Sunday, August 22, 2010


This breathtaking album showcases a series of spellbinding and perfect dialogues between two masters of acoustic guitar. Although normally classified under "folk", the album is an extraordinary and seamless fusion of blues, jazz, celtic/British, bluegrass and baroque counterpoint. The music combines strong and catchy melodies, driving rhythms and strategically advanced composition.
An extraordinarily intense driving energy pervades this album, and as the last few notes echo in your ears, you are left with the feeling of having been in the presence of pure, bright liquid light, emanating from a pitch-black background. The pieces are hauntingly beautiful, each track highly distinctive.
This album is a master course in dialogue and composition. I've listened to it an uncountable number of times, and I'm still learning from it. If my house caught on fire and I could rescue only one album, I would choose this one.
review by Dan Engelberg

Tracks :

1 Tic-Tocative
2 Waltz
3 Piano Tune
4 Goodbye Porkpie Hat
5 Hole In The Coal
6 The Wagoner's Lad
7 Lucky 13
8 Three Part Thing
9 Stepping Stones
10 Red's Favourite
11 No Exit
12 Orlando
13 Bells
14 East Wind
15 After The Dance


Janis Joplin expressed the pain of her existence in every nuance of her voice, and FAREWELL SONG is a highly confessional testimony to her short, tragic life. It contains six songs from her stint with Big Brother and three recorded after she departed their company. The live and studio recordings capture all the bitchiness, pathos and generosity of Joplin's voice and spirit, as well as the taint of self-destruction and tragedy that seemed destined to dog her until her early demise. The collection richly portrays the abandon that propelled Joplin to both worldwide fame and premature self-immolation.

There's a bone-chilling version of the highly autobiographical "Misery'n" and the Todd Rundgren-produced "One Night Stand," the latter a portrait of the paranoia and confusion of the transient life of the star. Joplin's voice positively soars in this sadly revealing tune about the fleeting nature of love on the road. Also impressive are the vocally acrobatic "Catch Me Daddy" and the mournful title track. A goofy version of "Amazing Grace" is somewhat disappointing when one considers how Joplin could have wrapped her soulful voice around this spiritual hymn, but this collection is deeply satisfying in both its diversity and the intimacy of its autobiography.

Tracks :

Tell Mama;
Magic Of Love
One Night Stand
Raise Your Hand
Farewell Song
Amazing Grace/Hi Heel Sneakers
Catch Me Daddy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


As a two time W.C. Handy Award nominee, who has toured with Lynwood Slim, Janiva Magness, Charlie Musselwhite and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as performing with James Cotton, Pine Top Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Mojo Buford, Ted Harvey, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Elvin Bishop, Ronnie Earl, Doyle Bramhall, Michelle Branch and many more… Kirk Fletcher is considered one of the best young guitar players on the blues scene today.

Born 1975 in Bellflower California, Kirk began playing guitar at age eight after watching his brother Walter perform at their father’s church. At age twelve he attended the Long Beach Blues Festival where he saw the likes of Albert Collins, Bobby Blue Bland, (accompanied by Wayne Bennett) and the Staple Singers. This was a life changing experience for him as he realized that this was the music he wanted to play.

While still in High School he discovered a small but legendary Los Angeles music store called Music Works, where he met owner Jim Foote, “Meeting Jim was invaluable in my search for tone and a better understanding of the mechanics of the instrument, and it was a very cool scene to be a part of....that’s how I met Jeff Rivera, who at the time was Robben Ford’s guitar tech. I got to assist him and be a fly on the wall to some of the most amazing musical events of my life up to that point....and it heightened my musicianship!” During this time he performed with R&B artist Christopher Williams and was playing gospel weekly at The House of Blues, with Brent Jones & The T.P. Mob, where he also shared the stage with such artists as Stephanie Mills and Jackson Browne.

In the Mid 90’s Kirk met Al Blake, frontman of the Hollywood Fats Band who became a mentor to the young guitarist. Blake introduced him to wide variety of blues music,“Al hipped me to blues artists as diverse as The Mississippi Sheiks to Tommy Johnson...we’re talkin’ pre Robert Johnson stuff...that’s how far back we went..!” and it was through Blake he also met and bonded with guitarist Junior Watson, “Junior and I would get together smoke cigars, drink tequila and talk guitars...”

