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LIVE REVIEWS

Soulive at Higher Ground, South Burlington, Vermont

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Soulive Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington, Vermont December 13, 2014 Strikingly reminiscent of the Lettuce show October 25 2014, Soulive's extended single set at Higher Ground this night took flight during a blazing solo by guitarist Eric Krasno. It wasn't the only such instance that occurred during the two-hours plus the trio occupied the stage--another cam shortly after when Krasno and keyboardist Neal Evans engaged in some extremely intense interplay--but it was evidence of how Soulive's benefiting from the three musicians' other projects of late. Until recently drummer Alan Evans has led his ...

BOOK REVIEWS

On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

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On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom Dennis McNally 384 Pages ISBN: # 1619024497 Counterpoint 2014 Don't be intimidated by the subtitle of Dennis McNally's book. On Highway 61 is the antithesis of the dry drone of academia. On the contrary, while this is not exactly a breezy read, the author maintains a firmly conversational tone and a healthy detachment from his subject(s), utilizing the delivery of a writer who not only knows his material cold, but knows how to keep it in perspective as he moves from one ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Rolling Stones From the Vault: L.A. Forum Live in 1975 & Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981

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Given that their history spans more than five decades and multiple generations, it only stands to reason the Rolling Stones would have a veritable wealth of material in their archives on par with the vintage likes of Charlie Is My Darling (Abkco, 2012) and what's perhaps the next high-water mark of their career after that mid-Sixties apogee, the Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones, 1972) era Ladies and Gentlemen the Rolling Stones (Eagle Vision, 2010). There may be more scintillating content than what's contained in the first two editions of 'From the Vault,' but the fact of the matter is ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour '74 Deluxe Edition

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Of all the entries in the Rory Gallagher discography-and it's lengthy despite his premature passing in 1995 at the age of forty-seven-none deserve the expanded treatment more than Irish Tour '74, which is not doubt why it was originally documented on film as it happened by Tony Palmer. Not only did the title set the standard for the many subsequent live releases of Gallagher's career, the abbreviated tour reaffirmed the man's loyalty to his native country, a theme he would also revisit numerous times prior to his untimely demise. Not his first concert piece-Live in Europe (Polydor, 1972) ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

U2: Songs of Innocence Deluxe Edition

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Given the controversy that arose around the unilateral download of U2's Songs of Innocence, it's either brave, foolish or greedy to see the issue of the album in various physical forms in such short order. Yet the group confounds even further in the way they can, when playing and singing, leave behind the posing, pomposity and lethal careerism. Thus, the prospect of unreleased material and alternate takes of tracks from the original list can't help but pique the curiosity. It's safe to say “Lucifer's Hand" boasts a more immediate hook than anything on the original album and it's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Garcia Live Volume Five: Keystone Berkeley December 31, 1975

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Garcia Live Volume Five begins appropriately and propitiously enough as the band slowly, inexorably coalesces around the changes of chuck Berry's “Let It Rock," weaving an insinuating rhythm and melody mix that becomes proportionately more dramatic as the leader of the band begins to sing, seeming off-mike (or perhaps he's just not turned up?), at which point the quartet drops confidently into the pocket of the groove they've only suggested to that point. John Kahn's bass pops and pulses emphatically to anchor the ensemble firmly into place, albeit allowing all the fluidity they needed to utilize the spontaneity of the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY 1974

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Its multi-foldout package of three CD's, DVD (or Blu-Ray) and a one-hundred eighty-eight page booklet as smartly designed as it is handsome, CSNY 1974 represents a painstaking labor of love on the part of Graham Nash, who supervised the project over a protracted period of time, in collaboration with co-producer Joel Bernstein and engineer Stanley Tajima Johnston as well as Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Neil Young. The audio and video recordings within document a much ballyhooed reunion that's been subject to retrospect and revisionism since the foursome's summer tour of largely outdoor venues occurred four decades ago.



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