ON THE RADAR - WEDNESDAY APRIL 11, 2016

On the Radar for May 11, 2016 offers live tracks from the recent Keb’ Mo’ release, Live, That Hot Pink Blues Album as well as a new E.P. offering from Ashley Flynn, The Low Arc of the Sun. Sugar Blue brings his jazzy Blues harmonica onto the Radar with his new release, Voyage. Durango, Colorado’s Farmington Hill deliver Alt Country to the list, Tim and Savannah Finch and the Eastman String Band Folk around with Bluegrass, and Mr. Rick keeps his subject matter brief with his release, Mr. Rick Sings About God and Booze. East Nashville’s Tim McNary offers an E.P., Above the Trees, for the On the Radar, Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Keb’ Mo’ (from the album Live, That Hot Pink Blues Album) - Along the lines of Cowboy Jack Clement infamously suggesting that he ‘turn on the tapes’ for a studio night that held Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, the front of stage sound man for Keb’ Mo’ hit the record switch nightly on Keb’s 2015 tour. Having the songs captured became a way to give back to his fans with special recordings. Luckily, Keb’ Mo’ expanded on the love on a double-disc with Live, That Hot Pink Blues Album, his most recent release. The album culls songs from the career of Keb’ Mo’, featuring tracks from his eleven studio releases that have made him a household name, and garnered three Grammy wins. Keb’ Mo’ is a Bluesman though his ability to present his music in a multi-format delivery has taken him into a Modern Age for the genre.

Keb’ Mo’ took newer tunes from his recent BLUESAmericana release, as he reminds love that he liked “The Old Me Better”. That Hot Pink Blues Album shuffles in as Keb’ promises to “Tell Everybody I Know” about his love. The album travels into low Blues as it sends off a message to “Henry” and puts a warning label on in “Dangerous Mood”. The Blues of Keb’ Mo’ is a moving target as he brings in everything the music can be as he assuredly stokes the rhythms for the promises of “Come on Back”, makes every effort to bring the Blues and his baby to “France”, tastes the times in “Government Cheese”, and puts heart into every step coming back to “Rita”. Keb’ Mo’ showcases his music on Live, That Hot Pink Blues Album, as electricity crackles underneath the acoustic slide Blues that clears the floor for the beauty and the beat headed into “She Just Wants to Dance”.

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Ashleigh Flynn (from the album The Low Arc of the Sun) - Magic was all around Ashleigh Flynn for the recording of her recent E.P. release, The Low Arc of the Sun, and on the live show captured with a select audience at the Secret Society Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. The show took place on the evening of winter solstice (12-21-14). The night was special for Ashleigh Flynn, who ended her quest for her Irish roots when the path to locate her grandfather’s spirit led her to Dingle Way as it curved to the Emerald Isle’s southwestern tip. As she reached the end of the footpath, the bloodline cord united in the sunset of summer solstice, retold on The Low Arc of the Sun in the tune “Barrow”.

Seasonal early sunsets are the backdrop as The Low Arc of the Sun makes its ways across a sky of seven songs. Ashleigh Flynn prepares for the long nights ahead as she whispers a prayer to the night sky with “Don’t Leave Me Lonesome”, dons warm clothing to walk love around her city in “Winter Song”, and remembers “Sweet Grass and Sage” on a summer reverie. Ashleigh Flynn re-plays the ‘soundtrack to her childhood” as she and the band tune up for the honky tonk crowd with Buck Owens’ “Tiger by the Tail”.

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Sugar Blue (from the album Voyage) - Sugar Blue packs light for his trip on Voyage, his latest album release. He has a satchel full of harmonicas as he boards the album and sets sail on a sea of jazz-inflected Funk and Soul rhythms and melodies. Sugar Blue grew up in Harlem, New York, and spent time with musicians from an early age through his mom’s connection to the Apollo Theater as a singer and dancer. Voyage offers bright sparks of harmonica in “Sunshine”, walks “12 Steps” into a future free of the past, and idles with a low rumble as Sugar Blue talks about his “Mercedes Blues”. For his first studio album in five years, Sugar Blue injects a modern Blues into Voyage.

