Tuesday, February 16, 2010
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 2/16/10
JIM CAMPILONGO- ORANGE
"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.
CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS- GENUINE NEGRO JIG
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.
JOSH CHARLES- LOVE, WORK AND MONEY
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!
NICK CURRAN & THE LOWLIFES- REFORM SCHOOL GIRL
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.
JASON FALKNER- I'M OK, YOU'RE OK
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.
FIELD MUSIC- MEASURE
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.
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND- PRESERVATION
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.
Blind Boys of Alabama
There really isn't a bad track here, but I have to admit, the Richie Havens track is otherworldly. Go buy this NOW!
BILL WITHERS- 'JUSTMENTS
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!