Friday, November 24, 2006

New Music for November

Dave Stephens – Stories for Copper (2006)
This CD takes me back to the early 70’s when there was a lot of pop in rock. It is a well produced (self-produced in fact) CD with all the hooks in all the right places.

Willy Porter – Available Light (2006)
It has been a few years since Willy has crossed my path (almost 10 years maybe). He still plays a mean guitar and is still a passionate songwriter. Half a dozen CDs or so have slipped by me and after listening to “Available Light”, I feel the need to go back and check them out. He is heads above most singer/songwriters and this is an excellent example. I can’t wait to play some of his music for you all. Willy can be found at .

Patti Witten – Tell The Wind (2006)
It is all about the songwriting. Patti is one of the finest independent songwriters writing today and “Tell The Wind” is a natural follow up to her previous efforts. While many songwriters sing about losing a love, Patti sings about the emotions and feelings that run through you. This is one of those CDs where you are glad there are written lyrics to enjoy as you listen. Go buy all of Patti’s CDs at .

Martha Colby – Across Two Rivers (2005)
The last time I saw Martha, she was playing these amazing cello solos for October Project. When you attack rock from the point of view of a cello, you always seem to get very interesting music. Like Jorane from Canada, Martha’s classical training and beautiful cello playing leads to a very unique CD. Taking chances that most musicians wouldn’t dare take, “Across Two Rivers” pulls you in with her spirited risks and exciting arrangements. Sometimes jazzy, sometimes pure singer/songwriter, this CD is a risk worth taking.

Holly Palmer – Tender Hooks (2004)
I first fell in love with Holly Palmer and her music when she performed with Kenny White in L.A. Her current CD at the time, “I Confess”, was a mix of pop and rock filtered through a jazz vocalist’s sense of being. It is a fantastic CD. “Tender Hooks” predates “I Confess” and you can see where Holly was headed. This CD is less pop and more experimental in its sound. Check out both of Holly’s CDs at

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)
This is their first major label release and although it doesn’t hold up as well as their previous effort, it is The Decemberists, which means they’re unique view on music and the world is a joy to behold.

Ollabelle – Riverside Battle Songs (2006)
The first thing I thought of as I listened to this excellent CD is Eastmountainsouth. With its traditional sound yet polished delivery, this is a CD that takes you back as well as brings you forward. Like the Eastmountainsouth CD it is a pure joy to listen to.

Chris Thile – How to Grow A Woman from the Ground (2006)
When I first saw Chris live (just before his last CD was released), I expected a very bluegrass performance from him and instead got a very singer/songwriter performance and later CD. This time around, I got what I expected the first time. Another good solo effort for Chris.

The Long Winters – Putting The Days To Bed (2006)
I really enjoyed this CD. They remind me a bit of a modern rock version of the Counting Crows without copying from them. This is a solid rockin’ CD.

Damien Rice – 9 (2006)
A couple of years ago, I took my daughter to see Damien in concert. I told her this was very mellow, but really interesting music and that she would love it. Little did I know that there was a loud side to Mr. Rice. Sitting up in the balcony of the Wiltern in L.A., it was an amazing experience. My friend in the pit, had to leave because of the volume though. And so that makes this new CD a perfect realization of the Damien Rice “sound”: Beautiful, powerful and capable of going from a whisper to a scream in an instant. "9" is getting mixed reviews, but I think it is one of this years’ best. Songs like “9 Crimes” and “Elephant” remind you of his previous masterpiece and songs like “Restless Tree” truly show off his anger and pain.

Joanna Newsom – The Milk Eyed Mender (2004)
Not long ago, when there was talk about Kate Bush having a new CD and maybe a tour, I added her name to my Google Alerts. Although Kate never toured, the move has paid off. You see, reviewers love to use artists like Kate as a comparison to their offbeat female artist reviews. First it led me to Jorane, a cellist from Canada. This time it brought me to Joanna Newsom, a singer with a unique sound. She plays the harp and has a voice that is sometimes childlike and innocent. Her harp playing is beautiful. When it is just her and the harp, this CD soars. Joanna’s unique style is worth checking out… right here:

Andy Logan and Paul Needza Friend each sent me mp3’s and I’ve added them to the play list. Andy who’s straight ahead sound was very enjoyable can be found at . Paul who has a potent maybe even combustible sound can be found at . I look forward to hearing more from these guys.

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