Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of Dec. 17, 2021

Artists to Watch:

For the final time in 2021, here are Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch! Here are the recording artists and groups that I believe could dominate the music industry in the coming years!

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand dropped a holiday EP: In Bethlehem. (Album cover property of Ryan Shupe)

In Bethlehem by Ryan Shupe & The RubberBand

Fifth-generation fiddler Ryan Shupe and his band: The RubberBand, celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary this year. The music group released a four-track EP: In Bethlehem to conclude the celebration.The EP combines Christmas classics such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and new songs penned by Ryan himself. In Bethlehem is a superb holiday album worthy of streaming at numerous holiday parties. A- 

Tracks to Download: “Angels We Have Heard on High,”  “The Night Christ was Born,” & “We Three Kings.”

“Wheel of Love” by Altameda 

Edmonton-based duo Altameda has built a following through festival circuits across North America and Europe. When I first listened to “Wheel of Love,” the track reminded me of a hybrid of Lindsey Buckingham and Zac Brown. I believe that indie music lovers would be fascinated with this song, and hopefully, “Wheel of Love” will propel them to a larger audience. A- 

“Build Me a Way” by Bakar

London-based artist Bakar is building buzz across social media and various media outlets such as Clash, NPR, and Teen Vogue. His latest single, “Build Me a Way,” will give listeners chills. I loved how he blended rap, soul, and gospel for a superb track. B+ 

“Sugar Rush” by Dolleesi

Greece-born turned Los Angeles transplant Dolleesi dropped a new single: “Sugar Rush.” The three-minute and 16-seconds track blew me away! Dolleesi’s vocal range transfixed me, and the lyrics were superb. Bravo, Dolleesi! 

“Hey Skinny Santa” by Louis Prima, Jr. & the Witnesses 

Louis Prima, Jr. and the Witnesses released a holiday single: “Hey Skinny Santa.” The track reminds me of his father’s “Jump, Jive, an’ Wail.” The arrangement is superb from start to finish, and Louis Prima, Jr. is a superb storyteller.  

“Santa Baby” by Sweet Megg

Americana-Jazz singer Sweet Megg rounds out the final edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. She breathed new life into the iconic “Santa Baby” while staying true to the iconic version recorded by the fabulous Eartha Kitt nearly 70 years ago. It was a fantastic arrangement and a splendid way to end 2021. A- 

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