REVIEW: JEFF FINLIN – SOUL ON THE LINE

You cannot imagine how excited I was to get some kind of message – via the Innerwebs or some otherworldly means – that Jeff Finlin, “Fin” as he’s known locally in Fort Collins, put out a new album. I mean, I was so excited my heart jumped. I immediately dived into the entire album and haven’t stopped listening since.

You can’t find this album on SPOTIFY – yet. The published release date is June 24. HOWEVER – the album was released on May 19 via Continental Record Services out of the Netherlands on Bandcamp.

Produced by Jeff Finlin.
Recorded By Darren Raddach at Stout Studios, Fort Collins, CO.
Jeff Finlin – Drums, electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, percussion, piano
Taylor Tessler – Bass
Joe V. Mcmahan – Electric guitars
Eben Grace – Electric guitars
Eric Straumanis – Electric guitars
Brian Keller – Horns, accordion

Jeff Finlin’s legacy goes back decades. In my case it’s two decades since I first heard his music. Ever since then I have anxiously and quietly pleaded, cajoled and otherwise stamped my goat hoofs for something new.

After all, for as prolific as Jeff as been in his career –  13 critically acclaimed records – I honestly thought another album would never come my way. Silly me; Jeff has basically put out an album every few years. The last, The Guru in the Girl (2017), was a measly five years ago – an eternity it seems in Jeff’s catalogue.

Soul On the Line doesn’t move far from Jeff’s established Americana trad folk-rock style that travels nicely in the car with the likes of John Hiatt, Levon Helm or Bob Dylan. A literary mastermind, Jeff’s songs have taken us on an journey of life filled with vivid imagery. In the lead single, “…we walk the line, years repeating all our tears and time. Compromise our patron saint …hangin’ out with our Soul On the Line.”

Throughout the album, Jeff touches on issues that as he’s said are about “…these extreme and harrowing times we currently live in. Everything about our existence seems to be hanging in the balance.”

In What Went Wrong he ponders, “We all get tired of waiting, waiting on ourselves, so then we go and settle, set our feet in something else and then wonder why we can’t feel nothing here at all; and we’re stuck here on the telephone …wondering what went wrong.”

The songs on this album are not about the hope for the future. Jeff’s reflections and voice are those of an aged muse, tired and worn out from the battering waves of the very life that has inspired so many of his greatest stories in song and verse.

Jeff’s Northern Colorado friends and worldwide fans will love and adore and cherish this album as yet another intimate chapter in our friend’s collection. I’d suggest first timers visit earlier albums like Epinonymous, his highly acclaimed fourth album, before diving into this one.

REVIEW: MARYLYNN GILLASPIE- SECRET LANGUAGE

Colorado is known for world class jazz, strange as that might sound. Colorado is also known historically for world class vocal jazz. Denver native Dianne Reeves has earned five Grammy Awards and an honorary Doctorate from Julliard for her work in that genre.

Boulder based Rare Silk earned two Grammy nominations for their vocalese / vocal jazz in the early ’80s, and Lannie Garrett blessed area stages into the 21st century with her torch and big band jazz stylizations.

MaryLynn Gillaspie started out with Rare Silk, a vocal quartet that she, her sister Gaile and Marguerite Juneman formed in the late seventies as a trio to sing songs influenced by and in the style of swing-era acts like the Andrews Sisters. Their debut, New Weave, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Vocal–Duo or Group category. Rare Silk ended their run in 1988.

MaryLynn Gillaspie wouldn’t be heard from again until 2012, when she began showing up with local Boulder/Denver musicians, sitting in for a song or two. That gave her the confidence to step into the studio, twenty-five years after Rare Silk ended.

Here’s a collection of songs MaryLynn has recorded since re-emerging in the scene a decade ago.

Secret Language (2022)

To be honest, with the exception of the standards, Dolphin Dance and Fly Me to the Moon, I knew almost nothing about the rest of the songs on the album. They could have all been self-penned for all I knew before opening it up and reading about it.

Fortunately, I listened without any real bias that way – it was a clean listen. And then I looked to see who wrote what.

