Tag: Blues

1970, Music

12 Songs (1970) by Randy Newman

With virtually every Randy Newman album I’ve yet encountered my problem with him has in part been the aesthetic – a unique and not particularly compelling singer singing acerbic is often backed by extremely slick arrangements. But that’s not the case here as Newman has abandoned the massed arrangements of his debut for members of …

1978, Music

Blue Valentine (1978) by Tom Waits

I am very a much a fan of the Tom Waits who reinvented himself and who gave the world a unique sound. I am less a fan of the early Tom Waits, whose music was far less inventive and imaginative. That’s not to say I dislike ’70s Waits, more to say that I prefer his …

1963, Music

Night Beat (1963) by Sam Cooke

The Sam Cooke I’m familiar with is a slick, polished soul singer, backed by lush, professional arrangements, singing catchy songs that blur the line between soul and pop. Not on this record. The story with this record seems to be that Cooke and his band recorded these songs over a few nights. I doubt they …

1983, Music

Texas Flood (1983) by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I was first becoming a really serious music fan, Stevie Ray Vaughan was just one of the guitar greats. It was just assumed but it was hard to really question it. If you talked to more knowledgeable (inevitably male) music fans about which guitarists to listen to, SRV was always on the list. I …

2008, Movies, Music

Cadillac Records (2008, Darnell Martin)

From the opening scenes of this docudrama about history of Chess Records, things feel a little off. The attempt to balance the stories of Leonard Chess and Muddy Waters feels a little wonky and the pacing definitely seems off. A man just walks up to Muddy in a field and says he’s Alan Lomax and …

1967, Music

Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967)

Simone’s second of three albums in 1967 was her first for a new label and one wonders if that had a lot to do with the rather drastic left-turn on this record. As you can tell from the title, this is a blues record, where influence on her sound was rather muted on the previous …

1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 2011

The Best of RPM and Kent Recordings (2011) by BB King

This disc compiles some of King’s A-sides for both the RPM and Kent labels throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.

1967, 1969, Music

King of the Blues Guitar (1969) by Alberta King

This is a reissue of Born Under a Bad Sign (released only two years before), with the addition of a few more tracks. (At least the version I am listening to, which has 17 tracks compared to the 11 listed for the original LP.) Born Under a Bad Sign was itself a compilation, this time …

1966, Music

The Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966)

This is probably the definitive British blues album: it sounds like it could have been made by Americans in the US, it features great playing (particularly by Clapton) and I don’t know of any other pre-psychedelic blues album from the UK that is remotely this good. There is just one minor problem: by the time …

2009, Music

White Lies for Dark Times (2009) by Ben Harper and Relentless7

I have long struggled with Harper. When I arrived at University at the beginning of this century, I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I found was that there was a remarkable amount of commonality in the “underground” music that was cool. In fact, looking back it seems really odd to me that …

2002, Music

Alice (2002) by Tom Waits

So expectations were going to be high for something like this; a “lost” album from a theatrical production in Hamburg ten years earlier. No doubt many people came to this expecting the “lost masterpiece” that we almost always associate with the work major artists don’t record / release at the time of conception.

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

Alex Steen’s Hot Start to the 2013-14 NHL Season

I know Steen’s hot start this year is unsustainable and likely going to end very soon – his GPG is currently .93 on the season! But I can’t help regretting that the Leafs let him go and, moreover, that I supported the move at the time.