We've got another week of plenty to choose from but hardly a need for choice. There's hardly anything that could come out this week that would beat Lucinda Williams for my choosing. I, along with half the world (at least the cool kids anyways) with 1998's Car Wheel on a Gravel Road. It was (and is, and forever shall be) a brilliant album - full of blood and grit, soul and ache, dirt, grime and rare beauty. For my money its on a short list of greatest albums ever made.I've since grabbed every album she's made, and she's not made
Recently in New Music Tuesday
The return of Ryan Adams and new music from Robert Plant top #NewMusicTuesday
Ryan Adams is nothing if not prolific. Since 2000 he has released 14 albums. In 2005 alone he released three separate albums (so one forgives him if afterwards his schedule slowed down a bit.) In 2009 he got married to Mandy Moore and was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, an inner ear disorder and retired from music.Pretty much no one thought that would last. It didn't. In the five years since he's released four solo albums (one of which was a double album) plus an EP with Fall Out Boy and one with punk band Pornography. That's what retirement looks like
New music releases for Sept. 2, 2014 #newmusictuesday
On many occasions a band has come to town that I really wamted to see and yet I've made various excuses not to catch them live. The usual excuse is money - specifically my lack of - but sometimes its about timing, or distance, or I'll convince myself that I don't like them enough to bother. Thing is I get weirdly nervous before a concert. I absolutely love going to live shows. It is one of my favorite all time activities and I've never had a bad time. Yet before I buy tickets I make all sorts of excuses not
New releases for Aug. 26 #NewMusicTuesday
At a glance Bruce Hornsby looks like just another 80s pop star who had a few major hits back in the day but has since slipped into nostalgic obscurity. Look closer and you'll find a master musician who used that early success to carve out a fascinating, varied career. In the 28 years since his huge smash The Way It Is Hornsby became a defacto member of the Grateful Dead, recorded a bluegrass album with Ricky Skaggs, a jazz album with Christian McBride and Jack DeJohnette, written soundtracks for Spike Lee, won three grammys and appeared on an enormous list
With all too often a frequency I miss putting out a Pick of the Week. There are always excuses and the last couple of weeks have their own. I think I've mentioned here before that we recently moved to Oklahoma but have been in a sort-of hellish limbo (aka living with my parents) while we find new digs. Last week we finally made the move. We were all very excited about it. Even my daughter, which surprised me as she had a really hard time with the last move. But she was talking about it for days and wound up
Unsung guitar hero Nils Lofgren gets a massive, career-spanning retrospective
For many music fans, Nils Lofgren is best known through his work with Neil Young, where he was briefly a member of Crazy Horse and, more recently, for his time with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. A musician's musician, Lofgren has earned a reputation for being a great side man -- and deservedly so. A fantastic guitarist, Lofgren has proven that he plays for the song and has, arguably, made both legendary groups stronger in the process. At the same time, Lofgren has been releasing critically acclaimed music of his own, both with his early band, Grin, and
#NewMusicTuesday for July 29, 2014
Having grown up very near Tulsa, Oklahoma I've certainly heard of JJ Cale (who was raised in the city) though I don't recall ever hearing him perform one of his songs. Tulsa has a small but influential musical history (and many passionate fans) and growing up I heard about it a lot, but actually heard it very little. I was way too into hair metal and then grunge to care about those old guys making laid back boogie music.There's no doubt JJ Cale was hugely influential though and while he never became a household name he's been name check and
A bevy of live albums in this week's new releases #NewMusicTuesday
We have talked many, many times in these pages about my love for live music and my obsession with recordings of concerts. I'll allow you to go back to those pages if you like and catch up instead of treading the same water again here. What I will say is that its a darn fine week to be a fan of officially released live recordings.In 1974 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young lit out for 30 gigs in American arenas and stadiums then jumped over to London for one show at Wembley Stadium. Each night they played up to 30 songs
Bon Jovi, Old Crow Medicine Show, Floyd, and more release new albums today #NewMusicTuesday
In discussing my formative years as a music obsessive I tend to concentrate on the early 90s alternative scenes and more specifically the grunge movement. It is mostly true that those bands coming out of Seattle - Peal Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana etc, - were some of the earliest bands that I really loved. That sound helped create the music nerd I am today. Yet, if I am to lay out the entire history of my musical history we have to start a little earlier. I was (and sheepishly must admit still am) and great lover of hair metal. Poison, Mötley
#NewMusicTuesday releases, June 24
When Jerry Garcia died in 1995 there was a big, giant hole left in the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. The Grateful Dead had legions of fans, many who followed the band around the country from tour to tour, show to show. It was only natural then that those people began looking for another band to fill that void. For many Phish was a perfect fit. The Vermont based jam band is made up of a bunch of Deadheads who love playing live as much as the Dead ever did. They know how to play and to jam
Lana Del Rey, Ronnie Earl, Alastair Greene, and Felice Bros join Willie Nelson in this edition of #NewMusicTuesday
For far too long now I've not paid enough attention to new music. Or old music. Or any music for that matter. My internet has sucked keeping me from using any of the streaming sites. My newish car doesn't have an iPod plug-in and those old radio tuner devices that let you make a mini-station for your iPod are kind of terrible (at least where I live causing me to have to switch stations every five minutes to get a decent signal.) And frankly with my schedule and life of raising a toddler I've spent very little time sitting down
This veteran band turns in an eclectic set of strong songs on their newest release.
