This Man Records – November 18, 2016
I’m totally a sucker for Christmas compilations – it’s fun hearing bands convert generally traditional sounding songs to fit their own sounds. Louisville Covers Christmas is a collection of eleven previously written holiday tracks recorded to the liking of eleven bands and musicians out of Louisville. Brenda does a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Christmas Tree” – a really fun take that is noisier and heavier than original. That’s followed up by a calm, cool setting of “Winter Wonderland” as performed by The Watson Twins, set to a softly grooving bassline and electronic, shuffling beat. Billy Nelson‘s “White Christmas” sounds just like it would fit on his recently released Water Sports – the melody plays on delayed synths before being joined by Billy’s spacey-sounding self-harmonies. A favorite of mine from the compilation is a beautiful, calming cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River,” contributed by Fire the Saddle, set with acoustic guitar, mandolin, and male // female harmonies. Later in the album is a bizarre take on the hymn, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” by Maximón – it’s complete with darkly pulsing synths, affected vocals, and samples from a Malcom X speech. Plastic Bubble closes the compilation with “All I Want for Christmas is You,” a jangly, uptempo rendition complete sleigh bells and background choirs singing ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ to add some extra texture. Compilations like this are a great way of finding out about several bands you’d never heard of in a short time – at least 6-7 of these bands were new to me (including some of my favorites of the release). Treat yourself to some locally-source holiday cheer and grab a copy of the compilation from This Man Records – proceeds from sale of the record go to benefit Star Duck Charities.
Tracks I Liked: Brenda (“Christmas Tree”)!!, The Watson Twins (“Winter Wonderland”)!, Billy Nelson (“White Christmas”), Fire the Saddle (“River”)!!!, Maximón (“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”)!, Plastic Bubble (“All I Want for Christmas is You”)
Ben Southworth – December 18, 2016 – Kenwick Place
With songs that were recorded mostly in one take, this album brings some of Lexington’s most important musicians together making music for a good cause. It features Roddy Puckett, James Eaton, Caitlin Broderson, Ainsley Wagoner, James Friley, Reva Williams, as well as many more over its seven tracks. I happened to run in to Warren the day he released it, and he told me that it served as a fun project, and as a sort of a warm-up that moved him past the daunting idea of beginning another full-length project. The proceeds from sales of the album will go to benefit Moveable Feast Lexington, and is the first release from Apartment One – a not-for-profit studio that works to advance independent musicians while donating a good portion of their money to charitable causes. The music is great, and it is timed perfectly, with Christmas right around the corner (Check out the original Jesus Christ, The Christmas Tree’s On Fire.) Enjoy it folks!
Tracks I Liked: Christmas Time is Here!!, Lost in the Stars!, Baby It’s Cold Outside!!, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, The Christmas Song!, Blue Christmas!!!, Jesus Christ, the Christmas Tree’s On Fire!!!
Some additional links you might find helpful:
– Ben Southworth