James McMurtry – “Copper Canteen”

“I woke up last night in the grip of a fright scared to breathe for I might make a noise
This life that we craved so little we saved between the grandparents graves and the grandchildren’s toys”

Looking back at youth and the mistakes you easily make, James McMurtry understands what it means to be a cowboy as he softly sings on “Copper Canteen.” It’s easy to pay compliments to this singer-songwriter sweetheart, as he is often too wise and he never stops telling stories. In some ways, he’s got the tenor of Lou Reed and the small-town lyrics of Bruce Springsteen. And while I believe artists can succeed via a more traditional corporate-worn path, it is all the more noble that he has been able to stay true to himself after all these years. Hats off to James McMurtry for another timeless album.

Andy Shauf – “You’re Out Wasting” & “I’m Not Falling Asleep”

It’s nice to bump into albums, even if it’s a month or two after they’ve been released. It happened as I came across the new LP “The Bearer of Bad News” from Canadian singer-songwriter, Andy Shauf. His music is often sleepy, harmony-heavy and full of cryptic imagery. I’m also a big fan of those nasally clarinets. Check out the upbeat indie beat “You’re Out Wasting” and the weary “I’m Not Falling Asleep.”

Glen Campbell – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

One of the best moments from this year’s Grammy Awards, didn’t even happen on your TV screen. Glen Campbell, a highly respected titan of country music, is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and won for the Best Country Song of the Year title “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”  My great uncle, “Uncle Kay,” has been affected by the disease for over 10 years, yet still keeps a smile on his face. Just another example that music knows no limits.

Emmy the Great – “Swimming Pool”

hey, rich kid
I’m here, I want it
the sunshine, your time
the goodtime, and
your blue swimming pool

Emmy the Great, real name Emma Lee Moss, has released “Swimming Pool,” which is a single for an album we can expect in 2015. Her lyrics and voice are both beautiful and haunting at the same time. Also, I am a sucker for harmonies that stretch over a few octaves, so she has that working for her too.