Shirli McAllen’s recommendation: “It’s a real challenge to choose one artist when there is so much music I love. I was going to go with something classic like Bob Dylan, but then again, everyone already knows about Dylan and his brilliance, right? So I decided to go with something completely new that most people haven’t heard of yet and totally should. Blake Mills. This guy is the best guitarist/singer/songwriter around. He had played with so many huge artists as a session guitar player (Kid Rock, Cass McCombs, Lucinda Williams, Fiona Apple, etc.) and he was also a band member of Simon Dawes.”
New to Blake Mills? Shirli suggests you start here: “In 2010 he released his own solo debut titled Brake Mirrors. It has been my favorite and most frequently listened to album in the past year. Songs like Hey Lover and It’ll All Work Out get to me every time. Blake’s voice, lyrics, guitar parts and overall sound go directly into my soul and give me that bittersweet feeling that I live for. He is original, innovative and sincere. And when you find out how young he is, you won’t believe it. Treat yourself, really. Take a listen.”
Check the Blake Mills web site for tour info, album ordering and more.
About our guest author, Shirli McAllen: Shirli fronts The Leftover Cuties, a band whose rise to success started with a song that was literally written on the back of a napkin. Israeli born McAllin was working in a bar when she scribbled down lyrics for what would become the band’s breakthrough single, Game Called Life. She met up with Austin Nicholsen later that night and the two synched up the lyrics with a chord progression he had been playing on the ukulele. Karma would have it that the tune eventually would become the theme song for the Showtime show, The Big C. And, yes, there are other Cuties. Stuart Johnson (drums), Ryan Feves (bass), and Mike Bolger (keys, horns, and accordion) rounded out the rest of the lineup for their debut album, Places To Go, a collection that was produced by veteran producer, Tony Berg (Squeeze, Peter Gabriel and Michael Penn) and won praise from the likes of Filter Magazine and LA’s KROQ who gushed over McAllen’s ‘sugary sweet vocals.’ We’re right there with them fawning over McAllen’s sultry delivery. The band is finishing up work on a covers EP (you gotta hear them take on Regina Spektor) and are currently on tour. Be sure to visit the Leftover Cuties website for the latest updates.
MP3: Places To Go by Leftover Cuties