Friday, May 27, 2011


Not sure how I keep doing this, but I got a virus that masquerades as an anti-virus program that pretty much makes my computer at home inoperable.

So while I figure this thing out (it has thwarted my feeble attemps at innoculation so far), my blog is going to be on hiatus....

But hopefully I will figure things out soon and heal the machine!



Warren Haynes continues to be one of the most lauded straight-ahead rock lead guitarists performing today. From his role as front-man for GOV'T MULE and vocalist and guitarist for THE ALLMAN BROTHERS and THE DEAD, there is no disputing his credentials.
His latest effort takes the journeyman musician back to his roots, and finds him revisiting the southern soul tones that form the bedrock of his sound. Released on the Stax label, he could not have found a better home.
On Man In Motion, Haynes' vocals are in the spotlight, with bold and emotive delivery in a smoky vibrato recorded live in studio to capture all of the emotion, passion and spontaneity. All Haynes originals except for one cover, these songs groove and rock. Backed by a stellar band, Haynes delivers a soulfully mellow album featuring tastefully restrained guitar work while highlighting his abilities as a composer and vocalist.

This is the album Stax has been looking to release for a long time. Haynes hits it out of the park with this effort, a great funky soul-drenched set celebrating the music that he listened to as a child.

Man In Motion (live)

River's Gonna Rise (live)

Sick Of My Shadow

On A Real Lonely Night

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



In honor of Robert Zimmerman’s 70th birthday, Rolling Stone compiled a list of the top 70 songs by the man better known as Bob Dylan.

Stephen T. McCarthy and I decided to follow Rolling Stone’s lead and post our lists of favorite Dylan songs.

Rolling Stone has staff writers who have nothing to do all day but compile lists, so they listed one song for each year of Dylan’s life. Stephen and I decided to show a little discipline and have limited our lists to ten.

Plus, let’s face it-would you even take the time to read a list of seventy songs? I didn’t think so.

Bob Dylan is in a rare class as a lyricist, and picking just ten songs was not an easy task.

This scene, from “No Direction Home,” shows what a mastery Dylan has over words.

While other songwriters are great (Todd Snider, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Warren Zevon), Dylan is the Master and they gather at his feet, trying to snatch the pebble from his hand.

And without further ado, here is my list!


(1) Like A Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone listed this first, and it was hard to argue with this choice. With the talents of guitarist Mike Bloomfield and keyboardist Al Kooper, the playing is top notch. Dylan uses lyrics like he is splashing paint on a canvas.

(2) Tangled Up In Blue

I’ve heard that Dylan says this song took him ten years to live and two years to write.

While his marriage was crumbling, Dylan wrote one of the best lyrics of his life, a personal examination of heartache and memories in what would become the opener on Blood on the Tracks.

(3) Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Dylan’s sketch of a dying lawman from the Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid soundtrack would become one of his most-covered songs, with hit versions recorded by Eric Clapton and Guns ‘N’ Roses. This song fits his voice perfectly.

(4) You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

This made my list of best breakup songs last summer. I could not find a Dylan version on You Tube, so here’s a cover by Shawn Colvin.

(5) Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

This was the song that made me a Dylan fan, way back in junior high school. I’m still not sure what the heck it’s about, but the imagery is fantastic!

(6) Lay Lady Lay

Proof that Dylan can sing when he puts his throat to it. This is a simple, beautiful love song that may just be perfect.

(7) Gotta Serve Somebody

As a teenager, I didn't "get" Dylan's Christian years. Now older and wiser...well older, anyway...I appreciate the gospel stylings and "get" his inspiration. The Grammy was well-deserved.

(8) Beyond Here Lies Nothing

From the latest album, Together Through Life, this song is a beautifully played example of swampy blues rock, with Dylan's rough voice fitting the material like a warn glove. 
(9) Subterranean Homesick Blues

The first rap song. I almost scrapped this in favor of ‘Positively 4th Street’ but considering it has inspired so many others (Elvis Costello’s ‘Pump It Up’to name one) and an entire genre (rap), it belongs here. A song about nothing, or as Stephen T. says, about EVERYTHING.

(10) If Not For You

A lovely country-rock ballad, simple yet pretty much perfect. Since I could not find a Dylan version, here's Bryan Ferry's cover from his Dylanesque album.


