Posts tagged with "JAN/FEB 2011"

TIERRA NEGRA & MURIEL ANDERSON

TIERRA NEGRA & MURIEL ANDERSON
TIERRA NEGRA & MURIEL ANDERSON Worlds collide—and a vibrant new brand of flamenco is born Guitar maven Muriel Anderson’s initial encounter with Tierra Negra came when she visited the booth at a European music festival where the German flamenco duo was selling its signature line of handmade guitars. “When we got there one morning, we found Muriel with one of our guitars playing her song ‘Angelina Baker,’” recalls Tierra Negra’s... 

JAMES BLUNT

JAMES BLUNT
JAMES BLUNT Pop troubadour goes looking for trouble—and discovers electricity James Blunt’s first two albums, Back to Bedlam and All the Lost Souls, catapulted him to stardom with hits like “You’re Beautiful” and “1973.” Those discs also cast him in the guise of sensitive pop crooner. With his new album, Some Kind of Trouble, the former British Army officer shakes free of his balladeer reputation and unleashes an upbeat collection of... 

ERIC JOHNSON

ERIC JOHNSON
ERIC JOHNSON To shred or not to shred? For this guitar hero, that is the question By Russell Hall Eric Johnson might be the world’s most reluctant guitar hero. In the 1980s, as his star was first rising, the Austin native earned a reputation as a white-hot shredder. But from the start, Johnson has emphasized that technique is just part of a larger musical landscape. “If you play a show where you shred for two hours, you’ll see a lot of the... 

PETER ASHER

PETER ASHER
PETER ASHER Coaxing the best work from pop’s most amazing voices By Jeff Tamarkin When he and singing partner Gordon Waller began enjoying hits in the 1960s as Peter and Gordon, London-born Peter Asher made the most of his opportunity. In the recording studio, Asher kept a close eye on the steps that producers Norman Newell and John Burgess took to make now-classics like “A World Without Love” and “Nobody I Know” sound the way they did.... 

GREGG ALLMAN

GREGG ALLMAN
GREGG ALLMAN After a brush with mortality, a rock legend gets back to the blues By Chris Neal It’s been a few months since doctors used a device to spread Gregg Allman’s rib cage as part of his treatment for cancer, but he still winces at the thought. “That hurt so damn bad,” he says. “Unh! All the rib bones that go back and connect to your spine, they disrupt all that. Boy, that hurts. They can cut and sew muscles and skin, and that’s... 

THE DECEMBERISTS

THE DECEMBERISTS
THE DECEMBERISTS Whether in the studio or a barn, getting back to basics isn’t always easy Following 2009’s The Hazards of Love—the Decemberists’ second straight high-concept fairy-tale song cycle in a row—frontman and principal songwriter Colin Meloy decided to ditch the theatrics and record a batch of no-frills Americana tunes. Taking cues from the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. and the Band’s self-titled sophomore effort—barebones... 

IRON & WINE

IRON & WINE
IRON & WINE Making a clean break with some help from a little kiss of R&B From the spare solo acoustic songs of Iron & Wine’s early-2000s work to the expansive arrangements of the new Kiss Each Other Clean, Sam Beam has consistently steered his songs in ever more complex directions. For his latest, Beam drew from the sounds he heard on the radio as a kid, expanding his rustic folk sensibility with R&B horns, Afro-pop polyrhythms... 

BRIGHT EYES

BRIGHT EYES
BRIGHT EYES Conor Oberst and company reinvent themselves once again Could Bright Eyes be doomed? Rumors of the indie-rock powerhouse’s demise spread like wildfire when frontman Conor Oberst said in an interview that he had been thinking about bringing the band to an end. But fans can relax—for now, at least. “I was probably feeling that way that day,” he says. “But we’re just focused on getting the new record out and doing the tour. That’s... 

