Sarah King – “Poison”
-What do you say to a man who won’t listen? Great question! The gospel-tinged piano work on this track immediately struck my attention. The lead vocal from King is, in a word, breathtaking. The combination of these effects (and all the production magic around them) makes it so that the heartfelt lyrical message cuts deep. This is one of those songs that can be felt as much as it’s heard. I’d hate to be the man at the brunt of this message, but then again as someone married for nearly 15 years I’m sure I’ve been the one who didn’t receive a *very specific* message as well. To say this one “hits home” is a bit of an understatement. If I had an old school country station, I’d spin this one every night.
Ian Jones – “Rollin”
-If you’re looking for folk rock that toes the line of alt country, you’ll find a lot to like with Ian Jones’s sound. The golden production elements make it feel like the mid 1970s all over again. Jones has one of those voices that feels familiar yet cuts forth with a new energy. The sparing lyrics and long instrumental breaks make the song feel like a comfortable and engaging style of Americana. We don’t always get a lot of this kind of music, so it was nice to find a Rayland Baxter style of modern Americana.
Mark Diamond – “Colorado”
-The word that comes to mind for this recording is “intimate.” The vocal feels close to the heart of the recording, allowing the spirit to be captured in that vocal. The lyrics focus on settling in this meaningful place. The overall sentiment is really intriguing, with a distinctly “western” style haunting whistle in the opening. The whole thing feels like a modern take on a song that a lonely cowpoke might have sung out on the prairie. The movement east from LA back to Colorado strikes me as a beautiful juxtaposition of a typical “western” acoustic tune. It… just… works.