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Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters: Hope Radio (Elite)

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters: Hope Radio (Elite)

Okay, all instrumental, guitar-driven blues isn't for everyone I agree -- but if anyone can persuade you to the cause it is Earl and his white-hot band which have their feet firmly in two camps, tough Texas blues where Earl is at home and freewheeling jazz-blues courtesy of pianist and Hammond player Dave Limina. So this is sort of...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

Another year and another Van album on yet another label . . . And with the reissue of his earlier albums drawing attention to great work like It's Too Late to Stop Now (read about it in Essential Elsewhere) it would hardly be surprising if this one was ignored by even longtime followers, many of whom might be picking up the remastered...

Marie "Queenie" Lyons: Soul Fever (Vampi/Southbound)

Marie "Queenie" Lyons: Soul Fever (Vampi/Southbound)

Queenie Lyons was one of the many soul singers from the late 60s/early 70s whose career was as short as it was impressive: one album, this one, and gone. The little that is known about her is this: she came out of Louisiana on the chitlin' circuit, sang with King Curtis' band, and opened for the likes of Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino and James...

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Wordsworth, more fool him, peaked early. The first edition of his groundbreaking Lyrical Ballads collection with fellow poet Coleridge was published in 1798 when he was 28. In the following decades (notably his revised editions) it was mostly downhill. Sure, he wrote some later stuff worth studying in late-degree Eng. Lit classes, but the...

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