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Album Reviews
Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

Let Freedom Ring (Yep Roc)

At the heart of hugely underrated singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet’s sound there’s always been a kind of tug-of-war among disparate eras. In turns Petty-esque, Springsteen-like and generally rife with Stones swagger, there’s also an undeniably coy, modern indie slant. Sure there’s “Born to Run”-style driving...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

By a Thread (Evil Teen)

While Widespread Panic packs the Riverside Theater for three-night residencies, and the Black Crowes maintain name recognition and album sales, those in the know give Gov’t Mule the nod as titleholder of all things crunchy, power blues-rock—at least if you consider those in the know to be the beer drinkers and...
Album Reviews
Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

The Fall (Blue Note)

If sultry songstress Norah Jones has proven exceptional at one thing, it’s projecting her Blue Note sensibilities into an all-ages, easy-to-digest formula. Yet on 2007’s Not Too Late, and here again, she seems as determined to shed her perfect-present-for-mom, Starbucks stigma as she does the unnamed...
Album Reviews
Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

One Day in Brooklyn (Royal Potato/Megaforce)

The latest offering from Tulsa, Okla.’s white-boy nouveau-boppers, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, continues their penchant for doing it live: Four out of the last six of the quartet’s studio releases have, actually, been from the stage. And here—apropos of the title, “One Day in Brooklyn”—is an insular...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009

Power Patriot (Royal Potato Family)

The fourth iteration of modern jazz supergroup Garage a Trois finds the boys dropping guitar wizard Charlie Hunter, probably leaving him back at the record store with most any and all of their collective influences. Free-form and forward-thinking is the game when drummer Stanton Moore, vibraphonist Mike Dillon...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009

One Fast Move or I’m Gone (F-Stop Records)

Aside from the Beat roads of Tom Waits, the marriage between music and the words of Jack Kerouac is probably best experienced in the novelist’s own collection of readings and jazz singing, Jack Kerouac Reads on the Road, or more recently on the Jim Sampas-produced, Ginsberg/Ferlinghetti/Hunter...
Album Reviews
Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

Escape From the Chicken Coop (NorthernBlues)

With ubiquitous cowboy hat, pervasive National steel guitar and song titles like “Skinny Women and Fat Cigars” and “Hank Williams You Wrote My Life,” there seems little doubt that Watermelon Slim and company are straight out of ZZ Top country. Slim’s latest, a batch of trucker songs, complete...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009

The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities) 2003-2008 (New West)

From the scuzzy Skynyrd-esque guitars to the dirty Southern mentality and devil-may-care hairdos, the Drive-By Truckers’ charm is all about from-the-hip looseness. Their career has also covered much of Dixie’s wide-open musical spaces, from alt-country and modern hillbilly to straight Allman’s rock. Last year they even made it over...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

Flower Petals (429 Records)

Delivering their second Katrina-anniversary-timed album in four years, New Orleans’ Subdudes continue to explore a water-themed, working-class-sympathetic, minimal-pop take on their city’s roots. And if they’ve all but dropped the full drum kit since 2007’s Street Symphony, the drumbeat of dread and resigned...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

Could We Get Any Closer? (Sky Crunch)

If not the most innovative man in Nashville these days, Jim Lauderdale is certainly one of the most expansive. His career has spanned pop, contemporary country and bluegrass, and he’s found considerable success as a songsmith for the likes of George Strait, Patty Loveless and Vince Gill. Now, amid swirling and hopeful reports that Lauderdale’s been collaborating with Milwaukee’s own Paul Cebar...

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