Matuto – The Devil and the Diamond (2013)

ma“The joyous, ebullient music of Matuto merges the forro folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of all-American bluegrass. Violin, accordion and a range of Brazilian percussion give this band, founded by South Carolina native Clay Ross, a seductively cross-cultural appeal.”
— Chicago Tribune

mp3 VBR~267 kbps | 107 MB | UL | CL

Alex Highton – Woodditton Wives Club (2012)

51ijiv-koglThere’s something so reassuringly cosy about the music of Alex Highton, the singer-songwriter who briefly flirted with fame three years ago when movie star Ashton Kutcher emerged as an unlikely fan.
His latest album Woodditton Wives Club, loosely based on his own move from the city to the village of Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, is as English as, well, a visit to a Cambridgeshire village.Like an aspiring Ray Davies the album charts Highton’s search for a Shangri-La  away from the crime and loneliness of city life in rural Cambridgeshire. He even sings like Davies at times, but mostly  in the folk tradition of  Nick Drake or fellow Liverpudlian Paul McCartney.
Rob Young’s excellent study of British folk music Electric Eden is full of versions of Highton, who over the decades from Holst to Vaughn Williams to Richard Thompson and the Incredible String Band, searched for a quieter more traditional part of Britain away from the city. On the evidence of this album he is perhaps deserving of a mention in an updated version of the book. From instrumentation to songwriting to Highton’s endearing voice, this album is beautifully arranged.

mp3VBR~225 kbps | 57 MB | UL | CL

Christina Carter – Texas Modern Exorcism (2013)

coverChristina’s songwriting is exceptionally strong on this album. At first glance she appears to have abandoned her conceptual work for something a little more conventional. Unlike Masque Femine or A Blossom FellTexas is populated with familiar structures and strategies. There are chorus-like repetitions, strongly stated lyrics, virtuosic guitar solos, and big, muscular chords that echo with rhythmic urgency. These conventions make the music sound more communal and create a feeling of intimacy with Carter; instead of being driven by opaque personal references and conceptual schematics, Texas Blues Working moves under the impetus of familiar song-craft and plainly stated feelings.

mp3 320 kbps | 136 MB | UL | TB

Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing [Live at the Barbican] (2013)


01 – Tom’s Diner
02 – Luka
03 – Ironbound-Fancy Poultry
04 – In the Eye
05 – Night Vision
06 – Solitude Standing
07 – Calypso
08 – Language
09 – Gypsy
10 – Wooden Horse-Caspar Hauser’s Song
11 – Marlene on the Wall
12 – Left of Center
13 – Tombstone
14 – Blood Makes Noise
15 – The Queen and the Soldier
16 – Some Journey
17 – Tom’s Diner (Reprise)
18 – Caramel
19 – In Liverpool
20 – Rosemary

mp3 VBR~223 kbps | 182 MB | UL | TB

The Rides (Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Barry Goldberg) – Can’t Get Enough (2013)

riThree giants of music, Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash), Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg (Black Flag) have come together in the new blues-rock group The Rides.

The album was inspired by and is an homage to the 1968 album Super Session recorded by Stills, Goldberg, Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Harvey Brooks and Eddie Hoh. It all started when Stills and Goldberg began writing together. Goldberg said “It was like finding a long lost soul brother. We connected on so many things, started jamming, and soon had begun writing our first song.”
Shepherd joined next. “The Rides are a perfect mix of generations, where three musicians who love and play the blues collide and create music that goes beyond all our other individual life experiences and career achievement. Stephen and I have rock backgrounds as well, but the blues is the fabric that holds this all together.”
Stills added “It was just really magical with the three of us, one of the best times I’ve had in my musical career.”
The three wrote four of the songs on the album including Roadhouse, Don’t Want Lies and the title track. They also tackle covers of Rockin’ in the Free World, Talk to My Baby, Honey Bee and Search and Destroy. The album closes with a Buffalo Springfield song that Stills wrote but never recorded, Word Games.
“In the spirit of that simple, raw authentic 40s and 50s blues music the three of us love, we got in there and boom! A few takes and we were done,” says Stills. “The songs have muscle, they don’t sound dated or contrived, they’re very natural and organic. I can’t wait to tour with these guys and start recording again!”

mp3 320 kbps | 115 MB | UL | CL

Sharon Knight – Neofolk Romantique (2013)

shA collection of Celtic traditional and original songs ranging from romantic and fanciful to dark and brooding. Faery lore, lively jigs, and haunting ballads of pirates, murder, love, death, and the quest for poetic inspiration, sung by a feisty redhead.

Sharon Knight – Lead & Harmony Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Bodhran. Djembe, Percussion
Winter – Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Dobro, Slide Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Harmony Vocals
Caith Threefires –  Bouzouki, Mandolin, Bass, Keyboard, Harmony Vocals
Tim Rayborn- Kantele
Paul Nordin – Red Pipes, Whistles
Betsy Tinney – Cello

mp3 320 kbps | 125 MB | UL | CL

Julia Doiron – Loneliest in the Morning (1997)

51n7kI+fh7LPrior to Loneliest in the Morning, Julie Doiron was part of the influential Canadian band Eric’s Trip. In the later days and eventually at the end of the band, Doiron released a 7″ and a full-length record of material on her own label, Sappy Records, under the name Broken Girl. Loneliest in the Morning is the first solo release from Sub Pop by Doiron under her own name. The first aspect of Loneliest in the Morning that strikes the listener is the minimal nature of the musical elements. The guitar provides the subtle rhythm, while Doiron’s voice is captivating and enchanting. A melancholy undertone exists in the direct nature of the vocals, perhaps in a style of Aimee Mann, or the depth of Cat Power with straight-ahead lyrics. “Tell You Again” is a sweet lullaby, where bass and piano creep in, gently adding their touch to the soundscape. All of the songs are very personal and revealing; Doiron confesses her deepest. “Le Soleil” is the beautiful closer. The vocals carry the melody while the guitar opens the song up wide. The production is of great quality, giving the listener a sense that Doiron is actually playing in the room. Photos by Doiron and paintings by her husband, Jon Claytor, add a wonderful packaging element to round off a great record.

mp3 320 kbps | 94 MB | UL | CL

Neil Young – Neil Young (1968)

FrontOn his songs for Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young had demonstrated an eclecticism that ranged from the rock of “Mr. Soul” to the complicated, multi-part arrangement of “Broken Arrow.” On his debut solo album, he continued to work with composer/arranger Jack Nitzsche, with whom he had made “Expecting to Fly” on the Buffalo Springfield Again album, and together the two recorded a restrained effort on which the folk-rock instrumentation, most of which was by Young, overdubbing himself, was augmented by discreet string parts. The country & western elements that had tinged the Springfield’s sound were also present, notably on the leadoff track, “The Emperor of Wyoming,” an instrumental that recalled the Springfield song “A Child’s Claim to Fame.” Still unsure of his voice, Young sang in a becalmed high tenor that could be haunting as often as it was listless and whining. He was at his least appealing on the nine-and-a-half-minute closing track, “The Last Trip to Tulsa,” on which he accompanied himself with acoustic guitar, singing an impressionistic set of lyrics seemingly derived from Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. But double-tracking and the addition of a female backup chorus improved the singing elsewhere, and on “The Loner,” the album’s most memorable track, Young displayed some of the noisy electric guitar work that would characterize his recordings with Crazy Horse and reminded listeners of his ability to turn a phrase.

mp3 320 kbps | 82 MB | UL | CL