New Music for Old People: Sean Rowe, Bobby Purify, Jem, Kat Edmonson and More

By , Columnist

Luke James

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.

Oct102014 by Willow on Grooveshark

1. "Shine My Diamond Ring" — Sean Rowe (3:05)

With a busker’s spirit, Sean jumps into this one and tears it apart completely prior to the ending. I love the spirit of this and his guitar playing is great. This is someone to keep your eye on. He’s from Troy, New York and really enjoys doing house concerts at the moment. REALLY?

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Who wants to buy THIS diamond ring??

2. "Lua" — Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch (4:59)

This is so well done on every level. First off, it’s a masterpiece of songwriting and it’s underplayed by the musicians so that the song is king. The duo’s voices work well together and you wanna know every word in the lyric almost immediately. This is very special. I think Conor did this originally with his band Bright Eyes. This is the version to have. God bless Gillian Welch and whomever is playing the guitars on this track.

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These kids seem happy on their blind date! Looks like they're on their way to the hair salon next…

3. "Crazy" — Jem (2:57)

As usual, there is a strong R&B spin on this Jem track. I love the fact that there is a two-guitar rhythm thing going on, kinda like Nile Rodgers, but instead of two guitars, one is a freaking BANJO. It is so refreshing to hear an R&B banjo. Jem has a lyrical penchant for telling guys to take a hike and this is no exception. If she were aiming this at me, the desired result would be achieved immediately after the first chorus. I don’t stick around to be told these things twice. I like Jem. She’s pretty consistent with the well-made records and the good songs.

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She actually can take care of herself — just listen to this track.

4. "I Hate to See You Go" — Bobby Purify (2:53)

He's most famous for pairing with his cousin James in the '60s and having hits like “I’m Your Puppet.” In later years he did a few solo albums. This is from that era and is fer sure some of that old soul. Sadly, he passed away in Florida in 2011 at the age of 72. I hated to see you go, Bobby.

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5. "I Can, I Will, I Do" — Barenaked Ladies (2:55)

Tasty guitar pop from the band with the clever name but no actual ladies participating.

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Only TWO hands cover EVERYTHING?

6. "Oh My Love" — Kat Edmondson (2:49)

Here is a gal born in Houston, Texas in 1983, whose single mom raised her on the history of music: jazz, rock and roll, folk, country all brimmed over in her growing up stages. It turned her into a singer-songwriter with more influences than most. This was the first track I heard by her and it toppled me. She certainly heard her Billie Holiday when she sang this puppy. I got her latest album and she moves freely in most genres, but my virgin listen here is my favorite; it's got great production and arrangement. She traveled in Lyle Lovetts' band for a few years and sang duets with him on his 13th lucky album (for both of them). Now it's your turn to listen…

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7. "The Outsiders" — NEEDTOBREATHE (2:50)

I couldn’t tell from my initial listens, but this band is categorized as a Christian band. Who knew? It certainly didn't sway me one way or the other when I heard this track. This is good work from these South Carolinians.

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8. "In Time" — Kris Allen (3:09)

Another Idol winner slips through my ears again. I don't watch those shows, so these people are judged fairly here. This is a nice sounding track and fits in with the rest of the gang here this week.

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9. "I Want You" — Luke James (3:12)

From his initial album release, this won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance in 2011. Not a bad start, Luke. His new album just came out. I will get to it soon.

10. "God's Radar" — Dixie Hummingbirds (3:12)

This is a wonderful country/Cajun/gospel mix. Spearheaded by musician/songwriter/producer Larry Campbell, it envelops you like a welcome warm coat at this time of year. Just the thing to close out this week's merriment. This group is celebrating their 75th anniversary as the longest-lived continuously performing group. I gotta LONG way to go...

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