These releases among others are available to request at wyce.org/request or call (616)742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library
Charlie Hunter & Lucy Woodward – Music! Music! Music!
Charlie Hunter has carved out a distinct path in the guitar community over the years. He is a fingerstyle guitarist on an 8-string instrument, with the two lower-tuned strings allowing him to function as a "bass player" while also covering more traditionally accompanying roles on the higher strings. Because of his facility on the instrument covering two performer roles, he often tours with a drummer and singer to round out a live trio. Recently, his trio came to Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, and audiences were treated to a tight, two-man rhythm section colored beautifully with Lucy Woodward’s soulful vocals. This album harnesses the live trio energy effectively, with a band sound that is right in the pocket, full of character, and stacked with well arranged soul, blues, and funk charts. The tunes range from classic blues hits, like those from Blind Willie Johnon and Bessie Smith, to jazz classics pulled from Nina Simone’s catalog and the Great American Songbook. If you're curious at all about this instrumentation, I encourage you to listen to the album, check out some live videos of Charlie demonstrating his guitar, and keep an eye out for the trio when they roll back through Grand Rapids.
Highlights: "Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood", "You've Been a Good Ole Wagon", "Soul of a Man"
Santana – Africa Speaks
Back in January, I covered a collection of 3 new singles that Santana released called In Search of Mona Lisa. Those tracks served as a preamble to this brand new, full length album that was co-produced by Rick Rubin and featuring a collaboration between Santana’s band and vocalist Concha Buika. Other writers and co-producers include the late producer/arranger David Axelrod, Rachid Taha, Steve Hillage, and Laura Mvula, who also provided guest vocals on her tune “Blue Skies.” The 8-piece band (including Cindy Blackman Santana, his wife, on drums) tracked 49 songs in 10 days, focusing on Santana’s signature blend of Latin music, rock, and jazz while being inspired by the diverse music found in Africa. The 11 tracks found on the album have a strong presence behind them with many final version coming from the first takes. The band grooves, the vocalists sing spirited lyrics, and Santana’s playing is highlighted throughout, making for a great listening experience. It’s only fitting that Santana could pursue such an album with a legendary producer on the 50th anniversary of his iconic performance at Woodstock, and it is a great addition to his 39 albums of songs that he will no doubt perform at the Woodstock Anniversary Festival in August.
Highlights: "Blue Skies", "Breaking Down The Door", "Los Invisibles"
Making Movies - Ameri’kana
This album focuses on the many injustices facing the Latino community today, but framed as if it was performed on an “oldies station” from the future detailing the emotional healing that needs to come from the fracturing that borders cause. It is framed with the hope that the current problems surrounding focal points like immigration, political corruption, and bigoted ideologies will be a thing of the past. It’s rock flavored with a strong Latin presence and punctuated sharply with activism, creating a compelling album to explore so many current topics and past influences. Bringing together a wide variety of artistic talents, Making Movies enlists the talents of Panamanian actor/activist/vocalist Ruben Blades, Frankie Negron, David Hildalgo, Flor de Toloache, and Asdru Sierra. Together, they speak in unified condemnation of opposing forces mounted against the Latino community, detailing the heartbreaking emotions around families separated at the border crossings, outlining the pain of reconciling ones heritage so far from their home country, and detailing what the Latino community needs from folks looking to support various causes or fight certain injustices.
Highlights: "Rebelion (ft. Flor de Toloache)", "No Te Calles (ft. Ruben Blades)", "Como Perdonar (ft. Ruben Blades and Flor de Toloache)"
Rickie Lee Jones – Kicks
For those of you who grew up listening to artists from the 70s, you’ll recognize the iconic individual and eclectic artist that is Rickie Lee Jones. Staying outside of the conventional music industry expectation and blazing her own artistic trail, she is known as a lyricist influenced by everything from jazz to folk to beat poetry, all woven together into a pop sound that has kept her career going since her debut in 1979 with a self-titled debut album and a hit single “Chuck E.’s in Love.” Now, 40 years later, she returns with Kicks, a collection of pop tunes and standards recorded with the help of a band of New Orleans musicians. The album was produced by her and Mike Dillon, a band-mate, distinguished punk artist and vibraphonist that I actually got to meet when I worked his fall show at Founders Brewing Company. As a recognized American songwriter, it makes sense that she would feel comfortable spanning two decades of American songwriters as source material for the record, covering a spread of songs from the 50’s through the 70’s. It is also a reflection of her upbringing, hearing such a wide variety of music on the radio and delighting in exploring every station. I encourage you to explore her vast catalog of music after diving into this latest release, and you’ll understand why Rickie Lee Jones is such an icon in American songwriting.
Highlights: "Bad Company", "My Father’s Gun", "Houston", "Nagasaki"
Sinkane – Depayse
Sudanese-American artist Ahmed Gallab, better known as Sinkane, returns with a new release of his signature blending of krautrock, prog rock, electronica, free jazz, and funk rock with Sudanese pop in his 2019 release Depayse. No stranger to politically charged artistry, this album focuses on a time period when dictator Omar al-Bashir was still in power, commenting on the social and political climate similarities between Sudan and the US. Speaking truth to power on recognizing our shared humanity, our need to keep power in check, and celebrating diversity through the many languages and cultures expressed in each track. The album title is French for “removed from one’s habitual surroundings,” the title track is expressed in English and Arabic, and the cross-cultural comparisons provide a catalyst for so many genre influences. This album is a celebration of the world’s population while also calling on the unification to create positive change and a better tomorrow for so many folks facing injustices in the face of dictatorships, the rise of white supremacy and normalizing ostracized ideologies, and the daily struggles of being recognized as where you are from, rather than who you are.
Highlights: "Everybody", "Mango", "Ya Sudan", "Depayse"
Additional National Adds:
Jim Lauderdale - From Another World
Jamestown Revival - San Isabel
Bedouine - Bird Songs Of A Killjoy
Eleni Mandell - Wake Up Again
Charnett Moffett - Bright New Day
Doug Carn - Free For All
The Mattson 2 - Paradise
Yeasayer - Erotic Reruns
Gold Fields - Dalawa
JR JR - Invocations/Conversations
Dylan Leblanc - Renegade
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - And Now For The Whatchamacallit
Palehound - Black Friday
Chris Shiflett - Hard Lessons
Yoke Lore - Meditations [EP]
Silversun Pickups - Widow's Weeds
*repeat repeat - Glazed
Stef Chura -Midnight
Pixx - Small Mercies
Collie Buddz - Hybrid
Compilations - Putumayo Presents World Peace
Denzel Curry - ZUU
New Music Monday is a collaboration with WYCE Staff and Dutcher Snedeker. These among others are all available for request at wyce.org/request or call (616) 742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library