Roots Music

‘Staggerlee’ didn’t come easy on John Oates’ new live set: ‘I literally couldn’t play it’

‘Staggerlee’ didn’t come easy on John Oates’ new live set: ‘I literally couldn’t play it’

Eleven hours into creating ‘Another Good Road,’ John Oates started to cover his old favorite ‘Staggerlee.’ It proved more difficult than he’d ever imagined.

The Band, “(I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes” (1971): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “(I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes” (1971): Across the Great Divide

This old Chuck Willis tune, forgotten in the wake of his early death, gave the Band a chance to let loose ā€” and let loose they most certainly did.

Staple Singers, “Jesus is All” from Freedom Highway Complete (2015): One Track Mind

Staple Singers, “Jesus is All” from Freedom Highway Complete (2015): One Track Mind

‘Freedom Highway Complete’ makes viscerally clear that the Staple Singers, though they’d moved far afield of gospel, could still rattle the back pews.

Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks remains as painful as it is enigmatic

Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks remains as painful as it is enigmatic

Released 40 years ago, ‘Blood on the Tracks’ signalled that Bob Dylan was ready to re-engage in his career. It was also something more personal.

Mark Knopfler, “Beryl” from Tracker (2015): One Track Mind

Mark Knopfler, “Beryl” from Tracker (2015): One Track Mind

“Beryl” reminds us of why Mark Knopfler became famous in the first place — even as it seems to retrace the steps that led him away from that fame.

Rene and Rene, “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero [The More I Love You]” (1968): Forgotten Series

Rene and Rene, “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero [The More I Love You]” (1968): Forgotten Series

Humming with romance and sexuality, the sentiment of Rene and Rene’s “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero” radiates with pure pop godliness.

Martin Luther King Day songs by Stevie Wonder, Queen + U2, others: Gimme Five

Martin Luther King Day songs by Stevie Wonder, Queen + U2, others: Gimme Five

We celebrate Martin Luther King Day songs by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Queen, Public Enemy, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and more.

James McMurtry – Complicated Game (2015)

James McMurtry – Complicated Game (2015)

‘Complicated Game,’ James McMurtry’s first album in seven years, finds his narrative rigor once again in sharp focus.

John Oates – Another Good Road (2015)

John Oates – Another Good Road (2015)

John Oates’ intimate forthcoming live release, ‘Another Good Road,’ gives us new perspective on an exciting period of musical growth.

Robbie Robertson, “It Is a Good Day to Die” (1994): Across the Great Divide

Robbie Robertson, “It Is a Good Day to Die” (1994): Across the Great Divide

Crazy Horse, as Robbie Robertson’s “It Is a Good Day to Die” makes clear, wasn’t being boastful. This wasn’t a warrior’s cry.