Seesaw is the follow-up to Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa’s 2011 album, Don’t Explain, and features a diverse selection of covers originally recorded by artists such as Tina Turner, Al Green, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Ultimately, it’s a hit and miss collection, but the hits will knock you out.
Seesaw includes a superb version of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” and powerful performances of Al Green’s “Rhymes” and Buddy Miles’ “Miss Lady.”
I much prefer when the duo lets loose on the bluesier tracks. The decision to use nature sounds in the “Strange Fruit” cover feels like a misstep to me, and something more than a strong voice is needed when tackling a song made famous by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. .
Download a free mp3 of “I’ll Take Care Of You” from Don’t Explainhere and you can still download the title track from Seesaw in our July post about Beth Hart.
Sheryl Crow’s 1996, self-titled album was the first contemporary release I really fell in love with. I listened to the tape on my Walkman over and over – lyrics I haven’t heard in years still play in my head. Sheryl Crow lost me a little after The Globe Sessions, but I liked her new song, “Easy,” when I heard it on the radio. You can download that song, and The Live Room Sessions EP on Noisetrade. The Live Room Sessions kicks off with “We Oughta Be Drinkin’,” which is a little too “good ol’ boy” country for my tastes. It’s followed by “Best of Times,” another simple country song, but this one has some funky guitar and harmonica thrown in, so I’ll take it. The other song on the collection is entitled “Happy” and was a pleasant surprise for me. Crow’s new album, Feels Like Home, will be released on September 10th.
I have been on a Shostakovich kick lately, and you get to reap all the benefits. This Deutsche Welle recording of Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony is conducted by the composer’s son Maxim. It’s a delightfully playful piece which quotes several other composers, including Mahler, Wagner and perhaps most notably, Rossini’s William Tell Overture.
This stellar performance of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony by the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Artur Rodzinski is from 1942, just 5 years after the work was premiered.
Chicago’s University Symphony Orchestra present this collection of Late Film Scores, featuring compositions for The Gadfly, King Lear and Hamlet.
My favorite piece from Dying Machines’ EP, What I Have Not Forgotten, is “It Has Been” — a gorgeous cinematic track which builds to an excruciating climax. You can stream that song and download the collection’s opening track, “So We Lived,” below. Their debut, Nicht Sprechen, was released last year.