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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...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Medicine (Telarc Blues)

If your worst hangover had a voice all its own, it might well echo like that of Tab Benoit. Consider the guitarist's wail on the title track as he throatily moans to “bring me my medicine.” Full of pan-fried gristle, boggy humidity and the ulcerous pain of years of too much hot sauce and moonshine, it's as guttural and...
Album Reviews
Monday, Dec. 13, 2010

Epic (Ba Da Bing Records)

Diminutive Sharon Van Etten reaches for a big, expansive voice with Epic. Her sophomore effort comes on like the lilting soundtrack to a breakup phone call: Powerful, almost angrily strummed chords set the stage as full-on country-folk instrumentation hovers mournfully, and there’s more heart-on-sleeve, lonely-girl...
Album Reviews
Monday, Nov. 29, 2010

Happy Talk (Basin Street)

Fresh from introducing his modern-day-Satchmo shtick to the world—or at least the HBO-subscribing world—on the series “Treme,” the ever-smiling, Bud-swigging, pot-smoking barbecue master and trumpet-slinging bandleader that couldn’t give two hoots of his horn as to who Elvis Costello is releases his first...

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