The Beatles, “It’s All Too Much” from Yellow Submarine (1969): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “It’s All Too Much” from Yellow Submarine (1969): Deep Beatles

May 18, 2018

George Harrison’s struggle to balance a simple existence with a rock star’s hedonistic lifestyle is chronicled in the Beatles deep cut “It’s All Too Much.”

Leslie Johnson Discusses Getting Funky on #3, Looks Ahead to What’s Next

Leslie Johnson Discusses Getting Funky on #3, Looks Ahead to What’s Next

May 9, 2018

Leslie Johnson joins Preston Frazier to discuss his latest album ‘#3,’ and a newfound focus on getting deep into a groove.

Leslie Johnson, “Walk It Off” from #3 (2018): Something Else! Sneak Peek

Leslie Johnson, “Walk It Off” from #3 (2018): Something Else! Sneak Peek

March 19, 2018

If “Walk It Off” is any indication, the forthcoming ‘#3’ will be another feather in the Guatemalan-born, Texas-based Leslie Johnson’s cap.

Thumbscrew – Ours and Theirs (2018)

Thumbscrew – Ours and Theirs (2018)

May 22, 2018

The all-originals ‘Ours’ and all-covers ‘Theirs’ are both bulls eyes from Thumbscrew and a strong way to persuade the quality label Cuneiform to not give up the fight.

Thollem/Clouser/Chase – Dub Narcotic Session Vol. II (2018)

Thollem/Clouser/Chase – Dub Narcotic Session Vol. II (2018)

May 21, 2018

Thollem ducks into a studio and jams with a noted, up-and-coming fusion guitarist and the drummer from an established garage-punk band.

Thollem/Clouser/Chase – Dub Narcotic Session Vol. II (2018)

Thollem/Clouser/Chase – Dub Narcotic Session Vol. II (2018)

May 21, 2018

Thollem ducks into a studio and jams with a noted, up-and-coming fusion guitarist and the drummer from an established garage-punk band.

The Maharajas – You Can’t Beat Youth (2017)

The Maharajas – You Can’t Beat Youth (2017)

May 20, 2018

A comeback in the truest sense, ‘You Can’t Beat Youth’ returns the Maharajas to their garage-rock roots.

Robbie Dupree, Chicago, Yes’ Peter Banks + Others: Five for the Road

Robbie Dupree, Chicago, Yes’ Peter Banks + Others: Five for the Road

May 6, 2018

Robbie Dupree, Chicago and Peter Banks are part of the latest edition of Five for the Road, an occasional look at music that’s been in my car lately.

Iron Maiden’s masterpiece Seventh Son of a Seventh Son changed everything

Iron Maiden’s masterpiece Seventh Son of a Seventh Son changed everything

April 12, 2018

‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,’ released 30 years ago this week, started a journey. Iron Maiden is now a part of me, and I am a part of what’s kept them around.

Bart and the Bedazzled – Blue Motel (2018)

Bart and the Bedazzled – Blue Motel (2018)

May 21, 2018

Bart and the Bedazzled are like a cool combination of ’70s pop-singer Stephen Bishop and ’80s bands like the Style Council.

Lance Lopez – Tell the Truth (2018)

Lance Lopez – Tell the Truth (2018)

March 6, 2018

A terrific addition to Lance Lopez’s catalog, ‘Tell the Truth’ boasts an assessable combination of excellent guitar playing, strong vocals and deft production.

The Wood Brothers – One Drop Of Truth (2018)

The Wood Brothers – One Drop Of Truth (2018)

February 1, 2018

With emotional directness, wit, and uncanny musicianship found on ‘One Drop of Truth,’ pure Wood Brothers translates into pure roots rock joy.

Durand Jones – Durand Jones and the Indications: Deluxe Edition (2018)

Durand Jones – Durand Jones and the Indications: Deluxe Edition (2018)

April 8, 2018

A re-release of Durand Jones and the Indications’ self-titled debut seemed initially strange to me. The original is hard to improve upon.

David Philips – Get Along (2018)

David Philips – Get Along (2018)

May 18, 2018

Philips is clearly that guy who is well suited for DIY, and now we know from ‘Get Along’ that even when he does something by himself two different ways, both ways are the ‘right’ way.

