October 2014 Archives

CD Review: Roger Taylor - Best

Queen's legendary drummer gets the best-of treatment
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Queen's Roger Taylor has had a very prolific solo career. Starting with his first single, "I Wanna Testify" in 1977, the drummer has released five solo albums as well as three albums with his band The Cross. Much of this music has not been available in America for some time and some of it not at all. A new best of, appropriately titled Best, attempts to shine new light on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's underrated solo career. The CD is arranged in (roughly as "I Wanna Testify" is not the first track) chronological order, with tracks from

Blu-ray Review: Yes -- 35th Anniversary Concert: Songs From Tsongas

Prog rock giants celebrate their 35th anniversary
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In 2004, progressive rock legends, Yes, Celebrated their 35th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the classic lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Alan White, Chris Squire and Rick Wakeman took to the road, playing songs from their storied career. A show at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA, was filmed and makes up the Blu-ray Yes -- 35th Anniversary Concert: Songs From Tsongas. While the Tsongas show had been previously released, the Blu-ray also includes 70 minutes of highlights from a 2004 gig in Lugano, Switzerland. After an orchestral intro, the band takes to the futuristic-looking stage for a potent

Blu-ray Review: Deep Purple With Orchestra - Live in Verona

These classic rock legends team with an orchestra in an ancient setting.
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Deep Purple are no strangers to performing with an orchestra. Their legendary late keyboardist, Jon Lord, was a master at fusing rock and classical music in particular. In 2011, the band, now featuring the great Don Airey on keyboards, took to the stage at the Arena di Verona, A Roman amphitheater from 30 AD. Backed by the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, the group delivered a powerful set of Deep Purple classics. The show was filmed, and makes up the Blu-ray Deep Purple With Orchestra -- Live in Verona. The amphitheater makes for a spectacular setting, particularly as the sun goes down

CD Review: The Jeff Healey Band -- Live At The Horseshoe Tavern 1993

The late guitarist delivers a sizzling live performance from 1993.
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The late Jeff Healey was a musical enigma. He blended blues and rock music at a time when hair metal and, later, grunge dominated the charts, never really fitting in, but finding success all the same. Highly regarded by other musicians, Healey even managed to get George Harrison and Jeff Lynne to appear on his cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The Jeff Healey Band was a force in concert as the new live CD, The Jeff Healey Band -- Live At The Horseshoe Tavern 1993, proves. For the performance, Healey was joined by Joe Rockman on bass and

Review: U2 - Songs Of Innocence (Deluxe)

A good album enhanced by the bonus material but only the diehards will need it. Oh, and what's up with that cover?
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So now that the great iTunes fiasco has come and gone, and you actually have to pay for U2's new album, Songs Of Innocence, if you want it, let's talk about the deluxe version of the band's 13th studio album. First, the elephant in the room: What is up with that cover, or more to the point, what is going on in the picture on the cover? Well first off, get your mind out of the gutter. That's U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., displaying what is believed to be the band's only tattoo, which honestly has GOT to be the

DeepSoul Salutes Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis: Johnny Gill - "Rub You the Right Way"

Our salute continues with this early 90s New Jack Swing track.
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Anyone who doubted that production dynamos Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis could write a dance hit was quickly silenced with "Rub You the Right Way," the Johnny Gill single that rocked clubs in 1990. An effective showcase for Gill's robust vocals, the floor burner became a massive hit, topping the R&B charts and peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It signaled Jam and Lewis' mastery of New Jack Swing as well as their ability to combine R&B, soul, hip hop, and pop for mass appeal. By the time Jam and Lewis encountered Gill, the singer was already

Review: The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning (Single)

Producer Aaron Dessner makes presence known on The Lone Bellow's sweeping epic new single...
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The Lone Bellow have released "Then Came The Morning," the first single and title track for the successor to their remarkable self-titled debut. The National's Aaron Dessner occupies the producer's chair for this latest effort. The only obvious connection between The National and The Lone Bellow would seem to be their Brooklyn home base and yet if "Then Came The Morning" is any indication, this is indeed an inspired pairing. Dessner's day job frequently employs strings and horns and he brings those elements to this stunning, sweeping, waltz-time epic. Frontman Zach Williams doesn't have the voice of a soul singer

Hail To The Chief: Noel Gallagher's Triumphant New Single "In The Heat Of The Moment"

It's not as good as I think it is but I love Noel Gallagher's new single
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I'm in the tank for Noel Gallagher and have been since I first fell in love with "Live Forever" on Oasis' timeless debut Definitely Maybe. He's floated a turd or two over the course of his career but his misses are more interesting than most hits and his best work is equal parts magic and genius (he would tell you the same thing) and I'm ecstatic about his new record Chasing Yesterday. Those are the ears listening to the first single "In The Heat Of The Moment," which I can first confirm is not the Asia tune (though he really

