rawk Archive

Shot in the Dark: Utopia’s ‘Adventures in Utopia’ at at 40

Utopia – or Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, as it was originally and would years later again be known – started out as one thing and became another. In its original form, Utopia was a progressive rock band modeled on a foundation similar to that of acts like Yes and Mahavishnu Orchestra. And while those two groups

Rich Nelson: Seconding That Emotion

It’s not unknown for a creative artist to work in two very different media. But it’s remarkable when an artist achieves success in both. That’s what has happened in the case of Rich Nelson. Detroit-raised and living in Western North Carolina since 2005, Nelson is an acclaimed portraiture and landscape painter. He’s also an accomplished

Bill Altman: It All Goes Back to the Blues

Bill Altman has a diverse and eclectic résumé. His background as a musician – primarily on guitar but including other instruments as well – includes touring and recording acts in rock, blues and other musical idioms. For more than a decade, he has been first-call guitarist at Flat Rock Playhouse; he has worked as musical

30 Days Out: February 2020 #1: André Cholmondeley, Mike Dillon Band, Kamasi Washington, Rich Nelson Band

If you’re in and/or around Asheville, N.C. in the next 30 days, you’d do well to catch these shows. Artist: André Cholmondeley Venue: The Mothlight Date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Door: $5 André is something of a renaissance man. His myriad musical activities include leading a Frank Zappa tribute band (Project Object), working as

Album Review: The Velvert Turner Group

Jimi Hendrix’s influence on music is incalculable. He affected the course of music not only as a fiery, innovative guitarist but also in his groundbreaking use of the recording studio-as-instrument. But for all of his influence – he was really only in the spotlight for a few years – most of the impression he made

Boom Boom! More from my Conversation with Pat Travers

The following is a companion piece to my Pat Travers feature found here. Rock fans of a certain age remember Pat Travers’ hit era. The Canadian guitarist scored FM radio hits with “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” and “Snortin’ Whiskey,” both in the late ’70s. But he’s remained active since then; his catalog features

Pat Travers is Still Right in the Swing of Things

Pat Travers was part of a wave of late ’70s guitar heroes, artists who – in the wake of Peter Frampton’s runaway success – seemed poised to break out in a major way. But just as that started to happen, a combination of changing fashions, corporatization of rock radio and just plain bad luck blunted

Hundred-word Reviews for January 2020

Every so often – pretty often, in fact – I find a stack of CDs has accumulated on my desk. They’ve made the cut as albums deemed worthy of sharing with my readers. In the space of just one hundred words, I endeavor to convey what’s noteworthy or even special about these releases. Each of

Album Review: LLGLDNBKS — ‘self-titled album’

In 1988, R.E.M. released an album titled Eponymous. The compilation – a survey of the band’s years on IRS Records, released after the band had decamped for Warner Brothers – bore a title that served as a gentle poke-in-the-ribs of sorts to music journalists. It has long been common practice for writers covering music releases

Album Review: Marshall Crenshaw — Miracle of Science

Marshall Crenshaw’s experience in the world of major labels had come and gone by the time he made his sixth studio album, Miracle of Science. After the brilliant one-two punch of his 1982 debut album and the following year’s Field Day, the singer-guitarist’s albums would never again gain serious traction on the charts. And after