The new music this year is already starting to role in. I'm hoping to have this all up and playing by the weekend. And there is more coming. But for now, here are some of the artists I will be playing next week.
Peter Himmelman - The Mystery and the Hum (2009)
Sometimes bluesy, sometimes rockin',sometimes funny and always intriguing, Peter Himmelman gives us another excellent CD with this digital and vinyl only release. As always, this is intelligent rock with lyrics worth pulling the lyric sheet out. Oh wait, the digital version comes with no lyric sheet. Well, at least you get to chose your price. You can buy this at http://www.peterhimmelman.com . This will be on my best of list in 9 months.
Jill Sobule - California Years (April 14, 2009)
The California years have been good to Jill, with lots of good music here. Jill is an artist that has just never gotten the respect from the press that she deserves. Her new CD continues her recent trend of using a sentence based structure for her lyrics, which actually works since these are more stories than songs. The songs are immediately likable and fun and funny and they just make me want to see her in concert, where she really shines. And the song that shines the most is "San Francisco", about an Asian masseuse who seems trapped in her job and dreams of going to San Francisco some day. "Where is Bobbie Gentry", pulls its melody from "Ode to Billy Joe" and is classic Jill. Even the serious songs leave you smiling. This CD is also famous for being funded by her fans. I believe they got their money's worth. The CD has been distributed to "donors" and will be available to the rest of us in April.
Graham Isaacson - The Primer EP (2009)
His voice is a cross between Tom Waits and Jon Dee Graham; although not as gravelly as either of them. The music is part singer/songwriter part Americana with just a touch of bluesy jazz here and there; and the melodies are captivating. Definitely someone to check out. http://www.myspace.com/grahamisaacson
Naomi Sommers - Gentle as the Sun (2008)
This started out as another nice folk/Americana CD. And then song 2, "Hypnotizing" came on. Sounding almost like a female Calexico, the sound gets dreamy and then the combination of Madeline and trumpet grabs you and makes you smile. There are a couple of other songs that are mesmerizing on this CD and combined with the solid songwriting makes this an artist worth watching; and listening to. You can find out more at http://www.naomisommers.com/
Raul Malo - Lucky One (2009)
He can sing the phone book and we'll all give him a standing ovation. Still, it is nice when the songs are actually good. And they sure are on "Lucky One". Most of the songs will take you back to the music of 45 to 50 years ago. This is so much better than his interpreting songs of that era, which is what "After Hours" did. There is an energy here, even on the slow songs. If you've enjoyed Raul or The Mavericks, even a little, you will love this CD.
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You (2009)
It's a perfect title for this bouncy pop CD. Lily just can't seem to get rid of guys fast enough; although there are some moments of "I'm in love" from these 12 songs. Honestly, I had no intention of buying this CD. But, Angela McCluskey from the Wild Colonials begged her fans to check out her god daughter. And there are some moments when the music moves past the standard dance pop. I love her "Mockney" accent that penetrates the singing and gives the music a bit of an international feel. "Never Gonna Happen" has a gypsy or eastern European style in its opening. For me, the most fun and the first song I will upload will be "F*** You". This bouncy fun song is as cheerful a blow off song as I've ever heard. It has brought smiles to nearly all the faces that I've played it for.
Paul Vens & Friends - Playing in the Fields (2008)
Beautiful, soft and delicate describe the CD from this Dutch singer/songwriter. At times it almost sounds like Irish folk, but without the accents or fiddle. If you are looking for an artist that can deliver peace to your psyche, Paul Vens' "Playing in the Fields" could be the CD for you. The music is available on ITunes and you can visit his website at http://www.paulvens.nl