CD Review: Shelby Lynne - I am Shelby Lynne Deluxe Edition

Shelby Lynne's breakout album gets the deluxe treatment.
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By 1999, Shelby Lynne had been around for some time, releasing five albums in the process. It was her sixth album, I Am Shelby Lynne that first garnered her attention, however. The breakout work earned her a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, showing that sometimes it takes the mainstream a little longer to catch up to everyone else. In honor of its 15th anniversary, the album has been rereleased with bonus tracks and a live DVD. While Lynne had previously done more traditional country music, I Am Shelby Lynne mixes in a blue-eyed soul approach. Lynne's voice is high

Noel Gallagher Announces New Album 'Chasing Yesterday,' First Single "In The Heat Of The Moment"

New Gallagher set due March 2015, first single releases November 17...
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Noel Gallagher announced his second solo LP Chasing Yesterday will release March 2nd next year and announced the release of the first single "In The Heat Of The Moment," which releases next month (Nov. 17). Gallagher said the record has been done for nearly three months in a Facebook Q&A with selected fans and media, begging the obvious, maddening, homicide-inspiring question WHY IS THE RELEASE OF THE FUCKING RECORD 6 MONTHS AWAY? Damn it, man! At least we have the first single to listen to (more on that to follow). Hell, we even know what the second single is from

CD Review: Celebrating Jon Lord - The Composer/Celebrating Jon Lord - The Rock Legend

A loving tribute to a giant of a musician.
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The Sunflower Jam was started in 2006 by Jacky Paice, the wife of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice, after meeting a teenaged Deep Purple fan who was stricken with cancer. Ian Paice and his fellow Purple band mate, the late Jon Lord, brought some signed posters for the teen, who sadly passed two weeks later. The teen had been receiving treatment at the complimentary care facility at University College London. After seeing the good the center did, Jacky Paice wanted to raise money for the center and the Sunflower Jam was born. Many famous musicians, including Robert Plant, Brian May,

Review: Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness Of Dancers

Hiss Golden Messenger made a believer out of me on 'Lateness Of Dancers'
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Listener-supported public radio is going to have to do a pledge drive for me because Hiss Golden Messenger is the second musical addiction they've inspired this year (Lake Street Dive being the first and that review is forthcoming, dear readers). Their feature Heavy Rotation featured "Brother, Do You Know The Road," a non-LP single from HGM, the moniker for singer/songwriter M.C. Taylor. I fixated so fully on the song itself that I remember very little of what the guest DJ had to say about it. I bought the track on iTunes and counted the days until he issued his Merge

Review: Shovels & Rope - Swimmin' Time

Shovels & Rope have created a Southern Gothic masterpiece on 'Swimmin' Time'
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Swimmin Time is a universe filled with weird, wounded characters. Some are shady and sinister, others more simple. There are misfits and outcasts like the tobacco-spittin' tomboy with a soft spot for the modern day Boo Radley in the magnificent "Evil" or "Mary Ann and One-Eyed Dan," a circus waitress and small-time journalist. These may not seem the most obvious candidates to hold up a mirror to us but even oddballs get mired in the same struggles and circumstances we do. It's a world where you visit a sinister world of fools and con men and you've got what it

CD Review: Gary Moore - Live At Bush Hall 2007

A killer live performance from the late guitarist.
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In 2007, Gary Moore played an intimate gig at London's Bush Hall before 400 lucky fans. Tickets were not sold for the event. The only way to get in was to win one a ticket from Planet Rock Radio, which broadcasted the show live. The scorching set has never been made available in its entirety since its initial broadcast, a travesty rectified by the release of Gary Moore -- Live At Bush Hall 2007. The show opens with the Moore original, "If The Devil Made Whiskey," one of several cuts performed from his then new album, Close As You Get.

DeepSoul Salutes Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis: Caron Wheeler - "I Adore You"

Our look at the production duo continues with this deep album track by a multifaceted vocalist.
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My DeepSoul salute to the production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis moves into the 1990s this week with an unjustly overlooked cut. By 1992, Soul II Soul vocalist Caron Wheeler had departed the band and was launching a solo career; that same year, Jam and Lewis were producing the soundtrack to the Damon Wayans vehicle Mo' Money. The comedic film may not have been a box office hit, but the top ten-ranking soundtrack featured a full roster of R&B's biggest stars to date. Wheeler's mid tempo track "I Adore You" serves as the movie's main love song, but

CD Review: Status Quo - The Frantic Four's Final Fling

The final show from the final tour of Status Quo's classic lineup.
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For Status Quo fans, the unthinkable happened in 2013. The classic lineup -- consisting of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan -- reunited for a nine-date UK tour. After all, this lineup hadn't played together since 1981 and had been mired by lawsuits and inter-band tensions for years. The response to the tour was tremendous and the band went on the road again in 2014 as a final farewell to the Frantic Four. On April 12, 2014, the classic lineup played its final show at the Dublin O2 Arena and the band has released a live album,