Recently in Off The Beaten Path

Introducing: The Pine Hill Haints

Alabama-based group resurrects Southern sounds
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I don't think the Pine Hill Haints could have conceived a more appropriate name for their band if they had spent the rest of their natural lives trying. The Florence, Alabama-based outfit takes its moniker from Pine Hill Cemetery where legend has it the band used to rehearse. The Haints - as they are known to those lucky enough to know them - are themselves elusive and mysterious. You won't find a lot of information about them online. And while the Haints' back catalog of albums is readily available on Amazon and iTunes - hint, hint - you aren't going

Off the Beaten Track: Ziggy Played Surf Guitar

David Bowie’s guitar-god persona hangs ten once again, fingers on his Fender, as instrumental surf bands of the world perform his songs.
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Break out the reverb, the tremolo, echolettes, and the whammy bar dips. “Wipeout” on the “Pipeline” to the Link Wray power chord and the Duane Eddy twang. And while you can cue stars like usual suspects Dick Dale and the Ventures, there’s also a surf guitar starman in an unusual suspect, David Bowie’s guitar-god persona from his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Though his “snow white tan” may not survive a day on the beach, Ziggy’s “screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo” still work their magic, and may even

Off the Beaten Track: The Ethel Merman Disco Album

The Broadway belter turns "Disco Diva" twenty years after her stage show past to show us she's still "got rhythm," if no rhyme or reason.
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There’s no people like show people, and there’s no one showier than Broadway force of nature Ethel Merman. Her powerhouse wallop of precise pitch and clearly enunciated mezzo-soprano voice – said to have been enhanced in part by a tonsillectomy during her early career – facilitated her stage success in the days before microphones. The brassy and irrepressible Merman, who never had a singing lesson, was her own amplification, a trait that allowed her to better emulate the performances of such idols as Fanny Brice and Sophie Tucker, who she had watched and revered as a girl at the vaudeville