Roots Music

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Pop, Rock + Roots): Toto, Bob Dylan, Neal Schon + others

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Pop, Rock + Roots): Toto, Bob Dylan, Neal Schon + others

This Mid-Year Best of 2015 list also includes Death Cab for Cutie, James McMurtry, Steve Hackett, Randy Bachman, Richard Thompson and Ringo Starr.

Levon Helm, “Tennessee Jed” from Electric Dirt (2009): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Tennessee Jed” from Electric Dirt (2009): Across the Great Divide

‘Electric Dirt,’ and standout cuts like “Tennessee Jed,” marked Levon Helm’s return not just as a grizzled survivor but as an artist in full again.

James Cotton, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark Jr. + others – Muddy Waters 100 (2015)

James Cotton, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark Jr. + others – Muddy Waters 100 (2015)

The forthcoming centennial tribute ‘Muddy Waters 100′ finds a series of guest stars adding new dimension to his stirring blues legacy.

Heartless Bastards – Restless Ones (2015)

Heartless Bastards – Restless Ones (2015)

There’s a gutsy musical experientation surrounding ‘Restless Ones,’ but the perfect Heartless Bastards album is still yet to be made.

Neil Young, “Wolf Moon” from The Monsanto Years (2015): One Track Mind

Neil Young, “Wolf Moon” from The Monsanto Years (2015): One Track Mind

Neil Young’s “Wolf Moon” features a delicately inviting sound that leads long-time fans back to ‘Harvest’ and its terrific sequel ‘Harvest Moon.’

Bob Dylan + the Band, “Clothes Line Saga” (1967): Across the Great Divide

Bob Dylan + the Band, “Clothes Line Saga” (1967): Across the Great Divide

A wicked parody of “Ode to Billie Joe,” Bob Dylan’s “Clothes Line Saga” might be the most hilarious moment of his ‘Basement Tapes’ work with the Band.

Richard Thompson, “Broken Doll” from Still (2015): One Track Mind

Richard Thompson, “Broken Doll” from Still (2015): One Track Mind

Richard Thompson’s enduring ability to frame heartbreak gives substance to “Broken Doll,” our latest advance taste of the Jeff Tweedy-helmed ‘Still.’

Robbie Robertson, with Neil Young + Garth Hudson, “Soap Box Preacher” from Storyville (1991): Across the Great Divide

Robbie Robertson, with Neil Young + Garth Hudson, “Soap Box Preacher” from Storyville (1991): Across the Great Divide

“Soap Box Preacher” rewarded those who’d waited in the hopes that Robbie Robertson’s solo career could conjure that old Band magic again.

Rickie Lee Jones, “Jimmy Choos” from The Other Side of Desire (2015): One Track Mind

Rickie Lee Jones, “Jimmy Choos” from The Other Side of Desire (2015): One Track Mind

‘Jimmy Choos,’ the lead track off the first album of original Rickie Lee Jones material in 10 years, sounds both familiar and different.

The Old Ceremony + R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, “Fall Guy” from Sprinter (2015): One Track Mind

The Old Ceremony + R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, “Fall Guy” from Sprinter (2015): One Track Mind

As the Old Ceremony joins together with several musical heroes, “Fall Guy” emerges as a fizzy moment of old-meets-new alchemy.