February 2013 Archives

The Mike Eldred Trio - 61 / 49

A solid collection of blaues-based roots-rock
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The Mike Eldred Trio's 61 / 49 is named for a famed crossroads, mythical places in the lore of the blues. But guitarist/vocalist Eldred, backed by the Blasters' rhythm section of bassist John Bazz and drummer Jerry Angel, is a roots rocker at heart, and musically the collection has the feel of the wide-open spaces of the west. Eldred's may not be a familiar name to many, but he's got some high-profile guests on hand to help out, including guitarists Scotty Moore(!), Kid Ramos, and Los Lobos' Cesar Rosa. Ike Turner contributes piano on a track, Riley Osborne is on

Robert 'Top' Thomas - The Town Crier

Lots of personality makes this one a winner ...
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As a bluesman, Robert 'Top' Thomas has a solid background and impressive credentials. He's been grinding out swamp-blues in his native Florida for years, touring and recording with the likes of Noble 'Thin Man' Watts, Lazy Lester, and Bill 'Sauce Boss' Wharton in addition to helping found SmokeHouse, a band that helped define the swampy sound mixed with hints of the Delta that's pervasive throughout The Town Crier. Lazy Lester in particular seems a profound influence - in addition to a note of thanks in the liner notes, Thomas covers Lester's "The Same Thing Could Happen To You," the only

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
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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

Kevin Selfe - Long Walk Home

An impressive debut indeed!
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Newcomer Kevin Selfe, until now little known outside his native Virginia (he's from Roanoke) and his adopted Portland, shows a great deal of promise on Long Walk Home, his Delta Groove debut. An all-original collection, Selfe's compositions are primarily founded on the sturdy building blocks of the blues. From the wryly clever, easy-going backward-shuffle of "Duct Tape On My Soul" to the shivery minor-key anguish of "Dancing Girl," from the T-Bone-tasty "Moving Day Blues" to the frenzied slide-driven boogie of "Put Me Back In Jail," Selfe manages to mix and match various styles while maintaining a distinctive sound. Selfe isn't

Review: Andy T Nick Nixon Band - Drink Drank Drunk featuring Anson Funderburgh

An excellent debut that meets every expectation
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There it is, right on the cover - 'featuring Anson Funderburgh.' Given that the lanky and laconic Texas guitarist also produced and plays on a handful of tracks, the debut from the Andy T - Nick Nixon Band arrives with high expectations. Fortunately, Drink Drank Drunk delivers, and then some. Andy Talamantez met Funderburgh first, the two becoming fast friends as their paths crossed through the years. Following extended stints with Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty, the California native moved to Nashville, where initially casual gigs with Nick Nixon soon evolved into an enduring musical partnership. Funderburgh must have experienced

The Weird Al Chronicles Part III: Dare to Be Stupid

Weird Al takes on Madonna and continues to hone his craft in his first album that doesn't bother to drop his name.
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Even though it was his second album, Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D felt like the first true Weird Al album. He just kept churning out the material in the early days, as in 1985 he released his third album, and for the first time Weird Al made the bold decision of not including his name in the title. Instead, he christened it Dare To Be Stupid, the rare Weird Al album named after a song on said album. It picks up where his last album left off in terms of quality and continuing to develop as an artist. Or, should

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

La Havas sparkles on late night television...
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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...
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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
There are only a handful of Djs who really qualify as "superstars," and Paul van Dyk (PvD) is definitely one of them. In the world of electronic music, careers are notoriously short. Not so with PvD however, his first full-length album was released in 1994, and he just seems to get better with time. Last year's Evolution was his sixth release, and to these ears at least, his finest to date. With (R)evolution, the tables have been turned a bit. The digital-only release features 16 remixes of Evolution tracks, plus the radio edit of "Such a Feeling," and a remake

DeepSoul: Frank Ocean - "Thinkin' 'Bout You"

This genre-spanning artist is transforming the sound of modern R&B.
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In honor of the impending Grammy Awards, DeepSoul takes a closer look at one of the nominees: Frank Ocean, a talent heralded as the future of R&B.  His 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra and his breakthrough major label effort Channel Orange have both challenged the limits of soul music, creating a swirling pastiche of rock, funk, psychedelia, and hip hop.  The easiest comparison is to the genre-bending Prince, and Ocean certainly resembles his originality.  However, Ocean’s sound is his own, and he has succeeded in expanding the concept of rhythm and blues music.  Channel Orange’s “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” embodies Ocean’s eclectic

CD review: Deep Purple - Live in Paris 1975

Remastered version of the end of the Mk. III era of the band.
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April 17, 1975. Not only was this stop in Paris, France, the end of the Stormbringer tour for Deep Purple, unbeknownst to the fans in attendance, it would be the end of an era. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had expanded the sessions for what was originally to be a solo single into a new album and band, Rainbow, but that hadn't been announced to the public at large yet. In their eyes, it was business as usual as Purple took the stage. The band's management knew otherwise and preserved recordings of these last gigs and now, thanks to Eagle Rock, Deep

Bettie Serveert - Oh, Mayhem! CD Review

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During the early ‘90s, the independent music scene blew up. Suddenly there were so many great “alternative” bands out there that it became difficult to keep up. I always felt that Bettie Serveert were a group who never really broke big because of this. They released some great records, and received  good (if limited) press, but they were still something of a well-kept secret. To those of us who were listening though, they were one of the finest groups going.Their first two albums Palomine (1992) and Lamprey (1994) were just about perfect in my book. And now, some 21 years

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

The first installment of a weekly love letter to The Cure...
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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