Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap – Every Step A Dance Every Word A Song (2004)

FrontCover1.jpgDrummer Bill Bruford has certainly come a long way since his emergence with Yes in the early ’70s. While his interest in jazz was evident in the improvisational aspect of his 25-year association with King Crimson, his mathematical sense of precision and disposition towards mind-boggling subdivisions of rhythm often precluded the kind of elasticity required to approach the looser demands of jazz. As early as ’83, however, Bruford was experimenting with the intimate conversational nature of the duo on recordings with Swiss pianist Patrick Moraz, a strong precursor of what was to follow with the formation of his Earthworks Mark I group featuring Iain Ballamy and Django Bates. Still, as wildly exploratory as that group was, and as comfortable as Bruford was at creating natural-feeling grooves in challenging meters, it would take a dozen more years and the creation of his all-acoustic Earthworks Mark II group before he would truly reconcile his predilection for challenging compositional form with a looser, more elastic playing style.

Since the release of Earthworks Mark II’s début, A Part, and Yet Apart (Summerfold, ’99), Bruford’s playing style has loosened up to the point where he is now a far more in-the-moment player, responsive to his musical surroundings. So when he met Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap in ’02 and began playing duo shows that were less about the confines of structure and more about what Bruford terms “performance-based” music—music of the moment where spontaneity and interaction were the predominant factors—it seemed as though Bruford had made yet another leap forward. With the release of Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song , an album of live performances culled from dates performed in Europe during ’03 and ’04, Bruford’s evolution is confirmed.

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While Bruford and Borstlap are still more concerned with form than, say, Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi—whose recent album with Paul Motian, Doorways , is another beast entirely—the reciprocation between the two jumps out from the first notes of the more structured “The 16 Kingdoms of the 5 Barbarians.” Bruford’s liner notes allude to the fact that the performance space impacts the nature of the musical dialogue—smaller rooms having “the intimacy of a dinner table conversation between old friends,’? while larger venues “naturally become a bit more muscular and assertive.” Still, on more introspective pieces including the title track, the anthem-like “Inhaling Shade,” and an abstract, yet faithful reading of Monk’s “Round Midnight,” Bruford may gently assert the forward motion, but he’s also become a masterful colourist. And while Borstlap’s supplementing of his piano with electronic keyboards sometimes gives the duo a broader complexion, the subtleties of their exchange are never overshadowed by sheer demonstrativeness.

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Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song may not be as great a step forward for Borstlap, already a well-established jazz figure, but it represents one more advance in the pursuit of a more instinctive and natural approach for Bruford, an artist who has, for all intents and purposes, left his rock roots completely behind him. (by John Kelman)

Recorded live in Europe, 2003-4

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Personnel:
Michiel Borstlap (keyboards)
Bill Bruford (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. The 16 Kingdoms Of The 5 Barbarians (Bruford/Borstlap) 8.46
02. Bemsha Swing (Best/Monk) 6.07
03. Inhaling Shade (Bruford/Borstlap) 5.34
04. One Big Vamp (Bruford/Borstlap) 6.05
05. Round Midnight (Hanighen/Williams/Monk) 5.40
06. Announcement 0.53
07 Every Step A Dance, Every Word A Song (Bruford/Borstlap) 5.22
08. Stand On Zanzibar (Bruford/Borstlap) 7.55
09. Swansong (Bruford/Borstlap) 6.58

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Willie Nelson – It Always Will Be (2004)

WillieNelsonFrontCover1It Always Will Be is the fifty-second studio album by country singer Willie Nelson. It includes a cover of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider”, recorded here as a duet with Toby Keith. This cover was released, but did not chart. (by wikipedia)

On his millionth album (or does it just feel that way?), Willie Nelson teams with a new band — except for Family Band harmonicat Mickey Raphael — and duets with some major leaguers. Most of the time, It Always Will Be feels like a Willie album of old. Recorded for the Lost Highway label and produced by James Stroud in Nash Vegas, it’s an inspired collection of fine songs for the most part, and Nelson is in fine voice with the edges beginning to show just a tiny bit. He wrote the title cut, one of the strongest here. Lyrically, it’s tender without being overly sentimental, sweet without being saccharine, and delivered with his trademark elegance and grace. The cover of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan’s “Picture in a Frame,” though faithful, puts Nelson’s stamp firmly on it. With Raphael’s harmonica, Willie’s acoustic, and a skeletal band featuring an understated pedal steel, Nelson’s dignity in the delivery is deeply moving. When he’s this on fire, the only place he usually blows it is in duets — at least on his own records. There are duets here. “Be That As It May,” with daughter Paula and written by her, is just a gorgeous country song. The pair’s voices contrast beautifully and the tune itself is tight and hooky in a Texas country music way.

