Category: Folk Rock

Iron and Wine “Kiss Each Other Clean”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#571 in the Series) is Iron and Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean (Warner Brothers US, 4AD Worldwide) Sam Beam is a chap who may have sneaked under your radar (he did mine for a while), mainly because Iron & Wine is not the type of band to receive mass airplay on radio or T.V.  What they are about, fortunately for us, is crafting superb albums full of beautiful, heartfelt songs. First some details. Iron & Wine is one of those bands that isn’t really a band at all. It’s basically one man, Sam Beam, who writes and sings and plays on everything. It’s pretty much Sam and whoever he chooses to work with...

The Band “Rock of Ages”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day(#555 in the Series and #58 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is The Band, Rock of Ages. (Capitol) Rock of Ages is the first of four “official” live albums by The Band. Most people regard the expansive box set of The Last Waltz to be The Band’s most impressive live statement, but I think a closer listen to Rock of Ages will give an argument that this is not only The Band’s best live album but perhaps one of the top 10 live albums that has ever been released. I’m usually a purist when it comes to original releases vs. reissues. I felt for years that the original double LP released in...

Van Morrison “Astral Weeks”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#500 IN THE SERIES) is Van Morrison, Astral Weeks. Astral Weeks by Van Morrison is the greatest album ever made. By anyone. Ever. A bold statement to make, given the vast amount of albums that Iwould consider “classic” but I’m willing to stand by it. I’ve loved this album for many years, can still listen to it without feeling it’s overfamiliar, and can still marvel at the sheer beauty of the music, the lyrics AND the singing. It’s a shape changer. For the first few, I dunno, hundred?, thousand?, listens you simply don’t know what’s coming next, where the music’s going to go, what flights of lyrical, poetic fancy Van’s going to take...

The Band “Music From Big Pink”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#494 in the Series) is The Band, Music From Big Pink. No, The Band’s 1969 album titled The Band, was not their debut album. That distinction would be given to their 1968 release, Music From Big Pink. I know we have a ton of followers of The Band that visit our site. Yeah, I knew you knew, but many actually don’t. Quite a few people actually. Last week we looked at a great debut album from The Pretenders. We spoke about how that was one of the best debuts in music history.  This one is also in that team picture. When that Pretenders album hit the streets, they were a new act for...

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...

Dion “Wonder Where I’m Bound”

Today’s Cool Album of the day (#490 in the Series) is Dion, Wonder Where I’m Bound When is an album not an album ? Well, in this case it’s when an artist’s old record company decides to gather up a bunch of previously unreleased tracks, recorded years before, and rush-release them to cash in on the artists current success! That’s exactly what happened to Dion in 1969 and, let’s be honest; it was probably no surprise to anyone, just the kind of stunt that record companies pull all the time really. This time around it proved to be a great move though, “Wonder Where I’m Bound”, the album of material they’d rejected before, turned out to be better than...

Edie Brickell and New Bohemians “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#464 in the Series) is Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars One of the things I used to have on the website was the question.. When was the last time you played this album? For me, it had been years since I listened to this one.  I remember always liking it too. It just ran its course after a while.  Something triggered my memory and I thought, yeah, that would be a great one to do.  I went back and listened to it and fell in love with it all over again. I always loved Edie, but I’d forgotten how good New Bohemians were.  In fact, check out their...

John Hiatt “Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#462 in the Series is John Hiatt, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns Sometimes it amazes me how long I’ve been listening to music that John Hiatt either wrote for others, or for himself.  I think the first time I ever heard something written by John was when I would listen to my Three Dog Night, Hard Labor album back in 1974.  He was in good company there, ‘T.D.N.’ always chose some great songwriters, Hoyt Axton, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman etc. I also heard some of his songs when listening to my dear Rosanne Cash albums. Her covers of tunes like “Pink Bedroom” and “The Way We Make a Broken Heart” were two 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...

John Mellencamp “Scarecrow”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#432 in the Series) is John Mellencamp, Scarecrow I was not even close to being a John Mellencamp fan when this was released. I was not even close to ever being interested in buying one of his  albums and definitely was never interested in buying a John Cougar album either.  I will admit that the long version of “I Need a Lover” isn’t too bad; I’ll give him that one. As time went on, I started reading that John wasn’t a big fan of some of the other things either, and he especially wasn’t a fan of the way Riva Records wanted to package him as some a pop star. He’d write and...

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