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1. Los Lonely Boys
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2. Heard It on the X
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3. Words & Music: John Mellencamp's
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4. A Love Song for Bobby Long
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5. Peddlin' Dreams
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6. Revolution Starts Now
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7. Family Dance
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8. Deja Vu All Over Again
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9. World Without Tears
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10. Forever Hasn't Happened Yet
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11. Live at the Fillmore
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12. Live at the Fillmore
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13. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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14. Ashgrove
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15. Lucky
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16. Rocket Ship Beach
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17. About Time
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18. The Ride
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19. Heart Shaped World
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20. Strangers Almanac

1. Los Lonely Boys
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B0001MX5A4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 61
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (86)

5-0 out of 5 stars Los Lonely Boys Take You To Heaven
Los Lonely Boys is made of the three Garza brothers, guitarist Henry, bassist Jojo and drummer Ringo. They hail from San Angelo, Texas and their music is rooted in their home state. Drawing from artists all over the musical map like Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Richie Valens, Los Lobos, The Beatles and every one in between, the brothers have forged an interesting musically sound. Henry's guitar playing is a force throughout the album. He channels Stevie Ray Vaughan on "Crazy Dreams", Santana on "Dime Mi Amor" and sets his own original sound throughout especially with his magnificent acoustic guitar playing. The brothers have wonderful harmonies that provide the songs with a soulful air. "Heaven" is the first single and is, so far, the best song of the year. The album was recorded at Willie Nelson's studio in Austin, TX and Mr. Nelson provides guest guitar work on "La Contestacion". The group has done a wonderful job of absorbing the musical history taught to them by their musical father and mixing those diverse sounds into their own original rock and roll stew.

5-0 out of 5 stars They May Be Compared to Many Artists, but...
I can't recall when the last time was that I actually just let a new cd play all the way through without skipping a track on the first play due to boredom or the track's lack of power to hold my interest...Los Lonely Boys debut is that extremely rare album. From the awesome guitar work to the melodic sounds such as found in the track Heaven this is the kind of music I'm always open to and crave; this is the kind of real artistry that is set apart from the kiddie music heard on pop-junk radio and video stations !From previous reviews they have been compared to everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan (LLB even give him a thankful nod in the liner notes of the cd) to (as one reviewer said) Los Lobos. Hints of Santana? Maybe. What matters is that the music and lyrics are infectious from track one to the last track.Are there many musical influential styles? Absolutely. Everything from Texan blues, some country, to good ol' rock and roll from the days of Richie Valens and Elvis Presley. Plenty of Southwestern and some Californian (almost a la Dwight Yoakam) feel...The mixture of so many different influences is done to create such a unique and colorful panoramic style of their own that I do believe these boys stand out ! So what if these guys do become very famous. It won't mean that they are necessarily sell outs but that the commercial music industry has finally opened up it's eyes and ears to something that does not have a rap, hip hop beat or head banging trash-like influence on young cd buyers...

5-0 out of 5 stars From The Soul
The Los Lonely Boys are a Texas Blues Mix filled with alot of soul. The Los Lonely Boys debut album includes no fill in's, all great music from the soul. Im sure everyone has heard the hit Heaven on CMT, or VH1, or on the radio. This album titled Los Lonely Boys has just recently went Platnium make sure you pick up a copy before those copies get sold out. The cheapist way you can purchase this album is at Wal-Mart for 9.99 what a cheap price I bought mine for 19.99. If your wondering what the band sounds like they are a defintie mix between Texas Blues, Henry the lead guitarist will remind you of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and of Richie Valens. Enjoy! Highly Recomended!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Los Lonely Boys are true rock 'n roll!!
These guys are really what rock 'n roll is all about. They bring something unique, while remaining true to the influences of the past and their heritage. I hope that they stay around for a long time. I bought this CD on an impulse after having heard only "Heaven" on the radio, and I certainly do not regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Music!
Having just recently hearing these guys on the radio, I rarely listen to the radio here in Tucson, but very glad I did that day! I went right to Amazon and bought it and now it is living in my CD player and it will be quite a while before I take it out! Every song brings out more and more of these guys talents,such melodic, fun, upbeat music and brotherly ties! Santana/SRV influences, but not these guys are NOT copycats, truly unique! From the very beginning of this CD with "Senorita" wrenching-smokin' guitar riffs, 6 string bass and drums! Can't wait to see these guys LIVE and the progressions which will influence these guys who are definitely on their wayto the top. Also saw them on The View this morning playing their radio hit "Heaven", good looking "Lonely boys" too! It's so wonderful to have good Hispanic music which is fun and not RAP for a change! KUDOS Boys!!!! ... Read more

2. Heard It on the X
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Asin: B0007QJ1FC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 240
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This supergroup with ever-changing personnel (no longer limited to seven) is less a band than a bilingual concept and boundary-crossing vision. The third and most rambunctious release under the Los Super Seven banner takes its title from the ZZ Top anthem celebrating the Mexican border radio of the 1950s and '60s. With the title track sung by Tejano mainstay Ruben Ramos, the transgenerational duet on "Cupid" by Freddy Fender and Rick Trevino, and the alcohol-fueled mariachi of "The El Burro Song" performed by the Mavericks' Raul Malo (a ringer of Cuban descent), the Hispanic imprint on the project remains much in evidence. From the northern side of the musical border, Lyle Lovett revives Bob Wills's "My Window Faces the South," Rodney Crowell renews Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game," and Joe Ely covers Holly acolyte Bobby Fuller's "Let Her Dance."

Perhaps the album's dominant influence is that of the late Doug Sahm, whose Sir Douglas Quintet was a Tex-Mex trailblazer. Sahm's spirit is channeled here through two songs he wrote--"I'm Not that Kat (Anymore)," sung by John Hiatt, and the jazzy "The Song of Everything," performed by Raul Malo--and another one he recorded, "Talk to Me," given a soulful reading by Delbert McClinton. However wide the musical range, the results rarely fall short of super. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars More a Concept than a Band CD
I did not come to this CD with any pre-conceived notions.I had not heard of Los Super Seven and have not heard the prior CD's.The only song I had heard perviously was the ZZ Top tune that gives the recording its title.I heard snipets of the music in a review on the radio and thought it sounded hot.The full CD lives up to the promise of the snipets.It is really a collection of different styles and music -- latin styles I have heard but cannot name, a sort of country swing, rock, blues.It is music that was played on border radio partly because there was no outlet for it on the main stream stations."Song of Everything" is my favorite."Heard It On the X" is also good.Owing to the mix, this CD is a little like listening to a good cross cultural radio or music television station in the southwest.Appreciate it for what it is -- a tribute to the boarder radio of the 50's and 60's -- and this is a very enjoyable CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Different But Still Great
When I saw Los Super Seven had a new album-I ordered it sight (and sound) unseen. The first two albums were SO great there was no question- just buy it. I tore it open, threw it in the CD player in my car and was shocked to hear what others have mentioned-no sign of anyone from Los Lobos, very little Spanish language music, and alot of rock and roll...albeit superb rock and roll.
Don't be deterred by this-change is always good, and this change is wonderful. To say that this album doesn't belong under the banner of Los Super Seven misses the point: simply put-everyone who has been in LS7 grew up on this music, and therefore it is legitimately part of the series- and in fact an essential part of the series.
Border Radio (and I was thrilled by every word of the wonderful history written in this package) exemplified what LS7 is all about-cross musical and cultural pollination. This collection of updated and heartfelt updates does for Border Radio what the other albums did for Mexican and Cuban styles; brings it together and expands the vision by combining the original artists with those who grew up influenced by their innovations.
This is a GREAT record...the musicianship is superb, production and mixing wonderful, modern while never forgetting the ethos of the border radio music; hot, raw and smokin'.
Liste- I never thought I would love a ZZ Top song either (being an ethinc music snob) but that is not the point, the point is to experience and expand understanding and knowledge about an essential piece of uniquely American music- and on that count alone- this album fits in the series like a glove. Beyond that- this is a wonderful record- the ultimate back yard rockin' party record.
Expanding our musical horizons goes both ways- pushing the boundries and envelope of music and creating something new, and discovering something new that has been right in our own backyard for decades. Take the chance and let go- you'll wish you grew up on the X too...

5-0 out of 5 stars " Heard it on the X" -- You MUST buy this C.D.

