Recently by Josh Hathaway

Best of 2020, Midpoint Music Roundup

An awful (start to the) year but with a brilliant soundtrack...
  |   Comments
Yes, 2020 has sucked like a turbo-charged Hoover but quarantine life has given you the opportunity to summon your inner me and sit on the you the opportunity to do what comes so naturally: to sit on your living room floor with a stack of brand new records and meditate on their magnificence. Haven't started yet? Don't know where to begin? Allow me to assist. One thing that jumps out to me immediately that I want to highlight is there have been some sensational records from women! They make up half of my list and there are a couple additional

Best Albums of 2019

It was another great year for music. Need proof? Start with these albums!
  |   Comments
Was 2019 a good or bad year for music? That is always an easy question for me and it may surprise some friends and readers: every year is a great year for music! I never fail to find albums that capture and inspire me. There is great music all around us and it comes from new and veteran artists every year if you are willing to look for and be found by it. So yes, 2019 was a great year for music and here are just some of the albums - listed alphabetically -- that spent considerable time with me

2019 New (To Me) Musical Discoveries Pt I

Two friends walk into a wine bar where I am introduced to delicious flavors and the delicious sounds of Charlotte Day Wilson and Khruangbin...
  |   Comments
I am frequently asked how I come across so much new music each year and I understand why they do because the vehicles that took my generation to new soundscapes have died in the case of MTV and radically changed as far as radio. And yet, the question also confuses me because most of the time I don't feel like I discover new music so much as it finds me. So how does that happen? Allow me to share my favorite new music discoveries of 2019 - music that was new to me this past year, regardless of when the

2019 New (To Me) Musical Discoveries Pt II

More musical discoveries for 2019: Madison Cunningham, Black Pumas, Michaela Anne, and The Messthetics!
  |   Comments
Wine bars weren't the only way I discovered new music in 2019 (although they might be my favorite method). Other paths to great music include friends, reading, and friends who read. Mark Saleski turned me on to several other new artists this year, two of whom he discovered via the good people who write for venerable roots music magazine No Depression. Mark and I crossed figurative paths and swords at Blogcritics a decade ago. It's an open debate as to which of us is the grumpier man on any given day but he is clearly the older. Our friendship has

Review: Joshua Redman Quartet - Come What May

Joshua Redman Quartet in top form on enjoyable, efficient "Come What May" LP
  |   Comments
The Joshua Redman has been my favorite contemporary tenor saxophonist even before I knew I had one, back when I didn't think I liked jazz because I couldn't understand it. It pains me a little to say it but credit must be given to the Rolling Stone magazine for their review of his Freedom In The Groove LP. That review and, well, if I'm completely honest, his name and the fact I attempted saxophone as a kid made me curious enough to gamble on a jazz record back when I didn't do that. It didn't immediately make me a jazz

Women's History Month: Etta James - Security

A favorite performance from the greatest female vocalist of all time...
  |   Comments
It's nigh impossible to get consensus on The Greatest Of All Time in any discussion of music and that's just the arguments I have with myself. There are a few where the question has been settled. One of those concerns the greatest female vocalist of all time. There are scores of qualified applicants for that particular title but no one has ever done it better than the legendary Etta James. Etta James is likely best known for her incomparable command of torch songs like the perfect and impossibly gorgeous "At Last." That's where she shined brightest and her complete command

Women's History Month: Stevie Nicks - Edge Of Seventeen

Saluting Stevie Nicks, the first woman to be twice inducted in the Hall of Fame, during Women's History Month
  |   Comments
March is Women's History Month and that inspired me to write about favorite female artists and their songs. I'd love to tell you I'm going to do this all month (and I certainly could without coming anywhere near exhausting the list of amazing women whose work fills my Tower of Song) but let's be real: this is the first thing I've written in 2019, the first thing I've written in six months. But I'm here and you're here so let's dive right in... It is appalling it took until 2019 for a woman artist to become a two-time Rock And

Heart With No Companion: Remembering Leonard Cohen

Legendary poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen would have turned 84 today...
  |   Comments
It's no surprise I should be listening to the Leonard Cohen on what would have been his 84th birthday if for no other reason than it's a safe bet I'm listening to him at any point of any day. His words and melodies whether printed or sung will forever be like a sun to my soul, keeping me in its orbit, informing both my own language as well as the lens through which I see and experience my world. I can't imagine he would have ever read this modest tribute to the enduring importance of his work in my life

Review: The Rolling Stones - On Air (Deluxe Edition)

A trip in time to those years The Rolling Stones were one of the baddest blues bands around...
  |   Comments
I love the years when The Rolling Stones were one of the best blues bands on the planet, before they were frozen in time in the pop culture consciousness as famous for their personal and musical indulgences and excesses as for the music. On Air collects live performances from the BBC from 1963-65 and captures them when they were five British kids possessed of both the skill and attitude that would see them segue from credibly covering blues and rock standards to a band that would write some of the greatest, most enduring songs of the 20th century. You can

Celebrating Prince On His 59th Birthday

Remembering the iconic visionary and one of his greatest songs on what would have been his 59th birthday...
  |   Comments
"No, I don't think about gone. I just think about in the future when I don't want to speak in real time." Today is Prince's 59th birthday and it's impossible not to notice the massive void in the present tense since his passing. I was devastated at the news like millions around the world but a friend and fellow follower of His Purple Badness told me she was not going to be sad. Prince's music was filled with joy and had been a soundtrack to many a good time and great night and that wasn't how she was going

Remembering The Timeless, Generational Voice of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell

Soundgarden frontman passed away at age 52 after performance in Detroit...
  |   Comments
The world woke to the shocking news that Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell passed away at the age of 52 shortly after the band completed a concert in Detroit. I'm still processing this as are his family, loved ones, friends, and many millions of fans, and I still cannot get my head around it. The shockwaves continue to reverberate and I'm struck by the strange coincidence we are days away from the release of a deluxe edition of the Singles soundtrack, that not only captured a special moment in time much better than the film, but also showed us a

Outside The Tower of Song: Everybody Knows

A new series about the songs of Leonard Cohen begins with the song that introduced me to him...
  |   Comments
My introduction to Leonard Cohen is likely atypical to of that of his other ardent fans but I'm certain I'm not the only Gen X'er whose first encounter came courtesy of the 1990 film Pump Up The Volume starring Christian Slater. I'd never heard anything like "Everybody Knows." High school for me was mostly hair metal and the emerging underground grunge scene. My ears were accustomed to squalling guitars and shrieking vocals, piercing voices singing about decadence or men howling about alienation. Pulsing synth and oud flourishes (hell, I didn't know what an oud was!) could hardly have been more

Premiere: Blues Music Award Nominee John Németh Debuts "Kool Aid Pickle"

Check out the first single from BMA nominee John Németh!
  |   Comments
2017 Blues Music Award nominee for BB King Entertainer of the Year John Németh is releasing his upcoming studio album Feeling Freaky, out May 19, and is premiering the new single "Kool Aid Pickle," which we have here for you to stream. "Kool Aid Pickle" comes as an instant download when you pre-order the record. Németh's new LP is produced by guitarist extraordinare Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars) and finds the vocalist/harmoica ace stretching boundaries far beyond even his own updated blues sound. His touring band does most of the heavy lifting as his instrumental backing on the record and

Review: Norah Jones - Day Breaks

Jones' latest LP is a return without sounding like a repeat...
  |   Comments
Norah Jones returns to the piano jazz-tinged pop that introduced her to the world in 2002, showing a versatility her debut record did little to suggest. It's not a knock on subsequent work to say her return to those earlier sounds is a welcome one. I like Little Broken Hearts, her collaboration with noted producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, but the warm familiarity in the opening bars of "Burn" quickly remind us of why so many listeners were enchanted by her in the first place. The multi-platinum, Grammy-winning Come Away With Me was a nocturnal record with spare arrangements

Review: Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau - Nearness

Two jazz masters master the stage as a duo on this live collection of standards and originals...
  |   Comments
Nearness is not their first collaboration between saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau, both having appeared on one another's records over the years and Mehldau having produced Redman's 2013 album Walking Shadows. This is, however, their first album as a duo, these six cuts having been culled from a series of shows the two performed in 2011. I approached the album with a hint of apprehension despite these being perhaps my two favorite contemporary jazz musicians because I wondered if I would miss the presence of a drummer keeping time or a bass player as rhythmic glue. Would piano

BBS First Listen: Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

The title track from Cohen's 14th studio album finds him again bringing dignity and beauty to the inevitable defeat...
  |   Comments
The great Leonard Cohen gave the world two gifts on his 82nd birthday last week when he announced an October 22nd release date for his new studio album You Want It Darker and made available for streaming and download the title track that day. He said in a 2011 speech, "As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty." Welcome

Review: Leonard Cohen - Can't Forget: A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour

'Can't Forget' serves as one part souvenir, one part appetizer...
  |   Comments
Can't Forget: A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour is a grab bag of performances from Leonard Cohen's most recent tour that includes rarities, covers, and a pair of new songs rehearsed during soundcheck. Don't let what could be perceived as a cynical attempt to empty the vault of any usable scrap come between you and this collection. The cut-and-paste mentality prevents this from being a cohesive album but doesn't stop it from being an incredibly satisfying listen. The less frequently played songs are likely to be the attraction to diehard Cohen fans and they won't be disappointed when they hear

Letting Go Of Worry By Letting In The Light

Leonard Cohen's masterpiece "Anthem" points us toward bells of hope and how to find the light...
  |   Comments
A worried man with a worried mind... That line opens one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs and it describes me about as well as any line in any song ever written. I think worry sometimes gets a bad rap, though. We mean well when we worry about ourselves and the person we are or about the people we love. Worrying is just one more way to show someone we care, right? No, I'm not buying it, either. There is a profound difference between and every ounce of energy spent in useless panic saps us of our ability to care,

'Elliott Smith - Heaven Adores You' DVD, Blu-Ray Release July 17

Documentary about the talented singer/songwriter makes its way to home video this summer...
  |   Comments
The documentary Elliott Smith - Heaven Adores You will make its move to home video on July 17 on Blu Ray, DVD, and a host of other digital formats. The film was directed by Nickolas Dylan Rossi and is billed as an intimate portrait of an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. It features interviews with a handful of those close to Smith and takes us to the three cities he spent most of his career: Portland, New York, and Los Angeles. Elliott Smith was an amazing talent as a singer/songwriter and increasingly as an arranger when his life was cut short at

Celebrating The Life Of B.B. King (1925-2015)

Celebrating the life and work of the blues icon who passed away at the age of 89....
  |   Comments
The world is mourning the loss and celebrating the life and legacy of BB King and I am joining that chorus with a heavy but thankful heart. He gave more than I can possibly sum up in his 89 years. We are all the richer for those gifts and it would be wrong to ask for any more but there was never going to be a day we would want to let him go. Too many of the greats were not appreciated in their own time. I take some comfort in the belief BB had some idea of just how

It Was A Beautiful Day

In which our hero breathes a sigh of relief, gives thanks for a new friend, and remembers miracles...
  |   Comments
Grammy-winner John Mellencamp once remarked what makes a medical emergency a minor one is when it happens to someone else. I've spent the past week making people laugh sharing a story about the way someone's irrepressible, mischievous grin drew me into a farce. The owner of that smirk is a new presence in my life who today was confronted with what could've been either a manageable health scare or an absolute tragedy. To my profound relief it was the former rather than the latter, and in the midst of that comfort I was struck by how much he's already come

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Weezer Songs

In which our hero slices five gems from the career of the mighty, mighty Weezer!
  |   Comments
We travel to the wonderful world of Weezer for our latest edition of Listful Thinking. Condensing nine albums and two decades of music into a Top 5 was no easy task. I'm still wrestling with my choices and confess this list could look different if I revisited it next week or I might actually come back with the same five. So here they are, today's Top 5 Weezer songs: "My Name Is Jonas" - One of the finest power pop compositions of the '90s. I love the fleeting acoustic noodling that is pummeled by a fuzzed riff that later becomes

Living With Ghosts - Traveling Alone

In which our hero considers the prospect of living alone...
  |   Comments
It's a Jason Isbell day on Hathaway's iPod as I lament getting shut out of his four-night run at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. I'm disappointed but am wondering if it's just as well. I cannot be held responsible for the possible epic come part likely to happen should he choose to play "Songs That She Sang In The Shower." That's the power of a life's soundtrack, dear readers. The only songs worth remembering are the ones that tell your story, describe your hopes and dreams, or take you revive those most important moments of your life. Jason's Southeastern record stands

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Toad The Wet Sprocket Songs

In which our hero selects his Top 5 Toad The Wet Sprocket songs...
  |   Comments
I've been pleased by the response to my Listful Thinking series by friends and readers. I've gotten more comments on these than many other pieces I've written and I'm getting suggestions on bands and themes to consider for future editions, such as Toad The Wet Sprocket. Ahh, Toad, we do go back a long time and have traveled many, many miles. We traveled many miles in the city of Atlanta to see one of your reunion shows. Oh, Atlanta is not far from Huntsville but we spent untold hours lost trying to find the venue and again trying to find

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Morphine Songs

The best from a unique band whose run ended prematurely...
  |   Comments
u·nique: yo͞oˈnēk/ adjective 1. being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. A puppy is kicked every time someone modifies the word "unique." It's a binary state, like pregnancy (not that I have much experience). You either are or you aren't. Morphine is and it's only one of the many reasons I cherish this band. There are many ways a band could hope to achieve the noirish, nocturnal, narcotic sound that is Morphine but I've never heard a band take this approach. Who forms a rock band and says, "Yeah, we're not going to have any guitars"? Mark

Living With Ghosts: When Your Number Isn't Up... which our hero wonders if he's outlived his usefulness and ponders what to do about it...
  |   Comments
...When the sun is finally going down And you're overdue to follow But you're still above the ground... I have to start this out with the first time I heard this song. Mark Lanegan has spent more time at the top of my Favorite Aritsts list than just about anyone. He's one of my favorite vocalists and over the years but I didn't hear him the first time I listened to "When Your Number Isn't Up" but rather superimposed the timeless voice of Johnny Cash. It's such a shame to me Cash didn't live long enough to take a

Dillon Hodges Unveils New Project firekid, First Single "Magic Mountain"

Dillon Hodges takes his music in a bold new direction...
  |   Comments
We should forgive longtime Dillon Hodges listeners if it takes them a moment to adjust to the departure that is his latest musical brainchild, firekid. He establishes himself as an emerging singer/songwriter with Rumspringa, having already proven himself one of the elite flat pick guitarists of his generation, and immediately reinvents himself. You have to give him points for boldness and with the first single from the forthcoming record "Magic Mountain," you have to give him points for knowing exactly what the hell he was doing. It's likely others have tried it but it's not obvious for a roots-oriented

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Guster Songs

In which our hero revisits a major Fanboy crush and agonizes over his Top 5 Guster songs...
  |   Comments
I had a Fanboy obsession with Guster with the release of their 2006 LP Ganging Up On The Sun. For at least a year, I listened obsessively to them and championed their cause with various internet outlets of my writing past (some of my best and some of my most embarrassing output). I don't have the same religious fervor I did in 2006 but they remain a consistent part of my musical diet and vital part of my life's soundtrack. Gusterhhoids will have their pitchforks and torches out when they notice I have nothing from Lost & Gone Forever on

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Counting Crows Songs

By request, our hero selects his Top 5 Counting Crows songs, mixing the obvious with surprises...
  |   Comments
It's difficult, these Top 5 lists, and that's part of what makes them fun! One of the challenges for me is whether or not I should be ruthless about it and take my Top 5 songs regardless of how representative they are of an artist's work or if I should strive for balance. Friend and BBS collaborator Stephanie encouraged me to take a swing at Counting Crows, so here it is, by request. I like all their records and love some of them. I could do Top 5 lists for several of their individual records and still leave coveted songs

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Wilco Songs

In which our hero agonizes before selecting his Top 5 Wilco songs...
  |   Comments
I was a little late to the Wilco bandwagon, having hopped not long after the arrival of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That record arrived in 2001, so while I don't go back to the beginning, I suspect there are many who came on board after I already had my seat. The band has gone through numerous lineup changes over the years and now Wilco is really Jeff Tweedy's really awesome playground. He comes up with ideas and has incredible musicians capable of executing and occasionally improving upon them in the studio and on stage. I've bought every Wilco record. I've purchased

A Kite Blowing Out Of Control On The Breeze...

A different kind of goodbye...
  |   Comments
The mother of a friend passed away unexpectedly this week, days after being celebrated by family at a wonderful surprise party for her 80th birthday, and I attended a memorial service in her honor yesterday. I found myself moved by the observance, which isn't the typical reaction I have in these sorts of moments and I suspect that's true for most of you, although these things hit us all differently. I only met his mom a few times so I was there more as an onlooker. I learned about her life from the stories shared by those who spoke and

Toad The Wet Sprocket - Life Is Beautiful which our hero fights to reclaim hope...
  |   Comments
I've shared a few pages of my story in some of the recent work I've contributed since my return to BlindedBySound and I'm not sure how I feel about sharing it with friends and strangers but writing about music, for me, is more than time signatures, chord changes, riffs, hooks, and descending melodies. It's about the stories, including my own. It's about the life's work of building a soundtrack that tells my story, a playlist that reminds me of life's possibilities and that has meant overcoming the barriers to being vulnerable. One of my favorite things in life are its

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Pearl Jam Songs

Grunge Week at Blinded By Sound, Vol 5: Pearl Jam
  |   Comments
Pearl Jam was easily the most difficult band to condense to five songs owing to the fact they have easily the deepest discography of the Seattle bands. They went through a succession of drummers and had some bumps along the way but never disbanded and rarely took extended breaks. Pearl Jam remained the top musical priority of the four founding members who remain at the band's core. Because this was such a difficult list to compile, I expect to get CRUSHED by Pearl Jam fans for the songs I selected and those I didn't. Similar to what I said with

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Soundgarden Songs

Grunge Week at Blinded By Sound, Vol 4: Soundgarden
  |   Comments
Soundgarden would at times dominate my listening but never held the title as being my favorite of the so-called Grunge bands. I always liked them and they never fell out of favor but they never reached the summit with me. Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were the most obviously influenced by classic rock. They remind me of Black Sabbath's music with Zeppelin's frontman, stirred with a bit of King Crimson to get that prog rock influence that lurks. I may get some stick for not referencing their earlier works and that's probably fair. Loud As Love is a good record and

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Nirvana Songs

Grunge Week at Blinded By Sound, Vol 3: Nirvana
  |   Comments
Grunge Week continues with the torchbearers of the movement, the mighty Nirvana. I don't have to spend much time explaining the impact this band had on the world or their legacy; it's unassailable. I am consistently reminded they are even better than we think they are when I return to the records. There was so much hype and noise surrounding Kurt Cobain and the casualty too often was the art. The only thing sadder than the loss of so many great songs still to be written is the tragic loss of the life of Kurt Cobain itself. There weren't as

Living With Ghosts: Jeff Buckley - "Last Goodbye"

In which our hero wrestles with the art of almost and waxes on about the magic of Jeff Buckley...
  |   Comments
I was late to the Jeff Buckley party and yes, I will admit it was his masterful cover of Leonard Cohen's now painfully over-covered version of "Hallelujah" that brought me in the front door several years ago. That may have been my introduction to him but after untold hours listening obsessively to Grace, what was once my favorite song on the record has fallen halfway down the list. Great music doesn't have to change. We do that enough on our own. We continue to live and, if you're paying any attention at all, learn. We add to our experiences

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Screaming Trees Songs

Grunge Week at Blinded By Sound, Vol 2: Screaming Trees
  |   Comments
I said at the beginning of our Grunge Week feature that Alice in Chains is frequently my default answer for Favorite Seattle Band and they are but Screaming Trees will forever have a special place in my heart and it starts with the voice of Mark Lanegan. His work with Screaming Trees is incredible and yet he eclipsed it in his solo career and that is saying something. I've also got a special place in my heart for this band because of Barrett Martin. My love for Trees made me curious to follow what he was doing when he started

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Alice in Chains Songs

Grunge Week at Blinded By Sound, Vol 1: Alice in Chains
  |   Comments
Welcome to Grunge Week at BlindedBySound! It's a series within a series this week as I do my Top 5 songs from my Top 5 Seattle bands of the '90s. I'll first unveil the bands and then each day this week you'll get my Top 5 songs by them and your chance to give me yours! The bands you'll be reading about this week are Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, and Soundgarden and Alice is batting leadoff. Longtime readers know I lived in the Puget Sound area at a time when these bands were becoming big in

Van Halen To Release Live Set With Roth March 31

It's not quite a reunion album but it's the first VH live album with Diamond Dave and features most of the hits!
  |   Comments
I don't know what has taken so long but the Van Halen "Reunion"/A Different Kind Of Truth tour is finally being documented with a live album to be released March 31, taken from their June 21 appearance at the Tokyo Dome. This is the first VH live album to feature founding frontman Diamond David Lee Roth but the bass chores were handled by Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang rather than original bassist Michael Anthony. The 25-song set will be spread across 2 CDs (also available on vinyl) and includes most of the Roth-era hits a fan would want along with

Listful Thinking: Stone Temple Pilots 5 Best Songs

In which our hero denounces Chester Bennington, Linkin Park, and lists STP's five best songs...
  |   Comments
I got on a Stone Temple Pilots kick recently because I got excited when I saw they were playing in nearby Birmingham. Then I remembered Scott Weiland has been replaced by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. I can't tell you how much I don't want to hear someone else sing Weiland's vocal lines other than to say I didn't buy tickets. He already channels and mimics so many other singers. Having someone imitate his imitations seems pointless. Besides, I don't really like Bennington's voice or Linkin Park's music. All the talk of STP did get me to go back to the

Bettye LaVette, Neil Young, George Harrison, And The Road To Nowhere

Nowhere wasn't the preferred desperation but at least there's a fabulous soundtrack for it...
  |   Comments
There's not one Neil Young record in my voluminous collection and it's because his voice absolutely bugs the shit out of me and I can't get around that. It's a shame because the man is obviously one of the finest songwriters of any era and yet I'm on the outside because his voice makes me stabby. I know plenty of people who feel that way about Dylan. I know someone who feels that way about Springsteen. For me, it's Neil and that's why I'm always glad when an artist I do like covers him and gives me an access

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Tears For Fears Songs

My Top 5 Tears For Fears songs... today.
  |   Comments
So picking up with my '80s dalliance from earlier in the week... Amigos, this is a difficult task, naming my Top 5 Tears For Fears songs because there are too many songs missing from this list! I furiously crossed titles off and added new ones only to cross those out and replace them with a previously struck item or another song entirely. The only way I could make myself settle on these five is if I put in the following disclaimer... these are my Top 5 for today. Ask me tomorrow and some of these stay while others are likely

Blur Announce New Album 'The Magic Whip' Due April 28, Issue First Single "Go Out"

Blur's first new album in a dozen years will be released in April....
  |   Comments
Check this out! Blur is back with their first album in 12 years, an album that features the original lineup -- yes, kids, Graham Coxon is back in the fold as the band's guitarist -- called The Magic Whip. The new set will be released April 28. The set was produced by frequent collaborator/producer Stephen Street. The songs were principally recorded in Hong Kong, which might explain just a bit the album art. Blur reunited for a massive show when London hosted the Summer Olympics and have played a few other dates but new music wasn't a certainty. Damon Albarn

See Hiss Golden Messenger Perform "Blue Country Mystic" (Video)

Hiss Golden Messenger reaches into the back catalog for this performance on WAMU
  |   Comments
Listener Supported Public Radio turned me on to two artists -- Lake Street Dive and Hiss Golden Messenger -- last year. I managed to complete my review of HGM's Lateness of Dancers, which I dusted off and listened to again yesterday (and I swear my LSD review is forthcoming! Here's something to tide you over in the meantime). I haven't yet dug deep into the back catalog of HGM but member station WAMU helped me out with that by posting a recent live perofrmance of a song from the back catalog, "Blue Country Mystic" from Poor Man. Two listens

Listful Thinking: 5 Favorites From The '80s New Wave Era

Listful Thinking: The '80s didn't entirely suck and here are 5 songs to prove it!
  |   Comments
The '80s are a bit of a lost decade for me, musically speaking. I didn't get to experience much of it as it was happening due to parental restrictions. Looking back after the fact revealed, frankly, a lot of rubbish. No decade is bereft of music with merit and today for reasons unknown to me, I'm in the mood to sift through it and share a few of my favorites with you. I tried to stay away from bands like Duran Duran, who I love, who had a series of big hits. These aren't one-hit wonders and the songs aren't

Patrick Sweany - "Them Shoes"

Songs continue to teach and surprise no matter how many times we've heard them or how well we think we know them...
  |   Comments
One of the miracles of music is that you can listen to a song 1,000 times and hear something new on that 1,0001st play. That's what happened with Patrick Sweany's "Them Shoes" over the weekend. There are two reasons for the new discovery. The first and most obvious is that I changed, life changed. We'll come back to that. The other reason for the new discovery is because of what drew me into the song in the first place. I fell in love with "Them Shoes" the first time I heard it because of the way Sweany built and that's

Lake Street Dive - Clear A Space (Live) (Video)

Consider this an apology for and down payment on a delinquent review...
  |   Comments
There exists on my hard drive a half-finished review of Lake Street Dive's Bad Self Portraits, an album that would have landed on my Best of 2014 had I actually gotten around to writing it. It's clear, dear readers, I've been M.I.A. from Blinded By Sound for a little while. There are good reasons for that. Laziness, for example. One of our writers sent me on assignment to see Lake Street Dive back in October of last year and that's where I first heard this song from their Fun Machine EP. That EP is five covers and this orignal.

Jason Isbell Predicts My Future (How Can This Possibly End Well?) which our hero announces his retirement and the world wonders if he's Michael Jordan or Sandy Koufax...
  |   Comments
Picture it: laying in bed, one dog beside you where she doesn't belong, her paws covering the hand not petting her, the other dog loudly licking himself, curled up on his bed in the corner of the room. Music fills the air, nearly at the pain threshold as it has to be loud enough to be heard in the bathroom and over the cascade of running water. The faint smell of Dove soap is wafting on the steam from the shower as is muted singing. It's slightly off-key and yet your smile is keeping you warmer than the blanket

Review: The Ballad Of Shovels & Rope

  |   Comments
The Ballad of Shovels & Rope is a familiar tale with no great plots twists or stunning revelations, at least not for anyone who has paid even passing attention to stories of aspiring artists. So why did I love it so much? The characters. It may seem harsh or jaded to reduce Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, the husband-wife duo that comprises this band, to characters but as they said in an interview promoting their latest album Swimmin Time, they aren't selling or sharing their marriage at the merch table after shows. What they reveal in this little film

Florence + The Machine To Release New Album June 6, Release New Single "What Kind Of Man"

Florence + The Machine readies release of third album...
  |   Comments
My neglect of you, dear readers, has reached crisis proportions but my return draweth nigh and is inspired, in no small part, but news of new music from Florence + The Machine. How Big How Blue How Beautiful is their third album and will be released worldwide on June 6 and we can get our first taste of the record via the first single "What Kind Of Man" (video below). Welch described to NME a very different perspective in the writing process for How Big as opposed to its predecessor Ceremonials. "I guess although I've always dealt in fantasy and

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

Producer Aaron Dessner makes presence known on The Lone Bellow's sweeping epic new single...
  |   Comments
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
  |   Comments
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

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...
  |   Comments
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

Review: Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness Of Dancers

Hiss Golden Messenger made a believer out of me on 'Lateness Of Dancers'
  |   Comments
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'
  |   Comments
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

Vaudeville Etiquette Takes "Rose & Ivy" To That Big Wheel In The Sky

Vaudeville Etiquette gets... high... for this unplugged performance
  |   Comments
Vaudeville Etiquette played for that Big Wheel In The Sky recently when they filmed an acoustic performance of their beautiful song "Rose & Ivy" in Seattle's Great Wheel. It seems splendidly vaudevillian to play music in a setting like this! It's so... carney! They're now Mile High Club Members (not that one, freakazoids! Well, maybe that one but I don't know; I haven't asked... and I'm not going to) so here's hoping they can stretch the next leg of their tour to include Nashville, Birmingham, and other great cities in the Southeast. Oh, and your hometown, too, because I shouldn't

Rolling Stones Issue Archival Live Sets From 1975, 1981 on Nov 4

The Stones are reaching in to the archive and releasing vintage live shows on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, digital, and vinyl...
  |   Comments
The Rolling Stones are reaching into their archives and officially releasing a pair of vintage live recordings in multiple configurations on November 4. L.A. Forum is one night from their five-show run at the Forum in Los Angeles from their 1975 tour, the first to feature Ronnie Wood on lead guitar in support of their It's Only Rock & Roll tour. They were at the height of their legendary excesses at this stage of their career and their catalog was well stocked with timeless classics. Hampton Coliseum is taken from a 1981 show from the Tattoo You tour and would

Review: Gary Clark Jr - Live

Gary Clark Jr's live album is a good listen and a missed opportunity
  |   Comments
I love live music and live albums but those are only two of the reasons I was thrilled when Gary Clark Jr. announced plans to release Live. I was frustrated that some songs on Blak & Blu sound glossy and overproduced. I've seen Clark in concert knew that sheen evaporates in the fire of Clark's mastery and intensity. A live album seemed the ideal way to hear Clark and these songs at their best. That's true here but only to a point. Live albums should be complete, single shows but very few major label live sets adhere to this. I've

U2 Plays It Safe On 'Songs Of Innocence'

The members of U2 remembered why they wanted to be in a band on this record but forgot why we ever cared...
  |   Comments
I, like most, was shocked at the way Songs Of Innocence arrived and, unlike some, eagerly downloaded it and began listening. I got sucked in by the excitement of new music from one of my favorite bands and tried to ignore years of misdirects, false hopes, and pained statements from U2 about when the next record what arrive and what it would be. None of that mattered. The music was here, now, ready to be heard. I still experience that same surge of giddiness when my favorite bands call out to me and that excitement was enough to get me

See Shovels & Rope Perform "The Devil Is All Around" on Conan

Shovels & Rope make magic on light night television! #TeamCoco
  |   Comments
I am so behind on my review of the magical goodness that is Swimmin' Time from our friends, Shovels & Rope. That review exists in pieces, in my head. I am going to commit words to page and get that written and published. Soon. In the meantime, please let me share with you a marvelous performance of one of my favorite tracks from the record, "The Devil Is All Around," from their recent appearance on Conan O'Brien. I've seen them live twice and this is a good representation of what you get when you see them and it's reminding me

Review: Mike Marshall & Turtle Island Quartet

In which our hero applies the tenets of Duke Ellington to his review of Mike Marshall & Turtle Island Quartet...
  |   Comments
Duke Ellington once said, "I'm sure critics have their purpose, and they're supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what he did." It's the first part of that quote that makes me feel compelled to place a disclaimer at the beginning of reviews that lead me to music outside my listening comfort zone but I subscribe to the philosophy set forth in another quip from Mr. Ellington, that "There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind."

Deluxe Edition Of 'I Am Shelby Lynne' Slated For Oct. 7 Release

Lynne's breakthrough album to be issued with 6 previously unreleased tracks and DVD of concert from that tour...
  |   Comments
I Am Shelby Lynne is finally getting the deluxe reissue it has richly deserved and will be released as a CD/DVD set by Rounder Records on Oct. 7. My former comrade at Blogcritics interviewed Ms. Lynne a few years back and asked, on my behalf, if a I Am Shelby Lynne reissue might be in the offing. She said then what she is saying now, that revisiting this album brings back memories of a lot of pain but that a deluxe edition could one day happen. I would like to take credit for this all coming to fruition but will

Gary Clark Jr To Release 'Live' Sept. 23

Clark to document 'Blak & Blu' tour with 2-CD live set...
  |   Comments
My joy is complete with the news the mighty Gary Clark Jr. will release a double live album Sept. 23 (just days after my birthday, for those of you paying careful attention). The 2-CD set features several songs from his major label debut Blak & Blu as well as a fistful of the covers that have been staples of his shows (tracklist below) in the lead-up to the release of that album and the tour promoting it. I witnessed Clark on stage in Nashville prior to the release of Blak & Blu and in nearly every instance, what he did

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Huey Lewis & The News Songs

In which our hero reflects on high school, baseball, dating, and Huey Lewis' Top 5 songs...
  |   Comments
Yesterday it was Elton John in this feature and today it's Huey Lewis & The News. Let's get... random... I am prepared to admit the following: I liked Huey Lewis & The News when I was a kid in the '80s There are a few songs ("Hip To Be Sqaure," "Bad Is Bad") that make me embarrassed to admit I liked Huey Lewis & The News even though I was a kid and it was the '80s Five of those songs still hold up today This basic bar band from Frisco somehow ended up with a record deal and a

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Elton John Songs

In which our hero selects Elton John's 5 Best songs...
  |   Comments
The premise of this series when I introduced it several months ago was to dash off the 5 best songs from artists whose work I admired but weren't on heavy rotation at Hathaway Radio, if you will. Maybe they weren't on heavy rotation because I don't actually like the artist all that much but grudgingly admit they had at least 5 songs worth remembering. That's clearly not the case with Sir Elton John. John will always be a bit of an enigma to me. His musical career and public persona have confounded us all at times. I don't know why

Review: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

'Hypnotic Eye' is more diverse than the straight-ahead rocker it was advertised to be...
  |   Comments
Tom Petty said in several interviews leading up to the release of Hypnotic Eye this was a return to 1978 and straight-ahead rockers from The Heartbreakers but that turns out not to be true- at least not entirely as the record is far more diverse than that, to its benefit. Interspersed among the hard-charging numbers are tunes like the noirsh, nocturnal shuffle of "Full Grown Boy," a song that sounds like it belongs in a late night jazz nightclub and the meditative, mysterious "Shadow People," two of the album's highlights. The blues bug that bit the band on Mojo is

Vaudeville Etiquette Unveil Poignant New Video For "Oh"

Beautiful video, beautiful song, beautiful record...
  |   Comments
Vaudeville Etiquette -- Remember them? They made the record I politely commanded you all to purchase back in April -- is back with a new video from what remains the best debut record I've heard in 2014. I still love the warmth in Tayler Lynn's voice and how a simple sound can capture what words fail to describe. I love Bradley Laina's harmony vocal and the way mandolin and vibraphone decorate the acoustic guitar strums and melody. There is a gentleness of spirit and sweetness in the song captured in the video shot by Laina. This is all making my

Lanegan Announces 'No Bells On Sunday' EP, Premieres Video "Sad Lover"

The EP a precursor to full-length album slated for the fall...
  |   Comments
Mark Lanegan Band will release a new, limited edition EP No Bells On Sunday on July 29. The EP is being issued as a limited edition vinyl with only 1,500 copies being pressed. The music will be available digitally at that time and will also be available on CD when the band releases their full-length effort Phantom Radio later this fall. They've also shot and released a video for "Sad Lover," one of the five new songs from the EP (which you can see below). The past three years have been prolific ones for Lanegan, with a compilation of his

Counting Crows Unveil "Palisades Park," First Single From 'Somewhere Under Wonderland'

New Counting Crows single from forthcoming album due Sept. 2
  |   Comments
Counting Crows will release their first album of new music in six years on Sept. 2, Somewhere Under Wonderland, preceded by first single "Palisades Park," which can be purchased at iTunes and streamed on Spotify starting today. The complete tracklisting (see below) reveals a nine-song set of originals, some of which are already showing up in setlists on their current tour with Toad The Wet Sprocket. The band released a collection of covers, Underwater Sunshine in 2012 and a live performance of their debut August & Everything After the year before, both of which followed their last studio album Saturday

iTunes Chart Watch: More Phish Fans Download Bootlegs Than 'Fuego' (And Other Chart Observations)

Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith Have Top Albums on iTunes....
  |   Comments
It's entirely possible I'm the only person who thinks it's funny a Phish studio album was among the most legally downloaded albums in the US last week, what with the band having been kings of the bootleg nation since their inception. Hilarity or not, Fuego checks in at #9 on the Albums charts where the latest from Ed Sheeran, X is #1. I didn't fall in love with Sheeran's debut (although I did take a $7 flier on it and gave it a chance). I've been told this new one is good and better than its predecessor so I might

Ryan Adams Announces New Album Due Sept. 9, Issues First Single "Gimme Something Good"

First new album from RA since 2011...
  |   Comments
Ryan Adams has announced he's ready to release a new, self-titled album Sept. 9. The once prolific Adams has slowed the frenetic pace of releases as this is his first new set since Ashes & Fire in 2011. The first single for the record, "Gimme Something Good" has been released on vinyl and is available to stream through Spotify. We don't know much about the record beyond the release date, title, artwork, and track listing. Adams has announced a small handful of tour dates scheduled between now and the album's launch but we are otherwise in the dark, left with

Singleton, Birchwood Top At Blues Radio, Eden Brent Joins Top 5

Top 10 Albums at Blues Radio For Week Ending 6/27
  |   Comments
It's the Better Late Than Never edition of our Blues Radio Report, another series that went on hiatus and I'm now reviving. It's also the Alligator Records edition as our friends at Alligator have the top two spots on the chart -- Jarekus Singleton and Selwyn Birchwood -- as well as entries from Joe Louis Walker and The Holmes Brothers. The venerable Ray Bonneville is in at #3 and Eden Brent's beautiful new record from Yellow Dog Jigsaw Heart is at #5. I'm also very pleased to see Mr. Ronnie Earl and his Broadcasters' latest record Good News in Roots

'Introducing Morrissey' Concert Film To Get DVD Debut In September

Moz reaches back into the past for archival releases as he preps first album in 5 years...
  |   Comments
The cantankerous, oft-afflicted Morrissey will release Introducing Morrissey on DVD for the first time in September. The show was recorded in February 1995 from his Vauxhall & I album. A 20th Anniversary re-issue of that record has already been announced. This is all happening as Moz preps to release his first solo album since 2009, World Peace Is None Of Your Business. He's also made attempts to tour the US but has yet to complete all scheduled dates due to a string of mystery maladies. Here's the tracklist for the DVD: Billy Budd Have-A-Go Merchant Spring-Heeled Jim Youre The One

Preview: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

A preview of three songs from the upcoming Heartbreakers record
  |   Comments
My love for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers knows no bounds so the announcement of a new record Hypnotic Eye due out July 29 and tour dates this summer and fall have spun me into total fanboy mode. I got a pair of tickets for what will be my fourth Heartbreakers show and in the process got to download three tracks from the upcoming album. These are a tantalizing taste and will tide me over while leaving me hungry for the remainder of the record. Let's take a quick preview of these songs to stoke the fire of our fandom!

