Wednesday, March 23, 2011

so what have I been listening to?

Way back in January, I bought the CD+DVD edition of Jimi Hendrix's West Coast Seattle Boy and I downloaded the early tracks to add to it. I don't listen to Jimi a lot, but when I'm in the mood there's nothing like some Hendrix to make you realize "Hey, I'd better practice!"
I picked up Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues mainly due to the hype, and the fact that T Bone produced it, and I have to say that I've enjoyed it, although it has more recently slipped off the playlist in favour of a couple newer items.
Found an old Rick Holmstrom album too, called Lookout which is mainly instrumental. I love the guy's playing with Mavis Staples, but this album is pretty generic. Worth the $8 I paid though!
Wanda Jackson's newest came in the mail from Nonesuch, accompanied by a signed poster, which is cool. The album is pretty hot, produced as it is by Jack White. Great for crankin' it up on long car rides!
I ran across a vinyl copy of Legendary Grape the, well, legendary album made by a reformed Moby Grape. It reminds me just how good this band was, and what a shame that I missed seeing them live that evening at the CNE...
Campus Disc showed up at the University, and I bought a few used items including a Best of Gerry & the Pacemakers, Peter & Gordon, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, as well as a copy of Lou Reed's live Berlin. Wow, that's a depressing album, but the 60s stuff is uplifting fun. Oh, and a vinyl copy of Elvis Costello's Secret, Profane & Sugarcane for the bonus tracks.
A couple old Randy Bachman albums were next, Axe was a download, and Survivor came from Randy's mail order. Nice things to have, he's a fine guitarist and he knows how to write a riff!
The Majestic Silver Strings was hard to find. It's packaged to resemble a set of guitar strings, and with Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz and Marc Ribot joining Buddy Miller on a collection of old country tunes...that's a good image to have. The accompanying video is interesting too. These guys make magic.
Lucinda Williams released Blessed the same week I saw her live when she opened for Levon Helm at Massey Hall. Songs from the new album were featured at the
show, as Lucinda read lyrics from a music stand. I haven't warmed up to Blessed yet...give it time. Oh, the show was great, and Levon (singing raggedly due to a cold on top of the already shredded vocal cords) put on a show that was unforgetable!
Ron Sexsmith's long awaited Long Player, Late Bloomer was for me, the highlight of the year so far. I bought the special edition with a DVD of live performances and a signed litho. But even without all the extras, this is a beautiful album. Bob Rock's production is crisp and presents another set of fine songs from the pen of a master. Ron should be proud of this addition to his oeuvre, and get over the lack of confidence that seems to plague him.
Gary U.S. Bonds has a recent CD that you can buy from his web site, signed. It's a good little rocking number. Give it a try.
Levon Helm has asked Capitol Records to reissue the first three albums by The Band which are available in a boxed set, called Three of a Kind. No bonus tracks, all the remastering is gone, what's left...the first three albums just the way we heard them back in the day. Awesome!
Still looking for the newly re-issued Nick Lowe Labour of Lust CD, and awaiting delivery of Steve Martin's second bluegrass album. Maybe tonight, if the postman can get through the snow that surprisingly dropped on us overnight.
Upcoming? Robbie Robertson, Paul Simon, Steve Earle, and don't forget Record Store Day coming up April 16th. Support your local retailer!

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