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Brad Paisley

Pop music, modern country – what’s the difference anymore? For both, everything is bigger and splashier. Yet, nimbly as Brad Paisley manages to walk through that world, his music feels more rooted in tradition than that of your average modern country act. He’s as much or more a musician as he is a performer – ... ...

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John 5 and the Creatures

Making good music requires a stimulating muse or inspiration. For some it’s love, happiness, loss, or regret. For guitarist John 5 inspiration comes in the form of interests that have occupied many a childhood: Horror comics, monster movies, and heavy metal. These influences along with virtuoso shred guitar, the television show “Hee-Haw,” and solid composing ... ...

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Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell, who gained fame during country’s New Traditional era of the 1980s, has always drawn from his personal life for inspiration. He doubled down on that on his 2001 album The Houston Kid and continued a decade later in his autobiography Chinaberry Sidewalks. This new album continues that approach. Co-producers Jordan Lehning and Kim ... ...

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Nathan East

Nathan East’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing in 40 years. Offered gigs with Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Daft Punk, he’s crisscrossed genres from pop to jazz. His smooth yet percolating bass lines have underpinned a generation of music. As a founding member of Foreplay, he has an indelible foot print within contemporary ... ...

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Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor has no concern for your discomfort with racial issues. It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times, and there’s plenty to reflect upon. He skips the antiquated blues coding about devils and mojos, and looks you in the eye with the truth. Taylor’s latest is a recording about the varying levels of racism ... ...

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The Mavericks

Since reforming five years ago, the Mavericks have released two studio albums and 2016’s All Night Live, Vol. 1. And again here, the core quartet of vocalist-guitarist Raul Malo, guitarist Eddie Perez, keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden, and drummer Paul Deakin are augmented by added musicians. Malo’s original tunes remain powerful and eclectic, beginning with ... ...

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The Grateful Dead & The Doors

The Grateful Dead profoundly shaped the trippy San Francisco sound of 1967, while to the south, the Doors crafted a harder-edged approach to psychedelia in Los Angeles. Both bands released their debut albums exactly 50 years ago, and each platter has been reissued in grand style. By the release of their first LP in early ... ...

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Steve Hackett

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s new album brings together musicians from all over the world in the spirit of unity, multiculturalism, and diversity. The project joins singers from Palestine and Israel, along with the sounds of Iraq, India, Peru, and the U.S. Hackett’s eclecticism – and his belief that the world needs to come together ... ...

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The Everly Brothers

If you’re weary of rock concert DVDs with critical commentary, typically unauthorized and of varying quality, this Everly Brothers retrospective is highly recommended. Authorized, with participation of Don Everly and a 2010 interview with his younger brother, the late Phil Everly, it’s an expanded version of a 2016 BBC airing, including a previously unseen 1968 ... ...

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