Iggy Azalea, Miranda Lambert Top Song, Album at iTunes, Coldplay 'Ghost Stories' #3

Top songs, albums at iTunes for week ending June 9...
  |   Comments
I welcome myself back to my own column after this week after an absurdly long absence and we once again look at the most popular songs and albums from the #1 music retailer. This is your weekly iTunes Chart Watch and you are welcome to it... I've only heard 1/2 of one song on the Top Songs list, the inescapable and unforgivably awful "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. I don't know what a Iggy Azalea is and I choose to not find out. My money is on her being the latest inductee into the Andy Warhol Hall of Fame, soon to

Patrick Sweany Unveils Official Video "Every Night Every Day"

Blues-rock done right... oh, so right...
  |   Comments
Patrick Sweany is the latest artist to add his name to the esteemed Josh Hathaway's New Musical Obsession List. I nearly had to pull over to the side of the road when I heard "Them Shoes" for the first time last month. I did what I always do when something hits me like that and began exhaustively researching his bio and discography, leading me to the happy news Mr. Sweany was playing Music City Roots in Nashville at Loveless Cafe, a very cool event and venue. He played a 4-song mini set but that was enough to send me home

New Music Tuesday: Jack White, Chrissie Hynde, The Who, RSB Top Week's New Releases

Just a few of the highlights of this week's new release schedule #NewMusicTuesday
  |   Comments
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

Alastair Greene Band Debuts "Trouble At Your Door" Video

New AGB Album 'Trouble At Your Door' releases June 17...
  |   Comments
Alastair Greene Band debuted a video for the title track from their forthcoming fifth studio album, Trouble At Your Door, due June 17 from Eclecto Groove/Delta Groove Records. "Trouble" showcases Greene's guitar prowess with a big riff and blazing guitar solo and serves as an appealing introduction to the new album (look for a review here on BBS as we get closer to the launch). Trouble features 11 new originals and a cover of "Strange Feeling," from the late Michael Burks. Greene also produced the sessions himself. Greene has been backed by a litany of top musicians, former members of

The National Bring 4-Night Residency To Close With Ragged Finale (April 18, 2014)

Trouble Found Them on their final night in Chicago...
  |   Comments
All good things must come to an end... The National closed their four-night run in Chicago with a show that was occasionally sloppier than their norm and with three songs not previously played the first three nights. I'm a little disappointed by all three of those bullet points: it's over, it had a couple rough spots, and they didn't throw as many new songs into the mix as I'd hoped. That said, it was still a fine show and worth the trip for me. It gets exponentially more difficult to play songs I've not yet heard when you enter your

Review: The National - Chicago Theater: Rarities Abound On Night 3 in Chicago

'Alligator' gets center stage on The National's 3rd night in Chicago...
  |   Comments
I've decided to call Night 3 in Chicago "Alligator Night... or... All Bets Are Off." I've never seen a National setlist quite like this one and this was, as attentive readers now know, my eighth time seeing them. All I can say is... wow! The show kicked off with "Secret Meeting," with Scott Devendorf on guitar and Aaron Dessner on bass. This is a favorite of mine from Alligator and it's been awhile since I've heard it so I was pleased from the outset. We then went through a pretty standard sequence of Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet

"Wasp Nest," "Humiliation" Highlight Extraordinary 2nd Night In Chicago By The National

My 7th National show was the best National show I've seen
  |   Comments
It's night two of The National's four-night residency at the gorgeous Chicago Theater. My seats tonight aren't as good as Night 1 but it seems there's not a bad seat in the house. I was on the Aaron Dessner side of the stage for last night. I'm on Bryce's side this evening. A different vantage point and some different songs. National show #7 was Lucky #7 for me as tonight is the best of their shows I've attended and rates among the best concerts of my career. "Start A War" was an inspired opener and "Mistaken For Strangers" was great

The National Open Chicago Residency With Safe Setlist, Powerful Performance (April 15, 2014)

The National offer a fine performance in the first of four shows in Chicago...
  |   Comments
This is it! Opening night! The National kicked off the first of four nights in Chicago at the Chicago Theater in support of their Grammy-nominated 2013 album Trouble Will Find Me. So much to say about this opening salvo and I fear I won't strike the right balance so bear with me, dear readers. The performance tonight was mostly stellar with only a few bumps along the way. I should also mention how great the sound in the Chicago Theater is. What a lovely room to hear music in! Now if I could just get my fellow attendees to shut

First Time The Charm For Vaudeville Etiquette on Debut CD 'Debutantes & Dealers'

Vaudeville Etiquette stands above, apart in crowded New Folk scene on debut 'Debutantes & Dealers'
  |   Comments
Seattle-based Vaudeville Etiquette, the brainchild of Tayler Lynn and Bradley Laina, enter an increasingly crowded scene of acoustic/folk/roots-oriented bands. Debutantes & Dealers is their debut record, produced by Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Walking Papers, Tuatara), and over the course of its 13 songs they demonstrate they are inspired rather than imitators crashing a trendy party. The duo serve as principle vocalists and songwriters for the band, rounded out by Sander Vinberg on upright bass, Bryce Gourley on drums, and Matt Teske on pedal steel. Things get off to an impressive start with the opening track which is also

Review: The National - Van Nord Arena - Grand Rapids, MI (Apr 12, 2014)

The National play staples and surprises in Grand Rapids, MI
  |   Comments
The National delivered another passionate, riveting performance in Grand Rapids, MI as they continue the 2014 leg of their North American tour in support of their Grammy-nominated 2013 release Trouble Will Find Me. The setlist drew heavily from Trouble with nine songs forming the foundation for the evening. They mixed in staples from their catalog and worked in a couple surprises, including one that stumped and astonished me. "Sea Of Love" was a rollocking, electric opener to the show and quickly doused that energy by following it up with "Sorrow" from High Violet and another TWFM cut "I Should Live

Sebastian Bach Gives Fans Sneak Peak At New Album 'Give 'Em Hell' (Video)

A multimedia appetizer before Sebastian Bach's 'Give 'Em Hell' is released 4/22
  |   Comments
We told you all about Sebastian Bach's upcoming solo record Give 'Em Hell and the first video "Temptation" and now we've got even more goodness to share with you, amigos! Give 'Em Hell features help from Duff McKagan, Steve Stevens, John5 and hits stores April 22 (just around the corner!) and now we have a preview video from the man himself. Want a sneak peak at what awaits you? Check out the video below and let us know how excited you are to hear the latest from one of the great frontmen of '80s hard rock.
Coldplay has released a video for "Magic," the first song from their forthcoming record Ghost Stories, due in stores May 19. Coldplay's last record Mylo Xyloto was reviewed by our amigos 11 and J Newcastle, both of whom liked it but with some reservations. I also enjoyed it... a little. I liked MX but it suffered from two flaws: it wasn't Viva La Vida (the masterpiece that preceded it) and too many songs sounded like it wanted to be Viva. I have a good feeling about Ghost Stories. I believe they're ready to venture off in a different direction while

Dudley Taft To Release 'Screaming In The Wind' May 20

Taft blazes own trail as blues-rocker with upcoming solo effort...
  |   Comments
Dudley Taft has teamed with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge for his forthcoming blues-rock record Screaming In The Wind, due May 20. Taft began his career in the Pacific Northwest rock community first as a member of Sweet Water and then as a member of the band Second Coming, which featured former members/associates of Alice in Chains. His rock and roll past is still part of his music but he's merged that with his passion for and knowledge of the blues. His first blues-rock solo album was Left For Dead which he followed with Deep Deep Blue. Both of those records

Matt Schofield An Impressive Force On 'Far As I Can See' (2014)

A deeply satisfying listen from one of the finest contemporary bluesmen of the era...
  |   Comments
Matt Schofield had a specific vision for his latest release Far As I Can See, the follow-up of his outstanding 2011 effort Anything But Time. He was intent on recreating and capturing in the studio the feel and sound of his live shows. All the pre-production decisions were made with this goal in mind. He brought his guitar tech in as engineer for the record to make sure the tones were just right. He assembled a band of players who've been on the road with him before and they recorded the album playing together rather than tracking separately. He also

Eden Brent Unveils Tracklist For 'Jigsaw Heart,' Due May 6

Award-winning pianist/songwriter/vocalist readies first new album in 4 years...
  |   Comments
BlindedBySound favorite Eden Brent has announced the tracklisting and revealed cover art for her third full-length album for Yellow Dog Records, Jigsaw Heart, which will be released May 6. The three-time Blues Music Award-winning pianist/vocalist is following-up her acclaimed 2010 effort Ain't Got No Troubles. Colin Linded produced that record and returns to produce Jigsaw Heart. Brent gets instrumental assistance from Linden, who also supplies guitar and mandolin. Bass chores are shared by John Dymond and Stephen Mackey and drum duties are split between Gary Craig and Bryan Owings. Dan Dugmore provides pedal steel, Kenzie Wetz plays fiddle, and Chris

Sebastian Bach Unveils "Temptation" Video From Forthcoming Album 'Give 'Em Hell'

Sebastian Bach recruits Duff McKagan, John 5, and Steve Stevens to help on his latest solo effort...
  |   Comments
Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach will release a brand new studio album April 22 entitled Give 'Em Hell and has issued a video for one of its tracks, "Temptation." Bach recorded the album with Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses, Walking Papers, Loaded, Velvet Revolver), John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie) and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Devin Bronson, and Bobby Jarzombek. Give 'Em Hell follows Kicking & Screaming and the live album Abachalypse Now. Bach is excited about the album, saying "This CD will be balls-out, in-your-face high-energy rock 'n roll which just so happens to be my favorite style
One of the many advantages to being me is the occasional opportunity to hear new music before the rest of the world at large. I wouldn't trade that privilege for the world but there is the tiniest downside to it: I can't direct my dear readers and friends to an album when fanboy exuberance overtakes me because the record isn't yet available. I find myself in that situation once again regarding the debut album from Vaudeville Etiquette, Debutantes & Dealers, but I can't be silenced. I am in love with this record, these songs, and this band so I've gone

Nick Moss Releases 'Time Ain't Free,' Official Video "Fare Thee Well"

'Time Ain't Free' gets its official release and the band has issued a video for "Fare Thee Well"
  |   Comments
New Music Tuesday has been a sacred holiday in my life for as long as I can remember. Every week can be Christmas. Fuck waiting for December 25! New Music Tuesday has eroded ever so slightly as THE day new releases hit stores as we enter into an era where crowdsourcing and pre-ordering can put music in the hands of fans ahead of the official street date. It's a little sad to see the tradition wane but when you're talking about music, the right time is always now. Nick Moss' Time Ain't Free has been available to those of us

Nick Moss Wins Again With 'Time Ain't Free'

Nick Moss has never been better and that is great news for us...
  |   Comments
Nick Moss has done it again on Time Ain't Free. What's that, you ask? He's been clearing the bar he set with his previous album each time he releases one. I didn't think he could top Play It 'Til Tomorrow until I heard Privileged and there was no way he was going to top that but Here I Am indeed upped the ante. Nick Moss is playing no-limit poker while everyone else is playing nickel slots because he's gone "all in" with Time Ain't Free and everyone comes out a winner. The "all in" mentality manifests itself in numerous ways,

Review: Beck - Morning Phase

Beck is in top form on the beautiful 'Morning Phase'
  |   Comments
Let's dispense with the obvious, tedious, and incorrect at the outset: Morning Phase, Beck's first album of recorded music in six years, is not a sequel to his 2002 masterpiece Sea Change. I get it: they're similar in sound, tone, and sonic texture. Call them aural companions if you must but Morning Phase is not a continuation of the Sea Change narrative. The instrumental prelude "Cycle" opens the album and establishes tone and mood for what is to come. It segues into the gorgeous "Morning," which recalls George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" through the sonic palette of his own

Review: Damon Fowler - Sounds Of Home

Fowler's talent casts a shadow too tall for his latest record...
  |   Comments
Damon Fowler is back with his first album in three years, Sounds Of Home, following up his excellent 2011 effort Devil Got His Way and he shakes things up bringing in blues titan Tab Benoit to produce this latest record, replacing veteran Scott Cable. I'm going to step outside the review at the outset because I'm afraid this will get lost in the discussion we're about to have: I like the record. Damon is a seriously talented dude with excellent touch as a guitarist and a sweet, appealing voice. He and Benoit together resist the trap that kills many a

Watch Vaudeville Etiquette Perform "Blood & Bones" From Forthcoming Debut

2014 is the year of Vaudeville Etiquette and that is a win for us all!
  |   Comments
Hear me, all ye with ears, and read the words of this latest epistle, all ye with eyes. I once again carry with me a message of musical salvation for you, the antedote to the dreck what would convince you there is no music worth hearing being created in this 21st century. It is my great pleasure to bring before you the mighty Vaudeville Etiquette. Best you go ahead and convert now as this is the first of what I assure you will be many missives proclaiming their glory. VE is the brainchild of Tayler Lynn and Bradley Laina. Their

Vintage Trouble Premieres "Strike Your Light" From Forthcoming 2nd Album On 'The Tonight Show' (Video)

Vintage Trouble brings the party to 'The Tonight Show' one last time before Leno leaves...
  |   Comments
Vintage Trouble has nearly become the Official House Band of Jay Leno's The Tonight Show this past year, having made four appearances and there's a good reason for it: these guys know how to blow it up on stag. The heat and the sweat lose none of their potency even when being transmitted via satellite into living rooms many thousands of miles away. The band have recorded most, if not all, the material for their follow-up to their incredible debut The Bomb Shelter Sessions and the first single "Strike Your Light" is available digitally. The track doesn't deviate from the

Top 10 of 2013, Better Late Than Never Edition

These are your Top 10 albums of 2013 as well as four favorite re-issues...
  |   Comments
2013 is hours away from ending (well, it was when I started writing this) and no one will be happier to see it in the rearview mirror because this year sucked out loud for me; it did no such thing where music was concerned and for that I am thankful. Music continues to be the constant refuge for my mind and soul and many albums from 2013 will remain companions in 2014 and the years to come. There are many great albums I spent a lot of time listening to that didn't make my Top 10 but that's the fascist

Review: North Mississippi Allstars - World Boogie Coming

So much to love borders on too much of a good thing on latest from North Mississippi Allstars...
  |   Comments
World Boogie Is Coming is the latest from the Dickinson brothers -- Cody (drums, keyboards) and Luther (guitars, vocals) -- and finds the band playing a host of songs by some of the Mississippi Delta greats as well as a few originals. It also finds them bringing in some heavyweight talents to support them on this sprawling 22-song set, among them Robert Plant, members of the Burnside family (R.L. Burnside's music is represented on the record three times), Lightnin' Malcolm, Otha Turner, and Alvin Youngblood Hart just to name a few. "JR" and "Goat Meat" open the record riding the

Review: Magic Sam - 'Live At The Avant Garde'

Possibly the best Magic Sam live album yet...
  |   Comments
Magic Sam Maghett is among the most influential bluesmen who also happens to be part of the tragic legacy of talents who left too soon. The blues world is awash in incomplete stories of artists who had so much to give and not enough time to give it, leaving fans with the bittersweet taste of gratitude for what we have and the stinging loss of the great songs and performances never to be heard. Sam recorded a handful of singles for Cobra Records before making the jump to the great Delmark Records. He recorded two essential, landmark albums while there:

Rawls Pays Loving Tribute To Mentor On 'Remembering O.V.'

Rawls crafts a fine tribute to the great O.V. Wright...
  |   Comments
It feels as though Johnny Rawls has been paying tribute to his mentor, the great O.V. Wright, his entire career and it's difficult to believe he is only now getting around to making a tribute record to a man who shaped his sound. Each of his most recent records have featured at least one Wright song, a nod to the time he spent as bandleader for the legend. Remembering O.V. is Rawls' 2013 release and features nothing but songs that were integral to Wright's oeuvre. Rawls enlists the help of another great soul singer, Otis Clay, in this labor of

Review: Eric Bibb - Jericho Road

  |   Comments
Eric Bibb is an enigma in the blues universe he is tangentially a part of. You won't hear staggering guitar solos or strict adherence to the rhythmic or thematic constructs of the blues idiom. He doesn't sing with overwrought melisma or exaggerated howls yet the power, passion, and emotion -- blues with a feeling, as Little Walter called it -- is felt in his every performance. He stays as close to or strays as far from the blues as the song warrants, often employing elements of African and World music rhythms and sounds in addition to jazz, folk, and gospel

Luscious Jackson Returns And Magic Abounds On 'Magic Hour'

Luscious Jackson is back and 'Magic Hour' reminds us how much we missed them!
  |   Comments
2013 is the year the '90s got their groove back in the form of Magic Hour, the first album from Luscious Jackson in 14 years! Jill Cunniff, Kate Schellenbach, and Gabby Glaser are in fantastic form, recreating their classic sound without sounding dated... I'm often accused, due to my disdain for the deluge of dreck on the radio, of being a music snob and I'm guilty as charged but those who think I don't appreciate pop or like fun in my music are so wrong. Dance music doesn't have to be dumb, it just usually is but Magic Hour is

Review: Aaron Parks - Arborescence

  |   Comments
Aaron Parks' previous album Invisible Cinema was a collection of vignettes created and performed to construct scenes from films unmade, providing the tension and sonic textures to allow the listener to imagine their own visuals. Arborescence, his 2013 release, takes that approach a step further with a thematic series of compositions centered around trees, forests, and nature. The 11 pieces are solo piano compositions with infrequent, barely audible wordless vocalizations buried in the mix, all of which are more about ambiance, emotion, and atmosphere than complex key signatures, adventurous arrangements, or intellectual experiments. Fans of more demanding jazz may not

See The Lone Bellow Perform "Green Eyes And A Heart Of Gold" on VH-1

Getting excited about seeing The Lone Bellow for the first time on Thursday...
  |   Comments
Thursday is going to be a big day for me, amigos. It's payday and I'm hitting the 'Ham to see The Lone Bellow at Workplay Theater. I've heard such good things about this venue but have yet to see a show there. I've more than heard good things about The Lone Bellow, I've said them. This will be my first chance to see this trio live and excited doesn't even begin to describe it. Their self-titled debut is one my most listened to albums of 2013 and continues to reward me each time I play it again, which I do

Toad The Wet Sprocket Recreate The Magic on 'New Constellation'

It's so good to be here with my old and familiar friends...
  |   Comments
Brendan Benson summed up my feelings about the first new music from Toad The Wet Sprocket in 17 years: "It's so good to be here with my old, familiar friend..." I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Toad frontman Glen Phillips upon the release of his excellent, experimental Secrets Of The New Explorers EP during which he graciously discussed his post-Toad solo work as well as the ongoing relationship with the band he helped found. At that time, TTWS toured regularly, playing for a fan base that never forgot them. I asked a question that included the phrase "new
We've gotten sporadic again with our loved and beloved Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) piece and I take full responsibility. I've been hiding out in a bit of a funk I've been in denial about, listening to my fair share of The Cure in the meantime, which is what we should all do when the melancholy mood strikes. Robert and company have been keeping their eye on me, specifically Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and The Top. My next week's pick comes from the latter but today we're discussing "Sugar Girl" off Kiss Me x 3. Because

Samantha Fish - 'Black Wind Howlin' A Sophomore Sensation

Samantha Fish is bold, brash, and outstanding on 'Black Wind Howlin'
  |   Comments
Samantha Fish follows her Blues Music Award-winning debut Runaway with the spirited, energetic, contemporary blues-rock of Black Wind Howlin'. Her gifts as a vocalist and guitarist were evident on her debut and they are even stronger this second time out but the real leap forward is in the songwriting. Runaway had excellent songs but also a bit of filler. The material on Black Wind Howlin' is far more consistent lyrically as well as in their construction. She kicks off the set with "Miles To Go," which is yet another song about a musician's life on the road. It's a tired

Nick Moss Launches Kickstarter Campaign For 'Time Ain't Free', Due Spring 2014

Nick Moss turns to fans for help to launch 10th record 'Time Ain't Free'
  |   Comments
Nick Moss launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for his 10th CD Time Ain't Free, slated for a spring 2014 release. The Time Ain't Free campaign includes 14 different pledge points with a bevy of premium goodies in addition to the record itself, which is the follow up to Moss' 2011 outing Here I Am. Here I Am was the first to feature guitarist/vocalist Michael Ledbetter. Moss and Ledbetter filmed a video discussing Led's increasing role in the band, the recording of Time Ain't Free, their excitement at bringing fans into the process of releasing the new album,
Seattle rock and roll will always be romantic and magical for me. I lived in the city just before the city and its roster of talent launched its groundbreaking assault on the mainstream and was of the right age and mindset to be caught up in the onslaught even if I hadn't sipped from those native waters. I was also of the right age that I spent many years immersed in the spectacle that was '80s metal and witnessed the changing of the guard as a slew of bands from Seattle and elsewhere ushered out the old and rolled in

Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): Burn

  |   Comments
Josh and I like to switch it up sometimes and instead of picking two separate songs, we write on the same one. This week we've selected "Burn" which is best known off 1997's The Crow soundtrack. Personally I think the entire movie should have been set to a score by The Cure. I can't think of a better band to encompass the damp, dark, somber, morose mood of the film, which is exacerbated by the fact the emerging young star Brandon Lee died during filming. HEATHER Driving bass and birdlike screeching start us off on this adventure that quickly amps

The National Make Magic At Nashville's Ryman Auditorium As 'TWFM' Tour Resumes

The National deliver a command performance in their return to Ryman Auditorium...
  |   Comments
The National returned to historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last night and once again delivered an intense, astonishing performance featuring 10 of the 13 tracks from their latest album Trouble Will Find Me as well as staples from prior albums, including the tour debut of "Lucky You." Last night was my fifth National show and am still a little surprised each time how well their brand of music translates live. They're not a guitar-driven band with virtuoso licks and their frontman looks more like a Russian Lit. professor at a small liberal arts college than a lead singer but there
Check us out now... two weeks in a row... our weekly feature devoted to the brilliance of The Cure and the way their music has and continues to influence, inspire, and affect us is actually, you know, weekly! I hope I haven't jinxed us. Heather leads us off with another song from Disintegration while I've chosen one of my favorite b-sides. HEATHER I know "Pictures Of You" is supposed to be a sad song but it makes me incredibly happy and peaceful all the while a little wistful and nostalgic. It's a breakup dedication that is poignant, ripe with visuals

Walking Papers Relaunch Debut Album, Perform Live For KEXP (Video)

The best kind of Walking Papers you'll ever receive...
  |   Comments
Life is full of second chances and Walking Papers -- Jeff Angell, Barrett Martin, Duff McKagan, Ben Anderson -- have given me one. Their self-titled debut was released last year and I interviewed Jeff and Barrett about it. I planned to review the record as well but last fall conspired to nearly kill me and I never did. I could have reviewed it at any time but I kicked myself for missing that release window. Guess what, amigos? The album is getting a reboot as the band have signed on with an independent label who is putting some sweat equity
My song choice this week may seem like a bit of a throwaway however, this song has more going for it than you might initially think. "Lovesong" was first released almost exactly 24 years ago, I remember hearing it on the radio and being captivated. The music was the usual somber fare, and the driving guitar, pleasing keyboard and more succinct, clear vocal delivery was a nice contrast. Overall the album it appeared on, Disintegration was a dark, depressing collection of gorgeous tunes. "Lovesong" gave it enough balance to avoid the record being dismissed as depressing, gothic fodder. "Lovesong" was
Joanne Shaw Taylor will release Songs From The Road, her first ever live album on November 12. The 12-song set is being released as CD/DVD package and features songs from all three of her studio albums as well as a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression." Taylor said fans have been asking for a live album from her for years but that she waited until the right time and place presented itself. "We wanted to do it in London," she said, "and the reason for picking The Borderline was because I wanted something small and intimate. I grew up being

Samantha Fish Discusses Upcoming Black Wind Howlin' CD In New Video Interview

Blues phenom Samantha Fish discusses upcoming 'Black Wind Howlin'
  |   Comments
We told you about the upcoming sophomore release from Blues Music Award-winning guitarist/vocalist Samantha Fish and now she's discussing Black Wind Howlin' as the Sept. 10 release date approaches. The first installment was released today and I think we're as excited to hear this one as she is for us to hear it. Black Wind Howlin' is the follow up to her award-winning debut Runaway and was again produced by Mike Zito. Fish is backed by members of Royal Southern Brotherhood (of which Zito is also a member) and penned or co-wrote all but one song on the record. In

Listfully Speaking: Top 5 Blur Songs

My Top 5 Blur songs
  |   Comments
I was late to the Blur party, owing mostly to the fact they never had as many US hits in their heyday as their countrymen Oasis, who I absolutely love. Good things come to those what wait and I did eventually discover the brilliance of Blur and deeply admire the depth of their catalog. To that end, I've tortured myself by limiting myself to a mere 5 songs from their voluminous discography which will stand as my Top 5 Blur songs. Parklife: Oi! Oi! Fucking Oi! Phil Daniels, bitches! What a fucking great song this is and it's completely mental.

Review: Matt Schofield - Ten From The Road

'Ten From The Road' is a powerhouse performance from British bluesman Matt Schofield and his trio...
  |   Comments
Ten From The Road is a 2012 live release from Matt Schofield, culled from two shows from his UK Anything But Time tour. This live set naturally draws heavily from that album, but other favorites from Scofield's past work are also included. "Ear To The Ground" kicks things off and may well be Schofield's finest song and this is a fantastic version. His vocal isn't quite as dynamic as on the record but is strong and his leadwork is sensational. Each note burns and blisters, coming at you in flurries but never hurried. Schofield plays live as a trio with

Review: Buddy Guy - Rhythm & Blues

'Rhythm & Blues' follows Buddy Guy's recent formula and has its flaws yet there is a lot to like on this 2-CD set...
  |   Comments
Buddy Guy is a living legend and blues badass who continues to sing and play with energy men half his age would envy. That passion and enthusiasm can be heard throughout the 75-year old Guy's latest album, Rhythm & Blues. He plays with the ferocity that has been his trademark since the moment he found producers and labels willing to allow him to unleash it all. His voice has lost a little in the way of dynamics but there is still plenty of muscle for intense howls. His career renaissance began with Damn Right, I've Got The Blues and with
Okay, so we missed a week... we are getting better, though, at making our weekly love letter to The Cure, you know, weeky... HEATHER This week's song for Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) comes courtesy of 1987's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Which subsequently helped put our beloved band on the mainstream map in America, becoming their first album to reach the Billboard Top 40. I chose "Torture" because the song title alone covers most areas of my life right now without even getting into the lyrics. My daily grind job has been a source of torture

Review: The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars (2013)

This isn't the record The Civil Wars set out to make but its best moments more than merit release...
  |   Comments
The Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars took the world by storm with their timeless debut Barton Hollow only to succumb to stresses and pressures that have prematurely ended so many great artists. Their eponymous sophomore effort is, in essence, a posthumous effort with neither John Paul White or Joy Williams speaking to one another. Many critics and fans will listen for clues as to what tore these two apart and you can find them if you want but these songs likely have nothing to do with the discord that caused their abrupt end. What is clear is this isn't the

Listfully Speaking: Top 5 Beastie Boys Songs

5 of the best from one of the best...
  |   Comments
I distinctly remember the buzz surrounding their magical, misunderstood debut Licensed To Ill and like most kids, the first song I heard from them was the classic single "Fight For Your Right." I remember dubbing a copy on cassette from a friend, sneaking it into the house (no way my parents were letting me buy this one!), and repeatedly listening to it. They were pretty far from most of what comprised my middle school listening and I didn't know what to make of it. Heather is our resident Beasties expert and she may well school me on how wrong I

Listfully Speaking - Albums That Got Away: Stevie Wonder, Black Sabbath, Marvin Gaye, The Band, Patti Smith

Here are 5 albums I'm ashamed to admit I haven't heard...
  |   Comments
So many great albums and not enough time: that's the theme of today's Listfully Speaking. The first edition of this series was my Blues 101 list and the first five albums I would hand someone looking to explore the rich beauty of the blues. They are so amazing it makes me sick that I let so many years of my life go by without hearing them. The universal catalog of song is voluminous and grows every year; the challenge of exposing myself to and absorbing it all is daunting and probably impossible but it's worth it to fight the good
It's been more than 10 years since Lycia last released an album and that drought comes to an end in August with the announcement of Quiet Moments, available on CD and digitally on Aug. 20. Mike VanPortfleet and Tra Vanflower have both worked on solo albums in the years between releases and have now put their creative energies into a new Lycia record, one VanPortfleet considers the most important of his career. "This is a very personal release for me," he said. "It's the closest thing I'll ever have to an autobiography." The personal nature of the lyrics, their challenging

Samantha Fish Releases 2nd Solo Album Black Wind Howlin' Sept. 20

So excited for Samantha Fish's sophomore effort...
  |   Comments
Blues Music Award-winner Samantha Fish will release her sophomore solo album Black Wind Howlin' on Sept. 20. I loved her debut Runaway and so did the Blues Foundation, who named the record Best New Artist Debut at the Blues Music Awards. That album was produced by Mike Zito (who just released a new record Gone To Texas) and he returns for that role on BWH. They recorded this new set in Louisiana and Fish gets some studio help from Paul Thorn (vocals), Johnny Sansone (harmonica) and Bo Thomas (fiddle). Fish wrote 10 of the album's 12 tracks on her own,

Keb' Mo' Shows Off Command, Charisma As W.C. Handy Music Festival Headliner in Florence, AL

Keb' Mo' overcame a few rough spots to deliver an impressive performance in Florence, AL as the headliner of 2013 W.C. Handy Music Festival...
  |   Comments
Bluesman Keb' Mo' strode onto the stage in a pair of Converse sneakers and a fedora with three guitars and a harmonica waiting for him on the stage of Norton Auditorium in Florence, Alabama, where he played a headlining set at the annual W.C. Handy Music Festival. The blues circuit is littered with festivals of the same name the world over, W. C. Handy acknowledged as the Father of The Blues, but Florence has a unique and special claim to this, being the birthplace of Handy- just one of many stories that makes the Florence-Muscle Shoals area such a vital
We have a couple new additions to the iTunes Music Store Top 10s this week on both the singles and albums front. I'd like to tell you this is a good thing but it's still a matter of come meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In other words, it's still crap but from different names. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" is still the #1 song in the land and is setting 2013 records for staying power for whatever that's worth. Jay Z (note: no hyphen) is still #1 with his Magna Carta Holy Grail album. The new additions
Jason Isbell has become a favorite of David Letterman. Dave doesn't gush about many of his musical guests. We all know how much of a fan he was of the late Warren Zevon. He seemed genuinely impressed recently by Vintage Trouble. Dave has also been effusive in his praise of Isbell when he makes the rounds as he did last night. Southeastern is one of my favorite records of 2013 and "Stockholm" one of its finest songs so I was excited when I learned that's what he was playing. The performance didn't disappoint. It is spirted, inspired, and wonderful. You

Beady Eye Unveil Video For New Single "Shine A Light"

New Beady Eye video proves it can be good to be Liam Gallagher...
  |   Comments
Beady Eye's sophomore effort is released in the UK and not exactly-officially-completely available in the US but a video has been filmed for the second single from BE, "Shine A Light." I've got a digital advance of the album and started sketching notes for my review but haven't decided if I should weigh in before it gets American distribution or take my swings now. This gives me a chance to split the difference, talking about the single and video. The Dave Sitek-produced track is overflowing with classic '60s psychedelic sounds with acoustic guitars and sitar (or guitars mimicking sitar) churning

Built To Spill Announce US Tour

  |   Comments
Built To Spill have announced plans for a summer/fall US tour kicking off in Oklahoma City this month and ending in Salt Lake City in November. A former co-worker of mine turned me on to the magic of BTS and the mighty Doug Martsch, a guitar god of a different breed, and his band's distinct brand of indie rock. I wish I could tell you this tour is in support of a brand new album but that doesn't appear to be the case. The good news is fans of the their catalog can expect to hear a bevy of favorites

Listfully Speaking: Bryan Adams Has 5 Good Songs (...And I Was Surprised By That)

You didn't ask but I found 5 good songs by Bryan Adams. You're welcome.
  |   Comments
One benefit to having flawless taste in music is never having to write a "guilty pleasure" list or be embarrassed when you admit to liking certain songs. This is going to shock you, boys and girls, but Bryan Adams was not always a wanker. No, really. It's true. I'm not saying he was all the way good, only that he wasn't always a total wanker. I hear you. Yes, he wrote some utter shite and schmaltz and right you are about all those fucking movie songs. I can't defend anything about the Robin Hood movie or song. "Have You Ever
It's been a long time since I've been caught up enough on my writing to have reviews of the Top 3 albums at Blues Radio. I'm finally catching up with blues listeners from around the world. You've been digging the hell out of the star-studded James Cotton record Cotton Mouth Man. I'd be curious which song or songs are getting all the airplay. There are some good tunes on the record but it didn't do much for me as an album. Trampled Under Foot made a really nice record with Badlands and I'm glad to see it go to #2
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has declared August 3 Blue Star Connection Day as the 3rd Annual Blue Star Music Festival comes to Littleton, CO with its most diverse, impressive lineup yet. This year's festival celebrates and brings to life Blue Star Connection's mission of providing access and ownership of musical instruments to medically-fragile children, teens, and young adults. The festival lineup boasts soul legend Curtis Salgado, Paul Thorn, and all-star band The Healers, featuring former Stevie Ray Vaughan sideman Reese Winans, Jimmy Hall, Samantha Fish, Kate Moss, and Trampled Under Foot's Kris and Danielle Schnebelen (check out our review of
We had to put our beloved weekly series devoted to the awesomeness of The Cure on hiatus but we're back! Heather and I hope we can bring you reflections on and memories inspired by the brilliance of The Cure. We've gotten so much great feedback and response to the entries we've written together so far. It makes us happy to know so many of you share our love for this fantastic band and we hope you'll continue to read, comment, and share them. Heather leads us off... HEATHER ''How did we get this far apart We used to be so

Review: James Cotton - Cotton Mouth Man

The lyrics remind us James Cotton is a legend but the music on 'Cotton Mouth Man' doesn't...
  |   Comments
James Cotton is a bonafide harp legend and blues icon and has nothing left to prove at this stage is his career. That can be a blessing when it frees and invigorates a titanic talent to pursue their vision with no fear or boundaries. It can also be a curse as it his on Cotton Mouth Man -- the follow-up to his 2009 album Giant -- where it's clear finding ways to keep the man and his music vital without becoming repetitive has become increasingly difficult. Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge has assembled an army of stars to perform alongside Cotton.

