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Black Joe Lewis &
the Honeybears

SCANDALOUS
Lost Highway Records
 
"People call us a soul band, but we're more of a rock & roll band," says Black Joe Lewis. "We pride ourselves on keepin' our own style and staying true to the guys we look up to. We play the music that we like listening to. It's always about the music first." Produced by Jim Eno of Spoon and featuring 11 new songs, Scandalous finds Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears returning with their modern and original take on classic American musical styles. There are still plenty of tight horns and hard-driving rhythms on tracks like "Livin' In The Jungle," "Booty City," and "Black Snake," but the new album is a decidedly more diverse and contemporary offering than its predecessor. Gospel punk burner "You Been Lyin'" fits squarely alongside the country blues of "Messin'" and the Stax-meets-Stones soul of "Since I Met You Baby." The raw funk creeper "She's So Scandalous" stands out as an album highlight. You need this.
 
Bob Geldof
How To Compose Popular
Songs That Will Sell
Fontana International/Vagrant

 
Bob Geldof has always said that from being a child in the 60's he has had two interests, music and politics, and this from a time "when the two were inseparable'. As a result he says he "understands and articulates the world through the rhetoric of rock `n roll". It seems to help him "frame his experiences and helps to make them understandable". Geldof is 58 1/2. Typically blunt, that is what he calls his latest outing (though its published title is How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, a title borrowed from an old music manual Geldof found in a second hand book shop). Whereas on his last album Geldof mourned the grief and loss and rage that is the end of love, in this he celebrates its re-birth. This is great stuff. True stuff. No preening or posturing. Honest, funny, tender essentially human stuff. Very Geldof.
Diana Jones
High Atmosphere
Proper

 
Diana Jones has always had an odd affinity for traditional the rural mountain songs of the South, but growing up an adopted daughter on Long Island she never understood why. In the late 90's she finally met her grandfather, a guitarist and lover of Appalachian music, who introduced her to the area that her family had laid roots and her cultural background. When he died in 2000, Jones changed her musical direction, digging deep into the musical traditions that she had come to regard as her birthright. Her new album, High Atmosphere, directs her mountain ballads at events like the flooding of Nashville where she now makes her home. Co-produced by Keith Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, High Atmosphere skillfully meshes the genre's plucked acoustic down home traditions with the low-keyed creations of a gifted modern songwriter. It also doesn't hurt that lovely, mournful ballads such as "Poor Heart" and "My Love Is Gone" are blessed with Jones' warm, natural voice.
 
Maritime
Human Hearts
Dangerbird Records

 
Indeed, band overlords, Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier, have to realize how far they’ve come, having now recorded as many albums with Maritime as with their with seminal band, The Promise Ring, (which split in 2002). Today, Maritime enjoys the perks of being both a great band on their own and one that carries with them a substantial history that indeed tends to prompt a heightened sense of anticipation from fans, friends and contemporaries. The buzz is starting again with the collection of great songs on Human Hearts. In varying degrees, every song on Human Hearts seems to set out to prove something: “Do we fight, fight, fight, fight on?” asks “It’s Casual,” and the answer is clearly “yes.” You can hear it in the gleaming pop-punk gem “Annihilation Eyes,” the climbing “C’mon Sense,” and especially “Faint of Hearts,” which filters classic-rock through Maritime’s pop sensibility, adding a snarl for powerful punctuation at the end. Sweet.
Various
Rough Guide To
African Guitar Legends
World Music Network
 
From Congolese rumba's intricate guitar lines to Mali's evocative blues, in Africa, the guitar is king. Discover the greatest riffs that you have never heard and find out why these ground-breaking players are heroes in their own land. A unique collection which brings together the diverse styles of African guitar on one CD, The Rough Guide to African Guitar Legends features the likes of Ali Farka Touré, King Sunny Adé, Tinariwen, and many many more. The Rough Guide To African Guitar Legends is accompanied by a FREE bonus CD by Syran Mbenza & Ensemble Rumba Kongo - Immortal Franco: Africa's Unrivaled Guitar Legend.
 
