverse imaginings of deities and dharma (“God” or “Instant Karma”), more down-to-earth rhetoric such as “Mind Games” and “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” or the purpose-driven texts meant to damn racism (“Angela”) and war (“Give Peace a Chance”), all sounds warmer and clearer, bathed as they are in unifying 24-bit/96 kHz HD Stereo, immersive 5.1 Surround Sound, and Dolby Atmos. Boring tech stuff, but such a simple twist in making such a complex catalog sound its very best—that is, until the next compilation.

The vaults are opening, ‘like an old friend checking in,’ on Gord Downie’s extraordinarily productive final years. ‘Away Is Mine,’ a new solo album, is another gift. Gord Downie is gone. Gord Downie will always be here. There’s a new solo album, Away Is Mine, which will come out this month—three years less a day after he died of brain cancer on Oct. 17, 2017. It’s not the last we’ll hear from him, but it is the last thing he did; it was recorded with the Skydiggers’ Josh Finlayson a mere three months before Downie’s death. Though Downie became more famous in 2016-17 than he had been during his 30 years fronting the Tragically Hip, many fans don’t realize just how productive Downie was in those final two years of his life, post-diagnosis. There was the Hip tour in the summer of 2016, obviously. There was a small series of shows that fall to promote his Secret Path project. And there was the elegiac, piano-driven record he made with Kevin Drew, Introduce Yerself: a concept album in which he wrote a series of love letters to family and close friends (and one to Lake Ontario). It was released a week after he died. Many fans found it too raw to listen to at the time. Many considered it an epitaph.

David Bowie continues the “new” music on NEXT. Another 2020 Mix. This one to mark its 50th anniversary, ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ will be re-released on November 6 with its original title of ‘Metrobolist’. The remix comes courtesy of producer Tony Visconti, and is lifted from ‘Metrobolist’, a new reissue of Bowie’s 1970 album ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, which lands next month. Six new Bowie live albums are also set to be released physically across the end of 2020 and the start of next year. ‘Brilliant Live Adventures’ will see previously unreleased live recordings by the late star from 1995-1999 released on limited edition vinyl and CD.

The follow up to the 2018 Grammy-Nominated album Earthtones “The hypnotic vocal (a blend of Curtis Mayfield and early Lou Reed), bare-bones production and blissful hooks still mesmerise” – Mojo (UK). It’s Bahamas.

Frank Turner and Jon Snodgrass have reunited after 10 years for a new collaborative album, Buddies II, teasing the project with a new song, “Bad Times, Good Vibes.” Turner and Snodgrass wrote and recorded the album while working remotely during the Covid-19 lockdown, and  “Bad Times, Good Vibes” is very much a product of the pandemic. It’s a delightfully raucous pop rock track — stuffed with a clever country mid-section, with pedal steel courtesy of Todd Beene — that finds Turner listing all the things he has and hasn’t done in quarantine: “Every groundhog morning, put a brave face on it/But if I’m being honest I’ve started feeling strange/Running out of recipes and TV boxsets/Finished my to-do list, now I’m onto the don’ts/Tore down half my house, suppose I’d better rebuild it.”

Roughly a year ago, Greta Van Fleet released the new song “Always There” from the soundtrack to the movie A Million Little Pieces. “My Way, Soon” marks the band’s first new music since then. “My Way, Soon” continues Greta Van Fleet’s throwback sound, with bluesy riffs and singer Josh Kiszka’s high-pitched wail. It’s a breezy rocker that’s accompanied by a music video that celebrates the band’s travels over the past few years. “This song was inspired by what three years of touring did by opening so many doorways,” remarked Josh in a press release. “This is my truth, how I feel about all of our travels, but I know it echoes the experiences and changes of perspectives for [my bandmates] Jake, Sam, and Danny as well.”

Music is Life. And new music keeps you young at heart. And keeps your mind nimble. It’s science. Do the google if you don’t believe me.

It was tough before Covid 19. Now more than ever we need to support these bands. Even something as simple as buying an album, or a ticket to a show (when live music comes back or if they are hosting online events), or a tee shirt. And if you can buy directly from them. Even better. Thank you.

Spotify playlist updates on Thursday(ish). Link to Chris Bro on Spotify.

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WARNING may contain bad words. Or may not. Depends.

You can listen to NEXT on the radio. Listen to NEXT on Ocean 98 in Maryland Sunday nights at 10. Or Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

Artist and Song Title:

Kurt Vile and John Prine – How Lucky
Low Cut Connie – Help Me
The Posies – Sideways
IDLES – A Hymn
Everything Everything – Violent Sun
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (Live)
Ozzy Osbourne – You Said It All (Live)
Eddie Vedder – Cartography
Birdthrower – Medication
Fleet Foxes – Sunblind
Lucero – Time To Go Home
The Mountain Goats – Get Famous
Liz Longley – Finally High
NeedToBreathe – Bottom of a Heartbreak
Ghost Of Vroom – Rona Pollona

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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