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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Horses? Horses! And other new music in our mix

Just a coincidence, but we're adding two songs this week by married-couple artists who have equine band names.

New to our collection is Whitehorse, the nom de musique of Hamilton, Ontario couple Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. Their latest release, The Northern South Vol. 1, is a collection of covers of 1950s rock/blues tunes - yes, a southern U.S. sound reinterpreted by these northern neighbors. Our fave of the moment is their treatment of Chuck Berry's "Nadine."

A few weeks ago we started playing "Hello World" by Horses Heaven, the project of a Northern California couple, Bijou and Analise. As promised, we're working more tracks from their debut album, Before the Breakdown, into our rotation, and we've now moved "Dancehall" into our New Music bin.

As we've previously mentioned, duos of all kinds are big in music these days, and we're big on the latest release from the Nashville pairing of Jessy Wilson and Kallie North, who call themselves Muddy Magnolias. North was raised in southeast Texas and later moved to Mississippi, while Wilson comes from Brooklyn. They met in Nashville in 2014 and before long were creating a blend of country and R&B with a touch of jazz, and the result is an 11-song debut, Broken People. We can't resist the snappy single "Devil's Teeth," so that's now in our New Music rotation, but we'll surely be spinning more from this fine debut.

Here's another duo that's known each other a bit longer -- the father-and-son combo called Beaucoup Blue. Philadelphia-based David and Adrian Mowry roam from blues to bluegrass, bringing various traditional influences to their original songs and covers. They've just released a collection of mostly originals, Elixir, and we're currently spinning "Whatever Wrong," featuring David's slide guitar.

And from the U.K. comes The Freddy James Band, a "blues-rock-psychedelic" group (not a duo!) that released its second EP, Black Flowers, earlier this year. The band just spun out bluesy ballad "Same Old Song" as a single, and we're happy to feature it in our New Music bin.

Monday, November 21, 2016

More new music, more variety added to our mix

From orchestral arrangements to 50's-style blues, our New Music additions this week bring more variety to our big mix.

Nada Surf's latest project is a 13-track live album recorded this summer with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra in Berlin. The marriage of pop and "pops" works well, and the album, Peaceful Ghosts. makes good listening straight through. We've added the opening track, "Comes A Time," into our New Music rotation and will be dipping further into this release.

In sharp contrast to that lush sound, we have the latest single released from The Rolling Stones' upcoming blues album Blue & Lonesome. This one is a 1954 song by blues harmonica virtuoso Little Walter, "I Hate To See You Go."

Also added to our New Music bin this week:
  • "A 1000 Times" by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostram - The lead track from I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, a collaboration between the former frontman of the Walkmen and the former Vampire Weekend producer.
  • "I Know," a sharp rocker with a cutting lyric from Shovels & Rope's Little Seeds.
  • "Pretty Grids," our latest selection from Jimmy Eat World's Integrity Blues. 
  • And from her generally mellow Day Breaks album, a rocking track called "Flipside" by the fabulous Norah Jones.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanks for listening! Your feedback is welcome!

It's been about two months since our program moved to a new webcasting company, SoniXcast, and we're happy with the results. Our stream reliability has been solid and the backup programming at Master Control kicked in smoothly when we had computer problems at Birch Street Studios.

Meanwhile we continue adding both new and classic tunes to our Marvelous Mix of many flavors of rock and related music styles. (We're a little behind schedule this week, but will be updating our New Music bin very soon.)

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

System upgraded, music updated!

We had a bit of a crisis at Birch Street Studios on Sunday when our plans for a computer upgrade became, um, urgent. As in, our old system suddenly failed completely. Happily, the backup playlist at our broadcast host, SoniXcast, kicked in while we scrambled to get back in operation with some brand-new equipment. Even more happily, we were able to get our regular Marvelous Mix back "on the air" in about six hours.

Then we got back to the business of picking new music for the new week. Here are the latest additions to our New Music rotation:
  • "Got Soul" is the first track from an upcoming new album with the same title by Robert Randolph and the Family Band. 
  • Sting's new album, 57th & 9th, came out a few days ago. After playing the first single, "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," we're now adding "One Fine Day."
  • The Shins have released a single, Dead Alive, ahead of their next album, due sometime next year.
  • And we're catching up with the latest release from singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata, Tightrope Walker. Our pick for the New Music bin is "Let Me Be Your Girl."

We usually give more detail about our new-music picks, but right now we need to head back into the studio and finish uploading our big music library to the new system. Here's hoping it keeps rocking and rolling for a long time to come!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Youthful sounds and other new music in our mix

By way of a music-promotion site ( we recently came across a new single from a new band called Paper City Exile. We listened, we liked its rock-verging-on-punk sound and we decided to add "Song For Emily" to our New Music bin. Only then did we read up on this Western Massachusetts trio - and discover its members are still students at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School. High school, that is! We're not sure if this makes us feel old, or young in spirit.

The Los Angeles band Night Talks has released another single from its upcoming album - which is proving to be a very impressive debut. Following up on "Green" and "Mr. Bloom," the new track is "Jungle."

We're also putting another track from The Joy Formidable's new release Sleep Is Day into our New Music rotation. This one's called "Liana."

Our listeners are familiar with British prog-rock/psych-rock band Syd Arthur, whose second album Sound Mirror has been in our big music mix for some time. Lately we've been playing the first single/title track from their latest release, Apricity. Now the full album is out, and we're picking "Sun Rays" for our New Music rotation.

Likewise, we've been playing "Here In Spirit" from the new Jim James solo album Eternally Even, and now that the full collection is out we'll be pulling out more tracks - starting with one of the lighter, groovier tunes, "True Nature."