Franti’s Latest LP “Rocks” Phil’s PIcks 2016 Albums Of The Year List

Michael Franti and Spearhead Soulrocker Cover Art

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

The time has come.  Today is New Year’s Eve eve.  That means 2016 is nearly in the books.  With that year right at it’s end, it’s time for the last two of this year’s Phil’s Picks best of lists.

Rounding out this year’s lists are the year’s top new albums overall and the year’s top new overall movies.  The year’s top new albums list is up first.  It was not an easy list to assemble either as there were so many stand out records released from across the musical universe’s many genres.

This year’s top albums list is represented by music from the jazz community, the world of children’s music, rock, blues, and even reggae in the form of Michael Franti and Spearhead’s new album Soulrocker.

As with every previous Phil’s Picks list, this list features Phil’s Picks’ top 10 new titles plus five honorable mention titles, bringing the total count to 15.  Having noted that here for you is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 new albums.




  1. Michael Franti & SpearheadSoulrocker


  1. Santana IV


  1. Joe BonamassaBlues of Desperation


  1. YellowjacketsCohearance


  1. FoghatUnder The Influence


  1. The Okee Dokee BrothersSaddle Up


  1. Songs of the Night: Dance Recordings by the Joseph C. Smith Orchestra 1916 – 1925


  1. Marian HillAct I


  1. Love and a .38Nomad


  1. Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Getaway


  1. Rich RobinsonFlux


  1. Charles Lloyd and the MarvelsI Long To See You


  1. Logan Richardson Shift


  1. Tedeschi Trucks BandLet Me Get By


  1. Mountain HeartBlue Sky


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Mountain Heart Reveals Details For New LP; Premieres New Single

Courtesy:  Compass Records

Courtesy: Compass Records

Five years have passed since Mountain Heart released its last full-length studio recording That Just Happened. Now the long wait for the band’s next new album is finally about to come to an end. The Nashville, TN-based bluegrass band has announced that it will release its next full-length studio recording this spring.

Blue Skies, the band’s eighth full-length studio recording, will be released Friday, May 6th via Compass Records. In anticipation of the record’s upcoming album the band has premiered the album’s lead single ‘Addicted.’ The song was premiered this week via Pop Matters at For those that are not familiar with the band and its sound, this latest composition bears a similarity to the likes of Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, and Delta Rae among others of that ilk.

Front man Josh Shilling wrote most of the material featured in the ten-song record. Country/bluegrass superstar Christ Stapleton co-wrote one of the album’s songs alongside Shilling and Ronnie Bowman. There is also a cover of Bob Dylan’s famed composition ‘Maggie’s Farm’ included in the body of the album. The album’s full track listing is noted below.


Mountain Heart Blue Skies Track Listing:
1. Blue Skies
2. Miss Me When I’m Gone
3. Maggie’s Farm
4. No One To Listen
5. She’ll Come Back To Me
6. Addicted
7. The Bad Grounds
8. Have You Heard About The Old Hometown
9. I Can’t Get Over You
10. Hurting


Shilling discussed the album’s title in a recent interview noting that it refers to the band’s new mission statement and how it relates to the band’s past and future. “‘Blue Skies’ is not only the title track from the new album, but in so many ways, it’s also the new Mountain Heart mission statement,” he said. “Rather than focusing on the past, clouding our time with negativity or anxiety, we’re focusing on living in the here and now and celebrating every opportunity we have together.  Our love and passion for each other and the music we create is transparent on and off stage.  We live our lives doing what we love while making lifelong memories every night with our friends and supporters around the world.  What more could we possibly ask for?”

Mountain Heart will embark on a spring/summer tour in support of Blue Skies beginning April 7th in Richmond, KY. The tour currently runs through July 16th in Spruce Pines, NC at the town’s annual BBQ Championship. More information on the band’s tour is available online now along with more information on Blue Skies and the band’s latest headlines at:






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