High Above The Power Lines- The John Cowan Band
John Cowan got his start in Louisville, where he played in scrappy rock outfits like Everyday People and Louisville Sound Department. In 1974, he auditioned as a bassist and vocalist for New Grass Revival, and together with Sam Bush and later bandmates Béla Fleck and Pat Flynn, led the charge of the 1980s’ bluegrass revival. New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990 when Fleck departed for a solo career, but Cowan didn’t slow down. >> Read more…
-Johnny Loftus, AllMusic.com
From Above- Viktoria Tolstoy
b. Sweden. The great-great-granddaughter of the Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, singer Viktoria developed a small but dedicated following in Sweden in the early 90s. Her mid-90s recording debut, Smile, Love And Spice, for which she was praised by Swedish jazz musicians such as Arne Domnérus, Svante Thuresson and Putte Wickman, began attracting attention further afield. She gained even more attention and greater commercial success with 1996’s För Älskad, a pop album that hinted strongly at star potential. Signed to Blue Note Records, she released White Russian in 1997, most of the songs on which were written by Tolstoy in collaboration with pianist Esbjörn Svensson. Following on the release of this CD, Tolstoy toured Germany, accompanied by Svensson’s trio. The weight of the Blue Note contract helped her gain entry to the inner circles of jazz and she performed with Ray Brown, singing with him in 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland, McCoy Tyner, and others. >> Read more…
Viktoria Tolstoy is a highly celebrated and respected international jazz vocalist and her numerous success stories are all a product of this explosive natural supertalent. Viktoria has never taken a single singing class thus she also owns that little perfect difference that delivers her clearly strong and wonderfully untamed, vibrant sound. She’ll capture the moment on any given occasion and will outperform herself from one grand evening to the next.
Viktoria reaches all the way and her colorful, spontaneous persona will by all means make one forget to breathe for not only a short moment. Viktoria is already on the very top, yet once again aiming up.
Viktoria has been saluted by media wherever she has landed since she first grabbed that microphone, and rest assure, this show will go on. We suggest you buckle up. Expect a lot.
Viktoria Tolstoy isn’t the only Sweden-based jazz artist who has provided both a Swedish-themed album and a Russian-themed album. In the 1960s, acoustic pianist Jan Johansson was inspired by Sweden’s musical contributions on Jazz På Svenska (“Jazz for Sweden”) and by Russia’s musical contributions on Jazz På Ryska (“Jazz for Russia”). Tolstoy, similarly, has used jazz to acknowledge Sweden on My Swedish Heart and Russia on My Russian Soul. But while the late Johansson was an instrumentalist, Tolstoy is very much a singer — and on My Swedish Heart, she uses both lyrics and melodies to pay tribute to Swedish jazz artists. >> Read more…
-Alex Henderson, AllMusic.com
Photo: © Joerg Grosse Geldermann
D: All The Above- The Roys
After years of hard work, siblings Lee and Elaine Roy have firmly established themselves as one of the pre-eminent acts in Bluegrass today. As THE ROYS they bring immaculate harmonies, impeccable musicianship and strong songwriting to their music, combining a traditional vocal styling with a progressive instrumental attitude to enchant fans around the world. Proud to continue the “family harmony” sound started by such groups as Hall of Fame inductees The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers and The Osborne Brothers, THE ROYS revel in exploring new facets of the genre while remaining true to their roots.
Born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and raised across the border in Coal Branch, New Brunswick, Canada, THE ROYS’ early childhood days were filled with music. “Our Grandma LeBlanc played Acadian tunes on her fiddle while my aunts and uncles joined in,” Elaine recalls. “It was truly ‘Roots’ music. We fell in love with that ‘honest’ sound, and our harmonies seemed to fit that style of music,” adds Lee. Growing up in a family where guitar pulls were a normal occurrence, Lee became adept on drums, bass and mandolin and joined his first Bluegrass band at the age of nine. Elaine learned guitar and began singing at age five, making her first on-stage appearance at the tender age of 10. >> Read more…
Above These Wheels- Walt Wilkins
The name, Walt Wilkins, was first spoken to me in 1998 by Kevin Welch, who told me quite passionately that Walt was the guy that I needed to listen to and soak up like a roll of Bounty in a rain barrel. I’ve obeyed Kevin’s advice for more than 12 years now, even though I have to put up with Walt’s picturesque prose and be prepared to boogie in my boots with young filly fans that exercise Juke Duke like a government mule with a well-worn yoke.