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“Dreams Come True,” with Norah Jones, is a pretty swing tune that is forgettable but far from offensive, and Lucinda Williams is the star on her own “Overtime.” Willie and Lucinda were made to sing together; the melancholy of the tune lends itself well to her whiskey contralto and his easy baritone. The tune sweetly drifts and lilts with swaying guitars, an accordion, and whispering brushwork. Toby Keith makes an appearance singing background vocals on his “Tired,” but Nelson makes the song his own. Nelson’s “Texas” is a wonderful mariachi blues song that gives way to bittersweet Southwestern honky tonk balladry and showcases his excellent guitar work. The set closes with the album’s only dog, a big-beat over-produced dancy punch-up of Gregg Allman’s classic “Midnight Rider.” It sucks bad. Why this song made the cut is a mystery, but it’s a typical thing for Nelson, to add something that just doesn’t fit. Thankfully, it’s the album’s final song and can be skipped. Be that as it may, It Always Will Be is the best outing for Nelson since Teatro. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Eddie Bayers (drums)
Dan Dugmore (pedal steel-guitar)
Chris Dunn (horn)
Scotty Emerick (guitar)
Shannon Forrest (drums)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar)
Kenny Greenberg (guitar)
Wes Hightower (vocals)
Jim Horn (horn)
Clayton Ivey (keyboards)
Amy James (vocals)
Sam Levine (horn)
Liana Manis (vocals)
Brent Mason (guitar)
Steve Nathan (keyboards)
Willie Nelson (guitar, vocals)
Steve Patrick (horn)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Biff Watson (guitar)
Glenn Worf (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. It Always Will Be (Nelson) 4.12
02. Picture In A Frame (Waits/Brennan) 3.39
03. The Way You See Me (Adams/Day) 4.21
04. Be That As It May (Nelson) (Duet with Paula Nelson) 3.29
05. You Were It (Nelson) 4.28
06. Big Booty (Throckmorton) 3.03
07. I Didn’t Come Here (And I Ain’t Leavin’) (Emerick/Smotherman) 3.10
08. My Broken Heart Belongs To You (Anderson/Nelson) 2.26
09. Dreams Come True (Hopkins) (Duet with Norah Jones) 4.35
10. Over Time (Williams) (Duet with Lucinda Williams) 3.45
11. Tired (Cannon/Keith) 4.19
12. Love’s The One And Only Thing (Emerick/Loggins) 3.35
13. Texas (Nelson) 3.56
14. Midnight Rider (Allman/Payne) (Duet with Toby Keith) 3.00

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Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Nobody Sings Dylan Like Gill ‘n’ Dave (2019)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on the Oscars this year, you know they’re amazing. You may not know they are also amazing interpreters of a certain Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter. They were featured often on my 40-volume Dylan cover collection “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan,” but when I heard that the Dave Rawlings Machine had covered “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” at a San Francisco concert last year – opening the show with the first half of the song, and closing it with the second half – I decided it was time to give them their own NSD collection. A year later, here it is.

