Monday, November 12, 2007

Now Hear This

I'm on a hopefully brief hiatus from touring at the moment, just doing some local shows and weekend stuff with the fabulous Leann Rimes. Her band is excellent and she can really sing.

This gives me time to concentrate on my other job, which is Artist Relations for D'Addario. We had a busy week, with the CMA awards and a mini expo we held at Soundcheck, a local rehearsal hall. Met lots of new folks, saw lots of old friends.

Time off the road also allows me to check out new releases or older records I have missed. The latest squatters on my iTunes playlist are:

1) Rilo Kiley - "Under the Blacklight". Pure Pop, great arrangements, a tour through the different Pop styles of the past and an excellent recording.

2)Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - "Raising Sand". I tend to keep listening to the whole thing over and over. A different approach than either of their usual styles, and it works. Deft production by T-Bone Burnett and awesome guitar by Marc Ribot and Norman Blake.

3) Marc Ribot - "Don't Blame Me". See, buying one album makes you buy another... sometimes. Ribot's take on jazz standards is to paint them in a Delta Primitive Blue, with Teisco guitar tones and dissonant chord fragments - picture Lightnin' Hopkins playing The Real Book. Add to that a few noisy originals. Good for the days you want something terribly familiar to be deconstructed.

4) Various Artists -"Furry Selection". A collection of dub and reggae recorded mostly in the mid-'70's. Catchy and influential. I've been checking out Lee "Scratch" Perry lately, and he has several productions on this comp.

5) Aimee Mann - "Lost In Space". Abbey Road-style production from Jon Brion meets great songs and performances from Mann. They still make records like this..they just don't let anyone hear them.

6) David Bowie - "Heathen". Bowie gets David Torn on guitar and makes a superb album. Check out "Slip "Away". Twinkle, Twinkle, Uncle Floyd.

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