blues Archive

Album Review: Harvey Mandel — Snake Box

Meaning absolutely no disrespect to the artists to whom I refer, the music scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s was filled with what one might call second-string guitarists. These guys (and at this point in history, nearly the entire roster was male) weren’t on the notoriety level of Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, or

Hundred Word Reviews for March 2015, Part 4

Prog, jazz, blues: there’s something for most musical tastes in today’s roundup of hundred-word reviews. Mark Wingfield – Proof of Light If there’s a common raison d’être among the varied acts signed to Leonardo Pavkovic‘s MoonJune label, it’s to explore the sweet spot at which jazz and rock convene. Wingfield’s disc features a trio format

Album Review: Lead Belly — Lost Radio Broadcasts: WNYC, 1948

In 1948, on a Sunday evening in August, a new radio series premiered. Featuring beloved and renowned folk singer Huddie Ledbetter (aka Lead Belly), The Story of Folklore presented the then-fiftyish Lead Belly doing what he did best: singing songs accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, and introducing the songs with brief spoken interludes. As

Album Review: Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills – Super Session

In 1968, the concept of a “supergroup” was still fresh; Lillian Roxon even wrote about it – and its possibilities – in her Rock Encyclopedia. Al Kooper devised what became Super Session as a collaboration between him and guitarist Mike Bloomfield, late of Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Electric Flag. When the notoriously unreliable Bloomfield

Album Review: Mark “Muleman” Massey — One Step Ahead of the Blues

Mark “Muleman” Massey – One Step Ahead of the Blues You might argue that blues guitarists are a dime a dozen, and as much as I love ’em (the good ones, anyway), I’d have a hard time arguing against the assertion. Massey is a deft practitioner of the style, and while on this album he

Album Review: Various Artists — Right Now

I’ve observed before that Fantastic Voyage makes full advantage of the unique copyright/licensing laws as they exist in the UK; in the United States, putting together a package such as Right Now would be prohibitively expensive, and also certainly a money-losing proposition. As it is, once again we have Fantastic Voyage to than for compiling

November Hundred-word Reviews, Part 3

Once again, it’s time for a run of hundred-word reviews. My inbox has been overflowing of late, and even after removing the material that I deem not worth my time (nor yours), I’m left with far too many discs to cover in my customary manner (500-800 word reviews). So herewith are twenty-five –count ’em, twenty-five

Album Review: R.L. Burnside — Too Bad Jim

Here’s something that can be described as the sweet spot in a Venn diagram charting a curiosity, a history lesson, and an authentic modern-day reading of country blues. R.L. Burnside‘s Too Bad Jim – newly reissued on vinyl; more about that presently – sounds for all the world like a classic country blues session, the

DVD Review: BB King — The Life of Riley

I know people who argue that – as a creative work – the music documentary is dead. They point out that the medium has become a rote retreading of tired techniques; that every possible clever, creative or even interesting method of telling a story onscreen has been beaten to death, leaving only the shell of

Honeymoon Hundred-word Reviews, Part 4

I’m on my honeymoon this week, so I thought it would be a good time to offer up some backlog-clearing entries in my occasional series of Hundred Word Reviews. And though the musical styles are all over the map, there’s a theme of sorts this time: each of the acts reviewed has been covered previously,