Hanne Hukkelberg is a singer/songstress from Norway. The track "The Northwind" has a fantastic backdrop of a typewriter serving as the percussion backbeat. Hukkelberg is the opposite of abrasive and possesses something sweet and quirky that pulls you in. Download "The Northwind" from the album Rykestrasse 68.
Artist: Hanne Hukkelberg
Song: The Northwind
Album: Rykestrasse 68
With a career spanning nearly four decades, producer/composer Ry Cooder is one of our most respected and relevant artists today. His credits include over 20 soundtracks, the 1997 Buena Vista Social Club, directed by Wim Wenders, and most recently the new CD from the great Mavis Staples. I found the song "One Meatball" in my parents' record collection. It's one of my favorites from the album Ry Cooder, released in 1970. "One Meatball" was originally written in the mid-1800s by Harvard professor and Latin scholar George Martin Lane, who clearly had a great sense of irony. Download "One Meatball" from Ry Cooder.
Genre: Country/ Blues
Artist: Ry Cooder
Song: One Meatball
Album: Ry Cooder
Otis Rush is a Chicago bluesman, soul singer and master blues guitarist who plays his guitar upside down. Rush was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1934 and was one of seven children. He moved to Chicago around 1948 and nearly six decades later he's still going strong. In 1999, 50 years into his career, he won his first Grammy. The title "I Can't Quit You Baby" has some of the most unbelievable singing and playing ever. It's worth witnessing and owning. Download "I Can't Quit You Baby."
AIR is an inventive electronic duo from France. Their sound is mystical and deep. They scored the soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, released in 2000. The film's theme "Playground Love" is still a refreshing and haunting listen. Download it.
Genre: Electronic Rock
Song: Playground Love
Album: Virgin Suicide Soundtrack
Sweet, sometimes known as The Sweet, was a 70s glam rock/power pop band from the U.K. The band is best known for their hits "Little Willy," "The Ballroom Blitz" and "Love is Like Oxygen." Sweet was produced by the writer/producer team of Chin and Chapman, who also brought us Suzi Quatro, Mud and Tony Basil. Their songs still sound current today. "Blockbuster" is a sugarcoated fun track to add to your collection. Download "Blockbuster" from The Best of Sweet.
Born in 1909, Chick Webb was a great swing/jazz drummer and band leader from Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, Webb was stricken with spinal tuberculosis, causing his hunchback stature and very limited use of his legs. Neither stopped him from becoming one of the finest drummers and band leaders of his time. Many say he discovered the great Ella Fitzgerald when she was just 17, making her the star vocalist for his band. Sadly Webb became very ill at the young age of 30 and, in 1939, died after undergoing a major surgery. Ella Fitzgerald led the band after his passing before going on to her legendary solo career. "Gee But You're Swell" should be remembered on your iPod.
Artist: Chick Webb
Song: Gee But You're Swell
Album: Strickly Jive