This is not your average week.
Umphrey's McGee - Mantis - Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay. And in an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions. CD $14.99 / LP $15.99
Euphonic Brew - In a Sea of Stained Glass CD - Euphonic Brew presents a fascinating journey through a wide variety of musical styles and moods, all underpinned by the band's remarkable chordal composition and fantastic sense of melody. This makes every stop on the trip a memorable one, regardless of the scenery which can range from driving rock and riveting funk to harmony-laden pop and bouncing piano tap-alongs. The lyrics match the musical diversity well, alternating between the concrete and abstract throughout, and yet always bordering on the personal. All of this adds up to a wonderfully diverse collection of songs that both catch the ear and move the head, and that become more interesting with each listen rather than less. $9.99
Larry Keel & Natural Bridge - Backwoods CD The long-awaited second studio project from Larry Keel and his powerhouse acoustic ensemble 'Natural Bridge' has finally been unleashed! With these revolutionary tracks Keel and his ultra progressive string band have hand-crafted 7 original compositions of the 10 tunes on BACKWOODS that defy all ordinary expectations of what Bluegrass and Americana music has ever offered-- until now. Co-produced by creative genius Keller Williams and monster mountain music master Larry Keel, BACKWOODS is a supremely energizing musical ride. $16
Sol Driven Train - Tajar Tracks 2 CD - Sol Driven Train's second children's record, Tajar Tracks Two takes up where the first Tajar Tracks left off, presenting a bevy of new sing along tunes for parents and kids alike. "The first Tajar Tracks was voted Best Children's Album of 2005 in South Carolina,"says Joel Timmons, singer, guitarist and songwriter with the group. "After the release and obvious success of our first record for children, we wanted to get back to Gwen Valley and record again as soon as possible. But our constant tour schedule didn't leave many holes to get back to the camp and record with the kids. This year, we made it a priority to spend time at Gwen Valley again and get Tajar Tracks Two out for the new year." $12
February 10 - moe. - Dr. Stan's Prescription Vol. 2 (2 CDs) (pre-order)
February 24 - Blind Boys of Alabama - Live in New Orleans DVD
Derek Trucks Band - Already Free CD - Nearly a year in the making and brimming with a newfound focus on original material, Already Free is The Derek Trucks Band's natural evolution as they move forward integrating influences that span a variety of musical genres. Known for their blues roots, the group takes this album well beyond blues to incorporate the larger sounds of rock & soul. Already Free, features a stirring cover of Bob Dylan's Down In The Flood as well as the new songs, Down Don't Bother Me and Get What You Deserve. Guest appearances on the album include vocals from Susan Tedeschi and Doyle Bramhall II. $16.97
The Station - Speed of Sound - Live at Marley's (2 CDs) - The Station balances its jams on a metallic edge, adds a dash of funky machismo and even summons its Southern-rock roots to provide a fine introduction for new listeners. Despite a running time of nearly two-and-a-half hours -- all but two of these 12 songs clock in at longer than 10 minutes -- Speed of Sound remains a far-from-laborious listen. The Station jams creatively while still focusing on the songs' melodies, structure and overall effect. Highlights include Illuminator, which boasts jaw-dropping guitar and sax solos, and the heartland anthem Midwest Moonshine. But, really, cue up just about any of these tunes, push 'play' and let your opinion of jam bands likely be altered for the better. - Michael Popke, Sea of Tranquility.org $16
Mark 0'Connor's Hot Swing Trio CD - Acoustic, progressive violin and Django-style guitar jazz played by Mark O'Connor and his Hot Swing Trio featuring Frank Vignola and Jon Burr. Writing about the live concert at which this recording was made, respected critic Terry Teachout, wrote for the Washington Post, "what I find most exciting about the Hot Swing Trio is the collective willingness of its members to knock down the artificial boundaries between seemingly different musical idioms. I can't wait to hear the CD that comes out of these concerts." $15.99
Albert Collins - Cold Tremors (2 live CDs) - Collins plays his fingers raw, coaxing more diversity and tasteful licks out of his guitar than you'll hear on most of his studio recordings. The first disc features a much-recommended live album, recorded at the infamous El Mocambo in Toronto. The second features a 1969 gig Collins recorded at the Fillmore in San Francisco, when he served as an opening act for the Allman Brothers. $22.98
Video of the Week:
Streaming Dead! One of our friends turned us on - now we're turning you on too.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
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