The soundtrack to the new Drew Barrymore/Eric Bana/Robert Duvall movie Lucky You is out on Sony Soundtrax, and features two old Bruce Springsteen tracks (“Lucky Town” and “The Fever”), a couple Bob Dylan songs (the classic “Like A Rolling Stone” and the brand new “Huck's Tune”) as well as a couple of George Jones country tracks (“Choices” and “I Always Get Lucky with You”). It also includes an older Liza Minnelli swing recording of “Maybe This Time,” and a soft piano ballad, “The Cold Hard Truth,” sung in the film by Drew Barrymore. There are also songs from Bonnie Raitt, Madeleine Peyroux, Kris Kristofferson and Ryan Adams.
On the oldies front, the Legacy label has partnered with RCA to release a best of from Jose Feliciano titled Light My Fire: The Very Best of Jose Feliciano. The collection offers 16 of the hispanic superstar's tracks, including his hit version of the Doors' “Light My Fire,” as well as his recordings of “California Dreamin'” “In My Life,” “She's A Woman,” “Susie-Q,” “The Windmills of Your Mind,” and his recording of the “Chico and the Man” TV theme.
Legacy and Epic have collaborated to issue a box set of Sly and the Family Stone's commemorating the 40 th anniversary of the band's debut album. The Collection includes all seven of the group's albums from 1967-1974, featuring new liner notes and 33 bonus tracks, two-thirds of them previously unreleased. Sly and the Family Stone virtually invented modern funk, and these discs include the hits “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Family Affair” and more. Each of the albums included in the box set are also available separately.
Legacy has also dug into the Leonard Cohen catalogue to celebrate his 40 th anniversary as a Columbia Records artist. The label has re-issued his late ‘60s debut albums Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs from a Room and as well as 1971's Songs of Love and Hate. Cohen has since enjoyed a long and critically acclaimed career, with scores of artists covering his songs, and these early discs include his own classic recordings of “Suzanne,” “Sisters of Mercy,” So Long, Marianne,” “Bird on the Wire,” and more.
You don't expect a Norwegian girl recently relocated to Australia to turn up with a great country-rock album, but that's what Ann-Marita did with her independent self-titled debut in 2004. When that disc was released I wrote that she should easily score a major record deal, but so far, no dice on that prediction – she's still on a tiny label. But with Intuition, she proves unequivocably that her first album was no fluke.
Described by one critic as “better than all of the Dixie Chicks combined!” Ann-Marita delivers both crisp and emotional vocals that range from sweet to sultry on her second album of self-penned songs. She opens the disc with some big riff strutting electric guitar work on “A Woman's Intuition,” which extols the virtues of listening to your gut. Then there's the emotional electric guitar frustrated-in-love ballad “What the Hell (Goes On In There),” where she sings of a lover who won't open up:
“I love you madly
you drive me crazy
you're not under my thumb
you're under my skin.”
While the disc is filled with songs of tough relationship issues, it doesn't stick with just a twangy country delivery. Ann-Marita slips in touches of rock and blues guitar on some songs, and with “Three Magic Words,” she adds a little funky rhythm to the story of another lover who promises again and again those three words that you just know will never come true: “I will change”.
In “Company Town” she uses an old-fashioned male background chorus as she tells the story of a girl ready to strike out on her own after chronicling the mysterious origins of her birth. And with “Mrs. You” she slips in some harmonica and a bluesy twang as she tells the story of a woman who decides that she will no longer simply be the second fiddle of her husband:
“I've got things to do that you know nothing about
Fourteen years of giving away, what I can't live without
Gonna make a change that's way overdue
Won't keep on bein' simply Mrs. You."
The album closes with the gentle “Done Doin' Time,” which has a couple melodic notes that bring to mind “Me and Bobby McGee” as she sings about leaving behind the shackles of the past: “done doin' time in the prison of my mind.”
If you like an honest singer with some catchy country roots, seek out this album and discover a true treasure in Ann-Marita. For song samples and more information, check out her website at www.annmarita.com.