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Lore Review Archives

Review of The Coffee Shop Chronicles : Part 2

Review of: David Lummis

The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans, Part 2: The Last Beaucoeur by David Lummis takes place on a single day, Friday August 26, read more...

I'll Play The Blues For You

Review of: Albert King

(Stax Remasters) Albert King never tolerated nonsense. His guitar-playing captured the essence of his personality. He played a right-handed guitar upside down, yet he was left-handed. He stands as one of America's seminal bluesman. Born in Indianola, Mississippi, his read more...

King of the Road

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Houghton Mifflin Company)  Paul Hemphill wrote his novel King of the Road in 1989 as a tribute to his father who was a truckdriver. In an age when heroes read more...

Locked Down

Review of: Dr. John

(Nonesuch) The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach produced Dr. John's latest studio release Locked Down. Dr. John and Auerbach wrote the ten originals on this album together. It's an read more...

Back To The Woods

Review of: Chuck Leavell

(Evergreen Arts) Chuck Leavell, no doubt, stands as one of the finest piano players on the planet. His musical resume includes working with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chuck read more...

The Grifter's Hymnal

Review of: Ray Wylie Hubbard

(Bordello Records) The Grifter's Hymnal serves as the follow-up album to Ray Wylie Hubbard's 2010 release A: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment. The Oklahoma-born read more...

Boys & Girls

Review of: Alabama Shakes

(ATO) Boys & Girls counts as the Alabama Shakes debut album. Formed during 2009 in Athens, Alabama, the band includes Brittany Howard (vocals/guitar), Zac Cockrell (bass), Steve Johnson (drums), Heath Fogg (guitar) and Ben Tanner (keyboards). This group read more...

Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me

Review of: Justin Townes Earle

(Bloodshot Records) Recorded live at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, Justin Townes Earle's Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now retains a soulful Memphis sensibility. This counts as his fifth studio album.

Leaving Eden

Review of: Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Nonesuch Records) Leaving Eden follows the Carolina Chocolate Drops Grammy-winning 2010 release Genuine Negro Jig. This North Carolina group has earned well-deserved respect for read more...

Nobody Knows You

Review of: Steep Canyon Rangers

(Rounder) Nobody Knows You counts as the Steep County Rangers' fifth studio album. The group earned a Grammy nomination for their 2011 bluegrass collaboration with Steve Martin titled Rare Bird Alert. The Rangers played The View, The David read more...

Where It Hits You

Review of: Jim White

(Yep Roc) Jim White is an interesting character. Born in Pensacola, Florida, as Michael Davis Pratt during 1957, he grew up listening to gospel music. White's debut album Wrong-Eyed Jesus! came out in 1997. He's collaborated with Victoria Williams, Aimee read more...

We Don't Need

Review of: Cheyenne Marie Mize

(Yep Rock) Cheyenne Marie Mize is a Louisville, Kentucky, native. She served as a member of the groups Arnett Hollow and Maiden Radio a few years ago. She writes songs, sings, plays guitar and mandolin. Her debut album, Before Lately, was released in 2010. read more...

The Songs of Woody Guthrie

Review of: New Multitudes

(Rounder Records)  The New Multitudes is a group composed of Jay Farrar, Anders Parker, Will Johnson and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket's Jim James). This is a debut album of

Women & Work

Review of: Lucero

(ATO Records) Lucero sends a musical love letter to Memphis on their latest release Women & Work. This collection counts as the group's 8th album. Lucero streamlines musical lineages of Memphis like Sun Records,


Review of: Karen Dalton

(Delmore Recordings) Born Karen Cariker during 1938 in Texas, Karen Dalton grew up in Oklahoma. During her lifetime, Dalton received little critical acclaim for her music. In New York City she kept time with

Facing The Music

Review of: Larry Brown

(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)  Larry Brown's Facing The Music contains ten short stories. Published in 1988, Facing The Music counts as the first book the late Mississippi writer published.  These stories serve as a prelude to Brown's read more...

Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' In The Moonlight

Review of: Howlin' Wolf

(MCA Records)  The Chess Original Masters Two On One Howlin' Wolf collection--Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' In The Moonlight--features the first two albums of one of America's most respected bluesmen.

America Eats Its Young

Review of: Funkadelic

(Westbound Records) Funkadelic's fourth album, America Eats Its Young, was released in 1972. North Carolina native

The Rum Diary

Review of: Bruce Robinson

 The Rum Diary This review was written to coincide with the 7-year anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson's death on February 20, 2005. I watched read more...

The Complete Plantation Recordings

Review of: Muddy Waters

(Chess/MCA) Muddy Waters' The Complete Plantation Recordings contain the historic 1941-1942 Library of Congress Field Recordings. The father and son team of John and Alan Lomax brought read more...

This Wheel's On Fire

Review of: Levon Helm & Stephen Davis

(William Morrow & Company) "It's a wicked life But what the hell, Everybody's got to eat."          --"Goin' To Acapulco"

Highway Call

Review of: Dickey Betts

(Polydor) Released in 1974, Highway Call counted as the first solo album by Dickey Betts.

Straight From The Heart

Review of: Ann Peebles

(Hi Records) Released in 1971, Straight From The Heart counted as Ann Peebles' third album. Produced by Hi Records legend Willie Mitchell, Straight From The Heart generated four hits for Peebles. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Peebles began read more...

Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House

Review of: Old Clinton BAR-B-Q

James Calemine's "Never Ending Soul Food Tour" includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment serving memorable vittles. All Photos by James Calemine  Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House 4214 Gray read more...

The Last of the Pascagoula: A Review

Review of: Rebecca Meredith

Rebecca Meredith's first published novel The Last of the Pascagoula read more...

If They Move...Kill 'Em

Review of: David Weddle

(Grove Press) Published in 1994, David Weddle's biography of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah provides a detailed look into "Bloody Sam's" life and films. If They Move...Kill 'Em begins with read more...

Dick's Picks Volume 33

Review of: Grateful Dead

(Real Gone Records) The Grateful Dead disappeared on a hiatus in 1975. Dick's Pick's Volume 33 captures the group's stellar October 9 and 10 performances at the Oakland Coliseum in 1976. The Dead's read more...

Vertically Coastal by Jerri Chaplin---A Review

Review of: Jerri Chaplin

I met Jerri Chaplin fifteen years ago at a conference for the National Association of Poetry Therapy. I was struck at that time by her warmth and genuineness and read more...


Review of: Thelonious Monk

(Columbia) Originally released in 1968, Thelonious Monk's Underground was his first album since the mid-fifties to contain as many as four previously unrecorded original read more...

Dirt Floor

Review of: Chris Whitley

(Messenger Records) Chris Whitley's 1998 release Dirt Floor counts as his 4th studio album. Besides his debut disc--Living With The Law--Dirt read more...


Review of: Willie Nelson

(Island) Produced by Daniel Lanois, Willie Nelson's album Teatro was released in 1998. read more...

Dick's Picks 34

Review of: Grateful Dead

(Real Gone Music) The newly formed Real Gone Music just released the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks Volume 34: Volumes 35 and 36 read more...

Devout Catalyst

Review of: Ken Nordine

(Grateful Dead Records) In 1991, Ken Nordine recorded a spoken word album, Devout Catalyst, at the Grateful Dead studio--Club Front--in San Francisco. Nordine began his career in the 1940s by recording radio voice-overs and commercials. Later Nordine hosted a read more...

Old Mad Joy

Review of: The Gourds

(Vanguard) Old Mad Joy counts as the 10th studio album by the Austin, Texas, band The Gourds. Recorded at Levon Helm's barn, Larry Campbell (

Bad As Me

Review of: Tom Waits

(Anti) Bad As Me, the 22nd studio release by Tom Waits earned the highest chart appearance--#6 on Billboard's Top 200--in his amazing career. Bad As Me contains 13 read more...

