The Beatles, “Slow Down” from Something New (1964): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Slow Down” from Something New (1964): Deep Beatles

August 26, 2016

While “Slow Down” may not rank among the Beatles’ most well-known covers, it does provide a snapshot of the group’s raw early days.

Greg Gonzales of Grupo Fantasma on Money Chicha’s debut album, plans for Brownout

Greg Gonzales of Grupo Fantasma on Money Chicha’s debut album, plans for Brownout

July 17, 2016

Preston Frazier previews Money Chica, the next great thing from Greg Gonzales, as well as what’s ahead for Grupo Fantasma and Brownout.

Mark Dresser, “TrumpinPutinStoopin” from Sedimental You (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

Mark Dresser, “TrumpinPutinStoopin” from Sedimental You (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

July 31, 2016

There couldn’t have been a timelier song title than this theatrically creative nugget from master bassist/composer Mark Dresser.

Outset – Outset (2016)

Outset – Outset (2016)

August 18, 2016

Chicago’s chordless quartet’s self-titled album ‘Outset’ is a laudable debut not of what is possible down the road but what is achieved right out of the gate.

Amendola vs. Blades Greatest Hits  crowdfunding drive in final hours, make a pledge now!

Amendola vs. Blades Greatest Hits crowdfunding drive in final hours, make a pledge now!

August 8, 2016

San Francisco Bay Area drums/organ sensation Amendola vs Blades quest to finally putting out a record is near the end; please pledge to their crowdfunding project to put them over the top!

Merzbow / Haino / Pandi – An Untroublesome Defencelessness (2016)

Merzbow / Haino / Pandi – An Untroublesome Defencelessness (2016)

July 19, 2016

‘An Untroublesome Defencelessness’ features the collective wisdom of Merzbow, Keiji Haino and Balazs Pandi – three visionary musicians who have made careers out of embracing uncharted territory.

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974):  YESterdays

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974): YESterdays

August 23, 2016

“To Be Over,” the closing track on ‘Relayer,’ demonstrates the creative high that Yes was on in 1974.

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974):  YESterdays

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974): YESterdays

August 23, 2016

“To Be Over,” the closing track on ‘Relayer,’ demonstrates the creative high that Yes was on in 1974.

Metallica, “Hardwired” from Hardwired … to Self Destruct (2016): One Track Mind

Metallica, “Hardwired” from Hardwired … to Self Destruct (2016): One Track Mind

August 19, 2016

I didn’t want to go with a knee-jerk reaction to Metallica’s “Hardwired.” I wanted to give it a chance to grow on me. It hasn’t yet.

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

August 16, 2016

“Stranger in Town” was written by Toto’s David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, who also composed the smash hit “Africa.” But it couldn’t be more different.

Metallica, “Hardwired” from Hardwired … to Self Destruct (2016): One Track Mind

Metallica, “Hardwired” from Hardwired … to Self Destruct (2016): One Track Mind

August 19, 2016

I didn’t want to go with a knee-jerk reaction to Metallica’s “Hardwired.” I wanted to give it a chance to grow on me. It hasn’t yet.

David Wiffen – Coast to Coast Fever (1973): Forgotten Series

David Wiffen – Coast to Coast Fever (1973): Forgotten Series

January 13, 2016

When the world around us grows quiet, there is no better company than an album like the deeply underrated David Wiffen’s ‘Coast to Coast Fever.’

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974):  YESterdays

Yes, “To Be Over” from Relayer (1974): YESterdays

August 23, 2016

“To Be Over,” the closing track on ‘Relayer,’ demonstrates the creative high that Yes was on in 1974.

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

March 8, 2015

This month, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ turned 40 years old. Here are some reasons why it’s good enough to overcome an infamous mixing fiasco.

Marquis Hill – The Way We Play (2016)

Marquis Hill – The Way We Play (2016)

June 22, 2016

Marquis Hill is the textbook definition of a master and ‘The Way The Play’ relentlessly demonstrates that craft.

