Roots Music

The Band, “The River Hymn” from Cahoots (1971): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “The River Hymn” from Cahoots (1971): Across the Great Divide

“The River Hymn” tries to answer questions raised on the Band’s ‘Cahoots,’ offering one of Levon Helm’s prettiest vocals along the way.

Lloyd Cole – Standards (2014)

Lloyd Cole – Standards (2014)

Lloyd Cole strikes a smart balance between what he once was, and what he’s become.

Jimi Hendrix struck up an unlikely friendship with Steve Cropper: ‘He turned me on’

Jimi Hendrix struck up an unlikely friendship with Steve Cropper: ‘He turned me on’

Jimi Hendrix and Steve Cropper would, on the surface, seem to have little in common. A memorable meeting at Stax showed otherwise.

Eric Johnson + Mike Stern, “Benny Man’s Blues” from Eclectic: One Track Mind

Eric Johnson + Mike Stern, “Benny Man’s Blues” from Eclectic: One Track Mind

“Benny Man’s Blues” lives up to the outsized, genre-bending expectations surrounding a studio pairing of Eric Johnson and Mike Stern.

Wilco, Whiskeytown, Blind Boys of Alabama: Random Shuffle

Wilco, Whiskeytown, Blind Boys of Alabama: Random Shuffle

Mat Brewster shares thoughts and memories during a random shuffle featuring Wilco, Whiskeytown and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Bob Dylan and the Band, “Forever Young” (1974): Across the Great Divide

Bob Dylan and the Band, “Forever Young” (1974): Across the Great Divide

Bob Dylan and the Band never tired of “Forever Young,” finding new meaning with each passing year, and each passing version.

Josh Ritter, “Rosalie” from Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither (2014)

Josh Ritter, “Rosalie” from Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither (2014)

Josh Ritter’s version of “Rosalie” stands out on a Chris Smithers tribute album with plenty of bigger stars.

Daniel Lanois, “Iceland” from Flesh and Machine (2014): One Track Mind

Daniel Lanois, “Iceland” from Flesh and Machine (2014): One Track Mind

Daniel Lanois’ “Iceland” is unutterably beautiful at one turn, dark and humid the next

Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems (2014)

Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems (2014)

He remains a mystery, as misunderstood as his most famous song, as purposeful in his third act as he is utterly aware of the creeping shadows all around.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” from Islands (1977)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” from Islands (1977)

Slow to get started, this R&B romp finishes on a high note.