Category Archives: Reviews

RECAP 2017: At 84 years old, John Mayall is still in his prime

John Mayall – Talk About That (Forty Below Records) review

Someone forgot to tell John Mayall to slow down as he got older.  Talk About That is somewhere in the ballpark of his 65th album, yet it still sounds like he’s having a good time.  He’s surrounded by what he’s called his “best band ever” – Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums.  Mayall himself alternates between Hammond organ, piano, harmonica & guitar, as well as handling the lead vocals.   Continue reading RECAP 2017: At 84 years old, John Mayall is still in his prime

RECAP 2017: Some of the Wildest Music Ever Committed to Tape

 

Flat Duo Jets – Wild Wild Love (Daniel 13) review

Excuse me for being jaded

If I had a nickel for every time someone came to me with a band that, in their opinion, was the “pure essence of rock n’ roll,” or was “high energy” or “out of control” – honestly, I wouldn’t be writing this review, I’d be vacationing somewhere a lot warmer.

The truth is, I’ve used the Flat Duo Jets as a measuring stick for over three decades now – and nothing ever comes close to matching the fury that Dex Romweber (guitar/vocals) and Chris “Crow” Smith (drums) managed to conjure up during their 15 years together. Continue reading RECAP 2017: Some of the Wildest Music Ever Committed to Tape

RECAP 2017: Fabulous T-Bird Leader Captures the Classic Blues Sound on Phenomenal Album

Icon Fetch is revisiting some of our favorite albums of 2017

Kim Wilson – Blues & Boogie Vol. 1 (Severn)

Kim Wilson has been doing things for a long time, both as the frontman for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and solo, but he’s just released one of the finest albums of his entire career in Blues & Boogie Vol. 1.  The album is a tribute to the blues legends that Wilson cut his teeth on, like Little Walter, Elmore James and Jimmy Reed.

But, what sets this album apart from the numerous “tributes” that have come before, is the sound.  Great blues records are rough around the edges, and contain a rawness that was mostly achieved on primitive recording equipment.  Not sure how he does it, but Wilson completely captures that dirty vibe.  In fact, it’s so authentic, you’ll have a hard time telling these new recordings apart from their originals.  Wilson has also sprinkled in several originals that sound right at home with this hallowed material. Continue reading RECAP 2017: Fabulous T-Bird Leader Captures the Classic Blues Sound on Phenomenal Album

RECAP 2017: The AM Radio Side of the Doors

Icon Fetch is revisiting some of the best releases of 2017

The Doors – The Singles Collection (Rhino)

What set the Doors apart from many of their contemporaries of the Sixties was that, despite their penchant for recording lengthy pieces, like “Light My Fire” (7 mins), “The End” (12 mins) and “LA Woman” (8 mins), they were also able to have success on AM Radio with their edited, 45 RPM singles. For the first time, those tracks have been assembled in The Singles Collection, a two-disc set covering all their single releases, in their original form, plus a bonus Blu Ray featuring even more music. Continue reading RECAP 2017: The AM Radio Side of the Doors

A Window Seat Into the Genius of Chris Bell

Chris Bell – I Am the Cosmos (Complete) (Omnivore Recordings) review

The most complete look at Big Star founder’s lone solo album

Few artists have sustained such a devoted, cult following as former Big Star member Chris Bell.  Almost 40 years after his untimely passing in 1978, his brief output continues to be reexamined.  Omnivore Recordings has attempted to create the final word on Bell’s only solo record by issuing an expanded, 2-CD I Am the Cosmos, featuring the original album, alternate mixes, and an additional eight, never-before-heard tracks. Continue reading A Window Seat Into the Genius of Chris Bell

INXS – Kick30 (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino / Atlantic)

For a brief moment, this Australian band was on top of the world

INXS’s biggest album, Kick, has just received the deluxe anniversary treatment. Titled Kick30, the new, 3-CD, 1-Blu Ray set features the original album in remastered form, plus a treasure trove of demos, dance remixes and live cuts, giving a rare look into the creation process of one of the biggest-selling albums of the 1980’s. Continue reading INXS – Kick30 (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino / Atlantic)

In the Beginning, there was…

Various Artists – Jesus Rocked the Jukebox (Craft Recordings)

Rock, R&B, Soul and most of the popular music of the last 50 years owes an incredible debt to Gospel. Yet, never before has a collection explored that lineage quite like Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965). This new, three-LP set from Craft Recordings, reminds us just how influential spiritual music was on everything that came after. Continue reading In the Beginning, there was…

A Charlie Brown Christmas Goes Audiophile

Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (180 Gram Vinyl Edition) (Craft Recordings / Concord)

A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the greatest holiday albums of all-time.  Not only did this music propel the original Peanuts TV special, it’s also extremely cool.  Think about it – this was many people’s first introduction to jazz.  We’ve reviewed the remastered CD (read that one here).  This time, let’s talk vinyl – specifically, a brand new audiophile pressing of of the record from Craft Recordings. Continue reading A Charlie Brown Christmas Goes Audiophile

Found! Two gems from the Searchers

The Searchers – Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981 (Omnivore Recordings)

Fifteen years after hits like “Needles and Pins” and “Love Potion Number Nine,” the Searchers style of jangly, guitar-based rock was suddenly back in vogue in the late 1970’s, thanks to the popularity of bands like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Cheap Trick. Sire Records jumped at the chance to resurrect their career, signing the band to a two-album deal. Omnivore Recordings has just reissued those two records as Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981.

This is really good stuff.

Continue reading Found! Two gems from the Searchers

60 Years Later This Still Packs a Wallop

Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard (Craft Recordings) review

Here’s Little Richard is one of the greatest albums of all time. Few records, of any genre or era, pack this much energy into the grooves. Craft Recordings is celebrating the 60th anniversary of this monumental release with a deluxe, two-disc set, including a remastered version of the original album, plus numerous demos and alternate versions. Continue reading 60 Years Later This Still Packs a Wallop