I'm going to try and make it my goal to just put out 5 recommendations per new entry. I'm sure that I'll slip up and add more to some posts when the inspiration calls, but for now 5 is the new goal. Hope you find something to like in this latest installment.
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons: Part Cross Canadian Ragweed, part Jack Ingram, this singer/songwriter has the alt-country swagger of a lesser-known Steve Earle. Featuring some really great lyrics and fiery guitar leads, JJ has the roots-rock, country-rock vibe down pat. If you don't know Cross Canadian Ragweed or Jack Ingram, find them, and listen first. Then give Jerry Joseph a listen. You're sure to find at least one song to like from all 3.
Billy Pilgrim: Back in the mid 90's, this Atlanta folk duo was the talk of the town. Things have changed in the past decade though. Kristian Bush is now the co-founder and co-songwriter of Sugarland, and Andrew Hyra is going at it alone. Their two Atlantic Record albums (self-titled, and Bloom) still remain two of my all time favorite albums. Words cannot do this band justice. Truly one of the best to come around. There may not be a folk duo this good for a long time.
Bill McGarvey: If life were perfect, Bill McGarvey would be as big as Springsteen. But life isn't perfect and instead McGarvey serves as editor of BustedHalo.com, which is probably one of the cooler inspirational/altruistic webpages out there. Aside from editorial duties McGarvey is a singer/songwriter and one of the best in the NYC/NJ area. In the mid 90's he was in Valentine Smith, an alt.rock/folk mix that wrote hyper-literate songs and gained a bit of acclaim from NY critics. His solo endeavors are brimming with Beatles and Byrdsian pop hooks and the same hyper-literate bent that's been his hallmark through the years. I'll be shocked if you can't find a single song that's worth repeating. http://www.billmcgarvey.com
Heather Eatman: Another NYC critic darling, Eatman hasn't put out anything since 2003's Real which was her best to date. A one-time cartoonist for the NY Daily News, the Texas native has that Jill Sobule like inflection in her voice but less grating. She writes traveling ballads, and songs about NYC's working class. Of course there's heartache, and love lost, and people that have gone astray, but her sense of melody and musicianship are top notch. Her debut Mascara Falls still remains one of my favorite discs. http://www.heathereatman.com
Gracer: A Long Island based trio that creates soothing, gentle rock songs that soar one minute, and glide the next. Vocalist Ryan Mahon has one of the more refreshing, and pleasant vocal deliveries I've heard in a long time, and the cool, ethereal feel that this band puts forth should put them in the limelight soon. For more information please visit http://www.myspace.com/gracer