The music in this c.d. is crisp, finger snapping, toe tapping, and I hope you buy it. I just got it in the mail and I have been listening to it every day, night, and at work!
I had never heard of the " X" radio stations. I had heard of many of the musicians but had not personally listened to their music. This music opened up another culture to me. And I want more.
This music is saucy, sexy, jazzy, and with a good dose ofblues. This c.d. will make you feel as if you are listening to the music at a plaza in a border town. It made me start salivating for a libation of the tequila kind. Yes, it can be labeled "Texican " but it's that and so much more. This music is what laid the foundation for groups like Z.Z.Top.
The amount of talent on this c.d. is mind blowing. It had to be great. If you don't know all of them you will get to know them. The music is that good.
After having more than one boy friend who was an alcoholic I found it refreshing to hear a man ( Raul Malo) sing about his girl friend being SO hung over she can't get up.
The El Burro Song is sung with heart and grace, as only Raul can do. The sonic fusion of Calexico, Mariachi Relampago, and Raul's smooth, virile-fueled voice is pure musical alchemy! This is the first song on the c.d. and after hearing this song, you too will be hooked. The next song is " Cupido" which brings the collaboration of Freddie Fender and Rick Trevino. It's a dynamite combination and I hope they do more music together. " Cupido dame la mano" - Cupid help me, lend me a hand.
It's tastefully done and this song will have you heading for the fridge for some kind of libation. I know it made me.
Every single song is great. Song #5 - "My Window Faces the South" sung by Lyle Lovett, reminded me of sitting on the Moon Walk in New Orleans watching the boats go by. The melody is pure " Southern" bliss. His voice is perfect for this song. The two were born to be together.
You will also enjoy song #9 - Ojos Traidores sung by Rick Trevino. He's sad, he's mad, he's hurt and you hear it in his voice. All I could think was, "Boy, she's a mean girl that dark eyed woman." Rick Trevino sings with a lot of soul and you feel his pain.
When you read the credits of all the major talent involved you should note the assistance that was given by the legendary talents of Flaco Jimenez, Arturo "Sauce" Gonzalez, Charlie Sexton, Jacob Valenzuela, Max Baca, on and on. There is no way this c.d. was going to be a dud. It's filled with much illustrious talent. Kudos to the producers who did a great job on this c.d. It was a great under taking and the end product is for your enjoyment.
I have no negative feedback on any of the songs. The music blew me away. I even loved the artwork on the cover. The only things that vexed me were the pictures of all the singers who contributed. They don't indicate who is who. And another thing missing, that miffed me, was the absence of the lyrics. They were nowhere to be found. Come on now, you have great music you must have great words. And you do -- you just don't have them written anywhere for you to read them.
This c.d. stands alone and should be purchased and enjoyed. Trust me, you will fall in love with the music. Some of the lyrics are racy considering the music was written in the 30s and 40s but a lot of it is timeless - ageless, what ever you want to call it. Don't deprive yourself, buy this c.d. and let your mind take you to a place where you can enjoy this great music.

3-0 out of 5 stars NOT Los Super 7
Before even considering the quality of the music, let me say that I felt cheated by this CD. To sell this CD as the third from Los Super 7 is, to say the least, questionable. The first and second Los Super 7 CD's gave us a blend of Latino and Americana music, played with pioneering spirit. This third Los Super 7 CD just gives you Texas Americana. It is not particularly spirited or pioneering. Some songs are nice, but not more than that. Nowhere do the artists go beyond their normal scope. Furthermore, nowhere in the booklet the Los Lobos members, that to me formed the core of Los Super 7,are mentioned. Why aren't they here? Had I known beforehand I would not have bought this CD. The name Los Super 7 is misused for commercial reasons and the many fine musicians on this CD are not taken beyond there usual borders, which to me is the real betrayal. ... Read more

3. Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0002XL252
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 37
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Compare this to John Mellencamp's previous hits set, The Best That I Could Do 1978-1988, and it quickly becomes apparent how much the artist formerly known as Cougar has grown in the second phase of his career. Following a 1994 heart attack, the songwriter transformed from cocky jukebox hero to compassionate everyman, trading in big pop riffs for sublime, politically charged songs that echo the outspoken work of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. Spanning 25 years, this 35-track set incorporates most of the last collection alongside more recent hits over two discs in non-chronological order. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

4. A Love Song for Bobby Long
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Asin: B0006SST72
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 431
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely songs; Sleeper Film.
This is very nice compilation of thoughtful ballads, some of lesser known singers and writers.Travolta can carry a tune (it would appear).His singing meshes well with his character in this charming movie.All things considered, this is a rathr good, enjoyable film.I especially like the numerous literary references.I am commenting on both the soundtrack and film, as both are worry of listening and viewing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grayson Capps
This is an incredible soundtrack not to mention a great little independent film. Don't listen to the critics on this one because the majority of them are flat out wrong. There should be more movies like this with compelling stories, strong acting and sweet music. Much better than the blockbuster trash that's so prevalant today. Anyhow, check out the soundtrack if only for the great New Orleans singer/songwriter Grayson Capps -- who's a little known gem from that historic music town. The rest of the soundtrack is worthy too...with tracks by Thalia Zedek, Trespassers William (another little known band that is pretty incredible), Los Lobos, Nada Surf, lots of rare blues and two sweet little songs by John Travolta. I couldn't have made a better mix of music myself! ... Read more

5. Peddlin' Dreams
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Asin: B0007XBMBQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 980
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Singer-songwriter Maria McKee takes a more organic approach on her sixth album. Most tracks start with the faint strum of an acoustic guitar or the tinkling of a piano, before gradually building to a restrained but emotionally charged crescendo. McKee revels in this less-is-more musical environment. Her multioctave voice moans, hovers, whispers, and occasionally soars with a cool confidence. From the yearning folk augmented with subtle, tender strings of "Appalachian Boy," to "Sullen Soul," a powerful riff-driven ballad, to the stylized, Patsy Cline-influenced country-pop of "You Don't Know How Glad I Am," she floats and weaves with edgy grace. The aching, soulful "Turn Away" is a riveting example of McKee at her finest, clawing her way into the heart of a song.

Some melodies don't resonate on first listen but gradually take hold, and are aided immensely by the spare, generally acoustic instrumentation. When McKee kicks into a gritty, strangulated Neil Young guitar on "Everybody's Got a Story" before shifting into his "Barstool Blues" (the album's only cover) the effect is galvanizing. Always a dramatic singer, McKee's heart is obviously in this rootsy, often austere music, and her passionate performances on Peddlin' Dreams resonate with tenderness and intensity. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Maria's Voice Still Soars
I just got home from seeing Maria play at The Roxy, and I have to say that her voice remains one of the most astonishing voices on the planet. It is just crystal, and the emotion she puts into her performances -- and her songwriting -- is something that few of today's performers seem to be able to muster.

Having watched and listened to Maria for 20 -- TWENTY! -- years now, I can say that she continues to dazzle. I don't know how she never became one of the world's top artists. But those of us who are lucky enough to pay attention know where talent lies. And it lies in the heart of Maria McKee.

Buy her albums. All of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great CD
Not only is this album Maria McKee's best solo album -- the one fans have been waiting for -- it's a great record. Wonderful, tuneful songs that linger with you. The production does not overwhelm herwonderful voice -- it takes a back seat. This is truly one of the best CDs of the year.

5-0 out of 5 stars McKee returns with a strong and solid effort
Maria McKee's new LP _Peddlin' Dreams_ provides a little something for each of the twenty years worth of fans/listeners. It plays to those who either dig McKee's optimism and/or her darker more suicidal side.The LP has a more acoustic and spontaneous feel--unlike _High Dive_ (which is one of McKee's great masterpieces). _Peddlin' Dreams_ is definitely worth buying if you are a McKee fan or for those who want to hear one of the alt-country greats.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Underappreciated After All These Years
Few singers in the last thirty-plus years have ever shown as much raw talent as Maria McKee.Fewer still have ever been so underrated by music buyers and grossly underappreciated by radio programmers as her either.Because her music tends to cover many different spectrums, from orchestral pop-rock to alternative to country, Maria, like Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris before her, just can't be pigeonholed by strict radio formats or playlists, and that's why it is so often best to find her music, whether it's her solo albums or the ones she made while the lead singer of Lone Justice, in the record stores rather than on the radio.And that trend continues with her new album PEDDLIN' DREAMS.

In contrast to the orchestral pop-rock of her 2003 album HIGH DIVE, PEDDLIN' DREAMS has a more organic sound to it, harking back to the acoustic country/folk/rock style that Maria seems to be most at ease with.She and her husband and producer Jim Akin use plenty of acoustic guitars for the album's sound base, particularly on "Season Of The Fair" and "My One True Love"; and the use of steel guitar is a bit more extensive than you'll find on most Nashville-produced albums these days.Maria, who is 40 years old now but still looks far younger than that, is in fine voice on all the tracks.Her cover of Neil Young's "Barstool Blues" is a minor gem too, as is the old-school "You Don't Know How Glad I Am", which, like her 1993 album track "Only Once", is redolent of Patsy Cline and late 60s/early 70s-era Linda Ronstadt in its country-pop styling.

Twenty years after she first burst upon the scene with Lone Justice, Maria is still underappreciated by the general public.Whether PEDDLIN' DREAMS changes that now is uncertain. But discriminating music fans would do well to get this recording just for the sheer pleasure of listening to one of the finest female singers to have come down the pike since Linda and Emmylou.Simply put, Maria is an artist always well worth supporting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Artist
I second all of what was said in the previous review... I too have no idea why Maria has not gotten the recognition (I think) she truly deserves.She is an excellent songwriter, a gorgeous girl with a richly strong and beautiful voice!And... she seems to have stayed true to herself and her integrity! Buy this album - you'll play it over and over... she's definitely NOT a one-hit wonder.
Gypsy - ... Read more

6. Revolution Starts Now
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Asin: B0002IQHV6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 423
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Earle rushed The Revolution Starts ... Now to stores ahead of the 2004 presidential election, and given that timing and the songwriter's righteous lefty stance, the disc's topical content should surprise exactly no one. Even still, it's light on invective, allowing Earle's deftly drawn characters to make his points for him. Plainspoken people swept up by larger events, they include the truck-driving protagonist of rig-rocker "Home to Houston," who dodges rockets while running supplies in Iraq, the disaffected vet in "The Gringo's Tale," and the American soldiers and Palestinian boys whose lives run parallel in "Rich Man's War." At times, Earle is less artful, and the going gets patchy: the title cut is a guitars-blazing call to arms, but "Warrior" (a ponderous spoken-word piece that apes Shakespeare), "F the CC" (a ragged denunciation of culture cops), and "Condi, Condi" (a faux-reggae mash note to Condoleezza Rice) don't hold up as well. Interestingly, the less-pointed material finds the cantankerous crusader at his best, as on the aching Emmylou Harris duet "Comin' Around," a late-night barroom blues called "I Thought You Should Know," and the hopeful closer "The Seeker." There, Earle slips in one last, subtle message: "There's a new day tomorrow and maybe I'll hold, something brighter than gold to a seeker." --Anders Smith Lindall ... Read more