As always, thanks to the tapers – they are the true heroes of the ROIO world – and to Gill and Dave for daring to test their mettle on these incomparable songs. As you might remember, in the summer of 2015 Gill ‘n’ Dave did a 50th anniversary tribute at the Newport Folk Festival to the historic show at which Dylan first plugged in. Surprisingly, it has never turned up on any of the download sites I frequent, though there is a barely listenable/watchable version on YouTube. If you have a better version to offer, please do; if you don’t want to bother with the nuts and bolts of uploading, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

A few of these songs are featured on other NSD sets, but these are different versions. Finally, please allow me to dedicate this collection to my friend and fellow Dylan fan Erik, who first introduced me to Gill ‘n’ Dave’s music in 1996 by giving me a copy of “Revival” and telling me I’d love it. I did, and I still do. (jeffs98119 at dime)

Various dates and venues. Mix of audience and soundboard recordings
between 1996 and 2018

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Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch (Oscar 2019)

Personnel:
Dave Rawlings Machine (on 01., 03., 05., 07., 11. + 13.)
The Esquires (on 02. + 09.)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (on 04., 06., 08., 10. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts (1) (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 7.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 7.31
03. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Oct 4, 2007, Tangier Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA) 5.00
04. I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine (Aug 21, 1996, Acoustic Coffee House, Nederland, CO) 3.42
05. As I Went Out One Morning (Sep 24, 2014, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA) 5.32
06. Billy (Nov 18, 1998, Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO) 6.13
07. Oh, Sister (Mar 8, 2018, McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR) 5.10
08. Goin’ to Acapulco (Oct 13, 2004, McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR) 5.53
09. Quinn The Eskimo (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 3.29
10. Odds And Ends (Aug 2004, WXPN Studios/World Café session, Philadelphia, PA) 2.58
11. Queen Jane Approximately (Jun 20, 2014, Town Park, Telluride, CO) 10.28
12. Mr Tambourine Man (Oct 3, 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA) 6.07
13. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts 2 (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 5.05

All songs written by Bob Dylan

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Johnny Mastro And Mama´s Boys – The Black Album (2004)

FrontCover182 year old, forty-year veteran blues club owners from Vicksburg Mississippi don’t get impressed with slicked back hair and suits that went out in the 50’s….just dress nice and remember no shorts on stage. They don’t care who you played with….B.B., Albert, Big Mama, Pee Wee, George Smith, Neckbone, William Clarke, Mickey Champion and all the rest have already been there in person sweating it out just like you. Blues music to them is a living, breathing, drinking and dancing thing that they made their living from….not some petrified, mystified, glorified, rule-laden hallowed treasure to be worshipped on a pedestal. Basically, they know where the music comes from…but they really don’t care about this either. All they want to know is…can you play with soul?

Mama’s Boys come out of Los Angeles/Long Beach and were named after club owner Miss Laura Mae “Mama” Gross. They are led by harmonica player Johnny Mastro who learned to play and sing with Mama watching over. Harps aren’t the favorite instrument in these sax-friendly clubs so you have to know what your doing. But right along with George Smith and William Clarke, Johnny is her favorite. Dave Melton is one of the most soulful guitarists you’ll ever hear and many of LA’s guitarists come out to watch his hands and slide. You can put the rhythm section up against any in the business …no B.S.Mama calls them all her sons and encouraged them to listen, be yourself, and play from the heart.

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The Boys have played over 250 gigs a year for the last 9 years, headlined the 28th Annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, have been nominated for “Best Blues Artist” by LA Music Awards, were named “Best Unsigned Blues Band” in Southern California by Doheny Blues Festival, were one of two finalists in LA’s RockWar 2000, voted one of LA’s “Top 100 Unsigned Bands” by Music Connection Magazine, were featured on the national/international syndicated radio program “Blues Deluxe”, recorded 5 CD’s, and can still be found down at Babe’s & Ricky’s Inn. (by cdbaby)

Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys’ music, with its alarming, undisciplined presence, is on the cutting edge of modern Blues style. Although the band is awash with shocking juxtapositions that give it a dangerous, reckless look, the music is suprisingly accessible, even in larger venues. See them live is always a deeply moving entertainment experience.

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It was over 12 years ago at the oldest Blues club in Los Angeles, Babe’s and Ricky’s, that Johnny Mastro (harp & vocals) found himself in a Blues band called Mama’s Boys. Johnny was encouraged and guided by the band’s namesake, Ms. Laura-Mae “Mama” Gross, proprietor of the club since its earliest beginnings back in 1957. Johnny’s passion for Blues to propelled the band forward, building a local following that kept coming back week after week. Soon the Mama’s Boys band was playing its energy-infused Blues in other Southern California venues as well, often to sell-out crowds.

