Sly & The Family Stone – Higher [4CD] (2013)

slAll through the brilliant highs and the murky lows of the late ’60s and early ’70s, Sly & The Family Stone had the globe dancing to the music. The creativity of the mixed-race, mixed-gender, and mixed-genre band shines in this new 77-track, four-cd box set. This incredible collection showcases the classic hits not just in stereo format, but in the good ol’ mono mixes which went missing long ago with the transistor radio, and in unheard early versions, and concert performances. Also included are gems from Sly Stewarts’ pre-Family Stone period, studio outtakes, and potent instrumentals from this archetype of jam bands. With 17 previously unreleased tracks, it’s a lot more music than you knew was there all remastered to hit the pinnacle of sound.

mp3 VBR~215 kbps | 428 MB | UL | TB

VA – Sweet Relief, Volume III: Pennies From Heaven (2013)

sweetTracks:

01 Pennies From Heaven – Ron Sexsmith
02 Brother Where Are You – Shelby Lynne
03 Big Spender – Sam Phillips
04 How Did You Find Me Here – k.d. lang
05 Crazy Love – Ben Harper
06 Heart of Gold – GeneviĆ©ve Toupin
07 If I Needed You – Joseph Arthur
08 Surfer Girl – Rickie Lee Jones
09 With a Little Help From My Friends – Tina Schlieske
10 Change is Gonna Come – Victoria Williams
11 King of the Road – She & Him
12 I’ll Be Home – Eleni Mandell
13 Don’t Let Us Get Sick – Jackson Browne

mp3 VBR~217 kbps | 79 MB | UL | CL

The Waifs – Sundirtwater [2007]

folderListening to an earlier Waifs album like 2003’s Up All Night, it was easy to detect lots of talent but hard to separate it from other vocal groups that focused on tight, smooth harmony. Like a contemporary version of Peter, Paul & Mary, it was an approach that seemed more likely to attract the uninitiated to folk music than hardened fans who preferred the authenticity of rougher edges. If one gains the impression that the title, Sundirtwater, suggests a new, more basic approach to roots music, then he or she has followed the Waifs’ line of thinking. Here, the band has pulled off a neat trick, both beefing up its sound (electric guitar) and keeping things looser (less tight harmony). This nice combination, topped by (mostly) Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn’s lead vocals and by (mostly) Josh Cunningham songs, delivers tracks that never lose their soul from being overly polished. Listening to cuts like “Pony” and “Get Me Some,” the band sounds as though it’s found a natural groove, somewhere between country, folk, and soul. the Waifs, by loosening the reins, have expressed a great deal of confidence in each member’s individual abilities on Sundirtwater, and ironically have become a stronger unit for it.

mp3 VBR~235 kbps | 80 MB | UL | CL

Don Nix – Hobos, Heroes And Street Corner Clowns (1973)

DONDon Nix: vocals
Barry Beckett: keyboards
Pete Carr: guitar
George Harrison: guitar, voice
Roger Hawkins: drums
Eddie Hinton: guitar
David Hood: bass
Claudia Lennear: vocals
Furry Lewis: vocals
Bobby Manuel: guitar
Wayne Perkins: guitar, vocals
Larry Raspberry: guitar
Steve Smith: guitar, keyboards
Tim Smith / Klaus Voormann: bass

mp3 256 kbps | 70 MB | UL | CL

Kimmie Rhodes / Willie Nelson – Picture In A Frame (2003)

WIThe musical relationship between country legend Willie Nelson and underheralded Austin songwriter Kimmie Rhodes had existed for years — most recently, the two had dueted twice on Rhodes’ 2002 solo album Love Me Like a Song (the lovely title track and “We’ve Done This Before,” both also included here), yet they had teamed as early as 1996, on both Rhodes’ West Texas Heaven and Nelson’s Just One Love albums. On Picture in a Frame, however, their musical simpatico reached an apotheosis. It is one of the most enjoyable albums in either of their careers, which is saying a great deal in both cases. In addition to pairing up a couple outstanding performers — both, in their inimitable ways, outlaws to the country mainstream — the album combines the best of numerous country & western worlds: classic and contemporary, rural versus urban, R&B/jazz-influenced and folk-based, internationally renowned superstardom and best-kept local secret. Best of all, though, it brought together a loose, intimate little acoustic ensemble to play a superior set of songs. Rhodes did much of the heavy lifting, contributing two exclusive compositions (“Just One Love” and “I Just Drove By”) and one clipped from her theatrical production Small Town Gift (the closing “Rhinestone Highway”). Nelson added a pair of his own, the brand-new, and choice, “It Always Will Be” and a moving version of “Valentine” from Across the Borderline. The Rodney Crowell classic “‘Til I Gain Control Again,” long a Nelson live staple, is given a gorgeous rebirth here, with its stately gait and life-scarred grace. And the album title is supplied by the Tom Waits song, transformed into a tear-jerking, slow-burning tribute by these two inspiring artists.

mp3 256 kbps | 78 MB | UL | CL