JJ Grey and Mofro
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.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.
1. "Roll On" — The Night Marchers (2:47)
Rolling Stones luvvers "Keith out" on this honky tonk track with Velvet Underground-style lyrics. It's not a bad combo, actually. Former Rocket From the Crypt lead singer John Reis is in charge. This is their second appearance here with tracks from their new album, Allez Allez.
2. "Seven Sisters" — The Shouting Matches (2:15)
Justin Vernon from Bon Iver takes a side trip with this blues trio. They also like to make Keith noises (who doesn’t, really?) but their approach is a wee bit cleaner than that of the last band. No ethereal fallout remains from Justin’s other band; this is tight and right off their brand new album, Grownass Man. Tasty title, toughguys!
3. "The Remedy" — Josh Krajcik (3:59)
Now, I don’t watch any of those talent shows on TV 'cause I like to listen to what I want and not hear the endless covers hour. This week, until I started researching bios, I blindly picked two singers from X Factor without knowing it because I really enjoyed the tracks, and this is one of them. This doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit through Simon and Company — I’d still rather go see Josh play live at a local show with no commercials. This is a great track, well produced and certainly well sung. Welcome to the semi-real world, Josh — it’s nice to have you around.
4. "Army of Two" — Olly Murs (4:10)
Here’s the second track from the army of two TV guys. They should make them change their names if they win. This is a serious arrangement and production, but it doesn’t impede Olly from struttin' his stuff. I love records that sound like this — there aren’t many of 'em any more. Welcome to the semi-real world, Olly — it’s nice to have you around.
5. "Harp 'n' Drums" — JJ Grey & Mofro (2:38)
I really like this band. You can tell, because this is at least their third appearance here in the column. This is a nice, semi-organized jam with JJ singing and playing harmonica. These guys make it all look/sound easy.
6. "Prepare to Be Mined" — Rob Crow (2:28)
Rob is the leader of one of my fave bands, Pinback. On this track from his most recent solo album, He Thinks He's People, he takes more of a Pinback approach. I love his fearless chord selections and time warps. Musically fathered by Captain Beefheart, he’s managed to eke out his own recognizable sound over the years and build a strong following. I still haven’t managed to see him live yet ... but a grown man can always hope.
7. "False Alarms" — Josh Groban (3:55)
Well, this is the cleanest-cut and poppiest we're gonna get this week, but this really caught my ear. This track is not for everyone who reads this — but arrangement and production-wise it's well done and the guy CAN sing. All in all, I truly enjoyed this guilty pleasure (pour moi).
8. "Morning's White Vibration" — High Dials (2:52)
The High Dials always have a great handle on mid-'60s psychedelia. This is the second track I’ve used of theirs and around here that usually makes me a fan. Kind of a mashup of "Paperback Writer" and "Ticket to Ride" musically, this track is ten years old but sounds almost 50 years old and that’s how the High Dials like it. Me too.
9. "Hey Lover" — Dawes (2:30)
This band came busting out a few years ago and got right down to business grabbing a large, loyal following. I like what they do for the most part. This is from their latest album Stories Don't End, and it’s safe to say they’ll probably be around as long as they want to be.
Dawes and the Family Dawg
10. "Everything's Gonna Be Good" — Kim Richey (4:00)
I’ve known Kim off and on for about 20 years. She’s a hard-working artist and one of the nicest women I’ve ever met, so it’s great to be swayed (suede) by a track from her latest album, Thorn In My Heart. This is a well-written song done just laid back enough to be fully appreciated. It also fills the role of the weighty closer for this week.