7. Family Dance
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Asin: B00005TT6M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 720
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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At a moment when mainstream music is clogged with a surfeit of stale, formulaic songs and huge egos, Dan Zanes has found the Drano. Family Dance, his second kids' record (after the fab Rocket Ship Beach), again comes through with big-name helpers--Sandra Bernhard, Rosanne Cash, and Loudon Wainwright III among them--but instead of assembling a mixed bag of self-important numbers, Zanes, who produced and plays on all but one of 15 tracks, maintains a cohesive vibe that's low-key and playful. Yet here's a disc that's all over the map, genre-wise. Gruffster Rankin' Don, a.k.a. Father Goose, rasta-raps his way through "The Hokey Pokey" and "Skip to My Lou," the Sandy Girls carry us off to a colorful Caribbean village for "Linstead Market," Cash folks up "Fooba Wooba John," and Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line" makes a stop in Memphis bluesland. Zanes's originals--"Jump Up," "Wonder Wheel," and "Thrift Shop," performed as a duet with Bernhard--manage to be wholesome, happy, and hip all at once, no mean feat. But it's the music making on Family Dance that impresses most of all. Fiddles, beatboxes, mandolins, tubas, banjos, and concertina elbow their way onto these tracks, and they're balanced by Zanes's arrangements and backup singer Barbara Brousal's graceful voice and guitar work. Kids 2 and up will be likewise captivated by the chunky board-book packaging, again with original artwork. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars My kids virtually wore this CD out!
Dan Zanes has refocused his music career on entertaining families, and we are all the better for it! This is a rare CD--it entertains kids without pandering to the latest fads. Dan Zanes and friends have made an album that will sound as good and fresh 20 years from now as it does today. Can anybody say that about the usual kid-band dross? Every song is a gem, and the production is frist-rate. Grab this CD and savor it with your kids, again and again. A five-star treasure!

5-0 out of 5 stars We love this CD
We saw Dan Zanes in concert this summer (a surprise treat, as we had never heard of him but the concert was part of a children's series). After the show, my 5-year-old begged for a CD. We haven't been disappointed. Great songs for kids, with a sound that adults can not only tolerate, but enjoy!

Enjoy this one with your whole family

5-0 out of 5 stars Sit still and keep a straight face
Two things you WILL NOT do when listening to this cd is sit still or keep a straight face. Watch out as the good medicine of music makes you dance and smile. Thanks for the happiness Dan Zanes and Friends!

5-0 out of 5 stars I can sing them in public and not feel stupid!
This is a great CD for you to enjoy as much as your kids. I can find these songs stuck in my head and not be annoyed! There's a combination of funky renditions of traditionals ("Hokey Pokey," "Skip to My Lou"), international tunes (My son's West Indian babysitter knows "Linstead Market," and it's one of my favorites on the CD) and savvy originals. My son appreciates them while being too young to understand the words at five months, and it's a friend's two-year old's favorite too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dan Zanes Rocks!
Finally, kids music that engages all ages! Dan Zanes has a wild ability to entertain all musical interests, plus introduces young kids to multiple genres. We love his CDs and especially like Malti on Family Dance. The CD itself is a work of art. ... Read more

8. Deja Vu All Over Again
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our price: $11.99
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Asin: B0002XL2DE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 207
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9. World Without Tears
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Asin: B000089RV5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1296
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Most artists who appeal to adult listeners tend to settle into a comfortable niche, but Lucinda Williams refuses to play it safe. Instead, her music stings like an open wound, as she continues to strip away the protective layers from her art's emotional core. Though Williams has long been prized for the naked honesty of her music, this collection is even rawer than its predecessors. From the down-and-dirty bar-band blues of "Atonement" to the Rolling Stones-style swagger of "Bleeding Fingers" to the tricky balance of debasement and transcendence in "Ventura," Williams leaves the nerve endings of her music exposed. With the band opting for first-take immediacy rather than polish, some of the most powerful material is also the neediest, as the singer addresses lovers who have disrespected her ("Righteously") or abandoned her ("Those Three Days," "Minneapolis"). Though her attempts at rap on "Sweet Side" and "American Dream" might cause diehard fans to wince, her willingness to take creative chances reaffirms her position at the vanguard of a rootsy progressivism that transcends musical category. Simply put, there's more Patti Smith in her than there is Patsy Cline. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe a bit too honest for some¿
Yikes! Lucinda really split herself wide open on this one. As a huge fan of her self-titled and "Car Wheels..." releases, I struggled with the nakedness of "Essence" and grew to love it. Again, with this release, I had a hard time getting through it the first time, but it gets easier with each listen. The lyrics are sheer poetry, albeit dark, painful, poetry. And Lucinda's delivery makes them darker and even more painful. I think a first-time listener might be turned off if this were their first Lucinda Williams experience.

My favorite song on this release is "Righteously". As I've played it, several people have stopped by my cubicle and asked, "What are you listening to? That song rocks!" Almost stripped down musically, it has a wailing guitar and strong bass line that moves the song along. The last line is my favorite - - "Be my lover don't play no game, Just play me John Coltrane".

"Ventura" has a beautiful steel-guitar, wavy-feeling kind of sound. "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings" (great title!) sounds very Neil Young-ish to me. "Overtime" is classic heartbreak, almost Patsy Cline-ish...the simple drum work and the verby guitar along with the simple lyrics work beautifully well together.

In most of her songs, Lucinda doesn't subscribe to the pop structure of songwriting - - stanza, chorus, stanza, repeat chorus, etc. Instead the songs are more like poems with wonderful music accentuating them. I can never decide if Lucinda's vocals are a strength or a weakness...they are often rough and "hick-ish", but they do add a substantial amount of depth to the words. While I can imagine a "better" singer singing them, I realize the song would lose so much of its impact if it were slick and smooth.

I think Lucinda has come to terms with never hearing her music played on commercial radio stations across the country. Still, and admirably so, she refuses to sell out her themes and her musical style for the spoon-fed masses, and instead brings out a different kind of honesty, a different kind of love, a different kind of relationship, those not usually revealed or acknowledged in the mainstream. We're talking about abusive and drug-addicted, twisted and unhealthy relationships here. There's not very much warm and fuzzy going on. Proof that angst is a wonderful catalyst for art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damn Baby! - A True Cajun Angel
There's a reason why Time Magazine called Lucinda "America's Best Songwriter". She's honest,tortured and their is something sexy and dark about her voice and song writing. She's the girl your mom warned you about - but you couldn't help but following her down the road to ruin (then she'd write a song about you!). This album is not filled with the sugarcoated things on a Phil Collins or Micheal Bolton record. She talks about herion addiction, poverty, child abuse and love lost.

After the first cut, "Fruits of my Labor", I thought this is pretty good. Then, when Rightously kicked in, I said "Damn Baby!!". It's an incredible song, you feel jealous for the person it's written to! You gotta love a song that talks about John Coltrane. Real live Bleeding Fingers is another great track - the guitar work is very reminisant of Kieth Richards on "Exile on Mainstreet". "Those Three Days" is perfectly phrased. One of my favorite cuts is "Minneapolis", you can hear her pain. Lucinda maybe an acquired taste, like scotch, but pour me a glass - straight - and leave me the bottle. She's a poet, writing about real life. Like Dylan or Springsteen, just more honest and a sweet Lake Charles drawl. Buy the albums and don't miss her live!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another TOP notch CD
Lucinda can do no wrong. With each album, Lucinda gets better and better. It makes my heart warm to see how wide Lucinda's following continues to grow. I miss you Lucy :) Remember B.Dalton in L.A.? LOL

4-0 out of 5 stars Lucinda's great style mixed with a new sound
Everyone like to try new things, explore new interests and get out of the rut sometimes. Lucinda does that a bit on this CD. There are some Williams fans who may enjoy hearing her explore a new sound. I did not think it was "her". Like Johnny Cash singing Rap or Gene Simmons trying Gospel.

This music deals with anger, disallusionment, heartbreak and disappointment. I like that, oddly enough. What did not appeal to me was the style change for four songs - Righteously, Atonement , Sweet Side, American Dream. Just not the Lucinda Williams I have come to enjoy.

Still, she is free to try new things. If you want to see Lucinda explore new areas, you may like this work. I have always liked her more for her twangy blues sound and wish she had put forth her songs in that style.

I did enjoy the remaining songs.

