Author Archives: Dan Forte

Jeff Beck

He Can’t Help It... He Just Keeps Getting Better

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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Eric Bibb

Celebrating Wendell Berry In Music and Jericho Road

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 (more…)

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Jo’ Buddy

Inside Out

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 (more…)

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Michael Bloomfield

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands

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 (more…)

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Lenny Breau

Live at Dante's, 6-18-84

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 (more…)

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Perry Beekman

So In Love

Perry Beekman’s solo debut, subtitled Sings And Plays Cole Porter, offers 15 examples of why Porter’s catalog has outlived passing fashions and fads. The Woodstock-based guitarist considered calling it A Tale of Two Coles – the other being Nat “King” Cole, whose drummerless-trio format Beekman (more…)

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Bob Dylan

Another Self Portrait (19691971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10

Recharging their batteries, staving off writer’s block, getting back to their roots – countless musicians have an album of covers in their catalogs. Hardly controversial, unless it’s Bob Dylan. When he released 1970’s Self Portrait, fans and especially critics concentrated more on why he made (more…)

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Barrence Whitfield and the Savages

Dig Thy Savage Soul

There are rock reunions, and then there are rock reunions. Some shine (the Zombies, the Rascals), others tarnish (Police, the post-Morrison, Densmore-less Doors). But blink and you might have missed one of the most important reunions, at least in terms of roots rock – that (more…)

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Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker, and others

Caffe Lena

When one thinks of the Folk Boom of the late ’50s and early ’60s, the place that first comes to mind is New York City. Sure, Los Angeles had the Ash Grove, Chicago the Gate of Horn, but New York had Gerde’s Folk City, the (more…)

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Jim Colegrove & the New Rough Riders of the Dirty Age

3 Quarter Dime

Jim Colegrove’s talent is as big as his résumé is long. His session work includes albums by Todd Rundgren, John Hall, Bobby Charles, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and even Allen Ginsberg. Most of that was on bass (also his instrument as member of Ian & (more…)

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