Showing posts from June, 2017

Fairground Attraction - The First Of A Million Kisses (Expanded Edition), Deluxe Remaster; Essential Early Eddi Reader, When It Comes To Bonus Tracks This Is The Full Boat

Fairground Attraction was essentially a partnership between lead vocalist Eddi Reader, chief songwriter and guitarist Mark E. Nevin, and the rhythm section of Simon Edwards (he played something called a guitarrón which is a six-string bass guitar) and Roy Dodds (drums & percussion). Released in 1988, The First Of A Million Kisses contained twelve tracks; "Whispers" was written by Reader while Nevin wrote the rest including the #1 selling single "Perfect". This was the group's first and only original album; the two subsequent releases were a B-sides collection and a live album. The First Of A Million Kisses reached #2 on the British album chart and went on to sell over a million copies. At the 1989 Brit Awards, their debut brought home Album of the Year honors, while "Perfect" won for Single of the Year. Fairground Attraction caught on in Europe and Japan, but not so much in the U.S. where "Perfect" stalled at #80 on the Billboard

North Mississippi Allstars - Prayer For Peace; "Honoring the Process" with Cody and Luther Dickinson, This Album Rocks

Photo courtesy of Premiere Guitar When I first got into Luther Dickinson's latest solo album Blues & Ballads last year, it sounded so good that I went off in search of whatever else Dickinson was involved with, Shardé Thomas too. Dickinson's "day job" was in his family's band The North Mississippi Allstars. A quick listen to that group's latest release at the time didn't quite do it for me, not like Blues & Ballads. I went to see Dickinson when he came to Philadelphia's World Cafe Live and his live performance was all that (Thomas' too). The North Mississippi Allstars just released a new album Prayer For Peace on Friday, June 2nd. I just finished listening to it and I am pleased to say that it is a record with many of the same attributes that I couldn't get enough of on the Luther solo album, plus the heavy drums and bass on this record could rock any arena in the land. Prayer For Peace is the epitome of roots and American

Tedeschi-Trucks Band Rocked Philadelphia; Marc Broussard Played a Sizzling Opening Set; 6/08/2017

On June 8th, the Merriam Theater was very nearly sold out; only single straggler tickets remained. Thursday night was the first of a three night stand for the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. This night was the only one with an opening act, Marc Broussard, and he made sure that this jam band crowd was glad that they got Thursday tickets. I suspect that many of Tedeschi-Trucks Band's fans bought tickets for more than one show. The Friday and Saturday concerts featured the Tedeschi-Trucks Band playing both sets. Marc Broussard took the stage promptly at 8pm and delivered a tight forty minute set. Accompanied by Joe Stark on lead guitar, DJ Raymond on bass and Chad Gilmore on drums, Broussard sang and played guitar. After his opening number, the next three songs fit perfectly together forming one long track (11:09). "Try Me" nicely turned into "Fire on the Bayou" (covering The Meters), which led into a cover of Al Green's "Love and Happiness"; watch the v

Art Pepper - The Art Pepper Quartet (feat. Russ Freeman, Ben Tucker & Gary Frommer) [2017 Remaster]; A Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration of a Jazz Master Work

Photo courtesy of Tampa Records Art Pepper was an iconic jazz saxophonist who was fifty-six when he died in 1982. Laurie Pepper has made it her mission to maintain Art's legacy and to keep his work available. She has acquired many of his master recordings and oversees the reissues, sometimes with bonus material. The Art Pepper Quartet is one of those classic albums that has just been remastered in honor of its sixtieth anniversary. This outing is one of Art's masterpieces, showing the range of his prodigious talent. The three other musicians in the quartet are also extremely high caliber: Russ Freeman on piano, Ben Tucker on bass and Gary Frommer on drums. "Diane" is a gorgeous composition that, we learn from the liner notes, was written about one of Art's previous wives. "Blues at Twilight", in addition to having some beautiful saxophone, also features extended solos by Freeman and Tucker. The bonus tracks offered here take a terrific album and

Laura Marling - TLA, Philadelphia, 5/18/2017; Marling's Semper Femina Tour Stopped On South Street, Valley Queen Opened

Laura Marling played the Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) on South Street Friday, May 18th. The show may not have sold out, but Marling drew a good size crowd of her faithful. Marling began her set by doing seven consecutive songs from her new album, Semper Femina . Often when the artist has a new album the audience sits politely through the new stuff waiting for the old favorites that they came to hear. Judging by the crowd reaction to Marling's new material, I was certainly not alone in coming to the show specifically to hear tracks from Semper Femina . She returned to the album later in the set for a total of eight out of its nine songs. The only one off the new album that she didn't play is "Nouel". Over the course of six albums, Marling has perfected a rather unique style of talk-singing. The songs on Semper Femina are mostly more singing than talking, and most include her band. At the TLA, her touring band was excellent, consisting of musicians who playe