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September, 2012 CD of the Month

It won’t take long as you listen to Is Your Love Big Enough? to draw the conclusion that Lianne La Havas is a special voice. Her enchanting vocals certainly act as the centerpiece to this lovely debut. Yet as you unfold the songs on this album, it becomes clear that you’re not listening to a one-dimensional artist but someone who can sing and play across a wide musical spectrum.
It won’t take long as you listen to Is Your Love Big Enough? to draw the conclusion that Lianne La Havas is a special voice. Her enchanting vocals certainly act as the centerpiece to this lovely debut. Yet as you unfold the songs on this album, it becomes clear that you’re not listening to a one-dimensional artist but someone who can sing and play across a wide musical spectrum.

May, 2012 CD of the Month

Mac is back! Well, to be fair, it’s not like Dr. John hasn’t been consistent in his musical output. He’s released more than a handful of albums since the turn of century. But with Locked Down, his latest, perhaps none of those recent releases matches this latest collection in terms of energy and/or sheer appeal. Many will argue that a five time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has the latitude to do just about whatever they want, but for Dr. John Locked Down is an album he needed to make and music fans need to hear.

CD OF THE MONTH: DEC 2011 The Black Keys' El Camino

It wasn’t the fast lane to success for The Black Keys. In fact, the cover of their new album El Camino is a convenient reminder of that. The old, beat-up van featured on the front of the Akron duo’s latest collection is the actual vehicle that The Keys used as a touring van in their early days. From then until now The Black Keys have earned countless fans through rigorous touring and a strong body of work in the studio. In 2010 the duo had a substantial breakthrough with the album Brothers. It garnered The Keys a couple Grammy nominations and their highest charting single to date “Tighten Up,” which was produced by Brian Burton (aka DangerMouse). El Camino answers Brothers call for a little more punch and the doctor’s order for a good dose of rock n roll.

For as much discussion that's been made about Wilco's decision to self-title their latest album, an equal amount of excitement should surround the music the band churns out on this new effort, Wilco (The Album).

Jeff Tweedy's a genius, I guess. I say that without any sarcasm intended - it's just that I feel kind of weird pinning that title on a guy who's basically a down-to-earth cat. I came to this realization while listening to the latest Wilco album Sky Blue Sky.

Mac is back! Well, to be fair, it’s not like Dr. John hasn’t been consistent in his musical output. He’s released more than a handful of albums since the turn of century. But with Locked Down, his latest, perhaps none of those recent releases matches this latest collection in terms of energy and/or sheer appeal. Many will argue that a five time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has the latitude to do just about whatever they want, but for Dr. John Locked Down is an album he needed to make and music fans need to hear.

It wasn’t the fast lane to success for The Black Keys. In fact, the cover of their new album El Camino is a convenient reminder of that. The old, beat-up van featured on the front of the Akron duo’s latest collection is the actual vehicle that The Keys used as a touring van in their early days. From then until now The Black Keys have earned countless fans through rigorous touring and a strong body of work in the studio. In 2010 the duo had a substantial breakthrough with the album Brothers. It garnered The Keys a couple Grammy nominations and their highest charting single to date “Tighten Up,” which was produced by Brian Burton (aka DangerMouse). El Camino answers Brothers call for a little more punch and the doctor’s order for a good dose of rock n roll.

With a career that's endured over 40 years, Emmylou Harris continues to enchant us not only as a singer but also as a songwriter on her new album Hard Bargain. A career that’s seen countless collaboration’s, Emmylou has just written her 21st solo album in Hard Bargain with the emphasis on her as a storyteller. Long an artist that found comfort and success singing songs penned by others, the legendary country singer is at the forefront of all these songs connecting the listener to her life and her memories.

After taking some time apart to work on individual projects, the tandem of singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney are back together as The Black Keys. The two slip comfortably back into their blues rock grooves on the new album, Brothers. With less of an emphasis on refining the edges, Brothers offers rawness reminiscent of early Black Keys records, which is sure to excite fans.

For as much discussion that's been made about Wilco's decision to self-title their latest album, an equal amount of excitement should surround the music the band churns out on this new effort, Wilco (The Album).

 Widely known as one half of the rock duo The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach steps out on his own with the release of his first solo record, Keep It Hid. While The Keys' music has always been steeped in the blues, Auerbach's appreciation runs deep on Keep It Hid.  Not only do we hear what the blues may sound like for a new generation, but Auerbach stretches into some territory that The Keys have yet to.

On their fifth and best album to date – Attack & Release – Akron, Ohio minimalist duo The Black Keys take a step forward sonically and in songwriting. The record sounds more like a complete work than anything they've ever done, but long-time fans will not be disappointed in the results.

Jeff Tweedy's a genius, I guess. I say that without any sarcasm intended - it's just that I feel kind of weird pinning that title on a guy who's basically a down-to-earth cat. I came to this realization while listening to the latest Wilco album Sky Blue Sky.

Our New Orleans is a benefit album by the New Orleans greats.The net procedes for this album will go to Habitat for Humanity to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Names like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others newly recorded each of these songs for this album. On the album website, you can stream a video of the recording sessions as well as interviews by many of the musicians. Many of these amazing musicians had homes, studios, family and friends in New Orleans. The intense emotion is clearly visible in their performances.

Recorded in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois on May 4 through the 7th of this year at the Vic Theatre, Wilco's new double album is their first official live album and culls together the best performances of those four night. If you are already a fan of Jeff Tweedy's band and songwriting, this is a must have for your collection. What is truly amazing about this album is how the warm, intimate feel of the original studio recordings

The story behind Smile is fairly legendary by now - the masterpiece Beach Boys album that never was, is finally here. The Beach Boys' uncompleted 1967 album Smile has remained the Holy Grail of Brian Wilson’s long, incredible, tortured genius career in pop music. Thirty seven years since its intended release as the follow-up to their classic album Pet Sounds, Smileis very much the groundbreaking art-rock record it was rumored to have been. Described as those who have heard the original sessions, the ’67 Smile was the American Sgt. Pepper’s. But after Pet Sounds, the band – and Brian – had a breakdown that would take Wilson years to recover from.

For her debut on the distinguished Nonesuch label, k.d. lang’s new album is filled with songs that she says are “part of her cultural fabric, my Canadian soundtrack.” On Hymns, lang chose to cover songs written by some of her favorite Canadian singers and songwriters including Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, and Joni Mitchell.

Wilco is a difficult yet intelligent band that demands your love and attention. They can be equally frustrating and exhilarating, and are one of the last remaining artistically challenging and interesting American bands.



For the uninitiated, Wilco was born from the ashes of the alternative-country band Uncle Tupelo when lead singers/songwriter Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy split in 1994. Farrar went on to form Son Volt; Tweedy - Wilco. Uncle Tupelo’s roots were in Hank Williams and punk rock and where Son Volt stayed true to their alt-country leanings, Wilco detoured in to psychedelia, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) styled power pop and experimental musings.
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