Things have been quiet in the Will McCranie camp. I was beginning to think all those entertainment options available in the Augusta-bred songwriter's new New York home had distracted him from the business of making music.
Not only has Mr. McCranie been playing regularly (with a full band, I might add) but he also has just embarked on a ambitious and probably slightly crazy endeavor. He calls it the 52/52 project, and the idea is simple: He will release one new recording each week for the entire year. That's 52 songs -- all new.
The first track, It Ain't Like Georgia , is already up on Mr. McCranie's MySpace and Facebook pages. I am interested to see how this structured approach to writing and recording affects him as an artist. It could be an accelerated evolution or a bad burnout. Remember, Mr. McCranie, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
THE LAST LIST (PROBABLY NOT)
I thought I had wrapped my annual litany of lists for 2009 a couple of weeks ago. Turns out, I was wrong. Last week, Augusta musician/promoter Joe Stevenson called me about assembling a set of 15 favorite songs from 2009 for The Radar, the weekly radio show he does with Chris Rucker. It was tougher than anticipated. Below are 10 national and regional releases and five local tunes that got consistent spins last year. I hope you'll hear some of these tracks soon on The Radar.
The Thermals: When I Died
WILCO: I'll Fight
SILVERSUN PICKUPS: It's Nice to Know You Work Alone
THE DEAD WEATHER: Treat Me Like Your Mother
GRIZZLY BEAR: Two Weeks
JAY-Z: D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT: Good
U2: I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
PART BEAR: Alcohol
L.i.E.: Heir to Ruin
THE CUBISTS: Fire in the Back Yard
GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING: Say It's Alright
TURF WAR: Cheers for the Years
RONNIE HILL: This Is Love
A MISSING BEAT
Jordan Leopard, the long-standing drummer for the perpetually inventive rock-rap act Jemani, announced last week that he would no longer be providing the boom and crash for the popular act. Although he is an excellent musician, Mr. Jordan and his wife, Julie, recently welcomed a son into the world, and health problems have sent him for an extended stay at Walton Rehab. I feel sure I speak for your family, friends, fans and former band when I say we all want to see you up and around, even if it isn't behind a kit.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.