RecommNeds | Robert Ellis, Natural Child & Stone Jack Jones

You can stream this week’s RecommNeds and previous featured releases through these handy RDIO and Spotify playlists as part of the new JamBase channels for each.

Robert Ellis : The Lights From the Chemical Plant

Sometimes it all comes together perfectly: the voice, the music, the songs. On The Lights From the Chemical Plant, it definitely all comes together for Robert Ellis. Both his literal and metaphorical “voice” – that is, his singing and his point of view -are in uniquely perfect harmony here, a singer-songwriter, country-based rock and roll full of great imagery and melody. There’s something incredibly satisfying when a musician does a well-matched cover, and Ellis’ take on Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” is a great choice for the fit and the execution. Still, the highlights are when the music seems to spiral into something promising more, like when Ellis sings of his hometown, “Houston,” and a surprising jam takes hold of the outro.

Spotify: Robert Ellis -The Lights From the Chemical Plant
Rhapsody: Robert Ellis -The Lights From the Chemical Plant

Natural Child : Dancin’ With Wolves

What is the midpoint between old school country guitar and organ grooves? I guess it’s just good old rock and roll, right? Because that’s what’s overflowing from Natural Child’s fantastic new album, Dancin’ With Wolves. There’s something to be said for breaking new ground by not really breaking any new ground, which is exactly what’s going on here. Hailing from Nashville (of course!) this album is for fans of The Band and that Laurel Canyon sound or just killer rock and roll music in general. I love this one, I hope you do, too.

Spotify: Natural Child -Dancin’ With Wolves
Rhapsody: Natural Child -Dancin’ With Wolves

Stone Jack Jones : Ancestor

Keeping with the surprisingly heady country-folk-based music, here’s one that crept up on me and hasn’t let go yet… Stone Jack Jones. Sometimes it’s the little details that turn folk into something more transcendent and Jones has infused his new album, Ancestor, with all sorts of heady sounds. Jones is a guy who’s been around long enough to know what he’s doing and it shows on this one. Evocative, haunting and emotional, the album title refers to his lineage of coal miners, but could just as easily be the generations of Nashville musicians he’s coalesced into his own sound. “Jackson” is exemplar, not quite a Johnny Cash cover, but maybe an alternate universe version, with Patty Griffin adding vocals and ambiance both.

Spotify: Stone Jack Jones -Ancestor
Rhapsody: Stone Jack Jones -Ancestor

Written By: Aaron Stein