What Are You Listening To?

April 10, 2009

With the Holiday, today promises to be a lighter traffic day here at the Peepshow.  I’m taking that as an invitation for a bit of frivolity.  Let’s talk music.

As a huge music fan, I love it when people turn me on to new artists.  I’m the type of person who will buy an album by an artist I’ve never heard of simply on the advice of someone who is extremely passionate in their recommendation.  I’ve rarely been disappointed with the results.  I also get jazzed when I can turn someone onto something new.  In fact, earlier this week, I was getting my ass kicked by the latest work by a Texas-based artist named Alejandro Escovedo, so I dropped everything and dashed a quick note to a fellow music lover who I know is into the Alt Country thing.  If you’re one of those who is willing to buy on faith, track down Escovedo’s “A Man Under The Influence,” which I believe is his best work so far. For your consideration, here are three other artists who are major talents but are probably less well known than your average American Idol finalist:

Neko Case — Huge voice.  Think Patsy Cline huge.  She’ll never be a household name, but dang can this woman sing. She deserves a bigger following.  Wanna start with one song?  Download “People Got a Lotta Nerve” from her latest album, “Middle Cyclone.”

jamey-johnsonSufjan Stevens — I think guy is an immense talent.  He says he wants to write an album about every state in the US.  He’s done two: Illinois and Michigan.  Take your pick. They are both stunning.

Jamey Johnson — I’m not really into country music, and Jamey Johnson is very country.  But I’ll be damned if his latest album, “That Lonesome Song,” isn’t one of the best top-to-bottom works I’ve heard in a couple years.  The highlight is a song called “In Color” that is clever, hopeful, sentimental, and tells a very American story.  It’s lovely.  This is a CD I bought on blind faith.  I’m glad I did.

So, dear Peepers, what’s in heavy rotation on your iPod that I should know about?