By Leva levitra
Tuesday May 21, 2013 | May 2013 Issue
moe.: Sticks & Stones
After toying with innovative recording techniques on their last two albums, moe. gets back to basics on Sticks & Stones. In the past, they have road-tested their material, sometimes for several years, before recording. This album, however, was written from scratch, over the course of two weeks, resulting in the band’s most immediate musical statement, free from the extended workouts and eccentric passages that such time-honed material inspires. Guitarist Al Schnier offers up the rockin’ title track, as well as the acoustic-based, “September”, which is among the band’s finest works. Bassist Rob Derhak shines on “Deep This Time” and the chunky opener, “Cathedral”, while guitarist Chuck Garvey, easily the most gifted (yet least prolific) writer in the band, offers up “All Roads Lead To Home”, a classic rock single in the purest sense. Closing the album is the rousing “Raise A Glass”, featuring backing vocals by Umphrey’s McGee. All in all, a fine example of moe. at its rawest state.
Widespread Panic: Free Somehow
Athens GA’s Widespread Panic are celebrating a quarter-century together, as well as the release of their tenth studio album, their third since the 2002 death of founding guitarist Mikey Houser (and the first to feature the legendary Jimmy Herring, filling that role). The bulk of this material was written in the studio, as opposed to the time-worn tradition of road-testing the material, which allows for a greater immediacy to the material. Kicking off with the pounding “Boom Boom Boom”, this album is clearly a step up from their meandering 2005 release, Earth To America. “Walk On The Flood” is as pure an homage to mid-70s AOR radio as the band has ever cut, while “Angels On High” is a smooth, funky groove, full of horns and killer riffs that are sure to get folks up and dancing. The album keeps up the fire, all the way to the horn-laden closer, “Up All Night”. After so many years together, many bands are often left clutching at straws….Widespread Panic, on the other hand, are still cooking.
Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation's Dark
Speaking of Athens, GA, the Drive-By Truckers have been delivering solid albums of gritty, honest, Southern rock & roll for a decade now, including the epics, Southern Rock Opera and Decoration Day. And now they are back, with the dynamic Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, their seventh studio release. While they may have lost a singer and writer in Jason Isbell, who left the band last year, co-bandleaders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley more than make up for it, with even more slack picked up by bassist Shonna Tucker, who offers up three songs of her own, all of which fit right in with the Truckers’ unique blend of country and Stones-influenced rock & roll. One of the best bands to come around in recent years, the Drive-By Truckers deliver yet another masterpiece.
Ray Davies: Working Man's Cafe
FormerKinks frontman Ray Davies has had a long, storied career as one of the most influential songwriters to ever pick up a guitar and pen. After thirty years with the Kinks, and a few years off, 2006 saw the release of his debut solo album, the magnificent Other Peoples’ Lives. Feeling the momentum created upon that release, Davies now delivers his second solo album, Working Man’s Café, which possesses all the charm, wit, and brilliance of his best work. Highlights include “Vietnam Cowboys”, “Morphine Song”, and the nostalgic title track. Davies has said that the last of the Kinks has yet to be heard but, until then, his solo work will do just fine.
|< Prev||Next >|