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Thursday 30 August 2012

ReviewShine Round-Up

It's time for our monthly look at some of the many fine records I have received via ReviewShine. I mentioned in the previous post that we have a real treat for you this time, and so we do. It is the new album from Jimmy LaFave, "Depending on the Distance", which comes out on 18 September on Music Road Records.

I am a total sucker for Jimmy's voice, particularly on the slow numbers. He could sing one of the endless Indian take-away menus that get shoved through my letterbox and it would bring a lump to my throat (as I suspect would eating anything off those menus). His version of "Emotionally Yours" is shortlisted for the first dance when me and the next Mrs Goggins get married.

I have listened to the album two or three times now and it's a really strong set of songs. For overall consistency and quality it is up there with albums like "Texoma" and "Road Novel". It doesn't break any new ground - if you know Jimmy, it is exactly what you would expect. But then if you know Jimmy, that is exactly what you will have wanted. And if you don't know Jimmy, you should.

"Clear Blue Sky" - Jimmy LaFave

Jimmy is a hard act to follow but these next three folks - all of them new to me - give it a damn good go. First up is Bow Thayer from Vermont, who I have somehow missed over the last 15 years or so that he has been making music. Earlier this month he put out a retrospective collection of some of the highlights of his career to date. It is called "Hindsight", it is out on Tweed River Productions, and there is enough good stuff on there to encourage you to dig further. I will be. If I have understood the blurb properly, today's selection features the late, great Levon Helm - that would certainly explain the muscular groove that makes it so good.

"Stoned Kid" - Bow Thayer

Moving over the border and over to the distaff side, and picking up some twang on the way, we bring you Melissa Payne from Ontario. Her self-titled debut album comes out on Seventh Fire Records in a couple of weeks time. With a bit of blues, a bit of soul, a bit of folk - a bit of all the things I like, in other words - and the bonus of Melissa's throaty vocals, it is a very fine album indeed.

"This Feeling" - Melissa Payne

Last up we have Nicolette Good for San Antonio. Her self-released album "Monarch" came out a couple of months ago and can be found on iTunes, Amazon and no doubt elsewhere. As you know already I am useful at describing things, but even if I wasn't I would find it hard to describe this one sensibly and succinctly. The basic starting point is Americana, and there are some songs that have hints of Shawn Colvin or - in the case of today's selection - Gillian Welch. But then along comes a track like "Marathon", which sounds like Mazzy Star if they had learned to enunciate propoerly. The one common theme is that it is all good stuff. Like the other three albums we've covered today.

"Hurricane Caroline" - Nicolette Good

This isn't the greatest quality video clip we have ever featured here but if you are reading this, Future Mrs G, gird up your loins and get ready to dance. He does it a bit slower that the version on "Texoma", but it still works for me.

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