NLE Highlights of 2020

Here are the 2020 highlights from Nick Loss-Eaton Media’s roster. Click here to hear or follow the Nick Loss-Eaton Media playlist on Spotify.

In alphabetical order:

Xanthe Alexis – The Offeringprivate stream, please do not post or share

Xanthe Alexis, a vulnerable indie-folk voice of empathy out of Colorado Springs, CO, is earning reverent reviews for her sophomore album ‘The Offering.’ Alexis played a live performance on SPIN Magazine’s Twitch feed on September 18. This. Week, she charted at tied for #3 on the NACC Folk Adds radio chart. KEXP said, “Transcendent vocals… While still rooted in folk, Alexis incorporates… synths and quick-tempo drums that make her more comparable to Sharon Van Etten than Emmylou Harris.”

Eric Andersen – Woodstock Under the Stars – Y&T Music – private download

Y&T Music will release Eric Andersen’s ‘Woodstock Under the Stars’ 3CD set features thirty-six tracks (including an introduction track) drawn from concerts and a webcast (live stream), as well as two from studio sessions. Recorded between 1991 and 2011, the performances feature special guests Rick Danko (of The Band), John Sebastian (of The Lovin’ Spoonful), Garth Hudson (of The Band), Eric Bazilian (The Hooters, Dar Williams, Joan Osborne, Taj Mahal), Happy Traum (Bob Dylan), Artie Traum (The Band, James Taylor), Inge Andersen (singer/songwriter, Eric Andersen’s wife and harmony singer), Joe Flood (The Bottle Rockets, Blues Traveler), Jonas Fjeld (Judy Collins, Steve Young), Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson), and Robert Aaron (Blondie, Wyclef Jean, Willie Nelson, David Bowie). With the exception of three previously released songs and the briefly available (by subscription only) stream, the performances on this compilation were never released to the public. Bob Dylan said, “Eric Andersen is a great ballad singer and writer.”

Russell Beecher & Will Shutes, authors – Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion (book)Rocket 88 / Essential Worksprivate download

This first official book to explore and display Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett’s life and work, Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion, will debut in paperback on November. For Floyd devotees, there are many rare photographs of Syd with the band in concert, rehearsal and at home. Mojo Magazine writer and Pink Floyd biographer Mark Blake asserted that this definitive look into Barrett’s world is, “…a remarkable haul of personal correspondence, previously unpublished photographs and images.” The paperback version of this seminal piece of rock history is 272 pages and contains 350 stunning images.

Chiminyo – I AM PANDA – Gearbox Records – private stream

Chiminyo’s debut I AM PANDA, his debut out now on Gearbox Records has earned him rave reviews, airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC6 and BBC1Xtra, and over 150,000 spins for singles “See Me,” which also features K.O.G. and “Breathin’,” with Clara Serra López. He was also interviewed on the tastemaker Pittsburgh radio station WYEP’s Dubmission. The drummer/composer’s inventive music, consisting of sounds triggered by his drum hits, has been described as a brain-burrowing fusion of shimmering electronic chords and driving synth bass undertones, all underpinned by a hailstorm of constantly-varying rhythmic patterns. With eight tracks, Chiminyo creates a euphoric, multi-genre listening journey that traverses future pop, jazz, electronic, and time itself. Prior to this debut, he has collaborated with the likes of Nubya Garcia, Zara McFarlane, Shabaka Hutchings, and Theon Cross. MOJO said, “4 stars… Genre-fluid adventures triggered from his kit.”

Mellotron Variations (film) – Directed by Justin Elliott Thompson – Crosstown Arts – public stream, OK to post / share.

The four-Mellotron collaboration between Patrick Sansone (of Wilco), John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin & Wood), Jonathan Kirkscey (Memphis Symphony Orchestra, composer of Won’t You Be My Neighbor documentary soundtrack) and Robby Grant in Memphis, TN was released as an album by Spaceflight and a concert documentary by Memphis’ Crosstown Arts. Big Star’s Jody Stephens said, “This was one of best shows I’ve ever seen.” Mellotron Variations appeared on an NPR Tiny Desk Concert and was spotlighted by Billboard as well.

Vincent Cross – The Life & Times of James “The Rooster” Corcoran – Rescue Dog Records – private stream

NYC Irish-American folksinger Vincent Cross, who is confirmed for April, 2021’s Brooklyn Folk Festival, is seeing great reviews for his new album ‘The Life & Times of James ‘The Rooster’ Corcoran, based on the life is his ancestor. A fellow Irish-American immigrant, Corcoran was a notorious gangleader in 19th Century New York. Brooklyn Vegan said, “Compelling [and] timeless.”

Dedicated Men of Zion – Can’t Turn Me Around – Bible & Tire Recording Co. – private stream

North Carolina family gospel group Dedicated Men of Zion’s ‘Can’t Turn Me Around’ comes out today on Bible & Tire Recording Co., the label founded by Fat Possum’s Bruce Watson. NPR Music aired “Down Here Lord” in its All Songs Considered podcast today. Ann Powers said, “What they call sacred soul: nexus of secular soul music and gospel and you hear it all in here, right? It’s got a little Hi Records flavor, it’s definitely got the Temptations kind of flavor, it’s very southern at the same time. If you like that kind of secular music, you’re gonna love this even if you have not found Jesus.” Robin Hilton added, “The world needs this music right now.” Taj Mahal said, “These folks got the right idea and I’m loving it big time! That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!! The Holy Ghost spirit gettin’ in touch with one‘s Ancient Rhythmic African Inner Soul! Haven’t wanted to join a church in 63 years! I started jumpin’ as soon as the video came on! Gonna have to come down and check it out!”

