New Paul McCartney

John Shelton Ivany
At 71, paul mccartney has thankfully returned to the music of eternal 

youth. "new" feels energized and full of joyous rock and roll inventiom/. more 

than a sentimental journey it's an album that wants to be part of the 21st 

century.  and, hell, if it's this catchy we're with him every step of the way.  

To all the Girls Willie Nelson

John Shelton Ivany
Now i've heard too many musicians try and diuet with the one and only b.b. 

king, the king of the blues. and only one artist could really duet with 

king, with his unique style, and that artist is willie nelson. this album, "to 

all the girls," i never wanted to end. usually you get ten cuts. if you're 

lucky, twelve. but here you get eighteen duets, with artists like dolly 

parton, mavis staples, shelby lynne, wynonna judd, alison krauss and other 


a few were not included. do they think they're too popular, too hot, to 

hang out with an 80 year-old-legend. we would call them in my old nyc 

neighborhood "schmucks." willie's instantly recognizablre voice, his songbook 


far beyond country turf, willie the great-natured chum of celebrities 

everywhere, willie the smoker. there's only one man who could blend them all 

together. and that man is willie nelson.  

Attachments Lorraine Feather
Jazzed Media

John Shelton Ivany
this album by lorraine feather is her most intense and intimate to date. 

the theme of "attachments" is the connections we have with family, friends, 

lovers, creatures and places. she proves again that she is able to convey 

emotional truths with a sound no one else can produce--a quavering lonesome 

sound that works equally well over a crazed distortion of a jazz band or simple 

acoustic chords of her ballads. and it's very difficult for anyone to sing 

like that.   

Rise and Shine Matt Renzi
Three P's

John Shelton Ivany
As a leader "rise and shine" is versatile reed player and composer matt 

reed's eighth album, and solidifies his reputation as a unique innovator and 

deeply probing musical traveler. his sound has a glorious anguish that speaks 

to people in many emotional places.   

Texodus Dylan Sneed

John Shelton Ivany
Dylan sneed has released an album entitled "texodus." look out. he has an 

elvis-style crooning, a country-folk drawling, a garage-rock hollering. he 

finds the emotional drama in the characters in his songs. when he sings he's 

gonna break your heart. sometimes he sounds like van morrison riding a 


Inside Llewyn Davis Various Artists

John Shelton Ivany
I saw the flick "inside llewyn davis" and played the album a hundred times. 

they are both great. as llewyn says in the movie "if it was never new, and 

it never gets old, then it's a folk song." I was 18 and lived in washington 

heights in nyc when dave van ronk ruled greenwich village well before nyu 

and starbucks and the tourists took over. the soundtrack is infused with the 

transportive sound of another time and place.

Cowbilly Wink Keziah
Great South Records

John Shelton Ivany
Wink Keziah knows of what he writes and sings about in his supercharged 

real-life country songs that we are treated to on "cowbilly." he can just relax 

and let the sounds explode. if it's in your soul it'll come out. has he 

lived a thousand lifetimes?    

Flash Mob Anton Schwartz

John Shelton Ivany
First of all i'll be a real lucky man. anton schwartz is playing in my west 

coast town soon. secondly, he's from manhattan, so we have some subway 

blood. his fifth album, "flash mob" is full of well-crafted jazz tunes, riveting 

ensemble work with an abundance of attitude. they are able to play with 

notes and then hold those notes until you feel it deep in your soul.

Symphony! Sultans of String

John Shelton Ivany
Known for dizzying roots music, the sultans of string jam poly-rhythms and 

revved up riffs to create their latest album, "symphony!" they boast a 

classic european sound, with clear instruments as reassuring as a warm 


Lets be Still The Head and the Heart
Sub Pop Records

John Shelton Ivany

The album by the head and the heart entitled "let's be still" is a work of art that tells you about everything your parents don't want you to get into as a teenager--that's what you hear in the voices. everything you love about the night, about love and desire, sex and retribution. all those sides of us the blues were meant to call up.

Forte Forte

John Shelton Ivany
It's hard to imagine that forte were total stranger's until a few month's 

before they merged, became a multicultaral operatic trio and were finalists 

on "america's got talent." now they've released their self-titled album. they 

have the gift of singers who deliver songs with the most pure and powerful voices.