It’s a shame really that I can’t find any liner notes. It would be nice to see who played what on each track. Based on the bits and pieces I have been able to collect, the notes read like a who’s who of Denver/Boulder talent, produced by Grammy winning Boulder composer and producer Kip Keupper at Coupe Studios.

Dophin Dance is a genuine joy. MaryLynn took the Herbie Hancock tune and wrote an original set of lyrics and a vocal melody for it. She also penned an original set of lyrics to Pat Metheny‘s (It’s Just) Talk. Not limited to being inspired by and influenced by jazz (old or new), MaryLynn turned to King Crimson‘s 1981 album Discipline for an utterly original retelling of Matte Kudasai.

As it stands now, on May 15 2022, MaryLynn’s return to full length “vinyl” (euphemistically speaking) is the stand out jazz album of the year from Colorado. It’s great to hear that voice again after more than THIRTY-FIVE years.

REVIEW – KAITLYN WILLIAMS SURPRISES WITH UNDER THESE LIGHTS

As a talent buyer, I yearn for a solid live representation of an artist or band. As a record “collector” and radio show producer, I LOVE and typically much prefer studio albums.

NOTE to musicians: Most people I chat with also prefer a solid live representation before deciding whether to spend money to see an unknown artist or band live.

Studio albums have detail and nuances not ordinarily evident in live records. Live albums are hard to produce, and often disastrous; without studio overdubs they often show every minute flaw in individual performances. Most live music video performances are often worse, for lack of proper professional video production among other things.

Kaitlyn Williams showed up on Denver’s open mic circuit about 2016. It wasn’t long before Denver’s Wes Watkins “discovered” her and invited her to be a part of his band, The Other Black. Seemingly, that’s all it took for the burgeoning pop/neo-soul songstress to gain the confidence she needed to go it alone with her own band.

Kaitlyn released her debut, Sunset, not long after in 2019. Songs like Rain and the title track Sunset revealed a songwriter and singer many years more polished and mature than the mediocrity that too often flows through my studio monitors.

Enter “Under These Lights,” the new LIVE album from Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn walks a fine line between youthful pop and more sophisticated adult oriented neo-soul. She scores on both counts. Recorded live at the Lodge at Woods Boss Brewing in Denver, the intimate small room was the perfect space for the enthusiastic Kaitlyn and her fans (evidence fully displayed in the title track, the first full song in the show).

It takes some pretty major emotional fortitude to release a live album, especially one with music and performances as sophisticated and intimate as displayed Under These Lights. It may have felt great on stage, but what would the recording sound like? After all it was a live recording, which are often known for glaring deficiencies.

In this case Kaitlyn must have felt exuberant upon hearing it, because Under These Lights is a major league homerun among Colorado releases in 2022.

In a market crowed with potential pop/R&B/soul star power, Kaitlyn has more than earned her place with easily the best live album to come out of Denver in the past sixteen years of the Colorado Playlist.

NOTABLE TRACKS: #6 The Truth, #8 Don’t Blink

CP S15:EP46 2021

Picture taken by Claire Mannato in Westcliffe, Colorado, July 2021. Used with permission.

Monday NOV 15, 2021 – There are a lot of places to see live music along the northern Front Range from Denver to Fort Collins. Recently we attended a show at the Brighton Armory, owned and operated by the City of Brighton.

The Armory hosts a variety of music and other programs. The venue is a beautiful 300 capacity room with exquisite sound and lighting elements with regional original art on the walls. Most shows are set up for seating in nicely padded seats while leaving room at the back of the house for those who like to dance.

We recently attended the The Petty Nicks Experience at the Brighton Armory. The Petty Nicks Experience is one of Colorado’s leading tribute bands. Adrienne Osborn plays the role of Stevie Nicks, and out-Stevies the now 73 year old Stevie Nicks. Julian Fulco Perron portrays the late Tom Petty in the show and brings both a reasonable look and vocal style to Petty classics. Here’s a video I took at the show.

