• New Old Ways

    New Old Ways

    A couple of years ago, I asked Emmylou Harris her opinion of Steve Earle’s music and the state of country music in general. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter, known for shooting from the hip, didn’t mince words. ...
  • Tom Harrell: First Impressions

    Tom Harrell: First Impressions

    Trumpet and flugelhorn player, bandleader, composer, and arranger Tom Harrell picked up rave reviews for 2014’s Trip, an ambitious, bluesy concept album built around Don Quixote. He returns with a gorgeous album of Third-Stream gems ...
  • Neil Young: Bluenote Cafe

    Neil Young: Bluenote Cafe

    After a string of tepid themed albums for Geffen Records (Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’, Old Ways), Neil Young returned in 1988 to Reprise with This Note’s for You, an homage to the blues. The tour for ...
  • The Beatles: 1+

    The Beatles: 1+

    Expectations have run high among fans waiting for the Fab Four’s complete original catalog in surround sound. This ain’t that, but it’s a step in that direction. This super-deluxe edition of the 1+ compilation, packaged ...
  • David Bowie: Blackstar

    David Bowie: Blackstar

    Call it David Bowie’s death house letter. With its lyrical themes of death and rebirth, Blackstar is the final chapter in Bowie’s flirtation with everything from the occult to gay culture (“Girl Loves Me”) while ...
  • Chris Isaak: First Comes the Night

    Chris Isaak: First Comes the Night

    Breakup songs are Chris Isaak’s bread and butter, and First Comes the Night—the pop star’s first album of originals in more than six years—is a feast of heartache and infidelity. The album is best when ...
  • Richard Thompson: Still

    Richard Thompson: Still

    Like a wise, weary traveler returning from a landscape strewn with broken hearts, Richard Thompson colors his songs with wit and wry observations to create Celtic- tinged folk-rock richly textured with his virtuoso acoustic- and ...
  • Stealers Wheel: Ferguslie Park

    Stealers Wheel: Ferguslie Park

    Stealers Wheels’ sophomore effort from 1973—produced by industry veterans Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller—features the Scottish band’s core members, Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, bolstered by nine ace session players. Stylistically, the album ranges from ...
  • Los Lobos: Gates of Gold

    Los Lobos: Gates of Gold

    For 40 years Los Lobos has delivered American roots music steeped in everything from blues to música norteña. There’s often a lyrical theme or cohesive sound to their albums, whether it’s the autobiographical rock of ...
  • James Taylor: Before This World

    James Taylor: Before This World

    This chart-topping album—Taylor’s first studio release in 13 years—arrives 45 years after his breakthrough LP Sweet Baby James. Many themes will be familiar to fans that have embraced this popular singer-songwriter’s gentle meditations on spiritual ...
  • Mark Knopfler: Tracker

    Mark Knopfler: Tracker

    “We are homesick most for the places we have never known,” Southern Gothic author Carson McCullers once wrote. That sentiment sums up Tracker, the eighth solo album from Dire Straits main man Mark Knopfler. Nostalgia ...
  • The Cello Becomes Cool

    The Cello Becomes Cool

    When Lori Goldstein strolled onstage at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993, to accompany Nirvana through its videotaped MTV Unplugged session, few could predict the unassuming cellist would spark a ...

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