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Monthly Archives: January 2005

Johnny A.

On the fast track

When VG first caught up with guitarist Johnny A. in 2001, his instrumental release, Sometime Tuesday Morning, was perking ears all over the place. Before he signed to Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label, Mr. A. had sold about 8,500 copies of the record. With the signing, the count quickly rose, and has now approached 10 […]

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Ray Mason Band – Three Dollar Man

Three Dollar Man

This is very fun stuff. It’s only 10 short songs, but they’re all interesting and different. The slant for the most part is guitar-driven pop/rock of the best kind. Twangy guitars mix with big rock guitars and a killer hook on cuts like “Blessing the Girl,” and it works so well that you can’t help […]

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Bucky Pizzarelli – Swing Live

Swing Live

Few guitarists have been around as long (and done as much) as Bucky Pizzarelli. He’s been playing with big bands, small-group combos, chairmen-of-the-boards (he was Sinatra’s favorite guitarist), and in studios for many years. Add to that his son, John, being one of the young traditionalists on jazz guitar, and you’ve got quite a legacy. […]

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Soulfarm – Scream of the Crop

Scream of the Crop

Soulfarm is three fellas from New York who have put together a very cool album that’s pretty hard to pigeonhole. Noah Chase and C Lanzbom on vocals and guitar, and Mark Ambrosino on drums play rock that, at times, has a folk edge. At other times it is – for lack of a better word […]

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Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

The latest release from Experience Hendrix, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection, is a two-CD set of the master at work. In his four-year career as a celebrity, Hendrix produced only three studio albums and one live album, and of course there’s a plethora of alternate takes, unfinished tracks, unauthorized recordings, and live recordings. But […]

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The Love Dogs – New Tricks

New Tricks

Loveable? I guess. Dogs? Maybe. They’ve got all the musical tricks new and old, and they’re not jumping through hoops to get their rootsy message across. Elegant arrangements, diverse tunes, strong presentation, and and straight-ahead musicianship conjure up a package worthy of the most sophisticated listener’s ear. Considering the geographical locale of the Dogs, the […]

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PRS Dragons – Jenna’s Eyes

Jenna's Eyes

The leader of PRS Dragons, as you might expect, is guitarmaker Paul Reed Smith. So it stands to reason the sounds here are just what you’d expect. Crunchy rhythm guitars and big fat leads highlight “She’s the One.” Biting single-line notes combine with seemingly endless sustain on the instrumental “Cold Wind In July.” The title […]

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Art Farmer/Jim Hall – Jazz Casual

Jazz Casual

Jim Hall’s solo albums are consistently top-drawer – always eloquent and interesting, never samey or complacent. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to name a jazz guitarist with a uniformly higher-caliber recorded output who isn’t…well, dead (like Django). But setting aside his forays as bandleader or solo performer, his collaborative efforts are perhaps even more impressive. […]

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Summers, Delaney & Sharp – Tonight Only

Tonight Only

One good thing to emerge from the recently deceased swing “renaissance” was the collective desire by many 20 and 30-something aficionados to find out from whence this music came. It’s one thing to cop Jennings and Casey licks, but truly another to reference those players’ mentors – Django Reinhardt and Oscar A’leman. This Ann Arbor-based […]

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Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver – Hard Game of Love

Hard Game of Love

For the last six years, if you wanted to hear Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver do secular bluegrass, you had to attend a live concert, since gospel material has been all they’ve recorded. With Hard Game of Love, we can experience the secular side of this great bluegrass band. From the opening banjo lick on “Blue […]

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