Going back a long way, Pink Floyd’s music has held an special place in my music listening history.  The way I connect with it emotionally is without equal.  From their early works through the post break up with Roger Waters, both the music and my life seems to have evolved together.  So it is with really mixed feelings I auditioned the latest release as it marks the end of the road.  For the band certainly.  There is also a lot of deep introspection happening at the same time while I listen to this.  I too am not a kid anymore and am also looking at the end of my career.  It has been 6 years since I bought a CD and a couple of years since I posted a music review here of anything.  Obviously there is something compelling at a time where how and what we listen to has changed so much.

So the album?  A collection of works picked out by Gilmore and Mason as a tribute to Richard Wright from the 1993-1994 recordings leftover from the Division Bell sessions.  The album is of mostly instrumental recordings and is a lush sound-scape that shares a sonic familiarity with Division Bell and goes in some new directions.  The opening is reminiscent in tone and emotion of the soundtrack to the movie Bladerunner and then further develops in contemporary Pink Floyd style.  Their musical exploration is evident and while I feared a lack of cohesion or sense of a whole, the collection holds up very well and did not disappoint.

Missing however is the often difficult and heavy subject matter writing from Waters.  Much of the tone from earlier works were thus shaped as Waters left an indelible mark on the discography.  If that is what you are looking for, plenty of it is to be found in Waters solo works.  This one is very much a Gilmore album in the same way that this styling can be heard in post Waters Floyd and Gilmore’s early solo works.  Missing is any sense of story or narration but the work very much stands on its own.  Very much worth buying the CD.  Get the deluxe version with extras if you are a fan.

So is this a trend?  The next big thing?  Hearing a lot of late 40’s and early 50’s back room blues cabaret inspired music lately.  Its big, sometimes campy and even a little naughty.  Like Devil Doll below and even the trending Nick Waterhouse, this style of music is on the rise.  Music that takes you back to another era.  An early style that is re-emerging anew as something new.

Imelda hails from Dublin Ireland but is unlike any singer I’ve in my collection from the Emerald Ilse.  This album is just enormous fun.  Song like big bad hansom man pulls you in and takes you to another place and time.  The best way to travel.   The fore mentioned song along with Wild About My Lovin and Johnny Got a Boom Boom follow the same winning formula.  Check it out. https://new.myspace.com/imeldamay1/music

No, really, it’s completely painless.  Just good music.

This is among some of the best of indie pop.  Upbeat rhythms without the heavy syrup.  Smartly written music that come strait at you .  Time to dig deeper into this band.

This is their self produced debut.  Please, let it only get better from here.  I’m so tired of finding these gems only to be disappointed by later works that stray from a winning formula.  This is just magic.  Stick with the magic and you can’t go wrong.

Check them out at The Good Hurt

Wow is this thing rusty or what.  took me half the evening to remember my log in credentials.  Also had to re-install Live Writer and remember how to set that up.  So here goes, hit publish and hope it all works.

Released back in 1994, yet more relevant than ever.  Michael Franti’s re-emergence on the music scene, fronting the band Spearhead.  Another socially themed album highlighting the injustices of the poor and homeless.  Relevant in these current economic times.  Still a solid listen.  It will keep your head bop pin’ and perhaps help you see the world a little differently. 

Check it out at MichaelFranti.com

Ska, Punk, Ska-Punk Reggae Alternative?  Not sure how to classify this group, still they are an awesome listen.  I picked up their EP on EMusic on a whim and it is infectious.  I have been listening to a lot of Reggae lately.  It gets me through the day.  They list influences such as King Tubby, Black Uhuru, The Congo’s and Sublime and you can hear it all in their music.  It is a great modern fusion of new and old form Reggae along with the Pop trends today. 

Really entertaining and leaves you wanting to hear more from this group. 

Check them out on their Facebook Page or search for them at EMusic

I typically am not a fan of ultra-traditional folk or americana but there are exceptions.  This album is rich in traditional Appalachian instrumentation and the vocals are deceptively old school but there is a quality to the writing and the performance that makes this album one that I cannot stop listening to.

