Music Discoveries: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings


I’m a fan of soul, funk, and R&B of the 1960s and 1970s, so naturally I’m drawn to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The band keeps alive the sounds of an earlier music with new songs that sometimes sound eerily as if they’ve been hidden in a vault for decades. Nevertheless, there’s a strong musical…

Music Discoveries P-Funk, part 3 (1978-1982)


Here is my third and final post for my “discovery” series on the P-Funk collective of musicians in the 1970s and early 1980s.  In the first post I found myself impressed by the freshness and innovation of the music even though it was more than 40 years old.  The second post featured the familiar hit…

Music Discoveries P-Funk, part 2 (1975-1978)


This second post in the series covers a period where Parliament-Funkadelic is exploding, releasing some of the bands’ most popular albums and singles, touring with an increasingly elaborate stage show, and branching off to form new bands and solo projects (although those bands and artists were frequently backed up by the same stable of P-Funk…

Song of the Week: “Comicon” by SassyBlack


“Comicon” is a funky celebration of going to a science fiction/fantasy convention dressed as your favorite characters.  It comes from “space aged singer, songwriter & producer” SassyBlack, aka Cat Harris-White.

Music Discoveries: Janelle Monáe


Today I finally begin a new feature on this blog I’ve been planning for a long time called Music Discoveries.  The idea is to find musical artists and bands I’m familiar with and do a deep listen of their full catalog of recordings.  I was inspired by a fellow blogger on Desert Island Mix Tape when…

Song of the Week: “The Sticks” by The Budos Band


The Budos Band is a 9-piece instrumental Afro-Soul ensemble from Staten Island.  Their new album is called Burnt Offering and includes the track “The Sticks.” You can hear more by The Budos Band and other artists on the great music podcast The Sounds in My Head.

Song of the Week: “Call Me” by St. Paul and the Broken Bones


“Call Me” is a classic soul tune in the Bobby Bland style by a combo out of the capital of Minnesota Birmingham, Alabama (perhaps they’re fans of the Apostle to the Gentiles).  Led by crooner Paul Janeway, St. Paul & The Broken Bones released their first album Half the City in February. What are you listening…

Song of the Week: “Feeling Good (Bassnectar Remix)” by Nina Simone


  Nina Simone‘s music is timeless, but the DJ Bassnectar adds an interesting groove in this remix of “Feeling Good.”         Here’s the unadorned, original recording for comparison:     What music are you listening to this week – new, old, or repurposed?  Let me know in the comments!        …

Song of the Week: “Green Garden” by Laura Mvula


Soulful vocals are rapidly becoming England’s best export, with the voice of Birmingham’s Laura Mvula a great addition to the mix.  Check it out on her single “Green Garden.” What music is moving you to think, feel, or dance this week?  Let me know in the comments.

Song of the Week: “Two Times” by AM & Shawn Lee


AM is from Oklahoma, Shawn Lee is from Kansas, the rhythm is from Jamaica, and the vocals are from Philadelphia (ca. 1970s).  All in all, “Two Times” is an intriguing track. Got any new tracks making you dance or sing along?  Let me know in the comments.

Song of the Week: “Minute By Minute” by The James Hunter 6


James Hunter is a new-to-me soul musician from England.  Upon a little research, I learned that he’s been active for over twenty-five years and performed with Van Morrison.  “Minute by Minute” is a good song to end one’s ignorance too, a tune worthy of the classic soul era of the 1960s & 70s.

Song of the Week: The Souljazz Orchestra – Cartão Postal


This weeks song by Canada’s The Souljazz Orchestra brightens up a dark and dreary (but still unseasonably warm) day with samba and semba rhythms.  And it’s about postcards, one of my favorite things. I learned about this song through a podcast from Minnesota Public Radio’s Current Song of the Day.  Other places I hear new music include:…