Motel Chronicles

Review of: Sam Shepard

(City Lights Books) Published in 1982, Sam Shepard's Motel Chronicles serves as a time capsule in his long career. Some of the chapters from this read more...

True Soul: Deep Sounds From The Left of Stax

Review of: Various Artists

(Now-Again Records) The Arkansas label Now-Again Records release True Soul: Deeps Sounds From The Left of StaxVolumes 1 & 2 contain 60s and 70s Soul, Funk, Disco, Party-Rap and Boogie read more...

Through A Crooked Sun

Review of: Rich Robinson

(Circle Sound/Thirty Tigers) Rich Robinson's second solo album--Through A Crooked Sun--was recorded at Applehead Studios in Saugerties, New York, during April of 2011. Of course, read more...

The Road From Memphis

Review of: Booker T. Jones

(Anti) The latest Booker T. Jones album--The Road From Memphis--follows his acclaimed release Potato Hole. Jones utilizes the Roots as his back-up band along with musical guests such as My read more...

Ghost On The Canvas

Review of: Glen Campbell

(Surfdog Records) Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's during the recording sessions for his latest album Ghost On The Canvas. Campbell crafted this collection as a farewell, followed by one final tour. Born in Arkansas, Campbell learned to play read more...

Live In Japan

Review of: Leon Russell

(Omnivore Recordings) Omnivore Recordings just released Leon Russell's Live In Japan album. This marks the historic album's first release outside of Japan and its first time on CD anywhere. The read more...

Bobby Charles

Review of: Bobby Charles

(Rhino) Released in 1972 on Bearsville Records, Bobby Charles features musical guests such as Dr. John, Neil Young's longtime read more...

This May Be My Last Time Singing

Review of: Various Artists

(Tompkins Square) Tompkins Square's latest release is an amazing 3-CD set titled This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45RPM 1957-1982. Tompkins Square released this official statement regarding this rare package: Get read more...

Stellar Regions

Review of: John Coltrane

(Impulse!) The compositions on Stellar Regions were recorded five months before John Coltrane's death in 1967 at the age of 40. However, Stellar Regions was not released read more...


Review of: John Coltrane

(Impulse!) "The main thing a musician would like to do is to give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things he knows of and senses in the universe." 

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

Review of: The Dramatics

(Concord Music Group) Stax Records president Al Bell brought in Detroit producer Don Davis to work with artists such as Carla Thomas read more...

The Ballad of Little River

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(The University of Alabama Press) The Ballad of Little River: A Tale of Race and Unrest in the Rural South revolves around church arson in Little River, Alabama. In 1997, Little River, Alabama, emerged as the site of the U.S. government's first conviction under a read more...

The Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Review of: Hank Williams

(Time Life Entertainment) These newly discovered recordings include Hank's first session at 15 as well as his lost syndicated Radio Series. This remarkable 3-CD set features restored recordings of previously unheard Hank Williams music that will hit stores on September read more...

Woman To Woman

Review of: Shirley Brown

(Concord Music Group) Born during 1947, in West Memphis, Arkansas, Shirley Brown's first single--"Woman To Woman"--sold a million copies in eight weeks. The Concord Music Group reissues this classic soul album with bonus tracks on September 13. Brown read more...


Review of: James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg

(Tompkins Square) James Elkington, a London native, and Nathan Salsburg from Louisville, Kentucky, met in New York City a few years ago. Elkington served as bandleader for The Zincs, member of The Horse's Ha and guitar player in Skull Orchard. Salsburg worked as an read more...

Drifting Into Darien

Review of: Janisse Ray

(The University of Georgia Press) "I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and, to the citizen, most dismal swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place,--a sanctum sanctorium. There is the strength, the marrow, of nature."

Long Line of Heartaches

Review of: Connie Smith

(Sugar Hill Records) Long Line of Heartaches counts as Connie Smith's 53rd album, but her first since 1996. Produced by her husband Marty Stuart, these sessions transpired read more...

Late Late Party: 1965-1967

Review of: Charles 'Packy' Axton

(Light in the Attic Records) Charles "Packy" Axton--to some extent--was an unsung hero on the Memphis music scene during the late 50s, 60s and early 70s. Axton's mother, Estelle, founded Stax Records read more...

Songs And Stories

Review of: Guy Clark

(Dual Tone Music) Guy Clark's Songs And Stories was recently recorded live at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. This collection culls Clark's most memorable material. The backing band on this album includes Kenny Malone (drums), Bryn Davies (bass), Shawn Camp read more...

Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales

Review of: Steve Cropper

(429 Records) Songwriter/guitarist Lowman Pauling fronted the North Carolina group the 5 Royales in the 50s. Steve Cropper always cited Pauling as a major read more...

Got To Get Back!

Review of: The Bo-Keys

(Electraphonic Recordings) Scott Bomar owns Electraphonic Studios in Memphis. Bomar composed the score for Craig Brewer's award-winning Hustle & Flow as well as Black Snake Moan. Bomar has read more...

Is That You in the Blue?

Review of: Dex Romweber Duo

(Bloodshot Records) Dex Romweber and his sister Sara were in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, surf-rockabilly-psychedelic band Flat Duo Jets. They moved to Athens, Georgia, for a while. Memphis luminary

Ramble at the Ryman

Review of: Levon Helm

(Vanguard) This recording captures Levon Helm's band live at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2008. The group that night included Helm, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell, Erik Lawrence, Clark Gayton, Jay Collins, Steven Bernstein, Paul Ossola, read more...

Future Blues

Review of: Johnny Nicholas

(The People's Label) Texas-based bluesman Johnny Nicholas just released a new album--Future Blues. In the 70s, Nicholas performed with musical heavies such as Duke Robillard, Big Walter Horton and Robert Lockwood Jr. Around 1978, Nicholas became a member of the read more...

The Grand Theatre Vol. 2

Review of: Old 97s

(New West Records) The Old 97s formed in Dallas, Texas, during 1993. The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 counts as their 9th studio album. These 13 songs were intended to be a double album--with Vol.1, but the group decided to release the sessions seperately. A read more...

Stranger Me

Review of: Amy LaVere

(Archer Records) Real art is personal, close to the bone, unshakable and undeniable. Stranger Me slices throats and raises the black flag. If you've followed Amy read more...

Nothing Is Wrong

Review of: Dawes

(ATO Records) The California-based group Dawes includes Taylor Goldsmith (vocals/guitars), Griffin Goldsmith (vocals/drums), Wylie Webber (bass) and Alex Casnoff (guitar). Jonathan Wilson read more...

The Set Up

Review of: The City Champs

(Electraphonic Recordings) The Memphis soul-jazz trio's official bio describes The City Champs like this: "The City Champs are the latest in a long lineage of Memphis musicians to grab the mantle of funky, soul-jazz instrumentals pioneered by acts like

Whatever You Want (featuring Cody Dickinson)

Review of: Olga Wilhelmine Munding

(219 Records) Olga Wilhelmine Munding's latest release, Whatever You Want, was written with the

Reason And Rhyme

Review of: Jim Lauderdale

(Sugar Hill Records) Jim Lauderdale played bluegrass music back in his native North Carolina as a teenager in the 70s. He won a Grammy in 2003 with Ralph Stanley for Best Bluegrass Album. Reason And read more...

Leaving the Commonwealth

Review of: D. Charles Speer & The Helix

(Thrill Jockey) Leaving the Commonwealth follows D. Charles Speer's solo album Arghiledes.  Leaving the Commonwealth counts as the 3rd full-length album by Speer and the 

Ragged and Right

Review of: Jack Rose, D. Charles Speer & the Helix

(Thrill Jockey) The concept for Ragged and Right originated from inspiration surrounding the Mordicai Jones/Link Wray 3 Track Shack sessions. Released in 2010, Ragged and Right counts as one of Virginia guitarist Jack Rose's final recordings before he died read more...


