The Allman Brothers Band “Hell & High Water : The best of the Arista years” (Retroworld ,2017)

The Arista Years were 1980 and 1981. This was a battered and bruised Allman Brothers Band which had taken casualties along the way – quite literally – and had seen frequent changes of personnel. And the drugs had also taken their toll. The band released just two albums for Arista – Reach for the sky and Brothers of the road – which totalled nineteen tracks between them. This current compilation, issued by Retroworld which is a wing of Floating World Records, includes eleven of these.   Continue reading “The Allman Brothers Band “Hell & High Water : The best of the Arista years” (Retroworld ,2017)”

Richard Thompson “Acoustic Classics II” (Proper Records, 2017)

Richard Thompson has something of a reputation as a perfectionist, and this trait caused him, a couple of years back, to review his available acoustic recordings with a critical ear.  Mostly consisting of acoustic spots or complete solo acoustic concerts there was a lot of material available, but perhaps they weren’t the very finest recordings – not perfect presentations of band songs reconfigured for just one guitar and voice. Continue reading “Richard Thompson “Acoustic Classics II” (Proper Records, 2017)”

Little Steven announces UK tour

Little Steven – also know as Steve Van Zandt – is bringing his band, The Disciples of Soul, to the UK this November for a series of dates.  Steve Van Zandt is known for many things – he’s a DJ, he’s an actor – maybe you caught him in this show The Sopranos?  He plays a mean guitar – works with this guy Springsteen – but he also has his own band.  And that  band has  a new album – Soulfire – out.  And so Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul  are hitting the road.   Continue reading “Little Steven announces UK tour”

David Crosby “The Broadcast Archive” (Gossip/Hobo/Zip City ,2017)

This live broadcast box represents how good these “archive” (aka bootleg) sets can be. This particular collection is made up of three CDs, two of which have been generally available for a few years. Towering Inferno is a Crosby, plus backing band, appearance from 1989, New Years Eve with the Dead is dated to 1986 whilst David and the Dorks is Croz with the Dead again, this time from 1970. Taking these from most recent to the earliest – Towering Inferno has a mix of songs from Oh Yes I Can, alongside classic CSN tracks. The sound is spot on, no complaints at all. Continue reading “David Crosby “The Broadcast Archive” (Gossip/Hobo/Zip City ,2017)”

Micah P Hinson – “Oh, Spaceman” – Listen

Idiosyncratic Americana troubadour Micah P Hinson returns with a new album Presents The Holy Strangers, out on Full Time Hobby on 8 September.  Oh, Spaceman is the first track made available from it – and it’s the weariest sounding song you’re ever likely to hear.

There is, perhaps, an explanation for the all pervading weariness and the feeling that Hinson hasn’t slept in a good long while – when talking about Oh, Spaceman Micah has said “It was the first song I wrote for my boy, Wiley Tex, after he was born, and the only song I played for about half a year after his birth. It is the only song where the melody and words came before sitting behind a guitar. Which is not a way I’ve ever written.”

Hayley Thompson-King “Large Hall, Slow Decay” – Listen

What do you get when you mix trained operatic vocals with Joe Cocker’s soul shrieks and blend that vocal with a lo-fi vibrato heavy rockabilly country sensibility?  You get Hayley Thompson-King.  And what do you get if you’re both in Hayley Thompson-King’s band and seeing her socially – and then there’s a harsh break up?  You get to inspire the red hot Large Hall, Slow Decay.

The song features on Hayley Thompson-King’s upcoming new album Psychotic Melancholia which is out on the 1st of September on Hard To Kill Records.

Mercury Rev, The Barbican, London, 14th July 2017

Mecury Rev have a sound that is often described as symphonic, so this appearance at The Barbican with the Royal Northern Sinfonia offers a real chance to hear the huge sounds of their albums as they were meant to be. Surprisingly there’ll be nothing from Secret Migration, perhaps the bands most symphonic album to date. Mercury Rev’s last album – 2015’s The Light In You – appeared after a seven year break and was their first for Bella Union,and this very special appearance at The Barbican also forms part of the Bella Union 20th Birthday party. Although ever hopeful, this reviewer recalls that the Bella Union 10th Birthday celebrations didn’t feature cake. Continue reading “Mercury Rev, The Barbican, London, 14th July 2017”