r&b Archive

Three More New Album Reviews

Cody ChesnuTT – My Love Divine Degree File next to: D’Angelo, Shuggie Otis Atlanta-based Cody ChesnuTT is the kind of artist who frustrates and fascinates – in equal measure – both critics and fans. His 2002 debut, The Headphone Masterpiece was roundly praised for its quality, all the more remarkable for having been a lo-fi,

Samantha Fish’s Soul/R&B Side Trip

Kansas City musician and vocalist Samantha Fish made a name for herself as one of relatively few female blues guitarists. She prefers to be measured on her own merits rather than as a female musician, though a 2011 album as part of a project called Girls With Guitars didn’t help much in that regard. But

Musoscribe’s 8th Anniversary Post: Four from Playback Records

Today I’m celebrating the eight-year anniversary of this Musoscribe online music magazine. I started the blog in June 2009, but I had already been writing for many years. Eventually I went back and archived nearly all of my pre-2009 work, back-dating the pieces (if somewhat arbitrarily). So now you’ll find nearly 2,500 posts – reviews,

Album Review: Samantha Fish — Chills & Fever

File next to: Nick Curran, JD McPherson, Wanda Jackson On her previous albums, guitarist Samantha Fish churned out a solid modern blues. Not unlike a slightly more Americana-leaning Ana Popovic, Fish displayed her six-string abilities on stomping, barroom-style blues numbers. And while there’s not a thing in the world wrong with that, on Chills &

Quick Takes, Part Three

Today I take a quick look at ten archival releases of note. Tim Buckley — Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974 The music of Tim Buckley (yeah, late father of the late Jeff Buckley) has earned a reputation as difficult. And while I’m not here to flatly counter that impression, I must say that this collection

Postmodern Jukebox: Breathing Old Life into New Classics

It’s one of those inspired ideas that leads listeners to wonder why someone hadn’t thought of it before: take modern-day hit songs, and recast them in the styles of yesteryear. That’s the winning approach of the fiendishly creative – and prolific – Postmodern Jukebox. The brainchild of New York City pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee,

Captivate and Provoke: The modern black roots music of Fantastic Negrito

Note: this is the second of two features I’ve written recently about Fantastic Negrito (here’s the first one). Expect more; this guy is one to watch. — bk Fantastic Negrito is the musical persona of Xavier Dphrepaulezz. Raised in a strict Muslim family, he ran away from home at 12 and never returned. He would

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 1 of 10

Time to clear out the backlog before the year’s end. Here’s the first installment; lots of great titles here. Consider doing your holiday shopping, and note that I’ve provided purchasing links (when available) to Amazon. As it happens, these five are all from Real Gone Music, one of my favorite reissue/archival labels. Fanny – Mother’s

Esperanza Spalding’s Musical Evolution (or D+Evolution?), Part Two

Continued from Part One… Working with Tony Visconti In the music business, Tony Visconti is something of a household name. Since his start in 1968, Visconti has produced more than 120 albums for a wide variety of artists, including more than a dozen for David Bowie. He’s worked in a variety of musical genres, but

Esperanza Spalding’s Musical Evolution (or D+Evolution?), Part One

Note: portions of this feature appeared previously (and in different form) in altweeklies in Asheville NC, Chicago and Salt Lake City. — bk Cross-genre sensation Esperanza Spalding is something of an anomaly – albeit a welcome one – on today’s pop music landscape. A fine singer with an impressive range, she’s also a supremely accomplished