Tom Waits’ Drinking Years, Relapsed

Tom Waits’ first seven albums, from his 1970s stint on Elektra/Asylum Records, are being re-released this year by his current label, Anti- Records. This is a significant chunk of Waits’ catalog, the formative years where he established his initial barfly poet/troubadour persona against a musical mix of down-and-out blues, cocktail lounge jazz and rhythm &… Continue reading Tom Waits’ Drinking Years, Relapsed

Randy Newman – Dark Matter

There’s something to be admired about older recording artists that just won’t quit. Randy Newman, at age 73, who hasn’t put out a full-length recording since 2008, is certainly one of these folks. Armed with an uncanny musical palette that somehow captures the nostalgia of a bygone era, Newman found lightning in a bottle in… Continue reading Randy Newman – Dark Matter

John McLaughlin

Moved By the Spirit: On a Farewell Tour, John McLaughlin Gets His Mahavishnu Working John McLaughlin is easily one of the most influential musicians ever to take up the guitar. His boundary-pushing, holistic approach to the instrument has earned him countless accolades. He has many high-profile fans among the legion of rock guitarists, though his… Continue reading John McLaughlin

Paul Kelly

Finest Hours: Paul Kelly Keeps Doing the Things That He Wants To Paul Kelly is an institution in his native Australia. His musical style transcends genre, and the beloved singer-guitarist has released nearly two dozen albums since his recorded debut in 1981. Kelly was the subject of an award-winning 2012 documentary, Paul Kelly: Stories of… Continue reading Paul Kelly

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

Burn After Reading: Arthur Brown’s Still Crazy, All Fired Up and Ready to Go One of the most remarkable singles in a year full of remarkable music, 1968’s “Fire” was unlike most anything else on the radio. Backed with malevolent swirls of organ and brass punctuating a hard-driving arrangement, the operatic vocals of Arthur Brown… Continue reading The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

Bob Dylan to Inflict Endurance Test


Bob Dylan hates us, and to prove his point, his next album has been announced as a 3-LP/3-CD set comprised entirely of more “American Standards” as only Bob can decimate them. This, of course, follows two similar but thankfully more succinct collections of reworked Sinatra schmaltz, Shadows in the Night (2015) and Fallen Angels (2016),… Continue reading Bob Dylan to Inflict Endurance Test

Wanda Jackson

Everybody’s Rockin’! Bobby Moore is Kinda Fonda Wanda. Wanda Jackson, That Is. Wanda Jackson unquestionably ranks among the true pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll. The “sweet lady with the nasty voice” stood tall alongside Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, ex-boyfriend Elvis Presley, and numerous others in a male-dominated field, energizing and radicalizing the soundtrack to… Continue reading Wanda Jackson

New LP From The Feelies Due Feb 24

Not content to stick with playin’ the oldies during their current state of reactivity, The Feelies released a solid album called Here Before back in 2011 (geez, has it really been that long ago?), and lo-and-behold, now they’ve gone and recorded another one. Look for Bar/None Records to release In Between on February 24th. The… Continue reading New LP From The Feelies Due Feb 24

Bob Weir – Blue Mountain

From Misfit Power to Elder Statesman, Bob Weir’s life (and the aforementioned transformation) has been spent onstage. For the one person in history who has been either onstage and/or recorded more than any other person (prove me wrong), he has spent relatively little time in the studio. Blue Mountain, Weir’s first solo release in over… Continue reading Bob Weir – Blue Mountain

John Cale Expands His Fragments

John Cale’s 1992 live album Fragments of a Rainy Season will be reissued on December 9th, its original 20-song tracklisting expanded by an additional eight outtakes and alternate versions. Recorded during various tour dates that year, the album showcases Cale solo on acoustic guitar and piano, rendering stark, intimate versions of songs spanning his entire… Continue reading John Cale Expands His Fragments


UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of NRBQ Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

NRBQ: The Unity of Man (and of former members) Longtime critics’ darlings NRBQ has kept the music going in one form or another since before recording and releasing its self-titled debut album in 1969. While sales figures of NRBQ’s more than 30 albums haven’t made the group a household name, the Q’s rich blend of… Continue reading NRBQ

Pink Floyd Empty Vaults, You Empty Wallet

How much Pink Floyd does any one person need? Well, if you have upwards of $600 to spare, you can have The Early Years 1965-1072, a 27-disc box set compiling loads of previously unreleased songs, BBC radio sessions, TV appearances, interview segments, outtakes, live material and more, due in stores Nov. 11th. The massive vault-clearing… Continue reading Pink Floyd Empty Vaults, You Empty Wallet

