Louisville CDs

y Paul Moffett

Getting a CD ready in time for Christmas can be more of a problem than it seems; this year, several Louisville-area artists have succeeded at meeting that deadline, while we here at LMN have not been so successful at keeping up with them all for reviews. Here's a selection of some of what's available:

Christmas, Love & Light - Mario DaSilva. Classical guitarist DaSilva, who teaches at IUS, has his second CD release on Rainbow at Midnight Records. This one features a collection of classic Christmas carols, plus John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" and Lennon/McCartney's "Good Night," all arranged for classical guitar and other strings. Perfect for Christmas parties, now and into the future. Available at www.meetmario.com or at Barnes & Noble, Hawley-Cooke Booksellers and ear X-tacy Records.

Deck the Halls - Valarie Alexandra Valois. Valois is a pianist with very heavy credentials in the concert pianist field, with quotes from Rostopovich, Karl Menninger and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli among many others. (Her CV runs to eight pages.) Currently living in Raywick, KY, following a stint as Artist in Residence, Director of Outreach and Artistic Director for St. Catharine College, she's currently recording several different projects. Deck the Halls features twenty-nine mostly Christmas selections for solo piano, played in a distinctly non-traditional manner. Available by contacting her at abundantlycomplete@msn.com.

Louisvillian Sid Griffin, perhaps best known in Louisville as the leader of the Long Ryders, was in town recently to visit his parents, so he took the opportunity to play an unfortunately overlooked and under attended "Live Lunch" gig at WFPK, plus stuff a CD into the LMN mailbox. Griffin now lives in London, England, where he does all the many things he does, including playing with his band The Coal Porters, who recorded the CD he dropped off, The Chris Hillman Tribute Concerts. The Coal Porters morphed into a bluegrass band for this project, even though the original material wasn't necessarily bluegrass. The 17 tunes on this CD are tunes associated with Hillman's career, from his bluegrass days to the Byrds to the Desert Rose Band. It's a lot of fun to listen to. Look for a review in a future issue. To order, log onto www.sidgriffin.com. You could also check with ear X-tacy Records.

(Editor's note: anybody have any idea how many records feature a photo of either the front sign from the Do Drop Inn or the sign that says "Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music"? Or how many bars are called that and have that sign? Just wondering.)

Alan Rhody, who is apparently the Rodney Daingerfield of country songwriters, has to produce and release all his own records, even though his songs have launched the careers of three separate country artists. His latest, Journey, features performances by a string of guest artists, including John Prine, the late John Hartford, Maura O'Connell and more. There are thirteen songs, including my favorite, "Real Big Country," the-revenge-is-a-dish-best-served-cold "Charlene and the Quarterback" and "Trainwreck of Emotion," co-written with Jon Vezner and inspired by a comment by John Gage. Look for a review in a future issue. To order, log onto http://www.alanrhody.com or you could check with ear X-tacy Records.

Engineer Chris Cassetta decided to release this compilation CD, Unsigned Extreme, just because he had put so much work (and money) into getting the songs recorded. It features tunes from twelve Louisville-area heavy hardcore bands, including My Own Victim; Sen; Tornacade; Krosmember; Evil Engine #9; the defunct Aqua Jones; Incursion 502; E-Flat; Factor IX; Faceplant; Adrenal Intake and Countermeasure. Amazingly, most of the acts are still around, so this disc might actually do them so good. Look for a review later, but in the meantime, log onto www.canyonstudio.com or check the ever-cited ear X-tacy Records.

Monorail has a new CD, essex, that's just been released. Monorail began as the songwriting duo of Tom Cantrell and Marc Linquist, released a project, [sic], as New World Buffet, then became Monorail, playing what they call "inventive subdued pop with Pink Floyd influences." Logo on to monorailband.com or check your favorite Louisville record store.

Check pages 21 and 22 for reviews of these new Louisville CDs as well: SpiritMusic by Lewis Mathis; Every Night by Four; Junkyard Café by Jakeleg and the eponymous Rise and Fall from the Lexington band of that name.

Needless to say, there are plenty of other Louisville CDs available, many of which you have not yet heard or - more importantly - bought. The current batch of available recordings includes some of the best Louisville music, so do your part to keep the scene hot and by a CD or four from a Louisville act. As always, check at ear X-tacy Records or down Bardstown Road at Bonnycastle in Better Days Records for a good selection in whatever style you want of Louisville CDs. You'll be glad you did.