Music Reviews: December 2019

The latest from Al Rogers Jr. and The High & Wides.

Lydia Woolever - December 2019

Music Reviews: December 2019

The latest from Al Rogers Jr. and The High & Wides.

Lydia Woolever - December 2019


Al Rogers Jr.


On his latest release, with the title referring to his trademark mantra for spreading good vibes around the city and world, Al Rogers Jr. cements himself as the master of the remastering old-school sounds with new-school flavor. Fusing jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and even a touch of Bmore Club, the West Baltimore rapper creates music that’s both new and nostalgic, fresh and familiar, all at once, and these eight tracks offer a “message to the dreamers,” as he puts it. Listen not just for the wordsmith verses, melodic beats, and live instrumentation by the local likes of trumpeter Brandon Woody and drummer Josh Stokes, but also the inspirational life lessons. Like, “Never sell your soul or yourself short,” or, “In a world of Mr. Me-Toos, there’s only one you.” There’s clearly only one Al Rogers Jr., too.


The High & Wides

Seven True Stories

Bluegrass is so much more than just acoustic strings and achy-breaky vocal croons. Some might call that country, while its up-tempo cousin, bluegrass, is ultimately about the stories. And the second album from this Baltimore-by-way-of-Eastern Shore band is full of them—11 tales of hard times and heartache, age and death, religion and America, both true and apocryphal. The rising quartet has found their own lane in the old-school genre, digging deep into tradition, reimagining it with a modern soul, and these new tunes push that pursuit even further. Across breakneck barnburners and lonesome ballads, they showcase their individual talents and collective strength, flawlessly harmonizing on both lyric and chord. Through such artistic dives, both in sound and sense of place, they’re writing a story of their own.

You May Also Like

The Chatter

Ellicott City Kid Competes on ‘American Ninja Warrior Junior’

Look out for 11-year-old Raeya Linton on the Universal Kids show airing Feb. 22.

Arts & Culture

Boister’s Anne Watts Finds Feminine Inspiration in Baltimore

We talk with the lead singer about the making of 'Goddess of The Baltimore In Your Mind.'

Arts District

A Look Inside The First African History Children's Museum

Sankofa Children’s Museum in Park Heights dubbed the first of its kind in the country.


Movie Review: The Assistant

How do some workplace predators get away with it? Quietly incendiary indie provides clues.

The Chatter

Cardinal Shehan Choir Heads Back to ‘The View’ on MLK Day

This time, the group will be joined by Krieger Schechter and sing with Billy Porter.

Arts & Culture

Eric From The Internet

How a Park School alum turned the gift of observation into a brand.

Connect With Us

Most Read

What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.

Will Judge Make an Example Out of Catherine Pugh?: With the former mayor’s sentencing scheduled for February, both sides get to work on their case.

Orioles Execs Not Mentioned in ‘AstroGate’ Sign-Stealing Scandal: GM Mike Elias and the O’s other ex-Astros employees have steered clear of the fallout.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings Declares For Late Husband’s Seat: We break down the familiar faces in upcoming special Democratic primary.

Maryland Politicians React to Trump Impeachment: Local leaders reflect and look ahead at Senate trial.