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Every Picture Tells A Story

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  • Every Picture Tells A Story Every Picture Tells A Story Quick View

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    Every Picture Tells A Story

    Without greatly altering his approach, Rod Stewart perfected his blend of hard rock, folk, and blues on his masterpiece, Every Picture Tells a Story. Marginally a harder-rocking album than Gasoline Alley -- the Faces blister on the Temptations cover (I Know I'm) Losing You, and the acoustic title track goes into hyper-drive with Mick Waller's primitive drumming -- the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it's a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life. Of course, Maggie May -- the ornate, ringing ode about a seduction from an older woman -- is the centerpiece, but each song, whether it's the devilishly witty title track or the unbearably poignant Mandolin Wind, has the same appeal. And the covers, including definitive readings of Bob Dylan's Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time and Tim Hardin's Reason to Believe, as well as a rollicking That's All Right, are equally terrific, bringing new dimension to the songs. It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music -- few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.

    - Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music)
    1. Every Picture Tells a Story
    2. Seems Like a Long Time
    3. That's All Right
    4. Amazing Grace
    5. Tomorrow Is a Long Time
    6. Henry
    7. Maggie May
    8. Mandolin Wind
    9. (I Know) I'm Losing You
    10. Reason to Believe
    Rod Stewart
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • IT (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) IT (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Quick View

    $29.99
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    IT (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    WaterTower Music today announced the release details of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for New Line Cinema's highly anticipated IT, the movie based on the iconic Stephen King novel of the same name which has been terrifying and thrilling readers for decades.


    When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


    Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Benjamin Wallfisch (A Cure for Wellness, Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation), widely acknowledged as one of Hollywood's most exciting and innovative composers, has assembled a thrillingly unsettling 38-track Original Soundtrack for IT with a palpable spirit of suspense, adventure and anarchy, using powerful themes, a full symphony orchestra and children's choir.


    "Every now and again, you come across a movie where the storytelling is so powerful, the subtext so visceral, the synergy between director, narrative and actors so palpable, that as a composer you can feel the music being energized by something so much bigger than what's just on the screen," Wallfisch said. "Creating a score to tell the story of a shapeshifting antagonist of unimaginable evil that can only be defeated when a group of individuals come together as one, required metamorphic themes, extremes of sonic irreverence and heartfelt quiet, and, most importantly, a musical language that strived to be constantly informed by the profound emotional truth driving the heartbeat of the filmmaking. To collaborate with Andy Muschietti on IT was to be invited into a thrilling, deeply inspiring and richly creative dynamic space. It was a true honor, and, as a lifelong Stephen King fan, a great privilege."

    1. Every 27 Years
    2. Paper Boat
    3. Georgie, Meet Pennywise
    4. Derry
    5. River Chase
    6. Egg Boy
    7. Beverly
    8. Come Join The Clown, Eds
    9. You'll Float Too
    10. Slideshow
    11. Georgie's Theme
    12. 29 Neibolt Street
    13. Time To Float
    14. You'll Die If You Try
    15. Return to Neibolt
    16. Into The Well
    17. Pennywise's Tower
    18. Deadlights
    19. Searching For Stanley
    20. Saving Beverly
    21. Georgie Found
    22. Transformation
    23. Feed On Your Fear
    24. Welcome To The Losers Club
    25. Yellow Raincoat
    26. Blood Oath
    27. Kiss
    28. Every 27 Years (Reprise)
    29. Epilogue - The Pennywise Dance
    Benjamin Wallfisch
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Never A Dull Moment Never A Dull Moment Quick View

    $24.99
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    Never A Dull Moment

    Essentially a harder-rocking reprise of Every Picture Tells a Story, Never a Dull Moment never quite reaches the heights of its predecessor, but it's a wonderful, multi-faceted record in its own right. Opening with the touching, autobiographical rocker True Blue, which finds Rod Stewart trying to come to grips with his newfound stardom but concluding that he'd rather be back home, the record is the last of Stewart's series of epic fusions of hard rock and folk. It's possible to hear Stewart go for superstardom with the hard-rocking kick and fat electric guitars of the album, but the songs still cut to the core. You Wear It Well is a Maggie May rewrite on the surface, but it develops into a touching song about being emotionally inarticulate. Similarly, Lost Paraguayos is funny, driving folk-rock, and it's hard not to be swept away when the Stonesy hard rocker Italian Girls soars into a mandolin-driven coda. The covers -- whether a soulful reading of Jimi Hendrix's Angel, an empathetic version of Dylan's Mama, You Been on My Mind, or a stunning interpretation of Etta James' I'd Rather Go Blind -- are equally effective, making Never a Dull Moment a masterful record.

    - Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music)
    1. True Blue
    2. Lost Paraguayos
    3. Mama You Been on My Mind
    4. Italian Girls
    5. Angel
    6. Interludings
    7. You Wear It Well
    8. I'd Rather Go Blind
    9. Twisting the Night Away
    Rod Stewart
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Gasoline Alley Gasoline Alley Quick View

    $24.99
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    Gasoline Alley

    Numbered Limited Edition LP


    Rod the Mods 1970 Landmark Set Tone for All Folk-Rock Albums That Followed


    Evocative, Low-Key, and Rustic: Gasoline Alley Finds Stewart At His Peak


    Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI: LP Has Never Sounded More Organic, Warm, or Transparent


    Backed By Fellow Faces Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Ian MacLagan, Kenny Jones


    Stewarts Equally Iconic Every Picture Tells A Story Also Available on LP from Silver Label


    No matter what era or phase of Rod Stewart you prefer, nearly everyone is unanimous in choosing the artists early 1970s output as his very finest. Proof comes courtesy of Gasoline Alley. A 1970 record that literally set the template for all folk-rock efforts that followed, the critically acclaimed album has been cited as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and remains a blueprint for evocative vocals, low-key presentation, and incredible interpretation.


    Barely removed from his debut, Stewart comes into his own on Gasoline Alley, essentially a largely unplugged record on which the singer surrounds himself with a transcendent blend of acoustic guitars, mandolin, fiddle, piano, and understated percussion and channels the music with a gritty, rock n roll attitude. The results? Tough, organic, warm, swaggering, and unfettered songs that bow to country, rockabilly, blues, and folk influences all the while managing to belong to their own genre. Its just one of the reasons why Gasoline Alley remains a study in distinctive excellence.


    Another is due to Stewarts passionate singing. Sensitive, understated, wistful, and raggedly worn, he inhabits the role of a journeyman that inhabits the narratives on standard-bearing covers of Bob Dylans Only a Hobo, Elton Johns Country Comforts, and the R&B shuffle Cut Across Shorty. He conveys a bevy of complex emotionssadness, regret, optimism, sorrow, loss, humor, yearningwith a poignancy that suggests every song here is disarmingly personal. Of course, having a band sympathetic to his desires and directions, and one that claims the talent of players such as guitarist Ronnie Wood and organist Ian MacLagan, doesnt hurt matters.


    Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI (America's best record plant), this numbered limited edition LP allows Gasoline Alley to come across with unrivaled warmth, organic tones, and transparent presence. The signature acoustic-electric blend of rock, blues, soul, and country crackles with energy; midrange and highs are vastly improved, affording listeners a clearer image of the Faces dynamic contributions and chemistry. And Stewarts vocals take place right in your room. Wait until you hear the inflections and contrasts.


    Dont hesitate on this all-time rock and folk classic.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Gasoline Alley
    2. It's All Over Now
    3. Only A Hobo
    4. My Way Of Giving
    5. Country Comforts
    6. Cut Across Shorty
    7. Lady Day
    8. Jo's Lament
    9. You're My Girl (I Don't Want To Discuss It)
    Rod Stewart
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Baby Driver Volume 2: The Score for A Score Baby Driver Volume 2: The Score for A Score Quick View

    $31.99
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    Baby Driver Volume 2: The Score for A Score

    Featuring even more gems from almost every musical genre and spanning across multiple decades, Baby Driver Volume 2: The Score For A Score includes more memorable songs from the movie, exclusive tracks and special remixes that mirror the unique experience of the movie as well as dialogue excerpts from the film, and the unreleased score by Oscar-winning composer Steven Price.


