High Duchess – Wanderlust (Tzadik,2012)

“Anna Wayland is a talented and dynamic young songwriter whose influences range from blues, jazz, rock, world music and more. Her debut recording is a dark and heavy gothic masterpiece that takes us from death to love and back again. Produced by Mat Dennis and mixed by the great Alain Johannes it features Adrian Harpham on drums and plenty of AnnaÕs ripping guitar work. Wanderlust is an intense and personal first CD from this dynamic and charismatic artist who is taking songwriting back to its roots with honesty, imagination, intelligence and passion.”-Tzadik

Flac + Covers | 315 MB | UJ | UL

Shoes – Ignition (2012)

Ignition contains 15 tracks from Shoes’ three founding members and songwriters: bassist-vocalist John Murphy, guitarist-vocalist Jeff Murphy, and guitarist-vocalist Gary Klebe, plus longtime stage drummer John Richardson. Self-produced and released on the band’s own Black Vinyl Records, Ignition not only carries on Shoes’ cult-heroic tradition of edibly tuneful, harmony-honeycombed guitar pop; it ventures intriguingly beyond those comfortable (though undeniably rewarding) borders as well.

mp3 320 kbps | 125 MB | UL | UJ

Gangstagrass – Rappalachia (2012)

If Gangstagrass’s “Long Hard Times To Come” hadn’t been used so effectively as the theme song to the excellent TV series Justified, the idea of fusing hip-hop and bluegrass might seem ridiculous. But what makes Gangstagrass mastermind Rench (a Brooklyn, NY native) different from those who previously have attempted to combine banjos and break beats is a clear respect for musicians on both sides of the divide. The common ground is rhythm, and drawing from the one-chord drive of Dock Boggs’s “Sugar Baby” and “Country Blues” surprisingly makes perfect sense as a vehicle for a skilled MC. Certainly, getting Kool Keith on a track (“Western”) lends more credibility than, say, Kid Rock, and credibility is Rench’s primary concern. It’s hard to tell on early impressions whether Rappalachia is a game-changer though. American music is always at its best when black and white forms are blended more subtly, and this album largely smacks of a shotgun wedding. At the same time, it’s a bold vision of a potential future, and it’s inevitable that others will begin honing this album’s rough edges to forge a new sound.

mp3 VBR~224 kbps | 98 MB | UJ

James Luther Dickinson & North Mississippi All Stars – I’m Just Dead I’m Not Gone (2012)

Posthumous collection from the legendary Memphis producer and musician. I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone is a reflection of Dickinson’s lifelong affinity for songs that have style, substance and, are at the same time, truthful. The blues roots of his art is present in songs from the Furry Lewis and Sleepy John Estes catalogs along with tracks emblematic of Jim’s career-long relationship with folk and soul music, all which he alchemically transformed into sanctified rock ‘n’ roll in the barrel house tradition. Dickinson is very much alive on these incendiary tracks reaffirming the prescient contention that gives this remarkable set its title.

mp3 320 kbps | 74 MB | UJ | UL

The Toy Hearts – Whiskey (2012)

 This terrific recording is brimming over with gorgeous female vocals and harmonies, exceptional playing and some excellent songs, all on a beautiful country/western swing album from a band that hails from Birmingham, England! They have their own natural style within the country music field that confirms they come to this music courtesy of their own enthusiasm and feel rather than as copyists, with every song that they tackle on the album having an air of believeability. The band is made up of Hannah Johnson on lead vocals and mandolin, her sister Sophie on lead electric and acoustic guitars as well as harmony vocals, with dad Stewart playing steel guitar, pedal steel, banjo and dobro. Don’t run away with the idea that this is just another ‘family band’ novelty album though. All three are extraordinarily gifted musicians with an expertise on everything they choose to play that few can better. On this recording the sound is rounded out by Eamon McLoughlin’s tremendous fiddle playing and harmony vocals, Danny   McCormack on piano and Dean Beresford on drums with John Potter on double bass laying a really solid foundation.

mp3 320 kbps | 107 MB | UL | UJ