Local Current Blog

Sonny Knight, Silverback Colony, a Votel surprise, and more Minnesota record releases this week

Sonny Knight performs in the Current studios. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Sonny Knight and the Lakers: I’m Still Here

In 1965, Sonny Knight cut a single in a studio on the corner of 2nd and West Lake Street. Nearly 50 years later, he returned to a new studio, the basement studio of Secret Stash Records, just a few blocks away, to record I’m Still Here, his new album that’s out today. A soulful 11-track throwback, I’m Still Here is a classic that’s been decades in the making. Knight’s voice soars over big horns and organ riffs, and the record is produced with the warmth and character of your favorite vintage LP. I’m Still Here was recorded with Secret Stash’s house band the Lakers—now Knight’s backing band—and, in the spirit of this vinyl-centric label, is set for release on black vinyl and a (sold out) limited edition of white vinyl. The record will also be available on CD and for digital download. Sonny Knight and the Lakers will celebrate the release of I’m Still Here with a release show at First Avenue on Saturday, May 3, with special guests the Honeydogs and Southside Desire. On our blog, read about Sonny Knight’s favorite classic soul singers.

Votel: Votel

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This week brings a surprise, courtesy of Votel: Totally Gross National Product’s formerly improvisational electronic five-piece. The group’s self-titled release is out today, and thumps along through seven dark, thoughtfully written tracks. Vocalist Maggie Morrison (Lookbook, Digitata) sings in gorgeous, husky alto over high-tech production, making Votel sound something like a downtempo Phantogram. “Lasko” is an especially notable track from the record, as the climax of the song explodes with harmonies and crunchy synths. Votel is available for streaming and download now on Bandcamp.

Ash St. John: Dreams Made Real

Dreams Made Real, the latest release by singer-songwriter Ash St. John, was made possible by Kickstarter. A long time songwriter, St. John has been developing his collection of tracks for years, and will now release his fourth album on Saturday, May 3. St. John’s earnest style mixes acoustic and electric instrumentals with pop hooks and guitar-driven compositions. St. James also shows off his violin chops on the record. Ash St. John will release Dreams Made Real with a release show at Honey, with performances by Seth Davin and the Jesse Baxter Band.

Jim Crego and the North Electric: I Got Loud and It Got Late

An appropriately named record worthy of soundtracking a late-night dive bar bash, I Got Loud and It Got Late, the latest effort by Jim Crego and the North Electric, out now, has enough rock energy to ring out until the wee hours of the morning. Crego and his crew have put together a record that combines classic rock sensibilities with alt-country twang, infectious handclap percussion, and plenty of crunch. It’s Americana party rock for the northwoods. Jim Crego and the North Electric will release I Got Loud and It Got Late with a release show at the 331 Club on Saturday, May 3.

AiVry: AiVry EP

A four-man band with the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota heavily represented in its membership, AiVry present their debut self-titled EP, out Friday, May 3 on Bandcamp. The five-song EP, recorded in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, dances along with listenable melodies, celestial washes of guitar, and warm, meandering solos. The guys also shared songwriting and vocal duties, creating a coolly emotive synergy. AiVry will release AiVry with a release show at—where else?—the Whole Music club in Coffman Union on Friday, May 2, with performances by Color Tab and Güsto.

Silverback Colony: …Sounds like Silverback Colony: A North Country Soundtrack

Describing their sound as “rocking soundscapes,” Silverback Colony are a revolving door of of Minneapolitan alt-country rockers, led by Gabriel Douglas of the 4onthefloor, specializing in covers as well as originals. …Sounds like Silverback Colony is a guitar-heavy, instrumental-focused work of Americana, out May 3. The record was written during the winter months on the Iron Range; it combines string sounds and earnest vocals to evoke, yes, the sounds of the North Country. Silverback Colony will release …Sounds like Silverback Colony: A North Country Soundtrack with a release show at Harriet Brewing Company on Saturday, May 5.

KT Lindemann is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Morris, pursuing studio art and Spanish. She is a native of the Twin Cities and is a wannabe musician, artist, and music writer.