Category Archives: Liner Notes

Liner Notes: A Wintery Mix 2016

My “child” has become a teenager…YIKES! Lucky year 13 for this annual compilation, which represents my favorite music discovered during the past year. Hopefully you’ll find several tracks you like, and perhaps some artists you might not otherwise hear. Please check out their other work…this sampling is just the tip of the iceberg of their respective talents.

This year’s compilation is dedicated to my six siblings who attended my wedding this year. They come from far & wide to show their support for their baby brother who finally tied the knot. Some of them – or their children – also played integral roles in the ceremony & reception. We couldn’t have done it without them, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable without them.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this year’s collection…and perhaps you’ll also want to do a little jig. Thanks for listening, and best wishes for 2017!
xo, jr

A WINTERY MIX 2016

  1. Never Come HomeRobbie Fulks
  2. Small World Idina Menzel
  3. Hands (A Song for Orlando) – Various Artists

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  1. Rise Up – Andra Day
  2. Surprise Yourself – Jack Garratt
  3. How Many Times Eryn Allen Kane

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  1. Brother – Sam Trump featuring Add-2
  2. Never Forget You – Zara Larsson & MNEK
  3. Nice Dreams – Son Little

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  1. Highs & Lows – Emeli Sandé
  2. This is Your Night – The Flat Five Chicago
  3. You Were Right – RÜFÜS DU SOL

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  1. Time – The Knocks
  2. Stevie Knows – Olly Murs
  3. Desire Years & Years

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  1. Kill the Lights – Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy
  2. Empty Threat – CHVRCHES
  3. Love is Free Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique featuring Maluca

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Liner Notes: A Wintery Mix 2015

This 12th annual compilation represents my favorite music from the year just passed. You’ll not only find tracks you may like, but also artists you might not otherwise hear. I encourage you to check out their other work…this sampling is just the tip of the iceberg of their respective talents.

Every year I dedicate this compilation to someone who’s made a major mark on my life in the past year. This year it’s dedicated to Indy & Buster, the two dogs I adopted when my partner moved in with me this year. Those who know me well are surprised that I’m allowing dogs to live in my space (as I was at first). But their loyalty and unconditional love have won me over, and they’ve taught me a lesson (or ten) along the way.

I hope you enjoy this year’s collection. Thanks, as always, for listening and for your support. Happy New Year… and best wishes for 2016!
xo, jr

A WINTERY MIX 2015

  1. I Know Where I’ve Been – Glee Cast (featuring Alex Newell)
  2. Once I Was Loved Melody Gardot
  3. Down Here – Shelby Lynne
  4. Your Name Liam Gerard (featuring Johanna Mathews)

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  1. 24 Frames – Jason Isbell
  2. Talk me Down – Troye Sivan
  3. Ghost Town – Adam Lambert
  4. Fight Song – Rachel Platten

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  1. What I Did for Love – David Guetta (featuring Emeli Sandé)
  2. Head in the Clouds – Shamir
  3. Get Your Love – Leo Kalyan
  4. BurnItUp! – Janet (featuring Missy Elliott)

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  1. Drive You Home – Sam Feldt & The Him (featuring The Donnies The Amys)
  2. Déjà vu – Giorgio Moroder (featuring Sia)
  3. Nervous X Ambassadors
  4. Love me Like you Do (Cosmic Dawn Radio Edit) Ellie Goulding

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Liner Notes: A Wintery Mix 2014

This annual compilation is in its 11th year, and it represents my favorite tracks from the year just passed. I trust you’ll not only find tracks you like, but also artists you might not otherwise hear. I encourage you to check out their other work…this sampling is just the tip of the iceberg.

I always dedicate this compilation to someone who’s made a major mark on my life in the past year. This year it’s dedicated to my mother, who turned 80 this year. She’s always made an indelible mark on my life, but she’s also the person responsible for introducing me to music as a toddler, and for encouraging me to play music in school. Thank you, Mom!

