Unplugged

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

While many punk fans happily went to gigs to gob at their heroes on stage in the late 1970s, one star – from a completely different genre – decided to spit back.     Roger Waters had grown sick at the perceived lack of contact between the audience and a band who, during the In the Flesh tour, were sometimes playing in...

Steve Gaines

On the cover of the only studio album that he was given time to record with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Gaines, like the rest of the band, appears in the center surrounded by fire. And there may not be a more graphic definition of what he did for this band, by re-igniting the fire that seemed extinct and putting them back in their place as one of...

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (2018)

Sir Paul McCartney at 76 years of age, a superstar since he was 20, shows no signs of slowing down on his ‘long and winding road’. He has just released his 18th solo album titled Egypt Station and we’re going to take a look and a listen. When you’ve achieved as much as “Macca” (McCartney) in music over the decades, and have...

The Verve - Urban Hymns (1997)

A Northern Soul, the The Verve’s second album was an artistic success but not so much commercial. Launched in the heat of Britpop it did not manage to enter the British Top Ten and barely had repercussion outside Britian. The recording had been chaos and the band decided to separate. But a few days later Richard Ashcroft, their...

Alex Lifeson

Canadian guitar shredder Alex Lifeson (born Alexandar Zivojinovich) was part of the rock trio Rush along with Neil Peart/drums and Geddy Lee/vocals/bass, who carved a groove into progressive blues/metal/rock that still resonates and is recognised as some of the cleanest, yet rawest sounds ever put to vinyl. They were a heavy influence on acts like...

J. Willgoose Esq.

PSB began in August 2009 with J. Willgoose Esq. (13 April 1982) picking up his guitar and being inspired to draw on recordings of key historic events for ‘lyrics’.   The London-based band soon added Wrigglesworth on drums and J. F. Abraham on bass; although in practise they all are multi-instrumentalists.  ...

Thin Lizzy - Vagabonds of the Western World (1973)

When in 1973 Thin Lizzy went into the studio to record 'Vagabonds of the Western World' they already had two albums behind them that had not gone anywhere, and they were just one of the many bands that flirted with hard rock. Their only glimpse of massive success had been an excellent version of the traditional Irish song Whiskey In The Jar,...

The Great Kat

American Katherine Thomas (6 June 1966) was a formally dressed classical musician who studied violin at the prestigious New York Juilliard School, which counts Philip Glass, Nina Simone and Nigel Kennedy among its former students.     Then, one day, she radically transformed herself into ‘The Great Kat’, dressed in...

John Lee Hooker Jr.

“Like father, like son” goes the English phrase.   And in many ways that is true for leading blues artists John Lee Hooker and his son, John Lee Hooker Jr., as they both share similar values and have led extraordinary lives.    Tracks like ‘Boogie Chillen' (1948), ‘Boom Boom’ (1962), and ‘One Bourbon, One...

John Lee Hooker

He was known as “The King of Boogie”, a pillar in not only blues music, but a figure who transcended time and space, a true artistic legend, from his meager beginnings with his slow, bluesy approach on a simple guitar, to the heights of stardom even into his 70s, always listened to, heard, and everybody wanted a piece of him. John Lee Hooker...

Jerry Garcia

In 1959 Cortázar wrote a story called The Pursuer in memory of the great Charlie Parker, where a saxophonist tries to penetrate reality through the notes of his sax, it seems to me a good analogy to Jerry Garcia, an insatiable pursuer of notes, (possibly the rock guitarist with the most hours recorded) not always inspired but in search of nirvana...

Ray Davies - Our Country: Americana Act II (2018)

Ex-Kink Ray Davies is clearly fascinated by America’s contradictions of excitement and glamour on the one hand, and wild - often brutally violent - behaviour on the other.    Our Country: Americana Act II (released 29 June on Sony Legacy) explores these themes, but it is also part of a much bigger project. In 2013...

Lou Reed - Rock 'n' Roll Animal (1974)

In 1973 Lou Reed had recorded the most ambitious and depressing album of his career, Berlin. An album in which he depended on a number of elite players such as Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Aynsley Dunbar, and the Brecker brothers, and also a pair of ace session guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner. When Reed wanted to introduce the record live,...

Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani is the most commercially successful instrumental guitar soloist the world has ever seen. He has 6 gold and platinum records, has sold over 10 million copies to date, and has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards so far. Impressive street creds indeed! So how did this all begin? On September 18, 1970, the legendary Jimi Hendrix...

Florence + The Machine - High As Hope (2018)

High as Hope (released 29 June 2018 on Republic/Virgin EMI Records) is the fourth studio album by Florence and the Machine, following 2015’s How Big How Blue How Beautiful. Both albums are intimate and theatrical in style, but to write her latest album lead singer/songwriter Florence Welch reportedly quit alcohol, read books and...

Johnny Winter - Second Winter (1969)

Johnny “the Texas Albino” Winter cut his second record for Columbia Records in 1969 titled Second Winter, an 11-song, 3-sided album (2 LPs, the fourth side was left blank) that some consider to be his finest work. It shows the famed bluesman in something of a transitional move towards rock and roll, honky-tonk, and swing, with raging energy and...

Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is one of the most influential guitarists in history. Few have made more people buy a guitar looking to unravel his sound. McGuinn is to Rickenbacker what Chet Atkins is to Gretsch, the man who comes to mind when you think of one of these guitars. Perhaps there were others before him who played one, but it seems evident who Tom Petty,...

Wilko Johnson - Blow Your Mind (2018)

So the man is back with Blow Your Mind, (15 June 2018; Chess/UMC) containing 12 new songs, on an album he never thought he’d live to see.       Ex-Dr Feelgood guitar legend Wilko Johnson returned in 2012 following his ‘terminal’ pancreatic cancer diagnosis by recording Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey, which...

Syd Barrett

Of all the rock stories full of myths, legends, and tortured souls, perhaps none is more tragic than that of Syd Barrett, the crazy diamond who created Pink Floyd, and shone a brilliant light for a short time until completely vanishing into the darkness. It’s impossible to separate Barrett from his legend, unlike others, Barrett didn’t die...