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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Van Morrison plays on, plus new music by Cake, Cat Dail, Maggie Rogers, The West Coast Feed

How's this for a track record? 45 albums in 51 years. That's the creative output of Van Morrison - so far - and that doesn't count compilation albums or his work in the group Them in the mid-60s. Barely a year after the release of Roll With The Punches, his latest effort, The Prophet Speaks, is due in early December. It will include eight covers of the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke, plus six new Morrison compositions. The title track is peak Van, blending jazz sax and Latin rhythms with smooth, sophisticated blues and that distinctive voice.
Cat Dail has been playing New York clubs and touring since the 1990s, but we're just catching up with this indie singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist by way of her new album, Fight For Love. Each track on this collection has a style of its own, with strands of folk, rock, funk, blues, jazz singing etc., all pulled together behind a distinctive and captivating voice. It was tough to pick one for our New Music bin, but we settled on the slinky "Catch Fire." Others will pop up in our big mix.
Maggie Rogers recorded two albums on her own while in high school in Maryland and college at New York University, before breaking out in 2016 with the hit single "Alaska." Her major label debut, Heard It In A Past Life, is due in January from Capitol Records, but singles keep spinning out ahead of it. "Alaska" and "Fallingwater" are already in our mix, and we're now picking up the latest, "Light On."

We're tapping once more into The West Coast Feed now that its debut album has been released. We previously featured the raucous singles "You Belong To Me" and "Set Me On Fire." The band takes a lighter approach on our latest selection, "Sky Pines," while still bringing its big horn-filled sound and adding a touch of violin.

Cake has just released its first original song in seven years, called "Sinking Ship." Band member Vince DiFiore describes it as “a sobering meditation on the current human habitation of the planet.” It could also be heard as commentary on the current political situation in the U.S. and around the world. The lyric mocks complacency - "You said give this a little more time / and everything is going to be fine" - and warns that "Everything we were just trying to save / is now vanishing under the waves."
And on that note, let us remind all our listeners and friends in the USA: Do your part and VOTE this Tuesday as though your life and the world depended on it. Because they do.

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