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IPR Music

10 Iowa Album Releases From 2019 You Should Hear

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Madeleine King
/
IPR
Kyle Seek, owner of Heartland Burrito, listens to the main stage at Hinterland atop his food truck.

2019 was another great year for Iowa music, with a wide variety of artists releasing new songs, EPs and albums.  Here are ten noteworthy full-length albums from the past year, listed in the order of their release.

The Dawn  - Live at The Raccoon Motel
This album features the ambiance of Davenport’s Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, captured while there was still time, in December of 2018.  Technically from Western Illinois, Iowa will claim The Dawn as a top drawer Quad Cities jam band.  The fine players in The Dawn stretch out in front of an appreciative QC audience.
Buy Album From The Artist | Listen on Amazon | Listen on Spotify

Crystal City  - Three-Dimensionality 
The Iowa City band fronted by Dave Helmer and Sam Drella just keeps getting better with each new album.  The third full-length album from Crystal City features satisfying songs and solid playing from the band.  It’s self-described “heartland rock with blue-collar roots," and that’s just how it comes across!
Buy Album From The Artist | Listen on Amazon | Listen on Spotify

Bonne Finken - Gauntlet
Des Moines can claim songwriter and musician Bonne Finken as one of its own, but the songs on her third album could find a home on any Top 40 radio station across the country.  Finken’s powerful vocals drive these insistent songs forward.
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Diplomats of Solid Sound  - A Higher Place
This Iowa City group of seasoned players and singers really bring it on their first album in nine years.  Diplomats of Solid Sound are solidly grounded in the sound of classic 60s R&B, with twelve soulful original songs on the topic of human relations.
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The Maytags - Meriweather 
Iowa has a heart full of soulfulness. Des Moines’ The Maytags prove it on “Meriweather.”  Frontman Dustin Smith has the kind of voice that will grab you by the lapels (if you’ve got ‘em) to tell you a story.  Also, The Maytags turn up the funk quotient as needed.
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Ducharme-Jones Vagabonds & Poets 
Iowa natives Anne and David Ducharme-Jones lived in San Francisco for a time, and after that made their home in Austin, Texas.  Now based in Des Moines, their music contains elements of classic California pop and Americana on twelve originals and a well-chosen cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
Buy Album From The Artist | Listen on Amazon | Listen on Spotify

Tripmaster Monkey  - My East Is Your West
The Quad Cities band Tripmaster Monkey had their heyday in the early to mid 90s, recording for Sire Records and touring the world.  The band members stayed in touch over the years, and they released their first album in 23 years in 2019.  Done for all the right reasons, “My East Is Your West” finds Tripmaster Monkey at the top of their game.
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Lily DeTaeye -  BiTe Back
Lily DeTaeye has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs since she was a teenager growing up in Des Moines.  She recorded an album while in high school and an EP while attending the University of Iowa.  All the while, life has been happening.  DeTaeye’s accomplished songwriting and committed vocal delivery on this year’s “BiTe Back” tell us so.
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Pieta Brown - Freeway
Pieta Brown reflects on transitions in her life and world on her newest album. She returned to Justin Vernon’s April Base studio near Eau Claire, Wisconsin to record her new songs.  Quietly experimental, with sympathetic players backing her, “Freeway” rewards attentive listening.
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Dickie -  Minus Thieves
Dick Prall returned to his hometown of Cedar Rapids a few years ago.  Prall used the band name “Dickie” for the album he released in 2015.  This year’s follow-up finds the songwriter and guitarist partnering with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton.  The only other player on “Minus Thieves” is co-producer Pat Sansone (of Wilco.)  Straightforward production allows Prall’s songs to shine.   
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