Shadows In The Night Bob Dylan
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

This is Bob Dylan's first release since 2012.  The legend is powerful, 
compelling, dramatic all the way through.  The man does Sinatra and Ray Charles 
("that lucky old sun") proud.  Bob isn't covering these songs, he's "uncovering 
them."  Don't get me wrong--these ain't highway 61 re-revisted.  These are 
classics.  All the other songwriters are scared kittens.  He's created the 
largest body of work worth listening to, he is a classic.  His work are classics. 
Singing it all in that intense howl of his.  He's a mystery tramp with his 
boot heels wandering all over the map of American music.  I saw Robert 
Zimmerman at the gaslight cafe in NYC back in the good old days, I swear.
Did he sing "God said to Abraham/kill me a son/Abe said man you must be 
puttin' me on/god said no/Abe said what/god said you can do what you want to 
Abe.  But the next time you see me comin' you better run/Abe said where you 
want this killing done/ god said out on highway sixty-one.  I hope he sang it 
that day, 'cause i've been carrying with me for years. 

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The Rose of No-Man's Land Nell Robinson
Nell Robinson Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Nell presents lush vocal quality and artisan story-telling.  Her guests 
include Kris Kristofferson, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, John Doe and more.  Her 
honey-coated sweet sound is one of the most affecting voices I've ever heard.

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Strings Attached Ian Hunter
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Ian hunter, the former lead singer of Mott the Hoople, is still rocking 
out.  In 2002 he released a double album recorded live in Oslo.  He featured 
classics from the Mott era as well as solo cuts for his individual days.  The 
blend of hard-edged sentimentality and street smarts has highlighted his work.  
Ian belts barroom blues, croons caberet and explores heartbreaking 
life-affirming sounds.  Hunter mixes tenderness and toughness, irony and compassion. 
He combines the swagger of the rolling stones with the poetic fervor an 
early Bob Dylan.  This sounds like an audacious idea, but Ian Hunter pulled it 
off.  Ian and band were the first to play broadway and started a riot at 
London's Albert Hall.  When David Bowie did some rock and roll slumming he 
teamed with Mott the Hoople and Ian hunter. 

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Lost Title Tracks Title Trackers
Title Trackers

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

"Lost Title Tracks" is a loving parody of the Title Trackers favorite 
classic rock artists.  The band has written and recorded the title tracks that 
their heroes never did.  Artists like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce 
Springsteen, The Doors, Tom Petty, The Who and many more artists are covered but 
didn't show up.  This fine album is an entirely different approach, wild and 
uninhibited yet still focused and deliberate.  The performance are more about 
passionate abandon and nuanced phrasing than perfect pitch.  The Title 
Trackers scream and sing and cry.

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Now - Chicago XXXVI Chicago
Frontiers Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Putting aside an awesome accumulation of honors, awards, accomplishments, 
numbers and peer respect, this remarkable group of talented musicians 
continues to make history.  With a new recording process geared toward musical 
excellence, doing the business of music NOW, while recording with the logistical 
realities of a world-wide touring band.  These former furry-headed guys employ 
a lot of horn players and still dabble in fusion-rock.  They were and always 
will be soft-rock maestros.  They remain unmatched in the category of 
loosened-tie, high energy r & b vocalists.  The operates drama is still in their 
voices, their on-the-beat-phrasing and their clear high range is still 
amazing. 

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Jack of All Trades Scott Cooper
CD Baby

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

There was a time when I was the "Prince of the City."  That's New York City, 
chump.  I even had a t-shirt that I wore proudly that passed that 
information on to everyone.  I won't tell you why. There's enough trouble in my life 
already.  I don't need more, twenty five years ago I moved to Santa Cruz.  It's 
a long story. Once here I needed help and one of my great helpers was Scott 
Cooper, a musician and journalist.  What a musician!  He sounds like his 
heart is breaking. "Jack of all Trades" is so perfect, so unfiltered and he 
really embraces his hillbilly soul. 

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Listen To This Cheryl Barnes
Barnes & Cabasso Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

What sets this project apart is the incredible voice of Cheryl Barnes, 
every word she sings is with a beauty and clarity all its own which takes the 
listener on a journey as each story reveals itself.  This is a manifesto. I've 
been heavy into rock and roll for many years, but they've created something 
that goes beyond anything.  

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Familiars The Antlers
ANTI Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

I was real lucky to check the antlers out in San Francisco last year.  The 
threesome painted their lyrics in the hall.  The words define every aspect of 
their being.  "Familiars" is their most ambitious experiment.  They meditate 
about the painful ambivalence of a love affair. 

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Motion Calvin Harris
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Does the cat have legs?  Well he's worked with Rihanna, Gwen Stefani and 
many others.  He's been called the highest paid DJ in the world.  He's a 
Grammy-winning British musician. legs...and he knows how to use them.  Calvin 
Harris' music will make you happy.  That's what music ought to do.  The 
abject singing make the lyrics sound genuinely humane.

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A New Place To Begin Ray Price
Varese Sarabande

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Ray Price covered--and kicked up--as much musical turf as any country 
singer of the postwar era.  He's been lionized as the man who saved hard country 
when Nashville went pop, and vilified as the man who went pop when hard 
country was calling its own name with pride.  Actually he always was no more than 
a musically ambitious singer, always looking for the next challenge for a 
voice that could bring down roadhouse walls.  "A New Place to Begin" features 
some of the finest recordings ray price ever made.  This is just the tip of 
the iceberg, showing a whole untapped source of country and blues he had at 
his fingertips.

