Candy Pennetta

Music Director

Ways to Connect

Conor Gains / Three / Wax: With a teaser of 5 tracks, and the featured single "Light Shine In" we can only hope for more from the Toronto talent...Knowing that  the late, legendary Les Paul invited him onstage at NY's Iridium Jazz Club you may want to check his latest which incorporates his R&B/Soulful voice, lush guitar and rich lyrics to mesmerize...

Ya Tseen - Indian Yard - SubPop: Nicholas Galanin (aka Ya Tseen), native Tlingit & Unangax of Alaska is an artist of boundless range...Music, Art, Activism...With Shabazz Palaces and Nick Hakim on this release, a nod to Sun Ra, a tune sung in Yupik...Each and every one of the  11 tracks  speak profoundly  and beautifully to Indigenous Relevance in our world today...

Carsie Blanton / Love & Rage / So Ferocious: We should all love everything about this release... From the photography... To the track "Be Good" and all lyrics... To  the artist's integrity, ingenuity and insight...Enjoy...

Bartees Strange / Live Forever / Memory Music: Released a while back, the 11 tracks on the debut from the English born and DC based musician lend a helping hand to the Black/White question mark looming in the sky with profound lyrics and a rich blend of Rock, Rap, Soul, Folk, Jazz that will have you rewinding and relistening and rethinking...

The Big Takeover / Spilling Water / The Big Takeover: The NY-based band features Jamaican-born lead singer NeeNee Rushie and the 7-piece group  honor the  tradition of Desmond Dekker and the  Reggae/Ska/Rock Steady sound - Add a little Retro Soul/Pop mix up for an upbeat, need-to-dance encounter through 13 thoroughly enjoyable, loveable tracks...

Dumpstaphunk / Where Do We Go From Here / Funk Garage: Continuing their New Orleans family legacy, cousins Ivan and Ian Neville and their explosive  band,  joined here by Marcus King on the Buddy Miles 70's anthem "United Nations Stomp" bring their own brand of Funk Fusion to the table and how fulfilling, important  and fun!

Jon Batiste / We Are / Verve: Gotta love the multi-talented musician that can cover a range of musical genres (Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blues...), culture, important topics and have fun doing it... With guests like Mavis Staples, Trombone Shorty, Zadie Smith, Steve Jordan and more... the message is profound and perfect...

AJ Fullerton / The Forgiver And The Runaway / VizzTone: The Multi Talented and Multi Award Winning Native Coloradan incorporates a fantastic medley of Blues, Roots and Rock with his stunning vocals, guitar riffs and songwriting...With a power packed  Hammond B-3, bass and harmonica added,  the sound on the new release could not be finer...

Andra Day / Strange Fruit / Warner Brothers: During Women's History Month and International Women's Day I felt it appropriate to honor the Triumphant Triumverate of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Andra Day  for their brave renditions of the timeless and timely tune "Strange Fruit..." Originally a poem penned in the 1930s by Abel Meeropol, a white Jewish poet and recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, the impact of the lyric was incredibly powerful and her performance beyond courageous. Nina Simone made the song increasingly relevant with her haunting interpretation in 1965.

Fruit Bats / The Pet Parade / Merge: With an impressive two decades long musical career, the 8th album from the musical collective features 11 tracks, many which were initially written before the pandemic and recorded across the country in home studios and bedrooms with a result that is provocative and contemplative and completely comforting in a time of discord...

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians / Hunter & The Dog Star / Shuffle: With a thirty year history and a new album recorded in Austin, this band and their fearless leader travel the galaxy with Orion & Sirius as inspiration on  a magical, humorous and  hopeful journey...

Quiet Takes / San Fidel / StGA: Wondrous in it's mystery, lush in it's synth mastery, a voice to soothe the madness, and lyrics you will come back to again and again...5 perfect tracks...Wish there were more...

Adrian Younge / The American Negro / Jazz Is Dead: An uncomfortable cover, a difficult conversation, a month of Black History and Music...Adrian Younge with his inimitable talent and style confronts the listener with 26 tracks of spoken word and fine  music...Provocative and important...

Curtis Salgado / Damage Control / Alligator: With an impressive Blues history and a touching Back Story, the vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter believes..."You can dance to it, but the words have to carry the weight..." With his latest release he will have you dancing and thinking and giving thanks...

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio / I Told You So / Colemine: With an organ, guitar and drums the Seattle based Groove Group offer up a healthy portion of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Acid Rock, and more... And by the way...Anything put out on the Colemine Record label is a GoldMine of Greatness...

Nick Waterhouse / Promenade Blue / Innovative Leisure: The Soulful LA Singer/Songwriter/ Record Producer manages to create and recreate his stylistic presence with each release and "Promenade Blue" keeps it real with that voice and  lyrics that captivate...

