Fergus McCormick – Jumping The Gun (2005) There is a lady named Ariel who sends me CDs from the artists that she represents; and boy can she pick ‘em. This is one of the best indie releases I’ve heard this year: Great melodies, good storytelling and well produced and arranged. His bio lists lots of artists who he may remind you of and I can’t argue with it. Check out this singer/songwriter yourself at www.fergusmccormick.org . You won’t be sorry.
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – Worlds Apart (2005) This alternative band is wonderfully unique and yet so accessible. There is a sense of humor to go along with the loud guitars and powerful rhythms throughout this CD.
Jorane – the You and the Now (2005) Not too long ago my Google alert for Kate Bush came up with an interview with a French Canadian singer/cellist who goes by the name Jorane. Having the cello as the main instrument was intriguing, but to also have her sound remind the writer of Kate Bush was enough to get me to check her out. What a beautiful unique CD this is. As you might guess, the bass line is the focus of this music. It is soft and moody and although she doesn’t “sound” like Kate Bush, her use of her voice as an instrument does remind you of how Kate works. This CD has been doing a good job of battling for CD player time with Bruce’s new one.
Bruce Springsteen – Devils and Dust (2005) After all the hype what really surprised me about this CD was how well arranged and produced it was: Not that Brendan O’Brien isn’t a good producer. It’s just that with all the comparisons to Tom Joad and
Glenn Tilbrook - Transatlantic Ping Pong (2004) Glenn, for those who don’t know, is half of the songwriting team that makes up Squeeze. He is the half with the Paul McCartney voice. The songs that he just sings purely; they soar. There are several on this, his latest CD. There are also a couple fun songs, including what someday may be a country classic: “Genit
Maia Sharp – Fine Upstanding Citizen (2005) I saw Maia open for Bob Schneider a few years back and really enjoyed her set. This is the first CD of her’s that I’ve listened to and I really enjoyed it. There is great songwriting going on here with good melodies to carry the songs. The title track is a weird way to end this CD (and actually an interesting choice to name the CD after) but it is very funny and sad.
Los Lobos – How Will The Wolf Survive? (1984) The Wolf (Los Lobos) has survived very nicely, thank you. And so has this, their first major release, 20 plus years later. T-Bone Burnett produced this CD which stands to remind us that the L.A./Southern