Music Review

Album of the Week: Desertshore - Arc of an Arrow Blind

From the family tree of Red House Painters/Mark Kozelek -- one of my favorite artists -- comes the fifth Desertshore album, Arc of an Arrow Blind (Darkan Records). This is a wonderfully engaging instrumental album of sublime depth and beauty. Think of a more textured Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon with arpeggiated guitars and piano/keyboard riffs with the bass and drums anchoring the proceedings in various rhythmic rock, jazz and even hypnotic world beat patterns. (Check out "Descend Like The Sun.") Read more »

C'Mon And Hear Steve Ross

Steve Ross
C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin
July 4th Celebration
Birdland Jazz Club, NYC
June 26, 2016

In a letter to Alexander Woollcott, Jerome Kern wrote that "Irving Berlin has no place in American Music… He is American Music." What better person to present the art of Irving Berlin than venerable singer and pianist Steve Ross, who presented this great American composer's work in a sterling evening entitled C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin July 4th Celebration, at the historical Birdland Jazz Club on Manhattan’s West 44th Street, where he shared the stage with seasoned bassist Jered Egan.

Steve deeply understands the art behind Berlin's voluminous body of work, in a manner unique to himself. His renderings of both well-known, lesser known, and even obscure Berlin songs are historically astute and performed in an exceedingly skillful manner which is at once serious and at the same time carefree. The word "skillful" may sound academic and dry, but Steve's show was anything but. Read more »

Caterwauling Towards The Light - Dusty Wright

Album is still receiving fab press; new reviews in The Big Takeover and The Brooklyn Rail.

Dusty Wright's new album Caterwauling Towards the Light is available for digital purchase from Bandcamp (below) or from AmazonCDbabyiTunes, plus other digital sites. It is also number one Americana album on Billboard charts.

You can order an autographed CD from him direct; Paypal $12 to: puffdusty@gmail.com

And check his website -- DustyWright.com -- for upcoming shows and performances. Click on this FACEBOOK link to access more info and press.

peace, CC

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Ornette: Tomorrow is the Question

Joining such memorable events as Ornette’s week at Lincoln Center in 1997 and the celebration in his honor at Celebrate Brooklyn which was the last time he played in public and which is now documented in an incredible box set alongside the memorial held for him at Riverside Church and Wynton's own celebration of Ornette at Lincoln Center will be Ornette Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question, July 11–16 as part of their yearly indoor festival. There will be a four-part series honoring Ornette's work as a composer, innovator, and performer. Read more »

LeAnn Rimes Brings The Proverbial House Down At Pride Fest!

On Sunday, LeAnn Rimes proved once and for all that she has outgrown the child prodigy country music label that launched her career at age 14(!) with the release of the mega-hit record "Blue," making her the youngest artist ever to win a Grammy (she won two). Read more »

Video of the Week: Melanie De Biasio - "No Reply"

Some artists transcend description, best they are not compartmentalized into a specific genre of music. Miss Melanie De Biasio is a Belgian artist that incorporates jazz, classical, nufolk, even electronica into her musically rich vocabulary to create her truly unique and atmospheric sound; not unlike Sigur Ros or Bjork or Joni Mitchell's jazz-informed work in the late '80s. This song was released on her 2014 album No Reply, an album I just got turned on to by my dear friend Michael Naso. This version of the song features strings and was recorded in a cathedral in Brussels. The arrangement is fantastic and it features a wonderful Gregorian contralto co-vocal by Romain Dayez. In fact, as much as I like this string-driven version of the title track, her song "The Flow" from that album is even better. It's got a killer groove. Think '70s era Gil Scott-Heron. And if that wasn't enough to take in, her new effort Lilies drops on October 6th. Check out her new single "Gold Junkies" -- one of the tracks from that album -- here. Take a deep breath and enjoy her wonderful music. I suspect the rest of America will be catching up with this extremely talented artist very soon. peace, Dusty

The Girl With A Thorn In Her Side

Lynn Castle Rose Colored Corner Light (Light In The Attic)

Coming across visually as a prototype Nancy Sinatra about to enter The Valley Of The Dolls, Lynn Castle in the 1960s was an entrancing and beguiling entity. Her debut album finally appears a few years shy of her turning eighty, and it is a tremendous affair, an index of splendid and unrealized possibilities, as stark as it is haunting.  Read more »

Tender & The Fury

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Beacon Theatre, NYC
June 15, 2017

Much is being written that Nick Cave's current tour of Skeleton Tree may be his best yet. Seeing Mr. Cave and The Bad Seeds' performance last night at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, I would agree. Playing every song from that album except "Rings of Saturn" plus another eleven classic songs (set list here) from his catalog, it was a show that will be difficult to rival by any touring act this year or quite possibly until Mr. Cave decides to tour again. Quite remarkable given that he's a few months shy of his 60th year on Earth. Read more »

Something Strange Going On...

