Call Mr. Lee

Cricklewood Green
Ten Years After

If you’d wanted to, back in the 1960s and 70s, you could listen to all sorts of rock bands that allegedly based their music on the blues. I’ve pretty much convinced myself, if no one else, that the entire Classic Rock canon rests on a misconception that Continue reading


Dancin’ in a Ring Around the Sun

Love is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970
Varrious Artists Boxed Set

I hesitate to write about music. In part that’s because I know others do a far better job of it than I ever will. It’s also in large part because I am skeptical of treating commercial products as though they  belonged among the great art works of western Continue reading

Could Spark Up Nostalgia

FramptonFrampton Comes Alive 
Peter Frampton
Originally Released: 1976

More than a few decades back it seemed like every high school-aged white kid in America was issued the same five albums. On Long Island, there was a bonus sixth record.

I owned most of them but even if you didn’t you couldn’t escape. None of us could and in certain precincts of the FM dial you still Continue reading

Was Clapton Ever Really God?

Clapton MarsalisThe legendary London graffito of the early 1960s had it that ‘Clapton is God.’ What if the scribblers were wrong?

That’s the thought that went through my head as I finally got around to listening to ‘Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center.’ This 2011 release is Continue reading

Why Howe?

Giant Sand
Original Release: 1987

Howe Gelb is a genius. Why does it seem that so few have noticed?

Maybe they have. Or maybe the 25th-year reissues of the earliest Giant Sand records will change that. But I’m not holding my breath. What I am going to do is revisit the first Gelb/Sand record I ever heard in the hopes it piques some interest.

Let’ s start with a memory trick. I’m pretty good with when things happened so I’d swear to you that  Storm was released in 1986. But Gelb himself says it was 1987 and so I defer. My certainty is rooted in where I was–in limbo, basically, between Nassau County and Manhattan. You Continue reading

New York’s Own Miniaturist

Suzanne Vega
Original release: 1985

I’ve decided to expand a character-constricted record review that originally was posted on emusic. The motivation may be ego, the result may be folly, but I need to try.

In 1985, the then 25- or 26-year old Suzanne Vega released her first, self-titled album on A&M. New Wave and Punk were Continue reading

Ray, Jesse and Me

Ray LaMontagne

Stored deep in memory with few referents as to time or place is an image of a pocket watch-toting rabbit repeating “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.”  The older I get, the more I sympathize with the bunny. None of which has anything to do with today’s subject which really is the most recent release from the New Hampshire gentleman Continue reading