Unyieldingly pleasant, that’s what it is. Lisa Biales’ “Just Like Honey” is nearly the perfect companion to a rainy day on the couch, a sunny day in the garden, a road trip or a night on the town. It’s the record’s strength and maybe its weakness, too. That depends when you’ve got the blues.The sixth album on her own Big Song Music label, “Just Like Honey” covers 11 Americana and blues tunes and includes a co-write and two originals.
Classic. The word more properly evokes a feeling than a concrete meaning. The meaning would be flatly explained as something from the past that has gained a memorable status. When applying “Classic” to the bluegrass genre a whole new set of meanings and associations surface. Bluegrass is classic Americana. A genre that is wholly American and comes loaded with stories and fables that define less of a time than a mentality. The workingman’s blues.
Trevor Robbins’ solo project, Lowlander, is a Folk infused singer/song writer’s safe haven. In his self-released album “Criminal Mischief”, Robbins’ soft howl steals away like a reverb wind into the western hillside. The acoustic landscape of this album has rich finger-picked textures which blend warmly with Robbins’ dusty, melodic voice.
Mysterium Tremendum, the latest release from the Mickey Hart Band, has the former Grateful Dead drummer digging yet deeper into his ever-expanding knowledge and love of sound for another fine record. Hart’s merry band of musicians plays along to sound waves transformed from electromagnetic radiation given off by the sun, planets, stars and galaxies.
Dot Hacker, the experimental rock band based in Los Angeles, California was formed in 2008 by Josh Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer, Clint Walsh and Eric Gardner were all previously members of the touring incarnation of Gnarls Barkley, and were subsequently joined by Hella bassist Jonathan Hischke to record the much-anticipated “I
The band Dead Sara released their self-titled album on April 10th. Based in Los Angeles, the female duo-fronted band weaves together a stiff, punk attitude with a grungy rock sound. Their sound sometimes reminds me of a heavier Hole, what with Emily Armstrong's edgy vocals mixing with the solid rhythm lines provided by guitarist Siouxsie Medley. Might I take a moment here to comment on the guitarists name?
This morning I received my hot off the presses CD/DVD combo, Rubblebucket Live in Chicago. I ripped off the plastic wrap to pop it in the player and pour over every detail of the jacket, the artwork, and the credits. It looks like the antithesis to the no wave buzz back in the late 70’s. The packaging is similar to a Ramones promo circa 1979. The lettering has color but the photograph is in black and white with a nice contrast. Photo credits go to a couple of Chicago’s finest photographers, Jeremy Frazier and Chris Monagh
It’s so interesting to ponder how the Grateful Dead, despite being self-described poster children for avoiding politics and activism and concentrating on music, really aren’t that. From the beginning all members of the Dead were rooted in San Francisco’s scene and are an iconic representation of so many different facets of a humanitarian persuasion.