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Merry Christmas II You (Pre-Order)Merry Christmas II You is the second Christmas album and thirteenth studio album by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. It was originally released by Island Records on November 2, 2010. Recording began in April 2010 and continued while Carey became pregnant. She was the executive producer of Merry Christmas II You and worked with various record producers, including Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri, Randy Jackson, James Poyser, Marc Shaiman, James Big Jim Wright and Johnny Sev Severin of RedOne. The album features Carey's mother Patricia Carey as a guest vocalist on O Come All Ye Faithful / Hallelujah Chorus. The album is composed of original songs and covers, ballads and uptempo tracks. It incorporates R&B, soul and house music in its composition.1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Intro
2. Oh Santa!
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem / Little Drummer Boy Medley
4. Christmas Time Is In The Air Again
5. The First Noel / Born Is The King Interlude
6. When Christmas Comes
7. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) / Housestop Celebration
8. Charlie Brown Christmas
9. O Come All Ye Faithful / Hallelujah Chorus
10. O Holy Night - Live From WPC In South Central Los Angeles
11. One Child
12. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Extra Festive
13. Auld Lang Syne - The New Year's Anthem$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
#1 To InfinityMariah Carey #1 To Infinity is a career-spanning collection including all 18 of Mariah's Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles for the first time ever on 180 Gram 2 LP Vinyl. The album also includes a breathtaking new single, Infinity (co-written and produced by Mariah).LP1
1. Vision of Love
2. Love Takes Time
3. Someday (MTV Unplugged)
4. I Don't Wanna Cry
6. I'll Be There (Featuring Trey Lorenz)
9. Fantasy (Bad Boy Fantasy feat. O.D.B)
10. One Sweet Day (Featuring Boyz II Men)
1. Always Be My Baby
3. My All
4. Heartbreaker (Feat. Jay-Z)
5. Thank God I Found You (Featuring Joe & 98 Degrees)
6. We Belong Together
7. Don t Forget About Us
8. Touch My Body
9. Infinity$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Mighty Real: Greatest Dance HitsTwenty-five years after his untimely death at the age of 41, the iconic legacy of Sylvester, the "Queen of Disco," will be resurrected with "Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits," due out June 25 (international release dates vary) on Fantasy Records.
This collection will celebrate the life and music of the artist who once danced his way into the hearts and minds of the disco and LGBT communities.
A quarter of a century after his passing, Sylvester will make a fabulous debut back into a prolific time in the LGBT community just the way he would have liked it - through dance music. This 11-track release, available on CD and on double pink vinyl, will feature a number of original album tracks and 12" mixes that are rare or no longer available on CD, as well as the brand new remix of the iconic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Grammy-nominated remixer and DJ, Ralphi Rosario (Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Madonna).
As a dear friend of Harvey Milk and an icon to the LGBT community, Sylvester has long held a special place in music and socio-political history. Sylvester was not only one of the first disco stars to stand openly gay, but bravely crossed beyond the boundaries of race, gender and sexuality to become a proud figure of the gay liberation movement.
"Sylvester James was an unlikely star: an androgynous, cross-dressing, openly gay, African-American, falsetto-singing, unapologetically flaming man-diva influenced primarily by church women, black blues singers, drag queens, hippies and homos," liner notes writer Joshua Gamson said. "Like very few before him, and quite a few after, Sylvester rode his marginality right into the mainstream."
A Los Angeles local, Sylvester found his home in the vibrant subcultural scenes of San Francisco in the late 1960s. As the community around him became devastated with AIDS, Sylvester's music took on a sort of weary determination, becoming a call to live, to keep dancing and to keep loving.
Sylvester died on Dec. 16, 1988 and bequeathed royalties from the sale of his music to benefit two charitable organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area: the AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand.
"Decades later, even as strides have been made in the fight against the disease that has taken so many lives, Sylvester's music lives on, a call to be fabulous against the odds," Gamson said.
"Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits" was produced by Tom Cartwright and Chris Clough on Fantasy Records with liner notes written by Gamson, author of "The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco."
