Walkin’ Talkin’ Dancin’ Singin’- July 12, 2010

I was on a brief vacation for most of this past week and my listening reflects what is on my mp3 player. It was lovely to be sitting in the Vancouver Island sun watching the waves lap the shoreline with bald eagles flying overhead while listening to Doc Watson and such. A nice, relaxing break. As always, only whole album listening gets listed; this is what passed my ears this week:

Tom Russell- The Tom Russell Anthology: Veteran’s Day

Doc Watson- Trouble in Mind: The Doc Watson Country Blues Collection and Hayes Carll- Trouble in Mind Through a glitch in how my machine sorts files, these two ended up in the same folder. Listening to them trading songs in this manner was perfect. This is the first time I have been able to listen to the Carll album in its entirety- for no reason than lack of attention span- and I found myself quite enjoying it. The Doc set is faultless.

Guy Clark- Sometimes the Song Writes You Truly a master. His strongest set in quite awhile, and he has never recorded a less than satisfying album.

Various Artists- Real: The Tom T. Hall Project One of the best tribute albums, and possibly my favourite. Without fault.

Steve Earle- Train A Comin’ Still my favourite Steve Earle recording.

The Gaslight Anthem- The ’59 Sound I love everything about this album, including all the Springsteen references, deliberate and obvious as they are.

Slowdrag- Slow-Fidelity One of the finest acoustiblue albums of the past ten years.

John Wort Hannam- Queen’s Hotel As a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury, I wasn’t surprised that this album didn’t get through to the long list. I was disappointed, though. Folk music doesn’t get much better than this.

Charlie Sizemore- The Story Is…The Songs of Tom T. Hall The second best Tom T. Hall tribute. And it is pretty darn good.

Paul Burch- Pan-American Flash

The Wooden Sky- If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone Another album that was considered for the Polaris Music Prize this year; it didn’t make the short list.

Kate Campbell- Blues and Lamentations

The Drive-By Truckers- The Fine Print A collection of odds & sods that rivals several of their albums.

John Stewart- Bombs Away Dream Babies

James Reams & the Barnstormers- Troubled Times and Barnstormin’ Listening to these two last week made me realize, again, how strong his original material is, and how different it is from typical bluegrass fare.

That’s the mp3 album list from last week; I never thought I’d become a portable device person, but I’m glad I did; the convenience is great, the battery life is unreal, and the capacity- even on my wee 4 gig machine, is incredible.

My wife is convinced I have a record store GPS inserted somewhere in my body. This was proven, again, when I pulled into a random parking spot in Parksville and looked up to see the community’s new and used record store in front of me. The Cranky Dog was visited three times over five days and offered up some discs I couldn’t leave without, including:

Thin Lizzy- The Universal masters Collection A set of pre-Vertigo Thin Lizzy. A nice collection I hadn’t previously seen.

The album I am most glad I listened to last week.

Dwight Yoakam- South of Heaven, West of Hell I’ve been looking for this one for three or four years, after passing up on it the only other time I saw it in a store. I love searches like this; it makes the locating of the album that much more meaningful. Good for driving, as are most Yoakam albums.

James Gordon- Mining for Gold (Disc 2) A retrospective of the Ontario songwriter’s material up to 2000; 8 bucks for the 2-disc set. The deal of the trip.

Ray Wylie Hubbard- Live at Cibolo Creek Country Club

Marshall Crenshw- The Definitive Pop Collection  I already have most of the songs. Who cares? A non-stop power pop , two-disc set.

Graham Parker and the Rumour- The Up Escalator Not among the critic’s favourites, The Up Escalator is one of my essential GP albums. It may have been the first album of his I bought and the album holds up. “Endless Night” remains a stone classic.

Bookending our Vancouver Island getaway was more listening:

Various Artists- Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine I missed this one last week. Review is up at the Lonesome Road Review.

Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez- The Trouble with Humans

Lainie Marsh- The Hills Will Cradle Thee Liking it more with every listen.

Various Artists- Putumayo Presents Tribute to a Reggae Legend A nice set for casual reggae fans. I prefer my reggae with a bit more anger.

Mississippi Live- Mississippi Live

Kim Beggs- Blue Bones To be reviewed in the paper this Friday. A great album.

The Sadies- Darker Circles With a well-deserved place on the Polaris Prize short-list.

Andre Williams- That’s All I Need

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