For April, we have a tie:
Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder Get On Board and Willie Nelson A Beautiful Time
This month’s first order of business:
I sincerely hope if you’re a person even remotely interested in my monthly musical opinions, then surely you must already be acquainted with Neko Case. If not, you should stop reading now and immediately go check out her entire catalog. If that’s not feasible, the next best thing would be to spin up her new retrospective release, Wild Creatures. It will give you a wide perspective on her whole career, so you’ll get a good primer on what you’ve been missing. Trust me, everybody needs more Neko in their life.
Now on to our tie.
Up until Friday, the clear winner for me this month was Get On Board, the new record from Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. It’s a collection of the songs of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. This whole record sounds like a party in your living room. Perhaps because it was recorded more-or-less on a whim in Cooder’s son’s living room. It’s crystal clear how much these guys love these songs and enjoy performing them together, and the groove is completely infectious throughout. This would have cinched it as this months pick, except…
…On Friday, along came a new album from Willie Nelson, A Beautiful Time. There’s probably no single musical figure I’ve revered more in my life than Willie. Even so, in my opinion, a lot of his recorded output over the last number of years has been pretty spotty. But this record hits the nail right on the head for me. Good melodies, some masterful lyrical phrases; just the thing I’ve been missing in his more recent work. Beautiful, indeed.
Get some music in your ears, everybody!