Album Review: Sidney Barnes – ‘Sup’m Old, Sup’m New, Sup’m Borrowed, Sup’m Blue’

Sidney Barnes falls into the category of criminally under-appreciated musical figures. His career figures significantly into the histories of doo-wop, soul, funk, rock, pop and psychedelia. He cut “Wait” b/w “I’m Satisfied” way back in 1961, and while that record didn’t make a splash, it set him on a path he follows to this day.

Album Review: The Freeway Revival — Revolution Road

Despite its virtues, the genre of Southern rock is often plagued by a high degree of sameness: most modern-day bands worship slavishly at the altar of Lynyrd Skynyrd; the more musically accomplished among them might aim higher and model themselves after the Allman Brothers Band. But precious few offer much in the way of concise

Crack the Sky’s John Palumbo: Don’t Look Back

The landscape of pop history is littered with one-and-done acts, artists whose first album – no matter how good it might have been – failed or was lost in the commercial marketplace. Nearly all of those groups would fade into obscurity, never again to make an album. Crack the Sky doesn’t fit into this particular

A Pink Floyd Anniversary

I first discovered the music of Pink Floyd in the mid 1970s. The Dark Side of the Moon had already been out a few years, and Wish You Were Here had been released, too. Animals hadn’t yet come out, so this would have been 1976. I was 11 or 12 years old, and the music

Jonah Parzen Johnson’s Combination of Man, Machine and Instrument

A saxophonist employing the circular breathing method is impressive, but not as remarkable as it once was. At the top of the creative scale, jazz legend Rahsaan Roland Kirk used the technique; at the other end of the spectrum, Kenny G made it into the Guinness Book for playing the longest-held note on the saxophone

Les Nubians Go Electric

Les Nubians come by their worldly flavor honestly. The sister duo of Hélène and Célia Faussart is originally from Paris, spent time in the Central African country Chad, returned to France, and is now based in Brooklyn. Les Nubians’ neo-soul/r&b draws from an even wider musical scope that includes hip-hop, electronica and soul. But the

Jonathan Scales: What Matters

Jonathan Scales is a world traveler, bringing his unique brand of jazz fusion to audiences around the globe. But even against that backdrop, the first half of 2017 has been an unusually active – and eye-opening – period for the steel pannist. To celebrate his 33rd birthday, Scales scheduled a rare hometown concert: the Jonathan

Peggy Ratusz and Paula Hanke: Celebrating Women Who Make Music History

Note: See the update at the end of the story. — bk Peggy Ratusz and Paula Hanke are among the most well-known musical performers in Asheville; both have played on most every stage in town, singing everything from blues to country to pop to jazz, and most everything in between. Friends since 2007, they’ve collaborated

Album Reviews: Six New Jazz Albums

Ignacio Berroa Trio – Straight Ahead from Havana (Codes Drum Music) Cuba has a long, storied and proud history of jazz. But owing to the U.S. Government’s half-century-long embargo on all things Cuban, few Americans know much about it. The doors were opened less than a year ago when President Obama relaxed some – but

Ten 100-word Reviews: Archival/Reissue Releases

With a great deal of my time these days spent working on my new book and various artist interviews, I tend to amass a backlog of albums for review. To lessen that backlog, I present ten reviews, each distilled down to its essence. Or at least to 100 words. All of these titles are reissues,