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Son Volt | American Central Dust

Rounder (2009)
With American Central Dust , Jay Farrar has now accomplished something he was unable to do either during Son Volt's initial run (1995-99) or his evidently aborted solo career (2001-04): released three consecutive albums of undeniable quality.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 15, 2009


David Bowie | Storytellers

Virgin (2009)
Bowie was particularly relaxed and reflective when he took his star turn on VH1's Storytellers program 10 years ago next month.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 07, 2009


Elvis Costello | Secret, Profane and Sugarcane

Hear Music (2009)
There are few genres into which Elvis Costello hasn't delved over the years, but he's always seemed particularly comfortable within the traditional back-porch country that occupies this latest session.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  June 08, 2009


Green Day | 21st Century Breakdown

Reprise (2009)
If anyone had suggested, circa Dookie 15 years ago, that Green Day would one day carry the torch for the classic rock opera . . . well, no one would have.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  June 01, 2009


Vieux Farka Touré | Fondo

Six Degrees (2009)
On his extraordinary homonymous 2007 debut, Vieux Farka Touré both paid tribute to his late, legendary father, Malian guitar icon Ali Farka Touré, and began to distance himself from that heritage.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  May 12, 2009


Steve Earle | Townes

New West (2009)
In case it wasn't clear already, Steve Earle idolizes Townes Van Zandt, the Texas singer-songwriter who died in 1997 after decades of soul-shaking music and life-obliterating demons.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  May 06, 2009


New York Dolls | 'Cause I Sez So

Atco (2009)
The big news regarding the New York Dolls’ second album since their reactivation five years ago is the return of Todd Rundgren as producer.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  April 28, 2009


Chick Corea and John McLaughlin | Five Peace Band Live

Concord (2009)
Chick Corea and John McLaughlin first encountered each other in Miles Davis's group in the late '60s before taking his electric-jazz lessons and going on to invent fusion with Return to Forever (Corea) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (McLaughlin).
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  April 21, 2009


Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber | Making Love to the Dark Ages

LiveWired (2009)
Listening to Burnt Sugar audio isn't unlike watching TV minus the picture — you get most of what's going on, but you know something's missing.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  March 17, 2009


Review: The Bad Plus's For All I Care

Heads Up (2009)
On each of their previous albums, the Bad Plus let it be known they owed as much to classic rock and pop as to prog jazz.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 27, 2009


Review: The Hot Club of San Francisco's Bohemian Maestro

Azica (2009)
No genre is as closely associated with a single artist as Gypsy jazz is with Django Reinhardt.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 20, 2009


Review: Appetite for Self-Destruction

How the record industry killed itself
Like any good murder mystery, Steve Knopper's Appetite for Self-Destruction keeps the tension high and the action swift as the search for a culprit drags on.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 13, 2009


Review: Jim Hall and Bill Frisell, Hemispheres

Artist Share (2009)
What makes Hemispheres such a successful collaboration is not that Jim Hall and Bill Frisell meet in the middle but that they start there and extend outward.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 12, 2009


Review: Let Freedom Sing! Music of the Civil Rights Movement

Time/Life (2009)
In any given Black History Month, the three-disc Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement would be a powerful anthology.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 06, 2009


Tom Jones | 24 Hours

S-Curve (2008)
At 68, Tom Jones has decided it's about time he became a songwriter.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  December 02, 2008


Various Artists | Love Train: The Sound Of Philadelphia

Philadelphia International/Legacy (2008)
It took Detroit’s Motown and Memphis’s Stax to pave the way for the Philadelphia International Records of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  November 24, 2008


Howlin’ Wolf | Rockin’ the Blues: Live In Germany, 1964

Acrobat (2008)
The fidelity of the recording is far from state-of-the-art, but its historical value - and sheer musicality - more than make up for any qualities that might peeve audiophiles.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  November 20, 2008


Silver Jew | Drag City DVD

Drag City (2008)
Michael Tully’s 52-minute home movie/documentary follows the band as they schlep around Israel touring, shopping, and playing a handful of gigs.  
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  October 08, 2008


I Got the Feelin': James Brown in the '60s

Shout! Factory
By 1968, James Brown wasn’t merely “Soul Brother No. 1”; he was an African-American icon with the power to stop riots.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  August 04, 2008


Love Story

Love Story | Start
Love were one of rock’s first interracial bands, and Lee’s genius as their chief songwriter, musician, and bandleader is reinforced here by former band members, label associates, and others.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 22, 2008
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