Category Archives: Music

Ian Siegal

The Picnic Sessions

This is what happens when you throw a bunch of talented musicians in a studio with no planning. Ian Siegal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Cody and Luther Dickinson, and Jimbo Mathus basically just sat down in front of some mics and started doing songs. The result (more…)

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Otis Taylor

Hey Joe Opus Red Meat

Anyone familiar with Otis Taylor’s work won’t be surprised by the hypnotic nature of his new record, featuring vocal numbers and instrumental interludes that all are seemingly connected. The classic title cut gets two different takes and they both are stunning. The first one, the record’s (more…)

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Muddy Waters & Friends, J.B. Hutto & His Hawks

Soundstage: Blues Summit In Chicago, 1974 and Hawk Squat
Keep The Blues Unvarnished

If you never saw Muddy Waters in person, please don’t use the Soundstage DVD as a barometer. In fact, don’t buy it. In spite of the blues-star guests, the lackluster hour-long program never gets off the ground. Maybe the setting was just (more…)

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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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James Burton, Albert Lee,Amos Garrett, David Wilcox

Guitar Heroes

Recorded live in 2013, this album is exactly what you’d think given the players: an onslaught of guitar playing that would make even the most cynical music fan smile. All four players are featured in a set of songs that have been around forever. The opener, (more…)

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Grant Green

Racing Green – Guitar Solos, 1959-62

Prolific though he was, there have been more albums devoted to jazz guitar great Grant Green posthumously than were released in his lifetime. Not surprising, considering he died at 43. A heroin addict for much of his career, a heart attack felled him in 1979. This (more…)

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Mark Knopfler

The Mellow Master

You have to hand it Mark Knopfler. Not only has he launched a successful solo career, but it’s one that’s wholly apart from his Dire Straits superstardom. As opposed to that band’s snappy guitar rockers and big ’80s anthems, Mark’s solo material is introspective, traversing 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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Wes Montgomery

In The Beginning
Play It Hot

The social climate transformed the music: being a jazz musician of color in the 1950s forced you to express music differently in those days. Life and music were tumultuously intertwined. A factory worker by day, Wes Montgomery played Indianapolis’ Turf Club at night and swung (more…)

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Arlen Roth

Slide Guitar Summit

Venerable slide guitar master-educator Arlen Roth collaborates with nine peers: Lee Roy Parnell, Jack Pearson, Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar, Jimmy Vivino, the Kentucky Headhunters’ Greg Martin, Rick Vito, David Lindley, and the late Johnny Winter (to whom the album’s dedicated). Most tunes, such as Pearson’s original (more…)

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