There are so many songs that I had to leave off-heck all of Blood On The Tracks has potential, as does Bringing It All Back Home. If you haven't listened to Dylan lately, you owe it to yourself to reacquaint yourself with the master.

And don't forget to wish him a happy birthday.





Monday, May 23, 2011



"Mr. Jones, Booker T" remains the undisputed master of the Hammond B3 organ, and I suspect, a secret favorite of Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy (where else could the “T” have come from?) who has professed a passionate love affair with said instrument.

The Road From Memphis is Booker’s second album (following Grammy winning Potato Hole) since the M.G.s went on hiatus in 1994.

The Road from Memphis sees Booker T, this time backed by The Roots, roaring through a set of both timeless and contemporary originals and propulsive covers. Along for the ride are vocalists Matt Berninger (The National), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Sharon Jones, Lou Reed, and even Booker himself.

The Road from Memphis is classic Memphis soul, and classic Booker in the tradition of "Green Onions."

The disc is a tribute to Memphis and a document of Booker T's musical journey. The sound harkens back to his late sixties/early seventies heyday, with the soul and funk nuances that have become his trademark. The music is lively and rootsy, and fans of his prior work should not be disappointed.

Representing Memphis

Everything Is Everything

Sunday, May 22, 2011


In the May 26th issue of Rolling Stone, a panel of alleged "experts" selected their top 70 Bob Dylan songs in honor of the songwriter's 70th birthday.

Last week, I decided I'd come up with my top ten Dylan songs list, and happened to mention this in passing to Stephen T. McCarthy, he of the STUFFS blog, who wanted in. A blog hop of two was born.

Stephen wanted to post both lists on the same day and suggested May 24, Dylan's birthday. Good idea, but that meant I actually had to come up with my list this weekend.

Well come up with a list I did, and I attempted to pair it with videos of Dylan performing the tracks, but the Dylan camp has been aggressive about removing clips from YouTube. When necessary, I included covers of the songs.

Any reader who has an interest can post their list as well. Come and leave me a comment Tuesday and I'll update the list of participants with a link to your post.


It's a secret because we didn't decide to do this until yesterday. Anyone who holds Dylan's songwriting ability in similar regard can join in by leaving a comment-I'll update the list.



(1) Like A Rolling Stone
(2) A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
(3) Tangled Up In Blue
(4) Just Like A Woman
(5) All Along The Watchtower
(6) I Shall Be Released
(7) It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
(8) Mr. Tambourine Man
(9) Visions Of Johanna
(10) Every Grain Of Sand

So that's their list! Can you do better? Start thinking about it, and we'll see you Tuesday!

Oh, and if you're a Dylan fan, you may want to check out THE BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA, a blog about...guess who?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Marillion spent their career in the '80s carving out a niche in the resurrected prog movement of the period, aping much of the territory that Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant had already covered so well a decade before.

By the end of the decade, things would change drastically with the departure of their lead singer, the poetically-gifted choke-throated Fish, who would be replaced by Steve Hogarth, who brought to the band a more traditional pop-rock style of singing - not to mention the sensibilities of such a singer.

They would issue several albums during the 90's, including the critic and fan favorite Brave.

Pioneers in using the internet to connect with fans, they would leave major labels behind and strike out on their own.

They would make history by being the first band to have fans sponsor a North American tour, and by having fans pre-order albums before the writing process had started in order to fund the recording process.

And they would release Marbles in 2004, considered by many fans to surpass even Brave as their greatest effort.

The amazing two-disc Marbles promised to be a hard act to follow, and all ears were curious to hear their attempt to follow up what may have been the unexpected peak of their 25 year career.

Somewhere Else follows it up quite nicely.

As with many Marillion albums, Somewhere Else requires several listens to fully appreciate. I was disappointed the first couple times, but the music has a way of getting into your heart and soul if you let it.

This one is more song-oritented and less proggy/conceptual. As always, Marillion avoid repeats of past formulas, always changing, growing and PROGressing, while demonstrating superb musicianship and creativity.

Give "Somewhere Else" a chance and listen to the songs all the way that you can fully digest and appreciate the complexity, beauty, mystery and mastery of their music.

See It Like A Baby (live)

The Last Century For Man (live)

In case you didn't know, Snapper released deluxe version reissues of Marbles and Somewhere Else last month, with hardcover book style binding and unreleased photographs and liner notes. They even reissued a vinyl edition of Marbles.

