rawk Archive

Emotional Content is Dream Theater’s Secret Ingredient

Over the course of its three decades, progressive metal band Dream Theater has periodically created albums centered about thematic concepts. 1999’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was the band’s first concept album, and also marked the debut of Jordan Rudess and the group’s keyboardist. In 2002, the Boston-based band released Six Degrees of

Fifty-plus Years On, REO Speedwagon Keeps the Fire Burnin’

Midwestern rockers REO Speedwagon had been together for more than 13 years before the band scored its first top ten single. That song, “Keep On Lovin’ You” marked a new beginning for the group. And REO Speedwagon’s durability has been proven over and over again ever since: nearly 40 years after that single (and several

Weird of Scotland: Jack Bruce’s ‘Songs for a Tailor’ at 50

Sixties supergroup Cream had at least five things that made it special: guitarist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist-vocalist Jack Bruce were the three most obvious assets. But producer Felix Pappalardi and Bruce’s lyricist Pete Brown deserve major credit as well. For all of Cream’s excesses onstage – seemingly endless guitar soloing and “Toad”

Your Favorite Thing: Sugar’s ‘File Under: Easy Listening’ at 25

By the time Bob Mould debuted his rock trio Sugar in 1992, he was a well-known figure in music. With his previous group, Hüsker Dü, Mould had been a key figure in the hardcore/underground rock scene of the 1980s. But the Minneapolis band always stood apart from some of its more one-dimensional compatriots; the songs

Jeff Sipe’s Mystical Vibes

There’s a spiritual, almost mystical quality to the drumming of multi-genre musician Jeff Sipe. A world-traveled musician with an extensive body of work to his name. He has performed and played with some of music’s most innovative and boundary-pushing artists, yet he’s equally at home in an informal living room jam with friends. Though he’s

Album Review: Creedence Clearwater Revival — Live at Woodstock

Nobody’s quite sure who coined the adage, “history is written by the victors.” But the inescapable fact remains that nearly every version of history is the product of a subjective point of view. What is left out – and why – is often as important to what’s included. Moviegoers who saw Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary

Before the (so-called) Beginning: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Then Play On’ at 40

In 1969, eight years before a later lineup of the band began its reign as kings and queens of slick, corporate-approved FM radio soft rock, Fleetwood Mac was still a boundary-pushing blues band. Launched a little more than a year before that, the group was originally known as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, a tacit acknowledgment

Gonna Raise Hell: Cheap Trick’s ‘Dream Police’ at 40

Though they had released three excellent albums to date, in 1978 Cheap Trick was still laboring in relative obscurity. The Rockford, Illinois band’s releases – 1977’s self-titled debut, In Color from later that same year and 1978’s Heaven Tonight – had each sold better than the last, but none cracked the top 40 album charts.

Blu-ray Review: Echo in the Canyon

The creatively fertile and incalculably influential Laurel Canyon scene if the middle 1960s is explored in Echo In the Canyon. It’s not quite a documentary in the sense that it concerns itself nearly as much with current artists in the studio and onstage as it does with the moves and shakers of five decades ago.

La Santa Cecilia: Honesty Transcends Language

Grammy-winning La Santa Cecilia bridges the gap between traditional and modern music. The group of Mexican-American musicians was among the headlining acts at this year’s LEAF Fall Festival. Part of a bill that included Angelique Kidjo, the Wood Brothers, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and more than 30 other acts, La Santa Cecilia is