Time for another fairly random sampling of some of our new CDs! If there isn't something you like on this list, visit the sound recording section to find something more to your tastes!
Southern (Bill Emerson and the Sweet Dixie Band) may just be the perfect bluegrass album. Writes Juli Thanki, "it's an album that covers most of the standard bluegrass song topics—there’s a gospel tune, a song about dead kids, some reminiscing about the good old days, and a whole lot of heartbreak—and its all performed with consummate, understated skill. The ink is barely dry on the liner notes, so it’s a little too soon to peg Southern as 'timeless,' but it is timeless-sounding and a mighty fine traditional bluegrass album."
Live and Mo' (Keb' Mo') is the first indie CD from versatile blues artist Keb' Mo'. Says Holly Hughes, who appreciates his "craggy voice" and guitar and banjo picking, "his guitar licks may channel Robert Johnson, but the lyrics are more like Jackson Browne, only funnier, with Mo’s witty take on contemporary society. ....For a new listener, this career-spanning selection of songs would be a great introduction."
I Bring What I Love (Youssou N'Dour) is the soundtrack CD of the critically-acclaimed documentary about the singer, songwriter and Senegalese pop icon Youssou N'Dour. "Pooling tracks from his career, the [CD] is quintessentially N'Dour, full of the singer's bright, intoxicating easy swing and unpretentious grace. ...It takes only a brief listen to Mr. N'Dour to discover that his unadorned joy is real and heartfelt," says T.J. Nelson. (We classify this CD as folk.)
Orchestrion (Pat Metheny) is classified as jazz. Explains Dave Gelly, "The late-19th century orchestrion was a kind of super player-piano, with all kinds of instruments added. Metheny has spent years creating a modern version, a roomful of acoustic-mechanical gadgets that play along with his guitar. The result is extraordinary. What he plays on these five longish tracks is as gripping as usual, while the busy tinkling and plunking that surrounds him is by turns bewildering and hypnotic."
And just in time for Valentine's Day, we offer Barry Manilow's The Greatest Love Songs of All Time. Just as a previous reviewer confessed to liking Glen Campbell, I have to confess to liking Barry Manilow. "Mr. Manilow is a melody man who respects the mostly great tunes enough to sing them with only minor variations from the notes as written," writes Stephen Holden, who goes on to acknowledge the CD's "tasteful, unfussy arrangements" and a "friendly, nostalgic bonhomie."