Review of: D. Charles Speer

(Thrill Jockey) Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, David Charles Shuford (aka Speer) moved to New York in the mid 90s and played in groups such as No Neck Blues Band, Enos Slaughter, The Suntanam, Egypt Is The Magick # and Coach Fingers. Speer released his first solo read more...

Mule Variations

Review of: Tom Waits

(Anti-Epitaph) Mule Variations contends as one of Tom Waits' finest albums. Recorded in a converted northern California chicken coop--Prairie Sun read more...

A Painter's Psalm

Review of: Redding S. Sugg, Jr.

(University Press of Mississippi) When he was alive, Mississippi painter Walter Anderson lived as a recluse in his Ocean Springs home. Nature served as the fulcrum of every Anderson painting. Redding S. Sugg, Jr., edited The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis read more...

Florida Frenzy

Review of: Harry Crews

(University Press of Florida) Florida Frenzy culls 13 essays and articles along with 3 short stories into one of the finest collections written by Harry Crews. These stories span from read more...

Dare You To Do It Again

Review of: Jessie Mae Hemphill

(219 Records) This 2004 documentary was filmed at Sherman Cooper's farm in Como, Mississippi. Jessie Mae Hemphill died on July 22, 2006, at 71. As a child she learned to play various instruments and spent years performing in the Mississippi hill country. Jessie Mae played read more...

Blues Babe

Review of: Olga Wilhelmine Munding

(219 Records) Blues Babe represents Olga's first solo release. There are no guest musicians on this recording--just the songwriter and her instrument. On Blues read more...

Long Gone

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Iver R. Dee, Publisher) Long Gone is a baseball story. Stud Cantrell manages a Class-D Florida team in 1956. Stud's life intersects with his lover Dixie Lee Box, a young second baseman named Jamie Weeks and a black catcher--Jose Brown pretending to be read more...


Review of: Tedeschi Trucks Band

(Sony Masterworks) Recorded at their Jacksonville, Florida, home studio, married duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi formed a new 11-piece band for Revelator. Between Trucks and Tedeschi, they've read more...

The Palace Guards

Review of: David Lowery

(Savoy/429 Records) Texas born songwriter/singer/producer David Lowery founded the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Lowery now works with David Barbe at The University of Georgia. The read more...

Take The High Road

Review of: Blind Boys of Alabama

(Saguaro Road Records) Take The High Road represents the Blind Boys of Alabama's first country-gospel album in their 70-year career. The five time Grammy winners recruited read more...

I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Review of: Steve Earle

(New West Records) Produced by T-Bone Burnett, 11 original Steve Earle songs comprise I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive. Earle read more...

Man In Motion

Review of: Warren Haynes

(Stax/Concord Music Group) Recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Austin, Texas,

Be Altitude: Respect Yourself

Review of: The Staple Singers

(Concord Music Group) Originally released in 1972, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself finds this Staple Singers album operating between gospel and secular music. Be Altitude: Respect Yourself captures the Staple Singers at their zenith. Rob Bowman, Grammy read more...

McLemore Avenue

Review of: Booker T & The MGs

(Concord Music Group) Recorded in January 1970, McLemore Avenue was the great Memphis group Booker T & The MGs tribute to the Beatles' landmark album Abbey Road. Booker T. Jones revealed read more...

Hard Bargain

Review of: Emmylou Harris

(Nonesuch) Hard Bargain counts as Emmylou Harris' 21st studio album. Produced by collaborator Jay Joyce these songs, recorded in Nashville, include formidable original material. The read more...


Review of: Larry Brown

(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) Trouble finds Fay Jones wherever she goes. Fay leaves her north Mississippi home on foot with two dollars, rotting tennis shoes, a half-pack of cigarettes and a serious survival instinct. Fay meets various men throughout the book who all pay read more...

Never A Pal Like Mother

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust To Digital) Never A Pal Like Mother, Dust To Digital’s latest release, counts as a book that contains “vintage songs and read more...

Ugly Ways

Review of: Tina McElroy Ansa

(Harcourt Brace & Company) Macon, Georgia, native Tina McElroy Ansa published her second novel, Ugly Ways, in 1993. Ansa ranks as an influential novelist, teacher, filmmaker and journalist who lives on the Georgia coast. Ugly Ways tells the story of read more...

Crazy Horse

Review of: Larry McMurtry

(Lipper/Viking) This economical 141-page biography of Crazy Horse proves why this Sioux warrior exists as one of America’s most revered legends. Texas author Larry McMurtry has written over twenty bestselling novels including Lonesome Dove and The read more...

Tell My Horse

Review of: Zora Neale Hurston

(Harper & Row) Alabama born author Zora Neale Hurston wrote Tell My Horse: Voodoo And Life In Haiti And Jamaica in 1938. The vivid stories reveal how voodoo is interwoven within the cultures. Tell My Horse exists as a first hand read more...

Here We Rest

Review of: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

(Lightning Rod Records) Alexander Beaufort Meek wrote Alabama’s first motto ‘Here We Rest’ in his 1842 essay outlining the history of the state. Jason Isbell and the 400 read more...

Live at Fillmore West

Review of: King Curtis

(Koch International) King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, was a seminal saxophonist from Texas. Curtis turned down scholarships to join the great Lionel Hampton’s jazz band. Curtis later became a session musician in New York where he recorded with Buddy Holly, Andy read more...


Review of: Joel Gilbert

(Highway 61 Entertainment) Bob Dylan turns 70 in May. Joel Gilbert’s Bob Dylan Revealed offers a fine overview of Dylan’s five-decade career. read more...

When The Women Come Out To Dance

Review of: Elmore Leonard

(Harper Paperbacks) Born in New Orleans during 1925, Elmore Leonard ranks as one of America’s finest writers. His family soon moved from the Crescent City to Detroit when he was a child, and Leonard never moved away from the Motor City. Author of 45 novels, Leonard read more...

Discovering Life's Trails: Adventures in Living

Review of: Tom Dennard

(Rainbow Books, Inc.) Published in 1993, Discovering Life’s Trails: Adventures in Living remains a seminal account from one of the south’s greatest travelers. This counts as Tom Dennard’s first of four books. Born in Pineview, Georgia, a read more...

Automatic Y'all: Weaver D's Guide to the Soul

Review of: Dexter Weaver

(Hill Street Press) Published in 1999 by the University of Georgia’s Hill Street Press, Dexter Weaver’s book Automatic Y’all contains stories and recipes revolving around the Athens, Georgia, soul food joint

Go-Go Boots

Review of: Drive By Truckers

(ATO Records) Go-Go Boots counts as the Drive By Truckers' 10th studio release. It’s the Truckers’ most R & B-country based collection of songs to date. read more...

Black Dub

Review of: Black Dub

(Jive) Daniel Lanois, best known for his production work with Bob Dylan, Willie read more...

Keys To the Kingdom

Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

(Songs of the South Records) “Take reassurance in the glory of the moment and the forever promise of tomorrow. Surely there is light beyond the darkness. As there is dawn after the night.”

New Orleans Jokerman

Review of: The Last Waltz Ensemble

(Raymond Records) The Last Waltz Ensemble formed in 2004. This Atlanta band plays the music of Bob Dylan &

Crossing the Creek

Review of: Anna Lillios

Crossing the Creek: The Literary Friendship of Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings University Press of Florida,  Gainesville, FL ,  2010 Literary friendships are relatively commonplace, but a friendship which reaches read more...

Baby, How Can It Be?

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust-To-Digital) The 3 CD set--Baby, How Can It Be? Songs of Love, Lust and Contempt From the 1920s and 1930s--originates from the rare 78-rpm read more...