Johnny Marr Releases "New Town Velocity" Video, Announces 2nd US Tour

Johnny Marr unveils new video and announces 2nd US tour...
  |   Comments
The Lord our God is a gracious and benevolent God as He has seen fit to bestow upon us both a video for my favorite song from Johnny Marr's "debut" solo album The Messenger but also a second, extended run of US tour dates from the former Smiths' guitarist. "New Town Velocity" is my favorite song on a record with so many good ones. I don't know why but it seems like my favorite song on an album ends up being an afterthought in the minds of the artist and fellow fans so I'm always surprised when something like this

Listfully Speaking: John Mellencamp Top 5

I'm not a hardcore Mellencamp fan but here are 5 songs you have to know...
  |   Comments
BlindedBySound staffer, friend, and loyal sidekick Melinda dubbed me Encyclopedia Nerdicus after suffering through a bevy of my obsessive, opinionated, (and in my mind at least, informative) rants about music and my addict's mentality when it comes to building my musical library. My best friend 11, himself an occasional contributor here, is astonished that my collection boasts albums by artists I don't even like all that much. What can I say? I'm destined to die poor, amigos. So what the fuck does that have to do with anything? I got to thinking this week about songs I can't live without

Trampled Under Foot Have Arrived On New Album 'Badlands'

KC trio TUF seizes their moment on new album...
  |   Comments
KC-based three-piece Trampled Under Foot aren't new to the scene but years of hard work are paying off with a rising profile on the blues circuit and Badlands should only aid that momentum. TUF is a sibling trio of Kris, Nick, and Danielle Schnebelen. My first introduction to them was not through one of their own records but because Danielle and Kris were part of The Healers, an all-star band who performed a benefit show for Blue Star Connection. It was a great show and I highly recommend checking out that live set for both the music and the cause
No change at the top of the charts this week as Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail are both #1 again this week. There's really not a lot of change on the charts this week, period. Miley Cyrus holds that #2 single again this week, Mackelmore and Lewis and Daft Punk are still in the Top 10 of singles and albums. Kanye's Yeezus dropped another slot from 6 to 7 this week but that's about all the action we have. I suppose I'm a little surprised Daft Punk's Random Access Memory isn't still a Top 10

Robert Randolph & The Family Band Re-Energized, Better Than Ever On 'Lickety Split'

The fun(k) is back with the Family Band...
  |   Comments
Rock music has a handful of signature, immediately recognizable sounds that can only come from one source: Chuck Berry's guitar intro, Roger McGuinn's 12-string guitar, Clarence Clemons' saxophone, Angus and Malcolm Young's signature riffing, just to name a few and over the past few years a new one has emerged, that being the sweet, piercing sting and wail of Robert Randolph's Sacred steel. Randolph has taken a little-known tradition from the church to the mainstream with his mastery of the Sacred steel and created quite a reputation for himself as an instrumentalist and built a following with his Family Band

Smashing Pumpkins To Release 'Oceania: Live in NYC' in 3D, Bluray, DVD, CD on Sept. 3

A multi-tier package from Smashing Pumpkins 'Oceania' tour on the way this fall...
  |   Comments
The Smashing Pumpkins will release a live 3D DVD on September 3 called Oceania: Live in NYC. The show was filmed at the band's 2012 concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and includes the entirety of Oceana, the most recent Smashing Pumpkins album that also happened to be the first SP record to (officially) include only frontman Billy Corgan from the original lineup. Oceania was a solid record and seeing it presented in its entirety should be a treat. Fans of the classic Pumpkins catalog will find plenty of favorites in the setlist as well as songs from Siamese Dream and

Listfully Speaking: Blues 101 - The 1st 5 Blues Records You Should Buy

5 albums to help begin your journey through the blues...
  |   Comments
I had no help when I began my journey through a century of blues. I had no compass or map but this was a trip I needed to take and I was willing to risk getting lost. That didn't happen too many times but I did have a few missteps while also repeatedly striking gold. The journey continues but here's a little travelogue for those of you considering booking your own blues vacation. This is my Blues 101 list of 5 Blues Albums You Must Own. A music with such a rich, deep tradition has innumerable entry points. This isn't
Buddy Guy's Rhythm & Blues won't be in stores for another two weeks but it's already making a huge splash at radio where it checks in at #3 this, trailing fellow Hall of Famer James Cotton and Guy Davis. Soul veteran Mavis Staples is also in the Top 5 this week on the strength of her newly released One True Vine. Guitar greats Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard continue to get considerable airplay for their respective releases Just For Today and Independently Blue. Jack White's Third Man Records issued the Pokey LaFarge album that's also getting major airtime at radio
"Mind Your Manners," the first single from Pearl Jam's 10th studio album Lightning Bolt, strikes like a storm with badass punk built on a foundation of a furious, thunderous riff. Mike McCready plays stuttering lead lines, the mortar, while also interlocking with Stone Gossard, to create a brick wall of classic rock guitar. Frontman Ed Vedder spits and howls another of his secular humanist rants over the hard-charging rhythm. The energy of "Mind Your Manners" comes not only from the full-frontal attack but also the anthemic fever it builds, all in under three minutes. What many missed about the best
Pearl Jam have unveiled the cover art, release date, and first single from their tenth studio album Lightning Bolt. The Seattle quintet's new album will hit stores Oct. 15 with "Mind Your Manners" available digitally as the first single from the record. We still don't have the complete tracklisting for the record and I'm sure more details will soon emerge. What we do know is Brendan O'Brien, who has helmed a number of previous Pearl Jam outings, produced Lightning Bolt. This is the band's first album in four years, following the 2009 release Backspacer. The band announced the first leg

'Magna Carta Holy Grail' #1 Album at iTunes This Week, Robin Thicke #1 Single

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending July 8, 2013
  |   Comments
I heard an awful lot of talk about some unorthodox method of (pre)-release for Jay-Z's latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Whatever everyone was going on about it, it's the #1 album at iTunes this week. I'm not a fan or follower of hip hop but it seems Jay-Z and Kanye West have been in a "battle" of sorts for supremacy in the rap world. Both men have released recent albums and for the moment, Jay-Z seems to be winning as West's Yeezus has already slipped to #6. The singles chart is once again the domain of Robin Thicke, Daft

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" Spotify's Most Streamed Track, Miley Cyrus #2

Here are the Top 10 most streamed tracks on Spotify from July 1-7 in the US and UK
  |   Comments
Robin Thicke's insufferable "Blurred Lines" is is a certified hit and is the most streamed track via Spotify in the US and the UK. I'm going to quickly move past that because I'm shocked, mortified, and dying of laughter that Miley Cyrus checks in at #2 with "We Can't Stop." I thought for sure the recycled Britney Spears thing would have her relegated to TMZ only... until she wound up on some B-list reality show. I still suspect that's where she ends up and I hope that's as bad as it gets for her, provided she stops recording. I'm not

Pearl Jam Announces Fall US Tour

  |   Comments
Most bands announce their new record before they announce their tour dates but most bands aren't Pearl Jam. There have been rumblings about the as-yet announced 10th studio record from the Seattle quintet but they announced today plans for a fall tour that kicks off in Pittsburgh and ends with a homecoming show in Seattle. I wasn't bowled over by their ninth record Backspacer but I'm an unabashed PJ fan so I'll be among the first in line when the new record drops. Unfortunately, this will be the 10th album I won't see them tour in support of because the

Review: Beck - I Won't Be Long

Another new single from Beck as we wait for the next two albums, already in progress...
  |   Comments
Beck continues releasing singles one at a time as he works on a pair of new albums with no firm release date. He released "Defriended" last month and today issued "I Won't Be Long." "Defriended" was firmly in the world of Beck's eccentric electronica. I was expecting "I Won't Be Long" to be more in the acoustic, singer/songwriter vein but I could not have been more wrong. "I Won't Be Long" is a soaring anthem with an electronic-rock hybrid foundation that takes flight on the power of moody keyboards and Beck's use of his own voice not only as a

Mike Zito Delivers On 'Gone To Texas'

Another solid outing from veteran blues-rocker...
  |   Comments
Mike Zito is making music when he isn't making music. He's always busy and it's always something musical whether it's in collaboration with other artists like his band Royal Southern Brotherhood (featuring Devon Allman and Cyril Neville), producing for up-and-comers like Samantha Fish, or working on his own solo records. Gone To Texas follows up Zito's Greyhound and continues the autobiographical bent of that record. Zito is joined by his core band, The Wheel, comprised of Jimmy Carpenter (sax and guitars), Rob Lee, (drums) and Scot Sutherland (bass) and recruits some heavyweight talent in the form of luminaries Debert McClinton

Booker T Jones Stands Tall With Help From Mayer Hawthorne, Gary Clark Jr, Vintage Trouble on 'Sound The Alarm'

Booker T continues to make fine records with a little help from his friends...
  |   Comments
Legendary organist and bandleader Booker T. Jones continues his feverish pace, releasing new music even as Stax classics with his former band the MGs are being re-issued (Green Onions, McLemore Avenue). Sound The Alarm follows his 2011 release The Road From Memphis and like that release features a host of younger guest stars. Jones is joined this time by Gary Clark Jr., Vintage Trouble, Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton, Estelle, and Sheila E., just to name a few. Young pup Mayer Hawthorne joins Jones on the title track to open the record and the two successfully balance a contemporary, hip hop

Review: Beck - "Defriended"

The Master of Compression is hard at work...
  |   Comments
The mad genius that is Beck released a new single last month called "Defriended" and has one coming out next week called "I Won't Be Long." He is apparently hard at work on three or more different album projects right now and has begun releasing singles that may (or may not) show up on any of them. Beck has always been a master compressionist, able to harness and twist the zeitgeist. The very title of the song is quintessential 21st century vocabulary even if the ideas beneath the language are not: "Why are you so unavailable?" Nonsense phrases, unintelligible words,

Review: Jason Isbell - Southeastern: Growth And Pain Result In Career Best Album

Isbell's latest an artistic triumph!
  |   Comments
Jason Isbell's star has been on the rise both as a valuable member of the Southern rock band Drive By Truckers and now as a solo artist. He won song of the year from the Americana Music Awards for "Alabama Pines" from his 2011 album Here We Rest (also featured on his fantastic Live In Alabama). Personal problems threatened to derail his ascension and he chronicles those along with growth and a new-found sobriety on his 2013 release Southeastern. The ghosts of demons now in his rearview and a new love along with the undeniable, always-present talent have resulted in
Our pals Dawes played David Letterman's Late Show last week and we have the video to prove it! They gave an excellent performance of "Most People," one of my favorite songs from their latest album Stories Don't End. It was also one of the highlights of their set when I saw them last month at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It's a great, great song and I feel like I know the woman whose story Taylor Goldsmith is telling. There is something very familiar about her and Goldsmith captures this person brilliantly. You get all that and cool, chimey guitars. Seriously,

National Treasure Lurrie Bell In Top Form On Delmark Return 'Blues In My Soul'

Lurrie Bell remains a National Treasure on latest release...
  |   Comments
National Treasure Lurrie Bell has endured and overcome more heartache and pain than most of us will ever know and has spent a lifetime learning how to channel those experiences into his music. The name on the front and the title of the record tell you everything you need to know before you hear a note: Lurrie Bell and Blues In My Soul. It's actually redundant because he wouldn't do it any other way. He's incapable of playing a false note and wouldn't if he could. All the ingredients are here for a great Lurrie Bell record and once again,

Buddy Guy To Release Double Album 'Rhythm & Blues' July 30, Featuring Guests Gary Clark Jr., Aerosmith, Keith Urban

Buddy's new double album hits stores at the end of July...
  |   Comments
Hall of Famer Buddy Guy will release a new studio album -- a double album -- titled Rhythm & Blues on July 30 and like many of the legend's recent records he is joined by some high profile guests. Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge returns for another tour of duty with the 76-year old Guy, helming an album featuring a guest list that includes Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Gary Clark, Jr., Beth Hart and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. That's a lot of bodies for one record but fortunately this is a double album with 21 songs, meaning

Garbage's First-Ever Bluray 'One Mile High Live' A Love Letter To Fans

Garbage caps their reunion with an excellent live DVD...
  |   Comments
It looked like the end of the road for Garbage when they nearly broke up during the making of Bleed Like Me and things looked even more bleak at the end of their tour in support of that record. What looked like the end turned out to be a seven-year hiatus that ended with the release of their fantastic fifth album Not Your Kind Of People. Their triumphant return now has a victory lap in the form of their first live DVD, One Mile High Live. I know I have an obsession with setlists, maybe an unhealthy one, but the

Vintage Trouble Unveil Official Video For "Pelvis Pusher"

The good kind of bad fun...
  |   Comments
You've really done things right when a bonus track on your album becomes one of your most popular, recognized, and requested songs and a staple of your live show. That's what happened to our friends Vintage Trouble and their song "Pelvis Pusher." This sweat-soaked, "good kind of bad fun" groove was a bonus track on their acclained debut The Bomb Shelter Sessions and has become a fan favorite on the stage at nearly every show they play. The song is so popular they performed it live on The Tonight Show and have filmed an official video for it. They're even

Review: Pat Metheny - Tap: John Zorn's Book Of Angels Vol. 20

A vital, demanding, fascinating record...
  |   Comments
Geography, maps, legends, and time are the fabric and seams of jazz great Pat Metheny's exhilarating new album. The songs from this album are the work of renown composer John Zorn, who began work on a vast collection of songs inspired by Jewish music, tradition, and history known as the Masada Songbook. Numerous songs from that collection -- there are well over 300 of them -- have been recorded by dozens of artists and now Metheny has harnessed his daring, virtuosity, and imagination to tackle six previously unattempted titles for Tap: John Zorn's Book Of Angels Vol. 20 When we
Dawes brought their tour to Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium and Taylor Goldsmith & Co. gave a pleasing performance drawing heavily from their latest album Stories Don't End and mixing in favorites from their prior two records. The audience was receptive to the new songs dominating the early going but remained reserved, Goldsmith remarking it took a quiet crowd to be able to play a song like the infrequently performed "Moon In The Water" from Nothing Is Wrong. I'm not sure if he was praising or chiding the assembled but the evening turned immediately following "Moon" when he told the crowd,

The National Break Out The "Green Gloves" in Pittsburgh (June 11, 2013 Setlist)

A tour premiere in Pittsburgh...
  |   Comments
We continue to track The National across the US on this first leg of their Trouble Will Find Me world tour and we have a tour premiere to report. I spoke of songs I suspect most National fans like more than I do and how I wish they'd get retired in favor of different songs, preferably ones I prefer. "Green Gloves" fits in that category although it's not at the top of my "I wish they'd play this more" list. I am glad they played it when I saw them in Atlanta. "Anyone's Ghost" was played for just the second

The National Resume US Tour In Raleigh, NC (June 10, 2013)

The National resume their tour after a one-night break...
  |   Comments
The National resumed their tour after a day off and again made a couple minor setlist mods. "Secret Meeting" has been a regular on recent tours but hasn't been played most nights at this early stage on the Trouble Will Fine Me tour. It was sandwiched between "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and "Sea Of Love" last night in Raleigh. Another song that has been an every nighter for quite some time, "Slow Show," also came out last night. "All The Wine" stayed in the set for the second consecutive show, which is a bit of a surprise. "Slow Show" and "All The

The National Shake Things Up With A Little "Salt" in Richmond, VA (Setlist)

"All The Wine" gets its tour premiere...
  |   Comments
The National capped a five-night run of shows in Richmond last night and there were a few shifts to the setlist, mainly in the sequencing department. It was a source of perverse delight that they opened so many shows on the High Violet tour with "Runaway" and tonight they did the near equivalent with "I Should Live In Salt" as the set opener. There are two other items that set last night's show apart from others at this early stage in the tour. The first is the premiere of "All The Wine," an infrequently played track from Alligator. I actually

The National - Philadelphia, PA - June 7, 2013 Setlist

A couple changes in last night's set...
  |   Comments
The National played Philadelphia last night, their fourth show in as many nights and we saw two minor adjustments to the setlist compared to what we've seen from the prior three. The first thing of note is the show was cut back to 22 songs following a pair of 24-song sets in Brooklyn and Columbia, MD. The second is the appearance of "Daughters Of The Soho Riots." It was played last month at the Ithaca show and is known to surface now and again and is thus not a rarity nor an every nighter. It seems to have taken the

The National - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD - June 6, 2013 Setlist

The National played their 3rd show in three nights, part of a 5-night grind...
  |   Comments
The National's performance in Columbia, MD was the third in three nights, part of a five-consecutive show run before they get their first break. There aren't many departures from what we've seen in Providence or Brooklyn (or Ithaca last month, for that matter), the most notable change being that "About Today" was dropped from the set. That's not much of a surprise. It is frequently played and you have a good chance of hearing it any given night but it hasn't been an "every nighter" for some time. Now those of you who pay attention know I watch setlists like

Nick Moss Offers Free Download Of "Was I Ever Heard" From Forthcoming Album

Moss gearing up for 8th studio record...
  |   Comments
Nick Moss and his band have been hard at work touring the west coast and recording material for a brand new studio album. The details of the forthcoming record haven't been finalized but they've been playing the new songs on the road and are giving fans a chance to download "Was I Ever Heard" for free. You can stream it and access the download below. The new album will be Moss' eighth studio record (along with Live At Chan's and Live At Chan's Vol 2, the second volume featuring National Treasure Lurrie Bell) and will follow his most successful albums

The National Headline Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Setlist)

The National headlined Barclays Center on June 5, 2013
  |   Comments
The National played a headlining arena show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night and played a 24-song set that again draws heavily on songs from their brand new album Trouble Will Find Me. The setlist doesn't differ much from what was played in Providence, RI the previous evening but added a few songs to make for a longer show. "Heavenfaced" from TWFM and the High Violet standout "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" were the additional songs, the latter closing the encore as it did so often during the High Violet tour. "Fireproof" was dropped and "Humiliation" was added, marking the other

The National - June 4, 2013 - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel | Providence RI Setlist

The band kick off their tour in earnest...
  |   Comments
The National kicked their world tour in support of Trouble Will Find Me in full gear at the Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence Ri. They've played a few shows leading up to the release -- including one in Ithaca, NY last month -- but last night, it could be argued, was the official kickoff of and they put the new album front and center. Nine of TWFM 13 tracks were performed last night. The new songs: "Don't Swallow The Cap," "Demons," "Sea Of Love," "This Is The Last Time," "I Need My Girl," "Pink Rabbits," "Graceless," and "I Should Live
Kilborn Alley Blues Band is in the midst of the East Coast leg of their summer tour and among their stops was a trip to Don Odell's Legends studio where they recorded a blistering 9-song set of songs drawing from throughout their career. Now that I have mastered the art of creating YouTube playlists, I've assembled their entire appearance and placed it below where you can, should, and must watch it. KABB is still touring in support of their album Four (one of BBS' Albums Of The Year in 2011) and we can't wait for new music from them but

Review: Rory Block - 'Avalon: A Tribute To Mississippi John Hurt'

Block in top form as she continues her Mentors series...
  |   Comments
Rory Block continues her series devoted to the founding legends of the blues, this time turning her attention to the vastly influential work of the great Mississippi John Hurt on her new album Avalon. Block has been on this road for quite some time having done records dedicated to the work of Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Rev. Gary Davis. She has devoted her life and work to the pursuit of the blues and recorded numerous albums of her own work but has found a special kind of enlightenment walking the paths and recording the music of, and inspired by, these

JJ Grey 'This River' #1 Album At Blues Radio; James Cotton, Ronnie Earl Top 5

Top 10 Albums at Blues Radio for week of May 31
  |   Comments
Roots-rockers JJ Grey & Mofro hit the #1 at blues radio this week, knocking a fellow Alligator Records artist from the top perch. This River is the sixth release from Grey and his band and has been a hit at radio since its release and can now add this to its list of accolades and accomplishments. Last week's #1 was Hall of Famer James Cotton's latest record, a star-studded affair pairing the legendary harp master with some of the biggest names in music: Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, Keb' Mo', and Delbert McClinton among them. Ronnie Earl's live album
I can thank Lianne La Havas for introducing me to the music of Everything Everything and, as with most things I write about here, I want you all to give them your time and attention but I know this isn't going to be up everyone's alley. Jonathan Higgs' mannered falsetto can be grating. It's not accurate to describe what he does during most verses as hip hop there is a rhythmic cadence in his mad, maverick delivery. The songs are often structured and that term is used loosely as free-form chaos pop where verses skitter and shift to syncopated, stuttering

Daft Punk #1, The National #3 iTunes Albums Chart, Macklemore & Lewis Hold #1 Song

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending May 27, 2013...
  |   Comments
We have that rare moment when I look at the iTunes Music Store weekly chart and find something to smile about, something that pleases me. Let us all take a moment to recongize this rare occasion. The source of my joy? The instant classic Trouble Will Find Me from The National is went to #3 in its first week of release. It deserved the top spot because everyone in America should own this record but I take comfort in this lofty debut. Daft Punk's long-awaited album Random Access Memory gets the top slot and while it's not a record I'm

Review: Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding

The voice of terminal weariness, the sound of ticking clock just before the alarm bells ring...
  |   Comments
Mark Lanegan may be the best vocalist in the world being possessed of a distinct, mighty, gravelly voice. He's spent the past 20 years learning how to use it in the studio and the hard life he's lived enters the vocal booth with him. You don't just hear him, you feel it when it sings as there is a resonance and authority in his voice telling tales many of us fear to hear. He's our embedded correspondent on the front lines and the dark alleys. He's more than the voice of doom but can sing the songs of the damned
"Don't Try" is the latest single and video from British quartet Everything Everything off their sophomore effort Arc and it falls well within the messy confines this band calls its sound. Jonathan Higgs' mannered falsetto can be grating whether he's talk-singing in the verses or yelping in the chorus but just as you're about to turn away, exhausted and irritated, he layers his voice in lovely harmonious textures accompanied by a blast of sound from the band and you've been ensnared by the charming, daft madness of it all. This is another example of placing the song on the unstable
I pledge to not spend this entire review bemoaning my bad timing, missing out on the opportunity to purchase the limited edition CD of The Spring Standards' Live From Delaware and "settling" instead for the digital-only option. I was introduced to this wonderful trio of James Cleare, Heather Robb, and James Smith on the social music site when someone played "Drowning in Sobriety," the bonus track from their sophomore effort Would Things Be Different. The perpetual wandering Fanboy in me is always looking for new music that excites and moves me and that song immediately grabbed hold of me
The Lone Bellow got some national spotlight when they played The Tonight Show this past Wednesday, playing "Bleeding Out" from their spectacular self-titled debut. I love when good things happen to good bands, particularly those who need and merit wider exposure. The Lone Bellow are, as we near the midway point of 2013, one of my favorite musical discoveries this year. Their album is, for the moment, the one I've spent the most time listening to this year (although The National's Trouble Will Find Me is quickly catching up). If you missed their performance, we've got it embedded here. If
Blues Hall Of Famer James Cotton has the #1 album at blues radio this week with his latest Alligator Records album Cotton Mouth Man. The famed harp master has played as a sideman with Muddy Waters and innerable other blues titans as well as a brilliant career as a bandleader. Gregg Allman, Delbert McClinton, and Keb' Mo' are just a few of the guests who join Cotton on his latest record and fans are snapping it up. Also on the chart this week are the recent releases from Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, Tinsley Ellis, and Big Bill Morganfield, the latter
The star-studded soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's adatptioan of The Great Gatsby is the #1 album at iTunes for the past week with songs from artists like Beyonce, Florence + The Machine, Jack White,, and Lana Del Rey. It's an ecclectic group of artists and that's what we've come to expect from Luhrmann's film soundtracks. I'm not at all surprised to see this doing well with listeners, for that reason. Vampire Weekend doing well with the iTunes crowd is also something I'd expect and their latest album has drawn strong reviews from all across the web including here at BlindedBySound,
Trouble Will Find Me is filled with stories of people in turmoil. There is more to these songs than ruminations of the clinically depressed man plumbing the depths of disappointment, dread, and disillusionment. The souls in these songs are often overcome with sorrow, self-pity, and self-loathing resulting in feelings of isolation and disassociation, both chosen and involuntary. Lead vocalist/lyricist Matt Berninger tells us "There's a science to walking through windows" and I'm ready to be that scientist. It feels like an admission of guilt, talking about songs and ideas that evoke powerful emotion and connect this deeply but that is
I've nearly completed my epic review of Trouble Will Find Me, the sixth album from The National. While I'm finishing this opus, the band has been hard at work promoting thier latest effort with an appearance on David Letterman as well as a surprise show in New York. They played two songs on Jimmy Fallon recently and then on Monday hit Letterman and played "Don't Swallow The Cap." It's a fantastic performance of one of the best songs on this record and the sound quality is surprisingly good for a TV performance. These late night performances and the Grammys, etc.
You may not think you know The Healers but this ad hoc blues sextet boasts some big name soloists and sidemen whose accomplishments are familiar to millions. The most famous name of the bunch is Reese Winans, keyboard man for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. He is joined by Jimmy Hall, a sideman and bandleader whose innumerable credits have kept him in the studio and on the road for decades, Kate Moss, wife of award-winning blues master Nick Moss and one hell of a guitarist in her own right as she has proved in jam sessions with Buddy Guy,

Gary Clark Jr 'iTunes Sessions' An Essential Purchase

Get your all-access pass to a late night jam by Gary Clark Jr. and his band...
  |   Comments
Gary Clark Jr. recently recorded a live-in-studio jam with his band for iTunes as part of the digital retailer's ongoing iTunes Sessions series. Clark's set presents seven songs from his major label debut Blak & Blu and a couple blues covers to round out the set. I dislike digital-only releases but they're an inevitable part of the new music frontier and given the choice of hearing more Gary or less- well, that's not a decision at all! What's best about iTunes Session is the elimination of the slick, shiny production that marred Blak & Blu and robbed the songs of

Dawes - Bing Lounge Live (KINK Radio)

An intimate, four-song set from Dawes promoting songs from their delightful 'Stories Don't End' LP
  |   Comments
I'm hoping to catch Dawes' show at the Ryman in Nashville in a couple weeks, having recently discovered them and their sensational new album Stories Don't End. They've been playing shows for awhile now and making other promotional appearances, including a set they did for KINK Radio / Live in the Bing Lounge. This is a 4-song set (which also includes an interview) has me even more excited at the prospect at taking in a full show on my own. The songs they performed are all from Stories and while they didn't play a couple of my favorites, they did

The National Kick Off 'Trouble Will Find Me' Tour In Ithaca, NY (Setlist)

The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me tour, giving a glimpse of what to expect as the new album and tour get underway...
  |   Comments
The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me world tour in at State Theater in Ithaca, NY five days before the album gets its worldwide release and the setlist was pleasantly predictable with a couple surprises thrown in for good measure. We have a taste of what this tour may look like going forward so let's take a closer look. Many bands try to push their new material when they get out on the road but The National have taken a particularly aggressive stance on that going back to their High Violet tour and now at the dawn of
It's been exciting to see how many Cure fans remain among us as this series, since its start, has become one of the most popular features at BlindedBySound. When I named our series Friday We're In Love (With The Cure), I thought of it in terms of the love for this band their music shared by Heather and I. Now I realize it has a broader significance: there are many of us who loved them when we first head them years ago and continue to listen and cherish the songs they've brought to us. Once again, we are doing something

'Unstoppable Momentum' A Misnomer But A Solid Record From Joe Satriani

It's not bad but we've come to expect so much more...
  |   Comments
Joe Satriani has been making records since 1986 and over 27 years he has created his own musical language and landscape and, expanding the definition of the rock instrumental genre and by producing commercially successful, timeless albums opened the door for many imitators and lesser talents as well as a few near equals. He has experimented and expanded his language, refining it to the point where his audience knows what to expect from one of his records. He's past the point of tailoring his sound to win new converts and can now comfortably play to the faithful. Even an innovator
"You snooze, you lose."-- Anoymous Smug Asshole The Spring Standards are releasing a limited edition live album via a Kickstarter campaign and I found out about it too late to get in on the action. To quell this savage disappointment and shake me from my despondent stupor, I'm posting a video from their most recent album -- actually a double EP -- yellow//gold. "Nightmare" is one of my favorite songs from that set. The Spring Standards are primarily an Americana, roots-oriented band with sparkling three-part harmonies and those elements are all part of "Nightmare" but there's also a really

David Bowie Still Shocking? New Video For 'The Next Day' Causes YouTube Stir

David Bowie has made a career of getting under people's skin and making them uncomfortable...
  |   Comments
David Bowie remains a grand provacateur and bless him for it. His latest video, the title track from his fantastic new album The Next Day, has received an "Adults-Only" rating from YouTube and was at one point banned from the site altogether. We know Bowie is not afraid to offend. I don't know if it pleases him at this point but, considering he's not going to tour this album (BOO!), I can't help but think he's at least amused by the reaction. So what has everyone in a dither? Oh, just our hero as a prophet, a little stigmata, priests

Gary Clark Jr Unveils Video For "Numb"

New video for one of the standout tracks from 'Blak & Blu'
  |   Comments
When last we checked in with our hero, Gary Clark Jr. had just released his iTunes Sessions EP and was about to play David Letterman. I'm still going to get a review of the iTunes Session written soon but in the meantime he has released a video for what might be my favorite track on his full length, major label debut Blak & Blu. I first heard "Numb" when he played Nashville last year after his acclaimed matinee set at Bonnaroo. I didn't realize it was actually an old song, one he'd written for his independent (and seriously out of

Macklemore & Lewis #1 iTunes Song, Fleetwood Mac EP Top 10 iTunes Album

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending May 6, 2013
  |   Comments
I'm actually stunned Fleetwood Mac finds themselves in the Top 10 in album sales this week at iTunes and not just because it's a rare display of respectable taste among digital music consumers. The real surprise to me is Lindsey Buckinghame settled for an EP rather than a double LP. Buckingham is ambitious, prolific, and relentless as a musician and songwriter. Four songs in stead 40... count me surprised. That's the only surprise in this week's iTunes chart. The rest is predictable and uninteresting to me but I'll tell you about it anyway. You're welcome. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are

The National Release Video For "Sea Of Love"

Controlled chaos and a song destined to be a highlight on the upcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me' world tour...
  |   Comments
The National continue the ramp up to the May 21 release of their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me with the release of a new video for "Sea Of Love." This is one of the two songs the band recently played on Jimmy Fallon and follows the video for "Demons" and the announcement of more tour dates for this summer and fall. I wish I'd been able to see and hear "Sea Of Love" in its studio form before they premiered it on Fallon so I could tell you how great this was going to be live but we already

When A Song Ruins Your Life (In A Good Way): Dawes - "A Little Bit Of Everything"

Exactly what the title promises...
  |   Comments
Welcome to another edition of "When A Song Ruins Your Life..." Today's edition comes courtesy of one of my new music obsessions, Dawes. Their new album, Stories Don't End, is completely wonderful and highly recommended but is not the source of the song that has ruined me and changed my life. There is no succinct way to express all the emotions "A Little Bit Of Everything" stirs in me, which is fine because I've never concerned myself with brevity (unless you ask my ex-girlfriends but that's just mean). Taylor Goldsmith sketches three unrelated scenes that are alternately poignant, heartbreaking, hilarious,

New Releases: Patty Griffin, Joshua Redman, Satriani, Pistol Annies, Lady Antebellum, Little Walter Tribute

This is going to be an expensive week for all of us with a loaded roster of new records.
  |   Comments
Oh my God are there are a lot of great albums out this week! We have been music bombed on May 7, 2013. It's about to get real... expensive. So many interesting titles to discuss so let's get right to it. We begin with new music from Patty Griffin. Her new album is American Kid. I've heard the record but I'll say nothing on the subject because Heather is our resident Patty expert and she has reviewed it for us. You'll know all you need to All I'm here to do is tell you the album is out this today,

Review: Joshua Redman - Walking Shadows

'Walking Shadows' is lovely, delicate, and dignified...
  |   Comments
Walking Shadows finds jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman taking on a new challenge, incorporating an orchestra and string arrangements into his music with the help of pianist/producer Brad Mehldau. Strings are no stranger to jazz but the results have been uneven as the presence of an orchestra often mellows the music to uninspired, bland schmaltz. The approach often pushes the music towards superficial beauty rather rich and compelling. There's nothing wrong with pretty, but shallow music is rarely rewarding. It is fortunate Redman and Mehldau, joined by bassist Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade, avoid these pitfalls for the majority of Shadows.

Patty Griffin Announces US Tour, Appearance On 'Tonight Show' To Promote 'American Kid'

Griffin announces US tour, appearance on 'Tonight Show' to promote new album 'American Kid'
  |   Comments
Patty Griffin has announced summer tour dates to promote her latest studio album American Kid. American Kid is out today and the tour begins at the end of the month in Asheville, NC. Griffin will work her way west with the tour proper ending with shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles at the end of June. She is slated to perform at Rocky Mt. Folks Festival in Colorado in August. In addition to the tour, Griffin will be performing on The Tonight Show tonight performing a song from the new album. I know which one it is. I'm not

The National Announce Additional US Tour Dates

The National extend their tour through the fall...
  |   Comments
The National have announced a slew of additional tour dates for the US and Canada that will keep them on the road for the next five months in support of their upcoming album Trouble Will Find Me. They play a few dates this month before starting their US tour in earnest in June. They will sandwich a European tour in between Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN in June and Lollapalooza in Chicago in August. They'll continue playing the US and Canada through September. Trouble Will Find Me is out May 21 and the band have already released one single from it

Tinsley Ellis, Sena Ehrhardt, JJ Grey Top Blues Radio Chart; Ronnie Earl, Robillard Also Top 10

Instrumental effort for guitarist Tinsley Ellis takes #1 this week...
  |   Comments
Tinsley Ellis vaulted all the way to #1 this week at blues radio with his latest album Get It, an instrumental effort from the respected veteran guitarist. We like Tinsley quite a lot and we're especially pleased to see this effort at #1 as BlindedBySound contributor Joanie has photos that appear in the liner notes of this fine record. Ellis is followed by Blind Pig artist Sena Erhardt's All In and Alligator Records' JJ Grey & Mofro with their latest album This River. Big Bill Morganfield, one of two sons of Muddy Waters who have chosen the impossible task of

Watch Thom Yorke Perform "Karma Police," "Ingenue" Solo Piano on Jonathan Ross

Radiohead/Atoms For Peace frontman Yorke goes solo piano to promote, prep for full Atoms For Peace tour...
  |   Comments
Radiohead are briefly on break and a proper tour for Atoms For Peace, the band Yorke formed with Joey Waronker, Nigel Godrich, and Flea, has yet to begin but that hasn't kept Yorke from making some live appearances on his own. Appearing on Jonathan Ross' program, Yorke performed a solo piano version of Radiohead's classic "Karma Police" followed by "Ingenue" from Atoms For Peace album Amok. It wasn't difficult to imagine "Karma" being performed solo piano and Yorke sang brilliantly. While "Ingenue" is one of the slower moments on Amok, I'm always curious when electronic music goes organic. In this

Half Smiths Reunion: Johnny Marr Teams Up With Former Bandmate on "How Soon Is Now?"

