review Archive

Album Review: Chick Corea – Chick Corea Plays

The pandemic and its resultant shutdowns may have (for a time) put a stop to live music performances, but after a brief pause in March and April, it seems to have done little to slow the release of new material. The manner in which albums can be created outside a traditional studio (and often by

Album Review: Dedicated Men of Zion — Can’t Turn Me Around

Right out of the gate, the strolling and assertive introduction to “Father, Guide Me, Teach Me” signals that Can’t Turn Me Around is not your typical gospel album. Music lovers raised on a diet of ‘70s arena rock may find that thoughts of Foghat and Bad Co. spring to mind. It’s not until the close

Album Review: Venus Furs — s/t

If you’re going to launch a musical project that evokes memories of a Velvet Underground song (“Venus in Furs” from 1967’s The Velvet Underground & Nico) you had better deliver the goods, or at least be prepared to get called out for not doing so. The plain fact is, while Venus Furs is quite appealing,

Album Review: Maceo Parker — Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo

Maceo Parker is a towering figure in the soul/jazz/funk universe. He would be important if only for his work with James Brown, documented on many live and studio releases from the middle 1960s through the late ‘80s. But he’s done so much more: as a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Parker applied his talents in ever-widening

Album Review: Staring Into Nothing – Love

The album opens with an understated track (“Winter”) that’s not especially indicative of where things will go musically. It’s part of a four-song suite, and “Spring” is (perhaps as expected) more upbeat and textured. The music is straightforward rock, with subtle, understated sonic touches throughout. The band itself features multi-instrumentalists Steve Rogers and Kurt Barabas,

Album Review: Bonnie Whitmore – Last Will & Testament

Bonnie Whitmore earned her stripes as a bassist for a number of acclaimed Americana artists including Hayes Carll and Eliza Gilkyson. But if you know me and my writing to any degree, you’ll know that in itself doesn’t pique my interest to any significant degree. What does, however, is Last Will & Testament, Whitmore’s fourth

Album Review: Louis Armstrong – Live in France

One of the most important and influential figures in the music of the 20th century, Louis Armstrong had a recording career that spanned from the early 1920s through 1970, the year prior to his passing. His winning and distinctive personality was a major component of his appeal, but his music remains at the center of

Album Review: The Brothers Steve – #1

Following a proud rock ‘n’ roll tradition of misleading band names, The Brothers Steve aren’t brothers, and none is named Steve. The L.A.-based band plays its own brand of powerpop, with a healthy dose of bubblegum added into the mix. The band has previous released three singles (including a Christmas-themed one) but their debut album

Album Review: Wipers – Is This Real?

Often held up as the first punk band of consequence from the Pacific Northwest, Wipers (no article; just Wipers) played against type and – unlike so many others of the genre – held together (more or less) for more than two decades. And even more atypically for punk, Wipers maintained a high level of quality

Album Review: Tyler Keith – The Last Drag

Do you like rock ‘n’ roll? I mean the sweaty, greasy, sloppy, noisy stuff, the kind of music that gets your heart pumping and makes you want to get involved somehow – air guitar, head-nodding, first pumping – to more fully experience it? Then I’d very much like to direct your attention to The Last