Posts tagged with "SEPT/OCT 2010"

SARA HICKMAN

SARA HICKMAN
SARA HICKMAN In music and in business, Texas’ Official State Musician has it covered Sara Hickman doesn’t waste a moment. An adept multitasker, she is devoted to both her family (she lists her role as wife and mother prominently in her résumé) and a far-flung 22-year career that’s brought her success as a singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. These days the tireless Texan is busier than ever with a long list of projects. They include... 

NICK CAVE

NICK CAVE
NICK CAVE An alt-rock icon explores sex, death, violence and love with Grinderman When Grinderman debuted in 2007 with its self-titled album, some might have surmised that the project—which featured four core members of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds—was little more than a particularly inspired vacation from the parent group. The release of Grinderman 2 puts any such notion to rest. For Cave, guitarist Warren Ellis, bass player Martyn Casey and... 

HEART

HEART
HEART Nancy Wilson discusses the inner workings of rock’s best-loved sister act Nancy Wilson has rocked audiences for more than three decades as the iconic guitarist for Heart, cranking classics like “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You” up to 10. But over the last several years, she found herself yearning for a new title: “lead autoharpist.” “I’ve been looking for a place for an autoharp,” she says with a chuckle. “For a half-decade... 

DEREK TRUCKS

DEREK TRUCKS
DEREK TRUCKS He learned from the masters how to make his guitar sing By Russell Hall Derek Trucks was born to make music. The nephew of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, he was named after Eric Clapton’s early-1970s outfit Derek and the Dominos. So it was only natural when Trucks took up slide guitar at 9, formed the Derek Trucks Band at 14 and sat in with the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy while still in his teens.... 

LARRY KLEIN

LARRY KLEIN
LARRY KLEIN This innovative producer is more than just a ladies’ man By Jeff Tamarkin What do Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux, Julia Fordham, Melody Gardot, Shawn Colvin, Mary Black, Luciana Souza and Tracy Chapman have in common? Sure, they’re all highly acclaimed female singers. But they also have the distinction of having collaborated with producer Larry Klein. (Two have also been married to him—Mitchell from 1982 to 1994 and Souza since... 

CARLOS SANTANA

CARLOS SANTANA
CARLOS SANTANA An iconic guitarist wholeheartedly embraces a past he helped to create By Jeff Tamarkin A few months ago, Carlos Santana walked on stage at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York—a modern venue built on the site of 1969’s fabled Woodstock festival—and wasted no time delivering his audience a chill-inducing moment. He opened the concert with “Soul Sacrifice,” the same combustible jam that launched him into the rock... 

ROBERT PLANT

ROBERT PLANT
ROBERT PLANT From Nashville to North Africa, his ears are always open On Dec. 10, 2007, the mighty Led Zeppelin roared. The group’s first full concert since its breakup in 1980, featuring late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason filling his father’s shoes, was billed as a one-night-only tribute to the late Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun. But the show’s enormous success naturally stirred rumors that the band was preparing... 

MAVIS STAPLES

MAVIS STAPLES
MAVIS STAPLES An R&B legend finds a new sound, with help from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy Mavis Staples’ new album, You Are Not Alone, finds the 71-year-old soul icon in peak form. It was produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and recorded at the Wilco Loft, the group’s rehearsal and recording space in Chicago. On the album, Staples takes on songs written by her late father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples—who founded their legendary family band,... 

SARA BAREILLES

SARA BAREILLES
SARA BAREILLES Finding the keys to confidence and beating the sophomore jinx Sara Bareilles doesn’t like being told what to do—but it does seem to inspire some of her best work. The singer-songwriter’s 2007 breakthrough hit, “Love Song,” from her Grammy-nominated debut album, Little Voice, is a clever rebuke to a record exec’s alleged appeal for a more marketable hit. “King of Anything,” the first single from her second album, Kaleidoscope... 