Juke Joint Chapel Charlie Mussel White
CD Baby

John Shelton Ivany
A revered elder statesman of the blues nowhere near ready to hand up his 

harp belt, charlie musselwhite has released his 21st album, "juke joint 

chapel." charlie is one of the most important artists of the "white blues 

movement." the legend has always been true to his blues style. and has been 

loved by 

blues legends like big joe williams. and can the man wail with his voice as 

well as his harmonica. pick up "juke joint chapel" and find out.   

Tall Tall Shadow Basia Bulat
Secret City Records (Universal)

John Shelton Ivany
First of all, let me report that i checked the one and only basia bulat 

live in san francisco, belting tunes from her third album "tall tall shadow." 

the album is inspired in equal parts by tragic loss and abundant joy, which 

is reflected in more directly personal, emotional lyrics. her voice 

encompasses such a deep range of emotions--pain, defiance, anger. all those 


are so acute with her. and that's what draws us to her blues.

A town called Normal Vincent Cross
Vincent Cross

John Shelton Ivany
"a town called normal" is the latest album by vincent cross as he journeys 

through jazz-influenced old-time ballads, downhome country blues, 

traditional bluegrass and indie-folk rock. he pulls back the curtain and reveals 


lonely shell of a man. but if they made a drug that was this high, i'd never be 

sober. a stone cold winner.

Light of Aluna Anima
Anima Sound Productions

John Shelton Ivany

Anima's enchanting, healing, spiritual, new age music blends electronic

soundscapes with acoustic instrumentations and beautiful vocals that use both

deep ambience and subtle uplifting melodies to create healing compositions.

this duo has created the album "light of aluna" that proves that the measure

of great musicians is getting the message across, playing and singing

feelings that won't otherwise be heard or felt--especially in a world that has

ways of shutting people down that sing about peace and love.   

Powerlines Mustered Courage
Laughing Outlaw records

John Shelton Ivany
Mustered courage say they are "excited to travel and perform our take of 

bluegrass to the country and regions that created the art-form." there are 

certain songs where they become different people. they sound like they are on 

the edge of a bluegrass fire when they play cuts from "powerlines."   

A Sunshine State of Mine The Soul of John Black
Yellow Dog Records

John Shelton Ivany
"a sunshine state of mind" is the most recent album by the innovative 

soul-roots outfit the soul of john black led by john "jb" bigham. jb is wild and 

uninhibited with a voice that has multiple personalities. yet he's still 

focussed and deliberate. bigham is more about passionate abandon and nuanced 

phrasing than perfect pitch.  he sings and screams and cries. he's fearless, 

and when he screams he sounds like he's crazy.

Magic 201 Frank Wess

John Shelton Ivany
frank wess' latest album, "magic 201" delivers another feast of ballads, 

blues and swing.  frank's tenor sax and flute, with the rest of his 

outstanding band, mix a honey-coated cry with heartbreaking, life-affirming 


messages. they play like they're in church, cursing out the system and 

playing everything else. period.

British Electric Foundation British Electric Foundation
The End Records

John Shelton Ivany
What i had the extraordinary pleasure of playing was "music of quality and 

distinction, volume 3...dark" sent to me by the british electric foundation. 

there are 16 cuts by artists such as boy george, polly scattergood and many 

others providing shouters, crooners, artists with a pure sound. the album 

provides pure musicians within themselves.

Halleyanna Halleyanna
CD Baby

John Shelton Ivany
halleyanna, a central texas resident, has released her sophomore 

self-titled album, which backs a youthful edge and energy with a seasoned 


elegance. her rugged life has only deepened the ache and grit in her 

powerhouse cries and moans. her voice defies classification--you can't say soul, 

r&b, rock and roll or country... never in my life have i heard a woman so 

powerful, so fearless. as bruce once said, she's "all that heaven will allow."  

The Danny Patroni Blue Project The Blue Project
The Danny Petroni Blue Project Featuring Frank Lacy

John Shelton Ivany
Super storm sandy had just devastated the jersey shore; towns in and around 

toms river and inland were heavily damaged. the danny petroni blues project 

featuring frank lacy, all locals, went to work to create "the blue 

project." frank lacy has the smoothness of the late barry white, but the 


of a mountain lion. there's a sandpaper voice, powerful, mystical and 

frightening, a soulful menace. and jo wymer and her soul brings you back to 

sandy itself.