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 ...read more
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 touchpoints in Clark's developing oeuvre. The dramatic opening of Muddy Waters' Catfish Blues" ...read more
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 ...read more
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, ...read more
Pioneers of the Blues Revival Steve Cushing 400 Pages ISBN: # 978-0252038334 University of Illinois Press 2014 Pioneers of the Blues Revival documents the efforts of a quirky set of researchers who slowly pieced together a version of blues history and meaning. This dedicated cohort, despite their widely different backgrounds, somehow brought together the skill sets necessary to create a literature based on blues research. Some would say that in the process the reinvented the blues in their own image. Regardless, their work affected mass culture perception of blues. For many, this may ...read more
Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry Gareth Murphy 400 Pages ISBN: # 978-1250043375 Thomas Dunn Books 2014 Revelations: I suppose you've come to see the future? If you wish to believe today's self-proclaimed experts, imagine a system of mobile devices through which music flows as a kind of utility, financed by a subscription similar to public television in Europe. Tomorrow's listeners will, they say, consume music like water..." Songs stored and played as computer files effectively antiqued music for delivery as discreet bundles of entertainment ...read more
Tedeschi Trucks Band Red Rocks Denver, CO July 25, 2014 Never underestimate the power of a cover. A cleverly selected and well executed cover tune can be like a firecracker with a too-short fuse, a shot of vodka when you expected water, a lightning bolt out of a clear, blue sky. The Tedeschi Trucks Band threw a lightning strike with its very first song Friday night, July 25, at Red Rocks, exhuming Traffic's Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring," a rather obscure but tasty tune from its earlier catalog. In a year when both Steve ...read more
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