    This special album follows Music from the Motion Picture Baby Driver, the 30-song soundtrack from Edgar Wright's critically acclaimed, music-laden blockbuster film Baby Driver. The fast-paced soundtrack garnered two Grammy Nominations including for Best Soundtrack. The film Baby Driver was written and directed by Edgar Wright and tells the story of Baby, a talented, young getaway driver who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game.

    LP 1
    1. Robbery Arrival - Steven Price
    2. Chase Me - Danger Mouse featuring Run The Jewels and Big Boi
    3. Secondo Intermezzino Pop - Ennio Morricone
    4. Candy From Baby/ What's In There Is Ours - Steven Price
    5. Harlem Shuffle - The Foundations
    6. Sunset That Ride - Steven Price
    7. You're back! - Lily James & Ansel Elgort
    8. Baby I'm Yours - Barbara Lewis
    9. Cry Baby Cry - Unloved
    10. Keep Driving and Never Stop - Steven Price
    11. Threshold - Steve Miller Band
    12. Nowhere to Run (Baby Driver Mix) - Boga
    13. TaKillYa (Baby Driver Mix) - Vinnie Maniscalco


    LP 2
    1. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels
    2. Bananas - Steven Price
    3. Ready Let's Go - Boards Of Canada
    4. Dumb-Ass Excuse - Steven Price
    5. Debora - T. Rex
    6. What did you do? - Jon Hamm & Ansel Elgort
    7. Hocus Pocus (Baby Driver Mix) - Focus
    8. My name is Joseph - Ansel Elgort
    9. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 - R.E.M.
    10. Lucky Charm - Steven Price
    11. Run - Steven Price
    12. Easy (Baby Driver Mix) - Sky Ferreira
    13. Postcards from Debora - Steven Price
    14. Killer track - Jon Hamm & Ansel Elgort
    15. Blue Song - Mint Royale

    Various Artists
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Any Other Way Any Other Way Quick View

    $27.99
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    Any Other Way

    Known by genre aficionados as one of the
    greatest singers and most riveting stage
    presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has
    remained largely unknown outside Toronto,
    where her career briefly flowered in the
    1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the
    gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights,
    born in a male body but unabashedly living
    her entire life as a woman at a time when to
    do so seemed unthinkable.


    Any Other Way
    is the first artist-approved collection of
    Ms. Shane's work, collecting all six of her
    45s and every highlight from the legendary
    1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern,
    including three mind blowing, previouslyunreleased
    tracks. Rob Bowman's 20,000
    word essay is Jackie's first communication
    with the public in nearly half a century,
    telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane's
    story in her own words.


    This deluxe two album set is
    copiously illustrated with never-beforeseen
    pictures from a career and a life unlike
    any other.

    LP 1
    1. Sticks And Stones
    2. Any Other Way
    3. In My Tenement
    4. Comin' Down
    5. Money (That's What I Want)
    6. I've Really Got The Blues
    7. Send Me Some Lovin'
    8. You Are My Sunshine
    9. Stand Up Straight And Tall
    10. Knock On Wood (Live)
    11. Money (That's What I Want) (Live)
    12. Raindrops (Live)
    13. You're The One (That I Need) (Live)


    LP 2
    1. I Don't Play That Song (You Lied) (Live)
    2. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (Live)
    3. Any Other Way (Live)
    4. You Are My Sunshine (Live)
    5. I Don't Want To Cry (Live)
    6. Shotgun (Live)
    7. New Way Of Lovin'
    8. Cruel Cruel World

    Jackie Shane
    $27.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • I Know What Love Isn't I Know What Love Isn't Quick View

    $17.99
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    I Know What Love Isn't

    Tracey Thorn wrote a song that reached Jens Lekman in the early stages of his new album, I Know What Love Isn't. In her song she sang Oh Jens, oh Jens/your songs seem to look through a different lens/you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun. A touching moment for the Swedish songwriter, having been a fan since his teens. But it came to him in a time when he found himself very confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs. They weren't looking through that lens anymore.



