Peak Of The Week™

Thursdays at 9pm

A new release - handpicked by WNCW's Programming Staff - is sampled throughout Renee Denton's Music Mix on Thursday evenings.

Louisiana's "Swamp Pop" father Bobby Charles helped shape rock & roll’s evolution during the ‘50s and ‘60s, writing a string of hits for artists like Fats Domino and Bill Haley & the Comets.  In 2007, folk-blues songwriter Shannon McNally began working on this tribute project with him that is now finally complete, three years after his death.  Dr. John, who played piano on Charles’ 1972 self-titled album, produced it and joins McNally and other New Orleans musicians.  It's our feature Thursday night.

When the L.A.

The Gourds' frontman Kev Russell has had a side project for a few years now, to help provide an outlet for his huge well of material.  But to throw in a little curveball, he ends Gulf Coast Museum with a ukulele version of "If You Don't Know Me By Now".  Featuring a revolving lineup of Austin talent backing him up, this is Shinyribs' second album ("Poor Peoples' Store" became a WNCW hit from their first.) 

If you can maybe picture Roy Orbison as a Cuban-American, fronting a band that draws from Hank Williams as much as the Sir Douglas Quintet, with a fresh new release, then you get an inkling of what our Thursday night music mix has in store for you.  Raul Malo and The Mavericks are back after a 10 year hiatus, and their new album In Time is your Peak of the Week. 

The Knoxville band featuring the formidable songwriting of Cruz Contreras, singer Trisha Gene Brady, multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor, bass player Robert Richards and drummer Jamie Cook is back with its third strong release.  Dynamic, lyrical, doubt one of the strongest regional albums this year, and well worth featuring throughout our Thursday night mix! 

This week, JJ Grey & Mofro release their 7th album, and they're tighter than ever.  Call it southern rock, swamp funk, Memphis soul, North Florida blues....or maybe they've coined a new one here, the Florabama sound.  As for the stories in the songs, Grey says: “Many of the new songs are about being your own worst enemy, and about normal folks pushing themselves over the edge.”  We'll spin each of the tunes over the course of Thursday night. 

Raised on the Brooklyn streets, a cook for a hospital for the mentally ill and numerous other locales...Charles Bradley's compelling story is the subject of a recent documentary film (Soul of America).  His second release on Daptone Records is our featured album this Thursday night.  Bradley takes the sounds of Stax, Muscle Shoals, and James Brown in particular, and moves it forward with a level of passion and genuineness not surpassed by anyone. 

One of WNCW's favorite songwriters, Steve Earle releases The Low Highway on April 16th.  We'll give you a great preview of it this Thursday as we spin each tune from it throughout the evening's mix.  Technically "Steve Earle and the Dukes (and Duchesses)", this is Earle's 15th studio album.  If there's a theme on this one, it's endless road traveling.  As he writes in the liner notes, "I've been on every interstate highway in the lower forty-eight states by now and I never get tired of the view."

After basically establishing the subgenre of alt-country in 1990 with the Uncle Tupelo release of No Depression, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar went their separate ways, Tweedy bringing his more rock-oriented influence to Wilco, and Farrar keeping the twangy side for his new band Son Volt.  This country influence has culminated in Honky Tonk, a strong homage to the Bakersfield sound (think Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.)  Tune in as Friday's Cosmic American Music Show comes 24 hours early this week!

One of our favorite British soul singers is back after a 5 year absence!  James Hunter has a new release of all original material that definitely summons the souls of James Brown, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, etc., but is no doubt just as fresh sounding as anything else out there.  Produced and engineered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth, this is a staff favorite here at WNCW.