Walt has made top shelf recordings that are direct evidence of the emotional depth of the man and the harmonious skills of the artist and his fellow muse compadres – Bull Creek Souvenir (1994, out of print), Fire, Honey & Angels (2000), Rivertown (2002), Mustang Island (2004), Hopewell (2006). >> Read more…
-Duke Ross, waltwilkins.com
Walt Wilkins is a burly but sensitive bard from the Hill Country of Texas. The literate singer-songwriter–who keeps the comment comparative of his abilities to those of John Steinbeck “close”–fittingly chronicles the physical, mental, and emotional journey of his little family on its way back to Central Texas from Middle Tennessee’s Nashville. Up and out of Music City to where things feel more like home. Like Hopewell.
While Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was the Joad family setting out for a kinder, gentler way, ultimately the Wilkins clan–from the sound of things, anyway–fare far and away better. Hopewell, as the name sounds, is a record of happiness, of intimacy, of travel and finding a safe landing spot. With this effort, Wilkins ditches the small Nashville labels, and goes for “under-promoting” it himself.
Solid are the songs, from the uptempo get up and go of “Going Up to Fortworth” to the Whitmanesque call for companionship “Walk Through This World With Me.” Admirably workmanlike in his outlook, his traditional song structure, and his no-nonsense musical textures, Wilkins is a man most comfortable and confident in his musical skin, on this, his fifth record. There is sweetness in the leaving of one place for another, and while no heavy darkness mars the lightness that is found in the muse of relocation, Hopewell is full up with substantive reality. Real as heft, breath, and bone.
-Paige La Grone Babcock, puremusic.com
Rise Above- Jan James
This tale comes right out of the inner soul of American music. It reads like the street-level truth in the lyrics of a Gershwin classic. What kind of artist finds their way to Chicago after having learned licks on a guitar from a Tennessee guy named “Catfish?” What kind of artist hones powerful vocals in a church choir, and then translates that emotion into a deep understanding of RnB, with Rock n Roll Soul? Jan James is that kind of artist.
Raised in central Michigan on a family-run fishing resort, Jan’s talent was obvious early on.”The more I played guitar and the more I tried out the voice I learned to use in the church choir,” says Jan, “the more I liked it.” And so did everyone else. She was continually invited to sing at public gatherings and like all the great artists-the seduction and thrill of performing onstage soon matched her talent.
Jan met her partner, songwriter/guitarist Craig Calvert, while they were both attending Michigan State. She was working in a duo, performing regularly at a small cafe. When she needed to replace her guitar player, the timing was right. It was not only right, it was perfect. Craig was taking a break from his punk band; they met and developed a musical chemistry that has evolved into a big sound and feel that is colored with RnB, blues, soul and the sweet dynamics of the best rock.
After their performances together established a solid reputation for them in the Detroit area, Jan was voted “Best Female Vocalist” by the Detroit Metro Times.
Continuing their legend-laced journey, they moved to Chicago. >> Read more…
Above And Beyond- Rodney Crowell
When Rodney Crowell first gained widespread recognition as a leader of the new traditionalist movement of the mid-’80s, he was, in fact, a singer, songwriter, and producer with roots and ambitions extending far beyond the movement’s parameters. Born to a musical family on August 7, 1950 in Houston, Texas, Crowell formed his first band, the Arbitrators, while in high school, and in 1972 moved to Nashville to become a professional musician.
There, he struck up friendships with singer/songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark.
