Music Reviews

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posted: February 26, 2014

English Oceans

ATO LP, CD

In his excellent new book I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway, veteran critic Greg Kot discusses the harmonic blend of styles that distinguished the late 1960s/early 1970s era Muscle Shoals sound from every other locale in America. Read More


posted: February 25, 2009

Rebecca Pidgeon – Behind the Velvet Curtain

I usually like to make fun of female vocal records in the pages of TONE, but when I find something a little bit different and tasty, I’m the first to admit it.  I hope Ms. Pidgeon won’t mind being put in the very tasty column.

If you have enjoyed the last couple of records by Madeline Peyroux, you will love Behind the Velvet Curtain. Read More


posted: September 8, 2009

Recent box sets to enjoy….

Various 4 CD Box Set
Recent box sets to enjoy….

Rod Stewart: The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998. Rhino (4CD box set)

For better and worse, the trajectory of Rod Stewart’s career is accurately traced on The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998, a four-disc box set that collects 63 previously unreleased outtakes, alternate versions, and rehearsals that span nearly three decades. Read More


posted: June 20, 2013

REVIEW: Kanye’s Yeesus Yeesus

Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam CD
REVIEW:  Kanye’s  Yeesus

“I go to sleep with a nightlight,” Kanye West confesses late onto Yeezus.

If he doesn’t, his demons come out to play. If that’s the case, Yeezus was no doubt recorded with the lights definitely off. The demons are not only out; they populate songs like a club that’s well over capacity. Read More


posted: February 4, 2013

Richard Thompson Electric

New West 2LP, or CD
Richard Thompson

During the course of a 45-year professional career that began with Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson has logged several impressive creative stretches, not least of which is a mid-70s stint that yielded a trio of exceptional albums with former life partner Linda Thompson.

While the English native’s wry well never ran dry, he stumbled in the mid-80s and throughout a majority of the 90s, when his songwriting suffered from unevenness and his over-produced albums wallowed in mediocrity. Read More


posted: March 20, 2009

rickie lee jones pop pop

I still like Rickie Lee Jones.

No, I don’t ever want to hear “Chuck e’s In Love” ever again, but I still like an occasional dose of Rickie Lee.  Pop Pop was almost squarely in the middle of her recording career, but was somewhat of a departure from her past album Flying Cowboys in the choice of Don Was as producer. Read More


posted: October 27, 2014

Robert Plant

Robert Plant sounds jubilant on his first new studio record in four years. And why not? Forever linked with Led Zeppelin, the singer has spurned convention over the past three decades by ignoring lucrative requests to reconvene with his former mates and choosing instead to press on with a solo career marked with diversity, risk, and exploration. Read More


posted: September 10, 2010

Robert Plant-Band of Joy

“Put me to sleep so easily or keep me out all night,” Robert Plant softly exhales on “The Only Sound That Matters,” the lyric serving as a fitting metaphor for the dichotomy on the legendary singer’s new Band of Joy. Named after one of his earliest groups, the past- and present-blurring record entertains Plant’s desire to revisit his past and primarily interpret other writers’ material—just as he did when starting out in the mid-60s. Read More


posted: April 13, 2011

Rumours Rumours

WB 2 - 45rpm LP's
Rumours

After years of delay, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 blockbuster Rumours finally made its way to the pressing plant—the Pallas plant in Germany, to be exact. True to its past performances, Pallas has done an exquisite job on these four vinyl surfaces. Though the cover printing has picked up a bit of contrast from the original, it’s printed on heavy stock, and there’s evidence of spot varnish having been applied. Read More


posted: March 16, 2009

Ruthie’s Latest Truth

I was lucky enough to see this big-hearted, charismatic blues guitarist and singer steal the show from Jorma Kaukonen and Robben Ford at the Guitar Blues Tour shortly before hearing her new album, and was instantly won over with her humor, honesty and raw sex appeal. It’s not even fair to call Ruthie Foster a blues singer since her music is so full of joy and hope, but she definitely knows her way around a resonator guitar and a slide. Read More


posted: February 25, 2009

Ry Cooder – I, Flathead I, Flathead

Nonesuch CD (limited deluxe editiion)
Ry Cooder – I, Flathead

Why buy a CD when you can buy a mini-novel to go along with it?

The deluxe edition of Ry Cooders latest endeavor is a gas, literally.  The deluxe edition comes complete with a 97 page story of adventure, intrigue, the songs of a band called Kash Buk and the Klowns and something to do with a very unique adhesive. Read More


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