The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Review of: Rev. Johnny L. Jones

(Dust-To-Digital) This 2 CD compilation of archival recordings from Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones, culled from more than 1,000 tapes of live read more...

Live in the Classic City II

Review of: Widespread Panic

(Widespread Records) This latest release counts as volume two of Widespread Panic's homecoming April 2000 Classic Center Theatre shows in the band's hometown of Athens, Georgia. read more...

Grandma's Roadhouse

Review of: Riley

(Delmore Recordings) In 1970, a killer rock & roll trio called Riley—named after bandleader and guitarist Riley Watkins—recorded Grandma’s Roadhouse at Owen Bradley’s legendary read more...

Mean Old Man

Review of: Jerry Lee Lewis

(Verve Forecast) Jerry Lee Lewis contends as one of the greatest rock & rollers of all time. Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, during 1935, Lewis’ brand of wide-open piano playing and songwriting ignited the music world. It’s amazing he’s still among read more...

The Definitive John Coltrane

Review of: John Coltrane

(Concord Music) The Definitive John Coltrane on Prestige and Riverside Collection encapsulates Coltrane’s most significant recordings as a sideman. This two-CD set begins in 1955 when

A Storm--A Tree--My Mother's Head

Review of: Bobby Bare Jr.

(Thirty Tigers) Bobby Bare Jr. knows music. He grew up in the shadow of his father, lived next door to George Jones & Tammy Wynette, earned a Grammy nomination at 6 and wrote read more...

RIYEL----Eclectic and Kreyol Jazz

Review of: RIYEL (Ken Watters, Andre Atkins, Yves Abel)

 Summit Records, April 2010 Released internationally on April 13, 2010, Riyel’s first album is an overview of read more...

The Definitive Thelonious Monk

Review of: Thelonious Monk

(Concord Music) The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside culls a broad span of Monk’s songs from 1952 up until 1960. North Carolina born Thelonious Monk was already read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Croweology represents live acoustic versions of The Black Crowes most revered material from the last 20 read more...

Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull

Review of: Charlie Louvin

(Tompkins Square) Gram Parsons always admired the Louvin Brothers. Brother Charlie read more...

We Walk This Road

Review of: Robert Randolph

(Warner Brothers) Pedal steel phenomenon Robert Randolph who began playing in churches years ago has released his third studio album, We Walk This Road. Produced by

Dusty In Memphis

Review of: Warren Zanes

Continuum I met Warren Zanes at Stanley Booth’s house in the early 90s. Booth plays a major role in Zane’s well-written book Dusty In Memphis published in 2003. In read more...


Review of: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

(Reprise Brothers) Mojo counts as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers first studio album in 8 years. Mojo revolves mostly around the rural south. TP & The Heartbreakers have read more...

The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans

Review of: David Lummis

The Way of the World

Review of: Mose Allison

(Anti-Records) At 82, Mose Allison stands as one of the hippest musicians in American music. His solid foundation of jazz and blues influenced artists such as

Live On The Sunset Strip

Review of: Otis Redding

(Concord Music Group) This 2-CD collection documents Otis Redding’s historic 1966 performance at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles.

Geniune Negro Jig

Review of: Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Nonesuch Records) “Tradition is a guide, not a jailer. We play in an older tradition but we are modern musicians,” says the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Justin Robinson. The North Carolina-based ‘Drops’: Dom Flemmons, Rhiannon Giddens and Robinson read more...

Home Sweet Home

Review of: South Memphis String Band

(Memphis International) The South Memphis String Band is Luther Dickinson (

Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan

Review of: Waylon Jennings

(Collector's Choice Music) Folk Country counted as Waylon Jennings’ debut RCA release. RCA wanted to lure the folk crowd, but Jennings remained country on these songs. Four of the compositions were originals, four were Harlan Howard songs and three were read more...

The Live Anthology

Review of: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

(Reprise Records) These four CDs--48 songs--comprise Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' hand-chosen most emotive live recordings in their 30 year career. The Anthology’s track read more...

A Review of Undeniable Truths

Review of: A. M. Garner

Rank Stranger Press, November 2009 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal This month Anita M. Garner published her first collection of short stories: Undeniable read more...

Onward And Upward

Review of: Luther Dickinson/Sons of Mudboy

(Zebra Ranch) Three days after Memphis luminary Jim Dickinson died, his oldest son

Fairly Odd Mother

Review of: Kelly Kazek

Published by iUniverse, Inc   2009 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal I have been a huge fan of humor in journalism for over thirty years. I particularly enjoy those southern humorists who follow in the footsteps of


Review of: Isaac Hayes

(Concord/STAX) Isaac Haynes rose from the Memphis slums to the top of the list in the black music world. In 1971, Hayes’ Shaft soundtrack, recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis, became a read more...

When The Buddha Met Bubba: A Review

Review of: Richard "Dixie" Hartwell

Turner Publishing Co., Nashville, TN  2009 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal When the Buddha Met Bubba is best-selling author

Do It Like We Used To Do

Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

(Songs of the South) Do It Like We Used To Do—Live From 96-08—highlights the first ten years of The North Mississippi read more...

They Say I'm Different

Review of: Betty Davis

(Light In the Attic) North Carolina native Betty Davis--former wife of Miles Davis--ranks as a pioneering diva. She took pride in her individuality as well as her songwriting. Ice Cube, Ludacris, and Talib read more...

Pat Conroy's "South of Broad": A Review

Review of: Pat Conroy

Published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday Company, August 2009 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal When I read my first Pat Conroy book in the early 70s, it was love at first paragraph. When I finished reading the read more...

Betty Davis

Review of: Betty Davis

Betty Davis Betty Davis Light In The Attic By James Calemine Born in Mabry, North Carolina, Betty Davis ranks as a classic diva. She married Miles Davis and turned him onto

Art of Field Recording Volume 2

Review of: Dust To Digital

Art of Field Recording Volume 2 Dust To Digital Dust To Digital By James Calemine On the heels of the GRAMMY-winning Art of Field Recording Volume read more...

Burning Angel

Review of: James Lee Burke

Burning Angel James Lee Burke Hyperion Books By James Calemine James Lee Burke’s Burning Angel revolves around detective Dave Robicheaux. AA attending read more...

Among The Gold

Review of: Cheyenne Mize and Bonnie "Prince" Billy

"Old music is a major passion of mine. As I mentioned, I play a little old-time fiddle and have always loved old gospel music. The idea of keeping old music alive is very important to me" -  Cheyenne Mize Considering the substance of Mize’s read more...

Boy Meets Girl

Review of: Stax Records

Boy Meets Girl Classic Soul Duets Stax/Concord Music By James Calemine Stax/Concord Records just released these 18 classic soul duets. Most of the artists compiled on this CD ranks as soul legends such as

Live at The Old Quarter Houston, Texas

Review of: Townes Van Zandt

(Fat Possum) The Holy Grail of Townes Van Zandt albums...during this July 1973 performance Van Zandt operated and the apex of his powers. With only his acoustic guitar

Delta Blues

Review of: Ted Gioia

Delta Blues:The Life and Times of Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music by Ted Gioia W. W. Norton, 2008 Reviewed by bluesman Billy C. Farlow Delta Blues read more...

Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)

Review of: Patterson Hood

(Ruth St. Records) A sharp guitar riff opens the CD in the title track, and Patterson Hood sings in his merciless, gravel-tone voice, “I killed Oscar/Shot him in the head/Put the gun in his read more...

Take Me To The Water

Review of: Dust To Digital

Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music Dust To Digital Dust To Digital Recordings By James Calemine Dust To Digital’s latest release, a handsome book called Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage read more...

Baby, You Can Get Your Gun!

