When Crowded House disbanded after a string of wonderful albums, I figured we’d at least have a steady stream of solo discs from group leader Neil Finn to turn to. It hasn’t worked out that way, though. Crowded House performed its farewell concert in November 1996; and while Finn has been busy with assorted musical projects in the 17 years since then, the new Dizzy Heights is only his third solo album and his first since 2001’s One Nil (released as One All in…Continue
Posted on April 5, 2014 at 5:30am — 4 Comments
I videotaped this concert when it aired on PBS decades ago and have been watching it periodically ever since. Every time I see it, I ask myself the same question: Why on earth has this incredible show—which has long been available on CD—never been issued on DVD?
As I discovered a while back, I wasn’t alone in my bewilderment: just look at the show’s page on Amazon.com, which originally touted the now-long-discontinued VHS version. (A Laserdisc was also available during…Continue
Posted on March 18, 2014 at 4:30am
If rock and roll had a birth certificate, it would most likely list the place of delivery as 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. That’s the original home of Sam Phillips’s Memphis Recording Service, which evolved into the legendary Sun Records. This is where, in 1951, Jackie Brentson waxed “Rocket 88,” a number that many consider the first rock record. It’s where Elvis Presley showed up in 1953, ostensibly to wax a song for his mother, and wound up creating the now classic Sun…Continue
Posted on March 8, 2014 at 4:00am — 1 Comment
Here’s a video of a song called “Boarding Pass” from the Railsplitters, one of the more auspicious new bluegrass groups I’ve heard in a while. The Boulder, Colorado quartet—Lauren Stovall, Dusty Rider (real name!), Peter Sharpe and Leslie Ziegler—are all noteworthy songwriters and singers. They convey the enthusiasm of eager newcomers along with the sort of polish you’d expect from consummate professionals. The tracks on their eponymous debut album are typically more upbeat than this…Continue
Posted on January 7, 2014 at 4:30am — 1 Comment
I’m a bit late to this party—In Time came out last February—and what a party I’ve been missing. The Mavericks packed quite a punch by the time they disbanded nearly a decade ago, but they’ve never sounded better than they do on this ambitious reunion album.
The improved results notwithstanding, the recipe is the one that the Miami-based band has been using all along: mix Latin, Tex-Mex and rockabilly with a whole lot of bar-band rock and roll, and add a bit of…Continue
Posted on December 24, 2013 at 9:30am