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Author Archives: Dan Forte

Captain Beefheart

Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972
Ahead of His – or Anyone’s – Time
 
Captain-Beefheart

“Lick My Decals Off, Baby,” “Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop,” “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains.” That’s right – we’re talking about Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, and his Magic Band. Beefheart and co. emerged from the Southern California desert in the mid ’60s. Their first full-fledged (more…)

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Sergio Diab

Stratoman
 
Sergio-Diab

Brazil and the guitar have a long, prolific relationship with each other, from the classical compositions of Villa-Lobos to Laurindo Almeida’s mix of classical and jazz to the bossa nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. Two standouts carrying the torch today are Joao Erbetta (more…)

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Markus James

Head For the Hills
 
Markus-James

James is Virginia-born but has spent time in Northern California and West Africa. His work with three Malian musicians resulted in the documentary film Timbuktoubab. He points out the too-similar-to-be-coincidence similarity between the black fife and drum bands in Northern Mississippi’s hill country and West Africa. The (more…)

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Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

The Complete Epic Recordings Collection
The Good, The Bad, and The Troubling
 
Stevie-Ray-Vaughan

One of the greatest blues guitarists of any era, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s recorded output with his band, Double Trouble, consisted of only five albums (four studio, one live) during his lifetime. And though he hit the scene like the self-described hurricane in his adaptation of (more…)

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Charlie Haden and Jim Hall

Charlie Haden - Jim Hall
 
Charlie-Haden-and-Jim-Hall

In the past year, the jazz world lost two giants in guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Charlie Haden. All the more reason to celebrate this previously unreleased recording of the pair performing as a duo at the 1990 Montreal Jazz Festival. Haden and (more…)

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Dave Ray

Legacy
Snaker is Back!
 
Dave-Ray

Kudos to Red House Records for this three-CD set of rare and unreleased recordings by blues singer/guitarist Dave Ray. It probably won’t fly off shelves, but more people need to be exposed to the music of Ray, who has been largely overlooked in the various treatises on blues and the Folk Boom. “Snaker,” as he […]

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Annie Ross

To Lady with Love
 
Annie-Ross

Although she has released 20 solo albums, Ross is best known for her tenure in the vocal trio of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, from ’57 to ’62. But she’s also been a nightclub owner, songwriter, actress, and the subject of a documentary and a Broadway (more…)

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Johnny Winter

Step Back
 
Johnny-Winter

Roots, from 2011, ended an almost 10-year drought for Winter, and in fine style, featuring excellent playing from Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth, Vince Gill, and especially Winter himself. Step Back was to be the second CD in a trilogy, with more guests playing what Winter (more…)

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B.B. King

The Life Of Riley
 
B.B.-King

If you’re going to take on the life story of B.B. King, you’d better do it right. Not only is it one of the most remarkable rags-to-riches stories in show business (or any walk of life), but King’s stature truly transcends music. He’s not just blues ambassador to the rest of the world, in many […]

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Fernando Perez

Six Strings Around The World
 
Fernando-Perez

How many guitarists can masterfully play flamenco and then bottleneck Delta blues just as convincingly? There are eclectic, versatile guitarists, and then there is Fernando Perez. Usually if someone can play bebop with a plectrum and bossa nova fingerstyle, that’s considered versatile – or in (more…)

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