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Author Archives: John Heidt

Jonny Lang

Fight For My Soul

Jonny Lang’s career has taken a turn that should befuddle the folks who saw him as a pretender to the Blues King throne. He started young, playing biting lead guitar and spitting gravelly vocals that sounded like they should be coming from someone much older. For several records now, he’s moved into the world of […]

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Diana Krall

Glad Rag Doll

Fans familiar with Krall’s records featuring swinging tunes and gentle ballads might be more than a little surprised when they hear Glad Rag Doll. It wouldn’t be fair to say she’s left the jazz world, because many of these 13 song are old jazz tunes that fit that bill. But they are done in such […]

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Slightly Stoopid & Friends

Live at Roberto’s Tri Studios 9-13-11

Slightly Stoopid is a group of friends who have been making music since their teenage days, mixing reggae, funk, R&B, and punk. They also play acoustic rock that lets two front men, Miles Mason Doughty and Kyle J. McDonald, show off some chops while they trade between the bass and guitar. Both are able soloists […]

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The Amazing Rhythm Aces

Stacked Deck Too Stuffed to Jump

These two wonderful albums have been released on CD in the past, but this new combo package trumps all those editions. The sound is brilliantly clean, there are liner notes to supply some background history, and for the first time, the Aces’ 1975 version of “Mystery Train” appears on a disc. But what really matters […]

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Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Lickety Split

The latest album by sacred steel giant Randolph and his band is a non-stop, foot-stomping mix of R&B, soul, rock and roll, and gospel that is as invigorating as it is smart. Randolph’s playing is all over the record, darting in and out of vocals and other instruments with an ease and a sense of […]

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Nick Moran Trio

No Time Like Now
Manor Sound Music

Moran and band are definitely an organ trio steeped in the tradition, but they aren’t afraid to mix things up a little. That’s immediately made clear on the opener, “Strange Brew.” Yes, it’s the Cream classic, and it’s the only non-original here. It’s deconstruction and reconstruction by the band works incredibly well. The funk wouldn’t […]

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Lincoln Durham

The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones

Minimalist begins to describe Durham’s music and approach, but it doesn’t capture everything that is involved. All 11 of the songs here feature pretty much some form of guitar and percussion and not much else. Yes, there is a piano on the folk-country ballad “Clementine” and the occasional mandolin and fiddle, but it’s a six-string […]

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Paul Brown

The Funky Joint
Woodward Avenue Records

A lot of people paint the smooth jazz world with a broad brush that sometimes ignores the players who play with soul, intensity, and smartness. Paul Brown would be one such player. While his playing is firmly rooted in jazz, his R&B grit and amazing ability to write a memorable melody make his records, including […]

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Nick Lowe

Labour of Lust
Yep Roc Records

Time sometimes makes us forget how good certain artists truly are, and Nick Lowe is a prime example. After being out of print for some time, Yep Roc has reissued Lowe’s brilliant 1979 album, Labour of Lust. Cut at the same time as his Rockpile bandmate Dave Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary, the band plays on […]

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Joanne Shaw Taylor

Diamonds in the Dirt

Joanne Shaw Taylor is a young British guitarist who, with this album, is moving beyond the blues. While her guitar style is certainly rooted in familiar ground, she writes songs more on the side of soul world and on occasion even tilts toward pop. “Dead and Gone” is a good place for the uninitiated to […]

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