It took five years, but our friend Oimoi has finally released a CD of unique musical offerings a reviewer described as “…expressive harmonies, ear-catching grooves, soothing melodies, and a wide range of instruments and timbres to delight the ear.” This inaugural album, Federal Inspection Service, probably falls best into the ‘lounge’ category; those who make Internet radio streams like Groove Salad and 4clubbers.fm their life soundtrack will likely feel right at home. But there is plenty of subtle ear candy there for the hi-fi and music theory geeks, too!

Bill Morris - Walkin' ThereAnother debut album of note is Kansas City based musician Bill MorrisWalkin’ There. At the very least more info

it is a well-crafted celebration of folk music from Ireland, the British Isles, and America (plus a few original pieces in the same vein). For me it was a fifty-minute show about the weighty issues of love, loss, joy, and family that kept my ears stuck to the headphones until its conclusion. I have heard hundreds – probably thousands – of guitar-wielding balladeers riding the Celtic/Americana wave. But Bill’s self-admitted James Taylor-like voice and the simple, clear recording techniques used on this album lent a sense of intimacy and an emotional presence that is so hard to create outside a live performance setting. (The last time any recording did that for me it was the early ’90s, with Connie Dover’s Somebody.) Bill Morris is a regular performer at Stone Bridge Coffee House in Independence’s Englewood district.