JEFF BECK

JEFF BECK
JEFF BECK A restless explorer is still finding new territory to conquer Since the moment he replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist for the Yardbirds in March 1965, Jeff Beck has never stopped innovating, pushing ever outward the boundaries of what can be expressed through an electric guitar. His career over the last 45 years has found him exploring jazz fusion, rockabilly, blues and practically any other style you can name. On his latest, Emotion... 

JAMEY JOHNSON

JAMEY JOHNSON
JAMEY JOHNSON A next-generation outlaw, shaking up country music with just a guitar Jamey Johnson’s new double album, The Guitar Song, is separated into conceptual halves. The first disc, dubbed “Black,” reverberates with the damage caused by broken relationships and broken promises, then the “White” disc moves past loneliness and loss towards feelings of redemption and forgiveness. But ask the soft-spoken singer and songwriter about the... 

OF MONTREAL

OF MONTREAL
OF MONTREAL Getting away from home for a while, thanks to a serious case of the funk flu Of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes recorded the group’s previous albums at his home studio in Georgia. But for the act’s new effort, False Priest, he elected to work with producer Jon Brion (Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple) in a professional studio. “It was really just a desire to do something different, because I’d been doing it this way... 

NELLIE McKAY

NELLIE McKAY
NELLIE McKAY Sharing ideas and changing hearts and minds, one vegan restaurant at a time If you ever find yourself in a vegan restaurant and you see a young blond woman at a table that’s groaning from the weight of the food on it, don’t be alarmed—it might just be Nellie McKay writing songs. She describes her ideal creative space thus: “In a vegan restaurant, eating a dairy-free caesar salad, a milkshake that tastes like a Butterfinger bar,... 

MAROON 5

MAROON 5
MAROON 5 From Switzerland to Nashville, finding the way forward on a make-or-break album On their 2007 album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, Maroon 5 enlisted a team of producers to help shape the material. For their latest disc, Hands All Over, the pop rockers turned to one—Robert John “Mutt” Lange, famed for his cinematic productions of AC/DC, Def Leppard and others. “The producers on the last album did a great job, but it was hard to... 

JENNY AND JOHNNY

JENNY AND JOHNNY
JENNY AND JOHNNY An indie-rock couple’s unplanned burst of inspiration turns into a full-time gig On I’m Having Fun Now, their debut effort as Jenny and Johnny, indie-rock “it” couple Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice take on God, economics and Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, addressing these and other topics with wit and wisdom. The two began writing the album in late 2009—“a bastard of a year,” as Rice sings on the standout “My Pet... 

RAUL MALO

RAUL MALO
RAUL MALO Keeping music alive by getting out of his comfort zone For the creation of Raul Malo’s sonically diverse new album, Sinners & Saints, the crooner opted to forgo the assistance of just about everyone who had aided him in assembling his previous releases. Malo recorded much of the album at his home studio in Nashville, producing and playing most of the instruments himself. He then decamped to Bismeaux Studio in Austin, where he added... 

LITTLE BIG TOWN

LITTLE BIG TOWN
LITTLE BIG TOWN There’s a reason why this tenacious country group refuses to go back to the house When Little Big Town’s self-titled debut was released in 2002, its poppy, overproduced sound was met by critical scorn and commercial indifference. The band has been on a mission ever since. “The first record we made was just crucified, so we had something to prove,” says Kimberly Schlapman, who shares vocal duties equally with bandmates Karen... 

JASON REEVES

JASON REEVES
JASON REEVES HOMETOWN: Iowa City, Iowa INFLUENCES: Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens ALBUM: The Lovesick, due out this winter WEBSITE: jasonreeves.com Jason Reeves fell in love with music as a teenager, and eventually dropped out of college to head for California in 2005 and pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. “All songs exist in the atmosphere,” he says, “and artists are on a romantic search to pull them down and give them life.”... 