Looking back at what happened next tells most of this story: Mama’s Boys has consistently played 250+ gigs each year in Southern California for over 10 years running. They might be one of the hardest working young Blues bands in the world. And the world, it seems, is now beginning to discover what many Southern Californians have understood for years: Mama’s Boys Kick Ass.

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On The Black Album Mama’s Boys offer Blues that is raw and powerful,without excuses or apologies. They don’t need them. Mama’s Boys is carving its initials in the territory of blues benchmarks set by Hound Dog, Buddy, Muddy, Wolf, Willie, Walter, Junior, and Elmore, among others. It’s electrified Blues like you could have heard in a club on
the South Side of Chicago in about 1949; a musical expression of the kind of raw emotion that is the true grit of life. Fans of Chicago Blues will snap up this new Mama’s Boys CD, then get the two released before it, also excellent, Chicken & Waffles (2002) and Pinch That Snake (2001).

The band has just returned to L.A. after a wildly successful first tour of Europe and they are ready to rip it up in the homeland, from sea to shining sea. On this CD they have proven themselves worthy of the trip.

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Johnny Mastro’s gutsy, emotive harp is a perfect companion to his distinctive world-class vocals. Couple that with Jimmy Goodall’s greasy lock on the drums and suddenly we begin to understand the Mama’s Boys’ unflinching grasp on excellence. Without need for ego trips, these guys each play well enough to lead their own Blues band. It’s that simple.

Mastro5The music is recorded with simplicity, too. For this CD they went into the studio, set up some mikes and played live for about four hours. Then they did that again. These songs are taken from those live sessions, raw and natural. Not many bands have the guts to record like that, knowing that even the smallest error gets amplified by the recording process. When music stands as it is, without any overdubs or other studio tricks, you get the truth. On this new CD, or any of the Mama’s Boys’ CDs you can pick up at their performances, you’ll hear just that, the truth: the same great music by the same great musicians you saw on stage.

When Mama’s Boys come to play in your town, I urge you to make it a point to go see them play. You’ll be treated to rock-solid high-energy Blues and a butt-movin’ good time, guaranteed. (by Gary Wagner)

Oh yes … play this album loud … because it´s hot and dirty !

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Personnel:
Denny Freeman (guitar)
Jimmy ‘Jimbo’ Goodall (drums)
Jeff Henry (bass)
Johnny “Mastro” Mastrogiovanni (harmonica, vocals)
Dave Melton (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Slave (Mastrogiovanni) 4.10
02. Loverman (Mastrogiovanni) 4.07
03. Cry For Me (Mastrogiovanni/Goodall) 4.32
04. Middle Of The Night (Mastrogiovanni/Henry) 3.23
05. Think Twice Before You Go (Hooker) 3.05
06. Can’t Kick the Habit (Dupree) 6.40
07. Sleeping In The Ground (Meyers) 3.19
08. Flat Down On My Back (Shah/Glazer/Mastrogiovanni) 4.56
09. Chariot (James/Levy) 3.32
10. Done Somebody Wrong (James/Levy) 4.31
11. Billy Boy (Melton/Mastrogiovanni) 3.29

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“Hugely promising band. The dark drama of Mastro’s singing and harp playing and Dave Melton’s guitar recalls the early Paul Butterfield Band, while the recording ambience conjures up the 50s storefront studios of Chicago.” MOJO

“This marvellous album is as good an example as one would wish to hear of gritty gutbucket R&B in the Chicago style. Impossible to play quietly.” BLUES MATTERS

Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy – Immortal Memory (2004)

FrontCover1.jpgImmortal Memory is an album by Dead Can Dance member Lisa Gerrard and Irish classical composer Patrick Cassidy, released in 2004. It was Gerrard’s first studio release since 1998’s Duality with Pieter Bourke.

Gerrard first met Cassidy in 2000 in Los Angeles (where he lives), when she came to work on the Gladiator soundtrack, and they planned to work together one day. When they eventually found a shared two-month break, they joined at Gerrard’s Australian studio for this record.

The W. B. Yeats poem “Sailing to Byzantium” inspired the track of the same name.

