October 4, 2019
NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:
Heading downstairs for this week's edition of the Used Vinyl Alert, we're happy to unveil a real exciting batch of records. Our Fall squirreling away of records has commenced, and we have a truly eye-popping collection of affordable, essential records, almost entirely in the best shape of their lives. Spruce up your collection this week from staples across the worlds of blues, jazz, new wave, folk rock and classic pop.
It’s a three-course meal for this week’s batch. We continue to unearth some country and folk gems, from the high and lonesome to the rollicking and raucous. More good stuff this week from Dolly, along with a trio from Rosanne Cash, three from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Circle” series and a pair from Hag. Look out for single-disc surveys from consummate craftsmen Tom T. Hall, Don Williams, John Stewart, Pete Seeger and Dwight Yoakam, as well as roots-adjacent sides from Dougie Sahm and Gram Parsons. Moving over to the rock section of town there’s tasty vitals like the expanded versions of “McCartney I” and Dave Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name,” along with sturdy standards like the White Album and the soundtrack to “Easy Rider.” Ol’ Neil factors in heavy with 70s highlights “Zuma” and “On the Beach,” along with the earthier “Old Ways” and the recent archives release of his work with the International Harvester. Plenty of Garcia this week, covering his work with his eponymous band, his tenure in the New Riders of the Purple Sage and, of course, the Dead. We’ll close with another strong jazz selection. The Blue Note deluge continues, with lesser-seen dates from Tony Williams and Joe Henderson, along with a 3-cd Mosaic set from Horace Silver sideman Carmell Jones. In addition, pay particular attention to the material this week coming off well-regarded but undercirculated labels like Soul Note, Black Lion and Muse, proof that great jazz was still coming out whether attention was directed earwards or not.
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OTHERS TALK BACK:
This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.
The Avett Brothers - “Closer Than Together” The Avett Brothers have trod a lot of musical ground since they exploded on the scene about fifteen years ago. But the last several albums have seemed to be lacking in the fire that fueled their earlier recordings. “Closer Than Together” is a concept album detailing the state of the United States the last several years. Most concept albums can be rather turgid affairs which often sacrifice good songwriting for the sake of the concept’s overarching theme. That is not the case with “Closer Than Together.” The album is a breath of fresh air, with some of the best songwriting that the band has produced in years. I noticed that Rick Rubin produced the album, and it may be that Mr. Rubin kicked some butt to get such inspiring performances and songs out of the Brothers. The songs are freed from the fancy production that dogged the last several albums. The production of “Closer Than Together” is sparse but it spotlights the songs and performances. “Closer Than Together” is a simple return to the excitement that the band generated back in the 2000s. - Ted
Angel Olson - “All Mirrors” Angel Olson has has always worn her emotions on her sleeve. She was not shy about exposing her soul to her public with her songs. “All Mirrors” is finally the vehicle that Ms. Olson needed to finally liberate the deep emotions that her songwriting conveys. The vast majority of the tracks have a small string section that quite simply highlights what is good and great about her music. But the string sections are not used as classical light, rather the string arrangements are used almost in a psychedelic sense that immediately draws the listener into the raw sentiments of the songs, And the album's eleven songs are the best that she has written so far. It may be premature to declare “All Mirrors’ as the best album of the year. But I believe, that those who hear the album will immediately agree with that ranking. - Ted
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ben, Will, Ed, Isaac, Larry, Andy, Mark, Jack, Eric & Mike