Author Archives: Dan Forte

Jenny Boyd

Searching For The Source
Jenny Boyd

Dr. Jenny Boyd is founder and director of Spring Workshops, “organizing psychotherapeutic groups for people in need of personal development.” She is also the “Jennifer” who inspired Donovan’s “Jennifer Juniper.” Like her sister Pattie, Jenny became a model in swinging-’60s London. Pattie married and divorced both Beatle George Harrison and Eric Clapton; Jenny married and […]

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Ellen Harper

Music is the Family Business
Ellen Harper

“Ben likes to joke that this album had a lifetime of pre-production,” Ellen Harper says of Childhood Home, her collaboration with her Grammy-winning son. A spare rhythm section, Ben’s Weissenborn slide, guitar, dulcimer, and Autoharp, and Ellen’s acoustic guitar and banjo provide the subtle bed for the beautiful mother/son harmonies on 10 unapologetically folkie originals. […]

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Joseph Rosen

Blues Hands

Surely, Joe Rosen isn’t the first music photographer to snap a shot not of a performer’s face but of his or her hands. The difference is he continued the practice and, with a keen eye, compiled those shots into a book. Its 128 semi-glossy (more…)

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Sean McGowan

My Fair Lady

On previous releases, Denver-based McGowan has interpreted tunes by such heavyweights as Oliver Nelson, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Charlie Parker, and Rodgers and Hart. He also dedicated his Sphere album to Thelonious Monk’s repertoire and released an acoustic Thanksgiving/Christmas CD. Exploring (more…)

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Eric Bibb and J.J. Milteau

Lead Belly's Gold
Lead Belly Lives!

The September ’15 “Check This Action” column was devoted to an impressive box-set the Smithsonian Folkways label dedicated to Lead Belly, whom Eric Bibb and J.J. Milteau honored with this CD. Lead Belly’s importance to American culture can’t be overstated. He sang against (more…)

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Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

Telecaster Summit
Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

For guitar lovers and roots-music fans, the place to be in July ’13 was British Columbia. The Vancouver Island MusicFest held a true summit meeting of masters of the Telecaster (with an asterisk). Britain’s Albert Lee is acclaimed for his work with Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, and others. Amos Garrett played the […]

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Billy Gibbons and the BFG’s

No ZZ, Still Tops

A “solo debut” by Rev. Billy F. Gibbons, at age 65, is a bit like Satchel Paige being a 42-year-old “rookie” in major league baseball after two decades as the Negro Leagues’ greatest pitcher. Because ZZ Top’s longtime manager, Bill Ham, had some (more…)

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What’s Going On: Live At The Isle Of Wight

Taste was a criminally short-lived Irish blues-rock trio in the late ’60s, featuring bassist Richard McCracken, drummer John Wilson, and the extraordinary guitar and vocals of Rory Gallagher. They played 1970’s infamous Isle Of Wight Festival, in front of 600,000 people, immediately after deciding (more…)

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The Wrecking Crew (soundtrack)

The Wrecking Crew
L.A.’s Red-Light Masters

The Wrecking Crew, the documentary about L.A.’s well-paid but largely anonymous session players ranks with the very best music documentaries. Director Denny Tedesco, son of legendary studio guitarist Tommy Tedesco, did a fantastic job. The DVD, with tons of bonus features, should (more…)

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Mary Osborne

A Girl & Her Guitar

This isn’t just a reissue; the first CD appearance of Mary Osborne’s only solo album is an event. Osborne was not just the first major female jazz guitarist, she was arguably the best ever – Emily Remler and Mimi Fox notwithstanding. In the ’40s, (more…)

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