Monthly Archives: October 2009

Experience Hendrix


Had fate and negligence not interfered, Jimi Hendrix would have turned 65 in 2008 – only five years older than Bruce Springsteen, four older than Carlos Santana, two older than John Fogerty, and 18 years younger than B.B. King, all of whom are still going strong. (more…)

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Dave Alvin – West of the West

The Great American Music Galaxy

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 (more…)

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Coal Men – Beauty of the Moment


With the addition of Chris Frame (Sun Volt) on guitar and Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks) on keyboards, the Coal Men have gone from trio to quintet and their second full-length release, Beauty Is A Moment, reflects creative growth that shows no sign of letting up. Composer (more…)

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Sloan- Parallel Play


Every song on this latest album by the Canadian quartet Sloan has a great hook; the simple “woo-oows” in “Witch’s Wand” are impossible to forget while “Down In the Basement” speaks like some of Dylan’s best ’60s rock. “All I Am is All You’re Not” is (more…)

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Lefty Williams – Snake Oil


31-year-old Jason Williams was born with a right arm that stopped a little below his elbow. Not many in that condition would pick guitar. But pick it up he did, and pick he does! When he was six he devised a way to affix a guitar (more…)

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New Guitar Summit – Shivers


Merely putting three great guitar players together doesn’t guarantee the results will qualify as music. All too often, ego, lack of chemistry, or merely inadequate rehearsal time results in a stiff, formulaic CD. Fortunately, this New Guitar Summit CD avoids these pitfalls. Jay Geils, Duke Robillard, and Gerry Beaudoin have a level of simpatico that […]

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Canned Heat – Instrumentals, 1967-1996


A brilliant concept: 15 instrumental selections from the ever-evolving Canned Heat’s catalog, spanning – or more accurately, bookending – 29 years. The L.A.-based band was formed in 1966 by a core of blues scholars and 78 collectors whose self-titled 1967 debut revealed them as reverent but capable (more…)

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Elvin Bishop – The Blues Rolls On


Best known to classic radio listeners for ’70s Southern rock hits like “Struttin’ My Stuff” and “Fooled Around And Fell In Love,” Elvin Bishop had already earned a reputation in the guitar community – specifically blues guitar, via his ’60s work with the pivotal Butterfield Blues (more…)

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Big Bill Broonzy

Ambassador Of The Blues

Finding two never-released, hour-long concerts by Big Bill Broonzy from 1953 – Amsterdam Live Concerts 1953 – on Munich Records – is indeed like unearthing buried treasure. Broonzy was a towering figure in the blues world, literally and figuratively. Some reports put his height at 6’6″, and (more…)

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Heybale – The Last Country Album


The incomparable Redd Volkaert and “Mr. Honky-Tonk Piano” Earl Pole Ball (whose collective resume is a Who’s Who of musical greats that includes Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens) join drummer Tom Lewis, bassman Kevin Smith, and composer/vocalist/guitarist Gary Claxton to turn their Sunday night (more…)

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