Saturday February 06

Current Album Reviews

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

Johnny Cash - Complete Albums CollectionJohnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Columbia / Sony Legacy) review The crown jewel of Cash collections - 63 discs - covering his most fertile years.


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2012 was quite a year for Johnny Cash’s music.  On what would’ve been his 80th year, his former label and estate rolled out an impressive array of compilations and archival releases, all celebrating different aspects of his long and varied career.


Moving Sidewalks - the Complete CollectionMoving Sidewalks - The Complete Collection (Rock Beat) review Some of the best Texas psychedelia you’ve never heard


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The Moving Sidewalks have been rendered down to a rock n’ roll footnote - they were the band that spawned young guitar sensation Billy Gibbons to eventually find fame and fortune with the power trio ZZ Top.  But, to view them as simply a springboard, is to miss out on some really great rock n’ roll.

Geoff Tate - Kings & ThievesGeoff Tate - Kings & Thieves (InsideOut Music) review Tate shows that he can do Queensryche all by himself


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2012 was a rather tumultuous year for Geoff Tate.  Earlier in the year, the rest of the members of Queensryche jumped ship to form another group, Rising West, essentially a Queensryche cover band, playing only music from the band’s first five studio albums.  Undaunted, Tate has assembled a new version of Queensryche, which he plans to unveil in 2013.  In the meantime comes his second solo album, Kings & Thieves - ironically, the most Queensryche-sounding album he’s done in years.

Claude Hay - I Love Hate YouClaude Hay - I Love Hate You (128 Records) review More meat, less grease


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When we reviewed Claude Hay’s 2010 album, Deep Fried Satisfied, we said:

“His music is the audio equivalent of a deep-fried Oreo…there’s absolutely nothing subtle about it, yet it’s incredibly irresistible.”

David Lanz - Cristofori's Dream - Re-EnvisionedDavid Lanz - Cristofori’s Dream...Re-Envisioned (moonboymusic) review Breathtaking re-interpretation of an instrumental classic


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The original Cristofori’s Dream put pianist David Lanz on the map back in 1988.  The album’s surprise hit single, a cover of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” helped define a new style of understated, mostly instrumental music called New Age.  Now, for the 25th anniversary, Lanz has recreated the entire album using only his solo piano on Cristofori’s Dream...Re-Envisioned.

Jerry Reed - Unbelievable Guitar / Nashville UndergroundJerry Reed - The Unbelievable Guitar & Voice of Jerry Reed / Nashville Underground (Real Gone Music / Sony Music Entertainment) review The first two albums from the man that later starred in Smokey & the Bandit.

For all of Jerry Reed’s accomplishments - singer, songwriter, actor - his guitar playing sometimes get forgotten.  Yet, Chet Atkins, who many think is the greatest of all-time, said once that Reed was even better than him.  The Unbelievable Guitar & Voice of Jerry Reed / Nashville Underground collects Reed’s first two solo albums for the first time on CD.

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?).

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