The Petty Nicks Experience at The Brighton Armory

STATION OF THE WEEK

May be an image of flower and text that says 'KSJD Ideas Stories Community'

Community radio exists because of the support from listeners like you! Please help keep public radio on the air by becoming a sustaining member. See your local community radio station website for more information.

THE COLORADO PLAYLIST & 105.5 THE COLORADO SOUND PRESENT
NOV 26 – The Velveteers at Gothic Theatre
NOV 26 – Gasoline Lollipops at The Aggie Theater
DEC 11 – Inthewhale – Washington’s FoCo
DEC 31 – Head for the Hills at The Aggie Theater

“Locally Grown” – Family Owned

Locally Grown” 20/20 EyeVision offers a full range of services and they accept Medicaid at the Orchard Center in Westminster.

TOP 5 WEEK ENDING NOV 13 2021

TOP 5 and TOP 30 charts are pulled from published spins of current releases (twelve months old) at 13 Colorado non-profit community/public and college radio stations. Eleven Colorado radio stations currently utilize Spinitron.

Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations; featuring advanced search functions for artists and agents.

  1. NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHTSWEATS – The Future LP (Nov-21)
  2. THE VELVETEERS – Nightmare Daydream LP (Oct-21)
  3. THE LUMINEERS – Brightside LP (Oct-21)
  4. ANIMAL ELECTRICITY – TheSameThings LP (Jun-21)
  5. DESERT ATLAS – The Great Plains are an Ocean LP (Jun-21))

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

Serving Cedaredge CO over 20 years.

HOUR 1

Starwood Dance The Night Away – Home Brew (1975)
Firefall You Are The Woman – Firefall (1976)
(D) Ando GroShot Down – Golden (2022)
Gabrielle LouiseDon’t Touch Me – The Unending Alteration Of The Human Heart (2020)
The LumineersGloria – III (2019)
Scott Kinsey and Mer SalTime Out of Mind – Adjustments (2021)
Chris Daniels & Hazel MillerTakin’ It To the Streets – What We Did! (2021)
Rose Hill DriveCool Cody – Rose Hill Drive (2006)
The FilmsGood Day – Don’t Dance Rattlesnake (2006)
(D) White Rose Motor Oil Bloodletting – Oh Lucretia EP (2022)
WovenhandLong Horn – The Laughing Stalk (2012)
Last Call RomanceIf It’s the Last Thing That I Do – Double Funeral, Vol. 1 EP (2020)
EuforquestraSome Things Are Not Known (2020)

HOUR 2

Zephyr Moving Too Fast – Sunset Ride REMASTERED 2021 (1971)
(D) Rob RoperMetadata (We’re Watching You) – The Way (2022)

Paul Whitacre Cardiac Arrest (2020)
Eldren Still Want More – Miss Information Aged (2018)
Magic BeansSweet Thang – Slice of Life (2021)
Flobots Me & You (Happy 2gether) (2021)
Lannie GarrettC’est Si Bon – Under Paris Skies (2005)
Boa and the ConstrictorsMe & My Baby Got Somethin Goin On – Snake Eyes (1998)
(D) Zoe BermanAge of the Sherbert Man (2021)

Yonder Mountain String Band Idaho – Town By Town (2001)
Daniel RodriguezColorado – Sojurn of a Burning Sun (2020)
2b3 Fire – Jimi (2021)

THIS WEEK ON YOUTUBE*

some tracks are not available on YouTube

CP S15 EP11 2021

March 15 2021 –SNOW DAY! YAY!  Yeah no, LOL.  But it’s still a snow day.  Stay warm and safe.  It’s a great chance to hunker down and listen to a batch of new music that hit my desk this past week.

Starting off – Gasoline Lollipops reenters the TOP 5 this week, jumping up into the #3 position, with  Nathaniel Rateliff staying at #1 and award winner A.J. Fullerton maintaining his hold on #2.

One release coming out later this month is from Hunter James & the Titanic.  The band is releasing a series of 3 EPs, culminating in an album over the spring and summer.

The first ep release is called “Tight-Walkin’ Man.”  It is coming out March 26th and is a release ready for the band to tour behind as things open up this summer and fall.