Available at or, or fine record stores.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



The Drama album was my introduction to Yes. Oh sure, I’d heard the seventies FM radio cuts, but never was a huge fan until Michael D. got me listening to this album in college.

For many years, it stood as the only album in Yes' career that did not feature lead singer Jon Anderson, and after Jon rejoined, Yes did not perform any of the songs from Drama, as Jon refused to sing them (although Anderson would sing the token words "yes, yes" during the instrumental portion of "Tempus Fugit", included in Squire's "Whitefish" medley).

After the lackluster Tormato failed to live up to expectations and Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman left the band, Yes made the unlikely move of adding singer Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes from the two-man new wave band the Buggles (of "Video Killed the Radio Star" fame) for this 1980 album. The result was a modern sound that still carried all of the Yes trademarks, and the high points far outshine the lows.

Despite how some Yes fans feel about this album, Drama is a brilliant effort that rocks heavier than any other Yes album. Horn makes an attempt at Anderson's vocal style (though he strains at the high notes) and contributes his excellent production skills, with Downes adding keyboard wizardry. Their new-wave sensibility and dash of pop in the mix set the stage for the impending "90125" success.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Journey is set to release Eclipse, their fifteenth studio album, which shows the band at the peak of their creative juices, truly regenerated after the blistering success of their last studio album Revelation.

"I'm in love with this record, which I haven't said about one of our albums for a long time," says founding member and lead guitarist, Neal Schon, "It's a rock record and it sounds amazing."

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, keyboardist Jonathan Cain recently described Eclipse as "a concept record with some spiritual themes to it…pretty tough, hard-hitting stuff."

Jonathan continued, "We just felt like it was time to send a message to the world about how we feel about life in general."

Eclipse releases May 24 at WalMart.

Sunday, May 15, 2011



Joe Bonamassa is nothing if not prolific, releasing an album a year since 2000 despite touring relentlessly. That's a refreshing change from the modern norm of artists going years between releases/tours.

Dust Bowl is the latest in Joe's increasingly-impressive catalog, featuring blistering solos and arresting vocals in Joe's trademark style.

Joe's partner-in-crime from Black Country Communion, Glenn Hughes, joins in for a duet on the Paul Rodgers/Free classic "Heartbreaker," and their affection for the material comes across in a fine performance.

Another cover, of the Tim Curry/Michael Kamen grinder "No Love On the Street," keeps the classic blues-rock vibe going and features guests Beth Hurt and Blondie Chaplin. Vince Gill drops in for a visit on a cover of his "Sweet Rowena," a guitar/vocal duet that is one of the album's high points.

Artists will always describe their most recent work as "the best yet" (as Joe does in the liner notes here), but in this case I tend to agree.

This is a collection of finely-crafted performances in a variety of styles, with Joe's signature guitar work and vocals that have never seemed more relaxed and confident. Recommended!

Check out some clips:
Dust Bowl    
Slow Train    

Saturday, May 14, 2011


During the top ten songs blogfest hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, I made reference to a book by John Sanford where one of the subplots has the main character, Davenport, engaged in agonizing effort to compile a list of the 100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs for the iPod his wife has bought him.

Figuring that a man needs to show discipline, even though the iPod will hold thousands of songs, Davenport wants to narrow the list to 100 songs, and the discussions during the course of the book by various characters are simply hilarious.

Somehow, this topic came up during a discourse I had with Stephen McCarthy, and I thought it worth posting the list. Hopefully I am not violating any copyright laws, but you can go to Sanford's site HERE and I encourage everyone to buy the book "Broken Prey"

Did I mention you should go to Sanford's site and buy his book?

I figure if I mention it enough, his publisher will call off the copyright lawyers.

So without further ado, here is Lucas Davenport's "Best Songs of the Rock Era" list, in no particular order, except that (according to Sanford), as any intelligent person knows, any decent road trip will start with ZZ Top.

