Best known for his work as the frontman of The Freewheelers and as a producer who’s worked with artists such as Richmond Fontaine and Noah and the Whale, Luther Russell earlier this year released his latest addition to his already extensive back catalogue, ‘Medium Cool’.
From the start, it’s clear that this is a record that full of joyous rock and roll. Coming in at under forty minutes it’s a tight blend of power pop, catchy hooks and melodic guitars that evoke the sounds of The Byrds, the lyrics of early Bruce Springsteen and the grooves of The Rolling Stones mixed with a liberal helping of California sunshine.
With these songs, I thought I could maybe capture the essence of growing up in the San Fernando Valley during the heyday of rock ’n’ roll radio. It’s unmistakably there in the drag strip reverie of ‘Corvette Summer’, in the kinetic multi-city shout-out ‘Have You Heard?’, and the shredding solos of ‘Can’t Be Sad’. Along for the drive are echoes of the slightly off-kilter power pop that emerged from Memphis’ Ardent Studios in the 1970s. You can hear it in tracks such as the slamming opener ‘Deep Feelings’, and the downcast jangler ‘Talkin’ to Myself’.
‘Medium Cool‘ may have been released in the winter, but if you’re looking for the sound of the summer in 2019 then look no further as this up-tempo tribute to youth nails it perfectly.
‘Medium Cool’ is available now on Fluff and Gravy Records.