Greta Van Fleet – Lover, Leaver
Greta Van Fleet has a great sound that channels lots of Led Zeppelin vibes. This is my favorite track off their second album.
Bass and Mandolin – Tarnation
Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer pair up for an instrumental album. This track has some amazing work and a super cool intro and ending.
Buddy Guy – Ain’t No Sunshine
A great cover of Bill Withers original featuring Tracy Chapman.
White Snake – In the Still of the Night
I’m not generally a White Snake fan but this track has an absolutely killer guitar riff.
SOJA – Not Done Yet
I first heard this band on the radio when I was stationed in Hawaii. They are Reggae with some influence of other genres which makes a really cool sound on a lot of their tracks. This track has a great bass line.
Brother Dege – Too Old to Die Young
Brother Dege is a one man Appalachia style band. If you are in to that driving folk acoustic style and slide guitar, check this track out.
Santana and Citizen Cope – Sideways
Santana lays down some sweet guitar over Citizen Cope’s original song. The guitar cuts through like an knife over the acoustic in the intro and then the bass hits.
Penguins - Lyle Lovett
Usually engaged in some bizarre country-jazz fusion, Lyle Lovett gives the country part a rest and leans more jazz-funk for this otherwise nonsensical song about the capacity for penguins to provide emotional support to the singer. Well recorded as always, the drum strikes are dynamic and real while the horns and bass fill in the space behind the vocals. With such a clean recording, the location of each drum in the kit is obvious in the soundstage.
Texas Woman Blues - Taj Mahal
A seemingly underrated blues voice, Taj Mahal sings clean and pure over a simple bass line, while the Pointer Sisters back him up with simple and satisfying vocal harmonies. Minimalist recordings don't get much better.
The Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon
Tackling some pretty heavy topics with Paul Simon's characteristic levity, this song uses a heavy accordion part to drive forward the primary groove. Not the greatest recording ever, but clean enough and a unique and interesting folk/pop song.
Handlebars - Flobots
A very slick lyrical journey of two friends taking different paths in life, ending in a tumultuous crescendo with a haunting horn solo midway. Very clean, high-quality recording to boot.
Sweet Sixteen - Junior Wells
One of several amazing tracks from the cover album "Everybody's Gettin' Some", Junior Wells applies a slick harmonica part to the Al Green song to great effect. Junior's vocal is a great one to assess an audio system with a good amount of grit and weight - too much midbass and the vocal sounds chesty - bad integration between mid/tweeter and the vocal is too aggressive, but when everything is dialed in... it's magic.
Don't Change Your Plans - Ben Folds Five
This track is a lot of fun, just based on its musical and lyrical merits. Not the best recording ever and not particularly useful for system testing, but it found its way back into the lineup this week anyway.