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Articles by Doug Collette

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tony Joe White: Bad Mouthin'

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If Tony Joe White's seventeenth album, Bad Mouthin', proves anything, it's how deeply evocative of his Southern heritage are his own songs, even as they stand next to--and sound of a piece with--those of Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Charlie Patton. Appropriately, virtually all twelve tracks on this LP find the author of “Polk Salad Annie" and “Rainy Night in Georgia" playing all by himself, reaffirming the strength in the simplicity of the blues. Not ...

BOOK REVIEWS

What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The Moby Grape Story

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What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The Moby Grape Story Cam Cobb 288 Pages ISBN: #978-1911036319 Jawbone Press 2018 In writing The Moby Grape Story, Cam Cobb serves a higher purpose, not just for the ill-fated band itself, but rock and roll history in general. The tale must be told for this fivesome because, even if the misfortunes it encountered aren't so novel--record label snafus, bad management and run-ins with ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Greatest Other People's Hits

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In keeping with his adopted moniker, John Wesley Harding, nee Wes Stace, has too often been a bit too clever in penning original material from his position in the circle of late Seventies-early Eighties songwriters including Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. As a result, his regular choice of cover material has simultaneously functioned as a respite from that unfortunate phenomenon and (re)affirmation he did indeed recognize the essential attributes of a well-wrought composition. Greatest Other People's Hits underlines that point ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Nouveau Fusion: Superette And Visitors

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Bereft of forced funk and over-complicated compositions, jazz-rock fusion can be as liberating as the best rock and roll. That is, if the technical expertise brought to bear is restrained and sublimated to the unity of the ensemble and the musicians involved play with the unity of a true band. Then the emotional expression usually contained in song lyrics permeates the musicianship. Witness the work of Chris Lightcap and company as well as Jonathan Goldberger, JP Schlegelmilch, Jim Black: maintaining ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Heavy Music - The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967

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Bob Seger has been stubbornly reticent about the distiribution of his catalog in the wake of the CD and the rise of streaming services, so the issue of his early output on Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967 is a sign of astute archiving. Ten tracks on a single disc isn't usually a treasure trove, at least on the surface, but the reality is this constitutes a comprehensive collection befitting its title, its music remastered by Robert Vosgian (for ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

The US Festival 1982: The US Generation

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Various Artists The US Festival 1982 MVD Entertainment Group 2018 By title alone, The US Festival of 1982 might seem light years removed from the abiding fascination with festivals now pervading our culture. But if director Glenn Aveni's ninety-minutes plus documentary proves anything, it's that this event founded and sponsored by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak presaged the sophisticated multi-media presentations of such events today. The scrupulous depiction of the evolution of the festival ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Jorma Kaukonen: Been So Long - My Life & Music

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Been So Long: My Life & Music Jorma Kaukonen 368 Pages ISBN: # 978-1250125484 St. Martin's Press 2018 Anyone who reads Jorma Kaukonen's memoir Been So Long is bound to be surprised. But what the venerable musician recounts in My Life and Music may startle fans and followers most of all, not just with the account of all his trials, tribulations and epiphanies, but by the tone of equanimity with which he shares ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Anthem Of The Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

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In an essay dense with historical detail and rich in provocative allusions, Steve Silberman accurately and vividly recounts the sequence of events involved in the original production of the Grateful Dead's second studio album Anthem of the Sun. The writer recounts a herculean task, the comparable likes of which has resulted in this 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Continuing the series of milestone editions initiated last year with the group's eponymous debut. this double CD set is comprised of both the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Charlie Parr At Higher Ground

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Charlie Parr Higher Ground, Showcase Lounge South Burlington, VT July 27, 2018 Charlie Parr was downright dazzling in Higher Ground's Showcase Lounge Friday July 27. And if that seems hyperbole given his somewhat subdued concert in the same room last autumn, it probably shouldn't: with some eight more months of touring in his mini-van, the deceptively bedraggled looking bluesman has transcended the level of earnest disciple of the genre who was mesmerized (and mesmerizing) through ...

JAZZ JOURNAL

Summer 2018

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Jazz Journal is a regular column consisting of pithy takes on recent jazz releases of note as well as spotlights on those titles in the genre that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Fred Hersch Trio Heartsong Sunnyside Records 2018 The longer Fred Hersch plays, the more resplendent his piano sounds. And that is with all due respect to his accompanists, on this remastered edition of the near twenty year ...