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The Horizon Broadening Thread

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This thread is designed to broaden your musical horizons. Just say a genre/artist you don't know much about, and let people tell you about it, give you the basics, etc.

I don't know anything about soul, the only soul albums I've ever heard are "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye and an album by Al Green that my dad listens to a lot.

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Soul...let's be direct...black music. It's everything from early RnB (Big Joe Turner, Sam Cooke) to Motown(Smokey Robinson) to STAX (Otis Redding) and to current day music.

I suggest you try Motown first. Temptations, Four Tops, Supremes, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, the list goes on and on. Google Motown artists and have fun discovering some of the best ever recorded. Do the same with STAX artists for even more.

Great sing-along, danceable music. Yet soulful and sensual.

As for Folk, Shawna you've already sampled some Dylan. Try some Joan Baez or Phil Ochs to get more of a feel from that era. Or you can go back to the days of Pete Seeger, Woodie Guthrie for the earlier days of American Folk. Then there's the 60's/70's Folk Rock of The Byrds, CSN&Y, etc.

Don't overlook English Folk like Fairport Convention, Steel Eye Span or Rennaissance to name a few.

Canadian Gordon Lightfoot has a large songbook full of great songs.

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Uncle Joe, thanks, I'll try those bands. Are they "album bands" or are would I be better off checking out some greatest hits collections? Also, what exactly does STAX mean? I've heard one Otis song, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay," and I like it a lot.

Shawna, thank you for the nice compliment, and although I don't listen to folk all that much, I can't reccomend Nick Drake enough. He's got one pretty good album ("Bryter Layter") and two brilliant albums ("Five Leaves Left" and "Pink Moon"). "Five Leaves Left" is pretty accessible orchestrated folk pop. It's great to listen to during this time of year, actually. It's very soft and relaxing. The musicianship is pretty impressive as well. "Pink Moon" is my 4th favorite album of all time, but it's not for everyone. It's just Drake with his acoustic guitar (and piano in one song), playing some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. It's basically a man pouring his soul into a record. Some people think it's boring and meandering, but I can't find a single flaw.

Our Shadows Taller than Our Souls, pop is a very broad genre, and I think to give you good reccomendations, I should know a bit more about your musical taste...so what kind of music do you listen to? I can guess you like classic rock, but what else? Favorite bands?

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Thanks for the recommendations Joe and Batman :)

I'm a numbskull in that it would appear that I've heard a bit more folk music than I knew. I just never knew it was folk. :doh: :puppyeyes:

I'll keep these names and give them a try (the ones I haven't heard yet).

By the way, Joe, a little story to go with Joan Baez... my ex-father-in-law was one of her best friends in elementary school. In her autobiography she refers to the two kids she hung out with - one black, I think, the other Mexican. My ex-father-in-law was the Mexican. :grin:

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Batman - Stax Records was an early producer of soul music. Booker T., Otis, Sam & Dave, among others.

Stax was based in Memphis, and along with Muscle Shoals Sound in Alabama (Aretha, Wilson Pickett, tons of others) put out a ridiculous amount of classic soul/R&B records.

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Seeker...I love the blues! I have been listening to them for years. From Buddy Guy, BB King, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Roy Buchanan, to some of the new blues artists of today...Joe Bonamassa, Susan Tedeschi, and others. Check out this other thread on the blues. And when you see bluesboy on, talk to him, he has a wealth of blues knowledge.


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1-Yes, those Motown artists did produce several albums each. Too many to begin to collect now unless your resources are unlimited. Their Greatest Hits Or Ultimate Collections are excellent. You'll miss some of the less popular songs but ya gotta start somewhere.

2-See Das's post re: Stax.

Shawna, that's interesting about Joan Baez. Of course she and her sister Mimi (Baez, Farina)were of Mexican heritage.

Shawna the Folkie. Who would've guessed?

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To shadows....pop is so broad, like Batman said. I'm sure some of the artists I'll mention aren't strictly pop, but: '80's Michael Jackson (the Thriller and Bad albums), Prince (even though he crosses into several genres), Fountains of Wayne, Barenaked Ladies, Keane. I don't know if my favorites Billy Joel or Elton John classify as pop (I don't think in the purest sense, even though they have pop songs), but I'd highly recommend either of them.

These artists are more in the rock side of pop: Jellyfish (I'm trying to get another convert, das), Franz Ferdinand, The Killers

If you want pure mindless pop, you could delve into the boy bands (New Kids on The Block, N*Sync) or Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, that kind of thing.....

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Ok, I am pretty set in my ways when it comes to the music I listen to. But, since I love it so much and it is a huge part of my life, I want to reach out and touch the music of today. Now most of you know what I like, classic rock, blues, soul, and jazz. I don't like loud banging music and singers that scream for the most part. I am drawn to artists that have something to say and that have something to contribute to the music world, not just top 40 hits. Ok, turn me on to a new artist or band from 2000 on.

