CD and Blu-Ray Reviews for 3-9-12

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Title: Sam Lewis - Sammy Sings Songs

Genre: Americana, Country, And Vintage R&B

Description: With his rich soulful vocals, well-crafted songs, and passel of hot pickers, Sam Lewis' first album is a treasure trove of roots country and blue-eyed soul. Kenny Vaughn's electric guitar twang combines with Reggie Bradley Smith's keyboard and accordion to form the harmonic core, while Dave Jacques bass and Derek Mixon's drums do the rhythmic heavy lifting. 

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Special Consensus - Scratch Gravel Road

Genre: Bluegrass

Description: For 37 years Special Consensus has churned out original and authentic bluegrass. Lead by banjo master Greg Cahill, this sixteenth installment to Special Consensus' discography features Rick Farris on mandolin, David Thomas on bass, and Dustin Benson on guitar. Stuart Duncan on fiddle and producer Alison Brown on banjo lend their unique talents on several cuts. 

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Yarn - Almost Home

Genre: Country, Roots Rock

Description: Yarn's fourth album continues the band's upward and outward trajectory. More songs about drinking and the aftermath from drinking populate the album (which was the focus of much of the material on their previous albums). Financed principally through KickStarter, Almost Home features spare yet focused arrangements, and some nice vocal harmonies.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Brad Brooks - Harmony of Pricing Light

Genre: Rock, Olde-School Funk, Psychedelic,

Description: This album comes out of left field to slap you upside the head. With his Gumby-elastic voice, penchant for mid-60's sonic textures, and knack for creating catchy tunes, Brad Brooks is never boring or clichéd. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Brooks demonstrates that modern intellectual rock isn't moribund.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Music City Roots - Live from the Loveless Café - Season One

Genre: Roots, Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, Singer-Songwriter

Description: Culled from a season's worth of live performances, this album features the likes of Nanci Griffith, Jim Lauderdale, Scott Miller, Charlie Louvin, and Mike Farris. Well-recorded, with enough room ambience to make it more than merely a board mix, this album captures some heartfelt and unvarnished musical moments. 

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 7.5

 

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Title: The B-52s - With The Wild Crowd - Live in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock, Pop, and Dance

Description: Thirty-four years after their debut concert, The B-52s decided to celebrate the event by staging a deluxe event and then documenting it. The results on this Blu-Ray are spirited and should amply satisfy their fans. With twenty tunes, including mega-hits "Rock Lobster," "Private Idaho," and "Love Shack," the group may look older, but they sure don't look tired.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8.5

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