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Author Archives: Dan Forte

Country Joe and the Fish

Electric Music For the Mind and Body
 
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Country Joe and The Fish were one of the most original, eclectic, and just plain good San Francisco bands of the mid to late ’60s. Joe McDonald, in particular, wrote songs that were complex but accessible; David Cohen doubled on guitar and Farfisa organ; and if the Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen was the “best” lead guitarist […]

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Paul McCartney & Wings

Wings Over America Rockshow
 
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As clearly as the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” adage has been demonstrated by numerous great bands, it will never keep critics from harping on how each of the Beatles’ solo work (essentially “the Fab Four Minus Three”) doesn’t measure up to their years together. People old enough to have experienced […]

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The Warren Hood Band

The Warren Hood Band
 
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Not one but two royal bloodlines of Texas music flow through the Warren Hood Band. Violinist Hood’s father, the late Champ Hood, was one-third of Uncle Walt’s Band, along with David Ball and the late Walter Hyatt. Pianist Emily Gimble is the granddaughter of legendary fiddler Johnny Gimble, an alumnus of Bob Wills and His […]

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Tom Jones

Spirit in the Room
 
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Sir Tom Jones’ career was far from hurting , but 2010’s Praise & Blame earned him a new audience in unexpected circles. Those who begrudgingly allowed that he had a great voice “for that Vegasy lounge stuff” were knocked sideways as Jones ripped into a raw, pared-down set of blues and gospel, from John Lee […]

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Happy Traum

American Stranger
Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop
 
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Resurrected from Stefan Grossman’s Kicking Mule label of the ’70s (1977, to be exact), Stranger was the followup to Traum’s solo debut, Relax Your Mind. In lieu of beefing up the 30-minute set with bonus tracks, the album is paired with a 13-song DVD of Traum in concert in ’81. Also, the CD includes a […]

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“Rockabill-Lee”

Alvin Lee In Tennessee
Rainman
 
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England’s Albert Lee provided one of Woodstock’s highpoints, with his band Ten Years After’s frenetic version of “I’m Going Home,” and Lee got caught up in the faster-is-better era. But as his sophisticated single-note and chordal work on Undead revealed, Lee had a solid grounding in jazz, revealing a familiarity with players like Barney Kessel […]

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Rosie Flores

Working Girl's Guitar
Bloodshot
 
Rosie-Flores

The first of Flores’ 11 solo albums came out in ’87, but by then she’d run the gamut from singer/songwriter (in sort of an L.A./Ronstadt mold) to punk (including a 1984 LP by her all-girl Screaming Sirens). Along the way, she dueted with Wanda Jackson and Ray Campi, hosted NPR’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’” rockabilly series, […]

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Rick Holmstrom

Cruel Sunrise
M.C. Records
 
Rick-Holmstrom

The late Cub Koda wrote that Rick Holmstrom’s “inventive ideas are topnotch,” comparing him to the great Earl Hooker. That was in reference to Holmstrom’s solo debut, released in ’96, when he was 31. Sixteen years and five solo albums later, Holmstrom has matured by leaps and bounds into a master of tone and taste. […]

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Chris O’Connell

Be Right Back!
Song Records
 
Chris-O'Connell

Finally! At last! Considering that she made her recording debut in 1973 with Asleep at the Wheel’s maiden voyage, it’s amazing that it’s taken nearly 40 years for Chris O’Connell to release her first solo album. During the Wheel’s zenith, she dueted with leader Ray Benson on “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read,” managed to […]

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Pat Martino

Undeniable
HighNote
 
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Martino has been recording for almost 50 years, originally as sideman to such funk-jazz greats as saxophonist Willis “Gator” Jackson and organists Brother Jack McDuff, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Don Patterson, and Trudy Pitts. When he began leading his own sessions, first with 1967’s El Hombre, he delved into Middle Eastern modes, unorthodox time signatures, and […]

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