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Death is Coming to Town
Death is Coming to Town
by Eleanor Cawood Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.99
19 used & new from $3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Visions of Sugarplums? Hardly, December 30, 2013
If your mind is as twisted as the red stripe on a candy cane, then these four well-written short stories are for you. Spike the egg nog, spark the yule logs and see what's on the dark side of St. Nick, an innocent cup of hot chocolate and a blue gingerbread house. Eleanor Cawood Jones can pull you right through these tales like a sleigh through the still Christmas Eve air. The plots are fresh, the characters are pleasantly sinister and each story has a point where you know something terrible is about to happen. You can feel it in your blood; blood that runs as red as hollyberries.


A Baker's Dozen: 13 Tales of Murder and More
A Baker's Dozen: 13 Tales of Murder and More
Price: $2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Hitchcock meets O. Henry, April 17, 2013
I'll be blunt. You read one, you'll read 'em all. In one sitting. These 13 tales by Cawood Jones are well-crafted and a breeze to read. In short, it's Alfred Hitchcock meets O. Henry. Each story has wonderful characters (you probably know them: they're your aunt, cousin, neighbor ...), a what's-he-up-to plot and an I-never-saw-it-coming twist at the end. My favorites: "Mrs. Gallagher" (don't we all wish we can be as steely) and "Exit 36" (Aunt Lizzie without the ax). Heck, they're all great. It's murder lite, but they'll leave you with some heavy thoughts, and a smile. A fiendish smile. Enjoy.


T.W.O.
T.W.O.
Price: $4.99
38 used & new from $2.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every serious 70s rock enthusiast, January 18, 2013
This review is from: T.W.O. (Audio CD)
REO TWO, released in 1972, rises far above anything this chameleon band ever recorded. Although they drew a large, screaming fan base in their maturing years, REO's crooner period was disappointing at best. For them, however, it rung the cash register.

Their self-titled first album in 1971 was decent. Consider on that LP, they wrote songs with such titles as "Five Men Were Killed Today", "Dead at Last" and "Prison Women." Contrast those with "Keep on Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling", and other high school prom anthems of the late 70s and 80s.

"Lost in a Dream" and "Riding the Storm Out" followed REO TWO, but neither of those captured the magic, energy and charm of REO TWO.

Kevin Cronin, who made his vocal debut on this album, and lead guitarist Gary Richrath combined for an outstanding album, never to matched by any rendition of REO Speedwagon.

It was downhill--fast--after TWO. Roll with the changes? Indeed they did.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2013 8:27 AM PDT


Live At Royal Albert Hall 2011
Live At Royal Albert Hall 2011

21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one from the master, March 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you need to own one B.B. King album, this may very well be the one. King, 86 years old, is as sharp musically and vocally as any blues player any age.

Here, in a live 2011 recording at the Royal Albert Hall, B.B. King is joined on stage with luminaries Susan Tedeschi and husband Derek Trucks, Ronnie Wood and Slash. What they've assembled is a consummate blues album that counterintuitively is blue and fun at the same time.

B.B.'s between-songs banter (and chatter during the numbers) lends the album, well, the King touch. His fretwork speaks for itself, but the acoustics in the Hall seem to give it that extra bit of magic.

His guests perform in a tall shadow though King is seated; no doubt they stand in awe, knowing that they shared the same stage in a moment in time.

Susan Tedeschi's voice blends well with King, especially on the standard "When the Saints Go Marching in." Derek plays a delicious slide on "Rock Me Baby." King approves.

Standout tracks: All of them. Relish it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 7:30 PM PDT


Stamp Album
Stamp Album
Price: $6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downhill after this one, December 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Stamp Album (MP3 Music)
Climax Blues Band hit its creative peak with the 1975 release of Stamp Album. Granted, you won't find much Chicago blues on this one, as you did on Plays On, A Lot of Bottle and Tightly Knit.

But Stamp Album shows a band that has tastefully matured. With seven albums behind them before this LP, Climax Blues Band finally enjoyed a brush with commercial success with minor hits "Using the Power" and "I am Constant." Both are decent tracks, but really the album features much better material, namely "Mr Goodtime," "Running Out of Time," and the instrumental "Cobra."

What you'll hear on this relatively short but solid album are songs with deep grooves; judicious use of sax, clarinet and flute; Peter Haycock's brilliant guitar playing (he's one of the most criminally overlooked guitar players in rock history); and a band that truly seemed to enjoy itself cutting this one in the studio.

If you have the back catalog of CBB albums, you'll hear parts on Stamp Album that could fit on Sense of Direction and Rich Man (my favorite CBB LP).

If you're looking to build a Climax Blues Band collection, get Tightly Knit, Rich Man, FM Live and of course, Stamp Album.


Motion
Motion
Price: $5.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That 70s stuff, August 31, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motion (MP3 Music)
Anyone who follows Geoff Muldaur will probably agree that he makes music on his own terms. "Motion," his 1976 release, is an exception.

Bearing all the hallmarks of the mid-70s sound (think Rupert Holmes, Andrew Gold, KC and the Sunshine Band), Geoff assembled an LP filled with lovelorn tunes that could have been minor AM radio hits had they been marketed correctly. Using female backup vocals, strings, funk guitar and a carefully-controlled wah-wah pedal, Geoff achieves, well, a 70s record. Heck. Look at the album cover.

He does a couple of fine covers: "What Do You Want the Girl to Do" (Allen Toussaint)--Geoff's version sounds a lot like the Carpenter's "Superstar" (Don't you remember you told me you loved me baby); and "Southern Nights," another Toussaint-penned tune made famous by Glen Campbell. "Hooray for Hollywood" is a Broadway piece that would have fit better on his previous release "Geoff Muldaur is Having a Wonderful Time." The other six tracks are pleasant: commercially short, but well written and executed.

