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Album Reviews
Monday, April 30, 2012

Slipstream (Redwing Records)

The two Dylan covers, both from Time Out of Mind, no less, reveal the state of Bonnie Raitt's old heart: full of appreciation, wonder and tough nostalgia for “the rest of us, who used to rule the world.” Sure, the smooth blues...
Album Reviews
Monday, April 2, 2012

Smul's Paradise (Capri Records)

From the opening number—the insistent, jumpy, lock-step strut of the Stevie Wonder hit “Sunny”—it's clear that Gary Smulyan's latest quartet offering is far from just another saxophone album. In fact, the baritone master (yep, that's baritone sax...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Bob Dylan handpicked this ragtag posse of vintage acoustic whizzes to open his 2009 tour of minor league baseball stadiums in an exercise in obscurity, eccentricity and, mostly, nostalgia. Named for an Irish street gang out of New York's old Five Points...
Album Reviews
Monday, Feb. 13, 2012

Chasing Tha Blues (Burnside)

Amid the piquant stew of jazz, funk, soul, zydeco and R&B that is the scorching New Orleans music scene, the blues is largely relegated to the back burner. Surprisingly, there are no blues-only clubs of the likes found in Chicago, New York or Memphis...
Album Reviews
Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

Peach Crate (Engine Company Records)

It's hard to tell whether guitarist Jason Loughlin's Peach Crate could be characterized best as jazzy twang or twangy jazz; either way, the Brooklyn-ite's debut album wondrously fits the space that had been empty since jazz-country genius...
Album Reviews
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

Bad Man's Blood (Red House Records)

Ray Bonneville has been places. The Canada-born, Austin-based singer-songwriter has laid his hat in Montreal, New Orleans, Boston and Paris, to name a few, and on Bad Man's Blood he wears his nomadic ways like a badge...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

No Lie (Bloodshot)

On a certain magic strip of Royal Street in New Orleans' French Quarter, tourists and locals alike blend into a seamless heap that is but a background setting for the top-shelf herd of street musicians. It's a daily world of rippling washboards, wailing harmonicas...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011

The Reflection (Yolabelle International)

With each successive album Keb' Mo' has moved further from his province as a Robert Johnson-covering, National steel-guitar-toting, Compton-bred bluesman toward a new home in...
Album Reviews
Monday, Aug. 8, 2011

Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (New West Records)

It might take until the very last song—a maudlin, pedestrian pass at a 9/11 elegy that only maybe would have held water in the tragedy's immediate aftermath—to see just what's askew with John Hiatt's latest effort. But throughout there are signposts that the singer simply...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 6, 2011

Sign of Life (Savoy Jazz)

At once the most prolific (two albums so far this year!) and the most elusive (what kind of music is this?) among contemporary giants of jazz guitar, Bill Frisell continues his fruitful and enigmatic output with Sign of Life...

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