Sunday, September 27, 2009

So Many Records and Shows...

Since my last post I saw some great acts at Bumbershoot '09. The weather sucked and it's the first time in many years that I've not gone every day.
I saw James Taylor at the Puyallup Fair last Saturday. He was fantastic!!!! While walking the fairgrounds before the show I saw a food vendor called "Fried Everything" including fried butter (the snack for those with extremely low cholesterol).
I have included quite a few artists in this post, but these are the discs I have been listening to for the past few months.
More to follow...

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Rattlin’ Bones (Sugarhill, 21 Apr 08)
Who says great Country music has to come from Nashville. Aussies Chambers & Nicholson must have been weaned on Bluegrass and C&W.

Charlie Haden & Friends – Rambling Boy (Decca, 23 Sept 08)
Jazz bassist Haden is spot on with a disc of excellent, traditional Country sounds.

Levon Helm-Electric Dirt (Vanguard Records, 30 Jun 09)
Levon’s second album since recovering from throat cancer, a bit more rocking than the first. Reminiscent of the work of his former group, The Band. Excellent!

Mindy Smith- Stupid Love (Vanguard Records, 11 Aug 09)
Third album (and best yet) from this Nashville transplant by way of Long Island. (Bumbershoot ’04).

Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1945-1950 Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music (Bear Family, 9 Dec 08) Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Merle Travis and other Country legends take you back to the post-war era.

Westerly- This Lonesome Town (Westerly, Mar 09)
Saw them at the Kingston Arts & Crafts Festival in June. Way too small a crowd for this Northwest quartet playing originals with catchy hooks, great melodies and honey-sweet harmonies. They kick ass.

Vetiver-Tight Knit (Sub Pop, 17 Feb 09)
While their MySpace site indicates that they play Thrash / Black Metal / Christian Rap that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re paying homage to the Folk tradition (like their talented contemporaries Bon Iver, Grand Archives, Hoots & Hellmouth) with solid song-writing, musicianship and production. I love this band.

Mayer Hawthorne- A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw, 8 Sept 09)
Sweet Soulful sounds from Ann Arbor by a geeky looking white guy in a cardigan and Buddy Holly glasses. Buy this record now! One of my great finds from Bumbershoot ’09.

Raphael Saadiq-The Way I See It (Sony, 16 Sept 09)
OK, so I’m late to the party on this one. When I first heard this disc from former Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! member I would have bet the farm that this was an unreleased jewel from Berry Gordy’s Mowtown archives. Not so. For those of you pining for songs from one of the most artistic eras in American music, Saadiq has put together something reminiscent of The Impressions, The Miracles, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. Another great act from Bumbershoot ’09.

Dehli 2 Dublin Remixed (Nov 08)
Tasty world beats from a rather eclectic troop of musicians, Celtic fiddle, sitar, lots of Central Asian performers, a DJ and a few rappers all sewn together with a toe-tapping bass & drum bottom that had the entire crowd at Bumbershoot ’09 pulsing to the rhythms.

Dept. of Energy-Held By Waits (Roam Records, 8 May 07)
I don’t know how I never heard of this Seattle band, but they lit up the EMP’s Sky Church at Bumbershoot ’09 with sound and vision.

The Lonely Forest-We Sing the Body Electric (Burning Building Recordings, 21 Apr 09)
Hailing from tiny Anacortes, WA, they write and play like they’ve been touring the world for decades. Another band shining brightly at EMP’s Sky Church during Bumbershoot ’09. Nicely done!

Manchester Orchestra-Mean Everything to Nothing (Sony, 21 Apr 09)
Atlanta Rockers tearing it up with attitude!

Roman Candle-Oh Tall Tree in the Ear
Chapel Hill Folk-Rockers make great music.

Telekinesis-Telekinesis (Merge Records, 7 Apr 09)
Bright, Pop sounds reminding me of the snappy tunes from the New Wave era. A crowd pleaser at Bumbershoot ’09.

Classic Rock Releases
Van Morrison-Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl (Listen To the Lion Records, 24 Feb 09)
Arguably the most influential album Van ever released and it's performed live with some of the original studio musicians. When can we expect a tour around Tupelo Honey, Moondance or St. Dominic’s Preview?

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood-Live at Madison Square Garden (Reprise, 19 May 09)
Do I really need to say anything at all?