Throughout this project, with just a while to go, I’ve enjoyed the new finds most. People I didn’t know. The downside is a little frustration with not having done this before. I mean, you can quiz me about Miles Davis, Richard Thompson, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Laura Marling – and the odds are I’ll know any album well enough. We can probably disagree heartily on macho guitar-based rock – which I now realise I mostly detest! Yes, I mostly love the richness of the human voice, and the sound of an acoustic guitar… the sound of natural vibrations of the vocal chords, and of wood and steel.

We’ll get to more on that in November and December where I’ve been rounding off the project with unfamiliar music in those genres I really love. It’s been a homecoming, these last two months.

But for now, October was tending that way. There were some interesting diversions, like listening to some guy called Larry Mindel, hearing his album in the context of 400 others, and after a 10 month hiatus. Actually, it’s not that bad. IMHO. Nah - love it! Album of the Year!

Larry Mindel on a break in the Antarctic

Some others were there because it would be remiss not to at some point: Led Zep, Pretenders, REM, U2, John Lennon, The Young Rascals. Most of these titans left me cold. Especially Jonathan Winston Lennon.

The warmth came from people you might know, and I should have done before. Things I learned this month:

  • Just because Alicia Keys was famously name-checked by Bobule Dylerman , it doesn’t mean she’s not good. Opposite is true: amazing: great songs, great voice, wonderful production. Looks kinda OK too…

Alicia likes trains. Also check out her Open Mic at St Pancras

  • I can like modern serious music in vaguely classical genres. Especially a capella singing of the New York band Roomful of Teeth. This is a contender for Weirdissimo Pick of The Year…

Roomful of Teeth – Singing, but not as we know it, Jim….

  • There’s always a worthwhile surprise in this project. Every week I learn something (if not every day). Along with Cecile McLorin Salvant, Maeta and Yebba I had also been ignorant of Melody Gardot. I put them all right this month. 

Picking one… oh lord… I think it has to be Ms Gardot. A voice that reminds me of a 60s crooner wrapped in honey and deep warmth. I think it’s her personal story that just adds to the mystique, and the connection I feel. She was struck by an SUV while on a bike, and spent ages in hospital, making her incredibly sensitive to light and sound. (Tell me about it, why don’t you…)  Her approach to music is at once deeply felt, but presents gently on the surface. This album brought tears to my eyes, for more than one reason…

Ms Gardot making me cry, en France


  1. The Pretenders - Pretenders
  2. Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys 
  3. Larry Mindel - Still
  4. Paavoharju - Yon mustia kukkia
  5. The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers
  6. Qasim Naqvi, Wadada Leo Smith, Andrew Cyrille - Two Centuries
  7. Vumbi Dekula - Congo Guitar
  8. Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  9. Antonio Carlos Jobim - Wave
  10. Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Collosus
  11. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III
  12. P.P. Arnold - The New Adventures of P.P. Arnald
  13. Tamsin Elliott, Tarek Elazhary - So Far We Have Come
  14. Sally Anne Morgan - Carrying
  15. R.E.M. - Murmur
  16. Corinne Bailey Rae - Black Rainbows
  17. U2 - The Joshua Tree
  18. Martin Carthy - Byker Hill
  19. The War On Drugs - I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  20. XTC - Drums And Wires
  21. Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie
  22. Ward Knutur Townes - Unanswered
  23. Shirley Collins, Davy Graham - Folk Routes, New Routes
  24. Chuck Berry - Berry Is On Top
  25. John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band
  26. Dan Tyminski - God Fearing Heathen
  27. Atlanta SO - Jennigfer Higden: City Scape & Concerto for Orchestra
  28. Roomful of Teeth - Roomful of Teeth
  29. Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers - Moanin’
  30. Cecile McLorin Salvant - Ghost Song
  31. Beverley Knight - The Fifth Chapter
  32. Maeta - When I Hear Your Name
  33. Yebba - Dawn
  34. Paloma Faith - Infinite Things
  35. The Young Rascals - Groovin'
  36. Donny Hathaway - Extension of a Man
  37. Lalah Hathaway - Self Portrait
  38. Steve Earle - Ghosts of West Virginia
  39. Dave Alvin, The Guilty Women - Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women
  40. Dion - Blues With Friends
  41. OXN - CYRM
  42. Big Star - #1 Record
  43. Horace Silver - Song For My Father
  44. Les McCann - Much Les
  45. Etta James - Tell Mama
  46. Melody Gardot - Sunset In The Blue

To date: 432

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