Crowell’s first big break came while he was performing as a lounge singer, where one of his acoustic sets was heard by Jerry Reed. Crowell’s own “You Can’t Keep Me Here in Tennessee” caught the ear of Reed and his manager, and two days later, Reed recorded the song after signing Crowell to his publishing company. In 1975, Crowell moved to Los Angeles to join Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band as a guitarist, and soon became one of her primary songwriters; among the Crowell compositions Harris first popularized were “Till I Gain Control Again,” “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This,” “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,” and “Bluebird Wine.” >> Read more…
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Of the four records Rodney Crowell cut under his name before 1988′s Diamonds & Dirt, three of them are still regarded as classics of the progressive country genre. The Houston native was well established as a songwriter (Emmylou Harris cut a slew of Crowell songs on her first five records), producer, and performer. Along with then-wife Rosanne Cash, he brought elements of new wave and early rock & roll into the genre, giving it a much needed kick in the rear. But as good as those albums were, Diamonds & Dirt put him on the map for good. >> Read more…
-Thom Jurek, AllMusic.com
Down On My Knees- The Tejas Brothers
The Story: After forming in the fall of 2006, the Tejas Brothers quickly became the subject of big conversation around the stockyards of Fort Worth. Within a few short years, they had earned the respect as one of the best live acts in Texas.
The Music: The group’s debut CD was recognized as the 7th most played album for 2009 by the Americana Music Association. With the release of their second album, Kelly Dearmore of the Dallas Observer said, “The quartet is once again proving itself one of the best bands in the state.” The group is now working on their third and most anticipated release. Roothog Radio says, “If this music doesn’t put a wiggle in your walk, you’d better get your hearing tested.”
The Show: The Tejas Brothers use the stage like a weapon, attacking your heart and poking at your funny bone. Their sound is unique, yet familiar…it’s like something brand new on top of something we’ve all known and loved forever.
What You Need From Me (featuring Vince Gill)- Bonnie Tyler
Before her well-known collaborations with Meat Loaf producer Jim Steinman, Welsh-born singer Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins) performed off and on in her homeland with the R&B band Mumbles; nodules on her vocal cords prevented her from singing full-time until 1976, when she underwent an operation to have them removed. The surgery left her with a raspy, husky voice that proved an effective instrument and drew notice from writer/producers Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe, who became her managers. Tyler scored a number three hit with their “It’s a Heartache” in 1978… >> Read more
-Steve Huey, AllMusic.com
Pink And Black Cadillac- The Rockats
I think it’s safe to say that everyone remembers, or at least knows of the rockabilly act The Rockats, featuring Dibbs Preston, Smutty Smith, Danny B. Harvey, Barry Ryan, and the solid backbeat of drummers Mike Osborne and Louis King.
Well, don’t count these cats out just yet, as they have all gotten back into the studio and are about to release a brand new album entitled “Rockin’ Together”.
Lanark Records are the label behind this great release and they sent us a copy to feature on the site, and we are glad they did.
Twelve tracks of rollercoaster-riding-rockabilly is what you get when you throw this disc on and there is no doubt that when track one starts to play that you have got yourself a fresh sound of rockabilly history.
The Rockats burst onto the music scene in the late 70’s like a breath of fresh air. Rockabilly music had laid dormant since the 1950’s, until a
group of young brash Brits brought back a revitalized and reenergized version to the US.
The Rockats were no mere revival act or retread, they were putting a modern spin on the classic rockabilly sound, much like Stevie Ray Vaughn
or the Fabulous Thunderbirds were putting their modern spin on the blues.
No one had seen a standup bass in 1978 being played the way Smutty Smith played it! Slapping it! Spinning it and dancing with it!
With Dibbs Preston’s great rockin’ vocals, Barry Ryan and Danny Harvey twin rockabilly guitar attack, The Rockats were poised to Make That Move
into the US. >> Read more…
-Brian Setzer, lanarkrecords.net
Blow On Wind- The Danberrys
Drawing deep from the blues, folk, bluegrass and soul/funk traditions, the Danberrys deliver inspired original tunes featuring eerily beautiful harmonies and dynamic musicianship. Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry first joined talents when they met in high school in 1997. Realizing both a musical and personal connection, they continued dating through their first two years of college. Five years after going their separate ways, they realized they never should have parted and were married in October 2006.
