Friday, June 13, 2008
Released in 2000, this is hardly indicative of the fabulous in-concert experience the flamboyant entertainer still provides. We just saw him on tour, and he sounded a lot better than anything captured here. Not terrible, but the only track I want to hear again is "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" with Mary J. Blige.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
It took me long enough to catch up with this mammoth 3-CD live set. Wildly overpraised at the time of its release - sure, it's better than Song Remains the Same, but so are Yesshows and Chicago IV Live at Carnegie Hall - this offers some fine performances, but the simultaneously released DVD (entitled simply Led Zeppelin) is superior. "Moby Dick" and "Dazed and Confused" are particularly unendurable.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The only misstep in a run that produced three fine pseudo-bluegrass efforts on the Sugar Hill label, a kick-ass live CD & DVD, a fun covers album, and the recent, excellent Backwoods Barbie. Recorded and released at the beginning of Shock and Awe, this is a well-meaning but incredibly hokey affair. Still, I never doubt Dolly's sincerity, and while "Ballad of the Green Beret" isn't much of an improvement over Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler's original, I'll take her version of "God Bless the U.S.A." over Lee Greenwood's any old time.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
One reason Barry Tashian and his band's 2002 comeback album works so well is that it's not really a comeback album after all. Few knew about the Remains' 1967 debut until it was reissued last year. This is fine rock and roll with a slight twang - songs about girls, cars, delivered with punch...what more could you want?
Monday, June 9, 2008
Late '90s gem is accessible enough to get the non-Waits fans interested, though there is plenty of weird stuff like "Eyeball Kid" and the spoken-word masterpiece "What's He Building?" Best of all is the achingly gorgeous "Picture in a Frame."
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Inspired collaboration between David Allan Coe and members of Pantera. I recently saw Coe do a half-assed one-hour show at a local club, and while he didn't do any of these songs, he did have a heavy metal guitar apparently bequeathed to him by Dimebag Darrell.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
This album preceded the Grammy-winning "Genius Loves Company" and didn't garner much attention. Not that it's awful, just that the material - mostly generic R&B lite - is not worthy of Ray's efforts. Oddly, the modernized version of "What'd I Say" that opens the disc isn't as horrible as you might imagine.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
This is the second album from the superb DeFuniak Springs, FL-based gospel duo. I wrote a profile of these guys for the local newspaper and was absolutely knocked out by their music. Whether you're a believer or no, you have to agree that Robert and James are blessed with enormous talent. Available from www.robertandjames.com.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
American Beat Records, the coolest reissue label on Earth, recently unearthed a bunch of the once and current New York Doll's solo efforts, all of them worth your ear time. This, a lively concert recording, is the best of the lot, with Johansen improving on his studio efforts and delivering smoldering renditions of Animals classics and "Build Me Up Buttercup."
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The appeal of this band always escaped me, but there it was, a smartly-selected anthology of 25 songs on my girlfriend's iTunes, put there by her 17-year-old daughter who also digs the Dead. Pink Floyd were album artists for sure, but they comp nicely. My favorite is "Wish You Were Here," a song whose appeal is so great that a lot of the local bands play it frequently, but as Dylan would say, there's nothing to turn off. Still, nothing here knocks me out as much as David Gilmour's guitar solo on Paul McCartney's "No More Lonely Nights."
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Perhaps the best of Plant's solo albums, Mighty Rearranger finds the former Golden God and his band successfully merging Eastern and African sounds with the blooze that has permeated our guy's work since the Band of Joy days. The 2007 Rhino reissue includes five bonus tracks, the highlight of which is the extraordinary "Red, White and Blue."