I’m a sucker for bands that sound like they recorded their album in a college dorm basement…
Umphrey’s McGee isn’t just a cover band, but their covers shine not only because they are incredibly talented musicians, but also because of their choices. On this collection of songs masterfully mixed from a live show in 2014, their choices tend towards classic rock (several Led Zep songs, The Police, Steely Dan, etc.), but at other times they’ve been known to bust out a modern tune now and then.
The band also tends to hew pretty close to the original, but they add unique spice, mostly in the guitar work. No, they can’t play as well as Eddie Van Halen, and they don’t even try. Rather than going for note-for-note copies of solos, they add a clear, snap-crackle-pop making it sound almost jazzy. They make copies sound like original jam sessions. And most of all, they’re clearly having a blast.
Found out about this dude from Pigeons and Planes who, as of this writing, have a free download available of Chaz French’s new mixtape. It won’t change your life or anything–and if you don’t like rap, it won’t even change your mind. But if you’re looking for some new music by a strong lyricist with solid beats, this is a gem.
And there’s a free link to download here.
A fresh new voice from Maryland, Ace Cosgrove has youth on his side. He’s starting out with a crisp delivery, terrific beats (by Black Diamond, FredP, Khamsin, I.V., Merce, Royal, Stolbowsky and Thomas Foolery), and wild-and-crazy ideas. His new mixtape is 100% new material–no reproduced singles here–and 100% original.
You can download the whole thing free on Soundcloud, and it gets my highest recommendation.