Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Music

We've received a lot of new music recently and there are a few we'd like to share. First, we finally got our hands on Steve Earle's latest CD, Townes, songs by Townes Van Zandt. The first two tracks (Pancho And Lefty and White Freightliner Blues) are worth the price of the CD by themselves, let alone our other two favorites: Delta Momma Blues and No Place To Fall. The second CD, is Stockholm Syndrome from singer-songwriter Derek Webb. This CD is the first we've heard from the artist, although he gave 80,000 free downloads of his previous CD Mockingbird in 2006. Initially his music was a little too electronic for my tastes - but I found myself listening to the CD over and over again. Its a nice CD to have playing around the house or with the head phones at work. I particularly liked the latter tracks, Heaven and American Flag Umbrella, where I think he more strongly weaves story lines into the lyrics. I look forward to seeing him in one of two shows at Jammin' Java in late September.

We were very fortunate to receive a copy of Not That Lucky, the latest release form one of our favorite Texan bands: Two Tons of Steel. And this CD did not disappoint; not surprising since it was produced by legendary Lloyd Maines, who also contributes background vocals on a couple tracks. The best part of the CD is that that no two songs are quite the same. "Hold Over Me" has a punk flavor; "Long Road to Heaven" more rock-ish. The title track has a great guitar solo as does "Wanna Dance". I really liked their version of "Run To You", but I'm a little fatigued listening to "Alcohol and Pills" - considering it was recorded in a recent release by Todd Snider and arecent live performance by Fred Eaglesmith. Farther down the line, "Bad Attitude" may be my favorite song: "Trouble knows all about me". The CD ends with a western swing - "Bottom of the Bottle" - a nice bookend with the rockabilly Cry'n Eyes. I really love this band and would like to finally see them live - in a more raw setting, Texas style.

The biggest surprise came from listening to Colin Hay and American Sunshine. Since his days fronting Men at Work, Hay has lived in this country for the past 20 years in this CD contains some aspects from his adopted California as well as some influences from Nashville. The first track, "Oh, California" really sets the tone. It has a reggae - surf flavor - nice maracas and the vocals have a Randy Newman quality. Actually most of the vocals reminded me of Mr. Newman. The reggae beat continues for the next two tracks - but I really liked "Broken Love" - with its more rootsy feel. The same holds for "I Can't Get Up out of this Bed". Make sure you listen to the end. The last three are really good, particularly "Baby, Can I see You Tonight?". For us, this was a surprisingly good CD - basically because Colin Hay has been absent from our record collection for the past two decades. This won't happen again during the next two.

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