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BabaIan Tyson, “You Should Have Known”

Ian Tyson, a living legend, in our own times. Inspirational and authentic.

Lisa WiltonAsgeir, “Trust”

The Icelandic singer’s swoon-worthy falsetto is the icing on the cake on this beautiful electro-acoustic number from Asgeir’s latest (and second English-language) album, Afterglow.

BabaGlen Hansard, “Roll On Slow”

Glen Hansard almost always sounds sad, but this track’s got spark, and oh, the horns. The horn section just nails the song (guitars not too shabby either). The song’s got that beat, the ‘Irish Beat’.

Mark AntonelliLuigi Magistrelli, clarinet & Elena Gorna, harp, “Allegro from Nocturne #1 for Clarinet & Harp by Giovanni Francesco Giuliani”

Clarinet and Harp is a rather unusual combination of instruments and to hear 24 little pieces scored this way is a rather rare listening experience. The Allegro from the Nocturne #1 makes me think of green things growing and reminds me I’m really looking forward to Spring!

Darcy WhitesideBobby Osborne, “The Call the Wind Maria”

The album is nominated for Bluegrass Album of the Year by the Grammys (January 28). A first-generation bluegrass legend collaborating with Sierra Hull – a member of the next generation of bluegrass – singing a song from a musical that starred Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.

Amy van KeekenTrue North, “Seed, Leaf, Flower, Seed”

I am constantly amazed and awed at the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. “Seed, leaf, flower, seed” is such a perfect simple song, almost a mantra (with beautiful harmonies). A song you want to sing by the campfire on a lovely summer’s night, or by the fireplace, cozy inside on a blustery winter day. From Oregon-based folk/bluegrass band True North featuring the songwriting skills of Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel.

 

Grant StovelSly5thAve., “The Edge”

Dr. Dre’s genius has been melding diverse sounds culled from old funk, pop & jazz records.creating a new, contemporary sound. As a producer for everyone from Snoop Dogg to N.W.A. to Eminem, and as an artist himself — he’s helped to shape the sound of popular music as much as anyone has in the past thirty years.

Along comes Austin, Texas-based maestro Sly5thAve. (sax man/ composer Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II), who re-contextualizes those sounds back into a live band format. Talk about postmodern! Post-postmodern, maybe?…

A bunch of tip-top production minds help out with the arrangements — including Mark De Clive-Lowe, DJ Center, and the guest on this track, Quantic.

Tony KingLaila Biali, “Serenbe”

Laila Biali has confessed that her new self titled recording feels like starting from the beginning again though she is already a seasoned artist. What’s new is an innovative approach to crafting songs that sees her taking more risks, stepping outside of her comfort zone, she says, “there’s an edgier songwriting persona that I think has always been there but took some time to hone in on.”