DURAN DURAN

DURAN DURAN
DURAN DURAN Mining fresh sounds from the musical territory they first pioneered Duran Duran emerged from England 30 years ago with a sound that uniquely melded dance, rock and New Wave. In the time since, the group has sought to continually reinvent itself—but when producer Mark Ronson suggested to the members that they return to some of the sonic trademarks that defined classic albums like 1982’s Rio, they were willing to try. The result is... 

THE DEARS

THE DEARS
THE DEARS Welcoming new voices and familiar spirits into a house built on constant change Over the last three years, no fewer than 15 people have had the privilege of calling themselves Dears. Of the four musicians who joined founding frontman Murray Lightburn and longtime keyboardist Natalia Yanchak in recording the band’s fifth album, Degeneration Street, three are on their third stints as Dears. For their loyal service, they earned a privilege... 

OVER THE RHINE

OVER THE RHINE
OVER THE RHINE A veteran duo gets a boost from its fans and a helping hand from a new ally After two decades and more than a dozen albums, Over the Rhine decided to take matters into its own hands with its latest, The Long Surrender—and into the hands of its fans as well. The husband-and-wife duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist turned to listeners for financing, a notion sparked by their newfound teaming with veteran producer Joe Henry.... 

CORINNE BAILEY RAE

CORINNE BAILEY RAE
CORINNE BAILEY RAE How love songs from the past pointed her to the future You can trace the creative renaissance of Corinne Bailey Rae back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Grammy-nominated English singer and songwriter performed last summer at a White House concert honoring Paul McCartney, recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. Her soulful take on McCartney’s “My Love” is now a highlight of her new digital-only release The Love... 

TIMES OF GRACE

TIMES OF GRACE
TIMES OF GRACE A nearly broken man repairs himself with the help of an old friend Spending two weeks hospitalized and immobile in 2007 left Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz plenty of time to think. Rather than dwell on his current circumstances (surgery for a severe back injury he suffered while on tour in England), Dutkiewicz started composing what became The Hymn of a Broken Man, the debut album by his side project with former Killswitch... 

ADELE

ADELE
ADELE For a British singer coming into her voice, a bad habit leads to a great discovery Smoking is bad for your health, but it can be good for your musical education—just ask Adele. During her U.S. tour following her breakthrough 2008 album, 19, the Grammy-winning British singer wound up spending a lot of time with her Nashville-based bus driver. “I used to have to smoke at the front of the bus, and I would stay up there with him for a 10-hour... 

BEN E. KING

BEN E. KING
BEN E. KING After 50 years of R&B, a legend takes   on the Great American Songbook Fifty years is a long time for a song to remain popular, but that’s how long it’s been since Ben E. King first sang his standard “Stand by Me.” Today the classic—written by King with the producers of his original recording, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller—is still ranked as the fourth most performed song of all time by the performing rights organization... 

SOCIAL DISTORTION

SOCIAL DISTORTION
SOCIAL DISTORTION An all-American band explores its rock ’n’ roll roots and its own checkered past If well-inked Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness doesn’t already have a “Lucky Seven” tattoo somewhere on his body, now’s the time to get one. On Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, the California band’s seventh album, Ness continues his streak of building fresh songs from familiar ingredients. By now, the singer and guitarist should have... 

PLAN B

PLAN B
PLAN B HOMETOWN: London influences: Eminem, Michael Jackson, the Prodigy ALBUM: The Defamation of Strickland Banks, due out in April WEBSITE: time4planb.co.uk Plan B (born Ben Drew) began singing and playing guitar as a teenager before he turned his attention to rap, inspired by the example of the similarly hued Eminem. “He was brilliant, he changed the whole game,” says Plan B. “He didn’t just influence white rappers, he influenced everyone.”... 

