One set of rhetorical questions that I encountered during my research for my new book was as collection of what-ifs. Of the nearly 30 bands that released music on the groundbreaking indie label 415 Records, few realized their full potential. One such case was the criminally underrated band Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. Fronted by
From Petaluma, California comes the six-piece band The Pulsators. The band is led by drummer-vocalist Johnny Campbell, a musician who came to my attention as a member of late’ 70s new wave group The Impostors. That group’s story is featured along with the stories of 28 other artists in my new book, Disturbing the Peace:
From the roaring slide guitar figure that opens “Give Me Some Time,” on Gabe Stillman’s new Just Say the Word, it’s clear that this youthful musician from Pennsylvania is steeped in the blues. Stillman’s 2020 release, Flying High was a collaborative effort that featured the guitarist backed by renowned heartland blues outfit The Nighthawks. It
Released in September 1976, the double LP One More from the Road has stood the test of time as the definitive (and for many years only) recorded document of Lynyrd Skynyrd live onstage. Save for a pair of “authorized bootlegs” released in 2009, no live recordings have been released featuring the band in its prime.
Concert posters and album art make up a significant portion of local artist Joshua Marc Levy’s commissioned work. So when COVID-19 led to the widespread cancellation of tours and local shows, he experienced firsthand the financial strain the industry was under. “I was thinking intuitively that [the pandemic] might bring a longer break,” he recalls.
The placid aural landscape that opens Jardin des Étoiles sets the tone for this collection: contemplative, slightly woozy and with a hint of danger. The artist describes the album as seven mood-orientated spaces and starting points for travel and exploration.” I’d say that’s a description that exhibits some healthy self-knowledge; these pieces are evocative, yes,
This swaggering Phoenix metal outfit swings for the fences on its debut release. With guitar pyrotechnics woven into a band aesthetic that focuses on ensemble playing, Jupiter cyclops delivers the punch of metal but with an uncommon degree of nuance. As one would expect – demand, really – of this kind of music, the riffs
Instrumental surf rock is a beloved sub-style in some quarters of the rock universe. And I proudly reside in one of those corners. Especially when it’s done with equal parts humor and instrumental power/finesse, it can be a truly rewarding listening experience. And that recipe is the one employed by the playfully-named Chillingsworth Surfingham. The
If their music wasn’t so good, I’d almost be a bit annoyed by The Black Watch. John Andrew Fredrick barely gives lovers of his fine, evocative, atmosphere and highly tuneful music enough time to absorb his latest offering before he’s back wit another one of an equally indispensable nature. So here we are mere months
Though he passed at age 43, New Orleans pianist James Booker earned quite a reputation during his lifetime. The self-anointed Piano Prince of New Orleans had his own brand of r&b-meets-jazz, and counted Dr. John and Harry Connick Jr. among his admirers. Booker’s early career as a musician focused primarily upon live performance, with a