Category: Singer / Songwriter

Matraca Berg “Lying To The Moon”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#905 in the Series) is Matraca Berg, Lying to the Moon (RCA) So many perks, so many cool events, so many goodies and “what-nots.”  When I look back on my days in music distribution, you never knew from which angle the next cool thing was going to hit you.  One of the things I liked best was when one of the labels would bring in someone to perform at our conventions.  That was the way that this lovely songbird’s music would be introduced to me. Yes, it now has been over 20 years. How much did I love this record? Well, like I said, it’s 20 years  later and I’m still playing it,...

Warren Zevon ‘The Wind’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#903 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...

Rosanne Cash ‘The River & the Thread’

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#901 in the Series) is Rosanne Cash,The River & The Thread.   Many people will to want to know – is this a country album, a folk album, an Americana / Alt-country album? Well – yes to all three but primarily I think it’s a Southern album. Each of the songs are finely crafted short stories in the great Southern tradition. They each work all by themselves telling a story that’s either from the Cash family history or a work of fiction. They also work together to paint a portrait of the South that is equal to the best Southern fiction writing. There are songs of family, a feeling of community or the...

Tom Russell ‘Heart on a Sleeve’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#897 in the Series) is Tom Russell, Heart on a Sleeve  Going back to Lukenbach with Waylon, Willie, and the boys, Texas has been ground zero for singer songwriters. With a couple of them you only need to mention their first names to experience the magic. With others, two first names may be necessary. Just ask Jerry Jeff, Billy Joe, or Jimmie Dale, and with Bob Wills you only need to hear a few notes to understand that he is still The King, but the true beauty of the Texas music scene is the regional diversity and eclectic musical differences you can experience depending on what part of the Lone Star State you...

Judee Sill ‘Judee Sill’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#881 in the Series) is Judee Sill, Judee Sill A charter member of the “should have lived longer” Pearly Gates hall of fame, a musical muse to the Laurel Canyon cosmic cowboy congregation in the 70s’ with a tonal purity that would make Eva Cassidy blush, Judee Sill, an angel that flew too close to the sun also holds the distinction with her debut self-titled record of having the first proper full-length release on David Geffen’s Asylum label. Beating out musical luminaries the likes of Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt and Tom Waits, Closing Time was released on Asylum, Sill earned debut honors largely on the strength of her songwriting.  Her song...

Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) ‘The Low Highway’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Pocket Full Of Rain” by Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)  Steve Earle is an American Storyteller, poet and novelist, and his brand new album is certainly his best and most varied since Transcendental Blues, which came out almost 20 years ago. Recording with his crack live band, The Dukes (& The Duchesses) consisting of Chris Masterson on guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on violin, Kelley Looney on bass, Will Rigby on drums, singer Allison Moorer on piano and Siobhan Kennedy on vocals, makes all the difference in the world here. There’s an electricity that crackles through the grooves on The Low Highway that could only come from a group of musicians...

James Taylor ‘James Taylor’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Knocking ‘Round The Zoo” by James Taylor It is indeed an amazing story as to how a recovering from heroin singer songwriter from America came to the attention of The Beatles in 1968, leading to the release of the first album by an American artist to be released on The Beatles’ newly-christened Apple Records. James Taylor came from a wealthy family and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he learned to play cello and then guitar. The family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts during the summers where he first met Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar at the age of 14. Even at their young age, Kootch realized that Taylor’s singing...

Josh Ritter ‘The Beast In Its Tracks’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#852 in the Series) is Josh Ritter, The Beast In Its Tracks I have come to expect great things from Josh Ritter over the handful of years that I’ve been a fan of his. And were it not for my pawing through a friend’s estate sale and picking up Animal Years because he swore I’d like it, I’m not sure how or when I would have found Josh Ritter. But man, now three LPs and two EPs since that career-defining release, am I ever glad I did. When I heard about the scheduled release of The Beast In Its Tracks  I went all out. I pre-ordered the 180-gram vinyl (with free CD album...

Jimmy Spheeris ‘Isle of View’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#838 in the Series) is Jimmy Spheeris, Isle of View For today’s album review I wanted to pick someone out that has been overlooked for the most part. Jimmie Spheeris had all of the makings to go down as one of the quintessential singer-songwriters of the 70s. He had a poetic lyrical sense, a unique voice, and an intriguing history. His poetry conjures up vivid imagery and his voice fits perfectly within the scenery he has laid out. Part of the reason for such an uncanny ability to describe such vibrant settings is probably from his childhood. Jimmie was born into a traveling carnival family. This unique upbringing would be referenced in...

Michael Johnson ‘Moonlit Déja Vu’

Posted 05 Feb 2013 in Folk, Singer / Songwriter

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#832 in the Series) is Michael Johnson, Moonlit  Déja Vu (Red House Records) Moonlit  Déja Vu is Michael  Johnson’s first studio album in 15 years. The album proves that as a producer, songwriter and performer, Michael Johnson is at the top of his game. He is best known for his hit song “Bluer Than Blue” and for several number one Billboard-charting country songs, including “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and “Almost like Being in Love.”  Along with being a great songwriter himself, Michael Johnson has always had the ability to choose great songs written by others.  The minimal instrumentation and great song choices on the new album are reminiscent  of his early albums...

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