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Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones Sammy Kershaw
BIG HIT RECORDS

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Sammy Kershaw rode in on the new traditionalist wave in the early '90s, 
finding success with a penchant for ballads and a blend of updated honky tonk 
(especially the vocal stylings of george jones), southern rock and a hint of 
cajun flavor.  He is a multi-platinum selling artist whose history includes 
six gold and five platinum albums.  At first listen he may not sound like a 
great singer, but he has a unique method of sincerity.  I never hear anything 
that he sings that I do not believe. 

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Survival Sounds RUBBLEBUCKET
Communion Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

"Just press play on "Survival Sounds" and feel your body start to move", so 
says Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons.  They are equally powerful and entirely 
distinctive whether the music is pop, jazz, ballads or rock. 

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Live At The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern 1993 The Jeff Healey Band
Eagle Rock Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The late Jeff Healey is a true guitar god, who truly opened up when he 
played with others, either with members of his band or others.  He found common 
ground between raw power and down home charm.  This album is a screaming, 
pleading burst of rock and roll. 

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Hozier Hozier
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The Irish musician Hozier has released his self-titled debut album and what 
a gem it is.  It will stick around forever and a day.  There are singers with 
a more naturally beautiful voice than his dramatic, powdery baritone, but 
nobody in rock is as gifted.  He always keeps his cool, but as anyone who's 
crashed and burned trying to sing like him has learned he is an amazingly 
gifted singer.  The kid can wail. 

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Lazaretto Jack White
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

When the White Stripes started in 1997 no one, least of all Jack, expected 
that a red, white and black two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream 
world.  To date, Jack has won nine Grammys in seven different categories. 
Jack and his wife, Meg, rewired the blues for a new generation.  They wrenched 
all kinds of deliciously brooding melodies out of their ragged 
coffee-and-cigarette sound.  Jack's tortured howl is still there.  There's so
much going on  in his voice, a lot of pain, a lot of life, but, most of all,
a lot of strength. 

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Paperwork T.I. Trent Reznor
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

One of the most buzzed-about recent albums is by hip hop trailblazer T.I. 
the dude is globally recognized and is given a golden opportunity here to 
show all of his diverse talents.  His stewardship of innovative label grand 
hustle proves him as a groundbreaking multi-platinum entrepeneur.  T.I.'s 
multiple tv, digital and branding endeavors has made him a catalyst for some of the 
industry's most exciting creative partnerships, including here with 
Pharrell, Chris Brown, Usher, Iggy Azalea and more.  "Paperwork" is a classic of 
wise ass rap with teen punks, jesus freaks, party girls, hard drugs and catholic 
angst. 

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Sons of Anarchy 3 Various Artists
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

As a classic anarchist when I want to listen to pure songs of destuction, 
not just anger, I'll play Utah Phillips not Leanard Cohen.  This is the third 
installment of music to FX highest rated series, "Sons of Anarchy."  But real 
anarchists are more than just violent extremists.  They want to destroy 
capitalism, where a few get wealthy thanks to the labor of the many.  They demand 
a greater real sharing of the wealth.  Here we are pleased by blues-folk, 
gritty, heartfelt, beautiful tunes.  These are anthems which are so real that 
everyone can say "that's me."  The cuts are knockouts by fantastic performers. 
But anarchy? not even close. 

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Hope Susan Boyle
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Singing sensation Susan Boyle catapulted to international stardom in 2009. 
She has sold over 22 million albums.  With "Hope" she heralds a new era of 
music, where ballads marry with uptempo songs.  Susan's raw and powerful vocals 
ranging from the ethereal to the dramatic are showcased in  her own 
inimitable style.  Susan also fearlessly takes on the iconic John Lennon song, 
"Imagine" giving it a new identity.  I wonder if she imagines no heaven, because 
it's easy if she tries.  Some songs lean right up against the glass.  The album 
is beautiful, especially when she splashes the glass. 

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Spirit Of 67 Vanilla Fudge
Cleopatra

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Vanilla Fudge are one of the most revolutionary bands of their era--a 
powerhouse outfit cited as the missing link between '60s psychedelic rock and the 
'70s heavy metal explosion.  Along with Iron Butterfly they helped lay the 
foundation for heavy metal.  The group layered guitars, organ and thundering 
drums into a thick cloud of sonic excess.  They covered "you keep me hangin' 
on" for a top 10 hit.  Led Zeppelin opened for them in 1968.  Vince Martell, 
Mark Stein, Tim Bogert and, the one and only, Carmine Appice smoked their 
drums while playing heavy metal as god intended, they were and are a blistering 
workout from start to finish.  It was a moment when the entire world of music 
was being turned upside down and given a good shake.  Vanilla fudge got a 
lot of people excited to start making music for the first time.  But they had a 
galvanizing effect on people who were already in bands, to reassess 
themselves and try something different. 

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Cut Me Loose Magnus Berg
Screen Door Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The blues literally reaches across all boundaries.  Adding to its seemingly 
mystic power to entrance musicians is the ongoing phenomenon of amazingly 
young aspirants.  Magnus Berg's "Cut Me Loose" is a powerful and mystical and 
spooky album, it's for me.  This where the soul of man never dies. 

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Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life Ronnie James Dio
Rhino

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Ronnie James Dio spent his professional life with Rainbow, Black Sabbath 
and Solo before he lost his life to stomach cancer in 2010.  His towering voice 
and legacy live on.  To celebrate one of rock's most powerful voices, an 
all-star group of his friends and fans recorded 13 of their favorite tracks for 
a tribute album.  The album includes contributions metal heavyweights 
including Metallica, Motorhead, Scorpions, Anthrax and Rob Halford, etc. 
Fittingly, Ronnie James Dio provides the finale with the moving performance of the 
title track.  We will never hear a voice like Dio's again.  His gutsy 
melodramatic delivery is there.  I like rock and roll that rips your head off, and he does that for me.  If you want to see a picture of ronnie and this fan 
check out this website. 

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