This is still a good CD, just not her best.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not her best
When they collect Lucinda's best work, there will be a few songs from this album. "Righteously," "Those Three Days," and "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings" all belong on a compilation. But Williams overreaches, and it can be painful at times. "Atonement" can be kindly called ill-advised, and many other tracks aren't up to her very high Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and self-titled standards. Maybe she really does need six years to make an album. ... Read more

10. Forever Hasn't Happened Yet
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Asin: B0007KXVX6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2165
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Though punk rock rarely emphasizes a vocalist's emotional range and subtlety, John Doe distinguished himself during the glory days of X as arguably the finest singer that punk has ever spawned. His latest solo release gives him more room to stretch, showcasing a vocal expanse that is equal parts romantic hope, world-weary resignation, and hard-boiled desperation--sometimes all at once, as on "Mama Don't" (sung with his 16-year-old daughter Veronica Jane). While rarely sounding generic or nostalgic, the music draws from the same blues and country roadhouse roots that X did (and its side project, the Knitters, did even more). The acoustic "Worried Brow" and "Twin Brother" (in harmony with Grant Lee Phillips) spotlight Doe's voice at its most supple. X fans will find that band's spirit renewed in the propulsive "Heartless," powered by Dave Alvin's guitar; the narcotic rush of "Ready" (a cautionary tale); and the songwriting collaboration with former bandmate and wife Exene Cervenka "Hwy 5," with Neko Case serving as Doe's female vocal foil. "There's doom in my heart and blood in your eyes," sings Doe in "The Losing Kind," the noirish opener. His music may have gotten softer, but John Doe hasn't. --Don McLeese ... Read more

11. Live at the Fillmore
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Asin: B0007N1A2C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2451
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great......
Fantastic band...a breath of fresh air in todays music biz....however this is not a great record mostly because of the sound quality and for those familiar with the band and the other live cd they have seems plodding and slow.....performances are good and the addition of Reese Wynans on keys is fantastic but if you really want to hear these guys smoke...see them live or pick up the other live cd they have out called" Live At Blue Cat Blues"

5-0 out of 5 stars LLB At Their Best
I saw the Los Lonely Boys live about a year ago - probably a couple of months before they got really big - and they were just mind-blowing. A good description of their sound would be if you combined SRV and Santana - really jamming, bluesy stuff.

I liked the studio album, but really the only way to experience LLB is by hearing them live. Much like the Dead and the Allmans before them, the studio stuff just sounds kind of bland and uninspired compared to the live work.

The highlight of this one for me is "Onda," which actually starts at the end of "Dime Mi Amor" with about a six or seven minute unaccompanied solo by Henry. Of course, "Heaven" is great, and the covers are excellent as well.

If you're a fan of blues, rock, jazz, country, or whatever; I highly recommend 'Live At The Fillmore.'

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing live
I've seen LLB several times and saw this concert live. It's often difficult to capture the essence of live music on CD, but this recording does a great job. I felt as if I was right there again standing at the lip of the stage. Cisco Kid was a particularly great cover, but all their music is fantastic. Both the original material and the covers!

3-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Band - A Little Disappointed Though
Let me first say that LLB is one of my favorite bands. The idea of a live LLB CD had me really excited. I'll admit that they are "good" live. Actually much better than just "good". I'd happily see them live any time. What has me a little frustrated with this CD is the "slowness" of the tempos of most of the songs. On many of the songs, I found myself saying "pick up the tempo guys!". I also found the guitar solos sort-of wandered all over the place. Sometimes it sounds like a garage band "trying" to jam. Other times it sounds amazing. I also noticed that the tempos change way too often as well. You can't play a song at three different tempos, and too slow to begin with! I'm not knocking the guys at all. I'm just saying this doesn't do them justice. They can do much better and maybe should have waited for a more polished concert to make into a CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars They've kicked it up a notch or more
"BAM" as Emeril would say. Los Lonely Boys have kicked it up a notch. If their debut cd was a "10" this is, as they say in Spinal Tap, "An Eleven". Very intense yet beautiful, as ripping guitar work from Henry Garza intertwines with the tight vocal harmonies. Mostly songs from their debut are played on this cd but at another level. In addition there is "La Bamba". I've never heard anybody do it better, "Cisco Kid" and their own original and fan favorite "Man to Beat". This cd will be on my player for a long time to come. There is no better music today than the "Texican Rock & Roll" on this "live" cd. ... Read more

12. Live at the Fillmore
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Asin: B0007PALIY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8076
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Over their 30 years together, Los Lobos have established themselves among the best live bands in America--which makes it all the more surprising that they've waited so long to release their first concert album (though anthologies have included live tracks). For this recording from the venerable Fillmore in San Francisco, the Los Angeles band forsakes the greatest-hits approach in favor of a set dominated by recent material interspersed with some lesser-known earlier tunes (such as "How Much Can I Do?"). Omitting perennials such as "Will the Wolf Survive?" and their hit cover of "La Bamba," the Mexican-American band treats fans to the soulful balladry of singer David Hidalgo on "Rita" and "Tears of God," the bluesier strains of Cesar Rosas on "I Walk Alone," and the saxophone of Steve Berlin and a percolating rhythm section throughout. The music extends the Los Lobos imprint from the arty atmospherics of "Kiko and the Lavender Room" to the social conscience of "The Neighborhood" and the encore of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." Whether the material is in Spanish ("Maria Christina," "Maricela"), English (most of the rest), or bilingual (the flute-laced "Luz de Mi Vida"), the enraptured crowd requires no translation. --Don McLeese
A DVD of the concert is also available.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Band in need of a LIVE Box Set
Los Lobos rebounded from the cover band status of THE RIDE with the DVD of this concert a couple of months back. Critics wailed why they hadn't done a live CD or DVD before. Well, amen, especially if you have ever caught any of their shows. It's actually a pity that this is the only such document, because while it is certainly a great performance, it is only a taste of the magic they command. I may go to a million more concerts before I hear a band essay Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand" the way these wolves knocked it out at the Philly Folk Festival while Gene Shay swallowed his tongue because the boys simply would not end the song and get off so he could prattle his stupid stories and jokes. For that alone, they became my heroes. Point is, even Young, on his very best day, never delivered that song with the incendiary fire of Los Lobos.
But I digress, and this is a worthy addition to their incredible canon. The only foul ball for me is "The Viking," but that's quibbling, because they more than make up for it with the mini CD of 3 acoustic songs, and I won't tell you what they are, but one was such a delightful surprise!
So, I'd tell you to pick this up. Hidalgo, Peres and compadres have never, or actaully ALWAYS, sound this good live. So where's the box set? This is a band you should rush to go see and if they do release a box, swamp AMAZON with orders for it. How will the Wolf survive? Well, with performances like these, should be easy.

5-0 out of 5 stars fun stuff
As I write, the track list on Amazon seems a bit inaccurate.The record leads with Good Morning Aztlan, not The Big Ranch.This is a nice one hour performance that should satisfy most listeners.Los Lobos made an effort to include songs from every part of their long career.I think it was intended as a party record, and it will serve that purpose well with plenty of rock and blues, and lots of percussion.I think it even serves as a nice introduction to their music.There's no easy way to categorize what they do.This disk is a good way to sample them.

5-0 out of 5 stars LIVE AT THE FILLMORE
I just picked up the new Los Lobos CD, LIVE AT THE FILLMORE. I'm not sure I'm listening to the same CD as the first two reviewers! This CD is outstanding. I'm a huge Los Lobos fan, so I may be a little biased, but I think even someone new to Los Lobos will enjoy this CD. The song selection is great, a mix of old and new material. As always, Los Lobos' playing is top notch. Although the sound quality is not outstanding, it is good. If you're a Los Lobos fan, you MUST add this to your collection. If you would like to try Los Lobos, I would recommend this as a good introduction to one of rock's best bands.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Late Than Never?
There are several ways to approach a live album. One is to record an entire tour, and cherry-pick the best performances and release them. Another is to record a single performance, or series of performances at a particular venue, and release it--warts and all.

Being the risk-takers they are, Los Lobos has opted for the latter (and tougher) approach. Which means 'Live At The Fillmore' is a mixed bag of sterling, and unfortunately, uninspired, Los Lobos.

Coming on the heels of the two-album renaissance of 'Good Morning Aztlan' and 'The Ride', the time certainly seemed right for a live album. But the album's two opening tracks seem tossed-off, and while instrumentally strong, a weak vocal from Cesar Rojas sabotages "Charmed". And "Rita" just sounds tired.

On the plus side, "Tears Of God" sparkles, as do "How Much Can I Do?" and "Kiko And The Lavender Moon". The remainder of the album plateaus somewhere between good and pretty good.

Granted, 'pretty good' Los Lobos is pretty damn fine, indeed. But in contrast to many of the fiery shows I (or any longtime fan) have seen, 'Live At The Fillmore' can't help but be a disappointment.

But they remain a brave band that plays what they like, not what demographics tell them they should play. It is multi-cultural soul music, and for that alone they are a band to cherish. And I don't hesitate to say I do.

2-0 out of 5 stars very disappointing
I have loved Los Lobos from the beginning; I truly believe they are one of the great bands of all time, full of creative energy.This cd is sloppy, sounds terrible and the playing isn't very inspired.Only on "The Neighborhood" do things start to stretch out and heat up.It's a real shame. . . . ... Read more

13. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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Asin: B00064VKYK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 780
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In this 2003 performance from the Austin City Limits series (also available on DVD), New England's Susan Tedeschi demonstrates a range that extends well beyond her blues base. Following the blueprint employed by Bonnie Raitt a few decades earlier, she covers John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery" (a signature tune for Raitt), inserting a snippet from the Grateful Dead's "Sugaree." The piano balladry of her "Wrapped in the Arms of Another" could fit just fine on a Raitt album. The set also finds her sampling from the songbooks of Sly Stone ("You Can Make It If You Try"), Bob Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), and Stevie Wonder ("Love's in Need of Love Today"), in addition to the more straightforward blues of Koko Taylor ("Voodoo Woman"). Though Tedeschi's stinging lead guitar provides the focus, she receives strong support from a band featuring the interplay of electric pianist Jason Crosby (who doubles on violin) and William Green on Hammond B-3 organ. Highlights include a tribute to jam-band inspiration Col. Bruce Hampton on "Hampmotized" and the simmering "Wait for Me," with its echoes of Aretha Franklin.Tedeschi has yet to show the suppleness as a vocalist to complement her guitar chops, but the musical range she displays here bodes well for her artistic development. --Don McLeese ... Read more