BRENDAN JAMES

BRENDAN JAMES
BRENDAN JAMES HOMETOWN: Derry, N.H. INFLUENCES: Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder ALBUM: Brendan James, out now WEBSITE: brendanjames.com After the release of his 2008 debut, The Day Is Brave, singer and pianist Brendan James toured relentlessly for 18 months. Along the way (by his count), he performed in 40 states, stayed in 210 hotels and ate at 330 restaurants. The goal was to build a fan base the old-fashioned way, one convert... 

ESPERANZA SPALDING

ESPERANZA SPALDING
ESPERANZA SPALDING HOMETOWN: Portland, Ore. INFLUENCES: Cannonball Adderley, Ron Carter, Dave Holland ALBUM: Chamber Music Society, out now WEBSITE: esperanzaspalding.com Jazz bass player and singer Esperanza Spalding has accumulated a lifetime’s worth of accomplishments at age 25, in part because she knew from a very early age what her destiny would be. She was only 4 when she saw classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma make a guest appearance on the kids’... 

REAMP V.2

REAMP V.2
REAMP V.2 Easily replace guitar or bass tones after capturing that perfect take. FOR: Producers, engineers and studios. While sound replacement on drums has been standard fare for decades, the Reamp brings that flexibility to recording amplified instruments. Create a safety DI track and Reamp later with your choice of mics, effects and amps. We found blending amps and cabinets to be a snap, and the polarity switch quickly eliminated ground noise.... 

ARACOM PRX150-PRO POWER ATTENUATOR

ARACOM PRX150-PRO POWER ATTENUATOR
ARACOM PRX150-PRO POWER ATTENUATOR Maximum tone at a minimal volume. FOR: Preserving your neighbors’ sanity. Like a fine sports car, some amps need to be opened up before they hit their stride—but the volume makes this an ongoing challenge for amp lovers and soundmen alike. The PRX took the loudest non-master volume amp we could find down to conversation level with none of the tonal compromises we’ve noticed in the other units. The PRX features... 

TECH 21 SANSAMP CHARACTER SERIES PEDALS

TECH 21 SANSAMP CHARACTER SERIES PEDALS
TECH 21 SANSAMP CHARACTER SERIES PEDALS Stacks of tone at a fraction of the price. FOR: Pedal pushers everywhere. Tech 21 pioneered direct recording for guitar and bass players with its legendary SansAmp, and with the Character Series the company has extended its footprint beyond the studio door. Each pedal in the series draws its inspiration and namesake from renowned tones that guitarists have been chasing for decades. Although you can run them... 

ORANGE AMPLIFIERS TH30

ORANGE AMPLIFIERS TH30
ORANGE AMPLIFIERS TH30 The latest colorful offering from a noted amp company. FOR: Those who want a modern take on classic British tone. Since the first models hit the stage with Fleetwood Mac in the late 1960s, Orange has been delivering classic UK tones to rock fans the world over. It is the latest in a tradition of amps that sound as cool as they look. The TH30 is outfitted with a pair of EL34 output tubes, twin channels and an effects loop.... 

UAD-2 QUAD DSP ACCELERATOR PACKAGE

UAD-2 QUAD DSP ACCELERATOR PACKAGE
UAD-2 QUAD DSP ACCELERATOR PACKAGE Universal Audio offers award-winning plug-ins that won’t drain your CPU. FOR: Plug-in fanatics. From its early origins in studio innovation, Universal Audio has continued to develop state-of-the-art tools for recording studios and engineers. The UAD-2 QUAD AC builds upon the success of the UAD-1 to deliver self-powered “analog classic” plug-ins at a fraction of the cost of their vintage counterparts. The QUAD... 

GEAR – MASTERING THE MIC

GEAR – MASTERING THE MIC
Selecting the right microphone for you is crucial to a sound performance When you’re belting out a power ballad in front of thousands of excited fans or laying down a delicate guitar overdub in the studio, having the right microphone can make your music sound its best—and the wrong mic can turn it flat and lifeless. But with so many variations available, how do you choose? And with top-end mics selling for tens of thousands and cheapies going... 

