Greg’s Grab Bag – Bill Kirchen/Indie Lullabies Collection from American Laundromat Records
Greg’s Grab Bag
Bill Kirchen – Word To The Wise
Bill Kirchen is best known for his stellar guitar chops, both from his days as a member of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen and more recently as a solo artist and member of the short-lived supergroug The Twangbangers. That said, Kirchen’s latest release is more a showcase for his songwriting talents and his abilities as a vocalist than it is for his signature Fender Telecaster licks.
Kirchen penned or co-penned eight of the album’s 11 tracks and to bring his musical vision to life, Kirchen called on some of his friends for vocal duets. Maria Muldaur joins forces with Kirchen on his “Ain’t Got No Time for the Blues” while former Asleep At The Wheel member Chris O’Connell joins Kirchen for a slow and sad cover of Roger Miller’s “Husbands and Wives.”
Additional highlights include Elvis Costello’s contributions to the mid-tempo rocker “Man in the Bottom of the Well” and the organ-driven “I Don’t Work That Cheap,” which reunites Kirchen with his old comrade Commander Cody. The Merle Haggard cover “Shelly’s Winter Love,” featuring guest vocals from both Nick Lowe and Paul Carrack, is one of the most memorable moments on this nice set.
Various Artists – Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies
Lullaby albums for kids can often be a mixed bag when it comes to content and quality, but a new compilation from the Connecticut-based indie label American Laundromat Records is a fine collection of low-fi sleepytime songs for children of all ages.
Covers are the cornerstone of this mellow set and highlights include Tanya Donelly’s take on the Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer standard “Moon River,” Dala’s rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and Trespassers William’s dreamy reading of “Rainbow Connection,” a song originally performed by Kermit The Frog.
Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies is available in two different versions – the original 14-track collection and a limited edition first pressing that includes an additional seven bonus tracks. Say Hi’s cover of the Violent Femmes’ classic “Kiss Off” joins Laura Gibson’s cover of “Edelweiss” and Papercuts’ reading of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” as standout tracks on the limited edition release.
Not only are the songs outstanding, but the purchase of this set benefits a worthy cause. 100% of the proceeds from the album are donated to The Valerie Fund, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders.
Until next time, enjoy the music!