Review of: Snooks Eaglin

Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! Snooks Eaglin Hepcat Records By James Calemine Born in New Orleans in 1939, this legendary blind guitarist died in February 2009. He began his recording career in 1958. He operated as Allen Toussaint’s lead read more...

Genius: The Ultimate Collection

Review of: Ray Charles

Genius: The Ultimate Collection Ray Charles Concord Records By James Calemine This 21 song anthology contains Albany, Georgia, native Ray Charles' most influential recordings for Atlantic, ABC-Paramount and the Tangerine labels after 1960. read more...

Milking the Moon

Review of: Eugene Walter

Milking the Moon: A Southerner's Story of Life on this Planet  Eugene Walter (as told to Katherine Clark) Crown Publishers Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal Hold on to your hat and get ready for a wild ride.

Dixieland Delight

Review of: Clay Travis

As we head into the off season, now that the recruiting season is over (mostly), there might be no better time to pick up and read Clay Travis's

Eat, Drink, and Be From Mississippi

Review of: Nanci Kincaid

Nanci Kincaid’s most recent novel hit the bookstores just two weeks before President Barack Obama delivered his inaugural address, read more...

Rockin' The Blues: Live in Germany 1964

Review of: Howlin' Wolf

Rockin' The Blues: Live in Germany 1964 Howlin Wolf Acrobat Music By James Calemine Rockin’ The Blues captures Howlin’ Wolf in his prime. This CD features The Wolf backed by his stellar Chicago band that included guitarist read more...

Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet

Review of: Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet

Polk Miller & His Old South Quartet Polk Miller Tompkins Square By James Calemine James "Polk" Miller was born in Virginia during 1844. His story is important because he was one of the earliest examples of a white read more...

Boys Will Be Boys

Review of: Jeff Pearlman

Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman Harper Books Jeff Pearlman's new book neatly summarizes the shift to the modern era of the Dallas Cowboys.  The early history of the team isn't read more...

Nudge It Up A Notch

Review of: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere

Nudge It Up A Notch Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Concord Music/STAX By James Calemine Recorded last year in Nashville, Nudge It Up A Notch features the latest work of Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere.

Two Men With The Blues

Review of: Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis

Two Men With The Blues Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis Angel Records By James Calemine Recorded in 2007 at the Lincoln Center when Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis read more...

Deep Cuts

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White Deep Cuts Swamp Records Tony Joe White, quite simply, is one of the most underappreciated musical forces of the last 50 years.  This doesn't mean that people haven't read more...

The Prince of Frogtown

Review of: Rick Bragg

“My father was the prince of Frogtown” writes Alabama author and Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg in his latest book entitled

All I Intended To Be

Review of: Emmylou Harris

All I Intended to Be Emmylou Harris Nonesuch Records By James Calemine All I Intended To Be counts as Emmylou Harris’ first solo album in five years. Recently inducted into the

Riverbend Music Festival: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Riverbend Music Festival Chattanooga, Tennessee The Black Crowes 6/6/08 By James Calemine Chris and Rich Robinson played their first official gig in read more...

Amy LaVere: Live at The Variety Playhouse

Review of: Amy LaVere

Amy LaVere Live Variety Playhouse Atlanta, Georgia 5/30/08 By James Calemine                          “We gon’ read more...

Lay It Down

Review of: Al Green

Lay It Down Al Green Blue Note By James Calemine Soul legend Al Green needs no introduction… Lay It Down marks Green’s first studio album in three years. On this disc, Green employed hip-hop read more...

Mojo Man/Arkansas Rockpile

Review of: Ronnie Hawkins

Mojo Man/Arkansas Rockpile Ronnie Hawkins Collector’s Choice Music By James Calemine                    “He was the most read more...


Review of: Mudcrutch

Mudcrutch Mudcrutch Warner Brothers By James Calemine

Me and Pepper

Review of: Mel Tillis

Me and Pepper Mel Tillis Collectors' Choice By James Calemine Born in Tampa, Florida, during the Great Depression, Mel Tillis began stuttering at age three. However, when he sang Tillis did not stutter. His speech impediment made him a sort of hero to read more...

See You In A Hundred Years

Review of: Logan Ward

See You In A Hundred Years by Logan Ward Benbella Books Has the stess of today's world with instant communication (Internet, cell phones, and texting), long work hours, and hectic urban pacing made a life on a rural farm seem appealing?  read more...

Third And A Mile

Review of: William C. Rhoden

Third And A Mile by William C. Rhoden ESPN Books Third and read more...

Runnin' Down A Dream

Review of: Peter Bogdanovich

Runnin’ Down A Dream Peter Bogdanovich Warner Brothers By James Calemine Born in Gainesville, Florida, Tom Petty became one of America’s read more...

Honey Songs

Review of: Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players

Honey Songs Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players Yep Roc Records By James Calemine North Carolina native Jim Lauderdale's new CD, Honey Songs, contains various read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

Warpaint The Black Crowes Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Warpaint represents Atlanta, Georgia’s, The Black Crowes’ seventh studio album. Seven years have elapsed since the Crowes recorded an album of read more...


Review of: Gary Louris

Vagabonds Gary Louris Rykodisc By James Calemine Gary Louris, co-founder of the Jayhawks, proves songwriting remains his strength. Louris, an outstanding guitarist, concentrates on the flowing word grams of his lyrics amid this read more...

Margie Joseph

Review of: Margie Joseph

Margie Joseph Margie Joseph Collector’s Choice Music By James Calemine This 1973 Atlantic Records self-titled debut brought high expectations of Margie Joseph, a Mississippi native whose voice reminded folks of her Atlantic read more...


Review of: William Tonks

Catch William Tonks Ghostmeat Records By James Calemine  Recorded within a year at David Barbe's Chase Park Transductions Studio in Athens, read more...

Being Dead Is No Excuse

Review of: Gayden Metcalf and Charlotte Hays

Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting The Perfect Funeral Hyperion Press, 2005 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal Straight out of the Mississippi Delta,

Free Somehow

Review of: Widespread Panic

Free Somehow Widespread Panic Widespread Records By James Calemine The Athens, Georgia, band

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Review of: Drive By Truckers

Brighter Than Creation’s Dark Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine                  “Trying to hold steady on the righteous read more...


Review of: North Mississippi Allstars

Hernando North Mississippi Allstars Songs of the South By James Calemine Hernando is the town in Mississippi where legendary producer Jim Dickinson read more...

Conversations With Tom Petty

Review of: Paul Zollo

Conversations With Tom Petty Paul Zollo Omnibus Press By James Calemine Tom Petty writes in the foreword of this book about writer Paul Zollo: “We met many times in 2004 to 2005 for talks that came to necessitate my read more...

Buy The Ticket: Take The Ride: Hunter S. Thompson

Review of: Tom Thurman

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film Starz Entertainment By James Calemine

Death Proof

Review of: Quentin Tarantino

Death Proof Quentin Tarantino Genius Productions By James Calemine Quentin Tarantino always gives a nod to the south in his films. Most folks are aware of Knoxville-native Tarantino films such as True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, read more...

Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T.

Review of: Tom T. Hall

Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T. Tom T. Hall Blue Circle Records By James Calemine These days Tom T. Hall lays relatively low. Known as a top-drawer songwriter and storyteller, Hall's latest release Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie read more...

How Low Can You Go?

Review of: Anthology of the String Bass

How Low Can You Go? Anthology of the String Bass Various Artists Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This 3 CD set explores the earliest recorded history of the string bass. These recordings include a scope of symphony read more...

Salvation On Sand Mountain

Review of: Dennis Covington

Salvation On Sand Mountain Dennis Covington Penguin Books By James Calemine “This descent into himself will, at the same time, be a descent into his region. It will be a descent through the darkness of the familiar into a world read more...

