New music including Fantastic Negrito, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Marcus Miller with Trombone Shorty, Wussy, Matthew Sweet, Amos Lee, Leeds, Ryley Walker, Kamasi Washington, Ray Lamontagne and fab new duo Peter Buck and Joseph Arthur can be found at the center of this episode. Even adding in the return of Parlament, Weezer paying tribute to Toto, the Springsteen archive release I've been hoping for, a musical dissertation on "Groovin'" and alternate takes from The Clash and Morphine still only cover about half the nuggets lovingly hand mixed just for you this time around.
One of the biggest drawbacks to a complete system shutdown is the sheer volume of new material that awaits the return. I'm not complaining, well... not really, but there are only so many hours in a day. Here's a smattering of some new things that crossed my speakers this week.
I've long regarded him as the premiere Rock lead vocalist and have been dying to hear this one. "The Royal Sessions" is an extraordinary recording which captures the music in its pure form—live band and vocal takes as performed together at Royal Studios by Rodgers and an all-star roster of legendary musicians. The band is a dream lineup of those who played on the original hits dating back to the 60's. The classic rhythm section includes Reverend Charles Hodges (Hammond B3), Michael Tolls (guitar), LeRoy Hodges Jr. (bass), "Hubby" Archie Turner (Wurlitzer), Steve Potts and James Robertson Sr. (drums), The Royal Horns and the Royal Singers.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, the folks at Concord have commissioned a love songs sampler with modern artists recording their favorite love songs. To be honest, this could have really sucked... but it is actually quite wonderful. Although "cover records" seem to abound these days, this is one set you shouldn't ignore.
One of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet and a simply amazing musician with a career that spans more than half a century. This new album finds him in what I've always felt is his best setting. By himself in front of an audience. Here's a track written just for him by his dear friend Tom Waits.
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