One Month Music Discoveries

In the month of March I bought 35-40 CDs. I think finding new artists, particularly those with a good body of work, is the most exciting aspect of being a music lover/audiophile. Well, in march I "discovered" Holly Cole, and I like parts of all her CDs, but the CD "temptation", 1995, stands out. It has some great songs that I even think are reference quality-- at least for me. The songs "Take Me Home", "Jersey Girl", "Frank's Theme", and "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" have spare accompaniement, H. Cole's voice is great-- kind of breathy or husky in places, and the recording is excellent. I like her other CDs also.

The other "find" is Eva Cassidy, who according to my main music dealer is now deceased-- she died of cancer in her early 30s-- tragic. But her CD "Live at Blues alley" 1996, has some jazz/pop ballads that have quickly grown on me and she left a great legacy of music. The tracks "Tall Trees in Georgia", "Fields of Gold", "Autumn Leaves", trk #11 "Take Me to the River" rocks, and finally, trk #12 "What a Wonderful World" is beautiful. This is also a great recording, IMO. I have two other of her CDs which are also good, and she may have others? I hope so.

Both are highly recommended. Happy Listening. Craig.
It may sound a little cheesy, but this past month I was reacquainted with my big 80s youth and rediscovered The Police. Of course, their music has been present for the past 15 years, but mostly as background music. I recently set up my first analog front-end and a friend recommended that I look for releases on the Nautilus label. I gave "Ghost in the Machine" a try and I never remembered it sounding so good. I have now bought "Zenyatta Mondatta" on Nautilus and Sting on MoFi. I hope that MoFi never released Culture Club pressings or I might actually buy one.
Metaphysics-Check out Sting " The Dream Of The Blue Turtles" I think it was his first solo.Many think it is his best work.I looked in eBay just now and there are 5 or so LP's up for auction right now.One is a MFSL that is at $26.00 I just bid on a still sealed copy for $7.95.No other bids and minutes to go.Check it out!
Craig, try Holly Cole 'It happened one night' - her live CD with multimedia - sonics are OK too. My current finds are the new Sara K : What Matters / Jacintha : Here's to Ben.
Craig-have you checked out "Days Of The New" 2nd release yet?? If not, you should!
The Jazz Mandolin Project, "Xeno Blast" and J.J. Cale "Anyway the Wind Blows" anthology is great (two CD's and 50 songs). The last CD I picked up was Bach's "The Art of Fugue", Rinaldo Alessandrini on Opus 111, France.
i've bought and been given a whole buncha cd's in the last month, too. my new discoveries of note: dave carter (with tracy grammer), "when i go" - really great writing and very well recorded; eric taylor, "scuffeltown"- poetry bob dylan would be proud to pen.

BTW, garfish, eva cassidy is on 5 cd's, 3 of which were released posthumously. her first cd was recorded with chuck brown and is called "the other side." the latest cd is "time after time." all cd's were produced by chris biondo and are available on blixstreet records. they are all worth owning and enjoying.
David; nope not familiar with "Days of the New"-- what kind of music is it? Dekay, I agree re JJ Cale-- "The Anthology" is great. I think I have all his CDs and especially can recommend "Guitar Man". Cornfed; glad to see that Eva Cassidy has more music-- a beautiful voice. Her CDs have been spending a lot of time in my transport. Thanks guys. Craig
I would like to scratch the "Jazz Mandlin Project". I just finished listening to it again, and it could be my mood, but I felt there was a lot of fiddling going on when they should have been faddling.
My two favorites for this month, are Cowboy Junkies(someone here was raving about them so I tried 'em and liked 'em) and everything by Patti Larkin! I also have been having a re-run with Sting. Whoever it was that turned me into a "junkie", thanks, I appreciate it.
Garfish: I started with the "Studio" album, and several more are now on the way from
Snooker: I ordered CJ CD's directly from their website for under $10.00US each. Are they offering the same deal at Amazon?
Personally I think Eva Cassidy's, Live At Blues Alley is her best. No Boundaries produced by Tony Taylor is her worst.
If "No Boundaries" is the name of the latest thing released and wasnt produced by Chris Biondo, my understanding is (1) it's absolutely horrible, and (2) Eva's family didnt want it to be produced and would appreciate it if you didnt buy it.

There are four cds to buy (well, actually 5 if you really want to). "Songbird" is a compilation from the other 4. Songbird has also gone platinum in the UK and was recently on the top of the charts there. Iin additio to "Live at Blues Alley," "Eva By Heart," "Time After Time," and "The Other Side" - with Chuck Brown are the ones to buy.

Craig - if you dont have "The Other Side" get it.
Eva Cassidy's No Boundaries is a classic case of a producer with his idea of how an artist should sound & as a result that " magic spark" that is unique to that artist is subverted. Paulwp you are correct in guessing that the album is terrible; caveat emptor.
Craig, and anyone else who might be interested in women singers (non-operatic), I have previously mentioned the best ever, Barbara Keith, and Delores Keane, who Maura O'Connell calls the Queen of all the Irish women singers.

