Author Archive

Vieux Farka Touré Does What Comes Naturally

Vieux Farka Touré is the guitar-playing and singing son of the late Ali Farka Touré, the Malian musician responsible for helping to bridge the gap between traditional West African music and the blues. But from the very beginning of his own musical career, Vieux Farka Touré has charted his own musical path. The elder Touré

Teaming Up: Tommy Keene and Ivan Julian

Tommy Keene and Ivan Julian recently completed a dual solo tour; just ahead of that run, I spoke with Keene. It was the third time I had interviewed him since 2006. — bk Though he got his musical start in the Washington DC area, guitarist Tommy Keene has a real connection to the music scene

The Zombies: A Half-century ‘Odessey’

During 1967’s so-called Summer of Love, the Zombies began recording what would be their defining work, the critically-acclaimed album Odessey and Oracle [sic]. But on its release, the record performed disappointingly on the charts in America as well as in the band’s native England. “When we recorded it, there was no commercial success with this

Capsule Reviews for May 2017, Part Two

The Lancashire Hustlers – Adventures (Steep Hill Music) This London duo – Brent Thorley and Ian Pakes – has clearly come of age on a steady diet of Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, Arthur-era Kinks, Small Faces circa Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and other fine influences. But there’s a pleasing DIY sensibility that

Capsule Reviews for May 2017, Part One

Thank You, Friends (Concord Bicycle Music) I remember a time when seemingly nobody knew about Big Star; happily for me, that was about the time I found “new old stock” vinyl copies of #1 Record and Radio City in a local record store. I was immediately hooked. As is its character, Big Star’s Third album

Album Mini-review: Buttercup — Battle of Flowers

File next to: Sugar, Crowded House With a name like Buttercup – not to mention album art scattered with flowers – one might expect Battle of Flowers to be a collection of winsome, treacly pop. Alas, no: slashing electric guitars abound here. The melodies are rooted in pop convention, and every song has a strong

Album Mini-review: Flywheels — I’m for the Flowers

File next to: The Bangles, Young Fresh Fellows, Matthew Sweet When Kim Wonderley takes lead vocals, the Flywheels sound a bit like early Bangles with a subtle touch of country twang. When Eric Scott – who sadly passed away before I’m for the Flowers was completed – sings lead, the group sounds closer to L.A.

Points of Intersection: The Regina Spektor Interview

Note: parts of the following story appeared originally in separate features written for the Colorado Springs Independent and Stomp & Stammer. — bk On her seven studio albums – from 11:11, her 2001 debut through her latest, Remember Us to Life, Regina Spektor has made a name for herself as a consummate composer of piano-based

Album Reviews: Three Standells Reissues

From one point of view, The Standells were opportunists. As that story goes, they got their start as a smiling, suited pop group, only changing their sound and collective demeanor once they took a new reading as to which way the pop culture winds were blowing. Moreover, that argument goes, they weren’t even from Boston,

An American in London: The Shel Talmy Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… Over the course of his career, Talmy worked with other highly regarded artists; most but not all of these were UK acts. His production credits include sides – and, more often than not, entire albums – by such well-known artists as Chad and Jeremy, Small Faces, Amen Corner, Pentangle, Bert Jansch