It's not the pairing some would hope for but for one night, two members of The Smiths team up to play a classic.
  |   Comments
It's not the pairing some would hope for but Johnny Marr reunited with one of his former Smiths bandmates for a performance of the band's classic "How Soon Is Now?" as Marr brought to a close his tour in support of his solo album The Messenger. No, kids, it wasn't Morrissey, whose US tour was abrupltly ended when the singer experienced a host of health problems but was instead bassist Andy Rourke, a man Marr lauded as one of the best musicians he knows and one of his best friends. A full Smiths reunion is never going to happen and

Daft Punk "Get Lucky" #1 At Spotify Ahead Of Upcoming Album In US, Dethrones Bastille in UK

Daft Punk has the world's attention prior to the release of their upcoming record...
  |   Comments
Daft Punk has the world's attention at Spotify with their single "Get Lucky" the most streamed track with the popular streaming service for last week in both the United States and United Kingdom. Their new album Random Access Memory will drop later this month (May 21). I mentioned last week not being sure what the hype was about regarding this release so I went and listened to the song and I'm still a bit mystified but nonetheless it's #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. The remainder of the chart in both the US and UK remains (un)remarkably unchanged with

Macklemore/Lewis, Pink, Rucker Top iTunes Singles Chart, Michael Bublé #1 Album

The final check-in at iTunes for April is as dismal as its predecessors...
  |   Comments
The final report for April from the iTunes Music Store is as dismal as any we've seen. Let us hope May brings better days with so many promising new albums coming our way (keep an eye on our weekly preview of new releases, New Music Tuesday, to stay up to date on these). Those dunderheads Ryan Lewis & Macklemore continue their hot-selling ways and while it's true they can't be called one-hit wonders, I still don't see much of a shelf life for these blokes. Again, likely wishful thinking on my part because I would have said the same thing

Vintage Trouble Make Magic In Music City (Mercy Lounge, Nashville, April 28, 2013)

Vintage Trouble chase away the blues and awaken the spirits for an unforgettable evening...
  |   Comments
Nothing and no one has ever captured the power and the feeling of live music, of being in the moment. I've bought more than 100 live albums and not a single one of them -- even the great ones -- come within a galaxy of recreating that unique feeling of bliss. The raw power and unfettered joy of that moment is like the high I imagine so-called adrenaline junkies feel and it's something music lovers chase no matter how many times they feel it or how jaded we get when we don't. I caught that feeling one more time Sunday

Dawes - 'Stories Don't End': A Never Ending Pleasure

One of the best albums of 2013...
  |   Comments
Is there anything better than taking a chance on a new-to-you band and being captivated by them mere seconds into the first song on their record? I continue to rail against the prevailing wisdom that contemporary music offers nothing compelling. There are so many phenomenal talents making great records I can hardly get to them all. I knew Dawes by name but never found time to investigate until multiple discussions of their new record popped up on my Twitter timeline. I made the bold decision to gamble on the unknown, considering it an $8 investment in my own happiness. I
The National appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night and performed two songs from their upcoming 6th album Trouble Will Find Me. "Sea Of Love" was broadcast live while "I Need My Girl" was posted on Fallon's web site as a bonus performance. I've done my best to avoid spoilers and continue to but I allowed myself to watch both of these performances. I've now heard three songs from the album. "Demons" was issued as the first single and I've downloaded it from iTunes. "Don't Swallow The Cap" was put on YouTube. I've waited to hear it. We
For reasons defying explanation, Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason" is the #1 song at the #1 music retailer in the US this week followed by yet another song from Macklemore and Lewis. Would you stop listening to this nonsense if I told you God kills a puppy every time you download one of these songs? I know, I've become a broken record. There was a time I'd worry about being old and out of touch using that reference but vinyl is back even as we talk about digital downloads. Selena Gomez is also in the Top 10 and this
There's been a lot of fanfare about a new single from Daft Punk and I confess I'm not sure what's created the buzz but it was a Top 10 song on Spotify in the US and the UK this past week. I might help it get an extra spin and go listen to it myself just to find out why people are talking about this. I started with Daft Punk because I'm more tired of talking about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis than you are tired of me talking about them. What you're not tired of listening to them and that's

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood Release 'Black Pudding' May 14, Stream "Pentacostal" Now

Lanegan has found another new collaborator for his latest record...
  |   Comments
Master collaborator and supreme vocalist Mark Lanegan has found another partner-in-crime to create music with in the person of Duke Garwood and their first album together, Black Pudding, will hit stores May 14. They've made the second track from the album, "Pentacostal," available to stream via YouTube (video embedded below) and I've given it a right good listening or two. It is sparse, allowing plenty of room for Lanegan's weathered voice to be a brooding, dark cloud. I've made no secret Lanegan is one of my favorite vocalists of all time and may just well hold the title outright so
Five previous albums and years of touring made JJ Grey & Mofro mainstays on the roots rock/jamband scene and helped them hone their "kitchen sink" sound to such a sharp point you almost don't realize how much they're hurling at you. They've found their knack for fusing chaos into cohesion and making their brand of Southern rock, blues, soul, funk, and country elements sound natural. Grey has grown as a bandleader, arranging all of that into ear-pleasing romps, sweaty jams, and soulful ballads. He's also grown as a singer/songwriter, penning lyrics and stories that are often excellent vehicles for his
It's not a banner week for the new releases this week, which is just as well because I haven't been able to acquire all the awesome flung at us last week. There are a few titles of note for April 23, so we'll give them their moment in the sun and make you aware of what's out there. Our ranking official Gen. Jabbo reviewed Alanis Morrisette's Live At Montreux 2012, whic is available in audio and video formats this week. There's no denying the impact her Jagged Little Pill record had in the mid '90s and while she's never again
Fellow BlindedBySound contributors Jordan Richardson, Greg Barbrick, and Kit O'Toole write a great deal more about jazz than I do and do it so well. They get it; I feel like a need to apologize just for listening to say nothing of writing on the subject. I don't know why the idiom should be so intimidating to me but it still is all these years later. Maybe it's because I was young and ignorant enough at one time to think Kenny G was jazz- and I liked it! Forgive me; I grew out of it. I recently read Ted Gioia's

Review: Pat Metheny - The Orchestrion Project

Another artifact from a fascinating chapter in a master musician's storied career...
  |   Comments
Much is written these days of the sometimes uncomfortable marriage of music and technology whether discussing the manner the current generation accesses and listens to music or the way it is recorded. It is refreshing then to discuss technology and music and technology in music in reference to Pat Metheny's Orchestrion and its companion piece The Orchestrion Project. Orchestrion was released in 2010, a five-track album composed to allow the jazz virtuoso to explore his lifelong fascination with player pianos and other early automated instruments. It took years to assemble this one-man band because we aren't talking about 21st century
It's the week before Record Store Day and we've got a slew of major releases ready to be snatched up in addition to all the exclusives being ushered out to celebrate independent music retailers. If you didn't wind up owing the taxman, here are a few items to spend your refund on... Let's begin with Justin "Bon Iver" Vernon's latest effort, a side project called The Shouting Matches and their debut album Grownass Man. I'm a huge fan of the title of the record to begin with as it's an inartful but fun phrase I throw around when I'm feeling

Switchfoot - "Red Eyes": Pray For Boston

We send our love to those who were hurt and the families of the lives lost today...
  |   Comments
Patriots' Day has been a part of my life for years even though it's not a state holiday where I live; I've been a Red Sox fan since my childhood days and have since come to love the Celtics and like the Patriots (still a Raiders fan at heart, a love that goes further back into my childhood) and thus through sports this historic city has become a cherished place to me even though I've never been there. I had the day off today and looked forward to an early Sox game and the running of the Boston Marathon, a

Lianne La Havas Dazzles Nashville To Close US Tour

Lianne La Havas closed her US tour in style with her April 14 performance in Nashville, TN
  |   Comments
Lianne La Havas sparkled as she brought her US tour to a close with a sold out performance in downtown Nashville last night with a set list drawing largely from her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? and a couple of covers mixed in for good measure. Chanteuse is annoyingly overused in music writing, so much so I'm reluctant to invoke it but La Havas is such a pure embodiment of the idea on record and was so again last night on stage. She is a woman with a precious, endearing mix of youthful charm and vitality whose life

Mad Season - Above (Deluxe Edition): A Fitting Tribute To A Legacy Incomplete

Seattle supergroup Mad Season issue a 2CD/1DVD package to tell the story of a special record and special time...
  |   Comments
I was in Federal Way, WA on my way home from work the first time I heard "I Don't Know Anything" by Mad Season and initially believed it to be new music from Alice in Chains what with the unmistakable voice of Layne Staley and a riff and guitar sound that easily could have come from Jerry Cantrell. It was only at the song's completion I learned from the KISW DJ that this was the first single from a collaboration between Staley, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin, and Baker Saunders. It's 1995, I'm 22 and on my

Allman, Otis Taylor Tops At Blues Radio, New Ronnie Earl Debuts At #7

Top 20 albums at blues radio for the week ending April 12, 2013
  |   Comments
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite's collaboration Get Up! has been unseated by Devon Allman and Otis Taylor at blues radio this past week. Harper and Musselwhite are still in the mix at #3, followed by roots master Harry Manx and Jesse Dee to round out the Top 5. The amazing Ronnie Earl debuts at #7 with his latest live album Just For Today. Blues fans are still getting a heavy dose of Robert Cray's most recent album Nothin But Love and Shemekia Copeland's 33 1/3 while we also have Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak And Blu in the mix. Clark recently

Review: Duke Robillard - 'Independently Blue' Solid, Short On Surprises

Robillard in fine form on final recording before joining Bob Dylan's Neverending Tour...
  |   Comments
Duke Robillard is among the most accomplished and prolific of bluesmen on the circuit today. He has released an album a year for the past four years going back to 2009 with Stomp! The Blues Tonight, Passport To The Blues (2010), Low Down & Tore Up (2011), a jazz trio record called Wobble Walkin last year, and this year's Independently Blue. That much output could be a problem for lesser talents but Duke Robillard is no lesser talent. I wasn't crazy about some aspects of Stomp and have yet to hear Wobble but can vouch for the excellence of Passport

Bruno Mars "When I Was Your Man" #1 Song, Timberlake's '20/20' #1 iTunes Album

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending April 8, 2013
  |   Comments
Bruno Mars has the #1 single at iTunes this week with his hit "When I Was Your Man," recently reviewed in our Hit Parade series. The next two songs are both former #1s -- Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason" and the abysmal "Thrift Shop" -- followed by Rihanna and an act called Florida Georgia Line. This is a new one for me. I'll have to do my research and find out who they are and what their track "Cruise" is all about. The only thing I know about it is it features rapper Nelly. The song that needs to

Preview Second 'Trouble Will Find Me' Track From The National, "Don't Swallow The Cap"

The National offer fans a chance to hear a second track from their upcoming sixth record...
  |   Comments
Indie sensations The National continue to build anticipation for the May 21 release date of their sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, with the release of a second track from the album for fans to preview, this one entitled "Don't Swallow The Cap." They released "Demons" as the first single on iTunes and also issued a video for it late last week/early this week and performed most of the new album at a secret show in Berlin. I tried to withstand the temptation to ruin release date by listening to all these songs beforehand but was weak and gave in

Gary Clark Jr. Releases Live iTunes Session, Plays David Letterman Tonight

Gary Clark Jr is the latest to record his own iTunes Session...
  |   Comments
Gary Clark Jr. is the latest artist to record an exclusive package for Apple's iTunes Music Store, the #1 music retailer in the US, as part of their iTunes Sessions series. Clark cut nine songs live in the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, inlcuding several tracks from his major label debut Blak And Blu. He also mixes in two covers, one from Albert Collins and the other from Albert King. The Albert King cut "Oh Pretty Woman" (not to be confused with the more famous Roy Orbison song) comes from the blues legend's Born Under A Bad Sign LP, which

Vintage Trouble Explode On 'The Tonight Show' With Propulsive Performance of "Pelvis Pusher" (Video)

These guys can play late night TV five nights a week!
  |   Comments
Vintage Trouble was so great on The Tonight Show in January they were invited back last night and once again demonstrated why they are the ultimate force on late night television and among the most powerful live bands in America today. Ty Taylor commanded the stage and leapt through TV screens all over America with a hard-charging, asskicking performance of their "you have to hear it live" concert staple "Pelvis Pusher," a bonus track song from their sensational debut album The Bomb Shelter Sessions. Rock & roll should be dangerous, fun, rebellious, and a little bit dirty and that's what

Review: Ronnie Earl - Just For Today

The magnificent Ronnie Earl is in his finest form on 'Just For Today'
  |   Comments
I'm a failed guitarist who has always been fascinated by the power of the instrument and the virtuosos who creatively command those six strings. I've had many favorite players over the years -- Satriani, Vai, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray, Duane Allman, and so many more -- but I think I've finally settled the debate in my mind once and for all: Ronnie Earl is my favorite guitar player. There are countless players who do incredible things with the instrument and take it places beyond the limits of my imagination and he can do that but it's not what makes

Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Paramore, Paisley, Boney James Top New Releases

New Music Tuesday releases for April 9, 2013.
  |   Comments
It's a big week this week because we have new music from Ronnie Earl, quite possibly the greatest living guitarist. It's a live album called Just For Today. Both John Taylor and I have reviewed it (John|Josh) and we both love it. This follows Earl's studio album Spread The Love, which might be the best album of his storied career and that, kids, is saying something. Not only do we have a new album from Mr. Earl, but we also have a new set from his friend Duke Robillard. Robillard is no slouch on the guitar, either as you'll hear

Stream New Single "Demons" From The National

A video for the first single "Demons" is released today...
  |   Comments
The National have issued the first single, "Demons," from their May 21 album Trouble Will Find Me via a YouTube video that also gives fans a "behind the scenes" look at the creation of the rather unusual cover art for the band's sixth album. We have the complete tracklisting for the record and a release date; there's still no official word on whether "Demons" will be offered up as a digital single at iTunes, Amazon, et al. For now, you have this video if you want to sample the awesome. The band has been playing several songs from the upcoming
I bought my ticket to see Lianne La Havas in concert in Nashville months ago and the anticipation is building and I can barely contain my excitement knowing the show will finally happen next weekend. La Havas is one of the finest musical discoveries I've made in years and Is Your Love Big Enough? is a magical record, made even more special in that it is her debut. She has already created something amazing and timeless if she never makes another album and it's thrilling to consider what she may do and where she may go when she does make
The National announced their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me is slated for release May 21 and they've started lining up tour dates to support the new album, including a surprise show in Berlin this week that found the band performing titles from the upcoming record. This isn't the first time the band have roadtested material prior to a record's release and it's not even the first time they've played songs from TWFM but it is the first show they've done since announcing it and we've got videoes of three of the new songs -- "Heavenfaced," "Fireproof," "Graceless" -- that

Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): From "100 Days" To "A Night Like This"

Reaching back to the early days for two Cure gems...
  |   Comments
We had a brief hiatus from our weekly love letter to The Cure but Heather and I are back! Our last installment found us both choosing songs from the timeless classic Disintegration. This week, we reach further back into this legendary band’s discography. Heather leads us off with the dreamlike “A Night Like This” and I tapped “One Hundred Days.” HEATHER The Cure cover loss, love, entanglement, wanting and needing better than any band that I can conjure up even with great effort. “A Night Like This” from 1985’s The Head On The Door proves this point further with lines

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore Reclaim iTunes Throne, Timberlake Maintains Top Album

Top 10 Songs and Albums at iTunes for the week ending April 1
  |   Comments
I would say it was fun while it lasted -- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis being tossed out of the #1 slot - but it was Pink who took the crown so it really wasn't worth a damn. They're the 1 and 2 songs this week but "Thrift Shop" from The Heist is back on top. I don't know why. On the day we mourn the passing of critic and curmudgeon Roger Ebert, I can only wonder what wonderfully witty, acerbic condemnations he would have for this twaddle. Cheers, Rog. Moving right along, what we have in the albums department is

Rolling Stones Announce '50 & Counting' US Dates, Release Trailer For Shows

The Greatest Rock & Roll Band On Earth continues to celebrate their five decades together...
  |   Comments
The Rolling Stones will continue their celebration of 50 years together as a band with a handful of US tour dates and their first ever appearance at the UK's massive Glastonbury festival this year. Last year marked the 50th Anniversary of The Rolling Stones -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman -- and of that quintet, Jagger, Richards, and Watts remain. Wyman took part in a handful of shows on the 50th leg last year and the first guitarist to replace the fired Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, also participated. Taylor is expected to make appearances with
The biggest releases this week come in the form of a couple killer re-issues, one of which I've already reviewed and the other of which I soon shall. Abert King's 1967 masterpiece for Stax Records Born Under A Bad Sign has been remastered and expanded and should be part of every music fan's library. So-called supergroups often disappoint but Mad Season featured my two favorite singers, Layne Staley and Mark Lanegan, as well as Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Baker Saunders. They recorded and released a single album, Above, and also released a live VHS (look it up, kids). This

Albert King's Masterpiece "Born Under A Bad Sign" More Masterful On Stax Re-Issue

This reissue allows a masterpiece to eclipse its own legendary status...
  |   Comments
Albert King is being posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year -- no doubt more because of his influence on generations of rock guitarists than for his brilliant blues oeuvre -- and Stax has re-issued his signature record Born Under A Bad Sign prior to the ceremony. This is the second of King's albums included in the massive re-issue campaign by the famed Memphis label. They did a magnificent job on the expanded edition of I'll Play The Blues For You and have done an equally masterful job on this, the most important record of

Lianne LaHavas Creates 2-Part Story With Videos For "Elusive," "Gone"

A 2-part video series to get me ready for Lianne LaHavas' Nashville show this month...
  |   Comments
Happy April, boys and girls. This is a big, big month for me as I have tickets to take in three shows in Nashville: Vintage Trouble, The Slide Brothers opening for JJ Grey & Mofro, and the one I'm perhaps most excited about is Lianne La Havas. I fell in love with her debut record Is Your Love Big Enough? last year and had I done a Best Of for last year, her album would easily have made the list. It's a stunning, soulful album from a young artist with a beautiful voice, an exciting present, and a bright future.

Joshua Redman Preps Ballads Album 'Walking Shadows' For May 7 Release on Nonesuch

Redman covers Bach, The Beatles, and more on latest project...
  |   Comments
Jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman will release a new solo album Walking Shadows on May 7, following his exciting collaboration with Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, and Eric Harland under the James Farm moniker. The set was produced by frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau and is the first album of Redman's career to include an orchestral enseble. Redman is also joined by Mehldau, Larry Grenadier, and another longtime collaborator in Brian Blade. He penned a few of the songs on the 12-track record and also performs songs by Lennon-McCartney (actually more of a McCartney thing as the song in question is "Let It
Victory can be overrated, kids. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been dethroned as the most streamed track at Spotify in the US! Huzzah! By Justin Timberlake. Piece of damn it! What is wrong with you people? Timberlake has logged massive sales of his The 20/20 Experience this week and people are streaming several tracks from it, two of which are in the US Top 10 and two in the UK Top 10. Macklemore and Lewis are still strong presences on the US and UK charts. It's worth noting that while Pink has the top-selling song in the US at iTunes,

Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason," Timberlake's '20/20' Tops at iTunes

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending March 25, 2013...
  |   Comments
Be careful what you wish for, kids, because you just might get it. I've been whinging for weeks about Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis being the #1 song on the charts at radio as well at iTunes and Spotify and now we have a new #1 song, at least at iTunes: "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink. I guess I'm going to have to be more clear next time when I talk about wanting a change on the charts. This was not what I had in mind. The aforementioned dunderhead duo fall from #1 to #2, followed by Rihanna,

Review: The Slide Brothers - Robert Randolph Presents The Slide Brothers

Robert Randolph opens the door for some friends...
  |   Comments
Robert Randolph has ushered the Sacred steel tradition into the mainstream through his work with his Family Band and continues his work to introduce this tradition by lending his name and cameo to a new album from The Slide Brothers on Robert Randolph Presents The Slide Brothers. The "Brothers" -- Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell -- are an ad hoc family connected through the tradition of using lap steel guitar in church services through The Church of God. They now perform together and on this album bring their exceptional playing talents to the music of The Allman
New Music Tuesday for this week brings us a new album from '80s stalwarts Depeche Mode, Delta Machine, and indie outfit Wavves with their LP Afraid Of Heights. It gets a bit sketchy after that on the roster this week but we'll highlight a couple more. We've got a new album from country star Blake Shelton and American Idol runner up Crystal Bowersox follows up her Farmer's Daughter LP with All That For This. Another former Idol contestant, David Archuleta, has new music out this week as well. Rock/blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa has another record out, An Acoustic Evening At

Review: The Lone Bellow Create Timeless Treasure On Debut

A timeless treasure...
  |   Comments
There has been a movement over the past few years bringing folk-based, Americana bands to a place of prominence they haven't enjoyed since the '60s, capped by Mumford & Sons winning this year's Album Of The Year Grammy. Other bands in that vein -- Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars -- have enjoyed critical and commercial success that couldn't have been predicted. It's cool again to have an acoustic guitar and harmonies, singing songs about something. No one is more surprised by this than me. The upside to these fads when the music or style is good, the music machine champions

Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite Remain #1; Sons Of Legends Dominate Blues Radio Chart

Top 20 albums at blues radio for week of March 22, 2013...
  |   Comments
Blues is in the blood, kids. That's the story for this week. Take a look at the names on these albums, the Top 20 albums at blues radio this past week: Shemekia Copeland (daughter of Johnny Copeland), Devon Allman (son of Gregg), Big Bill Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters), and John Lee Hooker Jr. (do I have to explain?). It's a family tradition. In the non-offspring division, we've got records from Otis Taylor, The Slide Brothers, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and Robert Cray among the Top 10. The record among these I have to check out next is Big Bill's,
David Bowie has been the epitome of cool for decades and has issued the first new evidence of his majesty in a decade with The Next Day, an album offering more of his unique brand of intelligence and wit in the form of songs offering his ideas in narratives and impressionist word play and fantastical soundscapes. Bowie surprisingly makes it impossible to ignore his history with this new album before we've heard a note. What are we to make of the cover art? It's the cover of his 1977 classic "Heroes" with the words "The Next Day" superimposed over it.
It's a cruel and stupid world we live in when a new record from Justin Timberlake can top a new album from David Bowie and that, boys and girls, is where we are in the here and now. Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience debuts at #1 despite mixed reviews and Bowie's The Next Day comes in at #4 at the iTunes Music Store, with Luke Bryan and Imagine Dragons separating them and Bon Jovi's What About Now rounding out the Top 5. I hate you all just a little more right now than I did before. My review of the new

More Macklemore & Lewis? Duo Holds #1, Adds Another Top 10 Song At Spotify

Most streamed tracks at Spotify in the US and UK for the Week of March 11-17
  |   Comments
Some people cannot admit when they are wrong. It is with anguish and horror I admit I am not one of them. I was wrong. I wrote Macklemore & Ryan Lewis off as one-hit wonders with their insufferable "Thrift Shop" and while it was as much wishful thinking as anything else, my prediction was wrong as these two now have "Can't Hold Us" in the Top 10 of most streamed tracks at Spotify this week. Why, oh why, do you all insist on punishing me this way? I can't bring myself to complain and grouse about the rest of what

The National Announce 6th LP 'Trouble Will Find Me' Tracklisting, May 21 Release

The National unveil details about their sixth studio record...
  |   Comments
The National will release their sixth full-length album Trouble Will Find Me, a surefire contender for album of the year, on May 21 and have revealed the song titles for the 13-track LP that follows up their critically acclaimed and most commercially successful album to date, High Violet. The band have been working on the record for some time and previewed several songs for possible inclusion much as they did with High Violet following Boxer. Some of those songs have made the album, notedly "I Need My Girl." It is believed some of the other songs on Trouble were played

Check Out The Lone Bellow On NPR's Tiny Concert

An appetizer before my full review of the album... with video!
  |   Comments
I've been obsessively listening to the self-titled debut from The Lone Bellow ever since BlindedBySound contributor and good friend Stephanie raved about them to me last month. I should just pause right now to talk about what great friends and contributors we have here as Melinda turned me on to Vintage Trouble, Heather hipped me to The Lumineers, and now Stephanie gifts me The Lone Bellow. I have great friends who know me well enough to act as personal curators. Back to The Lone Bellow and the business at hand... I haven't finished -- okay, technically haven't started -- my

Garbage To Release Live DVD/Blu-ray "One Mile High...Live" May 28

First-ever live DVD from Garbage following first tour in seven years...
  |   Comments
Garbage is chronicling their Not Your Kind Of People world tour with their first ever live Blu-ray/DVD package due in stores May 28. The band -- Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Stever Marker, Duke Erikson, and guest bassist Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction) -- took nearly a decade off to pursue separate interests before reuniting to record Not Your Kind Of People, a fantastic return to form, and performing these new songs alongside classics from their prior albums. The 21-song show was filmed at their Denver, CO show in 2012 and features a cross-section of songs from their stunning self-titled debut, Version
I lost a lot more money on last week's new releases but there are some great, great albums coming out this week sure to leave me further bankrupted in my pursuit of the ultimate music collection. First up is the set I desire beyond imagination but that I'm having to wait to pick up and that's the 7-CD box set Skydog, featuring the legendary talents of the immortal Duane Allman. The Allman Brothers Band tragically lost arguably the most important part of their sound only a few records into their career but the Duane Allman was a slide virtuoso whose

Nick Moss Band Torches Callahan's With Killer Cover Of Otis Rush's "Right Place, Wrong Time"

Nick Moss and Michael Ledbetter prove up to the task of covering one of Otis Rush's best...
  |   Comments
Historians will one day ask what my favorite blues album of all time is and when they do, kindly direct them to this post because the answer is Right Place, Wrong Time by Otis Rush. Nick Moss is one of my favorite blues artists and guitarists and he and his amazing band took on the title track from that classic album at their recent appearance at Callahan's. Moss' rhythm guitarist Michael Ledbetter takes lead vocals on the track and gives such a soulful performance on this amazing song. Moss is at the peak of his game with his blazing lead
This week's Top 20 at Blues Radio is again headed up by the collaboration between Blues Hall of Famer Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper. The two first teamed up while guesting on an album by the late John Lee Hooker and now have a joint project for the reborn Stax label and it's been heating up the charts since its release. The new album from blues/roots master Otis Taylor, My World Is Gone comes in at #2 followed by Harry Manx, The Slide Brothers (great album, by the way, review forthcoming) and Shemekia Copeland's 33 1/3. I've listened to four

Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): Memories Of Lust, Loneliness From Masterpiece Album 'Disintegration'

"Disintegration" and "Fascination Street" take us back...
  |   Comments
It's purely coincidental that this week's edition of Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) finds us both mining the masterpice Disintegration, each of us finding our own memories attached to the magic of its songs. This week, Heather responds to the title track while I go strolling down "Fascination Street." HEATHER It had to be done and I finally did it for this week's Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) installment. I went with most everyone's first and favorite Cure album, Disintegration and the song by the same name. A bit of an obvious choice but, I'm in

Review: Johnny Marr Is Masterful On 'The Messenger'

The first indispensable listen of 2013 comes from Godlike Genius Johnny Marr...
  |   Comments
Johnny Marr will forever be known as TheGuitarist for The Smiths no matter what he does but everything about The Messenger feels so right, from the sound to the sequencing. It's easy to imagine these shimmering riffs, melodies, and music beds he would hand over to Morrissey if The Smiths still made records. It's intriguing to imagine where Moz would take have taken these songs but Marr's own sense of direction is impeccable and he proves a more than capable vocalist and lyricist. The record is so good it makes you wonder what took him so long to finally make
It's time to once again look into the world of digital music. We looked at the most-streamed tracks at Spotify for the week in the US and UK and now we have the most downloaded songs and albums at iTunes Music Store, the #1 music retailer in the US. I mentioned in that post that I just don't get this whole "Thrift Store" thing and here it is, once again, at #1 on a music chart. I didn't think we'd have what amounts to another novelty song so soon after Psy's kitschy little "Gangnam Style" pandemonium but here it is.
We took a brief hiatus at BlindedBySound to migrate servers and platforms and it was my deepest desire by the time we resumed you'd be tired of that dumbass song "Thrift Shop" but alas, it remains the most streamed track in the US at Spotify. I get that my listening habits tend to differ from the mass (and younger) audience. I get that a novelty song can catch on Gangnam Style and it will hold the attention of the collective for awhile. I don't get this. The Lumineers continue to hold their own at Spotify with "Hey Ho" still in

New Music Tuesday: Bowie, Bon Jovi, Clapton, Sound City, Jellyfish, Cash Box Kings

A slew of great new CDs (and also one from Bon Jovi) hit stores March 12, 2013...
  |   Comments
There are so many interesting new releases this week but we must begin with The Return Of The Thin White Duke. It's been 10 years since David Bowie released a studio album and it was beginning to look as though Reality would be the final chapter but we rejoice because The Next Day is out today and Bowie is sounding as good as ever- at least from what I've heard from the two singles he's already released ("Where Are We Now?" and "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"). There is a standard and deluxe edition of the record, the deluxe including
Welcome to the new, improved and relaunched BlindedBySound and the resumption of our weekly series Friday We're In Love (With The Cure), a weekly devotional to one of our all-time favorite bands! HEATHER For this week's installment of "Friday We're In Love (With The Cure)" I picked my song quickly, wrote it up deftly. and was quite pleased with myself until my ride home from work last night and the song I ultimately chose came on my Spotify and I knew the other song was getting the back shelf treatment. It's no secret that I love, adore, worship and idolize

All-Star Band The Healers Release 'Live At Knuckleheads' Benefit CD/DVD For Blue Star Connection

Members of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble, Trampled Under Foot among the special ensemble who played BSC Benefit, now available on CD/DVD...
  |   Comments
Blue Star Connection, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access and ownership of musical instruments for children and young adults with cancer and other serious challenges as well as providing music therapy departments with instruments, is taking pre-orders of 'The Healers - Live At Knuckleheads,' a live CD/DVD with proceeds raising money for their ongoing efforts. The ad hoc ensemble The Healers -- Jimmy Hall, former Double Trouble keyboardist Reese Winans, Blues Music Award-winner Samantha Fish, Kate Moss, and Trampled Under Foot members Kris and Danielle Schnebelen -- took the stage in November 2012 to raise money for BSC, playing
British quartet Everything Everything have released a second video from their second album this week as American fans wait for the album to receive proper US distribution. The first video from the record, "Cough Cough," was issued earlier this year and tied to the release of an EP of the same name. This latest video is for my favorite track from the album (yeah, I went ahead and paid for the import version because I'm not patient enough to wait for a US label to get this in stores), "Duet." Everything Everything has a charming weirdness in their music that

Stax Re-Issues Expanded Version of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Albert King's 'Born Under A Bad Sign' April 5

Blues legend Albert King's definitive work gets remastered and re-issued before his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...
  |   Comments
Albert King's landmark Stax effort Born Under A Bad Sign is getting remastered and reissued on April 5, the latest in a line of the famed Memphis' label's campaign, just in time for the late blues legend to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The album has been remastered and several previously unreleased tracks from those sessions -- some alternate takes and a previously unheard instrumental -- have been appended to an album that stands as the pinnacle of King's illustrious career. King was backed on these songs by several Stax luminaries including members of Booker

Duke Robillard To Release 'Independently Blue' On April 9

Robillard's latest album comes out April 9; rumors of possible gig with Dylan circulate...
  |   Comments
Blues guitar maestro Duke Robillard's latest solo album Indpendently Blue has been tapped for an April 9 release through his longtime label Stony Plain Records. Independently Blue follows up the co-founder of the venerable Roomful Of Blues band's 2011 release Low Down & Tore Up, a collection of some of his favorite blues covers. Robillard is joined on this latest record by several longtime collaborators including Bruce Bears *piano/Hammond organ), Brad Hallen (bass) and Mark Teixeira (drums) and also has Doug Woolverton on trumpet and Bill Novick on clarinet. He also gets cameos from trumpeter Al Basile and guitarist "Monster"
Green may be R.E.M.'s most underrated and underappreciated album and I'd appreciate it a whole lot more if it were being re-issued for a reason other than turning 25 years old. That's right, kids, Green is 25 and on May 14 it will be released as a 2-CD package (as well as on vinyl). The album has been remastered and the second disc features a nearly complete live show from their 1989 tour in support of the album (more on this in just a moment). Twenty-one songs from the Nov. 10 show in Greensboro, NC are included in the set

JJ Grey & Mofro Set April 16 Release For 'This River'

It's album six for Florida native JJ Grey and Mofro...
  |   Comments
Southern soul rockers JJ Grey and Mofro will release their sixth studio album This River on April 16, the follow-up to their 2010 album Georgia Warhorse and 2011 live CD/DVD Brighter Days. The 10-track effort was recorded in Florida and produced by Grey and Dan Prothero, with some work being done at Grey's own home studio. He and the band -- Andrew Trube (guitar), Anthony Farrell (organ/piano), Todd Smallie (bass), Anthony Cole (drums), Art Edmaiston (saxophone), Dennis Marion (trombone) -- cut chunks of the record live, an attempt to capture the feel of the live shows. Grey is again in

Bobby Rush At His Down Home, Funky Best on 'Down in Louisiana'

The Blues Hall of Famer shows no signs of slowing down...
  |   Comments
Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush continues to defy Father Time, releasing quality records at a prodigious rate at age 72. It's a blessing for Rush to still be with us at all, let alone performing and working. Down In Louisiana is a refreshing example of what happens when a veteran talent is given creative control. He releases his records through his own imprint, meaning he's not been relegated to a novelty act, forced into contrived album concepts or ill-advised duets. The highlight of the record is the brilliant "Raining In My Heart," embodying the imagery of the album's cover

Review: Long Tall Deb - Raise Your Hands

A rising star?
  |   Comments
Raise Your Hands is the VizzTone Records debut for newcomer Long Tall Deb, capitalizing on her success in Memphis with the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. Raise Your Hands is a brash and brassy collection featuring 10 originals and two covers (Tom Waits' "New Coat of Paint" and Ian Moore's "Muddy Jesus") that finds the vocalist working with bandmates John Popovich on piano and organ, bassist Melvin Powe, guitarists Sean Carney -- a successful solo artist in his own right -- and Dave Clo, and drummer Jan Roll. She also enlists the help of blues heavyweights Jimmy Thackery, Reese Wynans,

Review: Ultraísta - Ultraísta

Before there was Atoms for Peace, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and percussionist Joey Waronker collaborated on Ultraísta...
  |   Comments
I learned of the self-titled debut from Ultraísta as a result of my excitement for the recently released debut from "supergroup" Atoms For Peace. Atoms consists of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, longtime Radiohead producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer/producer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.), and Mauro Refosco. I don't know if Atoms For Peace spawned Ultraísta or the other way around but last year Godrich, Waronker, and Laura Bettinson released their self-titled debut under the Ultraísta moninker and I've been listening to it in anticipation of Atoms' Amok (an album we'll discuss in the coming

Rocket City Rocks! My Hometown Playlist

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home...
  |   Comments
"Everybody here comes from somewhere..." Some cities have had their stories told in song. How many songs have been written about New York and Chicago? Hell, those are playlists in and of themselves! Los Angeles, Memphis, and Kansas City have been immortalized as has just about every city in Texas. Detroit and Nashville are both music capitols and have countless songs that namecheck them. I live in Huntsville, Alabama, and if that doesn't sound exciting, well, you're not wrong. There aren't any famous songs about here but my city has a story of its own and it can be put

Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): "High" (1992)

A special one-song edition of "Friday We're In Love (With The Cure)" looks back on a sometimes-overlooked classic from the '90s
  |   Comments
Continuing our "Friday We're In Love (With The Cure)" series Josh and I decided to switch things up just a little and instead of picking two different songs we're writing on the same song which I picked as a special song close to my heart for silly and not so silly reasons. "High" was the first single from the album Wish and I have so many vivid memories from not only this song but, the album itself. The interestingly weird artwork that looks deceptively simple at first glance is still one of the coolest covers I've ever seen. This album

Lianne La Havas Dazzles 'The Tonight Show' With Performance Of "Is Your Love Big Enough?" (Video)

La Havas sparkles on late night television...
  |   Comments
Singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas sparkled on The Tonight Show last night, continuing promotional efforts in support of her spellbinding debut Is Your Love Big Enough? She performed the title track for Jay Leno and his audience last night and was note perfect, backed ably by backing vocalists and multiple percussionists, providing the polyrhythmic textures to LaHavas' composition. I love "Is Your Love Big Enough?" -- although it's not my favorite on the album -- but last night's performance was so good I find I like this one even more. Several songs from her album were among my most listened to

