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The Shady Groove : 2015 Year in Review – Best Songs

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Here ya go! Check out our unranked list of the best songs of 2015.

 

Shoegaze – Alabama Shakes

 

 

In It’s Infancy (The Waterfall) – My Morning Jacket

 

 

Head Over Heels – JD McPherson

 

 

Random Name Generator – Wilco

 

 

Better Man – Leon Bridges

 

 

Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party – Courtney Barnett

 

 

Shake It Little Tina – Low Cut Connie

 

 

Stay In My Corner – The Arcs

 

 

Guesthouse – David Wax Museum

 

 

The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment – Father John Misty

 

 

4th and Roebling – The Districts

 

 

 

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The Shady Groove : 2015 Year in Review – Best Albums

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You asked for it. The following is our obligatory year-end review of this years best music. 2015 was an amazing year for the music industry; one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Here is an unranked list of the albums that got and kept our attention this year.

 

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Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear : The title proposes that this is an album of love songs. And to an extent, it is. Though it is riddled in witty sarcasm and even social-political balladry, newly married Josh Tillman proves that he is one of the most intelligent and insightful artists making music right now. I Love you Honeybear is a powerful statement not to be missed.

 

Star_Wars_WilcoWilco – Star Wars : I love the tone and feel of this album, the 11th studio album by the veteran rock n rollers. Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline and friends have a set of tunes on this one that are much more loose and seem less carefully crafted than their previous releases. And that’s actually the cool part about the feeling of this album. It feels more like a group of friends tossing new ideas against the wall. That’s not to say they come off sloppy at all. The band is tight as ever, even more so as many of the songs give the band room to breathe.

 

1431438608081Leon Bridges – Coming Home : Born in 1989, Leon Bridges’ debut album takes us back to the early 1960’s. He is a throwback in all terms, even dressing the part. Dripping with comparisons to early Sam Cooke and pre-Grapevine Marvin Gaye, this album is an excitingly pleasing trip with songs that evoke the past. Unfortunately, because of this, he has taken his toll of criticism and controversy, especially by those who hold new artists to an impossible standard of authenticity. I say, let it play. Leon’s voice and melodies are smooth as silk and I can’t stop listening.

 

alabama-shakes-sound-and-colorAlabama Shakes – Sound and Color : Their debut, Boys and Girls, was loved and revered for its New South, throw-back rock n roll. The band crafted their image around that. Boys and Girls was such a dynamite debut, it created a ton of pressure to come through on their second release. But come through they did. On Sound and Color, the band emerges out of the comparisons to past southern rock, r+b, soul, and gospel to create a sound all their own. As the title suggests, although it is still rooted in all of those sounds, Sound and Color stretches into almost roots psychadelia, with a modern flair. Its still hard not to compare the band at times to Otis Redding-esque and even sounding a little like early 90’s Red Hot Chili Pepper with its funky breaks. But even with those comparisons, it all comes off feeling startlingly fresh.

 

1035x1035-MI0003858401My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall : What most likable about this 7th studio album by MMJ is its tight, but comfortable give and take between the production and the musicians. The sound is full and the indie-folk, even prog-laced rock n roll creates some fun, roll down your windows and crank it up songs. Its not their best album, and some of my favorite tracks ended up on the deluxe edition bonus tracks, but The Waterfall is still a solid release from a perennial rock superstar.

 

CournetbarnettCourtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit : Sly and witty twists of phrase, cleaver word-play and great, catchy hooks are what makes this release by the Australian rock troubadour so refreshing. At times it can evoke early 90’s indie rock, other times punk and even pub rock; Although this 2nd release by Barnett can still feel that it is thoroughly new music. The band can be furious, and it can also sound like a melancholy Liz Phair album. Either way, this is a great new album and I look forward to what they have next in store.

 

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Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down.. : Another solid release by the kings of lo-fi, stoner day-dream eccentricity. Electric guitars are filler on this album, rather than taking front stage. I love the use of the banjo throughout. This album flows with melancholy ease and drifts like a dream.

 

 

81ULqdwCtTL._SL1500_JD McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll : As the title implies, this album is just a great time all the way through. Both an homage to the 1946 classic and the cars’ track of the same name, we’re treated to elements of both. Keeping true to the roots of early rock n roll as we heard on his previous debut album JD follows up with a barnburner.

 

tddigital_sq-a03954c7acfc8bdce8391d6389e2f49d50e8024c-s300-c85The Deslondes – The Deslondes : There’s just something about the New Orleans tradition of roots that always seems to find a way into new music these days. The Deslondes take that feeling and run with it, adding in country thrills and loose jams as they go. This debut album rolls with a easygoing feel and the production sounds like its just a tight New Orleans street band playing on the front porch of someone’s house. All in all, a surprising treat.

