Author Archives: Rich Kienzle

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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Alan Jackson

Angels And Alcohol

Following his 2013 bluegrass album, Alan Jackson returns to his usual format, in this case, 10 songs of varying topics and moods. Seven are Jackson originals (no collaborators) covering matters of the heart, drinking, spirituality, and philosophy. Vocally, he remains as consistent as (more…)

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Leon Bridges

Coming Home

The buzz is out on 26-year-old singer-guitarist Leon Bridges. His style, deeply rooted in vintage R&B of the ’50s and ’60s, features smoky, relaxed vocals with an undeniable Sam Cooke flavor. Enhanced by his background in choreography, Bridges mixes sight and sound to (more…)

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Bill Kirchen

Seeds, Stems, and a Tele-fied Legacy

There’s ample revisiting in Seeds and Stems, Telecaster slinger Bill Kirchen’s third album for Proper America. Five of the 13 songs hearken back to his late-’60s/mid-’70s days with pioneer country-rockers Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. “Flip Flop,” “Womb To The Tomb” and “Rockabilly Funeral,” are longstanding favorites of his solo repertoire, as is […]

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Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Area Code 615, and more

Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City
Music City Rocks

Nashville became a magnet for rockers when Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Gene Vincent recorded there in the ’50s, but the ’60s British Invasion and folk-rock boom also connected to the Nashville recording scene. Peter & Gordon paved the way, recording a country (more…)

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Bob’s Playboy Pickers


Bob Wills was, first and foremost, a fiddler. But he began his career in childhood, strumming guitar and mandolin chords at rural Texas parties and dances behind his father, ace fiddler Uncle John Wills. As leader of the Texas Playboys from 1934 to ’64, Wills not only helped define the guitar’s role in western swing, […]

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Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Django and Jimmie

Whatever’s changed in the 32 years since their duet album Pancho & Lefty, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard continue to share vast musical common ground. The proof lies in this blend of new originals, covers, and classics. The title song honors their common musical heroes: (more…)

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