    I Know What Love Isn't came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about at first. The songs began more fleeting than the last go around, on his 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. The songs began building from images and memories and soon began to take their own route, one that Lekman wasn't privy to their destination.



    In The World Moves On he paints a picture of a sweltering summer in the city of Melbourne where he lived while writing and recording the album. The hot days that led up to the Black Saturday bushfires, but also more mundane images of feeding possums in a park or getting in trouble with some guy on a scooter. It seems to lead nowhere at first but the aimlessness in itself reaches heartbreaking conclusions later on, summed up by the soaring chorus and you don't get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully. Like Joan Didion once said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts. And of course they led him right back to the break up.



    Musically, I Know What Love Isn't chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for Kortedala, he's only chosen a few somber colors this time around. There are strings but not a string section, an upright piano and not a grand, a single saxophone and gracenotes from a flute. The songs are lighter, almost aerodynamic, Jens explains, I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony. Like when you're in an airplane taking off and you look out the window and realize you're already in the air.



    A dry country piano makes Become Someone Else's lift high. Vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in Erica America soar. Strings pick up the title track and send it up to the sky without much effort or force. In the latter, Lekman once again points the way to distill essential truths from every day life vignettes while singing about a sham marriage. I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her old crappy Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country.



    The idea was so appealing, that we would build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at anytime. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great a story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories. And that's what I Know What Love Isn't is. A collection of songs that grew to a story that had to be told. A story that is not new, but essentially human. The story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.

    1. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
    2. Erica America
    3. Become Someone Else's
    4. She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore
    5. Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
    6. I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
    7. The World Moves On
    8. The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
    9. I Know What Love Isn't
    10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
    Jens Lekman
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Paradise & Lunch (Speakers Corner) Paradise & Lunch (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Paradise & Lunch (Speakers Corner)

    A good 20 years have passed since a band with ancient musicians from Cuba - the Buena Vista Social Club - took the world by storm. Behind the project, in the wings yet right in the midst of this unheard-of music, was Ry Cooder, who regarded this encounter as the greatest musical event of his entire life. The bottleneck guitar hero had always been very interested in the music from the other Americas ever since the solo albums he made in his early years, in which he told the story of the American folk and blues in a multitude of styles. The LP Paradise And Lunch is no exception and begins with gospel-like grooves that smell of native soil. The faint smell of a wooden church from pioneering days wafts out of the processional antiphonal song Jesus On The Mainline and a healthy 12-bar blues paints a picture of what silent witnesses could tell if they could (If Walls Could Talk). Cooder and his sidemen felt themselves perfectly at home when adventuring further afield and this is testified to in the laid-back calypso rhythm of It's All Over Now and the clip-clop of Mexican Divorce.


    This wonderful album is highly recommended for each and every number, but if you want a tip for a very special track, then just listen to the ragtime piano rolls in Bo Diddley's Ditty Wah Ditty.


    Musicians:



    • Ry Cooder (guitar, mandolin, bass, vocal)

    • Ronnie Barron (piano, organ)

    • Earl Hines (piano)

    • Plas Johnson (alto saxophone)

    • Oscar Brashear (cornet)

    • Red Callender (bass)

    • John Duke (bass)

    • Russ Titelman (electric bass)

    • Chris Ethridge (electric bass)

    • Milt Holland (drums, percussion)

    • Jim Keltner (drums)




    Recording: 1974 at the Warner Brothers Studios in North Hollywood and Burbank (USA), by Lee Herschberg

    Production: Lenny Waronker & Russ Titelman




    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    1. Tamp 'Em Up Solid
    2. Tattler
    3. Married Man's a Fool
    4. Jesus on the Mainline
    5. It's All Over Now
    6. Fool for a Cigarette/Feelin' Good
    7. If Walls Could Talk
    8. Mexican Divorce
    9. Ditty Wah Ditty
    Ry Cooder
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Off The Beaten Path (Deluxe) Off The Beaten Path (Deluxe) Quick View

    $24.99
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    Off The Beaten Path (Deluxe)

    Justin Moore s always had a thing about doing it his way. Call it stubborn redneck mettle, a well-developed case of who I am or just the fierce commitment to blaze a trail inherent to people from his home of Poyen, Arkansas. It doesn t mat ter why, just that the blazing sense of off the beaten path drives his album of the same name.


