CD Reviews

The Wayne Riker Gathering

Blues Lightning

The last time we beheld guitar overlord Wayne Riker was on his 2018 release Blues Breakout, a spectacular exhibition of fretboard heroics. Known for years for his work on a wide array of projects in a great many styles both locally and nationally, the previous album was Riker in a mood to blaze the blues, […]

Stefan Hillesheim

On My Own

Stefan Hillesheim released a debut EP earlier this year with a band backing his blues vocals and guitar, a project that made an impression with his skill on slide guitar and vocals—soaked with a vibe that recalls Mississippi delta saints like Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Now he is back, with a live, solo EP […]

Simeon Flick

Scarlatti’s Greatest Hits for Classical Guitar

Simeon Flick has just recorded and released a CD of guitar transcriptions from Doménico Scarlatti’s sonatas. Music fans have reason to celebrate. The new CD, Scarlatti’s Greatest Hits for Classical Guitar, gives us great performances of great compositions. I am thankful that Flick chose to record pieces by Scarlatti. During the 1930s through the 1970s, […]

Danny O'Keefe

Looking Glass and the Dreamers

Spokane native Danny O’Keefe is a songwriter’s songwriter. He got his first contract when Buffalo Springfield were still together, and 2020 will be the seventh decade of his career. His songs have been recorded by literally dozens of other folk and country performers, and he has never slowed down, with at least 15 album releases. […]

Jim Allen

If I Could

San Diego’s Jim Allen’s last release, Ten Songs, was a pleasing collection of covers of country standards that showcased his deep, resonating voice, with a quality that matches the way classic male country stars like Johnny Cash and George Jones could take over a song. His new one is If I Could, and this time […]

Haywire

Teetering on the Edge

Haywire is a popular band name, and the Julian band is one of several in multiple genres on the web sharing the name, from cover bands to bluegrass. They are neither and on their third album since 2017, they fit most comfortably in the folk-pop category. Their last release was 2019’s Awake in the Dream, […]

Michael Ubaldini

Acoustic Rumble

Michael Ubaldini has been playing original songs and recording in a number of genres. He has earned the tag “rock ‘n’ roll poet” over the course of a couple of decades, has never shied away from strident criticism of the problems of society, and has earned comparisons to Bruce Springsteen’s unplugged side, Bob Dylan, and […]

Various Artists

Look Out!

For those who grew up in this town, listening to, dancing to, and playing rock music while coming of age, Look Out! The San Diego Scene 1958-1973 is here. Music is ruled by evolution as much as genetics, and this labor of love, produced and compiled by Andy Rasmussen, follows the form as it morphed […]

Charles McPherson

Jazz Dance Suites

Jazz saxophone master McPherson has been making records under his own name since 1965 and has recorded for at least eight different labels, including Prestige, Xanadu, Discovery, and Capri in the intervening years. Curiously, though, his latest document, is self-released. A world in which an icon like McPherson does not have jazz labels beating down […]

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