Since John Hiatt and the major labels decided to go their separate ways around the turn of the century, his approach to record making has been direct and organic; most of his albums have sounded as if Hiatt and his sidemen put them together without a lot of fuss, placing the emphasis squarely on Hiatt's dependably strong material and tough, flinty vocal style. But 2011's Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns is a more polished and ambitious affair than Hiatt has delivered in years. The sessions were produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with Aerosmith, the Black Crowes, Dream Theater, and Journey, and though his approach isn't especially intrusive, the sound of this record is certainly more luxurious, with the guitars sounding bigger, the drums booming a bit louder, and strings and keyboards decorating several tracks and the arrangements, gaining a greater sense of drama along the way.
Soprano sorceress Isabel Bayrakdarian, acclaimed internationally for her glittering accomplishments on both stage and screen, presents – in this hypnotically alluring album of Armenian sacred music – a more spiritual aspect of her multifaceted musical persona…
Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, Insect Ark is comprised of Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) and Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers). Insect Ark’s intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. “Marrow Hymns” is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood. Defying easy categorization, Insect Ark’s uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women’s passions: Schechter’s sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin’s lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics).
"Hymns For The Drunk" is the ultimate alcoholic Tankard Best Of • this compilation contains 17 Songs from the AFM era (2002 - 2010)
Cyrus Chestnut covers a wide range of hymns, carols and spirituals on this outstanding solo piano CD. A very dramatic "Holy, Holy, Holy" would inspire any congregation, while the rich voicings in "We Three Kings" are subtle yet moving. "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" is the most compelling track, with a thought-provoking arrangement that makes great use of space.