    There s a strong vein of tenderness and decency holding Moore s kind of country together. Look no further than Rhett Atkins/Ben Hayslip/Ross Copperman-written Point At You, the lead single, that acknowledges every wild hair Moore has, but hits the bottom line of his goodness via the woman who became his bride.


    Get loud, get rowdy, but get home and emerge solid family men dedicated to some basic ideals that have defined this country. One need look no further than The Warren Brothers/Lance Miller/Austin Cunningham-penned opener Old Back In The New School to understand Moore is all about the things that last, the wild times and the enduring values making for a way of life worth living.


    It s that kind of edge that draws a singer like Miranda Lambert to duet on the somber heartbreaker Old Habits. A little bit rowdy, a little bit sentimental, a whole lotta roughneck, Moore has dented the country radio charts with three #1s in the anything but big city Small Town USA, the sentimental family embracing If Heaven Weren t So Far Away and the fidelity pledge Til My Last Day, in addition to the Top 10 mission declaration Backwoods.


    But the hits don t really tell the whole story. This is the man whose first single a digital only release was I Could Kick Your Ass, who flexed his sense of humor with the new guy mocking Bait A Hook and unapologetically throw down How I Got To Be This Way. And long before booty country became a touchstone, Moore dropped the swaggering Back That Thing Up.


    Indeed, Booty Country is full force on OFF THE BEATEN PATH. He has the Kim Kardashian and J-Lo invoking I d Want It To Be Yours co-written with Stover and Brandon Kinney and the slip into the night guitar grinder Off The Beaten Path that slithers through the Patron and the moonlight.Good ole boys doing what they re good at. Moore has built a career eschewing the path most taken, building a fanbase of people just like him.


    Take a certain amount of swagger, add some hard-rocking guitars and add Country Radio, a howler that celebrates the ultimate lube for escaping the boredom and expectations. There s the same kind of bulked up, bearing down picture of pride of Lettin the Night Roll, pure freedom and the will to be alive.


    Two strong hands, a back that can shoulder anything, this is working man s post-modern American and that respect is what binds him to his woman in That s How I Know You Love Me. Ultimately, she refuses to make him change, and takes what s there for what it is, loving him for all its busted glory.


    To believe in values that last, to embrace what is enough and know it s more than plenty, that is the greatest truth for a man like Moore, who sees no reason to leave the place he grew up. Beyond the hits, the gold-certified albums and the momentum of a career hitting its stride, OFF THE BEATEN PATH is a collection of classic postcards that make up the ascending This Kind of Town and the driving chugger One Dirt Road.


    You don t have to take it from Moore, though. No less than the great Charlie Daniels, a man who s hung tough for hardcore old school values is featured on For Some Ol Redneck Reason, a pledge of allegiance to living true to principles and never giving into convention. This is one of the truest event moments as Moore dials it back, unfurling the map of his heart and soul.

    1. Old Back In The New School
    2. Beer
    3. Lettin' The Night Roll
    4. Old Habits
    5. Point At You
    6. Wheels
    7. I'd Want It To Be Yours

    8. This Kind Of Town
    9. Dirt Road Kid
    10. Country Radio
    11. That's How I Know You Love Me
    12. One Dirt Road
    13. Off The Beaten Path
    14. Field Fulla Hillbillies
    15. Big Ass Headache
    16. For Some Ol' Redneck Reason
    Justin Moore
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Broken People Broken People Quick View

    $18.99
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    Broken People

    American music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.


    The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.


    With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.


    North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.


    "To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.


    Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.


    She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.


    "I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.


    "The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.


    "The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.


    "We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."


    "We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.


    As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.


    Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.


    "Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."


    "It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."


    "Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."


    "We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.


    And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.

    1. Broken People
    2. Brother, What Happened?
    3. Got It Goin' On
    4. Why Don't You Stay
    5. Take Me Home
    6. Shine On!
    7. It Ain't Easy
    8. I Need A Man
    9. Devil's Teeth
    10. Train
    11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)
    Muddy Magnolias
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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