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BOOK REVIEWS

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

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On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom Dennis McNally 384 Pages ISBN: #978-1619024496 Counterpoint 2014 Since Samuel Charters The Country Blues (Reinhart) in 1959, beginning, effectively, the serious reportage of American Folk Music, in particular the blues, there have been two far-reaching trilogies that address American Folk Music against the larger backdrop of race and culture. The first is Peter Guralnick's Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night

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After spending the past 50-plus years mining the traditional music of what Greil Marcus has termed “old, weird America," and expanding it into the contemporary worlds of folk, rock, country, gospel and other singular hybrids thereof, on Shadows in the Night Bob Dylan gives us his take on the Great American Songbook. Thankfully, Dylan doesn't jettison the weirdness for the trip, choosing (unlike so many other rock and pop stars) to interpret these standards in his own idiom; choosing, that ...

BOOK REVIEWS

100 Books Every Blues Fan Should Own by Edward Komara & Greg Johnson

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100 Books Every Blues Fan Should Own Edward Komara and Greg Johnson 299 Pages ISBN: #9780810889217 Rowman & Littlefield 2014 The length of time between a cultural trend developing and its introduction into the academy has grown ever shorter in the last 50 years. Authors Edward Komara and Greg Johnson, past and present blues archivist/music librarian at the University of Mississippi, respectively, say as much regarding blues music in the introduction of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

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Shorn of the overdubs and remixes that adorned the selected collection of tracks released in 1975 under the supervision of Robbie Robertson, the quick succession of thirty-eight cuts comprising The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 juxtaposes traditional songs, contemporary roots material and originals of greater or less significance to achieve a masterful recreation of the ambiance that must've arisen from those hallowed sessions Bob Dylan and the band conducted in Woodstock, NY in the summer of 1967. ...

BOOK REVIEWS

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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 ...



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