The works of Franz Danzi did not achieve especially widespread appeal during his lifetime, nor have they been particularly popular in modern times despite the trend of resurrecting lost or unknown compositions. In addition to being a prolific composer, Danzi was quite active as an educator, though his pedagogical achievements are equally unrecognized. While not all of his compositions are necessarily worthy of a second look, his chamber works are of interest. In particular, his wind chamber music finds the composer hard at work advancing his ideals of wind performance and the advocacy of the "new," modernized versions of wind instruments. This set of three piano quintets (for fortepiano plus winds) is an ideal setting. The fortepiano, played by Christine Schornsheim, is clearly the dominant force throughout the three quintets, the winds are given several opportunities to stand alone. Danzi sought a more equal treatment of the wind instruments, even bringing the bassoon out of its more traditional role as a mere bass accompaniment instrument.
Making a name for himself from live performances and a successful first release, being proclaimed the heir to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevens shows himself to be a more mature, evolved guitarist, writer and performer. While not as raw as his freshman effort, Blue Drops of Rain, Stevens continues to build a rock-solid career. Road to Zen features more of Stevens' guitar style as well as a tighter production spearheaded by Edward Tree. A passionate performer, this comes through clearly. Especially effective is the Linda and Corey Stevens effort, "Only One for You," a tribute to their partnership; also good are "Lessons of Love," "Take It Back" and "Charles Bronson Vibe." With all cuts written by Stevens this time, he establishes himself as a talent to be reckoned with in several different arenas.
Michael Barrett (born 4 March 1948), known as Shakin' Stevens, is a platinum-selling Welsh rock and roll singer and songwriter who was the UK's biggest-selling singles artist of the 1980s. His recording and performing career began in the late 1960s, although it was not until 1980 that his commercial success began. His most successful songs were nostalgia hits, evoking the sound of 1950s rock and roll and pop…
Every year it's an issue: how does one stomach the onset of holiday music? With an endless stream of overplayed pop stars stirring what Sufjan Stevens calls "That Creepy Christmas Feeling," how does one navigate the sound of the season? Back in 2001, Stevens began making annual EPs of traditional carols and songs mixed with his own holiday-themed tunes. With 2006 and Volume 5, he's compiled a perfect gift for the Christmas-inclined indie rockster: all five EPs in one box, separately slipcased, plus a booklet filled with lyric sheets, chord charts, a Rick Moody essay, and more.
Hits of Shakin' Stevens is a detailed single disc featuring 16 tracks the rock & roll revivalist recorded for Epic in the '80s. Anyone looking for a comprehensive collection of his best recordings should pick this up as it features the original versions of "This Ole House," "You Drive Me Crazy," "Oh Julie," and the Dave Alvin penned "Marie Marie".