Author Archive

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars with Fred Wesley — West Coast Boogaloo

The Greyboy Allstars have a rich history. Funded more than 25 years ago, the soul jazz group came together originally to work as a backing band for DJ Greyboy, a major figure in the deep groove scene. The band continues to this day – with nearly the same personnel as when it began – and

Album Review: Blaine Campbell and the California Sound – Under the Tidal Wave

It’s no small feat to create a body of work that is simultaneously (a) chiefly inspired by the work of one particular artist and (b) distinctive and artistically significant on its own merits. The Spongetones did it with their series of Beatles-inspired albums, earning them both a spot on the Children of Nuggets compilation and

Album Review: Various Artists — Double Whammy!

Nuggets did it first, and Nuggets did it best: the early ‘70s 2LP compilation curated by Lenny Kaye brought together a widely disparate collection of underappreciated songs from the ‘60s, applying a label to those songs that somehow made sense, even if The Amboy Dukes’ “Journey to the Center of the Mind” had nothing in

Hello Hello: A Look Back at Caravan’s Second Album (at Fifty)

Rock fans who bought LPs in the late ‘60s and early 1970s may recall that some labels made use of the records’ inner sleeves as means to hype their other offerings. Certainly more elegant than the You-may-also-enjoy* hype that Capitol applied to back covers of Beatles LPs for a time, these full color inner sleeves

Album Review: Professor and the Madman – Séance

Don’t let the goofy name dissuade you from checking this one out: they may call themselves Professor and the Madman, but this group features some heavyweights. Led by Alfie Agnew and Sean Elliott, and – okay – you may or may not have heard of them. But the band also features a rhythm section of

Adi the Monk: The ‘Cosmic Thread” Running Though His Music

Asheville’s music community features an impressive number of unique personalities. But it’s safe to say that only one has a personal history that includes a period spent as a Vaishnava monk. Ādi Puruṣa Das performs and records as Adi the Monk, making instrumental music that – on the surface at least – has little to

Album Review: Chick Corea – Chick Corea Plays

The pandemic and its resultant shutdowns may have (for a time) put a stop to live music performances, but after a brief pause in March and April, it seems to have done little to slow the release of new material. The manner in which albums can be created outside a traditional studio (and often by

Album Review: Dedicated Men of Zion — Can’t Turn Me Around

Right out of the gate, the strolling and assertive introduction to “Father, Guide Me, Teach Me” signals that Can’t Turn Me Around is not your typical gospel album. Music lovers raised on a diet of ‘70s arena rock may find that thoughts of Foghat and Bad Co. spring to mind. It’s not until the close

Album Review: Venus Furs — s/t

If you’re going to launch a musical project that evokes memories of a Velvet Underground song (“Venus in Furs” from 1967’s The Velvet Underground & Nico) you had better deliver the goods, or at least be prepared to get called out for not doing so. The plain fact is, while Venus Furs is quite appealing,

Album Review: Maceo Parker — Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo

Maceo Parker is a towering figure in the soul/jazz/funk universe. He would be important if only for his work with James Brown, documented on many live and studio releases from the middle 1960s through the late ‘80s. But he’s done so much more: as a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Parker applied his talents in ever-widening