A Live Showcase for NRBQ’s Diversity, Plus Albums from Steve Van Zandt, Donovan, and Che Apalache

  By Jeff Burger As I noted in a 2016 review, it’s a good thing that NRBQ are known by their initials rather than their full name, which is New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (or, originally, Quintet). Their music can sound like avant-garde jazz one minute, Beatlesque rock the next, and rockabilly the next, and […]

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Vintage Radio Broadcasts Showcase Country Legend Hank Williams; Plus Chris & Adam Carroll, Michaela Anne, Glenna Bell, and Shaun Johnson

I stopped taking the word “complete” seriously after I shelled out big bucks for the 10-CD Complete Hank Williams in 1998, only to discover a flood of material from him that the box didn’t include. First, I encountered the two-disc Health & Happiness Shows, which had been issued five years earlier; then came such albums […]

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The Rolling Stones Pull Another One from the Vaults; Plus the Grateful Dead and Procol Harum

The Rolling Stones have been mining their extensive vaults consistently of late, most recently to unearth such gems as an expanded version of Rock & Roll Circus and 50th anniversary editions of Beggars Banquet and Their Satanic Majesties Request. Now comes Bridges to Bremen, which delivers a 1998 concert from Bremen, Germany. The gig took place […]

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Springsteen’s 19th Album Ranks with His Best; Plus Cat Stevens, Chris Stamey, Savoy Brown

By Jeff Burger On first listen, Western Stars sounds like nothing Bruce Springsteen has ever done before. On second listen, though, you start to hear connections to the catalog. And by the third listen, you’re probably in love. Springsteen’s 19th album—his first studio release since 2014 and his first record of all-new original material since […]

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Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review, Take Two; plus Chip & Tony Kinman, Willard Gayheart, Meghan Hayes

By Jeff Burger “Wait a minute,” you might think, after hearing about The Rolling Thunder Review: The 1975 Live Recordings. “Didn’t Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series already devote a volume to that concert tour?” Yup, and the very first paragraph of the liner notes for this new package concedes that the earlier one collected “what we […]

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A Must-Hear Album from Southside Johnny and Little Steven; Plus The Schramms, RJ Cowdery, Carlo Ditta, Greg Jacobs and Ellis Mano Band

Back in 1993, Bruce Springsteen guitarist Little Steven—who cofounded Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes in the mid 70s—teamed up with Southside to perform an acoustic benefit concert that aired on New York radio. The show, which embraced several of their best-known originals as well as a long menu of well-chosen covers, featured Asbury Jukes guitarist Bobby […]

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