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Articles by Doug Collette

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nolatet: No Revenge Necessary

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The music of Nolatet's sophomore album No Revenge Necessary belies its laissez faire title. Almost a mirror image of its largely insinuating predecessor, Dogs (Royal Potato Family, 2016), this sophomore effort finds the Crescent city-based ensemble flexing its collective muscles early and often, so the record lends itself to uninhibited dance almost as often as contemplation of its intricate musicianship. But it's a circuitous route the band takes to the comparatively upbeat likes of “Pecos Wilderness." Prior to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Radio Underground at The Last Stop Sports Bar

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Radio Underground The Last Stop Sports Bar Winooski, Vermont May 6, 2018 It's a special pleasure to catch a band on the rise, and even more so at the threshold of a breakthrough. Chicago at Tanglewood in 1970 come to mind as does the Who at Fillmore East in 1968. And then there's Neil Young and Crazy Horse on their run of California theaters in the spring of 2018. Vermont's own Radio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Kennedy: Landfall

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The release of guitarist Mike Kennedy's Landfall is most appropriately-timed for those about to enter the sweet seasons of spring and summer. It is the ideal soundtrack for lolling in the sun. With a quartet moving right in time with him, Kennedy utilizes electric and acoustic guitars, along with judiciously placed pedal steel, to conjure up that deliciously warm sense of well-being that comes from immersion in the light of sol. Yet for all the tranquility this music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Son Volt: The Search Deluxe Reissue

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The reissue of Son Volt's The Search on both CD and vinyl configurations ties up loose ends in the seminal Americana band's discography, but, more importantly, it documents Jay Farrar's earliest departure into variations on his fundamental style of writing and recording. In doing so, it reaffirms his status as one of our most insightful and articulate composers, both as leader of this band and as a solo artist. Even though both rhythm and solo guitars remain notably ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed

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Bettye LaVette's Things Have Changed isn't merely a homage to Bob Dylan, it is also a remarkable combination of invention and polish, as arresting in production, arrangement and playing as in the novel choice of songs. The venerable r&b/soul vocalist collaborates with an esteemed roster of musicians, overseen by producer/drummer Steve Jordan (Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs), all of whom sound as inspired by each other as by the range of the Nobel Laureate's compositions, spanning over forty years. The remarkable ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grateful Dead: The Best of the Grateful Dead Live

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A companion piece to 2015's similarly-titled compendium of studio recordings, The Best of the Grateful Dead Live may be likewise redundant for long-time fans of the iconic group. But it is well to remember there are many new listeners and followers, many of whom are helping sell-out Dead & Company tours of recent years, for whom this cross section of live recordings can function as an accurate point of departure for the purpose of delving deeply into the concert canon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Who: Live At The Fillmore East 1968

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For long-time fans of the the Who acquainted with the less-than-stellar audio quality of bootlegs that have circulated over the years, this two-CD (and three-vinyl LP )fiftieth-anniversary set Live at the Fillmore East 1968 will no doubt be a revelation. Those more casual followers who may only know of the iconic British group as of their widespread commercial breakthrough in the form of Tommy (MCA, 1969) will quite possibly be more astonished-and on multiple fronts-hearing the quartet's stage show before ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968

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Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 Ryan H. Walsh 368 Pages ISBN: # 978-0735221345 Penguin Press 2018 Before thoroughly delving into Ryan H. Walsh's Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, a reader can thumb randomly through its three-hundred fifty-some pages and find nary a reference to Van Morrison or the epochal album after which this story of a pivotal year in Boston, Massachusetts is named. But that perception is as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Mehldau: After Bach

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The exacting rigor in pianist Brad Mehldau's playing made it inevitable he would one day issue a record devoted to a great classical composer. Yet, true to the open-ended implications of its title, After Bach is not merely a recitation of the master's work (not that it really could be, given Mehldau's penchant for improvisation). In fact, the seven original pieces here outnumber the five of Bach's from The Well-Tempered Clavier. And over the course of the dozen ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miles Davis: Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6

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It's a measure of Miles Davis' great respect for John Coltrane that the well-established jazz icon would ask the jazz icon in-the-making to do one more tour (of Europe) as the final component of latter's second stint in a quartet led by the man with the horn. The closure had begun with Coltrane's prior resignation, as noted in Ashley Kahn's scrupulously-detailed liner notes, which may account for both the familiarity of the chosen repertoire here as well as the sense ...