Category: Folk

Robert Ellis “Photographs”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#547 in the Series) is Robert Ellis, Photographs. (New West Records) The name Robert Ellis is new to me and all I know about him is that he’s 22 years old, hails from Houston Texas and made quite a reputation for himself at “Whiskey Wednesdays” in a place called Fitzgerald’s. Oh, and he’s just made a totally brilliant album! Now some albums have you hooked from the first few listens whereas others take time to grow on you, working their charms at a nice sedate pace. This one manages to pull off the unique trick of doing both. He’s done that by making a record that has the feel of a defiantly...

John Prine “John Prine”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#508 in the Series) is the debut from John Prine It’s hard to believe it’s now been over 40 years since we first met Donald, Lydia, Sam Stone, the Angel and the Quite Man and all the great characters and interesting people that John told us about on his wonderful debut album. Yet again, the stories are so fresh that when we hear them again it’s almost like hearing them for the first time. Thirteen songs can be found here. I challenge you to find a debut album that has as strong a track listing as this album. It still amazes me that a songwriter could have this many pure and powerful numbers...

Glen Campbell “Ghost on the Canvas”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#493 in the Series) is Glen Campbell, Ghost on the Canvas (Surfdog Records) And then it comes to this… Glen Campbell heads into the studio to record one final album before Alzheimer’s disease strips him of his mind and yes, sadly enough, his final days.  Always one of the most under-appreciated musicians, he gives us this final record and it’s simply masterful. Would I feel differently about these songs if his circumstances were different? To be honest? Probably yeah, but that’s all part of the deal here. His illness led to many of these writings. His illness led to many of these words.  You can’t separate one from the other. It’s all part...

Simon and Garfunkel “The Concert in Central Park”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#491 in the series) is Simon and Garfunkel, The Concert in Central Park. Electric guitars played through a stack of Marshall amps.  Double bass drum sets.  Ten piece horn section. Taurus bass pedals.  Are those powerful? You bet they are.  However, as long as I’ve been going to concerts, I’ve always noticed that nothing is as powerful, nothing can make your spine tingle as much as the power of the human voice.  Nothing can give you a chill like a perfect note by one of those great voices. It still does it for me every time. Art Garfunkel has one of those sets of pipes.  His reading of  “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” is...

Gordon Lightfoot “Sundown”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#485 in the Series) is Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown It’s really interesting to see what people think causes an album to be on their personal, “best of” list. In all actuality, if one hears about 10 percent of what’s released then they’re way ahead of the game.  If one hears 10 percent from even just the bands they love then they’re still probably way ahead of the game.  So why do we love some so, so much, and then there are others by the same artist, that we never even look into? For me, I’ve said many many times before, that I have a strong tendency to lean towards an artist’s albums that I...

Roddy Frame “Surf”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#479 in the Series) is Roddy Frame, Surf I think it would be fair to say that Aztec Camera were one of the very best bands to ever come out of Scotland. Their first two singles were released on the tiny (and now legendary/very influential) independent label Postcard, swiftly followed by a move to Rough Trade. Debut album High Land , Hard Rain (1983)was an utter classic and possibly even the best debut album by a Scots act. That particular gem has already been featured on this site, so its merits need not detain us here. Suffice to say its well worth anyone’s time and attention. The second effort (1984’s “Knife”, produced by...

Chris Hillman “The Other Side”

Posted 17 Aug 2011 in 00s, Albums of 2005, Americana, Bluegrass, Folk

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#468 in the Series) us Chris Hillman, The Other Side. I think most people that are frequent visitors to the Cool Album of the Day site are familiar with our love for “Americana” music are probably familiar with Chris Hillman.  I’m not going to take for granted that that means you!  So before we talk about this 2005 project called The Other Side, allow me to give you a little background on this talented musician. I’m not going to start from the very beginning, that would take hours.  Believe me though when I say it’s a fascinating story.  You would not be wrong by saying that he was one of the originators of the...

Carly Simon “No Secrets”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#453 in the Series) is Carly Simon, No Secrets A “Whale?” You’re actually putting this album in the “Whale Wednesday” category? If you’re questioning that, then you weren’t around in the late 1972 or early ’73.  If you were, you’d have remembered how big this album was. Singer-songwriters were all the rage at this time. A year and a half earlier, Carole King was top of the charts forever it seemed with her masterpiece “Tapestry.” That album was released in March on ’71 and she actually released another album, Music before ’71 was out. Carly’s No Secrets was not another Tapestry, but it may just have had a bigger hit than anything of...

America “America”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#445 in the Series) is the debut, self-titled debut from America America? Cool? I say heck yeah, especially this album. This was 1971. I remember walking up to Roseland Music Store and buying my first ‘45s’ ever. In fact, they were just about the only 45s I even bought. I went pretty much right into albums. That day, however, I did by two. They were two songs by two artists that I think we’re very similar at this time. They were America, “Horse With No Name,” and Neil Young, “Heart of Gold.” Similar, at this stage of their music, absolutely. Listen to Horse With No Name and tell me that that couldn’t be...

Jimmy Buffett “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#438 in the Series) is Jimmy Buffett, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean Well it took us well over 400 albums but we have our first Jimmy Buffett entry.  Not only that, but we’re going way back, all the way back to 1973.  This was before he broke out. He was just getting out of playing folk clubs. Here in Chicago he was still hanging out with all the folkies like John Prine, Steve Goodman, Fred + Ed Holstein etc.  In fact, Steve Goodman was a ‘Coral Reefer’ for this album. He played some really nice lead acoustic on it.  Also, this album was the first time that Jimmy used the...

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