Author Archive

Steve Wynn’s Recurring Dream (part 2)

continued from part 1… Producer Sandy Pearlman gave The Dream Syndicate‘s 1984 album The Medicine Show album a bright, clear sound that has worn well; it’s not firmly rooted in a particular era sonically. “Sandy had a lot to do with helping to shape what we were doing,” leader Steve Wynn says. “Actually Sandy was

Steve Wynn’s Recurring Dream (part 1)

The Dream Syndicate was part of the 1980s “Paisley Underground” musical movement, a school of thought that took as influences some of the best that the 1960s had to offer. In terms of both style and substance (musical and otherwise) paisley underground bands created something new that remained firmly rooted in the finest 1960s traditions.

Album Review: Brute Force – Confections of Love

Do you ever sit around pondering unlikely musical scenarios? Strange, uncharted-waters of stylistic combinations? Well, if that sort of thing interests you, you’ll know about — or want to know about — Confections of Love. Originally released in (believe it or not) 1967, the album credited to I, Brute Force was (and remains) actually Stephen

Album Review: Esquerita – Wildcat Shakeout

The accepted and/or conventional wisdom holds that Little Richard (Penniman) was mightily influenced by a character known as Esquerita. As quoted in the liner note to Fantastic Voyage’s expanded reissue of the UK Speciality LP Wildcat Shakeout, Little Richard says, “I was taught how to play piano by Esquerita…He was one of the greatest pianists

Bootleg Bin: John Lennon – Dakota Demos

Tomorrow — October 9 2010 — would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. He died just after he turned 40. Here’s a look at some recordings he made in the last few years before his tragic passing. As the liner notes to the 1996 collection, Free As a Bird: The Dakota Beatle Demos put it,

The Top Five Things I Learned at Margaritaville

I’ve been playing in cover bands on and off — mostly on — since around 1980. With the exception of some years — the late 80s to early 90s — set aside to be a young married with young kids, I’ve been in one or another covers band, and have had great fun doing so.

Album Review: Spock’s Beard – X

File Under: How Did I Miss These Guys? The new album X from Spock’s Beard offers up a set of bright, well-polished progressive rock songs. The group’s tenth outing (natch) finds them pursuing a style of progressive rock that places unerring emphasis on melody and songcraft. Whether a mid-tempo number like the album opener “Edge

Interview: KT Tunstall

From the archives: I interviewed the Scottish songstress for a 2007 cover story in a now-defunct print magazine called Skope. Here’s that feature. “I haven’t seen it really recently, but the times I’ve watched it, I still shit myself thinking I’m going to make a mistake.” KT Tunstall is referring, of course, to her now-legendary

Album Review: John Norum – Play Yard Blues

I’m not afraid to admit that I have no use at all for hair metal. I find it totally lacking in substance, full of posing and posturing, and frankly more than a bit silly. I make a point of avoiding it. So had I known that John Norum is (or was and is again) the

DVD Review: Rolling Stones 1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years

Being a music critic, it probably goes without much saying that I place some value in the opinions of other critics. Not all of them, mind you; but quite often I am interested in what informed, educated and thoughtful people have to say about music. Lucky for me, then, that a whole passel of critics