Long Strange Trip (Amazon Video)

I was stoked have scored a ticket for the limited-run (one week) theatrical screening of the new Grateful Dead documentary at IFC Cinema in the West Village. A four-hour love fest for Deadheads young and old, and more importantly for those music fans and the curious who just never got "it" and what it means to be a Deadhead. Expertly handled by director Amir Bar-Lev, there is so much to mine here that I can't imagine how much was left on the cutting room floor. (Props to executive producer Martin Scorsese, too.) Jerry's Frankenstein story frames the movie in a way that initially seems odd but by the end of the film makes perfect sense. After all, like the Monster, the band was "assembled" by the various parts (members, friends, fans, staff) that comprised it. Messy, joyous entropy in action; seemingly random, but actually spiritually connected on a very profound and metaphysically level. This could have easily been a 6 - 8 hour mini-series. Heck, I could have watched another hour just on the various keyboard players that brought their craft to the Dead. Or how the band would curate their set lists from show to show, never repeating a set list while on tour. But these are minor quibbles. This is a must-see film. Read more »

All Tomorrow's Karaokes

John Cale
Liverpool Sound City, UK
Friday 26th May 2017

Fifty years on and it is time to remember one of the most innovative albums ever impressed onto wax. A delicious dark and jagged confection of nihilism and sulky sophistication unlike it's Liverpudlian counterpart Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, also now fifty, but which was sunny, funny and a bit vaudeville. Both represent a pair of wildly different bookends. The Velvet Underground and Nico was then a monumental, commercial flop, whilst the Beatles album sold in the millions. With half a century under its belt of shiny studded leather, the Velvets album now has an arc of influence that continues to reach into the hearts of those who wish to create a positive noise. Read more »

Nobody Left To Run With Anymore... RIP, Gregg Allman

The annual pilgrimage to the Beacon Theatre became a winter event that my friends and I relished each and every March, something to brighten up the dull blues of winter. The Allman Brothers Band were more than just a "jam" band. And while they defined the Southern Rock ethos and kick-started the whole jam band movement, they were more than that. Yes, they were improvisational monsters, but they also wrote and played highly melodic music, music that stands the test of time; and they owned the covers they performed as well. Only The Grateful Dead could rival them as a live act with staying power, albeit cast in a different Americana psychedlic haze. Read more »

Vinyl of the Week: Marty Stuart - Way Out West

I've always been a fan of the Mississippi-born Marty Stuart. The dude can play just about any style of Americana and his latest effort -- Way Out West -- expands his musical universe to include some real tasty surf 'n' twang. Produced by Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker's guitarist Mike Campbell, you know the amps are going to be cranked, but crisp, the playing tight, but not too tight, and the tunes catchy as hell -- not a clunker in the lot. Happy to report you can check all those boxes. Add Marty's "fabulous" backing band, His Fabulous Superlatives, who are just that, and you have the recipe for some real fine ear candy. And let's give props to guitarist Kenny Vaughn who has always been one of Nashville's guitarists guitarists, and as usual he gets to shine. On the surfabilly instrumental "Torpedo" you can frug to the two guitars, bass and drums attack. It's like Duane Eddy meets The Ventures. Watch out for that giant wave, ya landlubbers! And the trippy cinematic "Way Out West" song is pure Wall of Voodoo meets Angelo Badalamenti. Hey, Mr. Music Supervisor, this song is perfect for David Lynch's Twin Peaks reboot. Come to think of it, all of the tracks are worthy. Marty and the lads will be touring this fall with Chris Stapelton and their own shows right now -- click here for dates. In the meantime, pick up a vinyl copy. Your turntable will be stoked that you did. peace, Dusty

Single of the Week: Scout Durwood - "Take One Thing Off"

If you dig Peaches, then you'll love "Take One Thing Off" and the above video. I wasn't familiar with comedian Scout Durwood's work, but she's clearly got chops, can sing, and can take the piss -- as they say in ol' Blighty. Millienials know her from the Snoop Dogg produced Mary + Jane MTV comedy series about two Hollywood gals whacky weed biz, as well as her well-documented standup comedy schtick. So she's got a new album of comedy and music breaking on May 19th on Blue Élan Records. Had I produced this single, I might have added Fred Schneider of The B-52s in a campy cameo vocal and video appeareance. Regardless, this is one seriously infectious tune. Crank it, then "dance this mess around."

A Mexican Affair

A Mexican Affair
Created and performed by Rafa Reyes
Produced and directed by Jeremy Williams
The Metropolitan Room, NYC
Saturday, April 8, 2017

What keeps A Mexican Affair -- cabaret show headlined by Rafa Reyes and backed by a fine Latin group -- going? It is the immense personable charm and contagious self-delight of Rafa himself, coupled with the powerful support he receives from the quintet behind him. This young singer from Mexico, who came to the United States to attend New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy, certainly has “that something” and it bespeaks of the kind of presence that compels an audience to stay with him and see what will unfold. That’s no mean feat in the world of solo cabaret performing (or in solo performing of any kind). The seasoned New York cabaret audience knows immediately if the performer in front of them is up to something, something that deserves more than casual attention and polite applause. A Mexican Affair delivers. Read more »

Free From Conformity

On the occasion of their new mega-release on Leo Records, The Art of Perelman-Shipp Vols. 1-7 and their ensuing CD release party at Le Poisson Rouge on May 7th at 9:30 P.M. with Italian Surf Academy, I asked Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp the following questions.

Steve Dalanchinsky: How long have you been associated both as collaborators and friends? Read more »

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