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Various: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Universal)

Various: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Universal)

There's a lot wrong with this double disc compilation: the title track is from the late Jeff Healy not by its author George Harrison; Thin Lizzy's Still in Love With You is the studio version rather than the far superior live one; you get soft-rockers Bread (Guitar Man) and Matthews' Southern Comfort (Woodstock) jammed between Fleetwood Mac's...

ROBERT PLANT AND JIMMY PAGE INTERVIEWED (1994): Only the song remains

ROBERT PLANT AND JIMMY PAGE INTERVIEWED (1994): Only the song remains

They’ve certainly seen worse than this dark oak lined bar where Sydney Harbour glitters seductively just through the panelled doors. And they’ve certainly done this whole thing before, one of them with forgivable ill-humour. But today they are jocular, blokey and their living-legend status is resting comfortably with them....

Jeff Beck: Performing this Week . . . Live at Ronnie Scott's (Shock)

Jeff Beck: Performing this Week . . . Live at Ronnie Scott's (Shock)

In a recent interview in advance of his Auckland concert next February, I put a quote to this guitar legend whose career started back in the mid-Sixties when he took over from Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds: that of all the guitar heroes his career had been the most slippery to follow. He laughed and agreed -- then I told him that quote came...

LONG JOHN BALDRY INTERVIEWED (2002): What becomes a legend most.

LONG JOHN BALDRY INTERVIEWED (2002): What becomes a legend most.

They didn't call him Long John for nothing. Standing more than 2m tall, John Baldry was a towering figure in British r'n'b during the 60s.  Alongside John Mayall, Long John Baldry was a kingmaker whose various groups included the young Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, later of the Rolling Stones, and the 16-year-old Jimmy Page (Led...

Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures (Sony)

Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures (Sony)

This will be brief for a couple of reasons: this genuine supergroup of Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) has already been given wide-exposure, and that in this instance Elsewhere has been running a bit late. (Got waylaid by a Guy Clark album or somesuch) So the short...

John Mayall with Eric Clapton; Blues Breakers (1966)

John Mayall with Eric Clapton; Blues Breakers (1966)

For an album which is a cornerstone in any serious consideration of the British blues boom of the Sixties, the Blues Breakers record -- John Mayall with Eric Clapton -- of July '66 hardly had an auspicious gestation. In March '65 Mayall and the Blues Breakers had been dropped by their label Decca after just one album (a live outing, John...

The Yardbirds: Shapes of Things, The Best of the Yardbirds (Music Club/Triton)

The Yardbirds: Shapes of Things, The Best of the Yardbirds (Music Club/Triton)

Aside from the obvious ones -- the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and arguably the Small Faces and perhaps the Animals -- was there any other group in the mid-Sixties which was such a magnet for, and breeding ground of, talent? And it's not just the roster of guitarists who passed through its ranks -- Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page...

Black Country Communion: Black Country Communion (J and R/Southbound)

Black Country Communion: Black Country Communion (J and R/Southbound)

Some don't fall too far from the tree that Led Zeppelin planted, and this outfit -- a kind of second tier hard-rock supergroup -- certainly reference Jimmy Page's riffery and powerhoue attack. And the drummer is Jason Bonham, son of the late John from Zeppelin. But with guitarist Joe Bonamassa, keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Alice...

Jake Holmes: Dazed and Confused (1967)

Jake Holmes: Dazed and Confused (1967)

From the moment of its release, the Led Zeppelin debut album in '69 gathered as much controversy as it did praise -- and indifference from many American reviewers who just heard the bombastic crunch. Those who knew their blues were angered that after decades of being denied their rightful place, many black artists were once more ripped off...

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (ATCO)

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (ATCO)

Even those who have been his most ardent champions concede that guitarist Jeff Beck has always taken his own wayward path, often following a great album with an indifferent one. He may lack career focus -- he takes time out frequently -- but his recent years have seen him acclaimed for the consistency of his live performances, and the petty...

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (Shock DVD)

Jeff Beck: Rock'n'Roll Party (Shock DVD)

Excellent though the recent Jeff Beck, Imelda May and others CD of this concert was -- a salute to the late guitar player and designer Les Paul -- this DVD film of the concert (and then some) is a leap ahead, and not just because the live show by these people is such fun, but because the extra footage is engrossing. At some point you may...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin: Mothership (Atlantic)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin: Mothership (Atlantic)

When this double disc of Led Zeppelin arrived in '07 there were the inevitable arguments from fans about what had been unfairly excluded . . . and certainly their Anglofolk inclinations and some of their essential blues (notably Gallows Pole) might have been there. But . . . This was always going to err toward the band's classic rock...

Joe Bonamassa: Dust Bowl (J&R/Southbound)

Joe Bonamassa: Dust Bowl (J&R/Southbound)

There are some extraordinary guitar talents -- Roy Buchanan comes to mind immediately -- whose gift just seems to go right past an audience you know would appreciate it, if they just shifted their attention in that direction. Bonamassa -- who also has lungs like leather and can write terrific blues rock songs also -- is another. He's...

JOHN MAYALL IN THE SIXTIES: And Another Man Done Gone . . .

JOHN MAYALL IN THE SIXTIES: And Another Man Done Gone . . .

When veteran British bluesman John Mayall played the Civic in Auckland in 2010, the concert was both disappointing and crowd-pleasing. Disappointing because, although professionally executed, it failed to really take flight. Crowd-pleasing because he played his hits. The joke, of course, is Mayall has never had hits and at 77 it seems...

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Billy Joel: Bad cop, good guy

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Billy Joel: Bad cop, good guy

It was bluesman Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown who taught me a valuable lesson very early on: it was possible to like a man's music and not like the man who made it. Billy Joel confirmed the opposite: I liked him very much but have never felt an ounce of emotion for his music. But first, let me tell you about a big bag of dope. When...

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