Vintage Trouble And Legendary Booker T Jones Jam on Conan O'Brien

Memphis soul legend joins fast-rising act Vintage Trouble for a special performance...
  |   Comments
New sensation Vintage Trouble stormed yet another late night television show, bringing their amazing music and the power of their presentation to Conan O'Brien's show, this time joined by soul legend Booker T. Jones (formerly of Stax's Booker T & The MGs). Frontman Ty Taylor summoned the soul of a preacher and gave a brief testimony about his parents in introducing the band's song "Nancy Lee," the moment made even more religious by the righteous touch of Booker T on organ. They quickly kicked things into gear and gave a rousing performance, bringing both the audience and host to their

Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): Just Like Heaven / A Forest

The first installment of a weekly love letter to The Cure...
  |   Comments
The genesis for "Friday We're In Love (With The Cure)" started when Heather tagged me in a tweet about Spotify queueing up "Burn" by The Cure, which inspired Hornby-esque banter wherein we tried to compile our respective Top 10 Favorite Cure Songs Of All-Time. We both love High Fidelity and thought it would be fun to compile, compare, and share the list with all of you but we couldn't cut the conversation. That failure could have been a dead end but it inspired something even better. If you can't stop at 10, don't! So we kept listing songs and gushing

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Top iTunes Single; Pitch Perfect, Gary Allan, Lumineers Top Albums

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending Jan. 28, 2013
  |   Comments
We looked yesterday at what's popular at Spotify in the world of music streaming and now we take a look at the other behemoth of the digital music world, iTunes, and the top-selling songs and albums from the #1 music retailer in the US. The Billboard Hot 100, Spotify, and iTunes all have "Thrift Shop" from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in the top spot, which makes me want to unspeakably angry. Taylor Swift isn't getting a lot of love at Spotify but her "I Knew You Were Trouble" is #2. Also in the Top 10 this week is Justin Timberlake's

Lumineers Storm US, UK Top 10 Most Streamed Tracks At Spotify, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Hold Top Spots

Top 10 most streamed tracks on Spotify from Jan. 21-27
  |   Comments
I promised last week I would listen to a track from The Lumineers' self-titled album when writing about the Top 10 most-streamed tracks on Spotify , having mentioned I was hearing a lot about them but hadn't actually listened to them. I was on the verge of blowing off that little promise until BlindedBySound ace contributor Heather demanded I listen to them, knowing nothing of my pledge. This is a teachable moment, kids. Lesson 1: you should always keep your promises. Lesson 2: it's really, really good to have friends who have great taste in music. "Ho Hey," the song
Welcome to 2013 and the return of New Music Tuesday where we preview just a few of the most interesting new music releases each and every week. The first title I want to discuss this week comes from Ben Harper and Blues Hall of Famer Charlie Musselwhite, Get Up! Harper has cultivated a devoted following over his years of recording and touring but I've remained indifferent towards his work. The same isn't true of the legendary Musselwhite, whose work I adore (including his Blues Music Award-winning Album Of The Year Delta Hardware and his stunning most recent solo record The

Everything Everything Release "Cough Cough" Video From Top 10 UK Album 'Arc'

Wherein UK singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas turns me on to something new...
  |   Comments
Everything Everything is on its way to American shores with their sophomore effort Arc and the video for the first single from the album "Cough Cough."Arc was released in the UK two weeks ago where it entered the Top 10 and remains strong in the Top 20, garnering considerable critical praise and now it's coming our way. I believe I'd heard the band's name before but couldn't place them or anything about them. It was a tweet from British vocalist extraordinaireLianne La Havas that convinced me to take a chance on EE when she told her fans to check out

Top 10 Spotify Streams: Macklemore And Ryan Lewis #1 US, #1 UK

Top 10 Most Streamed Tracks For Jan. 14-20 at Spotify
  |   Comments
It's no secret we access music in a host of new ways beyond the traditional means of listening to the radio or buying CDs. It's a whole new world with digital downloads and streaming. iTunes is the #1 music retailer in the US and Spotify has become a dominant force in the world of streaming music and now we can keep tabs on what you, the people, are listening to en masse. We have the Top 10 most streamed tracks for the week of Monday, January 14 through Sunday January 20 for both the US and the UK according to

Guitar Legend Ronnie Earl Releases Live Album 'Just For Today' April 9

New music from perhaps the greatest guitarist alive...
  |   Comments
Ronnie Earl, one of my guitar heroes and perhaps the definitive answer to the oft-asked question "Who Is The Greatest Guitarist Alive," will release the follow-up to his amazing, acclaimed Spread The Love when he releases ­­­­­­Just For Today on April 9 via Stony Plain Records. Just For Tonight is a live album taken from two shows with his band The Broadcasters recorded in Massachusetts last year. The Broadcasters are drummer Lorne Entress, piano and organist Dave Limina, and bassist Jim Mouradian. The Broadcasters are joined by a guest vocalist, Diane Blue, and Nicholas Tabarias does a turn as a

Review: The Civil Wars - Unplugged On VH1

An amazing first chapter for The Civil Wars is capped off with this digital release; let's hope there's a second chapter on the horizon...
  |   Comments
It's been a tumultuous time for The Civil Wars, who rose to stardom on the strength of their fantastic, Grammy-winning debut album Barton Hollow. They toured the album relentlessly, made countless promotional appearances, and performed on VH1 Unplugged. Joy Williams gave birth to her first child. They initiated work on a follow-up, booked more tour dates, announced plans to release the Unplugged performance exclusively through iTunes, and then things went pear-shaped. A statement was released indicating there were tensions within the Civil Wars camp, although it wasn't specified if these were issues between Williams and John Paul White, issues with

Shemekia Copeland Holds #1 At Blues Radio, Musselwhite/Harper Collaboration Enters Top 5 Ahead Of Release

Blues Radio Report for week of Jan. 18, 2012...
  |   Comments
Shemekia Copeland is once again our #1 this week at blues radio followed by Chris Smither, Robert Cray, and Gary Clark Jr. I've spent a good bit of time with the Cray and Copeland records and you might have read about Gary and his Blak & Blu album on this site once or twice so you might know I'm pleased with what's being played for the citizens. Our rising entrant this week comes from Ben Harper and Blues Hall of Famer Charlie Musselwhite. They've collaborated on an album called Get Up! for the reborn Stax imprint. The record doesn't get

Kiwanuka Spins His Beautiful "Tale" With The Roots On Jimmy Fallon

A special performance from an artist you need to know...
  |   Comments
British singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka played with The Roots on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show this week and it was a fantastic performance from an amazing talent. I posted a playlist of my Top 25 Songs of 2012: The Songs I Listened To Most and songs from Kiwanuka’s beautiful Home Again album littered that list. I was actually surprised to see so many of them there. I knew I listened to it a lot but I didn’t know I listened to it that much. I’m not surprised. It really is incredible This performance of “Tell Me A Tale” with The

Vintage Trouble Makes Friends With "Total Strangers" On 'Tonight Show' With Jay Leno (Video)

Another incendiary performance from breakout band!
  |   Comments
Vintage Trouble wowed the crowd at the historic Ed Sullivan Theater on Late Night With David Letterman with a fiery performance of "Blues Hand Me Down" and earlier this week they took their energetic stage show  to the West Coast for an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and brought the heat with another of their great songs, "Total Strangers." Both songs are high points on their incredible debut The Bomb Shelter Sessions. Ty Taylor's presence and energy are on full display and it's easy to get lost in how infectious that energy can be and how

Norah Jones Shines On Target Exclusive Compilation 'Covers'

Jones returns to role as song interpreter, reminds us why we fell in love with her in the first place...
  |   Comments
Norah Jones took the world by storm in 2002 when her landmark debut Come Away With Me was released, racking up eight Grammy Awards and selling more than 10 million copies. That timeless record accentuated her gift as a song interpreter, drawing mostly of material penned by her bandmates as well as a couple standards like Hoagy Carmichael's gorgeous "The Nearness Of You" and Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart." She would invest more time and effort in generating her own material, showing growth and promise as a songwriter with each subsequent release including last year's Little Broken Hearts. Target released

Blues Masters Ronnie Earl, Nick Moss Gather For Late Night Jam (Video)

See two of the best in the business unite for a special performance...
  |   Comments
There can be too much of a good thing in life but not when you're talking about putting guitars in the hands of Ronnie Earl and Nick Moss and putting them both on a stage together. Earl and Moss are two of the most distinguished guitarists alive and I believe it's that common heritage that allows to giants of the genre and masters of the instrument to play so beautifully together. They both backed giants of the genre in their younger days and now have fantastic solo careers. Earl and Moss are each fully capable of blowing any hundred guitarists

Vintage Trouble - 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions': A Shining, Magical Light

The torch was passed to me and now I'm passing it on to you...
  |   Comments
Vintage Trouble is the kind of band that hits me right where I live, writing and performing raucous blend of garage rock and dirty, modern blues bursting with joy and creativity and are touched by the spirit of sweet soul and rhythm and blues they channel into tender ballads. They fit brilliantly alongside some of my more recent musical obsessions like Gary Clark Jr., Michael Kiwanuka, and Lianne La Havas. I'd love them VT if I'd discovered them listening to late night radio or watching MTV at 2 AM on a night I couldn't sleep or was just being

Shemekia Copeland, Robert Cray Tops At Blues Radio; Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy, Magic Slim Among Top 20

Top 20 albums at Blues Radio for week of Jan. 11, 2013...
  |   Comments
I don't want to look to see how long it's been since I checked out the top albums at Blues Radio according to the weekly Roots Music Report but I'm glad to check back in this week. I hope time permits me to spend some time talking about this week's #1: Shemekia Copeland's 33 1/3. I previewed it when I first got details about the album and have listened to it a few times since but haven't had time to tell you all the things I really like about it. I did review Robert Cray's Nothin' But Love last

Guster Goes Back To The Future On Very Special 'Live Acoustic'

It's possible to have a fanboy crush and be right at the same time...
  |   Comments
There was a time when Live Acoustic would have been a redundant description of a Guster live show. Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, and Brian "THUNDERGOD" Rosenworcel formed the band as a trio with two acoustic guitars, harmonies, and bongos. Everything was acoustic! They expanded their sound over time and in the process created some amazing melodies and critically acclaimed records like Lost & Gone Forever, Keep It Together, Ganging Up On The Sun, and Easy Wonderful. They released Guster On Ice, a live CD/DVD following the Keep It Together tour and there are plenty of official and unofficial bootlegs floating
Last night would have been a glorious night solely from the assbeating my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide administered to the hated Notre Dame Fighting Irish but the glories multiplied themselves when I learned David Bowie is coming back from a presumed retirement with a brand new album and the first single is available on iTunes. I don't know which happened faster: me getting in my car to go buy Crimson Tide National Championship gear or spending the $1.29 to download the first new Bowie song in damn near a decade. No matter, yesterday wasn't cheap but it was worth every

Review: Joanne Shaw Taylor - Almost Always Never

Third time isn't the charm but a solid effort pointing that direction...
  |   Comments
If you crossed Joss Stone with Stevie Ray Vaughan, you might come back with something very much like Joanne Shaw Taylor and I suppose that's why I've liked her (ignoring for the moment I'm not a real big fan of Stone) since hearing her debut record White Sugar. Taylor followed Sugar with Diamonds In The Dirt where she stayed very much rooted in the Stone-SRV hybrid and as appealing as it was, it could get repetitive. Both records were comprised largely of original material and the results were mixed. These would be major issues for me with some artists but

Buddy Guy - Live At Legends: The Legend Tears It Up On His Home Turf

Buddy Guy sounds right at home...
  |   Comments
Blues and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy released Live At Legends at the end of last year. In addition to being a musical icon, Guy has run his Legends club in Chicago for decades now and he presents seven songs performed on his home turf in this new package in addition to three new studio cuts. It's a jarring transition from the ribald medley of Muddy Waters' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" and Bobby Rush's "Chicken Head" to Guy's own "Skin Deep," a pleading ballad for racial harmony and human kindness filled with stories from his

Musical Postcards|My 2012 Playlist: Lanegan, Fiona Apple, LaHavas, Kiwanuka, Karp/Foley, Garbage, Walking Papers

A few of the places I visited in 2012 as told by my iTunes library...
  |   Comments
We closed the book on 2012 this past year and I, for one, am not sorry to see it go. Oh, it had it's good moments: a new niece and nephew, new friends, and of course, new music. It also came with its share of downers: deaths of people close to me close to people close to me, a near job loss, a new job, and some painful personal struggles and lessons related to all the above and things not related to any of it. I compile my best albums of the year most years but having dropped off

U2 Chronicle Triumphant 360° On 'U22,' 'From The Ground Up' Fan Club Packages

Even Better Than The Real Thing? Almost...
  |   Comments
My favorite live albums are complete, single shows with no overdubs and minimal post-production, presenting and preserving the magic of a band, its music, and the audience on one night. It's the best way to structure a live album but it's not the only right way. Another way to construct a live album/ is to compile songs from throughout the tour and give fans a chance to hear high quality versions of most or all the songs they played over the course of that tour. That's what U2 has done, chronicling their epic 360° tour. It took them two tries

Noel Gallagher Indeed A Magician on 'International Magic: Live At The O2'

Gallagher chronicles the fantastic first chapter of his life as a solo artist...
  |   Comments
Noel Gallagher has spent the past two years launching his (long awaited) solo career, promoting his High Flying Birds album with an extended world tour. He chronicles this opening chapter of his post-Oasis life with International Magic: Live At The O2, presented on DVD, Bluray, and a deluxe Bluray that includes a CD of demos from the HFB sessions and in so doing likely brings this chapter to a close. He deftly mixes the bulk of his debut solo record with Oasis hits and B-sides as well as a B-side of his own and one new song. The pacing and composition of the show

Review: Tame Impala - Lonerism

Believe the hype: one of the year's best records...
  |   Comments
I hadn't ever heard of Tame Impala or their 2012 album Lonerism until I saw it touted as among the best albums of the year on several prominent year-end lists. I don't know how I missed it and them until now but all the praise made me curious to see if it belonged on my own list. I've now spent a couple weeks with the record and I'm pleased to report it's almost as good as I hoped, almost living up to the hype surrounding it. It's impossible to discuss this album without dealing with the obvious so let's begin there before

Review: Michael Bram - Suitcase In The Hall

Bram steps out from behind Jason Mraz and issues a fine solo record of his own...
  |   Comments
Michael Bram by day serves as Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jason Mraz's drummer and by night has launched a solo career releasing his latest solo album Suitcase In The Hall through the VizzTone label. Those looking for a carbon copy of the more widely known Mraz and his pop-oriented singer/songwriter sound may be disappointed but careful listening reveals connections beneath the surface of his roots-oriented sound that mixes blues and country leanings with solid songwriting. Bram plays many of the instruments on the album and wrote the majority of these tracks. He gets some instrumental and production help from the multi-talented Dave Gross and

Gary Clark Jr, Nick Moss Join Magness, Nemeth, Tedeschi Trucks Band Among 34th Blues Music Award Nominees

Legends, fresh faces, and favorites among the nominated (as well as the snubs)...
  |   Comments
Nominees for the 34th Blues Music Awards have been announced and once again Janiva Magness is out front along with John Nemeth when it comes to most nominations and Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are once again well represented as they have been the past two years. I'm mostly pleased with the nominees and will enjoy voting for some great artists and records and will struggle to choose among them in some categories. I'm also annoyed past the point of outrage some deserving artists and their albums aren't on the ballot enough or at all. I didn't have the opportunity
If the Mayans are wrong and we cruise into 2013, we'll all live long enough to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame actually do something right as they induct Canadian trio Rush along with Heart, Public Enemy, composer Randy Newman, Donna Summer and Albert King. The sun shines on a dog's ass some days. Let me go Stella McCartney and say about fucking time! I've mentioned before I don't count myself among the legion of Rush fans but it's beyond ridiculous it's taken this long to get them on the ballot, so say nothing of -- oh,
It's the End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). In fact, I feel pretty good about it, really. I'm #TeamMayan all the way on this whole end of the world thing. I'm bold enough to say it: I'm pro-Apocalypse. Now before one of you goes running to fetch the men with the nets and I-Love-Me jackets, let me be clear: I'm not cheering on my death. Or yours. To quote Willie Nelson, I've seen all this world I care to see: The Red Sox won a couple World Series, Alabama won a couple National

Grammy Nominations Another Mess Of Disappointments, Surprises

Good, bad, and bewildering... in other words, exactly what we've come to expect from The Grammys...
  |   Comments
It's that time of year again: Grammy nomination season and as is usually the case, I consider myself (mostly) disappointed. I'm not going to expend much energy detailing the many ways the Recording Academy has lost its way as an organization and how it annually fails. To borrow from former NFL head coach Dennis Green, they are who we think they are. There are some bizarre and inexplicable choices in the major categories but there are a few inspired moves this year so we'll highlight a few of each. Let's start with things that please me: Jack White's Blunderbuss

Review: Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit - Live From Alabama

Former Drive-By Trucker Isbell brings his successful solo career to the stage on band's first official live album...
  |   Comments
Jason Isbell left Drive-By Truckers to strike out on his own, fronting a new band called The 400 Unit and Live From Alabama marks their first live album after three successful studio releases, the most recent Here We Rest drawing widespread acclaim. The Green Hill, AL native recorded shows in Birmingham and my current hometown of Huntsville and from those shows we have these 13 songs featuring two covers and 11 Isbell originals. Of the Isbell originals, two come from his time with DBT including the title track from their Decoration Day LP as well as another song from that

See Florence And The Machine "Lover To Lover" Video

She's not quite done promoting her brilliant 2011 sophomore effort 'Ceremonials'
  |   Comments
It's been awhile since we checked in with Florence + The Machine and it's because I thought she was poised to wrap up the promotion cycle for her fantastic 2011 album Ceremonials -- a cycle that saw her perform on Simon Cowell's US X Factor, Saturday Night Live, and release an MTV Unplugged performance -- but it seems I was wrong. Flo has just released a new video for "Lover To Lover" and is issuing a single as she continues to play shows in support of the album throughout Europe this month. She also found time to join The Rolling Stones on stage at

Led Zeppelin's Reunion Show 'Celebration Day' A Triumph

The song and magic remain the same decades later...
  |   Comments
The Led Zeppelin "reunion" we always knew could happen, suspected one day might, but with each passing year abandoned hope for finally happened in 2007 and then in the most bewildering fashion, nothing ever came of it. There would be no more shows. There was no discussion of ever releasing this one; it sat there a novelty, a curiosity, a tantalizing precursor to nothing. Until now. Celebration Day has finally been released, allowing fans the world over to hear Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones perform the music they created with John Bonham all those years ago for

Guster Announces Live Acoustic Album, 2013 Acoustic Tour Dates

Pre-order the limited edition CD now or wait for the digital download...
  |   Comments
Tis the season for good news, kids. Thanks to a headsup from BlindedBySound contributor Stephanie, I became aware our friends Guster are releasing a 16-track acoustic live album in early January. A limited number of CDs will be pressed and it will be available digitally to the universe forever on after (okay, I haven't verified forever on aftter but go with me on this). The 16-tracks were taken from the band's acoustic tour which found the band traveling with a small string section. The tracklisting is pretty heavy on the Easy Wonderful album but there are several goodies from throughout

Review: Soundgarden - King Animal

Seattle grunge quartet returns with first new album since 1996...
  |   Comments
Bob Dylan warned us in "Mississippi" you can go back but you can't go back all the way and it's with that in mind I sat down to listen to the first album of new Soundgarden music since their 1996 effort Down On The Upside. The Seattle quartet -- Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron -- have pursued other musical endeavors in the years since (Cornell fronted Audioslave and made solo records, including a solo acoustic live album while Cameron has spent the last several years drumming with Pearl Jam) and have issued a smattering of recordings under

Review: Gary Clark Jr - Blak And Blu

Promise, power, and potential abound- if only the execution were a bit more consistent...
  |   Comments
It would have been an impossible task For Gary Clark Jr. to deliver the record I was hoping for, having long ago descended into fanboy obsession and I tried tempering my expectations in the runup to the release of Blak And Blu to avoid the possibility of being disappointed with a record I wanted to and was bound to fall in love with despite any imperfections. That was (mostly) a waste of time because it almost lives up to the enormous, impossible hopes- a near impossible achievement considering how much I've been listening to, writing about, and anticipating this "debut"

Interview: Seattle Rockers Barrett Martin, Duff McKagan, Jeff Angell, Ben Anderson Find Freedom In Their Walking Papers

Barrett Martin and Jeff Angell discuss their new band in an exclusive interview...
  |   Comments
What happens when you assemble musicians who have collectively contributed to Screaming Trees, Guns 'N Roses, Mad Season, Post Stardom Depression, Skin Yard, Tuatara, and The Missionary Position? You get Walking Papers, a powerful new rock and roll force from the Pacific Northwest. Jeff Angell (vocals/guitar), Barrett Martin (drums/percussion), Duff McKagan (bass) and Ben Anderson issued their self-titled debut this week and Angell and Martin have given a behind-the-scenes look at the formation of Walking Papers, the purpose and motivation behind its songs, and a glimpse into their ambitious future plans. MAKING THE BAND Martin and Angell met while working

Lianne La Havas Spellbinding On Debut 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'

One of the year's essential listens...
  |   Comments
Is Your Love Big Enough? is an extraordinary achievement on its own merits made all the more remarkable coming from a young artist recording her debut. It feels like an aural tour through a museum where the listener is the tourist and Lianne LaHavas is our charming guide. Where some tour guides become jaded to wonders surrounding them, she is eager to welcome us to them. She navigates us through the experiences of these songs with sophistication and wide-eyed wonder. It’s as if she’s reliving pages of her own diary and discovering them for the first time. She sings as

Review: Gary Clark Jr -"Ain't Messin 'Round"

Clark releases 1st Single From 'Blak And Blu'
  |   Comments
Okay: this is the last reference I make today to my birthday but I choose to think it's no coincidence Gary Clark Jr. has chosen today to release the first single from his upcoming major label debut Blak And Blu. You're free to disagree; you'll be wrong. This is all about me. Now I know what you're thinking and you're wrong. You think this is going to be more embarrassing fanboy gushing about music from Clark, that I've no capacity to listen objectively to the music. Go read my Springsteen posts: I can be scathing when it comes to

Happy Birthday To Me: Wilco - "When You Wake Up Feeling Old"

Just another day at the office, right?
  |   Comments
Congratulations: you made one more trip around the sun. Yes, kids, it's my birthday and I'm treating it just like any other day because it's treating me just like any other day. Congresses past haven't done the one useful thing they could have done and passed a law that allows us all a paid day off on our birthday so I am gratefully plugging away at the office. Gratefully plugging away: that's the outlook I aspire to each and every day- one I learned from a former radio colleague. I don't think I want to become someone so out

Gary Clark Jr To Release 'Blak And Blu' in October, First Single "Ain't Messin 'Round" Due Sept. 18

The most anticipated album of the year is nearly upon us...
  |   Comments
Gary Clark Jr. has released the tracklisting and artwork for his major label debut Black And Blu, due October 23 from Warner Brothers Records preceded by the release of first single “Ain’t Messin’ ’Round” on September 18. The new Gary Clark Jr. single is being released on my birthday, kids. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever! Back to the album at hand… The 13-track Blak And Blu features 12 Clark originals and was produced by Mike Elizondo, Rob Cavallo, and Clark. Many of these titles are going to be familar to longtime Clark fans and obsessives like me as it seems several

Robert Cray In Top Form on 'Nothin But Love'

Hall of Fame bluesman delivers some of his finest work on 21st studio album...
  |   Comments
Robert Cray is still a young man by blues standards but Nothin But Love is the Blues Hall Of Famer's 21st studio album and over the course of the last three decades, he has etched out a signature sound and style that has defined his work. I was nonplussed learning rock producer Kevin Shirley produced this set, having endured some needlessly loud, bombastic blues-rock records from his past work. It took me awhile to warm up to Cray's smooth brand of blues but once I did, I didn't want anyone coming in to mess with it. It turns out
Details have been announced for Noel Gallagher's live DVD/Blu-ray International Magic Live at the O2 and in what should be a surprise to no one: he's doing it right while so many get it wrong. The set will be released Oct. 23 and will feature his entire performance at O2 Arena in London- something far too few bands do (I'm looking squarely at you U2 and Rolling Stones, for starters) and he's also packed this set with some fantastic bonus features and goodies. The 20-song set will be appended with Gallagher's eight-song acoustic mini set in Toronto that includes

Dylan Releases "Duquesne Whistle" As Digital Single, Premieres Video

"Duquesne Whistle" is the first single from Dylan's 35th studio album, due in September...
  |   Comments
We're two weeks out from Bob Dylan's 35th studio album, Tempest, which is being released 50 years after he released his self-titled debut on Columbia Records and we now have the first single and video, "Duquesne Whistle." We mentioned a promo clip featuring the song "Early Roman Kings" but "Duquesne" is the first track legally available for purchase and download at iTunes and Amazon and we now have a video directed by Nash Edgerton specifically for the song. I had a conversation on Twitter about "Duquesne" this morning and my counterpart was a little less impressed with this song than

Tinsley Ellis, Kim Wilson, Gina Sicilia To Appear At 3rd Annual Benefit To Support The Sean Costello Memorial Fund Benefit

Some of the biggest names in blues and roots music are coming together to honor the late Costello Sept. 29, in Atlanta
  |   Comments
The 3rd Annual Roots And Blues Benefit To Suppot The Sean Costello Memorial Fund For Bipolar Research is scheduled for September 29 in Atlanta and the lineup for the event includes some of the biggest names in blues and roots music. The benefit concert will be held at North Atlanta High Center For The Arts and scheduled to appear are guitarist Tinsley Ellis, harp legend and co-founder of the Fabulous Thunderbirds Kim Wilson, and Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross. In addition, Virgina Martinez will front Sean Costello's original band and there will also be performances by special guest Jon

Alanis Morrisette, Robert Cray, Magic Slim, Deanna Bogart, Art Garfunkel Top August 28 New Music Tuesday Releases

A heavy, heavy dose of blues and the first new music from Alanis Morrisette in 4 years hit stores this week...
  |   Comments
This is a fun week with several interesting titles in our weekly New Music Tuesday roundup and we begin with Blues Hall of Famer and Grammy winner Robert Cray, who returns with a new studio album Nothin' But Love, which I'm subtitling Nothing But Awesome. I guess I've given away the review I'm working on but you really shouldn't let one more day of your life pass without acquiring this set. I was a late convert to Cray and his brand of blues but I've become quite an admirer. Some of his work can be uneven and he's had a

Music Monday Really Randoms: U2, Nick Moss, The Baseball Project, Ben Folds 5

You buy the ticket, you take the ride...
  |   Comments
I don't have a lot of trouble deciding what to listen to most days. I constantly have a song or song fragment in my head and I'm usually behind on music reviews, so I often have a starting place when my day begins and I follow it all to its logical conclusion. It's not like that every day and that's when Encyclopedia Nerdicus is overwhelmed by the more than 30,000 songs on his iPod and the desire to acquire at least that many more. Where do you begin? Where do you start when you want to listen to everything and

Michael "Iron Man" Burks In Top Form On Final CD 'Show Of Strength'

There should have been so much more; there won't be, and it's not fair.
  |   Comments
Writing a review of Michael "Iron Man" Burks' Show Of Strength should have been easy and a lot of fun. I tried hard to listen to these 12 songs without thinking about this being his final record but didn't get far with that not because the record feels like a funeral -- far from it -- but because it bursts with vitality and passion, honed with skill and craft. Burks completed all the recording work on the album and had only to approve a couple final mixes and sequence the record but he never got that opportunity. He passed

Lianne La Havas Celebrates Birthday With New Video For 'Forget' From Debut CD

Today is a big day for singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas: a birthday and a brand new video!
  |   Comments
Today is singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas' birthday and -- coincidentally or not -- she has a brand new video for the track "Forget" from her debut Is Your Love Big Enough? I mentioned La Havas recently as my newest musical obsession, following closely on the heels of another amazing British singer/songwriter, Michael Kiwanuka and his beautiful debut Home Again. I'm working on my full and proper review of her album and hope to have it finished and published in the coming days. In the meantime, it is her birthday and she has a new video and the video is

Smashing Pumpkins Unveil Details Of N. American 'Oceana' Tour

Dates and venues are being finalized, but we have tour stops...
  |   Comments
Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins have announced the first details of their upcoming North American tour in support of their most recent album Oceana (note to self: still need to review that), including cities they'll play and even a few hints about the visual elements of the upcoming show. We hate dates for shows in Canada and Mexico and it looks as though the US leg of the tour will kick off October 10 in Seattle. After that, we have a list of cities but no specific dates or venues. In case you're wondering -- and admit it,

Michael Burks, Ry Cooder, Yeasayer, Plan B Release New Albums; Kiss and Los Lobos Update Past Classics

The final album from blues great Michael "Iron Man" Burks is our signature release for Aug. 21, 2012...
  |   Comments
The music world is still reeling from the shocking passing of blues guitarist Michael "Iron Man" Burks on May 6 of this year and today, Alligator Records releases his final studio album, an album he'd all but finished. He'd wrapped recording on the 12 songs for Show Of Strength and had approved of most of the final mixes for the record. All he had left was to approve a few mixes and sequence the record, but collapsed at the Atlanta airport returning from some European dates before that could happen. There may have been a few minor changes but

Paul Simon Announces Live CD/DVD/Blu-ray 'Live In New York City' For Sept. 18 Release

Show was filmed during 'So Beautiful Or So What' tour...
  |   Comments
Live From New York... it's Paul Simon! The Hall of Fame singer/songwriter and one time Saturday Night Live regular is releasing Live in New York City on September 18, recorded while touring in support of his amazing So Beautiful Or So What record, one of the best releases of 2011. The 20-song set will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and in a special 2-CD/1DVD package and features hit songs from throughout Simon's career as well as a few from So Beautiful. Simon hasn't released a live album in awhile and many of the older songs performed hadn't been performed or
Garbage has released a video for "Big Bright World," the second they've released from Not Your Kind Of People, their first album of new music in seven years. "Blood For Poppies" felt like an obvious choice to be a single when it was released in advance of the record. "Big Bright World" doesn't have that same immediate feel although it's still a very good song from one of my favorite records of 2012. The video is anything but big and bright at the outset as Garbage continues with the black-and-white motif but flourishes of color become more prevalent by

Review: Booker T And The MG's 'Green Onions' 50th Anniversary Edition

The title track is timeless and a time capsule, and it turns 50 years old this year...
  |   Comments
I wonder if 1962 knew what a special year it would be for music at the time. The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones are commemorating their 50th Anniversary this year and so is another American classic: Booker T. & The MG's Green Onions. Reviewing an iconic album or song is has its challenges, especially when said album and song are celebrating their golden anniversaries. Can I really find a new way to tell you how great this is? What am I going to tell you that you don't already know about this set? I knew the title track from

Video Unveiled For "Early Roman Kings" From Bob Dylan's Upcoming Album 'Tempest'

Think "Hoochie Coochie Man" with accordions...
  |   Comments
We told you about the the upcoming album from Bob Dylan, Tempest, his 35th studio album being released in September. We've been waiting for the first single from the album to reach digital distribution. There have been rumors of it but so far it hasn't materialized but we do have a video for one of the songs. Okay, so he didn't actually make the video for "Early Roman Kings" so much as he allowed the song to be used in a promo for a show on Cinemax, but it does give us an opportunity to hear something from the

My New Accidental Musical Obsession: Lianne La Havas' 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'

I took a chance on an unlikely (for me) record and now I can't stop listening to it...
  |   Comments
I have been on another music acquisition binge and yet with all the new CDs on my shelf and songs on my iPod, I keep coming back to the new record from Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough?, and I'm once again astonished by the power music has to surprise. I like to think as I near my fourth decade inhabiting this body on this third pebble from the sun that I've grown up, that I quit trying to get a seat at the cool kids' table. I like to see myself as a wizened sort immune to
I feel like I'm 15 again, talking about a new solo record from guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. Story Of Light is the former Zappa protege's latest album, his first studio set in three years. Among the things that set him apart from random shredders and noodlers is his innovative streak both as a technician and a composer. He has studied the rules and learned how to do things right and set about finding ways to bend and break them. Among the other interesting new releases this week is a Fleetwood Mac tribute album called Just Tell Me That You Want

Smokin' Joe Kubek And Bnois King Announce Sept. 18 Release 'Close To The Bone'

A birthday present to me from Smokin' Joe and Bnois, courtesy of Delta Groove Records...
  |   Comments
Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King have wrapped work on Close To The Bone, the first new record for their new label Delta Groove records and will release it September 18. Happy Birthday to Me! Close To The Bone is a 14-track set that follows their outstanding Have Blues, Will Travel, a record I still queue up with frequency. These two have been making music together for 20 years and it's one hell of a partnership. Kubek and King had a run of critically acclaimed records for Alligator Records before moving to Delta Groove for this release and the new

Review: Thomas Newman - 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': A Splashy, Vivid, Evocative Soundtrack

Newman remains a master of bringing movies to life with music...
  |   Comments
I've loved instrumental music have ever since a neighbor kid played Joe Satriani's Surfing With The Alien for me when I was a teenager. I've spent years sifting through and listening to instrumental music ever since, exposing me to several idioms and genres, among them movie soundtracks. There are two basic categories of soundtracks these days. One is a collection of songs by famous and not-so-famous artists that have little or nothing to do with the movie but exist only as a means of marketing and product placement (think any movie with a comic book hero, teenagers, and/or explosions).