ANNA CALVI

ANNA CALVI
ANNA CALVI HOMETOWN: London INFLUENCES: Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Django Reinhardt ALBUM: Anna Calvi, out March 1 WEBSITE: annacalvi.com Anna Calvi began playing guitar at age 13, but it wasn’t until four years later that she began learning to sing. “I’d always wanted to be a singer, but it was hard for me because I’m so shy,” she says. “But I just worked on it—five or six hours a day. I was very secretive about it. It was the... 

FUNERAL PARTY

FUNERAL PARTY
FUNERAL PARTY HOMETOWN: Whittier, Calif. MEMBERS: Chad Elliott (vocals, keyboards), James Torres (guitar), Kimo Kauhola (bass, vocals) ALBUM: The Golden Age of Knowhere, out now WEBSITE: funeralpartymusic.com California rock band Funeral Party was born from its members’ boredom and disillusionment with their hometown of Whittier, Calif., a sleepy suburb of Los Angeles. “It was the perfect name for a band like ours, because we come from this jail... 

AWESOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PICKUP TONE MULTIPLIER

AWESOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PICKUP TONE MULTIPLIER
AWESOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PICKUP TONE MULTIPLIER Find yourself a few new tones FOR: Tone junkies. The Pickup Tone Multiplier allows you to dial up a whopping range of 35 tones from a standard set of Strat pickups. It’s a great-sounding addition that will coax tones you’ve probably never heard from your instrument. At the heart of the design are mixing and matching phase, series and parallel functions for each of your pickups. The unit we tried... 

AVID PRO TOOLS 9

AVID PRO TOOLS 9
AVID PRO TOOLS 9 Music for the masses FOR: At last, everyone. Pro Tools 9 is not only chock-full of improvements, it also marks a massive departure in strategy for Avid. For the first time one does not have to use an Avid interface to run Pro Tools—unlocking the world of Pro Tools to virtually every kind of recording enthusiast. Armed with just an iLok you can move from studio to studio, machine to machine, and can even open and mix a session without... 

SONY VEGAS PRO 10

SONY VEGAS PRO 10
SONY VEGAS PRO 10 Video and audio production suite FOR: Video that rocks. Whether it’s guerilla marketing or full-fledged video production, artists are coming to grips with the vital role that video is playing in getting out their music and message. Sony Vegas Pro is a fully featured video, DVD and Blu-ray production suite that’s all-in-one fun. Vegas Pro makes importing, editing and dragging clips onto the timeline a snap. While most other applications... 

KYSER KLASSICS QUICK-CHANGE PARTIAL CAPOS

KYSER KLASSICS QUICK-CHANGE PARTIAL CAPOS
KYSER KLASSICS QUICK-CHANGE PARTIAL CAPOS Change your tune FOR: Altered tunings without drama. From Black Mountain Side to Brown Sugar, altered tunings have inspired generations of both acoustic and electric guitarists. Each of the four Kyser Klassics Partial Capos allows you to get those classic sounds without the hassle of retuning your instrument. Partial capos are designed to be placed at specific locations on the neck where they allow a blend... 

TC-HELICON VOICETONE PEDALS

TC-HELICON VOICETONE PEDALS
TC-HELICON VOICETONE PEDALS Vocal control and effects at your feet FOR: Singers who want to take control. TC-Helicon has introduced single stomp-sized pedals, firmly rooted in the world’s top pro studios and patterned on guitar players’ pedal boards, for vocalists who want more of a say in the way they sound. What you might not expect from this series of stompboxes is the amount of stuff that’s under the hood. Studio quality mic pre-amps and... 

GEAR – PEDAL POWER

GEAR – PEDAL POWER
Selecting the right effects stompbox will keep your sound on sure footing Many legendary rock moments—Jimi Hendrix wailing through an Octavia on “Purple Haze,” or the Edge’s lush delay on U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name,” for example—were crafted using carefully chosen effects pedals. Guitarists of all genres use these small, specialized signal processors to tweak their instruments’ sounds in wildly creative ways. And they’re... 

