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Asia featuring John Payne, “Ghost in the Mirror” from Silent Nation (2004): One Track Mind

Asia featuring John Payne, “Ghost in the Mirror” from Silent Nation (2004): One Track Mind

Released on August 31, 2004, Asia’s ‘Silent Nation’ represented the final collaboration between longtime partners Geoff Downes and John Payne.

Jimmie Vaughan reached back for ’50s-style cool on Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites

Jimmie Vaughan reached back for ’50s-style cool on Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites

Jimmie Vaughan’s ‘Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites,’ released five years ago this summer, shined a needed spotlight on some largely unheard covers.

The Louisianna Superdome is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Dr. John, Preservation Hall + others: Music framed initial journey past Hurricane Katrina

In the period immediately after New Orleans’ levees failed under Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught beginning on Aug. 29, 2005, musicians began trying to make sense of things.

Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

Mike Pride states, “making this solo record has been a total mind-bender.” Listening to ‘Listening Party’ is a mind-bender as well.

The New Trocaderos – Thrills and Chills (2015)

The New Trocaderos – Thrills and Chills (2015)

An ‘Animal House’-style party ambience, surrounded by garage rock grooves and crafty pop detours, powers the New Trocaderos’ ‘Thrills and Chills.’

Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

A model of consistency, style and grace, Michael Dease stays at the head of the class among jazz trombonists with his seventh album, ‘Decisions.’

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

Passed over as an A-side, “Thank You Girl” illustrated the foundational role the blues, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll played in the Beatles’ early sound.

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

Motley Crue’s ‘Theatre of Pain’ doesn’t equal the power of ‘Shout at the Devil’ or the sleazy fun of ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ but it’s worth another listen.

Sun Speak – Sacred Rubble (2015)

Sun Speak – Sacred Rubble (2015)

Guitarist Matt Gold and drummer Nate Friedman display a jazz acumen well beyond their years on Sun Speak’s sophomore album, ‘Sacred Rubble.’

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘Eve’ arrived on August 27, 1979 with a life-changing – or, at the very least, an ear drum-rearranging – instrumental.