R.E.M. To Release Expanded 25th Anniversary Of 'Document' Sept. 25, Includes Previously Unreleased Live Show

The final chapter of the IRS years gets reissued this fall...
  |   Comments
R.E.M. will release its final IRS-era album in time for its 25th anniversary when they release a digitally remastered, expanded edition of their fifth album Document on September 25, 2012. This is the album that introduced much of America to the Athens, GA quartet when their song "The One I Love" became a staple on MTV and radio stations outside the college rock format picked the single up and played it as well. The Document re-issue returns to the form used for Murmur and Reckoning by pairing the remastered record with a previously unreleased concert from the supporting tour, in

Rob Zombie, Antony And The Johnsons, Marcus Miller, The Return Of Sixpence None The Richer Lead New CD Releases

Jazz, metal remixes, and more for New Music Tuesday August 7, 2012
  |   Comments
We have a lot of reissue action in this week's list of new releases with Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley getting repackaged in several configurations this week. Along with those and other assorted compliations, we do have a few new releases worthy of mention this week. Bassist/producer Marcus Miller has a new album out this week called Renaissance. I first heard Miller on an old David Sanborn record and it was the first time I'd heard bass played like that. He clearly wasn't the first to flick, thump, and pop electric bass strings but he introduced me to a

Review: Muddy Waters And The Rolling Stones (feat. Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lefty Dizz) - Live At The Checkerboard Lounge 1981

How on earth did someone let this sit in the vault for 30 years? Don't worry: it was worth the wait!
  |   Comments
The first thing I asked myself before I saw or heard a note of Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones' performance at Chicago's Checkerboard Lounge was how the blue hell had this been left unreleased for more than 30 years? Something like this doesn't even have to be good to merit a release and if it is actually good, you'd have to be crazy to let this sit on a shelf. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you're in the business of selling music, how do you not at least try to sell this? Before we consider the presence of

Review: Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again

It's true; you can go home again and this beautiful record makes that journey a profoundly special one...
  |   Comments
There's a pervasive feeling among many in the music intelligentsia we risk losing, are losing, or have lost the concept of the album as an art form what with digital consumption of music on an individual track level and changes in the way music is marketed and presented to perspective listeners. I don't know if that's true in the here and now or what the future holds, but Michael Kiwanuka's Home Again captures the spirit of everything that is good about a group of songs sequenced together as an album. Home Again is a rich, deep, magical listen greater than

Seattle Supergroup Walking Papers Announce Oct. 2 Release Date For Self-Titled Debut

Jeff Angell and Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara) recruit friends from Pearl Jam, Mad Season, Guns N' Roses for debut record...
  |   Comments
The next great rock record from Seattle is coming our way this fall and features familiar names. Walking Papers is the brainchild of Jeff Angell (Post Stardom Depression and The Missionary Position) and Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara) and the two have recruited some equally big names for their self-titled debut record due through Martin's Sunyatta label Oct. 2, 2012. Angell and Martin are joined on the record by ex-Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist and Seattle resident Duff McKagan, and Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready (who also worked with Martin in Mad Season) along

Bruce Springsteen Announces New North American 'Wrecking Ball' Tour Dates

Springsteen comes to State College, PA and arenas and stadiums across N. America in the fall...
  |   Comments
The theme of Bruce Springsteen's recent tour dates in support of his latest album Wrecking Ball seems to be "Bigger Is Better"; the shows have been getting longer and the tour is getting extended by an additional 16 dates. Springsteen is currently in Europe playing shows routinely topping the three hour mark with one show nearly reaching four hours (3:48) and famously had the plug pulled on him while jamming with Paul McCartney in the UK. That leg of the tour is about to come to an end and Springsteen had already announced several stadium shows in Boston, Chicago,
It's that time again where we take a look at the new releases hitting store shelves and digital download retailers and this week's roster is a little bit light on titles overall. Oh, there are some interesting ones worth looking at but this week isn't likely to make your wallet bleed. The two titles most likely to ignite the passions of music fans are from the indie circuit and I have to confess I really only know these two artists by name rather than their music. We have Gaslight Anthem's latest, Handwritten, out this week as well as the latest

The Spring Standards Shimmer And Shine On Beautiful 'yellow//gold'

A heaven of harmony...
  |   Comments
I first stumbled onto The Spring Standards when someone played their song "Drowning In Sobriety" in the 'It's All Connected' room at It was an instant hit with me. I immediately downloaded the song from iTunes (the song being an iTunes bonus track only) and ordered the CDs from their web store. I fell for them so quickly because I'm a walking fanboy waiting to happen and because I'm a sucker for great harmonies. It can be wonderful hearing great and interesting vocalists double-track and/or overdub layers of their own voice but there's something even more magical when two
British singer/songwriter Richard Hawley has wrapped work on his new studio album Standing At The Sky's Edge, due in stores August 28. The first single from the record is available digitally (along with a B-side) and you can stream it and check out its video here. The first single is called "Down In The Woods" and was released digitally yesterday with the B-side "Kindly Rain." Honor is due to my man, singer/songwriter (and occasional BlindedBySound reviewer) Aaron McMullan, for turning me on to the wonders of Mr. Hawley a couple years ago. I've been listening to the man's work since

Michael Kiwanuka, Smashing Pumpkins, Nas, Cee Cee James, Old Crow Medicine Show Top New CD Releases

July 17 brings some must-have new music our way...
  |   Comments
It's an exciting day for new music releases, amigos. The big thrill for me is the release of the amazing album from Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again. I'd never heard of him until he opened for Gary Clark Jr. in Nashville back in June and I was astonished by the beauty of his music. The MP3 edition was available at Amazon and I downloaded it right away. Today, we have the domestic release of the CD and my copy is on its way, having pre-ordered it more than a month ago. If you haven't heard Michael's music, I have been obsessively

Bob Dylan To Release 35th Album 'Tempest' Sept. 11, 50 Years After Debut Record

Bob Dylan's golden anniversary...
  |   Comments
The legendary Bob Dylan will release his 35th album on September 11, Tempest. The 10-track set is once again produced by Dylan himself (under his Jack Frost moniker) and is the first proper follow-up to his 2009 album Together Through Life (he released a Christmas album in 2010). Bob Dylan released his self-titled debut in 1962 so like The Beach Boys and Rolling Stones, this is a 50th Anniversary release but it's not a compilation, it's an album of all new material. Now I'm going to need you all to try and suppress your shock when I tell you we

Noel Gallagher, Snow Patrol Announce Fall N. American Tour

Gallagher preps to bring his High Flying Birds to N. America for 4th time in past 12 months...
  |   Comments
Noel Gallagher is coming back to North America for the fourth time in 12 months -- reminding us all of the early days of Oasis -- for a series of fall co-headlining dates with Snow Patrol. The majority of these dates are west of the Mississippi, kicking off in Portland and Seattle before running north of the border for several shows in Canada. They'll drop down into the midwest for shows in Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Louisville before hitting :: wait for it… wait for iiiitttttt :: Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Yes, I saw Noel earlier this year in Atlanta.

Gary Clark Jr. Reaching To Past For New LP? Check Out "Numb" From Bonnaroo 2012

Gary Clark Jr. updates an old song for possible inclusion on eagerly anticipated new CD...
  |   Comments
I'm still flying high from seeing Gary Clark Jr. in Nashville last month, just a few short hours after he played a set at Bonnaroo in nearby Manchester, TN. Clark played songs from his fantastic Bright Lights EP along with some covers at both shows that day, and also brought out a song that may wind up on next album, the first full length record he'll make for Warner Brothers. The new song is actually not new at all as "Numb" dates back to his out-of-print (and damn near impossible to find) album 110 but it's been dramatically re-worked. It's

Fiona Apple Gives Magnetic Friday The 13th Performance at Nashville's Historic Ryman Auditorium

Fiona Apple's orbit fell into ours for an amazing, intense performance.
  |   Comments
Fiona Apple brought her Idler Wheel tour to Nashville's historic, majestic Ryman Auditorium last night and outside of the shock rockers I'm not sure I can think of another artist who should make a point of playing shows on Friday The 13th. I've seen dozens and dozens of shows over the years, written countless reviews of them as well as albums, and participated in innumerable conversations about music and over the course of it all I've heard the term "performance art" used in discussion but last night might be as close to witnessing it as I've ever come, especially when

Springsteen Debuts 3 Songs in Vienna Setlist; July 12, 2012

One of the best setlists of the tour...
  |   Comments
Good night, Vienna! Wow. What a night. These set list reviews and commentaries I write are difficult for me because they're part of an ongoing conversation I've been having about Bruce Springsteen and his music going back several years and many of you join that discussion already in progress. The truth is even though he sometimes does things that make me want to throttle him (Albany, Milan, Zurich, Atlanta, and nights I skipped because I couldn't summon the outrage to be bothered), he has those inspired moments of magic and genius. I wouldn't bother commenting on Bon Jovi setlists because

Joanne Shaw Taylor To Release Third Album 'Almost Always Never' Sept. 12

UK singer/guitarist has wrapped work on 12-song new album produced by Mike McCarthy...
  |   Comments
British guitarist/singer Joanne Shaw Taylor will release her third album Almost Always Never on September 12. Almost follows her acclaimed 2009 debut White Sugar -- nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut -- and its 2010 follow-up Diamonds In The Dirt. Those first two records were cut with Grammy-winning producer Jim Gaines but for Almost, Taylor teamed up with Mike McCarthy and recorded the set in Austin, TX. "Mike McCarthy comes from a very different musical background from me," Taylor said. "He pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore and

Noel Gallagher Opens For Stone Roses Reunion Tour; See "Dream On" Live (Video)

One Manchester legend opens for another...
  |   Comments
The Stone Roses have done what most thought was unthinkable and impossible by reuniting the original lineup for a tour and word has it a new album from the Manchester legends is in the works. I haven't heard of any proposed US dates for Stone Roses; I'm keeping my eyes open but not getting my hopes up for it. I never actually thought they'd reform in the first place and one gets the sense this could all still implode spectacularly at any moment. Maybe not. Maybe we're all still a little gunshy after the childish antics of certain member(s) of

Bruce Springsteen's Solo Piano Performance Of "If I Should Fall Behind" From Zurich (Video)

A highlight from a setlist that needed one...
  |   Comments
The controversial "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision widened the interpretation that "money" is "free speech" and protected by the First Amendment but tragically refused to recognize the right to keep and bear bricks and aim that at your favorite artist when he does something stupid. I know; I was surprised, too. I was pretty annoyed by Bruce Springsteen's setlist in Zurich but there were a few moments in the show I'd genuinely like to have seen and one of them has been posted to YouTube so we're going to play revisionist history at BlindedBySound and ignore the fact some lowdown
Bit of a down week on the New Releases this week, which comes at a good time considering how completely skint I am at the moment and can't afford a big week of musical purchases. The title I'm most excited about is the release of a live show Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones did in Chicago at the famed Checkerboard Lounge in 1981. Muddy was near the end of his life but was having a resurgence thanks to three great records cut with Johnny Winter, Bob Margolin, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, among others. This wasn't the most

Review: Rick Estrin And The Nightcats - 'One Wrong Turn'

Not much is wrong with this move...
  |   Comments
Let's dispense with the obvious right from the start as we prepare to discuss One Wrong Turn, the latest album from Rick Estrin And The Nightcats: Rick Estrin is an utter badass with a harmonica. There are more imitators when it comes to blues guitar but there are scores of wannabes who listened to Big Walter, Little Walter, the Sonny Boys, James Cotton, and other pioneers of blues harp and while they may cop a few licks, they really don't know what to do with their well-intentioned passion. Rick Estrin is the real deal. He's got great tone, virtuoso

Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball Tour Setlist July 9, 2012 Zurich, Switzerland

This is not a joke so please stop smiling...
  |   Comments
It was the best of shows; it was the worst of shows. Wow, Zurich! I have no idea what to make of what happened in your fair city on this Wrecking Ball tour… The show opens with the tour premiere of "Don't Look Back" from the Tracks box set, a sign request for "Growin' Up," "Save My Love" from The Promise, and a big surprise in the form of a solo piano version of "If I Should Fall Behind," from the Lucky Town record. I can't believe Bruce "saw" that sign. I'm betting that solo piano performance was fantastic. I've

Barrett Martin, Jeff Angell Make Live Debut As The Walking Papers, Debut "Your Secret's Safe With Me" Live Video

New collaboration featuring Martin and Angell on the way...
  |   Comments
Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara) and Jeff Angell (The Missionary Position) made their debut as The Walking Papers when they played their first show at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle. Joined by Jacque Willis on clavinet and vibes, The Walking Papers played material from their forthcoming album, details of which are still forthcoming. Angell and Martin are the principle masterminds of the project but have recruited other friends to participate. Among those confirmed to have worked on the as-yet-finalized debut is Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, with whom Martin played in Mad Season with John Baker Saunders, Layne Staley,

Soul Legend Curtis Salgado To Undergo Lung Cancer Sugery; Fans Set Up Fund For Medical Bill Assistance

Soul Man Curtis Salgado will have surgery July 18...
  |   Comments
Award-winning soul singer Curtis Salgado will undergo surgery this month to remove a cancerous growth from his lung, and doctors anticipate he will make a complete recovery. This is a third bout with cancer for Salgado, who was previously treated for lung cancer in 2008 and liver cancer in 2006, which required liver transplant surgery. Fans and friends of the soul legend have set up a fund to help cover medical expenses, which will be considerable. The Curtis Salgado Medical Fund is accepting donations via PayPal, major credit cards, and checks can also be written to fund. All denominations

Review: 'Moanin' At Midnight: The Life And Times of Howlin' Wolf'by Mark Hoffman

A mostly excellent account of one of the great artists of the 20th century...
  |   Comments
Mark Hoffman provides a wealth of impeccably researched facts to reconstruct Chester "Howlin' Wolf" Burnett's life in Mississippi as a child, his career beginnings, ascent to one of the premier blues artists of his time, setbacks, and frustrations and in the process tells the story of more than one man's life and accomplishments. Much attention is paid to Wolf's life as a musician and those stories are invaluable and likely of most interest to most readers but there are many amazing moments in his life that had nothing to do with music. Some of these come into play after his

Shemekia Copeland Covers Dylan, Sam Cooke on '33 1/3,' Due Sept. 25

Shemekia Copeland has a brand new batch of stories to tell on latest CD...
  |   Comments
Shemekia Copeland has finished work on a brand new studio album for Telarc called 33 1/3, set for release on September 25. The collection finds Copeland re-interpreting songs by Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, and Sam Cooke, among others and features guest appearances from JJ Grey and Buddy Guy. Guy adds his guitar mastery to a track called "Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo." "I have a lot of 'uncles' in this business -- guys who kind of took me under their wing after my dad passed away. Buddy is one of those guys. It's the perfect song for him." The

Jellyfish, Rick Estrin And The Nightcats, Chris Brown, Asia Lead Week's New Releases

New Music Tuesday: July 3, 2012 Edition.
  |   Comments
Each Monday I play a little game as I prep for the upcoming week's NewMusicTuesday. The first thing I do is skim the list of new releases for the titles I care about and when that's done, I usually have to skim the list a second time to figure out what might excite the rest of the masses. This is just one of the sacrifices I make for you, dear readers. My release of choice is a trip to total geekdom. There is something wrong with me that I'm this excited about the Jellyfish Live at Bogart's 1991 album
It's been a busy year for Florence, releasing her brilliant sophomore album Ceremonials as well as filming and releasing her performance on MTV Unplugged and now we have a new video and single being prepped. There's no slowing this Machine down! First up is the new video -- "Breaking Down" -- which is not for the new single "Spectrum." It's pretty amazing in a day and age when getting labels to release damn near anything, Florence is getting away with releasing everything and in a bit of a scattershot manner. No matter. We love F+TM, we love her new record,

Blues Hall Of Famer Robert Cray Preps 'Nothin' But Love' For Aug. 28

Blues great will release 16th studio album...
  |   Comments
Blues Hall Of Famer and Grammy-winner Robert Cray has readied a brand new studio album Nothin' But Love due for release August 28. Love follows his 2010 live CD/DVD Cookin' in Mobile, recorded in support of his This Time album. Cray recruited famed rock producer Kevin Shirley to oversee sessions for this latest record, his sixteenth studio album, and he is again teamed with longtime bandmembers Jim Pugh and Richard Cousins (Keyboards and bass, respectively) and drummer Tony Braunagel. The 10-track set is all original material, written by Cray and his bandmates. It was recorded live in a Los

Lurrie Bell, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Cash Box Kings Lead 2012 Blues Blast Music Award Nominees

Voting is now open for the 2012 Blues Blast Music Awards...
  |   Comments
The 2012 Blues Blast Music Award nominees were announced for eight categories. Details for the ceremony are still be finalized but past BBMA ceremonies have taken place at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, usually in October. We may not have the lowdown of when the winners will be announced but we know who is in the running and voting for the awards has already opened. Winners are chosen by subscribers to the free Blues Blast e-magazine, an online publication with more than 20,000 subscribers worldwide. Blues fans can sign up for Blues Blast and take part in the voting

Booker T And The MGs 'Green Onions' 50th Anniversary Edition Due July 24

A special occasion for a special record...
  |   Comments
Booker T & The MGs' legendary album Green Onions has been remastered by Joe Tarantino and will be reissued in conjunction with its 50th Anniversary as part of the ongoing Stax Remasters Series on July 24. How great and deep is the mighty Stax library that Green Onions wasn't among the earliest albums to be remastered, expanded, and reissued? The title track has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. Everybody knows this song even if you don't know you know it (which was the case for me for

Michael "Iron Man" Burks' Final CD 'Show Of Strength' To Be Released Aug. 21

A powerful talent silenced too soon at age 54, Michael Burks will be heard from one final time...
  |   Comments
The blues world is still in shock and a state of mourning after the tragic, unexpected passing of blueman Michael "Iron Man" Burks at the age of 54 and today his label announces plans to release his final album Show Of Strength on August 21. Burks had completed the record and was returning home from a European tour when he collapsed and died at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta on May 6. Burks' passing comes just as the hard working bluesman was gaining career momentum and traction with a nomination as Guitarist Of The Year at the 2012 Blues
I was recently introduced to the musical wonder and beauty of Michael Kiwanuka when he opened for Gary Clark Jr. in Nashville earlier this month and I haven't been able to stop listening to his wonderful album, available digitally in the US right now with a July 17 release date for the CD. You can also here Home Again on Spotify and there is something badly wrong with you if you don't , something even worse if you pre-order the CD or download the digital edition after hearing it. Here's another chance for you to hear his special blend of

The Spring Standards Offer Free Download, Release "Here We Go Again" Video

Multimedia goodies from The Spring Standards...
  |   Comments
We told you all about The Spring Standards' double EP yellow//gold and the band has released an official for one of the tracks -- "Here We Go Again" and are offering a free download of another track, "Watch The Moon Disappear." I fell in love with The Spring Standards when someone played "Drowning In Sobriety," a digital-only bonus track on the iTunes edition of their Would Things Be Different album, in the "It's All Connected" room at I immediately downloaded the song and purchased the physical copy of that album along with their prior set No One Will

Springsteen Isle Of Wight Festival Setlist: June 24, 2012

Springsteen at the famed UK festival...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen brought his Wrecking Ball tour to the Isle Of Wight festival today and as festivals rules were in play, we have a shorter show than much of the European leg of the tour. The one-two of "Atlantic City" and "Because The Night" would have set my soul on fire and I can't begin to fathom how I'd have felt when he segued from them to "Working On The Highway." Bewildered. Betrayed. A dimension of angry I'd never before experienced in my life? I'll tell you what I wouldn't have been: surprised. He'll do it to you every time. I sure

Bruce Springsteen Manchester UK Setlist - June 22, 2012

Hits and misses as the 'Wrecking Ball' tour rolls along...
  |   Comments
There's a lot of laziness going. I once again skipped a Springsteen show set list because he didn't care enough to make it interesting and I didn't care enough to write about it but tonight is different because our good friend Aaron McMullan was in attendance at tonight's show and because there are actually a few songs in the set list that make this one worth further consideration. I would have been ready to knife myself two songs in when "No Surrender" comes out but let's skip past that and look at the run that includes "Spirit In The Night,"

Nick Moss Stirs Up 'Late Night' Magic On Don Odell's Legends (Video)

A Flip Top classic gets an extended workout...
  |   Comments
"Late Night Saint" is one of my favorite Nick Moss songs, recorded with one of his classic Flip Tops lineups -- featuring Gerry Hundt, Willie Oshawny, and the late Bob Carter -- for the Play It 'Til Tomorrow album. Eddie Taylor Jr. guested on the cut, providing rhythm guitar, something that great Flip Tops lineup didn't have when they traveled. I always chalked that up as one of the reasons I never got to hear this one live when seeing the band. Welcome to 2012 and the new lineup of Moss' backing band, featuring Michael Ledbetter on second guitar and

Gary Clark Jr - "When The Sun Goes Down" (SXSW Live)

A powerful performance of a great, slow blues...
  |   Comments
I fell in love with the sound of electric guitar at an early age and have been fascinated by the pioneers and virtuosos who have traveled the galaxy with only six strings. The upshot of this is while I'm predisposed to love the guitar gods, I've heard enough of them and their various tricks and am a bit more difficult to impress. There are tons of guys with chops who can shred, tap, and bend the strings or make the guitar sound like anything but a guitar but far fewer who speak through their instrument, making you feel something

Springsteen Catches 'Fire' In Montpellier, France: June 19, 2012 Setlist

Two tour premieres in tonight's stop in France...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen cut back a bit on the folks in Montpellier, France, this being the first setlist under 30 songs in quite some time. It's been awhile since we've convened to discuss Springsteen setlists because he finally played a set so unimaginative I couldn't bring myself to care. I was so over it, I skipped the next one on general principle. The tedium is well-represented in tonight's show but there are also some cool moments and we'll hit on both. First the good: the tour premiere of "Growin' Up" and "Fire," the latter of which allegedly took a couple of tries

Fiona Apple Adds Second US Leg To 'Idler Wheel' Tour

Apple extends tour in support of new album...
  |   Comments
Fiona Apple's incredible new album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, her first new music in seven years, is in stores today and is getting rave reviews and now she has announced a second leg to her tour in support of it. I'm devastated because she is playing the best venue in the world and the only seat I can get is behind a pole at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. This next leg will take her out west and across the southeast again and
It's been seven years since the bizarre saga that culminated with the release of Fiona Apple's third album Extraordinary Machine. The genesis and recording of The Idler Wheel, her fourth album, doesn't have the same strange backstory but nothing has followed a linear path for Apple since she burst onto the scene with her magical debutTidal. It's difficult to tell how aware she is about the way she's perceived in some corners. It's easy to label her as odd, quirky, or batshit loony some or all of which may be true but it's inspiring when an artist refuses to allow external forces to dictate

Morrissey Announces 33-Date N. American Tour: Could This Be The End?

British icon says he plans to retire in two years...
  |   Comments
Legendary singer Morrissey has announced a 33-date N. American tour for the fall that kicks off in Boston on Oct. 5. The British icon who rose to fame as lead singer of The Smiths before embarking on a successful solo career. His most recent solo album Years of Refusal was released in 2009, so this presumably is a Greatest Hits tour and it's been suggested in some quarters he might be nearing the point of calling it a career as a touring performer. He has also hinted at playing new and unreleased songs as part of the jaunt but there's been no

Cat Power To Release 'Sun' Sept. 4, Free Download of Album Track "Ruin" Available Now

First album of Cat Power originals in six years...
  |   Comments
Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) will release her first album of new material in six years when Sun is issued September 4, according to a video announcement from the singer released today and you can download a track from it free via her web site. Marshall often takes on the role of song interpreter and has released albums of covers, which is what her 2008 release Jukebox was. Sun is the first album of originals since her mesmerizing The Greatest in 2006. I have spent hours upon hours listening to the title track of that record as well as "Lived

Red Hot Chili Peppers Prep 18 Previously Unreleased Songs For Vinyl, Digital Release

The first of nine releases planned for Aug. 14
  |   Comments
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are clearing out the vaults from the sessions for their most recent effort I'm With You with the release of 18 songs that didn't make the cut, releasing them digitally and on vinyl over the course of the year. The songs will be released two at a time on 7" vinyl as well as digital downloads, "Strange Man" and "Long Progression" being the first set for release on August 14. The second and third releases are slated for release September 11 and October 2, respectively. The titles of those releases have been announced with "Magpies"

Bruce Springsteen Discusses 'Wrecking Ball' In Brand New Digital Film, Continues European Tour

The stories behind the songs go well beyond the current economic turmoil...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are continuing their trek across Spain (playing the longest set of his career last night in Madrid) and occasionally playing elsewhere in Europe. Springsteen is promoting the solo album he released earlier this year, Wrecking Ball, and has now released a short interview/documentary film about the themes of the record and why they continue to resonate with him and recur in his work. The rock icon no longer achieves the same commercial success he did at the different peaks in his 40 year career, but this latest album has been largely well

Magical Musical Discovery: Singer/Songwriter Michael Kiwanuka Wins Over Nashville

I went expecting one thing and found something else...
  |   Comments
Dear BlindedBySound Diary, I'm sorry I don't have a proper review or a news item what I want to share with our dear and beloved readers but there is something what's on my mind for to share with them all. I finally had the profound life experience of witnessing Gary Clark Jr. in concert in Nashville the other night and it was everything I hoped it would be, something I didn't fully capture in my retelling of the night; it was a wonder beyond words. What I also didn't get to tell was the new musical discovery I made that

The Magic Of Michael Kiwanuka

  |   Comments
Dear BlindedBySound Diary, I'm sorry I don't have a proper review or a news item what I want to share with our dear and beloved readers but there is something what's on my mind for to share with them all. I finally had the profound life experience of witnessing Gary Clark Jr. in concert in Nashville the other night and it was everything I hoped it would be, something I didn't fully capture in my retelling of the night; it was a wonder beyond words. What I also didn't get to tell was the new musical discovery I made that
We have another week of huge new releases- more than I can possibly hope to cover in any depth but we need to highlight a few of them. We have Dexy's (Midnight Runner) and their new album One Day I'm Going to Soar and new albums from Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Pat Metheny, Josh Turner, Albert Castiglia, and Ed Sheeran. At least one of my nieces won't forgive me if I don't mention the new Usher record. And then there's that new album from Rush. Rush fascinates me. Their work is imbued with so many of the

Gary Clark Jr. Rocks Nashville After Bonnaroo 2012 Matinee

Gary Clark Jr. tears up two Tennessee stages on one day...
  |   Comments
Gary Clark Jr. and his band played a blistering set for a packed house in Nashville a few hours after playing a matinee at something called Bonnaroo in nearby Manchester, TN, which I'm told is one of the largest music festivals in the United States. It's been many years since headliners did two-a-days but there wasn't an ounce of evidence to suggest Clark and his band weren't up to the double duty. The set opened with a pair from the Bright Lights EP. "When My Train Pulls In" got an blistering full-band treatment as opposed to the solo version on

Ex-Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Dies At Age 66

Police indicate Welch's death likely a suicide...
  |   Comments
Former Fleetwood Mac singer/guitarist Bob Welch was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Nashville home today at age 66. Published reports indicate he left behind a suicide note and died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Many casual fans won't know about the Welch chapter of the band's history and even some of the more devoted might have missed his era, following the blues-soaked Peter Green early years and the commercial mega success of the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks period that followed. I didn't know about Welch's tenure until I was in college working at a classic rock

Springsteen Milan, Italy Setlist June 7, 2012

We're going to continue until he gets it right...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen resumes his trek across Europe on the Wrecking Ball world tour, stopping tonight in Milan, Italy. We have good news and bad news in this one and we're going to be positive on this Thursday and start with the good. This is now the longest set of the entire tour coming in at 33 songs strong. The good is "Candy's Room" and "The Promise," the latter performed solo piano. The good includes "Spirit In The Night" and "E Street Shuffle" played back-to-back. Good also includes "Darkness On The Edge Of Town." I also love seeing "Cadillac Ranch" in

Fiona Apple Streams "Werewolf" and "Anything We Want" From Upcoming CD 'The Idler Wheel'

Apple gives us another bite or two from her upcoming CD...
  |   Comments
We're all dying with anticipation for June 19 when Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel, her first album in seven years, is released so to make the wait a little easier she has issued two songs from the album for fans to stream. Apple already released the first single from the record, "Every Single Night," and fans can stream it or download from iTunes. I love "Night" and am looking forward to listening to these two new songs repeatedly while I wait for UPS to bring my already pre-ordered copy of  is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping

Mark Knopfler To Release Double Album 'Privateering' in September

Former Dire Straits frontman to issue a 2-CD set for 7th solo album...
  |   Comments
Mark Knopfler will follow up his critically acclaimed Get Lucky with a 2-CD set entitled Privateering on September 3, according to his web site. The complete tracklisting and artwork have been revealed for the set but further details -- first single, tour dates, album producer, and contributors -- have not yet been announced. He may always be most famous for "Sultans Of Swing" and "Money For Nothing" from his Dire Straits days but a bulk of Knopfler's best work has come after he disbanded Straits and gone out on his own. His collaboration with Emmylou Harris, All The Roadrunning,
What a fantastic week for new releases! What a terrible week for me to be flat broke! It's tragic. There are so many cool discs coming out and all I can do is add them to my Wishlist. The Beach Boys have reunited for their first album with Brian Wilson, That's Why God Made The Radio. This year marks their 50th Anniversary and all the surviving members of the band have together. Brian is the only Wilson brother remaining and he is joined by Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks. There's another reunion this week, Neil Young
Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials return with their eighth album for Alligator, their first since the 2008 effort Full Tilt. Lil' Ed Williams is the nephew of Blues Hall of Famer J.B. Hutto, a disciple of the great Elmore James. The 14-track set features 13 new songs and they pay tribute to Hutto with a performance of his "If You Change Your Mind." That cut is the highlight of the record and a textbook example of the difference between a bad ripoff or mere cover and inspiration. Williams and his bandmates don't copy, they connect and recreate the magic

Bruce Springsteen Rocks Rio in Lisbon, Portugal Setlist June 3, 2012

You can Rock In Rio all the way in Portugal...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band closed down Rock In Rio…in Lisbon, Portugal. If you are one of those who thought you might hold Rock In Rio in, oh I don't know, Rio De Janeiro, surprise! Well, they do. But that's not this one. I'm sure there's a reason. It might even make sense but you've got me. This being a festival, the set is pared down to 24 songs and Bruce was in a generous mood, frequently taking requests from fans who brought signs to the gig. Three of the songs from the set were sign requests: "She's

Bruce Springsteen San Sebastian, Spain Setlist June 2, 2012

A wet one under Spanish skies with peaks and valleys...
  |   Comments
I guess it was a little damp when Bruce Springsteen brought the E Street Band back to Spain for their show in San Sebastian because Bruce opened things with "Who'll Stop The Rain" before kicking in to the standard opening shell of shows on this tour. "The Ties That Bind" and "Night" slot into a couple of the open slots in the opening that includes the usual assortment of Wrecking Ball songs and "Spirit In The Night" has become something of a staple, which is excellent. "Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?" got played a few times early in the tour

Buddy Guy's Memoir 'When I Left Home: My Story' An Incredible Journey

It's a memoir, not a tell-all, but Guy tells enough...
  |   Comments
When I Left Home introduces us to Buddy Guy and finds him in a warm, reflective frame of mind as he looks back on a life that took him from plantation life in Louisiana to Chicago where he became a world renowned, influential artist. It doesn't take long for Guy to present readers with the contradictions in his DNA and throughout the rest of the book we see how those contradictions in his personality and life experiences would shape and make his fortunes balancing humility, confidence, and ambition as well as introversion and gregariousness. We learn of a young boy who

Bruce Springsteen Berlin, Germany Setlist May 30, 2012

A promise kept tonight...
  |   Comments
It's the last night in Germany for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and the big story in Berlin tonight is the tour premiere of "Save My Love," first officially released on the 2-CD The Promise released as part of the Darkness On The Edge Of Townreissue. Little Steve Van Zandt has been swearing up and down songs from The Promise would be played on the Wrecking Ball tour but they have been scarce. We got one tonight and it's among my favorites from that set. Here's to hoping there's more where that came from… The show opened with "When I Leave Berlin," apparently a cover

CD Review: Allman, Zito, Neville Come Together For Royal Southern Brotherhood S/T Debut

Southern rock supergroup makes solid first effort...
  |   Comments
Royal Southern Brotherhood is a new supergroup comprised of bluesman Mike Zito, Cyril Neville, and Devon Allman along with drummer Yonrico Scott and bassist Charlie Wooton and their self-titled debut has already started making major inroads on the Billboard charts in the early weeks after its international release. The three principles share vocal duties with Zito and Allman handling lead guitar chores throughout. The bandname and talents involved are a good indication of the sound of the 12-song album; this is Southern rock with a heavy blues and Allman Brothers Band influence. Many have tried to create or re-create that

Bruce Springsteen Pinkpop Festival Setlist, The Netherlands, May 28, 2012

Addition by subtraction and one pretty sweet suite...
  |   Comments
The E Street Band look to rebound from calamity in Cologne with their headlining set at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands tonight. This set being part of a festival, it comes in several songs lighter than recent stadium shows on the European leg of the tour. It's too much to expect a complete recovery, then, from last night's debacle but it's a step in the right direction. This abbreviated set actually improves on things because they didn't play the turds; it was addition by subtraction. Not only that but look at this stretch: "Spirit In The Night," "Because The

Bruce Springsteen Setlist in Cologne, Germany, May 27, 2012: You Asked For It?

Someone should go to jail for this...
  |   Comments
It had to end some time, didn't it? These setlists have gotten long, epic, and filled with good time rockers and a few surprises. There was nowhere to go but down after a great show in Frankfurt on this Wrecking Ball tour and we found the brickwall in Cologne, Germany tonight. I'm going to dish out plenty of blame for Bruce for this but we're going to start with the real enemy: BruceFan. With great power comes great responsibility, something BruceFan fails to grasp at nearly every turn. These sign requests were a golden opportunity to goad Springsteen into playing songs he

2nd Annual Blue Star Blues Festival To Feature In MavTV Series 'Randy Scott: Chasing The Dream'

2nd Annual Blue Star Blues Festival to support BlueStarConnection will be on TV this fall...
  |   Comments
The 2nd Annual Blue Star Blues Festival (coming up on Aug 4th, 2012 at beautiful Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado) has been chosen as a filming location for a new fall series called Randy Scott: Chasing the Dream. MAV-TV will be on-location in Littleton, capturing Randy’s performance and some revelry surrounding the festival. Randy won the Guitar Center "King of the Blues" title in 2010. On December 8, 2011, Scott was signed by Steve Vai‘s label, Favored Nations. He is also been named "Best Upcoming Blues Artist 2012" on Headliners for the festival include major award winners and some

Bruce Springsteen Goes Epic With Setlist in Frankfurt, Germany: May 25, 2012

Nearly 3 1/2 hours and 30 songs tonight in Germany...
  |   Comments
You best have worn some sensible shoes if you were in Frankfurt tonight with the E Street Band! Bruce Springsteen has been reaching back to the days of yore on this European stretch and tonight's setlist clocked in at nearly 3 1/2 hours and 30 songs. Can you dig that? I knew that you could! Let's take a look at the particulars… I love the three-song stretch early in the show of "My City Of Ruins," "Spirit In The Night," and "E Street Shuffle." There is another strong trio with "Youngstown," "Darkness On The Edge Of Town," and "Johnny 99"

Albert King's Classic 'I'll Play The Blues For You' Better Than Ever On New Stax Remaster

Is there anywhere to go beyond perfection?
  |   Comments
Albert King's masterpiece I'll Play The Blues for you was released in 1972; it was great then, receiving stellar reviews and yielding hit singles and it's still great 40 years later and that's really the point: very few of us in the market for this re-issue are hearing the album for the first time. We can air guitar to each of Albert's relentless stream of glorious licks, sway with the horn section, and stomp to the funk-laden rhythms because most of us already know these songs by heart. You don't need anyone to tell you it's good because you already know it's
I got acquainted with MTV's Hive Live broadcast this past week when Garbage played a fantastic set on the show, which I was able to stream from home. I'm not being that guy when I said I didn't realize MTV was still in the music business but I honestly had no idea this show existed. Not only does the show exist, but they brought Garbage in to play. Guess what? They also brought in my NewMusicalObsession Gary Clark Jr. to cut a couple songs. Have I mentioned I'm going to see Gary in Nashville on June 10? This is another rendition of

Bruce Springsteen Premieres New Video For "Rocky Ground"

The latest video from the 'Wrecking Ball' LP...
  |   Comments
There were trailers and teasers yesterday on Twitter and Facebook and today Bruce Springsteen officially releases a video for "Rocky Ground," one of the songs on his latest LP Wrecking Ball, and a song that has led off most encores on his current tour. The "Rocky Ground" video follows the video for "Death To My Hometown," which featured live performance footage and current/former Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. I've spent countless happy hours listening to Springsteen (and a few I wish I could have back along the way) and never once did I listen to one of his albums

Garbage Triumphantly Return On Classic 'Not Your Kind Of People'

Garbage return from a 7-year hiatus sounding as amazing as the day we first met them...
  |   Comments
Garbage wasn't the first to blend big, fuzzed guitars and electronic beats and loops but they created their own template and one listen to their first album in seven years, Not Your Kind Of People reminds us they have something special and unique; it reminds us why we fell in love with them in the first place. Their construction -- three accomplished producers and a frontwoman who connects with audiences by exuding ferocity, confidence, and vulnerability -- pop hooks, and songcraft set them apart from imitators and successors alike. Some bands take time away, never to be heard from again. Absence seems
This week's New Music Tuesday is an optical illusion. You're going to skim what looks like a really long list of new CDs heading for music stores this week but that's not true: there's only one new album coming out this week and I've been yammering on about it no end for months now. Garbage is back with their first new album in seven years. It's called Not Your Kind Of People but it is definitely your kind of album if you have any sense at all. Shirley Manson & Co. are back to reclaim the title and I'll be damned if they haven't

Another Barcelona Marathon For Springsteen: Setlist May 18, 2012

No tour premieres but a different set than Barcelona 1...
  |   Comments
A few days late on this one but something still worth discussing so we get into it today, that being the second of two E Street Band shows in Barcelona on the ongoing Spanish leg of the Wrecking Ball tour. The first night featured tour premieres while the second didn't but the two were sufficiently different from one another and we can let the debate begin about which was better. The set opens with "Night" from Born To Run, which is actually one of the lesser played cuts from that album. "Spirit In The Night" and "E Street Shuffle" is a tough to

Gary Clark Jr Tears Up Albert Collins' "If You Love Me Like You Say" At Coachella (Video)

A rising star burns bright on the big stage...
  |   Comments
Meteoric rises, hype, and great expectations are nothing new in the world of music but the internet has changed how it happens and altered the speed. We weren't the first but BlindedBySound discovered the boundless talent of Gary Clark Jr. That bandwagon was small and growing when we heard his Bright Lights EP and there is now a fevered pitch of anticipation for the first full-length LP he'll release at his new label home of Warner Brothers, tentatively scheduled for this fall. This train is gathering but there is still plenty of room and we are here to fan the flames and

