march 2011

armandARMAND MARGJEKA, Margo Margo--In the end Margjeka comes off as a true romantic, with some Keatsian insecurities in his weak moments but, also a la the ill-fated Keats, ultimately a believer in love’s power to bring out the best in all who give their souls fully to its cause. Haunting and exhilarating, Margo Margo is one of 2011’s most pleasant surprises, and serves as Margjeka’s well-aimed shot across the cultural bow announcing his intention to be dealt with as an artist.

cuestaCARMEN CUESTA, Mi Bossa Nova/COTY HOGUE, To The West--On first blush new albums by Madrid-born, New York City-dwelling Carmen Cuesta and Montana native Coty Hogue would seem to have little in common. Yet, in Ms. Cuesta’s graceful interpretations of songs celebrating the Bossa Nova music that first inspired her musical endeavors when she was growing up in Spain and in Ms. Hogue’s proud, affecting love letter to the mountain and roots music in which she finds values she knows well from growing up in mountain country herself, the two artists occupy the common ground of being true to their muses.

finndersFINNDERS & YOUNGBERG, FY5--A quintet hailing from Fort Collins, CO, Finnders & Youngberg is making a name for itself in a thriving roots music community with its heady mix of largely original bluegrass, country and old-timey music. This, the group’s second album, ought to give it a leg up on the competition if good writing, solid picking, inspired vocalizing and a near-palpable enthusiasm for this music count for anything.

vintageJOHN REISCHMAN & THE JAYBIRDS, Vintage & Unique--Now celebrating a decade together, the quintet of musicians comprising John Reischman & The Jaybirds demonstrate why familiarity breeds transcendence on this, their fifth album.

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