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Category Archive for 'Blues'

“From the get-go, Winter seemed to want his listeners to know Step Back would be full of surprises….Much of the variety of the program is due to the musical approaches of the guests. It’s very evident all hands on deck are out to have an upbeat good time….Whatever the future might hold, the two releases from 2014, [...]

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“Jesse Winchester['s] songs were covered by everyone from Elvis Costello to Emmylou Harris. Winchester died of cancer in April, but not before making this superb final album… taking us through a whole gamut of emotions on this proud climax to a great career.” –Boston Globe Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Seasick Steve: Hubcap Music

“Back in 2009, Seasick Steve released an album called Man From Another Time, a perfectly apt title for a record full of dirt-ridden, diesel-fueled (mostly) solo blues tunes… [T]he enigmatic character has built a sonic identity around performing on junkyard, often handmade instruments while telling stories about his early years working obscure and manual jobs….Hubcap [...]

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“The John Legend-curated soundtrack for director Steve McQueen’s big screen rendering of Solomon Northup’s autobiography 12 Years a Slave features 16 tracks, including two selections (‘Washington’ and ‘Solomon’) from composer Hans Zimmer’s evocative score. Operating under the ‘music from and inspired by’ adage, the 14 remaining cuts explore themes of suffering, redemption, and freedom through [...]

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“Black Joe Lewis’ 2013 studio album, Electric Slave, picks up on the barebones blues and old-school R&B of his 2011 release, Scandalous. As with his previous releases… Lewis favors a shoot-from-the-hip, lo-fi brand of vintage soul….Ultimately, while neither a true blues musician, nor a neo-soul crooner, Black Joe Lewis is pure energy on Electric Slave.” [...]

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Gregory Porter: Liquid Spirit

“A singer whose quicksilver vocal style refuses to be caged by either jazz, gospel, or R&B, his warm, inviting baritone utilizes them all when he wishes to….While his first two recordings revealed a major new talent with their promise, Liquid Spirit is a giant step forward artistically, and for the listener, an exercise in musical [...]

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“Foley’s nasal yet emotive voice and Karp’s raspier edge would seem to be unlikely companions but the contrasts work and even balance each other out. It helps makes this a logical, perhaps less ambitious but ultimately more organic follow-up to their revealing debut and indicates that for these two, in life and music, perhaps the [...]

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“Rush makes each song seem as dependable and solid as the earth itself, somehow mixing a wistful weariness in his voice with an underlying and unerring joyfulness, the same sort of thing he’s been doing for half a century now. That he’s still doing it as well as he ever has is a testament to [...]

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“Made Up Mind is tight; it maintains the gritty, steamy, Southern heart displayed on Revelator, but the growth in songwriting, arrangement, and production is immeasurable. Everything these players have assimilated throughout their individual careers is filtered through a group consciousness. When it expresses itself musically, historical and cultural lineages are questioned and answered incessantly in [...]

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Buddy Guy: Rhythm & Blues

“A great open secret of the last act of Buddy Guy’s career is that nearly every album he’s made in the new millennium is a concept album of sorts, ranging from the gnarled modern Delta blues of Sweet Tea and the acoustic Blues Singer to the pseudo-autobiography of 2010′s Living Proof. Rhythm & Blues trumps [...]

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Boz Scaggs: Memphis

“On Memphis, Boz Scaggs pays tribute to the city’s magnificent soul tradition, Al Green, and producer Willie Mitchell and his Royal Recordings studio, whose location and personnel were used to cut it in three days… This set is a stunner. Scaggs is in full possession of that iconic voice; he delivers songs with an endemic [...]

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“This musical hookup between these two experienced roots artists who have more in common than it seems at first glance, is a natural evolution for both… Get Up! earns its titular exclamation point as a successful combination of two talented veterans feeding off each other’s dusky, creative spirit.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Dickinson isn’t showboating his considerable guitar skills here, but instead is offering a portrait of his heritage — and his compositional and arranging chops — inside a music that is every bit as haunted and mysterious as the north Mississippi hill country he calls home.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Gary Clark, Jr: Blak and Blu

“On Blak and Blu, most of Clark’s tunes are solidly rooted in the blues, but he’s also folded in hearty servings of hard rock, funk, retro-soul, and even a dash of hip-hop, and the way he lets the flavors mix is a big part of what makes this album work so well.” –All Music Guide [...]

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Janiva Magness: Stronger For It

“Janiva Magness hasn’t recorded any of her own compositions since she cut ‘Good Car’ on It Takes One to Know One, her 1997 debut. Here she makes up for lost time with three compelling co-writes with producer David Darling. The tunes are some of the most potent on an album with no shortage of powerful [...]

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“For The Majestic Silver Strings, Miller recruited guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Greg Leisz to join him on a program of classic country songs and a couple of originals. …The program is a revisioning of tunes from country’s canon that sound timeless against the original material. … The Majestic Silver Strings is one of [...]

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Cream: BBC Sessions

“This compilation of 22 Cream BBC tracks from 1966-1968 marked a major addition to the group’s discography, particularly as they released relatively little product during their actual lifetime… Given Cream’s tendency to over-improvise on the band’s live concert recordings, however, the concise nature of these BBC tracks (none of which exceed five minutes) makes them [...]

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Cream: Live Cream

“Foreground and background seem to dissolve as all three musicians take charge, using the full range of their instruments. And where Bruce goes with his bass, especially on ‘Sweet Wine,’ is every bit as rewarding as the places that Clapton’s guitar takes us; and Ginger Baker’s playing is a trip all its own. Performances like [...]

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Cream: Live Cream, Vol. II

“On its face, Live Cream, Vol. 2 is a more ambitious album that its predecessor, offering more songs and including concert versions of two of the group’s AM radio hits…. And it is just about essential listening for anyone who wants to understand what Cream was about, which was live performance…. [T]he album is a [...]

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“Born to Sing: No Plan B is Van Morrison’s first studio offering in four years and his second for Blue Note. …Uncharacteristically, he recorded the set in his hometown of Belfast with a crack sextet that includes a three-piece horn section with an alto saxophone. …Born to Sing: No Plan B is more jazz-centric, but [...]

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