Friday, June 26, 2009


The man behind “Green Onions” serves up his first release under his own name in some three decades, and does it with a backing band made up of Neil Young and members of the Drive-By Truckers. After hearing Bettye LaVette’s comeback album (with heavy DBT influence-if you don’t have you really need to buy it), I was really excited by the prospect of this disc.

Truth be told, it doesn’t hold up as well for me, but I think that’s only because I’m so much of a lyric guy. While perhaps not as strong as Booker’s 60’s material, this is a solid collection of funky grooves, and I would recommend it for Booker T fans as well as DBT completists.


You can never go wrong with a concept album!

Five years after their successful “American Idiot” opus made Green Day relevant again, they’re back with another sprawling album full of arena-ready anthems and fiery sing-alongs. Although the lyrics paint a gloomy picture of a harsh reality, there is also an undercurrent of hope runs through as well.

Combining the punk rock energy from “Dookie” and the political awareness of “American Idiot,” Green Day has created an ambitious tale of social dissatisfaction that is a call to arms for the iPod generation.


Once you’ve finished laughing at the name, you can get excited about this super-group featuring a pair of ex-Halen bandmates (Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony), a guitar wizard (Joe Satriani) and a Red Hot Chili Pepper (Chad Smith).

This release features straight ahead rockers with a lot of influences, as you’d expect with the combined resumes of this bunch. The production by Andy Johns captures the loose, raw energy of a bunch of rock’s all stars getting together to jam. With Sammy at the mic, the tunes are arena-ready.

My one complaint is that there’s no obvious single, but does not stop the album from rocking hard and making for a very satisfying listen. A must for fans of Hagar-era Van Halen and recommended for rockers of all ages.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


My prejudice towards covers albums has been fairly well documented in my blogs. Imagine how I feel about the Smithereens, one of my favorite bands, pretty much becoming a covers band? They’ve done two Beatles covers albums, Pat DiNizio did a Buddy Holly covers solo album, and now the band is back with a Who covers album. Talking about losing your muse!

All that ranting aside, this is not bad, but there’s not enough of a Smithereens’ spin on the material to warrant listening to this over the original album. Not a bad listen, mind you, but don’t pawn your copy of the original.

And guys-can you please write some original material?