Johnny Rawls to Release 'Soul Survivor' June 19

Blues Music Award-winning artist returns with new album...
  |   Comments
Blues Music Award-winner Johnny Rawls will follow up his 2011 album Memphis Still Got Soul on June 19 when he releases Soul Survivor through Catfood Records. Memphis Still Got Soul garnered multiple nominations for Rawls at last month's 33rd Blues Music Awards and he is wasting no time following it up with this latest record. The 10-track Soul Survivor features nine originals, penned mostly by Rawls and producer Bob Trenchard. The tenth song is once again a tribute to Rawls' mentor, soul legend O.V. Wright. Rawls often records one of his former boss' songs and this time he puts his

Bruce Springsteen Marathon Setlist in Barcelona, Spain: May 17, 2012

29-song show filled with standard fare and a couple surprises...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen treated the Barcelona fans to an epic, marathon 29-song set tonight as his Wrecking Ball tour heads continues its European trek. The 29-song show tonight is by far the longest of the tour and included two tour premieres and one big surprise. The first half of the set felt like a mashup of the current tour and the Reunion Tour from 1999-00 with songs like "Youngstown," "Murder, Inc" and tonight's tour premiere of "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" all played in close proximity to one another. The length of the show actually harkens back to those days

Review: Barrett Martin Group - Artifacts

When music becomes movement...
  |   Comments
There are many great minds who experience music with an ear for the intellectual and technical, focusing on intonation, time signature changes, key changes, theoretical analysis of composition, and tracing the roots of influence. Some readers find that sort of thing dry- not me. I've learned enough to dabble in those waters by reading that kind of explanation and find the science behind the art fascinating. I could get sopout my Jazz-English dictionary and give a rudimentary explanation of what's happening and how it's being done. I could also give you the Dick Clark American Bandstand"It's got a good beat but

Bruce Springsteen Las Palmas, Spain Setlist: May 15, 2012

Tour premieres and TOUR PREMIERES in Las Palmas...
  |   Comments
This looked like it was going to be a total tirefire tonight from the half empty stadium through the first eight songs. I was already filling out the forms and the accident reports and while it didn't quite turn out to be an instant classic, there were a few surprises in Las Palmas and the set list registers as being at least mildly interesting. We get to talk about the difference between tour premieres and tour premieres tonight. "Two Hearts" and "Working on the Highway" both made their first appearance on theWrecking Ball tour; talk about two trains that are never late. We

Paul Simon - Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition Gets Deluxe Release June 5

Grammy-winning classic with controversial history gets repackaged...
  |   Comments
Paul Simon's Grammy-winning classic album Graceland celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and as is the trend these days, it's being re-issued June 5 in deluxe formats to mark the occasion. For most people, the most memorable things about Graceland are the video for "Call Me Al" featuring Chevy Chase and the controversial decision Simon made by recording part of the album in South Africa during the country's brutally oppressive apartheid regime. The CD/DVD edition of the album has been remastered and includes the song with the iconic video as well as the classic "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her

Bruce Springsteen Sevilla, Spain Setlist: May 13, 2012

A long and winding road that leads to very little...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen kicked off the European leg of his Wrecking Ball tour in Sevilla, Spain and according to reports you could have swung a wrecking ball in some areas of the venue and not hit a soul. It turns out those not in attendance didn't miss much. The setlist for tonight's show was unremarkable, heavy on songs from Born In The USA. That doesn't mean it didn't have its highlights it did but the "wow" moment just didn't happen despite this being a 27-song show. Put differently there were a whole lot of "wow" moments as in: "Wow, is he serious with this?" The

Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Tedeschi Trucks Band Dominate 33rd Blues Music Awards

Few surprises as power couple Tedeschi-Trucks owns the night in Memphis...
  |   Comments
Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and their Tedeschi Trucks Band were the big winners at the 33rd Blues Music Awards in Memphis last night, to the surprise of almost no one. Derek Trucks won Guitarist Of The Year for the third consecutive year, Susan Tedeschi was selected as Contemporary Blues Artist-Female Of The Year, Tedeschi Trucks Band won Band Of The Year, and their album Revelator was named Album Of The Year. Tab Benoit and Ruthie Foster were also multiple winners with Foster earning the Koko Taylor Best Traditional Artist-Female award as well as DVD Of The Year for Live

Black Sabbath Announce New Hits Package 'Iron Man - The Best Of Black Sabbath' For June Release

Ozzy, Geezer, and Iommi are also hard at work on new material...
  |   Comments
Yet another Black Sabbath compilation is coming our way this year when Iron Man: The Best Of Black Sabbath is released June 5. The 14-track compilation covers the Ozzy Osbourne years and includes what I imagine is a pretty predictable group of songs despite the band's lack of actual "hits" in the radio sense. Sabbath fans know which songs are the classics and while they might disagree on some of the deeper album cuts, the foundation of the band's enduring legacy and popularity is built on songs like "Paranoid," "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," and "War Pigs." All three of those songs

George Harrison 'Early Takes Vol. 1' A Beautiful Addition To His Musical Legacy

Quiet recordings from The Quiet One are a must for Harrison and Beatle fans alike...
  |   Comments
I was happy with George Harrison's Early Takes Vol. 1 before I'd heard a note because I adore George Harrison and because, as the title implies, this collection of previously unreleased songs culled from Harrison's vault is only the beginning. This collection was released in conjunction with the home video release of Martin Scorsese's Harrison documentary Living In The Material World and many of these tracks are featured in the film while others weren't. The film examines Harrison's entire career, before and after The Beatles, which might help explain why this set doesn't focus on a particular period. I'd love

Royal Southern Brotherhood, Barenaked Ladies, Glenn Frey, Keane Release May 8 New CDs

New CD Releases for Tueday May 8, 2012...
  |   Comments
We have a new supergroup in our midst as Royal Southern Brotherhood releases their self-titled debut this week. Bluesman Mike Zito has teamed with Cyril Neville and Devon Allman to form this new band and they're already on the road promoting the album. We've got the lowdown on their summer itinerary as well as a way for you to download a free song from the record if you want a sample before you buy. Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before! is a collection of rarities and demos from Barenaked Ladies covering their Reprise years (which is the majority and

Review: Anders Osborne - Black Eye Galaxy

Postcards from the edge...
  |   Comments
First impressions are powerful but are so often, at best, incomplete and at worst completely wrong. My introduction to Anders Osborne came by seeing his name and album American Patchwork take up residence on the Blues Radio charts. Let's do some math together: if you saw an artist whose record was on the blues chart, you might conclude the artist was a blues artist and said record was a blues record. Being wrong is nothing new to me but it was a good thing where Anders Osborne and American Patchwork were concerned because it reinforced a truth I often need to relearn: labels are

Beastie Boys Adam Yauch, In Memoriam

Worlds so far apart it all seemed to make sense...
  |   Comments
I felt my heart sink when I saw Adam Yauch was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday, knowing it was only a short time ago he was diagnosed with cancer. The many ways in which the world has changed in my lifetime still sometimes takes me by surprise. I held out hope he was trending because it was his birthday or for some stupid, random, Twitter reason. To my dismay, I learned gossip web site TMZ was reporting he passed away. I held out hope this was a tasteless internet hoax and TMZ had jumped the gun; it wouldn't be

Coldplay Joins Tributes To Beasties Boys' Adam Yauch, Performs "Fight For Your Right To Party" At Hollywood Bowl (Video)

Coldplay join R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Luscious Jackson, Barrett Martin in paying tribute to fallen musician Adam Yauch...
  |   Comments
Tributes have been swirling around the internet from fans, friends, and admirers of Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer May 4, 2012, just weeks after his band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, including Coldplay. It's hard to imagine a wild, exuberant party anthem like "Fight For Your Right To Party" becoming an elegiac, poignant tribute but that's part of the earnest charm of a band like Coldplay.  The band are currently on tour promoting their Mylo Xyloto album and at their show at the Hollywood Bowl, Chris Martin led his

Bruce Springsteen Pays Tribute To Levon Helm in Newark, NJ Setlist May 2, 2012

The rarities come out as the Wrecking Ball Tour comes to an end...
  |   Comments
Hells holy acre, boys and girls, the last show of the first leg of Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball World Tour was a barnburner that rivals the Masterpiece in Motown and just might take the title as the set of the first leg. I wouldn't have believed something like this would be possible when he opened with "No Surrender." I might have been tempted to leave right then and there- but I wouldn't have because even when I get discouraged and disgruntled, I still have the faith in Bruce. Tonight, faith was rewarded. "Bishop Danced" is a Springsteen rarity first officially released on Tracks box set going

Review: Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts

A drastic departure that still 'Feels Like Home...'
  |   Comments
Norah Jones collaborated with noted pop/rock producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton on the Rome "soundtrack" album and the sparks that flew during those sessions led to him working with her on Broken Little Hearts and all the rules for Norah Jones records past have been cast aside and nothing is off limits, not even her voice. I was open to and excited about the new sonic paintbox Danger Mouse would bring with him because I am obsessed with "Seasons Trees" from Rome. I didn't expect Norah's voice to be treated like one more instrument in the mix to be manipulated and I wasn't happy
I don't know why a person might want to shake a stick at a lot of something but that would seem to be the social convention regarding the number of excellent, exciting, and/or noteworthy releases this week. Let us begin, as all things should, with Norah Jones. Norah's new record Little Broken Hearts is a sonic departure from her earlier work but not so much that longtime fans should be alienated by the different approach. You can stream the first single "Happy Pills" and see its video (two words: shower scene) and Jones has already announced summer tour plans. Only

Joe Satriani - Saturated Live in Montreal: Fans Saturated With Satch Live Albums But Latest Has Charms

Another live release from guitar virtuoso...
  |   Comments
Saturated - Live in Montreal was taken from the Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards tour and joins Live in San Francisco, Satriani Live, and Live in Paris in the Joe Satriani discography, quickly becoming clogged with such releases (not to mention the second disc of Time Machine and the Dreaming #11 EP). I don't know why he suddenly feels the need to release a live album after every tour. He's proved his point; he can mesmerize us on stage with face-melting guitar voodoo in the midst of great riffs, powerful melodies, frenetic tapping and shredding, and whammy bar wizardry. I'm

Bruce Springsteen New Orleans Jazz Festival Setlist April 29, 2012

It's The Seeger Street Band feat. Dr. John in NOLA...
  |   Comments
Have you ever experienced a situation where you see a proverbial trainwreck about to happen in front of your eyes and you're powerless to stop it? I knew what to expect from Bruce Springsteen's set at the New Orleans Jazz Fest and I was right… only it was worse than I anticipated. Springsteen took a day off from pimping his latest album Wrecking Ball and got into his WayBackMachine. That's good news, right? Wrong. This WayBackMachine didn't take him further back than 2006's Seeger Sessions Band record. I figured he'd play "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?" because of the

Rockin' Johnny Burgin, Quintus McCormick Band Prep April/May Releases From Delmark Records

One of my favorite labels just sent me a care package...
  |   Comments
To borrow a phrase from Noel Gallagher, "the little things, they make me so happy." Happiness today was a package in the mail from Delmark Records, a label specializing in blues and jazz that remains one of my favorites. They've got two new CDs that just came out and I want to preview them because I missed them in our weekly roundup of new releases. I literally just got them in the mail today so I can't review them yet but Delmark is one of those great labels still fighting the good fight in the land of corporate stupid that

Rory Block To Release Tribute To Rev. Gary Davis, Third In 'Mentor Series' May 29

Block continues series devoted to her mentors...
  |   Comments
Award-winner Rory Block is releasing the third installment in her "Mentor Series" this month when I Belong To The Band: A Tribute To Rev. Gary Davis is released via Stony Plain Records May 29. Block's "Mentor Series" is devoted to legends of the Delta Blues she met along her journey and who influenced her. The first in the series was Blues Walkin' Like a Man: A Tribute To Son House (which I seriously need to get) and last year's Shake 'Em On Down: A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell, which I dearly love. Block also did an amazing Robert Johnson tribute disc called Lady & Mr.

Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles #2 Setlist: April 27, 2012

It was a #2 in LA all right...
  |   Comments
Expect the unexpected- that's the lesson for those in attendance at Bruce Springsteen's second and final Los Angeles concert on this first leg of the Wrecking Ball World Tour. Oh, and it never hurts to get to a show a little early. The E Street Band got a late start to the show tonight but that doesn't mean there wasn't some pregame excitement. I don't know the last time Springsteen had an opening act but he did tonight: Bruce Springsteen. For reasons unknown, he came out about a half hour before the listed start time of 8:00 pm and played

Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles #1 Setlist: April 26, 2012

The first of 2 in LA as the first leg of the 'Wrecking Ball' tour comes to a close...
  |   Comments
Years of paying close attention to Bruce Springsteen setlists have taught me to be wary of the first night of a multi-night stand in one city and tonight he played the first of two scheduled Los Angeles shows. If tonight's show turns out to be the lesser of the two, tomorrow will be an epic to remember. The best thing about tonight's set in LA is that it was heavy on Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and not just the same two songs you know he's always going to play. In addition to "Badlands" and "The Promised Land," we got

Fiona Apple At Her Delightfully Perplexing Best On "Every Single Night"

Fiona Apple couldn't even find the mainstream by accident anymore...
  |   Comments
Only in the universe Fiona Apple inhabits would "Every Single Night" be a single, to say nothing of being the lead single to her first album since 2005, The Idler Wheel.... This may be a great way to introduce us to what's in store for her record and if it is, you can count me in but there's not a radio station on earth or low-earth orbit that's going to play this song and I can't really even fault them. We all hate homogenized, corporate radio but this is Fiona Apple and both she and the song are weird as

Mud Morganfield Chip Off Old Block; Can't Fill Famous Dad's Shoes On 'Son Of The Seventh Son'

There will only be one Muddy Waters but the son honors the father on his latest effort...
  |   Comments
The best and worst thing going for Mud Morganfield's Son Of The Seventh Son album is the fact he is the oldest son of blues icon Muddy Waters. Morganfield, to his credit, doesn't try and hide from the famous footsteps of his father but instead embraces the legacy. "There's two of Pop's (songs) on there and with anything I do, I'm gonna add Pop," Morganfield said about the album. "It's all got that Muddy style to it, because that's who I am. Without me even trying, I come off like the son of Muddy Waters and I'm proud that it's like that."

Springsteen Knows The Way To San Jose; April 24, 2012 Set List

First leg of Springsteen 'Wrecking Ball' World Tour nears end...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band resumed their Wrecking Ball World Tour last night after several days off with a stop in San Jose, CA, one of the few West Coast dates officially scheduled (I continue to believe there's going to be a full-run of US dates when the European leg ends but nothing has been confirmed). The time off didn't energize Bruce's imagination where the setlist is concerned. It was a solid group of songs considering he is still in the phase of pushing material from the new album. There weren't any big surprises or tour debuts but there

Scorsese's 'George Harrison: Living In The Material World' To DVD, Blu-ray; Harrison Rarities CD May 1

Academy Award-winner Martin Scorsese's film about the life of George Harrison comes to home video May 1 along with a collection of previously unreleased George Harrison rarities...
  |   Comments
Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese’s film George Harrison: Living In The Material World is due for release May 1 in a variety of formats and packages. The film will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and in a Deluxe Edition. Scorsese's takes an in-depth look at the life of George Harrison, who will always be known primarily as a Beatle but was so much more in and out of the world of music. The film is able to tell its story largely through Harrison's own words as Scorsese and his editing team were able to cobble together interview footage from Harrison throughout his

Alabama Shakes And Grooves On Debut 'Boys & Girls'

The "Next Big Thing" shows promise on debut but still has room to grow...
  |   Comments
Another indie band is in the process of being anointed The Next Big Thing and they hail from my stomping grounds of North Alabama. Alabama Shakes is a four-piece that has cobbled together a grungy, indie retro Southern soul hybrid and it reminds me of when Amy Winehouse was famous for music. The Shakes aren't copping her Motown-meets-Wall Of Sound style but they passionately embrace vintage sounds to create their music. The Winehouse reference is again applicable because vocalist Brittany Howard maps somewhere between Winehouse and Janis Joplin- less throaty and abrasive than Janis but not quite as purely soulful

Red Hot Chili Peppers Prep 'We Salute You,' Digital Covers EP Due May 1

A tribute to Rock And Roll Hall of Famers, from newly inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Famers...
  |   Comments
Newly inducted Rock And Roll Hall of Famers Red Hot Chili Peppers are releasing a six-track covers EP digitally on May 1, and all six songs covered are from fellow Hall of Famers. The band was inducted into the Hall of Fame last month and are currently on tour supporting their most recent solo album I'm With You. Some of the covers being issued on this digital-only EP have surfaced on various formats and various compilations while others haven't previously surfaced.  The tracklisting includes songs from Dion And The Belmonts, The Ramones, Iggy And The Stooges, Neil Young, The Beach

Great Guitars: Jack White, Walter Trout, Satriani & Warren Haynes Live Sets Top April 24 New Releases

It's a good Tuesday for 6-string sorcerers...
  |   Comments
It's a Jack White Tuesday, boys and girls! There's no question who has the headline this week as our top new release. Bro. Jack has recorded his first solo album, Blunderbuss, and it's a damn good album. I highly recommend it and politely command you all to purchase a copy of it. Among the many things I love about Sir Jack of White is his guitar work and that's true of most of the highlights in this week's CD releases. Joe Satriani has a new live package out this week and the title says it all for me: Satchurated: Live In Montreal.

Jack White At His Vintage Best On Killer Solo Debut 'Blunderbuss'

There's only one Jack White and that's all we'll ever need, no matter what name he records under...
  |   Comments
Welcome to the next chapter in the growing mythology of Jack White, one of the most compelling characters in contemporary American music. He founded The White Stripes, a thrashing, blues-garage rock band with a convoluted, contrived back story and then started two additional bands: The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather and recorded two albums with each. He and Meg dissolved Stripes to the dismay of their devoted fans and now embarks on a solo career with his first release Blunderbuss. Chris Rock said, "You know what they say, 'There's no reason to ever hit a woman.' Shit! There's a reason to

Peter Karp & Sue Foley Get 'Beyond The Crossroads' On Brilliant New Album

A sequel, a prequel, or a different story entirely?
  |   Comments
The first question I asked when I learned Beyond The Crossroads was the title of Peter Karp & Sue Foley's followup to He Said She Said was is this a sequel? The story of HSSS was well-chronicled because of the unique genesis for the project. That album began as a series of e-mails, letters, and phone calls the two exchanged as they both encountered difficult ordeals in their professional and personal lives. The iconography of The Crossroads is profoundly woven into the story of the blues but it's also a universal metaphor. I try very hard not to let pronouns

Fiona Apple Streams New Single "Every Single Night" From 'The Idler Wheel'

"Every Single Night" will be available for download starting tomorrow...
  |   Comments
Fiona Apple is still one of the things we can all count on in this everchanging world in which we live in. She debuted several songs from her upcoming album  The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Ever Do and "Every Single Night" was one she performed and it's been selected as the first single from her new record. It's a perfect choice as a Fiona Apple single because it's wonderfully weird as hell. That it has zero chance of getting picked up on any terrestrial radio station

Rush Announce 20th Album 'Clockwork Angels,' N. American Tour Dates; Release "Headlong Flight" Video

Canadian trio is hitting the road once again...
  |   Comments
Canadian rockers Rush have announced tour dates in support of their forthcoming 20th album Clockwork Angels. The album drops June 12 and the touring kicks off in Manchester, NH in September. Before we get to the tour dates and album details, I have to pause to tell you how annoying it is that my lead paragraph didn't refer to Rush as Rock & Roll Hall of Famers. I don't own a single Rush CD in my collection; I'm not much of a fan but their importance, influence, longevity, and accomplishments are so obviously worthy of enshrinement. The R&R HoF is diminished

Eric Bibb - "Painting Signs": Life Passing By One Tweet, Facebook Post At A Time

From painting signs to painting masterpieces...
  |   Comments
I took a 40-day sabbatical from Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media recently because I realized I was spending too much time chronicling the moments that make up the dull day and reading friends and strangers do the same rather than actually living and participating in my life. If I hadn't reached that conclusion on my own, Eric Bibb's "Painting Signs" would have beautifully, delicately told me that very thing. "Painting Signs" was written in 2001, before we were all on Facebook and before Twitter even existed so this isn't a new phenomenon in human behavior and the

Levon Helm - May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012

Drummer Levon Helm passes away at age 71...
  |   Comments
"...the Angel trio of voices are together again..." Photo by Dan Griffin

JW-Jones Lone Gun On Latest Album 'Seventh Hour'

No big shot guests on Jones' seventh record...
  |   Comments
Seventh Hour is the seventh release from guitarist JW-Jones, the successor to Midnight Memphis Sun, an album he cut in Memphis' famed Sun Studios and featured a cameo from Blues Hall Of Famer Charlie Musselwhite. Previous Jones records have featured other blues heavy hitters like Hubert Sumlin and Kim Wilson. It has to feel to good to have the respect of such luminaries and to have them adorn your compositions and records but there comes a time when you're ready to leave the nest and Jones does that here, relying only on himself and his band. He isn't a slave to convention
Peter Karp and Sue Foley have released the first video from their new album Beyond The Crossroads for the song "More Than I Bargained For." This is one of my favorite tunes on the new disc and I look forward to talking about the set in greater detail in the coming days but in the meantime you have the opportunity to get a little taste from it while we wait for me to get caught up and finished with my review. The search for love is hardwired into human DNA in ways science and poets have tried to explain with limited degrees

Soundgarden's 'Comeback' Single "Live To Rise" Dies On Its Feet

An inauspicious return on their first new song in 15 years...
  |   Comments
We told you Soundgarden is offering up their new song single free via iTunes Music Store for a limited time only. My advice, Soundgarden fans? Get it at this price point while you can because it's not worth the $1.29 iTunes will later charge. I take no great pleasure in saying this because I love Soundgarden and was genuinely excited about new music from them; I would have paid the $1.29 to hear their first new song in 15 years. I got it free and I want my money back, kids. It's not that the song is bad- okay, it's

Blur Prep Reissue Campaign Including Massive Box Set '21'

Hold on to your wallets, kids...
  |   Comments
Britpop titans Blur are prepping a massive, career-spanning box set called 21 due for release July 30. The box set gets its name because there are 21 discs in this monster and it will include their seven studio albums and 65 previously unreleased tracks as well as more than 130 rarities and b-sides from throughout their career. There will also be 3 DVD. There will also be a collectors' book with all the usual photos and swag. Their first five studio albums --1991 debut Leisure, Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1995), The Great Escape (1997), and Blur (1997) -- have all been remastered by Frank Arkwright with the original

Download New Soundgarden "Live To Rise" Free From iTunes

Seattle rockers offer first new song in 15 years as free download...
  |   Comments
Soundgarden has written and recorded their first new song in 15 years and they're offering it as a free download for a limited time through the iTunes Music Store before it shows up on the soundtrack to the upcoming Marvel film The Avengers. It's not the first time Soundgarden or its frontman Chris Cornell have had their work on soundtracks. Both contributed tracks to the landmark soundtrack album Singles, the Cameron Crowe film from the early '90s that gave a glimpse into what became known as "grunge" culture as well as single life in Seattle. The movie wasn't all

Gotye, Lionel Richie Top Charts At iTunes For Week Of April 16

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending April 16, 2012
  |   Comments
Time once again for the weekly look at the biggest sellers at the largest music retailer in the US. We've got the biggest selling singles and albums for the past week and our #1s belong to Gotye and Lionel Richie. One of those makes me say, "Who?" while the other makes me wonder if I slipped down a cosmic bunnyhole that sent me back to the 3rd grade. I'm perfectly well shocked to see Lionel Richie back atop the albums charts for the first time in 26 years! Kids today don't know how huge this guy was. He's one of

Eric Bibb's "The Cape": A Dedication To My Newest Nephew, Little Boys, And Their Moms

Welcome to the world, little one...
  |   Comments
I wear many hats in this life of mine but only one -- husband -- is more special than my role as an uncle to six beautiful nieces and three nephews. I'll meet nephew number four when my youngest sister gives birth later today. One of love's greatest miracles is its ability for infinite expansion; my heart and love swell each time I welcome a new little one into my life and my love for them stretches each passing day as they break my heart and grow up faster than I'm ready to allow. I love them so much and

Bruce Springsteen Brings "Light Of Day" To Cleveland Setlist On 'Wrecking Ball' Tour

Set list for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band April 17, 2012
  |   Comments
Here in northeast Ohio, back in 1803… Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band brought their Wrecking Ball World Tour to Cleveland tonight on the heels of last night's snoozer in Albany and we have a different feel to tonight's show with "The Ties That Bind" and "E Street Shuffle" showing up early in the set. "E Street Shuffle" had been an early staple of the tour but has been alternated in and out over the last several shows. It's not a big surprise "Youngstown" comes out in Cleveland tonight. It's a timely, topical song that fits with the Wrecking Ball theme and

Devon Allman, Cyril Neville, Mike Zito Offer Free Download From Forthcoming Album 'Royal Southern Brotherhood' Due May 8

Band plots massive summer tour to promote debut collaboration...
  |   Comments
Royal Southern Brotherhood -- Devon Allman, Mike Zito, and Cyril Neville -- have wrapped work on their self-titled debut due via Ruf Records in the US on May 8. The band has released a video and they're giving away a download of the track "New Horizon" from the upcoming CD while gearing up for a massive summer tour of the US and Canada. Allman and Neville come from impressive musical families and have both recorded and worked extensively on their own as has blues-rock guitarist Mike Zito. Devon Allman's Honeytribe released a pair of records, most recently *Space Age

Linkin Park Rollercoaster Continues With 'Living Things' On June 26, Tour With Incubus, Mutemath (Video Teaser)

New album and tour from nü-metal survivors Linkin Park...
  |   Comments
The rollercoaster continues when Linkin Park releases Living Things on June 26, and they've already announced plans to tour with Incubus to promote the new record. The 12-track set was produced by veteran producer Rick Rubin and follows A Thousand Suns, released in 2010. Co-frontman Chester Bennington said the new album finds the veteran rock band feeling comfortable with their place as one of the oft-maligned nü-metal bands of the late '90s and what he feels is the progression they've made as group since. "This album is a really great representation of where we're at right now as a band," he said. "We're

Lurrie Bell, Karp/Foley, Train, Our Lady Peace, Vandross Rarities Collection Among April 17, 2012 New CDs

New Music Tuesday includes new music from a National Treasure and one of my favorite lyricists...
  |   Comments
This is a week I've been waiting for, boys and girls, with some great new releases and I don't mean a live album from Yanni. National Treasure Lurrie Bell releases his first new album in far too long this week, The Devil Ain't Got No Music. The album features cameos from Joe Louis Walker and some other great Chicago blues talents but the album is perhaps as un-Chicago as anything he has ever released (but check out his guest work Eddie C. Campbell's recent album Spider Eating Preacher). It's a gospel-blues record, featuring mainly older hymns and spirituals and it
The blues was the devil's music before it gave birth to rock and roll if you believe the history books and legends but there have been a few brave souls who forged a path that unites the blues and the gospel despite the prevailing wisdom. National Treasure Lurrie Bell has added himself to that list of the brave with his soulful, stirring new record The Devil Ain't Got No Music. The title track throws down the gauntlet and proclaims to take back from the devil one more thing over which he might have declared dominion. What makes this album special is

Springsteen Unleashes Warhorses, Surprises With Acoustic "Janey" in Albany, NY (Setlist April, 16, 2012)

There were tour premieres- (mostly) not good ones...
  |   Comments
  Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band got a couple days off for the long trip from Buffalo to Albany (really, Landau? Get a map and a lap) on their Wrecking Ball tour and they put the time to use. Not good use. We get tour premieres tonight (but with one exception) there isn't anything special about them because these turds come out every tour and some poor town has to be first. What did Albany ever do to Bruce Springsteen to get the double-debut of "Darlington County" and "Downbound Train." Talk about a train that is never late. You

Test - DNP

  |   Comments

A Mighty 'Soul Shot' From Soul Man Curtis Salgado

One of the best, still working at his peak...
  |   Comments
Curtis Salgado is one of the greatest living singers; you don't have to question whether or not he's going to deliver because his off days are Grammy worthy so the success of a new record has very little to do with the man himself. The determining factors are primarily going to be the quality of the material and the possibility of some producer thinking too much and getting in the way and fucking things up. Salgado is a sophisticated vocalist versatile enough to croon a gentle ballad and intense enough to sing straight-ahead soul, keeping him leagues ahead of peers

Bruce Springsteen Premieres "Death To My Hometown"

A review of the latest video from The Boss...
  |   Comments
"Death To My Hometown" has been a staple of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's Wrecking Ball tour and we now have an official video for the song. I'm not in love with the Wrecking Ball record and "Death To My Hometown" is awash in many of the characteristics that left me cold, leaving me to walk the fine line between revisiting a conversation I started last month and merely piling on. The video is montage of the E Street Band performing the song from various venues and/or soundstages and that's fine, although it might have been interesting to see visuals

Springsteen Has a "Rendezvous" With 'The River' in Buffalo (Setlist April 13, 2012)

Rarities from 'The River' come out in Albany, NY
  |   Comments
Before we discuss tonight's Springsteen setlist in Albany, NY, I'd like to offer up an open letter to The Boss because this is just the strangest thing ever. I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later, but- well, here's my letter and then we'll talk shop. Dear Bruce Springsteen, Thank you for eavesdropping on the private conversation I had with 11 today. I only wish the next time you possibly illegally wiretap our phone conversations and decide to heed our advice, you do it prior to a show we're going to end and not one you're going to play

Nick Moss Announces US, European Headlining And Festival Tour Dates

Award-winning Chicago blues master will be on the road all summer and well into the autumn...
  |   Comments
Nick Moss has announced a major run of dates to extend his Here I Am World Tour late into the fall of this year. If you've never seen them live, now is your chance. He recently announced a run of West Coast headlining dates and he's extended that run through California and Nevada but he'll now make stops through Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. In addition to the headlining dates, he and his band -- Travis Reed (keyboard), Michael Ledbetter (guitar, backing vocals), Matthew Wilson (bass), Patrick Seals (drums) -- will be playing a number of US and European blues

Springsteen Announces 10 Date Extension of 'Wrecking Ball' Tour; More To Follow?

The E Street Band will return to N. America for at least 10 shows following their summer in Europe...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's Wrecking Ball World Tour has been extended into the fall with the announcement of 10 more North American dates scheduled to begin in August. The Boss concludes his current N. American run in Newark, NJ on May 2 before heading to Europe for the summer, playing shows from May 13 in Seville and wrapping up in Finland July 31. I can't point to anything official but I have a strong suspicion these 10 dates won't be the only ones he plays when he returns. Several of these dates take him to places he
What a show, what a show, what a show! We have a winner, kids. DC, NYC Night 2, you have been vanquished. Motown is the new Wrecking Ball tour champion and it's going to be damn hard to topple. Somewhere in an undisclosed location, 11 is crying his eyes out as "Incident On 57th Street" once again got its tour premiere and he wasn't there to see it. There are a couple of great, great stretches in this set that are so good I might have retired from E Street Band concert attendance if this show had been mine. Check out the run from

Gary Clark Jr - "Don't Owe You A Thang" (Live At SXSW)

Check out another grat live performance from Gary Clark Jr.
  |   Comments
Gary Clark Jr. is playing all over this summer while still working hard on his Warner Bros. debut record, still slated for release sometime in 2012. Clark is playing major festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and all points in between (although we haven't gotten him booked in Nashville and I'm going to have to talk to someone about that). He also recently participated in a showcase show at SXSW -- held on his home turf in Austin, TX -- and we have video from his performance there. "Don't Owe You A Thing" is on his Bright Lights EP, which we

Counting Crows Make Summer Vacation Magic On 'Underwater Sunshine'

A quintessential Counting Crows album...
  |   Comments
A few smug assholes dismissed Counting Crows as little more than "instant classic rock" when their landmark debut August & Everything After was released in 1993. It was lazy journalism and a pointless exercise by a few clowns trying to impress their peers with their clever putdowns and completely missed the point. I can't imagine being a Counting Crows fan and not loving this record and I'd enthusiastically force a copy of Underwater Sunshine into the hands of friends who claim to dislike the band. It's magical to hear them take songs that aren't theirs and make them their own

Review: Florence And The Machine - MTV Unplugged

A predictably lovely performance from Florence + The Machine...
  |   Comments
Am I the only one who never got the memo MTV was still airing Unplugged? First Beavis & Butt-Head returns and now Unlugged. What's next? Videos? I had mixed feelings about a Florence + The Machine Unplugged performance. I've seen her perform live and know these mighty studio creations do translate in a live setting but could they work unplugged? On the one hand it made perfect sense as Florence has an amazing, ethereal voice and even after only two albums plenty of ballads that could showcase her powerful vocals. Her catalog also includes some beat-heavy singles that would seem odd choices

New Music Tuesday: Counting Crows, Curtis Salgado, Florence And The Machine 'Unplugged,' Elliott Yamin

Some great albums and a few good stories to go with them in this week's new CD Releases...
  |   Comments
In the better late than never department, we have our look at new releases for April 10, 2010 and there are some good ones! The list isn't what I'd call deep this week but there are some CDs you've just got to pick up. I have to start this out with one of the coolest things that ever happened to me in the history of my life and it's relevant because of one of this week's new releases. I was at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis last year and Kate Moss asked if I wanted to go Wild

Springsteen Goes Epic On Night 2 At The Garden (April 9, 2012 NYC Set List)

It got off to a slow start but some heavyweight songs came out for the faithful in NYC...
  |   Comments
This, boys and girls, is why you don't go home early when you go to a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band show. The first five songs of night two in the Garden were the same as night one, including the playing of "Badlands" with the house lights on. I honestly thought I was seeing an error in the Twitter feed when these rolled off like that because as unimaginative as I've accused Bruce of being with set lists in the past, surely he wouldn't do this to the same city- especially New York City. Sure enough, we get

Norah Jones Issues "Happy Pills" Video, 'Little Broken Hearts' Due May 1

Two words: shower scene.
  |   Comments
Monday has ruthlessly savaged me and I'm in need of some cheering up. Enter Norah Jones and her "Happy Pills." Video. Buncha pervs, the whole lot of you. The evolution of Norah Jones from spellbinding singer of songs bursting with nocturnal radiance to spellbinding singer of any damn thing continues with "Happy Pills," a song she co-wrote with Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton for her upcoming album Little Broken Hearts. I love the work Jones and Danger Mouse did on the Rome soundtrack and while "Happy Pills" doesn't have the same sweeping weirdness, it is a finely crafted pop song that

Fiona Apple Confirms Release Date, Tracklist, Artwork For 'The Idler Wheel,' Summer Tour Dates

Fiona Apple announces tracklist for 10-track CD, 27-date summer tour of N. America...
  |   Comments
Fiona Apple has confirmed her new album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You MoreThan Ropes Ever Do will be released June 19 and revealed artwork and the tracklisting for the 10-track album (it should be noted some outlets are reporting a date of June 26 but MTV News claims confirmation from Epic the album will drop 6/19). She has also announced a full-scale North American tour, expanding the handful of dates she recently played which included a stop at SXSW. Let's start with the tour dates because guess what,

Springsteen Kicks Off 2-Night Stand At New York's MSG On Wrecking Ball Tour (Setlist 4/6/12)

"Lion's Den" and "Murder Inc" get their tour premiere...
  |   Comments
I'm a couple days late talking about the set list of for the first show of a 2-night stand for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band as they bring their Wrecking Ball World Tour to New York's Madison Square Garden because I was in Atlanta watching Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds while this show was going on. The second night will be tomorrow, as the band takes off a couple days for Easter. So, what do we have here? The tour premiere of "Murder Incorporated" and "Lion's Den" and the return to the set of "Shackled & Drawn." Okay. Well.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds came to The Tabernacle in Atlanta and The Chief was in masterful form. It feels like I waited my whole life for this night. I've made innumerable Noel Gallagher mixtapes, CD-Rs, and digital playlists on my iPod, dreaming about a night like this, never really expecting it would ever happen. When it finally did, I spent the entire 20-song set in the beautiful haze of the euphoria you only experience at the exact moment the improbable becomes reality before your very eyes. The set list mixed singles, b-sides, and album cuts from High Flying Birds,