Stones Releasing Blues LP, Cuba Concert

The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts (L-R) pose in front of The Marquee Club in London in this handout photograph received by Reuters on July 11, 2012. The picture was taken by photographer Rankin to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Rolling Stones' first ever live performance on July 12, 1962 at the iconic venue on London's Oxford Street. An exhibition of photos from Rolling Stones 50 will be held at London's Somerset House from July 13 to August 27. REUTERS/Rankin/Handout (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

The Rolling Stones have announced two noteworthy upcoming releases – a live set that demonstrate their ongoing vitality onstage, and a studio recording that strips away the pretense and simply, thrillingly pays homage to their blues inspirations. The Stones’ first studio album in over a decade, Blue & Lonesome consists of 12 rather spontaneously recorded… Continue reading Stones Releasing Blues LP, Cuba Concert

The Kinks – Everybody’s in Show-Biz [Legacy Edition]

Here we are at the tail end of the CD era. It’s over. I am one of those record collector types who enthusiastically shifted to CDs in the early ’90s, bedazzled by the notion that I could finally, truly “possess” my music in a permanent way – in a convenient format and at peak fidelity.… Continue reading The Kinks – Everybody’s in Show-Biz [Legacy Edition]

Old Jethro Tull LP Being Re-Released Again

There are only a couple Jethro Tull album you really need, and no, those don’t include Aqualung. One would be Benefit, and the other would be its immediate predecessor, their second LP, 1969’s Stand Up. This is the one where they skewered the heavy blues and jazz of their debut with a burlap sack fulla… Continue reading Old Jethro Tull LP Being Re-Released Again

PiL’s 2nd, 5th LPs Going All Super-Duper

Deluxe, four-disc editions of PiL’s second album, 1979’s Metal Box (later issued with more conventional packaging as Second Edition) and fifth album, 1986’s generic Album (or Compact Disc or Cassette, depending on your format preference) are being reissued in deluxe versions by Universal/Virgin with loads of bonus material. Along with the remastered original albums, each… Continue reading PiL’s 2nd, 5th LPs Going All Super-Duper

William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Are people talking about this record? Truthfully, I haven’t paid any attention to whatever reaction there’s been to it. Just wondering, though. I know that no one’s hyperventilating over it like they raved about, oh, Leon Bridges’ debut album a year ago, or Mayer Hawthorne a few years before that. Hey, I’ve done this long… Continue reading William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Allen Toussaint – American Tunes

As the Great Baby Boomer Icon Death March pushes on, there has been much cause for reflection, especially for rock critics of a certain age for whom the loss of protean pop stars like Prince and Bowie – and they were just the tip of the iceberg – isn’t only distressing for the usual reason.… Continue reading Allen Toussaint – American Tunes

Emitt Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes, Hawthorne, California. 16 October 2015.

Long Time, No See: Emitt Rhodes Pulls Back the Curtain In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the “great and powerful” title character is revealed to be a mere mortal. And while for some viewers the takeaway of that revelation is that he’s a fraud, another point of view holds that he – like… Continue reading Emitt Rhodes

The Dictators NYC

Wild Things: The Dictators NYC Make Life More Interesting With an over-the-top shtick that owes as much to professional wrestling as it does Detroit proto-punk, “Handsome” Dick Manitoba has been one of New York’s brashest rock ‘n’ roll ambassadors for over 40 years. The roadie turned lead singer is still playing the heel (that’s “bad… Continue reading The Dictators NYC

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

So by the time you read this review you will probably have already been avalanched by critical fawning over Post Pop Depression, purportedly the final statement of Iggy Pop’s almost 50-year career. The narrative arc accompanying the album is certainly appealing: A maverick rocker emerges from the underground in the late ’60s, almost singlehandedly creates… Continue reading Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

William Bell


Coming Back For More: It’s Happening All Over For William Bell Though he’s never stopped working, by any measure William Bell’s public profile has been surging upward in the past dozen or so years. Certainly the revival of interest in classic soul music has lent his career new momentum, but there’s also a concerted effort… Continue reading William Bell

David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed

Like God, David Bowie works in mysterious ways. In the last decade or so, Bowie has been a kind of Greta Garbo of rock, a reclusive sort whose absence only serves to intensify our fascination. Bowie’s silence was shattered with 2013’s remarkable The Next Day, a revelatory missive from a seasoned and hugely influential artist… Continue reading David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed

Todd Rundgren

A Long Time, A Long Way To Go: Todd Rundgren – Past, Present and Tomorrow Todd Rundgren’s professional musical career began in the 1960s when he was guitarist for a Who-influenced Philadelphia group called Nazz. That group never found widespread commercial success, though one of their singles (the original version of Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me”) was… Continue reading Todd Rundgren