Partially mixed and mastered by Danny Reisch and company at Good Danny’s in Texas, the sonic quality is as professional as it can be; meaning they’re serious enough to make that kind of investment to begin with.

In an era where the return on that investment comes from shows and we don’t know what this year’s show season looks like yet, going to one of the nation’s top production studios is huge.

Want to check out CP 2021, or the 50 “best” of 2020, the “The 60s to Today” or CP Women in honor of International Women’s Month?  Check out the Colorado Playlist on Spotify.

Are you a working musician in Colorado, or a soundperson, stage hand, etc employed pre-COVID but seriously struggling to pay for rent, utilities or food?  Rocky Mountain Music Relief can’t meet all your needs, but we can offer some help.

 

Middle Class Rock Star is a podcast hosted by  Andy Sydow.  Every week or so I feature a 7 to 8 minute segment featuring  a conversation Andy has with some of our scene’s top music makers and industry personalities.  This week’s guest is Specific Ocean.


Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations, record promoters and artists are among those most likely to benefit from the detailed search function.

TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING MARCH 13 2021

TOP 5 and TOP 30 charts are culled from published spins at 13 Colorado non-profit community/public and college radio stations.  Currently 11 Colorado radio stations utilize Spinitron.

1. NATHANIEL RATELIFF – Redemption SINGLE (Dec-20)
2. A.J. FULLERTON – The Forgiver and the Runaway LP (Mar-21)
3. GASOLINE LOLLIPOPSAll the Misery Money Can Buy LP (Sep-20)
4. LADY GANG – Full Throttle LP (Feb-21)
5. BEVIN LUNA – Buchanan EP (Jan-21)

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

The Mishawaka is a legendary music venue, restaurant and bar located 13.7 miles up the Poudre Canyon Highway (CO 14) in the stunning Poudre Canyon in Bellvue, CO.  THERE ARE SHOWS BOOKED! 

A REMINDER:  Please listen to ALL of the songs and rate them.  Thanks🙂

(D) = debut LP/EP or single
(N) = new track from previously debuted LP/EP
(P) = Colorado Playlist premier / not available online

HOUR 1

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Mr. Bojangles – Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (1970)
(D) John Paul Grigsby – Tides Were Low – Nothing Is New (2021)

Finn O’Sullivan – When The Power Comes Back On – When The Power Comes Back On (2020)
PorloloI QUIT (2019)
(N) The Barlow – Hard Lovin’ – Horseshoe Lounge (2021)

Kind Hearted Stranger – The Egoist – East-West (2021)
The Samples – Wild River – Return To Earth (2001)
The Apples In Stereo – Questions And Answers – Her Wallpaper Reverie (1999)
The Soul Thieves – Every Day – Microphone In The Sugar Bowl (2001)
(D) Niceness – What A Day – Realize (2021)

LVDYChange (2020)
Rob Drabkin – It’s A Beautiful Day – Beautiful Day (2018)
Garrett Sayers Trio – Diatribe – Thinkbox (2017)

HOUR 2

Michael Stanley – Among My Friends – Friends and Legends (1973)
Michael Stanley – Just Keep Playing Your Radio – Friends and Legends (1973)
(D) Kingdome JasmineRules of Verse (2021)
Claire Heywood – Python – I Won’t Resign My Love For That Old Dream (2020)
Edison – Open Road – Familiar Spirit (2016)
Jayme Stone – Future Promise – Awake, Awake (2020)
Andy Sydow – Still My Girl – Wicked Dreams EP (2020)
(D) Specific OceanUnity Effect (2021)

DeVotchKa – Straight Shot – This Night Falls Forever (2018)
Tennis – Never Work for Free – Ritual in Repeat (2014)
Wildermiss – Hell or High Water – In My Mind (2020)
The Fred Hess Band – Norman’s Gold – Single Moment (2008)

THIS WEEK ON YOUTUBE

The Colorado Playlist is provided to member stations at no cost.  Your support is deeply appreciated and will help to keep the program on the air.

%d bloggers like this: