Music at Elsewhere

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John Scofield: Piety Street (Universal)

29 Mar 2009

Guitarist John Scofield -- previously interviewed at Elsewhere and who played blinding free jazz at times when he appeared here with saxophonist Joe Lovano last year -- is either a music chameleon or a man with a short attention span: he played blues fusion with Miles Davis; has duelled with fellow plank spankers Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell; done some drum’n’bass stuff; wrote a... > Read more

John Scofield: The Angel of Death

Seasick Steve: I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Got Most of it Left (Warners)

29 Mar 2009

Sixtysomething Steve Wold appears to have been an authentic, rail-ridin' itinerant (although we can guess some exaggeration has gone on) and it seems he could count among his friends in a long life Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Kurt Cobain,and he also worked as a producer and engineer in Seattle. Latterly he has achieved considerable fame and attention in the UK following an... > Read more

Seasick Steve: St Louis Slim

The Flamin' Groovies: This Band is Red Hot 1969-79 (Raven)

29 Mar 2009    1

About 30 years ago during the UK punk/post-punk period a friend in London would send me cassettes of all the exciting new music he was hearing: Little Bob Story from France covering the Small Faces' All or Nothing, the Runaway's Cherry Bomb, the first Dire Straits single Sultans of Swing with Mark Knopfler's sublime guitar playing, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Sham 69, Nick Lowe, Mikey Dread,... > Read more

The Flamin' Groovies: Good Laugh Mun (1978)

JJ Cale: Roll On (Warners)

29 Mar 2009

Cale has always made a kind of mood music, for the back porch usually. So while this album offers few surprises (his lyrics still aren't his strong point, but if it ain't broke) the subtle diversity of styles -- from New Orleans-influenced ragtime to swamp rock and a little foot stomping rock'n'soul -- means over time each track takes on its own character. His signature guitar sound... > Read more

JJ Cale: Fonda-lina

Various: The Best of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour (Chrome Dreams)

29 Mar 2009    1

Elsewhere readers would be familiar with Bob Dylan's extensive website (he's got another new album in April) and his radio programme  and will have doubtless noted the many Dylan articles, music etc at Elsewhere, most recently the posting of the album Bob Dylan's Jukebox which was a compilation of songs which had influenced him. From the same source -- and no doubt... > Read more

Blind Willie Johnson: John the Revelator

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! (Universal)

29 Mar 2009

You only need to hear a few bars of the first three tracks on this one to say "James Brown". And Black Joe and band out of Austin wouldn't deny the influence. There's also a smattering of emotional Otis, the stab of Junior Walker saxophone, the funk of Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Howlin' Wolf blues and much more distilled into these 10 urgent tracks. Real sassy and sharp... > Read more

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Big Booty Woman

Lucinda Williams: Live from Austin, Tx 1989 (DVD, New West)

28 Mar 2009

With the great Lucinda Williams due to return for long overdue concerts, it seems only right to draw attention to this DVD of her first appearance on the Austin City Limits telelvison show in 1989. It was almost 20 years ago and at the time -- although she'd released her first album a decade previous -- she was riding on the crest of her self-titled album which had sprung the critical hits... > Read more

Lucinda Williams: Changed the Locks (from the album Lucinda Williams, 1988)

Various: Timeless Memories from the 50s and 60s (EMI)

28 Mar 2009

For some of us, many of these 50 tracks will be embedded somewhere in the subconscious from that period before the Beatles broke through and people like Helen Shapiro (whom the Beatles supported on one of their first UK tours) and Lesley Gore were all over radio. Here is ample evidence that the songs were soft and dreary before guitar bands swept everything away: The Four Aces with Three... > Read more

Helen Shapiro: Don't Treat Me Like A Child

U2: No Line on the Horizon (Universal)

18 Mar 2009    1

Just a thought: would U2 be better without Bono? That isn't a comment on his ego and political activities -- which I have no issue with, everyone has an ego and I think he's done some decent political work. Nope, it is more on the bombastic delivery he too often brings to U2 when they can be at their most musically interesting. As here, an album full of clever sonics, orchestrations,... > Read more

U2: Moment of Surrender

The Whitest Boy Alive: Rules (Rhythmethod)

16 Mar 2009

This former-electronica outfit made an appearance at Elsewhere about three years ago with their impressive debut album Dreams which found them putting aside the bleep-machines and picking up real instruments. This time out -- belying their name -- they shift towards to some cruisy Seventies soul-funk with Rhodes keyboard from new member Daniel Nentwig and that, along with tickling guitars... > Read more

