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"This is a revolution, just give in to the dream. Expect to play for keeps.

It's all within your reach !"

Wooden Dinosaur | Spaces | Album Review

Released: Feb. 7, 2012

Michael Roberts leads the vocals on this mellow, yet edgy collection of folk image songs. Katie Trautz supports with harmonies and soft accents as the songs require. If you put this album into your sound system, you will swear you've heard it before. It is like a comfortable pair of jeans and seems to fit into any mood of the day. There are surprises in this group of musings. They come in the way of lyrics, purposefully flat notes and the occasional trumpet that just soars.

Lenny Kravitz: Black and White America

Released 2011

Roadrunner/Atlantic Records

Produced by Lenny Kravitz

Album Cover Photograph: Sy Kravitz

Art Direction, Design and Photography for Lenny Kravitz: Mathieu Bitton thumb lennykravitzbwa

The Vision. The Message. Equality. Freedom.  Life can be enjoyed passionately at its core. Lenny Kravitz transmits it through this album. He has put together a 16 track record which was designed as an LP.  It is almost autobiographical, and ties together his personal history, legendary political movements and real time body moving deep cuts of unstoppable energy. There is a clear soul message to this album, songs of spiritual connection and gratitude. There is some pop to be had, radio tracks stand out against the old school vibes. Each song reflects a genre in and of itself because they are often different from each other. Yet this album melds  into a funk so hot, if you play it in your car, the wheels will catch fire.

thumb ettadreamerinsidecoverwebEtta James: Dreamer (Album Review)

Respectfully submitted to The Boston Blues Society Editor, Mr. Georgetown Fats, January 22, 2012.

Published with permission in the Blues Blog.

Just days after the legendary Jamesetta Hawkins died of long standing illness, it is with a heavy heart that I complete this review. Etta was only a few days shy of her 74th birthday.

Whether you are a pop music fan who only knows the iconic "At Last" for ceremonies, or the serious blues collector who has followed her career from Johnny Otis, to Chess, to RCA/Victor and other labels, Etta James is a core soul voice of music.

BackNBloom: Music For The Modern Monkey (Album Review) thumb backnbloomalbum

Released September 13, 2011

I received this album directly from Lori Steele, vocalist and electric violinist of BackNBloom, the techno-fusion duo she shares with Alberto Beka.

They are from Los Angeles. We have an unspoken rule around here, real music, real instruments. So how does an electro-pop rock album fit into our set?

Matt Pryor: May Day  thumb mattpryormayday

Released January 24, 2012 (NightShoes Syndicate)

I have a theory, that indie punk rockers intuitively write great folk music. I've followed The Replacements to Paul Westerberg, had Grandpa Boy sneak up on me and then took in Folker among his other, more recent works. Langhorne Slim's drummer, Malachi  Delorenzo is the son of the drummer from the Violent Femmes. The punk rockers have the advantage in creating folk music because they still have raw lyrics in their heads and the phrasing that they do changes things up because that is just how they hear music. So when Matt Pryor, from the Kansas City band, The Get Up Kids, gave his catalog a turn for the acoustic and the harp. I was curious to review it and test my hypothesis.

 

JOHNNY WINTER

ROOTS

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Unlike most aging blues artists who bring in special musical guests to revitalize their old songs, Johnny Winter took a different approach. He brought in an A-list of musicians to collaborate on a project that's near and dear to his heart.

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