Published on 2013-05-13 12:30:00
Crystal Bowersox certainly has reason to count her blessings. Only three years after rising to stardom as the American Idol ninth season runner-up, she is set to step onto the Broadway stage this summer as the leading lady in Always… Patsy Cline.
Published on 2013-04-14 15:04:00
Smokey Robinson, 4/10/2013, Mahaffey Theater (photo: Donald Gibson)
Smokey Robinson may very well be the smoothest, most sensual singer/songwriter ever. The man oozes intimacy. Not sex explicitly, but rather the rush of attraction and togetherness,
Published on 2013-04-05 03:23:00
“Talking about music is like talking about sex,” Bruce Springsteen has been known to say. “It’s better when demonstrated.”
Despite whatever skepticism he may have in regard to the former proposition, however, Springsteen has increasingl
Published on 2013-03-29 01:16:00
Of course they’ve scored plenty of hits over the years, but the prime catalyst of Fleetwood Mac’s legend, why they still generate a buzz and draw arena-sized audiences whenever they re-team for a tour—the band begins a new one next Thursday nig
Published on 2013-03-23 05:43:00
In his new book, I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon, journalist and author Touré suggests and explains certain fundamental reasons why the legendary musician has transcended the context of his craft to ultimately achieve a far more profound
Published on 2013-03-09 07:10:00
It's the time of the season for the annual SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, and the Zombies will be among the scores of musicians in attendance. The legendary British band, fronted by original members Rod Argent (keyboards/vocals) and Colin Blun
Published on 2013-03-06 08:20:00
In gearing up for a much-hyped performance next week at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Iggy and the Stooges have revealed “Burn,” the high-voltage first single from their forthcoming new album, Ready To Die, slated for release on April 30th on Fat
Published on 2013-03-05 00:37:00
It turns out that reality doesn’t bite after all. At least it doesn’t for Lisa Loeb, who on her latest album, No Fairy Tale (429 Records), maintains that everyday blessings are ultimately more fulfilling than any fanciful illusions. Such optimism
Published on 2013-02-25 22:50:00
Sounding more Heathen than Heroes with its sleek guitar-and-drum synergy, David Bowie's new single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," made its premiere Monday night.
As the latest-to-be-released track from the rock legend's forthcoming LP, The Nex
Published on 2013-02-25 19:24:00
Singer/songwriter Amos Lee will be the subject of the latest DVD installment of Live From the Artist's Den, slated for release on March 12. The critically acclaimed series, which so far has showcased such artists as Adele, Crowded House, and Rober
Published on 2013-02-24 20:59:00
One of last year’s most delightful surprises in music came courtesy of Susanna Hoffs, whose third solo LP, Someday, recalls the spirit and sophisticated songcraft of some of the ‘60s and early ‘70s' most distinctive and timeless recordings.
Published on 2013-02-19 22:07:00
Crystal Bowersox is ready for her follow-up.
