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Rant ‘N’ Roll: Jazz

Trilogy (Stretch Records/Concord Jazz), by Chick Corea, is a milestone recording in the piano legend’s 50-year career chronicling a world tour in trio format with master musicians (and leaders in their own right) bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. Considering it was recorded in Washington DC, California, Spain,…

by   |  10/22/2014  |  Comments (0)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: What Is Hip?

In 1973, Tower Of Power asked that musical question, “What Is Hip?” The song’s lyricist, Doc Kupka, was quoted at the time as saying, “Being `hip’ is so short-lived. You can be hip today by wearing your hair a certain way. But what’s hip today might become passé.” To…

by   |  10/15/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Natural-Born Beauties

Only Worn One Time (Mesa/Bluemoon) by singer/songwriter Dulcie Taylor & Friends is a beautifully crafted 11-track credo of personal proportions. She writes from the heart. Filled with provocative imagery, universal sentiment and hopeful (yet oftentimes sad) story-songs, her folksy Americana comes to the fore with the help of some…

by   |  10/08/2014  |  Comments (1)

Rantin’ N’ A’ Rollin’ At The Big Rock Show

ALLENTOWN, PA—The Eagles might have christened the brand spankin’ new PPL Arena but Steve Winwood and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers broke the place in and tore the cover off the ball (to use a beloved baseball analogy). Y’know how when you go to see a favorite band, you…

by   |  10/01/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Somi, Sena and Rob

Rob Stone blows. His Gotta Keep Rollin’ (VizzTone) cuts to the bone when it comes to danceable blues. His harmonica is infused with the kind of chops one can only learn from touring ‘round the world, recording four albums and playing with the kind of blues heavyweights where you…

by   |  09/24/2014  |  Comments (1)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: JP, Mac & Melissa

Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) has finally made the Louis Armstrong tribute album he’s always wanted to make. It’s called Ske-Dat-De-Dat…The Spirit Of Satch (Proper/Concord) and no one but Mac could’ve possibly made it in this way. Sure, he’s honored Armstrong before…but only onstage with two “Props To Pops” concerts,…

by   |  09/17/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Ute And Mud And Rodney

McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, would be 100 had he not died in 1983 at the age of 70. To celebrate that fact, his son, Mud Morganfield, has paired up with Fabulous Thunderbird harp player Kim Wilson to release For Pops: A Tribute To Muddy Waters (Severn).…

by   |  09/10/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Girl Power

Stop the presses, there’s a new bitch in town. Davina Sowers combines Bessie Smith [1894-1937], Etta James [1938-2012] and Amy Winehouse [1983-2011] with a touch of Aretha. Her attitude and vocal chops scream “balls” while her songwriting and onstage performance scream “artist.” Obviously, she’s learned her lessons well as…

by   |  09/03/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: The True Essence Of Musikfest

PHOTO: The author (right) with friends at Musikfest 2014

BETHLEHEM, PA—It’s a time to discover new music. It’s a time to be with friends, experiment with international cuisine, walk walk walk from show to show, have a party, dance, sing and scuffle with security (but only if you go…

by   |  08/27/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Dana, Sean, Orrin & The Rev

Dana Robbins currently plays in the touring bands of Aretha Franklin and Delbert McClinton. The Michigan native, now living in Nashville, spent a decade in Los Angeles where she toured and recorded with Barry Manilow. The girl can’t help it. She was born to blow: be it soprano, alto…

by   |  08/20/2014  |  Comments Off


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