That was Melissa
Ferrick with the title track from her new CD "Still Right Here."
But back to the Best Albums of 2011, in my opinion, and again, Melissa Ferrick started us off, and I need to keep my talking down to fit in as many as I can, and that turned out to be 18 albums and 18 songs. So I won't be giving a lot of bio info on the artists, but for many of these folks you can find that on my site, in addition to links to their websites. The songs on this segment are in no particular order, and next, out of the UK, is Declan Bennett. I've been a fan of his for years and his latest CD is called "Record Breakup," and this song, which has a very powerful video, is called "Freer."
Bennett - Freer
Lots of energy in that set. After Declan Bennett was Eric Himan and "Dust," from the CD "Supposed Unknown," then the San Francisco band Lucky Jesus gave us the title track from their CD "Match and Gasoline." And the last track was by The Shondes. "Close the Door" came from their latest album "Searchlights."
This next album I loved as soon as I heard it, which was back in February, and I remember thinking how well-produced it was, and even that it was a sure bet for the Best of the Year Show. It's the album "Trouble Is " by Charles K. Brown and I picked the song "To Love Again."
K. Brown - To Love Again
Coyote Grace was that last act, and I just love the voice of Joe Stevens, and their new album "Now Take Flight." I played the track "My Baby the Sun." And another album from last Spring that I knew right away would make this show was the latest by Canadian Jeff Straker. It's called "Under the Soles of My Feet" and I picked "The Stars Played Tricks."
Straker - The Stars Played Tricks
I followed Jeff Straker with Tom Goss, and the song "It's All Over," from his album "Turn It Around."
Up next is Melissa Li, and I was a fan of her and Kit Yan when they were the duo Good Asian Drivers. They've both done solo releases now and Melissa, along with a her band, The Barely Theirs, called the CD "The Beginning," which is also the song you'll hear.
Li & the Barely Theirs - The Beginning
I just love Kate Reid's music, and her sense of humor, and you can probably tell, as this is her third album since 2006 and all three have made my Best of the Year shows. That was the title track of the new one, "Doing It For the Chicks." And nestled between Melissa and Kate was a local Houston artist, Paige Lewis, and I think her new album, called "One Good Day," is excellent.
Also excellent is the latest by Martin Swinger, called "Moon," and I want you to pay attention to the craftsmanship of his song "Little Plastic Part," which I think is masterful.
Swinger - Little Plastic Part
After Martin Swinger was Catie Curtis. She's released 12 albums in the last twenty years, and I have them all. The song "I Do" was just one of the gems from her latest, "Stretch Limousine on Fire." Something a little different next, the music of the superb jazz pianist, Fred Hersch. He's been an acclaimed musician since the 1980's, releasing over three dozen albums. He was recently awarded Jazz Pianist of the Year 2011 by The Jazz Journalists' Association, and his latest CD is up for two Grammy Awards in February. From that CD, "Fred Hersch, Alone at the Vanguard," is the track "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning."
Fred Hersch - In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
And this next album may seem like an unlikely choice, especially if you only hear one track. I'll explain. Around 15 years ago New York City artist Andy Monroe began recording cover versions of winter songs every year, as gifts for his friends. This year he bundled them up onto a CD and called it "Songs for a Winter Night," which is named after the song you'll hear, Gordon Lightfoot's "Song for a Winter's Night." After listening to the whole CD several times I just could not help but revel in the warm feeling it gave me, like I was sitting in front of a fireplace with old friends. How many albums can do that? I hope you get a sense of that, and again, here's Andy Monroe.
Monroe - Song for a Winter Night
If there's any album on this show that I would describe through and through as gorgeous, it is "Same Something Different," by Jake Walden, and you just heard the title track. Jake's singing, writing, and lush production will, I think, make you a fan of his.
