Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 2/16/10


"Little Willie," (you know, that cool-ish, Norah Jones, side project) session man and guitarist extraordinaire Jim Campilongo releases a smart collection of originals and covers, showcasing not only his chops on the axe, but his impeccable taste. This is not one of those guitar-player geek "show-off" records. There is real music here, with some killer versions of songs by The Stooges, Duke Ellington, and Jagger/Richards.


Yes, banjo-driven music can be cool and accessible. It's not always about Jed Clampett, and on their Nonsuch debut, the Carolina Chocolate Drops will suck you in with their good time grooves. The jam band kids love'em.


New York born, but nothing but New Orleans in his blood, the insanely talented Josh Charles releases his debut, with some heavy talent on board. Watching Charles play piano will no doubt bring to mind his heroes, James Booker and Dr. John, and with the good Doctor's band on board for this recording, Charles shows his soul and soulful vocals, as well. Great debut!


It's not too early in 2010 to call a record the "best of the year" when it is this good. Curran and band are kicking my ass with Little Richard-inspired rock and roll, authentic production and giant balls. Check out my Huffington Post piece over HERE and give it a listen.


Power pop cult figure, talented sideman, and smart songwriter in his own right, ex-Jellyfish/Grays alum Jason Falkner sees his 2007 release finally get US distribution. Tweaked a bit with a few remixes, and two vinyl only bonus tracks, "I'm Ok, You're Ok" is a worthwhile release with some truly infectious melodies.


I am hearing a little bit of XTC's "English Settlement," and The Beatles' "White Album" here. Mojo magazine heard the same, as well as Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk." There's some amazingly catchy music on "Measure," but be forewarned, it runs 77 minutes and that's about 40 minutes too long when you're not XTC, The Beatles, or Fleetwood Mac.


At first glance, this may look a nightmare for purists. I am not a purist and I was thinking, "What the hell is this randomly picked group of artists doing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band?" But after one listen, or in my case now, about a dozen listens, you'll know.

This record, recorded to benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, is absolutely wonderful. It is not a showcase, per se, for the special guests, which include Tom Waits, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Ani Difranco and Richie Havens, though every one them (I'll get to the full roster in a second) shines on their collaboration. My fear was that the artists would try to make these standards more like themselves and I just wasn't in the mood for My Morning Jacket covering "Louisiana Fairy Tale." But it's not like that. Every single artist embraces the tradition and delivers.

The band sounds great, as they run through familiar musical territory, and the vocals by the guests are truly inspired.


Louis Armstrong
Andrew Bird
Terence Blanchard
Pete Seeger
Dr. John
Blind Boys of Alabama
Brandi Carlile
Cory Chisel
Ani DiFranco
Steve Earle
Merle Haggard
Richie Havens
Jason Isbell
Jim James
Angelique Kidjo
Amy LaVere
Anita Briem
Del McCoury
Buddy Miller
Paolo Nutini
Tom Waits

There really isn't a bad track here, but I have to admit, the Richie Havens track is otherworldly. Go buy this NOW!


This record was about to be uploaded as part of my "Lost Tracks" series, but it now sees the light of day on CD. Yes, I know "Just As I Am" and "Still Bill" are considered to be "the ones," but trust me on this. "'Justments" is Bill's best!


mgiltz said...

Justments absolutely stands alongside Still Bill as a high point of his career. You already shared "Railroad Man," which is truly a funky surprise.

But as for the Preservation album and the guest artists, I thought Louis Armstrong was dead.

Noam Sane said...

Hey Sal, great to see you giving Jim C. a shout out, and in the lead-off spot as well. He's a monster.

I was fortunate to live in SF in the 90's, and Jim had a weekly Friday happy-hour residency upstairs at the Paradise. The sounds that guy could get from a Tele plugged straight into a Fender amp...just appalling. In the best way.

When I studied with him, he sang the praises of Roy Nichols (particularly "Live from Muskogee") and Roy Buchanan (especially the first album). He taught me some cool pedal-steel style licks that always get me some attention when I whip 'em out.

Got his own Tele model now ($4K), hangs with Nora Jones. I keep an eye on him because he's one of the great guitarists of our time.

By the way, the other stuff on your list looks good too...will make a purchase or 2 tonight after work. Love Tuesdays around here. Thanks again.

The Phantom Creep said...

Where the hell is Bill Withers, anyway? I saw him do a "What am I Listening To?" thing in MOJO a month or two ago, and I remember thinking -- sheesh, I'm glad he's still alive.

Sal Nunziato said...

Creep...just saw a documentary on Bill Withers that was not bad. First half grabs you, as you see some early clips and what he is up to now. It's starts to peter out when he begins to tell you he has no desire to record again, but then he's inspired to make a Cuban record. Frustrating.

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks Noam. Really love "Orange," even if I'm not a tech-y.

Meanstreets said...

" Street Date " refers to not only CD releases, but also " live " performances....

Dave Alvin at The City Winery in Soho....02/16/2010

Two thoughts during his performance of " Abilene " :

I can't wait to be back in TEXAS in a few weeks....

And, I wish Burning Wood was here to hear this....