Pod Picks

June 6, 2012 

This week we recommend tracks from a couple of unlikely collaborations and a revived Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame artist which you can download (legally, of course) or stream to your personal media device.

"Constellations" by Jack Johnson and Eddie Vedder

Jack Johnson likes to take his time, there’s always a couple of years between his albums. In the last couple of years, he’s softened the wait by providing a live album. Because what is a summer at the beach without some Jack Johnson crooning to the tide? This song comes off his new concert collaboration album, “Jack Johnson and Friends: Best of Kokua Festival.” Listening to Eddie Vedder relate Johnson’s lyrics as Johnson harmonizes along the lullaby of a slack-key guitar style is perfect for a midnight walk on the sand.

"Hey, Shooter" by Rocket Juice & the Moon

OK, perhaps the title is a bit silly for this collaboration of musical giants. Damon Albarn, singer/songwriter/project developer for Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad and the Queen and Mali Music plus Tony Allen, who is the genius drummer of Afrobeat and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This funky alliance teams up with Erykah Badu to bring you some spacey funk that reminds you of the meandering bass pulses of old Parliament Funkadelic. Yes, the name may not fit the project but your swaying booty won’t mind.

"Please Forgive My Heart" by Bobby Womack

They can update the music behind Womack. They can give him a looping, snappy beat and a perfectly-syncopated bass line but you can’t shine or polish the roughness of Womack’s voice. And why would you? Womack could’ve sung this song a cappella and it would still work. Starting his career in the 1952, he’s been Sam Cooke’s guitarist, a prolific songwriter, a successful solo artist, a drug addict, a cancer survivor and a living legend. When Womack sings for forgiveness you don’t only hear it – you feel it.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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