Desperate Man Blues

Review of: Joe Bussard

Desperate Man Blues: Discovering The Roots of American Music The Story of Joe Bussard Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine Desperate Man Blues tells the story of Fonotone read more...

I Belong To This Band

Review of: Sacred Harp Recordings

I Belong To This Band: Eighty-Five Years of Sacred Harp Recordings Various Artists Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This 30-song collection serves as a companion to the film Awake, My Soul: The Story of Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp Singing read more...

Blues Sweet Blues

Review of: Music Maker Relief Foundation

Blues Sweet Blues Various Music Maker Artists Music Maker Series #91 & #92 By James Calemine Most of these songs (recorded from 1994-2006) on Blues Sweet Blues can be heard for the first time. Only Music Maker's stellar read more...

Dirt Farmer

Review of: Levon Helm

Dirt Farmer Levon Helm Dirt Farmer/Vanguard Music By James Calemine Turkey Scratch, Arkansas native, Levon Helm’s voice epitomizes the American music storyteller. Of course, Helm sang some of

The Woodstock Album

Review of: Muddy Waters

The Woodstock Album Muddy Waters Chess/MCA Records By James Calemine Recorded in two days at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York, during February 1975, this album marked Muddy Waters' last session for Chess Records after 27 years of read more...

Live At the Avalon Ballroom 1969

Review of: Gram Parsons With The Flying Burrito Brothers

Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969 Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers Amoeba Records By James Calemine If you're reading this review, chances are you've heard of

Song of America

Review of: Various Artists

Song of America Various Artists 31 Tigers Records By James Calemine This 50-song, 3 CD collection tells the story of America through songs from the year 1492 through modern times. Song of America contains a diverse line-up of artists read more...

Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West

Review of: Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West Cormac McCarthy Vintage Books By James Calemine ...A classic volume of southern literature... Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West ranks as one of

Feast of Snakes

Review of: Harry Crews

Feast of Snakes Harry Crews Macmillan Publishing By James Calemine November in Mystic, Georgia, means it's time for the Feast of Snakes. This novel remains one of the Georgia writer

GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson

Review of: Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour

GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour Little, Brown and Company By James read more...

Blues From The Gutter

Review of: Champion Jack Dupree

Blues From The Gutter Champion Jack Dupree Atlantic Records By James Calemine ...One from the vaults... Orphaned at an early age, Champion Jack Dupree grew up in New Orleans. Dupree spent most of his time in the mean streets and music joints read more...

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding

Review of: Otis Redding

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding Otis Redding STAX Records By James Calemine Dreams To Remember emerges as the first full-length Otis Redding DVD. December 10, 2007, represents the 40th Anniversary of Redding's death. This read more...

Hurricane Season

Review of: Neal Thompson

Hurricane Season by Neal Thompson Free Press Author Neal Thompson has tapped read more...


Review of: Carter Martin

KELBRN by Carter Martin Xlibris Press, 2007

I Don't Want No Trouble

Review of: Don Nix

I Don't Want No Trouble Don Nix Section Eight Productions By James Calemine Songwriter Don Nix's latest CD, I Don't Want No Trouble, should attract a wide audience of music fans. Nix, an obscure music hero, helped create 'The Memphis read more...


Review of: Ryan Bingham

Mescalito Ryan Bingham Lost Highway By James Calemine This CD ranks as one of the best releases in 2007. Recorded at Compound Studios in California, Ryan Bingham's Mescalito proves this young man is a musical force. Ex-

Killers From Space

Review of: James Luther Dickinson

Killers From Space James Luther Dickinson Memphis International Records By James Calemine Recorded at Zebra Ranch in Independence, Mississippi, during February and March of 2007, Killers From Space marks another interesting release by read more...

Runnin' With The Big Dogs

Review of: Mike Shropshire

Part of [beating Texas] is that old Okie inferiority complex. There’s no better cure for that than whipping Texas’s butt. -Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma coach In 1929 at the height of the Great Depression, the Texas-Oklahoma game was moved read more...

Coltrane:The Story of a Sound

Review of: Ben Ratliff

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound Ben Ratliff FSG Books By James Calemine Ben Ratliff wastes no words in this book of John Coltrane's life. Instead, Ratliff chooses to write read more...

Live at the Bohemian Caverns

Review of: Carla Thomas

Live at the Bohemian Caverns Carla Thomas Stax Records By James Calemine Recorded live at the Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 1967, this new Carla Thomas CD serves as timeless testimony to her golden voice. Carla Thomas, daughter read more...

Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology

Review of: Various Authors

Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology of Alabama Poetry  edited by Sue Brannan Walker and J. William Chambers Negative Capability Press, Mobile, Alabama Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology of Alabama Poetry, edited by Sue read more...

Angel In Disguise

Review of: Leon Russell

Angel In Disguise Leon Russell MRI Records By James Calemine Angel In Disguise contains 11 new Leon Russell songs. Russell's prodigious discography proves his influence and talent read more...

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

Review of: Ahmet Ertegun

(Atlantic DVD) Let me tell you a story. According to The Rolling Stones and Led Zappelin, that is the way Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun began his conversations, almost every time. When Ahmet was 14, he read more...

Black Snake Moan

Review of: Craig Brewer

Black Snake Moan Craig Brewer-Director Paramount Vantage By James read more...

Come Early Morning

Review of: Joey Lauren Adams

Come Early Morning Joey Lauren Adams-Director The Weinstein Company

Sirens Of The Ditch

Review of: Jason Isbell

(New West Records) Recorded several years ago at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Sirens of the Ditch represents ex- Drive By Truckers Jason Isbell’s first solo CD. Mixed read more...

Brothers Of A Feather

Review of: Chris & Rich Robinson

Brothers Of A Feather Chris & Rich Robinson Eagle Records By James Calemine    Recorded in April 2006, during a break from the Black Crowes tour, Atlanta’s Chris and Rich Robinson showcase 14 songs on Brothers Of A read more...

Southern Soul Barbecue

Review of:

Southern Soul Barbecue 318 Mallory Street Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522 912-634-7516 www.southernsoulbbq.com By James Calemine  James Calemine’s read more...

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room-Savannah, Georgia

Review of:

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room 107 West Jones Street Savannah, Georgia 31401 912-232-5997 James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any read more...

Red Dirt Marijuana & Other Tastes

Review of: Terry Southern

Red Dirt Marijuana & Other Tastes Terry Southern Citadel Underground By read more...

Driving With The Devil

Review of: Neal Thompson

Driving With The Devil by Neal Thompson Crown Publishing “We read more...

Jesus Out To Sea

Review of: James Lee Burke

Jesus Out To Sea James Lee Burke Simon & Schuster By James read more...

Cigar City Mafia

Review of: Scott M. Deitche

Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of The Tampa Underworld Scott M. Deitche

To Live's To Fly

Review of: John Kruth

To Live’s To Fly: The Ballad of The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt John Kruth

A Love Supreme

Review of: John Coltrane

A Love Supreme John Coltrane Impulse By James Calemine Born September read more...

The Getaway

Review of: Jim Thompson

The Getaway Jim Thompson Vintage Crime By James Calemine Jim read more...

The Complete Recordings

Review of: Robert Johnson

The Complete Recordings Robert Johnson Columbia Records By James read more...

40 Greatest Hits

Review of: Hank Williams

40 Greatest Hits Hank Williams Polydor By James

Straight No Chaser

Review of: Thelonious Monk

Straight No Chaser Thelonious Monk Warner Brothers DVD By James read more...

Dislocation Blues

Review of: Chris Whitley & Jeff Lang

Recorded in Sydney, Australia, eight months before the Texas guitarist Chris Whitley died of lung cancer at 45, Dislocation Blues marks Whitley’s final studio album. These 13 spooky read more...