Whether one calls it kismet or destiny, some things are just meant to be, and it should be a relief to all who have the pleasure of hearing The Danberrys, these two talents were reunited. >> Read more…
How would one categorize the music of the Danberrys? There are so many layers to the sound of Ben DeBerry and Dorothy Daniel that one thing is for certain – you can’t place them in a 4 + 4 box. They are much too complex and smart for that.
At times, there is a definite old-school sound to the music of the couple. “Rain In The Rock” features a mountain-style intro, which serves the song very well.
“Meet Me There,” the lone outside tune the duo recorded, also has an undeniable Appalachian feel, with a very haunting sound. I was particularly impressed with the lyrics and instrumentation of “Over & Over,” which sounds like something Loretta Lynn might have been inspired by growing up in Eastern Kentucky.
But, it’s not all a retro-ish tip back to the past for the Danberrys. “Here We Go ‘Round” has a very contemporary edge to it, and Daniel’s vocal soars into the heavens on each note. >> Read more…
-Chuck Dauphin, April 7, 2013, musicnewsnashville.com
Old Souls- The Sweet Vandals
The explosion in the black music scene in Spain over the last few years is undeniable and THE SWEET VANDALS have been at the forefront of European soul and funk bands since they released their first album in 2007. Starting in small clubs where they built up their sound the band has gone on to perform at top festivals such as Womad, Pori Jazz Festival and Blue Note. Other accolades include European tours, particularly popular in France and Germany, worldwide gigs and performances for the BBC and the legendary Rockplast TV show on Germany’s WDR. All this has helped the band earn their nickname as the hardest working band in Europe. After three albums with the Düsseldorf based label Unique they have decided to make the jump to their own label SWEET RECORDS. >> Read more…
Just A Little Bit- Dan Beaver and His Dam Blues Band
Dan Beaver was born in Michigan City Indiana. At a young age curious Beaver dug through his father’s drawer to find his first harp. This landed him in a lot of trouble but allowed him to experiment with it. He then became interested in Blues music, the music of The Doors, the band Treat Her Right, and basically any band with harmonica in it. He put the harmonica on hold for awhile until Actor Bruce Willis played the harmonica in commercials and inspired him. So right after high school Beaver then decided to brush up on the harmonica, thinking it would be a fun hobby and a way to attract girls. In 1990 on a trip to the Asthma doctor in Chicago, Beaver bought his own first harmonica.
Dan’s first professional gig was at an African-American church along with his friend, Neil Singleton who played the guitar. After a few years of practicing and “messing around” with the harp, Beaver decided to get serious and visit blues clubs in Chicago. He participated in his first jam sessions at Rosa’s Lounge and Buddy Guy’s Legends. Dan played with guitarist Sam Good and many other musicians. He again took a short break from the harmonica and pursued acting, finding roles in a few movies, a commercial, and a television show. During this time he also worked as a bartender at a casino, before getting fired for playing his harmonica on the job. >> Read more…
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’- Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist’s role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. And that just touches on the tip of his achievements. Dylan’s force was evident during his height of popularity in the ’60s — the Beatles’ shift toward introspective songwriting in the mid-’60s never would have happened without him — but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations, as many of his songs became popular standards and his best albums became undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon. Dylan’s influence throughout folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. Even when his sales declined in the ’80s and ’90s, Dylan’s presence rarely lagged, and his commercial revival in the 2000s proved his staying power. >> Read more…
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
Beyond The Time (Blue In Green)- Elena Poletti and Band
The italian jazz singer Elena Poletti, already known in Italy, is near to conquer also the german jazz scene. Besides her musical activities in Italy she has been successfully co-operating with jazz musicians from Germany and France for several years.
Elena Poletti had a classical vocal training achieving the diploma at the conservatory in Ferrara; she achieved the D.A.M.S. degree in music at the university in Bologna. Her training in jazz was from the beginning with american teachers well-known on the international jazz scene: Betty Carter, Jay Clayton, Nancy Marano, Bob Stoloff and the italians Tiziana Ghiglioni and Paolo Fresu.
With her expressive voice and warm aura she has enchanted the audience in many jazz clubs and jazz festivals in Germany and Switzerland.
