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Category Archives: Music

North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne

Freedom & Dreams
 
North-Mississippi-Allstars

Singer-songwriter Anders Osborne joins Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, and Chris Chew of the North Mississippi Allstars to create a rich Southern tapestry of blues, folk, vintage country, and rock. New Orleans grooves and masterful slide work finds chemistry amidst Osborne’s tales of the (more…)

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Jellyfish

Bellybutton and Spilt Milk
 
Jellyfish-bellybutton

Jellyfish was only around for these two records, but these reissues reinforce the belief that they were as good a band as you could find in the ’90s. The songs are brilliantly written with hooks big enough to drive a truck through. The vocals (more…)

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Eliane Elias

Made In Brazil
 
Eliane-Elias

Eliane Elias came to New York City from Brazil in 1981 and since then, building an impeccable reputation as a singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist, her recording projects never brought her home. This album, recorded in Sao Paulo, marks that homecoming. It blends six Elias (more…)

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Neil Barnes, Ron Thompson, and others and Bettye LaVette

Hyde & Seek and Worthy
This Blues Has Soul
 
Hyde-&-Seek

Blues harpist Neil Barnes is one of the greater San Francisco area’s best-kept secrets. His 2007 CD, This Was Then, Now, is a compilation of a 45 and an EP he released in the ’80s, along with some previously unreleased live material. For having (more…)

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Pokey LaFarge

Something In the Water
Hamfats-Styled Hot Stuff
 
Pokey-LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge’s Rounder Records debut continues his rich, well-established sound. Primarily acoustic, he offers another amalgam of jazz, blues, jug band, and Western swing. At different times, LaFarge and his expanded band conjure the sound and spirit of any number of 1930s jug bands, Western swing (more…)

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Swervedriver

I Wasn't Born To Lose You
 
Swervedriver-band

The shoegaze revival is peaking, so what better time for one of its leading lights to hop on the wagon while the hopping is hot, right? Not so fast. Swervedriver reunited seven years ago and has been touring semi-regularly and writing since. This is the band’s (more…)

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R.J. & the Del Guapos

Rockin! With R.J. & the Del Guapos
 
RJ-&-the-Del-Guapos

Guitarist/vocalist R.J. Ronquillo’s quartet utilizes three-fourths of the Panamericans, with him taking the place of Joao Erbetta. You can’t do much better than saxophonist Ron Dziubla, bassist Rob Douglas, and drummer Pete Curry – and they didn’t even have to leave their (more…)

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Gentle Giant

Live at the Bicentennial 1776-1976
 
Gentle-Giant

There were plenty of rock virtuosos in the ’70s, but Gentle Giant was a band apart, as you can hear in this radio broadcast from 1976. Each member was a multi-instrumentalist capable of melodic grace and terrifyingly complex passages. Gary Green was the main guitarist, but (more…)

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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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Big Apple Blues and Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King

Energy and Fat Man’s Shine Parlor
Blues A-Plenty
 
Big-Apple-Blues

Considering that its first-cousin, jazz, is predominantly an instrumental form, it’s surprising that there are so few instrumental blues albums. In terms of guitar, of course, Freddie King excelled most successfully, but that was more than a half-century ago. In recent years, Ronnie Earl (more…)

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