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Rant ‘N’ Roll: Mid-Year 2014 Top 10 Considerations

Colleen Rennison, 25, knows a good song when she hears it. The sultry Canadian—when she’s not acting—is singing…and it may be time to give up her day job. There’s something about her voice that only the greats have. Piaf. Lady Day. Ronstadt. You can’t exactly put your finger on…

by   |  07/16/2014  |  Comments (0)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Hard Rock, Jazz, Worldbeat, Blues & Americana

The only album of The Marcus Hook Roll Band of Australia—Tales Of Old Grand-Daddy—has finally been released stateside by Parlophone 41 years after the fact. There never was anyone named Marcus Hook. To think that if these drunken teenagers ever took themselves seriously enough in 1973 to promote the…

by   |  07/09/2014  |  Comments (1)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Treasures Waiting To Be Found

Through the dust, dirt, insects, rot, grime and antique furniture of his grandpa’s hand-me-down West Tennessee farm, Joseph LeMay has hand-crafted something beautiful. It’s now his own self-released Seventeen Acres debut and he has to take care of it and his new wife. This takes perseverance, nerves of iron,…

by   |  07/02/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Dudley, Dolly, Soul, Blues, Rockabilly & Indie Rock

Dudley Taft rocks the blues like ZZ Top or Led Zep. Screaming In The Wind (American Blues Artist) is an apt name for his third album (after last year’s impressive Deep Deep Blue). With the addition of keyboards, Buddy Guy’s producer and his own Cincinnati studio/house that he bought…

by   |  06/25/2014  |  Comments Off

Reverend Horton Heat: The Righteous Reverend

Reverend Horton Heat has been preaching the soul of punkabilly, psychobilly and surf-rock for 29 years and he don’t need no keyboards or horns to get his point across. Somehow someway, if you rock, you’re going to have to cross paths with this individualistic one-of-a-kind Texan. Might as well be…

by   |  06/24/2014  |  Comments Off

The Mavericks: Don’t Like Country?

The Mavericks, from Miami, led by Raul Malo, a Cuban-American, may be marketed as country, but they have more in common with Roy Orbison, the Everlys or Buddy Holly than they do with today’s homogenized “country” crap. Live, they kick it hard yet can swing and sway with such lovely…

by   |  06/18/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: The Man

Musikfest Café, Bethlehem, PA—He came out of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1980 as part of a duo with Donald Harrison, two young lions harkening back to bop as part of a “New Traditionalist” movement in 1984 with their New York Second Line album. 31 albums later, I can’t…

by   |  06/18/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Jazz Festival

Arguably the greatest jazz album of 2011 was When The Heart Emerges Glistening, a masterful debut from composer/trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, born and raised in Oakland, California. It had everything and was everything jazz is supposed to evolve into. For his follow-up, this winner of the prestigious 2007 Thelonious Monk…

by   |  06/11/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Three Diametrically Opposed Sounds

The year was 1987. Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s Kremlin, in an effort to promote his transparent Glasnost policy of friendship to the West, invited Billy Joel to perform the first fully-staged high-energy American rock ‘n’ roll show behind the Iron Curtain. Joel jumped at the chance. How could Gorbachev—who,…

by   |  06/04/2014  |  Comments Off

Terence Blanchard: Ghosts Of Trumpets Past

New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard comes from a long line of such that started with Buddy Bolden [1877-1931], King Oliver [1881-1938], Louis Armstrong [1901-1971], Bix Beiderbecke [1903-1931] and on through Wynton Marsalis and Trombone Shorty (who could just as easily have named himself Trumpet Shorty). Terence has so much soul…

by   |  05/28/2014  |  Comments Off


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