June 2015 Archives

The Dream Syndicate - The Days of Wine and Roses (Remastered & Expanded) CD Review

The Days of Wine and Roses opened a lot of doors back in 1982, and remarkably enough, it sounds better than ever today.
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The Days of Wine and Roses (1982) by The Dream Syndicate is one of those records that just seems to get better as the years go by. The band were one of the leaders of the early '80's Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles, and The Days of Wine and Roses was their full-length debut. For this listener, the album is like a great film. The nine songs tell a story, and that story sometimes changes, depending on your mood. Such a personal connection to the music is a rare thing anymore, and is probably one of the reasons the

CD Review: Carl Hall - You Don't Know Nothing About Love: The Loma/Atlantic Recordings 1967-1972

New compilation shines a light on this overlooked soul singer.
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Carl Hall was something of an enigma. Possessing an incredible four-octave vocal range, he began his career as a gospel singer in the 1950s for The Rasberry Singers before moving on to secular music in the 1960s, first with Mercury and, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, under the Warner Brothers musical umbrella. From 1967 to 1972, Hall released only a handful of singles that didn't make much of a dent in the charts, but have since become collector's items. In addition, Hall recorded a number of tracks that remained unreleased until now. Carl Hall - You Don't Know

SDBlu-ray Review: The Rolling Stones From The Vault: The Marquee Club Live In 1971

The Stones' legendary Marquee Club gig gets its first official release.
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In March 1971, The Rolling Stones embarked on a short tour of the UK in support of their newest album, Sticky Fingers. Besides having an opportunity to play their homeland once again, the tour served as a farewell of sorts. The group had become tax exiles, moving to France where their next album, Exile on Main Street, would be recorded and they needed to be out of England before April 1, when the next tax year began. On March 26, 1971, the band played to an intimate, star-studded crowd at London's Marquee Club. Among the 150-200 lucky members of the

Blu-ray Review: Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Live at the Roxy 9.25.14

Slash goes back to his roots in this killer performance.
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The legendary Roxy in West Hollywood, CA, has loomed large in Slash's career. Not only is it the place where he and his new band, Slash Featuring Miles Kennedy & the Conspirators, played some of their earliest gigs, it is also one of the key locations in the early days of Guns 'n' Roses. In 2014, Slash went back to his roots, playing some of the clubs where he got his start, including a blazing night at the Roxy. The show was filmed, and makes up the new Blu-ray Slash Featuring Miles Kennedy & the Conspirators - Live at the

DeepSoul: Roy Ayers Ubiquity - "Running Away"

A pioneer in jazz/funk, Roy Ayers burned up the dance floor with this 1977 classic.
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Roy Ayers began as a gifted jazz vibraphonist, but he has ultimately become a pioneer in the acid jazz movement. Deftly combining jazz, funk, and R&B, Ayers created songs that have been covered by neo soul artists such as Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu, and sampled by too many hip hop artists to mention. DeepSoul has previously focused on Ayers as a heavily sampled artist ("Everybody Loves the Sunshine" was sampled in Blige's "My Life"), but his impressive work as a solo artist and with his group Roy Ayers Ubiquity also is worth a listen. One example of his

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...
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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,

CD Review: Uncle Lucius - The Light

Uncle Lucius delivers a set of 12 thought-provoking numbers on The Light
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Before Uncle Lucius recorded their fourth album, The Light, they got out of their record deal. That move may have been crippling for some bands but for Uncle Lucius, it was not. After a decade of slogging it out on the road, the Austin band built a loyal fan base, which happily pledged to help fund its latest record. For listeners, it was a coup. The Light boasts 12 tracks with thought-provoking lyrics and a healthy dose of Americana. The album opens with its strong title track. Singer Kevin Galloway accompanies himself on acoustic guitar on this introspective number before

DeepSoul: Ben E. King - "Spanish Harlem"

While known best for "Stand by Me," Ben E. King's voice graced many more classics including this early Phil Spector composition.
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In April the soul world lost an important figure: Ben E. King, the smooth yet powerful vocalist best known for the 1961 hit "Stand by Me." Yet his voice graced many more classic cuts, both as a member of the Drifters and as a solo artist. Never over-singing, King's crisp delivery allowed listeners to linger over every syllable, and his raw emotion suggested that he had lived through each word he crooned. While "Stand by Me" is a standard, his performance on the Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber-written "Spanish Harlem" reveals his considerable interpretive skills. Born in North Carolina in

CD Review: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama

This classic Rockpalast performance makes its CD debut.
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In 1996, nearly a decade after defying the odds by reuniting and nearly two decades after the plane crash that almost ended the band for good - and did end them for a decade - Lynyrd Skynyrd made an appearance on the famed German music program Rockpalast. Now, nearly two decades later, this classic performance makes its first appearance on CD as Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama. Johnny Van Zant, who has been the singer since the band reunited in 1987, taking the place of his late brother Ronnie, handles vocals on the 1996 show. The performance opens with

CD Review: Jeff Beck - Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's

This legendary Ronnie Scott's performance is available complete on CD for the first time.
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In 2007, Jeff Beck performed a series of concerts at the famed Ronnie Scott's club in London. A packed house, including several famous guests, attended every show and Beck had some big-name guest stars on stage as well. The concerts became something of legend and have been released on CD and DVD before, but never complete on CD, until now. Jeff Beck - Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's, culls all of the performances, including those with the guest stars as well as his set with the Big Town Playboys in a new two-CD set. The show starts out in

CD Review: Little Richard - Directly from My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years

New box set collects tracks from Little Richard's most vital years.
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If there was a Mount Rushmore of rock and roll's founding fathers, one would think the likes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis would be among its members. Another, equally important, performer would be Little Richard. His boisterous style and larger-than-life persona paved the way for countless other performers and his music represents the very DNA of rock. While Little Richard may have always seemed to be a star, his early period proved to be a struggle, in spite of being signed to the RCA label, which would soon be the home to Presley. After a series