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The little band I was once in used to do 'The King is Half Undressed' by Jellyfish because we liked doing really obscure (but great) covers....next to nobody in the UK have a clue they even existed...we had the same response when we did Mutton Birds tunes and even Gin Blossoms stuff....I used to love it when some folks would ask us who this stuff was originally done by...

Jellyfish :coolio:


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Jane, I think you'd like Gnarls Barkley, if you don't already know about them. I don't know about having something to say, but their sound is definitely funky and cool, and different than everything else out there

OK....I am not really into country, so someone who is, please educate me. Nothing too twangy, please!

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Jenny, thanks I will check it out. And I do like some country. Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood are ones I favor, but I am getting into Rascal Flatts. Check them out, they have more of a rock sound. And the lead singer is cute! But I do like their sound, it doesn't sound "country". They have a hit with Life Is A Highway from the movie Cars.

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Jane, I think you'd like Gnarls Barkley, if you don't already know about them. I don't know about having something to say, but their sound is definitely funky and cool, and different than everything else out there

OK....I am not really into country, so someone who is, please educate me. Nothing too twangy, please!

Jenny, I was never a big fan of country music, but over the last few years, I've discovered several artists I like.

Mary Chapin Carpenter - IMO, one of the best singer/songwriters in the business. All but her first and last albums are excellent, but my favourites are A Place In The World and Shooting Straight In The Dark.

Trisha Yearwood - she has a lovely voice and her music is definitely not twangy.

Emmylou Harris - a sultry alto voice and another great songwriter.

The Desert Rose Band featuring Chris Hillman formerly of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Excellent musicianship and catchy pop/country tunes make them worth listening to.

Southern Pacific - rocking country music in the tradition of Sawyer Brown and Alabama.

Steve Earle - a literate country-rocker whose best effort IMO, is the album Guitar Town even though it does not contain his biggest hit, Copperhead Road.

Marty Robbins - unlike so many of his contemporaries, Robbins didn't sing with a pronounced nasal twang. And boy, could he sing!

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Jane, here's a quick rundown of some of my favorite (and some of the most critically acclaimed) artists of the 00's. These are bands who aren't in it for money, as far as I can tell. Plus, a youtube link to a great song or two from the album!!! You don't have to watch the videos, you can have them on in the background.

Radiohead - Kid A

Hate the world? Afraid of the rise of technoloy? Then you'll be able to connect with Thom Yorke. This album is not for everyone, because it's far too experimental for most people. However, if you can get past it's weirdness, it's genius.

National Anthem

Morning Bell

The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

Knowing your musical tastes, there's a good chance you did not like "Elephant" by the White Stripes, despite the massive praise from the critics. Get Behind Me Satan is a lot different though. Jack White takes the rawness of garage rock and uses it in different, more rootsy genres of music, such as folk, blues, and country.

The Denial Twist

Listen to "Take Take Take" if you can.

Here are some of their hits from their album "Elephant," which is mostly a bluesy garage rock album.

Seven Nation Army (you've probably heard this one)

Ball and Biscuit

Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People

(Their self titled debut is good as well)

Broken Social Scene are truly a rock n roll orchestra. These 17 Canadians play emotionally powerful indie rock. That's right, 17 people, which includes 5 guitarists. They create a wall of sound that is pretty beautiful even when heavy.

7/4 Shoreline (one of the best songs of the past few years)

I'm Still Your Fag (the video starts out a little depressing, but don't worry, there's a happy ending, I think)

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Before Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco was an "alternative country" band. They played country with a bit of a rock twist to it. With Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, they became an emotional and experimental band, and created a true work of art that you have to take your time with (which is probably why it isn't incredibly popular, but was loved by critics)

Jesus etc.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

A concept album about the end of the world, as far as I can tell. The Lips remind me of Pink Floyd in that they have sweet and singable pop melodies but still have a very artsy and exerimental side to them.

Do You Realize?

Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow

A modern leader of what is now being called the "freak folk" scene. This hippie continues the beautiful tradition of appearing weird and creepy to normal people. His music is very nice, and his voice is very unique.

Heard Somebody Say

Sight to Behold

I'm sure I'll think of some more later

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OK....I am not really into country, so someone who is, please educate me. Nothing too twangy, please!

I agree with Jane on Rascall Flatts - absolutely. I do like country music - but not into the twangy stuff. I like the more rock-flavored stuff.

I think that Mary Chapin Carpenter has some wonderful stuff - her first(?) CD "Come On Come On" is a great collection of work.

Montgomery Gentry is a fabulous duo (not to mention fabulous to look at) :grin:

And Keith Urban is all of the above, as well. All without being twangy.

I will stick my neck out there and say the Dixie Chicks are really good, as well. I don't find them twangy at all.

And naturally, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers - although they're not "classified" as country, they do have some fun country stomps, and some incredible rock and roll.

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