Beyond These Walls- Hoyt Axton
First rising to prominence as a songwriter, Hoyt Axton carved out successful careers as a singer and actor as well; rooted equally in country, folk and pop, his gravelly baritone and wry, earthy songs projected an uncommon wit, warmth, and optimism, yielding a consistently engaging body of work extending across four decades. Axton was born March 25, 1938 in Duncan, OK, the son of a naval officer and his English teacher wife. Raised primarily in Jacksonville, FL, he studied classical piano as a child before switching to guitar, writing his first songs at 15. Despite the musical impact of his mother, Mae Boren Axton — the co-author of Elvis Presley’s landmark 1956 chart-topper “Heartbreak Hotel” — he initially pursued a career in athletics, attending Oklahoma State University on a football scholarship before serving a stint in the navy. From there Axton relocated to San Francisco, performing at local folk clubs and in 1962 writing his first hit, the Kingston Trio’s “Greenback Dollar.” Later that year he issued his first album, The Balladeer, a live effort recorded at the Hollywood nightspot the Troubadour; a concurrent appearance on the television western Bonanza also launched his acting career.
Axton resurfaced in 1963 with Thunder ‘N Lightnin’, followed later that year by Saturday’s Child; around that same time one of his best friends suffered a fatal drug overdose, inspiring his song “The Pusher,” a hit for the rock band Steppenwolf subsequently included on the soundtrack to the film Easy Rider. Despite his success as a songwriter, Axton’s performing career failed to catch fire, and after 1965′s Sings Bessie Smith he was without a recording contract for several years before signing to Columbia in 1969 to issue My Griffin Is Gone. While opening for Three Dog Night in support of the album, the band heard his composition “Joy to the World” — their recording of the song topped the pop charts in the spring of 1971 — and early the following year they returned to the Top Ten with Axton’s “Never Been to Spain.” He signed to A&M to release 1973′s Less Than the Song; the follow-up, Life Machine, launched two of his biggest solo hits, the lovely “When the Morning Comes” (a duet with Linda Ronstadt) and “Boney Fingers.” In 1975, Ringo Starr also notched a Top Three smash with Axton’s “The No No Song.” >> Read more…
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Beyond You- Exene Cervenka
A true renaissance woman, Exene is a singer, artist and poet whose work traverses virtually every aspect of those disciplines. She is known for her work as singer for the legendary punk band X as well as The Knitters and The Original Sinners.
Best known as the singer for X, one of the leaders of the late-’70s/early-’80s California punk explosion, Exene Cervenka has also issued solo albums, launched several side bands, and penned books. Although Cervenka has been closely associated with California for a long time, she is not originally from the West Coast. Born on February 1, 1956, in Chicago, Christine Cervenka grew up primarily in Tallahassee, FL, before relocating to Santa Monica, CA, during the summer of 1976. Through a local poetry workshop, Cervenka met John Doe, and the seeds of what would eventually become X were planted. With both sharing vocal duties (and Doe doubling on bass), Doe’s friend Billy Zoom supplied guitar in a Duane Eddy style and was soon followed by the arrival of drummer D.J. Bonebrake, resulting in the birth of X in 1977.
With Cervenka changing the spelling of her first name to Exene, the group led the Hollywood punk movement, but there was much more to their sound than the average punk band — as country, rockabilly, and Exene’s poetic lyrics set them apart from the pack. A string of classic (yet criminally overlooked) releases followed… >> Read more
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com
For many years, Exene Cervenka has been torn between her first love, loud and aggressive rock & roll (as she’s embraced it with X, Auntie Christ and The Original Sinners) and her ongoing flirtation with acoustic music rooted in folk, country and blues (see her work with The Knitters and her first two solo albums, Old Wives’ Tales and Running Sacred). Cervenka’s 2009 album Somewhere Gone was firmly rooted in acoustic territory, but its follow-up, 2011′s The Excitement of Maybe, finds her trying to bring to the two sides together for a change. This album’s volume is quite low by the standards of Wild Gift or Under The Big Black Sun, but with Brady Blade on drums on drums and Christian McBride on bass, Cervenka has an acoustic rhythm section that can lock into a groove and set a mood like nobody’s business, and Dave Alvin adds subtle but scrappy electric guitar on most of these twelve tracks, giving this music a rough, soulful undertow. >> Read more…
-Mark Deming, AllMusic.com
Beyond Control- John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall’s lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right.