Around this time Kirk met and sat in with harmonica legend Lynwood Slim, “I’m grateful to Slim for giving me a stage to play on...” and it was then that Kirk released his first solo effort “I’m Here & I’m Gone” for the JSP Label. “It gave me a chance to pay tribute to my influences and to establish my solo career”. Kirk’s reputation was growing amongst harp players around town, and through an introduction, again, by Al Blake, Kirk sat in with Kim Wilson, and about a year later, got a call to join Kim Wilson’s Blues Review. “I played on and off with Kim for over 2 years....when he wasn’t working with the T-birds”, with the results being the Grammy nominated album“Smoking Joint” .

In 2003 Kirk recorded his second album “Shades of Blue” and it brought him even greater attention in the blues community,“Charlie Musselwhite found out about me through blues musician Doug MacLeod......,Charlie needed a guitar player and called me”, this gig was special for Kirk, “He gave me the freedom to find my voice on the guitar”. He spent three years touring with Charlie and feels that this is where he developed his unique style.

A year later, after another call from Kim, he joined The Fabulous Thunderbirds, where he contributed to and recorded on their “Painted On” album. “I made lifelong friends in Nick, Ronnie, Jimi, Steve and Gene”. In 2007 he gave notice in order pursue his solo career, and this is when he met up with legendary guitarist and producer Michael Landau. “ We first played together at the Baked Potato in L.A., quickly became friends and really connected musically”.

In recent years Kirk has been performing all over Europe as a headliner and occasionally touring in the U.S. with Doyle Bramhall and Michelle Branch. When home, he gives open counseling at Hollywood’s Guitar Institute of Technology.

Tracks :

Blues for Boo Boo
Bad Boy
Welfare Blues
Don't Go No Further
Club Zanzibar
That's Why I'm Cryin'
Worried Man Blues
Country Girl
Down Home Woman
Stranded in St. Louis
Little by Little
My Home Is a Prison
River's Invitation, The
Hip Hug Her
You Don't Know - (bonus track)
Club Zanzibar - (alternate take, bonus track)
Don't Go No Further - (acoustic mix, bonus track)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Recorded live at various venues in California and New York between 1972 and 1975. Originally released on Capricorn (0177). Includes liner notes by Mike Hyland and Mark Pucci.

By 1976, it had been five years since the release of the Allman Brothers' breakthrough (and all-time classic) release LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST. With the band calling it quits, the Allmans record company decided this would be the perfect time to issue a follow-up--WIPE THE WINDOWS, CHECK THE OIL, DOLLAR GAS.

With original members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley deceased, the mid-'70s Allmans line-up was patched up by bassist Lamar Williams and second keyboardist Chuck Leavell, helping to show that the group still could work their in-concert magic. With "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" the only song from the FILLMORE release to reappear here, such post-Duane gems as "Jessica" and "Ramblin' Man" shine in a live setting, making WIPE THE WINDOWS a worthy addition to any Allman fan's album collection.

Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD - playable on all CD players) paper sleeve pressing. Universal. 2009.

The Allman Brothers Band: Gregg Allman (vocals, guitar, organ, Clavinet); Richard Betts (vocals, guitar, slide guitar); Chuck Leavell (piano, electric piano, background vocals); Lamarr Williams (electric bass); Butch Trucks (drums, tympani, percussion); Jaimoe (drums, percussion).

Engineers include: Johnny Sandlin, Tom Flye, Tom Scott.

Tracks :

01.Introduction by Bill Graham
02.Wasted words
04.Ramblin' man
05.In memory of Elizabeth Reed
06.Ain't wastin' time no more
07.Come and go blues
08.Can't lose what you never had
09.Don't want you no more
10.It's not my cross to bear

Friday, August 6, 2010


Having sung the title role on the original 1976 album of Evita, Julie Covington declined the part in the stage production and instead recorded the marvellous Julie Covington... Plus, now available for the first time on CD. One of popular music's best-kept secrets, the original album was produced by Joe Boyd--legendary for his work with Fairport Convention, REM and the Incredible String Band; arranged by Robert Kirby, who had worked closely with Nick Drake; and featured contributions from Richard Thompson, Steve Winwood and John Cale. Covington proves herself an inimitably English interpretive singer--and her choice of material is immaculate, from Thompson's "I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight", through John Lennon's "How", to Kate Bush's "The Kick Inside". Back in 1978, Julie Covington... Plus was an unjustly neglected gem, and its availability now is a genuine cause for celebration. --Patrick Humphries

Tracks :

1. I Want To See The Bright Lights
2. By The Time It Gets Dark
3. Sip The Wine
4. How
5. Barbara's Song
6. Little Bit More
7. Let Me Make Something In Your Life
8. I Can't Dance
9. Kick Inside
10. Dead Weight
11. Dancing In The Dark

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