The Double Pink Vinyl edition features all 11 tracks on two 12" pink vinyl LPs.1. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) [Ralphi Rosario Dub Remix]
2. Dance (Disco Heat)
4. Can't Stop Dancing
6. Over And Over
7. I Need Somebody To Love Tonight
8. Sell My Soul
9. I Need You
10. Body Strong
11. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Merry Christmas (Anniversary Edition)Red Colored Vinyl
Merry Christmas is the first Christmas album, and the fourth studio album, by American singer, Mariah Carey. Released by Columbia Records on November 1, 1994, the album features cover versions of popular Christmas tunes and original material. Carey worked with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she wrote all of the original tracks, as well as producing Carey's interpretations of the covered material. The album contains a contemporary holiday theme, and featured authentic, gospel flavored background vocals.1. Silent Night
2. All I Want For Christmas Is You
3. O Holy Night
4. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
5. Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)
6. Joy To The World
7. Jesus Born On This Day
8. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
9. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Gloria (In Excelsis Deo)
10. Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child
11. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ReflectionThis full-length debut is a colorful blast of attitude-packed R&B pop, spiced up with flirty rhymes ("Them Girls Be Like"), Mariah Carey samples (the ultra-catchy Like Mariah"), and guests including Kid Ink, Tyga, and Meghan Trainor. It's the tunes when the distinct singers lean into lush vocal harmonies-"Reflection," This Is How We Roll," "We Know-where the album really shines.LP 1
1. Top Down
4. Worth It (feat. Kid Ink)
5. This is How We Roll
6. Everlasting Love
7. Like Mariah (feat. Tyga)
1. Them Girls Be Like
3. Suga Mama
4. We Know
5. Going Nowhere
6. Body Rock
7. Brave Honest Beautiful (feat. Meghan Trainor)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
XXThe XX arrive with their debut album XX, a whole new sound of love, loss and longing. The XX are a London quartet, featuring the dual lead vocals of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim (who also play lead guitar and bass guitar), Baria Qureshi (keyboards and guitar) and Jamie Smith (beats, MPC sampler). These four twenty year olds are childhood friends who formed while attending southwest London's Elliot School, an academy whose alumni also includes such acclaimed boundary-pushers as Burial, Four Tet and Hot Chip. Bonding over a shared love of dark, emotive '80s guitar sounds and the high-end sheen of American R&B, The XX's unique sound befits a band whose wide range of influences include everything from Aaliyaah to Cocorosie, Rihanna to The Cure, Missy Elliot to The Chromatics and Mariah Carey to The Pixies.
In an effort not to draw too much distance from the DIY aesthetic of their early demos, which were recorded in their bedrooms, they recorded their debut album XX under no one's watch, other than engineer Rodaidh McDonald, at XL Recordings' west London in-house studio. The result is a wash of sexy, coy, and sparse rhythms and melodies the likes of Robert Smith, Massive Attack and The Streets.
Vinyl also die cut with bonus track cover of Hot Like Fire.1. Intro
5. Heart Skipped A Beat
8. Basic Space
10. Night Time
11. Stars$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
All I Want For Christmas Is You (Picture Disc)10 Picture Disc
First time on vinyl in the US! This 10 picture disc includes classics like, All I Want for Christmas Is You and Joy To The World!1. All I Want for Christmas Is You
2. All I Want For Christmas Is You (So So Def Remix featuring Jermaine Dupri & Lil Bow Wow)
3. Joy to the World
4. Joy to the World (Celebration Mix Edit)$25.9910 Picture Disc Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SONM-COL-5619xShe & Him
Christmas PartyChristmas Party is the new holiday album from She & Him, the duo comprised of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Christmas Party is the follow up to their wildly popular A Very She And Him Christmas, and this new collection features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley.
Christmas Party is replete with holiday favorites - including classics like Darlene Love and Phil Spector's Marshmallow World, Bing Crosby's Mele Kalikimaka and Chuck Berry's Run Run Rudolph. But, Ward and Deschanel also may introduce listeners to the more obscure tracks such as folk-singer Vashti Bunyon's Coldest Night of the Year and the lesser know Sinatra track Christmas Memories. Pop favorites such as Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You and The Chipmunks Christmas Don't Be Late round out the celebration. Throughout the album is She & Him's signature stripped down take on production.
