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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 (0)

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

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Four Gems

The cover of When The Deal Goes Down (Deadbeet) has David Olney dealing out the ace of spades. The inside cover has him smirking as cards fly around his head. He knows the ace of spades is the death card. Do you? On the back cover, he’s contemplating a…

by   |  08/13/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Shake It Up, Baby

NEW YORK, NY—Piece Of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story opened recently at the Signature Center on 42nd Street. The brand new rock musical features 26 of the title character’s songs played by a rampaging rock ‘n’ roll big-band, obscured from on high, and performed by a cast overflowing…

by   |  08/06/2014  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Musikfest 2014

The first 10 days of August are going to be filled with the sound of 347 music artists, 337 of which are free. Welcome to Musikfest, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, an hour away from North Jersey, for my money, the best damn festival in America. Why not? It’s right where I…

by   |  07/30/2014  |  Comments Off


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