I have a rule when it comes to musical recomendations. One mention from a reliable musical source doesn’t phase me. Two recommendations from two different sources gets me to thinking. But when three different people told me that I needed to hear the music Brandi Carlile was making, then you better believe I listened
And they were right. Her debut record came out in 2005, and not even two years later she is already releasing her second effort The Story. She has it all. Carlile’s vocals are very powerful, not to mention her strong ability to craft a song – both musically and lyrically. Plus she does a killer version of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah". Now if only I can get a copy of that…
Available In Stores/Online April 3 (via Triplearadio.com)
ALISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection (Rounder)
BRANDI CARLILE The Story (Columbia)
CHRIS WHITLEY/JEFF LANG Dislocation Blues (Rounder)
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE Traffic and Weather (Virgin)
GRADA Cloudy Day Navigation (Compass)
IDLEWILD Make Another World (Sanctuary)
KINGS OF LEON Because of the Times (RCA)
KOKO TAYLOR Old School (Alligator)
LOS STRAITJACKETS Rock en Espanol Volume 1 (Yep Roc)
MARTIN SEXTON Seeds (Kitchen Table/Music Allies)
MOTHERHIPS Kiss The Crystal Flake (Camera)
TIM FINN Imaginery Kingdom (Manhattan)
TODD SNIDER Peace, Love and Anarchy: Rarities, B-sides and Demos, Vol. 1 (Oh Boy)
UMPHREYS McGEE The Bottom Half (SCI Fidelity)
WOLF & CUB Vessels (4AD)
It wasn’t long ago when I didn’t know of the John Butler Trio. A friend of mine made a CD mix for me that included the song "Betterman" on it. It blew me away. It wasn’t long after that, that Peter (My Austrailan brother-in-law’s brother) sent me a copy of the 2004 release Sunrise Over Sea.
You see, John Butler was born in California. However, since his mother is American, and his father is Australian, he holds citizenship in both countries. But he cut his teeth and made his name in Australia. Sunrise Over Sea debuted at #1 on the Australian Album Charts in its very first week.
No matter where John Butler calls his home, there is no question is that he plays true roots-inspired music.
Available In Stores/Online March 27 (via Triplearadio.com)
GOOD CHARLOTTE Good Morning Revival (Sony)
GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS Strangelet (Rounder/Zoe)
JOHN BUTLER TRIO Grand National (Lava/Atlantic)
KAISER CHIEFS Yours Truly, Angry Mob (Universal Motown)
KATE HAVNEVIK Melankton (Republic)
MACY GRAY Big (Geffen)
MIKA Life In Cartoon Motion (Universal Republic)
OZOMATLI Don’t Mess With The Dragon (Concord)
STEVIE NICKS Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks (Reprise)
VARIOUS ARTISTS Putmayo Presents: Gypsy Groove (Putumayo)
Most of you know by now I am a child of the 80’s. My first vinyl record was by Air Supply. My first cassette tape I ever owned was by Kenny Rogers. The list continues on – Huey Lewis and the News, New Edition, and more.
So that being said, please don’t hold my early musical tastes against me. I was young, and I was impressionable. After all, it is all about the journey, and I like to think I have come a long way since my days of watching Solid Gold and listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on Sunday afternoon.
Where am I going with this? I’d like to think I was exposed to some good music during the 80’s – Bruce Hornsby being one of them. Bruce is one of those guys who had some pop music success in the 80’s. Should we hold it against him today? I think not. If Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead think he’s cool enough to play with them, then he’s cool with me.
Apparently, Ricky Skaggs is another guy who thinks a lot of Hornsby. They have teamed up and released a new album today. What should we expect? Anything goes with these two. Included on this new record is their take on "Super Freak". I guess we can expect just about anything from this pair…
Available In Stores/Online March 20 (via Triplearadio.com)
ANDREW BIRD Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)
BRYAN FERRY Dylanesque (album of Dylan covers) (Virgin)
GOOD CHARLOTTE Good Morning Revival (Epic)
HOWARD SHORE The Last Mimzy (features Roger Waters "Hello [I Love you])" (original soundtrack) (New Line)
JOSS STONE Introducing Joss Stone (first album of her own songs) (Virgin)
JOSEPH ISRAEL Gone Are The Days (New Door/UME)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Sound of Silver (DFA/Capitol)
LOW Drums and Guns (SubPop)
MARY KARLZEN Wonderlust Diaries (Dualtone)
MODEST MOUSE We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (Epic)
OSOS DE BRUJO Techari (Six Degrees)
RICKY SCAGGS & BRUCE HORNSBY Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby (SonyBMG/Legacy)
ROXANNE POTVIN The Way It Feels (featuring John Hiatt) (Ruf)
STEPHEN MARLEY Mind Control (Universal Republic)
TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS Living With The Living (Touch & Go)
THE PONYS Turn The Lights Out (Matador)
THE STOOGES The Wierdness (Virgin)
TINARIWEN Amin Iman (World Village)
TRACEY THORN Out of the Woods (former Everything But The Girl) (Astralwerks)
WILLY MASON If The Ocean Gets Too Rough (Astralwerks)
WILLIE NELSON/MERLE HAGGARD/RAY PRICE Last Of The Breed (Lost Highway)
I like the underdog. I like the overlooked, and the lesser known. And while I like most of the Motown recording artists (Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Funk Brothers), I also happen to like non-Motown artists like Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, Billy Stewart, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, and others.