14. Ashgrove
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Asin: B00028HOEA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1506
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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As a teenager Dave Alvin frequented legendary L.A. blues clubs like the Ashgrove, where he soaked up the licks and the spirit of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner. Alvin's first collection of new songs in six years repays these debts with the meanest electric blues he's ever played--and some of his most vivid, and most elegantly arranged, character studies. "Out of Control" nails the seediest of L.A. night-crawlers, the autobiographical "Nine Volt Heart" reveals the wonder of growing up with soul-era radio, and "Everett Ruess," the story of a desert drifter who happily disappears forever, questions how much we'll ever understand the human heart. Song for song, Ashgrove is Alvin's best record since King of California. All the narrative poise, lyrical soul, and guitar muscle of an American music master is here. --Roy Kasten ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Authentic American music for adults.
This CD is a surprisingly effective combination two different forms of genuine American music: Country and Blues. Dave Alvin has not only the audacity to do this, but the talent, both in song writing and performing, to bring it off successfully...The musicianship is first rate and Alvin's guitar work has never sounded more accomplished. His hard driving electric blues riffs and his near poetic acoustic work not only showcase his virtuousity but display a skilled musician at ease with his playing. His voice naturally complements the emotions of each song, from the growling blues in "Out of Control" to the elegiac wistfulness of "The Man in the Bed"...Most of the songs address loss: loss of love, loss of youth, loss of hope with depth and wisdom...In this era of bland aural product, unworthy of the title "music", marketed to adolescents, it's a wonder and a pleasure to listen to this accomplished and heartfelt collection of music. Think of a combination of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Cash and you'll have an idea of the music found here. I highly recommend ASHGROVE.

5-0 out of 5 stars tough songs for tough lives
Dave Alvin has produced yet another set of magnificent songs. This one's different from "Blackjack David," his 1998 collection -- it is 1/2 a singer/songwriter album, and 1/2 a blues album. In fact it sounds like it might have been two quite different albums, but Dave decided to blend them. Whether or not that speculation is on target, the alternation of heavier blues numbers (Ashgrove, Black Sky, Out of Control, Sinful Daughter, Black Haired Girl) with more contemplative folk/country songs (Rio Grande, Nine Volt Heart, Everett Ruess, The Man In the Bed, Somewhere In Time) works to great effect. Dave has clearly been working on his electric blues guitar, with some great influences -- he sounds like Son Seals on "Black Sky"! Greg Leisz plays guitar and produces, and is indispensible once again for the overall sound. One of the best albums of 2004, without a doubt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tell the Truth!
We can all agree on one thing about Dave Alvin: the boy tells the truth, in his playing and his lyrics. This is another amazing musical gem and my personal favortie since "Blackjack David," his last CD of all-new original material. Not that he's ever done anything less than 4-star quality, mind you.

I wrestle with the mystery of how folks like Springsteen get such (deserved) credit, whilst Alvin consistently releases equally impressive -- if not better!! -- CDs. Should the blame be his punchless record label, today's sorry state of radio, or managment that can't hook him up with a huge tour to reach the masses? The problem sure ain't the material and performance.

An interesting study is listening back-to-back to "Somewhere In Time" off this CD and recent Los Lobos release. The Los Lobos session ranks as my "Song of the Year" thus far in 2004. Nonetheless the more economical version contained here still drills deeply into the soul, exposing deep aches and loss we've all suffered through, minute-by-minute, only to find some hope to help us survive.

The title track is the honest howl of a genuine man. He has lost his youth and is now victim of his own drive and desires formulated at an impressionable age. It's a contemporary perspective worthy of comparison to Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience."

"Out Of Control" is just a brilliant character study, and Alvin may have read my childhood diary before writing "Nine Volt Heart."

"Black Sky" and "Black Haired Girl" are other superb standouts (after "Blackjack David" what other black song will we get?) that showcase Alvin's band this time.

The Guilty Men are a formidable backing ensemble, but session players on this were definitely open for business at the studio. Bob Glaub on bass is especially well situated in the mix, emphasing and punctuating the messages with an underlying and subtle urgency.

Whaddya want? It's summer. So do yourself a great big favor. Put "Ashgrove" on, pour a crisp drink, go outside under the moonlit sky and listen to a CD that'll revise the how you see life while it validates your personal truth and values.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dave Alvin finally releases a perfect studio album
... at least of his own material (Ironically, I think the highest quality album of this classic songwriter is Public Domain, his arrangements of traditional songs).

I love Dave Alvin's music, but often the production values of his records doesn't always equal his songwriting and musical talents, and his studio work doesn't equal the power and perfection of his live performances. Until his new album, Ashgrove.

Ashgrove has the perfect sound -- Dave and Greg Leisz have really outdone themselves. Buy the album and go see Dave and the Guilty Men on tour -- these songs are tremendous live, especially with Chris Miller accompanying dave on guitar/steel guitar.

5-0 out of 5 stars His Best Effort Yet
Dave Alvin, while always good, has gotten progressively better over the years and Ashgrove arguably marks his best effort yet. Despite a string of fine CDs under his belt, Alvin has thus far failed to gain a wide audience beyond Southern California and a few cognoscenti scattered around the globe. This is the CD that should finally bring him the notice and acclaim he has long deserved. With the proper promotion, this album should attract alt-country and blues-rock fans, as well as cementing his musical ties with his established fan base.
Ashgrove starts strongly with the hard-rocking title cut and alternates harder rock and blues numbers with country-tinged ballads. I like the whole CD, though a couple of the softer numbers, The Man In The Bed and Somewhere In Time are on the weak side. My favorites are the evocative ballad Rio Grande, the searing Black Sky, the blistering rocker Out Of Control, and the plaintive ballad, Everett Reuss.
I certainly owe my friend Felice Kay, as she is one of the cognoscenti who brought Alvin's music to my attention several years ago. Without her tip, I may never have discovered him.
Obviously, Ashgrove has my highest recommendation. If you are not yet a confirmed Dave Alvin fan, this CD will make you one. ... Read more

15. Lucky
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Asin: B0000V19LS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1084
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Melissa Etheridge's considerable talents as writer/singer/performer have often seemed confounded by expectations--the artist having burdened herself with more than a few of them. Etheridge spent the '90s alternately proving her mettle as one of the era's most successful female rock artists (peaking with the multi-platinum Yes I Am), trying to recapture those glories, then plumbing the depths of an all-too-public romantic flame-out on '01's confessional Skin.But here, the singer seems content to engage in a little musical soul-baring of a wholly different stripe, showcasing her bluesy, ever expressive chops on a record that refuses to apologize for its contemporary production slickness and unashamed positive vibes. The ghosts of recent personal troubles get swept away by the breezy of "When You Find the One" and the romantic anthem "This Moment" and the wistful "Will You Still Love Me." "Mercy" engages her in a compelling, reflective duet with vocalist Bernie Barlow while the spare, bittersweet "Tuesday Morning" pays tribute to the heroes of 9/11. There's a confidence born of maturity and hard-won wisdom throughout--and the courage to simply play it straight down the middle of the road. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Melissa shines on this one!
After the heartbreaking "Skin" a couple years ago, Melissa Etheridge has come back with an infectious, addicting, highly emotional, fun cd. Clearly, the tone of the album is polar opposite of "Skin".

"Secret Agent", "Giant", "If You Want To" and "Kiss Me" are great rock songs in every sense - lots of guitar, a driving beat, and sexy (as well as amusing) lyrics on "Secret Agent" and "Kiss Me".

The title track "Lucky" is the emotional setting of this album, and you will feel the happiness of it in each song that follows.

"Tuesday Morning" is a power packed, emotional tribute to Mark Bingham, the gay man who was on Flight 93 with Todd Beamer (of "Let's roll" fame). The song is pointed, political, amazingly well-written, and if it doesn't cover your body in gooesbumps and fill your eyes with tears, you're not breathing.

"Breathe" is the first single off the album, and I really like Melissa's version of it. It tends to stick in your head, and you'll find yourself humming it absently all the time.

"Mercy" has a nice blues feel to it, and I think it will be an amazing live piece. "This Moment", "The One", and "Will You Still Love Me" are tender ballads and classic Etheridge writing from her heart.

I could go on and on about "Lucky", but instead, I'll just say that if you're a Melissa Etheridge fan or a rock and roll fan or even a fan of great music in general, this is a must have in your collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid effort from Melissa Etheridge
I honestly can't say that I am a big fan of Melissa Etheridge's music. A lot of her songs have been overplayed on the radio, especially her hit singles from "Yes I Am". Still that didn't stop me from buying 2001's "Skin", a dark, introspective solo album from Melissa who had at the time parted ways with her partner of 13 years Julie Cypher. It was a messy split but the results was amazing when Melissa's emotions were recorded on to cd. "Skin" was my first Melissa Etheridge cd. It was nice hearing Melissa restraining her vocals for once. I wasn't plan on buying "Lucky" but I soon found myself enjoying the first single off the album "Breathe". I haven't heard the original song by Greenwheel (a Saint Louis rock band) but I truly do enjoy listening to Melissa's version. "Lucky" is a far cry from the despair and loneliness of "Skin". Melissa has a lot to celebrate, if not to feel 'lucky' about like her recent commitment ceremony to actress Tammy Michaels. There were a couple of clunkers on "Lucky" but for the most part, "Lucky" is a solid rock album. I definitely enjoyed the ballads the most. I especially love the tender "This Moment" which I think is the follow up single to "Breathe". "Will You Still Love Me?" sounds like it would have fit perfectly on "Skin". It is a beautiful acoustic ballad. I think Melissa's vocals really shines through her ballads because she is restraining her vocals. The songs that I really wasn't big on were "Secret Agent" (the melodies just didn't work for me and the title alone was pretty silly), and "Come Out Tonight" (again, the melodies just didn't work for me). All in all, "Lucky" is a really good rock album from Melissa Etheridge. It may not be flawless but it is good enough for this casual listener.

