Category New Music Album Releases

CHRIS BELL’S PURE POP COSMOS: Big Star’s Other Bright Light

News that a biography and at least three vinyl compilations of the work of Big Star co-founder Chris Bell are coming out this year — including “The Complete Chris Bell,” a massive six-LP (!) retrospective due July 7 by Omnivore Recordings (the same folks who’ve issued some tasty Big Star releases in recent years, including […]

BROKEN BISCUITS & A STROKE OF LUCK: How Corin Ashley Picked Up The Pieces To Assemble The Most Challenging Music Of His Life, and Made Himself Whole Again

“Then, on January 6, 2016, an awful thing most 40-somethings like Ashley don’t ever think about happening – because it would be too awful to ponder – happened. Corin suffered a stroke that paralyzed the playing fingers of his left hand and all but wiped out his vocal cords in one felling swoop. Suddenly, just like that, from a hospital bed far away from the stages he had stood on since he was a teenager in cover bands, Ashley didn’t know if he’d ever speak again, much less sing or play. “

TRUE BLUES: The Stones Get Back To The Bedrock

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.

CRACKED CHANDLER’S CRAZY CARNIVAL: From Incredible Casuals to Casually Incredible (Try Saying That Three Times Fast!)

“I gave up the idea of thinking I would make any big time dough in the music business a long time ago, and started just loving the fact that I have an obsession,” says Chandler Travis. “I worry about people in life who don’t. I don’t know how you’d get through.”

SINGING SONGS ABOUT THE SOUTHLAND: The Drive-By Truckers Raise A Ruckus

“All these years and lineup changes later, the song of DBT’s improbable start remains the same. But like all good yarns, it’s a story that bears retelling, because it’s about fate and fortune and famine, and a terrific rock & roll band whose defining moment almost didn’t happen.”

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.”

LOVE, LIFE, & LIT: Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen Cut Deep To The Blues And Beyond

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 […]

Absolutely Pre-Fabulous! The Messiahs Trip Back To The Future in Bobb’s Psychedelic Car

Back in 1981, when a phone call brought four kids at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts together to form a peculiar psych-pop outfit called The Prefab Messiahs, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” was topping the charts, and REO Speedwagon’s “Hi Infidelity” was one of the biggest albums of the year. Closer to home, Ed King […]

HEROIN AT ALL TOMORROW’S (BOSTON) TEA PARTIES: White Light & Heat From The Velvet Underground

Here’s my latest review for the Collectors Music Reviews website and blog, of a new, unofficially released rare recording of the great Velvet Underground at their old Boston Tea Party stomping grounds, ringing out the old year of 1968 (a very hard year on a number of home fronts).  The Velvet Underground – The Boston Tea […]

A MASTER OF MASKS: David Bowie’s Pre-Ziggy Breakthrough Blitz Comes Up Hunky Dory

What better fit for a Flashback Friday Halloween than to examine a pivotal point in the singular career of David Bowie, a man of many masks, guises, and gazes: the doomed astronaut of Space Oddity, messianic rock god alien of Ziggy Stardust, paisley dandy, diamond dog, the cracked actor of  Aladdin Sane, The Lodger, Thin White […]

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