The whole inspiration for this blog was my original way of ordering my CDs according to the classifications I made up, trying to put the albums in a sort of continuum of sound (see below). One of the advantages of sorting your music collection by a spectrum of sounds is that you can find artists that sound similar and yet are still different. For instance, suppose you’re in the mood for some Springsteen but you’ve also listened to too much Springsteen lately. Well, if you categorized your CDs by sound, had the American Band rock section with Springsteen as a prominent exemplar of the section, then you’d know where to look for some other options.

And you’d find Mike Dunn & the Kings of New England. Dunn and company channel Springsteen from their American Band Rock style to the chiming, E. Street keyboards, from the Big Man saxophone to the lyric about the Promised Land.

This isn’t a bad thing. As I said, sometimes you want Springsteen but not Springsteen. A CD collection order by a spectrum of sounds helps you find just that. Because Dunn is just enough Springsteen to fit the bill but he’s also plenty of AltCountry to set him in own right.

Apparently the best comparisons for Mike Dunn are the “and thes”. Mike Dunn is “and the” Kings of New England, sounding a lot like Bruce Springsteen “and the” E. Street Band. Then there’s the AltCountry comparisons, Will Quinlan “and the” Diviners while also having some of Jason Walker “and the” Last Drinks.

The Spectrum
Below is the original order of the Spectrum of sounds. I tried to place every artist in the Spectrum near other artists who sounded similar. My CD collection was then organized in this manner. Unfortunately, I’ve had to switch to an alphabetical system, boxes labeled by letter, because the Spectrum system proved too cumbersome for my growing collection. However, you’ll often find that I still use the categories to describe music here at Music Spectrum.

Here’s the list:
Swing
Rockabilly
Blues/Blues Rock
Rhythm & Blues
Hip Hop/Rap
Zydeco
Ska
Jazz influenced Rock
Irish, Scottish, English Folk
Folk influenced IRE/UK Rock
English Rock
English Pop
English Dance Rock
Electronica
Country
Country influenced Rock
Alt.Country
American Pop
American Dance Pop
American Pop Rock
American Folk
Folk influenced American Rock
South American Folk
Hispanic influenced Rock
Middle Eastern influenced Rock
World Folk
American Band Rock
American Dance Rock
Funk Rock
Guitar Rock
Progressive/Atmospheric Rock
Punk Rock
Garage Rock
Hard Rock

Click here for the full Spectrum story.

Mike Dunn & the Kings of New England
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