>> SXSW: EMI Music Sampler (2012)

Artist: Various

Album: SXSW: EMI Music Sampler

Genre: Country, Jazz, Pop, Rap/Hip Hop, Rock

Label: SXSW

Tracks: 7

Type: Digital

Release Date: March 2, 2012

Discs: 7

Rating: 3.60 (out of 4.00)

Grade: B+

Official Site

Norah Jones has reinvented herself several times as a musician. From her jazzy blues intro into the spotlight to her work with Jack White, Daniele Luppi, and Danger Mouse on their concept album Rome. Off and on since 2003 Jones has been working with Richard Julian, Jim Campilongo, Lee Alexander, and Dan Rieser in a country outfit titled The Little Willies, an act that combines cover songs as well as original tracks. Their offering here on the latest SXSW Sampler is a cover of Ralph Stanley’s (O Brother, Where Art Thou) I Worship You. Despite the track being a cover Jones and the band manage to capture the traditional country music vibe set forth by acts such as Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Absolutely incredible stuff here. No doubt if you haven’t been following The Little Willies this track will do it for you. Amazing.

Up next is Graffiti6 with Free. I’ve been covering the slow release of the bands full length effort titled Colours (available now), really an album that you must own. At best a sampler in itself as the band goes through the albums track listing offering up a heavy dose of pop, soul, funk, and just about everything else radio under the sun. Really any of the selections off the album would have been a great choice but looks like Free was the obvious winner with its soulful offerings that conjure up Motown sensibilities.

Robert Glasper, a Jazz Pianist, joins forces with Hip Hop artist Yesiin Bey (Mos Def) on Black Radio. In order to further elaborate I have to point out that as Mos Def has been all over the map in the music world and seems to have an incredibly open mind when it comes to his music and or his movie career. For those that grabbed up a copy of the Be Kind Rewind soundtrack Def does some great blues warbling on the album. In any case his work here as Bey is tight and fast flowing over Glasper’s laid back jazz musings. Though the formula isn’t exactly fresh its delivery is more then enjoyable.

Chiddy Bang follows with Ray Charles, a Hip Hop tune that mixes hefty beats with a blues twinge complete with background singers. Labeled as an Alternative Hip Hop group the duo of Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege and Noah "Xaphoon Jones" Beresin have smooth flow and mix it up seemingly perfect with smooth beats, well placed samples, and a lyrical presence that has intelligent design. I’m looking forward to discovering more of their music after I’m done here.

Foxy Shazam is next with I Like It. I had the extreme pleasure to cover their latest release, The Church of Rock and Roll, and it ended up being an album that I’ve gone back to almost on a daily basis. Fans of classic rock like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and so on will enjoy this band that combines the hard hitting flash of big rock sound with humor and theatrics that will remind you of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Listen to the track, go buy the album. It’s amazing.

The final two tracks off the sampler are from Gold Fields and Morning Parade. Really kind of a weak close out to the album. There’s nothing wrong with the final two tracks per say. Both bands are proficient in delivering their tracks but the indie music scene has been so overpopulated with bands that sound so similar to these two acts. Really slotting them side by side gives the effect that your pretty much listening to the same band performing two different tracks on the sampler. Again, both bands are proficient in offering up two more songs to the unending category of indie pop, but if you’re an indie fan looking for something new to clutch I doubt this will spark much interest in pursuing either bands respective works.

The Little Willies


Robert Glasper

Chiddy Bang (The official Website link wasn't working for but it's out there)

Foxy Shazam (Likewise)


Morning Parade


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