Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Soul - Direct Me

shame on me shame on me
i made a big mistake
when I see my babe again
i'm gonna bake me her favorite cake

ten thousand dollar reward
for the first the one that finds her
when I get my hands on y'all
i'm gonna just chain and bind her

somebody direct me
straight to my baby's love
direct me
straight to my woman's love

Otis Redding - Direct Me : Direct Me 7"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Lover

tell me what you want
tell me what you want

i could be your super hero
i could be your biggest disappointment

don't be sad
don't be sad

is it really that bad?
is it really that bad?

most of us start out just thinking it's easy
when the hardest thing you do is remember how to smile, girl

tell me what you want
tell me what you want

i'll give it if i can

As the title song and album title suggest, Dear Lover is a series of messages about love, some of which don't typically roll off lovers' tongues. It holds a fierce, powerful, sometimes dark beauty as it rolls from Matthew Ryan's raspy, insistent voice.

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.

Monday, June 21, 2010

We miss you Shel

Growing up, you had to have read or have had read to you the poems of the late great Shel Silverstein. What many people don't know about him though is that he has a prolific song writer as well, penning hits that would chart for such diverse artists as Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, Tompall Glaser, The Irish Rovers, and Johnny Cash (who would perform his songs 25 Minutes to Go and the classic A Boy Named Sue).

Earlier this month, a collection of artists both young and old assembled a collection of his songs for Twistable, Turnable Man - A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein. Here's the line up:
1. Lullabys, Legends and Lies: My Morning Jacket
2. The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns: Andrew Bird
3. This Guitar Is For Sale: John Prine
4. The Unicorn: Dr. Dog
5. The Winner: Kris Kristofferson
6. Queen Of The Silver Dollar: Sarah Jarosz w/ Black Prairie
7. Daddy What If: Bobby Bare, Jr.
8. The Cover Of The Rolling Stone: Black Francis w/ Joey Santiago
9. Sylvia’s Mother: The Boxmasters
10. Me And Jimmy Rodgers: Ray Price
11. A Boy Named Sue: Todd Snider
12. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan: Lucinda Williams
13. The Living Legend: Bobby Bare, Sr.
14. The Giving Tree: Nanci Griffith
15. 26 Second Song: My Morning Jacket
While there is definitely a country slant here, It's an interesting angle on a man best known for writing about sidewalks ending and trees giving.

Visit the compilation's label Sugar Hill Records.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jazz Brunch Jam - I Love You, Porgy

I loves you, Porgy,
Don't let him take me
Don't let him handle me
And drive me mad
If you can keep me
I wanna stay here with you forever
I've got my man

Nina Simone - I Love You, Porgy : I Love You, Porgy 7"

Nina Simone - Love Me or Leave Me : I Love You, Porgy 7" B-side

Find them on her first release ever, Little Girl Blue.

Sunday Soul - Baby Sitter

Staying home with our baby all the time
It kept me kind of broken hearted
So I went and hired myself a babysitter
And that's when my trouble all started

This 16 year old chick walked in
With a skirt up to her waist
She had a truckload of you know what
And all of it in place

Betty Wright - Baby Sitter : Baby Sitter 7"

Betty Wright - Outside Woman : Baby Sitter 7" B-side

Find them both on The Best of Betty Wright.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Losing Our Way

the sun shine is somewhere
where i don't know
how am i supposed to get there
all on my own?

driving down the highway
nowhere to go
anywhere but the place
i'm running from

and we all lose our way
and we all lose our way

This is a quite corner in an otherwise rocking / bluesy album from newcomer Melissa Bel. Bel's got a soulful sound that reminds me of a few artists I'm into: Grace Potter, Joss Stone, and The Last Town Chorus in her quieter moments (like this song). The album as a whole is a rocker though, and shows a lot of promise for an intro to her.

Melissa Bel - We All Lose Our Way : Brave

Visit her website and become her friend on MySpace.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Come and Get It!

I first caught wind of Eli "Paperboy" Reed at the Brooklyn Soul Festival last year and soon after went out and got his most recent album at the time, Roll With You. At the time I thought it was great. That is until I picked up his latest album Come and Get It, which came out earlier this month, which is just freakin' phenomenal!

Take a young white boy, fill him up with some love of good ol' 60's soul, R&B, and gospel, and what do you get? Eli "Paperboy" Reed of course! His unassuming exuberance is simply unstoppable, and is most definitely contagious. His influences are evident throughout the new album: whether is the southern Stax style horns mixed with the Motown female harmonies of Name Calling to the gospel draw of Reed's vocals on Pick A Number (my personal favorite on the album), he serves it up nice and meaty, and spot on for sure. There's nothing but love in his delivery, and it's not just fawning, Reed has got the spirit flowing through him for sure.