4-0 out of 5 stars Etheridge Is LUCKY To Rebound From The Dark Depths Of SKIN
When last we heard from Melissa Etheridge, she was still reeling from the end of a twelve year relationship, something she captured brilliantly on the powerful, albeit at times dark and painful, SKIN. Ah, how things can change in three years! With the upbeat LUCKY, Etheridge has released her bounciest, most buoyant album to date. Yes, the rockers still rock, but it's the ballads and mid-tempo numbers that really steal the spotlight, and there's an overall sexiness to the disc that's just intoxicating! Opening up the CD is the gently rocking title track. With it's rock solid tight arrangement and strong lyrics about the redemptive power of a new love ("I was dried up I was starving I was mangled/You whispered in my ear/The ghosts are gone it's clear/For too long you've been tied up you've been strangled"), the cut gets things rolling, and we never look back."This Moment" is a gorgeous love song, one that could become a wedding, prom or anniversary standard, and Etheridge delivers it with from-the-gut passion. Lyrics such as "Oh I want to give you the stars/All that I can hold in my arms/Placing them where you lay" never sounded more sincere. Etheridge next kicks out the jams on the rollicking "If You Want To." We've all been here....that phone call we're not sure we should make...and that one that we so desperately want to receive. Absolutely spot-on! "Breathe" is a rarity for Etheridge...a cover tune. Make no mistake, though....with it's amped-up lead vocal and tight, guitar-and-drum one/two punch, this is without a doubt a Melissa Etheridge song! Next we have the delicate "Mercy", one of LUCKY's strongest cuts. With it's gentle sway, haunting backing vocals and honest, unaffected lead vocal, this is the kind of song that gets under your skin and doesn't let go. Add a powerful set of lyrics ("I have survived all of the lies/They made me wise/The locks and walls and the peace it buys") and you have one of Etheridge's best songs to date. "Secret Agent" is a somewhat top heavy rocker that centers around the "Is she or isn't she?" question Etheridge found a lot of people pondering upon first meeting her now-wife. It's a fun song, but it's nothing she hasn't done...and better!...before! "Will You Still Love Me" has a gently classical 60's/70's vibe to it, with hushed instrumentation and a simple lead vocal. Toss in another set of sterling lyrics ("The sky is too high/To paint tonight/The wind is too strong/To hold onto/I'd climb on your roof/And call out your name/But somebody stole my silver shoes") and a killer chorus ("Will you still love me anyway/Will you still need me when you're victorious/Will you still want me when I've nothing to say/Will you still love me anyway") and you have another one of LUCKY's best cuts. "Meet Me In The Dark" is sparse in it's arrangement, but deep in it's content. Beautifully accompanying herself on piano, backed by a thoughtful bass and plaintive cello, Etheridge creates a number that both pleads and soars. Once again, gorgeous! Next up is "Tuesday Morning", a tribute to the one hero on flight 93 from 9/11 who seems to have been swept under the rug. With it's captivating sample from Ella Jenkins to the powerful ending of "Come on let's roll", this song is a political piece, pure and simple, but it's never preachy or over the top. The same can't be said for "Giant", a slice of noisy hard rock that just seems out of place. Burdened by pedantic lyrics and a thudingly crashing arrangement, the track almost succeeds in bringing LUCKY to a grinding halt. "Come On Out Tonight" is quirky and funky, while "Kiss Me" is a steamy, sultry rocker. Closing out the disc is the wistful "When You Find The One." With it's swaying instrumentation (love the accordion!) and simple, honest vocal, Etheridge tells us her story ("I was a slick Midwestern gal/On the long hard road into Southern Cal"), finally admitting that "When you find the one/There's no questioning the silence/All is said and done/When you find the one." It's writing like this that has put Etheridge up there with Wendy Waldman as the female equivalent of Springsteen, Seger, Mellencamp and Adams, earthy storytellers who, at the same time, have loads of heart. Finally, starting a new thing in 2004, I'm giving the CD an extra half star for including the lyrics! So.....plain and simple....pick up Melissa Etheridge's latest....corny as it may'll be LUCKY you did!

5-0 out of 5 stars Melissa gets Lucky!
I just saw Melissa last night here in Detroit - and she put on an awesome, beautiful, sensual, open concert....

Words can't tell how much I enjoyed her performance. I pulled out "Lucky" that's been sitting collecting dust in my cd rack and forgot how her songs from last night touched me - and they are touching me again.

I cried openly to "Tuesday Morning" - as a gay male, it means so much to me because Melissa isn't afraid to write what she feels, there is no anger, hardly any sadness in this album - all about love, happiness, understanding, etc.

Melissa couldn't have produced a more perfect album. She's a true gem that has stood out the test of time.

Rock on Melissa, I love you!

PS - See her in concert if you can, the songs are so much better live!

5 stars for Lucky! (...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most Incredible!!!
I saw Melissa ,in DC,this March,2004. This Lady ,with all of her noterity,STILL has her feet on the ground.
What a wonderful person!!
In between 4 sold out nites in DC,she took the time to play for our troops,at Walter Reed Army Hospital. No news camers,just did it on her own do do her part.
Rock on Lady!!!!!!!!!
You are the best!!!
Lorrie W.
Rehoboth Beach ,DE,USA ... Read more

16. Rocket Ship Beach
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000051ZNR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1161
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Dan Zanes, lead singer of the 1980s roots-rock band the Del Fuegos, didn't need to enlist the high-profile help of pals Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Vega to produce a crowd-pleasing kids' record, but he got it anyway. On Rocket Ship Beach, where traditional tunes such as "Polly Wolly Doodle" (with Crow) and "Erie Canal" (with Vega) mingle in loosey-goosey, just-for-the-fun-of-it fashion with originals such as the plucky "All My Friends Live in the Woods" (written by Bad Company buddy Simon Kirke), Zanes exhibits the same plugged-in exuberance that gave his former band its unpredictable zing. Besides the no-amateurs instrumentation, which includes Zanes on guitar, lap steel, banjo-mandolin, and studiophone, and G.E. Smith on banjo-mandolin and guitar as part of a kickin' string band that performs the classic "King Kong Kitchie," plus a cluster of others, what stands out most about this 17-track funfest is its draw-you-in friendliness. Pitching in with the pros (who also include dancehall rapper Rankin' Don--he delivers the gruff stuff on "Father Goose" and "Sunny Side of the Street") are family friends such as the gang of West Indian babysitters turned vocal group the Sandy Girls, who give it up to impressive, get-you-boogying effect on "Emmanuel Road," and a kindergarten class that contributes, adorably, to "Sidewalks of New York." All told, this is way hipper than most kids' records and it also razzle-dazzles with its packaging--Rocket Ship Beach arrives in a chunky, colorful board-book illustrated with sweet, fantasy-fueled beachside scenes by banjo player and Zanes's brother-in-law, Donald Saaf. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Kids
My wife, son, and I were given this CD as a gift. I was skeptical because I feel many new efforts geared towards kids are either too Smurfy or too preachy. I was very pleasantly surprised. This CD is now not only one of my son's favorites, it is also a favorite of his parents.

Zanes has put together a collection of songs that keep you tapping your feet the 70th time you listen to them. I stay at home with my son and this music has saved me many times when he has been too cranky to eat, or hang out by himself while I get a few things done. After a little dancing to "Polly Wally Doodle" or "Erie Canal" he is bright and cheery.

I knew many of these songs before I heard the CD - - but not all of them. And even though I knew the tunes, Zanes has produced them in fresh new ways sure to surprise even the most jaded parent.

It was fun to hear artists I had heard previously singing songs for kids. I especially like the efforts of Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, and Barbara Brousal - - all of whom sing with the same clarity and spirit their fans love them for on their own CDs.

I can't recommend this CD highly enough. If you have kids you owe it to yourself to buy this and share it with them. If you don't have kids I recommend it as a charming, happy, intelligent collection of cherished songs by a group of talented musicians.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't say enough...
I honestly can't say enough...I recently went on a mad search for "listenable" children's music and fortunately Rocket Ship Beach was recommended. I purchased about 10 other children's CDs at the time and this one is the definite favorite! My 2 1/2 year old requests "Goodbye Old Paint" at least once a day and it hasn't even started to drive me crazy. Every track is great! I'm thankful for Dan Zanes and company daily. I bought "Family Dance" (his 2nd CD) as well, and while it's good, "Rocket Ship Beach" gets more air time. I would buy them both, but if you need a place to start go with "Rocket Ship Beach".

5-0 out of 5 stars Baby Music you can Actually enjoy
My husband and I listen to different children's cd's in the car with our children almost every day, and in the kitchen while making dinner. This one beats them all as we all enjoy the laid back feel it brings to us, the folksy rhythm, the swanky voices. A must for parents who are tired of singing their ABC's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kids and Adults will enjoy this music
My husband recently purchased this for our 17 month old daughter. It is music that we both enjoy. We catch her in the back seat bobbing her head to the beat of the music and 'chair dancing' in her car seat. This is a wonderful collection of children's music that adults can enjoy as well. It is not the same old boring nursery songs or the classical music that is more appropriate for wind down time. This music is great for the car or during play time. A must for parents. I wish we would have known about it sooner. Now all my friends are getting it for gifts.

