omnivore recordings Archive

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

The Ru-Jac Records Story, Part One

Beginning operations in 1963, Baltimore-based Ru-Jac Records was an African American-owned and -operated record label. Founded by Rufus E. Mitchell and Jack Bennett, Ru-Jac was a singles-only label that released dozens of 45 rpm discs, primarily between 1963 and 1974. Much of the label’s output has remained largely unavailable since the label ceased operations in

Hundred-word Reviews: New Releases

There’s quite a massive stack of new (or at least new-when-I got-’em) releases here at Musoscribe World HQ. Time to review them. 6-String Drag – Top of the World (Schoolkids Records) This Raleigh-based group was at the forefront of the Americana scene, back when it didn’t even have a name (some called it alt-country). After

Hundred-word Reviews: Reissues, Archival Releases, Compilations

My shelf full of albums to be reviewed has run out of space. So once again it’s time for a raft of hundred-word reviews. All sixteen titles in this roundup are reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. 6-String Drag – High Hat (Schoolkids Records) Before Americana was coined as a genre, there was alt-country. Combining rock

Album Review: Nina Simone — Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Sessions

Nina Simone (born Eunice Waymon) was a classically-trained pianist; she didn’t set out to be a jazz singer. Born in Tryon, N.C. in 1933, she was a musical prodigy, and would study at Juilliard. Her application for further studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia was rejected, so she continued studying piano on her own.

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,

Album Mini-review: Chris Price — Stop Talking

File next to: Jellyfish, Wings After spending his time on production duties for obscure-yet-revered artists like Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs, Chris Price has finally refocused his attention on his own music. Stop Talking is a fully realized album that – like the often mercurial artists he shepherds through the studio experience – is rightly

Seven Jazz Reviews for July 2017

Here’s a look at seven recent reissue and/or archival releases of note. All are enthusiastically recommended. Bobby Darin & Johnny Mercer – Two of a Kind (Omnivore Recordings) Founded in 2010, Omnivore Recordings is a boutique label that quickly became renowned for its thoughtful and carefully-curated reissues and archival releases; the release schedule of the

Album Mini-review: Derrick Anderson — A World of My Own

File next to: Redd Kross, Chris von Sneidern From a largely heretofore unknown quarter comes a winner of an album in a genre that doesn’t get enough appreciation. Up to now, Derrick Anderson has been best known as “the (black) guy in the Bangles.” As if that weren’t enough; playing bass in one of the

Capsule Reviews for May 2017, Part One

Thank You, Friends (Concord Bicycle Music) I remember a time when seemingly nobody knew about Big Star; happily for me, that was about the time I found “new old stock” vinyl copies of #1 Record and Radio City in a local record store. I was immediately hooked. As is its character, Big Star’s Third album