This is JD Doyle and I thank you for listening to Part 1 of my Best of the Year Show for 2011. This was the album show and I hope you check out the singles, in Part 2. I'm closing with a dance track, and in a way I've been waiting for this album for five years. That was when I fell in love musically with Israeli artist Ivri LIder. He had a wonderful single that year called "Jesse," and I've been waiting for his first full album sung in English. What he released though was not quite what I expected. Instead of a solo pop/rock album, he and another artist, Johnny Goldshtein, released an album, with the title "9:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to Whenever." I still loved it. The title is supposed to represent the album's concept, in that each track is designed to represent an hour in the day of a young professional. So there's a variety. They are calling themselves The Young Professionals, and the song attracting the most attention so far is definitely a dance song, called "D.I.S.C.O."
The Young Professionals - D.I.S.C.O
Yes, "Come On Out," that's the name of that opening song by the Canadian duo Sugarbeach. I'm JD Doyle and they start off Part 2 of OutRadio for January, and it's my Best of the Year show. In Part 1 you heard my, okay, very subjective picks for the best albums and now I'm going to take you through the best singles, and that means any song not appearing on a full album, so several songs from EPs got into this show as well.
Again, I'm going to really limit my talking so as to fit more music into the show, and I'm going to keep the energy going, with an act that caught a lot of attention this past year, enough for their video to win in the best pop/rock category in the RightOutTV Video Awards announced in November. From Vienna, Austria, this act appears to be a one-man-band, and it's called Blinded By Stardust. The song is "Cleared and Removed."
by Stardust - Cleared and Removed
I think that was a fun set, all by folks I sure hope keep making music. After Blinded by Stardust was Senor Kasio. That's a Toronto band that named themselves in homage to the casio keyboards of the 80s. Leader Steve Diguer's former band was called Brother Love Canal, and I've played their music in the past. Then came Arro Verse, an artist with a very catchy song, "Availability," and I finished the set with Jim Emmons and a song from his EP called "In Time."
This next song proves that if you keep it sweet and simple you can have a great song. And that's the name of the song. You can find it on a various artists benefit album called "A Day Most Swell," which would be great in any collection. Singing "K.I.S.S" is Nedra Johnson.
Johnson - K.I.S.S.
The second song of that set was by master songwriter Dudley Saunders, and it is called "Monster." And then came Canadian artist Kevin Wong and "Books & Drinks," and ending the set was an artist out of the UK named Matt Fishel. I've been following his music for years. That track was called "My First Time," and it also has a wonderful video.
I seem to love everything by this next artist, his voice just seems to reach me on a level I can't resist. He's Christopher Dallman and from his EP "Light the Love" is the song "Hard to Breathe."
Dallman - Hard to Breathe
After Christopher Dallman was Jeffrey Altergott and his single "Unleashed." I've been playing Jeffrey's music for years, but the next two artists were new to me. An artist going by St Andrew released an EP called "No Man's Land," and I was so impressed that I could have easily played on this show any of its tracks, but the one I picked is called "The Cure." Finally, I'm so ready for a full album by Summer Osborne, but for now I'll have to make do with her single "Just Be."
Up next, a very nice cover version of the Pat Benatar classic "We Belong," done as a benefit for the Trevor Project by Matt Zarley.
Zarley - We Belong
Closing that set was Houston artist Christian Andreason and "I Wanna Be an Amazing Man." I've got more goodies for you. First from Dan Holguin's EP is the track "Now I Only."
Holguin - Now I Only
Chadwick's song "Always You" was the second song of that set. And I checked my playlist for the Best of 2010 show and he was one of several artists to make it two years in a row. The others were Coyote Grace, Jeffrey Altergott, Melissa Li, Tom Goss and Kevin Wong.
This is JD Doyle wrapping up my Best of the Year show. I want to thank you for listening, and I've got one more artist. He's out of the UK and is Rod Thomas, but he is performing under the name Bright Light Bright Light. He released a song called "Love Part II," this past year and there were two versions of it. I've chosen the more acoustic one. Again, it's called "Love Part II."
Light Bright Light - Love Part II (acoustic)