5-0 out of 5 stars I just love this guy...
We just took our little guy to see him, and he met everybody after the show...He had a toddler mosh pit. It was awesome. And this album is great. ... Read more

17. About Time
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007WQH6W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1122
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great to have Webb back, but disappointing comeback CD
I've been a Webb Wilder enthusiast since I first saw him at the Down Home in Johnson City, TN in the early 1990s.From that point forward, I've been an ardent supporter and even advocate for Webb's music.In fact, I've been fairly vocal over the last several years about Webb needing to release some new music, so I was extremely happy to hear that "About Time" was in the works.Though I'm not unhappy with "About Time," I am disappointed with the effort.After nine years, I was hoping Webb would produce another complete recording like "Doo Dad" or "It Came From Nashville."Unfortunately, "About Time" is about half a good disc.Some of the songs are great ("You Might Be Lonely for a Reason"), whereas others are ripe with potential ("Down on the Farm"), and some simply fall flat ("Jimmy Reed is the King of Rock and Roll").The biggest problem that I've found with the CD is that Webb (or R.S. Field) decided to incorporate horns on at least two songs, and it just doesn't work.Webb's best at presenting a cross mix of old-fashioned guitar-oriented rock and roll with a nice country influence.The addition of horns takes away from what makes Webb Wilder and the Nashvegans such a great live band.The temptation to sound more like Chicago than the Rolling Stones or Merle Haggard is a grave mistake.I've noticed that the same thing happened with Scott Miller's debut CD as well, except his addition wasn't horns but rather an (ugghhh) organ.Maybe these additions are what others want to hear, but to me if I'd wanted Bruce Hornsby or Chicago, I would have bought their works.If you're a Webb fan, this CD is worth buying because there are a number of great songs here, but don't expect a stellar comeback CD or you might be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Mr. Wilder
I found out about Webb Wilder only a couple years ago, and it's been really hard/expensive to get hold of many of his older releases. (But well worth it.) I picked up "About Time" as soon as I found out about it and without bothering to listen to the samples. His previous stuff was just that good.

I drop it in the CD player and "Down On The Farm" starts up. What's this?!? Horse? Mule? Doing what? In the barn? I'm thinking, "Oh, great, Webb's gone 'corny' over the last nine years." Then the first instrumental part hit and I knew that they haven't really lost a thing. If you don't find your foot tapping to the songs on the CD, you might want to get your hearing or your heart checked because one of them has stopped working.

Nine years has had little if any effect on Webb's voice. It seems to have deepened a little (It was pretty deep to start with), but it's still strong and clear. I don't have to pull out the liner notes just to figure out what he's singing even during the fast tempo parts. I also hope Webb gave an extra hearty handshake to whomever the recording engineer was on this release. Some special care was taken to capture the brush work on the drums, finger work on the guitar, and some of the background instruments that often get washed out. All the instruments are noticably crisp, and that's not something I usually notice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why is crap forced down our ears when there is THIS?!?!
Webb fans, pick this up NOW.Best album since Doo Dad, and I loved T & C and Acres of Suede.It's just a shame, a damn shame, that music like this isn't released much anymore.If you don't know the Wonders of Webb, get to.Seek him out live, buy his other stuff, and enjoy the muscianship that we are so desperately lacking in this day and age.You won't regret it.Just the right mix of up-tempo with laid back tunes, humor, and sadness.It's been nine years and it is ABOUT TIME, but Webb and the Nashvegans haven't missed a step, and in some ways, they've improved.It all adds up to put a smile on your face, and tap in your toe.Awesome album.Pick up on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great New Webb CD
Webb Wilder hasn't lost a step in the nine years since his last album release.ABOUT TIME has it all:Slambang rockers, twangin' laments, and cool cover tunes.And R.S. Field remains a master producer.This is definitely one all WW fans need to own, as well as anyone the least bit interested in rock and roll and Americana music. ... Read more

18. The Ride
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0001XANOE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 980
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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After hitting a creative peak in the early '90s, Los Lobos settled into a decade-long groove that was perhaps a little too comfortable. The band's twelfth studio CD, The Ride, tries to shake things up a bit, and mostly succeeds by pairing the group with a string of collaborators similar to Carlos Santana's Supernatural. Only instead of the young hit-makers that propelled Santana's comeback, The Ride matches Los Lobos with early influences (Bobby Womack, Little Willie G) and long-time friends (Dave Alvin, Elvis Costello).

The experimentalism that fueled 1992's Kiko can be found here on a couple of tracks--most notably "Kitate," a deliriously wiggy collaboration with Tom Waits and Martha Gonzales of Quetzal--but generally the focus is on blues, soul, and roots rock. Surprisingly, some of the strongest performances are new versions of songs previously recorded by Lobos: Costello helps the band re-invent "Matter of Time" as a piano and pedal-steel guitar ballad; Mavis Staples turns the folk-blues lament of "Someday" into rousing Stax soul/gospel; and Womack segues effortlessly from "Wicked Rain" into his '70s blaxploitation classic, "Across 110th Street." Of the newer material, the band shines brightest on "La Venganza de Los Pelados," a Latin dance workout with Café Tacuba, and the bluesy soul of "Chains of Love," which shreds 12-bar formula by including a 90-second violin solo. The latter is a tribute to '50s rock & rollers Don and Dewey, proving that the best road to the future is sometimes paved by revisiting the distant past. --Keith Moerer ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's big & beefy -- like the band
Somehow I'm glad Los Lobos decided to go with a more traditional rock sound for their latest album instead of the fascinatingly quirky work they did with Mitchell Froom. While their Froom-produced records occasionally had me scratching my head, this new music delivers exactly what it promises -- full-grown roots-rock with all the muscle and talent of Los Lobos behind it. The big feature of this CD is the band's collaborations with a wide range of artists from Ruben Blades to Dave Alvin to Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello. And those are just the "advertised" guests. The CD also has organ playing by Garth Hudson of The Band, and songwriting partnerships between various Lobos and people such as Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead.

Anyway, the songs are mostly great, especially a blues-y duet with D. Alvin on "Somewhere In Time" and the beautiful "Rita," a rare non-guest song (just the guys). The only truly "weirdo" number is a song they did with Tom Waits, "Kitate," which includes Mr. Waits growly unintelligibly in the background. It's a song that grates a bit, and is out of place with the rest of the tunes. But what do you expect from Waits, a once-great songwriter who lost touch with reality a long time ago? Fortunately that one is an exception -- just about everything else on The Ride is top-notch.

Bottom line: this is a worthy and rewarding album, a great gift to THE "Band from East L.A." to their longtime fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Groundbreaking Effort
Los Lobos have always been a band that has confounded critics who want to classify their music and fit them neatly into some category like Latin-rock or "roots rock". The only problem has been that Los Lobos defy categorization. They have proven over a long and successful career that they can convincingly fit in anywhere. Los Lobos always have a surprise for fans and critics alike, as one never knows from one album to the next what to expect. Their previous album, "Good Morning Aztlan", was their best in years and with "The Ride", Los Lobos deliver another groundbreaking effort.
Some have compared this CD to Santana's smash Supernatural because of Los Lobos' use of a series of guest appearances by a variety of stars from all over the musical map. I think its better, because the array of musicians is more imaginative and the arrangements of the songs more innovative.
My favorites are La Venganza de los Pelados; Wicked Rain/Across 110th Street with a very soulful vocal by Bobby Womack; Hurry Tomorrow; Ya Se Va, a muy picosa dance number featuring salsero Ruben Blades; a soul-stirring Someday with Mavis Staples, and a very bluesy Chains of Love.
Most other songs are good, too. The only cuts I did not care for are Kitate which featured Tom Waits and Martha Gonzalez, and Matter of Time, a reworked song from How Will the Wolf Survive that features Elvis Costello. The original is MUCH better.
Los Lobos have remained intact for an unusually long time. Those who have been fans since the first are used to the bands' wild swings across the musical landscape and love them for it. This CD should only serve to strengthen their devotion. For those who have just recently heard of Los Lobos, I say why not start with this CD? I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Go buy this CD right now.
The last LL Album I bought was Kiko. Back then I considered it to be one of the best CDs I had bought in years.
Now I say the same about this one.
LL are great musicians, and add a little something to material that could otherwise be perceived as good but a little traditional. Their guitar riffs are always a little off the beaten track, their drum/bass backing always a little interesting, their instrumentation playful and virtuos, and the production flawless. The guest artists really contribute to create a special sounding CD, too.
Elvis Costello always does a great job, Womack reinvents two great songs (I enjoy these versions a lot more than I did the originals), and Staples is absolutely breathtaking in "Someday". Tom Waits does what he usually does (adds a little hysterical madness), and he's great as usual.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!!
I'm not going to go into a fanciful track by track dissection of this CD, my only recomendation is to buy it and now. Listened to it after tough day at work and mellowed me out. Usually when I see a CD with a bunch of special guest artists I'm leary but they do the trick and more here especially the organ work of Garth Hudson and scorching vocals of Mavis Staples. Did I mention to go out and buy this CD, doesn't get any better!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Take the Ride
With nary a change in personnel, Los Lobos have been making music together for more than 30 years (take that U2). And dare you try to pigeon-hole them as a Latin-American band from East LA, their body of work would prove that label bogus. They are consistently one of the most eclectic and daring bands around and 'The Ride' stands among their finest work. A gleaming showcase of versatility, the band dips into their usual array of Mexican/Latin, pop, rock & roll, country & western, rhythm & blues, Irish, gospel and various indefinable hybrids. And, as if the voices (David Hidalgo's evocative lilt, Cesar Rosa's feral growl) and musicianship of the regulars wouldn't be enough, these Wolves have recruited a parade of unique and distinguished artists (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bobby Womack, Mavis Staples, Dave Alvin, Ruben Blades, Richard Thompson, Café Tacuba, Little Willie G., Garth Hudson, Mitchell Froom, et. al.) to aid in their endeavor. Every guest is a natural fit. While a worthwhile cd by the young Mexican-American band Los Lonely Boys has been getting a fair amount of hype of late, this one by their progenitors sambas rings around it. If you only know Los Lobos by virtue of their one-hit remake of 'La Bamba' years ago, you owe yourself a chance to discover an unsung and underappreciated American institution. ... Read more