"Motion" is not really a good place to start if you're new to Geoff Muldaur. Try "Geoff Muldaur is Having a Wonderful Time" (Geoff's creative masterpiece) or "Secret Handshake" (a fan favorite).

Don't overlook "Motion." Geoff's voice is in fine form, and although the album is a part of the kaleidoscopic sounds of the 70s, his ingenuity shines through.


In Flame - Slade
In Flame - Slade
Price: $10.89
51 used & new from $5.73

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Como estas chickadee, August 3, 2011
This review is from: In Flame - Slade (Audio CD)
Slade "In Flame" is indeed one of the better albums to come out of the 70s. It is, and will remain, in my top 10 of all time. It's a collection of infectious songs that transcends anything this great band ever did.

Why only three stars? Well, when "In Flame" was released in the United States in 1974, it featured two stunning rockers--"Bangin' Man" and "Thanks for the Memory." The album's UK version, which is the only one available now, does not feature those twin jewels, but instead offers "Heaven Knows" and "Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here)." I'm docking it two stars for leaving off "Bangin' Man" and "Thanks for the Memory." They could have at least added them as bonus tracks. For the record, "Bangin' Man" can be found on "Get Yer Boots on: The Best of Slade." "Thanks for the Memory" was put on "Nobody's Fools." Go figure.

I have the US version LP and played it endlessly, learning every note, lyric and snare snap. I saw Slade perform in 1977. Loud, showy and boisterous, they ran through their concert staples, "Gudbuy T' Jane," "Cum on Feel the Noize" and Mama Weer All Crazee Now." And much to my enjoyment, they played quite a few songs off "In Flame," including "Bangin' Man" and "Thanks for the Memory." I can still picture Noddy Holder, bushy red sideburns, silly hat and looking more like a deranged auctioneer than a glam-band frontman, wailing out the near-nonsensical lyrics to "Thanks for the Memory" ... "Como estas chickadee, have a housemaid on your knee ..." while Dave Hill, in platform boots, climbed atop the speaker stacks to play the biting guitar licks in a white follow-spot that made him look so real, yet so otherworldly. My ears rang for three days. The images still linger.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from buying this classic. The rest of the tracks are glorious, from "Far Far Away" to "OK Yesterday Was Yesterday," to the beautiful "How Does it Feel."

And don't let the cheesy album cover fool you. The foursome does not look good dressed in white with their legs aglow. And that flame logo, well, it looks like a decal peeled off a Hot Wheels car.

But truly, it's what's inside that counts.


The Harrow & The Harvest
The Harrow & The Harvest
Price: $9.99
84 used & new from $3.98

116 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, June 28, 2011
Whatever the reason Gillian Welch and David Rawlings waited eight years to release this much anticipated album, we're rewarded for our patience.

The 10 tracks on "The Harrow & the Harvest" are well-penned and executed. In an interview with The Australian, Gillian said the duo struggled with getting the material just right for this album. And got it right they did. Gillian returns to her cowgirl-boots-in-a-daisy-field folk, dark lyrics and melodies with just enough melancholia to make you feel good.

Gone are the drums that adorned her previous album, "Soul Journey," (the drum work on that LP wasn't flashy, but rather curiously echoed the plodding snare thumps found on Neil Young's "Harvest.")

Standout tracks include "Dark Turn of Mind" and "Down Along the Dixie Line." But the whole album flows and is best enjoyed in its entirety, in solitude.

"The Harrow & the Harvest" is a must-have for Gillian Welch fans.

If you're new to her, this is a great starting point. But there's no need to tell you to explore her back catalog. After hearing this, you will.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2011 2:02 PM PDT


Hillbilly Joker [Explicit]
Hillbilly Joker [Explicit]
Price: $9.99

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a hangover cure, May 17, 2011
Whew! Hank III delivers this one with all the charm of a tire fire. If you like the genre--barbecue pit meets mosh pit--then "Hillbilly Joker" is for you.

The tracks are loud and raucus and Hank handles 'em well. When a song titled "Drink It, Drug It" is the calmest of the lot, you know you're in for a ride. All in all, though, it's a solid effort, with guitar licks that can knock the balls off the last-standing mechanical bull.

It's a relatively short album, 10 tracks barely over a half-hour long. But at that speed, it's plenty. Enjoy.


Onward and Upward
Onward and Upward
Price: $15.90
10 used & new from $15.90

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep from the heart, April 9, 2011
This review is from: Onward and Upward (Audio CD)
I'll admit. I bought "Onward and Upward," by Luther Dickinson & the Sons of Mudboy, without knowing anything about it. What I did know was that Luther Dickinson can bring a guitar to life with a slide, so that's what I was expecting. I was disappointed with what amounted to an album of jug-band gospel.

But after reading the liner notes and giving the work a few more listens, it began to seep beneath the skin. The songs are tributes to Luther's dad, Jim Dickinson, a musician/producer extraordinaire, who had passed away only days before "Onward and Upward" was recorded. The session sounds hastily gathered, impromptu, with no over-dubs and do-overs. What a beautiful bitter-sweet album.

My appreciation deepened even further after viewing the DVD that comes in the North Mississippi All Stars' double live disc, "Do It Like We Used to Do." On that lengthy but riveting video is the documentary of the Dickinsons--their music, philosophy and humble story. In short, the DVD is a must-see to enhance your listening pleasure of anything Luther and his brother Cody ever recorded.

"Onward and Upward" is full of pain. But in a lovely way, it's uplifting. Thank you, Luther. Seldom has a soul touched music so deeply. No Auto-tune, no jumbo screens, no Grammy, no concert tour.

Just a stream of gospel standards with enough power to float the melodies up to heaven.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2011 12:24 PM PDT


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