Wavelength Blog—1/3/10

My blogging on popular music connected with my radio show “Wavelength” (Saturdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm Eastern; 91.7fm and online at wemcradio.org) has been nonexistent since July 2008.  A New Year’s resolution (or maybe “New Decade’s resolution”) is to get going on this again.  I will keep my sights low in hopes of making it sustainable.  Basically I will, once a week hopefully, offer a bit of commentary and some links related to my most recent show.

If you have any comments, reactions, or suggestions, please share them!

Yesterday’s was one of those shows where I just grab a bunch of CDs as I head to the radio station and see what finds its way on the air.  Here is the playlist.  It worked well to play two songs each of a number of albums.

Let me draw your attention to five of the albums I featured that I especially like.

Lyle Lovett. Step Inside This House.  This record, released back in 1998, is unusual for Lovett in being all covers.  He is in great voice; the songs I featured on the show were both written by Townes Van Zandt and quite beautifully rendered.  Here’s the All-Music Guide review and to listen to it on-line go to Lala here.

Patty Loveless. Mountain Soul II. Patty Loveless is a bit mainstream for Wavelength, but she has released several more traditional records in recent years that I really like.  Mountain Soul came out in 2001 and was terrific.  So is this follow-up, released in 2009.  All-Music Guide’s review is here and to listen to it on Lala go here.

Townes Van Zandt. In Pain. According to many serious listeners of Townes Van Zandt’s music, his best recordings are those from concerts rather than in the studio.  His early record, Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas often is mentioned as his best ever (listen to it on Lala).  In Pain was recorded while he was on tour in Europe not long before his 1996 death.  He sounds pretty good and the songs are some of his best.  The title accurately conveys the tone of the music.  All-Music Guide’s review is here, but In Pain does not appear to be available on Lala.

Eliza Gilkyson. Beautiful World. One of the great singer-songwriters in American music, Eliza Gilkyson is too little known.  This 2009 record is one of her strongest.  She sings potent songs of politics and love.  All-Music Guide’s review is here and to listen to it on Lala go here.

Jimmy LaFave. Trail.  I recently discovered this Texan with a beautiful voice and heart-oriented sensibility.  Trail is a two-CD live record from fairly early in LaFave’s career (1998).  He sings a number of Bob Dylan songs, several other sensitive covers, and his own compositions (about half the songs).  The Dylan covers are terrific—they sound like Jimmy LaFave songs, not Bob Dylan knock-offs.  All-Music Guide’s review is here and to listen to it on Lala go here.

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