Roots Music

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.

Bill Wyman, “What & How & If & When & Why” (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Bill Wyman, “What & How & If & When & Why” (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Bill Wyman’s “What & How & If & When & Why” doesn’t sound anything like is his earlier laid-back rootsy fare – to say nothing of the Rolling Stones.

Levon Helm, seen in this 1970 file photo, a singer and drummer for the rock group the Band, has died, April 19, 2012 at age 71. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Levon Helm’s essential Band songs: Gimme Five

Born on May 26, 1940, Levon Helm is known today as a country proselytizer, an inventive interpreter and a one-of-a-kind drummer. It all started right here.

JM_114392_A8_10.tif

Los Lobos’ Kiko was a mysterious, completely transfixing triumph

Released on May 26, 1992, ‘Kiko’ is still, by any measure, Los Lobos’ most unusual album. That’s what lures me back, again and again.