Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Folk

December 11th, 2022

Joni Mitchell Locked in an Asylum Box!

click bait, yes, literally not true, but metaphorically true.

By: Michael Fremer

The speculation below re digital is wrong. Patrick Milligan commented on an unboxing video that it’s from tape. I stand corrected and sorry I didn’t see obscure unboxing video. However, I stand by my sound comments. These records don’t sound great compared to previously released versions and the compression is noticeable and unwelcomed. Compared to nothing I’m sure they will sound okay. And glad they are cut from tape.The four albums in this box document an artist on... Read More

genre Folk Jazz Fusion format Vinyl

October 31st, 2022

Jim Turner's 'The Well-Tempered Saw'

From the archives: Listening to this album is akin to inserting a palate cleanser in your system

By: Tracking Angle

(This review, written by Carl E. Baugher, originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Don’t laugh, this is not just a novelty record—it’s actually a helluva musical album. Jim Turner is an amazing virtuoso with the ol’ crosscut and he never lapses into sound effects or cheap diddling. The album is a jumble of classical and folk music with Turner’s high-pitched saw at the center of some pretty fine acoustic recordings. The folk stuff is especially good.You gotta hear... Read More

genre Folk format Vinyl

October 9th, 2022

Anthony Wilson's "The Plan of Paris" Mixes Jazz, Folk, Blues and Country With Singer/Songwriter Sensitivity

a dark album made for these times

By: Michael Fremer

When Anthony Wilson is not on the road playing jazz guitar, he sometimes steps into a recording booth and exits Clark Kent-like as a sensitive ‘70s era singer/songwriter.For those more accustomed to Wilson backing Diana Krall or leading jazz ensembles on a series of Groove Note releases or providing orchestrations and/or playing on dozens of studio dates (for instance on Paul McCartney’s “Kisses on the Bottom”), his sumptuously packaged, sensitively drawn 2019 Songs... Read More

September 22nd, 2022

David Blue's "Stories" Tells Mournful Tales Not as Sad as the Singer/Songwriter's Own

Gets an AAA Limited Edition Reissue

By: Michael Fremer

There was a time when you could buy a label's output and be confident you'd made a quality record purchase without hearing the music. Labels that managed this late '60s/early '70's feat included Elektra, Warner Brothers/Reprise, Island and David Geffen's Asylum Records. You could buy with confidence Love's debut, The Doors, Jackson Browne's Saturate Before Using, Traffic's Mr. Fantasy, Cat Stevens' Mona Bone Jakon, for... Read More

September 16th, 2022

'The Ghost Of Tom Joad': Bruce Springsteen's Masterpiece

From the archives: The album Springsteen's been working towards his entire career

By: Tracking Angle

(This review, written by Carl E. Baugher, originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)It’s taken him some 20 years or so but Bruce Springsteen has finally delivered his masterpiece. Make no mistake: he’s done a ton of good work over the years. But, this is the album he’s been working towards his whole career. And there’s not a single rock song on it! Here’s evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that the lineage which runs through Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan... Read More

September 13th, 2022

Palace Music's 'Viva Last Blues'

From the archives: Will Oldham's third record as Palace Music

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)The question is, how far are you willing to climb to reach a pure source? Do you want the water as it exits from a fissure in the rocks? Or is a filtered five gallon bottle delivered to your back door good enough for you?Which are you more comfortable with? PJ Harvey? Or Alanis Morissette? Fresh or packaged? What you’ll get here is drawn straight from the pure stream of Will Oldham’s cosmic ether. Oldham is a... Read More