Blitzen Trappen – Furr (rock)
Energetic rock with folk elements, evoking Rubber Soul-era Beatles. Electric organs, tambourines, and close harmonies support an retro-electric guitar band.
Listen to Blitzen Trappen “Sleepytime in the Western World”
Old Crow Medicine Show – Tennessee Pusher (folk)
OCMS is a strung-out string band that valorizes the seedier side of
Listen to Old Crow Medicine Show “The Greatest Hustler of All”
Cold War Kids – Loyalty to Loyalty (rock)
Sparse rock arrangements underscore winding vocals and quirky lyrics. Fresh.
Listen to Cold War Kids “Against Privacy”
Charlie Haden Family & Friends – Rambling Boy (folk)
Carter Family-style country harmony is a serious change of pace for jazz bass virtuoso Charlie Haden, but his family has the vocal chops to pull it off. Assists by the likes of Dan Tyminski, Rosanne Cash, and Ricky Skaggs certainly help them to pull of faithful versions of old chestnuts like “Wildwood Flower.”
Listen to Charlie Haden Family & Friends “Seven Year Blues”
BONUS – Jack Black guests on “Old Joe Clark”
The Soul Stirrers – A Soul Stirring
The group that launched Sam Cooke reunites for a sweet set of old-school gospel. Their vintage sound still packs a wallop.
Listen to The Soul Stirrers “Be With Me Jesus”
Evil Farm Children – Evil Farm Children II: The Evilling (country)
Heavy rockin’ country from a band that’s watched one too many Saturday afternoon horror b-movie marathons. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics make this a fun ride through the darker side of rockabilly.
Listen to Evil Farm Children “Brain Buffet”
Leona Naess – Thirteens (rock)
Irresistible folk-pop in the same vein as Yael Naim. A CD full of songs that get stuck in your head.
Listen to Leona Naess “Leave Your Boyfriends Behind”
Terry Lynn – Kingstonlogic 2.0 (reggae)
State-of-the-art beats cross dancehall, techno, and street-tough attitude.
Listen to Terry Lynn “Kingstonlogic (Angry Mix)”
The Age of Rockets – Hannah (rock)
Mostly mellow sonic atmospheres. Echoey vocals, bells, and judicious use of electronics make for expansive listening.
Listen to The Age of Rockets “What Story Down There Awaits Its End”
Straight-ahead rock with blues-edged vocals, designed for airplay, and deserves to get some.
Listen to Kings of
Nazi Dogs – Chase the Man (rock)
Full-throttle German punk rock. Rebellious energy and a stripped down, do-it-yourself sound.
Listen to Nazi Dogs “Borderline”
McCoy Tyner – Guitars (jazz)
Duets between the piano giant some of the best guitarists alive, plus Bela Fleck for a couple of banjo tracks. The most I could hear of this were sound samples at the CD baby website, so I can only imagine how awesome this is. If anyone manages to get their hands on this, send me a review and I’ll post it.