I don’t know if it’s the weather or simply that this week I received more roots, blues, folk & jazz than anything else, or it’s just my mood — whatever — this week’s features stay true to roots … from the very 50s/60s influenced rhythm & blues of Bobby Walker to the jangle jangle of ivories tickling some boogie-woogie from Adam Bodine … to some pretty austere sounding modern country-folk from Chris McGarry … add in the ladies Julie Geller, the Mile Markers, and Danielle Anderson aka Danielle Ate the Sandwich and we have a folksy, bluesy, jazzy kind of Monday morning … maybe it’s the rain and gray skies
Here’s some tasties from this week’s picks .. it’ll take ya 3 mins to enjoy …
Bobby Walker – Way Back When (ep) (Bobby Walker Music)
Genre/Style: Blues, rhythm & blues
Notes: There’s a level of authenticity that may be – perhaps – only appreciated if you lived in the moment in which something was first created. Certainly when it comes to covering songs considered classics, you’d better be able to bring that authenticity to the table, or not bother trying in the first place. That’s what makes Bobby “BB” or “Bad Bob” (depending on the year and state of residence) Walker so special… it’s that authenticity that makes his interpretations sound as fresh as if not only were they just being recorded for the first time today, but also that he carries the past into the present with him. This guy’s voice is special… and given that he is one of the elder statesmen of Colorado music, going back to the early to mid seventies, it’s a real treat that we get such great records now in his career. That’s a sign of longevity … and that authenticity we were talking about.
Julie Geller – You’re With Me (Beating Heart Records)
Genre/Style: folk, adult contemporary, jewish
Notes: Julie performs on this record with an impressive array of regional session musicians, including e-towners Christian Teele (drums) and Chris Engleman (bass), along with Jesse Manno, John McVey, Eric Moon, and Bill Pontarelli sitting in on various tunes. The album itself doesn’t work for me completely. Stylistically, Julie is as comfortable with adult contemporary with a 70s white girl soul feel on “Insides Out” as she is with the more adventuress and lively gypsy folk feel of “Here We Go Again” (sampled) and it can be a dizzy trip listening to the album beginning to end.
The Mile Markers – Take to the Road (self)
Genre/Style: americana, bluegrass
Notes: for a young band there are a couple of very endearing moments on this debut that features two lead singers in Julie Stratton (vocals, guitar) and Bevin Foley (vocals, fiddle), who each also take turns with the songwriting. The players are formidable – they have some chops. As with most young bands, they have not quite fleshed out their own voice entirely, but moments like “Revival” and “My Baby’s Poor” (sampled) show considerable promise in that direction.
Danielle Ate the Sandwich – Two Bedroom Apartment (Youngest Daughter Records)
Genre/Style: folk, modern folk
Notes: Danielle Anderson has now endeared herself to millions of fans with her homemade videos and recordings on YouTube. This is her first professionally produced album. From her own website description of the new album: “Two Bedroom Apartment, Danielle Ate the Sandwich’s third project, will be her first professionally recorded studio album. Danielle’s voice shines with crystal clear recordings and layers of vocal harmonies. Collaborating with other musicians, Danielle’s songs are taken to a new level with instrumentation that create the perfect ambiance for her poetic storytelling. Recorded in Denver, Colorado, at Macy Sound Studios, Two Bedroom Apartment is an impressive step in the songwriting career of Danielle Ate the Sandwich.” I could not have said it better myself … a strikingly good effort from Danielle and her supporters on this record.
Chris McGarry – And the Weary Eyes Reply (self)
Genre/Style: americana, folk, alternative-country-rock
Notes: someone once said to me that “all country is nothing more than crying about shit.” Okay — I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion LOL. No doubt my “friend’s” opinion would not be changed by listening to this record. McGarry carries that kind of rough hewn, tobacco stained, moonshine still, holy roller tent revivalist feel to things on this record. It’s dark, moody, broody, and very pensive at times … strong charcoal and wood flavor, so those predisposed to lighter fare might leave this one to those with stronger tastes.
Adam Bodine Trio – Blue Mud (self)
Genre/Style: jazz, blues
Notes: Adam cracks me up. On this record he immerses himself and the rhythm section into the holy cradle of where jazz emerged, blues and stride among other things. Very crafty this guy, with sometimes astonishing chops to match his imagination. The damned rhythm section ain’t too bad either. Interesting note here: bassist Kalin Capra plays here with Adam and also with the Mile Markers.