All That For This, the American Idol Season 9 finalist's sophomore album, is slated for release on March 26. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Rickie Lee Jones), it features 11 originals either writte
Published on 2013-02-09 22:39:00
Kris Kristofferson is one of the rare songwriters who’ve expanded the vernacular, so to speak, having upped the ante on what a popular song can speak to or suggest. His finest musical moments over the years, from “Help Me Make It Through the Nigh
Published on 2013-01-31 21:20:00
Singer/songwriter ZZ Ward makes a dynamic first impression with her debut LP, ‘Til the Casket Drops (Boardwalk/Hollywood Records), deftly imbuing elements of blues, hip/hop, and pop with juke-joint earthiness and some serious pipes. “I’ve alway
Published on 2013-01-29 21:02:00
Songstress Madeleine Peyroux is set to release her sixth solo LP, The Blue Room, on March 5 on Decca Records. The album is produced by Larry Klein, who in addition to having collaborated with Peyroux on past efforts like Careless Love and Half the
Published on 2013-01-29 18:16:00
In the early days of the Moody Blues, lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Hayward remembers, "the other guys would often look to me to start an album, because we were contracted to make a certain number of albums in a certain amount of time." Beginnin
Published on 2013-01-19 05:15:00
Nearly half a century ago Colin Blunstone emerged as one of England’s most singular, evocative vocalists. As the lead singer of the Zombies, whose classic hits like “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and “Time of the Season” helped def
Published on 2013-01-07 18:18:00
Over the past 30 years whenever you’ve heard a new Bon Jovi song for the first time—from “Runaway” to “You Give Love a Bad Name” to “It’s My Life” to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”— you knew who it was. Their best songs have a
Published on 2012-12-20 19:04:00
The first time I saw Buddy Guy in concert I thought, “This is what Jimi Hendrix could’ve been like had he lived longer.” It wasn’t so much because of the over-the-top showmanship Guy displayed on the electric guitar. Rather, it was because of
Published on 2012-12-15 18:55:00
Singer/songwriter Haroula Rose delivered one of 2011’s most charming debuts, These Open Roads, her reflective, mostly acoustic-folk songcraft coupled with an unaffected empathy in her singing endearing her as an artist of depth and considerable pr
Published on 2012-12-10 16:13:00
Sebastian Mikael didn’t write his first song until he was 18, but the now-24-year-old singer/songwriter is emerging as a versatile artist of significant talent and promise.
“I still feel like I’m always learning, always developing,” says Mi
Published on 2012-12-03 02:15:00
As the ‘80s were winding down Cinderella were on a heavy-metal high, having reached the Top 10 with Long Cold Winter, the Philadelphia band’s most successful effort to date. Frontman Tom Keifer had no idea how prophetic the title of the album
Published on 2012-11-19 12:40:00
His lead guitar will forever grace some of rock's most perennial classics but Don Felder's proverbial life in the fast lane came to a screeching halt in 2001 with his contentious exit from the Eagles and, later, the end of his near-30-year marriage.
Published on 2012-10-23 14:02:00
On the heels of two critically acclaimed Duets albums, including last year's wildly popular Duets II, Tony Bennett now rounds out the trilogy with the Latin-themed Viva Duets.
Following much the same format of its two predecessors, Viva Duets finds the 17-time-GRAMMY-winning legend collaborating with what he calls "a small army of the best performers that sing Spanish music," including
Published on 2012-09-06 23:20:00
The Rolling Stones were losing their edge. By the late ‘70s, amid the throes of punk's rebellious angst and disco's ribald decadence, the Stones—who had long personified both such distinctions—seemed atypically tame.
It had been a long six years since the band’s last really big deal, Exile on Main Street, and even that wasn’t considered the classic then that it generally is today. Critics had
Published on 2012-09-04 01:06:00
His father may as well be Odysseus for all the reverence and mythologies ascribed to his lineage, but today Adam Cohen comes across as having struggled less with the notion of living in Leonard Cohen’s shadow than with living up to his own artistic potential.
That's not to say the 39-year-old singer/songwriter has relished contending with the sort of scrutiny other progenies of influential
Published on 2012-08-23 01:52:00
“I know when I’m writing something and I just get this feeling that comes over me,” singer/songwriter Megan Reilly explains. “And that’s really spiritual and powerful.
“But it doesn’t always come,” she says in the next breath, “and that’s frustrating.”
The Memphis native is no stranger to the vicissitudes of her muse, or to the patience it requires at its most elusive and unpredictable.
Published on 2012-08-15 06:12:00
While her first new album in eight years, Only Forever (Blue Note), isn’t slated for release until October 21, Anita Baker is already off and running with its lead single, “Lately.”
The songstress injects a sensuous perspective to the Tyrese slowjam, her velvety pipes caressing and toying with a lush, lingering groove. The vibe is smoky yet often embellished with crossover-pop distinctions;
Published on 2012-07-31 18:36:00
Nona Hendryx has never been one to play it safe.
