- Andrew Bird, "Are You Serious". Back to a fuller band, and the quirky pop I like better than his more folky stuff. 4 stars. Here's "Roma Fade", featuring some of his trademark whistling.
- Jedediah Berry, "The Family Arcana". This is a companion to "The Family Arcana" deck of cards Berry issued recently. It is snippets about an odd family living in an odd house, one snippet per playing card. This consists of 52 different people each reading a card. I went on and rated it 3 stars so it would show up on my iPod. It is odd when one of these short, spoken word pieces comes up on shuffle play.
- Santana, "Santana IV". Well, Carlos got the band back together. So a time machine to 40 years ago? Pretty good stuff, 4 stars. Here's one with that great Santana wall of sound.
- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, "PersonA". As odd as ever, yet somehow compelling stuff. 4 stars,
- Corrine Bailey Rae, "The Heart Speaks In Whispers". When I started listening to this, my 1st thought was "This was produced by the same person who produced the latest Coldplay album". I like the songs with the simpler, more guitar-based arrangements better. 4 stars. This one for example reminds me of her earlier work.
- Lianne La Havas, "Is Your Love Big Enough?", 2012. I back-filled this album as I was obsessing on Ms. La Havas. Really tasty tunes, a wide variety of styles, she is really a nice guitar player. 4 stars.
- Eric Clapton, "I Still Do". Old Slowhand still picks great tunes. One that suprised me was "Little Man, You've Had A Busy Day". My mom used to sing this to me at bedtime. It was written in 1946, when my mother would have been 17. 4 stars.
- David Wax Museum, "Guesthouse", 2015. This and the next 3 were recommended to me by Josh Brown, formerly most excellent manager of Azur Restaurant. I think he was in Lexington recently. His song "Yes Marie Yes" was on an excellent mix tape my daughter Alexis made for me a couple of years ago. 4 stars. Here's a rousing number with Zydeco overtones.
- The Jayhawks, "Paging Mr. Proust". This band has come and gone since the mid-80s, seems like I had heard of them before, but this is my 1st exposure to their music. Their harmonies made me think of Poco, altho this comment has made some of my musician friends go "Huh?". This group made me realize, I don't have "country rock" or "folk rock" as genres in my iTunes. Oof, that will be a major reclassification project ... 4 stars.
- Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, "Little Windows". This male/female duo do some great harmony singing. Really reminded me of the Everly Brothers. 3 stars.
- Charles Bradley, "Changes". Is this guy a great R&B singer or what? 67 YO, and just put his 1st album out in 2011. Great, standard Motown arrangements. 4 stars.
- Radiohead, "A Moon Shaped Pool". A very strong effort from maybe the greatest guitar orchestra of our times. 4 stars. Here's the 1st track.
- Fitz & The Tantrums, eponymous. This one didn't quite have the R&B, Motown edge of their prior album. 3 stars.
- Tumble, "Almanac". Not sure where this came from. Definitely neuvo-folk/bluegrass. Nice vocals, particularly the female singer. 3 stars.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers, "The Getaway". This band still knows how to build a great song around a great guitar lick. 4 stars.
- Gold Panda, "Good Luck And Do Your Best". I occasionally make a foray into electronica/dance like these guys, and always find it very listenable, if not compelling or catchy. 3 stars.
- Poco, "Pickin' Up The Pieces", 1969. As I mentioned, I think The Jayhawks got me thinking about Poco. I thought I had this album in vinyl, so I decided to bump it ahead in the ripping schedule. I indeed had the jacket cover, but, alas, inside was "Axis Bold As Love". So I bought the album in mp3. Definitely one of the 1st country rock bands, in particular, one of the 1st rock bands with a pedal steel guitar. As Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Rusty Young came to this band from Buffalo Springfield, the group got added to my "CSNY+" smart playlist. What high harmonies! 4 stars.
I've been playing fairly regularly at the Sunday jam at Shamrock Pub. I've been playing and singing well, and varying the material fairly well, I think. Only 2 more weeks of that jam, it will stop once ... football season is in full swing :-(
I also went and played at a jam in Danville at Brother's BBQ. Some good local players out, including a couple I hadn't seen for a while. But, that's just too far to go for a jam. There's a rumor that keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist/harpist Bob Hopps might come out from Springfield to that jam. If so, I may try to make it then.