Throughout the ’60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-’60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (of Free), John Almond, and Jon Mark also played and recorded with Mayall for varying lengths of times in the ’60s.
Mayall’s personnel has tended to overshadow his own considerable abilities.
-Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com
John Mayall’s stature in the world of blues-rock cannot be understated, as his Bluesbreakers outfit was the launching pad for such renowned players as Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, and Peter Green. And while there are no musicians as recognizable as Clapton on the Bluesbreakers’ 2005 release, Road Dogs, Mayall (who handles vocals, piano, harmonica, guitar, and synthesizer duties) has assembled a worthy supporting cast — Joe Yuele (drums), Buddy Whittington (guitar), Hank Van Sickle (bass) and Tom Canning (organ/piano). While the production may be a bit “cleaner” than it was on his classic-’60s era work, Road Dogs should definitely please fans of modern day blues-rock. >> Read more…
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com
Beyond The Blue (with Patty Griffin)- Emmylou Harris
Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of “cosmic American music” passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young — not surprisingly an occasional collaborator — no other mainstream star established a similarly large body of work as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even more than four decades into her career, Harris’ latter-day music remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her earliest recordings.
Harris was born on April 2, 1947, to a military family stationed in Birmingham, Alabama. After spending much of her childhood in North Carolina, she moved to Woodbridge, Virginia while in her teens and graduated high school there as class valedictorian. After winning a dramatic scholarship to the University of North Carolina, she began to seriously study music, learning to play songs by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Soon, Harris was performing in a duo with fellow UNC student Mike Williams, eventually quitting school to move to New York, only to find the city’s folk music community dying out in the wake of the psychedelic era.
Still, Harris remained in New York, traveling the Greenwich Village club circuit before becoming a regular at Gerdes Folk City, where she struck up friendships with fellow folkies Jerry Jeff Walker, David Bromberg, and Paul Siebel.
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
The second volume of Singin’ With Emmylou, a collection of duets and backing vocal appearances by Emmylou Harris, is no barrel scraper. If anything it is even more eclectic than the first. If Volume 1 offered names and historical country music and pop figures, Volume 2 offers the other side of Harris’ contributions — some to lesser-known artists, some to artists well outside of the country music confines, and some appearances with grand legends. The set opens with a duet of Harris with Johnny Cash. The song “As Long as I Live” is a Roy Acuff classic. Coming from Cash’s 1988 collaborative album “Water From the Well,” it is easily the strongest track on it. Along the way there are some soundtrack appearances such as her duet with Patty Griffin on Beth Nielsen Chapman’s “Way Beyond the Blue,” from the film Where the Heart Is. It is one of Harris’ most stirring performances in the last 20 years having a foil that is every bit her vocal equal. >> Read more…
-Thom Jurek, AllMusic.com
Beyond The Sea- Bobby Darin
There’s been considerable discussion about whether Bobby Darin should be classified as a rock & roll singer, a Vegas hipster cat, an interpreter of popular standards, or even a folk-rocker. He was all of these and none of these. Throughout his career he made a point of not becoming committed to any one style at the exclusion of others; at the height of his nightclub fame he incorporated a folk set into his act. When it appeared he could have gone on indefinitely as a sort of junior version of Frank Sinatra, he would periodically record pop/rock and folk-rock singles whose principal appeal lay outside of the adult pop market. At one point he started calling himself Bob Darin and recorded songs with vague anti-establishment overtones that could be said to be biting the largely bourgeois hands that fed his highest-paying gigs. It may be most accurate to say that Darin was, above all, a singer who wanted to do a lot of things, rather than make his mark as a particular stylist. That may have cost him some points as far as making it to the very top of certain genres, but also makes his work more versatile than almost any other vocalist of his era. >> Read more…
-Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com