SUSAN McKEOWN – “Everything We Had Was Good” was the #1 most played song for the month of February on the FOLK-DJ charts, which include 150+ DJ’s from the US, Canada and Europe. Fantastic reaction from all corners to this duet with James Maddock. This is in my opinion Susan’s best record in many years, and is filled with songs of passion, vulnerability and conviction. You should also hear “Patience” and “On the Bridge to Williamsburg”.
BEN ARNOLD – Just mailed Ben’s new album, Circle ‘Round the Sun last week. This Philadelphia writer continues to make solid record after solid record, and the new album is no exception. Great new songs include “The More Things Change”, “Thankful”, “January’s Gone” and “Float Down Stream” which WXPN just put into rotation this week. The record was done primarily in Los Angeles, and includes players from Amos Lee’s band and Feist’s as well. You can see Ben’s live performance of the songs here.
THE WHISPERING TREE – The new EP, The Escape, is available next month, and serviced to radio now. Over the past eight years, classically trained vocalist Eleanor Kleiner and French bassist Elie Brangbour have traveled the world on an adventure that began when the two met at music school in London. With a shared passion for music and travel, they took their unique brand of folk/rock across continents, logging enough frequent flier miles to make any avid traveler jealous. Recorded live at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn over three days, The Escape features a deep, vibrant sound, with Brangbour switching from bass to guitar, Clif Jackson on upright bass, Chris Shultz on drums and Clifton Hyde on additional guitars. With Kleiner’s acclaimed songwriting and vocals, The Escape is a moody, introspective disc full of contrasting guitar styles and textures, from one of New York’s most compelling indie folk rock acts.
LAURA TSAGGARIS – Excellent early reaction to the new album, Everyman from Laura. With Ryan Adams joining in at the studio, her song “Dig” is generating airplay action at WERU, WDVX and others. Beautiful production from Jamie Candiloro. Laura just completed her first video for the new album, and you can see it here. Please give a listen.
BURNING BRIDGET CLEARY – The band is preparing for the release of their fourth album in the Spring, and have just released a track from the forthcoming album, Pressed For Time, with the song “The Ballad of Tim Evans” a celtic rave-up with an almost prog rock fiddle break in the middle. The song is available digitally from my office, or i can send you to their coded website for a .wav file.
BIRDIE BUSCH – Birdie was featured as World Cafe Next artist last week, which featured ‘Part of Apart’ and “Far From the Tree’ as David’s picks. An amazing bit of recognition that has generated emails from all over the US immediately. You can read the whole story here on the NPR Music page.
THE STRAY BIRDS – Their debut album was just released in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries. Lots of excitement from Fish Records, Songlines Magazine, R2, and Maverick. Their song “Dream in Blue” will be included in 15,000 CD’s next month. Here’s a reaction to the album from the UK correspondent for No Depression.