Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops - Grow -2009-
(Reggae, Blues, Rock)

From: Illinois

Formed in Edwardsville, IL, in late 2007 as a Reggae-Blues band, Aaron Kamm and the One Drops' popularity grew quickly in the St. Louis music scene. Jamming on the back of the rock-reggae revival engraved by The Police and Sublime, Aaron Kamm and The One Drops mixes up their positive reggae grooves and heart felt lyrics with foot stomping blues influences. The band released their first album Gnu-Gnu in September of 2008 and this their second album Grow in December of 2009. Aaron Kamm - (Guitar, Vocals) Andy Dorris - (Bass) and Sean Raila - (Drums) do a really nice bending of both reggae and blues and create a nice fresh sound. Click the album art to purchase and listen to the album in its entirety.

Aaron Kamm - Who Are They Foolin

Aaron Kamm - Morning Sun

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid -2009-
(Blues, Rock)

From: Akron, Ohio

The Black Keys' singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach releases his self-produced solo debut, mixing, he says, "psychedelia, soul music, loud and soft guitars." Backed by a full band, he prowls the dark end of the street, with gritty, impassioned vocals lending drama to tales of romantic betrayal and suspicious minds. On Keep It Hid, he references the artists and genres that have long fascinated him, from soul-stirring bluegrass to fuzzed-out ‘60s psychedelia, from the doleful side of country to Memphis R&B, with some carnivalesque rock and roll to tie it all together. He doesn’t so much depart from the approach of The Black Keys as explore in a full-on band context ideas that have, to varying degrees, helped shape the duo’s elemental groove. As Auerbach explains, “The one thing I didn’t want to do is to try to sound different from The Black Keys. That would have sounded half-assed and boring. I just wanted to do things I loved.” Really nice debut album and also just so nice to hear an artist play some rocking blues and let loose.

Dan Auerbach - I Want Some More

Dan Auerbach - Heartbroken, In Disrepair

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound -2008-
(Acoustic, Indie, Pop)

From: Portland, Oregon

There’s no shortage of angles to Blind Pilot’s story: the tours by bicycle, the sheer volume of iTunes downloads, the dizzying ride from relative obscurity to headlining a national club tour in less than a year. But the real story of Portland, Oregon’s Blind Pilot is about the songs. Led by the acoustic guitar and gentle voice of songwriter Israel Nebeker, Blind Pilot’s heartfelt music is the sort that cultivates devotion among fans, that elicits sing-alongs at concerts, that inspires late-night mixtapes. Initially a duo of Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski, the group now includes Kati Claborn on banjo and dulcimer, Luke Ydstie on upright bass, Dave Jorgensen on trumpet and harmonium, and Ian Krist on vibraphone. Really good band, really good album and nothing but promise for these young up and comers.

Blind Pilot - One Red Thread

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound

Monday, January 25, 2010

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Live Up! -2009-
(Reggae, Dub)

From: New York

LIVE UP! is a selection of high-quality, previously unreleased live recordings, hand picked by Rochester NY’s psychedelic reggae road warriors Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS). The independently released album’s 11 tracks were selected from five different concerts in 2008 and 2009. GPGDS has played 500 shows in the past three years, touring relentlessly and developing a widespread grassroots following. The group has performed at premier venues and festivals across the U.S. including Red Rocks and Rothbury. LIVE UP! exemplifies the tight musicianship and dynamic live show experience Giant Panda is known for. LIVE UP! is the closing statement of Giant Panda’s former six-piece lineup, as they are now forging ahead as a quartet. "The reality of this band is that we're always evolving — musically, spiritually, and within our own circle," says GPGDS bassist James Searl. "LIVE UP! documents the sound and chemistry that six people shared with each other and crowds around the nation. We’re excited about the future as a quartet, and eager to explore new territories." Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad is currently on tour in their vegetable-oil fueled van and has already begun working on material for a new studio album.

GPGDS - International Mother

GPGDS - In These Times

GPGDS - Love You More

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amalgamah - Mellow Roots -2009-
(Reggae, Dub, Soul)

From: Madrid

Amalgamah is the personal project of reggae veteran Carlos Alonso. Mellow Roots
really is some mellow roots reggae that feels a lot like 70's Jamaican reggae. This album consists of two CDs, the first is vocal and contains 13 tracks involving well-known singers in the current reggae scene, as Roberto Sanchez and Ranking Forrest. The second disc is the Dub version. Pretty cool contrast there. Nice to have some new really nice easy listening roots reggae coming out of Spain (with English lyrics) :)

Amalgamah - Bring A Solution

Amalgamah - Soldier

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kae Sun - Lion On A Leash -2009-
(Folk, Reggae, Hip-Hop)

From: Ghana

Canada-based Ghana-born singer/songwriter/poet, Kae Sun’s much anticipated album; ‘Lion on a Leash’ has finally been released through Urbnet/Fontana North. A man of great drive and passion, Kae has poured his heart and soul into the lyrics found on his new album Lion On A Leash. Born Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jr in Accra, Ghana. His earliest musical inspiration came from diverse sources: the church choir, his dad’s soul records, the roots reggae blaring on the streets of Accra, traditional Ghanaian folk chants and the hip-life music on the radio. These elements fused to form the foundation of Kae Sun’s unique and powerful musical style that continues to change and grow. Sweet debut album from a very talented young musician. Lovin' "Lion On A Leash"!