NRBQ released its first album 45 years ago and has operated on the premise of no rules ever since. Founding member Terry Adams wanted a band that could play whatever style and songs it wanted, whenever it wanted and the band has built its reputation on doing just that. While the group has gone through numerous lineup changes (Adams is the lone remaining original member), this spirit lives on in its latest release, Brass Tacks. The album opens with the infectious pop of "Waitin' On My Sweetie Pie." Harmonies reminiscent of the Everly Brothers punctuate this bouncy number. Adams laments
Oh, hello there. You may have noticed that I've been absent from this column for a week, or two, or three (but whose counting?) It seems I have moved once again which makes me very busy and without Internet and thus unable to keep up with (or write about) new music. Every year or two my wife and I pack up all our stuff and move. Sometimes its just across town, other times it half-way across the world and still others (including this last one) we move a few states over. Its rather tiring, but never boring. We're not yet
Just a few of the highlights of this week's new release schedule #NewMusicTuesday
New Music Tuesday returns this week to BlindedBySound. It's nigh impossible to chronicle everything hitting physical and digital shelves on any given week so I continue the fine work of Bro. Mat Brewster and list a few items that interest me or seem to be generating buzz among the masses. There's no doubt the album to know this week comes from Jack White. Lazaretto is his second solo record and follows up the magnificent Blunderbuss. I've avoided reviews and streams of the album but you can bet your ass I'm making a special trip to the store to score a
This classic Dio show from 1993 sees its first-ever release in 2014.
1993 was a pivotal year for Ronnie James Dio. Having crashed and burned with Black Sabbath for the second time, he decided to reform Dio. This new lineup featured Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice along with Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and guitarist Tracy G. The band recorded Strange Highways, which marked a harder-edged stylistic shift musically. A concert at London's legendary Hammersmith Apollo was recorded and is being released for the first time as Dio - Live in London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993. Not wanting to simply rest on his laurels, Dio featured several tracks from Strange Highways in the set list,
21 years later, this Strange Highways-era Dio concert is finally seeing the light of day.
In 1993, Ronnie James Dio's second stint with Black Sabbath was over and the veteran singer was, once again, finding himself as a solo artist. He decided to reform Dio, taking Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice with him in the process while recruiting former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and guitarist Tracy G to round out his new lineup. The band recorded Strange Highways, which marked a harder-edged stylistic shift musically. A concert at London's legendary Hammersmith Apollo was professionally filmed and is just now being released for the first time as Dio - Live in London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993. The show
Wes Anderson tribute, new Black Keys records top New Music Tuesday...
Wes Anderson is a quirky, smart, hilarious and sometimes oddly moving film director. Or rather I should say his films are all of those things (I've never met him so he might be a total jerk.) His films have a very distinctive style - from the color palette to his perfect, symmetrical framing to his themes of troubled families. And then there's the music. Anderson fills his films with classic (and obscure) pop songs from the 60s and early 70s. But its not just him filling up the soundtrack with his favorite songs or trying to be the cool hipster
New Music Tuesday - May 6, 2014
From the department of making you feel old comes this little factoid: Natalie Merchant has been making music for 33 years, and has been a solo artist for the last 20. That blows me away. I didn't become a fan until Our Time in Eden and I have very fond memories of listening to Tigerlily in college which seems like yesterday but was in fact two decades ago. Pardon me while I go put on some old man pants.Truth be told I kind of stopped paying that much attention to her sometimes in the early 00s, but found her again
The latest from singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne is the Pick Of The Week for New Music Tuesday
Years ago when Gmail was first coming into its own I started an account with them for the sole purpose of sharing music (actually I created two accounts for that purpose with different people invited to each one, including our own Josh Hathaway.) Each account had half a dozen people or so with access to it and we'd send that address various songs that we loved. The song would be downloaded by everyone else, discussed, pondered and then those who liked it would go out and buy the album. It was a nice way to broaden our musical horizons without
New Music Tuesday: eels, Keb Mo, Sebastian Bach, and more!
When I sit down to write about each week's pick I like to pretend that some benevolent being allows me to choose one album every week to receive as a gift. I try to make it not about money or cost so that I'm not just choosing some expensive boxed set or collector's edition. I always try to choose the album that looks most interesting to me and that I really would like to take home with me. Sometimes the choice is easy - there's one stand-out album that blows everything else away. Sometimes the pick is hard. There will
Tom Petty's Buried Treasure Soundtrack, Vaudeville Etiquette, Aimee Mann & Ted Leo lead this week's best new releases...
