Patty Griffin's Silver Bell is the New Music Pick of the Week

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In 2000 singer/songwriter was set to release her third studio album, Silver Bell, but then the her record label shelved it.  It was one of those big corporate buy outs that did it.  Universal bought Griffin's label A&M and didn't quite know what to do with her, or the album.  She tells the story of sitting at a meeting with Jimmy Iovine, the executive who had taken over where he told her she had yet to make a good album.  So the album sat, never to be released.  Or so it seemed for 13 years.

Since that time the album has made the rounds through social media and bootleggers.  I've had a copy for years and like all Griffin albums its quite wonderful.  Its folky with rock edges.  Poetic and lyrical and full of all those soul bearing, heart-aching lyrics one expects from Griffin.  Its the sort of album that makes you want to punch Iovine in the face for not releasing it.  Many of the songs have seen the light of day in the interim as well.  The Dixie Chicks covered both "Top of the World" and "Truth #2" on their record, Home.  Natalie Maines recently did "Silver Bell" on her solo album Mother as well.  Griffin, too, gave "Making PIes" and "Mother of God" new life in some of her later albums. Universal has finally seen the light and is now releasing Silver Bell.  Its sporting a brand new mix by producer Glen Johns and unless he totally screws it up, this should be making a lot of top ten lists by years end.  Silver Bell is a great album and I'm thrilled that its finally getting the release it deserves.  All of which is why it is this weeks Pick of the Week.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Brother In Arms (Hybrid SACD - DSD) - Dire Staits: Though I've become a pretty big fan of Mark Knopfler solo fan, I've still not gotten into Dire Straits.  This is a remastering into SACD from Mobile Fidelity.  I don't have the system for these types of disks, but those who do will likely enjoy.

CBGB - Original Motion PIcture Soundtrack: There's a big movie coming out about the legendary New York club.  The soundtrack features folks like Talking Heads, New York Dolls, TheVelvet Underground, Blondie, and the Stooges.

Electricity by Candelight/ NYC 2/13/97 - Alex Chilton:  Big Star erratic front man was just getting to play his second set at the Knitting Factory in New York City when the lights went out. Instead of jumping off the stage until things were fixed Alex and the band instead stayed and played an impromptu set full of covers like Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" and The Beach Boys "Surfer Girl."

Ponder the Mystery - William Shatner: As if Shatner couldn't get any weirder now he's got an entire prog rock album under his belt with guys like MIck Jones, Dave Coz, Edgar Winter and Vince friggin' Gill.

Classic Christmas Album - Neil Diamond
The Classic Christmas Album - Johnny Cash: It isn't even Halloween yet and already there are loads of Christmas albums hitting the shelves.  I don't have the stomach to list them all, but I'll give Cash and Diamond a nod.

Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song - Amos Lee:  My brother-in-law loves this guy.  I've yet to see what the fuss is about.

You Can't Make Old Friends - Kenny Rogers: Its a good year for Rogers - he got inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, he launched a very successful world tour and now he's got a new album out that features a duet with Dolly Parton.  

Melophobia - Cage the Elephant:  I've not heard a lot from this Kentucky band but what I've heard I like.

High Rise - Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington:  After firing Scott Weiland from the band STP has now hired former Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington.  Yeah, I'll be passing on this one.  I never really liked STP that much and I certainly don't like Linkin Park.  The two of them together can't be something I'd listen too.