This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.

Nick Waterhouse – “Nick Waterhouse”  The Los Angeles king of old-school Sixties Soul and R&B makes a return to form.  2016’s “Never Twice” seemed to be a bit long on atmosphere but a bit short on good songs.   This new album, while reverential  toward the period’s sound, has a stellar bunch of songs that comes close to equaling the impact that his first album, “Time’s  All Gone,” had way back in 2012.  While the soul revival of fifteen years ago has entered the mainstream and been diluted,  there are still performers like Mr. Waterhouse who are masters of the form and will be celebrating the music for a very long time in the future. - Ted

Stella Donnelly – “Beware of the Dogs” Ms. Donnelly is a new face from Western Australia.  “Beware of the Dogs” features engaging folk-rock but with incredibly honest lyrics underneath the music.  Ms. Donnelly focuses most of her attention on the harrowing ways that men treat women that they supposedly are in relationships with.  Perhaps that is why she titled the album “Beware of the Dogs?”  The emotions that she unleashes on the album are quite stunning but also quite powerful.   The only contemporary artist who I think comes close to her sound is Courtney Barnett, but Ms. Donnelly is more powerful on an emotional level.  Ms. Donnelly is definitely an artist to watch both now and in the future. - Ted

Todd Snider – “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3”  This album was recorded in a cabin on the Johnny Cash estate in Tennessee.   You may remember that some of the music for the series of albums that Mr. Cash put out on the American Records record label was recorded in the same cabin.  Mr. Snider has called this album a return to his folk music roots.  Mr. Snider plays all of the acoustic instruments and sings, but has vocal help from Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires on some of the tracks.  The music is very sparse and quiet but the lyrics are Mr. Snider’s somewhat twisted take on the world’s problems and where he thinks the world is going.  Mr. Snider has been releasing records since 1994 and has released over fifteen albums in the past.  For the last several years, however, he has been involved in a rock band, the Hard Working Americans, so the return to acoustic music is not that unexpected.  What is surprising is how good “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3” is.  By the way, there is no Vol. 1 and 2; the title refers to a series of dreams Mr. Snider had about Johnny Cash. - Ted