Playlist
Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings
Keith Jarrett
La Valse Bleue
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

New York guitar prodigy Joe Bonamassa opened for B.B. King before he was a teen, but blues is just the springboard for the sound on this second solo outing. Bonamassa spotlights his songwriting this time, using his fluid and fiery guitar work to punctuate muscular melodies more akin to anthemic arena rock than basic blues. While Bonamassa's debut disc, A New Day Yesterday, featured a supporting cast of Gregg Allman, Rick Derringer, and Leslie West, the follow-up keeps the focus on his power trio, with drummer Kenny Kramme and bassist Eric Czar providing most of the accompaniment (although keyboardist Cliff Magness creatively colors around the edges). Bonamassa is indeed a certifiable fretboard phenom, consistently capable of startlingly effective solos, but he's also a strong singer, and that's what makes the collection of songs, a dozen of the 13 cowritten by Bonamassa, successful. The title track, complete with a sizzling solo, sustains a Southern blues-rock feel, but most of the other songs, such as the power pop "Unbroken," the hard-rocking "Sick in Love," and the retro "Never Said Goodbye," which features Bonamassa on mandolin, showcase his abilities in different stylistic settings. --Michael Point
So It's Like That
Joe Bonamassa
The Hard Way
Year: 2002

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

"Play with Fire", is The Reign of Kindo's 3rd full length record and 1st with newest member Danny Pizarro Jr. on piano. Newly relocated to New York City as a base, Kindo has released possibly their best record yet. The record starts out with "The Hero, The Saint, The Tyrant, and The Terrorist a song that screams "The Reign of Kindo" and would be a fit on any thier first two records. "Help It" has a killer bass line and sounds like every band member is having a musical conversation with one another, a perfectly in sync and melodic conversation. "Sing When No Ones Around" is more guitar driven than past records and the percussion kills when it comes in. "Dust" is a brilliant tune pulsing with rythym and slide guitar licks. Rare is it to find modern music that pinpoints the middle ground between a respect for past greats and a boldness to pave tomorrow. This is, quite modestly, the definition of The Reign of Kindo. Citing influences from Dave Brubeck to Ben Folds to Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto to John Mayer, there's not a degree of pomposity in this sound, just an honesty in the group's craft to blend such diverse influences into an identity
Play with Fire
The Reign Of Kindo
The Man, The Wood & The Stone
Year: 2013

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Listening to the high-energy, florid runs, quirky twists, and trademark whines that tattoo "Bouncin' with Bud," the opening track of Whisper Not, it's hard to believe that Keith Jarrett was still in the throes of chronic fatigue syndrome when his trio recorded this date in Paris in July 1999. This isn't the Keith Jarrett of moody ruminations we heard on his solo CD The Melody at Night, with You, released in the fall of 1999. Whisper Not is closer to the Jarrett who launched the Standards Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock in 1983. The trio is still mining the songs of their youth, resurrecting "Poinciana," a signature song of Ahmad Jamal, an early Jarrett influence, and paying tribute to the bop masters with a rollicking take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and a sophisticated excursion into Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." The interplay between these three musicians has never been higher, operating at a level beyond intuition, playing inside each other's heads. --John Diliberto
Whisper Not
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
What Is This Thing Called Love
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Listening to the high-energy, florid runs, quirky twists, and trademark whines that tattoo "Bouncin' with Bud," the opening track of Whisper Not, it's hard to believe that Keith Jarrett was still in the throes of chronic fatigue syndrome when his trio recorded this date in Paris in July 1999. This isn't the Keith Jarrett of moody ruminations we heard on his solo CD The Melody at Night, with You, released in the fall of 1999. Whisper Not is closer to the Jarrett who launched the Standards Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock in 1983. The trio is still mining the songs of their youth, resurrecting "Poinciana," a signature song of Ahmad Jamal, an early Jarrett influence, and paying tribute to the bop masters with a rollicking take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and a sophisticated excursion into Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." The interplay between these three musicians has never been higher, operating at a level beyond intuition, playing inside each other's heads. --John Diliberto
Whisper Not
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
What Is This Thing Called Love
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Strata
Steve Roach & Robert Rich
Magma
Year: 1990

