Tuesday, September 14, 2010
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 9/14/10
Two records by two legends are released today, and both feel like strong contenders for my year end Top Ten list.
Mavis Staples' "You Are Not Alone" has not come off of the turntable since I received a beautiful vinyl copy last week. Produced by Jeff Tweedy and featuring members of Wilco, this record couldn't be a more perfect match of artist and producer.
There are some Tweedy originals, traditional gospel songs, and some inspired covers of Randy Newman, Little Milton, Allen Toussaint, John Fogerty and the Rev. Gary Davis. And while I loved Staples' last release, 2007's Ry Cooder produced "We'll Never Turn Back," there were no real surprises there. It was a solid gospel effort, with all involved delivering big time. What more could you ask for?
It's here though, where Jeff Tweedy opens up a few more doors for Mavis. CCR's "Wrote A Song For Everyone" almost rocks, the Reverend's "I Belong To The Band," has turned into a Northern Soul rave up, and Tweedy's mesmerizing title cut will bring you to your knees.
Robert Plant's new effort is yet another display of reinvention, and dare I say it, may even be better than his Grammy winning collaboration with Alison Krauss.
The model for the Buddy Miller produced "Band Of Joy" is similar to "Raising Sand," with Plant choosing some fairly obscure covers and turning them into an almost, cosmic country collection. But like Jeff Tweedy did with Mavis Staples, Buddy Miller expands a little bit more than T-Bone Burnett did on 2007's "Raising Sand." The addition of Patty Griffin, Bekka Bramlett and Darrell Scott on backing vocals, adds some brightness to this record, that at times seemed too obviously missing from the T-Bone production.
Plant's voice is aging wonderfully, and his continued efforts to abandon the Zep sound should not discourage the old fans from checking this record out.
MAVIS STAPLES- YOU ARE NOT ALONE
ROBERT PLANT- BAND OF JOY
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
TREY ANASTASIO BAND- TAB AT THE TAB
RICHARD BARONE- GLOW
BLACK ANGELS- PHOSPHENE DREAM
CHOCOLATE GENIUS INC.- SWANSONGS
LEONARD COHEN- SONGS FROM THE ROAD
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE- HARLEM RIVER BLUES
(Full Amazon Download just $2.99)
GRINDERMAN- GRINDERMAN 2