Unplugged

KISS - KISS Alive! (1975)

It is considered to be one of the greatest live rock albums of all time, right up there with Cheap Trick At Budokan, Made in Japan by Deep Purple, and Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton, we are of course talking about KISS Alive!, released in 1975. It was an explosive package that delivered more than anything out there at the time. For...

Carl Perkins

Carl Perkins found fame writing Blue Suede Shoes and taking it to the very top of the charts; played alongside Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and the Beatles; and was named as one of Rolling Stone’s top 100 guitarists of all time, but his roots were as humble as can be imagined, and he carried them with him...

Bruce Springsteen - Springsteen on Broadway (2018)

Springsteen seems to have decided that this is the moment to pull back the curtain on the show of his life and let his audience into his private living room, with pretty much just him, his guitar, and his piano.   Mixing his stripped back songs with - sometimes long, but always entertaining or amusing - tales from his highly...

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I (1969)

The debut album of the most important rock band of the 70s provided a definitive fusion between blues and rock and created something totally new. Jimmy Page drew heavily on other tunes, mainly blues, to create these songs but the result, once played by the four members of Led Zeppelin is something entirely of their own. It is true that Page could...

Howlin' Wolf

They say that sometimes life imitates art, so in the case of Howlin' Wolf we could say that his life was a long blues with a lot of art and, incredibly, a happy ending. After all the possible stops: the 'Dickensian' childhood, the plantation, the alcohol, the women and, of course, the music, came recognition. The music that howled in the...

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)

In January 1971 David Bowie had just turned 24, and had behind him three studio albums and a seven-year career (if we count from the release date of his first single) - that did not seem to be taking him anywhere. He had tasted the sweetness of success in 1969 with Space Oddity but, after the failure of The Prettiest Star, he had returned to the...

Xtatic5

The online magazine AltFloyd called Xtatic5’s debut album ‘a diamond in the rough’ and said that “Do You Want to Play? surprises us at the same time as it brings names like David Bowie to mind”; while Rock y Punk described the band as having “complex harmonies and high quality lyrics full of human and social content. Bands like...

Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills is, in the words of his friend and companion Neil Young, "a musical genius". And I’m not going to disagree with the Canadian. It would be difficult to do so with someone who has traded solos with Young, Hendrix and Clapton, has a vocal register as high as Graham Nash, harmonizes with David Crosby and writes songs like For What It's...

Suede - The Blue Hour (2018)

Fans will be pleased that Brett Anderson’s relocation from the city to rural Somerset has done nothing to soften his dark edge.   Where others might focus on the rolling hills, gambling lambs and warm fireplaces, Anderson is drawn more by the abandoned playgrounds, junk filled wastelands and frozen fields. Furthermore, on The Blue...

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (1958)

The name Bo Diddley graced the music world in the mid-fifties as a founder of ‘real’ Rock and Roll with his infectious guitar playing style known as the ‘Bo Diddley beat’ (more on that later), with others like Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters and Little Richard setting the world ablaze with this new thing called Rock n Roll...

Andy Summers

Andrew James Summers was born on the last day of 1942, the same year Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix were also born. But Summers wouldn’t become famous with his contemporary mates, he would do that 15 years after ‘Beatlemania’, at the breaking dawn of punk. However, before getting there, his strange road to success went through the same as...

The Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 (2018)

It can’t be easy being Billy Corgan. The maverick Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman penned a stream of smash hits in the ‘90s, filled stadiums across the world and earned himself an army of loyal followers.   His huge desire for a return to the spotlight saw him build bridges with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and guitarist James...

Motörhead - No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith (1981)

No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith arrived at the right time, after the magnificent 3 aces Bomber, Overkill, and Ace of Spades, the most remembered lineup of Motörhead, (with Lemmy Kilmister on bass and voice, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor on drums, and ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on guitar) were a perfectly well-oiled machine that when they passed the...

Frank Gambale

Frank Gambale, born on December 22, 1958, is an Australian jazz fusion guitarist who has made many innovations in his field, such as the techniques known as 'sweep picking' and 'economy picking'. He has released over 20 solo albums, from his influential debut Brave New Guitar in 1985 to Soulmine in 2012 and Salve (2018), in addition to having...

Paco de Lucía

All descriptions fall short when talking about Francisco Sánchez, Lucía's son; the source and flow of the best flamenco of the last century. His name will be engraved in stone next to that of other teachers and renovators of the six strings. Names like those of Andrés Segovia in classical music, Django Reinhardt in jazz or Jimi Hendrix in...

Steven Wilson - Home Invasion: In Concert At The Royal Albert Hall (2018)

In March 2018 Steven Wilson recorded the last concert of his three night residency at the Royal Albert Hall, London. This resulted in both a DVD and an album of what is in someways in support of his previous record, To The Bone, but has in effect morphed into a live performance of his greatest hits.   Wilson, who The Daily Telegraph...

Billy F Gibbons - The Big Bad Blues (2018)

The release of Billy Gibbons’ 2nd solo record The Big Bad Blues (Concord Records, September, 2018) gets him back to what he does best, the rowdy, swaggering Texas blues, after his debut album Perfectamundo, (2015) where he dabbled brilliantly in Cuban styles, but that was then, this is now. Even though he covers some classics like Muddy Waters’...

Jeff “Skunk” Baxter

Physically, one of the first things you notice about this guy is his long and luxurious  moustache, which he seems to have worn for an eternity.   His distinctive walrus whiskers, long hippy hair style and the fact that he was a key part of a band called the Doobie Brothers (a ‘doobie’ being slang for a joint), says,...

Muse - Simulation Theory (2018)

English rock band Muse released their 8th album Simulation Theory this November to both the delight and dismay of their die-hard followers and experts. They’ve gone from the alternative rock of their debut album in 1999 Showbiz, featuring lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist Matt Bellamy’s melancholic falsetto voice, to more instrumental...