Finally, the live album Raspberries’ fans have been waiting for
When Eric Carmen reunited with the Raspberries for a series of shows in 2004-2005, it gave thousands of fans a chance to see the fathers of power pop in concert for the first time in 30 years. A live disc, Live on Sunset Strip, came out in 2007, commemorating the reunion. Yet, that album was missing something. I was lucky to catch another Cleveland concert in 2005, and I can tell you, it was phenomenal. Finally, here comes Pop Art Live, a true document of what the Raspberries were capable of in concert. Continue reading Raspberries – Pop Art Live (Omnivore) review→
Smokin’ lead guitars, gritty vocals – there’s a lot to like here
When Gregg Allman passed away earlier in the year, it may have signaled the end of the Allman Brothers, but thanks to band’s like Florida’s Tucci, their spirit lives on. The four-piece has just released their latest album, Olivia.
The album benefits greatly from the presence of Larry McCray, who lends his fantastic vocals and stinging guitar to the majority of the album. The disc opens with the blues shuffle of “High Roller,” where McCray and Steve Tucci trade off licks. Saxophonist Shawn Murphy steps to the mic for “Olivia,” which features some very nimble slide work from Ira Stanley. “I Don’t Need It” is a fantastic, minor blues, which spotlights some fine, Hammond B3 work from Donnie Richards. Continue reading Tucci – Olivia (Hideaway Music) (review)→
The Australian band Jet rocketed on to the charts in 2003 and reminded us what no-frills rock n’ roll used to sound like. Rhino Records has just issued the band’s debut album, Get Born, in a Deluxe Edition, featuring remastered sound and a second disc of bonus material. Continue reading Jet – Get Born (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)→
The Jukebox Heroes celebrate 4 decades of rock with new 2-disc best of
Look around at the current rock landscape – there’s not many legendary bands left. But, count Foreigner as one of those still standing. The group is celebrating 40 years together with a current tour, and a brand-new collection, 40, their first-ever career spanning retrospective. Continue reading Foreigner – 40 (Atlantic/Rhino)→
A Countrypolitan masterpiece, improved with a healthy dose of bonus material
One of the most underrated vocalists of all-time, Skeeter Davis helped blur the line between Country and Pop music at a time when such an act was still considered blasphemy, and in doing so, paved the way for everyone from Tanya Tucker to Taylor Swift and beyond. Playback Records, a reissue label based in Australia, has just put out Let Me Get Close to You, a classic album of hers from 1964, complete with a heaping bunch of bonus tracks. Continue reading Skeeter Davis – Let Me Get Close to You (Playback Records)→
We’re going to start calling Resonance Records the “Babe Ruth of reissue labels,” because all they’re doing lately is hitting home runs. Whether it’s digging up lost treasures from guitarist Wes Montgomery, pianist Bill Evans or saxophonist Stan Getz, the label continues to add to the lexicon of jazz.
Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Big Star sold millions of albums and achieved the success they so badly deserved. Best of serves as the “greatest hits” that never was. While there have been several collections to compile this under-appreciated band, this is the first to concentrate on their singles. Continue reading Big Star – Best of (Stax)→
There was a time when each record label had its own sound. Atlantic was responsible for the pioneering R&B of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, while Motown turned an assembly-line mentality into a string of pop crossover hits. Yet, no label got closer to pure soul than Memphis’ Stax records. The label is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a string of cost-friendly compilations, which serve as great introductions to a wealth of phenomenal music.