It was the positive experience they had recording their first Christmas record, A Very She & Him Christmas, in 2011 that brought M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel back for another round of holiday cheer. Much like their first Christmas record, She & Him bring an organic and minimalistic approach to their holiday covers. Highly produced classics get stripped down to their most fundamental elements, a style perfectly aligned with their vision. You won't find any accompanying orchestra or full-piece brass bands on Christmas Party. Instead, She & Him rely on friends and family to lend a simple and authentic holiday vibe to this album, one where the guest list speaks for itself.
In the years between the two holiday records, She & Him released Vol. 3, an album of original songs, and kept their affection for covers alive with Classics, a compilation of covers of their favorite standards. Throughout these intervening years and albums, Zooey and Ward gradually culled a new collection of holiday songs to re-interpret, tucking them away like a stack of presents growing under a tree. As Christmas Party comes to a close, the listener can take solace in knowing the door on this gathering is never fully shut. The sing-alongs, the happy accidents, the quiet moments with loved ones - they're all waiting for you whenever you wish to immerse yourself in the splendor of the season. As Ward himself says, Music is one of the purest ways into Christmas.1. All I Want for Christmas Is You
2. Let It Snow
3. Must Be Santa
4. Happy Holiday
5. Mele Kalikimaka
6. Christmas Memories
7. Run Run Rudolph
8. Winter Wonderland
9. The Coldest Night of the Year
10. A Marshmallow World
11. The Man with the Bag
12. Christmas Don't Be Late$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bright Sunny SouthNonesuch Records releases Sam Amidon's label debut, Bright Sunny South in 2013. Produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Vashti Bunyan, R.E.M.) and recorded in London, the record features a band made up of Bartlett and multi-instrumentalists Shahzad Ismaily and Chris Vatalaro. Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also makes a cameo. Amidon himself not only sings but also plays banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album.
Amidon describes Bright Sunny South as a "a lonesome record" and a return to the more spare sound of his 2007 self-recorded debut, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted: "There was an atmospheric quality to my last two records; those albums are like a garden of sounds," says Amidon, "but this one is more of a journey, a winding path. The band comes rushing in and then they disappear. It comes from more of a darker, internal space."
A longtime admirer of Boys' work, Amidon was particularly enamored of his recordings with Martin Carthy in the 1970s, as well as the Ali Farka TourÉ/Toumani DiabatÉ duet albums on World Circuit/Nonesuch: "Those are so beautiful. I listened to all of that. I loved the sense of documentation, the unadorned quality. Everything sounded so clear."
The Vermont-born and raised, London-based Amidon is known for his reworking of traditional melodies into a new form. In addition to country ballads and shape-note hymns, Bright Sunny South features interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs, including Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend" and Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off." The record also includes a version of "Weeping Mary," a shape-note hymn that his parents, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, had recorded with the Vermont-based Word of Mouth Chorus for Nonesuch Records on the 1977 disc Rivers of Delight: American Folk Hymns from the Sacred Harp Tradition.
Bright Sunny South follows 2010's critically acclaimed I See the Sign, which earned Amidon praise from SPIN for his "quirky alchemy contrasting pretty sounds with violent lyrical undercurrents" and Pitchfork, which said, "[Amidon's] interpretations are so singular that it stops mattering how (or if) they existed before."
Prior to I See the Sign, which was released on the Iceland-based label Bedroom Community, Amidon released But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted (Plug Research, 2007) and All Is Well (Bedroom Community, 2008). In addition to his solo albums, Amidon has collaborated on performances pieces with musical polymath Nico Muhly, toured as part of Thomas Bartlett's group Doveman and the Brooklyn band Stars Like Fleas, collaborated with Beth Orton, and embarked on a series of live shows with the guitarist Bill Frisell.
