While Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to many hidden wonders, perhaps its most hidden and wonderful is singer/songwriter Sycamore Smith. Armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a delightfully irreverent knack for wordplay, Smith uses minimal arrangements to create songs that are lush worlds in and of themselves, and that multiverse has been captured on Redux. Consisting of four EPs along with a couple of unreleased tracks, the compilation introduces listeners to the cast of sometimes lovable, sometimes deranged, and always charming characters who inhabit his imagination. Whimsical and picaresque, Redux is a collection of hilarious and captivating escapist folk from one of Michigan's best-kept secrets, and if your sense of humor has the right blend of merry and macabre, Sycamore Smith is the songwriter you've been looking for.
Twenty outtakes recorded for Stax between 1960 and 1968, a number of which are gems. In fact, it is really surprising just how good the unreleased Stax stuff was in the '60s. "Loneliness," "Sweet Sensation," and "It Ain't No Easy Thing" all could have been superb singles.