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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Robert Plant & the Strange Sensation – Soundstage

 

Robert Plant & the Strange Sensation, Soundstage. Robert Plant and his band, The Strange Sensation, play 11 songs; covers, old Zep songs, and newer Plant tunes. The band is the perfect complement, anchored by guitarists Liam “Skin” Tyson and the versatile Justin Adams, who handle everything from a smoking “Whole Lotta Love” to the funky, […]

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Luther Allison – Underground

 

When Luther Allison died in 1997, he was 57 years old – and just hitting his stride. Allison grew up in Mississippi and Chicago, playing the blues with many of the greats. He was of a younger generation, inspired equally by the blues establishment of Muddy Waters, the new West Side Soul revolution, Buddy Guy’s […]

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Roky Erickson – Halloween

 

The story of the former singer of Texas’ 13th Floor Elevators was well known to rock fans, who’d given him up for lost prior to his miraculous comeback of the past few years. In fact, his already nebulous mental state was going from bad to worse, as illustrated in the documentary “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” […]

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Doyle Bramhall – Is It News?

 

Yes, it is! Any re-lease by Texas blues stalwart Doyle Bramhall is something to get hot and bothered about. But from the first big bang of his bass drum to the last reverberations of smoldering electric guitar, this new album marks Bramhall’s first-ever collection of all-original tunes. Bramhall needs little introduction. He’s been at the […]

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John Fogerty – Revival

 

John Fogerty is the rare case of a songsmith who can use the same elements and devices repeatedly, even recycling and permutating earlier licks and melodies, without it ever wearing thin. Sure, it’s familiar; that’s why it feels so good. Which is not to say that he has nothing new to say. As he proved […]

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Steepwater Band – Revelation Sunday

Precision, Passion, and Soul
 

The Steepwater Band’s 2004 release, Dharmakaya, was a very strong effort, and this is an equally strong followup. The band is a modern version of the classic rock trio many grew up loving. The boys also grew up on those bands, and their own music conveys lots of hard blues and country. They put it […]

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Gina Villalobos – Miles Away

 

Gina Villalobos proves that a contemporary artist of the female persuasion doesn’t have to possess an “American Idol” voice to create powerful music. Remember Kim Carnes or Bonnie Tyler? At times, Villalobos’ voice is reminiscent of both, but with a heaping helping of grit and backroads dirt. On other songs, her vocals drift into a […]

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Steve Earle – Washington Square Serenade

 

Whether or not you appreciate the politics that have dominated his latest records, it’s hard to deny that Steve Earle is a brilliant songwriter. On his latest, Earle has gone back to a folksy feel, and while the politics are still around, they aren’t nearly as heavy-handed. Even with plenty of acoustic instrumentation propelling songs […]

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Neil Young – Chrome Dreams II

 

Neil Young has been prolific in recent years, releasing material from his vaults in the form of early concert performances and new material. Chrome Dreams II is a mix of newly recorded versions of songs written in the ’70s, and recently-written songs. Stylistically, it stays close to Young’s vision – which is to say he’s […]

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Bill Kirchen – Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods

 

In 1994, Nick Lowe released his best album in 10 or 15 years, the country-slanted The Impossible Bird, featuring ex-Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen. After stellar albums for Black Top and Hightone, Kirchen essentially reunited the Impossible Birds, as Lowe’s studio and subsequent touring band was dubbed, for his Proper American debut. It not only […]

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