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Author Archives: Dan Forte

The Pretty Things

The Sweet Pretty Things (Are In Bed Now, Of Course)

England’s Snapper Records recently released the ultimate retrospective of the Pretty Things, purveyors of “thrash R&B” (to quote lead singer Phil May) and psychedelia. Featured in July ’15’s “Check This Action,” it weighs six and a half pounds and includes remastered CDs (more…)

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Laura Orshaw

Songs Of Lost Yesterdays
What’s Old Is Still Alive and Lively

It’s refreshing to hear a young female playing fiddle and singing bluegrass and old-time music who is not yet another Alison Krauss wannabe. Not to take anything away from Krauss – her iconic position is well-deserved. But we already have one Alison Krauss; (more…)

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Sugarcane Jane

Dirt Road’s End

There are enough examples of married-couple acts imploding or having one spouse drag the other down that there probably ought to be a warning sign, if not a law. But the debut duo album by Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford as Sugarcane Jane is enough (more…)

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The Sonics

This Is The Sonics
Sonics Boom Again

Sometimes, your memory of a favorite band is so locked in – and possibly blown out of proportion – that a reunion can’t possibly live up to its former self (or yours). And we’ve all seen So-and-So and The Such-and-Suches, with one toupéed original (more…)

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Ron Thompson

Son Of Boogie Woogie

Ron Thompson has been a fixture in the San Francisco blues scene for more than 40 years. But rather than gaining visibility and rocketing to stardom like, say, Robben Ford, he patiently paid his dues in the trenches of ghetto clubs in decidedly (more…)

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Muddy Waters & Friends, J.B. Hutto & His Hawks

Soundstage: Blues Summit In Chicago, 1974 and Hawk Squat
Keep The Blues Unvarnished

If you never saw Muddy Waters in person, please don’t use the Soundstage DVD as a barometer. In fact, don’t buy it. In spite of the blues-star guests, the lackluster hour-long program never gets off the ground. Maybe the setting was just (more…)

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Grant Green

Racing Green – Guitar Solos, 1959-62

Prolific though he was, there have been more albums devoted to jazz guitar great Grant Green posthumously than were released in his lifetime. Not surprising, considering he died at 43. A heroin addict for much of his career, a heart attack felled him in 1979. This (more…)

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Andy Brown


Chicago-based Andy Brown is 40 years old – meaning that some of the songs here were popular decades before he was born, as well as illustrating his maturity, along with the fact that he’s done his homework. Some of Brown’s studies were with Cal Collins, Ted (more…)

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Eliza Gilkyson

Not Your Typical Folkie

“My dad was my biggest influence, especially melodically. He loved dark melodies,” says Eliza Gilkyson of her father, the late Terry Gilkyson. As the title of her latest CD hints, The Nocturne Diaries mostly habitates the darker side. Her dad sang with the Weavers in the (more…)

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Aaron Moreland

Where Zeppelin Meets Son House

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 (more…)

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