De Novo Dahl
This sugarcoated table of five is from Nashville; their sound, minty-fresh. Something about them resembles a colorful candy store. De Novo Dahl is Joel J. Dahl (vocals, guitar), Serai Zaffiro (omnichord, vocals, percussion), Keith Lowen (bass, vocals), Matthew "Moose" Hungate (keys, vocals), and Mixta Huxtable (drums). "Shakedown," from their 2008 release Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound, is a carbonated milk-shake that will make you dance.
Artist: De Novo Dahl
Album: Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound
Death Cab for Cutie
Seattle's Death Cab for Cutie was founded in 1997. Death Cab is singer-guitarist Ben Gibbard, bassist Nick Harmer, newest member (2003) Jason McGerr on drums/percussion, and Chris Walla, guitarist-keyboard player and producer of the band's seventh full-length release, Narrow Stairs. The track "I Will Possess Your Heart" unwraps the partly cloudy prospects of love. Eight minutes and 35 seconds worthy of your ear-time.
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Song: I Will Possess Your Heart
Album: Narrow Stairs
Irish Brit Carmel McCourt was the torchy-soul front woman for the trailblazing jazz-R&B trio Carmel. The band, which included cousins Jim Parris on bass and Gerry Darby on keyboards, was founded in Wrawby, near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, known as a fashionless town in England, at the birth of the '80s, and found its greatest success in France. The group broke up in 1999. The title "Every Little Bit" is over 20 years old now, and it is a direct and significant influence on the current freshet of modern retro-soul singers enjoying enormous success today. Download "Every Little Bit," from the 1990 anthology Collected.
Song: Every Little Bit
British vocalist/artist extraordinaire Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, known as Adele, was born in 1988 in Enfield, North London. What comes out of her is both savory and sweet. Her vocals mean something, and they soar. The song "Chasing Pavement," from the album 19, has just the right amount of sorrow and hope. She is charming and real. Looking forward to the career of this great new artist.
Song: Chasing Pavements
Vibraphone virtuoso Milton Jackson, a.k.a. "Bags," was a modern jazz improv giant of the postwar era. Born on New Year's Day 1923 in Detroit, Jackson began as a gospel singer at age 7, then became a professional musician at the age of 16, enjoying nearly six decades in the business. Jackson said, "I ended up playing vibes because it is the instrument most like the human voice." He also played with the greats: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins... Milt Jackson's recording of "Blue Funk," off the 1958 album Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting with the great Ray Charles, is something close to perfect.
Artist: Milt Jackson
Song: Blue Funk
Album: Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting
Artist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Kelley Stoltz grew up in Detroit. In his early 20s, he moved to NYC, where worked as an intern for the late great Jeff Buckley. That internship was the catalyst for his career as an artist. Circular Sounds is Stoltz's fourth album. Much of the music was recorded in Stoltz's home in San Francisco, where he now resides. His sound is a very cozy couch of retro lo-fi romance. The title "Gardenia" is sweet and simple.