With his static-dusted voice and predilection for early rock antiquity, M. Ward has always come across as one of his generation's more understated bards. Interpreting the ever-deepening subtleties of his catalog generally requires repeated listens, and such is the case with his ninth solo effort, the appropriately moody More Rain. Easing in with a minute-long rainstorm soundscape, he leads off with the dreamy acoustic gallop of "Pirate Dial," a genial folk-pop hymn perfectly suited for the patient rotations of a vinyl long-player. A stuttering guitar groove on the Neko Case-aided "Time Won't Wait" quickens the album's pulse, setting up the similarly paced lead single, "Confession," a classic Ward track replete with a rich vein of warm backing vocals and soaring trumpet solo.
Four albums from the breakout years of Jerry Reed – all collected here in a single CD set! First up is When You're Hot – the record that firmly catapulted Jerry Reed to the top – a set that draws on all his years of lyrical wit and razor-sharp guitar work – served up with some surprisingly funky touches too! That upbeat chugging groove that Jerry began on "Guitar Man" is in place on many tracks here – although there's also a few ballads that balance things out nicely, and some instrumental moments too. Titles include the hit "When You're Hot You're Hot", "Thank You Girl", "Turned On", "My Kinda Love", "Big Daddy", "Amos Moses", and "I'll Be Around".
This double CD is the most comprehensive collection of Elkie's music yet released. The first CD is similar to previous compilations, focusing on hits and covers of other songs. Some covers (Nights in white satin (Moody Blues), Don't Stop (Fleetwood Mac)) show that Elkie can take famous songs and keep them interesting. Others (such as Lilac wine) she plucked from obscurity and made her own. This CD contains much great music, most if not all previously released on CD. The second CD showcases Elkie's blues roots. It also includes covers, but of bluesy songs such as Hello stranger (Barbara Lewis), The way you do the things you do (Temptations), Rescue me (Fontella Bass), He's a rebel (Crystals) and Do right woman do right man. The first 13 tracks on this CD pre-dates Elkie's commercial breakthrough and some may be making their CD debut.
Eric Andersen got his start as a singer/songwriter just about the time the folk revival went bust in the mid-'60s, when the phrase "singer/songwriter" wasn't familiar, as it is today. Now, some 40 years later, Andersen continues to follow his muse, which includes a deep investment in the blues on the live Blue Rain. Andersen's voice seems to have grown richer and has developed more texture over the span of time, something that rarely happens to rock singers; as a result, his readings of familiar lyrics carry more weight. He kicks off the set with a slow, menacing version of Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life." For folk fans, the song is overly familiar, but Andersen's vocal provides a darker underpinning than the usual, adding a new dimension to this well-worn classic.
Due to the lack of support from the Governments who see art as a way to get more taxes or private industry who prefer to invest in foreign acts, and the difficulties to reach the USA or British markets, it's unusual for a Latin American band to have a long and prolific career, but 31 years and 15 studio albums make of CAST from Mexico, one of the exceptions to this rule…
Ethan Miller's Howlin' Rain has issued several live offerings in the past, either directly from his blog or in various limited editions on various labels. Live Rain was compiled from several performances on 2012's The Russian Wilds tour, and features the same lineup that appeared on that album: Miller on lead vocals and guitar, Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on guitar, bassist Cyrus Comiskey (Drunk Horse), and drummer Raj Ojha. "Phantom in the Valley," "Self-Made Man," "Can't Satisfy Me Now," and "Beneath Wild Wings" all appeared on that record, and they comprise the first four selections here.