Sugar's Pick

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..

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..."

Busty and the Bass / Eddie / Arts & Crafts: With Vocalists, Lead Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums and Horns, and a few impressive Guests, this ensemble from Montreal brandishes a remarkable blend of Funk, Jazz,  Hip Hop and Very Cool Licks...

Washed Out / Purple Noon / SubPop: Ernest Weatherly Greene, Jr., Singer, Songwriter, Producer & MutliInstrumentalist of Georgia has written, recorded and produced his fourth album and it is a tasty, lush, sensual, Dance Pop mix that should help you chill during the wild ride our planet is on...

Washed Out / Purple Noon / SubPop: Ernest Weatherly Greene, Jr., Singer, Songwriter, Producer and MultiInstrumentalist of Georgia has written, recorded and produced his fourth album and it is a tasty,  lush, sensual, Dance Pop Mix that should help you chill during the wild ride our planet is on...

Lianne La Havas / Lianne La Havas / Nonesuch: The British Phenom Singer of Greek and Jamaican heritage  released her third album after a five year hiatus and the soul searching, growth  and evolution are evident in  every track... Her guitar playing and that sultry voice  move through a Soulful, Jazzy, Powerful statement from beginning to end...

Toots And The Maytals / Got To Be Tough / Trojan Jamaica: The Jamaican legend has been around from the time of Ska, written a few anthems, been imprisoned, and he continues to  speak out in a profound, danceable, joyful, active manner...

My Morning Jacket / The Waterfall II /ATO: Jim James had enough material for 2 albums when recording "The Waterfall"  in 2015 and the "lost album" was resurrected at the right time in 2020! 11 Tracks that ring true then and now - The voice and the band and the profound lyrics and the comfort offered are a welcome musical track for the planet's current wild ride...

Bruce Hornsby / Non-Secure Connection / Thirty Tigers: 10 new songs from the Singer/ Songwriter/ Composer/Bandleader including collaborations with James Mercer of the Shins, Jamilla Woods, Vernon Reid of Living Color, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver AND the late Leon Russell (from a demo of 25 years ago!) - A great crowd of diverse musicians and a great musical experience...

Christian McBride Big Band / For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver / Mack Avenue: Get ready for a little education in excellent Jazz and amazing talent; old and new, with the legendary Christian McBride on Bass, Joey DeFrancesco on Organ & Mark Whitfield on Guitar plus drummer Quincy Phillips..Honoring their own legendary heroes and musical  innovators; Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson...Relax and be thankful...

Captain Planet / No Visa / Bastard Jazz: Charlie Wilder (AKA Captain Planet); master DJ/Producer offers up his trademark "Gumbo Funk" on his latest Intergalactic/International/HipHop/House/Important Messaging/ Gotta Dance/Listen To It Again and Again release...

Charley Crockett / Welcome To Hard Times / Thirty Tigers: He has the history, he can Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk, and Man Oh Man can he sing a Country tune and bring that endearing nostalgia partnered with a refreshing soulful twang...

David Ramirez / My Love Is A Hurricane / Sweet World - Thirty Tigers: A little angst and a lot of love from the talented and introspective Austin, Texas Artist...

Angela Munoz / Adrian Younge Presents Angela Munoz - Introspection / Linear Labs : Adrian Younge always Presents the Best with his analog recording style and the 18 year old phenom from LA is indeed a beautiful talented, uplifting, hopeful, wondrous artist...

Maceo Parker / Soul Food - Cooking With Maceo / Funk Garage: Recorded in New Orleans (Maceo's first solo album in 8 years) there is a fine, resonant and upbeat Jazzy/Funky/Soul vibe to  classics from Prince, Dr John, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Meters, Allen Toussaint,  and a few originals - The legendary Saxophonist and his band (including Ivan Neville, DJ Soul Sister, Tishi, LaShaun...) should  make you real happy...  

Long Beach Dub Allstars / Long Beach Dub Allstars /Regime: With the long ago connection to the band "Sublime," LBDAS formed  in 1997 and have now regrouped with their first release in 19 years with a strong mix of Reggae, Dub, Ska, Southern California Garage Band sound, great lyrics of positivity and dance floor groove...

Sam Doores / Sam Doores / New West: The solo album from Sam Doores (Singer with "The Deslondes" and member of "Hurray For The RiffRaff") was produced in Berlin, New Orleans and Nashville and his versaitility and talent reflect that worldly, wild trip...

Gerald McClendon / Can't Nobody Stop Me Now / Delta Roots: "The Soulkeeper" from Chicago is the classic R&B/Soul Singer  that is right on and with a hot band to accompany the voice, the tune and that groove ......(Skinny Williams on sax is pretty great too...)

Chicano Batman / Invisible People / ATO: The 4 piece band from LA was formed in 2008 and every album released has been jam packed with Soul and Funk and Rock and every one  has been a winner - This one will not disappoint...

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