Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, a truism that's brought into sharp relief by the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, the group's saxophonist, died in 2008, something that shook the DMB to their core and they've responded as any working band does: by carrying on, playing gigs – including one on the day of his passing – and finishing the album they were recording at the time of his death, turning Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King into a tribute to their fallen comrade. By saluting his spirit, DMB wind up returning to their roots, jettisoning any of the well-manicured crossover pop of Stand Up and reviving the loose-limbed jams that were their '90s specialty, a sound they've largely abandoned – at least on record – since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets. During that long, long decade between Before and Big Whiskey, DMB remained one of America's biggest bands even though much of those ten years found Matthews working through various existential crises – things got too big so he pulled away from the band, turned out a dark solo record, then came back – and his namesake band drifted along with him. Here, everything snaps back into focus: what was glossy is now clean and unvarnished; there is no avoidance of their rangy, loping rhythms or predilection for elastic solos; and these signatures – shunned on record, not on-stage – are embraced warmly, given muscle, and married to the dark undercurrents that have flowed throughout Matthews' new-millennium writing.
So titled because the original album, simply titled Bat Chain Puller, had to be ditched and rerecorded after a legal tuzzle involving Frank Zappa's manager, Shiny Beast turned out to be manna from heaven for those feeling Beefheart had lost his way on his two Mercury albums. Then again, what else could be assumed with a song titled "Tropical Hot Dog Night" that sounds like what happened when Beefheart encountered Miami disco and decided to make something of it?
The Mirror Man Sessions features the complete remastered contents of Mirror Man, albeit in a resequenced running order, and fills out the rest of the CD with a number of bonus tracks taken from additional recordings, both finished and unfinished, made around the same time for what would have been a double album titled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper.
The Cameo Blues Band is a Toronto-based blues band, originally formed in 1978. It is particularly notable for its association with several of Canada's leading blues singers, including Richard "Hock" Walsh, Tony Flaim and Chuck Jackson, all of whom were also associated with the Downchild Blues Band. In 2002, at the instigation of producer and independent label owner Lance Anderson, the Cameo Blues Band recorded its first album, on Make It Real Records. Band membership for the album was composed of Ray Harrison (piano and Hammond B3), John Bride (guitar), Tom Griffiths (bass) and Michael Sloski (drums). Vocals were contributed by four previous lead singers of the band: Dickie, Jackson, Tomlinson and Zwol. Invited guests contributing to the album were Michael Fonfara, keyboard player for Downchild, Freddie Keeler and Terry Blersh on guitars, and Larry Shields on tuba.
Third time up for sightless guitar wunderkid Jeff Healey and gang; Feel This offers the power trio's meatiest and most satisfying outing. JHB's brand of roadhouse rock can be somewhat bland on disc; here the group captures much more of its trademark live intensity than in the past. The unobtrusive addition of keyboards adds a more expansive dimension to several tracks. Boogie fans will want to check out the ZZ Top-like "Cruel Little Number"; blues-rockers will come away satisfied with the likes of "House That Love Built." Hip-hop connoisseurs, on the other hand, will likely want to avoid JHB's rap spoof on "If You Can't Feel Anything Else."
Long after Bob Marley's death from cancer in 1981 and Peter Tosh's murder in 1988, members of Marley's band continued to record under the name the Wailers Band. On 1991's Majestic Warriors, some of the key players include lead singer/guitarist Junior Marvin and bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett. Marley fans couldn't help but wonder if Majestic Warriors would sound anything like his classic albums of the '60s and '70s but, in fact, enjoyable selections like "Sweet Cry Freedom," "Bad Mind People," and "Trip" are notably slicker and more produced than anything you'll find on Natty Dread, Catch a Fire, or Exodus. Though one of its highlights is a likable cover of Marley's 1980 hit "Could You Be Loved," the CD on the whole isn't as Marley-sounding as one might expect. This decent but rather uneven album does have its moments…
Now available on CD in Digipak format. Released for short time in 1993 on the indie HTD label and hard to find. Recorded at The Attic Bar in Stafford in September 1992, before an ecstatic home-town crowd. Only their second live album after 1974's iconic FM Live and of comparable quality. Features definitive Nineties line up of Colin Cooper, Lester Hunt, George Glover, Neil Simpson and Roy Adams. Contains long-time set opener Fool For The Bright Lights , their biggest hit single Couldn't Get It Right and classics Chasing Change and The Movie Queen . Band play on today with frontman Johnny Mars replacing the late Colin Cooper, and most of this repertoire survives in their set. Booklet with authoritative and extensive liner notes written by respected Record Collector journalist Michael Heatley. Expertly remastered superb sound - top quality reproduction. The best in the business!