Sam Amidon, sing, banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar; piano (8)
Thomas Bartlett, piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, Moog synthesizer; percussion & electric guitar (11)
Shahzad Ismaily, electric & acoustic guitars, electric bass, Moog bass; drums (2); shaker egg (7)
Chris Vatalaro: drums & percussion; flute (6); a taste of the Wurli (2)
Kenny Wheeler, trumpet (2, 5)
Doug Wieselman, clarinets (11)
Tyler Gibbons, electric bass (10)
Produced by Sam Amidon, Jerry Boys, and Thomas Bartlett
Engineered and Mixed by Jerry Boys
Recorded at Snap Recording Studios and Livingston Studios, London
"Weeping Mary" Engineered by Patrick Dillett at No Fat Studios, New York, NY
Violin and bass on "Streets of Derry" Recorded by Tyler Gibbons at Red Heart Studios, Marlboro, VT
Assistant Engineers: Ben Mclusky at Snap; Sonny at Livingston
All songs are traditional, reworked & arranged by Sam Amidon, except track 4 written by McEwan/Wiseman, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett; track 8 by Cox/Carey/Austin/Dupri, arranged by Sam Amidon; track 11 by McCurry/Power, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett
Design by John Gall
Executive Producer: David Bither1. Bright Sunny South
2. I Wish I Wish
3. Short Life
4. My Old Friend
5. He's Taken My Feet
7. As I Roved Out
8. Shake It Off
10. Streets of Derry
11. Weeping Mary$24.99Vinyl LP + Bonus 7 - Sealed Buy Now
Downtown RockersNacional Records is proud to announce the September 11th release of Tom Tom Club's new EP, Downtown Rockers, the first release of new material in more than a decade. Infamous for timeless hits such as Wordy Rappinghood and Genius of Love, which have been prominently sampled by Grandmaster Flash, Mariah Carey, 2pac, and T.I., among many others. Tom Tom Club was formed by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, who were both founding members of Talking Heads.1. Downtown Rockers
2. Won't Give You Up
3. You Make Me Rock and Roll
4. Kissin' Antonio
5. Sweets To The Sweet$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Holiday Wishes (Pre-Order)Holiday Wishes is produced by Grammy Award-winner Walter Afanasieff (Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey) and features such classic favorites as A Holly Jolly Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.1. Do You Hear What I Hear
2. The Christmas Song
3. Baby It's Cold Outside (duet with Michael BublÉ)
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
5. All I Want For Christmas Is You
6. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
7. December Prayer
8. When You Wish Upon A Star
9. Silent Night
11. Holly Jolly Christmas
12. White Christmas$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Nilsson SchmilssonHarry Nilsson's 1971 masterpiece Nilsson Schmilsson. This classic LP-the first of two that Nilsson recorded in England with producer Richard Perry-features the Grammy Award-winning No. 1 hit "Without You" (written and originally recorded by Badfinger and later a hit for Mariah Carey) plus the quirky Top 10 smash "Coconut" and the hard-driving "Jump Into the Fire."1. Gotta Get Up
2. Driving Along
3. Early in the Morning
4. The Moonbeam Song
6. Without You
8. Let the Good Times Roll
9. Jump into the Fire
10. I'll Never Leave You$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sonic NurseSonic Youth has trimmed away its more direct hooks, while also curbing its artier indulgences. That isn't to say that melody or noise is absent--especially when it's Kim Gordon's turn to rant on cuts such as Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream--but that these elements are carefully balanced and defer to an overall sound that's richer than ever now that newest member Jim O'Rourke has fully integrated himself into the band's gestalt.LP 1
1. Pattern Recognition
2. Unmade Bed
3. Dripping Dream
4. Kim Gordon And The Arthur Doyle Hand Cream
6. Dude Ranch Nurse
1. New Hampshire
2. Paper Cup Exit
3. I Love You Golden Blue
4. Peace Attack$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Harry Nilsson could be one of the more neglected but great singer-songwriters of the 20th century. John Lennon & Paul McCartney both named him as their favourite American singer in a 1968 press conference.
The Monkees, Fred Astaire, the Yardbirds, and later artists such as Aimee Mann and Mariah Carey recorded his songs.
But ask the average Joe about him, and they probably won't know that he was the man behind classics such as 'Everybody's Talkin', 'One' and 'Without You'.
Harry had a taste for Tin Pan Alley songs & McCartney-esque melodies, but his impish wit and impressive vocal range give his songs an extra dimension.
Nilsson Schmilsson contains his biggest hit 'Without You', along with other classics such as the faux-tropical song 'Coconut' and the bluesy 'Early In The Morning'.
This album is more accessible and cohesive than any of his other albums and received a number of Grammy nominations on its 1971 release, yet it still manages to keep the mischievous and slightly off-kilter humour.
Available on Music On Vinyl with its original artwork!
