Tag Archives: rick moore

Tommy Bolin – Whirlwind

Tommy Bolin was on the fast-track to becoming a classic rock legend when he succumbed to rock ‘n’ roll excess in 1976. As the man who had played in the James Gang and Deep Purple, as well as on landmark jazz fusion albums, by the time he was 25, Bolin worked constantly and was touring behind his second solo album at the time of his death. Now, producer Greg Hampton and Bolin’s brother Johnnie, drummer for Black Oak Arkansas, have produced Whirlwind, a two-CD set of rehearsal …
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Matt Brock – From the Land of Shadows

It seems like an album by another contemporary Christian artist is released every day, and while they mostly seem sincere and worshipful they just don’t seem to have a lot of spark anymore. But the new album from Matt Brock, From the Land of Shadows, is an exciting exception. Obviously not a big-budget recording, the album didn’t need to be big-budget to carry the enthusiasm and talent of a young artist who deserves that major break. Writing or co-writing all the material, and playing many…
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Steve Hillage – Live In England 1979

He was never as progressive as Steve Howe or as pretty as Peter Frampton, but Steve Hillage is an interesting British guitar player who has never gotten the attention or due he deserves. Associated most frequently with England’s “Canterbury Scene,” a group of musicians somewhat on the periphery of what the scores of other British musicians, from Yes to Humble Pie, were doing, Hillage was his own man and never enjoyed the success, especially on American radio, that so many of his …
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Truth & Salvage Co. Touring Behind New Album

Truth & Salvage Co., formed in Los Angeles and now based in Nashville, is preparing to embark on a six-week tour in support of their new album, Pick Me Up, the follow-up to their self-titled album produced by Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. The band’s sound has been called everything from roots rock to Americana; in other words, they’ve been lumped in with genres that include acts that sound like anyone from The Band to any number of T-Bone Burnett-produced acts. In the…
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Steve Hunter – The Manhattan Blues Project

As a veteran of the twin guitar attack of Alice Cooper’s band (with Dick Wagner), Steve Hunter has never really been recognized for a lot more than that. But on The Manhattan Blues Project, Hunter shows a completely different side of himself as a musician, with 12 instrumental tracks that are laid back and introspective but with an edge. This album isn’t exactly new age, but it’s also not exactly what one would expect from a classic rock legend. Guest guitarists like Michael Lee Firkins, Chickenfoot’s…
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Andrew Combs and the New Face of Nashville

For a journalist, it gets a little wearisome for me to write about singer-songwriter after singer-songwriter, since practically anyone who can afford a guitar and a tuner can call themselves one. And it becomes equally boring – and usually foolish – to constantly compare these writers to Steve Earle or Townes Van Zandt or Hank or The Hag. At least until I hear somebody who’s the real deal. Andrew Combs is the real deal. He writes what he lives and sings like he needs to do it…
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Slaid Cleaves – Still Fighting the War

Slaid Cleaves is one of the under-the-radar Americana figures who really does deserve the accolades he gets, and doesn’t deserve the dearth of commercial success he has long lived with. On Still Fighting the War, an album inspired by the plight of a soldier dealing with PTSD, Cleaves addresses the struggles of everyone in America, rich or poor, blessed or not, intentionally or not, to great effect. Standout songs like the title track, the minor-key “Gone” and the John Prine-inspired “Whim of Iron…
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Omar Dykes – Runnin’ With the Wolf

Omar Dykes is another of those guys who got close to the brass ring but was never quite able to put it on his finger. As the namesake of Mississippi’s Omar and the Howlers, Dykes established himself decades ago as an artist to watch after moving to Austin, with a bluesy vocal and stinging guitar that should have made him far more successful than he became. The Howlers sold hundreds of thousands of copies of their late ’80s album on Columbia, and have labored in near…
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The Brothers Roberson – Self-Titled

In days long past, Springfield, Missouri was a hotbed of country music activity because of radio. Performers like Chet Atkins and the Carter Family would appear on radio station KWTO-AM in the days when radio was the main source of musical entertainment, and Springfield was as popular as Nashville for a minute. For a relatively small town, Springfield has exported quite a bit of talent, like hard rockers King’s X and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Now we can add the Brothers…
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Dave Davies – I Will Be Me

Ray Davies was the Kinks to most people. Songs like “Sunny Afternoon,” “You Really Got Me” and the ahead-of-its-time transvestite or transgender anthem “Lola,” were a staple of 1960s pop radio, and writer/vocalist Ray got most of the credit. But those in the know thought that the band’s sound had just as much to do with his little brother, Dave. If any doubts about Dave’s abilities and contribution to the Kinks haven’t already been put to rest, they can be now. On I Will Be Me, Dave Davies plays
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Louis Prima, Jr. and the Witnesses – Return of the Wildest