Yes, “The More We Live – Let Go” from Union (1991): YESterdays

Yes, “The More We Live – Let Go” from Union (1991): YESterdays

May 22, 2018

Billy Sherwood’s future impact on Yes comes into focus with “The More We Live – Let Go,” his first collaboration with Chris Squire.

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.

The Beatles, “It’s All Too Much” from Yellow Submarine (1969): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “It’s All Too Much” from Yellow Submarine (1969): Deep Beatles

May 18, 2018

George Harrison’s struggle to balance a simple existence with a rock star’s hedonistic lifestyle is chronicled in the Beatles deep cut “It’s All Too Much.”

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, “Jake to the Bone” from Kingdom of Desire (1992): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Jake to the Bone” from Kingdom of Desire (1992): Toto Tuesdays

May 15, 2018

The closer for 1992’s ‘Kingdom of Desire’ is a rare treat for long-time Toto fans: a full-blown instrumental workout.

(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, “Hope for Love” from Chicago X (1976): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Hope for Love” from Chicago X (1976): Saturdays in the Park

May 12, 2018

As with most of this underserved LP, “Hope For Love” had potential but Chicago simply doesn’t show the devotion of their pre-Caribou records.

Oliver Ignatius, “Citys a Hell” (2018): One Track Mind

Oliver Ignatius, “Citys a Hell” (2018): One Track Mind

March 26, 2018

Damfino’s Oliver Ignatius captures our imagination on “Citys a Hell,” a moonlighting solo single which moves far afield of his main band’s quirky pop rock.

Bobby Bare, April 28, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Bobby Bare, April 28, 2018: Shows I’ll Never Forget

May 12, 2018

At the first hint that country legend Bobby Bare was open to requests, this respectful Wisconsin crowd came alive with suggestions.

Jo Jo Gunne – So … Where’s the Show? (1974): Forgotten Series

Jo Jo Gunne – So … Where’s the Show? (1974): Forgotten Series

May 2, 2018

Comparisons to his former band Spirit were inevitable, but Jay Ferguson’s work with with the more rock-focused Jo Jo Gunne stood on its own.

Winter Wanderlust from Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes + others: Odd Couples

Winter Wanderlust from Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes + others: Odd Couples

February 19, 2018

The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes and a host of others have written winter-themed songs over the years. But which was best?

The Move – Shazam (1970): On Second Thought

The Move – Shazam (1970): On Second Thought

May 17, 2018

Released just before Jeff Lynne arrived, ‘Shazam’ found the Move dropping their pop-art instincts in preference of a more experimental slant.

Peter Frampton, Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, Jethro Tull + UFO: Shadows in Stereo

Peter Frampton, Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, Jethro Tull + UFO: Shadows in Stereo

May 14, 2018

Classic rock is a dinosaur still walking the Earth, but there’s still enough life left in it to consider a few points in the twilight of an era.

All That’s Jazz, by Sammy Stein (2017): Books

All That’s Jazz, by Sammy Stein (2017): Books

December 11, 2017

Having long offered informed jazz content for a variety of publications, including this one, a book on the subject seems all too logical for Sammy Stein.

‘Survivors Guide to Prison’ Goes Beyond Numbers to Expose Our National Disgrace

‘Survivors Guide to Prison’ Goes Beyond Numbers to Expose Our National Disgrace

March 1, 2018

Activist-filmmaker Matthew Cooke’s new documentary ‘Survivors Guide to Prison’ is about more than the rudiments of making it on the inside.

Moody Blues’ Ray Thomas (1941-2018): An Appreciation

Moody Blues’ Ray Thomas (1941-2018): An Appreciation

January 16, 2018

The Moody Blues have an unusual hold over fans, with many believing the group has mystical, otherworldly powers. And maybe they do.

Mystery Discs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, INXS + others: Gimme Five

Mystery Discs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, INXS + others: Gimme Five

March 25, 2018

I found a bunch of albums – including Lynyrd Skynyrd, INXS and others – that I didn’t know I had. In fact, I can’t say why I wanted them in the first place.