Kae Sun - Free

Kae Sun - Lion On A Leash

Thursday, January 21, 2010

O.A.R. - Rain Or Shine -2010-
(Rock, Pop, Reggae)

From: Rockville, Maryland

Recorded over the span of two evenings outdoors at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago, Rain or Shine boasts a huge 37-track playlist spilled out over four discs, which is a lot to chew on for fans of any artist, but something that O.A.R. listeners have probably come to expect from the rootsy, reggae-infused, Maryland-based jam band. Formed in 1996 while the members were still in high school, O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) managed to build the kind of fan base that relies on community rather than marketing, resulting in a decade-long tour that has taken the band clear across the globe. The material on Rain or Shine encapsulates the group's entire career. Still nice after all these years of listening to these guys to hear new versions of some of the older rootsy-reggae tunes when O.A.R. was one of the freshest groups around. These boys' legion of dedicated followers will find little fault with another live album, as the stage is where O.A.R. truly shine.

O.A.R. - That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker

O.A.R. - Black Rock

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dawes - North Hills -2009-
(Americana, Soul)

From: Los Angeles, CA

These California Americana Folkies have put out an awesome and beautiful debut album. North Hills is full of twangy folk rock that will immediately transport you to the days of Creedence, Crosby and The Band. A really nice album all around with amazing harmonies throughout. North Hills sounds so authentically vintage, but somehow manages to stay fresh and new. Though musicians diving back into history to write songs that evoke another era is not entirely original, what these California kids do on North Hills takes it to an entirely different level. Loaded with a maturity far beyond their years (lead singer Goldsmith is only 23, his brother/drummer is just 18) Dawes are admittedly well on their way to something truly awe-inspiring. Having shared the stage with the likes of Wolfmother and Incubus, they are no stranger to a big stage. That is of course a good thing, because with a release this promising, larger stages seems a surefire certainty.

Dawes - That Western Skyline

Dawes - When My Time Comes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
(World, Roots, Blues)

From: Mali

Legendary poet guitarists and soul rebels from the southern Sahara desert. The band formed in the rebel camps of Colonel Ghadaffi, as each of the musicians had been forced from their nomadic lifestyle into involuntary military service. Surrounded by a displaced nation of their peers, Tinariwen forged a new style of music, trading their traditional lutes and shepherd's flutes for electric guitars and drums. The style that resulted was dubbed Tishoumaren, "the music of the unemployed." Their music addressed issues such as political awakening, problems of exile, repression of their people, and demands of sovereignty. In a region with no postal or telephone system, their tapes soon became a grassroots voice of rebellion and a rallying point for a disenfranchised nation. In December of 2008, Tinariwen gathered in the Sahara to record a new album. The sessions took place in a rented house, out in the bush, in nomad camps and in other magical locations. Imidiwan: Companions is the band's fourth release for World Village and it possesses all the elements that have made them so magnetic to western ears: raw simplicity, melodic beauty and songs ranging from the epic and universal to the intimate and personal.

Tinariwen - Imidiwan Afrik Tendam

Tinariwen - Imazaghen N Adagh

Tinariwen - Lulla

Monday, January 18, 2010

Passafire - Everyone On Everynight -2009-
(Reggae, Rock, Dub)

From: Savannah, Georgia

With Everyone On Everynight Passafire has fully developed its signature and infectious hybrid of roots reggae, progressive rock and experimental dub. Passafire will surely draw comparisons to 311, Pepper and Sublime. However, Passafire has created an individual and stable album. From the first song to the last, Passafire holds to their smooth and catchy reggae. Interjecting pure rock solos and well-placed brass, Everyone On Everynight keeps things exciting and mellow throughout. With only a few setbacks, Passafire’s third album will almost certainly continue the success that Submersible got rolling a few years ago. A must have for fans of the Reggae/Rock genre.

Passafire - Here In Front Of Me

Passafire - Prelectricity

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vampire Weekend - Contra -2009-
(Indie, New Wave, Alternative)

From: New York

Describing their sound as "Upper West Side Soweto," New York City's Vampire Weekend mixes preppy, well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms. Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University. Their first album was catchy, fresh, new and a smashing success. Contra follows those same principles and Vampire Weekend has managed to stay away from the all to often sophomore slump. With a sound somewhere between The Shins and Paul Simon these indie rockers are sure to have another huge hit. If you don't already know who these guys are jump on the bandwagon now.

