rawk Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #1

As 2019 heads toward its end, there’s time for one more house-cleaning set of quick reviews. Here’s a look at notable new releases in jazz, blues rock and even country. Junior Watson – Nothin’ to it But to Do it Let’s not hold it against the artist that the cover art for this album is

Rock and Bounce: Big Freedia and Low Cut Connie

Note: This story was originally published in October in Mountain Xpress. Combing different musical genres is more common than it was a generation ago; the barriers between styles have been knocked down by groundbreaking artists. While a hip hop/rock hybrid like Run-D.M.C.’s “Walk This Way” was revolutionary in 1986, today’s musical marketplace is filled with

Let’s Talk About ‘Nuggets’ with Lenny Kaye (Part One)

On this day of Thanksgiving I’d like to give thanks to Lenny Kaye for creating Nuggets. It’s not hyperbole to assert that Nuggets affected the course of popular music. In its own way, the 2LP set released on Elektra Records in the early ’70s influenced an entire generation of musicians. The compilation curated by Lenny

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