Chris Smither spent a fair chunk of time in the mid-2010s looking back, culminating in Still on the Levee, a two-disc set from 2014 that found the singer/songwriter revisiting songs he recorded in the past. Arriving four years later, Call Me Lucky functions as something of an answer to that aesthetic, finding the singer/songwriter living squarely in the present. He opens the album with the lively blues shuffle "The Blame's on Me," which is quickly followed by a minor-key rendition of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," and he effectively sets the pace for the rest of the album. As Call Me Lucky rolls on – the album proper is ten tracks, but there are six additional "B-Sides" featuring alternate takes of songs on the album, plus an introspective version of the Beatles' "She Said She Said" – Smither adds some slower, gentler touches (highlighted by the lovely "By the Numbers"), but he retains this same sense of immediacy. By playing so directly and simply – the album isn't unadorned, there are additional harmonies and guitars, yet it feels like it is – Chris Smither creates a bracing, intimate record, one that feels filled with earned truths.
The 2014 career-spanning anthology Keep Me in Your Heart for a While: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux, showcases tracks from throughout the Georgia-born, Paris-based vocalist's career. Starting with her 1996 debut album, Dreamland, and running through her 2013 studio effort The Blue Room, Keep Me in Your Heart for a While reveals Peyroux's transformation from a bluesy, Billie Holiday-influenced vocal ingenue to a mature and sophisticated interpreter of popular song, both new and old. Here we get such tracks as "La Vie en Rose," "Smile," "Between the Bars," "Dance Me to the End of Love," and more. Also included is Peyroux's previously unreleased recording of Warren Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart," from the film Union Square.