Author Archive

One-word Review: Amazing.

I just laid hands and eyes on the new Creedence Clearwater Revival box set of 45rpm singles. The set is lovingly packaged — its presentation rivals the now-rare Rhino compilation Beg, Scream and Shout CD set from the 90s — and of course the music (reviewed here) is, well, Creedence singles, which can’t be beat.

Album Review: Mike & the Ravens – No Place for Pretty

Middle-aged guys who haven’t made a career in the music biz aren’t supposed to make terrific, authentic, original rock and roll. It’s just not done. That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway. Mike & the Ravens defy that conventional wisdom. Reuniting after forty-five-plus years of doing other things, the five guys got together to release their debut,

Album Review: Makajodama (self-titled)

Progressive rock is an acquired taste; interest in (and appreciation of) improvisational music, even more so. It was with that in mind that I approached my first listen to the new self-titled album by Sweden’s Makajodama. The one-sheet helpfully clued me in ahead of time, so I was prepared for instrumental prog with hints of

Album Review: Thee Complete Midniters – Songs of Love, Rhythm & Psychedelia!

Let’s face it. Lots and lots (…and lots) of bands in the 60s covered the standards on record. So why would you be interested in plunking down good money for a box set that includes yet another band covering “Johnny B. Goode”, “Slow Down”, “It’s Not Unusual” and “Land of 1000 Dances”? And, a pretty

Preview, or “Every Night is a Holiday”

Here at Musoscribe World Headquarters, as the wonderful Spongetones sang, “Every Night is a Holiday.” Lots of exciting packages arriving from what Firesign Theatre called the “Xmas Bunny”. In the coming days, look for my interview with John Weathers and Derek Shulman of Gentle Giant, an interview with Jamie and Steve (of the aforementioned Spongetones)

Interview: Dennis Diken – Ear Candy That Matters

“Ear candy that matters.” That’s one of the succinct labels drummer/vocalist Dennis Diken uses to describe the songs on his album Late Music (Cryptovision). The Smithereens drummer stepped out for a solo project in 2009, and Late Music is the audio result of a project that has (in some ways) spanned more than 30 years

Album Review: Bryan Lee – My Lady Don’t Love My Lady

I remember it well, like it was yesterday. In fact it was late 1987. My then-fianceé (and now ex-wife) and I got a call from my favorite cousin; he and his wife would be traveling from California to New Orleans for a symposium of some sort. The Crescent City was more than seven hours’ drive

Album Review: CCR – The Singles Collection

Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Singles Collection (Fantasy) All the tracks on this 2CD set (except two inconsequential items at the end of disc 2) are presented in their original monaural mixes. One is left with the idea that the mixes are ever-so-slightly different, that they’re not merely stereo-folded-into-mono. But a quick listen proves inconclusive.

RIP: Bill Bartolin of Blue Ash

Blue Ash were one of the 70s great powerpop bands, though they enjoyed even less commercial success than Big Star. Several years ago I corresponded at great length with Blue Ash’s guitarist Bill Bartolin. I just learned that Bartolin passed away recently. Here’s a piece I did awhile back, based largely on handwritten notes he

Album Review: Reigning Sound – Love and Curses

Don’t be put off by the packaging. Love and Curses, the 2009 album from keepers of the rock-n-roll flame Reigning Sound, is a fine record. But be warned that the songs don’t always reveal their charms on first listen. Give it time, though, and you’ll be rewarded. The album’s opener “Brake It” goes right for