Willie Nile, Children of Paradise (River House Records) –
Buffalo, New York, bard Willie Nile, a compatriot of punk-era CBGB musicians, has crafted a sincere and powerful album for the world’s underclasses. With a strident delivery hinting at Steve Forbert or Bruce Springsteen, Nile offers up a dozen uncompromising tunes like “Gettin’ Ugly Out There” that demand action and compassion from listeners.
Houndmouth, Golden Age (Reprise) –
This third album from the Indiana blues/folk innovators makes Houndmouth even harder to pigeonhole. Since the departure of keyboardist Katie Toupin, Houndmouth have added electronic elements to give the band a sound akin to Tom Petty at a dance club, which actually works.