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Author Archives: Rich Kienzle

Albert King, Little Milton, and more

The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975
 
Stax-volt-soul-singles

This 10-disc set covers the final three years of Stax singles, a period when the iconic Memphis-based label was under new management and trying to broaden and expand too many directions at once, a disastrous move that led to financial ruin. By December ’75, (more…)

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Elana James

Black Beauty
 
Elana-James

For her second solo effort, Elana James, fiddler-vocalist for the western-swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown, ventures afield into other genres. This shouldn’t be surprising, given her 2006 touring work as part of Bob Dylan’s band. Along with original tunes, James covers material by Dylan, the Grateful (more…)

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The Mavericks

Mono
Lightning In A New Bottle
 
The-Mavericks

After their acclaimed 2014 comeback album In Time and a successful tour, the Mavericks wasted no time creating a followup effort continuing the eclectic sounds, original material, and powerful performances that began in ’91 with their self-released first album. Singer-songwriter Raul Malo, who recorded a number (more…)

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Neil LeVang

Six Strings Behind — and Beyond — Champagne Music
 
Neil LeVang

Neil LeVang was about to get a lecture. Days earlier, the A-list studio guitarist’s new boss, Lawrence Welk, had golfed with a couple well-known singers who mentioned that LeVang had played on their sessions. “Neil,” Welk implored in his famous German accent, “If you thought as much about this (band) as recording with all these […]

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Jim Ed Brown

In Style Again
 
Jim-Ed-Brown

Jim Ed Brown was one third of the vocal trio The Browns with sisters Bonnie and Maxine, a popular act whose ’59 hit recording of “The Three Bells,” topped both country and pop charts. A Grand Ole Opry member, Brown launched a highly successful solo (more…)

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James Carothers

Honky Tonk Land
 
James-Carothers

It’s no surprise that Tennessee native James Carothers kicks off his debut album with an original titled “New Country Singers,” a witty jab at today’s current crop of drink/party/pickup truck chart-topping lightweights. Suffice it to say he approaches drinking songs with a more authentic perspective. Younger (more…)

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Red Allen, Frank Wakefield, and the Kentuckians

The WDON Recordings 1963
 
red-allen

Washington, D.C. and vicinity, known for forward-thinking bluegrass bands like the Country Gentlemen and the Seldom Scene, also had staunch traditionalists, among them the team of mandolin virtuoso Frank Wakefield (a one-time Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin sideman) and former Osborne Brothers singer-guitarist Red Allen. In 1963, (more…)

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Bryan Sutton

Into My Own
 
Bryan_Sutton

Bryan Sutton’s roots-music pedigree is flawless. His award-winning work as an accompanist and soloist spans bluegrass, Americana, and contemporary country, all proof of his versatility and virtuosity. A gifted guitar educator, he earned two Grammys as part of Ricky Skaggs’s Kentucky Thunder, another for “Whiskey (more…)

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Corb Lund

Counterfeit Blues
 
Corb-Lund

Corb Lund may not be well-known to American audiences, but he’s been around 30 years in Canada. As a solo act, he developed a simple, in-your-face country and roots sound with his longtime band, the Hurtin’ Albertans: guitarist Grant Siemens, upright bass player Kurt Ciesla, (more…)

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Brad Paisley

Moonshine In The Trunk
 
Brad-Paisley

After a slew of excellent albums earlier in the decade, Brad Paisley’s work has taken a more uneven turn. His vocals and flair for guitar pyrotechnics remain flawless even if the material on recent albums has been less-consistent. Moonshine In The Trunk continues this trend. (more…)

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