review Archive

Album Review: Alison Faith Levy — You Are Magic

Disclaimer: My children are in their late 20s and early 30s, so I am by no means the primary target demographic for this release. But I know good music when I hear it, and consider it my responsibility to share it. For a long time, much of the music aimed at kids was cloying, treacly

Album Review: Richie Mayer – The Inn of Temporary Happiness

Richie Mayer is a clearly a student of classic pop. His breezy melodies are irresistible. They sound jut familiar enough to invite comparisons to The Beatles and like-minded artists, but he has enough originality to make sure his music steers clear of the slavish imitation that’s often a hallmark of artists who swim in the

Album Review: Seth Lee Jones – Flathead

Seth Lee Jones aims for a live-in-the-studio vibe on Flathead, and the Tulsa guitarist hits the bullseye. Leading a trio that features bassist Bo Hallford and drummer Matt Teegarden, Jones tears through nine tracks – mostly blues classics – and captures the sound and spirit of live performance, coupled with the sonic clarity of a

Album Review: Eric Bibb — Dear America

Born, raised and immersed in the musical culture of New York City, these days guitarist-songwriter Eric Bibb is better described as a world citizen. He moved to Europe at the end of the 1960s, and has variously made Paris, Stockholm and London his home since then. But his innate American-ness remains a defining characteristic of

Album Review: Mr. Sipp — Sippnotized

Mr. Sipp is the nom de blues of Castro Coleman. The 2014 International Blues Challenge winner is also known as “The Missisippi Blues Child.” Sippnotized is the fourth long-player from the acclaimed gospel-blues guitarist-singer. Across the new album’s ten songs, Sipp synthesizes his influences into a cohesive whole. “Gonna Be Alright” wouldn’t be out of

Album Review: Altered Five Blues Band – Holler if You Hear Me

Jeff Taylor has a big voice. In the tradition of the great blues shouters, Taylor is a commanding presence. But he’s merely one of five ingredients in the recipe that is the Altered Five Blues Band. From the rollicking and rock-steady bass work of Mark Solveson to the fleet-fingered keyboards of Raymond Tevich to Jeff

Album Review: Dewa Budjana — Naurora

The potential downside of remote recording is that – when it’s not done well, which is often – it can robe the music of the feel of of spontaneity, the vibe that comes form musicians playing together in real time. The upside, of course, is that an artist can enlist the participation of collaborators who

Album Review: Sorrows – Love Too Late…the real album

Here’s a record with a helluva story. After making an excellent melodic rock album in 1980’s Teeenage Heartbreak, Sorrows (no “the”) went to England to record their second LP with expat producer Shel Talmy producing. Apparently no one involved was happy with the results, and the resulting release, Love Too Late, sank without a trace.

Album Review: Elder Jack Ward – Already Made

Growing up as a suburban white kid, my preconceptions regarding gospel music were fairly well-formed. I wasn’t especially receptive to the messages conveyed in the music, and – on the rare occasions when I encountered it – I found the music stiff and lacking in passion. Of course I wasn’t hearing music coming out of

EP Review: Lynx Deluxe — Jungleland

Here’s something different. Lynx Deluxe’s Jungleland is a five-song EP that builds its sound around heavy beats. Not the electronic kind, though; this is no hip-hip or electro endeavor. Real drums, played forcefully and with a keen balance between complexity and sheer power, form the basis of these tunes. The songs themselves are hooky rockers,