Category: Walt Falconer

Frank Sinatra “In The Wee Small Hours”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#685 in the Series) is Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours Recorded in 1955 In the Wee Small Hours is the ninth studio album and widely considered to be the first set of songs that Frank Sinatra recorded specifically for an L.P.  With songs arranged by the incomparable Nelson Riddle, the album could almost be considered a heart broken follow-up to his more romantically wide-eyed prior release Songs For Young Lovers, and is considered by many to be the first concept album. This time around neither hope nor love springs eternal, and if the song selections on this album are any indication The Chairman of the Board was taking the end...

The Waco Brothers and Paul Burch “Great Chicago Fire”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#683 in the Series) is The Waco Brothers and Paul Burch, Great Chicago Fire   If  Great Chicago Fire, the most recent Bloodshot Records release by the fantastic Alternative Country act The Waco Brothers is any indication the band known for their incendiary live performances and legendary fan friendly, road-dog touring mentality have proven that they can serve both creative muses with this fine collection of collection of Americana influenced songs which may be their finest work to date. Band leader Jon Langford was one of the founding members of The Mekons that was one of the first bands to meld Punk, Country, Rock, and Folk influences creating a musical gumbo that would...

Chuck Prophet “Temple Beautiful”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#679 in the Series) is Chuck Prophet, Temple Beautiful (Yep Roc Records) Chuck Prophet has carved out exactly the type of career he would have envisioned when he joined the psychedelic roots rock band Green on Red in the early 80’s.  Since then with his musical collaborations with Cake, Kim Carnes, Solomon Burke, and most recently with Alejandro Escovedo where he played guitar and wrote half of the songs for the fine album Real Animal, Chuck has set out on his own uncompromising  roots rock journey creating musical masterpieces along way. Between writing credits for Warren Zevon, Kelly Willis, Jewel, and Heart among others, Prophet has released several critically acclaimed albums on...

The Baseball Project “Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#675 in the Series) is The Baseball Project, Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails Somewhere, probably with one heck of a backing band, Steve Goodman is performing his annual rite of spring, “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” for “The Man in Charge” in his annual attempt to bring positive Mojo to the Chicago Cubs and at long last bring a championship to one of the most storied franchises in all of baseball.  It is in this reverential spirit that the collective group of artists known as The Baseball Project was formed and released the album Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. The Baseball Project is a concept group united...

Steve Earle “Townes”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#662 in the Series) is Steve Earle, Townes The year was 1971 and singer songwriter Joe Ely, Texas National Treasure, and once considered to be the musical heir apparent to fellow Lubbock resident Buddy Holly, was driving on the outskirts of town when he spotted on the horizon a straggly Howard Hughes looking dude, wearing a back pack, wandering on the shoulder of the main road leading into the city. Ely pulled over and offered the travelling stranger a ride to the other side of town.  As a kind gesture to thank him, the stranger reached into the back pack, pulled out one of the fifteen albums that resided there, no clothes...

Andre Williams “Hoods and Shades”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#640) Andre Williams,  Hoods and Shades (Bloodshot Records) The story of  Zephire “Andre” Williams, or as comedian Red Foxx famously nicknamed him, “Mr. Rhythm”, is harsh in its simplicity; yet at the same time it is a complex cautionary tale about how to navigate the streets and traverse the backrooms, back alleys, and juke joints where the blues is a way of life not just a musical genre, and where the means don’t always justify the end, but they certainly can pay the bills. Andre Williams was “The Man” from his early purple suit wearing days in the mid 1950’s and on into the 1960’s when he was a song slinging crooner...

Bobby “Blue” Bland “Two Steps From the Blues”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#613 in the Series) is Bobby “Blue” Bland, Two Steps From the Blues Released in 1961, the Bobby “Blue” Bland masterpiece, Two Steps From the Blues is generally considered to be a classic in the blues genre and a must-have disc on your own personal desert island.  While this recording is not an original “album” in the strictest sense of the word since in keeping with a common practice of the day it is actually a compilation of singles, it is a perfect, soulful, bluesy, passion-filled representation of an iconic bluesman at the absolute peak of his powers. Not your prototypical blues artist, Bobby doesn’t play an instrument like Buddy Guy or...

The Little Willies “For The Good TImes”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#602 in the Series) is The Little Willies, For the Good Times (Milking Bull) Those of you that have been Norah Jonesing for an encore to The Little Willies and their eponymous album that featured fun eclectic versions of classic country songs like “ I Gotta Get Drunk”  and “Nightlife” alongside the  masterpiece “Streets of Baltimore”, and a rousing original song that sings the praises of Lou Reed called, appropriately enough, “Lou Reed”,  need wait no more. This time around For The Good Times, the second release for the band that consists of Lee Alexander on bass, Jim Campilongo and Richard Julian on guitar, Dan Reiser on drums, and the incomparable Norah...

Boz Scaggs “Silk Degrees”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (# 601 in the Series) is Boz Scaggs, Silk Degrees 1976 was a banner year for the album format. Hotel California, Takin’ it to the Streets, Songs in the Key of Life, and Boston all charted in 1976. Silk Degrees generated four monster Billboard Hot 100 charting singles, “What Can I Say (42)”, “It’s Over” (38), “Lido Shuffle” (11), and “Lowdown (3)” may have been the best of the lot, and was the coming out party for Texas born guitar slinger Boz Scaggs. The album was released right in the heart of disco fever and was just before the titanic, or travesty depending on your point of view, Saturday Night Fever, and...

The Bottle Rockets “Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with The Bottle Rockets”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#597 in the Series) is The Bottle Rockets – Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with The Bottle Rockets (Bloodshot Records) As a life-long music fan, one of the things that truly excites me is discovering an act that while they may be very new to my sometimes ignorant ears, they have in reality been around quite a long time and have a body of work sometimes spanning a decade or more for me to devour.  Now don’t get me wrong I had Heard of The Bottle Rockets before and was fully aware that many people considered them to be one of the forefathers of the Americana and Alternative Country movements, but...

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