1. Sharp-Dressed Man ZZ Top

2. Legs ZZ Top
3. Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
4. Superman's Song Crash Test Dummies
5. Rock On David Essex
6. Radar Love Golden Earring
7. Heart of Glass Blondie
8. White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
9. Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane
10. Layla Derek and the Dominoes
11. Roadhouse Blues Doors
12. House of the Rising Sun Animals
13. Sweet Emotion Aerosmith
14. Dude (Looks Like a Lady) Aerosmith
15. Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen
16. Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
17. Thunder Road Bruce Springsteen
18. Every Breath You Take Police
19. Heart of Saturday Night Tom Waits
20. Hot for Teacher Van Halen
21. Won't Get Fooled Again Who
22. Hotel California (covers the Eagles) Gipsy Kings
23. Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
24. Down on the Corner CCR
25. Lyin' Eyes Eagles
26. Life in the Fast Lane Eagles
27. Roller Girl Dire Straits
28. Mary Jane's Last Dance Tom Petty
29. Me 'n Bobby McGee Janis Joplin
30. Black Water Doobie Brothers
31. I Love Rock 'n Roll Joan Jett
32. Jack and Diane John Mellencamp
33. The Wall (Part 2) Pink Floyd
34. Money Pink Floyd
35. Piano Man Billy Joel
36. After Midnight Eric Clapton
37. Lay Down Sally Eric Clapton
38. You Shook Me (All Night Long) AC/DC
39. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap AC/DC
40. Long Cool Woman Hollies
41. Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan
42. Knockin' on Heaven's Door Bob Dylan
43. Subterranean Homesick Blues Bob Dylan
44. Satisfaction Rolling Stones
45. Brown Sugar Rolling Stones
46. Sympathy for the Devil Rolling Stones
47. Anarchy in the UK Sex Pistols
48. Sugar Magnolia Grateful Dead
49. Slow Hand Pointer Sisters
50. Sweet Dreams Eurythmics
51. Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley
52. Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
53. Night Moves Bob Seger
54. Bye-Bye-Love Everly Brothers
55. Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
56. Lola Kinks
57. Tender is the Night Jackson Browne
58. Louie Louie Kingman
59. Bad to the Bone George Thoroughgood
60. Turn the Page (covers Bob Seger) Metallica
61. Sweet Home Alabama Lynryd Skynyrd
62. We Will Rock You Queen
63. Ramblin' Man Allman Brothers
64. Rock 'n Roll Led Zeppelin
65. What's Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner
66. Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf
67. With or Without You U2
68. Paranoid Black Sabbath
69. Blue Morning Blue Foreigner
70. White Wedding Billy Idol
71. Sweet Child o' Mine Guns 'n Roses
72. Paradise City Guns 'n Roses
73. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (covers Dylan) Guns 'n Roses
74. Walk on the Wild Side Lou Reed
75. Feel Like Makin' Love Bad Company
76. Rock of Ages Def Leppard
77. Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
78. Devil With a Blue Dress Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
79. Respect Aretha Franklin
80. I'm in the Mood John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt
81. I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown
82. Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers
83. Little Red Corvette Prince
84. Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
85. Mr. Tamborine Man (covers Dylan) Byrds
86. Ohio CSNY
87. Peggy Sue Buddy Holly
88. Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis
89. Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
90. Runaway Del Shannon
91. Walk This Way Aerosmith / Run-DMC
92. (Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
93. Smells like Teen Spirit Nirvana
94. Still Crazy After All These Years Paul Simon
95. Who Do You Love? Bo Diddley
96. One Toke Over the Line Brewer and Shipley
97. I Wanna Be Sedated Ramones
98. Should I Stay or Should I Go Clash
99. Burning Down the House Talking Heads
100. Waltz 2 / Jazz Suite Dimitri Shostakovich

Now I personally object to including the cover of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" over the original. And while I have nothing against the Pointer Sisters, I just gotta say----REALLY?

I wonder if the list was engineered to appeal to a broad selection of readers...

I personally have been working on my top 100 list and it is a work-in-progress that constantly gets changed.

What songs are on your list?

Friday, May 13, 2011



EMI will launch its massive Pink Floyd release campaign Sept. 26 with “Discovery” editions of the band’s 14 studio albums. Also due out that day will be expanded editions of “Dark Side of the Moon” — a six-disc “Immersion” CD/DVD/Blu-ray/memorabilia boxed set and a two-disc “Experience” edition (which EMI describes as pairing a classic album with related content “to offer a deeper listening experience”).

CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, vinyl LPs, SACDs, digital formats, iPhone apps and a brand-new single-album and best-of collection are all part of the effort. Super-deluxe box sets, which will contain unreleased tracks, alternate takes, restored live concert screeen films and a live recording of the band’s 1974 “The Dark Side Of The Moon” performance at Wembley.

