January 16, 2012

For some great, down-to-earth soul make sure you check out Seattle outfit Pickwick – a six-man band that’s already getting some well-deserved attention in print as well as the ‘Net. Recently earning a slot on NPR‘s 5 Artists You Should Know In 2011, the band delivers classic blue-eyed soul with just the slightest hint of Motown as well as some nice folky roots.

Great songs, good musicianship and excellent vocal delivery, they have three singles and a split EP released so far, and I gotta say my favorite is Myths, Vol. 2 released in 2010. Let’s hope there’s an album coming this year!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://pickwick.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pickwickmusic

King Lollipop

December 20, 2011

Well, here’s a nice slice of fun music! Oakland resident King Lollipop first album Woodland Whoopee Songs of Ol’ Callowhee brings to mind what Buddy Holly would sound like if he was re-imagined by John Waters. Nice trashy fun served up with acoustic guitars and a low-budget rhytm section that actually included the kitchen sink, the album offers up thirteen “anthems” about trailer trash livin’ – all steering clear from the high brow crowd.

Actually a member of Californian garagers Shannon & The Clams, the self-professed “Goblin king of the Junkyard” is fun in a silly way, and his low-tech bubblegum take on rockabilly is actually quite endearing and infectious. Available as a limited edition cassette on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records too!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://kinglollipop.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/King-Lollipop/160470364000161

Alabama Shakes

December 15, 2011

Remember soul music? The good kind like Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding? Well, I was too young to experience it first hand back in the sixties and so far have been resorting to enjoying it immensely on my stereo, but am damn glad I’m around to experience The Alabama Shakes! Granted, underground garage outfits like Dirtbombs and The Detroit Cobras has done their fair share keeping the flame alive, but this band offers up originals while those already mentioned resorted to cover material. This Alabama quartet’s self-titled debut EP offers up four tracks of classic soul music that’s so damn good I’m getting goosebumps all over while listening to it.

Great music recorded without any studio gimmickry, the band has a Stax Records feel to it with a weird sort of Creedence Clearwater Revival quality thrown in, and with an amazing singer (Brittany Howard) to boot! Even though they leave you wanting more after the first listen, you just have to take that as a sign of them delivering the goods and patiently await their first full length.

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://alabamashakes.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/theAlabamaShakes