Album Review: American Amnesia — …Yet Here We Are

The band name and the album title might suggest to some that this is an album of sociopolitical commentary. Not so much: this Connecticut trio makes hard-charging rock. The songs often have more than one good idea in ‘em. To wit: the opening track, “Time,” sounds like two completely different songs grated together. One’s fairly

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ Out-of-print 1990s Recordings Get a Reissue (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Several of the songs feature a female voice in the mix, engaging in a sort of vocal sparring with Jay. What’s the story on that? He would bring his wife into the studio. And It was hysterical when those two started communicating! She’s in the background. She would go out there

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ Out-of-print 1990s Recordings Get a Reissue (Part One)

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (born Jalacy Hawkins in 1929) is one of those artists whose influence would far outpace his commercial success. Trained as a classical pianist and singer with an operatic range, Hawkins instead gained notoriety for his outlandish persona and over-the-top vocal style, exemplified by his 1956 single “I Put a Spell on You.”

Johnny Tucker: Everything Comes from My Soul, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… Tucker made his first solo album, Why You Lookin’ at Me in 2006. It’s cut from a wholly different cloth than Tucker & Thomas and his latest release. Fans of modern-day blues-rock hybrids – complete with pig-squeal lead guitar and horn charts that aim for a Memphis vibe – may enjoy

Johnny Tucker: Everything Comes from My Soul, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Walker, who scored a hit in 1959 with “Hello My Darling,” was playing in and around Los Angeles with a band featuring vocalist Bea Bop (Walker’s wife Ina). Tucker was still a teenager when he first met the guitarist/bandleader in August 1965. “I went to a club and I sat in,”

Johnny Tucker: Everything Comes from My Soul, Part One

Do an internet search on Johnny Tucker, and you won’t find a lot of information that predates the release of Seven Day Blues, his new album on Highjohn Records. But Tucker is a veteran bluesman with a long and colorful back story. His musical journey brought him up close and personal with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins,

Album Review: Crooked Ghost — Skeleton House

When artists describe their music (or have it described by others) as dream-pop, that’s usually a reliable signal that the mood of the music focuses on one of two musical perspectives: it’s either happy and ethereal or—more likely—minor-key, somewhat glacially-paced music that conjures an unsettling, foreboding and deeply textured mood. And by that measure, the

Chasing the Sound of Yes, 50 Years On

Steve Howe laughs when asked what it is that keeps playing in Yes fresh and interesting for him. The guitarist has been a member of Yes for most of the years since 1970; he’s the closest thing the British progressive group has to an original member. The band has embarked on dozens of tour, released

Book Review: Richard Macphail — My Book of Genesis

I really enjoy reading behind-the-scenes and/or personal memoirs about the different corners of the music world. While reading autobiographies by big names has its rewards, I tend to find greater pleasure in the stories as told by those close to those figures as opposed to books authored by the “stars” themselves. I find that just

The Ru-Jac Records Story, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Something Got a Hold on Me covers 1963-1964, the earliest years of Ru-Jac, ones that featured the Kay Keys Band, Little Sonny Daye, Brenda Jones, Parker, the Teardrops Band and several others. Most names won’t be familiar to most outside the Baltimore soul scene of that era, but the quality of