The lyrics utilise three ancient languages:

Gaelic Irish) in “The Song of Amergin” poetically deicted as the first song sung by a mortal on Irish soil).
Aramaic in “Maranatha” (meaning “come lord, come teacher”), and “Abwoon” (meaning “our father”, a rendition of the “Lord’s Prayer” in the language of Jesus).
Latin in “Psallit in Aure Dei” (meaning “singing in the ear of God”, a dirge for Patrick Cassidy’s late father). (by wikipedia)

Lisa Gerrard2Since the demise of Dead Can Dance, the Australian band who performed ethereal goth with medieval and eastern influences, Lisa Gerrard’s unique vision and rich contralto voice has graced a variety of soundtracks, most famously Gladiator’s.

Collaborator Patrick Cassidy is a celebrated Irish classical composer. You might think these talents could disappear up an obscure path. But while the scope of Immortal Memory is huge – Gerrard sings in Gaelic, Latin and Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Christ – the music is entirely accessible.

Forget that each song apparently evokes a stage through life, death and rebirth and concentrate on the spine-tingling beauty of the hums, wails and chants.

The Song of Amergin is primal, Gerrard concentrating on the buzzing sound of the Gaelic words. Maranatha is a spiritual mantra that transcends religion; Gerrard takes command of the melancholy melodies in a voice that is dark and dense, then high and fragile. Best of all is Abwoon (Our Father), which takes the Lord’s Prayer out of school assembly and re-creates it as a shimmering poem. (by Betty Clarke)

Immortal Memory is a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Gerrard and Irish composer Patrick Cassidy. Billed as a cycle of life and death and rebirth, Immortal Memory is better Lisa Gerrard + Patrick Cassadydescribed as an orphaned film score. Cassidy’s warm arrangements allow the former Dead Can Dance singer to step out of the dark medieval world that she’s called home for nearly 20 years — though there is much of that world within these castle walls — and focus on the simplicity of love, faith, and loss with a grace that’s bereft of the icy perfection of her previous work. Gerrard, whose voice has aged like the finest oak, displays an almost supernatural mastery of the material. Her effortless contralto wraps itself around the ten Gaelic, Latin, and Aramaic spirituals like an evening prayer, making each stunning entrance the equivalent of audio comfort food. Echoing her collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer on the Academy Award-winning Gladiator — Gerrard and Cassidy framed this work during the recording of the film’s soundtrack — ethereal pieces like the solo showpiece “Elegy” and the Cassidy-penned lament for his late father, “Psallit in Aure Dei,” are powerful statements hatched by two people who understand each other like old friends. The majestic opener, “Song of Amergin,” with its sublime Celtic melody and slow build, is indicative of the pieces to follow, allowing listeners the time to decide whether or not this is a road they wish to travel. Fans of Enya, Dead Can Dance, or snowy, image-laden soundscapes of powerful quietude will have no problem making that choice. (by James Christopher Monger)

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Personnel:
Patrick Cassidy (synthesized instruments)
Lisa Gerrard (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The Song Of Amergin (Gerrard/Cassidy) 5.30
02. Maranatha (Come Lord) (Gerrard/Cassidy) 6.18
03. Amergin’s Invocation (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 6:19
04. Elegy (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 6:41
05. Sailing to Byzantium (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 5:04
06. Abwoon (Our Father) (Gerrard/Cassidy)– 4:12
07. Immortal Memory (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 4:28
08. Paradise Lost (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 7:03
09. I Asked for Love (Gerrard/Cassidy) – 5:00
10. Psallit in Aure Dei (Cassidy) – 9:01

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Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South (2004)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Dirty South is the fifth album by Alabamian alternative country/Southern rock group Drive-By Truckers, released in 2004. The Dirty South is Drive-By Truckers’ second concept album. Like its predecessor, Southern Rock Opera, the album examines the state of the South, and unveils the hypocrisy, irony, and tragedy that continues to exist.

“Where The Devil Don’t Stay” was inspired by a poem by Mike Cooley’s uncle Ed Cooley, and was recorded in one take.

Patterson Hood’s “Tornadoes” was originally written in 1988 in reaction to the closing concert for the Adam’s House Cat Nightmare Tour. The Nightmare Tour set list was composed almost exclusively of songs containing metaphors or imagery of trains, but the lack of the tour’s success forced Hood and his band to abandon the concept and start afresh. Hood read an eyewitness account of the tornado in the local paper the next day and wrote “Tornadoes” after reading her statement that “it sounded like a train.”

