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Author Archives: Rick Allen

Darren Jay and the Delta Souls

Drink My Wine
Self-distributed
 
Darren-Jay

Darren Jay may not be in Gregg Allman’s class as a singer, but he’s still effective. As a guitar player and arranger, though, he can stand with many, and he leads this big eight-piece delta soul band like an expert muleskinner. It doesn’t hurt to have (more…)

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Waylon Jennings

Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings
Saguaro Road Records
 
Waylon-Jennings

Waylon was one of the first country music “outlaws” to rebel against the Nashville machine, and one of the ways it showed was that he never abandoned his guitar onstage – unlike many other country artists of the 1970s and ’80s. Even though most of (more…)

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Guy Forsythe

The Freedom To Fail
Blue Corn Music
 
Guy-Forsyth

Call this music “Americana,” if you have to put a label on it. The opener, “Red Dirt,” establishes straight away the muscular Midwestern quality that reflects Guy Forsythe’s musical coming of age in Kansas City, a locus for many musical styles. Blues, jazz, R&B, and rock (more…)

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Rick Berlin and the Nickel and Dime Band

Always On Insane
Self-distributed
 
Rick-Berlin

It’s not glam rock, although “(I’m A) Slut” sparkles with a certain Bowie/ Roxy Music sexual ambiguity. It’s not Captain Beefheart’s industrial-strength experimental rock, though “Karaoke,” with a West Coast cool sax solo from Don Govoni furthers the Beefheart connection. Whatever elements make up Berlin’s (more…)

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The Cash Box Kings

Holler and Stomp
Blind Pig
 
CASH-BOX-KINGS-THUMB

The Cash Box Kings are part of the multi-ethnic, crossgenerational, Chicago-based community of musicians that includes the Killborn Alley Blues Band, guitarist Billy Flynn, producer/multi instrumentalist Gerry Hundt, and other like-minded souls. Like the others, the Kings put as much fire into country blues (more…)

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Shelby Lynne

Revelation Road
Everso Records
 
SHELBY-LYNN-THUMB

Revelation Road comes from an artist who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it, and can come up with an end product that displays brilliantly the worth of the work put into it. This may be a country record ostensibly, but Alabama (more…)

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The Clutter Family

The Clutter Family
(Self-distributed)
 
the clutter family THUMB copy

Whatever else happens to The Clutters, they will never be invited to Sarah Palin’s house for Thanksgiving dinner – the name of their song about her can’t even be printed. But they are clever satirists and seriously talented folk/rock musicians who (more…)

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Phil Lee

The Fall and Futher Decline of the Mighty King of Love
Self-distributed
 
Phil-Lee

There’s something special about a songwriter who can break your heart and make you come back for more. Phil Lee does it in style with “Cold Ground,” a song about unimaginable grief. Lines like “I’m not a tough guy but I can fake it for (more…)

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Hans Theessink & Terry Evans with Ry Cooder

Delta Time
Blue Groove
 
Hans-Theessink

Despite the title’s implication of down-and-dirty blues, this is closer to what we think of as folk music. Of course, the blues is exactly that, but Theessink and Evans’ blues is more the folky, ragtime-influenced East Coast blues and gospel-anchored music of Pops Staples than (more…)

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Steve Hunter

The Manhattan Blues Project
 
Steve-Hunter-THUMB

Picking a highlight of Steve Hunter’s latest is a tough chore, as there’s many tracks to recommend. Top of the list may be his lovely interpretation of the Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Goin’ On.” Or perhaps it’s his breathtaking, almost solo instrumental of “Solsbury Hill” with (more…)

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