Roy Buchanan has long been considered one of the finest, yet criminally overlooked guitarists of the blues rock genre whose lyrical leads and use of harmonics would later influence such guitar greats as Jeff Beck, his one-time student Robbie Robertson, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
As a 16-song, single-disc best-of, this does the job very nicely for those who want Nyro's best and most famous songs in one place. Only nine tracks into the CD you've already heard "Sweet Blindness," "Wedding Bell Blues," "And When I Die," "Blowin' Away," "Eli's Comin'," "Stoney End," and "Stoned Soul Picnic," which should be enough to convince anyone that Nyro was a major singer/songwriter…
On Van Zandt's fourth album his voice hasn't yet attained the weary gravitas that made his later albums so shattering, but his dark, skewed visions of life are already in place. "Tower Song" is one of the minor key laments Van Zandt did so well, delivered with sparse guitar and subtle classical harp. The singer is leaving behind his wife and child, blaming her for the break up, although he admits he's a drunk and unable to communicate with her, except in song. "Where I Lead Me" is a dark folk-rocker that takes another jaundiced look at relationships with his characteristic bleak humor.
Skull Snaps is a legendary funk album that has long been shrouded in obscurity. The band recorded their self-titled debut and a handful of singles in 1973, then vanished without a trace. In recent years, their vinyl has become ubiquitously sampled and highly collectible. The monstrous break that opens up their classic cut, “It’s A New Day,” furnished the beat for countless hip-hop hits of the mid-‘90s. But despite all their widespread influence, there’s been almost no information available anywhere on the Skull Snaps. “It’s become a very mystique thing about us,“ says bassist and singer Samm Culley. “I think everybody who stole our music must have thought that we fell off the face of the earth because they didn’t hear anything from us at all. But we’re here, and ready to be heard.
Master conguero Ray Barretto and salsa queen Celia Cruz had already worked together on the 1983 session Tremendo Trío, which found them teaming up with Puerto Rican sonero Adalberto Santiago. Five years later, towards the end of 1988, la guarachera and Barretto recorded the delightful, no-frills salsa session that you hold in your hands. The quality of the songwriting and the excellent production values of "Ritmo En El Corazon" gained the album a Grammy award in 1990.