Unplugged

The Dream Syndicate - These Times (2019)

Californian-band The Dream Syndicate’s latest album, These Times (3 May 2019; Anti-) in many ways has the feel of a straight-forward road album, although the image they have chosen for the cover evokes a kind of psychedelic river trip. Either way, the journey is without doubt worth making.   Following 2017’s well-received...

The Who - Tommy (1969)

Tommy is one of those albums that is much more than an album, Tommy was quite an event that turned The Who into a group as popular as the Beatles and Stones. In its time it was considered to be the first rock opera in history and had a tremendous impact on its contemporaries, it may not be true but it was the album that best exemplified the concept...

Chuck Morrongiello

Chuck Morrongiello was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 19, 1960. We met on the occasion of the release of The Greatest Love (2016), the last album by Marty Balin (January 30, 1942 - September 27, 2018), the legendary American musician who is known for being the lead singer, composer and founder of the band Jefferson Airplane. Chuck was the last...

Johnny 'Guitar' Watson

Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson is one of those men who has fallen unjustly into oblivion. In the 50s he took his guitar into space with his innovative flashy style, without the need for a pick he found a vocal sound in the best tradition of Texan blues, by making his guitar sing. In the 60s he was crowned the gangster of love and the 70s saw him as a...

Little Steven - Summer Of Sorcery (2019)

Steven Van Zandt is one confident dude.   He sees the world as being in a disastrous state - “It’s unbelievable what’s going on; we’re in a civil war here” - and so decides to make an album, Summer of Sorcery (3 May 2019; Wicked Cool/UME), as celebratory and as sunny as could be. And then he organizes a huge world tour to...

Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)

At the end of 1968 Neil Young was quite disoriented, and he continued pretty lost after leaving Buffalo Springfield with a first solo album that, in his own words, had too many 'pre-recordings'. But then he listened to an album that he liked a lot; namely the debut album by the Californian band The Rockets. Young had known of them from the...

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach and the Black Keys have been central to keeping the flame of rock alive in the 21st century, making their music ring out beyond the homes of the longtime fans of that music and having managed to convert more than one millennial to the religion of rock & roll and guitars. That is just one reason why we would hold him in the...

The Wildhearts - Renaissance Men (2019)

It must have been a hugely traumatic concert in Berlin with The Head Cat (Lemmy’s rockabilly group), because afterwards Ginger Wildheart said that he never wanted to play another acoustic set again in his life. “There was me and a friend on stage with acoustic guitars and thousands of Motörhead fans; to say it went down badly would be...

Erja Lyytinen

Erja Lyytinen (7 July, 1976) is a Finnish guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.   Lyytinen’s debut record was Attention! in 2002, and since then she has released a further 10 studio albums, including her current record Another World, which she describes as “stepping into new territory, musically and spiritually… discovering the...

Bob Seger - Night Moves (1976)

‘Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight’, as the saying goes, and one gent who knows that to be true is American rock God Bob Seger, the Detroit native kicked around in various bands like The Decibels, The Town Criers, and Doug Brown & the Omens, then fronted his own groups called Bob Seger and the Last Heard, then The Bob...

Erja Lyytinen - Another World (2019)

Finn Erja Lyytinen’s latest self-produced album Another World (26 April, Tuohi Records) is a real treat for guitar lovers everywhere.   The European Blues Award Winner is well established as a blues artist but recently her music has tended more towards 80s rock and metal. On her latest record she has also brought in American...

Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger (1975)

In 1975 Willie Nelson had definitively ‘found himself’. This is because the key elements that led to the discovery of the Nelson that we all know today were: firstly, in 1969, when he took control of Trigger, a classic Martin N-20 with nylon strings (on which he added the pickup from his old Baldwin to amplify its sound). When he received...

Duane Eddy

It was the dawn of rock & roll in the mid-50s, a hopping bopping rock & roll played by such names as Dick Dale, Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, and Paul Anka, while the radio was humming to the sounds of bands like Bill Haley and the Comets, The Corsairs, and The Isley Brothers, to mention a few of the many. These were fun times with plenty...

Steve Earle - Guy (2019)

When American Steve Earle was 14 he ran away from home to try and seek out his guitar idol Townes Van Zandt, and when he was 19 he hitch-hiked from San Antonio to Nashville and came across Guy Clark; and both became his lifelong friends, musical colleagues and guides. “When it comes to mentors, I’m glad I had both,” says Earle....

Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain (1984)

Prince's career was built gradually until ‘the final assault’ of Purple Rain. Prince was first seen as the heir to Stevie Wonder with his first two albums; then Dirty Mind was his critical consolidation, 1999 his first massive success and later came Purple Rain, the definitive peak of his career, which consolidated him as a pop star with a...

Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton was always ahead of the rest, in high school he got together with a boy 3 years older than him to play, his name was David Jones, but the world would end up knowing him as David Bowie, at 16 he hung out with members of the Beatles and the Stones as lead singer of The Herd, at 18 he formed a band with his idol, Steve Marriott, and at...

Skip Spence

In the life of Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence it is difficult to tell the reality apart from the legend, the perspective is lost on someone who played in three of the most important bands of the burgeoning psychedelia, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and Moby Grape, yet ended up homeless. Someone who released his first solo album...

The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones (1964)

In April 1964 The Rolling Stones released their eponymous debut album with what Keith Richards described as half-comprised mixes, mostly all covers and rushed to the market by then producer Andrew Loog Oldham; it was cut in just 5 days. It was, however, what knocked the Beatles off their top spot in the U.K. charts at #1. But certainly the haste in...

Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer was born on April 10, 1959, in Massapequa, New York, the very same year Buddy Holly had died on February 3, Elvis was halfway through his 2 years of military service, Little Richard had quit rock & roll to find religion, Chuck Berry had various problems with the law, and Jerry Lewis was losing his career due to his scandalous...