Atlanta Twelve String

Review of: Blind Willie McTell

Atlanta Twelve String Blind Willie McTell Atlantic Records By James Calemine Perhaps the most gifted of all blues artists, Blind Willie McTell ranks as a seminal figure in American music. Born in Thomson, Georgia, in May of 1898 (some say 1901); McTell's read more...


Review of: Thelonious Monk

Criss-Cross Thelonious Monk Columbia Records By James Calemine Born October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Thelonious Monk's family soon moved to New York City. Monk worked as a professional musician since his early teens as an organ player read more...

The Lost Crowes

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Lost Crowes The Black Crowes Rhino Entertainment Company By James Calemine The Lost Crowes comprises two Black Crowes recording sessions that remained buried a decade before their release. The first CD, Tall—an old read more...

New Lease On Life

Review of: William Bell

New Lease On Life William Bell Wilbe Records William Bell's music epitomizes the classic Stax/Volt sound. With Stax Records, Bell joined other musicians like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, Issac Hayes, read more...

The Queen Alone

Review of: Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas The Queen Alone Stax Records By James Calemine Carla Thomas--the great Rufus Thomas' daughter--experienced a first rate musical experience growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. The angelic Thomas was later dubbed the Queen of Soul and Stax read more...

Portraits and Songs From the Roots of America

Review of: Various Artists

Enclosed within the new Music Maker book titled Portraits and Songs From the Roots of America rests a CD featuring 22 different Music Maker artists. This collection reveals some of the country’s most neglected Southern musicians who remain pioneers and vital sources read more...

Fruit Tramp Ballads of the Great Northwest

Review of: Dave McGrew

Dave McGrew’s Fruit Tramp Ballads of the Great Northwest preserves a testimony to those hardworking folks who may never experience the elusive “American Dream”. Taj Mahal (bass, mandolin, harp), Cool John Ferguson (guitar, piano), and Tim Duffy assist read more...

Follow Your Heart's Desire

Review of: Pura Fe

Pura Fe is her birth name. In Spanish it translates, “Pure Faith”. Born in 1959, Pura Fe was named by her Puerto Rican father, and raised by her Tuscarora mother in a family of female singers. “We can count four generations of seven singing sisters in a row, read more...

Toot Blues

Review of: Guitar Gabriel

Guitar Gabriel’s Toot Blues originally existed as a cassette in 1991. That same year, Tim Duffy discovered Gabe, one of the original Music Maker recipients, who served as a cornerstone to the organization’s provenance. Gabe died in 1996 just as read more...

Etta Baker with Taj Mahal

Review of: Etta Baker

Etta Baker was born in 1913 amid the hills of Morganton, North Carolina. She began playing guitar at age four. Baker remains the premiere female Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist in the country. Taj Mahal, tireless Music Maker consultant, elucidated on read more...

High Steppin' Mama

Review of: Clyde Langford

Clyde Langford learned guitar from Texas blues great Sam “Lightning” Hopkins’ older brother Joe “Thunder” Hopkins. Born in Centralville, Texas, Langford worked in cotton fields, joined the Army, and dug wells for a living, but never stopped playing read more...

The Feelings Of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

Review of: Beverley "Guitar" Watkins

Recorded at Cleantracks Studio in Vinemont, Alabama, these ten songs illustrate the true guitar mastery of Beverly Watkins. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 6, 1939, Watkins played guitar for the legendary Piano Red when she was a teenager. This new release read more...

Chicken Raid

Review of: Frank Edwards

The quiet droning sound of Frank Edwards’ Chicken Raid resembles a blues mantra from a man who dedicated his 90-year old life to music. Edwards actively played the blues for nearly 80 years, from 1923 until 2002. Frank Edwards ranks as one of Atlanta’s greatest read more...

Raw Sugar

Review of: Cootie Stark

Raw Sugar provides 71 minutes of old-time music enhanced by a warm, clear sound quality. Cootie Stark, a Greenville, South Carolina native, survives as one of the last authentic Piedmont blues guitarist/singer alive. Stark played on the streets of Knoxville, Greensboro, read more...

Born In Newton County

Review of: Cora Mae Bryant

Cora Mae Bryant is the daughter of Georgia guitar legend Curly Weaver. She grew up on the countryside outside Atlanta. As a girl, Cora Mae attended house parties with Curly Weaver and Blind Willie McTell. On Cora’s latest soulful release, Born in Newton read more...

H & H Restaurant, Macon, GA

Review of:

H & H Restaurant Macon, Georgia by Michael Buffalo Smith How many times have we heard the old adage, "don't judge a book by it's cover?" Never has that statement held more truth than in the case of The H & H read more...

Edgar Winter Group - Live at The Galaxy

Review of: Edgar Winter

Edgar Winter Group Live At The Galaxy (Classic Pictures) Edgar Winter’s rockin’ just as hard these days as he did back in 1973, and his new group sounds great. Yeah, I will always have fond memories of White Trash read more...

Gram Parsons - Fallen Angel

Review of: Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons Fallen Angel A Film By Gandulf Hennig (Rhino) Gram Parsons was one of a kind, a pretty-boy with a trust fund and a whole lot of musical genius. He brought country music into the Byrds, performed with Paul Suratt in the read more...

A Salute to Hee Haw - Collector's Edition

Review of:

A Salute To Hee Haw Collector’s Edition (Time Life) This 5-disc DVD is jam packed with all the downright corny jokes and excellent musical performances that made Hee Haw a multi-generational success story. Hosted read more...

Country Music Changed My Life

Review of:

Country Music Changed My Life by Ken Burke (Chicago Review Press) My first exposure to Ken Burke was through his writings in Goldmine Magazine. His articles and reviews were always well written, and when Country Music read more...

Sing My Way Home: Voices of the New American Roots

Review of:

Sing My Way Home Voices of the New American Roots Rock by Keith and Kent Zimmerman (Backbeat Books) The Zimmerman brothers have really done their homework, and our libraries are just a little bit richer because of it. read more...

Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver

Review of: Billy Joe Shaver

Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver (University of Texas Press) Billy Joe Shaver had lead a very interesting life, to say the least. We have all been privy to certain chapters of the Texas singer/songwriter’s life by read more...

No Saints, No Saviors

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

No Saints, No Saviors My Years With The Allman Brothers Band by Willie Perkins (Mercer University Press) Between the years of 1970 and 1989, Willie Perkins worked for the Allman Brother’s Band and as read more...

Between Rock And A Hard Place: Chuck Leavell

Review of: Chuck Leavell

Between Rock And A Hard Place Chuck Leavell with J. Marshall Craig (Mercer University Press) Chuck Leavell is a musician that has been around to see a lot of music history, and has been a big part of music history. In his new read more...

Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams

Review of: Hank Williams

Lovesick Blues: The Life Of Hank Williams by Paul Hemphill (Viking) So much has been written about Hank Williams Sr., arguably the greatest figure in country music, that it comes as a shock to find that a biography could be produced read more...

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

Skydog The Duane Allman Story by Randy Poe (Backbeat Books) I have been waiting on this book for years, and to coin a cliche, it was well worth the wait. Randy Poe has gone deep, digging through source material with read more...

John D. Wyker & Eddie Hinton - Johnny Wyker Video

Review of: John D. Wyker & Eddie Hinton

(MFOV) Once in a very blue moon, something crosses my desk that is absolutely, without a doubt, totally unique. Well sir, they don’t come any more unique than my buddy John D. Wyker. But more than just being cool and unique “John Wyker Volume 1” is read more...

Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Review of: The Byrds

The Byrds’ classic country record, 1968’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo, has been reissued with unreleased Gram Parsons vocal tracks. This new two-CD release proves worth the price for just the read more...

To Tulsa and Back

Review of: JJ Cale

To Tulsa and Back serves as J.J. Cale’s first studio album in eight years. Cale returned to Tulsa, his hometown, and recruited some old friends to play on the record. It’s common knowledge that Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, the read more...

