I’m still swimming my way through the bounty of last week’s new releases so I’m a little relieved this week’s group is a little skinnier. In addition to the great new releases of last week, I made the sound investment in the 7-CD Freddie King box set Taking Care of Business 1956-1973. That’s nine hours of Freddie King blues goodness and I’ve not scratched the surface of the wonders it beholds. This week’s list is skinnier but it’s not vacant. There’s one “must have” CD for me and some others of varying degrees of interest.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
We Walk This Road
This is the must-have for me. Randolph has teamed up with uber-producer T Bone Burnett and I’m hoping the result of the collaboration will be something a little less slick and polished than Randolph’s previous outing Colorblind. Colorblind was a lot of fun and I still listen to it, but that kind of shiny production doesn’t play to the considerable strengths of Randolph’s Sacred Steel guitar mastery. I can’t wait to hear these songs.
Derek Trucks Band
Derek Trucks is a phenomenal guitarist with few peers and I love listening to him play. I mention that because I was a bit disappointed in his previous album Already Free. I’m curious to know whether the songs come off better live where Trucks can extend them with some of his phenomenal fretwork. I’m not picking this one up this week but I’ll have an eye on it down the road when we have a slow week.
Apparently I missed the memo and the meeting when “we” decided to start taking ‘80s relics Jon Bon Jovi and Cyndi Lauper seriously. I can’t have been in the room because I’d have had a stroke and an aneurysm before committing a homicide.
Cyndi Lauper has gone from a pro wrestling prop and singer of Goonies theme song to some sort of respected song interpreter. On this latest album, she’s actually going to attempt to sing the blues. I’m experiencing souldeath. God help you if kingdom comes and you have a copy of this album in your possession. I am choosing to forgive Charlie Musselwhite, B.B. King, and Jonny Lang for assisting this piece of blues assassination because I am a benevolent snob, but I’m not real damn happy about it.
London Calling: Live in Hyde Park DVD/Blu-ray
The good news? This DVD is a very good representation of the Working On A Dream world tour. The bad news? This DVD is a very good representation of the Working On A Dream world tour.
I caught four shows on this tour — I know of what I speak — and Hyde Park has the same problems all four of my shows did (and I paid more than enough on my trek to sound off on the subject). The set list? Largely unimaginative with a few interesting nuggets sprinkled in. “Working On A Dream” is still an average song and “Outlaw Pete” is still awful. There are too many songs from The Rising and Born In The U.S.A.
I’ve seen portions of this show broadcast as part of Hard Rock Live on Palladia. The performances are uneven. I love Stevie Van Zant and so it’s with love that I offer to help him out: “London Calling” and “The ice age is coming.” Van Zant loves The Clash and loves “London Calling” yet he looks like hasn’t a clue what the words to the song are and he’s late every time he joins The Boss on the mic. “Jungleland” and “Rosalita” are better, performance-wise.