Roy Orbison With the Royal Philharmonic – A Love So Beautiful

On the surface, this appears to be just another standard music legend/world class orchestra collaboration; A gift to fans, but a collective shoulder shrug from everyone else. “A Love So Beautiful,” however, is so much more. Continue reading “Roy Orbison With the Royal Philharmonic – A Love So Beautiful”

Scott Miller – Ladies Auxiliary

Since leaving the V-Boys in the late ‘90s, Scott Miller has forged a career as a solo artist, making waves in the alt country scene, but managing to fly under the radar of most outside the genre. It’s a shame though, as his 10th effort, “Ladies Auxiliary” shows, Miller is a fantastic songwriter. Continue reading “Scott Miller – Ladies Auxiliary”

Carmaig de Forest – I Shall Be Re-Released

Boasting probably the best album title since someone decided to name Paul Westerberg’s best of album Besterberg, Carmaig de Forest’s I Shall Be Released (christened I Shall Be Re-Released for this collection) gets the full re-release treatment from Omnivore for its 30th anniversary.

While de Forest may never have been as popular as the acts he was always grouped with (Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants), he was one of the smartest, wryest folk rockers to every pick up a ukulele.

The original album, produced by Alex Chilton, sounds just as jaw-droppingly original in 2017 as it did in 1987. Across the 15 original tracks, de Forest, with a voice somewhere between Jonathan Richman and Gordan Gano, tackles everything from fascism (“Crack’s No Worse Than the Fascist Threat”) to hell (“Hey Judas”) and tosses in a fantastic of-kilter cover of “Secret Agent Man” while he’s at it.

This re-release includes 11 additional tracks, a mix of four unreleased songs and a slew of live takes. Although most of the extras here are upper tier songs like his cover of the traditional murder ballad “Banks of the Ohio” and “I Don’t Want to Go to Your Hometown” are flat out brilliant. While his live take of the show closer medley of Frank Sinatra’s “One More for My Baby” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” underscores perfectly everything that’s so amazing about Carmaig de Forest.

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Pylon Reenactment Society – Part Time Punk Sessions EP

While technically not a new album from the storied Athens dance post-punk band Pylon, “Part Time Punk Sessions EP” is probably the next best thing. Pylon Reenactment Society started three years ago and is comprised of Pylon’s Vanessa Briscoe Hay and a supergroup of other Athens Indie bands, including members of Big Atomic, Casper & The Cookies, and The Glands.   Continue reading “Pylon Reenactment Society – Part Time Punk Sessions EP”

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ – Mystery Road

In what hopefully kicks off the first of several expanded edition albums from Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Island and UMe have just re-released “Mystery Road” (on vinyl and CD), with seven demos tacked onto the classic record. Curiously, the re-release started with the band’s third album, though arguable one of their best. Criminally underrated as a group during their initial run in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, “Mystery Road’s” “Honeysuckle Blue” and “Straight To Hell” did manage to get a little love from college radio in 1989. The demos on this re-release were all produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, more proof that DNC was just about every Georgia rocker’s favorite band at the time. Continue reading “Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ – Mystery Road”

Dead Boys – Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!

At first blush it could appear to be a tad bit sacrilege: taking a punk rock classic, the Dead Boys debut, “Young, Loud and Snotty,” and re-recording the album four decades later… with a new singer. But, in realty, the re-recorded version is actually a better product sonically. Continue reading “Dead Boys – Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!”

Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem

From the tight jeans and mullets uniform of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the cringe-worthy hairspray and glitter era, to the burning churches and scary-as-fuck Norwegian Black Metal sect, Axl Rosenberg and Chris Krovatin have managed to break down just about every imaginable subgenre of Heavy Metal in their satisfyingly thorough Hellraisers. This massively heavy hardcover is crammed with hundreds of color photos, playlists and essays throughout. Continue reading “Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem”

Willie Nelson and the Boys – Willie’s Stash Vol. 2

It’s been about six months since Willie Nelson last put out a record (a near eternity in Nelson time), so of course he’s got another one ready to release. Keeping in theme the first offering of “Willie’s Secret Stash” (a collection of duets with his older sister Bobbie), “Vol. 2” finds Nelson teaming up with his sons Micah and Lukas, both solid singers in their own right. Continue reading “Willie Nelson and the Boys – Willie’s Stash Vol. 2”

Chris Barron – Angels & One-Armed Jugglers (CD)

It takes less than a minute into Chris Barron’s latest album before you recognize where you’ve heard that voice before. Twenty-five years ago, The Spin Doctors were inescapable. You couldn’t turn on the radio, the TV or even go to the movies without hearing “Two Princes,” “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” or “Jimmy Olson’s Blues.” The jam band-lite songs connected with fans instantly and just as easily elicited vitriol from critics. But, The Spin Doctors, like their contemporaries in Blues Traveler, seemed to leave as quickly as they came, though both groups have regrouped and continued to tour off and on over the years. Now going it alone, Barron has both the blessing and the curse of being part of a once-famous band (like Colin Hay and many before them). Continue reading “Chris Barron – Angels & One-Armed Jugglers (CD)”