Author Archives: Rick Allen

Laurence Jones

What's It Gonna Be

Ostensibly a blues artist, on his latest disc Laurence Jones sounds more like hybrid blues-rock acts such as Foghat and, notably, the Jon Butcher Axis. Jones follows Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce, and Peter Green working along that uniquely British arc of the blues, (more…)

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Rich Kienzle

The Grand Tour: The Life and Music of George Jones

VG readers won’t be surprised to learn that contributor Rich Kienzle’s comprehensive bio of George Jones is a great read and a dispassionate chronicle of his drive-in movie of a life. While the 2015 memoir The Life of George Jones by Jones’ erstwhile (more…)

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John Del Toro Richardson

Tengo Blues

With this Tex-Mex flavored blues album co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, another fine Texas blues guitarist, John Del Toro Richardson hits his stride. Think Los Lobos with the blues to Latino style ratio in reverse. Richardson even sounds a little bit like Lobos vocalist (more…)

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Deb Callahan

Sweet Soul

Live shows from Callahan and band have been knocking out East Coast crowds for some time. The group also knows how to work it in a recording studio where some of the best live bands can lose their mojo without the feedback of (more…)

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Andy Poxon

Must Be Crazy

A former teen phenom, Andy Poxon is just now hovering around the legal drinking age with enough footage on the internet to chronicle his musical growth and development over the last half dozen years or so. The switch from solidbody Teles, Strats, and Les (more…)

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Zac Harmon

Right Man Right Now

The blues has often called out injustice and shined the harsh light of truth as much as it has lamented broken hearts or celebrated the joys of sex. Zac Harmon’s “Stand Your Ground” is the showpiece here, rooted in the social protest that (more…)

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Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen

Love & Life

Parts of Ted Drozdowski’s coal-mining family background are almost as hardscrabble and tragic as that of the people who created the blues music he champions so fiercely. That background is a factor in what made him a guitar player and songwriter of authority (more…)

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Various Artists

Muddy Waters 100

Guitarists John Primer and Billy Flynn, bassist Felton Lewis, and drummer Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith are part of an aggregation that’s long worked for the preservation and perpetuation of Chicago blues. That core gives this tribute disc continuity, letting guests who actually (more…)

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Richard Bennett

Contrary Cocktail

Richard Bennett works with a jazzman’s precision and taste, a swing player’s cool, and a rockabilly’s sense of urgency and fun. As a songwriter of guitar-centric instrumentals, his songs are visually as well as emotionally evocative, flowing out of your speakers in Technicolor. The (more…)

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Amy Black

The Muscle Shoals Sessions

If Will Kimbrough’s name does not come up the next time you’re discussing great guitar players, then you ain’t saying nothin’. Kimbrough is always on the money whether putting a delicately strong acoustic solo to Paul Mitchell’s soul ballad, “Starting All Over Again,” a hit (more…)

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