Live Album: Devotchka
Live with the Colorado Symphony
Cicero Recordings, LTD
Released: Nov. 13, 2012
On the heels of last year's impressive album 100 Lovers, Denver baroque folk group Devotchka returns with an equally outstanding live album. Here Devotchka's typical gypsy styling is paired with swift and full instrumentation, courtesy of one of the country's best orchestras. The result is a massive sound seemingly more rooted in South American strings and horns than Rocky Mountain folk music.
Tribute Album: Meshell Ndegeocello
Pour Une Ame Souveraine-
A Dedication to Nina Simone
Released: Oct. 8, 2012
If this wasn't a tribute album it probably would have made my top 25 of the year. Songs once recorded by the legendary Nina Simone are re-worked into a maze of emotion. Up is down and left is right as every track breathes new life into the soulfulness of the late singer. A few songs, like "Be My Husband," are stripped of a bit of their original darkness. Nevertheless, the fresh approach by Ndegeocello keeps the songs tight and relevant.
Most Anticipated Album of 2013:
Sarah Lee & Johnny
Now that we've survived the Mayan apocalypse, I feel comfortable looking ahead to what 2013 will offer. To that end, no album has got me more excited than the yet-to-be-named release from husband/wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. The reason is simple. Guthrie is the daughter of Arlo and granddaughter of Woody. Add to that the homey vibe of Irion's voice and collaboration with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and you've got the makings of something amazing. Tweedy appears on the record as well and earns producing credits along with Wilco multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. Sarah Lee and Johnny's 2011 Bright Examples was a delightful folk album with hints of British 60's pop, Bohemian rock and vintage country. With Tweedy on board, this next album has the potential to be one of 2013's best.