Louis Prima, Sr. was known as, first and foremost, a showman, a guy who held audiences all night, night after night, for years in Vegas. And then, when David Lee Roth cut his “Just a Gigolo” in 1990, his material was exposed to a whole new generation, though most Roth listeners were probably never even aware that Roth didn’t write it. No matter. Where some artists eschew what their parents did, Louis Prima, Jr. is smart enough to recognize the gift…
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Alice DiMicele – If I Were an Otter – Songs for Kids of All Ages

This is a delightful album of songs for, as the title says, kids of all ages. Vocalist / guitarist / producer DiMicele does a great job of telling everyone it’s okay to be a kid no matter how old you are, using fun, old-timey instrumentation on songs like Jesse Fuller’s “The Monkey and the Engineer,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” and DiMicele’s own “City Mouse/Country Mouse.” And when she brings a Gospel flavor to the statement that she’s “gonna let it shine” on the traditional standard “This Little Light…
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Sterling Koch – Let It Slide

Sterling Koch is a lap steel player who tackles standards by Elmore James, classics like “Mercury Blues,” and tracks by Doyle Bramhall and his more-famous son, II, on this gut-bucket blues-rock slide shredfest. The problem is, we’ve heard these licks a thousand times before, though not usually on a lap steel using fingerpicks. But that problem is also obviously the selling point, as Koch’s familiar sound, which recalls everyone from Duane Allman to Clapton to Thorogood, still has an audience. And that …
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Greta Gaines – Lighthouse & The Impossible Love

There are thousands of artists in this world who deserve to be heard, deserve to make the massive amounts of money that creations of the pop machine make for churning out crap for 14-year-olds and weekend alcoholics in trucks. Greta Gaines is one of them. On her fifth studio album, Lighthouse & The Impossible Love, Gaines writes and sings – for lack of a better pigeonhole – smart, driving rock/pop for the thinking woman; guys might enjoy the music but the lyrics, well, maybe not always so much. But …
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Walter Trout – Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison

Walter Trout is one of the blues greats who hasn’t really gotten his due, and he shows why once again on Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison. On this album, Trout covers songs by one of his heroes, a Chicago legend who was a little different than most of the straight-ahead legends like Muddy or Wolf. Allison infused other styles of music into his blues playing, making both styles better, and Trout approaches the material with a reverent abandon that would probably have made Allison, who died 16…
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Larry Wiater – Texaco Country Showdown Gearing Up for Another Year

For more than three decades the name “Country Showdown” has been synonymous with country music’s most important talent contest. Beginning at the local level and graduating to state, regional, and finally a national competition each year, the Country Showdown has carried the name of a variety of major sponsors. Initially known as the Wrangler Country Showdown, the contest has been named for …
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The Dutch Woodstock – Various Artists

In August 1970, a three-day pop festival was held in the Netherlands with about 100,000 showing up to hear Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and other acts that had played at Woodstock a year earlier, as well as some acts that hadn’t. Now a DVD and a 2-CD set of the event is available, and for anyone born before 1955 or so who was into the culture of peace, love and dope, The Dutch Woodstock deserves a look and a listen. The 97-minute DVD is a badly-filmed (though probably…
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Tower of Power Still Hip After 45 Years

More than four decades ago, tenor sax player Emilio Castillo and baritone sax player Doc Kupka founded Tower of Power in the San Francisco Bay area, and an American musical institution was born. With hot horn arrangements and a rock-solid rhythm section, Tower of Power hasn’t changed with the times; they still come out blazing night after night with a heavy dose of soul-infused rockin’ funk that can be imitated but not equaled. Famous for such hits as “You’re Still a Young Man” (written by Castillo and…
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Nick Autry: From North Carolina to Working with Industry Giants

Nick Autry is known to some in Nashville as a singer/songwriter/recording artist who, in addition to being a solo act, has fronted local and North Carolina bands like Hollywood Cowboy (he actually is a distant relative of Gene Autry’s), the Jaggs and others. But for his day job, Autry serves as general manager of Black River Sound Stage, one of Music Row’s most important recording studios. Overseeing the operation of the studio from booking to even engineering, Autry routinely works with some of the …
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Resurrected Prog-Rockers Flash Rock Again

After the Beatles, the Stones and the Who launched the assault on America known as the British Invasion, other British musicians who had been influenced by jazz and classical music as well as the blues and rock ‘n’ roll began to spread their creative wings, creating what the press coined “progressive rock.” Bands like Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and others took advantage of the creative floodgates having been opened and began to create pieces that would sometimes take up…
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