A regular Thursday feature of this channel.

Peter Baird


Recorded in 2011 but only now released, You Got To Move is from a live performance by Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, and the track is nothing short of magic. The vi substitution in the turnaround makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. And of course Mavis. Young people, this is how groove actually feels.

Another entry in the old-people-can-still-rock-at-least-until-they're-dead genre is a 2012 live performance from Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning. Vocal is eerily reminiscent of Leon Russell. Lots of fun invention between the guitar and mando. Who is the genius who decides these gems need to age ten years before release?

A Little Bit of Love is the best of a lackluster week in new pop. But it's pretty good. And it's just straightforward music, none of the usual Weezer gimmicks. Has a kind of Arcade Fire anthem vibe to it. Did you catch my programming trick putting the two mandolin tunes together? Tricky, huh?

I've been resisting putting a tune from Makoto Ozone's brilliant new solo piano album Ozone 60 (Standards) in PBNSOTW because they're, well, standards. But I can wait no longer. Blue Monk is a "severe clear" interpretation of a Monk classic. (Q: Is anything about Monk ever clear?) I keep wondering what Ozone-san is going to do in the left hand and he keeps surprising me.

One Less Light rests pretty solidly in the Nashville singer-songwriter tradition and doesn't have any ambitions past that. What it does have is a terrific metaphor for loss woven against a nice melody. It also has Dianne Killen, nearly perfectly in tune, shaping a lovely alto lead vocal that invites your attention rather than demanding it.