Author Archives: Rich Kienzle

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Live In San Francisco 1971

On July 11, 1971, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, a pioneer of country rock light years from either Gram Parsons or the Eagles, appeared on KSAN-FM in San Francisco, a performance captured on tape. Lost In The Ozone, their debut album, would (more…)

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Tennessee Ernie Ford

Portrait of an American Singer
Country Boogie

“Sixteen Tons,” Tennessee Ernie Ford’s immortal 1955 interpretation of Merle Travis’ impressionistic 1946 coal-mining ode, became a country and pop standard that not only cemented Ford’s place in American music, but landed him a prime-time NBC TV series for five seasons. Despite (more…)

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Doc Watson

Live At The Bottom Line
Doc In NYC

Doc Watson appeared twice at Manhattan’s Bottom Line in 2002, in March and August. With him were guitarists Jack Lawrence, who replaced Watson’s son Merle when he retired from the road in 1983 (he died in a ’85 accident) and Merle’s son Richard. (more…)

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Corb Lund

Things That Can't Be Undone

Lund’s debut, 2014’s Counterfeit Blues, showcased him and his three-piece Hurtin’ Albertans (guitarist Grant Siemens, upright bassist Kurt Ciesla, and drummer Brady Valgardson) revisiting previously recorded material at Sun Studios in Memphis, a fine fit with Lund’s unadorned, austere sound. This time, he and (more…)

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The Martian Denny Orchestra

en el espacio

Bob Irwin, founder-owner of New York-based Sundazed Music and a rock and jazz guitarist for decades, has a guitar-centric mind. Part of the instrumental band the Pluto Walkers, Irwin, who now lives near Nashville, continues running Sundazed as well as playing rock, (more…)

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John Pizzarelli

Midnight McCartney

His 1998 mash-up album John Pizzarelli Meets The Beatles staked his claim as a hardcore fan, and he was subsequently invited to play on Paul McCartney’s 2012 pop standards album Kisses On The Bottom. Sir Paul himself suggested Pizzarelli tackle an album of (more…)

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Lee Ritenour

A Twist of Rit

In honor of his 40th year of recording, Lee Ritenour blended a bit of new material with journeys in time, revisiting tunes he’d recorded starting with First Course, his 1975 debut. He kicks off with “Wild Rice” and “Fatback” from early in his (more…)

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The Lovin’ Spoonful

Do You Believe In Magic, Daydream, Hums

In their short existence from 1965 to ’67, the original Lovin’ Spoonful – singer-guitarist John Sebastian, guitarist Zal Yanovsky, bassist Steve Boone, and drummer-vocalist Joe Butler – parlayed the acoustic jug band music of the ’60s folk (more…)

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Jeff Healey

The Best Of The Stony Plain Years

Famous as a driving, fiery blues guitar virtuoso in the ’90s, the late Jeff Healey’s passion for that music was equaled (at least) by his passion for older blues, vintage swing, and jazz going back to (more…)

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Bobby Black

Steel Before and After Commander Cody

When he got the invitation, Bobby Black wasn’t sure. The pedal-steel virtuoso, a 20-plus-year veteran of San Francisco’s music scene, had just been asked to join the long-hairs in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. It was the fall of 1971, and Black was in a comfortable situation – he owned a recording studio […]

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