Roots Music

Ray Wylie Hubbard, “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'” (2015): One Track Mind

Ray Wylie Hubbard, “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'” (2015): One Track Mind

Ray Wylie Hubbard has been sticking a steel-toed boot up country’s rear for generations, and this new song is — thankfully — no different.

The Band, “Back to Memphis” from Moondog Matinee (1973): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Back to Memphis” from Moondog Matinee (1973): Across the Great Divide

The Band simply stole “Back to Memphis” from Chuck Berry, who tended to wink his way through it. Levon Helm, however, found something darker.

Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night (2015)

Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night (2015)

Bob Dylan’s gently involving set of covers shouldn’t work, because the principal thing that’s always made him so galvanizing has been his fury.

Garth Hudson, “Garth Largo” from Largo (1998): Across the Great Divide

Garth Hudson, “Garth Largo” from Largo (1998): Across the Great Divide

Garth Hudson’s genius has been rightly celebrated across all manner of disciplines. “Largo,” perhaps his least-heralded triumph, reminds us why.

Accordion Rock from the Who, Jethro Tull, John Mellencamp, others: Gimme Five

Accordion Rock from the Who, Jethro Tull, John Mellencamp, others: Gimme Five

Accordion … rock? Yes, accordion rock. Not novelty tunes, polka, zydeco or silly remakes. Let’s look back on times when the accordion played a key role.

JJ Grey + Mofro, “Every Minute” from Ol’ Glory (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

JJ Grey + Mofro, “Every Minute” from Ol’ Glory (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

The Florida-based JJ Grey and Mofro return to make an absolutely heavenly, cross-pollinated racket — like a bourbon tabernacle hootenanny.

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

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

Eleven hours into work on ‘Another Good Road,’ John Oates decided to cover his old favorite ‘Stack O’ Lee.’ It proved more difficult than he’d 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 — 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.