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Reliving favorite past music releases

Date: 12/5/2011

Dec. 5, 2011

By Craig Harris

Special to Reminder Publications

As a music reviewer, I’ve had an opportunity to hear an eclectic range of great music. Among the releases that I’ll be pulling from my shelf to listen to again in the future are:

Huun Huur Tu — “Ancestor’s Call” (World Village)

Though their follow-up to their collaboration with electronica wiz and record producer Carmen Rizzo (“Eternal”), “Ancestor’s Call” signals a return to their roots, Tuva-based throat singers Huun Huur Tu continue to apply the lessons that they’ve learned and the CD sparkles with sonic brilliance, atmospheric harmony, and hard to believe throat singing.

Ray Charles — “Live In Concert” (Concord)

Recorded at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, on Sept.20, 1964, “Live In Concert” captures soulful pianist/vocalist Ray Charles (1930-2004), his horn-driven orchestra, and backup singers (The Raelettes) at their best, mixing live renditions of such hits as “I Got A Woman”, “Hallelujah, I Love Her So,” and “What’d I Say” with a scattering of soul-injected Tin Pan Alley classics. Seven tunes, including “Georgia On My Mind,” added to the 12 tracks that comprised the initial album, in 1965, (which reached #80 on Billboard’s list of the top 200 albums), make this is an essential release.

David Bromberg — “Use Me” (Appleseed)

A who’s who collection of musicians, including Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Dr. John, Los Lobos, Widespread Panic, Linda Ronstadt, Keb’ Mo’, and Vince Gill, were each invited to choose a song and produce a track, but it’s David Bromberg’s blues-tinged singing and masterful guitar picking that makes each tune on “Use Me” his own.

Avett Brothers — “Live, Volume 3” (Columbia)

Combining songs from their three independently released albums and tunes from their major label debut, “I And Love And You,” Scott and Seth Avett and band show off their dynamic stagecraft with “Live, Volume 3,” a 16-song CD recorded during their August 8, 2009 performance at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Bojangles Stadium.

John Butler Trio — “Live At Red Rocks” (ATO)

Recorded during singer/songwriter John Butler, and his trio (bassist Byron Luiters and drummer Nicky Bomba)’s concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, in Colorado, on June 4, 2010, and streamed live via Livestream, “Live Red Rocks” showcases the Australian group’s mix of acoustic blues, rock, funk, reggae, and aboriginal music in a three disc set that includes two audio CDs and a 140-minute DVD with the complete show and bonus footage.

The Cars — “Move Like This” (Hear Music)

On “Move Like This,” the Car’s seventh album, and first since disbanding in 1987, bass player/vocalist Benjamin Orr (who died of cancer in 2000) is missed. Remaining Cars members Ric Ocasek (lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting), Elliot Easton (guitar) and Greg Hawkes (keyboards), though, join with ex-Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson to take one of the most successful bands of the 1980s another step forward.

Susan Werner — “Kicking The Beehive” (Sleeve Dog)

After a series of thematic albums, Susan Werner shows off the many dimensions of her songwriting with “Kicking The Beehive”. Recorded in Nashville, produced by Rodney Crowell, and featuring guest appearances by Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’, and Paul Franklin, the album tackles such issues as drug addiction (“Botanical Greenery Blues”) and abortion (“Manhattan, Kansas”) and presents the views of a parent of a challenged child (“My Different Son”).

Nick Lowe — “The Old Magic” (Yep Rock)

It may not include a punk-spirited pop hit, like “Cruel To Be Kind,” or “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding,” but, with “The Old Magic,” the 13th studio solo album by Walton-on-Thames-born singer-songwriter Nick Lowe shows that, at 62 years old, he’s like a fine wine, aging with grace and capable of straight-from-the heart sentiment.

Santee — “Legacy” (Natural Visions)

The son of Lakota vocalist, and record company (Sound of America Records) executive/producer, Tom Bee (XIT), Robbie Bee coaxes a range of sounds from electronic keyboards, adds singing by of traditional Native singers, and musically interprets the plight of the Native American on his solo album, “Legacy.” Though some pieces veer close to new age overkill, others are full of spirit and authenticity.

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