Album Review: Various Artists – Raunchy Sugar: The Pure Essence of Memphis Rock & Roll

When one thinks of early rock’n’roll coming out of Memphis, it’s likely that the first names springing to mind are Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. And for good reason: those four (dubbed the “Million Dollar Quartet” in connection with a one-off, informal December 4, 1956 session that was bootlegged for many years

Album Review: Jazz Noire, Darktown Sleaze from the Mean Streets of L.A.

The folks at Fantastic Voyage (and sister label Future Noise) can be counted on to put together thought-provoking compilations. In the past they’ve collected obscurities from the Ember label, and brought together a clutch of songs that – in an effective bit of revisionist history – redefine what the word “punk” means. The label’s latest

Album Review: Roy Brown – Good Rockin’ Man

In recent decades, proper credit has finally (and belatedly) been given to some of rock and R&B’s earliest and overlooked performers. For many years the narrative went that the fathers of modern rock, soul and R&B included Ray Charles and the Sun artists (Cash, Presley, Lewis etc.) and few others. Some welcome historical revisionism has

Musoscribe’s 2012 Preview

Lots of interesting material going into 2012. Here’s a quick preview of just some of what’s on deck for coverage in the Musoscribe blog in early 2012:   Album Reviews Jethro Tull‘s Aqualung 2cd 40th Anniversary Edition Morgan Agren/Henry Kaiser/Trey Gunn – Invisible Rays The Boddie Recording Group box set form the Numero Group label

Album Review: R&B Spotlight ‘60

Nineteen-sixty might not be the first year that comes to mind when you think of compelling music making the charts. But a new collection from the estimable folks at UK-based label Fantastic Voyage might lead you to give a more careful listen to music from that era. R&B Spotlight ’60 is a jam-packed 2cd collection

Album Review: Soul Breakout ‘60

Pop music and/or rock’n’roll may – as many have argued – have been suffering from a period of insipidness at the very beginning of the 1960s. But on the soul/R&B charts, no such problem existed. Artists including Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and Mary Wells were all turning

CD Review: Let Me Tell You About the Blues / Nashville

The liner notes come right out and address the argument some might raise against this package. Thought it’s titled Let Me Tell About the Blues: Nashville, most people will agree that blues is not the first (or second) genre that springs to mind when one thinks of Music City. But as the liners make clear,

CD Review: Dirty Water – The Birth of Punk Attitude

As its name makes clear, Dirty Water: the Birth of Punk Attitude takes a unique approach to the concept of punk: here it’s defined more as an attitude than a genre. This shift in emphasis is a liberating one, because it results in a collection that’s more hip mixtape than historical anthology or chronological overview.

Musoscribe’s Best of 2010: Compilations

Some amazing compilations albums came out in 2010. From my standpoint, five of these are especially noteworthy. A highly-regarded DJ and champion of the Northern Soul movement, Scottish-born Keb Darge has curated a long line of compilations. These collections balance the cratedigger/archivist aesthetic with the goal of providing just plain great music. One of Darge’s

2010 Odds and Ends (Capsule Reviews)

Even if one is (for example) a reviewer of measured fame and notoriety, one still ends up with a ton of unsolicited and semi-solicited audio material arriving via post. (The latter is sort of, “May I send you my CD?” “Yes, but I can’t promise a review.”) Because I stumble across so much excellent music,