As musical activists in the 1960s civil rights movement, the Staple Singers were powerful voices for equality and change. And more than 40 years after Pops’s daughter Mavis spent a night in a West Memphis, Arkansas, jail at the behest of a racist cop, she still remembers the terror of the experience, as well as the counsel of Dr. Martin Luther King. That episode is at the centerpiece of “My Own Eyes,” one of the most moving offerings on this collection of songs of racial struggle in the ’50s and ’60s, produced by guitarist Ry Cooder and featuring backing from the original Freedom Singers and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Throughout, the album proves both emotionally chilling and spiritually uplifting. On J.B. Lenoir’s “Down in Mississippi” and Marshall Jones’s “In the Mississippi River,” for example, Cooder makes fine use of pounding percussion and snaky electric guitar to capture the danger and fear inherent in the Deep South at the time, while the title song and “Jesus Is on the Main Line” draw on gospel and the traditional framework of church hymns to promise positive solutions. Staples, who adlibs on several cuts, connecting the injustice of yesterday to the continuing marginalization of blacks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, remains a remarkable performer, employing a throaty sensuality that rises from a deep well of tremulous emotion. If her album is musically uneven at times, her artistry and strength continue to shine as undimmed beacons.
wma 129 kbps | 54 MB | UL
Transitions is a brief 10-track album of straightforward and extremely compelling new-wave-inspired indie rock, Yeh’s husky and somewhat flat vocals set against orchestrated electronics, drums, strings, guitar, and bass. Yeh played all of the instruments and recorded/assembled the work along with honest and loving engineering from Steve Silverstein (Christmas Decorations). Recasts of Stevie Nicks’ “Rooms on Fire” and Father Yod’s “I Can Read Your Mind” excepted, the material comes from Yeh’s dry wit and intelligent formalism. In fact, the contrast between orchestral detail and wry, sometimes ragged lyrics appears to be a calculated tension, and each feeds the personableness of the other.
mp3 VBR~227 kbps | 58 MB | UL
The song is the title track from the Coeur d’Alene album that sees it’s release this coming Sunday, October 14th. Clint Michigan is essentially Clint Asay with some regular contributors (of which Amy Bezunartea sings alongside Clint on this track & a few others on the upcoming album). The sound created here is a blend of folk and pop with Clint Michigan coming across as a provider of honest bedroom recordings (even if they have much more production value) and Coeur d’Alene is no different. The combination of piano, strings and the vocal duo provide a warm comfort for some of the real life stories created by Asay for this album.
2011 debut album from the American Idol winner. Scotty has been well-received by the Country music industry since winning Season 10 of American Idol in May 2011, as evidenced by the fact that some of the best writers in country music wrote songs specifically for this project, which can be unheard of for a new […]
2007 digitally remastered collection of some of Jethro Tull’s finest acoustic-based moments throughout the years. The Ian Anderson-led British Rock institution have always mixed electric with acoustic tracks together on their albums (most of their hits are a perfect hybrid of the two styles). This chronological compilation features 24 tracks that highlight Jethro Tull’s intricate, […]