Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla is facling a lot of pressures -- huge primary band at its peak and partner Ben Gibbard has already found huge success with The Postal Service -- but his first solo album, 'Field Manual,' doesn't sound self-conscious or unsure. It's a casual affair, full of Indie Pop songs of varying stripes.
Former Band drummer Levon Helm's voice was stilled by throat cancer for many years. But now, after radiation treatments and recovery, he's recorded his first solo album in 25 years, with production support from his daughter Amy and Dylan sideman Larry Campbell.
Country icon Charlie Louvin's in-store performance at Northside's Shake It Records back in May wasn't tied to a show later that night in the area. It was merely just a guerilla stop to promote his new eponymous album.
Twenty years ago, Memphis-based singer/songwriter Rob Jungklas had a breakout hit in Greater Cincinnati when WEBN-FM picked up a track from his debut EMI album 'Closer to the Flame,' the joyously propulsive "Memphis Thing."
Joe Henry's 'Scar' (2001) and 'Tiny Voices' (2003) are two of my favorite records from the last 10 years. So I'll be the first to admit that I might be approaching his new release with unreasonably expectations.
Neil Young is hearing voices again. They speak, and Neil follows their commands. This time they've convinced him to release the sequel to an unissued album from 1977. Only Neil Young releases a sequel to a record that never came out.
Maynard James Keenan attributes his reputation for being enigmatic and mysterious to not being in the press much. Tool's trippy, strange Art Metal was the first tip-off for me; the weirdo stage costumes sealed it.
It was for the late Arthur Alexander that producer Rick Hall created the Muscle Shoals, Ala., sound in 1961. The mid-tempo ballad "You Better Move On" featured plaintively soulful, conversational vocals surrounded by tightly-syncopated music with a rustic, countrified aura and a persistently underlying sense of melancholy and menace.
As the original icons of Rock enter their golden years, their children are picking up their parents' banners and running them a little further up musical hills that were taken in the '60s and '70s. The latest case in point is Year Long Disaster, led by vocalist/guitarist Daniel Davies, the son of Kinks guitarist Dave Davies.