• Buddy Guy: The Blues Is Alive and Well

    Buddy Guy: The Blues Is Alive and Well

    Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Buddy Guy honed his chops during the 1960s as house guitarist for the legendary Chess Records. The electric blue pioneer’s blistering chops have influenced everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi ...
  • Doug MacLeod: Break the Chain

    Doug MacLeod: Break the Chain

    Singer, songwriter, and skilled guitarist Doug MacLeod has won four Blues Music Awards, including 2017’s Acoustic Artist of the Year. As a singer and guitarist, this New York native is a cross between John Hammond ...
  • Donald Fagen:  The Nightfly

    Donald Fagen: The Nightfly

    After its 1982 release, The Nightfly—Donald Fagen’s solo debut following his split from Steely Dan partner Walter Becker—racked up seven Grammy Award nominations. Widely acclaimed for its vivid lyricism, the album is a nostalgic homage ...
  • Kate St. John:  Second Sight

    Kate St. John: Second Sight

    These days you might know singer and songwriter Kate St. John as a film-music supervisor (Far from the Madding Crowd), orchestral arranger (Laura Marling, Hal Wilner), or session player (Van Morrison, Tom Waits). But 20 ...
  • Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World

    Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World

    Twenty-five years ago, Lucinda Williams recorded Sweet Old World, a much-beleaguered album that was four years in the making as the Americana pioneer bounced around different record labels before its release. The recording was later ...
  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    Produced, composed, and arranged by Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds stands as the Beach Boys’ pinnacle. The album is brimming with beautiful ballads, exotic instrumentation, lush five-part harmonies, and an aching sentimentality. Recorded largely with session ...
  • Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch

    Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch

    It’s like a postcard from Weird Old America. Working with compositional sources as diverse as Burt Bacharach (“Mexican Divorce”) and Blind Willie McTell (“Married Man’s a Fool”), roots-rock guitarist Ry Cooder stitches a folksy quilt ...
  • 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 ...

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