Category: Rob Henry

Steve Earle and the Dukes ‘Terraplane’ .. NEW ALBUM REVIEW

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#954 in the series) is Steve Earle and the Dukes, Terraplane. Steve Earle’s new album Terraplane is being billed as his blues album. We’ll talk about that a bit more in a minute. More importantly I think – it’s a Steve Earle and the Dukes album, and a damn fine one at that.  Steve Earle has had many different personas and approaches in his career, Country rock and roller, hard core troubadour, singer songwriter, bluegrass musician, political activist, you name it  – but mostly I think the best name to fit him – if he even needs one – is a folk singer.  And if you don’t think folk singers can play or sing the blues then you...

Rosanne Cash ‘The River & the Thread’

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#901 in the Series) is Rosanne Cash,The River & The Thread.   Many people will to want to know – is this a country album, a folk album, an Americana / Alt-country album? Well – yes to all three but primarily I think it’s a Southern album. Each of the songs are finely crafted short stories in the great Southern tradition. They each work all by themselves telling a story that’s either from the Cash family history or a work of fiction. They also work together to paint a portrait of the South that is equal to the best Southern fiction writing. There are songs of family, a feeling of community or the...

The Black Lillies ‘Runaway Freeway Blues’

  Today’s Cool album of the day (#849 in the Series) is The Black Lillies, Runaway Freeway Blues. This marks the band’s third album and I’ll say right here that you should go ahead and not just buy this new one, but first two , Whiskey Angel and 100 Miles of Wreckage  as well. You will not be disappointed. It might make sense to tell you a little about the band itself and then get to the details of this new album. The Black Lillies are an independent “Americana” band. They consist of Cruz Contreras – lead vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin; Trisha Gene Brady – vocals, guitar, ukulele, hand percussion; Tom Pryor – electric guitar, pedal steel, dobro, banjo;...

Richard Thompson ‘Electric’

Posted 07 Feb 2013 in Albums of 2013, Albums of the 10s, Rob Henry

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#833 in the Series) is Richard Thompson, Electric If you are a fan of Richard Thompson, just hearing the title of his new album Electric should make you smile. If somehow you don’t know his music just listening to the first track “Stony Ground” will do the same thing. The song starts out with some clapping and percussion and then Richard Thompson and his Trio kick in to a song about “Old Man Morris” who’s fallen for the widow across the street ~ and can’t keep his mind off her “Honey pot.” Shakespeare? No. Tremendous fun? Yes. I hope that I can explain this, but the real treat of Electric is the...

World Famous Headliners “World Famous Headliners”

  Today’s Cool album of the day(#770 in the Series) is the new self-titled release by The World Famous Headliners. (Big Yellow Dog Publishing) Out of the blue comes an album that I think will be in so many top 10 lists at the end of the year and no one even saw it coming. I think most reviews are going to start with who are these guys? That’s a good question and it’s a great answer but I wanted to start with what really matters, the music. The album’s 15 tracks slip effortlessly from rock and roll to funk, with bits of power pop, country, and 60’s style rock thrown into the mix. It’s a fun from the...

John Fullbright “From The Ground Up”

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#744 in the Series) is John Fullbright, From The Ground Up. (Blue Dirt Records) I would venture to say that most of you have never heard of John nor this album as of yet and  I think that’s a big yet. I happened to catch a review of the record on NPR’s website. When I see a record review that mentions the names Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman in one sentence – I kind of had to take notice. But I don’t want you to think that this is a record that doesn’t stand on its own merits. To say that Fullbright was just relying on those influences would...

The Black Keys “El Camino”

Posted 05 Dec 2011 in 10s, Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s, Rob Henry

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#570 in the Series) is The Back Keys, El Camino (Nonesuch Records) I’m actually fairly new to The Black Keys. I only recently took a closer look at them when I picked up their last release, Brothers. I listened to it, but my thinking was along the lines of “OK, this is just the latest in a long line of hot, new bands, that everyone is supposed to like” that I’m going to listen to it once and then never play it again. I know enough about The Black Keys that even Brothers was seen by some of their early fans as a sellout and that they were not staying true to...

The Band “Rock of Ages”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day(#555 in the Series and #58 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is The Band, Rock of Ages. (Capitol) Rock of Ages is the first of four “official” live albums by The Band. Most people regard the expansive box set of The Last Waltz to be The Band’s most impressive live statement, but I think a closer listen to Rock of Ages will give an argument that this is not only The Band’s best live album but perhaps one of the top 10 live albums that has ever been released. I’m usually a purist when it comes to original releases vs. reissues. I felt for years that the original double LP released in...

Bonnie Raitt “Give It Up”

Posted 14 Nov 2011 in 70s, Albums of 1972, Albums of the 70s, Blues, Rob Henry

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#551 in the Series) is Bonnie Raitt, Give it Up. Give it Up  was her second album, released in September of 1972. Far from suffering the “sophomore slump” jinx of second albums that so many artists seem to, Give it Up remains to this day one of Bonnie’s most complete and thoroughly satisfying collections. Many don’t know of her early work, not really hearing of her until the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s with albums like Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw. Do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful recording from her early days. Give it Up is a mix of blues, folk ballads and funk...