Showing posts from February, 2016

Bonnie Raitt - Dig in Deep: On Her 20th, Bonnie Blows The Doors Off

Photos courtesy of Bonnie Raitt Bonnie Raitt's last album, Slipstream, topped my list of the best releases of 2012, as it began her move for musical independence from the major labels. Like Slipstream, Raitt self-produced Dig in Deep and recorded it with her fabulous band. "The response to 'Slipstream' was such a refreshing and unexpected boost. So going into this album, I had renewed energy" Raitt said on her website. Dig in Deep becomes Bonnie's second release on her own label, Redwing Records. This album has everything you could want from a Bonnie Raitt album, she's in great voice, the material is excellent, and the music is loaded with guitars, especially the slide guitar which has become her trademark. Dig in Deep has the funkiest blues-rock guitar heard since the early days of Little Feat. In fact, when this band plays full bore the music threatens to invoke the very spirit of Lowell George himself. Let's get started. Here is the offici

Dion - New York Is My Home; Yes, That Dion Has Made A First Rate Rock Album, Still "Creative and Relevant" After All These Years

Photo courtesy of Dion Dion. Dion DiMucci might not have been my first thought when I heard Mike Marone play a killer track the other day on his Loft morning show on Sirius XM. The song was "Aces Up Your Sleeve", and though I didn't recognize the singer, the guitar work made my hair stand on end. It sounded like early Mark Knopfler circa the first two Dire Straits albums, think "Sultans of Swing". I missed the intro so I jumped onto the Loft's Facebook page and posted a request to know who it was. The answer came back shortly from Mike; it was Dion from his brand new album, New York Is My Home, released February 12th. Dion is fronting this explosive, well-produced rock band with superb guitar work and a brand of rock that sounds timeless. Timeless is how we must also describe the singer. This album is so good, and Dion is so at home with the material, that you would never ever know that this is a singer who is now in the sixth decade of his career an

Luther Dickinson - Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook) Volumes I & II, A Super Find On New Music Friday

Photos courtesy of Luther Dickinson I was doing my usual Friday routine of going through the list of new releases, when I stopped at the name Luther Dickinson. I'm not quite sure why I stopped there. I didn't recognize the name right off the bat. Checking out the first song, I decided to listen to the album free of all expectations. Here is what greeted me on track one, "Hurry Up Sunrise". Buy at Amazon Buy at iTunes Stream on Spotify I loved what I heard. A simple production, drum and bass, acoustic guitar, a pleasing duet with a female vocalist, and halfway through it a nice electric slide guitar solo. I also enjoyed the song composition, very warm and friendly. Now take a listen to track two, " Up Over Yonder ". The album continues in this manner, track after track, well written songs played and sung in a homey back porch style that totally drew me in. By the end of Volume I, I decided that I'm in love with this record. Luther Dickins

Wish You Were Here, The London Orion Orchestra Takes On the Pink Floyd Classic With Help From Alice Cooper, Rick Wakeman

New Music Friday: I almost skipped it. Reading the list of new releases last Friday, I got several albums beyond Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Symphonic before it sunk in and I went back to check it out. In the back of my mind, I feared that this might be another exercise in self-importance by Roger Waters, similar to what he's done with The Wall over the last twenty years. I dialed it up on Spotify and began to play track one. Maybe it was my lowered expectations, but this version of the title track sounded really good. Seeming to come out of nowhere, Alice Cooper did a great job with the vocal, and they've got Rick Wakeman on piano, sweet. My curiosity now piqued, I listened to the album in its entirety, and I am not only amazed at how good the music is, I am finding that it adds another dimension to the venerable Pink Floyd classic. Once I knew what I was dealing with, I sat down and listened to the entire Pink Floyd original, followed by another complete listen

Dori Freeman, Virginia Singer-Songwriter Releases Self-Titled Album, A Most Impressive Debut

Photos: Kristin Horton Dori Freeman is a singer and songwriter from the town of Galax, Virginia. She has today released her label debut, simply titled Dori Freeman, and it's already turning many heads. NPR Music said, "It's startling to hear such a fully formed singing and songwriting voice come out of nowhere." Rolling Stone Country calls her, "one of the most authentic vocalists to emerge from the hills of southwestern Virginia." The first thing that struck me upon hearing her advance track, "Any Wonder", was the tone, clarity, and confidence in her voice. Next, I picked up on her songwriting skill, especially her sense of melody. Listen to "Any Wonder": Buy at Amazon Buy at iTunes Buy at Free Dirt Records Stream on Spotify Freeman comes from an area that's steeped in folk music tradition and located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia. The town of Galax hosts the Old Fiddlers' Convention, the oldest and l

Appreciating the Eagles: Goodbye Glenn Frey, Don Henley Speaks, the Eagles Album by Album, My Top Ten

Photos courtesy of the Eagles The world of popular music changed forever and for the better on May 1, 1972 when the Eagles' first single, "Take It Easy" was released. There's been a ton written and said about the Eagles and founding members Glenn Frey and Don Henley since the recent passing of Frey at age 67. This is partially because Frey left us too soon, but mostly because the music of the Eagles has touched so many lives. Henley and Frey have had their detractors over the years, but in the end it all comes down to the music, and the Eagles' music is beloved for good reason; The Eagles Greatest Hits has been one of the largest selling albums of all time since its release in 1976. Of all the things I've heard and read, two stand out. Henley gave a touching tribute to his musical partner in the Hollywood Reporter, the complete text is shown below. The other tribute that I would like to bring to your attention was written by Charlie Ricci in his blog, Bl