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 Traveler Review

I have long been a fan of Trey Anastasio, lead singer of Phish and extraordinary guitarist who seems to have tried his hand at more styles of music than the average musician. I was first interested in Trey Anastasio as a musician outside of Phish when he released a self-titled album in 2002.

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The Daughter of Cloud Review

My introduction to the band Of Montreal (who are, in fact, of Georgia) came in the form of a nearly twelve minute song that occasionally played at my last job — I was doing technical support for a small software company and we almost always had music playing in the background. During the occasional lulls in calls it was comforting to break the silence with music and when a song spends a number of minutes getting started and works its way to a fiery climax all while fantastic lyrics are sung. I only wish that I had a bigger music budget when I had gotten into them as there are plenty of records of theirs to buy as well as a lovely cassette box set.

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The Transcendental Youth Review

For the last twenty years, John Darnielle has been entertaining and enthralling the world with his profoundly thoughtful lyrics and soulful singing and musical stylings. One of my former coworkers told me that all this would surely end once he had a child and he was quite disappointed last year when I mentioned that Darnielle and his wife had been blessed with a beautiful baby boy. I am here to let you know that his concerns were unfounded because there’s a new Mountain Goats record and it has really shattered all of my expectations.

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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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The Clear Heart Full Eyes Review

The most recent time I saw The Mountain Goats live in concert, there was one particular song during which a gentleman came out — “This Year” — and he sang half the lyrics. Everyone was more than thrilled when this gentleman came out onstage. Afterward I asked the person with whom I went if he knew anything about the gentleman and he told me that it was Craig Finn, the lead singer of The Hold Steady.

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