How ironic that after years fronting the hugely influential but desperately overlooked Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould's first project with new band Sugar, 1992's Copper Blue, would become the most commercially successful project of his career. Of course, it was released just as the seeds sown by his former band were bearing bountiful fruits in the post-Nirvana alternative nation, which provided ample explanation for its phenomenal success.
Sugar's Beaster is actually outtakes from their previous dynamite album, Copper Blue. It comes off as some kind of deranged, ugly sister of that sparking album, a yin to Copper's yang, a violent, angry, and seething wall of aggression with (this time) little concession to Bob Mould's pop prowess.
Arriving after years of sonic bombast in Hüsker Dü, the reflective, acoustic nature of Bob Mould's first solo album, Workbook, was a bold statement of renewal. Like all of Mould's work, it's an intensely introspective record, finding him purging demons left over from the dissolution of Hüsker Dü. Instead of relying on raging guitars, Mould explores a wide variety of styles, from pure pop ("See a Little Light") to reflective folk laced with cellos. It's an astonishing array of styles, and the songs are among Mould's finest.
The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 75 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley and Conway Twitty did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden Moon and Satellite.
Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt.country movement of the 1990's. A movement that was the precursor to what is now widely referred to as Americana. The 10 songs on 'Notes Of Blue' are inspired by the spirit of the blues, but not the standard blues as most know it. The unique and haunting tunings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and Nick Drake were all points of exploration for Farrar for the new collection. Farrar possesses one of the most distinctive voices in roots, rock, country or any genre. He exudes a soulful longing combined with a wise-beyond-his-years command that is as arresting and compelling as ever…
This is a recommended set of stimulating post-bop jazz. Andrew Hill's highly distinctive piano playing and unusual compositions hint at the past while following their own rules. The feeling of polyrhythms is present in several of Hill's seven compositions on this CD. The tightness of the bass-drum team (Lonnie Plaxico and Cecil Brooks) is quite impressive, as is the blend of Robin Eubanks' warm trombone and Greg Osby's alto.