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Two highly recommended, late breaking 2017 guitar masterworks …

First up is Alexander’s self-titled/self-released LP — the work of New Haven’s David Shapiro (a name heads may recognize from contributions to such bands as Headroom and Nagual). Performing solo on a guitar of his own design, Shapiro makes a meditative sound with deep frequencies and soothing tones. He never rushes things, preferring to let his intricate compositions unfold and unwind at their own speed. You’ll be hanging on every note. That’s not to say Shapiro can’t pick up the pace at times; check the rolling waves of fingerpicking expertise on “II,” which calls to mind the visionary grandeur of Fahey’s America. Positively dazzling.

Next, we’ve got the latest from dbh, a somewhat enigmatic British player whose playing can run the gamut from Windham Hill-worthy pastoralism to gypsy-jazz zones, from sublime electric reveries to janky pedal fuckery. This eclectic approach works brilliantly on Mass — wherever he goes, there’s a sense of discovery and pure imagination at work. Personally, I can’t get enough of the dreamy cathedral of sound that dbh builds on the reverb-laden “Light Pools.” Give it a listen and bliss out … words / t wilcox

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¡Órale! Los Blue Angels step up with the horn-happy cover of Señor Morrison. Via the U.S. imprint of Mexico’s oldest record company, Peerless, the ever-evolving grupo tackled the Irishman’s greatest-hit within weeks of its original release. The spirit, and frantic drive, remains – and the Irish brogue traded for a Chicano-rock spin on a noche salvaje. words / b kramer

Los Blue Angels :: Noche Salvajes

james ward

Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 504: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Loudon Wainwright III – Hollywood Hopeful ++ Neil Young – L.A. ++ Crazy Horse – Dance, Dance, Dance ++ Ernie Graham – Don’t Want Me Round You ++ Bert Jansch – Open Up the Watergate (Let the Sunshine In) ++ Bob Dylan – When I Paint My Masterpiece ++ Sandy Denny – Crazy Lady Blues ++ Chris Darrow – Wherever You Are ++ The First Edition – Tulsa Turnaround ++ Leon Russell & Marc Benno –  Hello, Little Friend ++ Bob Carpenter – Miracle Man ++ Hamilton Camp – I Shall Be Released ++ The 31st Of February – God Rest His Soul ++ Gene Clark & Doug Dillard – Don’t Let Me Down ++ Clover – Mr. Moon ++ Daniel Moore – May, 16, 1975 ++ Abrigada – Tribute to Joe Raposo ++ Goose Creek Symphony – A Satisfied Mind ++ Bob Martin – Captain Jesus ++ Link Wray – Juke Box Mama ++ The B.C. Harmonizers – You Ought To Been There ++ Odetta – Baby, I’m In The Mood For You ++ The Zion Travelers – The Blood ++ Rolling Stones – I Just Want To See His Face ++ The Georgia Sea Island Singers – Adam In The Garden ++ Little Feat – Strawberry Flats ++ Willis Alan Ramsey – Geraldine And The Honeybee ++ Bobby Charles – Street People ++ Françoise Hardy – Till the Morning Comes ++ Jerry Jeff Walker – Will There Be Any ++ Harry Crews – Everything Was Stories ++ Ramsay Midwood – Spinning On This Rock ++ John Martin – Over The Hill ++ Davy Graham – Both Sides Now (excerpt) ++ David Crosby – I’d Swear There Was Somebody There ++ Jerry Jeff Walker – About Her Eyes ++ Sibylle Baier – Wim ++ Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Pardon My Heart ++ Jim White – Still Waters

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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Watch out for those late in the year surprises. Eclectic composer Robert Stillman sneaks in just under the 2017 wire with Portals, a new lp of Fender Rhodes improvisations. Recorded at his home in Kent during the winter of 2016-2017, right around the time his remarkable album Rainbows was released, the new album drifts into lo-fi ambient territory. Stillman designed it as a headphone album and it excels with a nice pair on, its layers pulse with warmth and the gentle abstraction afforded by a classic electric piano. Available now digitally and cassette via Orindal Records. words/j woodbury

litUp

Ah yes, go ahead and inhale the fecund ether of the season. Lit Up Like A Christmas celebrates the, er, other side of seasonal tidings — holiday esoterica from the far corners of vintage jazz, twang, fuzz, scuzz, r&b, blues, country, garage, lounge and beyond. And by beyond, I mean Sun Ra doing a Christmas song.

Both volumes have been re-upped, including the much expanded spotify versions (that are highly recommended). Stuff your stockings and have a nip of this nog, below . . .

TRANSITION

Speaking of 1971, the funky shit Kenny Rogers and The First Edition were laying down in the early 70s continues to maintain a special place in my crate — especially this one. Yup, that’s Mickey Jones on drums.

The First Edition :: Tulsa Turnaround

North Country Funk

Check it out, it’s 1971. Joey Gregorash, a Manitoban, cuts his lp North Country Funk and pays tribute to fellow Canadian Neil Young via this snowblind cover of “Down By The River”. Also, I kinda want that coat.

Joey Gregorash :: Down By The River