Reviews and Features For March 2017
TBT: Down III Over the Under
For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Travis Beckers review of metal supergroup Downs third studio album, Down III, which he found to be the bands most cohesive, and quite simply, their most coherent album to date.
Read the full Down III Over the Under review
Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte
Bohem is better known for his work in film. He won an Emmy for his work on Taken, a Steven Spielberg mini-series. Chances are good the songs on Moved to Duarte wont receive the same kind of mass exposure as Taken
Read the full Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte review
In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago
Chuck Berry died this past weekend at the age of 90. There isnt enough space here to devote to how altering his words and riffs were to the musical form known as rock n roll.
Read the full In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago review
Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy
The story of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungens relationship and how it came to be comes to vivid life here in all its sordidness, and many may rightfully consider Sad Vacation to be the definitive statement on the matter.
Read the full Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy review
Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland
Cahill is a featured performer with the Irish group Celtic Thunder and here he puts his beautiful tenor to work on an 11-song set of beloved traditional Irish songs. It makes for a great soundtrack to a mellow St. Patricks Day, or indeed any day.
Read the full Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland review
American Dreamer - Restless Nights
Alabama once sang of how, if you want to play in Texas you need to have a fiddle in the band. American Dreamer stretches that Southwest-centric definition in the most peculiar and beautiful ways.
Read the full American Dreamer - Restless Nights review
Rock Reads: Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005
The latest in the Scene History series from Microcosm chronicles the birth and evolution of the punk scene in the Rust Belt city of Rockford, where, like elsewhere, punk was a powerful magnet for bored and alienated youth.
Read the full Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005 review
Dan Webb - Oedipus The King
Its easy to miss Webbs intelligence due to his sonic weirdness. But hes by no means some sort of raving lunatic. He just likes to stir the pot, both lyrically and musically. A delightful aural journey down Dan Webbs unique sonic rabbit hole.
Read the full Dan Webb - Oedipus The King review
Root 66 Week: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith
While Ledet and company color outside the lines here everything, regardless of description, has a groove and you can bet that the bands live shows provide a raucous good time. In the meantime Standing on Faith will do quite nicely.
Read the full Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith review
Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul
Fans of the hard rock band Babylon A.D. have a lot to look forward to: the group, featuring all of the original members, will release a new album this October. In the meantime, lead singer Derek Davis has a new solo effort on offer as a tide-over.
Read the full Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul review
Root 66 Week: Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther
With the speedy and very spiritually-attuned Kingdom Come and the gospel number Fit for a King opening the latest from this bluegrass duo, you might get the idea that this is a full set of gospel bluegrass. It is not.
Read the full Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther review
Road Trip: The True/False Film Fest 2017
The True/False Film Fest took place in Columbia, Missouri March 2-5 and once again the annual celebration of the best new documentary films was a crowd-pleasing success filled with fun and surprises
Read the full The True/False Film Fest 2017 Road Trip
Root 66 Week: Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With
Thats the modus operandi here, sedate yet intense songs with minimal accompaniment (mostly guitar and piano) that might throw those who only know Taylor from his work with Carrie Rodriguez for a bit of a loop.
Read the full Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With review
Zucchero - Black Cat
The dream production team of Don Was, Brendan OBrien and T Bone Burnett puts the perfect edge on this set of funky, Continental-via-New Orleans party rock from Zucchero.
Read the full Zucchero - Black Cat review
Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart
Just as certain men seemingly love all women, Llerena loves most varieties of rock & roll. Hes the guy that gets as excited about a Tom Petty classic rock concert, as he is about a local punk bands set, one imagines.
Read the full Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart review
Root 66: Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets
Charlie and the Regrets lead singer Charlie Harrison has been quoted as saying, Everything I say is with a smile and a wink, and that becomes obvious right away here on opening track Proud Man.
Read the full Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets review
Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List
Awards do not mean anything in the big picture of life. I love watching the Academy Awards every year but must confess, with every passing year, I do not always remember who won, but I always remember the films that penetrate my soul.
Read the full Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List review
Reviews and Features For Feb 2017
Chickn - Chickn
Heres a really cool and trippy offering from this Greek band. Opening cut Chickn Tribe mashes up bluesy, Jimi Hendrix-style guitar with Jim Morrison-recalling vocals and a tribal drumbeat along with subtle psychedelic effects
Read the full Chickn - Chickn review
Avenged Sevenfold TBT
For this weeks TBT we revisit Matthew Hasties 2007 review of Avenged Sevenfolds self-titled album where he found that the band sounded better than ever but a little more haywire.
Read the full Avenged Sevenfold TBT review
Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio
One could be easily fooled that Miss Ohio is Drive-By Truckers, especially because of Magnet. Vocalist David Wilson is a dead ringer for DBT singer Patterson Hood. He has that scratchy, woebegone sound down pat.
Read the full Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio review
Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions
Powerhouse vocalist Turner rocks through a set of mostly well-known, mostly hard rock songs from iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC as well as his former band Rainbow.
Read the full Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions review
The fact that most of these tracks clocking in at over six minutes, should give you a clue its an all-instrumental work. Matt Chanway is a master guitarist, and his chosen musical style is progressive metal.
Read the full Matt Chanway review
TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare
For this weeks TBT we travel back a decade for Kevin Wierzbickis review of Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare where he found that they not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump but took a leap toward senior.