Isbell’s “The Day John Henry Died,” retells the story of John Henry.

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“Puttin’ People on the Moon”, written by Hood, tells the story of a town downriver of Huntsville and their “rocket envy” or economic depression due to the negative environmental and economic effects of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Mike Cooley’s “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac” recounts the celebrated Sun Records, Sam Phillips, and the music industry in general.

“The Sands of Iwo Jima” recounts Hood’s experiences with his great uncle while growing up in North Alabama. Questioning the veracity of the movie, his uncle answers he never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima.

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Isbell’s second track on the album, “Danko/Manuel,” is a departure from the usual southern gothic lyrical style written by Cooley and Hood. Originally Isbell tried to tell the story of Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and The Band’s demise, but found the scope of the concept too difficult to actually do justice to their story, and instead shifted the concept to a telling of life of a musician through the eyes and actions of Danko and Manuel. Isbell stated that the horn parts for the song came to him in a dream.

“The Dirty South” contains a three song suite (“The Boys From Alabama,” “Cottonseed” and “The Buford Stick”) about Sheriff Buford Pusser. “The Boys From Alabama” was inspired by the misconceptions and “really bad movies” of the Redneck Mafia and recounts the movie “Walking Tall”‘ from a “different point of view.” Hood felt that telling the story from “the bad guy’s” point of view would be more interesting. Cooley’s “Cottonseed” tells a story of corruption, crime, killing, greed, fixed elections, guns, drugs, prostitution and alcohol and uses subtle imagery to provide a very negative interpretation of Pusser. Hood’s “The Buford Stick” completes the suite by providing examples of the negative effects of Pusser’s actions while offering a less glorified view of the mythology surrounding Pusser.

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Cooley’s last song on the album is a story about a father who instills a love of racing in his son. “Daddy’s Cup” is the only song on “The Dirty South” that does not revolve around a negative experience, instead offering a lighter touch to the overall dirty feel of the album.

Isbell has explained that “Never Gonna Change” is simply about a stubborn North Alabama man who “refuses to live in fear,” which Isbell goes on to explain are rather rare.

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“Lookout Mountain” was written around 1990 by Hood, and can be heard in its original incarnation on Adam’s House Cat’s LP Town Burned Down. It was a last minute addition to the album, beating out another Hood song entitled “Goode’s Field Road.” “Goode’s Field Road” was eventually rerecorded for 2008’s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, however the cut that was dropped from The Dirty South managed to see the light of day on The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities. The version as it appears on The Dirty South was recorded in one take.

The Dirty South ends with Isbell’s “Goddamn Lonely Love.” Though described by Isbell as a love song, “Goddamn Lonely Love” heavily and painfully delves into the loneliness associated with love. Isbell wrote the song for Shonna Tucker. (by wikipedia)

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When you’ve named your band the Drive-By Truckers and your first three albums are called Pizza Deliverance, Gangstabilly, and Alabama Ass Whuppin’, you might have a hard time at first convincing folks that you aren’t joking. But the Drive-By Truckers proved that they were most definitely not kidding with 2001’s brilliant double-disc Southern Rock Opera, and 2003’s Decoration Day actually upped the ante on what might have been a fluke masterpiece with its dark and thoroughly absorbing chronicle of hard times in the American South. With The Dirty South, the DBTs have crafted an equally effective companion piece to Decoration Day that plays on the gangsta rap reference of its title with a set of vividly rendered portraits of life along the margins of respectability below the Mason-Dixon line, from laid-off factory rats dealing drugs to feed their kids to Alabama gangsters determined to shut down the cops who made their daughters cry. From the first low, metallic stomps from Brad Morgan’s kick drum on “Where the Devil Don’t Stay,” it’s clear that The Dirty South isn’t going to be a good-time party most of the way, and while there are some brilliant anthemic rockers on this album (most notably “The Day John Henry Died,” “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac,” and “Never Gonna Change”), and Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell have grown into a force to be reckoned with as both guitarists and songwriters, there’s more than a little blood, fear, doubt, shame, and simple human tragedy at the heart of these stories.

