The Grateful Dead was at their absolute "post-coma" peak from the summer of 1989 through the summer of 1990. They had never been more popular, playing at consistently sold out venues and even selling out some huge arenas. Jerry Garcia was by all reports clean and sober, and his playing and singing hadn't been as good since the late 70's. The whole band, as always, fed off Garcia's newfound energy and their playing reached levels not seen for over a decade.
When the new disc by KJ Denert landed in my snail mail box, I didn't think much about it, considering I get a lot of unsolicited CDs for review. But when I put this one into my player, I was thrilled to discover a new artist to add to my faves pile. Lucky 7 is Denhert's seventh album on her Mother Cyclone Records label. She is a remarkable talent.
Eliza Gilkyson will be bringing her rootsy Americana sound to the Winnipeg Folk Festival this month. She will be appearing with fellow Texan Nina Gerber. Gilkyson is currently touring in support of her new album, Beautiful World, just released at the end of May on the Minneapolis roots label, Red House Records. This is seventh album from the Grammy-nominated songwriter.
When I walked into the Fox Theatre last Tuesday night through the crowd of longhaired, indignant teenagers, would-be revolutionaries and otherwise strongly opinionated young people, the building fairly stank of angst and attitude. The cause: Rose Hill Drive was celebrating the release of their second studio album, "Moon is the New Earth," and it attracted the usual gang of Alice In Chains,
For classical composer Lee Johnson, tackling the work of the Grateful Dead was like discovering the musical foundations of a new foreign country. Johnson is known for his concert pieces, choral works, short operas and musicals, planetarium soundtracks, and solo/ensemble pieces that cross into jazz and big band music.