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Author Archives: Dan Forte

ZZ Top

The First 20 Years, Un-Remixed
 
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Usually, the hook with boxed reissues is that they include previously unreleased songs, alternate takes, live material, and maybe some extra tchotchkes like rare photos, revisionist essays, or poster reproductions. Sometimes it’s remixed versions of familiar hits. It’s rare that the main attraction is un-remixed albums the way they came out 40-odd years ago – […]

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Aaron Moreland

Where Zeppelin Meets Son House
 
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Growing up in a small Kansas town, 38-year-old Aaron Moreland took up guitar at 15, and his first garage band played classic-rock throwbacks like “Tush” and “China Grove,” occasionally getting more contemporary with R.E.M. and the Black Crowes. By 2001, when he met singer/harpist Dustin Arbuckle at an open mic, he’d immersed himself in acoustic […]

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Nick Knirk

Nick Pickin'
 
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As soon as this Louisiana native finished high school, he relocated to Denton, Texas, near Dallas, where he got a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He lists Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Cliff Gallup, Danny Gatton, Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Dick Dale, Brian Setzer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robben Ford, […]

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Jeff Beck

He Can’t Help It... He Just Keeps Getting Better
 
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In 1985, speaking of the ’83 Action Research into Muscle Distrophy (A.R.M.S.) Tour that united Yardbirds alumni Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton, the latter stated, “At that time and for many months after that, I began to think of Jeff as probably being the finest guitar player I’d ever seen. And I’ve been […]

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Robbie Robertson

The Many Sides of
 
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It’s difficult to say which is more ironic: the fact that Robbie Robertson, one of rock guitar’s true stylists, is more famous for his songwriting, or that beneath the minimal, compositional style that marked his work with The Band hid one of the most animalistic maniacs in rock guitar history. • The son of a […]

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Eric Bibb

Celebrating Wendell Berry In Music and Jericho Road
 
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Kentuckian Wendell Berry is a 79-year- old farmer, activist, novelist, journalist, and poet. He has received numerous awards, but never anything like this tribute, which puts Berry’s words to music – in two distinct formats, each succeeding admirably. One CD, In Song And Shade, finds Berry reading from 10 of his poems, which are then […]

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Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie plays The Blues... On Guitar
 
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In a career spanning 45 years, Charlie Musselwhite has taken the blues to places its never been – literally (playing every corner of the globe) and artistically (on his two dozen solo albums and backing such diverse artists as Tom Waits, INXS, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Eliades Ochoa, Eddie Vedder, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, […]

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Jo’ Buddy

Inside Out
 
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To celebrate 30 years on the road, this Finnish bluesman gathered up the various aggregations he’s toured and recorded with, along with some special guests, to deliver a dozen originals – each screaming “lowdown.” “Finnish bluesman”? That’s right. Before you snicker, remember that the best instrumental surf band to come along in a quarter century […]

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Michael Bloomfield

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands
 
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It’s difficult to critique compilations, especially those that include material from various labels: you never know what licensing restrictions were imposed, which cuts the A&R folks would’ve included but weren’t able to. It’s even harder when the artist in question changed your life. Mike Bloomfield had that effect on people. For a Jewish kid playing […]

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Lenny Breau

Live at Dante's, 6-18-84
 
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Jazz and R&B great Phil Upchurch said, “Lenny Breau was the most innovative guitarist since Wes Montgomery.” Considering that Montgomery is widely regarded as the third link in the chain of jazz guitar’s greatest stylists, after Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian, it’s a lofty claim – but one with which Pat Metheny, Martin Taylor, and […]

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