MMMM – Monday June 21, 2010

Happy Father’s Day – the day after of course, but I’m working on this on Father’s Day – so…. I don’t have much really to say in advance of you checking out this week’s featured releases —- both of which fall into that gray area between rock and country-rock and folk/singer-songwriter… both certainly good enough to rank well on our Best of poll at year’s end.  Enjoy … and get hold of the artist if you’d like a copy to play at your station or on your specialty show.  I’ve known both these guys for many years .. not only do I like them as people, but I’ve always loved their voices, and their songwriting.  Oh yeah —- happy first day of summer too! 🙂


Eric Shiveley – Eden’s Light (Half-Vast Records/Dutchmen World Wide) Genre/Style: Americana, 50s/60s, country-rock, folk
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Shiveley/25710084113
Recommended/sampled tracks: #3-Celia, #9-Greetings from Deming, #13-You Don’t Know Me At All, #2-That’s All I Need to Know

Notes: Eric is a DIY award winning documentary film maker, musician, and engineer living and working in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.  In fact, the award he won (Oxford International Film Festival – Emerging Artist) was for the documentary he did of himself, building his recording studio over a two year period —- then he decided to record an album.  There are certain influences explicit in both the writing and the performance, among them – Chris Isaak and Roy Orbison.  Eric seemingly is infatuated with the way records were made in the late fifties and particularly the early sixties – evident in his use of copious amounts of very spacious reverb throughout the record, and specifically in cuts like “Greetings from Deming” (#2 sample track) and “That’s All I Need to Know” (#4 sample track).  There are a few guest musicians on the album, but all in all this is a one-man-show – a true DIY project.
Upside: gifted artist, great vibe, strong/passionate vocals, songwriting
Downside: inconsistent DIY production techniques – especially at times in his overuse of reverb
Overall: if Eric sends this one out to all of the RMMN stations, I predict this record to be well received by the programmers, and played well into the end of the year.  there are several excellent tracks that fit what public radio in the region is all about musically. Contender for DIY album of 2010

Video for “You Don’t know Me At All” from “Eden’s Light.” Uses footage from the documentary “Everyone But You.” Edited by renowned Italian director Sophie Catalano.

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Ash Ganley – Universe Acceptable (Elephant Tree Music)Genre/Style: rock, alternative adult contemporary, country-rock
Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/ashganley
Recommended/sampled tracks: #1-Universe Acceptable, #2-Missing from My Heart, #7-River of Time, #10-Connected By Water
Guest musicians: Eben Grace (electric/lead guitars), Mark Diamond (bass), Christian Teele (drums), Andria Ganley (backup/harmony vocals)

Notes: following the 2008 release of “Cruel Waters,” Ash embarked on a two year mission to record two separate records.  This is the first of those two releases, and Ash says it’s all about the finances as to when the 2nd in the series is released.  Based on this record, I’ll look forward to it.   Ash has never shied away from writing about spiritual matters of the heart, and he certainly doesn’t here – calling into question our acceptance of the universe, things that are missing from our hearts, the fact that we’re lost on a river of time, and how all we need is inside — namely love.  On this release, Ash and his wonderful wife Andria have never sounded better singing together.

Ash and Andria shine here as one of Colorado’s reigning husband and wife singing duos, their harmonies exceptionally well executed .. their trust and respect for one another’s talents coming across in every line sung together.  Ash also reaches deeper vocally than I’ve heard him on his two previous releases “Cruel Waters” and “Dark Fuel.”  On “Connected by Water,” Ash digs more deeply into his baritone as he sings, “When I step foot in the river, I can’t see the other side.  We’d all like to know what’s above and below, so we send up our prayers to the sky” — not only reaching deeply for his notes, but into his inner spiritual depths as well.

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