Author Archive

Allen Ravenstine’s “Terminal Drive”

Note: An edited version of this feature appeared previously in Keyboard Magazine. Allen Ravenstine is best known as the synthesist for Cleveland’s underground experimental rockers Pere Ubu; his work is featured on all of the albums that band made through 1991, and a number of live and compilation releases. But around the time of recording

Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas 2017

Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval has earned worldwide acclaim for his lyrical and evocative musicianship, as well as his always-compelling annual Christmas-themed live shows. Ever winter since 2011, the award-winning fiddler (winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish fiddle Championship) has staged a fascinating and highly entertaining show built around themes of the holidays, solstice and

Chris Cain’s Effortless Blues

Modern-day bluesman Chris Cain grew up in San Jose, but his roots are in Tennessee. “My dad grew up in Memphis,” he says. Cain has his own distinct musical style, but he readily admits to some of his influences. “My dad had a lot of really good records. B.B. King and Albert King; that kind

Getting to the Point with Kim Simmonds: The Savoy Brown Interview, Part Four

Continued from Part Three… In many ways, Witchy Feelin’ hearkens back to the band’s most well-known period. As displayed on the cover of its last few album, the lettering of the band name is nearly identical to the stylized lettering used on Looking In. But beginning with 2014’s Goin’ to the Delta and continuing to

The Fritz: A Vibe of Their Own

Keyboardist and songwriter Jamar Woods was part of an all-star lineup celebrating New Year’s 2018 at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Billed as the James Brown Dance Party, onstage that night were former musical associates of Prince and Brown as well as members of the Roots, Tedeschi Trucks Band and more. The assemblage of musicians

Getting to the Point with Kim Simmonds: The Savoy Brown Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… Overseas, it was a different story. The band made a point of touring regularly in the United States, building a loyal fan base in the process. But Simmonds says that the group’s prominence on American stages was only part of the key to its success there. “Touring is important, but it

Getting to the Point with Kim Simmonds: The Savoy Brown Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Released in the UK only, Savoy Brown’s debut album Shake Down was a collection of eleven songs; all but one (guitarist Martin Stone’s “The Doormouse Rides the Rails”) were classic blues covers. But a mere ten months later, Getting to the Point was released; more than half of that album featured

Getting to the Point with Kim Simmonds: The Savoy Brown Interview, Part One

An edited version of this feature appeared in Record Collector. Savoy Brown was among the first groups to kick off the British blues boom of the 1960s. Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers were already on the scene by 1965 when guitarist Kim Simmonds put Savoy Brown together, but the widespread explosion of

Album Review: Tin Roof Echo — Remember Every Moment

Tin Roof Echo is the one-man “bedroom folk” product of Joe Hooten, though the multi-instrumentalist goes to some length to keep his real name off of his work. That’s puzzling, as the music is of a consistently high quality. Hooten seems to sell himself a bit short on occasion: though he’s an avowed R.E.M. fetishist,

Hundred Word Reviews for January 2018, Part 2

As promised, here are ten more capsule reviews of new music. The Sherlocks – Live for the Moment In an era many define as “post-rock,” it’s refreshing to discover a band that makes high energy, melodic rock that maneuvers the narrow bath between the faux fist-pumping of arena rock and the often slavish and mannered