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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Ruby Rendrag – Wartime Favorites

 

Ruby Rendrag has definitely learned a lot from Chrissie Hynde, and it’s a good thing. She handles most of her own guitar work on this album (with a little harmonica thrown in) and sings her smart, accessible, lively adult pop songs like a grownup. As a guitar player, Rendrag moves freely from electric (“Not Today”) […]

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Chris Miller – Rabbit Flat Revisited

 

A reference to Chris Miller’s former home in central Illinois, the songs do much the same, talking about Decatur, Springfield, and cities with streets named Jasper. And Miller delivers them with a true folkie’s heart and feel. Miller proves quite the wizard on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, bass, and even the button accordion. “Springfield, […]

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Dutch Henry – All That Space

 

Dutch Henry writes the kind of soaring pop-rock that while never being completely out of fashion probably won’t be Top 40 any time soon. The title cut is a bouncy pop piece, much like many of the songs here, and calls to mind the Beatles or Beach Boys. Sure, other bands do the same thing, […]

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Davie Allan & the Arrows – Moving Along

 

Davie Allan came along when, by all rights, instrumental rock should have been long past rigor mortis and decomposing, after the British Invasion nailed instro surf’s coffin shut. But, against all odds, as garage rock was becoming psychedelic, Allan carved out a niche, stuck to it, and is still making great records today. Part of […]

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Rory Block

Keeping The Blues Alive
 

From her first album appearance, at age 12, with her father’s string band, to guesting on Stefan Grossman’s 1971 album, How To Play Blues Guitar, and her 1975 solo debut, Rory Block has staked a claim as one of country blues’ foremost interpreters. Simultaneously, she has emerged as a distinctive singer/songwriter, and both sides of […]

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Russell D – One Thing

 

Russell D is Austin singer/songwriter duo Russell Forsyth and percussionist Arron Michaels, and the “one thing” referenced in the CD title is love – the overriding or underlying theme that runs throughout the album. The music is folk and psychedelic, but has nothing to do with the pretentious psych-folk movement. Forsyth and Michaels could be […]

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Bob DeVos – Playing for Keeps

 

He may be relatively obscure, but Devos can navigate traditional pieces and write fresh material that holds up. This is an organ trio with saxophone, and the players are very comfortable with each other, as illustrated by the hard bop of “And So It Goes.” Eric Alexander’s tenor sax and Devos’ guitar state the head […]

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Various Artists – All My Loving

 

“All My Loving” was a 1967 TV special on the BBC that scared some people – and it’s easy to see why. For older folks tuned in, video of musical acts and other counterculture elements likely conjured up images of the apocalypse. Add photos from Vietnam, Holocaust victims, and other disturbing shots added by filmmaker […]

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King Wilkie – Low Country Suite

 

King Wilkie takes a calculated but risky turn from bluegrass, toward new acoustic music. Unlike their 2004 release, Broke, which was very much in the modern hot-picker bluegrass mold, Low Country Suite concentrates on expanding their musical style into more complex musical structures and intellectual themes. King Wilkie is Drew Breakley (bass), Reid Burgess (mandolin […]

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Mark Knoll – High Time

High Time
 

Great guitar sounds and a musical mix of blues, rock, and pop highlight this disc. The opener, “Gotta Give It Up” hints at what’s in store – big, bold guitar with a great tone kicks off the funky rocker that glides through changes and features a fine vocal from Knoll. Its perfectly-placed guitar fills hint […]

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