CD REVIEWS

  • Valerie June – The Order of Time

    VALERIE JUNE  – THE ORDER OF TIME (CAROLINE) There are some moments in your musical life that stay with you forever. Your first concert, for example. Both Valerie June and Rhiannon Giddens have provided me in the past few years with some memorable moments that have made indelible impressions. Back in ...
  • Tift Merritt – Stitch of The World

    Tift Merritt – Stitch of the World By Rob Dickens Tift Merritt’s new album Stitch of the World (Yep Roc Records) is her sixth studio release and follows the acclaimed Traveling Alone (2012).  Since that last release, the Grammy and Americana Award-nominated Merritt has been recording and touring with Andrew Bird, ...
  • The Rolling Stones – Back To The Blues!

    BLUE & LONESOME – THE ROLLING STONES (POLYDOR) By Brian Wise. Producer Don Was could possibly have been taken aback but remained incredibly polite a few years back when I bumped into him at the Monterey Jazz Festival. ‘When are you going to get the Stones to make a blues album?’ ...
  • Lambchop – FLOTUS

    Review by Nick Argyriou.  LAMBCHOP – FLOTUS (Merge/Inertia) The almost 60-year-old frontman of Nashville alt-country/indie unit Lambchop, Kurt Wagner, doesn’t want to remain rooted in the past on the band’s 12th record. Over the course of a 70-minute production, FLOTUS (an acronym representing both ‘For Love Often ...
  • Jim James – Eternally Even

    Review by Nick Argyriou. JIM JAMES – ETERNALLY EVEN (EMI) For the most part of My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James’ second solo record he retains a breezy, psych-folk and soul thread as he lumbers wistfully through a misty field of political, social and humanity-based matters. And a few years on ...
  • John Prine – For Better, Or Worse

    John Prine – For Better, or Worse By Rob Dickens It’s been a year of some moment for John Prine. The Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter turned seventy and, to celebrate, played a sold-out, two-night engagement at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium with a slew of special guests. Just two weeks ...
  • Big Smoke – Time Is Golden

    By Nick Argyriou. BIG SMOKE – TIME IS GOLDEN (Remote Control) The sprawling country, psychedelic wig-outs, sweet-tempered songwriting and tone that tips its Stetson to everyone from The Band to The Boss, Big Star to My Morning Jacket on Big Smoke’s debut record is something to behold. A faultless beast ...
  • When Bob Dylan Was the Center Of The Universe

    By Michael Goldberg. In 1966, no one played live rock ‘n’ roll to match Bob Dylan and the Hawks! The days slowly passed, and I was maybe halfway through the 36 CDs that comprise the latest official bootleg, Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings, when I took a break to drive with my ...
  • Hank Williams – The Complete Mother’s Best Collection

    Hank Williams – The Complete Mother’s Best Collection…Plus! (Time Life/WEA) By Andrew Hamlin. Mother’s Best Flour isn’t sold by that name anymore.  Cousin Louie Buck, the announcer for each one of these rediscovered radio shows, died in 1971, eight days after his 61st birthday, and that seems ...
  • Jerry Lee Lewis At Sun – What The Hell Else Do You Need?

    Jerry Lee Lewis – At Sun Records – The Collected Works (Bear Family) “What The Hell Else Do You Need?” By Andrew Hamlin “Pretty fly for a white guy,” I summarized Jerry Lee Lewis most of my life—but always at the tail end of those Rock And Roll Grandaddies.  Elvis was ...
  • Daniel Lanois

    Reviewed by Nick Argyriou. DANIEL LANOIS – GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (ANTI/Warner) It’s goodbye to language and hello to celestial soundscapes as the spacey racket of the Daniel Lanois pedal steel squares off with pal Rocco DeLuca’s lap steel while effects help frame this 36-minute mood piece. Similar in ...
  • Wilco Schmilco!

    WILCO – SCHMILCO (ANTI/Warner) Reviewed by By Nick Argyriou Ten records down the track and the Chicago natives continue to evolve. From the carefree alt-country of ’90s releases, A.M., Being There and Summerteeth, to the 2000s period that witnessed the genius Yankee Hotel Foxtrot plus the band’s panacea ...
  • MOURNING LIGHT. THE NEW NICK CAVE

    “Even in the context of unmitigated tragedy, Nick Cave’s album reminds us that a song is a sign of life….” NICK CAVE – SKELETON KEY (Bad Seed Ltd) By Andrew Tanner My friend Shane used to say the key to getting Nick Cave was his sense of humour. ‘He’s ...
  • Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis

    By Nick Argyriou. ROBERT ELLIS – ROBERT ELLIS (NEW WEST RECORDS/WARNER MUSIC AUSTRALIA) Houston, Texas troubadour Robert Ellis’ fourth release is a self-titled kaleidoscope of life post divorce, mental and physical displacement and further lifestyle metamorphoses. Oscillating between Houston, Nashville and Brooklyn over the past few years has given Ellis ...
  • The Cars – Quintessential ’80s Band?

    By Andrew Hamlin. The Cars – The Elektra Years 1978 – 1987 (Rhino/Elektra) Quintessential ’80s band?  Let us count the ways.  Party up front, anxious desperation in back. Paeans to unobtainable, faceless, abstract love objects. Couplets cutting up and reversing old rock and roll, scratching up shibboleths.  It’d all be arid if ...
  • Chris Cavill & The Prospectors – All That You Got EP

    Chris Cavill & The Prospectors – All That You Got EP. By Rob Dickens. In 2015 singer/songwriter Chris Cavill made a successful return to the Australian music scene releasing his most ambitious record to date, Know Your Destiny.  Reinvigorated after a lengthy break, Cavill re-emerged with his new band The Prospectors ...
  • Tony Joe White – Rain Crow

    Reviewed by Rob Dickens. Tony Joe White – Rain Crow (Yep Roc) He’s 72. He’s released around sixteen studio albums since his debut (Black and White) in 1969. His two biggest hits ‘Polk Salad Annie’ and ‘Rainy Night in Georgia’ were penned about that time (reportedly written in the same week!!) ...
  • The Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 4

    Reviewed by Andrew Hamlin. The Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 4: 2/13/70 – 2/14/70 (Fillmore East, New York, NY) The bar burned down. The bar named Dante’s, that’s right, it went down (flames) and up (smoke). That’s hell for you. “We look forward to everyone rejoining us at Dante’s ...
  • Bound for Glory – The State of Aussie Pub Rock!

    By Ian McFarlane. VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock (4-CD box, Warner Music/Festival) There’s a school of thought that might have us believe Australian rock music came of age on the international stage in the 1980s and 1990s. As the new 4-CD collection The Glory ...
  • Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

    By Rob Dickens. Sturgill Simpson’s Guide to Virtuosity. There are three performers who are changing the face of country music. Not the Big Commercial ‘beers, hats and trucks’ Country – but the alt. and outlaw country movement. Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are redefining and elevating not only ...