19. Heart Shaped World
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
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Asin: B000002LGI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1940
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Chris Isaak managed to turn his videogenic visage and brooding masculinity to his advantage in a big way, becoming a sort of MTV-era cross between James Dean and Elvis. Heady stuff, but don't hate him because he's beautiful. In fact, Isaak had been plying his trademark latter-day rockabilly sound for some years before the inclusion of "Wicked Game" in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart jolted sales of Heart Shaped World. (But the stylish Herb Ritts video certainly didn't hurt, either.) Still, the album is a moody gem, featuring the pensive title track, the smoldering "Blue Spanish Sky," and, of course, "Wicked Game." If you still doubt Isaak's good intentions, though, check out the album's rockin' finale, a fine version of Bo Diddley's "Diddley Daddy." --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Isaak's best and richest CD
About the other Chris Isaak CD's, I have written that one CD is nearly indistinquishable from the next. They all have some brooding numbers, some rockabilly numbers, some country influenced numbers and some rockers. I also wrote that the self-titled CD "Chris Isaak" may be the best one and that "Speak of the Devil" was the most musically complex CD. Then I relistened to "Heart Shaped World", after not playing it for a year.

"Heart Shaped World" still sounds like a typical Isaak CD, but it stands out from the rest. It is the richest, most musically complex CD. Each song tends to grab you and stay with you. This is opposed to the other CD's where most of the songs are good but forgettable. Plus it has three monster tracks (including Wicked Game) while the other CD's only have one or two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wicked Heart
Heart Shaped World was the album that made Chris Isaak a star, thanks to a song being included in David Lynch film. Mr. Isaak had released two critically acclaimed albums that sold poorly. Upon it's release in 1989, Heart Shaped World seemed destined to the same fate. But David Lynch used the dark and brooding song "Wicked Game" in his 1990 film Wild At Heart. The movie was heavily promoted and radio stations started playing the song. It really broke loose for the photogenic Mr. Isaak when MTV started playing the sexy black & white video for the song in late 1990 and over a year after the album's release, he finally had a much deserved top song and album. "Wicked Game" is a classic, but the album is full of equally great songs. The title track has a stinging guitar riff and an eerie reverb-filled vocal, "Blue Spanish Sky" has a slow, languid rhythm punctuated by a Latin jazz horn fill at the end, "In The Heart Of The Jungle" is a lengthy number with screeching feedback and fuzz guitars and a wild vocal, "Diddly Daddy" is a rockabilly rave up and "Wrong To Love You" may be the best song on the album and has a perfect vocal from Mr. Isaak. Heart Shaped World has so far turned out to be his only top ten album, but its success has helped keep an unique talent from sinking into obscurity and have a moderate degree of success despite making music that is far from the mainstream.

4-0 out of 5 stars 15 years and counting!
It's hard to believe this album came out 15 years ago. It sounds just as good now as it did then. I was in 7th or 8th grade when it came out, but thankfully my older brother was listening to Chris Isaak and let me hear him. At the time, I was almost exclusively listening to heavy metal, but this album was one of the ones that began opening up my musical world.

I'm not really sure how anybody could say all the songs sound alike except for "Wicked Game." "Kings of the Highway," "Blue Spanish Sky" and "In the Heat of the Jungle" are all different from one another, yet equally great songs. This album has a little bit of everything: sultriness, mystery, romance, rocking out and is basically a really good time. Chris Isaak is certainly one of the underappreciated musical voices of our time. He has other albums that I prefer to this one (like "Forever Blue" and "San Francisco Days"), but you certainly couldn't go wrong if this is where you started with his it has his all time biggest hit on it. This is some of the only music my wife and I can readily agree on!

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring, except for Wicked Game
All the songs sound alike and/or are boring, except for Wicked Game, which is lovely. Too bad. Chris has such a lovely voice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soul Quenching
When I first heard "Wicked Game" on the radio - it just grabbed me. I couldn't get enough of the song, nor get the song out of my head. To satisfy my musical desire to hear this song over and over again, I bought "Heart Shaped World" and listened to it for weeks. Here was a collection of music that set its own soft slow seductive mood (even the rockers do this), with each song as strong and vibrant as the one before and the one to follow, and delivered flawlessly by the soul quenching voice of Chris Isaak.

A timeless piece of work and true gift to the music world! ... Read more

20. Strangers Almanac
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000002RBZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4111
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Strangers Almanac first grabs you because it sounds so great. It's filled with dynamic performances that smolder moodily, then flare quickly into firestorms of twangy and soulful guitar rock that fuse Uncle Tupelo with the Stones, the Replacements, with Gram Parsons. But what makes this album essential are the songs of frontman Ryan Adams. Take "Houses On The Hill," about a man merely going through a box of old letters: in just two verses, and to a melody that's the definition of bittersweet, Adams relates a drama more rich in detail than most novels. One of '97's best albums. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the top five of the 90's
Ryan Adams has one of those whiskey soaked voices that drives slow sad songs deeper and drives rockers with a frenzy that approaches John Lennon's raspy shouting on 'Twist and Shout.' On this album Adams' songwriting and a dedicated band that drifts easily from deep country with bluegrass tinges to Stones (or John Mellencamp or Paul Westerberg)inspired rock and roll, combine on record ranks easily as one of the top five for the entire decade.

I have heard bands or singers called "World Weary", and no band is a better example than Whiskeytown. Lumping them in the "Alt-Country" or "No Depression" (whatever that means) groups is unfair. Whiskeytown is equal parts rock and roll and country and with Benmont Tench manning the keyboards behind them, this band turns out some of the best [North] American music this side of Tench's full time job, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or the Band [mostly Canadians]. How many "Alt-Country" could turn out a ballad as souful [including horns] as 'Everything I Do?'

The songs themselves swing from the simple and plaintive opener 'Inn Town' and 'Losering' to the raving 'Yesterday's News' and 'Waiting to Derail' to the bare bones acoustic guitar and fiddle on 'Houses on the Hill' and 'Avenues' and the afforementioned 'Everything I Do.' Every song on here stands pretty much on its own and the changing styles keeps everything moving. Going from 'Houses' to the late era Replacements-ish 'Turn Around' to the dark and brooding 'Dancing with the Women at the Bar' is a good example.

Do yourself a favor and just buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars continuing gram parsons' vision
if gram parsons had recorded an album in 1997, it might have turned out quite similar to whiskeytown's "strangers almanac." aside from the decidedly 90s-style studio tricks that are sprinkled throughout the record's thirteen tracks, the countrified singer/songwriter style is what shines through. yes ryan adams tends to get a lot of hype, but most of it is well deserved. charisma, strong lyrics, and a natural understanding of the intangibles that make great music will do that. whiskeytown may upset the country purists because of the distinctive rock influences, namely on "16 days" and "yesterday's news", but it's just a continuation of parsons' blurring of musical boundaries. "inn town" is a beautiful opener - subtle and emotional, and it's followed by the aching "excuse me while i break my own heart tonight" which seems too short but is arguably the strongest track here. the quieter moments are the album's gems, with "everything i do", "avenues", and "dancing with women at the bar" standing out, though "waiting to derail", a uncharacteristic yet effective rocker that has an emo-punk edge to it is strong as well. alcohol is a major theme throughout the album, and though it's easy to find fault in adams' characters (himself included of course) for their drunken finger-pointing, he manages to come off as sincere and regretful, if only for a second, and that makes him endearingly human. many music critics point to wilco's "being there" as the definitive 90s "alt-country-rock" record, and while that record is easily as strong as "strangers almanac", it's clear that wilco was steering away from its country roots, whereas whiskeytown unabashedly embraces them here. credit adams and caitlin cary for that. a must for any modern country-rock fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars very good
Way too much has been made about Ryan Adams' career after Whiskeytown. Did he sell out? Does he have a shred of artistic credibility left? To be honest, I don't care. Just listen to the songs and let them stand on their own merit. Strangers Almanac is a great album from start to finish. This is a great place to start with Adams' career. However, many people believe it also is the place to stop as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars a record for all beautiful loser's
Ryan Adams is a genius. Yeah his ego is a mile high, but you know what with lyric's as good as this I came see why he's like that. Anyway, Strangers Alamanac unfolds like a novel of youth lost and longing. On this record you can really see the Paul Westerberg influence, rather than their debut Faithless Street(which by the way is also great) a big the Gram Parsons influence. "Avenues" sounds like it's a companion piece to The Replacements song "Here Comes The Regular". Adams to me always had a beautiful losers/youthful romanticism ethos about him. Anyway, buy this record!

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the best record album ever.
When listening we must all mourn what Whiskeytown could have been. The songwriting, vocals, and music on this album all come together to embody the "No Depression" movement. Quiet desperation. Depth of emotion rarely heard in music. Listen on an all night drive-- with a picture of your ex-lover on the dashboard and a carton of cigarettes beside you on the seat. ... Read more

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