Category: Walt Falconer

Dennis Wilson “Pacific Ocean Blue”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#562 in the Series) is Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue The only member of the Beach Boys who actually surfed, Dennis Wilson always had that little brother chip on his shoulder. Even though he was the middle brother, he had an undeserved reputation as the Fredo Corleone to Carl’s Sonny and Brian’s Michael, along with a somewhat deserved reputation as the “Bad Boy” of the group.  Showing up late for gigs and hanging out with Charles Manson did little to dissuade his detractors, and the almost “Ringo-esque” way he was spoon-fed songs to feature on Beach Boys albums did not help to spotlight his songwriting talent and his ability to stand alone...

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound “Want More”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#560 in the Series) is  JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Want More (Bloodshot Records)– NEW MUSIC REVIEW Not since The White Album has an album been more appropriately named than Want More, the groups second album, and first since signing with the eclectically cool record label Bloodshot Records, from the Chicago based neo-soul band JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Consider yourself warned, with the look of a slightly aged Sam Cooke along with his Otis Redding with an edge vocal style, JC Brooks and his band are poised to kidnap your ears, grab your feet, borrow your soul, and take you down a retro rabbit hole you haven’t travelled since James Brown,...

Laura Nyro “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#529 in the Series) is Laura Nyro,  Eli and the Thirteenth Confession Laura Nyro is Randy Newman without the Disney movie soundtracks. Known more for the songs she has written for other people that have gone on to become monster hits than her own releases, her musical output rivals only Carole King as one of the greatest singer song -writers of her generation and a hit-making machine.  A partial list of Laura Nyro penned hits includes “Stoney End” for Barbra Streisand, “Eli’s Coming” for Three Dog Night, “Wedding Bell Blues” for The Fifth Dimension, and the fantastic “And When I Die”, that became a monster hit for Blood Sweat and Tears. The real...

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa “Don’t Explain”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#518 in the Series) is Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa, Don’t Explain I have been waiting for one of hot-shot guitar slingers to separate themselves from the pack, and with this collaboration with Blues/Soul/Rock singer Beth Hart Joe Bonamassa has clearly vaulted himself head and shoulders above his blues-rock brothers Jonny Lang and Kenney Wayne Sheppard.  He continues to take on interesting and eclectic projects and this one, much like his earlier 2011 release Dustbowl features a collaboration that fits perfectly with his musical tastes, his personality, and his ability to play slow blues, dirty blues, and soulful blues. Don’t Explain is collaboration in the true sense of the word with Joe doing...

Bill Withers “Just As I Am”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#505 in the Series) is Bill Withers, Just As I Am By all rights the Bill Withers album Just As I Am should never have been made. It’s not that the talent was not here, it certainly was, it’s just that it is not often that when a record company needs to take promotional pictures for an album that they have to work around the artist’s break times during his 8-5 job at a Boeing plant making airplane toilets. In 1967 Bill Withers, fresh from a discharge from the Navy and bolstered by his fellow sailor’s encouragement and recognition of his talent, moved to the west coast to make some demo records...

The Beach Boys “Surf’s Up”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#499 in the Series) is The Beach Boys, Surfs Up Sometimes the Mojo inspirations for my psychedelic meanderings for Cool Album of the Day come from lubricating the death machine, wandering in the desert aimlessly with an Indian Shaman by my side guiding me.  Other times I am in the Falcon’s Nest jungle room staring at the black light posters of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin wondering where I can put my next lava lamp while consulting my Todd Mcfarlane figures of Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, and Jim Morrison. Alice Cooper is usually the more vocal of this quartet. Dave Alvin (Cool Album of the Day #471) was his. Jim Morrison...

Dave Stewart “The Blackbird Diaries”

Today”s Cool Album of the Day (#489 in the Series) is Dave Stewart, The Blackbird Diaries Dave Stewart is a musical Swiss army knife.  Mostly known for being the bearded half of the Eurythmics and responsible for some of the biggest hits of the 80’s including “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and “Would I Lie to You”, Stewart has come out from behind the mixing board for his first solo effort in ten years.  Toiling in relative post-breakup obscurity, while earning producer credit on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents, Frantic with Bryan Ferry in 2002, Destination Anywhere, for Jon Bon Jovi, the 2010 comeback album for Stevie Nicks, and the recent release by Joss Stone, he still had time...

Dave Alvin “Eleven Eleven”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#471 in the Series) is Dave Alvin, Eleven Eleven  (YepRock Records) December 8th 2009, Dave Alvin & Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys shared a bill together in Los Angeles, California.  Wilson from the nearby suburb of Hawthorne and Alvin from the equally working class town of Downey were both products and interpreters of the “California Dream” and the idealistic mythology of the golden state in the late fifties, sixties, and on into the seventies. While both artists may have helped to create the mythological western vibe, Brian Wilson’s world consisted of surfing, riding around in woodies, and going to the hop on weekends.  Alvin’s world is definitely less utopian and more “Gypsy’s, Tramps...

Freebo “Something To Believe”

Freebo – Something To Believe In a cluttered world that seems to thrive on excess, self-promotion, and personal and political agendas, listening to Freebo and his new album is like riding on a cumulous cloud of peaceful awareness. Freebo, in the music business since the sixties, has been part of Bonnie Raitt’s band for more than a decade and has become a sought after session musician working with the elite of Rock & Roll aristocracy including Ringo Starr, John Mayall, Crosby Stills & Nash, Maria Muldaur, The Bluesbusters as well as many others. Since embarking on his own Freebo has released four albums of his own cosmic blend of country, rock, soul, and folk, ear pleasing genre defying music....

Dawes “Nothing Is Wrong”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#437 in the Series) is Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong The “mellow mafia” ghosts are definitely haunting Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith along with their canyon-rock band Dawes. The band that recently released their excellent sophomore effort “Nothing is Wrong”, is so entrenched in the Laurel Canyon scene that bred Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Warren and many others, that they purchased a home in the musical Mecca that is in the hills just north of Los Angeles. With the subject matter of some of their songs along with their country rock-vibe sound, you would think that back in the day they were running around naked like the kids on the cover...

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