Cowboy Junkies — Long Journey Home
I only recently fully “discovered” this incredible Canadian band even though they’ve been around for over 20 years now. Formed by three siblings and a “best friend” in the mid-80’s, I think everyone has heard this uncompromising group’s cover of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”. Don’t ask me why, but I never looked any further than that. Perhaps because — in spite of the incredible amount of talent here, and millions of record sales to their credit — they’ve never really had a chart-topping single. But, while their musical honesty keeps them a little below the mainstream radar, it’s also what makes them so satisfying to hear — especially live.
Recently, I found their album “Long Journey Home”, a live album and DVD combo from 2006, featured at one of the music stations at Border’s. And that was it — I was hooked. In addition to “Sweet Jane”, try my favorites from this album: their cover of Robert Johnson’s “32:20 Blues”, the raw twang of “Cheap Is How I Feel”, the hauntingly conflicted “Good Friday” and, naturally, the spare and definitive Junkies song “Misguided Angel”.
You’ll be hooked too…
Maci Miller — A Very Good Night and Take a Closer Look
Two thoroughly enjoyable collections from a stellar vocalist and performer. “A Very Good Night” is Maci’s first album and consists of all-original material that got her noticed on the Philadelphia jazz scene and, indeed, all around the world. Her follow-up, “Take a Closer Look” is a collection of covers — with the notable exception of the single-worthy title track — which has secured her continued invitations to perform in some of the ritziest venues in the world — from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas to the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand.
If you think torchy jazz standards, like scotch, are best when they’re sultry, smoky, and maybe just a little bit out of your price range, then you need to hear Maci. And if you prefer your jazz a little lighter — bubbly and flirtatious, like a Veuve Clicquot ‘Grand Dame‘ — well, Maci will not disappoint. So indulge yourself… 🙂