Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two great new albums, some links, and a gentle reminder

Hello, all.  I felt like I needed to just quickly tell you about two new releases worth buying, by two artists working at the top of their games:  Aimee Mann's "Charmer" and Bettye LaVette's "Thankful N' Thoughtful".

Aimee Mann's new album is a real return-to-form, easily her best album since 2002's "Lost In Space".  Ten years I've been waiting for this, geez!  Superb songwriting and superb production, the album just sounds great.  She's also touring and will be in York, PA at the beginning of November, I'm thinking of going.  Anyone with me?

And Bettye LaVette continues to amaze.  I've written about her here before, when her last album ("Interpretations") came out.  Definitely the new Queen of Soul.  This time she's covering an absolutely eclectic mix: Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Neil Young, Sly Stone, Tom Waits, Gnarls Barkley, Savoy Brown, Ewan (Kirsty's dad) MacColl's "Dirty Old Town"  ...  once again with new arrangements and vocal choices that are top notch, fascinating ... I don't really have the right words here.  Just buy it, download it, whatever it takes.

In the personal music department, just want to say that Matt Douglass and I had a blast at the Woody Guthrie Tributes, with all of the other terrific performers, many of whom I had never heard before but am really glad I have now.  I've uploaded videos of the songs Matt and I did (two with the Stone Hill All Stars behind us -- or should I say around us?) to YouTube, along with a little sound check video showing a bit of everybody involved - here are the links:

Sound Check -

1st Show
Jackhammer John -
Oklahoma Hills -
Pastures of Plenty -

2nd Show
Jackhammer John -
Oklahoma Hills (speed-demon version) -
Pastures of Plenty -

And finally, a couple of little reminders:  Matt and I will again be appearing at the Roots Cafe Singer-Songwriter Series at An Die Music on November 11th at 5pm.  We've both got some new material to go along with some of our older songs, so I really hope you can make it.  And, again, we've just released a 4-song EP which can be downloaded at, or the individual songs can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc., just by searching for "Grayest Hits" or our names.  We're really very proud of what we put together -- it's not just two guys and their guitars!

OK, that's it for now ... 'til next time,