This week’s Today’s Top Tunes include five holiday audio gifts. Honey-voiced Valerie June, who supported both Norah Jones and Sturgill Simpson in 2016, previews her new album and headlining tour in 2017. We also unwrap a previously unreleased song by Jazz, Blues and Tin Pan Alley explorer Leon Redbone. If you enjoy artists like The Smiths and The Jesus and Mary Chain, then you’ll definitely want to check out Moon Tapes. Mexican Institute of Sound + Selectah team up as Compass. Making a year-end appearance is platinum selling artist and bad ass blues woman Bonnie Raitt.
Monday, Dec 26
Valerie June: Astral Plane from her forthcoming album The Order of Time
We can hear Tennessee roots in Valerie June’s songs. The Brooklyn-based singer and multi-instrumentalist has been refining her craft with an array of character sketches she’s turned into a dozen-song set that she’ll release in early Spring. “Astral Plane” sets a beautiful tone.
Tuesday, Dec 27
Today we spotlight a group with an intriguing name and a brand new single. Amsterdam foursome Moon Tapes describes its sound as “Sunshine pop” and its song “Back in Love” as ‘a bittersweet and desolate disco ballad.” We couldn’t agree more.
Wednesday, Dec 28
Leon Redbone: Bootleg Rum Dum Blues from Long Way from Home
Third Man Records will release Long Way from Home, a bevy of previously unreleased first recordings by legendary jazz-blues singer and guitarist extraordinaire Leon Redbone. The collection of 18 tracks includes work from a live set at the University of Buffalo and a radio session from 1972 where he explores his distinctive style. Here’s Ragtime artist Blind Blake’s “Bootleg Rum Dum Blues” as performed by Leon Redbone.
Thursday, Dec 29
Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah: Crazy Conscious (feat. Toots Hibbert) from Compass
Mexican DJs and producers Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah bridge the gap between music and friendship with a project called Compass. An apt moniker as they travelled the globe to collaborate with some 90 artists to create a truly unique recording. Featured artists include everyone from actor Gael García Bernal to legendary Jamaican singer Toots Hibbert on “Crazy Conscious.”
Friday, Dec 30
Bonnie Raitt: The Comin’ Round Is Going Through from Dig in Deep
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and 10-time Grammy Award-winner Bonnie Raitt is unbeatable when it comes to the Blues. The iconic guitarist and singer has a keen sense when it comes to writing songs about the arc of love. Here’s a perfect example with “The Comin’ Round Is Going Through.”