A regular Thursday feature of this channel.

Peter Baird


I'm really glad I finally discovered Ben Rector for myself. Steady Love is a meditation on not being young anymore, and treasuring the people nearest us. The piano manages to be at once both dull and present on this track without becoming all Rudy Van Gelder.

“They move all the pieces when my eyes are closed” sings Chris Carrabba on Everything Else Is Just Noise. This is another acoustic-guitars-standing-in-for-rock-band track from Dashboard Confessional, and it’s a gem. It has a don’t-take-my-youth-away-from-me anthemic vibe and a great chorus. I love hyphens.

Also appearing on PBMOTW again is the remarkable Bill O’Connell with Moment’s Notice. I could listen to Bill's left hand all by itself re-harmonizing stuff on the fly and be happy. Terrific bass solo from Lincoln Goines. You could get a little critical of the distortion in Goines’ bass down on the low E string, but let’s just listen, OK?

Feeder is a British band that’s been around in one form or another since 1994. Don’t let the speed metal framework on Wall of Silence turn you off. The vocals are right out in front, and best of all the lyric is very finely crafted. Seriously, listen to where they place the syllables in the first verse—it’s so unexpected and yet natural. “If you can say something positive, good.”

This week’s problem child is Bellow’s Death Of Dog. Let’s list the positives first: the lyric sense is first-rate, like early Simon and Garfunkel, and the track has decent production value. The problems: they need to work much harder on the rhymes. And for some reason in the bridge the two solo female vocal lines are buried in the mix (and inexplicably, low-passed!) rather than up with the guys.

Cover of the week is Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm from Michael Feinstein’s Gershwin Country album. The backup band is The Time Jumpers, but the fun thing here is that it’s arranged as duet with Feinstein and Vince Gill. Yes, Vince Gill. It sounds like a weird pairing, but it yields some vintage Texas Swing.