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Alannah Myles

Rock Rewind: Alannah Myles “Black Velvet”

This week (August 16, to be exact) will mark the 36th anniversary of the death of the “King,” Elvis Presley. I might grab an Elvis song next week, but for now it seemed appropriate for this week’s Rock Rewind to feature a song about him, rather than by him. Canadian rocker Alannah Myles is by all accounts a one-hit wonder in the US, but what a hit it was. “Black […]

Kid Rock “Rebel Soul”: Album Review

Atlantic (2012)

As a performing artist, Kid Rock has always been a bit of an anomaly. Mixing genres like they were cocktail ingredients, the end result can be often confusing. His sound is largely a concoction of country, blues and hip-hop. And what do we call it? Rock & roll. Go figure. At the same time, perhaps unfortunately, Kid Rock’s persona feels also a bit of a caricature, in that it is […]

Melissa Etheridge Returns to Her Roots on “4th Street Feeling”

Island Def Jam (2012)

For some artists, a “return to roots” simply means the artist has returned to his/her musical roots—in other words, the music style that first put that artist on the map. However, on her new record 4th Street Feeling, rocker Melissa Etheridge takes this idea much deeper by returning to her roots in a much deeper sense—as in, returning to her upbringing, to her biographical roots. The end result is a […]

The Gaslight Anthem “Handwritten”—Album Review

Mercury Records (2012)

Listening to “45”, the opening track and first single from The Gaslight Anthem’s new release Handwritten, I have to think that the band is tiring a little from the comparisons to Bruce Springsteen. Yet, while I don’t necessarily hear any copycatting going on here, the raw Jersey blues-rock vibe and gravelly voice of Brian Fallon’s voice are unmistakably similar, inspiring much of the same imagery as The Boss just from […]

Blues Traveler “Suzie Cracks the Whip”—Album Review

429 Records (2012)

When you are presented an album title like Suzie Cracks the Whip, you might expect something on the record that snaps, pops, or is otherwise attention-commanding. Alas, while this latest release from Blues Traveler is definitely a step up from their previous recent work, no such whip-cracking actually exists. To be fair to this veteran band, Blues Traveler absolutely deserves their loyal following, and this record doesn’t deter from that […]

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals “The Lion The Beast The Beat” (Album Review)

Hollywood Records (2012)

The Lion The Beast The Beat, the latest release by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (and their third on the Hollywood Records label) is a well-produced, sophisticated followup to their 2010 eponymous release—a solid combination of rock anthems, power ballads and even a bit of genre bending. There’s little question that Grace Potter has one of the most powerful voices in rock today. She can go effortlessly between sensitive balladry […]

Brendan Benson “What Kind of World”: Album Review

Readymade Records (2012)

I suppose this is former-Raconteurs-record-release week. Much to his misfortune, imho, powerpop singer-songwriter Brendan Benson has released his solo record What Kind of World on the exact same day as Jack White’s much-publicized release Blunderbuss. Benson’s PR team (if he has one) should be fired. The record is released on Benson’s own label, so if this was Benson’s idea, then it’s probably a case of self-sabotage, and I suppose he […]