Chris Milam – Meanwhile – M Records – public stream, OK to post/share.

Singer-songwriter Chris Milam let it all out on his new album ‘Meanwhile,’ going deep into the experience of losing his father to blood cancer and breaking up with his girlfriend around the same time. The Memphis songwriter is joined by Rick Steff of Lucero on keys, Steve Selvidge of the Hold Steady on guitar, and Gregg Allman trumpet man Marc Franklin. Atwood Mag said, “Rich, colorful… feels like the great outdoors… Wistful, symphonic, and verdant, Chris Milam radiates… melodies that stir souls… His vivid imagery helps us accompany him on the journey and deeply sense his roaming yearnings… This personal and epic requiem offers a moment of verdant spirit during a time of locked doors and dimmed light sources… Resounds, triumphs, and roars its way into our lives with a radiant melody and hard-hitting, playful, and visual songwriting.”

Pink Floyd – Delicate Sound of Thunder – Sony Music – stream provided by request

Warner Music [Sony Music outside Europe] announced the upcoming release of Pink Floyd’s ‘Delicate Sound Of Thunder’ on Blu-ray, DVD, 2-CD, 3-disc vinyl and deluxe 4-disc edition with bonus tracks, on November 20, 2020. Across the various different formats, the release of ‘Delicate Sound Of Thunder’ encapsulates a band at their best. Alongside the classic live album and full concert film (restored and re-edited from the original 35mm film and enhanced with 5.1 surround sound), included in ‘The Later Years’ box set, all editions feature 24-page photo booklets, with the 4-disc box edition including a 40-page photo booklet, tour poster and postcards. The 3-LP 180-gram vinyl set includes 9 songs not included on the 1988 release of the album, while the 2-CD release includes 8 tracks more than its original release.

Charles Tolliver – Blue Soul – Gearbox Records – private stream

NYC jazz trumpet legend Charles Tolliver’s new album ‘Connect’ (Gearbox Records / July 31), recorded in London with Binker Golding and his first album since 2009, has earned exemplary notice from NPR Music, NY Times, and beyond. NY Times said, “Triumphant… ‘Connect,’ Tolliver’s first album in over a decade, stands out in large part based on the quality of his compositions. The caliber of his company helps too.” NPR Music said, “A great unexpected gift… He still has so much fire in his playing and he’s got such a mind for composition… It really coheres as a band. I hear this really great combination of the old heads digging into a groove in this way that feels so earthy and alive and then this fresh contemporary tilt.”

Various Artists – Hanging Tree Guitars – Music Maker Relief Foundation – private stream

Music Maker Relief Foundation released a compilation album of sacred soul and blues ‘Hanging Tree Guitars,’ to accompany the release of the book of the same name. Two tracks on the album are previously unreleased: the newly recorded Johnny Ray Daniels’ “Somewhere To Lay My Head” and Faith & Harmony’s “Victory.” Meanwhile, the Glorifying Vines Sisters’ “Get Ready,” from a 1977 single, has never been available digitally. The other recordings span almost 30 years, with the earliest from 1991 and the most recent from this year. Produced by Timothy Duffy and Aaron Greenhood, ‘Hanging Tree Guitars’ is drawn from the archives of Music Maker Relief Foundation, which has released almost 170 albums and has many more in its vaults. Liner notes by North Carolina folklorist Will Boone, likening Vines’ guitars to the makeshift creation of music that spoke their truth, accompany the album. ‘Hanging Tree Guitars’ is sequenced for the blues songs to come first, followed by the sacred soul music.

Various Artists – The Last Shall Be First, the JCR Records Story, Vol. 1 – Bible & Tire Recording Co. – private stream

Bruce Watson’s acclaimed Memphis, TN-based label Bible & Tire Recording Co. has confirmed The Last Shall Be First: The JCR Record Story, Volume 1, out September 18. The collection features seventeen tracks recorded in Memphis during the 1970s along with complete liner notes by music historian/musician Michael Hurtt. Watson and JCR Records head Juan D. Shipp met twice a week for three months to transfer and archive over 170 reels of tape.

Freeman Vines, Timothy Duffy, Zoe Van Buren, authors – Hanging Tree Guitars (book) – Bitter Southerner Press / Music Maker Relief Foundation – private download

Rolling Stone hailed new book Hanging Tree Guitars, out last week by Freeman Vines with Zoe Buren and Timothy Duffy on Bitter Southerner and Music Maker Relief Foundation, as “haunting” as Smithsonian Magazine, Boing Boing, Variety, and others raved. The book chronicles the journey of the sculptor/guitarmaker, who was gifted wood from a tree used for lynchings and has made powerful sculptures and guitars from it, a process photographed by Duffy in a series of tintypes. NPR Weekend Edition ran a profile of Vines. Smithsonian Magazine said, “[A] singular man… each of his creations seems to embody a dance between life and death… The book is packed with fascinating details about Vines’ idiosyncratic approach to guitar-making, and about his early life in Jim Crow North Carolina, where a legacy of racist violence shaped his view of the world, and continues to exert a deep influence over his guitar designs… [accompanied by] remarkable photographs.”

Stay tuned for 2021 releases including a return of Memphis soul/jazz combo The City Champs and a book-length biography of famed soul drummer Howard Grimes by Preston Lauterbach.

Hanging Tree Guitars - Small - Credit Timothy Duffy