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SRV Behind The Scenes

The life of blues-rock icon Stevie Ray Vaughan was under a microscope even before his tragic death in a helicopter accident in 1990. Four years prior, a breakdown put him in a hospital while on tour in Germany, then in drug and alcohol rehab facilities in London and Atlanta, and few celebrities were as open ... ...

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Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley’s albums have followed a formula that began on his 2001 sophomore album Part II. Generously programmed with abundant cameos, they blend love songs with catchy numbers celebrating idealized small-town and rural lifestyles as well as the digital era. His attempts to meld old and new cultures have always been sincere, though he’s drawn ... ...

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Various Artists

Amidst the torrent of modern-country anthems praising pickup trucks, beer, bros, and sweet things in tight jeans gushing out of Nashville these days, there’s an undercurrent of stellar music that’s also making waves. Listen hard to the radio and you might even hear it. Jason Isbell’s latest solo shot ranks with his best. His songwriting ... ...

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Nate Najar

Nate Najar plays accessible jazz on a classical guitar and applies classical technique to match. This album showcases the music veteran playing a variety of tunes that range from Chopin’s “Prelude in E Minor (op.28 no.4),” Chick Corea’s “500 Miles High” and “Chick’s Tune,” as well as Jobim’s “Insensatez (How Insensitive)” and “O Morro Não ... ...

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Them Vibes

Nashville band Them Vibes latest recalls rock’s past without sounding dated or cliché. Much of the reason for that is the guitar work of Alex Haddad and Kyle Lewis. There’s no in-your-face playing, but there’s plenty of tasteful guitar work that forms the basis for the 12 cuts on the record. And, when the two ... ...

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The Routes

Think old-school Zombies crossed with new-thing Arctic Monkeys: the result may just be the Routes. The guitar-bass-drum trio is part classic Brit invasion rockers with period-perfect gear, part hypnotic proto psychedelia – yet with a harder-core modern edge to their sound. Guitarman Chris Jack fronts the band, armed with an arsenal of Selmer amps and ... ...

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Flamin’ Groovies

Flamin’ Groovies are best known for the ’76 power-pop gem “Shake Some Action,” but this show – recorded five years earlier at the final Fillmore West concerts – couldn’t be more different. It’s blunt three-chord rock, somewhere between the Seeds, MC5, and the Rolling Stones. The live tape’s audio fidelity is lo-fi and raw, but ... ...

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Various Artists

Bill Frisell is a living jazz icon, famed for his ethereal tone and snaking post-bop lines. Here, he partners with Thomas Morgan for a live set – just guitar and standup bass – cut at the Village Vanguard in New York. It’s intimate and beautiful, as you’d expect from ECM. “It Should Have Happened A ... ...

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Shooter Jennings, Ryan Bingham, and Various Artists

Waylon Jennings, who died in 2002, would have turned 80 in 2017. He and compadre Willie Nelson still personify country’s early-’70s Outlaw movement, focused on gaining creative control of their records after years of letting Nashville producers call the shots brought only middling success. Given a chance to record their way, they finally found the ... ...

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Elizabeth Cotton, Doc Watson, and Various Artists

It’s less improvisational than other types of blues, but East Coast (a.k.a. Piedmont) blues is no less expressive or impassioned. In addition to roots in African American folk music shared with other blues styles, it developed through a range of inputs, including ragtime, Broadway, and Tin Pan Alley stylings. Thus, deceptively lively guitar and measured ... ...

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