“This is a unique collaboration between EMI and one of the most creative and influential bands in history. We have worked together for more than a year on this program which incorporates all the elements that have made Pink Floyd one of the most inspiring forces in modern music. Why Pink Floyd? Because their music is without equal and these exciting new releases will allow music fans to rediscover their incredible legacy and demonstrate that an appreciation for artistic quality never goes out of fashion,” said EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon.

Pink Floyd film archivist Lana Topham supervised the restoratio of many historic films from the band’s classic era, which will be included in the Immersion box sets for “The Dark Side of The Moon” and “Wish You Were Here.”

That’s just one phase of EMI’s “Why Pink Floyd … ?” campaign. It continues Nov. 7 with the Wish You Were Here ‘Immersion’ 5-disc and ‘Experience’ 2-disc editions, both of which will include bonus material from the band’s 1974 Wembley dates, including a 20-minute tour de force live rendition of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” as well as a unique recording of “Wish You Were Here” featuring jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. A collectors’ vinyl LP will also be available, as will various digital formats.

Released simultaneously will be “A Foot In The Door – The Best Of Pink Floyd” a collection of the band’s best-known songs, contained on one album for the first time. The long-awaited 5.1 version of “Wish You Were Here,” mixed by James Guthrie, will also be released via independent label Acoustic Sounds.

Look for seven-disc “Immersion” and three-disc “Experience” versions of “The Wall” on Feb. 27, 2012. A collectors’ vinyl LP will also be available, as will various digital formats.

“We have worked together for more than a year on this program, which incorporates all the elements that have made Pink Floyd one of the most inspiring forces in modern music,” said EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon in a press release issued May 10.

Longtime Pink Floyd art director Storm Thorgerson has overseen the visual design, including new booklets for all the CDs and new artwork for the boxed sets. Photographer Jill Furmanovsky has edited books of original unseen photographs. Pink Floyd collaborators James Guthrie and Andy Jackson have been handling digital remastering duties.

In 1967, Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright comprised Pink Floyd. Barrett left in 1968 and was replaced by David Gilmour. Barrett died in 2006; Richard Wright died in 2008.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Dokken is the answer to the question posed by the title of this post. I saw Dokken in late March, and while they are a fun band, Don Dokken asks that question a little too much. After all, can you still be a hair band when most of your audience has no hair? Dokken was formed in 1976 and was one of the classic hair metal bands of the 80s. Only Don Dokken and Mick Brown remain from the original line-up, and Lightning Strikes Again is the tenth studio album released by the band.

Taking its title from a track on the band’s platinum 1985 classic Under Lock & Key, the new songs bring the group’s sound into the new millennium, while remaining true to their roots. Mixed by Wyn Davis (Dio, Great White), the album features Don Dokken (vocals), Mick Brown (drums), Jon Levin(guitar), and Barry Sparks (bass). The album captures the signature mix of barbed-wire riffs and razor-sharp melodies that made Dokken one of the most dominant creative and commercial forces in the world of melodic hard rock.

But keep in mind that this is not Dokken circa 1986 with George Lynch shredding every song and Don's voice in his prime. But for the 2008 version of Dokken, this is a very good album, and certainly the best in a long time. This is a very strong album, with a nice mix of up-tempo tunes mixed with a few of Don's classic love-gone-bad ballads. Newcomer Jon Levin's guitar work is a pleasant surprise, and he makes strong songwriting contributions. Don's voice has taken a beating over the last 25 years and his vocal range is noticeably smaller than it was back in the mid 80's, but he still demonstrates strong melodic styling.

This is a solid album, and a welcome return to form.

Squeeze into those leather pants and hold that lighter up, no Dokken (or hard rock fan for that matter) will be disappointed!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Pallas were one of the bands at the vanguard of what was termed neo-progressive during progressive rock's second-wave revival in the early 1980s (the same wave that produced bands like Marillion, IQ and Pendragon).

Courted by EMI, home to the aforementioned Marillion, the band recorded The Sentinel, a concept album based upon The Atlantis Suite, an epic centerpiece of the band's live performances at the time based around a futuristic version of the story of Atlantis with plenty of references to the Cold War.

All this boded well for Pallas, but EMI's initial interest in the band waned, and when The Sentinel was released in 1984 it was regarded as a compromised affair by all involved (despite sporting what was regarded as one of the genre's most beautiful covers ever).

