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Published monthly since 1986

Author Archives: Dennis Pernu

Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey

Going Back Home

Wilko Johnson was having quite a run. In 2009 he stole the show in Oil City Confidential, Julien Temple’s acclaimed rock doc about Johnson’s old band, Dr. Feelgood. In 2011 he began appearing as a mute executioner in the cable series “Game of Thrones.” In 2012, he released his autobiography Looking Back at Me, followed […]

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Jonny Two Bags

Salvation Town

Entering his 15th year as Mike Ness’ guitar foil in Social Distortion, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham steps out with a platter of his own. Social D fans hoping for a stopgap collection of roots-punk with a Stonesy patina until that band’s next LP will instead find 10 wonderfully crafted tracks of Americana with a pronounced […]

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Reverend Horton Heat


Jim Heath, the fleet-fingered and irrepressible godfather of psychobilly, is back, leading his trio, Reverend Horton Heat, through their first new long-player since 2009. And while some are hailing it as a return to form, truth is Rev serves up generous helpings of hot rockabilly, surf, and country licks that accompany references to internal combustion, […]

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The Cactus Blossoms

Live at the Turf Club

In an age when cultural currency seems measured in units of irony, brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey are an astonishing revelation. The duo fronts the Twin Cities-based Cactus Blossoms, drawing inspiration from the likes of Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzell, but also honoring the country tradition of brother harmonies that includes the Monroes, Stanleys, […]

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Uncle Tupelo

No Depression Legacy Edition

Some fans of the late, great Uncle Tupelo claim solace in the fact the band’s acrimonious split resulted in two great bands – Jay Farrar’s Son Volt and Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco. Others dismiss this as only so much cold comfort. A few listens to Legacy’s deluxe reissue of Uncle Tupelo’s debut, No Depression, should convince […]

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The Gourds

All the Labor

In October 2013, a mere month after releasing their 10th LP (and 19 years after forming), the Gourds announced that they were taking a hiatus. With the Austin, Texas, alt-country quintet’s new album (produced by Larry Campbell) barely a month old, the timing was curious. All the Labor reveals some possible reasons for the band’s […]

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Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. The Official Book

Though he introduced unabashed (and deafening) guitar heroics to the indie slacker nation, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis is more often cast as an impossible misanthrope. This stunning new coffee-table book, though brimming with ultra-rare photography and memorabilia, also details all the sonic and personal mayhem in the words of the founding members, colleagues, and associates. […]

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Gretsch Roots Collection: Jim Dandy Flat-top, Dixie 6 Guitar-Banjo

Back to the Country

Gretsch Roots Collection: Jim Dandy Flat-top, Dixie 6 Guitar-Banjo Price: $239 retail (Jim Dandy Flat Top) and $499 retail (Dixie 6 Guitar-Bajo) Contact: Cynics inclined to dismiss Gretsch’s Roots Collection as a crass ploy to hop aboard the current washboard-rock chuckwagon popularized by the likes of Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers will […]

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Bob Dylan

The Complete Album Collection Vol. One

What to make of a box set compiling the half-century career of the most towering figure in American popular music? After all, Bob Dylan’s stature ensures that the target market already owns a goodly number (and in many cases, all) of the 41 live and studio albums contained here – and probably many in glorious […]

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Neil Young

Live at the Cellar Door

Uncle Neil’s at it again, issuing the seventh disc in his live Archives Performance Series. Once more he’s alone with his Martins and a piano (a “really outta sight” Steinway), this time post-Thanksgiving 1970 at the erstwhile D.C. club in the title. For those keeping score, Cellar Door is Disc 2.5 in the series. Culled […]

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