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Monday Mix: Lucy Dacus, The Black Keys, Jeffrey Martin

“Hot & Heavy” is the first single from the Richmond, Virginia-based songwriter’s forthcoming third album “Home Video.” In this song, Dacus takes on an honest exploration of the space between youthful innocence and the age where that fantasy world begins to fade. “I thought I was writing ‘Hot & Heavy’ about an old friend, but I realized along the way that it was just about me outgrowing past versions of myself,” Dacus explained in a statement.

The Black Keys have returned with a compelling version of “Crawling Kingsnake,” a classic Delta blues song which was famously covered by John Lee Hooker in 1949. “I first heard [John Lee] Hooker’s version in high school,” guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach said in a statement. “My uncle Tim would have given me that record. But our version is definitely Junior Kimbrough’s take on it. It’s almost a disco riff!” Sonically, The Black Keys have reached back to their roots as a garage blues band, creating a sound that truly honors the origins of the song.

On his latest single, Portland folk singer-songwriter Jeffrey Martin has delivered a modern day classic folk song by perfectly blending the old with the new. In fact, “I Know What I Know” is so steeped in American nostalgia that it seamlessly transforms into a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” by its conclusion. The pain in Martin’s voice is that of a man who feels every word because he’s lived the experience and understands the people he is seemingly singing directly to. “These are stories of an America left behind, of working-class people struggling to keep their heads above rising waters, of people trying to find love in a time of heartlessness” his label Fluff and Gravy said of Martin’s last record. It still rings true here.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Ray Gill, Jr.