The Whitest Boy Alive: Courage

Al Kooper: I Stand Alone/You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Raven)

13 Mar 2009

Another in the excellent and on-going reissue series from Australia's Raven Records (see Southside Johnny, Velvet Underground, Gene Clark at Elsewhere), this is a musically sprawling double disc collection of two albums with bonus tracks by keyboard player Kooper who brought his particular genius to Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone single, Dylan's Highway 61, Blonde on Blonde and New Morning... > Read more

Al Kooper: One (from the album I Stand Alone, 1968)

Mark Olson and Gary Louris: Ready for the Flood (Hacktone/Elite)

11 Mar 2009    1

Given that albums aren't recorded in the order we hear them it's surprising how many peter out after the halfway mark: I guess that's what you call "playing your aces first". This album by alt.country/Americana luminaries Olson and Louris who last played together in the Jayhawks over a decade ago does the opposite however: after the halfway mark (in truth well before it), the... > Read more

Olson and Louris: My Gospel Song for You

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis: Live From New York City (DVD/Shock)

6 Mar 2009

While this beautifully shot concert film might not persuade you that this meeting of minds was as thrilling as the relentlessly theorising Wynton Marsalis makes it out to be, there are considerable pleasures to be had hearing Willie Nelson's deliberately languid vocals with the small and classy jazz group on hand. And harmonica master Mickey Raphael who effortless sits between them. Director... > Read more

Bon Iver: Blood Bank (Jagjaguwar)

5 Mar 2009    2

To be honest, the Bon Iver album For Emma, Forever Ago which appeared in many of last year's "best of" lists didn't arrrive at Elsewhere and, busy with so many others, I let it slide right past me. So I have only heard the odd track off compilations or at friends' houses. This four song EP by Justin Vernon and friends is exactly the kind of subtle and understated follow-up you... > Read more

Bon Iver: Woods

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: Fever! The Anthology 1976-1991 (Raven)

2 Mar 2009    1

The excellent reissue label out of Australia, Raven, has appeared at Elsewhere previously with its essential Velvet Underground collection What Goes On, the Gene Clark compilation American Dreamer and others. What Raven achieves which many other similar companies don't is multi-label compilations which means you get a more true picture of the artist concerned. And they have intelligent liner... > Read more

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: This Time baby's Gone For Good

Buddy Holly and the Crickets: The Very Best of (Universal)

2 Mar 2009    2

There's not a lot needs be said about this 50 song, double disc compilation that hasn't been said elsewhere at Elsewhere about Buddy Holly's particular songwriting gifts: he crafted stories and characters, was an interesting and inventive arranger, adopted different voices . . . The first disc here is where most of the classic material lies but because the lesser known songs are stacked on... > Read more

Buddy Holly: Learning the Game

Marianne Faithfull: Easy Come Easy Go (Naive)

1 Mar 2009

The cracked and distinctive vocals of Faithfull have, as with Leonard Cohen, a devoted following -- and this double album which sounds typically whisky'n'smoke-cured is perhaps for longtime loyalists. Helmed by producer and musical conceptualist Hal Willner (who did, among other fascinating albums, the Charles Mingus tribute Weird Nightmare), this all-star collision includes among its vast... > Read more

Marianne Faithfull: Black Coffee

Various: Beyond Bollywood (SDJ)

22 Feb 2009

The title here might suggest a compilation album that is taking you past the standard Bollywood soundtrack music, but it is actually misleading: it simply sweeps up another very common style, that of "the contemporary sound of India-electronica and lounge". Exotic chill out in other words. So far so familiar.  But what sets this apart a little from many other such... > Read more

Shreya Ghoshal: O Saathi Re

Ruthie Foster: The Truth According to Ruthie Foster (Shock)

22 Feb 2009

This impressive soul-blues singer makes a guest appearance on the new Eric Bibb album Get On Board -- and Bibb contributes two tracks to this diverse collection of material which roams confidently from the Seventies-styled Stevie Wonder-ish opener (Stone Love) through more gritty guitar-driven material and some slippery soul-reggae not too far removed from the wonderful but largely overlooked... > Read more

Ruthie Foster: Tears of Pain

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet: Alligator Purse (YepRoc)

22 Feb 2009

Cajun music from Louisiana is perhaps an acquired taste: it's more about feel than finish, dancing and drinking than deliberating and thinking, and of course it has fiddles and accordions. The latter two might be the most off-putting aspect for some. But this album by these long-running Cajun revivalists has so much going for it that it could hurdle the barriers: guests include Natalie... > Read more

BeauSoleil: Rouler et Tourner (Rollin' and Tumblin')