Our generation grew up with some awesome music- probably the best ever- Springsteen, the Stones, Billy Joel, U2 and hundreds more artists you have been listening to for the past 30 years. But has a steady diet of the music you loved in your teens or twenties left you craving something new that isn’t quite your kid’s music? Here are some fresh ideas to expand your playlist beyond classic rock. These artists are guaranteed to make you want to ditch your old Walkman music for some new earbud music.
Lake Street Dive
*Did you love early Carole King’s early pop, or maybe Linda Rondstadt?
Try Lake Street Dive- the band’s lead singer- Rachael Price’s voice combined with smart, post-feminist lyrics and music that makes it hard to sit still will make LSD your new go to music. Turn up the volume on “Shame, Shame, Shame”
At first listen “Good Kisser” is a really fun song but listen a second time focusing on the lyrics. “Bad Self Portrait,” “Doesn’t Even Matter” and “Hello? Goodbye!” are just a few more examples of LSD’s marriage of great lyrics and catchy music. Before moving on, prepare to be astounded by Price’s vocal gymnastics on “You go Down Smooth.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band
*Were you a fan of Bonnie Raitt or classic Southern Rock like the Allman Brothers?
If Raitt and Greg Allman had a love child, it would be the Tedeschi Trucks Band founded by Susan Tedeschi and her husband, Allman Brother’s alumnus Derek Trucks. Picking just a few Tedeschi Trucks songs is not easy.
“Midnight in Harlem: mixes romance and soul. If you are in need of a personal anthem, consider “Bound for Glory.” Their song “Anyhow”- is destined to make your running playlist.
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
*Was the Band or Creedence Clearwater Revival or maybe even Joe Cocker more to your liking?
Then your new favorite might become Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (Could there be a more aptly named band for Better After 50?)
Maybe you have heard their biggest hit “SOB,” but if that is all you know of this band, listen to ” I Need Never Get Old.” Rateliff dials up the soul in “Look It Here” the sex in “Shake,” the southern/country sound in “Hey Mama” and just about everything else in “You Worry Me”.
Do you love Motown? Well really, who doesn’t?
Leon Bridges might be the man to refresh a whole musical genre for you. “Beyond” is beyond romantic. “Coming Home” will have you checking for proof that Bridges is really only 30 years old and do not miss “Smooth Sailing.”
St Paul and the Broken Bones
In case you fear it is too much pressure for Leon Bridges alone to carry the future of R & B and soul on his young shoulders, check out St Paul and the Broken Bones who have been opening a little band you may know- the Rolling Stones. Front man Paul Janeway and his band may hail from the South but they channel good old Motown soul. Want proof? Listen to “Flow with it” or “Call me” or “I’m Torn Up.” You too will swear this band is from Detroit’s musical heyday.
A whole other topic worth exploring is the off-spring of some of your old favorites. Check out these second-generation musicians to help you break out of your 70s and 80s music rut: Amy Helm (dad Levon), Lukas Nelson (dad Willie) and the astoundingly talented 23-year-old Marcus King (dad Marvin) whose namesake band has already released two albums.
And while you are checking out the newer stuff, no list is complete without Gary Clark Jr. Pretty much all you need to know about Clark is the name of his biggest fan. It’s none other than Sir Eric Clapton, who Clark has opened for on his final two tours.
Do you know more artists that we should add? List your favorites in the comment section below.