I hope you enjoy this year’s collection. And please leave your feedback in the comments below. Thanks, as always, for your support. Happy New Year… and best wishes for 2015! xo, jr

A WINTERY MIX 2014

  1. Smalltown Boy (2014 Reprise) – Jimmy Somerville
  2. Heart is a Drum – Beck
  3. Let it Go – Levi Kreis
  4. Serpents – Grieves

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  1. Every Little Thing – Röyksopp & Robyn
  2. Holding on for Life – Broken Bells
  3. Unmissable – Gorgon City featuring Zak Abel
  4. Uptight Downtown – La Roux

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  1. Stranger to my Happiness – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  2. Old Me Better – Keb’ Mo’
  3. Nobody but You – Mary J. Blige
  4. Separate Ways – The Well

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  1. Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
  2. Endorphins Sub Focus featuring Alex Clare
  3. I’m not Coming Down (Tony Moran Radio Mix) Martha Wash
  4. I Believe Bright Light Bright Light

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Liner Notes: In Memory of Frankie Knuckles 1955-2014

Browse & purchase this albumThe Whistle Song Frankie Knuckles (1991)
Born Francis Nicholls, this American DJ, producer & remixer helped birth house music out of the ashes of disco. His DJ work at underground clubs in Chicago in the late 70’s & early 80’s laid the groundwork for techno & other variations of house music. As house music gained mainstream acceptance in the UK in the late 80’s, Knuckles turned more to remixing & production work, forming DefMix Productions with fellow DJ David Morales. While working with artists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, & Luther Vandross, they redefined how dance mixes were produced & recorded and spawned a new generation of DJ/remixers who would come to define electronic dance music (EDM). Knuckles was recognized with the inaugural Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical, in 1997. And in 2005, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. Health issues started slowing him down in 2008, but Knuckles continued to make appearances at clubs & festivals. Knuckles passed away yesterday at age 59.

Liner Notes: A Wintery Mix 2013

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this annual compilation, which represents my favorite tracks from the year gone-by. I hope you not only find some tracks you like, but also some artists you might not otherwise hear. I encourage you to check out their other work…you won’t be disappointed.

Each year, I dedicate this compilation to someone who’s made an indelible mark on my life in the past year. This year it’s dedicated to Victor, my love & best friend, whom I met early in the year. 2013 wouldn’t be the same without him.

Enjoy! And please leave your feedback in the comments below. Thanks, as always, for your support. Happy New Year… and best wishes for 2014! xo, jr

A WINTERY MIX 2013

  1. Everyone Can Start AgainBrother Leather
  2. MirrorsJustin Timberlake
  3. Childhood’s EndMajical Cloudz
  4. HeavenDepeche Mode

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  1. Have MeBombadil
  2. Lovers in RomeThe Shadowboxers
  3. BlackbirdDido
  4. I’d Rather be HighDavid Bowie

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  1. Ephemeral SummerFrankmusik
  2. The John WayneGreen Little Cars
  3. CameronJillette Johnson
  4. I Can Hear You SayBlake Morgan

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  1. Further OnBronze Radio Return
  2. Don’t Love MeMoby featuring Inyang Bassey
  3. All-American Boy Steve Grand
  4. Tourniquet Jeremy Messersmith

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Liner Notes: In Memory of Lou Reed 1942-2013

Browse & purchase this albumPerfect Day – Lou Reed (1972)
Lou Reed was a ground-breaking American musician and photographer who made a name for himself as founder of the Velvet Underground in the late 60’s. Despite their lack of mainstream commercial or sustained success, the band’s distinctive work elevated them to cult status. Reed went on to have a successful solo career during the 70’s, leveraging his poetic songwriting talent and sexually-ambiguous persona. In 1987, Reed reunited with VU co-founder John Cale, and they toured sporadically well into the 90’s. And VU were inducted into the Rock & Hall of Fame in 1996. Reed continued to be a prolific producer & contributor for fellow musicians well into the 2000’s, but also presented & published his own photography. Earlier this year, Reed underwent a liver transplant. He died earlier today at age 71.

Liner Notes: In Memory of Peter Rauhofer 1965-2013

Browse & purchase this singleBeautiful (Peter Rauhofer Remix) – Christina Aguilera (2002)
Peter Rauhofer, who also used the stage names Club 69 and Size Queen, was an Austrian producer/DJ who made a name for himself as resident DJ at one of New York City’s biggest gay clubs, as well as touring internationally at various gay circuit events. He specialized in tribal house music, and he broadened his appeal as electronic dance music (EDM) became more accessible & mainstream. Rauhofer remixed for the biggest names in popular music: Madonna, Cher, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, P!nk, and Britney Spears…to name just a few. And in 2000, he was recognized with a Grammy for Remixer of the Year. Mr. Rauhofer passed away today at the age of 48 after a brief battle with brain cancer.

