Monthly Archive:: March 2012

Album Review: Lou Ragland – I Travel Alone

Way back when I was nineteen, I was a full-time college student, but I also held down a part-time job in retail. I became friendly with a co-worker name Wade White, and our conversations often centered around (you guessed it) music. Our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different: I was a suburban kid, and he

Hundred-word Reviews: March 2012

Here’s another installment in my occasional series of capsule reviews, generally covering indie releases. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 100 words on each album. Brad Brooks – Harmony of Passing Light Somehow the name and the cover art led me to think this would be c&w singer/songwriter stuff. Lesson: don’t judge an

DVD Review: Todd Rundgren – Todd Live

Todd Rundgren is a visionary artist. And like all true visionaries – those who follow their muse where it leads them – his output has been, in the minds of many, erratic. That’s clearly part of his appeal; it certainly is for me. But following him isn’t always easy. After the success of 1972’s Something/Anything,

Album Review: Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard

Little Richard (Penniman) is notorious for his high estimation of his influence on popular music. Among those who’ve studied the history of rock’n’roll, his attitude is amusing, but rightfully acknowledged as not all that wide of the mark. As a friend and bandmate of mine recently pointed out, he’s the father of glam rock. Well,

Album Review: Wishbone Ash – Live Dates Volume Two

It’s a delight – albeit a rare experience – to stumble across good music that’s been out there for years, but that you somehow never noticed until now. In 2007 I interviewed Yoko Ono in connection with her then-current album Yes, I’m a Witch; the concept behind that album was Yoko’s contacting current artists she

Album Reviews: Badfinger – Badfinger and Wish You Were Here

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of an informal chat with Dan Matovina, author of the essential 2000 book Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger. Talking with him reminded me just how unlucky that band’s legacy continues to be. In 2007, their two post-Apple albums for Warner Brothers were finally reissued on Collectors’

Concert Review: Thomas Dolby at The Handlebar, Greenville SC (21 March 2012)

I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from a Thomas Dolby concert. I knew he’d avoid dated 80’s kitschy shtick; when I interviewed him a year ago, he memorably told me, “every week I get an offer to go off and do some eighties revival tour with ABC and A Flock of Seagulls.” With his

Album Review: Robin Trower – Farther On Up the Road (part 2)

In Part One of my review, I covered the three albums that Robin Trower released in the last three years of the 1970s, ending with the middling Victims of the Fury. In this section I look at his next three releases; all six are collected in the 2012 compilation Farther On Up the Road. Things

Album Review: Robin Trower – Farther On Up the Road (part 1)

In the minds of many fans, guitarist Robin Trower did his finest, most enduring work on his first two solo albums, 1973’s Twice Removed from Yesterday and Bridge of Sighs from the following year. Coaxing a style that owed more to Jimi Hendrix than to any of the sort of lines he played while a

Album Review: Chris Barber – Memories of My Trip

Chris Barber is one of those names I’ve known, but never heard the music; as an enthusiast of the British blues boom, I’d stumble across his name whenever reading about the development of that scene. Though bandleader (and trombonist and saxophonist) Barber isn’t – strictly speaking – a blues musician, he’s worked with many blues