 

Cover_hi_resJason Isbell – Something More than Free : Following the breakout release of 2013’s Southeastern, the former Drive By Truckers rocker proves that he is still a major artist and is super gifted at songwriting. Something More Than Free moves as an insightful alt-country album with a nostalgic, reflective, organic feel. A solid release that plays well.

 

1035x1035-MI0003852797Low Cut Connie – Hi Honey : Low Cut Connie bridges the gap between the energetic, rollicking, freewheeling boogie of Jerry Lee Lewis and the eccentric low-brow feel of Ween. This album is cleverly produced to feel like a throwback but also keeps its modernity. It plays like a Rolling Stone album and you’ll want to roll the windows down and blast. Hi Honey marks the point where Low Cut Connie hits the big leagues. Watch out for them for years to come.

 

districts_flourish_lpThe Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil : The Districts return with a sophomore effort that is more mature and refined than their previous debut album. It’s tight and gritty, but open and freewheeling enough to leave them room to jam, which bodes well in a live setting. On this album, they build on their humble high-school beginnings with a more concise feel; combining folky anthems with passionate, brash, rock n roll.

 

 

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Shake, Rattle and Roll: Podcast #112

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It’s Theme-time Radio again on the Shady Groove. This week we explore all songs that make you shake, or talk about shaking. Turns out, this is a pretty easy topic to find songs about, especially being that rock and roll, jazz, blues and any type of good music can make you want to shake. Enjoy the following earth-shakin, groove-makin’ tunes:

 

Big Joe Turner – Shake, Rattle and Roll ++ The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Shake Your Money Maker ++ Otis Redding – Shake ++ The Isley Brothers – Twist and Shout ++ The Cars – Shake It Up ++ Rumspringa – Shak’em Loose Tonight ++ Jake White – I’m Shakin’ ++ Jerry Garcia Band – Sugaree ++ Delaney & Bonnie – Soul Shake ++ Wilco – Shake It Off ++ Taylor Swift – Shake It Off ++ Outkast – Hey Ya! ++ White Denim – Shake Shake Shake ++ The Rolling Stones – Shake Your Hips ++ The Gourds – Shake The Chandelier.

 

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2014 Year In Review- Part 3: Top Live Shows

Crowd - TTB @ Keswick Theatre 12/5/14

Every year end I sit down and realized how great it is to live in a city that loves the arts. The music scene is so vibrant in Philly that many times it is hard to choose what to see on a given night. I’ve been here long enough to know you can never see em all. One can only hope to catch a band or an artist on a night that the energy is high, musical artistry and creativity are working at peak performance. Sharing in a moment like that, ‘hitting the note’ as they call it, is truly something special. Here are my favorite live shows of 2014..

 

Leon Russell @ Keswick 1/10/14

Hot Tuna @ Keswick 1/10/14

Mason Porter @ Ardmore Music Hall

Experience Hendrix @ Keswick 3/21/14

The Hard Pans @ Dan’s Silver Leaf -Denton TX 5/9/14

Jamie Cullum @ Keswick 5/29/14

Taj Mahal @ Keswick 6/19/14

Sturgill Simpson @ Philly Folk Fest 8/14/14

Jason Isbell @ Philly Folk Fest 8/15/14

El Caribefunk @ Philly Folk Fest 8/15/14

Poor Old Shine (Parsonfield) @ Philly Folk Fest 8/15/14

NAS @ Keswick 10/5/14

Charlie Daniels Band @ Keswick 10/23/14

Ages and Ages @ Milkboy Philly 10/25/14

Hot Rize w/ David Grisman and Del McCoury @ Keswick 11/13/14

Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Keswick 12/5/14

 

The Hard Pans

 

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2014 Year In Review- Part 2: Top Songs

 

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Now for 2014’s top songs. There have been some amazingly innovative and catchy songs out there this year. Here are the songs that topped my list and stayed on my playlist all year long.

 

16. Sweet Amarillo – Old Crow Medicine Show

15. Longer Than You’ve Been Alive – Old 97’s

14. Let Me In – Mason Porter

 

13. Gotta Get Away – The Black Keys

 

12. Entitlement – Jack White

 

11. I Know Its Wrong (But That’s Alright) – Hurray For The Riff Raff

 

10. Next To You – Max Johnston

Here’s the link to the song: Click Here

 

9. Stranger to My Happiness – Sharon Jones & The Dapkings

 

8. Riptide – Vance Joy

 

7. Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes

 

6. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

 

5. Ages and Ages – Divisionary

 

4. Ain’t Gonna Have It – The Hard Pans

Budget Cuts by Hard Pans

 

3. Call Me – St. Paul & The Broken Bones

 

2. Happy – Pharrell Williams

 

1. Turtles All The Way Down – Sturgill Simpson