Talk about setting a high bar. How do you match an album (1968’s “Beggars Banquet”) that has “Sympathy For The Devil” as its opener? Simple. Make “Gimme Shelter” the opening salvo on your follow-up record. Some of us didn’t need a big box set (out now) marking the golden anniversary of “Let It Bleed” to […]
The 300 lucky radio station contest winners who crowded into a dozen buses bound for Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern one early March evening in 1977 began booing when they thought they wouldn’t be seeing the club’s headliners, April Wine, after all. Also on the bill that night was some opening act called The Cockroaches. They […]
Along with his brothers (biological, spiritual, musical or otherwise) , Allman certainly left his mark on the vast and variegated landscape of American rock & roll and the deep reservoirs of blues, soul, gospel, and country from which his group’s music drew.
Diamonds from the Mines: In the service of being a little less “Blue & Lonesome” (even though we’re quite enjoying the state of mind the new LP brings, so thanks boys), we’ve rolled away the stones and cracked open our hermetically sealed, climate-controlled “RPM” vaults to peruse a handful of sparkling jewels and (thankfully) non-scuffed […]
Ultimately, despite (or perhaps because of) being bashed-about and knocked-out off-the-cuff, “Blue & Lonesome” firmly and expansively situates itself in time and place. Like most good albums, it captures and distills a mood and a feeling, a frame of mind, a state of being, and it’s a welcome, if relatively brief (at 42 minutes), escape.
MAC & KEYS: Two years ago this week we lost two titans who helped shape the sound, course, and texture of roughly a half-century of rock music, not to mention that of their frequent collaborators and employers, the Rolling Stones, who benefitted greatly from their skillful, soulful mastery on the horns and keys. I’d like to […]
In the spirit of Throwback Thursday (although, truth be told, we’re throwin’ it back pretty much every day of the week here), I invite you to check out a sample of some of my rarer records and vintage music memorabilia being posted and catalogued on an ongoing basis at my brand-spankin’ new “RPM: Life In Analog” Google+ […]
No wonder Nicky Hopkins felt right at home next to Jeff Beck’s wailing electric guitar. On the day of his birth, Feb. 24, 1944, an air raid hit his hometown of Perivale, England. It was 72 ago today that the late, great British pianist/keyboardist, a longtime session ace and sideman to the stars, as well as core member of […]
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE: The Drive-By Truckers Roll From Darkness To Daylight And Hit The Road Behind A New Live Album
The band’s 2001 landmark, ‘Southern Rock Opera,’ caught on with a broad audience that included hipsters and college kids, aging classic rockers, and ordinary folks who loved the sound of loud electric guitars set to lyrics that meant something. Both album and band also fared far better in the North and West than the group’s home turf: “The South is our weakest region – I think it’s because it’s too close to home,” said bandleader Patterson Hood. “We’re singing about stuff that’s right down the street. And nobody wants to hear that.”
If it’s a bit hard to believe that my friend and colleague Ted Drozdowski is “only” celebrating the tenth anniversary of his lava-hot, molten blues trio, it may be because the veteran bandleader and award-winning music journalist has spent close to a lifetime listening to, and writing about, the very music he’s always treasured and revered. Playing it […]