Liner Notes: A Wintery Mix 2012

Sorry for the delay in making this post, but my recent move to Chicago & new job really kicked my butt. And I’m still catching up.

This annual compilation, now in its ninth year, represents my favorite tracks from the past year. And they’re placed in an order that fits the mood of the year, the rhythm of the songs, and how they best flow together. I hope you not only find some songs you like, but also some artists you might not otherwise hear. I encourage you to check out their other work…you won’t be disappointed.

Each year, I dedicate this compilation to someone who’s made an indelible mark on my life in the past year. This year it’s dedicated to my dear friends Martin & Waverly. Without them, my adventure to Chicago could not have taken place. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Enjoy! And please leave your feedback in the comments below. Thanks, as always, for your support. Happy New Year… and best wishes for 2013! xo, jr

A WINTERY MIX 2012

  1. Cry at FilmsBright Light Bright Light (featuring Del Marquis)
  2. Let Him InEliot Bronson & Yonder Orphans
  3. Full CircleHalf Moon Run
  4. 4 AMMelanie Fiona

Blueprints EP - Bright Light Bright LightMilwaukee - Eliot Bronson & Yonder OrphansDark Eyes - Half Moon RunThe MF Life - Melanie Fiona

  1. The Siren’s CallDarren Hayes
  2. Nancy From Now OnFather John Misty
  3. Foreign FieldsElton John vs. PNAU
  4. Everyone’s WaitingMissy Higgins

Secret Codes & Battleships - Darren HayesFear Fun - Father John MistyGood Morning to the Night - Elton John vs. PNAUThe Ol' Razzle Dazzle - Missy Higgins

  1. My Kind of LoveEmeli Sandé
  2. Is Your Love Big Enough?Lianne La Havas
  3. Feet to FollowJay Andrew
  4. FreeHaley Reinhart

Our Version of Events - Emeli SandeIs Your Love Big Enough? - Lianne La HavasSafe in Sound - Jay AndrewListen Up! - Haley Reinhart

  1. DeathwishBebe Black
  2. Born to be BlueThe Mavericks
  3. Fading Listening Shiny Toy Guns
  4. The Unknown Faces at Father James ParkThe Phenomenal Handclap Band

The Black Lion Sessions - Bebe BlackSuited Up & Ready - The MavericksIII - Shiny Toy GunsForm & Control - The Phenomenal Handclap Band

  1. YouthFoxes
  2. How Deep is Your Love? The Rapture
  3. Lessons in LoveKaskade (featuring Neon Trees)
  4. Don’t Give In TonightGraham Alexander

Youth - FoxesIn the Grace of Your Love - The RaptureFire & Ice - KaskadeGraham Alexander - Graham Alexander

Liner Notes: 1,000 & counting…

Today marks the 1,000th post on this blog. I can’t believe what started on March 2, 2010, has made it this far. At that time, I was unemployed and looking for something to stretch my creative muscles and share my life-long love of music. My day job has come & gone… and come again… BUT my love of music and willingness to share continue.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as well. I always welcome suggestions for post topics and feedback on how I can improve the site. Thanks to those who’ve contributed thus far. I have some plans for the near future… look for changes on the site in the next few months! Plus, I recently moved from Austin to Chicago, so you may detect a slight change in influence as I soak up all the good talent the Chicago music scene has to offer.

But now…back to the star of the show: MUSIC.

Liner Notes: In Memory of Hal David 1921-2012

What the World Needs Now is Love – Jackie DeShannon (1965)
Hal David started a songwriting partnership with Burt Bachrach in 1957 which produced some of the most enduring popular songs of the 20th century. The most frequent and visible benefactor of David’s lyrics and Bachrach’s music was Dionne Warwick, but they also worked with a wide variety of other top vocalists, as demonstrated by this track. David was recognized with an Oscar, multiple Grammys, Johnny Mercer Award, Ivor Novello Award (the first non-Briton to do so), and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, he & Bachrach were the first collaborative team to earn the Gershwin Prize. Mr. David passed away Saturday at the age of 91.