Extended Analysis

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight

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It's a somewhat hidden truth that a sizeable percentage of any musician's fan base believes that the music their favorite artists make is a direct reflection of their tastes. While an artist's music ought, indeed, be a reflection of what moves them, it's another truth that, more often than not, their listening habits run much farther afield. One way to develop a more thorough appreciation for an artist's tastes, touchstones and influences is to look at their entire ...

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Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon

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Big Head Todd and the Monsters have been fans of blues music since their first days together playing music in high school, so it only makes sense they'd eventually record am album in this seminal form. Accordingly, in 2011 the band delved into the blues with their first 'Big Head Blues Club' project, 100 Years of Robert Johnson (Big Records, 2011), which featured guest appearances by BB King, Hubert Sumlin, Charlie Musselwhite, Honeyboy Edwards, and others. The success of that ...

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Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)

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It's rare that an opportunity presents itself to directly compare a high resolution remaster with a high resolution remix, but with last year's Quadio (Rhino) box set containing Blu Ray Audio versions (at 24-bit/192KHz) of its first nine studio recordings (including, curiously, a completely superfluous, early Greatest Hits package) and the recent, single-disc reissue of Chicago II, featuring a brand new stereo mix by remix go-to-guy, Porcupine Tree founder and now-successful solo artist Steven Wilson, there's a chance to do ...

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Dave's Picks Volume 20: CU Events Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO - December 9, 1981

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Dave's Pick's Volume 20 marks a milestone in the Grateful Dead's current archive series, its significance not lost on the curator, David Lemieux. Yet rather than indulge in nostalgia in his notes accompanying this set, the man chooses to take the success of the series as further inspiration to carry on, not just with these quarterly releases, but the judicious exhumation of the iconic band's vault in general. A little over a year after the Grateful Dead began ...

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The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome

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It was the love for blues and R&B music that bonded two teenage music aficionados Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and this music was the building blocks on which they based their work of art--the band The Rolling Stones. 50 years ago when the Rolling Stones' songwriting partnership between these two began gaining its momentum and they started writing their own songs, the band slowly began abandoning their all-blues cover records approach and commenced branching and welcoming more diverse music ...

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Nat Birchall: Creation

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Coming less than a year after the 2015 release Invocations on Henley's Jazzman records, Creation finds Nat Birchall back on his own Sound Soul and Spirit label. Long term collaborator Adam Fairhall on piano, and Johnny Hunter on drums are retained from that record and we welcome back Andy Hay as a second drummer, last heard on 2011's 'Sacred Dimension' as well as saying hello to new boy Michael Bardon on bass. Whether influenced by the line-up changes ...

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Harvey Mandel: Snake Pit

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One of the major proponents of contemporary blues-rock guitar, Harvey Mandel has some impressive credentials nonetheless. Cutting his teeth in the Chicago well-spring of the blues, he collaborated with harpist Charlie Musselwhite, among others in that scene and subsequently became a pivotal member of Canned Heat around the apogee of their career, including their appearance at Woodstock 1969. He also played with the John Mayall, as 'The Godfather of British Blues.' was exploring variations on his own long-stated theme of ...

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Leonard Cohen: You Want it Darker

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On first listen, Leonard Cohen's album You Want it Darker is a great album. On second listen, it could rank among his best and on third listen, it is obvious that it is the best contender for a Nobel Prize in literature in the next turn of awards. But so are the other albums that have preceded it. It is astonishing that Cohen as an elder statesman is producing some of his best work at this stage of his career. ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road

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Sometimes the best music--and some of the best bands--are those that come from the most difficult of births. When King Crimson co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp had the idea for a new band after dissolving the last incarnation of the '70s-era Crimson lineups seven years prior, it was a completely new concept and, with the exception of returning drummer Bill Bruford, a totally revised lineup. Gone were the mellotrons and symphonic leanings of old. In their place: technological advancements including ...


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