Author: Edd Hurt

  • Indie-White-Trash Those Darlins Make Good

    Travel, cute boys, and money are just a few of the subjects Those Darlins address on their second full-length, Screws Get Loose, but sometimes it sounds as if these all-over-the-place girls just want to go fishing with, well, a cute boy with cash. Screws Get Loose is a rock ‘n’ roll playpen as envisioned from […]

  • Merle Haggard Is Still A Terrific Bad Actor

    Playing himself in Michael Mabbott’s 2005 country-rock mockumentary The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, Merle Haggard turned in what may be his best performance of the decade. “I’ve never been able to sing when I was dead on my feet, let alone really dead,” he says, referring to the fictional title character, a […]

  • Alex Chilton, Immersed

    By the time I caught up with Alex Chilton in January 1981, he wasn’t exactly living the glamorous life. Back home in Memphis for a few years, the power-pop giant had recently made the solo record Like Flies on Sherbert and—from what I could gather courtesy of my Memphis friends—plenty of trouble around town. Still, […]

  • Bob Dylan’s Postmodern Times

    Bob Dylan can’t even get a decent drink in his wife’s backwater of a hometown, and maybe that’s why he carries a gun during most of his new one, Together Through Life. He’s just an ordinary citizen, looking for someone to love, in “If You Ever Go to Houston,” a town where firearms are probably […]

  • Brad Paisley Salutes Great Women, Guitarists, Puns

    Wait, is that Bill Frisell or Pat Metheny sitting in with Brad Paisley on “Kim,” one of 11 instrumentals on the Nashville guitarist’s marathon, 16-track, guest-picker-rich Play? No, but its darkness relative to the other stuff here (blues shuffle, surf pastiche, Les Paul tribute, B.B. King duet) is startling, even if the tune turns out […]

  • Roy Orbison Delivers Torment Casually, and Schlock Gracefully

    Judging from the inert version of his own “Go! Go! Go!” on disc one of this four-disc, five-hour box set, Roy Orbison wasn’t up to the elementary rhythmic demands of rockabilly. He’d enjoy a minor Sun Records hit in 1956 with “Ooby Dooby” (a piece of graceless nonsense whose title suggests a blind, flightless bird), […]

  • I’m Not Jim Pair with Big-Shot Novelist; Gawkiness Ensues

    A shaky marriage of diffident vocals and charming, amateurish drumming, the Silos might not have invented alt-country on 1987’s Cuba, but leader Walter Salas-Humara wrote simple, effective songs that combined garage-rock drone and shadowed lyricism: “All Falls Away” built itself up from nothing, made itself comfortable with a couple of basic chords, and then nearly […]

  • Stax Re-Emerges: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Floyd

    At its best and most commercial, Stax Records combined earnest experimentation with a rigorous, down-home blues perspective. That air of sober discipline and workmanlike flair carries over into Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere’s Nudge It Up a Notch, which carries the Stax imprint (Concord Music Group recently revived the label) but was cut in Nashville. […]

  • Solomon Burke’s Like a Fire

    Solomon Burke sounds slightly bored with the genteel material that producer Steve Jordan has rounded up for Like a Fire, and despite a shuffling blues ready-made and a (perhaps unintentionally) comic country waltz, the record just lies there. Like what, you ask? All right, like an elephant on a yacht-rock yacht—the opener and title track […]

  • The Brakes’ Tale of Two Cities

    Unlike any number of pop musicians who take refuge in formalism, the Brakes sound like they know all about the way the world can pass you by when you’re looking for a love to call your own. Recorded live last year in New York and back home in Philadelphia, Tale of Two Cities gets structural […]

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