New CD, DVD, and BluRay Reviews Feb 10, 2012

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Title: Linda Chorney - Emotional Jukebox

Genre: Americana?!?, Rock

Description: This album created quite a maelstrom in the Americana category of the Grammys this year. Chorney actively lobbied for her album's inclusion among the Americana finalists. The problem is, it's NOT Americana, but solid MOR singer-songwriter rock. Although well recorded, carefully arranged, and artfully packaged, the music is electric, densely layered, and not rustic enough to fit within what most practitioners would consider Americana. Still, Chorney's got three nice covers here - the Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping," the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper," and Led Zeppelin's "Going to California."

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 7, Sonically - 7

 

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Title: Drew Nelson - Tilt a Whirl

Genre: Americana, Country, Roots Rock

Description: On his fifth album singer/songwriter Drew Nelson adds eleven new tunes to his catalog. The album highlights not only his fine songwriting chops, but also his expressive voice. Produced and engineered by guitarist Michael Crittenden, you'll find some hot licks here, but always in service of the music. David Glasser is responsible for the mastering, and the sound is certainly a notch above standard country fare.

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

 

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Title: Doug MacLeod - Brand New Eyes

Genre: Blues, Acoustic Guitar,

Description: Doug MacLeod has pursued the muse of acoustic blues for more than thirty years. Steeped in Piedmont and Delta blues styles, McLeod continues to refine and explore traditional blues idioms. Recorded in 2009 at the Pacifica Studios, and mastered by Keith O. Johnson, the sonics are intimate and revealing. If you like your music straight with no chaser, Brand New Eyes will hit your blues bull's eye.

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

 

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Title: Renaldo Brahn - Brasileiro Soul

Genre: Latin Jazz, Guitar, Vocals

Description: Renaldo Brahn leads his seven-piece band through fourteen Brazilian jazz originals. Produced by percussionist Jim Brock and recorded by the Reference Recording's own Keith Johnson, the sound is glorious, with a deep soundstage and a wonderful sense of space and location specificity. Although the HDCD-encoded redbook version sounds fine, I can't wait to hear this in high rez...

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 9

 

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Title: Richard Thompson Band - Live at Celtic Connections

Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Folk, Rock,

Description: Richard Thompson has always been a fabulous musician, but as a performer, well, he ain't exactly Lady Gaga. On this live performance BluRay Thompson is as animated and gregarious as I've seen him, looking dashing in his rakishly angled beret. Backed by a fine band that features Pete Zorn on guitar, flute, sax, and mandolin, this BluRay does a super job of delivering a live concert into your living room.

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

 

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Title: Todd Rundgren - Live Concert Performance of the 1974 Album Todd

Genre: Rock

Description: The "Paint another Starry Night..." syndrome has caught up with another aging rocker. I loved Todd Rundgren's groundbreaking albums, Something?Anything? and A Wizard, A True Star, and even Todd had over one LP of great music. But 38 years later, performed live, it just doesn't work. Get the original which rules, and bypass this embarrassing live set.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 5, Sonically - 7

 

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