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A Half-Million Dollars: Biographies of Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis

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It was December 4, 1956. The famous black and white, now sepia photograph snapped that winter afternoon shows four young men, silhouetted against acoustic tile, making joyful noise. Three of the four were standing around the one at the piano, the one who would be king. When this photograph was taken, two of the men were 21-and the other two, 24-years old. Two were Baptists and two the chosen, Assembly of God, with both traditions shot deep in their individual flawed psyches. All were Scotch-Irish, hard-scrabbled proud Southern poor. These young men, young adults in the Post-War '50s, were about ...


Buddy Guy with Matt Andersen at The Space at Westbury

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Buddy Guy with Matt Andersen The Space at Westbury Westbury, NY November 18, 2014Buddy Guy is a national treasure. The blues titan is one of the last remaining links to the Chess Brothers, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Guitar Slim, Little Walter and Willie Dixon. Whether it is the Chicago blues (of his adopted hometown) or the down home blues of the Delta (where he grew up in Louisiana), Guy is the living embodiment of the genre. On a cold mid-November evening at Westbury, NY's the Space, Guy ...


Boz Scaggs at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

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Boz Scaggs Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington, Vermont October 20, 2014 The Burlington Vermont stop of Boz Scaggs' “Memphis Tour" found the original member of The Steve Miller Band mixing a hearty selection of earthy numbers with the more polished likes of material from his breakthrough album Silk Degrees (Columbia, 1976). In contrast to his previous performance at the Flynn Center in 2010, a greater proportion of truly soulful songs this mid-autumn night highlighted the roots of his more commercial material, to the point that, if Scaggs' hits didn't seem quite of a ...


Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at the Fillmore Auditorium, Denver

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Fillmore Auditorium Denver October 4, 2014 Robert Plant's new album, Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar (Nonesuch, 2014), is an atmospheric affair; music suitable for horseback riding at twilight in misty woods while on the lookout for the Headless Horseman. Perhaps the Led Zeppelin tune most closely matching the feel for many of the songs on the new album is “No Quarter." So it was entirely appropriate that Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters began their concert Saturday night with... “No Quarter." Plant and his band went on to ...


Gary Clark, Jr.: Live

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Anyone who's had the privilege to see Gary Clark Jr. in concert knows that his previous recordings, on his own Hotwired Records as well as the two major label titles, are but sketches of how he's progressively forging influences of rock, blues and r&b into a stirring style of his own. Live preserves for posterity a charisma that's growing in proportion to the confidence he brandishes on “Bright Lights." Recorded at various stops during tours of 2013 and 2014, this two-¬≠CD set showcases the main touch¬≠points in Clark's developing oeuvre. The dramatic opening of Muddy Waters' “Catfish Blues" ...


Pete Roth Band: Circus In The Sky

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It's virtually impossible for any contemporary musician to have emerged in isolation--to have developed a style or technique unaffected by those who have gone before. Guitarist Pete Roth is no exception--the press release name checks John McLaughlin, Jonathan Kreisberg and John Scofield as contributing to the German-born, London-based player's approach to his chosen instrument. On Circus In The Sky, Roth's second album, he makes use of these influences--and more--to craft some skilfully written and played tunes. Roth's writing encompasses a range of styles. “Little Mr X"--dedicated to Roth's young son--and the swinging “Smile" are bright and joyful. Roth's ...


Boz Scaggs at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

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Boz Scaggs NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY August 3, 2014 Boz Scaggs first came to prominence as a member of the original and bluesier version of the Steve Miller Band. He secured a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968, exited the Steve Miller Band, and in 1969, he released an eponymously titled album. During the past forty-five years, he has recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the New York Rock And Soul Review (with Donald Fagen, Phoebe Snow and Michael McDonald). He has also toured as a solo act, ...

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