THE BLOG
08/27/2010 10:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dog Ears Music: Rewind, Volume II


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Richard Swift
Songwriter-rocker Richard Swift was born in California, but grew up on a desolate "music-less" Minnesota farm singing since he was a kid. He's said he's from "Nowhere, United States," yet Swift definitely hails from somewhere deep, with just the right amount of distortion, melody, and heart. He is a Ouija board of sound channeling great rock 'n' roll. Check out "SM60," one of 20 superb tracks on his 2008 release Richard Swift As Onasis.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Rock

Artist: Richard Swift

Song: SM60

Album: Richard Swift As Onasis

Lata Mangeshkar
Hindi diva and actress Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, into a musical family. Her father, Dinanath Mangeshkar, a traditional Hindi singer and actor, passed away when Lata was just 13. After years as a professional child entertainer, Mangeshkar finally broke through in 1949 with "Dil Mera Toda," launching her illustrious career. Collaborations include Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, and Mohammed Rafi. Accolades include the Bharat Ratna and eight Filmfare Awards. She currently divides her time between homes in Mumbai and Pune, India. This year, the Indian government created an award for musical excellence in her name, with her blessing. The 1962 recording "Kahin Deep Jale Kahin," from Lata Mangeshkar Digital Collection 1, is completely mystical.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: World

Artist: Lata Mangeshkar

Song: Kahin Deep Jale Kahin

Album: Lata Mangeshkar Digital Collection 1

The Beginning of the End
The Beginning of the End is the Bahamian soul-funk unit founded in the late '60s by brothers/vocalists Liroy (guitar), Frank (drums), and Raphael (organ) Munnings, with bassist Fred Henfield rounding out the band. The group went on to have a No. 15 hit on the Billboard singles chart with the title "Funky Nassau-Part 1" in 1971, but never achieved the recognition they so deserved. Time to add them to your music library with "Pretty Girl," from their debut album, Funky Nassau.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Soul/Funk

Artist: The Beginning of the End

Song: Pretty Girl

Album: Funky Nassau

Alice Coltrane
Jazz harpist, pianist, organist, and composer Alice Coltrane was born Alice McLeod in Detroit in 1937, and became one of the very few female jazz instrumentalists to emerge in the '60s. In 1965, she married jazz legend John Coltrane. The spiritually inclined Mrs. Coltrane (a.k.a. Swamini Turiyasangitananda) died in 2007, leaving behind an amazing catalog. The 1970 album Journey in Satchidananda contains the hypnotic title track "Journey in Satchidananda." Download this very soulful piece: Add some greatness to your music collection.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Jazz

Artist: Alice Coltrane

Song: Journey in Satchidananda

Album: Journey in Satchidananda

Reverend Gary Davis
Reverend Gary Davis was born in April of 1896, in Laurens County, South Carolina, one of eight children (six of his siblings died in infancy). Blind from an early age, he was raised on a farm by his grandmother, as his parents were unsettled spirits and unable to care for him. His signature is an infusion of folk, ragtime, blues, and gospel. Davis, who was also a street preacher, died in 1972, but he left behind a great body of work. Recorded in the mid-1960s, "Lord, Search My Heart," from the anthology Demons and Angels: The Ultimate Collection, Part 3, is what real sounds like.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Blues, Gospel

Artist: Reverend Gary Davis

Song: Lord, Search My Heart

Album: Demons and Angels: The Ultimate Collection, Part 3

El Chozas/Jose Antonio Munoz
Flamenco artist Jose Antonio Munoz, a.k.a. El Chozas (a popular gypsy-flamenco nickname), was born in Seville, Spain, in 1949. His love of music began as a young boy performing in the summer Andalusian festivals of his hometown, the region's capital. Munoz is somewhat of an enigma, but his music is anything but. He sings with heart-wrenching conviction. The title "Los Tormentos," from his 2008 album Mi Tierra y Mi Sangre, is powerful. It deserves a place in your soul.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Flamenco/World

Artist: El Chozas/Jose Antonio Munoz

Song: Los Tormentos

Album: Mi Tierra y Mi Sangre

Yoshida Brothers
Yoshida Brothers are Tsugaru-shamisen (three-string instrument) marvels Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida, natives of Japan whose artful roots are in the historic genre of the northern Aomori region. Their sound is 50km above the earth's surface; it's shamisen without boundaries. The Yoshidas play by their own rules, infusing a five-century-old style with Americana, jazz, and indie rock, whilst costumed in ceremonial kimono attire. Their 2005 collection Yoshida Brothers III, produced by Tony Berg, is completely easy to love and adore. Start with the title "Overland Blues" but definitely get the whole album.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: World

Artist: Yoshida Brothers

Song: Overland Blues

Album: Yoshida Brothers III

A.R. & Machines
A.R. & Machines was founded in Hamburg, Germany, by Krautrock trailblazer Achim Reichel in 1968. His self-described "electronically psychedelic" music was ahead of its time: layered with special effects, delays, and ingenious looping techniques. The sound of A.R. & Machines is transporting. The album Die Grüne Reise-The Green Journey, released in 1971, deserves respect. The title "Cosmic Vibration" is just that.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Progressive Experimental Rock

Artist: A.R. & Machines

Song: Cosmic Vibration

Album: Die Grüne Reise-The Green Journey

Benji Hughes
Artist, musician, and singer/songwriter Benji Hughes hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. His debut is a well-crafted 25-song extravaganza, A Love Extreme, recorded in L.A.'s boho enclave Silverlake and co-produced with Keefus Ciancia. Hughes sings of unrequited love, romantic longing, and basic hormonal lust, layered with a sparkling sense of wit and a lot of talent. His voice is buttered in vulnerability and intent. Start with "Tight Tee Shirt." Get full album.
Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Rock

Artist: Benji Hughes

Song: Tight Tee Shirt

Album: A Love Extreme

Skip James
Bluesman Skip James was born Nehemiah Curtis James in the Mississippi Delta in 1902, the son of a preacher and reformed bootlegger. As a teen, he held odd jobs in construction and sharecropping. In his 20s, James made his first demos. By 1931, he recorded a couple dozen sides for Paramount Records and just as his career was filling up with promise, it was crushed by the gravity of the Great Depression. James retreated to the church as a choir director, later becoming a minister. Decades would pass before this enigmatic picker's resurgence came about at the Newport Folk Festival in the mid-'60s. This Blues Hall of Famer passed away in 1969, but his followers still carry the torch. His songs have been immortalized by Cream, Chris Thomas King, Bonnie Raitt, and Alvin Youngblood Hart. Get the 1931 title "Devil Got My Woman," from Legends of Country Blues: The Complete Pre-War Recordings of Skip James (Disc A).

Buy: iTunes.com

Genre: Blues

Artist: Skip James

Song: Devil Got My Woman

Album: Legends of Country Blues: The Complete Pre-War Recordings of Skip James (Disc A)