Saturday, August 12, 2006

August 12th Play List

This is what I get for waiting for a few weeks to update my play list. There is just so much good music to play for you all and… well here is what I’m adding this week.

Tunisia – two false idols (2006)
This CD originally showed up in my progressive rock mailbox, and although the music is very sophisticated, it really is more singer/songwriter than prog rock. So, here it is: A little proggy, but a fine effort from Ben Craven. You can find out more about Tunisia at: .

World Party – Dumbing Up (2006 or 2000 depending where you live)
Karl survived an aneurysm and is now back touring. This CD released back in 2000 (or maybe 2001) in England, finally gets a U.S. release, making it immediately one of the best CDs of the year. For the full story go to

Bruce Cockburn – Life Short Call Now (2006)
Bruce is one of the best songwriters performing today, and this is another fine release by him. As always there is a mix of political, social and personal lyrics on the CD. He continues to play around a bit with his love of jazz and this time adds a full string orchestra to the mix; making for some very beautiful moments.

Counting Crows – New Amsterdam – Live at Heineken Music Hall February 4-6 2003 (2006)
I’ve always loved the Counting Crows music, but have always thought that Adam Duritz tried too hard in concert. So, I’m always a bit leery of their live CDs. But Adam and the band are in good form here. If you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy this collection.

Los Lonely Boys – Sacred (2006)
I almost didn’t pick up this CD. It has been so hard for me to get past the fact that they rocked so hard a few years ago at the ACL Festival, and although I loved the first CD, I thought the touring after they started to become popular seemed to lack the emotion we saw the first time around (wow, that was one long sentence… sorry). But, I did pick it up and I’m glad. Some horns on the opening track, “My Way”, signal that this is going to be an interesting follow up. And it is. This is a fine CD that leaves no doubt that the brothers LLB are red blooded Texicans. Moving from Stevie to Carlos, many of the songs seem made for live guitar jams (well of course). But they are also well written and interesting. If you liked the first CD, I think you will enjoy this one too. On these hot days of July, listening to this CD makes me feel like I’m sitting in a Texas bar sweating and rockin’.

Golden Smog – Another Fine Day (2006)
This Mid West super group has put out a very strong pop classic. It is probably closer to the Jayhawks than Wilco and truthfully, at times it is closer to the classic pop from early 70’s bands like Bandfinger, Paul McCartney or Emitt Rhodes than the alt-country scene. I love this CD and am going to have trouble keeping it out of the CD player.

Alice Peacock – Who I Am (2006)
This is a beautiful CD with some nice arrangements (it never hurts to have Daphne and Lea from The Section Quartet behind you). Piano based, Alice balances her pop styling with songs about personal growth and self discovery. Alice is on Myspace at .

Nils Lofgren – Sacred Weapon (2006)
He is one of rock and rolls great guitar players (what does Bruce call him? The Godfather of the rock ‘n roll or something like that?) This is a beautiful album though, with wonderful songs about love and life and great guitar licks in between. If you’ve never given Nils much thought other than his role in the E Street Band, you should give this CD a try. And check out his website at .

Bob Schneider – The Californian (2006)
If “The Californian” sounds like a live CD, it is because it almost is. Recorded in just 4 days, this CD succeeds and fails because of it. For such a fast recording, the production is excellent. There are no bad songs on this CD, but, for a Bob Schneider CD the diversity of sounds seems less than usual. It is almost as if we are being given a glimpse into a week in Bob’s musical life. That week is very rock and roll with no ebbs and flows. This CD is pretty much straight ahead and that is where it suffers. Maybe I’m being a bit hard on Bob, but he is so talented you hope for perfection with each CD. I know that this will be one of the CDs I listen to the most over the course of this year, but Bob can do better. Vanguard picked up several of Bob’s older CDs along with this one. So, if you have holes in your Bob Schneider collection, now’s the time to fill them. And do pick this one up because beyond my harsh words, it is an excellent CD. Bob’s website is: . Oh, and one more thing… Mud House is easily one of the best party songs you’re going to hear all year. It may not be as good as a live version, but trust me, not only will you be hooked, but you can take this one over to your 20 something friends and they’ll love it too!

Steven James Band – Get Up & Run (2006)
Do you remember the days when groups like R.E.M., Guadalcanal Diary and Big Country ruled? The Steven James Band feels like the younger brother of these bands. And that is a welcome relief from all this “Modern Rock”. This is a solid indie album worth checking out.

Spoon – Gimme Fiction (2005)
My cousin’s son, Adam, has been bugging me to check out Spoon for some time now. He loves this band, and for good reason. These guys have all the talent needed to make it big. There is a strong 60’s pop influence, but they are not in any way retro. There is lots of flair, lots of energy, lots of power… lots of fun. Do not miss this band.

Tom Petty – Highway Companion (2006)
Rolling Stone called him the most consistent performer over the last 30 years (or something like that), and you just can’t argue with that. This is another good CD from Tom. Jeff Lynne is behind the scenes (although when Jeff produces you can not really call it “behind”, since his style is so up front). Just buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

Alec Gross & The Districts - Win?orLose? (2006)
Anyone who creates a song called, “Joni Mitchell Was Right”, gets included on my play list, no questions asked. But seriously, this is that fun Southern tinged rock that we all know and love. You’ll tape your feet while listening and feel really trapped in your car because you can’t get up and dance. For more info on Alec and his Districts you can go to either or .

And of course, along with these new adds, we have more music from Dave Manning, Aya Peard, Tina Dico, Jen Chapin, Melissa McCelland, Etienne de Rocher , Jill Sobule, and Kristy Kruger . You can hear all of this and more at: .

Thanks for listening,


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