The new record comes out in February. In the meantime cleanse the palate with this one from the record, American Love Song.
As happens after year, after a bit of reflection, there end up to be a lot of worthy, highly listenable records that somehow miss our top album list. This year Paul Simon, Soccer Mommy, The Tuneyards, Belle and Sebastian all could have made our list. Here are five notal records that probably should have made the cut.
Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg
The Super Furry Animals front man jumps out front and center with his first record in four years. A timeless beauty that features a 72 piece orchestra, these are all great tunes that would have fit quite nicely on your 80’s playlist right alongside Yes and The Alan Parsons Project.
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Somewhat a deliberate omission, that decison is beginning to feel very regreatable after a couple of post New Year spins of this one. The vibe is very different from your standard Monkey’s fare, Bowie goes to the moon. Pure dancing on the ceiling bliss.
Shame – Songs of Praise
One heck of a live band, London Post Punk rockers Shame deliver an arena-ready set of tracks that will set your hair on fire. Enter at your own risk.
Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
We should have known this one was going to be a cracker, all of his records are great. “Let’s Dance” and “The Morning After” are melodic stunners with a definite Brian Wilson influence.
Tracyanne & Danny – Tracyanne & Danny
Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Cambell returns with a set of sweet sounding pop nuggets with partner Danny Coughlan. Full of lush strings and 60’s Nancy and Lee vibes, this one is a gently euphoric listen.
The album does not come out until February but here is another first look of what you will be hearing. With a 70’s vibe that will have you digging out your Roberta Flack records, this one is a stunner.
We can’t think of a better way to get the new year cranking up than to start with Beth Hart’s scorching live version. This is from her Live at the Albert Hall release. It is very much worth checking out.
All Them Witches is one of the better new Rock bands coming out of Nashville. Their new record ATW is out now.
In listening to a lot of diverse styles of music it is amazing how many of the albums that are the soundtrack of your life have been recorded at 3614 Jackson Highway, Muscle Shoals, Alabama. There have been so many albums record in the iconic studio from Dylan’s Slow Train Coming, Willies, Phases and Stages, and even Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, that this playlist is probably more notable for what has not been included than for what I have selected here. I am contractually liable to keeping the playlist at the mandated 15 songs. Mixing it up a bit with the new school “Call Me” courtesy of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, the Jimmy Cliff classic “Sitting in Limbo,” and J.J. Cales “Lies” are also included. The Muscle Shoals band plays on most of these songs. “Hey, Jude” is worth the price of admission alone.
It is guaranteed that you will have many “of course it was” moments any time you find out one of your favorite tunes was recorded in Muscle Shoals.
01. Muscle Shoals Nitty Gritty – Herbie Mann
02. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
03. I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
04. Hey Jude Wilson Picket
05. What’s Your Name – Lynyrd Skynyrd
06. Call Me – St.Paul and the Broken Bones
07. Tell Mama – Etta James
08. We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seger
09. Sitting in Limbo – Jimmy Cliff
10. Dorothy Monroe – Misty Blue
11. Lies – J.J. Cale
12. Gotta Serve Somebody – Bob Dylan
13. Take A Letter, Maria – R.B. Greaves
14. Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley
15. Yeah Man – Eddie Hinton
If you are of a certain age and are from the Pacific Northwest you have heard of the Spinanes. Led by Rebecca Gates and drummer Scott Plouf they have been around since their debut album in 1993 and just released their new record, Manos, in December.