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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Spanic Boys – Sunshine


Celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band (and 38th as father and son), the Spanic Boys serve up a dozen originals on Sunshine, their eighth album, on their own Cinaps label, with plenty of tasty guitar from father Tom and son Ian. “What Will You Do,” with guitar-through-Leslie fills, has a Byrds/Burritos feel, while “Secret” […]

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Southern Culture On the Skids – Countrypolitan Favorites


Once again, Southern Culture On The Skids proves itself the ultimate party band with the ultimate party record. In other hands, the concept behind Countrypolitan Favorites (Yep Roc) might come off as sheer novelty or gimmick, but the kitschy SCOTS makes the genre-bending collection of covers work on its own terms. There’s humor, to be […]

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Twang Dragons – Love Junkie


Twang Dragons Love Junkie Self-distributed It’s hard not to love a record that starts with guitars twangin’ and slidin’ and the line, “I’ve got an ass pocket full of whiskey.” Not only that, the second verse of “Get In (Or Get Out of the Way)” starts with, “We got Jerry Reed on the 8-track.” Tommy […]

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LBenito Alerce-topped Grand Auditorium

Hot Stuff from Chile

How much more vintage can you get? If you’re talking about guitar tone woods, not much more vintage than the tops on guitars by LBenito. Built in Chile, using alerce trees that date back 3,000 to 4,000 years, the wood that makes up the top of LBenito’s guitars was 1,000 years old when Pythagoras (d. […]

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Lucy Kaplansky – Over the Hills


Most new pop music falls into one of two sound categories – super-human slick or slacker sloppy. In this sonically schizophrenic environment, it’s refreshing to hear a release that chooses the middle ground. Lucy Kaplansky’s latest release combines solid songwriting with euphonic production values, and reminds us that there’s no substitute for well-crafted and sympathetically […]

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Howard and the White Boys – Made In Chicago


The Howard who hangs here with the White Boys is Howard McCullum, bassist and vocalist extraordinaire. The White Boys are a fine bunch of players that include Rocco Calipari and Pete Galanis on guitars. Both play lead and rhythm, and their combined talents create a feast for guitar lovers. This record is mostly a collection […]

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Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc.Etc.: Deluxe Edition


When this album was released in 1986, country music had become stale. But its no-holds-barred step back to the great Bakersfield sound, wonderfully original songs, killer covers, and Yoakam’s wholly original style had huge, immediate impact. Not to mention the amazing guitar work courtesy of producer Pete Anderson. On this Deluxe Edition, Rhino’s included Yoakam’s […]

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John Mellencamp – Freedom’s Road


This release was surrounded by a scary amount of hype. And the Chevy commercials on TV that forced “Our Country” down our throats seemed a harbinger of bad things. Mellencamp, of course, can be a bit caustic, but he is too good a songwriter for that to interfere. Is this a political record? Yes. But […]

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Dave Alvin – West of the West


Dave Alvin is one of America’s best songwriters, and as such runs the risk of alienating casual fans when he does an album of covers. But then again, maybe not… The idea with his newest disc, West of the West,, is to pay tribute to songwriters from the West Coast, where Alvin grew up. That […]

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John Pisano – Guitar Night


This is two discs full of jazz-guitar blowing at its finest, as straightforward as it gets; 16 cuts of John Pisano and various six-string friends playing standards for appreciative crowds. This project started in the ’70s, when Pisano and Joe Pass started playing at Donte’s, in Hollywood. Partners have come and gone, but Pisano is […]

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