This past month I made a whole $5, which offset the cost of my sodas when I was out at Avogadro’s Number, but obviously won’t cover groceries, let alone rent. So, while I am too stubborn to give up on Ravenmount yet, I am cutting these songlists back to every other week. With 18 months of these lists posted on this site, there’s a lot of music already on Ravenmount just waiting to be discovered. I have some exciting plans for this year, if I can keep my head above water long enough, including Ravenmount merch and some live music shows, so for now enjoy these great songs, and keep an eye out for more news soon to come.
1. Brother (Out From Under)- “An Daorach Beagh” – There’s not much ‘world’ music yet on this year’s songlists, but this week’s list starts out with a song from the Celtic influenced Australian band Brother.
3. Zac Brown Band (Uncaged)- “Natural Disaster” – I complain a lot about mainstream music, but I made myself peruse some mainstream country recently, to give the non-truck, non-beer songs from current country albums a chance. The ending to this song bugs me, because it sounds like it just stops, with no resolution, no real ending. Still, the rest of the song is cool, a nice fast-bluegrassy country tune with great harmonies.
4. Pale Blue Jak (Faces)- “Candlestick” – I had a nice long chat with some developing musicians in town about Queen, and started thinking again about how tough it is keeping younger generations aware of past music. Even in Celtic Thunderland, there is a tendency for people to only know the more recent music. Well, for any Thunderheads who don’t already know, Neil Byrne, the lead singer and former band-member of Celtic Thunder, has an ongoing non-CT project called Pale Blue Jak, which has one album so far called “Faces”.
5. Dierks Bentley (Long Trip Alone)- “Prodigal Son’s Prayer” – I thought about going to a more recent album to find the next Dierks Bentley track for these lists, but this song really fit my mood this week. I’m afraid Dierks is guilty of having a lot of country roads, and beer/whiskey, and maybe even too many trucks and ‘girls’. For the most part, though, his albums are almost always refreshingly different from the cheap-&-easy country music trends. I honestly couldn’t care less if I ever meet most big-name mainstream artists, but Dierks Bentley is on my short-list of artists I’d love to know personally.
6. Queen (Hot Space)- “Life is Real (Song for Lennon)” – I’ve heard and read from a lot of Queen fans and critics that Hot Space was the weakest Queen album, and if fans dislike any one album, it is usually this one. It is a little different, for sure, but only a little, and the older I get, the more often I choose this one to listen to when I just have time for one Queen album. My least favorite Queen album? Probably The Game.
7. Bee Gees (Mythology)- “Too Much Heaven”
8. Gregorian (Masters of Chant: Chapter VI)- “Mad World” – Last year I read Anathem, by Neal Stephenson, and got into a Gregorian chant kick for a week or so. One of the dilemmas in this book was the need to reconcile the standards and traditions of the monastary with the realities of life both within and outside the cloister-walls. I came across this bizarre ensemble while on that chant kick. They are a cross between music-theatre, Gregorian chant, and the sort of pop-variety show Celtic Thunder has been relying on, and they sing mostly covers, of a broad variety of popular songs.
9. Dala (Everyone is Someone) – “Levi Blues” – I’ve had snatches of this song and “Horses running through my head ever since I played this album while washing dishes the other day. I already included “Horses” on an earlier list, but I actually haven’t included this song yet.
10. Regina Spektor (Far)- “Time Is All Around” – I do tend toward folk music, and this playlist has a lot of it, but out of the live shows I have seen over the past year, most are not folk music. So, I figured I needed a few non-folk tracks on this week’s list.
11. Chris Pureka (How I Learned to See in the Dark)- “Hangman” – I can’t think of anyone local right now that Chris Pureka reminds me of musically, though anyone who likes bluesy singer-songwriter stuff would enjoy her music. The artists who comes to my mind right off, this week anyway, is California artist Melanie Devaney. Fans of Melanie would enjoy Chris’s stuff, and vice versa.
12. Sarah Harmer (oh little fire)- “The Thief” – If the local funk rock band, The Symbols, shifted towards more of a folk/easy-listening style, rather than funk, they might sound a bit like this. I’m sure there are better, more similar acts I should know about in the Fort Collins area, but we really don’t have that many female acts here to choose from right now.
13. Mama Lenny and the Remedy (Time, You’re Doing Fine)- “Take Your Shirt Off and Stay Awhile” – Here’s a bit of a different sound from one of my favorite Colorado bands, Mama Lenny and the Remedy. One of their songs off their debut album starts out with the line “Why don’t you take your shirt off and stay for a while”. That song was steamy, but this one is the instrumental track that fills in the rest of the evening their earlier song started. Unfortunately this album is not yet on itunes, Amazon.com or CD Baby, so if you like what you hear on spotify and want to secure your own copy of this lovely new release, check out their facebook page and ‘like’ them so you can get updates from them when it is available online. If you are in Fort Collins, you can also buy a physical copy of this album at the Bizarre Bazaar bookstore in Old Town.
14. Eastmountainsouth (Eastmountainsouth)- “Winter” – I had thought I might put a whole playlist together about snow and winter, but it is still snowing, and it has been snowing since yesterday, and the snow from a few days ago is still on the ground. A whole 20-song playlist about the stuff would have just been depressing. This song’s title is ‘winter’ and the next song mentions winter, which is as much acknowledgement as I intend to give our disgustingly cold, wet weather today. I didn’t add a link for Eastmountainsouth this week, since this act is disbanded, but Peter Bradley Adams, one of its members, is still very active, with new music coming out this week, his new album Mighty Storm is available for preorder now on amazon.com.
15. Cam Penner (Gypsy Summer)- “Flesh & Bone” – This song reminds me of some of Irish singer-songwriter Darrell Coyle‘s music. Darrell’s voice is maybe a bit more resonant (or he’s using more effects in his recordings) but I could easily imagine Darrell covering this song.
16. Hannah & Maggie (Fine Being Here)- “The Land & the Sea” – This due still reminds me a lot of Whippoorwill. (& yes, I am looking forward to the day Whippoorwill has music on spotify that I can include on these lists.) Hannah & Maggie are currently on tour, though unfortunately not anywhere near here. I suspect that Danielle Ate the Sandwich fans would love this duo, too.
17. Man Man (Rabbit Habits)- “Whalebones” – If you like Von Stomper, Caravan of Thieves, or Widow’s Bane, you might like Man Man. They have that gypsy rock style I associate with Widow’s Bane, in this song, but they have a pretty broad stylistic range from one album to the next.
18. Noah & the Whale (The First Days of Spring)- “Slow Glass” – This song reminds me quite a bit of Depeche Mode or U2. Also, for future reference, amazon.com puts this band in the Chamber Pop category. I am still skeptical about there being much point to the existing genre classifications except as a very, very rough approximation, but perhaps at least those who like other bands labeled ‘chamber pop’ might enjoy this one.
19. Sam Lee (Ground of Its Own)– “Wild Wood Amber” – Here’s a traditional-style Celtic folk track, a bit like the music I would expect from Iarla O’Lionaird. If you like Steeleye Span, you might enjoy Sam Lee, especially this song.