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Published on May 13th, 2011 | by Greg


Our Summer Playlist: Putumayo and True Soul

It’s great to re­view gear. But when check­ing out the lat­est in mu­sic equip­ment and home au­dio gad­gets, it’s nice to al­so get a han­dle on some of the newest mu­sic re­leas­es. To­day, we’ve got al­bums from two sources, cov­er­ing an in­ter­est­ing range. One set you’ve prob­a­bly heard of, and the oth­er is an an­thol­o­gy of some ex­cel­lent tracks that are large­ly un­known.

We’ll start with the less­er known. True Soul: Deep Sounds From The Left Of Stax, is a “a col­lec­tion of rare and un­re­leased funk and soul mu­sic from the fa­bled Arkansas in­die.” Two vol­umes chock full of would-be clas­sics that were some­how missed, most of these thir­ty-odd tracks. Now ev­ery­thing is great- some of the dis­co and and rap miss the mark- but there are a few gems in there. Re­leased by Now Again Records, word is that the full re­lease will in­clude DVDs as well, but the of­fi­cial re­lease date ap­pears to be quite a while off- one source has it pegged as Ju­ly! If you’re a fan of funk or soul, there are some sur­pris­ing­ly good pieces in here that are sure to end up in sam­ples soon (a few seem as if they may have al­ready). Rest as­sured that no one else will have these on their playlist any­time soon, and rev­el in some 60′s and 70′s tunes.

Or, you can chill to Pu­tu­mayo. We’ve been lis­ten­ing to their lat­est three- Bossa No­va Around the WorldAcous­tic Dream­land, and Rum­ba, Mam­bo, Cha-Cha-Cha. Pref­er­ences among staff var­ied wide­ly here, with some folks en­joy­ing them as back­ground “cof­fee shop” mu­sic, and oth­ers re­al­ly lik­ing the Rum­ba al­bum start to fin­ish. Acous­tic Dream­land was a lit­tle weak- it’s ac­tu­al­ly an al­bum for kids, the fifth in the se­ries, and fea­tures cov­ers of songs from bands like Wilco and the All­man Broth­ers. The lul­la­bies are nice, but worked a bit too well on the adults. It was nifty to see a pret­ty great Ger­man band, 2raum­woh­nung, on the Bossa No­va al­bum, even if the in­clud­ed song “Melan­cholisch Schön” isn’t their best. This one had some strong spots and a few weak ones, but it was cer­tain­ly in­ter­est­ing to see so many coun­tries- South Ko­rea! Ser­bia!- rep­re­sent­ed on a CD de­vot­ed to a Brazil­ian style. Pu­tu­mayo cer­tain­ly has a style- check out their wide se­lec­tion and ex­pect to spend around $15 per disc.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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