Sunday, April 16, 2006

This Weeks Play List

Jeremiah Lockwood – American Primitive (2005)
What a fascinating CD. Jeremiah’s music is so totally unique and yet it is steeped in the many traditions of Americana: Traditional Blues, folk, bluegrass all are here. Experience it yourself at:

Traveling Wilburys – Vol 1 (1988) Vol 3 (1990)
It all started at Penny Lane Records in Pasadena. They had a Russian import of the 2 Wilburys CDs. When I tried to buy it I found out that it had already been sold; however they couldn’t find the cover (they keep the actual CDs behind the counter). I got a nice, “thanks for finding it”. No finders fee, nothing. But then the guy in charge says, “We have Vol 3 in stock”. Okay, cool. He finds it for me and off I go, generally happy with at least buying the real thing. Of course, listening to this fun CD made me want Vol 1 even more. So, on to Ebay I went and 12 hours later I was the owner of both Traveling Wilburys CDs. These aren’t important CDs. And maybe if they weren’t out of print I might not have cared as much. But, they are a reminder of how much fun rock and roll can be. The word on the Internet is that George was working on a box set when he died and that now his son has picked up the project. Someday these unimportant and yet essential CDs will be available once again.

Skydiggers & Cash Brothers – Skydiggers Cash Brothers (2005)
The Skydiggers and the Cash Brothers are both integral parts of the Canadian alt-country scene. It has been several years (at least) since the Cash brothers left the Skydiggers to start up their own successful band. Late last year they got back together to do this low cost reunion type acoustic CD. Listening, I felt like I was in a big overstuffed chair. The feel here is comfortable and relaxed as the main songwriters from each band trade off compositions and vocals. I believe this is only available on their websites. Do check it out.

Rufus Wainwright – Poses (2001)
While I’m writing this, my IPOD starts playing “Dead Skunk”; the first single from Rufus’ father, Loudon. That has nothing to do with this, just thought it was funny. Anyway, Stacey, recently reviewed this CD on her blog and I was so taken by the review I decided it was time to own a Rufus Wainwright CD. After listening to Poses for the first time, I couldn’t help but feel like I had just come out of a Broadway play. That is not to say that these are “Broadway tunes”. Okay, maybe they are, but they are really good “Broadway tunes”. I’m not one to sit down and listen to a musical but I can see myself enjoying this on a rainy day, like today, or a cold night in front of the fireplace. It is soothing, yet edgy. And his voice is just so beautiful and inspired. The bonus track, “Across the Universe” demonstrates this perfectly. Thanks Stacey.

Janis Ian – Billie’s Bones (2004)
Janis Ian has been making music now for 40 years! Her outspoken nature has served her music well throughout the years. This CD takes an interesting and successful move into country. It isn’t a full blown country/alt-country CD, but that feel permeates it. There is a wonderful duet with Dolly Parton which highlights this new direction. But… Janis Ian is and has always been one of the greatest singer/songwriters we have. And it shows in the excellent CD. “Billie’s Bones” deserves so much more attention then it received. Please, go support Janis at

Toad the Wet Sprocket – Dulcinea (1994)
I spent most of the 90’s listening to women (this would be a good place to put in an ex joke, but…) and Glen Phillips and his band were so popular it was easy to just ignore them (I still can’t believe I ignored a band that derived their name from a Monty Python skit). I do remember seeing them during the “Rock The Vote” tour. I was there to see 10,000 Maniacs but came away in awe of T-Bone Burnett. And why didn’t I get the hint that I should have been listening when Glen said to the crowd how excited he was to be in the same building as Sam Phillips (she didn’t perform that night)? So, here I am, years later listening to their CDs for the first time. But you all already know about them: Great production, lush arrangements, beautiful tunes. Listening to Dulcinea is an overall enjoyable experience. I guess I’m going to have to listen to the rest of them.

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