On the surface this week seemed to have very little highs and lows.., but my spirit has been troubled all the same. It's a different kind of restlessness, however, not the kind usually born out of depression or anxiety.., but one born out of frustration at not being able to soar as high, or run as fast, or move as distinctly as I would like when I get an idea or see a possibility or feel a new approach or concept breaking through. Thank God, I have SOUND MIND and MUSIC WEEK in REVIEW to consider, as it forces me to explore and listen with intention and often I do discover answers that were just lurking beneath the surface. It's the music that soothes me.., and reminds me to be patient and allow all things to flow as they will when left to become what they will, regardless of my perceived assistance. True, sustainable art takes the time it takes and it's always been and always will be, out of my hands to control it's creation or it's destiny. Here's a few that got me through...
Brother EDEN Douglas
27 May 2006 - NYC
The GABE DIXON BAND - NASHVILLE, TN
This tune by this talented artist and band reminds me to 'lighten up' and allow the forces around me to take control when I'm tired and lost. The analogy of being 'almost home' and needing your angels to help you with your 'driving' to get to that place you love is exactly the advice I needed to hear this week, and I've played this tune a few times each day to get me over me. GABE DIXON has been around for a little while, now, getting signed to Warner Bros a few years back and finding himself playing piano for Alison Krauss and Paul McCartney as he continued to 'find his sound'. Originally a five piece band, then a quartet, now a trio of piano, bass and drums, Gabe was on a mission to find the core of the music he was creating in his head. This parring down was painful.., but seemingly worth it with the release of the EP, "LIVE at WORLD CAFE" to critical acclaim, it would appear this re-incarnation is exactly the elusive sound he was so desperately seeking. Enjoy the tunes on MySpace and experience more on his official site, http://www.gabedixonband.com/ .
REEVE CARNEY - LOS ANGELES, CA
Another much sought after musician is singer/guitarist REEVE CARNEY who's out on the road most of the year with JONNY LANG. I was introduced to REEVE through one of last week's reviewees, Daniel Capellaro. I find his sound refreshing and unadorned and that simplistic approach allows you to listen as his softness draws you in to hear not only what he's saying, but how he's saying it. This tune is just a delight as it unfolds and weaves it's story in such rhythmic rhyme.
But to mention Reeve, you must also meet his brother, ZANE CARNEY, a guitar virturoso in his own right. On his page are songs he's featured on, but ROUND MIDNIGHT is just him and you'll soon see that this family has talent to spare. I'm just getting to know these talented guys so I'll just let you listen to their music and form your own opinions.
PAOLO NUTINI - PAISLEY, SCOTLAND
So this is my 'fun song' this week.., with a great back beat. Paolo is about to blow up. And, before you dismiss him as just another pretty face, guitar boy.., please note, although he's only 19 and really does have the chops to back up the hype!! Which means some of these tunes were written when he was even younger! Signed to Atlantic Records, he drops his debut on July 17th and from the looks of things, it'll be a big deal. On his site, just to show you how adept he is as a musician and vocalist, there's a very good 'live' cover of the latest Gnarls Barkley single, CRAZY. To say he's got 'skillz' is an understatement. Despite the Italian last name, he's been in Scotland all his life and is just primed to become the next big UK import to the states. Remember you read it here, first!! There's a few freedownloads on his main site... http://www.paolonutini.com/ ... beyond the MySpace fare, so go discover you some Paolo!!
NILS KROGH - GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN
Now for something completely different. NILS KROGH is a producer/arranger/engineer and pianist with a flare for updating jazz and all of this EP is worth a mention and can be freely sampled on his MySpace page. I promise you there's something here for everyone. The mystery of Nils is the depth of his knowledge at only 21. I'm encouraged that this music will live on and on because of artists like Nils that are truly interested in these original rhythms and rhythm masters and who also possess the skill to create new art based on that knowledge. Nils is extremely talented and worthy of special recognition for his contributions to this incredible artform.
And, also in the same neighborhood, is SWELL SESSION aka ANDREAS SAAG. I first learned of Andreas from my friends, Paul Mac Innes, Mercies May, T.B.O.I. and Ernesto... all artists of particular note and skill. I kept seeing his name on many of their singles as a producer and co-creator. Playing piano since the age of 14, he's heavily influenced by electronic artists like Brian Eno and has a serious ear for mixing styles and rhythms. He's got a serious collaboratory CD dropping this year that you can learn all about via his label site, click through his given name, above. Be sure to visit his MySpace page for samples of his work, as well.
KIMBERLY HOLLOWAY - ATLANTA, GA/LOS ANGELES, CA
This week I met a beautiful singer songwriter that has such a solid lyrical style. Her tune, HOLD ME, is the fitting close to this rather involved week. It's a love song that allows the backing tones to do the caressing as she sings you into that perfect calm after a hard day's work. Equally at home in the lead and background, Kimberly is able to truly cast a sonic spell over her listeners, inside of any arrangement. Just go take a loooong listen to all of her tunes of which UNITY is truly a highlight and end the session with HOLD ME. She'll become an instant classic, I promise.
I'll be back, this same time, next week, with another stellar line-up, but until then,