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Without a doubt, there is a lot of ugliness in the world, which is why it is so important to seek out and notice and acknowledge beauty as much as possible. Last night's Jon Latham benefit at The Basement East was teeming with beautiful moments. Featuring terrific solo sets from Sally Jaye, Rayvon Pettis, Brian Wright, Becca Mancari, and Peyton Parker to a scintillating full band set from Sadler Vaden. Jon's awesome band (Andrew Leahey, Sean Quinn, Raun Schultz, and Cory Nichols) played his debut album, Real Bad News in it's entirety with guests ranging from Darrin Bradbury's deliciously over-the-top reading of "Major Key" to Brian Wright and Sally Jaye's moving rendition of "Conversation at a Funeral". Top to bottom, great performances by some of Jon's friends who happen to be the cream of the crop of Nashville artists. The show ended with the band doing "Last in Line" from Jon's forthcoming album Lifers. Then, everyone who played and more took the stage for the title track of Lifers with Jon himself leading the way. Jon and his band closed the night with their version of Springsteen's "Darkness of the Edge of Town". The love and respect and beauty was impossible to miss.
Well, it is Tuesday, and that is when we shuffle up our "New Music" playlist. The fun thing about using the random shuffle function is you never know what it will bring up...
"Give a Pencil to a Fish" by Scott Ramminger
We start things off with some sage advice from singer/songwriter/sax player Scott Ramminger from his album Do What Your Heart Says To. Love this record.
"Tills dagen jag dor" by Jon Magnusson
Next up, the first of three (3)!!!! songs in the shuffle from Swedish singer-songwriter Jon Magnusson. Per google translate, the title translates to "Until the Day I Die". I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet people and hear and write about music from all over the world.
"Cavalry" by Kingsley Flood
Another track from Another Other by this D.C./Boston based band lead by Naseem Khuri. Another album, I am really digging these days.
"Go Now" by The 81s feat. Luella
Next up, we have a track from Big Man. The 81s features Tom Siering, Tim Carroll, Cameron Carrus, and Marco Giovino. The album features guest vocals from Luella. The lyrics here are unique and emotionally honest. The music has Tim Carroll's signature all over it.
"Where the River Meets the Road" by Tim O'Brien
Next up, the title track from Tim O'Brien's incredible new album - that is a tribute to his home state of West Virginia. This is one of my favorite albums of the year.
"Ode to a friend" by Jon Magnusson
Song #2 in the shuffle from Jon Magnusson is a heart-felt sentimental tribute to a friend who died too young. It always brings to my mind a childhood friend who died around the same age as the subject of this song.
"Winter Is Always Worse" by Scott Ramminger
Another from Scott Ramminger. This album was recorded in New Orleans featuring some prime New Orleans session players and guest vocalists that include Nashville's own McCrary Sisters and Bekka Bramlett.
"Det stoltaste av lag" by Jon Magnusson
We close the shuffle with our third track by Jon Magnusson. This along with the first track from him were written in tribute to a local hockey team in Sweden. Without asking permission, I am sending this out to my hometown hockey team, the Nashville Predators who evened up the Stanley Cup Playoff series at 2 -2 with a win last night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.