#reviewoftheweek / Derek James - Take You Out Dancing

He's not a name you are probably familiar with, but you should be. On his latest, independently released album, Derek James blends together pop and rock to create a sound unlike many other artists out there. Sure, it's not instantly accessible or maybe the tunes don't make for high requests or heavy rotation on your local radio stations. But what the album does have is heart and soul, and that's really all you can ask of any musician. The standouts on the album are the title track and "Lovely Fool" which both feature a very lighthearted vibe, which you will surely find yourself singing along to on a sunny day. Derek doesn't only want to get you to dance, but he wants you to become a believer in his music, and this album makes it very hard not to do just that.


#reviewoftheweek / Bob Schneider - King Kong, Vol. I

Bob Schneider has always been an ambitious musician. This time, he's releasing his latest collection is 3 sets of 5 songs. The "King Kong" series begins with volume one, and is a great kickoff to the series. It showcases Bob's great songwriting and the lyrics are the star of each and every song. The best of the set is the closing track "The Fools" which has a tropical feel to it. His acoustic guitar is all over the collection as the partner to his amazing poetic words. Schneider is proving to be a tease, however, by only releasing 5 tracks at a time. But, this is a great set of songs to whet the appetite for what is to come. It will be very interesting to see how each of the 3 volumes differ, and which parts of his repertoire he showcases on each.


#reviewoftheweek / My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

Somehow you never know what to expect from My Morning Jacket, but at the same time you end up getting exactly what is expected. Their latest album is a masterpiece of dreamy, ethereal, and other-worldly indie jam rock. They are walking the tightrope between hippie and hipster so well, that you never know exactly who their target audience is. And that is exactly why MMJ are awesome. The album's centerpiece has to be "Compound Fracture" which is also probably the hardest rocker of the bunch. "Big Decisions" which was the album's first single and "Spring (Among The Living)" are two of the more accessible tracks on the album, which will probably see the most radio play. But the mastery of this album won't truly be understood until these songs are let loose live on stage. You can hear the nuances in each and every track and know just when the band will break out into a jam session or change it up or be sporadic within each song. The best part about it all is that the sound is complete organic, and it doesn't sound overly produced or manipulated. It's going to garner lots of praise and most likely get nominated for a bunch of awards, because it truly is one of the year's best releases.


#reviewoftheweek / Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers - Loved Wild Lost

Finally getting recognized for the incredible music that they put out, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers have really connected with their listeners on their latest release. With this being Nicki's 3rd album you'd expect a departure or even something innovative. You don't get that. What you do get is a collection of songs that showcase the band's ability to both connect with the listener and display a sonic connection to their roots. They come from northern California and on this album, more than ever before, you can feel that through their music. They are a fun jam band type group, but in actually they are more of a folk act. You can tell throughout each song that having fun is just as important as being thoughtful and introspective. Standouts include the radio-ready "Waiting On Love" and sweet "High Neck Lace." Aside from those, the tracks where the band shines the brightest are "Only Always," "Mr. Saturday Night," and "Love Your Loved Ones." You're not going to hear them on top 40 radio or see them on the cover of Rolling Stone, but with the surging popularity of rootsy, organic, and folk music, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers are poised to become a household name on the heels of this record.


BURN THIS / May 2015

  1. Ryan Montbleau Band "Pacing Like Prince"
  2. Bhi Bhiman "Moving To Brussels"
  3. Allen Stone "Upside"
  4. Leon Bridges "Coming Home"
  5. Tom Freund (featuring Ben Harper) "Angel Eyes"
  6. Jose Gonzalez "Open Book"
  7. The Lone Bellow "Watch Over Us"
  8. Good Old War "Tell Me What You Want From Me"
  9. Rhett Miller "Kiss Me On The Fire Escape"
  10. Bob Schneider "Han Solo"
  11. Hollis Brown "3 Shots"
  12. Elenowen "Desert Days"
  13. JD McPherson "Head Over Heels"
  14. Grace Potter "Alive Tonight"
  15. Keller Williams "Mantra"
  16. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers "Waiting On Love"
  17. Dawes "Things Happen"
  18. Alabama Shakes "Future People"
  19. My Morning Jacket "Spring (Among The Living)"
  20. Sam Roberts Band "Counting The Days"