Category: Singer / Songwriter

Paul Simon “Hearts and Bones”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#750) is Paul Simon, Hearts and Bones. Hearts and Bones could be considered the “Lost Paul Simon Album.”  It wasn’t Simon and Garfunkel. It wasn’t Still Crazy, It wasn’t Graceland.  It was between all those classics and never received it’s proper due.  Well not until now. I myself hadn’t even played this for quite sometime.  Recently I was on facebook and saw a video by Al Di Meola.  In the thread beneath it, there was a comment that mentioned how Di Meola had “the most pick control” of anyone he could think of. Then I thought, “Al Di Meola and pick control, hmmm” .. I could only think of one solo. ...

John Fullbright “From The Ground Up”

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#744 in the Series) is John Fullbright, From The Ground Up. (Blue Dirt Records) I would venture to say that most of you have never heard of John nor this album as of yet and  I think that’s a big yet. I happened to catch a review of the record on NPR’s website. When I see a record review that mentions the names Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman in one sentence – I kind of had to take notice. But I don’t want you to think that this is a record that doesn’t stand on its own merits. To say that Fullbright was just relying on those influences would...

Harry Chapin "Sniper and other Love Songs"

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#730 in the Series) is Harry Chapin, Sniper and other Love Songs. We’re going back to the singer/songwriter genre today for a 1972 release by master storyteller, Harry Chapin. Harry is one  of the few artists that I’ve always been interested in, but never had a chance to see perform live.  As many of you know, Harry’s been gone for years so that chance has passed. There are other Chapin albums that I could have chosen that would have given me  much more popular material to cover, however  I chose this album for one song, “Sniper.” It is quite possibly the most powerful song I’ve ever heard in all my life.  It clocks...

Bonnie Koloc “Rediscovered”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#715 in the Series) is Bonnie Koloc, Rediscovered Bonnie Koloc arrived in Chicago from Iowa in 1968. Although she was closely associated with the Earl of Old Town, her first club date was at the Quiet Knight, which was then located on Wells Street at that time. 1973 marked the release of her first record on Ovation. Many albums followed with the current release, Rediscovered. Representing her 15th recorded outing, Bonnie has been known for her original material along with her fine interpretations of songs by other songwriters. Her repertoire crosses many musical genres from folk to jazz and blues, giving her wide appeal to a broad based audience… Time for full...

Pat Green “Songs We Wish We’d Written II”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#706 in the Series) is Pat Green, Songs We Wish We’d Written II In 2001, Pat Green, Texas Troubadour and “Grasshopper” to Texas Hill Country “Sensei’s” Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Ely, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Tommy Alverson, released an album along with Cory Morrow that was called Songs We Wish We’d Written. The record as the name implies included an eclectic stable of songs that had become standards in their respective live shows and were tunes that had artistically influenced both of the young singer-songwriters.  Some of the songs featured were straight up country classics like the Waylon Jennings hit “Are You Sure Hank Does it That Way” and the Jerry Jeff...

Carole King “The Legendary Demos”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#698 in the Series) is Carole King, The Legendary Demos Carole King demos have been floating around the music industry for as long as I can remember. Some sounded really good.  This release is the first time that some of those have hit the streets on an official basis. Let’s say, it’s been worth the wait. This package was released late last month and it covers about a decade of Carole’s early writing career.  These songs are indeed demo versions, but they are not solo demos. Many of the songs do indeed have a small band playing with her, some songs however are just her. I have a close friend that always...

Jimmy Webb “Just Across the River”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#697 in the Series) is Jimmy Webb, Just Across the River If you stopped right now and wrote down your five favorite songs the odds are that a Jimmy Webb song would be among them.   The list might include “Wichita Lineman”, “By the Time I get to Phoenix”, or even “Galveston”.  Whichever one is chosen the songs of Jimmy Webb wrap around us like a warm snuggy and have been the soundtrack of our lives for many of us. The list of artists that have covered his songs range from Jackson Browne to Dionne Warwick, and of course his own personal muse (or is it the other way around?), the Rhinestone Cowboy...

Richard and Linda Thompson “Shoot Out The Lights”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#671 in the Series) is Richard and Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights. I love year-end “best of” write-ups.  I don’t know why, since like we’ve talked about before, music isn’t a competition unless you’re in high school and playing in a “Battle of the Bands” contest.  I guess you could say that all bands are in competition for airplay and sales, but I think you know what I mean. I remember when Shoot Out the Lights was released in 1982. This album was on just about every list I read.  I knew of them, but hadn’t heard much of this record.  The same can be said for their previous band, Fairport Convention.  I knew...

Bill Quateman "Bill Quateman"

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#669 in the Series) is the debut self-titled album by Singer / Songwriter Bill Quateman. In 1972 I heard a song on WXRT called ‘Changing of the Guard.’ ‘XRT has always given a run down on what they had just played. Usually as a set.  I loved the song and waited to hear who it was by.  Well That’s when I first heard the name Bill Quateman. So made my trek to Hegewisch Records and bought his debut.  Mind you I didn’t look at the song list. Well somehow I got the album wrong.  The song I heard was Steely Dan.  But I screwed up what I was looking for and ended...

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

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#663 in the Series) is Justin Townes Earle, Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot Records)– NEW MUSIC REVIEW 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...

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