Look what we have here—another Jam It Or Slam It two-fer!
My first contestant is someone who might not be very well known. Alvin Garrett has actually been around for quite a while, but not necessarily in front of the microphone. He is very good friends with one Ruben Studdard, with whom he helped form the group Just A Few Cats in their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. After Studdard won American Idol, he served as his bassist on the follow up tour. He has since become a songwriter of note, nominated for a Grammy award for his contributions to Gospel Album of the Year candidate Trin-I-Tee 5:7. He’s also written songs for R&B artists Joe, Johnny Gill, Noel Gourdin and The Bar-Kays.
Garrett is also an artist as well, having released an album back in 2012. He has another scheduled for this year, with a track he released a few months ago serving as his lead single. That track is “By Myself,” which is the first song to go in the Jam It Or Slam It grinder. I love this song. It grabbed me from the very first line, about being rejected many times in life and how if no one will stand with or fight with him, he would be resilient and go forward alone. It has a meaning to me and that’s why I’ll jam it. But then I have been since I first heard it a couple weeks ago. Your mileage, of course may vary. The song also has a guest appearance from his buddy Ruben so be on the lookout for the “velvet teddy bear” singing on the second verse.
Do Alvin and Ruben make the grade?
The second choice is from a familiar artist who hasn’t released an album in four years. Norah Jones was a breath of fresh air when her debut album, Come Away With Me, was released back in 2002 with its hit single “Don’t Know Why.” Norah has decided to return to that vibe on her upcoming album Day Breaks. Her new single, “Carry On” is the second song to get the Jam It Or Slam It Treatment. I really like the feel of this one; quiet and soft and comforting. It’s a sweet and simple song and the video is really nice too. But will I Jam It? Well…it’s nice enough. It’s better than meh, but I wouldn’t spend my last dime on it. Maybe I need to hear it a few more times.
Should Norah “carry on”?