Hundred-word Reviews for June 2016, Part 1

Here we go with another baker’s two-dozen (okay, 25) capsule reviews. Five a day, all work-week long. Today it’s (more or less) blues. Zuzu Welsh Band – Fault Line Good timin’ meat-and-potatoes blues rock is served up by this Asheville NC-based quintet. Tasty electric slide guitar is the centerpiece on some tracks, and the songs

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 1)

One of the most intriguing album releases of this year doesn’t sound like a new record, not at all. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and featuring veteran musicians from the city’s rich musical history, The Bo-Keys‘ Heartaches by the Number (Omnivore Recordings) builds upon classic songwriting and like-minded original tunes to create a timeless recording. But

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part One)

George Duke (1946-2013) was one of the most fascinating figures in music during the second half of the 20th century. Duke was a jazz-and-classically trained musician proficient on any number of instruments, though he is best known as a keyboard player. He got his start collaborating with French virtuoso violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and his early

Album Review: The Complete Stax Soul Singles Vol 3: 1972-1975

Nearly a quarter century ago (April 30, 1991 to be exact), a lavish, 9CD set called The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968 was released. Housed in a large box and featuring liner notes in book form, the set provided a handy (and nearly exhaustive) chronicle of the Memphis label’s output from its beginnings up through the

Matthew E. White’s Calibrated Subtlety

Matthew E. White has been musically active for many years, including collaborations with Megafaun and the Mountain Goats and three albums with avant-jazz group Fight the Big Bull. But as an artist recording and touring under his own name, he’s a relative newcomer. The story making the rounds is that White’s debut – 2012’s Big

Capsule Reviews: Three from Real Gone Music

Because there’s so much of a backlog here at Musoscribe’s palatial new World HQ ( I moved recently), here’s the first of at least three collections of short reviews. These are all reissues or compilations on the Real Gone Music label, renowned (along with Rock Beat, Omnivore, Numero and a select few others) for their

Album Review: Lalo Schifrin — ‘Bullitt’ Soundtrack

Here’s a look at another Record Store Day release, available on limited-edition 200-gram vinyl. If, like me, you grew up in the late 60s and early 70s, this music will feel warmly familiar. This is true even if you’ve never heard it before, or if you have but didn’t know it. Schifrin was a veteran

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

July Capsule Reviews, #3 of 3

Today I present yet four more capsule reviews. Today’s crop includes reissues on the Real Gone Music label. RGM is committed to unearthing long- (and unjustly-) forgotten music, and these four titles — all from the too-often-maligned decade of the 1970s – certainly meet that standard. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150

Pygmies, Green Bullets, and Shitty Amps: Getting Loopy with Randall Bramblett

Randall Bramblett began his professional musical career in the 1970s. Working solo and then as a member of Sea Level, Bramblett crafted songs that synthesized a long list of American musical forms: soul, rhythm and blues, rock, and even gospel flavorings. The highly regarded musician recently released The Bright Spots, his eleventh solo album. He