When I was growing up in Charlotte, I remember getting a little perturbed when the local oldies station (Magic 96) would refer to their Monday programming as "Motown Monday".
I understood what they were doing, but I couldn’t help but think of all the great rhythm and blues artists from the 60’s who got snubbed, just because they weren’t on Motown Records.
So when seeing a list of this week’s new releases, I was excited to see that Stax has released a 2-CD set in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
So whether you go and buy this album or not is not the issue. The point is that some great rhythm and blues music was made back in the day. And it wasn’t all from Motown. It’s nice to see Stax getting some recognition.
Maybe if I ran my own oldies radio station, I’d give Stax some love – call my Saturday programming "Stax Saturdays"!
Available In Stores/Online March 13 (via Triplearadio.com)
AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic)
BILLY JOE SHAVER Greatest Hits (Compadre)
GRAHAM PARKER Don’t Tell Columbus (Bloodshot)
JAMES MORRISON Undiscovered (Interscope)
JONATHA BROOKE Careful What You Wish For (Bad Dog)
JORMA KAUKONEN Stars In My Crown (Red House)
LUCY KAPLANSKY Over The Hills (Red House)
RODDY HART Bookmarks (Compass)
ROSIE THOMAS These Friends of Mine (Nettwerk)
THE ALTERNATE ROUTES Good and Reckless and True (Vanguard)
THE ROCHES Moonswept (429/Savoy)
THOMAS DYBDAHL Science (Ryko/Recall)
TINARIWEN Amin Iman (World Village)
UNCLE EARL Waterloo, Tennessee (Rounder)
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (box set) (Stax/Concord Music Group)
It’s hard to believe that Son Volt is releasing another record today. After all, it was a little less than two years ago that Jay Farrar recruited a new band and released Okemah and the Melody of Riot. The label released it, but did not push it too hard. That didn’t matter, because alt-country fans know the quality music Jay Farrar is capable of making and rallied behind his new incarnation of Son Volt.
Sony seemed pleased with the success of the band and decided to give it an extra promotional push later in 2005. Maybe that’s why Jay and the band are back with a new release so quick. I guess in the music industry, you have to strike when the iron is hot.
I haven’t heard any of the new one yet. But according to the band’s official website the new record is "by far the band’s most daring and diverse album yet". I guess time will tell.
Available In Stores/Online March 6(via Triplearadio.com)
AIR Pocket Symphony (Astralwerks)
ALBERT HAMMOND, JR. Yours to Keep (of The Strokes) (New Line)
JESSE MALIN Glitter In The Gutter (Adeline/East West)
MARY CAPIN CARPENTER The Calling (Rounder/Zoe)
RY COODER My Name Is Buddy (Nonesuch)
SON VOLT The Search (Transmit Sound/Legacy)
THE ARCADE FIRE Neon Bible (Merge)
THE GREENCARDS Viridian (Dualtone)
VARIOUS ARTISTS Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 2 (Allman Bros, Gov’t Mule, John Popper, Dave Schools) (Evil Teen)
WYNTON MARSALIS From The Plantation To The Penitentury (Blue Note)
With the increased interest in sites such as MySpace and YouTube, undiscovered music and artists are beginning to emerge. As a result, some music fans have even gone as far as to predict the death of the record label.
And while I think the role of the record label is going to have to change in order to remain viable, I don’t see the record labels going anywhere. If anything, they have done an excellent job at branding themselves. You may know nothing about an artist, but if you know which record label is releasing it, it has an added value to it.
Enter Putamayo. This label has branded itself as the World Music label. They do more than just release world music. They also have a line of clothing, produce a one-hour radio show, and even have a line of children’s CD’s. There motto is to spotlight music that is sure to "make you feel good".
So today, their latest compilation Women of the World Acoustic is released. I only recognize one of the women on the CD. but that doesn’t matter. I know it’s gotta be good.
After all, it’s Putamayo.
