Rise Against rises again with 'RPM10' reissue
Rise Against (Fat Wreck Chords)
It's hard to believe a decade has passed since Chicago's Rise Against exploded onto the punk scene with breakthrough sophomore release “Revolutions Per Minute.” That game-changing album is getting a deluxe reissue to commemorate the anniversary and “RPM10” is worth the upgrade. In addition to the original 12 songs, 10 bonus tracks of demos will thrill Rise Against's longtime fans.
The album holds up very well a decade after the fact, with the guys in their glory on “Black Masks & Gasoline,” “Heaven Knows,” “Like the Angel,” “Blood Red, White & Blue,” “Broken English” and “Amber Changing.” The demos offer a nice glimpse into the creative process, with early versions of every song except “Dead Ringer” and “To the Core.” Rock on.
‘Good Hearted Woman'
Waylon Jennings (Legacy)
Waylon Jennings was in the midst of transitioning from traditional to outlaw country in 1972 when he released “Good Hearted Woman.” With Jennings already a fixture on the country scene , “Good Hearted Woman” — which was his 20th album —launched one of the most fertile periods of his career. This digital reissue sounds fantastic some 40 years later, with Jennings delivering the goods with his signature baritone on the title track, “Willie and Laura Mae Jones,” “It Should Be Easier Now,” “Do No Good Woman” and “To Beat the Devil.” A must for outlaw country fans.
Flatt & Scruggs with Doc Watson (Legacy)
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, along with Doc Watson, were the premier bluegrass musicians of their era (or any other), so you can imagine what happened when they teamed up for 1967's “Strictly Instrumental.” All three were on top of their game for this 11-track digital re-issue that features stellar readings of “Pick Along,” “Evelina,” “Jazzing,” “John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man,” “Spanish Two-Step” and “Bill Cheatham.” Almost half a century later, you're unlikely to find bluegrass any better than this.
‘The Ways to Love a Man'
Tammy Wynette (Legacy)
Known as the First Lady of Country Music — and for her often-tumultuous relationship with the late George Jones — Tammy Wynette was an established star with a string of hit singles to her credit when “The Ways to Love a Man” was released in 1969. While the record lacked a blockbuster single like “Take Me to Your World,” “I Don't Wanna Play House” or “Stand By Your Man,” it's one of the highlights of Wynette's impressive career. This digital reissue captures the magic of the title track, “The Twelfth of Never,” “Singing My Song,” “He'll Never Take the Place of You” and “Where Could You Go.” Highly recommended.
Willie Nile (Legacy)
Having enjoyed Willie Nile's upcoming release “American Ride” (I'll be reviewing it later this month), I was eager to dive into the back catalog of the rootsy Buffalo native. So imagine my delight when the folks at Legacy decided to digitally reissue Nile's 1980 self-titled debut, a remarkable record that escaped my notice until now. The 12-track release didn't garner the attention it deserved at the time, but keepers ”Vagabond Moon,” “Across the River,” “She's So Cold,” “That's the Reason” and “Behind the Cathedral” have aged remarkably well. Good stuff.
‘Shadows on the Son'
Blue-Eyed Son (Eenie Meenie)
Former 40 Watt Domain frontman Andrew Heilprin traded punk rock for indie pop on Blue-Eyed Son's charming 2004 “West of Lincoln” and after almost a decade makes a welcome return with “Shadows on the Sun.” This shimmering five-track EP has me hoping for more heartfelt tunes along these lines. The opening salvo of “All Went Black” and “Golden” is terrific and after a minor hiccup with the so-so “We're Fighting a War,” Heilprin bounces back with “Good Men Die Like Dogs” and personal favorite “Hold On.” Blue-Eyed Son is perfect for summertime listening.
Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1952 or firstname.lastname@example.org.