• Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball

    Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball

    Bruce Springsteen’s latest solo album, Wrecking Ball, is a collection of populist songs powered by the recession-driven fear and unfocussed rage of working (and out-of-work) Americans. These rough-hewn protests harken back to Woody Guthrie, Pete ...
  • The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

    The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

    God bless the Chieftains for a half century of stirring, even daring, music in a traditional Irish framework—no matter the collaborators, Paddy Maloney makes sure the end results are distinctly, evocatively resonant of the ould ...
  • Steep Canyon Rangers: Nobody Knows You

    Steep Canyon Rangers: Nobody Knows You

    North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers hit pay dirt last year teaming with Steve Martin for the chart-topping Rare Bird Alert. Now the quintet returns sans Martin and stronger than ever. The literate songwriting of ace ...
  • Dion: Tank Full of Blues

    Dion: Tank Full of Blues

    What’s an Italian-American boy from the Bronx doing singing the blues? Telling the tales of his life, and reinvigorating a career that never really ended. Dion DiMucci started in 50s doo-wop with the Belmonts, and ...
  • Lyle Lovett: Release Me

    Lyle Lovett: Release Me

    Lyle Lovett’s final project for a major label is a mixed bag of covers and original songs from blues to bluegrass, gospel to pop. Fittingly, most of the songs are about movin’ on. There’s the ...
  • Otis Taylor: Contraband

    Otis Taylor: Contraband

    Otis Taylor may just be the last authentic bluesman. His often intimate songs, informed by the dreams and disappointments of generations of Africans and African Americans, give voice to those, past and present, scattered by ...
  • Willie Nelson: Remember Me, Vol.1

    Willie Nelson: Remember Me, Vol.1

    Those Willie Nelson critics who bait the red-headed stranger for coasting too much as a recording artist will regard Remember Me, Vol. 1 as prima facie evidence. Granted, he could use a bit more glide ...
  • Levee Town: Pages of Paperwork

    Levee Town: Pages of Paperwork

    Coming out of a resurgent Kansas City blues scene, Levee Town is a basic, unrelenting quartet with a powerhouse guitarist in Brandon Hudspeth, an inspired harmonica master in Jimmie Meade, and a right-on-the-money rhythm section ...
  • Kentucky Headhunters Dixie Lullabies

    Kentucky Headhunters Dixie Lullabies

    Ever wonder why no one ever sings anymore about the budget delights of Boone’s Farm wine? Especially the strawberry flavored kind? Well the Kentucky Headhunters haven’t forgotten the small pleasures and cheap thrills that make ...
  • Muddy Waters: Folk Singer

    Muddy Waters: Folk Singer

    Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer is no stranger to the reissue circuit. From MoFi in the early 90s to Classic Records’ more recent vinyl release, this is a perennial audiophile favorite. So what could justify another ...
  • Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow

    Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow

    The muses are often fickle, and continually wooing them back has perplexed even the most gifted pop musicians. Nonstop touring can stifle creativity, but so can long periods away from the star-maker machinery—and that would ...
  • Nick Lowe: The Old Magic

    Nick Lowe: The Old Magic

    As a member of the seminal pub-rock scene that spawned the punk movement in the mid-70s and saw the rise of his sometime collaborator Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe pretty much dropped from sight in 1990 ...
  • Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions

    Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions

    Recorded in 1966 and ’67, and guided by songwriters Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, the unfinished Smile album is often considered just as innovative as the Beatles’ 1967 game changer Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts ...
  • Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

    Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

    Co-produced with a roaring, richly textured sonic backdrop by Ray Benson, Larry Campbell, and Mike Nesmith, Peace Meal finally captures on disc all the fire, fury, and soulfulness of Texas blues dynamo Carolyn Wonderland’s live ...

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