Nirvana

Nirvana
WHEN VETERAN ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER HENRY DILTZ TOOK HIS TEENAGE daughter to Nirvana’s concert at the Los Angeles Forum in December 1993, he hadn’t intended to shoot any pictures—but he secured a photo pass and took his cameras, just in case. “The first number, I see a bunch of my fellow photographers down at the front of the stage shooting like crazy,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘I’m an idiot. I’ve got my cameras, I ought to be down there... 

TOM PETTY

TOM PETTY
SEPT/OCT 2010 COVER STORY: TOM PETTY FEATURES: MUSIC-BASED VIDEO GAMES, STAGE TO SCREEN MUSICIAN: CARLOS SANTANA, DEREK TRUCKS PRODUCER: LARRY KLEIN Q&A’s: JEFF BECK, SARA BAREILLES, MAVIS STAPLES, ROBERT PLANT, HEART, NICK CAVE SPOTLIGHT: LITTLE BIG TOWN, JENNY & JOHNNY, RAUL MALO, MAROON 5, NELLIE MCKAY, OF MONTREAL, JAMEY JOHNSON WHO’S NEXT: ESPERANZA SPALDING, JASON REEVES, BRENDAN JAMES INDIE SCENE: SARA HICKMAN BEHIND THE... 

LENI STERN

LENI STERN
LENI STERN Sa Belle Belle Ba lenistern.com Virtuoso guitarist Leni Stern continues to explore her fascination with the rich culture of the African continent, deftly blending vibrant rhythms, communal chants and exotic instrumentation with Western styles like jazz, funk and R&B.  Read More →

ROB MORSBERGER

ROB MORSBERGER
ROB MORSBERGER The Chronicle of a Literal Man robmorsberger.com On first encounter Rob Morsberger sounds like a Dylan wannabe, but the sharp air of defiance in the title track quickly upends preconceived notions. Morsberger’s literate songs are etched with irony (“Old Jolly Farm”), nostalgia (“Nebraska in Winter”) and recrimination (“Like Eating a Stone,” “Independent Movie”).  Read More →

THE GREEN PAJAMAS

THE GREEN PAJAMAS
THE GREEN PAJAMAS The Red, Red Rose thegreenpajamas.com Hot on the heels of the recent reissue of their psychedelic classic Book of Hours, this new EP by Seattle’s Green Pajamas suggests they haven’t abandoned the MO they established nearly 25 years ago.  Read More →

JOHN DOKES With The GEORGE GEE SWING ORCHESTRA

JOHN DOKES With The GEORGE GEE SWING ORCHESTRA
JOHN DOKES With The GEORGE GEE SWING ORCHESTRA John Dokes Sings, George Gee Swings georgegee.com Newcomer Dokes’ smooth tenor combined with the big band sound of veteran Gee’s swinging orchestra brings to mind the classic collaboration between Joe Williams and Count Basie. The musicians create a rollicking set, their infectious exuberance easily bridging the generational divide.  Read More →

ANDREW COLE

ANDREW COLE
ANDREW COLE Why We Wonder andrewcolemusic.com Canadian Andrew Cole arrives fully formed, armed with instantly engaging songs, sumptuous arrangements and an emotional investment in his material. Finding common ground between Paul McCartney and David Gray, Cole scores a mesmerizing debut graced by a voice that effortlessly soars, and sentiments that are always fully felt.  Read More →

WRECKLESS ERIC & AMY RIGBY

WRECKLESS ERIC & AMY RIGBY
WRECKLESS ERIC & AMY RIGBY Two-Way Family Favourites wrecklesseric.com amyrigby.com They always seemed an unlikely musical couple, but for their second album together, Cockney pop punk Wreckless Eric and the unassuming Amy Rigby show their common roots through a heady cache of rock standards. Appropriating the formula mined by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs for their Under the Covers collaborations, Eric and Amy apply a twelve-string sheen,... 

