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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Donal Clancy – Close to Home

 

Donal Clancy continues the tradition of the Clancy Brothers, demonstrating that contemporary Celtic music is as vibrant as any musical genre. Clancy grew up surrounded by traditional Irish music, and all 12 cuts here come from the treasure trove of reels, hornpipes, jigs, and mazurkas that form the backbone of the Irish musical heritage. But […]

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Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back

 

Billed as her most personal statement, this may well be Mavis Staples’ finest solo effort to date. In 2004, the powerhouse lead singer of the famed Staple Singers released the rootsy Have A Little Faith on Alligator. Here, producer/guitarist Ry Cooder places the reigning queen of gospel’s voice in an even more intimate setting, paring […]

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Bradley Walker – Highway of Dreams

 

Once in a great while an artist’s voice grabs you after just a couple of seconds. Bradley Walker just may have the finest male bluegrass voice, ever. Born with muscular dystrophy and wheelchair-bound since birth, disability hasn’t slowed down Walker one jot. Since his first brush with the concert stage, singing with the Oak Ridge […]

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Various Artists – Ruf Records 12 Year Anthology

 

Ruf Records’ mix of blues, soul, and rock can be a welcome addition to any record collection, and this CD/DVD expands its reach. The CD features 13 cuts from the likes of Aynsley Lister, Canned Heat, Luther and Bernard Allison, Omar and the Howlers, and plenty more. There are plenty of highlights, but the surprise […]

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Tommy Castro – Painkiller

 

Tommy Castro’s pure Fender tone, whiskey-and-cigarette voice, and knack for writing a great tune are about as good as it gets on the blues circuit these days. On this new disc, Castro shows an affinity for old-style soul on cuts like “Big Sister’s Radio” that sounds as natural and up-to-date as anything on the R&B […]

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Joan Osborne – Pretty Little Stranger

 

“Versatile” doesn’t quite do justice to Joan Osborne’s uncanny range. One minute she’s guesting with the Chieftains, the next she’s touring with the Dead. Then she utterly steals the show in the Funk Brothers documentary, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown with her stunning rendition of “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted.” Simply put, she’s […]

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Flatt & Scruggs – Best of The Flatt and Scruggs TV Show

 

Before “Hullabaloo” or “Hootenany” there was the Grand Ole Opry, America’s first national country music show broadcast on the radio. Of course the Opry garnered a slew of imitators, and when television came along, folks attempted to graft the format to this new media. One of these first attempts was “The Flatt and Scruggs Grand […]

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Tomo Fujita – Right Place, Right Time

 

Fujita is a professor at Berklee College of Music, and the music here flies in the face of the old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach.” Fujita proves himself a true player’s player; his mastery is obvious, his tone and sound are as good as it gets, and his soulfulness is unquestionable. The music is […]

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America – Here & Now

 

The folk-pop songs of America have, for many, long been one of life’s guilty pleasures. And for every “Horse With No Name” there was a brilliant song like “Only In Your Heart,” “Tin Man,” “Daisy Jane,” “Old Man Took,” “Three Roses,” and dozens more. This release is a batch of wonderful new songs assembled with […]

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Foley, Coleman, Potvin – Time Bomb

 

From the first notes of the title-track opener, this trio of guitarists leaves no doubt that this album is going to rock and roll. Sue Foley and Deborah Coleman need no introduction to anyone hip to modern blues guitar. They’re established veterans with a score of fine albums to their names. Canadian Roxanne Potvin, however, […]

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