Thursday, November 5, 2009

Casual Listening - Dixie Bee-Liners, Celia Mur, Emma Lou Diemer

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

October 30, 2009

! The Dixie Bee-Liners – Susanville (Bluegrass)

A one-hour road trip for the mind, “Susanville” captures the restlessness and discovery of barreling across middle America. The string band sound evokes just enough nostalgia to capture the feel of truck stops and diners without getting too comfortable – after all, it’s the road that calls. These songs carry a sense of velocity, always moving us along to somewhere new.

Listen to The Dixie Bee-Liners “Restless

* Celia Mur – Simpatia (jazz)

Nightclub jazz with sultry vocals in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Mur is a delight to listen to, and her improvisations show the confidence she feels with her voice. Mark Turner’s sax is a welcome bonus. A couple of flamenco tunes round out the set.

Listen to Celia MurTres Morillas

Emma Lou Diemer – Summer Day: The Complete Works for Violin and Piano (classical)

Diemer’s compositions are characterized by a strong sense of melody, a quality that is rare to find in the world of modern composition. The duet format leaves plenty of space for the melodies to emerge.

Listen to Emma Lou Diemer “Suite for Violin and Piano: Summer Day

Rickie Lee Jones – Balm in Gilead (rock)

Jones’ unpolished but enthusiastic voice always brings a smile to my face. Whether she’s doing retro soul, honky tonk, jazz, or just her own thing, there’s an underlying joy to the music that’s irresistible. Not to mention songwriting that’s head and shoulders above most of what gets produced today.

Listen to Rickie Lee Jones “Eucalyptus Trail

Amerie – In Love & War (R&B)

High quality pop candy. Amerie’s buoyant voice bobs across a clear sheen of energy that manages not to be too much of anything, but draws elements of soul, rock, rap, and funk. Nearly every song on here could see radio airplay.

Listen to Amerie “Dangerous

Kate Earl – Kate Earl (rock)

While she’s cribbed a page from Lily Allen’s playbook, she does it so well that you really don’t mind. Slick, sexy, and aloof, this is an enjoyable listen.

Listen to Kate Earl “Nobody

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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