review Archive

Book Review: A Voice of the Warm

Every so often, some of my Facebook friends and I engage in a little game. You might call it Dreadful Earworms: we try to outdo each other by rattling off the titles of some of the most annoying, saccharine, maudlin and just downright awful songs. If you’re a boomer (or perhaps even the child of

Album review: Queen Bee and the Honeylovers – Asheville

On their debut CD release, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers pay tribute to their hometown with a collection of original songs in a warmly familiar style. Singer and songwriter Whitney Moore dug deep into the history of the mountain city, crafting 14 songs that have one metaphorical foot in the past, the other firmly planted

Album Review: Moonlight Street Folk — Collective Will

There’s no shortage of acoustic-based, folky bands in Western North Carolina. Standing out from the crowd is thus more of a challenge than it would be for musicians operating in another musical idiom. But Moonlight Street Folk have developed a distinctive sound that sets them apart. The Asheville quintet’s debut album, Collective Will, features seven

Album Review: Reese Wynans and Friends — Sweet Release

In the liner notes for Sweet Release, producer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa poses a rhetorical question: “How do you make it a Reese record as opposed to an album of guitar players with Reese?” His solution, he explains, is to give the keyboardist the first solo on each song. Whether that approach achieves the goal is up

Album Review: Jack Oblivian & the Dream Killers — Lost Weekend

Among the audiophile set, the term “lo-fi” is cause to run for the hills. Having grown up on a steady diet of 1960s garage rock, I have no such qualms. Hell, I even dig “Green Fuz.” And with that in mind, I welcome Lost Weekend, an LP from Jack Oblivian & the Dream Killers that

Album Review: Phil Alvin – Un “Sung Stories”

With the departure of Dave Alvin in 1986, it looked the Blasters were finished. So it was no surprise that guitarist Phil Alvin took the opportunity to record and release his first solo album, Un “Sung Stories”. But Alvin’s solo debut found him traveling far from the straight-ahead rockabilly sounds of the Blasters. On three

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2019, Part One

It’s that time again: reviews of new music that passes the rigorous “smash or trash” competition happening periodically at my CD changer. Diplomats of Solid Sound — A Higher Place First off, let’s give credit where it’s due and acknowledge that Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are owed a debt for reintroducing soul to today’s

Album Review: Bark — Terminal Everything

As a rule, I look askance at guitar-and-drum duos; for my money, Dex and Crow did it well enough back in the Flat Duo Jets days that I don’t really need anybody else to do it. But when the artists involved are Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee, attention must be paid. The former was

The Drive to 1981 Begins: A Look Back at Robert Fripp’s Masterful ‘Exposure’ (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Fans of King Crimson’s Red receive a wonderful treat with “Breathless.” Though the specific players on each track aren’t noted, the song – very much a cousin to Red‘s title track – features a very progressive Narada Michael Walden on the drum kit, and Tony Levin (of future Crimsons) on