Thank you so much to everyone who participated so far in my “Who Do You Love” post. There were some very interesting lessons as I collected and listened to the recommended songs that have influenced us over the years. I say us intentionally. You are the best group of people I have never worked with!! LOL. I mean that in a kind way. It is easier for some people to develop good relationships with some one they work with or “serve” with. The bonds can last a life time. We do not have that work platform, but the friendships made here are also very strong.
I was equally surprised by two things: 1) I knew a lot of these songs and bands and 2) I didn’t know a lot of these bands and songs!! It took me a long time to go through them all. But there are some gems in here. Many are the best of their category – NOT necessarily the most popular or the one with the most airplay. I encourage you to look deeper into comments as I will not list them all here again, but I want to point out a number of them that caught my ear. A lot of your suggestions were passionate and you can tell there is a lot of history and emotional connections in the lists. Here are just a few – but again not a complete list of the gems you suggested. Please continue to post your musical influences. I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your suggestions. I hope others get a kick out of these too! IN NO ORDER WHATSOEVER
Active Child – what a range the vocalist has. Unusual set of musical toys, and lyrical themes and vocal textures blend into a unique soundscape. They create a house and invite you in. Well worth the visit.
Switchfoot – “Hello Hurricane”, This is a clean sounding song. Well recorded and mixed. Driving beats and vocal power that can be smooth and open. Good blends in harmonies. Good energy and I like the ay the song builds at a slow pace.
Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands. Here is another great blending artist. Nice harmonies and the background music surprises with different arrangements and instrumentation. Very good dynamics. Addictive style that is pleasant and easy to relate to.
Bat for Lashes – Laura is a great example of this artist’s prowess. She quickly sets up the mood and the tone and then lays the lyrics on you with vocals that seem to have more control than humanly possible and enough emotion to cause global warming.
For raw power with a message it is hard to beat La Dispute. Combining a number of styles into a passionate assortment of lyric driven songs. A speaking style not trying to be rap that works very well for this group. Great driving music for a long trip.
I have to mention this because it was cool from an historical point:
I was really fascinated to check out Barclay James Harvest. These guys are right up my ancient alley and I have never heard of them. I know this might not be the most popular suggestion the community has suggested, but they cover all the progressive territory of other bands I am familiar with. Some of the video clips from around 1979 are out there and worth an evening or two.
I had heard Ed Sheeran before, but wasn’t that familiar with his works. Nice variety, works on a good image – that is a good guy image and it comes of very well for him. He tries to add variety and the songs are great. It was definitely worth my time digging more into his songs and videos. Great voice. Solid music and production.
Kate Nash – Nicest Thing. I can see why this is a favorite. The style is intentionally out there and it has the sneaky ability to pull you in instead. When you can make comfortable and eerie blend perfectly you have a great emotional landscape play in. She calls this her territory and of course the lyrics pull you right into the main theme. Good call.
City & Color – As Much As I Ever Could is another great example of a band that has it all. The vocals are outstanding and his control is impressive. Lyrics are fine and fit the ballad style of this song. Band dynamics are worked out by what seems to be magic. Harmonies kick in and punch it for added tension and for me the keyboards are a great touch.
Dave Koz’s tunes are cool jams and the performers are all top notch. You don’t have to be a genius to get into their grooves as well. Slick mix production. If it is time to sit back and enjoy, take in a few of these live performances and watch the players do some cool stuff.
Ian Carr’s Nucleus – Roots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Cu5TJm0GI This is a great progressive jazz. Maybe an acquired taste for some but worth checking out for the chops and creative jamming.
Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul – I Need You: https://youtu.be/U7uJ_zddoSs This is another great jam band with solid grooves and guys that know their axe. Percussion to die for and the organ player is pretty top notch. Great live musical fun.
The Hep Stars got by me completely somehow. You can hear a lot of influences that were dominant at the time. Good vocal blend and the recordings are actually pretty good. They captured the times and the look and ran with it. For a blast from the past this is a good history lesson.
The Raconteurs are a great groove band with a heavy guitar sound. The vocals and the harmonies are well worth the price of admission. For a lively rocking jam, this is a great place to start soaking up some new tunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu9hj_kMm48
This video stands on its own, but the vocals have to be heard to be believed from The Temper Trap. Great name too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMuuc_pqx2s is a great song with a vision.
Lana Del Rey is one of those artists you have to sample more than one song to get a feel of the true talent. Maybe listening a few times would help, but once you cross over she has a powerful musical presence. Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1aF54DO60 for the unfamiliar.
Manic Street Preachers have a great Brit rock/POP sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nusymqINrSc is a fun video to start with. Good clean style, great vocals and they are not afraid of dynamics. They also love a song with a theme or message, so good for a fun musical cruise.
Acoustic Alchemy are worth noting for a band that has chops and a smooth modern jazz style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVtQHpwv9sE is a good example of their live performances. Fun jams and precision licks from a talented group and for a nice addition try a “Shelter Island Drive”.
Sufjan Stevens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asCLMdrWuA0 for eye candy.
From The National, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Tod1_tZdU to set the tone for the evening. A vocal and visual treat.
Amaia Montero – Quiero Ser and I have no idea what she is singing, but I can understand why it was recommended’
Thank you again. I really enjoyed this project and thank all that participated and to all the thought put into it, even if you did not post your list!