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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 25, 2017 0 comments
The latest brave adventurer to spend his evenings running off duplicate copies on half-inch or quarter-inch tape is singer/songwriter, producer John Vanderslice, in partnership with North Carolina-based Ramseur Records, has launched a new reel-to-reel tape venture. So far Ramseur is offering three records to be put on tape: Under Branch & Thorn & Tree (2015) and You Had Me at Goodbye (2017), both from buzzworthy singer/songwriter Samantha Crain, and Fences from the group Bombadil.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 20, 2017 0 comments
On Moon Saloon, Rhode Island's Arc Iris, led by singer Jocie Adams, has discarded any traces of the Americana that was present on the band’s self-titled debut. The sheer amount of textures present on Moon Saloon is wonderful, an attribute abetted by an atmospheric digital recording and a decent LP pressing.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 17, 2017 7 comments
Does having commercial leanings make you a traitor to the purity of your art? Can you make money in music and still have integrity? These eternal questions came to mind upon the death of singer Al Jarreau. Often savaged by critics and fans for his success, Jarreau cut his own path and by the time he died, at the age of 76, of respiratory failure on Sunday, February 12, he'd had more than a few last laughs on his detractors.
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 14, 2017 1 comments
Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping and Dreaming
Eden River ERR-LP-01 (2 LPs). 2016. Ralf Kemper, prod., mix; Geoff Gillette, James Caruso, Sean O'Dwyer, Robert Kirkpatrick, engs.; Phil Ramone, mix prod.; Lawrence Manchester, Veith Semrau, mix. DDA? TT: 56:58
Performance ****
Sonics ****

In 1992, just before Christmas, I sent out 24 copies of Jimmy Scott's newly released CD, All the Way, to friends, musical and otherwise. Most did not respond, but the eight or ten who did were on fire. "What is this?" "Who is this?" "How did I not know about this woman until now?"

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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 10, 2017 1 comments
At first glance the pairing of R. Stevie Moore (right), the Nashville born/New Jersey-residing DIY legend who over the past several decades has released literally hundreds of cassettes—and, to be fair, some records he actually worked on—and Jason Falkner (left), the always brilliant, sometimes cranky, LA pop auteur behind Three O'Clock, Jellyfish and The Grays (with Jon Brion), a couple of great solo records, and contributions to records by Beck, Aimee Mann and AIR, seems fairly odd. But once you listen to Make It Be, these two triangular pegs actually fit into their own unique space that's neither round not square.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 09, 2017 0 comments
Chad Kassem's Analogue Productions has wisely followed Russell's death with this superfine 200-gram, 331/3 reissue of this craggy 1970s landmark, Russell's best studio album until his final closing statement, 2014's Life Journey.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 20, 2017 3 comments
Even if you think you’ve heard Ray do "Georgia" one too many times, this version will surprise— it’s really something special.
Robert Baird Posted: Jan 17, 2017 4 comments
The Band: The Last Waltz 40th
Rhino RR 273925 (2 CDs). 1978/2016. Robbie Robertson, prod.; Ron Fraboni, John Simon, co-prods.; Terry Becker, Tim Kramer, Elliot Mazer, Wayne Neuendorf, Ed Anderson, Neil Brody, engs. ADD? TT: 2:09:11
Performance *****
Sonics ****

To clear the air, if not the sinuses, let's dispose right now of the traveling-booger-matte controversy. If Robbie Robertson and the late Levon Helm are to be believed, in The Last Waltz, Neil Young performed "Helpless" with a very suspicious chunk of something hanging out of one nostril. When Young and his management became aware of the problem, the offending object had to be excised from the film stock using a matte laboriously inserted into every frame. At least, that's how the juiciest legend from one of rock's most legendary performances is usually told.

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Robert Baird Posted: Dec 11, 2016 9 comments
Lake’s death, followed by the fact that I had three new 140 gram ELP LP reissues...
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Robert Baird Posted: Dec 09, 2016 3 comments
Perhaps there’s a little nostalgia talking here...

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