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While much of America might be laughing at “You might be a redneck…” jokes, the Drive-By Truckers aren’t about to let anyone forget the harsh truth behind growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in this country, and the tough, muscular force of their music only sharpens the bite of their stories. They can also turn down the amps and still hit you in the heart, especially on “Danko/Manuel” and “Daddy’s Cup,” and David Barbe’s production gives this band the full-bodied clarity they’ve always deserved. Believe it — the Drive-By Truckers are the best, smartest, and most soulful hard rock band to emerge in a very long time, and while The Dirty South isn’t always good for laughs, it has too many great stories and too much fierce, passionate rock & roll for anyone who cares about such things to dare pass it up. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Mike Cooley (vocals, guitar, banjo on 06. + 08., harmonica on 06.)
Patterson Hood (vocals, guitar, piano on 02 – 14.)
Jason Isbell (vocals, (guitar, piano on 02., 07. + 08. organ on 14., mellotron on 07.)
Brad Morgan (drums, percussion)
Shonna Tucker (bass, background  vocals)
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David Barbe (piano on 04., 06., organ on 08, background vocals on 13.)
Clay Leverett (background vocals on 02.)
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The Minor Hill Singers (background  vocals on 01.):
Jason Isbell – Kimberly Morgan – Shonna Tucker
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The State Line Chain Gang (percussion 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Where The Devil Don’t Stay (Cooley) 5.18
02. Tornadoes (Hood) 4.13
03. The Day John Henry Died (Isbell) 3.46
04. “Puttin’ People on the Moon” Patterson Hood 4:55
05. Carl Perkins’ Cadillac (Cooley) 5.24
06. The Sands Of Iwo Jima (Hood) 4.10
07. Danko/Manuel (Isbell) 5.43
08. The Boys From Alabama (Hood) 4.24
09. Cottonseed (Cooley) 6.20
10. The Buford Stick (Hood) 4.40
11. Daddy’s Cup (Cooley) 5.53
12. Never Gonna Change (Isbell) 5.23
13. Lookout Mountain (Hood) 5.00
14. Goddamn Lonely Love (Isbell) 4.55

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Andy Summers & Victor Biglione – Splendid Brazil (2004)

FrontCover1.jpgAndrew James Somers (born 31 December 1942), known professionally as Andy Summers, is an English guitarist who was a member of the rock band the Police. Summers has recorded solo albums, collaborated with other musicians, composed film scores, and exhibited his photography in galleries. (by wikipedia)

Arranger and composer, Victor Biglione (born February 22 1958) is one of the best acoustic and electric guitar player of this era. Biglione was born in Argentina, but yet very young, he moved to Brazil where he has lived for the last 30 years. After an academic preparation at Berklee College of music, Biglione has developed an unique mixture of influences. Along the years, he became a SummersBiglione01lover of the American Jazz. (by washburn.com)

The second collaboration with Biglione, this entry sounds more influenced by Biglione than Summers, though both guitarists are very present. The jazz covers are mostly ditched, and the concentration is primarily on Brazilian composers, heavily weighted towards Jobim songs, but also some Edu Lobo and a studied take on Laurindo Almeida’s “Brasiliance.” Jobim’s “Inutil Paisagem” (“Useless Landscape”) provides some bluesy licks and is where the jazz lurks, interestingly the only track on the album Summers plays solo (after all, this is an Andy Summers album – jazz is always there somewhere!) “Fotografia” is autumnal. (by musictoeat.com)

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Personnel:
Victor Biglione (guitar)
Andy Summers (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Chovendo Na Roseira (Jobim) 4:34
02. Fotografia (Jobim) 1.51
03. Casa Forte (Lobo) 3.45
04. Retrato em Branco e Preto (Buarque/Jobim) 5.06
05. Vento Bravo (Lobo) 4.21
06. As Rosas Nào Falam (Cartola) 3.28
07. Campina Grande (Valle) 3.24
08. Inútil Paisagem (Jobim) 5.10
09. Brasiliance (Almeida) 3.10
10. Lamento (Jobim) 4.24
11. O Ôvo (Pascoal) 3.19

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