omnivore recordings Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for January 2019

The backlog is threatening to get unmanageable once again. As a kind of editorial pressure release valve, here’s a quick look at ten worthy albums that have recently crossed my desk. All new music. Paul Kelly – Nature Some artists accumulate a body of work that all ties together in a neat fashion. Paul Kelly

No Way Out of Here: The Unicorn Story (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… David Gilmour wasn’t a complete novice in the ways of the studio. Then 27 years old, the guitarist had already co-produced six albums with Pink Floyd; he also handled production duties for the challenging sessions that yielded much of the material on Syd Barrett’s two solo albums. And his ear was

No Way Out of Here: The Unicorn Story (Part One)

Early demo tapes from Unicorn, a country-rock group and protégés of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, show that the underappreciated British group had an authentic yet radio-ready sound that should have caught on. Despite a number of lucky breaks, the well-deserving band never lit commercial fire. But now there’s a new archival release from Omnivore Recordings,

C&W UK Style: David Gilmour’s Pals Unicorn

Few people remember a British band from the 1970s called Unicorn. Though they never found widespread success, the band recorded four major-label albums. Two and half of those were produced by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. His band’s manager Steve O’Rourke signed Unicorn to a management contract, and got them a record deal as well.

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 1

More hundred-word reviews. If you’ve wandered in here before, you know the drill: they’re all worthwhile and deserve deeper coverage. These ten are all archival, reissue or compilation releases. Oakland Elementary School Arkestra – The Saga of Padani Let’s begin by acknowledging that this disc isn’t for all tastes. Imagine the Residents meeting Sun Ra,

Album Review: Guadalcanal Diary – At Your Birthday Party

Signed to DB Recs at or near the local label’s commercial high point, Guadalcanal Diary released its debut EP, Watusi Rodeo in 1983. The disc’s catchy yet slightly off-kilter songs (mostly by guitarist Murray Attaway) attracted the attention of Elektra, who soon signed the band. Released in 1984, the Don Dixon-produced Walking in the Shadow

Album Review: John Wesley Harding – Greatest Other People’s Hits

Nearly everything one first learns about John Wesley Harding suggests the man is a smart-aleck. A folky troubadour transplanted long ago from Hastings, England to the U.S., the man born Wesley Stace adopted a stage name taken from one of Bob Dylan’s most celebrated releases. (Some years ago he also released an album that waggishly

Multiple Discs, Multiple Artists (Part 2 of 2)

Picking up where I left off last time, here’s a look at more multi-disc archival/reissue sets. The Posies – Dear 23 The Posies made a lot of great music before and after their second album. But I’d argue they never made anything as scintillating as Dear 23. The duo of songwriter-singers Jon Auer and Ken

Multiple Discs, Multiple Artists (Part 1 of 2)

It’s purely happenstance, but at the moment I have two discs each of archival/reissue/compilation music from seven acts. (Actually, I have three discs each by three of those, but I’m trying to shoehorn these reviews into a theme, so work with me here.) These diverse releases cover a lot of stylistic ground, and they’re all

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