In fact, the avant-garde icon has spent nearly the past half-century pushing boundaries and other people's buttons; whether as a founding member of funk/soul pioneers LaBelle ("Lady Marmalade"), a backing vocalist for a host of progressive artists (Talking Heads, Yoko Ono, Alice Cooper), or an innovative singer/songwriter in her own right.
Published on 2012-07-20 15:37:00
“There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” President Barack Obama said of Bob Dylan earlier this year at a White House ceremony in which the music legend received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.
With a new album in the offing—Tempest, his 35th studio effort, is slated for a September 11th release—and a new round of North American concert dates lined up with Mark
Published on 2012-07-10 04:44:00
That a conversation with Dave Wakeling ostensibly about music soon shifts to matters of sociopolitical concern shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the man's career, most notably his stint as the principal songwriter, singer, and guitarist for the English Beat.
Formed in Birmingham, England in 1978, the English Beat (or the Beat, as they were more commonly known outside of the States) emerged
Published on 2012-06-26 06:44:00
“It’s kind of scary,” says Buddy Guy, his voice quivering with ominous unease. “Blues music is like an endangered species almost.
“The few of us that’s still left,” he adds, “they don’t play our music for some reason much anymore, hardly any.”
Guy, 75, knows of which he speaks. In a narrative steeped with down-home candor reflective of his Louisiana roots, his new autobiography, When I Left Home:
Published on 2012-06-08 22:44:00
Fans of television’s Ally McBeal will remember Vonda Shepard as the vivacious blonde songstress in the piano bar, usually playing some timeless tearjerker (“I Only Want to Be With You,” “Vincent”) or a suitably poignant original (“Maryland,” “Baby, Don’t You Break My Heart Slow”) on occasion. Her smoky, soulful voice instilled in the hit show’s often-quirky storylines an empathetic perspective
Published on 2012-06-08 04:21:00
Australian duo Big Scary bring a bit of New Wave minimalism to Post-Modern pop with "Falling Away," the lead single to their upcoming debut LP, Vacation, which is set for a U.S. release on September 18. Lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tom Iansek and drummer/backing vocalist Joanna Syme construct a piano-versus-drums dichotomy throughout the song—think Night and Day-era Joe Jackson—alternating
Published on 2012-06-07 14:05:00
In the genre of concert films, This Is It is an anomaly. Most others document a particular live performance or composite performances from a tour.
Michael Jackson doesn’t sing or dance or do anything in this film in front of a live audience.
Yet to watch him rehearse for what was to have been a scheduled 50-night residency at London’s O2 Arena is to appreciate—however vicariously—every detail and
Published on 2012-05-29 09:55:00
REO Speedwagon is gearing up for a new round of dates as part of the ongoing Midwest Rock ‘N’ Roll Express tour, and founding keyboardist Neal Doughty couldn’t be happier. “The shows have been great,” he says. “The audiences have been great.”
Also great? The band is a bastion of hits—“Ridin’ The Storm Out,” “Take It On The Run,” “Keep On Loving You,” just to name a few—and they’re more than
Published on 2012-05-26 20:05:00
The Bowery isn’t the mecca for rock ‘n’ roll mayhem anymore, but the rambunctious, punk-spiked spirit of its ‘70s heyday is alive and kicking in the music of The Young Things.
The band is currently recording a full-length effort slated for release later this year. In the meantime, they can most often be found on a stage in some local dive playing songs from their 2009 EP, …Is The Killer, a
Published on 2012-05-11 23:59:00
Suckers for a catchy pop tune will have a hard time resisting "Sense," the beguiling lead single from 17-year-old Swedish ingénue Amanda Mair. In what sort of sounds like a cross between ELO and ABBA, she sings soft and lissome against a bouncy, head-bobbing rhythm in the verses which gives way to a lush, insatiable melody in the chorus.
