• Donna Ulisse: Hard Cry Moon

    Donna Ulisse: Hard Cry Moon

    Though not touted as a concept album, bluegrass singer-songwriter Donna Ulisse’s latest gem, Hard Cry Moon, could pass for one. Start with the hard-charging album opener, “Black Train,” fiddle- and banjo-fired with a red-hot mandolin ...
  • 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: Then and Now

    David Bowie: Then and Now

    (Photo Credit Brian Ward) I’ve been trying to figure out why David Bowie’s recent death, at the age of 69, has hit me so hard. Did his music forever shape or alter me? No. Were ...
  • 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 ...
  • Melody Gardot: Currency of Man

    Melody Gardot: Currency of Man

    It takes Melody Gardot almost a minute and a half to appear on “Don’t Misunderstand,” the introduction to her provocative new album. Upon arrival, her voice ascends from a low moan amidst jabs of strings, ...
  • Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow

    Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow

    The rubber meets the road immediately on this alternately rousing and stirring collection of duets pairing 87-year- old bluegrass giant Ralph Stanley with various roots-centric partners. A Resurrection celebration, “We Shall Rise,” jets into Gloryland ...
  • Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase.

    Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase.

    Steven Wilson is the last person you’d want to attend your high school reunion. He’s too much of an overachiever: his remixes (including surround sound) of such classic progressive-rock bands as Yes, King Crimson, and ...
  • 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 ...

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