STING

STING
JAN/FEB 2011 COVER STORY: STING FEATURES: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, MUSICIAN: GREGG ALLMAN, ERIC JOHNSON, PRODUCER: PETER ASHER Q&A’s: BRIGHT EYES, THE DECEMBERISTS, DURAN DURAN, IRON & WINE, DOOBIE BROTHERS, JAMES BLUNT SPOTLIGHT: SOCIAL DISTORTION, ADELE, BEN E. KING, TIMES OF GRACE, CORINNE BAILEY RAE, OVER THE RHINE, THE DEARS WHO’S NEXT: FUNERAL PARTY, ANNA CALVI, PLAN B, INDIE SCENE: TIERRA NEGRA & MURIEL ANDERSON, BEHIND THE... 

Eagles

Eagles
PHOTOGRAPHER HENRY DILTZ, ALBUM-COVER DESIGNER Gary Burden and the four members of a new band called the Eagles set out from Los Angeles at 2 a.m. on March 20, 1972, arriving three hours later at the area that is now Joshua Tree National Park. The whole crew climbed up what Diltz calls a “secret magic mountain,” reaching the top at daybreak. As the sun rose, they began snapping photos for the group’s upcoming self-titled debut album. “You... 

ADAM SULLIVAN

ADAM SULLIVAN
ADAM SULLIVAN The Room Is Spinning Faster adamsullivan.com Once the initial eagerness of piano pop wunderkind Adam Sullivan’s “Nothing Like Being Alone” is overtaken by the thoughtful musings of softer songs like “Please Don’t Fall in Love With Me,” the influence of Elton John gives way to that of Nick Drake. Suitably then, Room is a haunting collection.  Read More →

TOM PRINCIPATO

TOM PRINCIPATO
TOM PRINCIPATO A Part of Me tomprincipato.com Aided by all-star sidemen like Chuck Leavell, Brian Auger, Willie Weeks and Sonny Landreth, guitarist Tom Principato offers wailing blues, gritty funk and swampy Southern rock in an incendiary brew. Principato’s gruff vocals have presence, but it’s instrumentals like “Back Again & Gone” and “Down the Road” that downright dazzle.  Read More →

NEW MYSTERY GIRL

NEW MYSTERY GIRL
NEW MYSTERY GIRL Twist City myspace.com/newmysterygirl Chrissy Flatt, a.k.a. New Mystery Girl, is a feisty chanteuse who brings a saucy attitude and a sassy spin to her music. Flatt’s assertive presence places her at the head of the roots-rock pack with a striking set of country crooners and rockabilly-tinged uptempo numbers.  Read More →

LORENZA PONCE

LORENZA PONCE
LORENZA PONCE Soul Shifter lorenzaponce.com Lorenza Ponce combines breezy melodies with a bluesy hue and enough rock and roots influences to moot any attempt at typecasting. Possessing a sultry, hypnotic voice—and impressive instrumental prowess extending to violin, viola and mandolin—Ponce ensures that Shifter is her most soulful effort yet.  Read More →

GURF MORLIX

GURF MORLIX
GURF MORLIX Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream gurfmorlix.com Known for his guitar work behind acts like Lucinda Williams and Mary Gauthier, Gurf Morlix turns in a passionate tribute to an earlier employer, the late country singer and songwriter Blaze Foley. Judging from these heartfelt covers, Foley’s legacy is in good hands.  Read More →

SUSAN WERNER

SUSAN WERNER
SUSAN WERNER Kicking the Beehive susanwerner.com Inspired by her pilgrimage down the Mississippi River, Kicking the Beehive captures Werner’s desire to retrace her roots. Infused with R&B, Americana and sultry torch songs, these tracks exude the handworn feel of heartland hymns. Werner’s no stranger to this area, as three previous albums—Classics, The Gospel Truth and I Can’t Be New— found her channeling vintage styles through her own... 