Already a rising star in her native land, Mair is set to
Published on 2012-05-09 20:49:00
“I’ll be darn,” guitarist James “JY” Young says with a chuckle when told that Styx garnered praise recently from Rolling Stone, which cited the band’s current Midwest Rock ‘N’ Roll Express tour with REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent as among “The Ten Hottest Summer Package Tours of 2012.” “That’s a turnaround for Rolling Stone in relation to us, but who am I to disagree with them?” says Young, who
Published on 2012-05-08 19:34:00
“I love it here,” Eric Hutchinson raves about living in Manhattan, his home for the past five years and, he says, a primary influence on the making of his latest LP, Moving Up Living Down (Warner Brothers Records). “I’d write songs all day in my little studio in New York and I’d go out at night and eat, drink, and soak up some inspiration.”
Much like the urban energies and nightlife diversions it
Published on 2012-04-19 02:32:00
The seeds had likely been sown long before they surfaced in his songwriting, yet to various degrees throughout his career Lionel Richie has shown he has a soft spot for country music.
In Commodores songs like “Easy” and the underrated gem “Lucy” the influence was evident; whether in his down-to-earth, say-what-you-feel lyrics—“I gave you my heart and I tried to make you happy, but you gave
Published on 2012-04-06 21:01:00
As a teenager first learning to play the guitar, Adam Levy
wasn’t bent on mastering the signature riff to “Purple Haze” or the
chord sequence in “Stairway to Heaven.” Instead he practiced stuff like
Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Junior’s Farm,” or “China Grove” by the
Doobie Brothers. “I wasn’t really interested in the things that people
often turn to,” Levy recalls. “I still can’t play ‘
Published on 2012-04-06 13:38:00
In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, a timid unease plagued the music industry, resulting in the cancellation or postponement of numerous previously scheduled events and concert tours. As sad, horrific images blanketed the television airwaves around the clock—on seemingly every channel, not just the usual news networks—many artists wrestled with the notion that by going ahead with business
Published on 2012-04-04 01:26:00
Even in his formative stages Eric Clapton was earning a rapturous, rabid following and inspiring generations of guitarists to come. “He was already a star,” says veteran music journalist and author Chris Welch. “Even then as a teenager, people were talking about Eric.”
Welch was one of them. A reporter at British music weekly Melody Maker and still a teenager himself at the time, he first
Published on 2012-03-14 13:12:00
If the members of Good Old War share an abiding ambition for the music they make, it’s that each new record should be better than the last one. With their latest, Come Back as Rain (Sargent House), the indie-folk trio—Keith Goodwin (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Dan Schwartz (vocals/guitar), and Tim Arnold (vocals/drums)—nurture the fluent harmonies and shimmering acoustic guitars that
Published on 2012-03-01 22:52:00
On March 27 the Cowboy Junkies will release The Wilderness, the final installment of the veteran band's four-volume album cycle, "The Nomad Series." In anticipation a free download is now available for "Angels in the Wilderness," a track that, according to a blog post by Junkies frontwoman Margo Timmons on the band's official website, was partly inspired by author Marilynne Robinson's novel,
Published on 2012-01-27 15:45:00
The Little Willies never set out to be a big deal. If anything they’ve aspired to maintain a low profile, perhaps as an antidote to the mainstream attention their most conspicuous member, Norah Jones, tends to attract with her solo releases. They reflected as much on their laid-back 2006 eponymous debut and, in its assortment of covers and well-suited originals, an earnest affinity for classic
Published on 2012-01-23 02:52:00
Charging out of the gate with a bold and impassioned debut, And so they ran faster…, Brooklyn artist Leah Siegel is off to quite an auspicious start as Firehorse.
Released late last year on Pledge Music, the album has earned significant critical praise from the likes of The Los Angeles Times, Paste, and The Wall Street Journal. Select performances in Los Angeles and New York City, including a
Published on 2012-01-16 01:44:00
St. Petersburg showed the O’Jays lots of love this past Thursday night. So much love, in fact, that just about every song they performed met with an instant mix of feminine swoons and joyful sing-a-longs to fill the majestic Mahaffey Theater.
And the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers earned that love all night. More to the point, they worked for it, spinning and gliding in synchronized steps,