The Beatles, “Slow Down” from Something New (1964): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Slow Down” from Something New (1964): Deep Beatles

August 26, 2016

While “Slow Down” may not rank among the Beatles’ most well-known covers, it does provide a snapshot of the group’s raw early days.

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

October 18, 2015

When Bruce Springsteen issued ‘The River’ in October of 1980, I didn’t like it very much. Time has changed that – and here’s why.

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

October 22, 2015

The Band, then known as Levon and the Hawks, released a few forgotten songs before heading to that basement with Bob Dylan. Here’s one of the best.

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

August 16, 2016

“Stranger in Town” was written by Toto’s David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, who also composed the smash hit “Africa.” But it couldn’t be more different.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

June 7, 2014

Some think Metheny is joking around, that he couldn’t possibly like “all of this noise.”

Chicago, “Where Do We Go From Here” from Chicago II (1970): Saturday in the Park

Chicago, “Where Do We Go From Here” from Chicago II (1970): Saturday in the Park

August 20, 2016

A gentle, hymn-like piece, “Where Do We Go From Here” marks the first Peter Cetera composition to be recorded by Chicago.

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

August 21, 2016

Think of ‘Gotta Get Back’ more as Walker’s renewal of his vows to the family and sweet, soulful roots music that made him who he is.

Blackberry Smoke, “Waiting on the Thunder” from Like an Arrow (2016): One Track Mind

Blackberry Smoke, “Waiting on the Thunder” from Like an Arrow (2016): One Track Mind

August 1, 2016

Blackberry Smoke’s last album needed a little more grit. If “Waiting for the Thunder” is any indication, maybe we’ll get some of that back.

John ‘Papa’ Gros – River’s On Fire (2016)

John ‘Papa’ Gros – River’s On Fire (2016)

July 24, 2016

John “Papa” Gros’ ‘River’s On Fire’ is one of those albums you “see,” because the stories are so well told. Mentor Allen Toussaint would be proud.

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

August 21, 2016

Think of ‘Gotta Get Back’ more as Walker’s renewal of his vows to the family and sweet, soulful roots music that made him who he is.

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

August 11, 2016

Performance enhancers became an early story line in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But which drug-related rock song provides the best soundtrack?

The Main Ingredient – Greatest Hits: The Encore Collection (2000): On Second Thought

The Main Ingredient – Greatest Hits: The Encore Collection (2000): On Second Thought

February 25, 2016

If you’re looking to have your spine tingled and heart jingled, the Main Ingredient certainly fits the bill.

Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003): Shadows in Stereo

Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003): Shadows in Stereo

August 7, 2016

By accident or design, ‘The Eyes of Alice Cooper’ is as close as it comes to the classics from Alice Cooper’s glory days.

The Fab One Hundred and Four, by David Bedford (2016): Books

The Fab One Hundred and Four, by David Bedford (2016): Books

March 12, 2016

The lesser-known friends, family and musicians who influenced the Beatles finally receive their due in David Bedford’s ‘Fab One Hundred and Four.’

Bill Evans – Time Remembered, The Life & Music of Bill Evans (2016, DVD)

Bill Evans – Time Remembered, The Life & Music of Bill Evans (2016, DVD)

August 16, 2016

The truth and beauty in Evans’ music is impossible to forget. Bruce Spiegel’s well done documentary ‘Time Remembered, The Life & Music of Bill Evans’ makes sure that we don’t.

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

June 14, 2016

Ex-Wings guitarist Henry McCullough suffered a devastating heart attack in 2012 and then endured a lengthy period of partial recovery.

Unreleased Songs by Bob Dylan: Gimme Five

Unreleased Songs by Bob Dylan: Gimme Five

May 24, 2016

Let’s start a conversation about how the addition of just one more song might have changed the fate of several Bob Dylan albums.