Little Richard “Goodnight Irene” from The Best of Little Richard: The Vee Jay Years (Metro 2006) —Somehow I missed this cool version of the familiar Leadbelly number.Buy it!
Louis Jordan “If You're So Smart, How Come You Ain't Rich?” from Jivin' With Jordan (Proper 2002) —I ask myself this question every day. Hah!Buy it!
Heritage Blues Orchestra “Get Right Church” from And Still I Rise (Raisin Music 2012) N —Oh my, these guys are deep! The vocal harmonies on this one hit right in the gut.Buy it!
Charles Mingus “Celia (Take 5)” from East Coasting (Shout Factory www.shoutfactory.com 1957) —It's that time Bill Evans played on a Mingus album.Buy it!
Alejandro Escovedo “Sex Beat” from Bourbonitis Blues (Bloodshot www.bloodshotrecords.com 1999) —If only Jeffrey Lee Pearce had lived to hear this version.Buy it!
The Magnetic Fields “The Only Boy in Town” from Love At The Bottom Of The Sea (Merge 2012) N —Sometimes I actively try to resist Stephin Merritt - don't ask me why. But darned if he doesn't have a way with words and a catchy little tune.Buy it!
The Move “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” from Omnibus (The 60s Singles As and Bs) (Edsel 1999) —Now that's paying attention - and I can hear a cowbell, too.Buy it!
The Beatles “Tell Me What You See” from Help! CD ALBUM (Parlophone 1965) —I love the Paul & John harmonies on this one. Beautiful song.Buy it!
Paul McCartney “Smile Away” from Ram (CAPITOL 1971) —It was only yesterday, 41 years after I first heard this song which I've heard at least 100 times since that I realized he's actually singing "Smile Away" and not "Small World" as I've sung along forever.Buy it!
Graham Parker & The Figgs “Chloroform” from Songs of No Consequence (Bloodshot www.bloodshotrecords.com 2005) —I'm excited about the upcoming Graham Parker and the Rumour reunion album. But he's made some pretty darn good records without them, too.Buy it!
Craig Finn “Honolulu Blues” from Clear Heart Full Eyes (Vagrant 2012) N —Definitely an album that benefits from repeated listens - this guy is way too smart to hit you on the head with one listen.Buy it!
Buffalo Killers “Those Days” from Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. (Alive 2012) N —Three guys from Cincinnatti with a James Gang fetish and a lot of talent.Buy it!
Ike Reilly Assassination “It's Hard to Make Love to An American” from We Belong to the Staggering Evening (Rock Ridge 2007) —One of the best songwriters of the last dozen years, and one who needs more attention.Buy it!
Elvis Costello “License to Kill” from Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan (Amnesty International 2012) N —Of course, Costello nails it.Buy it!
Elvis Costello “Worthless Thing (live)” from Goodbye Cruel World (Rhino 2004) —Few albums in pop history have had more good songs ruined by bad production. But this solo live version saves at least one of them.Buy it!
Richard Thompson “A Hunting the Wren” from Live at the BBC (Universal unk 2005) —Richard still has the folk in him (or at least he did a few years ago when this was recorded).Buy it!
Lila Downs “Yo Envidio El Viento” from Shake Away / Ojo de Culebra (EMI 2008) —Jaw droppingly beautiful.Buy it!
Cassandra Wilson “Almost Twelve” from Another Country (EOne 2012) N —Cassandra Wilson co-wrote her own samba tune.Buy it!
Edith Piaf “Bravo Pour Le Clown” from Merveilluses Chansons Vol. 1 (Membran 2007) —Nobody else can deliver such drama - maybe Lotte Lenya, but that's a different thing.Buy it!
Rosanne Cash “If There's a God On My Side” from The Wheel (Columbia 1993) —She has so many great songs - it's nice to remember one like this I'd forgotten.Buy it!
The Grass Roots “Things I Should Have Said” from Anthology: 1965-1975 (Rhino 1991) —I came into pop music in 1971, for the last couple of big hits by these guys. I never heard this one in real time, but it's a charmer, to be sure.Buy it!
The Educated Guess “A Coward's Last Stand” from West Skyline Drive (self-released 2009) L —This Charlie Brumley guy is world class, and he lives right here in our town. This album is available as a free download:http://theeducatedguess.com/album/west-skyline-driveBuy it!
Alabama Shakes “Hold On” from Boys & Girls (ATO www.atorecords.com 2012) N —That groove sucks me in every time - great album opener.Buy it!
The Bo-Keys “Got to Get Back (To My Baby)” from Got To Get Back! (Electraphonic 2011) —Oh, yeah, that's Otis Clay singing the heck out of this Wilson Pickett song.Buy it!
Rory Gallagher “For the Last Time” from The BBC Sessions (Buddha 1999) —Spectacular!Buy it!
Vintage Trouble “Nobody Told Me” from The Bomb Shelter Sessions (Cortex 2012) —A sweet ballad from these rootsy r'n'b rockers.Buy it!
Christian Scott “Danziger” from Christian aTunde Adjuah (Concord 2012) N —I'm not sure I understand what he's going on about in the liner notes, something about a new way of relating the improvisation to the written part, but I definitely know this is a major work by a major young trumpet player/composer.Buy it!
Ambrose Akinmusire “Far But Few Between” from When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note 2011) —Another young trumpeter, not quite as accomplished as Scott, but with a powerful voice and some great ideas.Buy it!
Tinariwen “Tenere Taqqim Tossam” from Tassilli (Cooperative 2011) —From Mali, featuring the singer from TV on the Radio on this cut.Buy it!
Buddy Guy “Everybody's Got to Go” from Living Proof (Silvertone/Jive Records 2010) —Buddy Guy can devastate with his voice as well as his guitar.Buy it!
Grady Champion “Walk With Me Baby” from Dreamin' (GSM 2011) —That's a tough groove and some serious harp.Buy it!
The Blasters “Rock Boppin' Baby (live)” from Testament: The Complete Slash Recordings (1981-1985) (Rhino 2002) —I had to look it up - the writer of this song was Ed Bruce, who recorded for Sun. I don't know the original, but I love this one.Buy it!
Andy Shernoff “Hey Boys” from Don't Fade Away (Yazoo Squelch 2012) N —Former Dictator backed by the Morells/Skeletons guys. It rocks and pops.Buy it!
Charlie Rich “Oh Lonely Days” from Lonely Weekends: The Best of the Sun Years 1958-1962 (Bear Family 1998) —The young man could croon, though he would get even better.Buy it!
Skeeter Davis “Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now” from The Essential Skeeter Davis (RCA 1995) —Uh hum, umm hmm.Buy it!
Sunny Sweeney “Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame” (Big Machine www.thermavericksband.com 2007) —I just found out she put out a second record last year, and I never saw it or heard it. Hmmm.Buy it!
Kevin Gordon “Tearing It Down” from Gloryland (Crowville Collective 2010) —Still hearing new things every time I spin this gem of an album.Buy it!
John Prine “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness (live)” from Great Days: The John Prine Anthology MP3/FILE COMP (Rhino 1993) —Sometimes you don't come home at all.Buy it!
Dan Bern “Don't Get Mad Get Even” from Drifter (self 2012) N —Dan Bern has released two new records on his own, and they are typically terrific. Another genius songwriter who can't get noticed enough.Buy it!
Commander Cody “It's Gonna Be One of Those Nights” from Dopers Drunks and Everyday Losers (blind pig 2009) —The Commander redid one of his old gems a couple years ago, and it turns out fine.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.