Ian Matthews left Fairport Convention in 1969, and while the U.K.'s greatest folk-rock band was beginning to reinvent itself in a more traditional and very British direction, Matthews began digging deeper into the American influences that had marked his old band's first era. Later That Same Year, the second album from Ian's new group Matthews Southern Comfort (it was released in late 1970, a mere six months after their debut, hence the title), is a beautiful set of songs that splits the difference between West Coast folk-rock and early country-rock, with Gordon Huntley's pedal steel and Roger Coulam's lending an air of sunny sadness that dovetails beautifully with Matthews' silky tenor.
This is one of bassist Eberhard Weber's more stimulating ECM releases, due in part to his colorful sidemen: guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Lyle Mays (in a rare vacation from Pat Metheny), Paul McCandless (switching between soprano, oboe, English horn and bass clarinet) and drummer Michael DiPasqua. The quintet plays four of Weber's originals (including the 16-minute "Death in the Car Wash") and, although the music is sometimes introspective and full of space, Frisell largely keeps the proceedings unpredictable and adds some fire and otherworldly sounds.
This is one of bassist Eberhard Weber's more stimulating ECM releases, due in part to his colorful sidemen: guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Lyle Mays (in a rare vacation from Pat Metheny), Paul McCandless (switching between soprano, oboe, English horn and bass clarinet) and drummer Michael DiPasqua. The quintet plays four of Weber's originals (including the 16½-minute "Death in the Car Wash") and, although the music is sometimes introspective and full of space, Frisell largely keeps the proceedings unpredictable and adds some fire and otherworldly sounds.
John and Tina meet in a park one day. They immediately hit it off, go out on a date later that evening. The late that night, Tina's returns to her apartment with her expensive new dress badly torn apart, and John's forehead bosts some suspicous scratches. Three different people, John, Tina, and a doorman, give three seperate and different perspectives on what happened that night before the truth is revealed.
The indie pop band One Thousand Violins were bound by geographic restrictions during their four-year career. Since the group had no manager, One Thousand Violins had to limit its live performances to England, France, and Germany; however, because of the Internet, One Thousand Violins eventually acquired the exposure the band couldn't get during their lifetime. Their single "Like One Thousand Violins" was voted as one of the year's best songs by the listeners of renowned British DJ John Peel.
The ghost of Frank Capra must have smiled when he saw Dave, an amusing and effective update of one of Capra's favorite themes – the scrupulously honest little guy who becomes a force for good against a corrupt system. Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) runs an employment agency and seems to genuinely enjoy finding work for people who need it. He also bears a striking resemblance to the president of the United States, Bill Mitchell (also played by Kline) and occasionally gets work as a Bill Mitchell impersonator. One day, Dave gets a call from the Secret Service – for security purposes, they want to hire him to act as a decoy for an upcoming appearance by the president. All goes well, but later that evening President Mitchell suffers a massive stroke while in bed with his mistress. Wanting to keep the matter a secret, two of the president's top advisors appeal to Dave to stand in as Bill Mitchell until he regains his health.
For something less traditional but no less killing, try Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band’s Bang That Bell. A post-Hendrix exercise in funky-blue wah-wah wailing, this one has more allusions to Prince and the Isley Brothers than Muddy and the Wolf. In the course of a single tune (“Another Bad Day”) he can blend jazzy, Wes Montgomery-styled octaves with over-the-top wah-wah work and metalesque speed picking. But in spite of all the virtuosic six-string technique, Taylor can also get up into some nasty real-deal shuffles and earthy funk, as he proves so convincingly on “It’s Later than You Think,” which features some brilliant harmonica playing by Sugar Blue, and on a super-funky updating of the Earl King classic “Trick Bag.” And he digs into a slow blues, “A Quitter Never Wins,” with fangs bared. The closer, “Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll,” is a wild fretboard scorcher featuring guest guitar slinger Eric Gales. A tremendous guitarist and soulful singer, Taylor is a major versatile talent on the crossover blues-rock circuit that includes the likes of Robert Cray, Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.