Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. This is prob’ly the last and final installment of MMMM for 2010 – so I wanted to share a handful of titles that either just came out recenly, or are slated for release in January. I’ll be feverishly working on the Best of 2010 stuff coming out in the first week of January … so stay tuned for that.
Elephant Revival – Break in the Clouds
Genre/Style: folk, americana, neo-folk, transcendental-folk
Produced by David Tiller, The Distillery, Lyons CO
Mastered by David Glasser, Airshow Mastering, Boulder CO
Sample track: Feathers Rise
Notes: I have to say it has taken me a while now to warm up to E.R. Their debut produced a couple of pretty popular singles in “Ring Around the Moon,” and “Currach.” It was otherwise all a bit too dreamy for my own personal ears. This one follows in the same suit, but there is the obvious sophomore release maturity factor at play. How that works with their fans and at radio around the state will be spelled out in January and February I’m sure. BTW – the band calls what they do transcendental-folk.
Travel By Sea – Two States and the Blindness that Follows
Genre/Style: americana, alternative-country-rock
Sample Track: Even the Sunrise
Note: this record actually came out a couple of months ago, and it has only now crossed the goat’s desk, thanks to KRFC dj Scott Foley who had it in his Best of List for 2010. Essentially, one of the two primary persons involved is from Denver and the other is in California. They’ve been recording this way for about five years. RIYL Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Sun Volt, etc.
Bob Rea – Ragged Choir
Genre/Style: americana, rock, adult
Produced by: Tim Lorsch (Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Pat Green, Ray Price, Percy Sledge, Lorrie Morgan, Mary Gauthier, Hank Thompson, Jo-El Sonnier, Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, Kevin Welch)
Engineered and mastered by: Bradley Hartman (Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver)
Sample track: Platinum Dream
Notes: I’ve known Bob a while now. From Durango, Bob has the wherewithall to go to Nashville to get his records done by people who have been there done that … and the finished project sounds like it. Bob is the real deal in the genre … a worthy contender for national chart position at stations that favor americana formats.
Pete Kartsounes – The Only Way I Know
Genre/Style: americana, country-folk, rock
Produced/recorded by Aaron Youngberg, Swingfinger Studio, LaPorte CO
Sample track: Takin’ Steps
Notes: Just discovered Pete much to my chagrin. Don’t know what took me so long, other than maybe there are so many acts to follow today in Colorado. Pete’s previous record was produced by Greg Schochet (Halden Wofford, Todd Adelman). Greg shows up as a member of the band on this record. Guests include Sally Van Meter. Pete stretches out on this one, breaking away from his purely country-folk roots to indulge himself on the rockier side of things… although there is plenty of folk on the record.
Kenny Perkins – Wild Frontier
Genre/Style: americana, rock, country-rolk
Produced by: Kenny Perkins and John Macy
Mixed by John Macy – Macy Sound Studios, Denver CO
Sample track: Wild Frontier
Notes: I featured this album in a review a few weeks ago, but the more I listen to it, the more it feels like it could be a very popular Colorado release in the early part of the year.
Mandy Harvey – After You’ve Gone
Genre/Style: jazz, standards, adult contemporary
Sample track: Smiles
Notes: Mandy has simply blown me away this past year. Her debut set a standard for those with physical disadvantages (she’s 100% deaf) that will no doubt inspire people for many decades to come. Once the jitters of recording seem to have settled, she went back into the studio to record some covers of adult standards, and some originals … along the way enlisting the likes of Mark Sloniker (piano), Peter Sommer (sax), and Brad Goode (trumpet) as soloists. The new record is quite honestly the first “Best” record of 2011 … it’s exquisite.
The Centennial – Second Spring EP
Genre/Style: indie/alternative, adult contemporary
Sample track: 1988
Notes: Meese lost their development deal with Atlantic Records. Patrick Meese and his wife start new band called The Centennial. It’s a lot different than Meese. The EP is available for FREE DL at the band website.
Monroe Monroe – Pure Desmond
Genre/Style: rock, indie/alternative
Sample track: Engines Will Come
Notes: what is indie anyway? Can anyone really define it? Isn’t it the new alternative? Yeah, I do believe it is. Pulling influences in that are as diverse as U2 and Arcade Fire, Monroe Monroe will undoubedly see some much stage time regionally in 2011. They are also a finalist for Home for the Holidays for 2010 on KTCL (Denver’s alternative rock/pop station).