current listening 04/07/12

Van Morrison:  A Period of Transition (1977) – Dismissed by many as Morrison’s most uneven album of the ‘70s, Transition boasts the proud sound of a master songsmith rediscovering his blues and soul roots. Co-produced by the tireless Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), the fun shifts from the serene R&B meditation The Eternal Kansas City to two of the most unabashedly cheery nuggets in the entire Morrison canon – Joyous Sound and Flamingos Fly.

Merle Travis: Strictly Guitar (1968) – Listen to the immaculately sunny tone and patient lyrical charm on the all-instrumental Strictly Guitar and you can’t help but wonder what in God’s name happened to country music over the past four-plus decades. Though short on running time (under 25 minutes), this set of ‘20s and ‘30s-era staples (highlighted by a summery Dance of the Goldenrods and its unexpectedly treacherous rhythmic turns) overwhelms with unforced picking brilliance.

Bill Frisell: Ghost Town (2000) – A guitarist of an altogether different color and style, Frisell goes it alone on Ghost Town, creating a panoramic Americana portrait that weaves fascinating original works (Tell You Ma, Tell Your Pa) with classics by Hank Williams (I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry) and John McLaughlin (Follow Your Heart). Frisell’s wiry electric vocabulary is augmented by acoustic guitar and banjo for a sound as earthy as it is ghostly.

Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys: Back at the Quonset Hut (2012) – BR549 cofounder Mead takes his newest retro country outfit to Nashville’s famed Quonset Hut studio with a few celebrity pals for a seriously cool tribute album where the repertoire (the overlooked George Jones hit You Better Treat Your Man Right with a stoic Jamey Johnson singing harmony) is as cool as the delivery (the red hot rockabilly of the Johnny Horton gem Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor).

U.K.: U.K. (1978) – No, this isn’t the by-product of Wildcat Fever, but rather the self-titled debut album by the all-star prog-rock combo of Bill Bruford, Eddie Jobson, Allan Holdsworth and John Wetton. Though dated, especially in some of Jobson’s more languid keyboard passages, much of the playing is captivating, including Holdsworth’s exquisitely paced guitar solo during In the Dead of Night. Bruford and Holdsworth bolted after this record, leaving U.K. as a pre-Asia pop brigade.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES COMPENSATION FOR SERVICEMEMBERS AS PART OF SETTLEMENT WITH BANK OF AMERICA.

States News Service November 10, 2011 WASHINGTON — The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Justice:

The Justice Department announced today that, as part of its settlement with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, servicemembers whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon will each receive a minimum $116,785 plus compensation for any equity lost to compensate them for the bank’s alleged violation of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Bank of America agreed to pay $20 million to approximately 160 servicemembers who were illegally foreclosed on between 2006 and the middle of 2009. Under the agreement, Bank of America agreed to provide information about its foreclosures from mid 2009-2010 and will pay damages in the same minimum amount to those servicemembers whose homes were illegally foreclosed upon to compensate for the loss of their homes. The review is on-going. this web site bac home loans

“The men and women serving our nation should not have to worry about a bank foreclosing on their home while they bravely serve our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the laws that protect servicemembers while they do the difficult and necessary work of protecting our country. We have and will continue to work hard to ensure that servicemembers receive the full protections of the law and relief they deserve in a timely fashion.” On May 26, 2011, the department announced a settlement with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, which resolved allegations that the bank unlawfully foreclosed on servicemembers’ homes in violation of the SCRA.

This is the largest SCRA settlement ever reached by the department. The Department of Defense also provided critical assistance in identifying the servicemembers whose rights were violated. see here bac home loans

Beginning on Nov. 14, 2011, letters will be sent to 157 servicemembers to notify them of the amount of money that they may receive under the settlement. The settlement agreement set a deadline for the end of November 2011 for the Justice Department to determine the amount of damages to which servicemembers may be entitled.

The SCRA provides critical additional consumer and other protections to the men and women serving our nation in the military – its enactment was a recognition that those who are making great sacrifices to protect us deserve our full support at home.

For more information on the Justice Department’s work to protect servicemembers, please visit www.servicemembers.gov .



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