Archive for May, 2008

One Track Mind: Michael Franks, "Popsicle Toes" (1975)

by S. Victor Aaron Most of the times that I choose a song for this here “One Track Mind” series is because the song simply sounds good to me. Then I’ll dive into my spiel as to why it does. Today’s OTM has it’s own intrinsic virtues, too, but it gets the focus this time because of a phone callRead More

K.J. Denhert – Lucky 7 (2008)

by Pico One in a while, you come across a musician who so effectively cobbles together a wide range of styles so effortlessly you swear you’ve heard it somewhere before…but you can’t quite put a finger on it. New York City born and bred troubadour K.J. Denhert is one of those musicians. Everyone looks for reference points when presented withRead More

Obscuro: Don Was and Terence Blanchard – BackBeat (1994)

NICK DERISO: The most interesting thing about this soundtrack recording from the Beatle-based movie “BackBeat” was that it didn’t include, you know, any Beatles music. Was — co-leader of the now-forgotten 1980s rock group Was (Not Was), but more famous by then as the producer who gave Bonnie Raitt’s career mouth-to-mouth — played bass and wrote all the tunes. ButRead More

One Track Mind: Doyle Bramhall II, "Marry You" (1998)

by Pico Doyle Bramhall II has been around so much fame and combined with his songwriting and guitar talents, it’s downright shocking that he hadn’t become more than an underground hero himself. But, man, what a résumé. The son of drummer and Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborator Doyle Bramhall, Doyle The Deuce co-fronted the brief but brilliant successor to SRV’s DoubleRead More

Death Cab for Cutie, “Summer Skin” from Plans (2005): One Track Mind

A remarkably intuitive song, full of very adult emotion and haunting insight, from a band with such a frankly ridiculous name. “Summer Skin,” in fact, might just be all the more powerful for the lowered expectations that come from a group actually called Death Cab for Cutie. I don’t care if they were a staple on the soundtrack to theRead More

James Carter – Present Tense (2008)

by Pico Ken Burns’ epic PBS documentary on jazz spent nearly all its time on the history up to 1960 and little afterwards. The implication was that jazz stopped becoming revolutionary and more evolutionary after Ornette Coleman ushered in the “new thing” at the beginning of the sixties. Thus, there was little time spent on notable jazz musicians of today.Read More

Dr. John – Mos' Scocious (1993)

As Mac Rebbenack, aka Dr. John the Night Tripper, says: He’s done “whatever I had to do to get the job did.” Over the years, this amounts to a list of jobs including, but not limited to, snot-nosed duck-tailed rocker, record producer, songwriter, way-out psychedelic pop star, reliable recording-session sideman and, at this point, a comfortable late-career existence of laurel-ridingRead More

James Hunter, with Allen Toussaint – The Hard Way (2008)

Rock Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint brought me to James Hunter’s “The Hard Way,” produced by Liam Watson of the White Stripes and set for June 10 release on Hear Music. But Hunter — a remarkably soulful presence in the style of Jackie Wilson, Van Morrison, Ray Charles and (primarily) Sam Cooke — kept me glued in front ofRead More

Derrick Gardner And The Jazz Prophets – A Ride To The Other Side (2008)

by Pico The title A Ride To The Other Side isn’t intended to mean anything deep, but nevertheless the music is a thrill ride to the side of that soulful funky acoustic jazz of the sixties. Trumpet player Derrick Gardner is firmly behind the wheel driving that bus. Derrick Gardner, the forty-two year-old son of accomplished musicians with PhD’s, earnedRead More

Forgotten series: Hip Linkchain – Airbusters (1989)

NICK DERISO: To put it bluntly, you need to get hip to Linkchain — a player/singer gone too soon, but not before leaving one final blast of brilliance. “Airbusters,” which included his final recordings, jumped off with a rocking barrelhouse number. (Of course, it did: That was ‘Barrelhouse Chuck’ on piano!) It was just the beginning, though, of a stomp-downRead More