SQUINT

SQUINT
SQUINT Goodnight, Bad Intentions squint.com A feisty, hard-rocking outfit that defies expectations for a band from southern Texas, Squint veers closer to Rush than rockabilly. “I’m looking for a new frustration,” they assert on opening track “We All Break the Same.” Later when they wail, “I’m really looking forward to depression” (on “Elisabeth”), it becomes increasingly evident that this is indeed a band that makes the most of... 

SICK OF SARAH

SICK OF SARAH
SICK OF SARAH 2205 sickofsarah.com Given that its branding and brooding attitude—as captured on the cover—create a punk-rock first impression, Sick of Sarah is something of a surprise. The music is brash and edgy but their delivery is measured—and despite the attitude, it’s a carefully constructed sound that doesn’t stint on hooks, melody and relentless refrains. Like obvious influence Joan Jett, these five young ladies make a statement... 

CHAS SANDFORD

CHAS SANDFORD
CHAS SANDFORD Wag More Bark Less chassandford.com With a lengthy production and songwriting career spent mostly in the shadows, Chas Sandford has rarely afforded himself the opportunity for his own voice to be heard. With Wag More Bark Less, he sounds as if he’s been ready for this moment for some time. Specializing in smooth but seductive midtempo melodies with radio-ready appeal, Sandford complements his guitar finesse with husky yet engaging... 

THE MOONDOGGIES

THE MOONDOGGIES
THE MOONDOGGIES Tidelands moondoggiesmusic.com The sophomore effort by Seattle’s Moondoggies marks a noticeable shift from their debut, 2008’s Don’t Be a Stranger, taking their freewheeling delivery into more atmospheric realms. Nevertheless, the group maintains their breezy, accessible sound on songs like “What Took So Long” and “Uncertain” by balancing eerier moments with a strong, solid undertow. They frequently drift to opposing... 

JOEY PERO


JOEY PERO

JOEY PERO Resonance joeypero.com It’s one thing to be an acclaimed jazz virtuoso, a graduate of Julliard and a trumpeter able to wail repeated 16th-notes with dazzling speed and proficiency. It’s another to transcend stylistic boundaries and operate effectively in the classical world. So credit Joey Pero for overachieving his first time out, courtesy of a 12-song set that ranks as a most impressive instrumental debut. Pero enlists a number of... 

LORI MCKENNA

LORI MCKENNA
LORI MCKENNA Lorraine lorimckenna.com A product of New England’s fertile folk scene, Lori McKenna offers intimate glances at ordinary individuals navigating the complexities of everyday existence. McKenna’s austere observations and atmospheric arrangements show clarity and conviction. Lorraine, her first independent effort following a flirtation with Warner Bros., finds her exploring a sound that’s both plaintive and personal. “You Get a Love... 

TIM MAHONEY

TIM MAHONEY
TIM MAHONEY Live From the Sky timmahoney.com Tim Mahoney is a tireless journeyman troubadour, the kind you’d be pleased to find dropping in at your local neighborhood bar. For the past 20 years or so he’s maintained a solid output with an unpretentious everyman attitude. Live From the Sky sums up his progress so far, a double disc of unplugged performances shared with eager audiences. While emphasizing his fan-favorite standards, including the... 

SUSAN JAMES

SUSAN JAMES
SUSAN JAMES Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home susanjamesmusic.com On three previous albums, Susan James filtered her Southern California sound through a prism of vague psychedelia. That was especially evident on her critically acclaimed double disc Fantastic Voyage, which found her wide-eyed narratives accompanying a set of adventurous instrumentals. James’ latest offers her an opportunity to further test the standard singer-songwriter template... 

DEEP RIVER

DEEP RIVER
DEEP RIVER Ten Mornings deeprivermusic.com As a member of the Brindley Brothers and as a solo artist, Luke Brindley has built a respectable reputation as a singer and songwriter with an intuitive pop know-how and a keen melodic sensibility. Here he reinvents himself by opting to play a supporting role in a trio more concerned with conjuring Jayhawks-esque folky pop. The songs are mostly of the singalong variety, with harmonies consistently in full... 

