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Monthly Archives: May 2004

Johnny Winter – The Best of Johnny Winter

The Best of Johnny Winter
 

Johnny Winter was such an important guitarist when he hit the national scene in 1969, it’s a shame his discography has become so littered with bootlegs and “best of”‘s that don’t do justice to his stature as a (more…)

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The Hellecasters – Essential Listening Volume 1

Essential Listening Volume 1
 

I’m sure it’s the same for everyone. You have certain players and bands that just can do no wrong. It’s that way for me with the Hellecasters. I just don’t know how you get three guitar players (more…)

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Jim Hall – Storyteller

Storyteller
 

I guess a review of this could just say “He’s the master,” and leave it at that. But that wouldn’t be fair to you, the reader, or the publishers of VG, who wouldn’t pay me for a three-word review. This is actually a two-disc set that (more…)

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Merle Haggard – Roots, Vol. 1

Roots, Vol. 1
 

Norm Stephens isn’t a household name, even to country music fans who have no doubt heard his guitar playing. But to Merle Haggard, Stephens – the original guitarist behind Hag’s biggest influence, Lefty Frizzell – is a hero. When Stephens (more…)

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Ian and Silvia – The Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings

The Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings
 

I suppose some husband-and-wife singing duos were more influential than Ian and Silvia, but I’m hard-pressed to think of any. Their combined voices have a power and energy that is unique: instead of a lead joined by (more…)

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Dan Bern – New American Language

New American Language
 

Dan Bern must be prescient. The songs on his new CD elaborate on the new social American landscape post-September 11 with eerie accuracy. For instance, take “God Said No,” where he tells of meeting God and volunteers to go back in time (more…)

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Marc Antoine – Cruisin’

Cruisin'
 

Antoine is a fine acoustic guitarist who has developed a style rooted in smooth jazz, but is always pretty interesting. In fact, Antoine, and his fellows, on this one, do work that could easily degenerate into light-funk hell. Things start with a remake of the Sergio (more…)

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John Hiatt

America's Troubadour
 

Over the past three decades, John Hiatt has emerged as one of America’s most inventive songwriters, covering the genres of rock, blues, acoustic, folk, and new wave. As Hiatt developed his own songwriting technique, artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, (more…)

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Alison Brown Quartet – Replay

Replay
 

Acoustic jazz is one of those “difficult” musical categories that doesn’t get much attention. Most jazz fans won’t take seriously anything that lacks a horn, while folkies are intimidated by music where they can’t hum along after 10 seconds. Ironically, if they give it (more…)

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The Band – Rock of Ages and Islands

Rock of Ages and Islands
 

These two late albums by The Band need little introduction. By the time they were originally released – Rock of Ages in ’72 and Islands in ’76 – The Band had made its mark both on its (more…)

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