September 26, 2012 |
At 66, Bettye LaVette is celebrating her 50th year in the music business. In 1962, as a Detroit teenager, she had a Top 10 R&B hit with the upbeat "My Man - He's a Lovin' Man. " Three years later, when just 19, LaVette was singing a sadder song - a classic of world-weary heartache called "Let Me Down Easy" - that also made it into the Top 20. The hits did not keep on coming. And as LaVette makes plain in her new memoir A Woman Like Me (Blue Rider Press, $26.95), the decades that followed mostly found one of America's great soul singers struggling in obscurity, victimized by bad record deals, rotten luck, and her own poor decisions.
July 16, 2012 |
On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan stepped onstage at the Newport Folk Festival, plugged in an electric guitar, and changed the course of pop music history. The performance caused a furious reaction. The crowd booed loudly, and folk icon Pete Seeger tried to stop the show. Dylan and his band retreated after three songs, coming back to play an acoustic set. Still, Dylan's provocative move has long been pointed to as a key moment when electric rock music eclipsed folk as the sound of the '60s generation.
June 15, 2012 |
Retro-soul music's been in fashion for the last decade on both sides of the Atlantic. But while there is no shortage of Stax-style soul-shouters and postmodern Motown acolytes out and about, there has been a dearth of acoustic soul revivalists bringing back the earthy 1970s vibes of such natural-born soul men as Bill Withers, Terry Callier, and Van Morrison. That's where Michael Kiwanuka comes in. The 24-year-old jazz-schooled singer and guitarist of Ugandan parentage hails from the Muswell Hill section of North London, where the Davies brothers of the Kinks grew up. Kiwanuka possesses a rich, grainy voice that communicates extraordinary calm.
April 20, 2012 |
Levon Helm, 71, the Arkansas-born drummer and singer for The Band, the four-fifths Canadian ensemble whose music in the 1960s and '70s, some of it with Bob Dylan, endures as a high-water mark of quintessential American rock-and-roll, died Thursday of complications from cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. "Levon Helm passed peacefully," according to an announcement on his website. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
April 19, 2012 |
Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born drummer and singer for The Band, the four-fifths Canadian ensemble whose music in the 1960's and '70s, some of it with Bob Dylan, endures as a high-water mark of quintessential American rock and roll, has died of cancer. He was 71. "Levon Helm passed peacefully [Thursday] afternoon," according to an announcement on his official Website. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
February 14, 2012 |
WANT TO warm your Valentine's heart today? Do it with an album of classic romantic music, newly reinvigorated. Or with fresh-baked originals offering curious takes on love. MACCA MAGIC: Can't say I was enthralled with his last, symphonic effort. But Paul McCartney 's entry in the American songbook, "Kisses From the Bottom" (Hear/Concord, A) is the total charmer. Surrounded by a top team of tasteful jazz/pop talents - producer Tommy LiPuma, keyboardist/arranger Diana Krall, guitarist John Pizzarelli, engineer Al Schmitt - Macca brings multiple voices, oft surprisingly frail but effective, and childhood memories as he celebrates songs largely introduced to him by his dad and which surely influenced his own compositional nature.
November 7, 2011
TOM KLINE and his playwright son, Zac Kline, are hosting a seminar on Bob Dylan and the law on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Wilma Theater. The event includes a discussion on how Dylan's music relates to the justice system and will point out references to his lyrics in case law, including opinions written by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia. The program also will feature music by singer/songwriter Howard Fishman and his band and a guest appearance and signing by Seth Rogovoy, author of "Bob Dylan: Music-Mystic-Poet.
November 7, 2011
"Chillin' Wit . . . " is a regular feature of the Daily News spotlighting a name in the news away from the job. TOM KLINE sits at his glossy dining-room table inside his Center City apartment and sips orange juice - that he just squeezed - out of a tall, flute-like glass. The table, set against a dizzying view of the city and adorned with a silver candelabra and glass vase filled with fresh white roses and pink tiger lilies, is heaped with books about Bob Dylan. This is Tom Kline unmiked.
August 19, 2011 |
Bob Dylan is so old and weird and vocally ravaged that there's been muttering on the Internet and in more respectable quarters that the septuagenarian bard should bring the Never-Ending Tour to an end, and hang up his rock-and-roll shoes for good. Balderdash. On Wednesday night, Dylan played the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park. Sure, he often sounded like a dying bullfrog scat-singing difficult-to-decipher Bob Dylan songs. (Was that "Leopard-Skin Pillbox-Hat" he opened with, in a predictably unfamiliar arrangement?
May 29, 2011
Tom Moon is the author of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die There really is no good reason for Bob Dylan to show up for work these days. His reputation is secure. His songs occupy their own wing in the pop-culture archive. He's the rare legend who doesn't have to go out and earn any new respect - as evidenced by the gazillion "how Bob changed my life" testimonials flooding the Internet in the wake of his 70th birthday last week. Yet there he is. On the road. Performing.