12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief Album Review

After the release being delayed a day, you can now finally purchase the “12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief” album  on iTunes.  I watched the concert on live television and it’s interesting to see which artists and what songs made the 24 cuts on this memorial hurricane record.

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The Review: Paying for Google Play Music All Access

I have not been been much of a fan of Google’s play into music — but today, I think I might just change my mind with my new “Google Play Music All Access” subscription.  The new service is an odd dog, to be sure, but it seems to be worth both its bark and its bite so far.

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Stephen Stills Carries On

Stephen Stills is one of those rare musicians who not only forms the cultural sound and comprehension of a decade or two, he also divines the definition of the spirit of its people.  Stills’ career has arced over a half-century of our lives from Buffalo Springfield to Crosby Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young!) to Jimi Hendrix diving into a fine solo career.

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Reviewing the Bryan Ferry Jazz Age

Bryan Ferry has always been a magical, musical, mind — and the evidence of that genius can today be found in his new “The Jazz Age” album packed with his current hits, re-performed as 1920’s Jazz standards.  Yes, the idea is confounding — making new music sound old in practice and performance  — but, in the ear, everything is ultimately pleasing in the effort and effect.

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The Apocalypse Review

Rereading the title of the article it occurs to me that I should probably mention that this is a review of the 2011 album Apocalypse, by Bill Callahan. This is the same brilliant Bill Callahan who wrote the song Eid Ma Clack Shaw — two years after I wrote the article it still gets comments every so often, which is remarkable to me as it is only about the one song! It occurred to me recently why the article continues to get as many views as it does and that is that people searching for the meaning of the song find my article on top of the Google search query — meaning of Eid Ma Clack Shaw.

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Jake Reichbart: Is She Really Going Out with Him?

In my June 10 Boles Blues Ibanez Artcore AG75 review, I first introduced you to outstanding fingerstyle Jazz guitarist Jake Reichbart:

You might wonder how I happened to come upon the Ibanez Artcore AG75.  I enjoy Jake Reichbart’s YouTube videos, and I recently learned Jake plays an AG75.  When I went to check the price of his guitar, and found out it could be had for around $300.00USD on the street, I went bonkers hankering for a chance to imitate his cool tones.

The beloved kidding about Jake Reichbart on YouTube is that while he makes his guitar sing like an angel, he looks like a guy waiting for the bus while playing — so when you watch Jake in this AG75 example, look past the faraway, inattentive, look in his eye, and try to not stare at the blue duct tape on his bridge pickup — just close your eyes and enjoy the sound.

Jake has always been an awesome YouTube inspiration for me.  His style is engaging and direct and he really teaches you how to play a song just from purely observing him in action.

Jake has a new album out now called — Is She Really Going Out With Him? — and it is a total winner.  Jake’s percussive Jazz style and precocious melodies are infamous and purely delightful and you need to grab a listen to the world between his fingers.

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Jazzing the Holidays

If you have any sort of mainstream musical career, one of your best bets for creating an afterlife legacy is to record a Christmas album or two or ten.  Every sugary Pop star for the last 30 years has some sort of wintertime holiday album for sale.  Bing Crosby is the reigning king of the Christmas album and his fine, monetary example, is what leads all new singers-in-search-of-longevity into lining up to record these, often tired, musical memes.

I prefer my holiday music with a Jazz tinge and I’ll share with you three of my all-time favorite albums.  First up is magnificent Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell’s “Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas” where he fires up his six-string archtop and lets us have it right between the eyes.  Kenny’s playing is always dynamic and ferocious and he adds tremendous energy and innovation into these seasonal standards.  Kenny’s whipping strings will hypnotize you and set you back on your heels.  He sets the jewel standard in Jazz guitar no matter the tonal topic.

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