The Best of April 2009!!!

The Best of April 2009!!!

1. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground TownshipYearbook [Township Records 2009]
2. K’NaanTroubadour [Octone Records 2009]
3. Buju BantonRasta Got Soul [Gargamel 2009]
4. Bob Dylan Together Through Life [Columbia 2009]
5. CunninlynguistsStrange Journey Volume One [QNS 2009]
6. J.J. Cale Roll On [Rounder 2009]
7. B RealSmoke and Mirrors [Duck Down 2009]
8. Jah CureThe Universal Cure [SoBe 2009]
9. Souls of Mischief Tour Stories [Hieroglyphics Imporium 2009]
10. JahmaliEl Shaddai [Penthouse 2009]
11. Various ArtistsEvolution Dub Volume 1: The Origin of the Species [Greensleeves 2009]
12. Various ArtistsEvolution Dub Volume 2: The Great Leap Forward [Greensleeves 2009]
13. SizzlaGhetto Youthology [Greensleeves 2009]
14. Bitty McLeanMovin On [Taxi 2009]
15. John Brown’s BodyRe-Amplify [Easy Star Records 2009]

Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township released a new album on Township Records, Yearbook, this month that brings the best of Texas roots music to the fore. Graham Wilkinson has proven himself not only as a songwriter but also as an arranger. Some of the songs on this album come from earlier albums but here they are arranged in new and lovely ways. On the track “Ragamuffin,” Hayes Carll lends his voice and Lloyd Maines plays his pedal-steel guitar. “Let It Go” stands out as an americana roots jam and “La Briza” casts an easy groovy spell. “Boys and Girls” is a reggafied track that has a ska sound.  On the strings laden “Ghosts,” a previously unreleased track,  Alejandro Esovedo adds his voice to this rock n’ roll piece of art. Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township and the boys at Township Records, including producer and bassist Wayne Dalchau, have done it again. And this time the album artwork and concept of the Yearbook make it worth getting the hard copy of this album. Get the digital album if need be but the artwork and music make this album a tangible item one needs to hold, see, listen, and appreciate. Like the old days before the digital single this album harkens back to the good old days of the concept album. This album, Yearbook, captures a year of creativity, music, and Austin vibes.

K’Naan the Somalian rapper dropped sweltering rhymes over fat beats on his new album Troubadour. The track “I Come Prepared” with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley stands out as a powerful song and the track “ABC’s” with Chubb Rock is slamming. Chali 2Na Fish, Mos Def, and Adam Levine also co-star on this album. But K’Naan shines on solo tracks too. The track “T.I.A.,” which stand for “This Is Africa,” samples Bob Marley & the Wailers’ “Simmer Down” with heavy bass drops chopping the old rhythm into a new dancehall beat. The Somalian rapper shows his softer side on ballads like “Wavin’ Flag” and “Take A Minute.” I am looking forward to seeing the live show.

The Best of April 2009!!!

TOP 15 for MARCH 2009!!!

March 2009

  1. Buddy Holly Memorial Collection [Geffen 2009]
  2. Various ArtistsPenthouse Showcase Volume 2 [VP Records 2009]
  3. Queen IfricaRoad to Mobay [VP Records 2009]
  4. Various ArtistsGold Mine Riddim [Gargamel 2009]
  5. Various ArtistsRagga Ragga Ragga 2009 [Greenseeves 2009]
  6. Randy TravisI Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis [Warner Brothers 2009]
  7. Anthony B Rise Up [Greensleeves 2009]
  8. Various ArtistsRiddim Driven: Beauty and the Beast [VP Records 2009]
  9. Various Artists Riddim Driven: Rocksteady [VP Records 2009]
  10. Black CrowesWar Paint Live [Eagle Records 2009]
  11. Willie NelsonNaked Willie [Sony 2009]
  12. Leonard CohenLive in London [Sony 2009]
  13. Bruce SpringsteenWorking on a Dream [Columbia 2009]
  14. Various ArtistsCadillac Records (Original Soundtrack) [Sony 2008]
  15. Various Artists Penthouse Showcase Volume 3: Automatic Riddim [VP Records 2009]

Buddy Holly, the real king of Texas rock n’ roll music, lived a short and prolific life. He was the Biggie Smalls of Lubbock. But instead of a blaze of gunfire, Holly went down in a plane crash. This new collection of recordings bring the raw Buddy Holly to the music world. The skinny and nerdy Texan redefined rock and roll music and influenced the British rockers who invaded America in the 1960s. The Beatles were recycled Crickets. It is very easy to be proud of this lanky Texan genius.

Penthouse Showcase Volume 2 is an important contribution to roots reggae music. Bushman pays tribute to Peter Tosh with sizzlin’ covers of “African” and “You Can’t Blame the Youth.” Sweet reggae tracks include Romain Virgo’s “Mi Caan Sleep”  and Queen Ifrica’s humorous “Below the Waist.” Beres Hammond also lends his voice to some of the tracks adding another layer of sweetness.

The Gold Mine Riddim 2009 includes tracks by Gyptian and Buju Banton. The Riddim hot! The 2009 Ragga Ragga Ragga installment offers the killer tracks Bounty Killer’s “Corrupt,” Laden’s “Time to Shine,” and Vybz Kartel’s “Life Sweet.”

TOP 15 for MARCH 2009!!!