10/14/2011 10:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dog Ears Music: Volume 197


Stephen Fretwell
Singer/songwriter Stephen Fretwell was born in the English rust-belt town of Scunthorpe during the early Thatcher era. Discovering his musical way as a teen, he founded his first band by the late '90s. In 2000, Fretwell exited college and moved to Manchester, taking it pro and setting his trajectory. He has since issued nine projects to date and often works out of New York City. Collaborations/shared stages include James Iha, Adam Schlesinger, Eli Janney, Alex Turner, Belle & Sebastian, and Elbow. Highlights include features in The Joneses (starring Demi Moore), Brit flick Love + Hate, and TV's Brothers & Sisters. Download Stephen Fretwell's beautiful "Play," from his 2005 release Magpie.

Genre: Rock

Artist: Stephen Fretwell

Song: Play

Album: Magpie

Andreya Triana
London-born soul singer/songwriter Andreya Triana brings it with truehearted fidelity. Bitten by the music bug at an early age, Andreya began singing, and by high school she took to the stage and never left. Collaborations include Flying Lotus, Andy McCarthy (a.k.a. Mr Scruff), Simon Green (a.k.a. Bonobo), and Fink. Tour highlights include Glastonbury, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and Croatia's Soundwave fest. Get started with the stirring "Darker Than Blue," from Andreya Triana's 2010 freshman full-length Lost Where I Belong.

Genre: R&B/Soul/Jazz

Artist: Andreya Triana

Song: Darker Than Blue

Album: Lost Where I Belong

Clara Smith
Blues singer Clara Smith ("Queen of the Moaners") was born in South Carolina in 1894. She got her start performing on vaudeville and black theater. By 1923, Smith relocated to New York, where she cut wax for Columbia Records for almost a decade, racking up over 100 sides. During this time, she was backed by luminaries Louis Armstrong, Charlie Green, Joe Smith, Freddy Jenkins, and James P. Johnson. Collaborations included Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson. Smith died of heart failure in Detroit in 1935 at the age of 40. Remember her with "For Sale (Hannah Johnson's Big Jack Ass)," from Street Walker Blues: Vintage Songs About Prostitution Volume 2 (Digitally Remastered).

Genre: Blues

Artist: Clara Smith

Song: For Sale (Hannah Johnson's Big Jack Ass)

Album: Street Walker Blues: Vintage Songs About Prostitution Volume 2 (Digitally Remastered)

Old Time Relijun
Born at the heart of the Olympia, Washington, grunge scene in 1995, experimental-punk outfit Old Time Relijun has thrived with its unique alchemy. Now based in Portland, Oregon, the current lineup comprises brothers Aaron Hartman (upright bass) and Benjamin Hartman (sax, woodwinds), Arrington de Dionyso (vocals, guitar, horns), and Germaine Baca (drums). Collaborators/former members include puppetmaster Calvin Johnson and drummers Phil Elvrum (The Microphones), Bryce Panic, and Jamie Peterson. To date, Old Time Relijun has issued a handful-plus of releases and appears on several compilations. Queue up "Vampire Sushi," from Old Time Relijun's 2001 project Witchcraft Rebellion. Sonic madness in a jar.

Genre: Alternative

Artist: Old Time Relijun

Song: Vampire Sushi

Album: Witchcraft Rebellion

Bobby "Blue" Bland
American soul singer Bobby "Blue" Bland was born in Hoover-era Tennessee. As a teen, Bobby relocated to Memphis and made his bones on the legendary Beale Street. After returning from an early-'50s stretch in the Army, Bland work-horsed his chops, started recording, amassing his legacy. Classic titles include "I Pity the Fool," "That's the Way Love Is," and "Turn On Your Love Light." Bland spun out hits like candy, positioning over 50 singles on the R&B Top 40. Collaborations include Joe Scott, Wayne Bennett, Ernie Fields Jr., B.B. King, and Van Morrison. Accolades include induction into the Blues Hall of Fame (1981) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992) and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award (1997). Rediscover the bluesman with "I'll Take Care of You," from Bobby "Blue" Bland--The Definitive Collection.

Genre: Blues

Artist: Bobby "Blue" Bland

Song: I'll Take Care of You

Album: Bobby "Blue" Bland--The Definitive Collection

White Sea
White Sea is the electro creation of L.A.-based songstress and cellist/pianist Morgan Kibby, former czarina of The Romanovs. White Sea's lineup is rounded out by Jonathan Bates, Ray Suen, and Amy Wood. Among Kibby's credits: vocals on film trailers for Lady in the Water and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, tracks for TV's Boston Public and Judging Amy, plus a handful of releases to date. Collaborations/shared stages include M83, The Killers, Jonathan Leahy, and Depeche Mode. Get "Ladykiller (Gigamesh Remix)," from the 2011 project White Sea Remixes, Vol. 1-EP. Dance!

Genre: Electronic

Artist: White Sea

Song: Ladykiller (Gigamesh Remix)

Album: White Sea Remixes, Vol. 1-EP