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Author Archives: Rick Allen

Paxton Norris

Something's Gotta Give
Self-distributed
 
Paxton-Norris

Norris is an unabashed acolyte of Duane Allman. “Your My Girl” (sic) is a soul ballad that has the late guitarist’s stamp all over it. “It’s Alright,” an uptempo boogie, and “Hard Luck Case,” a slice of swamp jazz/rock thickened by Mike Lynch’s B-3, would (more…)

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Diunna Greenleaf

Trying To Hold On
Blue Mercy
 
Diunna-Greenleaf

Texas blues singer Greenleaf has gathered a host of noteworthy guest guitarists to help highlight her considerable virtues and versatility as a writer and singer. Three of the tunes here – “The Beautiful Hat,” “You Don’t Feel That Way,” and “’Cause I’m A Soldier” – (more…)

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Amy Black

One Time
Reuben Records
 
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There’s a solid old-school thump to Amy Black’s modern, acoustic-guitarbased blues. Sometimes (as on “Stay”), she leavens her music with a rockabilly flavor with the help of fiddler Dan Kellar, who gets some of his best moments on the title cut and the dark (more…)

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Grant Dermody

Lay Down My Burden
Self-distributed
 
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Harmonica whiz Dermody is the honcho on this tribute to the real roots of modern blues and popular music, and he employs a host of fine guitarists to help. Dermody is smart enough to make sure things work organically; no one crowds anyone else. The (more…)

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Arty Hill

Another Lost Highway
Self-distributed
 
ARTY-HILL-THUMB

Good musicians just might outnumber good songwriters, but don’t tell Arty Hill. This album of 11 originals out of 12 cuts sports snappy country swing and blues numbers like the energetic “Mae Dawn” that prove that not only do they write ’em like they used (more…)

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Claude Hay

Deep Fried Satisfied
Ingot Rock
 
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Australian Claude Hay is an intensely spirited one-man band. He works himself into such a frenzy performing his multi-layered songs (“How Can You Live Without Yourself”) they become improvisation-like outpourings of a man possessed. Whatever his inspiration, Hay has a knack for writing unique songs. (more…)

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Hot Club of Cowtown

What Makes Bob Holler
Proper Records
 
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Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli’s Hot Club both blended early 20th century blues and jazz with the folk music of their culture. Both featured hot-shot fiddlers and guitarists, and both operated in their classic form from 1934 (more…)

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Ian Moore

El Sonido Nuevo
Sparkle & Shine
 
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Ian Moore and his gang make such a grand noise it’s hard to believe they’re only a trio. Moore and bass player Matt Harris wrote this disc full of high-quality pop music that has a welcome dose of swagger. All three players, including drummer Kyle (more…)

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Brian Wright

House On Fire
Sugar Hill
 
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Brian Wright draws on the stylistic legacies of an eclectic bunch of influences, some quite obvious. There’s no mistaking his debt to classic Velvet Underground in “Striking Matches,” but less obvious is the sense of abandon mixed with desperation that ties it to the (more…)

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Amber Digby & Justin Trevino, Curtis Potter, Tony Booth, Darrell McCall, Dottsy

Keepin’ Up Appearances, The Survivors, Meet Me In Texas
Heart Of Texas Records
 
Dottsy-THUMB

Heart Of Texas Records holds the line against the carpetbagger forces of “modern” country music, producing the kind of country best played on honky tonk jukeboxes and the radios of American-made pickups. These three (more…)

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