Read the full TBT - Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare review
Root 66: Washboard Hank - Human Beans
Fans of acts like Mojo Nixon and his washboard-playing sidekick Skid Roper will love the similarly earthy sounds of Washboard Hank. And as with Mojo and Skid, Washboard Hanks music is full of delightfully-skewed humor.
Read the full Washboard Hank - Human Beans review
Marty McKay - New York City Dreams
Marty McKay once played with Vanilla Ice. But dont hold this against him. In fact, his music could hardly be any more different from that Great White Hopeless. This Swiss rocker writes and sings heartfelt songs
Read the full Marty McKay - New York City Dreams review
Root 66: Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis
Singer and guitarist Norman got the idea to do an Elvis Presley tribute album during a visit to Graceland and what a good idea it was. Here she presents grassed up interpretations of a dozen songs associated with Presley
Read the full Holly Norman - Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis review
Judas Priest - Turbo 30
For some Judas Priest fans it probably seems like just yesterday that they were roaring down the street with the car radio cranked up, singing along with Priest front man Rob Halford on the big hit Turbo Lover.
Read the full Judas Priest - Turbo 30 review
Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School
For this weeks TBT we take a look back at Tony Ks Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School feature from 2007 where he examined the legacy of the legendary shock rocker!
Read the full Alice Cooper: Between High School & Old School review
Saul Losada - Energy
Saul Losadas Energy offers him the opportunity to stretch out and prove what he can do on an electric guitar. Also, the album is sprinkled with a few familiar songs, which makes it more than just a show off work.
Read the full Saul Losada - Energy review
Travel News, Trips and Tips: Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More
This time out our column features something especially for sweethearts, news of this years winners of Travvy Awards, and a new book for travelers who are fans of military history. Get a bag packed and lets go!
Read the full Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More review
5 Star: Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition
Overall the package is an excellent snapshot of early Jethro Tull presented in a modern manner that makes Stand Up: The Elevated Edition a very desirable collectible.
Read the full Jethro Tull - Stand Up: The Elevated Edition review
Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen
Blues music gets right to the point, whether love is good or bad, which is why its eternally and universally loved and respected. And Scott Taylor cooks up all the good stuff on Blues Kitchen.
Read the full Scott Taylor - Blues Kitchen review
Shallow Side - ONE
With cuts like the heavy-thumping, defiant Rebel and an incendiary take on the Styx chestnut Renegade in their arsenal, Shallow Side land firmly in the bastion of bands that have the goods to shut down the rock is dead naysayers.
Read the full Shallow Side - ONE review
Reviews and Features For Jan 2017
Root 66: Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around
This Dallas-based band plays a sort of country music that rings with authenticity. Whether vocalist Jeff Grossman is professing eternal love or attempting to get back with an ex, the plaintive quality of his voice makes every word believable
Read the full Saints Eleven - Coming Back Around review
The Blues: The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues
Fans can take this albums title literally, the retro production techniques employed here give this record a vibe that will be irresistible to hipsters while also pleasing blues purists. The real deal indeed.
Read the full The Reverend KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues review
TBT: David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004
Tony K continues out TBT look back at music legend David Bowie and celebrates the 13th anniversary this week of the January 16, 2004 Rosemont, IL concert that he reviewed.
Read the full David Bowie Live In Chicago 2004 review
Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo
As the title of the album suggests, singer and guitarist Hornbuckles music is exceptionally soulful. With a voice that reminds of superstar John Mayer, Hornbuckle here demonstrates a mastery of lights-down-low slow dance R&B
Read the full Michael Hornbuckle - Soul Repo review
Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar
Saint Blasphemer is a unique band because much of the music on its Simon Templar EP express frustration of seeing friends and family members struggle with addictions
Read the full Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar review
David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster
We continue our special TBT look back at music legend David Bowie with flashback to Tony Ks review of the remaster of the iconic album Station To Station.
Read the full David Bowie - Station To Station Remaster review
Travel News, Trips and Tips: January 2017 Edition
It takes some of the fun out of traveling if you arrive at your destination with a pain in your neck or elsewhere. Aching neck and shoulders are common problems for travelers. Now there is help, plus Legendary Blue Danube River Cruise and W Las Vegas
Read the full January 2017 Edition review
The Blues: Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest
This phenomenal sax player was driving audiences wild with his high energy stage show way back in the late 40s and early 50s and many fans today might be under the impression that the star has passed away.
Read the full Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest review
TBT: Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen recorded what he thought were demos on a 4-track tape recorder 35 years ago this week. The demo recording was haunting and proved challenging to replicate with the band.
Read the full Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska review
The Blues: Popa Chubby - The Catfish
Popa Chubby is a multi-instrumentalist and he plays lots of the bass, drum and keyboard parts on The Catfish, but it is his guitar playing and singing that take the spotlight here as he romps through a dozen songs, 10 of which are self-penned.
Read the full Popa Chubby - The Catfish review
Tumbler - Come to the Edge
Its odd that Tumbler lists Soul Asylum, The Kinks and The Cure as similar artists. While there is an urgency in the way Harry and Richard Grace sing these songs, theres also an optimism you rarely in hear in Kinks songs
Read the full Tumbler - Come to the Edge review