Jose Gonzalez – Veneer (2005) The sticker on the CD describes him as Nick Drake with a Latin guitar. And, yep, that’s it. If you like Nick Drake, you must listen to this CD. It is beautiful and moving, with a sound that is both derivative and yet original. You can put this up front and listen carefully, or play it at your next dinner party and watch how people slowly notice the mood of the music. This is one helluva CD. http://www.jose-gonzalez.com
Eliza Gilkyson – Paradise Hotel (2005) Maybe the next queen of alt-country, this is really my first taste of Eliza; and she tastes very good. The arrangements are simple and yet very expressive. Her voice is so comforting. The songs bounce around between folk, country and straight forward singer/songwriter. And then she covers World Party’s “Is It Like Today”. The song, about God, the universe and everything, fits her songs so well. There is also a fascinating combination of her song Paradise Hotel with Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale”. http://www.redhouserecords.com/
Richard Thompson - Front Parlour Ballads (2005) It’s heavily acoustic, but that doesn’t matter. Richard Thompson is one of the great guitar players, acoustic or electric. And he is such a great storyteller, taking you into working class lives and reve
James McMurtry – Childish Things (2005) Some good alt-country here; with a rockin’ edge. Another good CD for you all to listen to. http://www.jamesmcmurtry.com
Procol Harum – Classics Volume 17 (A Long Time Ago) So, you know that I’m going to segue A Whiter Shade of Pale and Eliza Gilkyson’s “Paradise Hotel”. I just have to. Procol Harum is one of the great bands in rock history. They moved between elegant (“A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Conquistador”) and rockin’ (“Simple Sister” and “Whisky Train”) then throwing in epic stories like “A Salty Dog”. Every so often I just have to put this CD on and let it take me back to a lost world.
Boz Scaggs – Boz Scaggs (1969) Long before Boz was the disco king (okay, I’m being rude here, but he was so friggin’ popular with the “dance” crowd back then), he was a great representative of the
Randy Newman – Little Criminals (1977) He is one of
Nuggets – Disk 4 (1998) This 4 CD set should be required listening for anyone who wants to tag “Rock and roll fan” on to their profile. The two LP set was expanded by Rhino into an amazing collection of music. Hmmm, okay, I’ve probably mention this 3 times before. Enough said.