r&b Archive

Ask Me Some Questions: The Graham Parker Interview, Part 1

Once pegged as one of rock’s angry young men, these days Graham Parker is neither angry nor young. And while his profile these last few decades has been lower than in his commercial heyday (1976 to the mid 80s, and even then only a modest commercial success), Parker has continued to release a remarkably consistent

Album Review: Tower of Power — Hipper Than Hip

For quite a number of years – primarily the mid 90s to around 2006 – I was immersed in a consuming hobby of sorts: I collected and traded bootlegs (aka ROIOs or recordings of indeterminate origin). For me, listening to unreleased recordings of artists I like – studio outtakes, live concert tapes, radio broadcasts and

Album Review: Barry White — Can’t Get Enough

James Brown might have been Soul Brother Number One, but it was Isaac Hayes who brought soul into the mainstream with his lush, romantic workouts such as his cover of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” And while Hayes would remain the master of that style, he had other things on his mind as

Hundred-word Reviews: Deluxe Packages

Each of these is a multi-disc set collecting archival (and sometimes previously-unreleased) music, but other than that, there’s little to connect these releases in any stylistic fashion: Celtic soul, proto-funk/pop, hard rock, comedy spoken word, and psychedelic post-punk. All have been sitting on my desk awaiting review for far too long. So, here ya go.

Concert Review & Photoblog: Fitz and the Tantrums, Asheville NC, 5 Nov. 2013

Modern r&b-flavored pop act Fitz and the Tantrums returned to Asheville recently for an enthusiastic, packed-house reception. Focusing on tunes from their second album (2013’s More than Just a Dream) and peppering the set with cuts from their breakout 2010 debut Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the group wowed the audience. A high-energy show from start

Clearing the Backlog: Ten Micro-reviews

As the end of 2013 closes in, I look at my inbox and see a massive stack of CDs. Best as I try, I don’t always follow a first-in/first-out policy with regard to covering releases I find worthy. And while my occasional capsule reviews do help reduce the pile of CD on my desk, today

Album Review: Various — Pete Townshend’s Jukebox

UK-based Chrome Dreams has released a number of these Jukebox titles over the last few years, including titles exploring the influences upon Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and even The Grateful Dead. And while some of these artists have endeavored to do something similar themselves (McCartney’s 1999 Run Devil Run comes to mind), the

Cody ChesnuTT: Everybody’s Brother

by Special Guest Blogger Annelise Kopp Though hailed in some quarters, Cody ChestnuTT‘s debut album, Headphone Masterpiece, received mixed reviews, some unforgiving. While critics seemed to agree that the R&B/neo-soul artist possesses an incredible singing voice, some harped on what they saw as the inconsistent quality of the album. Rob Mitchum, writing for Pitchfork, decried

Shuggie Otis at The Orange Peel, Asheville NC 9 October 2013 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Once the doors opened, we entered and secured our barstools, settling in to wait for the show. Minutes earlier, the Orange Peel’s Facebook event update status had informed us that the opening act had canceled last-minute, and as such Shuggie Otis would be taking the stage earlier than usual. At this

Shuggie Otis at The Orange Peel, Asheville NC 9 October 2013 (Part One)

One evening early in September 2013, I was on the phone with a good friend. “Shuggie Otis is playing next month at The Orange Peel,” I announced. “What?! No…” Clearly I was mistaken, he thought. “He’s dead.” No he’s not, I assured my friend. But that belief is a common, understandable mistake. Son of famed