Category: Singer / Songwriter

Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith ‘Evidence’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#990 in the Series) is Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith, Evidence It was 65 degrees here in Chicago a couple of short days ago. Within 10 hours it was down to 32. Yes, it was freezing.  I tell you that weather tale as I lead into a piece on this great album by Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith titled Evidence.  Why you might have asked? I mention that because I’ve always had certain albums that I associate with the different seasons or even sometime more specifically a certain time of that season. I could never listen to Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe in the dead of summer because no one “trudges across the tundra” in...

Nanci Griffith “One Fair Summer Evening”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#977 in the Series ) is Nanci Griffith, One Fair Summer Evening. “Variety; Learning about different types of music; bringing different genres to different people.”   These were just some of the objectives that we publically discussed when we started this project just about a year ago. We’re most definitely going to continue in that direction tonight.  This is one of those albums that requires you to “be in the proper” mood. However, when you are, this album is about as good as it gets. “What mood is that?” you ask?  Mostly a mellow feeling I’d say, interested in hearing some wonderfully written songs being sung by a woman with a marvelous voice that...

Warren Zevon ‘The Wind’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#975 in the Series) is Warren Zevon, The Wind In the final episode of season 2 of the hit Showtime series Californication, down on his self-inflicted luck, writer Hank Moody has just finished a book project and is ready to begin his post-project ritual. “Every time I finish a book, It’s Whiskey, Weed and Warren Zevon, It’s the little things” he says, while ”Keep Me in your Heart” plays delicately in the background. “Keep Me In Your Heart” is the emotional core of The Wind, the last album that Warren Zevon made prior to his death of lung cancer in September of 2003. The album was already in the works in late August...

Justin Townes Earle “Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#973 in the Series) is Justin Townes Earle, Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot Records) When your father is one of the best singer-songwriters in the business and you are named after another about whom Steve Earle once said “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that”, the expectations are very high, and with his most recent release for Bloodshot records, Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, Justin Townes Earle, the son of Steve Earle and the step-son of Allison Moorer, has emerged in his own...

Tim Finn ‘Escapade’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#965 in the Series) is Tim Finn, Escapade By the time 1982 ended, the Split Enz where a hot band.  Their album Time and Tide had done quite well for them, thank you.   Neil Finn was looking forward to getting a follow up on the street. His brother Tim had other ideas. Tim wanted to get a solo release into the market.  Both things ended up happening. In later 1983, the Split Enz would release Conflicting Emotions, while Tim released, Escapade.  Both fine albums.  As it turned out, Tim did spend much of his time completing this album. This left Neil to pretty much completely compose Conflicting Emotions. I’ve always loved this Escapade. I...

Shawn Colvin “A Few Small Repairs”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#956 in the Series) is Shawn Colvin, A Few Small Repairs  A Few Small Repairs is one of those albums that takes love gone wrong and turns what could be a litany of heartbreak and “woe-is-me”  into an autobiographical  purging, and the listener goes along for the ride with some soaring beautiful melodies punctuated with  hard-knock lessons.  Colvin didn’t come to the making of this album without a lot of hard work, learning guitar in her childhood in South Dakota and performing in The King and I as a teen, then like most of us had some twists and turns which led to this release, her fourth, in 1996. The album opens...

Cat Stevens ‘Teaser and The Firecat’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#950 in the Series)  is Cat Stevens, Teaser and The Firecat. I was going to feature Catch Bull at Four because it contains “Boy With the Moon and Star on His Head” but went with Teaser and The Firecat instead. I love that song but I’ve read that it’s one of the few songs that Cat Stevens recorded years ago that he’s actually embarrassed about. Sometimes when I do some research for these pieces you learn little nuggets that you didn’t know about and they catch you totally by surprise.  For instance, I learned when looking up Teaser and the Firecat that Rick Wakeman of Yes fame played keys on the top 40 hit “Morning Has...

Various Artists “Tribute to Steve Goodman”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#944 in the Series) is Tribute To Steve Goodman. 30years. It’s hard for me to believe that Steve Goodman has been gone for almost 30 years. It’s seems like yesterday that I was seeing him at Harry Hopes or Braden Auditorium in Bloomington, Illinois. Steve passed away in September of 1984.  Shortly after his passing, many of his friends gathered at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago.  They told stories, played some of his music and some of theirs as well. I was lucky enough to be there. For those who weren’t, we’re treated to this recording. One of Steve’s closest friends was John Prine. We get lots of John here!  He opens...

Karla Bonoff “Karla Bonoff’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#938 in the Series) is the eponymous debut from Karla Bonoff Karla Bonoff is almost the female version of J.D. Souther.  Like J.D., she was a denizen of Laurel Canyon and hung with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, and the rest of the cosmic cowboys. The two also shared the unique gift of song-craft that perfectly suited the times and the country-rock vibe that was permeating the L.A. scene in the early to mid-seventies. Also like Souther, Karla made a name for herself with her songs that were recorded by other artists most notably “Home” that was recorded by Bonnie Raitt, as well as “Someone To...

Lyle Lovett ‘Lyle Lovett’

Today’s Cool album of the Day (# 928 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Lyle Lovett Lyle Lovett burst into national prominence with his Pontiac album in 1987. That was the release that gave us some of his best known tunes such as “If I Had a Boat” and “She’s No Lady.”  Some people never looked to see that he had another spectacular record the year prior. I’m referring to his debut, which was simply called Lyle Lovett. I’ve always been a fan of debut albums.  To me it seems that the one thing that many of them have it common is that they are rarely overproduced.  Why, because most of these new acts don’t have the budget...

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