ASMW – Red Guitar

This week, I wanted to draw some attention to a band called Red Guitar, a band from Kansas City with a folksy rock sound and songwriting combination that makes me think of Tom Petty. They have also been compared to The Fray, Ryan Adams, and Coldplay. Red Guitar is another one of those bands I have found on Amie Street where I purchase all their music, and *almost* feature them for a few weeks in a row, then wait in a vain attempt to choose a single song to highlight. Be sure to listen to “Angel Across The State Line” and “Jump Out On The Water”.
This track, “Let’s Go Out,” is about feeding wanderlust as both an activity for both searching your own soul and for exploring relationships with your travelling companions.
Today, the national average for a gallon of gasoline is at 3.50, and traveling is a headache. Spring is in full bloom, and schools are out in another month. It’s more difficult and expensive to get out and roam, but that spirit is as important as it ever was.

ASMW – PorchSleeper

This week, I found a band called Porchsleeper. They don’t have much in the way of detail on AmieStreet, but they are out of Ann Arbor, MI. The “Stinkeye” track I have in the player here really kicks, and has a pop-punk feel to it that reminds me of The Refreshments. Be sure to check out the “Bulletproof” track while you are here.

ASMW – Karma Lively

I found a lot of good female vocalists this past week on AmieStreet. One of these was Karma Lively, who has “a hundred songs of peace and war,” is from “North to the Future” Alaska. Besides having a light, fun acoustic sound, and having something to say with her lyrics, She’s donating all of her music sales for the year on AmieStreet to charity. She has a sound that is somewhere in the neighborhood of The Cranberries, Jewel, and Sia.
It looks like she’s laying down all of the instrument tracks herself, which always gains a lot of points with me.

ASMW – Peter Salett

This week, I’m making a last minute entry because I’ve been listening to this album a couple of times over, trying to decide which song to highlight. Peter Salett has an acoustic sound and the stark, yet comfortable voice that brings the coffeehouse style to mind. The sound is akin to that of Shawn Mullins. This track, “Where We Lay” is about coming to a point in a relationship where everything is natural and unrushed. How appropriate for the first week of true spring weather, right?

Aunt Jemima

After I heard about the recall on Aunt Jemima brand pancake mixes, I saw a really interesting background article at Obscure History.

I always thought of Aunt Jemima to be a silly product name, and a hearkening to old-fashioned days when the shadows of slavery and repression were still fluttering along the walls.

I know that some of you who drop by here on occasion don’t necessarily get the underpinnings of the Southern American dialect except where it is displayed on silver screens, so the reason the name seems silly to me might need an introduction.

In the plantation part of the south, Aunt Jemima would sound like “Ain’t Je Mama” — “Not your momma”. During the times of slavery and during the period where integration had not taken a foothold, the vision of a black houseworker named Aunt Jemima would bring up the idea of a slave who did all the housework and child rearing, but whom the children were constantly reminded that she isn’t “mother”.

I wasn’t aware of a huge chunk of the company’s background before they were bought by Quaker Foods, another brand known for an extreme close-up of a character who is meant to bring up feelings associated with the American past. This makes me wonder if they will be making an offer in the years coming for Wendy’s or maybe even the Sunbeam bread company or maybe even Martha Stewart.

ASMW – Dan Tharp

This week, everyone is either under the weather, getting away from work, or suffering though the adjustments that come with the time change and the continued cool weather. I’m currently cocooned in throw blankets with the dog snuggled beside me, and I’m having a hot cup of chai. So it seems a good time for an instrumental. Dan Tharp Has been playing the guitar as a hobby for almost thirty years, and says that he thought of playing professionally a lot, but has a horrible case of stage fright. I really like his style of playing. It is very comfortable, and melodic without skimping on the fine details that round out the pieces.
If you like his sound, you should tell him so that maybe he will start playing live shows.

Jeff Healey

This past weekend, Jeff Healey lost his lifelong battle with retinal cancer. Those of us who were around for the 80’s remember him fondly. The cancer that took his life was very rare, and took his sight at age 1. He taught himself to play the guitar using his own unique form at the age of three, holding the guitar across his lap.
This skill and spectacle, combined with talent, drew large crowds after the platinum album See The Light was released in 1988 as well as the band’s appearance in the Patrick Swayze movie “Roadhouse”. He and his band were nominated for Grammy awards. After starting a family, he went on to play the trumpet and record Jazz albums, but did not tour as much, preferring to stay home, close to his children.

The band was best remembered for the hit single Angel Eyes.

Stop Breakin’ Down

The band had just released their first Rock/Blues album in eight years titled Mess of Blues. Here’s to the continued health and happiness of his family and friends, and a celebration of his life and works.