Image via Wikipedia1) Iron Maiden-The Final Frontier
MAIDEN! On their fifteenth studio album,Maiden continues to prove that they are among the best metal bands around. I'm glad to see Adrian Smith contributing on several songs,as he gives a nice balance to Steve Harris' more classic Maiden style. Available in regular format,the "Mission Edition" with "exclusive bonus content in a special package" whatever that means and in picture disc vinyl (BOO! Real vinyl please.)
2) Brian Wilson-Reimagines Gershwin
For a Beach Boys fanatic like me this is a must,but really there is something for every musician here. This is a veritable demonstration record on melody,composition,arranging and lyric writing. Brian "reimagines" twelve of George and Ira Gershwin's songs and with the Gershwin estates permission,finishes two previously unfinished George Gershwin songs. This is truly one American musical genius meets another.
3) John Mellencamp-No Better Than This
Feel like today's music is over produced and Pro-Tooled to death? Apparently,so does John Mellencamp,because he's brought in producer T-Bone Burnett who had the band record live,in a room with a single microphone. What? Musicians,playing together? This is about nine levels to "real" for current rock radio and I'll bet Mellencamp doesn't care a bit.
4)John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers-So Many Roads
This four disc set from British blues kingpin Mayall features highlights from all of the impressive list of pre-star musicians that have graced the Bluesbreakers: Steve Winwood,Mick Taylor,John McVie,Mick Fleetwood,Peter Green,Jack Bruce,Eric Clapton and more. The lavish packaging features a 40 page booklet with lots of rare photos.
5) Duke Robillard-Passport to the Blues
This album of twelve Duke originals and one Tom Waits cover is a step back to an earlier,dirtier sound that many Robillard fans (myself included) have been hoping for. Gritty Gibson tones aplenty!
6) Various Artists-AfroBeat Airways
Think your rhythm guitar is in the pocket? Take a listen to this,then reassess!
7) Bob Corritore-Harmonica Blues
The newest from harmonica player/Rhythm Room owner/record producer/radio host/band leader Bob Corritore features a feast for the guitar fan. Guests include Little Milton,Robert Lockwood Jr.,Louisiana Red,Bob Margolin,Honeyboy Edwards,Eddy Brown,Kid Ramos and his "Lucky to be Alive" collaborator Dave Riley. I think there are some non-guitar players too.
8) Korsus-Disipline of Hate
So,the only Brazilian thrash band you've heard of is Sepultura? Time to school yourself on Korsus and learn why this band,formed in 1983,is legendary in South America. This is masterful old school thrash,squarely in the Slayer/Exodus camp.
9) King of Asgard-Fi'Mbulvntr
Viking folk/death metal from Sweden,produced by Andy La Rocque (King Diamond). What does the album title mean? Heck if I know;what I do know is these guys are on the heavier side of the folk metal scene.
10) Snehasish Mozumder and SOM-Free Jazz and North Indian Fusion
What? Mixing classical Indian music and jazz fusion on a double neck mandolin? Top that,John McLaughlin and Shakti! Absolutely brilliant stuff.
11) John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman-In Concert
This two Cd/one Dvd set pairs two acoustic guitar masters at the peak of their early 80's powers. In mostly duo format,they touch on blues,jazz,folk,classical,ragtime,boogie-woogie and Irish,Scottish and English melodies.It's not too often you can see one,much less two people able to tackle Charles Mingus and the Rev.Gary Davis with equal skill. The Cds and Dvd share some,but not all,songs and the Dvd was recorded a year prior to the Cds so it's interesting to compare the differences in approach.