“Even the rain is falling for you, even the sky knows just what I should do.” – Even the Rain
Marshall Altman is quickly becoming one of my favorite producers. Altman was the frontman for the band Farmer, which released what can only be explained as one of my desert island top ten discs. Since Farmer disbanded though, Altman has stayed in the industry and enjoyed great success as a producer. Altman was attached with some of my favorite albums of the past few years, including work with Matt Nathanson, Matt Wertz, Marc Broussard and now Gabe Dixon. Dixon’s last album with the Gabe Dixon Band was fantastic and news that his latest album was set to be a solo release came as a bit of a surprise. One Spark released yesterday, and I was set at ease about 15 seconds in. “Strike” is Gabe at his very best – piano driven and fast paced. The second song on the album is a gorgeous duet with Allison Krause, “Even the Rain.” All said, this album will most certainly find a spot in the 2011 top 25.
On a Day Just Like Today
“Girl if there’s one thing I know, is that it’s clear we reap what we sow. Your love is my secret, I promise to keep it right with me wherever I go.” – When I Stop Running
Tony Lucca, Matt Duke and Jay Nash are like a folksy version of S’mores. Think about it – graham crackers are delicious, marshmallows are fluffy and delightful and half the world is addicted to chocolate – but you put the three together and you’ve got yourself a game changer. Individually, Lucca, Duke and Nash are all phenomenal musicians, but collectively they really shine. You can hear it for yourself on their latest collaborative release, When I Stop Running. The three talented songwriters, known as TFDI (Totally Fuckin’ Doing It), released an EP in 2009 that only gave a glimpse into what the trio could become. There are moments on WISR where the three trade verses like some sort of vocal tennis match. With every shot, you think it’s over and then, a better shot comes back. The harmonies on the album make you wonder why they weren’t always recording this way, and the tracks where one takes the bulk of the vocals feel perfect. A fine example is “Darlin’ I”, a track Lucca has been reworking for what seems like the better part of a decade now. The vocals of Nash and Duke behind Lucca let you know that THIS is how the song was meant to be heard. Same goes for “Sweet Talking Liar,” which was previously my favorite Nash tune…and that’s BEFORE I heard it like this. Along with those two standouts, you’ve got a beautifully written gem in “If I Was a Ghost” and the best cover of “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” that I’ve ever heard. Consider this a must buy album and if you get the chance to catch the guys live, make sure to do so.
If I Was A Ghost
Lover I Don’t Have To Love