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Showing posts from January, 2016

High Note - Mavis Staples

from the album Livin' On A High Note (2016)

In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Mavis Staples said:

"I was looking for some joyful songs.  I want to leave something to lift people up.  I"m so busy making people cry, not from sadness, but I'm always telling a part of history that brought us down and I'm trying to bring us back up."

I dig the thoughtfulness behind looking at one's legacy and wanting to leave on a positive note.  It is different than leaving at the pinnacle or setting an example, it is more about passing on hope.

Written by Valerie June, this record is quintessential Mavis.  Fall into the groove, soar with her vocals, and live the message.  Soon enough, you'll be Livin' On A High Note...

Click Here to listen to High Note on SoundCloud.

I Won't Cry For You - La Santa Cecelia

from the forthcoming album Buenaventura (2016)

This time next week I will grooving with my funky friends at the Todos Santos Music Festival somewhere along the Baja Coast.  Counting down the days, my excitement is off the charts, particularly after hearing a few tunes off of the forthcoming La Santa Cecelia album, Buenaventura.

For those not familiar, this band combines an alternative roots concept with cumbia and boleros to form a most satisfying vibe, led by the incredible voice of La Marisoul.  Their album Treinta Días won the 2014 Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album.  They are currently based in Los Angeles.

The song I am digging is I Won't Cry For You.  The snap of the snare, the luscious accordion, and horns accenting La Marisoul's vocals make me want to dance.  Soon...

Click Here to listen to I Won't Cry For You.

Click Here to read by my 2013 post on Losing Game by La Santa Cecelia.

Click Hereto read my 2013 post on Cinco Minutos Con Vos by Elvis Co…

The Promise - Sturgill Simpson

from the album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (2013)

The two essentials of a great record are the songwriting and the vocal performance.

One of the things I dig most in a cover song is when an artist strips a great song down to a crawl, making you feel every chord, every lyric.

On his extraordinarily beautiful cover of When In Rome's The Promise, Sturgill Simpson accomplishes all of the above, turning the new wave power pop tune into a modern country classic.  The vocals give me chills.  The rhythm guitar accents combine with the tasteful drums and magnificently restrained bass line to lock me into the groove, while my mind to wanders and wonders.  The orchestration and vocal dynamics let my spirit soar as I sing along...

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
I know that they don't sound the way I planned them to be
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you I will

On a personal note, although this may on…