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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Young Rascals – Collections


Originally released over a five-year period, these seven albums show a band that knew what would work on the radio, and also how to stretch things a bit. As you’d expect, the early albums present a group feeling its way while establishing that it could make a hit with ease. The Young Rascals is pretty […]

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Graham Parker – Don’t Tell Columbus


Graham Parker has stepped it up a notch in recent years. Always a fine songwriter and singer, he hit a lull in the late ’80s and most of the ’90s. This is his third killer record for Bloodshot. Parker’s writing, as almost always, moves easily here between storytelling and sarcasm. The storytelling is especially strong […]

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The Sadies – New Season


If you’re at all into guitar tones and cool songs, it’s hard not to love The Sadies, with brothers Dallas and Travis Good, whose feet are firmly in the country and country-rock of the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. On past recordings they’ve employed an almost cinematic/ Spaghetti Western sound. Here, though, it’s been ditched. […]

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Sebastion & Grisman – Satisfied


John Sebastian and David Grisman first ran into each other in the early ’60s, when Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park was the epicenter of the national Folk Boom. They were both recruited by guitarist Stefan Grossman for a recording project to be dubbed The Even Dozen Jug Band – in hindsight, somewhat of a supergroup, […]

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Eric Bibb – Diamond Days


Bibb is a fine guitarist and singer, and here proves a very capable songwriter. It’s hard to pin him down – you could call him a folk singer, but his blues and pop roots always show through in his performances and writing. His 12-string fingerpicking sets the tone for songs like “Tall Cotton,” with a […]

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The Ramones – It’s Alive


Blue jeans torn out at the knees, Converse All-Star high toppers, leather jackets, and low-slung Mosrite guitars – punk never looked or sounded so good as with the Ramones. Now comes It’s Alive…, a two-DVD set paying ear-splitting homage to America’s first family of punk. And this could just well be the ultimate Ramones greatest […]

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Gore Gore Girls – Get The Gore


Formed in Detroit in 1997, the all-female Gore Gore Girls have undergone personnel changes with each of their CDs, with singer/guitarist Amy Gore the only constant. On this, the group’s fourth release, she is joined by drummer Nicky Styxx, bassist Carol Anne Schumacher, and lead guitarist Marlene “Hammer” Hammerle. The distortion and decibel level suggest […]

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Emmylou Harris – Songbird


Emmylou Harris’ latest box set, Songbird, occupies a unique place among deluxe anthologies. Instead of being merely another greatest hits or an unreleased versions set, it’s a collection of personally important musical moments. Songbird grants Ms. Harris a chance to be her own critic by showing her audience which performances and collaborations were the most […]

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Duke Levine – Beneath the Blue


As a player, Duke Levine is unclassifiable. He calls his style “country-soul” guitar, and that’s fair. But what do you call a guy who opens his latest record with a twangy version of the theme from the ’50s sci-fi cult film The Blob followed by a scary version of the Ellington chestnut “Caravan,” an unlikely […]

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Sweet Swingin’ Royalty


Louis Rosano, proprietor of Louis Electric Amplifier Company, has been building and repairing guitar amps for 15 years. After spending a great deal of time digging around in the inventions of Leo Fender and Jim Marshall, in 1993 he began building his amps completely by hand, using the best components, including his own hand-wound transformers […]

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