Check out the album closer Explosion below. It reminds me a lot of Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (who I wrote about last year for their debut album). Then check out one from his last album. THEN get the whole album for yourself.

and one from his last album:

Visit his website, his label Capitol Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Win Leela James' Soul

Leela James came up on my radar a year or two ago when my ear caught sound of her cover of James Brown's It's A Man's Man's Man's World from her second album, Let's Do It Again. That album was a collection of eleven covers of soul and R&B numbers (and a few surprises thrown in to boot) that although spanned a fairly wide range of artists (artists such as the Rolling Stones, Womack & Womack, Bootsy's Rubber Band, Al Green, The Staple Singers, and others), didn't seem like it really pushed her abilities to their heights. Don't get me wrong, there are some good songs in the mix, but not a single one of James' own.

Last month James released her third album, titled My Soul, and it's definitely a HUGE step in the right direction for her. For this album she changed labels and moved over to the revamped Stax Records, a move that I think was insanely positive for her and her artistic growth. The last album felt like it was geared toward the older crowd; this album exudes a more youthful vibrancy that suits James well. It still retains ties to the soul music that James' tastes were formed through while also connecting to the music of today. It's a hot mix of old school soul and modern day R&B/hip-hop that's been in heavy rotation in my car for a few weeks now.

Check out a handful of her tracks below, and then leave a comment (or email me) with your name and email address and you'll be in the running to win a SIGNED copy of her newest album. I'll choose a winner next Fridayish and notify them via email pronto. Don't sit on this...make sure to enter!

Leela James - So Cold : My Soul

and old one:

Leela James - Clean Up Woman (Betty Wright cover) : Let's Do It Again

and a guest appearance:

Pete Rock - No Tears (Feat. Leela James) : Soul Survivor II

Visit her website, her label Stax Records, and become her friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Master Storyteller

Have you ever completely stumbled across an album that you ended up absolutely loving? That happened to me with In Person & On Stage, the latest album (and second live release) from John Prine. I'm not even going to pretend; somehow Prine's 40+ year career has completely marched past my ears unnoticed. Until now.

There are just some artists that are born story tellers. Johnny Cash comes to mind as a universal example that everyone should connect with. When Johnny sang about sleeping with his best friend's wife, even if it wasn't true, for the brief minutes you were listening, it felt true. He just had that quality about him that made you stop and listen. John Prine is like that. A lot like that.

This latest album of his collects live songs from the last few years, and for each and every one there is some sort of story that goes along with it. Some are brief, some last a few minutes. All of them feel genuine and warm, as if he's letting each and every listener into his life. Prine comes across as that grandfather that every grandchild climbs over, wanting to sit on his lap and hear stories. His songs are heartfelt to the core. It's just that simple. Simple songs about simple feelings that are universal.

And if you don't take my word for it, listen to Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine, a tribute album containing twelve of his songs performed by various artists who look up to him such as Josh Ritter (who's been playing a cover version of My Mexican Home in concert for many years now), Connor Oberst, Justin Townes Earle, Sara Watkins, Deer Tick, and others.

and get She Is My Everything in exchange for your email address HERE.

Sara Watkins - The Late John Garfield Blues : Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine

Visit his website, his label Oh Boy Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

with me

fill your head with the ocean
fill your head with the sea
and dream of sailing with me

paint a picture of a forest
sunlight sifting through the trees
and dream of wandering there with me

fill your head with the ocean
fill your head with a sea
and dream of being with me

with me

This song comes from the beautiful debut by Sara Jackson-Holman and is the title track. Her sound has a classical sound (that's where she received her musical training) mixed with a sultry air. It's got a quiet sophistication without the pretentiousness.

Sara Jackson-Holman - When You Dream : When You Dream

Visit her label Expunged Records and become her friend on MySpace.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday Soul - On the Philly tip

I aint did nothing to you
I just love you with my heart, heart and soul
Everytime I need some lovin
Why do you turn, turn cold
Now I aint dumb, and I aint stupid
I know you need love, need love like I do
Cause if you aint loving me,
I wanna know who in the world you loving
Tell me if you dont want me around

You gonna make me love somebody else
If you keep on treating me the way you do
I dont wanna do it

The Jones Girls - You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else (12" version) : You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else 12"

The Jones Girls - Who Can I Run To (12" Version)
: You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else 12" B-side

Get the LP versions on The Jones Girls.


I picked that 12" a few months ago when I hit up Dusty Groove in Chicago, but figured today would be the perfect day to share it while talking about about a new comp that BBE Records put out just a few days ago: Get Down With the Philly Sound. It's a double disc collection of some CLASSIC disco tracks from the always smooth Philadelphia music scene of the 70's and early 80's, including some nuggets from the Philadelphia International Records catalog (from which also come The Jones Girls 12" disco single above). It's curated by the most knowledgeable Dimitri From Paris, with the first disc holding 14 original tracks and the second disc presenting 9 new remixes from Dimitri. This is some top shelf material from names like Harold Melvin & Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, Eddie Kendricks, and even a track from the Jacksons. Then you'll find some floor fillers from some less known acts like Carl Bean, TJM, Philly Devotions, and others. Check out the promo mix below, which is narrated by our man Dimitri and features some of the music you'll find on the comp. Along the way Dimitri will school you in the Philly story.

Visit Dimitri's website, become his friend on MySpace, and the BBE Records website.