Sunday, January 31, 2016

5 Albums That Help Beat The Winter Blues

The snow just got here and I am already done.  I miss the sun and I miss the warm weather.  Why put on some sad sack music and get depressed?  Let these five albums be the sun on your face.

A Strange Arrangement by Mayer Hawthorne - You could listen to Motown or you could just listen to Mayer Hawthorne's reinvented version of Motown.  You will find yourself tapping your toes and singing along like Murphy Brown.  OK, maybe I just dated myself, but we are talking about the Motown sound after all.  This album could have easily been released in the early 70's to fanfare.  The theme's of love and romance are all there.  There's not much to think about except if anyone is watching you dance.

 Allen Stone by Allen Stone - It is still hard to imagine that the sweet sounds of Stevie Wonder inspired soul come out of the mouth of someone that looks like a mix Garth from Wayne's World and Napoleon Dynamite.  He burst on the scene with his brand of Philly Soul via a gospel background in Washington State that even made Ellen DeGeneres a fan.  It's fun and familiar and if you're not careful you might find yourself smiling.

Half the City by St. Paul and the Broken Bones - The only thing better than this Stax Records inspired sound is seeing these guys play live.  The horns, the blues, the soul, and the heart are all there.  In the same vein as Allen Stone, Paul Janeway looks like your accountant that has been possessed by the Soul of Otis Redding.  Plain and simple, it is feel good music.  Let go and enjoy it.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Let's move on to the dirty side of vintage R&B and soul and sprinkle it with a dash of Rockabilly and you have Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats.  If you haven't heard "S.O.B." yet you must be in the only place without a radio signal.  It takes your demons and makes them dance around the room.  Before you know it you will be sweating in the snow.

Stone Rollin' by Raphael Saadiq - Raphael toured with Prince and was a member of  Tony! Toni! Toné! before defining his high energy R&B that he is known for today.  When I listen to this I can't help to think how something so raw and fresh could sound so vintage and gritty.  It's the kind of music I miss.  Thankfully Raphael Saadiq is bringing it back.  

No more Winter Blues, right?  Now that you have a smile on your face and a clean house you are ready to rejoin humanity.  You're welcome!

See you when the needle drops!


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