Available In Stores/Online February 27 (via Triplearadio.com)
ANDREW LIPKE The Way Home… (MAD Dragon)
BEBEL GILBERTO Memento (Six Degrees)
DEAN & BRITTTA (of Luna) Back Numbers (Rounder/Zoe)
DAVID BROMBERG Try Me One More Time (Appleseed)
DR. DOG We All Belong (Park the Van)
FORRO IN THE DARK Bonfires of Sao Joao (guests David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto, Miho Hatori) (Nublu)
WINTERPILLS The Light Divides (Signature Sounds)
VARIOUS ARTISTS Putumayo Presents: Women of the World Acoustic (Putumayo)
After weeks of some much anticipated releases (Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin), it seems this week we are getting a break from some of the heavy hitters.
JJ Grey and MOFRO jumped out at me today since I noticed it was the most played album on WSGE (Dallas, NC) last week (Feb 12 – 18). According to their website, this album will "make you smell the cypress trees, feel the hot breeze, taste the ho-cakes, and remind you that home is where the heart is."
Available In Stores/Online February 20 (via Triplearadio.com)
ANDREW BIRD Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)
BILL WYMAN Stuff (Castle/Sanctuary)
CHIP TAYLOR This Side of the Big River (Collector’s Music)
DELOREAN You Can’t Win (Yep Roc)
EDDI READER Peacetime (Compass)
JJ GREY & MOFRO Country Ghetto (Alligator)
MARNIE STERN In Advance of the Broken Arm (Kill Rock Stars)
NIALL VALLELY, PAUL MEEHAN & CAOIMHIN VALLELY Buílle (Compass)
PETER HIMMELMAN My Green Kite (Rounder)
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS Countrypolitan Favorites (Yep Roc)
THE FRAMES The Cost (Anti-/Epitaph)
THE MAGIC NUMBERS Those the Brokes (Capitol)
THE SILOS Come On Like The Fast Lane (Bloodshot)
THE YOUNG KNIVES Voices of Animals and Men (Ryko/Transgressive)
VIKTOR KRAUSS Viktor Krauss II (Back Porch)
In 1993, I was first introduced to the music of Lucinda Williams. Sweet Relief was the name of the benefit record, and Lucinda joined other artists such as Michael Penn, The Jayhawks, Lou Reed, Maria McKee, Michelle Shocked, and others to help Victoria Williams pay her medical bills.
When it comes to compilation records, they can be hit or miss. This one was a big hit – especially for me, as I was introduced to the music of so many talented artists – many of which still actively play and record music today.
Out of of all the tracks on Sweet Relief, Lucinda’s song "Main Road" jumped out at me. Apparently, she has been recording those types of songs her entire career. Her album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road still makes many Americana music fans’ top ten lists.
Her new album West comes out today. And just like many of her prior albums, Americana radio has latched right to it. It currently sits at the #2 spot on the Americana Album Chart. Don’t be surprised to see it go #1 as early as next week.
Available In Stores/Online February 13 (via Triplearadio.com)
ANAIS MITCHELL The Brightness (Righteous Babe/Music Allies)
LUCINDA WILLIAMS West (Lost Highway)
PO’ GIRL Home To You (Nettwerk)
SOPHE LUX Waking The Mystics (Zarthustra)
STORYHILL Storyhill (Signature Sounds)
VAN MORRISON At The Movies – Soundtrack Hits (Including The Departed’s "Comfortably Numb" live with Roger Waters) (EMI)
VIEUX FARKA TOURE Vieux Farka Toure (World Village)
YOUNG DUBLINERS With All Due Respect: The Irish Sessions (429)
For those who haven’t heard the music of Patty Griffin yet, you are
in for a treat. For those who have,
well, you already know what a songstress she is. Her highly-anticipated record drops today, and
if that isn’t enough, she’ll be performing on The Late Show with David
Letterman this Thursday…
Available In Stores/Online February 6 (via Triplearadio.com)
BARE NAKED LADIES Bare Naked Ladies Are Men (Desperation)
BELINDA CARLISLE Voila! (Rykodisc)
BLOC PARTY Weekend in the City (Vice)
JELLY ROLL MORTON The Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax
JESSE SYKES & THE HEREAFTER Like, Love, Lust… (Barsuk)
JOE ELY Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch (Rack ‘Em)
KELLER WILLIAMS Dream (SCI Fidelity)
OVER THE RHINE Discount Fireworks – A Collection (Back Porch)
PATTY GRIFFIN Children Running
RICKIE LEE JONES Sermon On Exposition Boulevard (New West)
RUTHIE FOSTER The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn)
SONDRE LERCHE Phantom Punch (Astralwerks)
THE APPLES IN STEREO New magnetic Wonder (Yep Roc)
THE CAT EMPIRE Two Shoes (Velour)
TYRONE WELLS Hold On (Universal Republic)
VARIOUS ARTISTS 8-Bit Operators (Kraftwerk covers) (Astralwerks)
YOKO ONO Yes, Im a Witch (Astralwerks)