As we begin another calendar year, now seems like a good time to clear out some of my backlog. All of these albums are new (or at least newish) releases. Paul Moran – Smokin’ B3 Vol. 2: Still Smokin’ As a lover of soulful organ jazz a la Jimmy Smith, I was taken in by
With 18 live dates scheduled in December 2017, Alaska-born folk singer-songwriter-guitarist Hope Griffin is clearly in demand. Performing in a variety of configurations – solo as well as part of a duo, trio and full band – Griffin showcases he soulful voice, straightforward arrangements and solid, accessible songwriting. After relocating to Asheville, she released her
Note: I recently conducted a wide-ranging and lively interview with Sidney Barnes; the result of that is an in-depth feature running soon in Record Collector Magazine. In the meantime, this shorter feature will whet your appetite. — bk Born in a West Virginia mining town, Sidney Barnes eventually moved with his family to New York
The phase-shifted synthesizer pads that introduce “Stuck in Between,” the opening track on The Fritz‘s new album Natural Mind, evokes thoughts of 1970s r&b outfit like the Brothers Johnson. But as soon as that thought forms, a repeating guitar figure enters, sounding like a more accessible version of the 1980s lineup of progressive rock giants
Multiracial American funk band War got its start backing British singer Eric Burdon, formerly of the Animals. “Spill the Wine” from 1970’s Eric Burdon Declares “War” effectively captured the zeitgeist of the era: a brotherly-love hippie ethos that was as sexy as it was hopeful. Though the group parted ways with Burdon after two albums,
Sidney Barnes falls into the category of criminally under-appreciated musical figures. His career figures significantly into the histories of doo-wop, soul, funk, rock, pop and psychedelia. He cut “Wait” b/w “I’m Satisfied” way back in 1961, and while that record didn’t make a splash, it set him on a path he follows to this day.
Tuxedo is a retro-funk duo fronted by two established artists. Mayer Hawthorne made his name as a modern-day soul crooner with a style firmly rooted in the music of his Detroit hometown. Seattle-based Jake One is a hip-hop producer and member of the famed Rhymesayers Syndicate. Both have earned Grammy nominations for their past work.
Mary Frances is best known as keyboardist and lead vocalist for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, and for her work with Grammy Award-winning kid hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. But on her debut solo album, A New Perspective, Frances moves ever so slightly away from the collaborative nature of those projects, and toward
Jesse Talbott is a songwriter and the lead singer in Dr. Bacon, a band originally from Boone that relocated to Asheville in 2016. It’s difficult to pin down the musical style of Dr. Bacon; that challenge arises from the fact that the group’s musical journey has been punctuated by a number of genre shifts and
Empire Strikes Brass managed quite a feat in its first five years as a group. The 10-plus-piece band worked diligently on a grassroots level, playing benefits and street festivals, and became a household name in its hometown of Asheville without releasing an album. When the group finally entered the studio it recorded not one but two