Similar in the style of Martha Scanlan, the writing is an update to a genre that so often only follows the old tired standards.  I guess that what makes the difference for me.  This music is an original work that deeply touches an emotional chord for the writer and listener alike.

Simply a magical trip back to another time.

Diana Jones Web Page

On EMusic

Here is an example of a rootsy singer/songwriter who’s life’s experiences has really tinted his material into some well crafted songs.  His upbringing in Tupelo shapes the depth of his songwriting.  You can hear the influences of blues, country, gospel and R&B in his music.

A really solid album from an interesting artist.

Paul Thorn’s Web Site

On EMusic

Want to hear where the future of the blues as a genre lies, it is with young artists like Joanne Shaw Taylor.  A talented singer and blues guitar player far beyond her years.  This gem hails from the UK.  I am finding more artists from abroad embracing this American genre and making it their own.

On this album are experienced blues session players Steve Potts (drums) and Dave Smith (bass).  The album is strait up, power trio blues.  Doesn’t get much better than this

 Joanne Shaw Taylor home page

Or check out the music on EMusic

Wasn’t sure of what to make of the name of either the band or album but I’ll tell you this, Colleen Duffy can sing and this band can play.  Complete with a full on blues band with Hammond B3 and sax this Los Angeles based band plays a combination of an updated modern 40’s blues infused with rockabilly and jazz influences.

The song writing on this is smart with a ton of wit.  Don’t for a moment let this one get past you.  Definitely one to check out.

On MySpace 

or EMusic

It has been a while but I’ve  been without my Zune (sent out for service).  I know many of you are saying, what the hell is a Zune?  It’s my MP3 player.  I’d get rid of it save for the one service that makes it worthwhile for a music guy like me.  It is called a Zune Pass.  It is a music subscription service and it is kind of cool.

Anyway it is a lazy Friday night and I’m chillin’ to a very cool soul collection called Mega Soul.

Mega Soul spans four discs and 100 songs (25 for each volume) and compiles several stripes of soul and funk singles from the ’60s and ’70s. This is one of those sets that, while a little uneven and hardly a recommendable introduction, is fun to plow through — whether you’re refamiliarizing yourself with this stuff or are simply curious. Unless you’re a hardcore soul fan, this should have no trouble plugging at least a few gaps in your collection.” All Music

Keep on Keeping on…

Another Saturday night, groovin’ to some long lost soul. 

Born William Pulliam this little known 70’s soulful funk singer dropped out of the music scene shortly after his career began.  An artist familiar only to hard core enthusiasts, this album is a definite rare gem.

Darondo’s My Space Page

For a listen go to EMusic

Unique is certainly one way to describe Amy Lavere.  Anchors & Anvils is an album with a deadpan delivery of a kind of offbeat material that you have to listen to understand. 

Born to a musical family, Amy moved 13 times before graduating high school.  That has to be enough to skew your perspective but she manages to keep a sense of humor in her material.  A unique voice and perspective.

A+ on this one.

For more information go to  Amy LaVere 

To listen go to EMusic or Amazon

Made it to Saturday night and I’m still grooving.  Playing while I manage my web life is some downtempo from Chris Joss.  You’ve Been Spiked is an album inspired by by 60’s and 70’s dance music and film scores.  Listening is like having a soundtrack to your life helping to move the action along.

French born Chris is a self taught multi-instrumentalist and experienced studio producer.  You’ve Been Spiked is his 3rd out of 5 albums.  Its got a great funk vibe.

For more information go to ChrisJoss.free.fr


To Listen go to EMusic

Arthur Dent in the Hitchhikers Guide said he “never could get the hang of Thursdays” but for me its Saturdays.  You work all week then on Fridays it’s yeah, the weekends here.  You stay up too late and get up on Saturday morning dazed and tired.  All this stuff to do.  So what is in the music collection to get me moving?  Give me the Funk, give me Maceo.

Maceo Parker, alto sax player and iconic legend.  Best known as James Brown favorite sax player, the list of artists he has worked with seems endless.  His body of work includes P-Funk with George Clinton, Ray Charles, Dave Matthews and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

For more information visit maceoparker.com

To listen go to EMusic