Friday, January 29, 2010

Corinne Bailey Rae | The Sea

When Corinne Bailey Rae's self-titled debut album came out in 2006, millions went crazy for it and this bright new voice from the UK. "Put Your Records On" and "Like A Star" became hit singles and the album was nominated for multiple Grammies and Brit Awards. As big and accomplished as that album was, nothing could have prepared us for the monumental acheivement of Bailey Rae's new album "The Sea".

As I listened, I keep asking myself, "Is anyone else doing anything like this"? The record breaks through and rises above any idea of genre. It's completely unique. Her influences are clear - jazz, soul, r&b, singer-songwriter - but as Bailey Rae writes in the song "Diving For Hearts", "I long to keep on diving until my heart is found". That's what she has done and the fearlessness of her pursuit has translated into the most compelling album of the new year.

I'll feature tracks from "The Sea" tonite at 9 p.m. ET on mvyradio's Uncharted Waters.

Listen to some clips from the CD here:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Joe Pug | Messenger

A few years back, hands around a cup of coffee, Joe Pug decided to leave his life as a playwright student at The University of North Carolina, to start putting ideas, originally meant for a play he was writing, to song. He moved to Chicago and eventually recorded a pack of songs that became the EP "Nation Of Heat". Joe started offering this CD to his fans for free, mailing it out, complete with a thank you note and postage covered. He still does this on his website. Recognizing that his potential fans might not want to throw down $ for an unknown entity, Joe makes an offering of his music, spreading the word and building his audience by going over to their side of the musician-fan relationship.

"Messenger", Joe's first full-length CD is due February 16, 2010. Two times through the album now, I am sitting with his clean, unadorned sound and approach, layers of unaffected nuance emerging as light as a feather. Joe Pug has piercing blue eyes, and I'm thinking about this as I write. You know that expression, "You can get lost in his eyes"? Well, what is true about Joe Pug's eyes is true about his music. An open space that draws you in and affects you. Lost and found.

Chicago visual artist Shawn Stucky provides the beautiful album art.

Listen to some tracks from the new CD tonight at 9 PM on mvyradio's Uncharted Waters and on Joe's website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New! Galactic with Irma Thomas | "Heart Of Steel"

Galactic, one of New Orleans' premiere bands and just about the funkiest of the funky will release a new CD, "Ya-Ka-May" on February 9, one week before Mardi Gras. Good timing! We got a song from the album in yesterday - I jumped right on it and played it on What's New For Lunch today.

Irma Thomas guests on the song, "Heart Of Steel", and she is one of about 15 New Orleans' musicians that join Galactic on this, their sixth album. "The Soul Queen of New Orleans" delivers in her usual solid, understated, right on the money way. Allen Toussaint, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Rebirth Brass Band and other New Orleans' musicians from many different genres collaborated with the band not only in the performances, but also in the writing of the songs.

Listen to a clip of "Heart Of Steel":

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best Of mvyradio's Uncharted Waters 2009 Final!

Okay, I know, it's over ---2009. We've counted down the Top 25 (check the list here) and we're already five days into 2010. But I have the song list for part 3 of UW Best Of '09 and another artist to praise.

One sure way to realize how you feel about a record is where said record ends up ---physically, I mean. I'm on vacation in Florida (it's not as cold as many other locales this morning, but it's not exactly beach weather!!) and before I left home, I loaded some CD's into iTunes on my computer and brought a few to listen to in the rental car. Madeleine Peyroux's "Bare Bones" came with me both on my computer, and by chance, tucked inside a Mozart Piano Quartets CD jewel case.

So, as I drove around Delray, I listened for the ?? time to this one-of-a-kind album by one of today's most intriguing songwriters. Collaboration, introspection, playfulness, precision, sonic intuition, understatement ---I could go on and on. I am once again reminded of why I'm a music fan, and a fan of all artistic expression. To be happily marooned in a new, yet familiar world. The skillful and easy connection the artist provides, the bridges they make. Madeleine Peyroux is an artist creating her art for herself and her fans, but it feels like it's just for me.

Listen to clips of "Bare Bones" here:

Friday/Sunday January 1/3 2010 - Best of Uncharted Waters 2009 part 3

"Fairlie" Rey Fresco The People Eight O Five
"I Should Speak" Sarah Blacker The Only Way Out Is Through Sarah Blacker
"Get Lucky" Mark Knopfler Get Lucky Reprise Records
"Videotape" King Wilkie King Wilkie Presents The King Wilkie Family Singers Casa Nueva
"Wilco (the song)" Wilco Wilco (the album) Nonesuch
"Homeless Happiness" Madeleine Peyroux Bare Bones Rounder
"Time Stands Still" Chris Smither Time Stands Still Signature Sounds
"Oh, No" Andrew Bird Noble Beast Fat Possum Records
"Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow" Roseanne Cash The List Manhattan
"Groove Of the Storm" Kellar Williams Odd kw enterprises
"Jackdaw" David Gray Draw The Line Mercer Street Records
"Fan It" Willie Nelson and Asleep At the Wheel Willie & The Wheel Bismeaux Records
"Cedars Of Lebanon" U2 No Line On The Horizon Interscope
"Horses" Dala Everyone Is Someone Campus Music