On the cover of his new album, Cory Branan is stretched out, with his feet up. His boots are all battered, worn down at the heels, and he's dozing off. The album's title kind of says it all: The No-Hit Wonder. It's his fourth in a career stacked with lonesome country anthems to life on the road, delivered in a voice that's pleasantly weathered.
In an interview with NPR's Melissa Block, Branan says that while his style of music hasn't produced many hitmakers, he's content playing a smaller game. It's a lesson he learned in part through his years as a bartender.
In the late 1950s, detective shows were all the rage. Today, the series Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens as the titular gumshoe, has faded a bit from popular memory. Its theme music, however, remains unforgettable.
The new album by Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas has it all. Secret Evil offers a softly strummed rootsy ballad one minute, the oom-pah of Balkan-inspired brass the next, or twangy rockabilly guitars followed by the punch of New Orleans-tinged horns. But in song after song, one thing is consistent: a powerful, undeniable voice.