Walk the Line – Original Soundtrack (Craft Recordings) review


Walk the Line Soundtrack on LP from Craft Recordings

A celebration of the Man in Black from a unique perspective – first time on vinyl

When making a list of the greatest music biopics, Walk the Line is definitely near the top.  Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon dazzle as Johnny and June Carter Cash in this film from 2005.  Now, Craft Recordings has made the movie’s soundtrack available on vinyl for the very first time. Continue reading Walk the Line – Original Soundtrack (Craft Recordings) review

Skeeter Davis – Let Me Get Close to You (Playback Records)

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)

#306 – John Gary Williams – I Believe the Whole Damn World is Going Crazy

John Gary Williams was a member of the Mad Lads, who were signed to Stax Records in the early Sixties, while he was  still in high school.  They had several R&B hits, including “I Don’t Have to Shop Around,” and “I Want Someone.”

Williams decided to go solo in the early Seventies, recording a fantastic debut, self-titled album in 1973.  Full of lush strings, funky rhythms, and Williams’ falsetto overtop, it should’ve been a smash hit.  Yet, distribution problems kept his album from getting into key markets like Detroit and Chicago.

Now, over 40 years later, his album is finally getting a proper release, as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration.

We chat with Williams about his early days in the Mad Lads, who were much closer to New York Doo Wop, than Memphis Soul.  Plus, he talks about an upcoming movie that’s in production about his life. And, he takes us track by track through the reissue of his debut album.

Jaco Pastorius – Truth, Liberty & Soul (Resonance)

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.

Two whole discs of rare concert footage from the genius of bass guitar is reason enough to celebrate. That Resonance is behind Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC – The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording means that you’re in for a real treat. Continue reading Jaco Pastorius – Truth, Liberty & Soul (Resonance)

#305 – Christopher Titus – Amerigeddon

Comedian Christopher Titus first gained notoriety for his comedy special “Norman Rockwell is Bleeding,” where used his own warped version of the American family dynamic as a topic.  Now he’s promoting his eighth special, “Amerigeddon,” a show where he hilariously aims to “put to country back together.”

Titus also talks to us about his upcoming feature film, Special Unit, described as “Agents of Shield with midgets and handicapped people.”  He tells us what inspired him to do that show, which features many disabled actors in it.

We also delve into what started him down the path to comedy.  Christopher Titus is playing the Dayton Funnybone for two shows on Weds, June 28th.  More information can be found at christophertitus.com


Stax Records Celebrates 60 Years With New Stax Classics Series

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.

Continue reading Stax Records Celebrates 60 Years With New Stax Classics Series

Looking Forward – The Roots of Big Star – Featuring Chris Bell (Omnivore Recordings) (review)

Much has been written about the brilliance of the Memphis band, Big Star. Yet, they didn’t just appear out of nowhere; like all bands, their collective musicians developed over time. Free Again: the 1970 Sessions (read our review here) concentrated on the pre-Big Star work of Alex Chilton. Looking Forward – the Roots of Big Star showcases the group’s other frontman and initial songwriter, Chris Bell, in a revealing new compilation from Omnivore Recordings. Continue reading Looking Forward – The Roots of Big Star – Featuring Chris Bell (Omnivore Recordings) (review)

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