STAN RIDGWAY

STAN RIDGWAY
STAN RIDGWAY Neon Mirage stanridgway.com Over 33 years, first with Wall of Voodoo and subsequently through a solo career full of darkly cinematic musings, retro jazz affectations and creepy film scores, Stan Ridgway hasn’t exactly made accessibility his raison d’être. But Neon Mirage is his most revealing effort yet, one that bares his torn psyche following the deaths of his father, his uncle and musical colleague Amy Farris. “Big Green Tree,”... 

RAIN PERRY

RAIN PERRY
RAIN PERRY Internal Combustion rainperry.com Rain Perry is sassy and sensual on Internal Combustion, offering no qualms about exploring her sexuality in song. On opening track “The Compartmentalized Thing,” she touts the fact that she knows what she wants and isn’t shy about demanding it. “Keanuville” and “Next Best Thing” find her idolizing members of the opposite sex, and her take on the bedroom anthem to beat them all, Marvin Gaye’s... 

FRED EAGLESMITH

FRED EAGLESMITH
FRED EAGLESMITH Cha Cha Cha fredeaglesmith.com As the title implies, Cha Cha Cha recreates vintage sounds like classic gospel and retro rock ’n’ roll. Eaglesmith usually plays the irrepressible troubadour, but here his wry observations and critical commentary are tempered by the album’s romantic allure. Throughout these 10 tracks, Eaglesmith segues smoothly from the gypsy sway of “Careless” and the bottleneck shuffle of “Car” to the... 

THE DIRTY GUV’NAHS

THE DIRTY GUV’NAHS
THE DIRTY GUV’NAHS Youth Is in our Blood thedirtyguvnahs.com Youth may be in their blood, but tradition guides their instincts. With this sophomore disc, the Knoxville, Tenn. sextet channels respected forebears like the Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers and the Black Crowes. The Guv’nahs reflect other influences along the way—specifically, the Stones’ strut and swagger on “It’s Dangerous” and John Mellencamp on “New Salvation.” The... 

AMY CORREIA

AMY CORREIA
AMY CORREIA You Go Your Way amycorreia.com Three albums on, Amy Correia continues to expand her palette, expressing herself through songs that cover a wide musical terrain, both stylistically and geographically. With Correia’s sturdy vocals at the fore, the arrangements range from laidback to brassy to string-laden serenades. The vocal performances on the fan-financed You Go Your Way conjure up comparisons to Bonnie Raitt (on “You Go Your Way”)... 

CARRY ME OHIO

CARRY ME OHIO
CARRY ME OHIO Oak and Iron Bound carrymeohio.com Colorado singer, guitarist, songwriter and onetime solo act Evan Pugh formed Carry Me Ohio in 2009 to play his songs in a full-band context, but the emphasis on Oak and Iron Bound remains on songcraft rather than showy musical fireworks. That said, this is a real band—guitarist David Goodheim’s licks pointedly punctuate Pugh’s vocals, bass player Jeff Miller’s low-end contributions are melodic... 

THE CHAPIN SISTERS

THE CHAPIN SISTERS
THE CHAPIN SISTERS Two thechapinsisters.com The aptly titled Two is a solid sequel to the Chapin Sisters’ critically hailed 2008 debut, Lake Bottom LP. With Jessica Craven on hiatus and focusing on her family, siblings Abigail and Lily Chapin take up the slack, their delicate, shimmering harmonies effectively filling the newfound space in the sound. The daughters of veteran singer and songwriter Tom Chapin (and the nieces of his late brother Harry),... 

ANDREW ANDERSON

ANDREW ANDERSON
ANDREW ANDERSON As Long as This Thing’s Flyin’ andrewandersonmusic.com The initial outing by Idaho-to-Austin transplant Andrew Anderson combines a sense of austerity with a hard-bitten, road-weary resolve. He and colleagues Luke Meade and Jeremy Harris rummage through a veritable acoustic instrumental arsenal on As Long as This Thing’s Flyin’, providing their ramshackle narratives with a distinctive back-porch flavor. Anderson wails defiance... 

