For the last few years, Bongo Boy Records has kept with a tradition – they round up all of their artists that made the first voting ballot for the Grammy Awards, and then they showcase that talent on one single, comprehensive compilation album. Though these artists didn’t make it to the second voting ballot, the talent and musical skill present in this collection of tracks are undeniable. With The Grammy Awards in their 63rd year in 2021, this two-disc special is aptly named The 63rd FYC Album.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
This 20 track album is full of standouts – which is no surprise given the caliber of artist needed to make it on the ballot we’re talking about. It ranges in style from hard rock to folk to singer-songwriter to everything in between, and
Bleed For The Truth by Fiction Syxx is a great opener, full of dark energy and vibrance in the heavy rock space. Big Bone Daddy‘s track Promised Land is all grit and soul, a truly bluesy number with a driving, swampy tone. Dust In The Western Sky is a great combination of country twang and straight-ahead rock by Frank Trousdell, his voice slightly reminiscent of Bon Jovi with a little more polish. These tracks, all of exceedingly high quality and musicianship, flow seamlessly into one another, with just enough similarities between all of their differences to create a compelling listening experience.
Other highlights from the first half of this record include Oblivea’s Watch The Fall, alternative and grungy in execution, Money Pain by Annemarie Picerno and Bob McGilpin with its classic, down-home blues-rock sound, and the spacey, modern pop sounds of Diana Dilee Maher on her powerful track Holding Onto Nothing But Love. We also love the inclusion of Na zdrowie! Polka (Nostrovia!) by Zupe and The Polka Commandos – a good polka isn’t easy to find these days, and it’s even rarer to find one on a compilation album like this – truly proving that there is something for everyone on this release.
The second half of this project delivers just as many compelling, well-executed tracks as the first half, including a few artists that we already heard from on the first side – hats off to them in particular for getting multiple tracks on the first round Grammy Ballot. Newcomers on the second side include David LaDuke’s Psychedelic Sandwich, a track living up to its name with its intense, retro-psych sound and absolutely killer guitar solo, The Time Is Right Today from Sharon Katz & The Peace Train – delicate, intricate, and a worldly assortment of instruments – and Johnny & The Mongrel’s Louisiana Girl, with its big band brass and authentic soul sound that feels like it walked right out of the heart of the deep American south. We also love the sultry, beach sounds of Cabo San Lucas from Studeo, a true summery, sweet, and immersive number that puts the listener right in paradise.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
All the way down at number 16 on this 20 track collection is Kamini Natarajan & Oleg Smirnov’s track Om Tare. We love this for its true uniqueness on this compilation, fascinating combination of genres, and brilliant production. The classical Indian style vocals over an array of modern, minimalistic instrumentation create a captivating juxtaposition. You don’t need to speak the language being sung to appreciate the brilliant compositional and production work that went into creating this complex and textured listening experience – a perfect melding of old and new musical elements.
We get a lot of great music from Bongo Boy Records, and they regularly work with a fantastic lineup of artists. But this selection here is the true cream of the crop. There’s nothing but positive things to say about every single track on this album. Their place on the first round of Grammy Ballots is absolutely well deserved, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear any of these artists moving further along in the selection process in years to come. But for now, fans of quite literally any genre can (and should) get their hands on a copy of The 63rd FYC Album, and enjoy the best of the best from some incredible up and coming talent.
BELOW: Listen to The 63rd FYC Album and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Bongo Boy Records by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!