Sugar Blue fronts his own songs on Voyage to add to a career of both lead and sideman efforts for artists on stage and in the studio; his work with The Rolling Stones captured on tracks such as “Miss You” and “Emotional Rescue”.  Voyage drifts dreamily on assured grooves, pushed forward by a blast of harmonica riffs. Sugar Blue is “On My Way” as he lays claim to personal triumph while he brings Country Folk into the opening of “New York City”, boils a beat to match his analog anger in “Cyber Blues”, and lets the instruments do the talking as “Sugar Blue Boogie” takes flight.

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Farmington Hill (from the album More Rock Than Eagle Block) - Alt Country sings a sweet sound in Durango, Colorado in the music of Farmington Hill. Their recent release, More Rock than Eagle Block, opens its doors and floors the engine as Farmington Hill swear “Things Are Gonna Go My Way”. The album crowns “Miss America” with guitar crackle as “Thinkin’ Drinkin’” raises a glass for staying up all night, and an electric fuzz cape is laid on audio shoulders for “Ode to the King”. Farmington Hill pen the plights and the passions of the blue-collar workers of the world, forcing their way through the maze of life with power chords in “Rats”, looking for an exit from love with “Break”, marking time in a 24/7 beat for beauty in “She Wears Makeup to Bed”, and take a political aim with “I Egged the President”.

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McNary  (from the album Above the Trees) - Tim McNary was born in the Blues base of Chicago, Illinois. His early home life was music free within an evangelical environment, and his first seduction from music came during two years spent volunteering and backpacking in South America. Back in the U.S., he played in bands, finally landing in Tennessee, recording his recent release Above the Trees between East Nashville and a mountain cabin in rural Georgia with Paul Warner. The life of McNary is pinned to the stories of Above the Trees, his vocals connected emotionally in the words as the music floats up and over the title track. Above the Trees gently offers its heart to “Sara Rose” on soft strings and a hefty beat, strums a stern rhythm on the ominous edge of “The Heist”, and hushes to ask “Be with Me” as McNary sweetly sings a seduction over the rumble of “Echoes of a Whole”.  

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Tim and Savannah Finch and the Eastman String Band (from the album 'Neath the Midnight Sky) - Folk music is an outside event, with ‘Neath a Midnight Sky presenting the songs of Tim and Savannah Finch and the Eastman String Band with open air freshness as its songs breathe in the nighttime sky (“If We Could Live A Thousand Years”), reel around a mountain melody (“Run Ashore”) as notes flicker like candlelight (“Eventide Bloom”), carve a name in life (“My Tombstone”), and inspire to welcome adventure (“Opening My Eyes”). Tim and Savannah Finch lead the band into a future Bluegrass sound that brings Folk and Roots into the songs of ‘Neath the Midnight Sky as the title track bounces on the promises found in your own backyard while “Only Bird Not Singing” cradles a lonely child and “Are You Mad” raises a ruckus for it reclamation requests.

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Mr. Rick  (from the album Mr. Rick Sings About God and Booze) - Mr. Rick is a multi-tasker on his recent release, Mr. Rick Sings About God and Booze, as he discusses his personal tastes for both spirits and demons, finding a lot of crossover between the two. Country music creaks and moans as Mr. Rick opens the album asking for “One Kind of Favour”. His calls rise up as he shuffles in to warn “You’ll Need Someone on Your Bond”, counts “Two Little Fishes”, and catches the air of glory as he picks pleasure for the future on “I’ll Fly Away”. Covering his tomorrow with songs of faith, Mr. Rick finds peace on earth by popping the cork with Country (“It’s the Bottle Talking”), Western (“Liquor Store Blues”), and warnings (“Don’t Put My Bourbon Down”). Mr. Rick Songs About God and Booze draws a line as it raises the bar up on an altar with “Champagne Don’t Make Me Crazy”.

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