Archive for June, 2012

Morning In The Bowl Of Night – Lisa Miller | CD

(Inertia) 5 stars Lisa Miller’s remarkable CD will doubtless be lost on the musical fast food mob. `Morning In The Bowl Of Night’, with its emotional intensity and adult themes, is light years removed from the world of celebrity pop and instant hits. Like so many superior artistic endeavours, the album’s lyrical subtleties and spare [...]

Never Turn Back – Mavis Staples | CD

(Anti/Shock) 5 stars On this extraordinary album, gospel-soul matriarch Mavis Staples, aided by Ry Cooder, revisits music that inspired the early 1960s US civil rights movement, along with traditional and original songs. Many of the tunes accompanying Dr. Martin Luther King and his fellow marchers through those racist southern states were provided by the Staples [...]

Dylanesque – Bryan Ferry | CD

(Virgin/EMI) 4 stars Bob Dylan has inspired generations of musos, from Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead to Bryan Ferry, whose first effort was a soulful 1973 version of ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’. Since then the elegant Brit has added occasional Zimmerman staples to what he terms his “ready-mades’’ – including two on 2002’s [...]

Live At Massey Hall – Neil Young | CD/DVD

(Reprise CD/DVD) 4 stars The long-haired hippie troubadour with that high, quavering voice and shy stage presence is Neil Young. The date is January 1971, the venue is Ontario’s Massey Hall and Young – already a cult figure after working with Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, Crosby, Stills & Nash, plus fresh success with his own [...]

Leave The Light On – Chris Smither | CD

(Mighty Albert/Shock) 4 stars Chris Smither, with that deep, muscular voice and agile guitar style, has been a familiar performer on the folk-blues circuit since the early ’80s. The New Orleans-born Smither actually started performing in the late-‘60s, until alcohol led to a decade-long recording hiatus.

Diamond Days – Eric Bibb | CD

(ABC/WEA) 4 stars Cool and urbane, Eric Bibb is the 21st-century folk-blues troubadour. More salon than saloon singer, Bibb is the son of a New York folk singer/actor and as a kid he mixed with the likes of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Odetta and jazzman John Lewis (his uncle). His godfather was Paul Robeson and [...]

West – Lucinda Williams | CD

(Universal) 5 stars `West’ – Lucinda Williams’s most satisfying recording to date – exemplifies the singer/songwriter’s ability to transmute intimate experiences into ballads with a universal connection. She accomplishes this through raw, confessional lyrics and a willingness, through that heartbreakingly honest vocal technique, to expose her emotional core.

The Road to Escondido – JJ Cale-Eric Clapton | CD

(Reprise) 4.5 stars ERIC Clapton is the first to admit he owes an artistic debt to J J Cale. Clapton’s first hit single, in his post-Cream solo career, was a 1970 cover of Cale’s `After Midnight’ and his adaptation of the Oklahoman’s rough-hewn, laidback country-blues style helped transform Clapton from blues-rock “god’’ into an FM [...]

Way Down The River – Sugarcane Collins | CD

(www.sugarcanecollins.com) 4.5 stars The man from our Far North has immersed himself deeper than ever before in the raw blues of the Mississippi Delta on his third CD. In fact, singer-guitarist Andy “Sugarcane” Collins has achieved such an authentic sound it’s hard to believe all 13 tracks are home-grown Cairns originals.

Love – The Beatles | CD/Audio DVD review

 (Apple/EMI) 3.5 stars For better or worse, sampling and cut-and-paste techniques are a recording fixture: e.g. the recent posthumous “teaming’’ of Ray Charles with the current Count Basie Band on `Ray Sings, Basie Swings’. So the clever makeover by producer George Martin and son Giles of pop archetypes the Beatles should come as no surprise [...]

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