quinta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2017

Lowell Levinger - Down to the Roots

Lowell Levinger - Down to the Roots - 2014 

from BostonBlues.com
You may not recognize the name, Lowell Levinger, but most of you may well have heard him performing as  Banana, seminal member of the ‘60s group, The Youngbloods. Today, adopting the name of a fruit would not raise an eyebrow, but in the 1962 Boston metro scene it was definitely bizarre. His raison d’être was  imarily to draw attention to the musical group he nominally led, Banana and the Bunch, Old Timey Music with a peel. Another member of that group Rick Turner, (some of you may remember him as sideman for Canadian folksters, Ian & Sylvia) recently commented “We wound up being sort of the mascots of the previous generation of Boston/Cambridge folkies… definitely a bit more psychedelic… the next generation of folk weirdoes.”

Today, his passion for vintage stringed instruments keeps him in the material necessities of life, but making music is still the balm of his spirit of which this all acoustic blues-driven album is ample proof.

Levinger has a clear and distinct voice with just enough gnarliness to flavor each and every phrase with the proper touch of passion. The sidemen vary from cut to cut indicating this compilation was assembled, I presume, from recordings made over a period and perhaps in different locations.

The program lifts off with “Married To The Blues “and with Ry Cooder on slide guitar lending delicate nuances to the vocal performance. Barry Melton does the same a bit later on “Love Is A Five Letter Word” and Dave Grisman provides an exquisite touch to “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me,” a bit of an homage I thought to Jim Kweskin’s version of the same, and to the classic “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” restrained and passionate all at once.

There are 15 cuts, classics, some obscure, some originals, but not a throwaway among them, covering a wide range of blues stylings, country, funk, jazz and pop, and Neapolitan(?) (“L’Italiano” a bonus track) lovingly produced and with Levinger’s instrumental technique leading on most of them, each re-listening reveals further subtleties that charm this writer’s ears. This CD may be hard to find, but well worth your effort.

01. Married To The Blues
02. Love Is a Five Letter Word
03. Blue Morning - Good Day For The Blues
04. Like a Road
05. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me
06. I'll Do Anything But Work
07. Blue Monday
08. Just Can't Quit The Blues e
09. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
10. Blue Driver
11. If You Got To Make a Fool of Someday
12. Corrina Corrina
13. Precious Gold
14. Riding With The Kings
15. L'italiano


segunda-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2017

Reeves Gabrels & Bill Nelson - Fantastic Guitars

Reeves Gabrels & Bill Nelson - Fantastic Guitars - 2014

Long time David Bowie collaborator and now lead guitarist of The Cure, Reeves Gabrels, has been a friend of Bill Nelson for over 20 years. During that time a collaboration has often been discussed but it was only recently that serious plans were made for the two guitarists to record together. The result is 'Fantastic Guitars,' an album of guitar instrumentals that marries their playing in a unique and exciting way. If you love electric guitars they don't get more astonishingly electric than this!

01. And The Train Left The Station Trailing Sparks And Stars
02. Infernal Appartatus
03. Revenge Of The Coda Kings
04. A Brilliant Night For Rain
05. Ghosts Behind Glass
06. Ambiguity
07. Honeybee In Autumn
08. Orange Turning Black
09. Santos
10. Radio Andalusia
11. Fantastic Guitars



terça-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2017

Lowell Levinger - Get Together - Banana Recalls Youngbloods Classics

Lowell Levinger - Get Together - Banana Recalls Youngbloods Classics - 2015

An exciting new look at the Youngblood’s most popular songs, rearranged and recorded with new life by Lowell Levinger with guests such as Jesse Colin Young, David Grisman, Ry Cooder and a host of others.

Levinger, one of the original founding members of the band along with Young has infused this release with the same eclectic, fun-loving energy that the Youngbloods put into their shows. This Collectors Edition is guaranteed to inspire a new generation and some old fans to embrace the magic created in those Youngblood years.


01. Grizzly Bear
02. Supersonic Transport
03. Darkness Darkness
04. Pool Hall Song
05. Interlude
06. Hippie from Olema
07. Euphoria
08. On Sir Francis Drake
09. Eyes Eyes
10. Stagger Lee
11. Get Together
12. Sugar Babe