Now that we’ve *finally* almost made it through the slog of January, time to get excited about February. We’ve got a Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Oscars, and lots of good music on the way. Here are the three releases I’m most excited about.
Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God.
With a vibe that hearkens back to something between the Who’s Quadrophenia and Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, the versatile Jim James is about to release his second impressive release in less than a year, this one on the heels of New Multitudes, the brilliant collaboration of Woody Guthrie covers. Howling like a wolf at times and whispering a hushed prayer at others, his style here is ethereal, electronic, building-to-climax, staccato funky, danceable, snycopated. I would love to see him late night under the stars at a big festival. Check it out on First Listen this week until its release on Feb 5th.
Holly Williams – Highway
Yes, she is the granddaughter of Hank Williams. THE Hank Williams. Yes there are high expectations. And yes she more than lives up to them. Judging from yesterday’s Daytrotter session, this is going to pack a serious punch. Belt-it-out ballads, shout-outs to Jack Kerouac, sad laments and the sense that she has finally found what’s she’s looking for; I am excited for the transcendence I hear in her lyrics and the passion in her voice. I look forward to a slow country melancholy mood laced with optimism and love. In stores and available for download on the 5th.
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – Old Yellow Moon –
If this is anything like the collaboration Emmylou did with Mark Knopfler, it’s going to be timeless. In addition to that, judging from the video below,’ it will be playful, peppy, and just a lot of fun – a nice counterweight to Holly Williams’ intensity. Looking forward to hearing the rest on the 26th.