#215 – Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris

I know I say it every time I pick a country album, but they are far too rare in my genre mixture.  I am, however, familiar with a decent amount of Ms. Harris’ body of work, not least of which was her stint as a backup singer for the great Gram Parsons, who is probablyContinue reading “#215 – Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris”

#212 – I Forget Where We Were by Ben Howard

If you’re following the news at all, you’ve probably heard about the spate of monoliths appearing – and disappearing – around the world.  Any science fiction fan or conspiracy theorist can’t help but be excited by the possible explanations.  The mystery surrounding them has driven the public’s fascination, so it only makes sense that someContinue reading “#212 – I Forget Where We Were by Ben Howard”

#211 – I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight by Richard & Linda Thompson

As we excessively slowly head towards another lockdown in California, it’s time to reflect on how we each responded to the first lockdown and try to do better for ourselves this time around.  Now that the situation is familiar to us, the enemies are boredom and despair, and this voyage of musical discovery that weContinue reading “#211 – I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight by Richard & Linda Thompson”

#210 – Bursting At The Seam by Strawbs

I’ve never heard of these guys before, but I was immediately intrigued by both their music and their story.  They are basically the real life Spinal Tap.  By that, I don’t mean that they are comedic, but more that they were quite genre-fluid.  Originally a bluegrass band, they morphed into a folk act, then moreContinue reading “#210 – Bursting At The Seam by Strawbs”

#168 – Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith by Roy Harper

Not sure who recommended this one, but today’s selection was another amazing discovery.  After doing a little research, I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t come across Roy Harper before now.  He’s basically the British Bob Dylan, and his influence on both lyricists and guitarist alike is pretty clear.  Many of my favorite Brit artistsContinue reading “#168 – Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith by Roy Harper”

#144 – Paranoid Cocoon by Cotton Jones

We are rapidly approaching perhaps the most consequential election cycle in American history.  The crossroads that our nation stands at has terrifying implications for humanity and the world will be watching with bated breath.  We’ve gone further down the road towards fascism than most Americans would have thought possible, which speaks to our own naiveté. Continue reading “#144 – Paranoid Cocoon by Cotton Jones”

#143 – The Source by Ali Farka Touré

I’ve always gravitated towards guitar music.  It’s the instrument I’ve spent many years learning and listening to and I always manage to find something to like about most any guitarist.  It is extremely versatile and is similar to the many stringed instruments that are ubiquitous in all different world music traditions and so has foundContinue reading “#143 – The Source by Ali Farka Touré”

#136 – The Stand Ins by Okkervil River

A personnel change in a band can go any number of ways.  For some acts, the lightning-in-a-bottle aspect of their creative path is completely lost when a certain lineup is no longer together.  Perhaps the new members aren’t as connected with the music, but something has been lost, maybe forever.  And then there are otherContinue reading “#136 – The Stand Ins by Okkervil River”

#114 – Noon by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon

Noon is the third album by this seemingly unlikely duo and it definitely lives up to the standard set by the other two.  Mike Gordon, the bass player of Phish, has a long history of making music with virtuosic guitarists and Leo is a very unique one indeed.  His playing – and voice – isContinue reading “#114 – Noon by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon”

#106 – Mermaid Avenue, Volume III by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Our Kevin Bacon game, so far: The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney produced – and is the husband of – Michelle Branch, who was featured on Santana’s “The Game of Love.”  On a later album, Santana collaborated with Metallica, who backed up Lou Reed, who was in The Velvet Underground with John Cale, who wrote anContinue reading “#106 – Mermaid Avenue, Volume III by Billy Bragg & Wilco”