I have been listening to some CDs that Hoosier 21 (Russ A.) sent my way.
I have Eggshells and Soul's Core from Mullins and Out Of Everywhere and The American from Aparo.
I had some previous experience with Mullins from his two hits "Shimmer" and "Lullaby" from Soul's Core. I had no previous experience with Aparo.
Mullins has a simple folksy approach and seems to talk more than sing sometimes, but he has a great voice nevertheless. His songs are simple yet earnest and heartfelt and they all tell some type of story about his past or someone he has met, etc.
He plays the acoustic guitar beautifully and the CDs are exceptionally well recorded. The acoustic version of "Shimmer" on Eggshell's just blows me away.
I wouldn't hesitate to take Mullins on a road trip because it's so easy to get lost in his music and let the miles drift by - this is high quality, low impact music that just makes you imagine each story in your mind's eye.
Now Aparo is a different story. Here is a darker, deeper artist with a more abstract quality to his work. His music hits harder and you have to work a bit when listening to Aparo as the meanings of his songs are not readily apparent. He has a unique voice that on occasion soars and can give you the chills when he hits a note just right. If you watched American Idol at all, Aparo and finalist Clay Aiken sound similar (no surprise as Aparo is one of Aiken's idols). Aparo hits hard on the emotional scale and he is an earnest performer that reaches out a grabs you by the collar and forcibly draws you into his world.
Aparo clearly comes into his own on The American, and his voice is noticeably more developed and refined as compared to Out Of Everywhere. Still, both releases are meritorious.
In summary, I am wearing out all these CDs and I thank Hoosier for turning me on to these two great artists. This is high quality music for discriminating adults, not the glitzy shallow pop bull**** polluting the airwaves lately. You owe it to yourself to check these releases out (particularly Soul's Core and The American) and expand your music horizons.