I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. It’s the middle of my busiest season of the year with multiple events happening at an almost daily rate. I’m working on a home remodel so I can move my 75 year old Mom in with us this September. This coming weekend I’m on a radio promotion panel at the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (DPUMS). And, I’m also interviewing for one job that I applied for, and am likely to be considered for another that just opened up. Both, yes, are in radio – you didn’t think you’d get rid of me that easily did you? LOL.
I also got new music this week I cannot blog about nor air on my show, as the band wants me to wait until they have some units in their hand to sell; so I figure another couple of weeks on the new Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams called Sinners & Saints — not to be confused with the wonderful new Mollie O’Brien/Rich Moore release called Saints & Sinners.
This is a pretty packed MMMM (Monday morning music meeting). There were a lot of new adds this past week. So it’s broken down into the top three featured releases, and a montage of tracks from some others…. enjoy.
Paper Bird – When the River Took Flight (self)
Genre/Style: americana, folk
Notes: Paper Bird inexplicably re-recorded and/or remastered a number of songs from their last release, including a more radio friendly (they got rid of the FCC non-compliant language) version of Colorado. Also included are new versions of Lost Boys, Dead as a Dead Man’s Bones, and Lullaby, all from the ep A Sky Underground. The new material follows the same general musical themes, with perhaps a bit more bluegrass influence, as evidenced by the samples employed. From their website: Their rare and beautiful approach to music led them to be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and they were voted in the Top 10 Best Underground Bands by Denver Post two years in a row, as well as 5280’s Top of the Town 2009 “Top Local Band”. In the last year they have played Red Rocks Amphitheater to an audience of over 8000 people and have shared the stage with Devotchka, Judy Collins, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Glen Campbell, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Their haunting and authentic sound is a refreshing and breathtaking blend of folk, jazz, bluegrass and rhythm and blues.
Mandy Harvey – Smile (M/H Records)Genre/Style: jazz, vocals, adult standards
Notes: WOW! Okay, it’s hard enough to sing well when you have all your physical parts in tact. What do you do when one of them, one of the most important of them, diminishes or disappears on you – as is the case with 22 year old Mandy Harvey who lost her hearing when she was 19. From Mandy’s bio on her website:
This CD is also an expression of hope. Nearly three years ago, Mandy experienced an unexpected and profound hearing loss. Though legally deaf, she continues to sing. You will hear the music of her heart…and it will make you smile. Mandy lives in Northern Colorado and is a regular performer at Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins. Her love for music and singing has been years in the making. She was selected as the top female vocalist of her high school and entered the Music Education program at Colorado State University. During her freshman year she lost her hearing and left the university. While her dream of becoming a music teacher has died, the music is still alive and well within her. Though her hearing loss is profound (110 decibels in each ear) her timing, pitch and passion are perfect.
The guest players on this album have impeccable cred – Mark Sloniker (piano, co-producer), Erik Applegate (bass), Mark Raynes (percussion), Andrew Vogt (sax & clarinet)
Suggested tracks: all of them. Mandy tends to fare better on the slower material overall I think, but I wouldn’t pass on the uptempo numbers either.
I would definitely go to her website and read the JazzTimes review of Mandy’s work. It’s worth the read, and might even choke you up a bit. I know it did me. Bravo young lady, bravo .. this is an exceptional work of art, regardless of who you are, or what you have to work with 🙂
Fuzzy Killing Machine – Enjoy & Destroy (Chair 8 Records)Genre/Style: rock, alternative
Notes: 3 piece band out of Durango. Recording produced by Durango resident and legendary producer/engineer Ed Stasium (Living Color, Talking Heads, Ramones). One of the strongest SOUNDING rock records of the year so far… with a producer like Stasium, how could it not be, right?
Wovenhand – The Threshingfloor
Notes: David Eugene Edwards produces some of the most intriguing and interesting music in Colorado – a long way further down the dark corridors of his soul than what he did with 16Horsepower, which was pretty dark in its own right.
Mechanical Dan – Mechanical Dan
Notes: MD is a new band on the scene. This is their debut. The band channels some of the best of southern rock/blues. RIYL Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, etc.
Bailey Stauffer & the Katy Janes — Bend or Break
Notes: produced, mixed & mastered by Jason Larson (Pig Pen Studio/Backbone Studio). Baily Stauffer grew up in Loveland, Colorado. In 2009 the band entered and won the Fort Collins Battle of the Bands, which was slightly surprising, quite flattering, and came with a prize — free recording time at Pigpen Studios with Jason Larson. RIYL: Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty
Elin Palmer – Postcard
Notes: From website – Elin has had the pleasure of working with a lot of acclaimed artists throughout the years, including 16 Horsepower, M. Ward, The Czars, Wovenhand, Basia Bulat, The Fray, and Kal Cahoone. She was also a core member and string arranger for Munly, in his former group Munly and The Lee Lewis Harlots. Elin often tours and plays for Eric Bachmann (of Archers of Loaf) in the band Crooked Fingers. She has performed arrangements by Tom Hagerman of Devotchka and toured with the band as a performing musician— including a May 19, ‘08 performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.