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Album Reviews

Music Review: Holly Bowling – ‘Better Left Unsung’ (Solo Piano Tribute to the Grateful Dead)

On the surface, you might think that limiting the songs of a band that thrived on the interplay between various parts – most importantly the lead and rhythm guitars of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir – wouldn't work, but you’d be mistaken. There is power and subtlety in these reinterpretations that I think Garcia would have admired, as his own personal tastes seemed to range to the more subdued and authentic soul of acoustic performances. Read More »

Music Review: Frank Zappa – ‘ZAPPAtite: Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks’

From the sonic exuberance of “Dancin’ Fool” and “Tell Me You Love Me” to the funky dissonance of “You Are What You Is” and “Joe’s Garage” to the bathroom-humor excellence of “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Titties and Beer,” this album will give you just as much of a “taste” for Frank Zappa’s music as his son’s "Zappa Plays Zappa" did for me some eight years ago. Read More »

Music CD/DVD Review: Joe Bonamassa – ‘Live at the Greek Theatre’

joe bonamassa live at the greek theatre

Bonamassa and his band fire on all cylinders on this live 2-CD or 2-DVD set. Recorded, amazingly, at a single sold-out Los Angeles concert in 2015, the selections pay tribute to the three "Kings" of the blues: Freddie King, Albert King, and Bonamassa's mentor B.B. King. Read More »

Music Review: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – ‘Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years’

Back when the term "Americana" just meant pioneer-era antiques, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was bringing American folk music into the pop-music mainstream. To celebrate half a century of making music, the group is releasing a live album of 18 favorite tunes recorded at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium, many featuring guest artists from the pantheon of folk, Americana, and country music. Read More »

Music Review: My Chemical Romance – ‘The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts’ [10th Anniversary Edition]

If you’re not a fan of the band but want to experience one of the more potent albums to come from the wave of bands labeled as “emo” during the last decade, then you should definitely consider this landmark release from My Chemical Romance. Read More »

Music Review: Chicago – ‘Chicago Quadio Box (9-Disc Blu-ray Audio)’

For a less musically talented band, being able to reconceive the sounds within the songs physically and rhythmically could have turned this kind of release been a box set of cheap sonic “tricks” designed to fool the listener into thinking the extra money it costs to buy the “enhanced” version of an album was well worth it. For Chicago? It allowed them to see just what was possible with the sound. Read More »