I do my best to keep up with new releases and cover them. The thing is it’s already a third of the way into 2014 and people keep making music! (Thank goodness) But it also means my opportunities to cover last year’s music continue to dwindle. Instead of merely lamenting this reality, I’ve decided to write a catch-all feature that hits on some of the best of the ones I (we) missed.
Joseph Ruddleston (acoustic)
-Soft, subtle, and powerfully engaging, Joseph Ruddleston’s Into Embers is an album of note. Although his commentary alludes to it being an informal recording, the proficient guitar playing and layered vocals make for an emotionally-charged album. “Ghost Mind” is a particularly important track. It’s just the kind of album that you’ll listen to and think, “why haven’t I heard of this guy before? He’s incredible.” So yeah, you’re welcome.
Great Horned Owl (folk)
-This is the relaxing folk album that you need. It’s endearing and subtle, perfect for the rainy northwest that inspired it. Trendy enough for your ipod and real enough for an AM radio station, it’s the kind of music that justifies the existence of this blog. It’s a shame we didn’t get to it sooner. Give these guys a spin and enjoy the subtle sweetness of real pop folk music.
Anna Lynch (bluegrass)
-Take the cuteness of Ingrid Michaelson’s poppy verses and the twang of Nickel Creek – that’s the combination on Anna Lynch’s debut album. From the strings to the vocals, it’s a toe-tapping kind of album that’s sure to win a lot of fans over to bluegrass. More than just strict bluegrass, it’s really a tour de force of traditional country music. It can be the backdrop for a barndance or the main attraction for the main stage at a big time country festival. Lynch’s vocals are genuine and the music is sweeter than honey.
Goodnight Moonshine (country)
-This is really a great album. For whatever reason (judging an album by its cover, perhaps), I assumed this band would sound more like honkytonk fill-the-dancefloor country music. Instead they have a soft and articulate side that really reveals much more about roots country than meets the eye. Using varied instrumentation and styles without the umbrella label of “country” this is really a wonderful band with two talented fronting artists. I will definitely have my ears open for more from these talented musicians.