LUKE DOUCET AND THE WHITE FALCON

LUKE DOUCET AND THE WHITE FALCON
LUKE DOUCET AND THE WHITE FALCON Steel City Trawler lukedoucet.com With a burgeoning reputation in his native Canada as both an incisive songwriter and a riveting guitar slinger, Luke Doucet now makes a determined effort to balance both aspects of his talent. Steel City Trawler is as gritty as its title implies, its pure, unapologetic rock ’n’ roll referencing the Stones, the Faces and even the Who in all their frayed and tattered glory. An amped-up... 

RUSH

RUSH
DVD REVIEW RUSH Classic Albums: 2112/Moving Pictures [Eagle Vision] Most editions of the sterling Classic Albums series examine in detail the creation of a—you guessed it—classic album with the help of the musicians, producers and engineers who made it. So why does Rush’s first entry in the series cover two albums? Certainly, both 1976’s 2112 and 1981’s Moving Pictures represent turning points in the band’s career—but so do several... 

TROY TURNER

TROY TURNER
TROY TURNER Whole Lotta Blues [Evidence] Troy Turner has been putting out records since 1990, but this is only his fourth in those 20 years. His latest is a collaborative effort with producer Jon Tiven, who had a hand in writing 13 of the album’s 14 tracks and plays a variety of instruments throughout. Tiven in turn called on the likes of legendary Howlin’ Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin as a partner in writing several of the songs, and supplemented... 

BOBBY BARE JR.

BOBBY BARE JR.
BOBBY BARE JR. A Storm, A Tree, My Mother’s Head [Thirty Tigers] Four years after his last studio album, Bobby Bare Jr. returns with his wry wit and droll eye for detail splendidly intact. Bare has never fit squarely into the country-singer mold of his father, but there’s subtle twang here, along with a gentle throwback-soul sensibility on tunes that would make you cry if you weren’t laughing. “One of Us Has Got to Go” is one of those, with... 

THE BAD PLUS

THE BAD PLUS
THE BAD PLUS Never Stop [E1 Entertainment] On its first album of all original material, the Bad Plus—bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King—makes the transition from gimmicky hipster jazz act to legitimate contenders. The trio lets it fly right from the get-go: Opening track “The Radio Tower Has a Beating Heart” is a shimmering, explosive number. For the most part, the songs aspire to an almost epic sound. (We... 

LOST IN THE TREES

LOST IN THE TREES
LOST IN THE TREES All Alone in an Empty House [Anti-/Epitaph] Highbrow and lowbrow find a happy medium on Lost in the Trees’ third album. Intricate classical arrangements effortlessly weave around accordion and guitar, creating an amalgam that band founder Ari Picker calls “orchestral folk.” Picker’s rich, evocative sounds lend further gravity to intensely personal lyrics about sexual abuse, dying infants and depression, sung in a boyish tenor... 

THE BLACK ANGELS

THE BLACK ANGELS
THE BLACK ANGELS Phosphene Dream [Blue Horizon Ventures] On “Sunday Afternoon,” the fourth song on their third album, the Black Angels prove just how far they’ll follow their cult-like obsession with the ’60s. Having already unleashed its usual barrage of fuzz-and-buzz guitars and organs, the sextet goes all in and recreates the wobbly electric-jug sound of the 13th Floor Elevators, a fellow Austin band that invented psychedelic punk some... 

LIZA MINNELLI

LIZA MINNELLI
LIZA MINNELLI Confessions [Decca Records] When Liza Minnelli covered Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in this summer’s Sex and the City 2, it was one of the uneven sequel’s few high points. Likewise, Confessions, her first album in eight years, shines brightest when she’s at her most lighthearted, reveling in the tricky rhythms of “You Fascinate Me So” and the subtle sauciness of the Disney classic “He’s a Tramp.” Unfortunately,... 
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