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Aural archaeologists Rich and Steve Roach delve deep into the strata of the primordial mind in this acclaimed 1990 collaboration. They forge a symbiotic artistic alliance where their signature sonic motifs are generally abandoned for the sake of a collective sound. Implementing their combined arsenal of synths, samplers, flutes, drums, and steel guitar, the duo creates a variety of moods and atmospheres--serene ambiences ("The Grotto of Time Lost"), ritualistic, rhythmic invocations ("Fearless"), intense dark ambient spaces ("Magma"), and surreal, bubbling soundscapes ("Persistence of Memory [For Dali]"). As with their other works, the composers utilize a balanced blend of organic and electronic instrumentation in an exploration of the human psyche that is simultaneously primal and cerebral. This album was a critical and commercial success, remaining on the Billboard New Age charts for several months after its initial release. --Bryan Reesman
Strata
Steve Roach & Robert Rich
Magma
Year: 1990

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

What a return to form for Rundgren! Arena's baker's dozen, one-word-named tunes are from another time entirely: thoughtful, intense and expertly crafted rock songs that straddle the line between pop and prog. Rundgren continues to make music that pushes the envelope of his best work, regardless of current musical trends. The great songwriter and genius producer of Cheap Trick, the Runaways, Meat Loaf, Hall and Oates, and XTC is neither resting on his laurels nor performing his greatest hits at the Kansas state fair--although he did assume Rix Ocasek’s mantle with the New Cars, but that's something else entirely. The album title is ironic. Music like this hasn't been an arena draw in twenty-plus years. --Mike McGonigal
Arena
Todd Rundgren
Gun

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Radiance
Keith Jarrett
Radiance, Pt. 10
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Head Down
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Echoplex
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Discipline
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Letting You
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Seeds
The Seeds
Pushin' Too Hard
Year: 1966

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Seeds
The Seeds
Pushin' Too Hard
Year: 1966

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Only was Tommy Emmanuel's first all acoustic album. Armed with 'only' his acoustic guitar, Tommy blasted the boundaries of the acoustic genre with a musicality and passion that arguably eclipses his command of the instrument. Only is a deeply intimate encounter with one of the world's great performers, and a technique that guitar enthusiasts, critics, and peers of the world stage describe as 'frightening'. This Special Edition Includes Bonus Tracks of previously unreleased recordings. Remixed & Remastered by the original engineer/producer.Best Fingerstyle Guitarist in Acoustic Guitar Players Choice Awards 2008!
Only (Special Edition) [Remastered]
Tommy Emmanuel
The Hunt
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3

Even John Hiatt's most ardent fans weren't ready for this masterpiece to be dropped in their laps in 1987. Hiatt had spent most of the 70's and 80's playing pick-a-style, bouncing from southern country rock to Elvis Costello redux and back again. With Family, though, he pared away every bit of excess and delivered his best set of songs with the understated, impossibly tasteful backing of Nick Lowe on bass, Ry Cooder on guitar and Jim Keltner on drums. Hiatt's sober, uncompromising examination of his previously drunken life was breathtaking; producing instant classics in "Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Thing Called Love." Family remains a landmark of adult album rock. --Michael Ruby
Bring the Family
John Hiatt
Tip of My Tongue
Year: 1987

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Nirvana made a lot of things irrelevant when Nevermind was released in 1991. Among the most unfortunate casualties caught inside the blast radius were the B-52's. Just two years prior, they had released their very first mainstream breakthrough album, Cosmic Thing. This album was featherweight, sun-kissed, playfully pansexual and, most importantly, danceable. Tracks like "Love Shack" and "Roam" reminded us there could be fun without responsibility. Alternately kitschy and lazy (I still insist that "Deadbeat Club" was a slacker anthem long before Beck's "Loser"), Cosmic Thing took the B-52's signature Trekkie-camp sensibility and slowed it down just enough to click on MTV and portable radios wonderfully. And let's be honest, anyway: would you rather road-trip to Kurt's sad refrain of "Well, whatever, nevermind" or Fred Schneider belting out, "The whole shack shimmies!!" at the top of his lungs? On second thought, don't answer that. --Todd Levin
Cosmic Thing
The B-52's
Love Shack

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Dizzy Heights
Neil Finn
Flying In The Face Of Love
Year: 2014

