Joan Baez – Diamond and Rust in the Bullring
- Analogue Productions 200g Virgin Vinyl
- Mastered from the original analog tape by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Tip-on jacket by Stoughton Printing, Deluxe highest quality jackets and rice paper sleeves
- Diamonds and Rust
- Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
- No Woman No Cry
- Famous Blue Raincoat
- Swing Low Sweet Chariot
- Let It Be
- El Preso Numero Nueve
- Llego Con Tres Heridas
- Txoria Txori
- Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Sola)
- Gracias A La Vida
- No Nos Moveran
When I saw this LP in an email from Acoustic Sounds, I was shocked. I thought I had heard every Baez album she released, but somehow this one had escaped me. Chad at Analogue Productions has brought us this rare album on both 200-gram vinyl and SACD. It was mastered from the original analog tape by Kevin Grat at Coherent Audo and pressed at QRP.
The album gives us a 1988 performance by Baez in a bullring in Bilbao, Spain. The performance was dedicated to the mayor of Bilbao. I think this LP will give you insight into why she was an international success and so much more than a folk singer. Side one consists of a collection of songs she sang in English and side two gives us the songs she sang in Spanish. I slightly prefer side two and no, I don’t speak Spanish.
Like I said, I had never heard this LP, but I can’t believe how good it is. Of course, the title cut is great, but there is music on here that I had not heard her sing before. I loved hearing her sing “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Let It Be,” “Txoria Txori” and “Llego Con Tres Heridas.” What great music! Don’t miss this one.
Eleanor McEvoy – Naked Music 180g LP & CD
- Wrong So Wrong
- Dreaming Of Leaving
- Deliver Me
- Whisper A Prayer To The Moon
- Heaven Help Us
- Land In The Water
- Please Heart You’re Killing Me
- The DJ
- Lubbock Woman
- Look Like Me
- Half Out Of Habit
- Isn’t It A Little Late
- Oft In The Stilly Night
- The Thought Of You
Eleanor McEvoy is known as one of Ireland’s most accomplished singers and songwriters. That is how I have known her and loved her. She recorded this new album alone in the studio to create an intimate collection of her music at its most raw. This special collection sees the Dubliner singer/songwriter choosing songs from her catalog and stripping them to their barest bones and re-recording them. Most of the album is one instrument, one voice, performed as if live. A few cuts on occasion have keyboards and minimal percussion.
Eleanor McEvoy says, ’’It’s a collaboration with the wonderful British artist Chris Gollon, I’ve revisited songs from my catalog, with a couple of new ones, and recorded them as live, one woman, one voice in the Grange studio in Norfolk. It’s very exposed intimacy & Chris has continued this theme in his magnificent paintings. He’s painted a picture for every song on the album. We are launching the album and the exhibition in Gallery Different in London in January.”
In an article in The Irish Times they say of Naked Music, “It may not gather in any new fans, but these versions offer a refreshing perspective on some truly durable and enjoyable tunes from McEvoy’s canon.” I don’t know many of her fans, but this one really likes this album.
Santana – Santana IV 180g 2LPs
- Shake It
- Anywhere You Want To Go
- Fillmore East
- Love Makes the World Go Round (feat. Ronald Isley)
- Freedom In Your Mind (feat. Ronald Isley)
- Choo Choo / All Aboard
- Blues Magic / Echizo
- Leave Me Alone
- You and I
- Come As You Are
There has been a lot of buzz about this studio album because it’s the first time Santana has reunited the revered early ’70s lineup. We get Carlos Santana on guitar and vocals, Gregg Rolie on keyboards and vocals, Neal Schon on guitar and vocals, Michael Carabello playing percussion and Michael Shrieve on the drums. The album signifies the first time in 45 years, since 1971’s classic Santana III, that the quintet has recorded together.
Now, that’s the good news; the bad news is like every Santana album starting with the 1999 Supernatural the sound is just too compressed. That would be bad enough for any album, and most pop albums have been that way for the last 20 years, but for this kind of music, it’s a huge disappointment. The music is good, the vinyl is flat and quiet, but I just find it a big disappointment when it comes to moving me emotionally. It doesn’t!
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant
180g High Quality Pressing
Re-mastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Arlo Guthrie, vocals, guitar
- Alice’s Restaurant Masacree
- Chilling Of the Evening
- Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag
- Now and Then
- I’m Going Home
- The Motorcycle Song
- Highway In the Wind
If you remember this album then either you are over 55, just a little bit weird or probably both. If you’re like me, and you decide to purchase this LP, then you are definitely weird. This has to be the strangest war protest album that I heard and considering my age, I heard most of them.
This was Arlo Guthrie’s debut album, released in 1967. The entire first side is the song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” It is a satirical, first-person account of 1960s counterculture. In addition to being a hit song, it inspired the 1969 film, also named Alice’s Restaurant. The song is one of Guthrie’s most prominent works, based on a true incident from his life that began on Thanksgiving Day 1965 with a citation for littering, and ended with the refusal of the U.S. Army to draft him because of his conviction for that crime. The ironic punch line of the story is that, in the words of Guthrie, “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army—burn women, kids, houses, and villages—after bein’ a litterbug.” The final part of the song is an encouragement for the listeners to sing along, to resist the draft, and to end the war.
The songs on side two are equally quirky and quite fun. I especially enjoyed “Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag” and “The Motorcycle Song.” This is definitely not an album to purchase for its sound but for the entertainment value. Entertainment alone doesn’t make great music, but sometimes it’s enough for me. I don’t know if I can recommend it, but I’m glad I bought it. I had picked up a used copy years ago, but it was so noisy that I didn’t keep it. This one I’ll keep.
Willie Nelson – Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin
- But Not For Me
- Somebody Loves Me
- Someone To Watch Over Me
- Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off , featuring Cyndi Lauper
- It Ain’t Necessarily So
- I Got Rhythm
- Love Is Here To Stay
- They All Laughed
- Embraceable You – feat. Sheryl Crow
- They Can’t Take That Away From Me
If you buy this LP thinking it’s basically “Stardust Vol. II,” you will be disappointed. Of course, when Stardust came out it was a disappointment to many of his Outlaw Country fans, but not to millions of new fans who came to love Willie. Summertime was his quintuple-platinum 1978 set of old-school pop standards like “Georgia On My Mind,” “All Of Me,” and “Blue Skies.” Most of these songs were sung as ballads and Willie did them as no one had before.
Summertime is not all ballads. For example, there’s the little swinging song “Somebody Loves Me” that Willie skips through. It was a hit for the Canadian choirboys The Four Lads back in 1952. Then there is Willie singing with Cyndi Lauper as she gives us her best Betty Boop to a completely adorable version of “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” It’s not that these and others like them on the album aren’t great, they are. Still, they would be very out of place on the Stardust album.
There are songs here Willie can sing as ballads, and he does. He brings back one of the great songs from the Stardust album, “Someone To Watch Over Me.” In contrast to 38 years ago, his voice is not quite what it was, but his incredible phrasing is still here in all its glory. Another very special song on this album is when Willie sings “Embraceable You” with Sheryl Crow. Maybe, not as good as Stardust but still an album I’m glad to own and listen to.
Copy editor: Laurence A. Borden
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