Vampire Weekend - Horchata

Vampire Weekend - Diplomat's Son

Vampire Weekend - Cousins

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trolls Cottage - Let It Burn -2008-
(Rock, Reggae, Indie)

From: Washington

With intoxicating genre-blending music and lyrical depth, Trolls Cottage has withstood the test of time. Nearly ten years after their inception, TC continues to create music that is both influential and inspiring. Their latest album, Let It Burn, considered the strongest TC album to date, is hypnotically simplistic but is soaked in lyrical contemplations. It highlights the songwriting and vocals of Jacob Bain and Mike Marlatt in an alternating fashion that keeps their sound unique and fresh. Bassist Erik Reimnitz contributes songs as well, and creates a great stage energy while drummer Earl Clay and percussionist Gabriel Blake lay down the foundation that is considered the signature TC sound. Title track 'Let It Burn' is a really sweet track and really sets the stage for this album that is likeable from the very first listen.

Trolls Cottage - Let It Burn

Trolls Cottage - There Comes A Time

The Dodos - Time To Die -2009-
(Indie, Rock)

From: San Francisco, CA

Time To Die is the third album from San Francisco's The Dodos. The album is full to the brim with the propulsive poly-rhythmic drumming of Logan Kroeber and the frenetic finger-picking of singer/guitarist Meric Long. The vivaciousness and rough edges that were so prevalent on Visiter are gone and this duo has now turned into a trio for this newest album adding Keaton Snyder on vibraphone. The result is a thicker, more polished sound than previous albums. Fans of The Shins, Iron & Wine and Blitzen Trapper will really dig this sound. Check 'em out.

The Dodos - Longform

The Dodos - Troll Nacht

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kultiration - Kultiration -2009-
(Reggae, Roots, Folk)

From: Sweden

The music of Kultiration finds inspiration in, but still transcends, both roots reggae and jazz as well as traditional Swedish folk music. Instruments like violin, accordion and double bass bring melodic depth to a steady backbeat, jazzy keys and a potent horn section. All this also resonating high together with the grounding messages and unique vocals from lead singer Marcus Berg. The name “Kultiration” stands for how “footprints” of a culture expresses through the individual. Believing firmly in the strength and inspiration that comes out of music and life, Kultiration continues to gather new energy in order to deliver conscious, high-vibration performances in and outside Scandinavia.
Kärlek och respect/Love and respect

Kultiration - Seek and Gone

Kultiration - Earth Songs

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Piers Faccini - Two Grains Of Sand -2009-
(Indie, Rock, Acoustic)

From: France

A soulful and expressive singer/songwriter whose music fuses folk, acoustic blues, and West African textures. Former producer JP Plunier is the same man who brought us the likes of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. Piers has played shows with both of them and used guys from both bands for a backing band on his records. His sound is probably best described as somewhere in-between acoustic Ben Harper and Nick Drake. Good lyrics and a very nice finger picked acoustic set the tone throughout. Two Grains Of Sand is a really nice, mellow, yet elegant album from a very good singer-songwriter.

Piers Faccini - Your Name No More

Piers Faccini - A Storm Is Going To Come

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

T.U.G.G. - Slow Chill (E.P.) -2009-
(Reggae, Rock)

From: La Crosse, Wisconsin

T.U.G.G. is an exciting 4-piece band hailing from Wisconsin’s western border. Their music is a fun, danceable mixture of reggae and rock. These Midwest Reggae Rockers do a very nice job of channeling tropical grooves and breezy melodies in the same vein as Slightly Stoopid and Pepper have before them. Kick back and enjoy and click the cover art above to go purchase the album for $0.99

T.U.G.G. - Mexico

T.U.G.G. - Kingston Town

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Caledonia - We Are America -2009-
(Indie, Rock)

From: Toronto, Canada

Caledonia is a four-piece indie rock band from Halifax and Toronto with a staggering live show and a burgeoning Canadian following. Smelted in a crazy horse crucible, forged in the coals of post-rock, wrought with the salacious slag of 70's Brit pop, and christened with a stolen bottle of Jamaican ska. Soaring instrumentation, nice vocals combined with catchy songwriting on We Are America shows that Caledonia is a band to keep your eyes on in the coming years. Really enjoy when they go with their indie/ska sound e.g. 'The Plague'. Lot of good tunes coming out of our neighbor to the North these days.

Caledonia - The Plague

Caledonia - Friday Night Rock Song

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Angus & Julia Stone - A Book Like This -2009-
(Indie, Folk, Acoustic)

From: Sydney, Australia

Angus and Julia Stone make their North American debut with A Book Like This - a collection of thirteen heartfelt and organic songs. Together the songs on A Book Like This are strikingly poignant and textured recordings that immediately draw listeners into the simple and endearing vision of the duo’s world. Whether they are tagged as folky, acoustic or bluesy-rock is not a concern for the duo: “We don’t listen to heaps of other music,” says Angus. “We are two people who play music because…well just because…and if people can enjoy the music and feel something then that is a wonderful thing.” A Book Like This is an appropriate soundtrack for lazy Sunday afternoons, when the pace of the world matches the relaxed gait of this winsome duo. Really good collection of tunes, but my favorite is "All The Colours" a bonus track only found on iTunes. This brother/sister duo is going to be huge so take a listen now and spread the word. Click cover art above to purchase mp3 version of album for only $5.

Angus & Julia Stone - Private Lawns

Angus & Julia Stone - All The Colours