Joe Wilkes – “Seven Gypsies”
-This is an old, old tune. It’s one of those tunes that’s so old, it would take a musicologist to really predict exactly where it came from. Even then, it’s just “traditional.” Wilkes brings a haunting freshness to the tune that feels both connected to the past and expressively present. It feels like we should be standing around a fire, dancing a little, but mostly just connecting with our sacred roots. I appreciate the power of this traditional tune.
Elmwood Harmony – “The Devil You Know”
-I don’t know exactly what this song is about, but it seems like it might be addressing addiction. This could be about the bottle, the pill, or someone else’s bed. No matter what it is, I appreciate the dark energy of the recording. It feels haunting and deeply confessional. I hope I’m not saying more about myself than the song here, but I can definitely relate to the power of this one. Sheesh now I need to find a gospel song! And quick!
Specific Coast – “Home”
-The hypnotic acoustic fingerpicking on this track was what spoke to me right away. Although the beat might feel a bit more modern than ancient, I like that the core construction of the song is an acoustic guitar with some percussive elements. I hear the bass hidden in the mix as well. At the end of the day, though, the joyful energy of the lead vocal is what stands out for me. This is one of those songs that could have emerged in any era and I’m sure glad that we get to hear it in ours.