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Corona Radiata
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Lights in the Sky
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Echoplex
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
Letting You
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
1,000,000
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
1,000,000
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip (also known as Halo 27) is the eighth major studio release by Industrial Rock act Nine Inch Nails. The album was produced by Trent Reznor alongside Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder. The album features vocals and traditional song structures, unlike its 2008 counterpart Ghosts I-IV. Much like Ghosts I-IV, the album was released under a Creative Commons license, allowing fans to remix and reuse all or part of the album non-commercially. A tour for the album, entitled "Lights in the Sky 2008", begins in late July and will take place over most of North and South America.
The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
1,000,000
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Slip (also known as Halo 27) is the eighth major studio release by Industrial Rock act Nine Inch Nails. The album was produced by Trent Reznor alongside Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder. The album features vocals and traditional song structures, unlike its 2008 counterpart Ghosts I-IV. Much like Ghosts I-IV, the album was released under a Creative Commons license, allowing fans to remix and reuse all or part of the album non-commercially. A tour for the album, entitled "Lights in the Sky 2008", begins in late July and will take place over most of North and South America.
The Slip
Nine Inch Nails
999,999
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3

The title track on Shawn Colvin's Steady On fits well as the folk singer's theme song. "I'm Gonna Keep My Head on Straight," she sings, "I Just Hope It's Not Too Late." That Colvin has been one of contemporary folk's most endearing performers not only underscores the subject of her songs but suggests her true appeal--heartfelt, often confessional lyrics and well-crafted melodies that evoke a broad palette of emotions. While she is strong on delicate balladry like "Shotgun Down the Alley," Colvin's forte is turning up the tempo and giving us folk songs with rock & roll gusto. --Nick Heil
Steady On
Shawn Colvin
Diamond In The Rough
Year: 1989

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Lucinda Williams makes this whole music thing seem so simple: Write in plain language about the people and places that crowd your memory; add subtle flavors of a mandolin here, a Dobro there, perhaps an accordion or slide guitar; above all, sing as honestly and naturally as you can. Of course, it took her six years to achieve this simplicity, an amazing achievement considering the number of knobs that were turned. Her exquisite voice moans and groans and slips and slides--she delivers a polished tone in a coarse manner. On the superb "Concrete and Barbed Wire," soft acoustic guitars are punctuated by electric slide, accordion, mandolin, and Steve Earle's harmony. Williams's deeply personal stories are matched with bluesy rumbles, raunchy grooves, and plaintive whispers. The entire Deep South is reduced to a sleepy small town filled with ex-lovers, dive bars, and endless gravel roads. --Marc Greilsamer
Car Wheels On a Gravel Road
Lucinda Williams
Drunken Angel
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

CD created "for continuous playback". One track (73:59).
The Dream Circle
Steve Roach
The Dream Circle
Year: 1999

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Tokyo '96
Keith Jarrett
Never Let Me Go
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Tokyo '96
Keith Jarrett
Never Let Me Go
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Tokyo '96
Keith Jarrett
Never Let Me Go
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Tokyo '96
Keith Jarrett
Never Let Me Go
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Before the Mars Volta made prog-metal fashionable again--with a little help from the Dillinger Escape Plan and My Chemical Romance--Porcupine Tree's 2002 US debut, In Abstentia, had already laid most of the groundwork. For the middle-aged British quartet led by Steven Wilson, '70s rockers like Rush and Yes (with whom the group toured after the album's release) never went out of style but instead left behind grandiose scriptures to be studied for all of eternity. So while tighter and more efficient in spots ("Shallow," "Halo"), Porcupine Tree's Deadwing faithfully keeps the technically proficient epics coming, peaking with multi-tentacled 12-minute "Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)." --Aidin Vaziri
Deadwing
Porcupine Tree
The Start of Something Beautiful
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Solo Acoustic Guitar (Bass, Fiddle, & Percussion) Antoine Dufours’ thirteen original compositions come to life on this CD. Naissance (Birth) is a fitting title for this CD as it is his first completely original and solo project. The CD is receiving critical acclaim and along with appearances and awards at major festivals, Antoine is building a National reputation for innovation and creativity.
Naissance
Antoine Dufour
Glimmer of Hope
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five
Sports & Wine
Year: 1995

