Category: Walt Falconer

Johnny Cash “American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Johnny Cash, American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways The year was 1994, and it was not the best of times for Johnny Cash.  His health, starting to fail from a series of illnesses and decades of hard living, was seemingly bringing “The Man in Black” much closer to the end than he was ready to admit.  His latest major record label, Mercury Records had dropped him after one last commitment record, The Mystery of life, that was released in 1990 and included updated versions of “Hey Porter”, “Angel and the “Badman”, and “The Greatest Cowboy”, that were good simply because they are very good songs, but showed none of the outlaw grit...

Roxy Swain .. ‘Restless Hearts’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#949 in the Series) is Roxy Swain, Restless Hearts Restless Hearts, the second record from local Chicago favorites Roxy Swain, is about as perfectly crafted a set of songs as your ears will enjoy all year. With influences that seem to float from Fleetwood Mac to Emmy Lou Harris, with a hint of daisy-duke era Linda Ronstadt thrown in for good measure, Ms. Swain, the front-woman for the group, with her back of the barroom pipes, slight Americana warble, and abundance of Indie Rock-Chick swagger could be the love child of Chrissie Hynde and Lucinda Williams. There is definitely some palate cleansing retro fairy dust that is sprinkled throughout this highly addictive album...

Billy Joe Shaver ‘Long in the Tooth’- NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#948 in the Series) is Billy Joe Shaver, Long in the Tooth On the Mount Rushmore of 70’s Highwayman Icons, a zip code that includes Willie Nelson,Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristoffersons, Billy Joe Shaver could very well be considered the fifth Beatle, the under the radar cowboy that jump-started the movement with Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973, and in the process put the outlaw in Outlaw Country, reshaped the image of Waylon Jennings, changed the landscape of Country music forever, and just might have laid the foundation for Roots Rock and the Americana movement that is in full force today. Having already used up most of his nine lives, he...

Buddy Guy ‘Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#946 in the Series) is Buddy Guy, Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues The process of selecting a blues album to review is not an easy one.  First of all, a lot of people will not think they like the blues or will say they don’t know enough about the blues.  The real answer to both of these questions is that if you listen to music at all, and like music, then you are by definition a fan of the blues.  All of the great rock & rollers of today were heavily influenced by the blues in one form or another. “I’m a King Bee,” “Walking the Dog,” and “Now I’ve Got a...

Rival Sons “Great Western Valkrie”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#942 in the Series) is Rival Sons, Great Western Valkrie Great Western Valkyrie, the latest and certainly the greatest album from Los Angeles rockers Rival Sons just might be the best pure Rock record since Guns ‘n’ Roses scorched the Sunset Strip earth with Appetite for Destruction in 1984.  No need to adjust your ears, you heard correctly. This album is that damned good, and then some. The slow burn to album perfection started for Rival Sons in 2011 with the release of the consistent but not overly dramatic Pressure and Time, a record that did not quite reach the unwashed masses in large numbers, but did get the band on the...

Dusty Springfield ‘Dusty in Memphis’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#927 in the Series) is Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis The stable of Blue-Eyed Soul fillies from across the pond has been Kentucky Derby quality over the last 10 years. Duffy, with her 2008 release Rockferry has more of a sensitive delivery than her more bombastic contemporaries that should serve her well with the AOR crowd as her career progresses. Joss Stone burst on to the scene in 2003 with The Soul Sessions, an unabashed tribute to the soul singers of the past sounding more like Carla Thomas or Aretha Franklin than a sixteen year old girl recording her eponymous album.  But even though her later releases seem to lack direction and continuity...

Johnny Cash ‘Out Among The Stars’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#920 in the Series) is  Johnny Cash,  Out Among the Stars In the last years of his life, and currently with the multiple releases of the Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series of recordings, we have been treated to new music from Johnny Cash. The songs presented on these records were mostly scaled down un-plugged style versions of old classics along with deep in the vault songs from artists Cash admired. Every song in the series was a powerful reminder of the greatness of the past, and a sobering look into eyes and on to the soul of one of the greatest artists ever to walk the line. And now, courtesy of the...

Warren Zevon ‘The Wind’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#903 in the Series) is Warren Zevon, The Wind In the final episode of season 2 of the hit Showtime series Californication, down on his self-inflicted luck, writer Hank Moody has just finished a book project and is ready to begin his post-project ritual. “Every time I finish a book, It’s Whiskey, Weed and Warren Zevon, It’s the little things” he says, while ”Keep Me in your Heart” plays delicately in the background. “Keep Me In Your Heart” is the emotional core of The Wind, the last album that Warren Zevon made prior to his death of lung cancer in September of 2003. The album was already in the works in late August...

Robbie Fulks ‘Gone Away Backward’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#878 in the Series) is Robbie Fulks, Gone Away Backwards (Bloodshot) Gone Away Backward, the latest release from Americana, Roots Rock artist Robbie Fulks not only marks a triumphant return to Bloodshot records, the label that gave him his first significant exposure, but also represents a sort of back to the future homecoming, with the same sort of down home songwriting and storytelling that made him a critics darling going back to the mid 1980’s. Trying to capture the essence of Robbie Fulks is a bit like trying to catch a butterfly in mid-air with one hand.  It takes a lot of dexterity and a bit patience, but as you slowly open your...

Little Green Cars ‘Absolute Zero’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#876 in the Series) is Little Green Cars, Absolute Zero (Glassnote Records) Travelling the back roads of the “Mumfordization” highway, on a road already well navigated by Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, and Dawes, Dublin’s own Little Green Cars with their sparkling debut album, Absolute Zero, are gassed up, ready to form their own trail, and are headed for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The blueprint for this band of feisty twenty-something’s consists of fronting duo (think Buckingham-Nicks) Stevie Appleby and Faye O’Rourke, Dylan Lynch (Drums), Donagh Seaver O’Leary (Bass), and Adam O’Regan (Guitar, Piano), brilliant musicians all, where all five pieces seem to meld...

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