BROOKLYN RUNDFUNK ORKESTRATA

BROOKLYN RUNDFUNK ORKESTRATA
BROOKLYN RUNDFUNK ORKESTRATA The Hills Are Alive: Songs from Rogers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music brooklyn-ro.com The year is young, but Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata may have already clinched the prize for most creative concept of 2011. Initially the idea of fusing sounds minted in rock, jazz, R&B and hip-hop with a dozen of Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic Broadway compositions seems unwieldy. Purists will scoff—yet somehow it works,... 

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR
JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR Diamonds in the Dirt rufrecords.de Joanne Shaw Taylor has been hailed as one the best blues breakout artists of the last few years. The native Brit now residing in Detroit is a double threat on guitar and vocals, and her 2009 opus White Sugar netted a host of critical kudos. Her follow-up Diamonds in the Dirt builds on the momentum generated by its predecessor, presenting 10 scorching selections that find Taylor demonstrating her... 

SOUNDGARDEN

SOUNDGARDEN
SOUNDGARDEN Live on I-5 [A&M] ARCHIVAL Whether you’re in a marriage or a band, breaking up is hard to do—and lots of business gets left unfinished. Grunge powerhouse Soundgarden recorded several shows on the West Coast leg of its 1996 tour with an eye toward compiling its first-ever live album, but when the group announced its breakup the following April those plans were abandoned. With Soundgarden’s recent reunion, this lost fragment... 

VARIOUS ARTISTS

VARIOUS ARTISTS
VARIOUS ARTISTS The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume I [Scatter/Big Machine] TRIBUTE There’s a very good reason most tribute albums are lousy: The majority of them are collections of disparate tracks, each recorded by a completely different team of artists, musicians and producers. That almost always results in a lack of cohesion, even given the unifying factor provided by the songs. The Music Inside is a convincing... 

GRATEFUL DEAD

GRATEFUL DEAD
GRATEFUL DEAD Road Trips, Vol. 4 No. 2: April Fools’ ’88 [Rhino] BOX SET After years of struggles with drug abuse and poor health, Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia slipped into a diabetic coma for five days in July 1986. When he awoke, he found that he had to re-learn how to play guitar, a process that took months. In 1989, during the making of the Dead’s final studio album, Built to Last, he relapsed into drug abuse and continued... 

THE WHITE BUFFALO

THE WHITE BUFFALO
THE WHITE BUFFALO Prepare for Black & Blue [Rough Shod] Take this EP’s title at face value: These are rough-and-tumble tales of damaged relationships, drinking and blood spilled. While “Love Song #2” is indeed a love song, it’s one that’s twisted up with drunken fights, an absent lover and the loneliness of the road. “Black & Blue” contrasts its gentle acoustic setting with a vivid portrait of a volatile relationship, while “In... 

CAGE THE ELEPHANT

CAGE THE ELEPHANT
CAGE THE ELEPHANT Thank You, Happy Birthday [Jive] With just two albums under its belt, Kentucky’s Cage the Elephant has transformed itself from a Lou Reed-meets-Red Hot Chili Peppers funk-punk outfit into something a bit darker. Trading away vocalist Matt Shultz’s previous raps for jarring screams will probably result in the band being less of a frat-house favorite, but it should also make it clear that this is a lead singer to keep an eye on.... 

MARCUS MILLER

MARCUS MILLER
MARCUS MILLER A Night in Monte-Carlo [Concord Jazz] With a playing style that glides effortlessly among jazz, R&B and funk, bassist Marcus Miller has long been in demand as a sideman. But he shines brightest when he’s the man up front, as on this live collaboration with the Monte- Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Joined by an inspired cast of musicians including trumpeter Roy Hargrove, singer and guitarist Raul Midón and turntablist DJ Logic,... 
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