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Tooth of Crime
T-Bone Burnett
Dope Island
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Explicit version of Ben Folds' 2008 album Way to Normal. Ben Folds is best known as a solo artist and as the front-man pianist of Ben Folds Five. He is celebrated for a sound that bridges the worlds of Jazz and Power Rock. Consistently touring, Ben Folds has earned a reputation for his wit, musicality, and energetic live shows. With songs like 'Hiroshima' (which recounts his falling of the stage and hitting his head in Japan), Folds has proven to be a story-teller for the piano-rock generation. Way To Normal is the first full length release since Songs for Silverman, a very honest look at the last few years of Folds' life. Folds collaborated with Dennis Herring (Counting Crows, Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello) and the track 'You Don't Know Me' features a duet with indie songstress, Regina Spektor.
Way to Normal
Ben Folds
Before Cologne
Year: 2008

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2
Randy Newman
My Life Is Good
Year: 2011

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

The grizzled modern persona of Tom Waits finds new life on Alice, a slow, grave record that explores physical and moral decay with the same harrowing insight of 1992's Bone Machine. Originally written as an opera with his longtime songwriting partner, playwright Kathleen Brennan, the songs on Alice were performed live in a Hamburg theater for 18 months in 1992 and 1993, but were never committed to tape (officially, at least). This studio recording retains a sense of narrative cohesion, giving Waits a set of tormented and bizarre characters that go well with the motley crew he's assembled over the years. It is, in fact, the most consistent record of Waits's career, offering not only a stable train of thought, but a musical approach that, while featuring the same vaudevillian touches that have characterized his work since Swordfishtrombones, finds a voice all its own. Without much percussion to back them up, violins, cellos, and horns dominate the record, bathing Waits's familiar growl in a sly, slow cacophony that sounds like an underwater fugue, the notes like rust on the strings. "Watch Her Disappear," with its sparse, sad pump organ, and the twisted torch song "Reeperbahn" have the smoky café mystery of Edith Piaf by way of Leonard Cohen, recovered from the water-logged tapes in Cole Porter's long-lost dingy. It's a burst of dark, world-weary poetry for lonely Saturday nights, cloudy days on the beach, or long strolls through graveyards. --Matthew Cooke
Alice
Tom Waits
Barcarolle
Year: 2002

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Don't Try This at Home
Michael Brecker
Talking to Myself
Year: 1988

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

It's easy to understand why Nine Inch Nails became the industrial band to break out of the techno ghetto and win a larger audience. Trent Reznor, who records the NIN albums almost entirely by himself (although he tours with a full band), tries very hard to pass himself off as an angry young man, but underneath the angst-ridden lyrics, pounding synths, and grating guitars is an irrepressible pop sensibility. On the second full-length NIN album, The Downward Spiral, Reznor builds his constructions of noise and gloom around warm, fuzzy melodies. On the album's first single, "March of the Pigs," for example, Reznor screams about swine lined up for slaughter amid guitars screeching in pain. Suddenly the guitars fall away to reveal the sensually throbbing rhythm track below; then that falls away to reveal a vocal-and-piano track that's as catchy as anything by Elton John. Because Reznor has a better handle on dynamics now, the melodic core is more obvious than ever. --Geoffrey Himes
The Downward Spiral
Nine Inch Nails
Reptile
Year: 1994

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Radiance
Keith Jarrett
Radiance, Pt. 13
Year: 2005

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Lonelyland
Bob Schneider
Bullets
Year: 2001

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Over the last seven years, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris quietly recorded an album by stealing "a few precious hours of studio time here and there," as the ex-Dire Straits singer/guitarist puts it. Good thing they kept it largely under wraps--expectations would have pushed through the clouds, especially as Knopfler conjured 10 of the 12 cuts, and Harris, who writes potently, but little, contributed two ("Love and Happiness," "Belle Starr"). Yet now that it's here, All the Roadrunning--while beautiful--seems somehow underwhelming, and without a true centerpiece. Anyone familiar with the artists' famous catalogues would expect the repertoire to be poetic and brooding, and that Harris's ethereal soprano would add light to Knopfler's dark Prozac rumblings. But the surprise is that the album is too tame, never breaks out of its midtempo groove, and never takes any big chances.That said, there is much to like: The marital scrapbook romp of "This Is Us," the bluesy bickering of "Right Now," the wrenching poignancy of the 9/11-inspired ballad "If This Is Goodbye." Knopfler, ever the hypnotic guitarist, turns in some thrillingly droll and laconic vocals, and Harris brings the spirited coltishness of her early work to "Belle Starr." In the end, though, this is not so much a duet album as two famously melancholy musicians singing together--at times, strikingly so. --Alanna Nash More Mark & Emmylou Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler Brothers in Arms Dire Straits Screenplaying Mark Knopfler Anthology: The Warner/Reprise Years Emmylou Harris Pieces of the Sky Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball Emmylou Harris
All the Roadrunning
Mark Knopfler And Emmylou Harris
Belle Star
Year: 2006