Another Joyous Occasion

Review of: Widespread Panic

“Four train days get me back to New Orleans,” are the opening lines on Widespread Panic’s new live release, Another Joyous Occasion. The eleven song recording is Panic’s debut read more...

The Man, His World, His Music

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Sanctuary) Watching this DVD is a little like looking at home movies. Actually, a lot of it is old home movies. And the fact that many of us children of the sixties and seventies felt like Johnny Cash was a part of our family, causes it all to make sense. read more...

The Legends, Live in 1971

Review of: Ike & Tina Turner

Ike and Tina Turner The Legends - Live in 1971 (Eagle Vision) Red hot, smokin’, funky, get down, Soul Train, sexy, sweaty, rhythm and blues soul, delivered by the masters. Filmed at the pinnacle read more...

Live From The Garden State

Review of: Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band Live From The Garden State 1981 (Shout! Factory) During it’s very first year on television, MTV brought us real music, everything from punk to new wave, pop to Southern rock. It was during that read more...

Tom Dowd & The Language of Music

Review of: Tom Dowd

(Palm Pictures) thelanguageofmusic.com The documentary Rolling Stone calls “brilliant” and rock critic Dave Marsh cites as “ a truly beautiful picture,” pays read more...

Heartworn Highways

Review of: Various Artists

(Catfish Entertainment/Snapper Music) In the early 1970’s outlaw country music came onto the scene to clear the air. The mainstream country music ideology of the day was known as the Nashville Sound, but folks like Willie and Waylon chose to do it read more...

There Will Be A Light

Review of: Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama

Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama There Will Be A Light (Virgin Records) Ben Harper produced There Will Be A Light, which transcends the same tiresome self-indulgent music, and emerges as a classic gospel album. Recorded in two sessions read more...

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist

Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist was originally recorded in 1978 for Atlanta’s Pine Tree Records. Terminus Records has now re-released the album, complete with three bonus tracks. Colonel Bruce is a rare breed—he abides by no conventions or read more...

In The Beginning

Review of: Townes Van Zandt

Ten undiscovered Townes Van Zandt songs demoed for an early Nashville publishing contract in 1966 remained unheard for thirty-seven years until now. A new CD titled In The Beginning emerges as a read more...

Ragged Old Flag

Review of: Johnny Cash

Originally released on Columbia Records in April 1974, Ragged Old Flag consists of twelve original Johnny Cash compositions. In the liner notes, Cash revealed, “I got so excited writing the songs in this album that you’d think I just started in read more...


Review of: Chuck Leavell

Chuck Leavell commands respect in the music world. He’s played piano with the Rolling Stones (for half the band’s history), Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Dr. John, The Allman Brothers, Sea Level, The Black Crowes and many others.  Leavell’s read more...


Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

Colonel Bruce Hampton’s album Arkansas, like his 1978 One Ruined Life of A Bronze Tourist, has been recently re-released on Atlanta’s Terminus Records. Arkansas was originally recorded in 1987 and released on Landslide Records. Arkansas certainly read more...

If I Could Only Fly

Review of: Merle Haggard

The name Merle Haggard carries a heavy weight in country music. Haggard remains a maverick who stared into the face of decadence during peaks and valleys of his legendary music career—thirty-nine number #1 country hits, IRS troubles, addictions, prestigious accolades, extreme read more...

New Earth Mud

Review of: Chris Robinson

New Earth Mud sounds like a man surviving his worst professional fear…in this case Chris Robinson facing the breakup of his band, the Black Crowes. These twelve songs evoke a quiet, laid back mood as if subdued sounds reconcile a faded past with an unknown future. read more...

Lee Gates and the Alabama Cotton Kings

Review of: Lee Gates

Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi in 1937, Lee Gates moved to Milwaukee as a teenager where he’s been playing juke joints for over fifty years. Blues legend Albert Collins is his first cousin. After several rotations of this CD, its evident Gates’ playing evokes a genetic read more...

Guitar Heaven

Review of: Cool John Ferguson

Cool John Ferguson’s Guitar Heaven stands as his second Music Maker album. Born on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina, in 1953, the son of Gullah people, Ferguson began playing guitar at the age of three. He played church music professionally by the read more...

I'll Be Young Once Too

Review of: Mudcat

I’ll Be Young Once Too serves as a mighty fine musical lubricant… Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck recorded and mixed this new release, his fifth, in three days during August 2004 at Cabbagetown Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. An inveterate road read more...

Hard Luck Guy

Review of: Eddie Hinton

Eddie Hinton, the Muscle Shoals singer/songwriter, did not live to complete the 1999 Capricorn release Hard Luck Guy. In July 1995, Hinton died of a heart attack during the sessions. Hard Luck Guy should be a contender for soul album of the year.

Classic Southern Gospel

Review of: Various Artists

Various Artists Classic Southern Gospel (Smithsonian Folkways) Sixty minutes of gospel hymns delivered by classic bluegrass artists like Bill Monroe, Red Allen, The Watson Family, The Country Gentlemen, and The Indian Bottom Association read more...

Friends Of Old Time Music

Review of: Various Artists

Friends Of Old Time Music The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 (Smithsonian Folkways) Between 1961 and 1965, New York’s Friends of Old Time Music presented 14 concerts that introduced dozens of traditional musicians to city folk for the very read more...

You're Gonna Need That Pure Religion

Review of: Reverend Pearly Brown

Born August 18, 1915 in Abbeville, Georgia, Reverend Pearly Brown lived his life preaching and singing about the word of God to common folk in the streets. Rev. Brown spoke of his childhood: “I was born blind so I have never seen the world. My mother died when I was quite read more...

Killers and Stars

Review of: Patterson Hood

"When they thaw out Uncle Disney, gonna be some changes made/Pointing fingers, asking questions/forty years of decisions made" appear as the opening lines of Patterson Hood's debut solo album. Best known for his leading role in the hard-driving Drive-By read more...

The Hard Way

Review of: Tinsley Ellis

The Hard Way represents Tinsley Ellis' ninth solo album where for the first time he serves as the read more...

The Heroines

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White's work inspired many great musicians like Ray Charles, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, John Mayall, Waylon Jennings, and many others to cover his songs. Just tunes like "Polk Salad Annie", "Rainy Night in read more...

Lonesome In Black - The Legendary Sun Recordings

Review of: Johnny Cash

This definitive collection features Johnny Cash's recordings for the Sun Records label from 1955-1958. These stark classics serve as a strong foundation to Cash's undeniable legacy. Born in Kingsland, Arkansas, John R. Cash joined the air force and spent his early years read more...

The Road To Escondido

Review of: Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale

Some of Eric Clapton's biggest hits ("After Midnight" and "Cocaine") were J.J. Cale songs, so it's only fitting the two guitar slingers finally recorded an album together.

The Dirty South

Review of: Drive By Truckers

The Dirty South The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine The Dirty South stands as

Donnie Fritts and Friends

Review of: Various Artists

Donnie Fritts and Friends Norton Auditorium University of North Alabama Florence, AL January 22, 2000 Donnie Fritts began his lifetime in music read more...

Muscle Shoals Sounds: The Rhythm Of The River

Review of: Various Artists

Back on November 13, the University of North Alabama hosted a symposium dedicated to the musical history of the Muscle Shoals area. The event mainly covered the area's musical past, but also included segments on the business of songwriting, modern studio production, read more...

Say It One Time For The Brokenhearted

Review of: Barney Hoskyns

In the wake of Ray Charles's new country music box set as well as Lambchop's recent soul dabbling both on their own and with Vic Chestnutt, this reprint of Barney Hoskyns's "country soul" study couldn't have come at a better time. "Say It One Time For the read more...

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