Kurt Deemer Band / World Upside Down / Reel Reactor: With a lyric like "Only Love Can Save Us Now," the Baltimore Band's "World Upside Down" may be exactly what we need right now...

Blue Heart Records

Veronica Lewis / You Ain't Unlucky / Blue Heart

Now 17 years old, the Award-Winning (already!) Vocalist and Keyboardist will astound with her Blues/Boogie Woogie/NewOrleans sound...With Marcia Ball, Dr John & Pinetop Perkins among her idols, this young old soul will rock your world..

Sugar's Best of 2020

Dec 15, 2020

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER…FULL CDS AND OR SINGLES…LOVE THEM ALL + MANY MORE…

Sturgill Simpson / Cuttin' Grass Vol 1-The Butcher Shoppe Sessions / High Top Mountain: The Kentucky native returns to his birthright as a Bluegrass Picker offering up new renditions of earlier tunes from earlier albums...Joined by Sierra Hull, Tim O'Brien and others,  the sound is pure, the lyrics profound and the sentiment genuine...

Dirty Projectors / 5 EPs / Domino: Originally based in Brooklyn and now in LA, the ever shifting band led by Dave Longstreth offers up 20 tracks from "5 EPs" with lead vocals in each segment from a different member of the group and the 5th a full band collaboration...Acoustic, Folk, Soul, Electronica, Orchestral, Bossa Nova, Pop...Quite fulfilling...

Joni Mitchell / Archives Vol 1-The Early Years 1963-1967 / Rhino: Young or old, Folkie or NonFolkie, the  5 CD compilation of unreleased home, live & radio recordings along with a resourceful booklet and conversation with Cameron Crowe deserves a long, sonorous listen and a great deal of respect ...The longevity of her art and this first tribute (6 hours of music) is a wondrous thing...

Joe Bonamassa / Royal Tea / J&R Adventures: Recorded at Abbey Road Studio in London in January 2020, the new solo studio album from the brilliant musician pays homage to his Brit guitar heroes (Clapton, Jeff Beck, John Mayall, Cream...) and with 10 original tracks, he "moved forward knowing that music is the universal language and has proven to be healing in the past and trusting that it proves to be a healing force going into the future..." Indeed!

Del Shamen / Del Shamen /Del Shamen: Gotta love the talent, history  and great sound of this Colorado collaboration with the wild name...The 10 track release from the 5 piece group of a few good old boys from The Subdudes, Firefall, and Hot Rize cover a whole lot of territory and will make you Colorado Proud...

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks / Crossover / Hopestreet: Australia and her indigenous roots are on full display with powerful lyrics of Protest and Joy, Matriarchy and Hope, and the Funky, Jazzy Instrumental band behind a rich voice of passion and depth make for an important statement from across our troubled planet...

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings / Just Dropped In... / DapTone: Sharon Jones' passing in 2016 was a huge loss but with the release of "Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Rendition Was In" we have the great joy of that voice again with 13 songs...memorable covers and 5 never before heard tracks...Many were originally created for movies, TV and commercials and represent the infinite talent and reach of the stellar group led by the tiny powerhouse, as well as their studio and their label...Sharon left a strong, soulful legacy and we have to be very, very grateful for that...

Shemekia Copeland / Uncivil War / Alligator: A CD dedicated  to Dr John, John Prine and Shemekia's mom, "Uncivil War"  tells it all and with additional  lyrics like "Apple Pie And A .45," "She Don't Wear Pink," and  "Walk Until I Ride" along with Will Kimbrough, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Webb Wilder, Jason Isbell and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram joining in, you will want to listen... and listen again...

Raye Zaragoza / Woman In Color / Rebel River: The  Japanese-American, Mexican, Indigenous songbird and wordsmith delivers a powerful message (on her own independent label!) of identity, social consciousness and loving kindness...Once described as "one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre..." she presents a strong case with the likes of "The It Girl" and "Fight Like A Girl..."

Thelonious Monk / Palo Alto Album / Impulse: A story that will make you feel good! In 1968 the legendary Jazz Pianist & Composer and his all star quartet performed a "surprise" concert at Palo Alto High at the request of a 16 year old student (amid a volatile political climate!), and the result (recorded by the school janitor!) ..."is one of the best live recordings I've ever heard by Thelonious" stated by TS Monk, Thelonious's son...There is a podcast covering the story and the music as well... Great Music and Great Kindness...

Joan Osborne / Trouble and Strife / Womanly Hips: With 10 fresh new  tracks from her 10th studio album, written and produced by the musical wonder on her own label;  Joan Osborne  covers a lot of territory with a rainbow of musical genres, topical issues and "a recognition of the important role music has to play in this moment..."

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