Wednesday August 27

Current Album Reviews

Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.

Sam Phillips - Martinis and Bikinis (remastered)Sam Phillips - Martinis & Bikinis (reissue) (Omnivore Records) review What makes one album a hit and another an underground classic?

A near-perfect Nineties rock record gets the reissue treatment.

Sam Phillips had tried very hard to be a pop star.  She and her then-husband T-Bone Burnett had crafted several albums of infectious pop in the early Nineties which, for some reason, never found the audience they deserved.  Instead of beating a dead horse, they decided to make the kind of album they would like.


Asia - Resonance (live)Asia - Resonance (Frontiers) review This two CD / one DVD live set comes from the reunited band’s 2010 Omega tour, recorded live in Switzerland.  This trek was already documented on 2011‘s Live at the London Forum with virtually the identical set list.  What sets Resonance (preview on amazon) apart is the DVD, which captured the band with EIGHTEEN different cameras, all filming in high definition (I think that’s more than  is used on the average NFL game?).

Dirty Dancing - 25th Anniversary Deluxe EditionVarious Artists - Dirty Dancing - The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (RCA/Legacy) review Nobody puts baby in a corner

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As large a pop culture phenomenon as there has ever been, Dirty Dancing dominated the late 1980‘s.  The movie was a colossal hit, spawning not one, but two successful soundtracks.

Fabulous Thunderbirds - On the VergeFabulous Thunderbirds - On the Verge (Severn Records) review Texas blues legends explore their soulful side on their 13th studio album


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The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been playing together for almost 40 years, and you’d think they were pretty well set in their ways by now.  That’s what makes On the Verge such a welcome surprise - they’ve tempered their classic blues sound with a heavy dose of Memphis soul,  and have come up with their finest studio album in years.

Skydog - The Duane Allman RetrospectiveDuane Allman - Skydog - the Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder / Rhino / Concord) review A box set so good, it will forever change your opinion of this legendary guitarist


See the Amazon page for this box set

Elvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite - Legacy EditionElvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition (RCA/Legacy) review The Big “E” as big as he could be - reaching 1.5 billion viewers with this historical broadcast.


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This is Elvis at the peak of his powers - 1973, before his life began to spin out of control, in front of the biggest crowd he would ever play for.  Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite is the soundtrack from this monumental broadcast - the first, full-length concert beamed worldwide in color, using satellite technology, which was still in its infancy at the time.

Freddie King - Complete King Federal SinglesFreddie King - The Complete King & Federal Singles (Real Gone Music) review You say you want to learn to play guitar?  Here’s where you need to start


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Freddie King was arguably the first electric guitar gunslinger, wielding his instrument as a fine marksman - with stinging accuracy.  His recordings played a huge role in shaping modern rock electric guitar - Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Peter Green all have cited King as a major influence.  Real Gone Music has just issued The Complete King & Federal Singles, marking the first time the “A” and “B” sides have been coupled together in a single, two-disc anthology.

Stephen Stills - Carry On box setStephen Stills - Carry On (box set) (Atlantic / Rhino / Warner Music Group) review An unbelievably solid,  four-CD retrospective covering the long career of Stephen Stills


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The last in a series of box sets covering the careers of Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Carry On sheds light on the immense and diverse talents of Stephen Stills.  Spanning more than 50 years, the set touches on all aspects of his musical history, from his early days in Buffalo Springfield, to his on-again/off-again relationship with Crosby, Nash (and sometimes Young), to his colorful solo career, featuring 82 tracks, 25 of them previously unreleased.

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