I was introduced to Barbara Keith by Skip Weshner, who had a radio show in the early-mid 70's. Skip always said Ms. Keith had made the best album by a "distaff singer" in the last 10 years (eponymous on Verve and unavailable), then, Skip said, she made an even better album (eponymous on Warner and available as a Japanese cd through Amazon). If you buy the cd, and you can, try reversing phase. Mine sounds better that way.

Ms. Keith is a songwriter. All but one of the songs on the second album were hers and several have been covered by others. Sort of folk-rock. Now, some 25 years later Ms. Keith and her husband and stepson have a 3 person rock band called Stone Coyotes. Their first album, called Changing of the Guard is a killer. Their second album is also great. This is no folkie music. Its grown up rock and roll. (And I though rock and roll had reached its zenith with Cesar Rosas's "I Walk Alone" (Los Lobos, The Neighborhood).) The Stone Coyotes have a new album out in the next few days. They also have a website where you can get more info and order cds.

Now Delores Keane is not a songwriter. She is an Irish institution. She's recorded a lot of Irish folk songs (not my cup of tea) but also some popular music. Several of her cds are available through Amazon, including a "Best Of" disc that's probably a good start. I first heard of her at a Maura O'Connell concert (very small venue where I could talk to Maura after the show) where Maura was selling cds of "A Woman's Heart," a collection of songs by Irish women.
garfish: my "5 cd's of eva cassidy" did not include "no boundaries" but did include "songbird." the latter is the 1st of eva's discs i purchased and is, indeed, a compilation. i find it an easy way to transport test tracks on a single disc. i agree with others that her best cd is "live from blues alley."

BTW, another recommended disc of my last month's acquisitions: eliza gilkyson, "hard times in babylon." some more good self-penned stuff. (in case you couldn't tell, i've a preference for singer/songwriters.) -kelly
I agree with Cornfedboy that " Hard Times In Babylon" is an excellent album. If you like that try Jess Klein "Draw Them Near" on RYKO & Les Sampou, self titled on Flying Fish records. All 3 are excellent albums & if you like singer songwriters are must haves.
Craig, I wasn't sure from your post if you're aware that those "great songs" from Temptation, are the words and music of Tom Waits.

Either way, enjoy, one of my favorites discs of the last few years. This month: "Badly Drawn Boy"- Title? (Interesting Britpop), "Catch a Fire" the first of some great Bob Marley reissues, "Written in Red" Louise Taylor, a smokey voiced folk singer\guitarist, wonderful writing, great production.
Prfont; No, I didn't know the "Temptation" CD songs were written by Tom Waits-- Thanks, they are great. Of all my Holly Cole CDs, that is the best, and because of the nature of the recording, I could use several tracks as a reference for judging equipment, wires, etc. That voice, that incredible voice pulls me into music every time. Craig.
Todays find is: "Sisters of Freedom", Harlem Spiritual Ensemble, recorded at North Presbyterian Church, Harlem, NY. The recording level is a tad low (similar to some of my MFSL discs) but it is a very nice recording and the performances are super. The first 40 minutes is called a "Cantata" in 11 parts, I think that may mean opera as that is what it sounds like to me. It is from Arts Crossing Audiophile series and is labeled as 24/96. Second mention is "The Stars of the Buena Vista (BV Social Club) - 21st Century: when life begins...". Not as polished as RY Cooder's vehicles and might even be better. The recording is on the bright side.
Today's finds: Juanjo Dominguez (guitarist) "From Manhattan to Buenos Aires, Vol 1". Not a clue but it's damm good. The second one is "Table Songs, Georgian Folk Songs", Rustavi Choir. It's on so so Sony Clasical label. I live in a small Russian area in West Hollywood and have heard some of this music first hand coming from near by parties (the performers were exceedingly tight by the way:-)
Today's find: Last Forever "Trainfair Home". Not a clue but it is a folksy, instrumental, chick singing group of musicians that do an exceedingly haunting version of "Duke of Earl" as the last song on the CD. It is worth keeping for this song alone.
Here's four more that were picked up at a thrift when coming back from the PO yesterday ($6 total). 1. Twentieth-Century Blues "The Songs of Noel Coward" done by a host of artists (Paul McCartney singing "A Room with View" and on and on), great CD. 2. The soundtrack from "Genghis Blues", KILLER. 3. Roger Waters "The Wall Live in Berlin", kind of spooky and emotional (for me anyway). 4. Bela Fleck & The Flecktones "Outbound", haven't listened to it yet as I am afraid that I will not like it (must be the new make me into a "nice guy" medication:-). I realize that this stuff may be common to many here, but hey, (I didn't listen to music for 15 years) and I am having a ball.