Roots Music

Thom Douvan – Brother Brother (2014)

Thom Douvan, a greasy-great guitarist who’d had an earlier stint gigging with the legendary Funk Brothers, could have used this opportunity to pay too-reverent respects to Motown. But the very fun, very funky Brother Brother is much more than that.

One Track Mind: Bobby Rush and Dr. John, “Another Murder in New Orleans” (2014)

Bobby Rush and Dr. John, Louisiana natives with a stake in this, lament how a city of song can so often be riven by violence — in a song that marks an emotional first-ever collaboration on Rush’s just-released new album Decisions.

On Second Thought: Tim Buckley – Lorca (1970)

Recorded in the midst of his most experimental and prolific time as an artist, Tim Buckley’s Lorca is the musical bridge between the loose jazzy troubadour stylings of the Blue Afternoon and Happy/Sad, and the haunted cosmic residue of Starsailor, the revolutionary 1970 record that follows.

The Howlin’ Brothers – Trouble (2014)

More American Beauty-era Dead than picking-and-grinning Scruggs redux, the Howlin’ Brothers steer the current fascination with string-band hominess back toward rock music.

Across the Great Divide: Robbie Robertson, “Ghost Dance” from The Native Americans (1994)

Across the Great Divide: Robbie Robertson, “Ghost Dance” from The Native Americans (1994)

Robbie Robertson, though he shares a Native American heritage, spent the first few months on this project simply listening to Indian songs. Then, before full engaging for the first time in this legacy music, he tried to forget all of that and simply create.

‘Fans speak with their wallets': Glenn Frey on why the Eagles stick with the old songs

‘Fans speak with their wallets': Glenn Frey on why the Eagles stick with the old songs

As Glenn Frey makes another run of History of the Eagles shows, more than six years after the group’s most recent album of original songs, the question of boredom begins to creep in. Not for Frey.

Little Feat – Live in Holland (2014)

We’ve heard Little Feat live, of course. Grooved along on 1978’s Waiting for Columbus, and let it all hang down with the Rockpalast Live set recorded during the same 1977 jaunt. But neither captured the long-gone Lowell George at the peak of his powers

‘I’ve discovered things': John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

‘I’ve discovered things': John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

Over the course of a record-smashing, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career with Hall and Oates that began in the early 1970s, many things changed — and, John Oates says, that’s a good thing.

‘He left a heritage': Garth Hudson, Amy Helm, Steve Berlin and Jimmy Vivino on Levon Helm

‘He left a heritage': Garth Hudson, Amy Helm, Steve Berlin and Jimmy Vivino on Levon Helm

Levon Helm’s music was a homey as it was connective — with his history, with everyone’s.

One Track Mind: Bruce Springsteen, “Hey Blue Eyes” from American Beauty (2014)

There’s a moment, just when you get comfortable with the idea that this is a paean to home, love and hearth, when Bruce Springsteen sharply widens the lens. All around this couple, despite the illusion of a cocoon of safety and of love, there are troubles, there are questions, there is cruelty and death and misfortune.