new release Archive

Album Review: John Mayall — The Sun is Shining Down

John Mayall is widely acknowledged as the godfather of British blues. And that’s not the result of any sort of revisionism; it’s a title he earned long, long ago. As far back as 1981, I was writing an essay for my college freshman English class on the “British blues boom,” and the piece centered around

Album Review: Hushdrops — The Static

Hey, remember the ‘90s? No, not the hair metal-lite of the era, and not the flannel-wrapped grunge of the Pacific Northwest. Well, maybe a little of that. What I’m thinking of is the rise and codification of “alternative rock,” a loosely-defined but distinctive style that combined the best of power pop, hard rock and good

Album Review: Memphissippi Sounds — Welcome to the Land

The blues featured guitar-and-drum duos long before that lean and mean lineup became a popular approach in other musical idioms. So there’s a long and proud tradition for what Memphissippi does. Yet the duo – Damion Pearson on vocals, guitar and harmonica, joined by drummer Cam Kimbrough (who also plays guitar and sings) – has

Album Review: Kasim Sulton – Kasim 2021

Though his list of musical credits is long and impressive – work with Cherry Vanilla, Meat Loaf, Joan Jett, Blue Öyster Cult and many others – if you know the name Kasim Sulton, it’s probably through his association with Todd Rundgren. A longtime member of the prog-to-new-wave-era quartet lineup of Utopia, Sulton sang lead on

Album Review: Low Level Clouds — s/t

There was a time, a half century ago, when the concept of one-man (one-person, really) “bands” was quite novel. Working in the studio and taking advantage of an impressive dexterity on multiple instruments – and with studio gear – and exploiting the possibilities of Les Paul’s multi-tracking technology, select artists created works that sounded like

Album Review: Sneezy — Open Doors

A funk/jam band based in Chicago, Sneezy has released Open Doors as its third album. Don’t be put off by the jam label; while elements of that noodlesome, unfocused style may be part of the Sneezy mix, this 14-track studio release is a collection of compact, tightly-focused tunes. Belying the jam tag, only one of

Album Review: Robby Steinhardt — Not in Kansas Anymore

Robby Steinhardt is best known as violinist for Kansas. He passed away recently, but not before completing an ambitious project. Titled in a perhaps too on-the-nose manner, Not in Kansas Anymore is a prog opera, and it’s an impressive work. Steinhardt’s compositional abilities were superb, demonstrating a deep understanding of the rare place in which

Album Review: The Beatles and India

Much has been written about The Beatles’ fateful trip to Rishikesh, India, but comparatively little in the way of official documentation of the excursion has surfaced in the ensuing 50-plus years. We know a few things: Mia Farrow’s sister inspired a song, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may or may not have made untoward advances upon

Volbeat Continues to Build its Fan Base by Defying Expectations

This feature appeared previously in Rock On magazine. For 20 years and running, Copenhagen, Denmark-based band Volbeat has had it both ways: the popular group has honed its brand of hard-rock (with elements of early, vintage rock ‘n’ roll) while appealing to an audience that extends well beyond rock fans. Few groups have been as

Album Review: Nick Frater — Earworms

There’s an ineffable character that connects bands like Cheap Trick, Material Issue, The Raspberries, Matthew Sweet, Ben Folds and a select few others. Their various approaches to music may not share a plethora of specific, identifiable characteristics, but there’s something irresistible about their best work. It’s uplifting and breathtaking, and the act of listening to