Hydra may be the best Toto album you’ve never heard: ‘That’s a cult classic!’

Hydra may be the best Toto album you’ve never heard: ‘That’s a cult classic!’

October 30, 2014

Released 35 years ago today, ‘Hydra’ showed the full breadth of what Toto could do. It’s influencing their new album, too.

Flying Colors, “A Place in Your World” from Second Nature (2014): One Track Mind

Flying Colors, “A Place in Your World” from Second Nature (2014): One Track Mind

October 29, 2014

Flying Colors is a group loaded with talent, but in need of a rejiggering of priorities toward its own embedded prog-pop sensibilities.

AC/DC, “Play Ball” from Rock or Bust (2014): One Track Mind

AC/DC, “Play Ball” from Rock or Bust (2014): One Track Mind

October 7, 2014

AC/DC returns missing a key member, but none of its familiar sound.

Aerial – Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? (2014)

Aerial – Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? (2014)

October 30, 2014

Tingling and trembling with style and substance, Aerial’s ‘Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School?’ is a power-pop epic.

Bud Powell – Live At The Blue Note Café, Paris 1961 (2014 reissue)

Bud Powell – Live At The Blue Note Café, Paris 1961 (2014 reissue)

October 30, 2014

Perhaps not quite as amazing as his fabled sides for Blue Note Records, but Bud Powell’s ‘Live At The Blue Note Café, Paris 1961′ is plenty good enough to make any jazzbo wish they’d have been there.

Ferenc Nemeth and Attila Laszlo [featuring the Yellowjackets' Jimmy Haslip + Russell Ferrante] – Bridges of Souls (2014)

Ferenc Nemeth and Attila Laszlo [featuring the Yellowjackets' Jimmy Haslip + Russell Ferrante] – Bridges of Souls (2014)

October 28, 2014

Here’s a review of ‘Bridges of Souls,’ a tasteful fusion excursion from Hungarian drum ace Ferenc Nemeth and Hugarian guitar ace Attila Laszlo.

Ross Hammond + Grant Calvin Weston – Blues and Daily News (2014)

Ross Hammond + Grant Calvin Weston – Blues and Daily News (2014)

October 22, 2014

We review ‘Blues and Daily News’ by Ross Hammond and Grant Calvin Weston, a creative guitar/drums improv record.

Flying Colors, “A Place in Your World” from Second Nature (2014): One Track Mind

Flying Colors, “A Place in Your World” from Second Nature (2014): One Track Mind

October 29, 2014

Flying Colors is a group loaded with talent, but in need of a rejiggering of priorities toward its own embedded prog-pop sensibilities.

Mashmakhan, “As The Years Go By/Days When We Are Free” (1970): Forgotten series

Mashmakhan, “As The Years Go By/Days When We Are Free” (1970): Forgotten series

September 30, 2014

Mashmakhan’s “As The Years Go By” was a quirky cross-pollination of flower-power pickings, the Zombies and Deep Purple.

“Dig a Pony,” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

“Dig a Pony,” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

October 17, 2014

The Beatles’ often-overlooked “Dig a Pony” is a classic example of John Lennon’s love of wordplay.

Best Donald Fagen songs: Steely Dan Sunday

Best Donald Fagen songs: Steely Dan Sunday

October 26, 2014

Steely Dan fanatics John Lawler, Preston Frazier and S. Victor Aaron choose their five favorite songs from frontman Donald Fagen.

Eric Bibb – Blues People (2014)

Eric Bibb – Blues People (2014)

October 30, 2014

Eric Bibb’s civil rights blues manifesto ‘Blues People’ is poignant, and also entertaining.

Robbie Robertson, “Broken Arrow” from Robbie Robertson (1987): Across the Great Divide

Robbie Robertson, “Broken Arrow” from Robbie Robertson (1987): Across the Great Divide

October 30, 2014

Robbie Robertson’s willingness to speak from the heart gave moments like ‘Broken Arrow’ a new resonance.

Booker T. and the MGs broke barriers with a light touch: ‘We were just out there to play music’

Booker T. and the MGs broke barriers with a light touch: ‘We were just out there to play music’

October 16, 2014

Booker T. and the MGs shared Stax Records’ message of racial tolerance by their very presence. But it wasn’t always easy.

Amanda Kravat, “Wouldn’t Be This” (2014): Something Else! sneak peek

Amanda Kravat, “Wouldn’t Be This” (2014): Something Else! sneak peek

October 13, 2014

Amanda Kravat crafts a billowing dream of what could be — for herself, and for this song.

Thirty Steps to Forward – The Bird and The Fool (2009): On Second Thought

Thirty Steps to Forward – The Bird and The Fool (2009): On Second Thought

October 29, 2014

Warm, tranquil, and making do with minimal fuss, Thirty Steps to Forward’s ‘The Bird And The Fool’ is immaculately alluring.

Michael Lynch, “Mr. Monster / Going the Wrong Way” (2014): One Track Mind

Michael Lynch, “Mr. Monster / Going the Wrong Way” (2014): One Track Mind

October 18, 2014

Michael Lynch has given us a great little Halloween tune in “Mr. Monster,” with fierce hook lines and a jiggly, jagged bubblegum beat.

Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story, by Sebastian Robertson (2014): Books

Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story, by Sebastian Robertson (2014): Books

October 20, 2014

Robbie Robertson’s son set out to reshape his father’s life as a children’s tale. He ended up with something that will resonate with everyone.

Deep Purple – Live in Verona (2014)

Deep Purple – Live in Verona (2014)

October 25, 2014

This isn’t just another evening of string-laden songcraft from Deep Purple; it’s a big-bang moment for the group’s next era.

WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series (2014): Television

WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series (2014): Television

October 21, 2014

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ finally returns with much – if, alas, not all – of its original music in tact.

Rock is Dead! Songs by Todd Rundgren, the Knack, Elvis Costello, others: Gimme Five

Rock is Dead! Songs by Todd Rundgren, the Knack, Elvis Costello, others: Gimme Five

October 5, 2014

To celebrate October, autumn and U2’s recent marketing fiasco, here’s a few songs about the death of everyone’s favorite bad penny, rock ‘n’ roll.

Jack Bruce (1943-2014): An Appreciation

Jack Bruce (1943-2014): An Appreciation

October 28, 2014

In the aftermath of Jack Bruce’s long-awaited reunion with Cream, some people bitched. All I remember was watching in wonder.