org music Archive

Album Review: Big Bill Broonzy — The Midnight Special

Big Bill Broonzy’s musical influence is incalculable. And even though he recorded prolifically, a new archival release is an important addition to his body of work. A solo acoustic performance, Midnight Special: Live in Nottingham 1957 showcases Broonzy’s myriad assets. Foremost among those are his fine and expressive voice, his peerless selection of material, his

Album Review: Jimmy Sweeney — Without You

Another in the (happily and) seemingly endless stream of unearthed gems, Jimmy Sweeney’s Without You is a collection of songs by a singer who was all but unknown. His claim to fame lies in a story – possibly apocryphal but leaning toward being true – about a demo he sent to Sam Phillips. That disc

Album Review: Nat Turner Rebellion – Laugh to Keep From Crying

I’ve written of similar observations before; here I am doing it once again. It amazes me to no end that so many years after the fact, never-before-heard recordings surface, and the quality of the music is remarkable. So it is with Nat Turner Rebellion’s Laugh to Keep From Crying. Recorded in various sessions between 1969

Before the (Family) Stone Age: The Viscaynes (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … One afternoon soon thereafter, Chuck Gebhardt found himself mowing the very same lawn. “Next thing I knew, a limo pulled up, and my mom got out,” he recalls. “Come on; we’ve got to go to Los Angeles,” she told him. Gebhardt hesitated; he was only halfway done with the grass

Before the (Family) Stone Age: The Viscaynes (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Belying his eventual reputation as an erratic personality, the young Sly Stone was considered an engaging fellow. “He was a great guy,” Gebhardt says. In addition to being in the Viscaynes together, he and Sly “did plays together – he was a pretty darn good actor – and we played

Before the (Family) Stone Age: The Viscaynes (Part One)

An edited version of this feature appeared previously in Goldmine Magazine. The music and career of Sly Stone and his group The Family Stone is well known. What’s less explored is his earliest work, recordings made when he was still Sly Stewart, a teenager in Vallejo, California. Those original singles are now impossibly rare, though

Album Review: Louis Armstrong and His All Stars — Live in 1956

Though he had certainly been massively popular before, in the middle 1950s jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong was near the top of his game. In 1947 he broke up his big band and formed a new group, the All Stars made up primarily of former leaders of other bands. Louis Armstrong and His All

At the Heart of the Vinyl Revival: ORG Music

Founded in 2010, ORG Music was launched in response to renewed interest in vinyl records. Kicking off with reissues of Nirvana’s classic Nevermind, the label quickly established itself as an intelligent outfit with a thoughtful approach to bringing releases to market. In addition to wide-appeal releases (early offerings included titles from Tom Petty and the

A Vinyl Roundup to Round Out 2018

So much good music has found its way into my ears in 2018. As the year winds toward its close, I’d like to share words on a few of these with you. All titles noted below are on vinyl (LP or 7′ 45 RPM single). Wes Hollywood – Dynamite It was more than six and

Album Review: Dave Brubeck — Time In

The opening solo piano strains of “Last Waltz,” the opening track on Dave Brubeck’s 1966 LP Time In are lovely enough. But they suggest that the album is going to be a somewhat staid, fussy and classically-leaning collection of songs. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that; Brubeck has always been a master of many styles.