Kasey Anderson: Nowhere Nights

There’s a new voice to be reckoned with. It’s a lowball Tom Waits/Leonard Cohen swoon with a Steve Earle twang and Dylanesque presence. The scene is set with opener “Bellingham Blues.” Kasey comes on serious, deadly, with-intent. He instantly forces you to listen and listen hard. You get mesmerized ‘til—pop!—track …

by   |  03/10/2010  |  Comments (2)

Wilson Pickett: Funky Midnight Mover: The Atlantic Studio Recordings 1962-1978

Debates over who the greatest soul man of all-time is could contain solid arguments for James Brown, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson and a few others. The release of Rhino’s six-disc Wilson Pickett boxed set makes a good case for the wicked Pickett (1941-2006), who came out …

by   |  03/02/2010  |  Comments Off on Wilson Pickett: Funky Midnight Mover: The Atlantic Studio Recordings 1962-1978

W.A.S.P.: Babylon

The first thing that strikes you in listening to W.A.S.P.’s 14th studio album is how strong Blackie Lawless’ voice is after 27 years. The only remaining original member, Blackie still incites on Babylon with thought-provoking lyrical content and he’s got himself a cadre of young gunslingers who give the band …

by   |  01/15/2010  |  Comments Off on W.A.S.P.: Babylon

Fela! @ Eugene O’Neill Theater

NEW YORK, NY—The hue of Fela! is deep black. The Eugene O’Neill Theater is festooned with African artifact, made out to be a club, The Shrine, in Lagos, Nigeria. The band, Brooklyn Afrobeat masters Antibalas, is already playing as you take your seat. The groove is delicious: Deep funk and …

by   |  12/24/2009  |  Comments Off on Fela! @ Eugene O’Neill Theater

John Coltrane: Side Steps

With the release of Side Steps, Prestige Records has completed the adventurous John Coltrane boxed set project that started with Fearless Leader in September 2006 on what would have been the legendary tenor saxophonist’s 80th birthday. Interplay appeared in 2007, highlighting, instead of the dates he led, the dates …

by   |  12/15/2009  |  Comments Off on John Coltrane: Side Steps

Interview with Shelby Lynne: On Her Own Terms

Singer/songwriter Shelby Lynne’s life should be made into a movie someday. It has all the Blockbuster themes of heartbreak, violence, female empowerment and, of course, the music. Then there’s her voice. Lynne houses a duality that makes her one of the most unique, quixotic, compelling and dramatic singers of her …

by   |  12/08/2009  |  Comments Off on Interview with Shelby Lynne: On Her Own Terms

Interview with Ray Davies: The Kinks Stand Alone

There are those who swear The Kinks were the greatest British rock ‘n’ roll band of all time and a decent argument could be made for such. It was 1964 when they unleashed the ferocious “You Really Got Me,” a primal blast pre-dating punk and hard rock with barely controlled …

by   |  11/16/2009  |  Comments (1)

Various Artists: 55 Years Of Jazz & 55 Years Of Blues

Everybody knows Motown, Sun, Stax and Chess as four great American record labels but how many know Chicago’s Delmark Records? The release of these two twofers might rectify that. Brilliant in execution, awe-inspiring as track after track pours forth with surprises galore, both these compilations come complete with CD and …

by   |  11/06/2009  |  Comments Off on Various Artists: 55 Years Of Jazz & 55 Years Of Blues

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound: Late Music

Imagine a Brian Wilson tribute with no Beach Boys songs. Late Music uses Brian’s back-up band The Wondermints; Brian’s co-producer Andy Paley on piano and glockenspiel; and Brian’s back-up singers The Honeys. Diken sings just like Brian too. The harmonies are sumptuous; the reverb quotient just like mid-‘60s Cali. In …

by   |  11/04/2009  |  Comments Off on Dennis Diken with Bell Sound: Late Music

The Beatles: The Beatles Stereo Box Set

The night before The Beatles made their American debut onstage February 1964 in New York City on CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show (in the Broadway building between 53rd and 54th that now houses LateNight With David Letterman), I couldn’t sleep. Those of us in the 7th Grade at Maple …

by   |  10/16/2009  |  Comments (2)


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