Musical Discoveries from the WuFlu Quarantine Era +VIDEO
Outstanding music is often the best part of a beautiful long drive
By Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
To me, one good thing has come out of the 2020 Covid 19 sheltering-at-home, and that good thing is my discovery* that great melodic music still exists.
Almost as important, it's virtually free to access on YouTube. It doesn't come with any political messages (from any side), and you don't have to put up with any self-indulgent harangues from TV amateur hour panelists; it's just there to be enjoyed while trying to figure out why these people are not yet universally celebrated. In each instance, there's an abundance of selections from the artists that span a decade or more years right up to the last couple of days. You can listen and watch for hours and hours.
Here's my list of discoveries:
HINDLEY STREET COUNTRY CLUB
Australian band founded by Con Delo and Darren Mullan. Every performance includes a collection of featured musicians and singers - it's hard to pick a favorite, they are all fantastic. The songs are covers of contemporary tunes, in many instances better than the original performers and performances. Most videos were shot in a parlor-looking studio, but some are from live performances. The audio quality is unbelievable.
Three excellent representative YouTube videos are:
• HSCC's direct website link is http://www.thehscc.com.
LEONID & FRIENDS
Moving from 'down under' to 'up and over' is this exceptional cover band from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. Although they primarily cover the group CHICAGO, they also give us wonderful renditions of other popular songs. The performances frequently include vocalists and musicians from other countries. Videos were shot in studio and at live performances. It would seem like it's impossible to say that these guys do Chicago better than the group Chicago, but as you'll read in the comments section of the YouTube videos, many people think so. The group was put together about six years ago by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Leonid Vorobyev. Listening to, and watching these videos is pure joy, just like you remember from the originals.
Two excellent YouTube videos are:
• Leonid & Friends direct website link is http://leonidandf.com.
POST MODERN JUKEBOX
What happens when you mix the timeless style of the great big bands with the greatest pop songs of the past century? You get Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox, a reinterpretation of classic modern songs as if they were performed in the days before television. For example, imagine a Guns and Roses song done as a 1930's Chicago Jazz number. Fronting many of PMJ's versions are such stunning songstresses as Morgan James, Haley Reinhart, Aly Ryan, Ariana Savalas, Sunny Holiday. Some performances were produced in simple settings, and some are glitzy videos, some feature tap dancing, and there's even some surprise guest performers like Puddles the Sad Clown and Gunhild Carling. PMJ is truly the best of two (or more) worlds.
Four excellent YouTube videos are:
• PMJ's direct website link is https://postmodernjukebox.com/home.
JOSH TURNER GUITAR
Mild mannered-looking Joshua Lee Turner is like a bespectacled Clark Kent who then reveals his true identity as a musical Superman. His videos go back over 10 years to when he performed in his Brooklyn boyhood bedroom and classrooms, to venues all over America. Josh is a terrific guitar player - obviously - but he doesn't just play the guitar, and he's a terrific vocalist, too. Josh is usually joined with an intriguing diverse group of young performers, in particular his longtime chum Carson McKee (Carson and his brother Skylar have his own YT channels with fabulous music). The range of songs performed by Josh and his Legion of Super Musical Heroes is quite astounding, and although he is often accompanied by nothing more than one instrument, the quality of the audio is like 12 on a scale from 1 to 10 (besting the legendary Spinal Tap "11" by one more). Josh's YouTube play list also includes a couple of his original songs, and if his foreign language vocals don't impress you, you must be dead.
Some excellent YouTube videos are:
With a full band
Most recent video
• Josh's direct website link is https://www.joshualeeturner.com.
FOXES AND FOSSILS
Meanwhile, this group from Atlanta, founded by veteran musician Tim Purcell, presents beautiful versions of some of the greatest blue-grass, country-pop songs. The group bridges two generations of performers: lovely young ladies and grizzled old guys; hence the group's name. They cover a wide, wide assortment of songs.
Two excellent YouTube videos are:
• Fox and Fossils' direct website link is https://foxesandfossils.com.
I hope you enjoy these spectacular groups and performers as much as I do and that it takes some of the strain out of the times. If you have any recommendations that you'd like to share please post it on THE AUTO CHANNEL's Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.
* The "discoveries" are just my awareness of these people. Millions of other music fans around the world have already discovered them way before me.