After a second album, the band was inactive until the end of the following decade. They released three studio albums between 1999 and 2005, and at last, XXV, the long awaited sequel to The Sentinel has arrived.

From start to finish, XXV is a creative, energy filled, prog oriented release that sees the new lineup very tight and playing off of each other better than ever.

Great guitar, bass, and keyboard riffs are abundant here, all kept in line by the drums. XXV is a little heavier at times than past releases, and features a fairly bombastic, keyboard-dominated sound that is a nice blend of progressive and AOR with a splash of metal. The songs are well-written, and if you're familiar with Pallas you'll know just what to expect.

Falling Down (studio)
Falling Down (live)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


And blues guitarists don't get much bigger than Ted Horowitz, better known as Popa Chubby!

Popa's new CD will be released worldwide on Provogue records on Oct 15th, 2011!

Back To New York City will coincide with a month long European tour.

The Back To New York City record will feature 10 new original tracks written by Popa ,as well as two cool covers; "The Future" a song by the great Leonard Cohen, and a rendition of J.S. Bach's "Jesus Joy Of Man Ascending" arranged by Popa.
Meanwhile, why don't you tide yourself over by checking out my review of his last record HERE or another classic release that I reviewed during April's A To Z challenge HERE. Both are available at or directly from The Man at
If you are fortunate enough to live in areas where Popa plays live, go see him!

Friday, May 6, 2011


Todd Wolfe cut his teeth as lead guitarist for Sheryl Crow before starting the Todd Wolfe Blues Project. Now named simply Wolfe, Todd picks up where he left off, showcasing his original bluesadelic material with a searing rock style and a powerhouse band that delivers tasty blues with a hefty side of jam.

On Delaware Crossing, the band produces echoes of Fleetwood Mac at their absolute best and a classic Rolling Stones sound, and blends classic and modern sensibilities. John Popper (Blues Traveler) also lends a hand and a harp to the album. Wolfe offers top notch blues rock guitar playing with solid vocals and songwriting, and the tracks range from searing blues to the beautifully sad "One Lost Love."

Delaware Crossing is about as hard driving a guitar players' album as can be found. Wolfe plays and sings as if he is taking no prisoners, and these tracks range in style from A to Z (Allmans to ZZ Top) while being stamped with Wolfe's own signature. If you appreciate rock/blues guitar, head to your record store to score this album

See What Love Can Do (live clip)

Tumblin' Down (live clip)

Love Gone Bad (live clip)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I've been talking about this one for more than a year, and while it was released a week ago, I'd already had my running order set for the A to Z 'fest, so I'm reviewing it late.

But what the heck? It's been months since the tour ended, anyway.

Legendary blues man Robert Johnson was described by Eric Clapton as "the most important blues singer that ever lived." Todd Rundgren's Johnson is a wonderous album of reinterpretations of a legend's music by a modern legend, as Todd Rundgren and band recreate the songs that have made Johnson a legend one hundred years after his birth. Although he recorded only a small number of songs during his short life, those who know nothing of Johnson will recognize some of the songs from other covers, certainly everyone will recognize 'Crossroads' from the Cream/Clapton version.

Todd, accompanied faithful companion Kasim Sulton on bass, gives Johnson's acoustic originals a heavy blues-rock, guitar-based interpretation, with plenty of passion in the vocals and the guitar. He's lost none of his guitar chops, and for those who enjoy simple, nasty blues riffs overlaid with shredding solos, this is for you.

These songs are pretty much straight ahead rock covers (Todd covers Clapton covering Johnson), but they do not disappoint. All of the tunes are presented in a similar way, and those looking for something uniquely Todd or cutting edge may be disappointed. Those who want to hear him pick up his guitar and rip through a set of blues classics won't be.

These are not "faithful" covers of the Robert Johnson songs, but I am not sure I would have liked an entire disc of TR acoustic blues, although one or two would have been pretty interesting to hear TR interpret. If you like rockin' blues a la Tommy Castro and George Thorogood, I'd give this a listen. All Todd die-hards probably have already picked this up, but if not, what're ya waiting for?

If you're a Todd fan-buy it.

If you're a blues fan who likes his or her blues with a rock edge-buy it.

If you like the RJ acoustic blues, this may be a little loud for your preference, although Todd probably needs the cash, so I still say buy it!

Dust My Broom (live clip)

Love In Vain (live clip)

Hellhoud On My Trail (live clip)

Stop Breakin' Down (live clip)