Springsteen Delivers Standout Setlist On Night 2 In New Jersey (4/4/12 Setlist)

Bruce Springsteen finishes off his homestand on the first leg of his US tour...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen delivered a fabulous set on the second night of his homecoming stand at the Izod Center in New Jersey tonight, with several tour premieres and classic fan favorites along with a heavy dose of material from his latest album, Wrecking Ball. I feel bad for the folks who went to the first night of the stand because tonight's set smokes last night. Hard. Early in the set, he broke out "Candy's Room" from Darkness On The Edge Of Town, giving "Badlands" a night off and followed it with "Johnny 99" from Nebraska. He also threw in "Jackson Cage" a few

Garbage Releases Official Video For First Single "Blood For Poppies"

'Not Your Kind Of People' Hits Stores in May
  |   Comments
Garbage has unveiled the video for "Blood For Poppies," the first single from their forthcoming album Not Your Kind Of People. I believe we've made it abundantly clear how excited we are about Garbage's return after a seven-year absence but just in case you've somehow missed the memo, let's talk about it some more. The video was directed by Matt Irwin in Los Angeles who has a background in fashion photography and filmmaking. While many artists have complained about making videos, Shirley Manson clearly didn't mind the work involved in making this one for "Blood For Poppies." "We piled

Springsteen Brings 'Wrecking Ball' Tour Home To Jersey For First of 2 Shows (4/3/12 Setlist)

Not a lot of surprises as Bruce brings it all back home...
  |   Comments
Recent setlists from Bruce and the E Street Band have gotten increasingly diverse and adventurous while remaining a means of promoting his new Wrecking Ball CD. I figured the band returning to its famed stomping grounds of New Jersey (wait... you didn't know Springsteen was from Jersey?) would be a catalyst for a night filled with big surprises and audibles galore... and I was wrong. Now let's not be hasty; there was a tour premiere last night but in recent days he's been dusting off two or three premieres a night. Not last night for the home team. Maybe

Bob Margolin and Mike Sponza Band - Blues Around The World

The blues is a culture without borders and a universal language...
  |   Comments
VH-1 had a hit show in the '90s that became an addiction for many of us called Behind The Music that profiled bands and artists, great and small. At some point it became a parody of itself because the stories behind so much of the music we love are pretty common: a hungry young band works its ass off for their big break, they get their big moment only to find out they've been screwed by an unscrupulous manager and/or record label, internal tensions often created by substance abuse tear the band apart, and years later they either come back bigger
It's pretty simple this week, kids: if you like music, we've got Elvis Costello; if you don't like music, we've got Nicki Minaj. There are a few other titles we can get into this week. There's a new album from Rascal Flatts called Changed (a title I suspect could get them sued for truth in advertising but I'll leave that verdict up to their fans). Metal icon Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull has a special edition of Thick As A Brick 2 and there is a new budget line compilation for Tull (and several other bands) out this week

Ronnie Shellist Has Arrived On Debut 'Til Then

A new harp force is rising...
  |   Comments
Ronnie Shellist's 'Til Then has strong roots in the traditional Chicago style and there's a great texture to the sonic architecture of the album, something missing in too many modern recordings. The album was cut in one day without myriad overdubs, the sound hasn't been compressed to hell and back, and the volume is just right. The album carves out a nice place for itself, not ignoring the foundation built and perfected by the greats who came before, but Shellist isn't content offering up a bunch of songs built on Willie Dixon's stop-time riffs or the same tired chord progressions so

Springsteen Raises A Cain With Fiery Set List in Washington DC (April 1, 2012)

Best set list of the tour so far...
  |   Comments
Boys and girls, we have a winner. Bruce Springsteen showered DC with his love and played a (mostly) brilliant set list in our nation's capital and thus my complaining about these set lists takes on a different tone entirely. I'm not going to stop complaining about them- don't be ridiculous. No, instead the complaining will sound a little like this... That son of a bitch played "Adam Raised A Cain" and I wasn't there to hear it. Yes, I'm bitter. Very, very bitter. That son of a bitch played "The Promise," full band and I wasn't there to hear

Janiva Magness Tops Weekly Blues Radio Charts, Nick Moss Re-enters Top 20

Top 20 Albums at Blues Radio for the Week of March 30
  |   Comments
I don't know how long it's been since we checked in at Blues Radio and looked at which albums were leading the way having run a double secret errand this week reminded me of this dormant column and got me in the mood to revisit it. The latest from Janiva Magness, Stronger For It, is topping charts this week with Joan Osbourne's Bring It On Home following her. If you're curious, yes, this is the same Joan Osbourne who had a huge hit in the '90s with "One Of Us." I wasn't a huge fan of that song but she's

Springsteen Doesn't Start 'Incident' On "Streets Of Philadelphia" (March 29, 2012 - Philly Night 2 Setlist)

But it's another sunny day in the City of Brotherly Love...
  |   Comments
I knew I was going to do it at some point. I started in with it in Atlanta but I held back. I want it said from the outset I'm not surprised, I am angry. I would be angrier but the atrocity was committed against Philadelphia and that's one of my forbidden cities- sucks to be them. That doesn't mean Bruce Springsteen's actions were not depraved and indecent and must therefore be held up for scorn and ridicule. Those of you sensitive sycophants should skip ahead a few paragraphs where I will rave about some of tonight's happenings. The

American Idol Top 9 Perform Songs By Their Heroes (Video)

In case you missed it, here are the performances from your AI Top 9
  |   Comments
The Top 9 contestants on Season 11 of American Idol performed last night and tonight one of them will go home. Our Chief AI correspondent and resident expert Heather will be weighing in with her thoughts on last night's performances. In the meantime, you can catch up on what you missed if you were unable to watch or suffer from situational ADD and can't stand to wait through the commercials, ridiculous product placement, and (often) inane judge banter. My understanding of last night's themes is that the contestants -- Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillps, Jessica Sanchez, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanaugh,

Springsteen Serenades Philly With A "Seaside Bar Song" On 1st Of 2-Night Stand (Setlist March 28, 2012)

The setlist is still pretty static but "Seaside Bar Song" was a big shocker tonight in Philadelphia
  |   Comments
The first of two nights in Philadelphia and let's go ahead and dispense with suspense: no "Incident on 57th Street" tonight so we'll look for that tomorrow. With that out of the way, let's talk about what did get played. There was one tour premiere and another rarity performed tonight and the premiere is a stunner: "Seaside Bar Song" from Tracks. The Springsteen songbook is extensive so guessing would be difficult under any circumstance but I would have never guessed this one. Ever. Unless I started alphabetically and started with "A Night With The Jersey Devil" and kept guessing until I got

McCartney Remasters 'RAM' For Deluxe Edition Reissue May 22

Latest in the McCartney Archive collection...
  |   Comments
The Paul McCartney re-issue campaign continues and this time it is his 1971 album Ram that's getting the deluxe, remastered treatment and will be released May 22. This is one I've anxiously awaited. I'm not alone in having a deep, abiding love for The Beatles and am probably not alone in being a little late to delve into the respective solo careers of the Fab 4, but I've indeed expanded my collection. Paul's solo catalog is easily the most voluminous and I held out buying more than a couple good compilations because one of the voices in my head

Eric Bibb's 'Deeper In The Well' Never Runs Dry

A timeless, beautiful record...
  |   Comments
Eric Bibb tells us in "Music" from his latest album Deeper In The Well genres and labels are meaningless to him, that it's all about the feeling. He's 100 percent right, of course, but to ignore the textures and sounds of the songs on this record is to miss out on its beauty. Bibb intricately and deftly blends folk, vintage hill country, Delta blues, Louisiana Cajun, traveling medicine show, and gentle swing throughout the 13-song disc. If that sounds ambitious, chaotic, noisy, or disjointed, you are in for a pleasant surprise as it is brilliantly executed. Musicologists will tell you all

Don't Underestimate The Missionary Position Or Its 'Consequences'

Seattle-based indie rockers grin at the rottenness of it all...
  |   Comments
I'm not sure which is cooler: stumbling on to a great new band on your own or when a friend turns you on to them. They're both great in their own way and in the case of my introduction to The Missionary Position, it was a case of the latter. I was drawn to them before I'd heard a note because I'm sorry but this might be the greatest fucking bandname ever. Yes, that makes me very juvenile but it doesn't make me wrong; it's a great name for a band. What makes it better is the music is great and the

Springsteen Joined By Peter Wolf, Debuts "Thundercrack," "Jackson Cage" In Boston (March 26, 2012 Set List)

The 'Wrecking Ball Tour' continues across N. America...
  |   Comments
Bruce Springsteen brought his Wrecking Ball tour to Boston and we once again have the grab bag of cool rarities, tour premieres, and warhorses that should be put out to pasture or euthanized altogether. "Badlands" returns to the #3 hole tonight after having been replaced by "Prove It All Night" in Tampa. The "E Street Shuffle" had followed "My City Of Ruins" the first two shows of the tour but has been benched of late, tonight for "Thundercrack." It hurts me to see "E Street Shuffle" getting tossed aside (especially with some of the tired turds that still get played too

Madonna, Eric Bibb, Missionary Position, Paul Weller, Shinedown Among New Releases for 3/26 and 3/27

New Music Monday and Tuesday this week...
  |   Comments
We have an unusual week this week where some titles are being issued on Monday while the rest will come out on the standard Tuesday release date. I'm not sure what the purpose is but according to our pals at NewMusicTipsheet, some titles are slated for today and others tomorrow. Buyer beware... There are a couple great releases out this week and a few others I want to highlight. We'll start with Madonna and her MDNA record. I actually can't believe this isn't already out. The Super Bowl was so long ago and she's released a pair of singles

Corritore And Tail Dragger: 'Longtime Friends In The Blues'

Tail Dragger is as fiery as ever and you know he's got a helluva band...
  |   Comments
Stephen King has a short story called "I've Been To Rock & Roll Heaven (And You Know They've Got a Helluva Band)." It's a fun story and one of the first things I thought about when I held Longtime Friends In The Blues in my hands. Take the unmistakable, inimitable voice of Tail Dragger and pair him with one of the blue's premier harp stylists in Bob Corritore and then assemble a crack bank like Chris James and Kirk Fletcher on guitar, Patrick Rynn on bass, Brian Fahey on drums, and the great Henry Gray on piano and vocal for

Springsteen Debuts "American Skin" in Tampa As Nation Mourns Trayvon Martin; Shakes Up 'Wrecking Ball' Tour Setlist

Springsteen's March 23 featured 7 tour premieres but one stands out...
  |   Comments
Maybe one day I'll lose interest in giving the finger to the namecallers and hecklers who doubt me but being right in the face of wrongness hasn't lost its appeal. I was very critical of Springsteen's opening night set list in Atlanta for being unimaginative and predictable. I was more complementary something one reader missed the next night when he made just a couple of minor adjustments to his Greensboro set list. Bruce played his third show in a five day span and he took a blowtorch to the setlist and shook things up while maintaining a focus on songs from

Norah Jones Announces 'Little Broken Hearts' World Tour

A few European dates precede a long summer run through N. America...
  |   Comments
Norah Jones has announced the opening run of dates for her world tour in support Little Broken Hearts, her new album due May 1. The first several dates are in Europe before she kicks off the North American run in Indianapolis on June 20. I have three chances to catch her in relatively close proximity: I can go four hours east to Atlanta and see her at the Fabulous Fox Theater, 4 hours west and see her at Memphis' Mud Island Amphitheater, or I can do what God wants and go two hours north and hear and see her

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Release Covers Collection 'Americana,' First Album in 9 Years

Neil Young & Crazy Horse reunite...
  |   Comments
Americana, the first album Neil Young has recorded with his band Crazy Horse in nine years, will be released June 5. The tracklisting for Americana includes some American folks songs, many popular in the protest movement, while others have meanings of a more sinister meaning. I'm reminded of the year David Letterman introduced the stunning-yet-humorless Susan Sarandon and her then-"husband" Tim Robbins to present an award at the Oscars by wondering what they were pissed about this year. Springsteen has issued his State Of The Union record and now we get something similar from Young courtesy of a collection
This week's New Music Tuesday roster isn't loaded with superstar names but there are some very interesting new albums worth spotlighting. Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society comes out this week and grownups everywhere once again thank her for besting Justin Bieber for that Best New Artist award. Our friends at Delta Groove have a pair of big blues releases this week as well. Reviews are forthcoming but in the meantime, let's go ahead and talk about both. Harp pro Bob Corritore has paired up with the inimitable Tail Dragger for Longtime Friends In The Blues. Corritore and Tail Dragger are joined

Springsteen Storms Greensboro, NC And The Songs Remain The Same, Until...

March 19, 2012 Bruce Springsteen's 'Wrecking Ball' Tour Rolls into Greensboro...
  |   Comments
I watched the Twitter feed tonight as Bruce Springsteen's March 19 show in Greensboro, NC was updated on my timeline and I continued to get angrier and angrier. Scathing, angry thoughts rushed through my head as I prepared to excoriate him. I grabbed my copy of The Bill of Rights and The Federalist Papers from history classes years ago to find any indication that freedoms of speech and expression included the right to bear bricks. Finding no such legal ground to stand on, resignation set in and I didn't know if I was even going to bother. If Bruce doesn't care enough

Springsteen Set List Commentary: 'Wrecking Ball' Tour Gets Rolling In Atlanta Mar. 18, 2012

The tour begins in earnest at Atlanta's Phillips Arena...
  |   Comments
Time to revive a time-honored tradition and staple of my freelance writing career: the Bruce Springsteen set list commentary. Why do I do it? I love Bruce, I love his music, and love writing and talking about both. I wish I had the resources to follow the E Street Band around the world; I don't. I've been to many shows and traveled great distances to do so but I'm a working stiff, so this is water cooler talk for Bruce fans wherein we say to each other "Did you see what Bruce played last night?" and discuss the good,

Barrett Martin Group Unveil Artwork, Tracklisting for 'Artifact,' Due May 15

Martin follows 'Atlas' with 'Artifact'...
  |   Comments
The Barrett Martin Group will release their second album May 15 when Artifact and have unveiled the artwork as well as tracklisting for the 14-song followup to last year's debut Atlas: Latitudes, which will be released through Martin's own Sunyata Records label. Artifact was conceived of as a companion piece to the debut and many of the ideas for these songs originated during those sessions, even if they weren't completely arranged, recorded, or mixed until after that set's release. Following the release of Atlas, BMG played a series of shows in the Seattle area where they are headquartered. Martin has been exceptionally busy of late,

Garbage Hits All The Right Notes With New Single "Blood For Poppies"

Welcome back, Garbage!
  |   Comments
We've waited seven long years for Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker to reunite to make a new Garbage record and that wait is finally over with the announcement of Not Your Kind Of People and the release of "Blood For Poppies" as its first single. My excitement and interest in my March Madness bracket was quickly forgotten and all I could think about was getting home to take advantage of the free download of "Poppies" and after listening to it repeatedly, I've been dying to share my thoughts with all of you because I love it! "Blood For Poppies"

Seattle's The Missionary Position Release Sophomore Effort 'Consequences' March 27 (Video)

Jeff Angell & Co. follow up 'Diamonds In The Dead Sky'
  |   Comments
The Missionary Position have revealed the artwork and tracklisting for their March 27 album Consequences. Diamonds In A Dead Sky, released in 2009, was the first record Jeff Angell issued under the fantastic The Missionary Position moniker in the aftermath of the demise of his previous band Post Stardom Depression. That album was in many ways an Angell solo record with several friends friends making guest appearances. That debut record drew considerable praise and in the process of touring to support it, Angell solidified the band's lineup with three permanent members. With a steady group of musicians to work with, he
Garbage is set to end their seven-year recording hiatus on May 15 with their fifth studio album Not Your Kind Of People and we now have the complete tracklisting for the standard and deluxe editions of the CD as well as the first single for the record. Making matters better, they're giving their devoted fans that first single for free through their web site! Let's talk about the tracklisting for the record and its two configurations first and we shall come back to "Blood For Poppies," the first single (which I'm listening to right now). The standard edition of the disc

Nick Moss Announces April West Coast Tour

Viva Las Vegas, baby!
  |   Comments
Our pal Nick Moss is gearing up for another full spring and summer of touring, heading back to the West Coast for another run of dates including a long overdue stop in Las Vegas. BlindedBySound actually has a Vegas blues correspondent, making arrangements to be at Boulder Station Hotel & Casino on April 21 for that special show. Moss and his band have been touring heavily to promote the acclaimed Here I Am release from last fall. He'll kick things off from his home base of Chicago, playing Rosa's Lounge. Rosa's is one of the remaining blues joints that played host

Meat Loaf Still Obsessed With 'Hell'; New CDs From Janiva Magness, Decemberists

New Music Tuesday March 13, 2012: A light week but a few titles worth your consideration
  |   Comments
There are some ideas so obvious you should be able to see them coming from a mile away and you feel stupid when you get blindsided by one. Such is the case with the title of Meat Loaf's latest album Hell In A Handbasket. Other artist-title pairings this week that get a rating of "Duh" would be Cannibal Corpse's Torture and Baptized In Filth by Impending Doom. Yes, kids, the new release chart is that barren this week I actually started with Meat Loaf. It's actually a fortunate thing for me because I've got some major titles upcoming (Norah Jones, Florence & The Machine

National Treasure Lurrie Bell Sets April 17 Release Date For 'The Devil Ain't Got No Music'

First solo album from Bell since 2007...
  |   Comments
National Treasure Lurrie Bell returns with his first solo album since 2007 with The Devil Ain't Got No Music on April 17 and I've already pre-ordered my copy! This new set features gospel and spiritual standards, many of which have worked their way into the blues canon. Now we'll have versions of them by these sacred standards from a living, breathing National Treasure. Just so we're clear, it is incorrect to simply say Lurrie Bell- it's National Treasure Lurrie Bell. Yes, the whole thing. Yes. Every time. Joining National Treasure Lurrie Bell on this record are the great Joe Louis Walker (who

Peter Karp, Sue Foley New Collaboration 'Beyond The Crossroads' Due April 17

The follow-up to their chart-topping first collaboration...
  |   Comments
Peter Karp and Sue Foley were a pair of gifted solo artists who took the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup approach and realized two great tastes can taste great together when they recorded the fabulous, intensely personal, chart-topping He Said She Said in 2010, and they've announced the followup to that record Beyond The Crossroads on April 17 by Blind Pig Records. If you're hearing of Karp and Foley for the first time through this article, first of all, welcome. Second, you're welcome because Peter Karp is one of the finest songwriters on the planet and through him I discovered Sue Foley, an equally amazing vocalist,

Fiona Apple's 23-Word Title Album Has June Release Date

Fiona's latest transmission to Planet Earth since 2005...
  |   Comments
Fiona Apple will release a new studio album this year and it has a 23-word title: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do Oh, Fiona, some people have to work at crazy while it comes naturally for others. We love you so and can't wait to hear this new record because as batshit loony as you appear to those of us residing on planet Earth, you are one hell of a singer and songwriter. Those of you with good memories will remember Apple's sophomore

Eric Bibb Releases 'Deeper In The Well' March 27

Acclaimed singer/songwriter releases first set for Stony Plain Records...
  |   Comments
The amazing Eric Bibb will release his first album with Canada's Stony Plains Record on March 27 when he issues Deeper In The Well. The 13-track set was recorded in four days last September and features Bibb originals as well as covers of Bob Dylan's "The Times Are A-Changing" and Taj Mahal's "Every Wind In The River." The disc was recorded in Louisiana, where he co-produced the album with Michael Bishop and Matt Greenhill and was joined by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, Cedric Watson (fiddle), drummer Danny Devillier, and Grant Dermody (harmonica). There are also guest appearances from Michael Jerome Brown

Diana Krall Announces 40-City 'Summer Nights' US Tour

Most extensive tour for Grammy-winning singer since 2009
  |   Comments
Grammy-winning jazz vocalist and pianist Diana Krall and her band are hitting the road for an extensive U.S. tour this summer, her longest venture in three years. Krall will play a handful of March dates on the East Coast before launching the major trek in June at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. She'll hit 40 cities by the time she's done, finishing with a two-night stand in Woodinville, WA. She and her band Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), and Karriem Riggins (drums) recently helped back Paul McCartney on his love standards album Kisses On The Bottom (and I hope the title

Ruthie Foster Succeeds on 'Let It Burn'; Tackles Adele, Black Keys, Johnny Cash

A few Foster originals and an eclectic group of covers leads to a satisfying, soulful listen...
  |   Comments
Ruthie Foster has won Blues Music Awards the past two years largely on the strength of her 2009 LP The Truth According To Ruthie Foster. A quick glance at the trackisting of her 2011 effort Let It Burn prepares us for an eclectic ride as we see a mix of originals and covers from artists ranging from Adele, The Black Keys, David Crosby, Pete Seeger, Robbie Robertson, and Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire." She is joined by special guests The Blind Boys of Alabama and William Bell, the Blind Boys contributing to Crosby's "Long Time Gone" and "The Titanic" while Bell joins her

Florence And The Machine Release 'MTV Unplugged' CD/DVD April 9

11-song set features cameo from QOTSA Josh Homme...
  |   Comments
Florence & The Machine will release their performance on the venerable, once-clasic MTV Unpluged series in a bevy of packages on April 9. She is taking pre-orders through her own online store, adorably called the Flotique, and fans who pre-order from the Flotique get a poster as an added bonus. I don't know about you, but that made my day. This is Florence's first official live release although iTunes has issued a couple of exclusive live performances through their digital music store (her set for the London iTunes Festival as well as set in SoHo). The 11-song set features songs from her

Eddie C Campbell Keeps West Side Alive on 'Spider Eating Preacher'

It's a family affair on Campbell's latest, featuring National Treasure Lurrie Bell...
  |   Comments
Spider Eating Preacher could be subtitled "The Great West Side Preservation Society" as Eddie C. Campbell, with guidance from longtime friend and producer Dick Shurman, has recaptured the magic of that beautiful style. That shouldn't come as a surprise as Campbell as a dear friend and bandmate of Magic Sam, one of the true pioneers of the sound, nor should anyone be surprised Campbell has recaptured that essence without making a record that sounds dated, ready to be catalogued in a museum somewhere before it's ever really heard. Preacher isn't some collection of covers of tired material from the beloved blues canon
Let's get this out of the way right from the start: if you're a fan of anyone other than Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, you might want to skip a couple paragraphs because that's the release of the week and we're going to spend a little time talking about it before we skim the rest of the list and see what else might be coming out this sixth day of March. That's right, kids, it's BossTime. Springsteen is releasing Wrecking Ball in a standard and deluxe edition, the difference being two bonus tracks. I'm not going to rehash my

Bruce Springsteen Subtle As A 'Wrecking Ball' On New Album, For Better And Worse

The State Of The Union According To The Boss...
  |   Comments
The plight of the working man and his struggle for dignity and the distance between the American Dream and its reality have been mainstays in the Springsteen songbook, so no one should be terribly surprised that the housing crisis that sank the American economy in 2008 and the Occupy Wall Street movement that erupted in 2011 would inspire a new batch of songs, and it did. Sort of. I couldn't help noticing how many of the songs of Wrecking Ball I already knew when the tracklisting was announced even though they'd never been released on a Springsteen studio album. The title track,

Gary Clark Jr Performs Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues" At "Blues At The White House" Ceremony

...and we're totally taking credit for it...
  |   Comments
I feel like a proud papa tonight as I watch my beloved Gary Clark Jr. perform a sensational cover of Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues" at The White House at a ceremony honoring the blues. I'm pretty sure Gary would want to acknowledge the constant cheerleading and support of BlindedBySound as the reason behind his invite but we're far too modest to take (all) the credit for it. I guess we have at least one reader in Washington D.C. in the events planning department (or whatever it is they call it) so I'm sure my amigo Nick Moss or other site favorites will

Norah Jones Streams "Happy Pills" From 'Little Broken Hearts'

First song from her new record and you can hear it here!
  |   Comments
BlindedBySound favorite Norah Jones announced her new record Little Broken Hearts due for release May 1 earlier this week and we now have our first taste of the record as "Happy Pills" is streaming and we are thrilled beyond belief to share it with you. Hearts was produced by Danger Mouse, who seems to be the hot hit making machine of the moment and that's normally the kind of thing that would make me cringe where Norah is concerned because I'm such a fan of what she does on her own, but I adore the songs she did on Mouse's Rome "soundtrack" so I'm actually

Mark Lanegan Announces N. American 'Blues Funeral' Tour Dates

...and I'm still not going to see him.
  |   Comments
It looks like another streak will continue where my relationship with Mark Lanegan is concerned as he announces what amounts to perhaps his most extensive N. American tour as a solo artist in support of his excellent new album Blues Funeral. It seems clear I'm never going to see one of my favorite vocalists of all time and a pillar in the Josh Hathaway Pantheon Of Eternal Musical Greatness because he's not coming anywhere near me on his 12-date run through N. America. The tour kicks off on the East Coast in New York on May 10 and will hit small

Review: Otis Taylor - Contraband

Taylor at the top of his form on 'Contraband'
  |   Comments
In the Ray Charles biopic Ray, Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles character says the reason people love country music is because it has great stories. That ritual of great storytelling is at the heart of so many traditional musics, a way of retelling the history of a people before easily reproducible written copies was accessible to the masses. Great storytelling has been downplayed in contemporary blues and other components are accentuated, some good and others less, but it's one of the characteristics that makes Otis Taylor's music feel traditional even as he builds his sound using instruments not often associated with the
I suppose the big title for this week comes from The Cranberries, who return with their first new album new album in 10 years. They had a nice run of hits throughout the '90s, beginning with the love "Linger." I actually saw them live once. They were opening for someone. It will cost you all more money than you have to get me to admit who that was. Either way, they're back with a new set and its out this week. I'll be stunned if our own Mat Brewster doesn't find a way to get himself a copy of

Bluesman Louisiana Red Dies At Age 79

Blues icon Iverson "Louisiana Red" Minter made more than 50 years in storied career...
  |   Comments
2011 was an incredibly painful year for blues fans as we said farewell to legends like Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, and the great Hubert Sumlin and 2012 has gotten off to an equally sad start as we bid farewell to Etta James and today we learn that Iverson "Louisiana Red" Minter has died at age 79. Many bluesmen have harrowing biographies that foreshadowned their lives as itinerant musicians rambling from place to place, making their blues wherever they could find a nickel or a quarter. Even with all those tales -- some legendary, some real

Spring Standards Plan May 1 Double EP Release, Stream "Here We Go"

I'm getting spring fever for yellow//gold
  |   Comments
Check it out, kids, new music from the fabulous trio that is The Spring Standards is on the way and in a genius marketing maneuver, it will arrive during the season what is spring. They are releasing twin EPs called yellow and gold as a single release: yellow//gold on May 1. If you're curious about what these two mini sets have in store, you can check out a song called "Here We Go." You're even encouraged to dance along, although we claim no responsibility for any uncoordinated dance injuries or YouTube embarrassment if your co-worker two cubes over catches you and posts it online. Exercise appropriate caution, people!

UK Trio Keane Return With 'Strangeland' May 7, First CD In 4 Years

Can they recapture the magic of their debut?
  |   Comments
British trio Keane is returning with their first new record in four years when they issue Strangeland May 7. With apologies to my hero Noel Gallagher, I loved Keane's first record Hopes And Fears. Sure it was lightweight but the combination of Tom Chaplin's soaring, too-pretty-by-half vocal melodies and Tim Rice-Oxley's piano arrangements made me want to go somewhere only I knew. Yes, I would have sustained innumerable, serious, sinister assbeatings if my meathead metal friends caught me listening to it back in the day but I got lost in the gooey pop confection in a way that rarely happens to me.

Plenty Of Life in Mark Lanegan Band's 'Blues Funeral'

Long live the king...
  |   Comments
Mark Lanegan's reign as one of my favorite vocalists and member in good standing in the Josh Hathaway Pantheon Of Eternal Musical Greatness continues uninterrupted with Blues Funeral, his first album under his own name since 2004 Bubblegum. I've spent an awful lot of time listening to this record since its release one, because I'm quite taken with it and two, because I've struggled to find ways to explain what it is I love about this record beyond being a Lanegan enthusiast. Most of his early solo records were heavy on acoustic-based singer/songwriter compositions that served as a distinct counterpoint to
It's been awhile since we checked in with the biggest albums at blues radio but we resume our weekly check of the charts and I'm thrilled to see our friends Kilborn Alley Blues Band in the Top 5 with their latest record Four, one of my Best Albums of 2011. I can't say enough good things about Kilborn Alley's record and it's exciting to see the album catching on with blues listeners nationwide. The album topped the radio charts atLiving Blues, as well. It's such a great roots-oriented record that embodies the feeling of the blues without being a slave to

Norah Jones Announces Tracklist For 'Little Broken Hearts,' Due May 1

LP #5 for one of my favorite voices on planet earth...
  |   Comments
Norah Jones has announced a new album due for release May 1 called Little Broken Hearts, produced by Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. This isn't the first time DM and Jones have collaborated, Jones having contributed vocals to the excellent Rome "soundtrack" album Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi released last year (also making vocal cameos on that record was Jack White). Their work together led them to work together on this new 12-track Jones record with all songs being co-written by the pair. Also appearing on the record is one-time Beck drummer Joey Waronker. Hearts follows up Jones' The Fall, the first Norah record I

Counting Crows Release Underwater Sunshine (Or What I Did On My Summer Vacation) April 10; Offer Free Track Download

Counting Crows issues covers album this spring...
  |   Comments
Counting Crows are going it alone, leaving their longtime label Geffen, and they're ready to issue their first new album since the stunningly great Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings with a 15-track collection of covers they've titled Underwater Sunshine (Or What I Did On My Summer Vacation) on April 10. I guess I've called my shot and admitted my deep affection for Counting Crows so hell yes I'm excited about this. Covers have long been a part of the Counting Crows' musical language, often interspersing them with their own songs like including Bruce Springsteen's classic "Thunder Road" with "Rain King" or segueing in

Jack White Announces Solo Debut "Blunderbuss" Due Apr. 24; Video For First Single "Love Interruption" Unveiled

Former White Stripe main man readies first solo album...
  |   Comments
Jack White continues to be the hardest working man in the music business, launching numerous hit bands and collaboration. The former White Stripes main man is turning the attention to himself when he launches his debut solo record Blunderbuss via his own Third Man label on April 24. He recently released the first single, "Love Interruption," from the upcoming 13-track set via iTunes, Amazon, and other digital outlets and has now unveiled the complete tracklisting and artwork for the new set. "Love Interruption" is a moody piece with acoustic guitar and electric piano providing the majority of the instrumentation with White

No Such Thing As Bad Press: Adele Continues Digital Dominance At iTunes

Top 10 songs and albums at iTunes Music Store for the week ending Feb. 20, 2012.
  |   Comments
Adele has been in headlines since the Grammys for performances, middle digits, daddy issues, and boyfriends, current and past. She's also made comments about taking time off or not before starting her next record. My advice: go on holiday, love. You have three singles in iTunes' Top 10 and your album is again/still #1 (and your debut is #4), holding off Whitney Houston in the first full week since her tragic passing. Rest the voice and take your time, is what. Houston represented at #2 on the singles and albums chart this week, as well. The non-Adele and Whitney

Jimmy Burns Anything But Stuck On "Stuck In The Middle"

Burns' latest release a deeply satisfying listen...
  |   Comments
Stuck In The Middle is Jimmy Burns first studio album since 2003 and follows his excellent live set Live at B.L.U.E.S, released in 2007, which is when I was first introduced to him. Burns says in the liner notes he has been reluctant to do covers on his records, believing his own material suits him best. Personal tragedy took a toll on him when his wife of 44 years passed away after battling lung cancer. The grieving process diminished his appetite for writing new material but he found himself reenergized by connecting with songs by other artists and so for the first
I'm having some trouble finding many releases that look particularly interesting to me this week. It's a shorter list overall than we've seen of late and there just doesn't seem to be much likely to get me in the buying mood, which is fine because I've spent my allowance about 4x over. I needed a week to sit out (or in this case spend maybe just a wee bit less). A pair of Chicago blues legends have teamed up for a new record from our friends at Delmark Records and I am so having one of these. The great, great Eddie

Huntsville's G-Side Looks To Stars With "Spaceship"

A little slice of music from my adopted hometown...
  |   Comments
I don't encourage any of you, dear readers, to read any site other than BlindedBySound but I occasionally frequent other sites and I was shocked to learn there's an emerging musical act from my adopted hometown of Huntsville, AL and I'd never heard of them until I read about them at Consequence of Sound. I was a little less embarrassed when I read said article about this track from G-Side because what I know about rap/hip-hop couldn't fill a thimble, kids. I don't do rap but I'm told it's not leaving the musical landscape any time soon. I'm not

Garbage Gets Listener Supported, But Still Hates Love (Video)

Fan artwork adorns teaser for "I Hate Love" from upcoming new CD...
  |   Comments
We get another teaser from our friends Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker as we wait for the first single from Garbage's first new album in seven (long) years, Not Your Kind Of People, due on May 15. Garbage asked its fans to submit artwork to be incorporated in a video montage for the song "I Hate Love," and the dark hearts and subversive mind came through in a big way. More importantly, we get to hear one minute of the upcoming record. There's not much to tell from that one minute but there are a few observations

The Spring Standards Issue Double EP 'yellow//gold' May 1, Stream "Here We Go"

I've got Spring fever, kids!
  |   Comments
Check it out, kids, new music from the fabulous trio that is The Spring Standards is on the way and in a genius marketing maneuver, it will arrive during the season what is spring. They are releasing twin EPs called yellowand gold as a single release, yellow//gold on May 1 and you can check out a song from the set called "Here We Go." We've got it right here for you to stream to your heart's content and I highly encourage you to do just that. If you're new to Spring Standards, so am I. They are a trio -- did I already mention that? -- comprised

Adele Dominates iTunes Charts; Whitney Houston Makes Posthumous Push

Van Halen, Coldplay, Macca, and Minaj also present on Valentine's week iTunes Chart Watch
  |   Comments
It's been awhile since we last checked in with the world's largest digital music retailer and it turns out not much has changed since: you are all still crazy about Adele and her 21 record and I'm still not. The UK singer has three songs in the Top 10 Singles and both her albums are in the Top 10 on that chart. You've all gone all in on her and I'm still on the outside looking in on this phenomenon. Elsewhere, the passing of Whitney Houston has given the late, great vocalist the inevitable chart spike and we're sure

'A Different Kind Of Truth' Is The Same Kind Of Van Halen

"The Art Of Almost"
  |   Comments
The first new Van Halen record in __ years. For some, it's the first record since 1984 when our hero Diamond David Lee Roth departed the band for a solo career and increasingly bizarre behavior. For others, it's the first since Sammy Hagar left the band following Balance. If you want to be technical about it, we have to admit it wasn't just a bad dream and Gary Cherone did sing on a(n alleged) Van Halen album in the late '90s. Either way, it's been a couple minutes. I'm not sure what to make of reaction to the record in

New CDs For Your Valentine: Otis Taylor, Anne Akiko Meyers, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Amos Lee

Last minute ideas for your Valentine...
  |   Comments
Happy Valentine's Day, kids, and welcome to New Music Tuesday for this loveliest of days. Guys, if you haven't picked up something special for your ladyfriend, take a look at these titles released just this very day. I've become quite the fan of bluesman Otis Taylor and his unique brand of primitive blues. Taylor's latest work Contraband is about as deep blues as it gets. The title of this work is a familiar word but I never knew the connotation it had during the Civil War. "Contraband" was a term for escaped slaves who escaped across the Mason-Dixon line and lived in

Coldplay Unveil "Charlie Brown" Video

Bright lights, big colors, and another singalong song from Coldplay...
  |   Comments
Check it out, kids! Your friends from Coldplay have unveiled a new video for the latest single from Mylo Xyloto, "Charlie Brown" and we're hosting it here for your viewing and listening pleasure. J and 11 both reviewed MX for us, both liked the record a lot, both liked this song. Sterfish identified it as one of his favorite albums from 2011. I'm less favorably inclined toward the record than those lads are but I'm overall okay with it. I'm always going to like Parachutes best and Viva La Vida was an astonishing, transcendent achievement. That's a lot to