1. Gotta Get Up (2:23)
2. Driving Along (2:03)
3. Early In The Morning (2:48)
4. The Moonbeam Song (3:19)
5. Down (3:24)
1. Without You (3:15)
2. Coconut (3:48)
3. Let The Good Times Roll (2:42)
4. Jump Into The Fire (6:53)
5. I'll Never Leave You (4:16)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Love Your Dum And MadApollo Records are proud to announce the hotly anticipated debut album from Nadine Shah. Recorded with and produced by Ben Hillier, (Blur, Depeche Mode, The Horrors), Having set the tone and incredible pace over the past 12 months with two critically acclaimed EPs 'Dreary Town' and 'Aching Bones', Love Your Dum and Mad not only continues to mark Nadine as an emerging talent but offers a complete, beautifully formed artistic statement. Of Norwegian and Pakistani ancestry and hailing from the north east town of Whitburn, this young London based artist's compositions lean towards the dramatic, with all 11 tracks finding themselves imbued with an understated unease, a deep personal connection to their author and a real triumphant streak beneath the darker hued material. Musically, she is reminiscent of early Bad Seeds material and the bruised honesty of a sheen-less Broken English by Marianne Faithful. Vocally, Nadine counts her inspirations as Nina Simone and Maria Callas by way of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, while lyrically her classic tales of love and loss find their roots in personal experiences, filtered through abstracts of William Hogarth, and Frida Kahlo. Nadine has taken these influences and has created a work which blends her rich and husky classic jazz streak with fantastical, organic instrumentation and the twisted industrial sounds of modern life.1. Aching Bones
2. To Be A Young Man
4. The Devil
6. All I Want
7. Used It All
8. Dreary Town
10. Filthy Game
11. Winter Reigns$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Open DoorThere's nothing like a breakup to focus your muse. This follow-up to the stunning, multi-platinum Fallen was penned as singer Amy Lee's troubled romance with bandmate Ben Moody was spiraling out of control, impelling her to craft an anxious record full of recriminations, revelation, and self-flagellation, as she questioned everything that kept her whole. It's a fascinating journey for the listener as she ventures into her own personal heart of darkness, her stricken, perfect voice suspended on an unsteady precipice between breakdown and breakthrough.
Despite the loss of two members, including guitarist Moody who left mid-tour in 2003, the album has a maturity, sophistication, and a singular vision that wasn't found in their earlier work. Stately and as exotic as Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, with its intricate instrumentation, disturbing imagery, and disembodied chorus, The Open Door shows exactly what this band is capable of. Snow White Queen is a goth-y alternative to Mariah Carey's We Belong Together, equally anthemic, but with much more grit and pain. -Jaan UhelszkiLP 1
1. Sweet Sacrifice
2. Call Me When You're Sober
3. Weight Of The World
5. Cloud Nine
6. Snow White Queen
1. Like You
2. Lose Control
3. The Only One
4. Your Star
5. All That I'm Living For
6. Good Enough$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Broken PeopleAmerican 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
11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tom Tom Club (Out Of Stock)Blue & Yellow Starburst Colored Vinyl
Limited To 700 Copies
The Talking Heads spawned a number of worthy side projects and spinoffs-David Byrne & Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Jerry Harrison's The Red and the Black-but none were as funky, danceable, and flat-out fun as Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth's Tom Tom Club. Conceived as something of a larkish break from the grandly realized intellectual and artistic pretensions of the Heads' Remain in Light record, the duo's self-titled 1981 debut was recorded in Barbados with Weymouth's sisters and Adrian Belew and Steven Stanley from the Remain in Light band, and not only spawned a couple of hit singles in Genius of Love and Wordy Rappinghood but also became, in its own way, enormously influential. This was the sound of downtown New York talking, listening, and rapping to the burgeoning hip hop movement, a hybrid heard in a whole host of acts in the '80s and '90s, from Madonna to Mariah Carey to the Beastie Boys and beyond.
Weymouth and Frantz went on to record several more albums under the Tom Tom Club moniker, but this remains the classic; Real Gone Music is proud to offer Tom Tom Club in a blue and yellow starburst vinyl edition limited to 700 copies. Fun, natural fun!1. Wordy Rappinghood
2. Genius of Love
3. Tom Tom Theme
5. As Above, So Below
7. On, On, On, On...
8. Booming and Zooming$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock