Midwest Farmer's Daughter isn't merely an autobiographical title for the retro country singer/songwriter Margo Price, it's a nice tip of the hat to one of her primary inspirations, Loretta Lynn. The connections between the two country singers don't end there. Toward the end of her career, the Coal Miner's Daughter wound up collaborating with Jack White for 2004's Van Lear Rose, and White's Third Man Records provides a launching pad for Price, releasing her self-financed solo debut as-is as Midwest Farmer's Daughter.
Out of Season is a studio album by Portishead frontwoman Beth Gibbons and former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (under the pseudonym Rustin Man). It was released on 28 October 2002 in the United Kingdom and on 7 October 2003 in the United States. Out of Season is largely a folk album with jazz leanings, with Gibbons and Webb drawing more directly on the influences of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Nick Drake, at which Portishead's work in trip hop only hinted. Out of Season also features contributions from Gibbons' fellow Portishead bandmate Adrian Utley and Webb's former bandmate Lee Harris.
Sea of Cowards arrived less than a year after the Dead Weather's debut, Horehound, an album that sounded like a bootleg of a 3 a.m. jam session – not a surprise, really, considering that the idea for the band came out of impromptu playing at Jack White's house. It’s also unsurprising that the Dead Weather evolved quickly, given that the group went from releasing Horehound to touring to recording again almost nonstop. Sea of Cowards isn’t a radical change from Horehound’s smoky, sludgy sound – if anything, White, Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita, and Jack Lawrence go even deeper into their classic rock and blues fetishes – but it feels more organic, the product of a band instead of four separate personalities.
Fourteen years after his last solo outing, STILLS ALONE, Stephen Stills unveiled 2005's MAN ALIVE!, a remarkably vital and dynamic album that features the veteran performer penning almost every song and playing many of the record's instruments. Although David Crosby is absent, Stills's other CSNY mates, Graham Nash and Neil Young, turn up separately. While Nash subtly sticks to backing-vocal duty, Young contributes his typically incendiary electric-guitar lines to the hard-rocking "'Round the Bend" and offers up vocal harmonies and acoustic-guitar work on the spare, soulful "Different Man." A more unlikely cameo comes in the form of pianist Herbie Hancock's prominent presence on the 11-minute epic "Spanish Suite," which also features Latin percussion great Willie Bobo. Of course, Stills is the main attraction on MAN ALIVE!, with his husky voice carrying every song, including the socially conscious CSN-like track "Feed the People" and the blues-tinged "Piece of Me".