Album of the Month: Daniel Romano – Come Cry With Me

It’s almost february and I still haven’t selected the album of the month for january. Although in my heart I selected the moment I heard the advance mp3 promo of this wonderful album back in december. The album in question is Daniel Romano’s third album Come Cry With Me and it came out on the fairly new Normaltown Records (New West imprint) on january 22nd. Today I finally bought a physical copy from the local record store, 8raita, because mp3-files clearly weren’t enough.

Come Cry With Me is an old-fashioned country treasure. Daniel Romano just does this vintage country balladry thing so perfectly. The voice, the songwriting and the execution. Everything works from the the cover shot to the last note. A lot of Gram Parsons vibe in there as well, which is never a bad thing. Of course you could namedrop all kind of great country gents from George Jones to Waylon Jennings, but let’s not take that railroad (ok, I just did). The main thing is that this is fantastic real country music and Canadian Daniel Romano is one of the very best country singer-songwriters at the moment. He won my heart over with his second album Sleep Beneath the Willow (that ended up as #14 on my albums of the year 2011 list) and Come Cry With Me is at least equally brilliant. Here is the first single Middle Child.

Daniel Romano Website

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Thomas Hine – Forgive My Future

Time to start writing the blog again, because a lot of great albums have already been released this year. Thomas Hine’s new album Forgive My Future definitely seem to be one of the great ones. I don’t know much about this Colorado-based songwriter. In fact, a week ago I didn’t even know who he was. But then I heard the song Bright Shining Mountains and instantly loved it. It reminded me of Iain Matthews early 70s solo albums (+ Matthews Southern Comfort stuff) and I’m totally into that kind of easy-flowing beautiful folk/folk rock. Further investigation has proved that the album Forgive My Future is full of magnificent folk songs. You’ll find two excellent sample songs (Bright Shining Mountains and Owen) below. I might need to start hunting for a physical copy.

Thomas Hine at Facebook

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Favourite compilations of 2012

It’s been a while. I’m not completely quitting, but the update frequency will suffer until my workload gets a little easier. Last month or so I’ve been mostly working overtime and listening to r&b and soul music. So maybe one more list before getting into 2013 releases. I didn’t have the money to buy all those beautiful box sets, so a lot of really cool releases won’t be on this short top 5 list (not to mention all Ace, Kent, Now Sounds, Numero Group, Light in the Attic etc releases that I haven’t been able to buy… at least yet). I will be so screwed this year, because when you add this recent rhythm & blues & soul addiction on top of the usual country, folk, americana, power pop, indie pop affections that I’ve had going on for years, the shopping lists will get ridicilously long this year.

5. & 4. Dawn Of Northern Soul & Age Of Northern Soul (Outta Sight)

A red hot fusion of rhythm & blues, popcorn and northern soul. Two great compilations from Outta Sight. Full of great songs. For example Grover Mitchell’s That’s A Good Idea and Marie Knight’s To Be Loved By You became huge favourites. Not the greatest liner notes, but it’s the music that counts and basicly every song is a winner.

3. Jukebox Jam: Blues and Rhythm Revue (Jazzman Records)

Ok, so it seems to be released december 2011, but it’s my blog and my rules. I just bought it a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. Exactly the kind of stuff I’m into at the moment. I really don’t have the money to start collecting 50s american r&b 45s, so these kind of compilations are heaven sent. Here’s one great example, Shorty by Vernon Dilworth. Next I should check out Jazzman’s Jukebox Mambo compilation, but I’m not sure am I ready for it yet.

2. King New Breed R&B Volume 2 (Kent / Ace Records)

New Breed R&B is the best thing ever like I wrote a month back. Usually the best thing ever changes on a daily basis, but this time I still feel the same. This pre-soul danceable rhythm & blues just works perfectly for me. I bought all four Kent/Ace released new breed compilations during the last months of the year and love them all. My favorite is the New Breed R&B with Added Popcorn (from 2008) closely followed by King New Breed Rhythm ‘n’ Blues (from 2002). However, this second volume of King Records New Breed R&B is also brilliant and full of amazing songs. My favorite is probably Send Me A Picture, Baby by Mel Williams. All Kent Records are pure gold, but please more New Breed R&B this year.

1. Manhattan Soul Volume 2 (Kent/Ace Records)

Basicly all of these five records are equally important and the order isn’t that important. Manhattan Soul Volume 2 explores the vaults of New York labels Scepter, Wand and Musicor and the reason it came on top of this list is one song. Of course, the whole release is a thing of beauty and full of great songs, but You Found My Lonely Heart A Home by Shep Grant is something out of this world. Shep recorded this magnificent self-written song back in 1965 just before he tragically died and what a song it is. I can’t get enough of it.

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