New Music For Old People: Brandon Flowers, The Autumn Defense, Terri Hendrix, more

A weekly tip sheet for Boomers and Zoomers

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Brandon Flowers

This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD be!

1. "WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID" - BRANDON FLOWERS - 3:19 Being the lead singer of The Killers was not a hindrance to his first solo album. I never quite "got" The Killers, but this track knocked my doors down. Great arrangement, playing and singing as well as a great song.To me it's a big hit.

2. "BACK OF MY MIND" - THE AUTUMN DEFENSE - 3:13 An offshoot of Wilco members John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, this track sounds a little like the '60s band The Left Banke and that's not a bad thing. A very pleasant listen!

3. "SLOW DOWN" - TERRI HENDRIX - 3:05 Terri is a truly self-made woman. With 12 albums in release on her own label since 1996, she makes me jealous. Playing mostly in the Texas-Louisiana cradle, she eventually moved on out and has traversed the US many times now. I love this track - great song with a fine backing track featuring plenty of mandolin (one of Al's fave instruments)
4. "BETWEEN THE NEEDLES AND NIGHTFALL" - MARCO BENEVENTO This instrumental is amazingly original sounding. I hear influences of Brian Wilson and Procol Harum, but it could be a cowinkydink. Marco is now well regarded in the jazz/electronica community - we were both at Berklee in the late '90s but I don't recall us meeting. Me a teacher, he a student. From the sound of this, I think he could teach me a thing or two.
5. "RETURN TO YOU" - ALAIN JOHANNES - 3:05 This is very from-the-heart as it is from a tribute album to his recently deceased wife of over two decades. I did not know this before I included it in this comp, but now I understand why it reached me. Why not be the next one to be touched ?

6. "SPEED OF LIFE" - THE GRIP WEEDS - 3:51 This New Jersey band has been around since the '90s with only a revolving bass chair. They eventually built their own recording studio which has been used by many other bands as well. Maybe that's why this sounds so good. Very Beatles and Byrds with exceptional drumming.

7. "PLAGUE OF LOVE" - KATIE MELUA - 3:26 Comparatively unknown in the US, this songstress is HUGE overseas. She has a unique voice and is a strong writer. I like the fact that she covers other people's songs as well. This is from her latest album and I got on board with just one listen. I suspect 2011 will be her time of breakthrough in the States.

8. "YOUR SWEET NAME" - HARRY MANX - 3:21 I have added a new artist (for me) who started out in Toronto and then moved to India to study and live with master musicians. Then he came back and fused the blues of his initial upbringing with Eastern music in an un-obvious way. On this track from his 2010 album Isle of Manx, he is accompanying himself with an instrument that sounds like a four-string mandolin, but my gut says it's an instrument I don't know. I pledge to find out in 2011. Watch out, Richard Thompson!

9. "AIN'T NO HIDIN' LOVE" - DEADSTRING BROTHERS - 4:10 These guys are VERY Stones-influenced - more Keith than Mick. This track rocks right on out in a jack flash kinda groove. Good singer avoids the obvious Jagger temptation because he's a damn good singer on his own. I love this. It grows on ya right away.

10 "VOICES TALKING" - JEFFREY FOUCAULT - 3:15 More Keith Richard influence here - kind of a "Start Me Up" groove. Follows the last song quite well. These bands should tour together. Prolly a lot cheaper than a Stones ticket and muuuch younger!

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