Edwyn Collins
Losing Sleep
Downtown

 
In 2005 Edwyn Collins suffered a pair of life-threatening cerebral hemorrhages. By October 2007 he was back on stage performing at the BBC Electric Proms and, in the middle of a November night 2008, the urge to write songs (which had deserted Edwyn since his illness), made an abrupt return. It happened that suddenly, to his great joy. Nowadays, he thinks about songs all the time, just like he used to before 2005. Losing Sleep features tracks co-written with Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, Alex Kapranos & Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand, Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers, Ryan Jarman of The Cribs and The Drums and is the first album the former Orange Juice frontman has written and recorded since his serious illness in 2005.
Jerad
Finck
Rock Ridge
 
Spokane, Washington-based pop-rocker Jerad Finck carries a bright, powerful musical flavor to fans, enlightening them with his accessible tunes. The aspects of daily life provide a cornucopia of inspiration for Finck and his self-titled album. He sees all around him the potential for song material. His keen eye for real life experiences imbues his songs with realism and emotional honesty. “Everyday life inspires me. It’s the experiences I go through and people that I meet that give way to all the songs I write.” One of the beautiful aspects of Finck’s engaging music is his focus on harmony. “I love harmony and see it as a lost art these days. I try to integrate harmony and melody with smart lyrics and catchy hooks.” And so he does. Have a listen.
 
Oh Land
Oh Land
Epic
 
Oh Land is a mix of lavish loops and layered vocals that pound through on songs like the album’s first single “Sun of a Gun”. The jungle drumming electro-pop of songs like “White Nights” evokes a quest to find peace and a sense of home in the chaos of a city that never sleeps. “This album is all of my secrets, wishes, dreams and fears,” explains Oh Land. “I tell stories from my life wrapped in fairytales and fables all happening in the dreamy landscapes of a world I call Oh Land. I hope people will find an escape in the music and let their thoughts and dreams run wild, just for a moment.”
Memphis
Here Comes A City
Arts & Crafts

 
At their best, duos are a uniquely formidable type of creative chemistry. Whether Simon & Garfunkel or Pet Shop Boys, Steely Dan or Soft Cell, an alchemical magic occurs when two simpatico minds go in pursuit of a singular result. Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont have been making music together since the late 1990s, quite some time before the former achieved worldwide success as singer in Canadian quintet Stars. Here Comes A City is both a nod to the song by Australian pop gods The Go-Betweens and an acknowledgment of the nomadic nature in which the album was made. "It's infused with bits and pieces of my day-to-day life and experiences," says Campbell. "Age inspired it, I reckon… And, you know, the usual Memphis influence: drugs."
 
Riley Etheridge Jr
Powder Keg Rock
Ridge

 
Riley Etheridge, Jr. may call New York City his home now, but his music sounds like he's still living down South. A South Carolina native, Etheridge spent many years living and playing music in Louisiana, and his sophomore effort, Powder Keg, it's as if he has never left. Powder Keg ignites with the Southern-style, blues-rocking title track that opens the disc, and Etheridge keeps a Louisiana groove going on throughout. Etheridge deftly blends together rock, country, blues, soul, and folk into a rich Americana sound. Etheridge has impressively added to his own, ever-growing repertoire.
Solomon Burke &
DeDijk

Hold On Tight
(& other American stories)
Verve

 
The first time the late, great Solomon Burke shared the stage with De Dijk was when he was the band's special guest in Amsterdam in 2007. Burke got so excited on stage that he proclaimed: "De Dijk rocks!" A later meeting with the American singer resulted in the duet "Het Moet En Het Zal", a hit for the band in 2008. By then it was clear De Dijk's solid rock and soul formed a perfect backdrop for Solomon's strong vocals and in October 2009, Burke and De Dijk worked together on what would be Burke's final album, Hold On Tight, at the ICP studios in Brussels for six days. The (originally Dutch) songs of De Dijk were translated in English and re-recorded with Burke for this special occasion. Besides the bands hit songs like "Hold On Tight" (Hou me vast), "What A Woman", "Good For Nothing", "Seventh Heaven", "Got To Be With You", and "Rose Saved From The Street", they recorded a brand new track, written by Solomon and De Dijk's JB Meijers, called 'Text Me'. Hold On Tight is another essential release from this late, great Giant of Soul. R.I.P.
 
 
 
 
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The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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