REVIEW: The Animals’ Second Act, Plus a New Gordon Lightfoot CD

By Jeff Burger  Like such artists as the Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac, the Animals had more than one distinct incarnation. As part of the first wave of the British Invasion between 1964 and 1966, they produced 11 deservedly acclaimed U.S. hit singles, including such bluesy rock staples as “It’s My Life,” “We Gotta Get Out […]

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A Turning Point for Sam Cooke, Plus Michael Doucet, Michel Petrucciani, Chris Maxwell

From a career standpoint, Sam Cooke’s Keen Records period bears comparison to Elvis Presley’s days at Sun. Presley made seminal recordings at the latter label before his new manager, the hard-driving Colonel Tom Parker, signed him up for stardom at the much larger RCA. Similarly, Cooke spent an important transitional period at Keen before another […]

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An Essential Hank Williams Compilation, Plus Mick Kolassa and Letitia VanSant

The latest evidence that 1998’s The Complete Hank Williams is erroneously titled is Pictures from Life’s Other Side, a six-CD, 144-track collection of performances from the country legend’s 1951 radio show on Nashville’s WSM. (These are commonly known as the Mother’s Best recordings, because the Mother’s Best Flour Company sponsored the 15-minute programs.) Much of […]

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