My end of the week pick is a collection of soul inspired reggae from a variety of artists.  Socially relevant and historically significant music with a hard hitting edge.  Definitely not reggae light.  It’s music that makes you think and groove.

For a listen go to EMusic or Amazon

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Greg hails from New Zealand were he is already an award winning performer.  With gold and platinum albums already under his belt he moved to LA in 2002 in search of a larger audience.  His latest release Seven Day Cure is an excellent collection of great pop music to help you get through your week.  Contemporary and light, it just might be the cure.

For more information go to Greg Johnson’s Web Page

To listen go to EMusic or Amazon

Singing and playing piano at the age of 4, writing songs at 11 and and completing her first album by the age of 14, Sarah’s upbringing in a musical family is certainly evident.  By the age of 21 she had already released her 3rd album and had moved to Nashville.  After having written hit songs for Allison Krauss she is now concentrating on her own performing career.  Say it Louder is a mix of material displaying her depth and musical roots.  With solid songwriting and her own style, this one is worth a listen.

For more go to Sarah Siskind.com

To listen go to EMusic or Amazon

An early Monday morning finds the need for something just a little different to wake me up.  So it’s Floyd….the Rasta version.  Everyone knows I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan and while there are plenty of tribute albums out there, none of them have ever warranted a second listen.  That is until Dub Side of the Moon. On the surface even the idea of this seems off.  That is until you listen to it.  Then you understand these guys have studied and and are more than familiar with the work.  You can tell they are fans.  The music is a faithful reggae rendition of the album that will seem so familiar yet so different.

The Easy Star All Stars are a collaboration between longtime friends Michael Goldwasser and Victor Axelrod.  Base out of NY and collaborating with numerous familiar reggae musician the two have tackled OK Computer by Radiohead and Sgt Pepper by The Beatles.

For a listen go to EMusic or Amazon

For more information go to easystar.com

Another Sunday morning choice listen .  Great music while I drink my coffee.  The Seth Glier album The Trouble With People is a gentle work of solo piano and vocals.  Music brought forth from the heart.  From his bio: “The Trouble With People was recorded in Glier’s basement over the course of three months.  In the comfort of his own home and without the constraint of being on the clock, Glier patiently treated each song like a scene in a movie.”  It certainly delivered results.  Having worked in the studio rushing against the clock, work like this rarely happens.  Recording music is all really about capturing a magic moment in time.  Seth does this on this album.  I highly recommend this one for any time not just Sunday mornings with coffee.

Listen at EMusic or Amazon

Read more on his website at sethglier.com

Combine the soulful style of Al Green and grit of Johnny Lang and you’ll get some pretty funky Contemporary Chicago Blues.  The album Sweet Soul Blues takes this fusion and turns it into a sound that easily crosses genres.  Contemporary enough to be modern but deeply rooted in the blues.  This French band’s new CD is available at EMusic or Amazon

Have a listen but I warn you it is infectious.

Malted Milk MySpace Page

On the Stax 50th collection  comes today’s song of the day, “Respect Yourself”  By the “Staple Singers”.   Need to quickly add some Soul cred to your music collection.  Just add one of the many Stax/Volt collections and you have it.  “Old School” Soul music that will have you dancing and shaking.

Check out some samples at EMusic.com

Alright, I’ll fess up.  I like bands with interesting names but that only gets me to the first listen.   The Bottle Rockets album Brand New Year’s first cut is only the opening salvo in a hard driving assault that keeps coming.  Nancy Sinatra is a witty tune but the rest of the album goes on with the same signature combination of rockin’ outlaw style that I’ve come to love about the Bottle Rockets.  Nancy Sinatra and I’ve Been Dying are among my favorite on this one.  Definitely a “pick”.

Listen to a sample at EMusic.com

Come for the name stay for the music.  Fake Shark – Real Zombie! is a dance punk band whose members hail from Langley, British Columbia and Ashland, Oregon.  Angel Lust’ is the debut single from fake-shark-real zombie’s forthcoming sophomore album "Meeting People is Terrible".   The single is available now on the Angel Lust EP.  This track strikes the right combination of hard edge with a pop vibe.  It’s a catchy tune from a band you probably never heard of.

Catch a sample of it at EMusic.com

On the lighter side for a Sunday morning while drinking coffee listening to Dangling Conversation on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album.  Listening truly sets the way back machine to the 60’s when two young men transform poetry into delicate rhythms with lush harmonies that was their signature sound.  Perfect for a lazy morning as I drift off with the orchestration.

If not already in your collection, a must add.

Simon & Garfunkel on Emusic.com