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Never so much a band as the slyly crafted specter of one, Steely Dan's mid-1990s "return" to live performance was as surprising as it was perverse. They'd previously toured only once, round about the era of Watergate, pet rocks, and Shaft. A half-decade after their concert comeback and a mere 19 years after Gaucho seemingly closed out their recording career, the jazz-pop conceit of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen deliberately dropped back into a recording landscape where they weren't so much seasoned vets as alien ambassadors. Two Against Nature, indeed. The tack is instantly familiar: a musical/lyrical reconciliation of Monk and Newman, with familiar harmonic flourishes, nimble studio chops, and an icy, world-class cool, as willfully insulated from hip-hop and techno as it was from disco and Top 40. Less concerned with melodic hooks than a canny sophistication of mood and manner, Becker and Fagen never let a trite melody get in the way of a good story, whether their protagonists are plotting some nefarious obliquity ("Gaslighting Abby"), Southern-fried incest (the deliciously funky "Cousin DuPree"), or bleakly confronting dashed expectations ("What a Shame About Me"). A little more musically languorous perhaps, its trademark cynicism now undercut by hints of sadness and regret, this is nonetheless a Steely Dan album worthy of the name, and like the best of them, one whose subtle charms reveal themselves in surprising ways. -Jerry McCulley
Two Against Nature
Steely Dan
Gaslighting Abbie
Year: 2000

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

Bruce Hornsby fans have their reasons for feeling defensive these days: Despite the stylistic virtuosity and his former gig as a Dead sideman, as a piano-playing, adult-aimed popster he's in danger of being lumped in with Norah Jones and her drowsy disciples. Which may be why he brought out the heavy hitters for Halcyon Days, his ninth album and one of his best. First single "Gonna Be Some Changes Made" leads the charge on a return-to-roots odyssey that reflects both a grown-up acceptance of the way it is circa 2004 and a keep-it-real, no-caving-to-artifice spirit. Sting pitches in on vocals, his voice at times blending with Hornsby's to take on a regular-guy likeability absent in his recent work, and backing the two up on guitar is Eric Clapton, who picks up the at-ease vibe and veers it in a Hornsby-eque, no-showoffs direction. And that's just the leadoff track. Deeper in, Sir Elton John wades gently into "Dreamland," defying parents to find a cooler, more of-the-moment lullaby, and Clapton returns twice more for lead guitar duties, picking up a vocal credit on "Candy Mountain Run". Hornsby is cashing in on high-profile favors here, and they will likely serve him well in scoring new listeners. But the loyal would have been satisfied without them: Courtesy of Hornsby's characteristic wit on tracks like "What the Hell Happened" and an un-stingy share of two-handed solo piano noticeably absent on his prior album, their own halcyon days have returned. --Tammy La Gorce
Halcyon Days
Bruce Hornsby
What the Hell Happened
Year: 2004

Amazon MP3iTunes Store

New York guitar phenom walks tall in the blues tradition with this third album, jettisoning fiery riffs inspired by John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elmore James, and Albert Collins into the future with furious playing, a hard-rock sensibility, and a grizzled voice that owes a debt to Gregg Allman. Equally inspired by the Delta blues and the mid-'60s British blues boom, the young firebrand--who titled this CD after a Rod Stewart song penned while in the Jeff Beck Group--is able to fuse those two schools together, creating edgy blues rock. --Jaan Uhelszki
Blues Deluxe
Joe Bonamassa
Burning Hell
Year: 2003

Amazon MP3iTunes Store