In one of the more bizarre turns in music history it seems the thing for aging rock stars to do is host their own radio show. Steven Van Zandt has one, as does Alice Cooper. You can find Bob Dylan on XM radio, Tom Petty too. Roger McGuinn runs his own MP3 blog talking about old folk music, amongst other things. I suppose in some ways it makes sense, these guys live and breathe music. They've made their own, of course, but they are steeped in the history of rock and roll (well I don't know how steeped Mr. Cooper
A masterful collaboration between Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois gets remastered, expanded...
If God has a singing voice it probably sounds like Emmylou Harris. That it has great beauty there is no doubt, but there is sadness too. Emmylou sings with all the weariness of a creator looking at the great madness, destruction and horror of the very world we live in. She is truly one of the great singers the world over. She's got the awards to prove it, too, having won over a dozen Grammys, a handful of Country Music Awards and tons of others. It is little wonder then that she has been asked to sing along with hundreds
Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Ben Harper and others come together to pay tribute to the iconic '70s singer/songwriter...
I like compilation albums. I love cover songs. I'm pretty indifferent to Jackson Browne. Great compilations bring in all sorts of different songs from amazing arrays of artists. They can be perfect mix-tapes letting you explore terrific songs by folks you already know and love while introducing you to new artists and sounds. A good cover song takes an already wonderful tune and turns it on its head. The best allow you to hear the song in a completely different way while still maintaining the stuff that made you like it in the first place. I don't have anything against
New Music Tuesday March 25, 2014: Dylan, Elton John, Mikey Junior, Springsteen Tribute, Miles Davis, Rod Stewart and more!
It is just about universally accepted that Bob Dylan's output in the 1980s was the worst of his long, storied career. He was years away from his spokesman of a generation icon status in the '60s and had moved away from his genre busting, career redefining, Rolling Thunder touring in the '70s. The '80s found Dylan lost. Seemingly unsure of who he was and what his place in the culture could be anymore. The bulk of his album output during that decade was pretty universally panned and is to this date looked upon with scorn. Bob Dylan in the 80's:
I currently live in west Tennessee which is deep in the heart of Elvis country. The radio stations all play him, there are various festivals and annual events, and everybody talks about him. Lots and lots of talking on the radio and TV and the corner store. We love Elvis around these parts. Well, they do. I have to admit I'm more of a Beatles man myself. But I get the love, I really do. Elvis was a pioneer, helping to create rock-n-roll. Bringing it forth from the blues, country and rockabilly. He was a hell of a performer and
New Music Tuesday - March 11, 2014
The middle aged, country living, white guy in me must admit that I may be out of my depth this week. There are lots of new releases coming out, but very few of them interesting to me. The artists have names like Elbow, Sara Evans, kxm, and Aloe Blacc. I know nothing about these artists from what genre they are in to how long they've been recording to how popular they are and certainly have no idea if they are any good. So if you are young, or hip and came here looking to see what new music is out
New releases include Dylan tribute concert, Beck's first record in 6 years, Muscle Shoals documentary and soundtrack, and much more!
This week sees new albums from a lot of artists I've heard of, but not really listened to and a Blu-ray upgrade to an old celebration of one of my very favorites.In October of 1992 a virtual who's who of musicians gathered at Madison Square Garden to pay tribute to Bob Dylan releasing his very first Columbia Records album. It was a sold-out show and live-cast to millions around the world. It seems crazy that the event took place more than twenty years ago, making the celebration more of a mid-career retrospective than a real looking-back bash. Dylan has recorded
Outside of Deadhead circles most people don't know that the earliest versions of the Grateful Dead were actually a bluegrass band. Jerry Garcia got his start playing old folk tunes and he formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions with Pigpen and Bob Weir sometimes before they decided to plug in, get high and create the psychedelic juggernaut the Dead became. Throughout the rest of his life Garcia remained connected to folk and bluegrass music and in the 1970s he became a part of a supergroup called Old and in the Way. Other members included David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements
The Ryman auditorium was built in 1892 as a tabernacle for evangelist Samuel Porter Jones. It remained a church until 1943 when the Grand Ole Opry took it over making it into a world famous venue for country music. When the Opry built a new venue in 1974 the Ryman fell into disrepair until 1992 when Emmylou Harris performed a series of concerts there renewing interest in the building as a venue. It has since been repaired and remains one of the premier concert houses in the world.While the Opry was primarily an old country and bluegrass venue, it now
I've talked on numerous pages on this website about how I adore live music, and that I collect recordings of concerts to a ridiculous degree. It borders on insanity actually. I have thousands of hours of recordings from bands as diverse as the Grateful Dead to Miles Davis and Bob Dylan to Bill Monroe. If I sat down right now and started listening to them and didn't stop until they were done I wouldn't be able to stand for months on end. Yet I am always on the look out for more. My desire is insatiable.The thing that I love