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Bobby Womack and Robert Ashton, Bobby Womack: My Story 1944-2104 (John Blake Publishing)

Womack opens his as-told-to-memoir stripped down to his skivvies and hunted by his wife with a gun. He plays dead after the gun goes off, and then runs when his […]

Paul & Beth Garon, Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie’s Blues (City Lights)

I’d worried that the redoubtable, unsinkable Memphis Minnie, a.k.a. Lizzie Douglas, a.k.a. Kid Douglas, a.k.a. Lizzie Lawlers, might fall apart under the flaying of the pages, as artists suffer through […]

Holly George-Warren, A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton (Viking)

Alex Chilton loved New Orleans, even though he had to wash dishes to live here. Actually, washing dishes wasn’t the first job he took in the city after moving from […]

Thomas Brothers, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism (W.W. Norton & Company)

Thomas Brothers’ second volume in his massive Louis Armstrong biography begins in 1931 with Satchmo singing “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You” (a.k.a. “You Rascal You,” a.k.a. […]

The Plum, Magnetic Terra Animata (Independent)

Somebody was bound to mate gentle folk (music, not denizens) with banjo, with tabla, with oscillating prog-rock structures traveling up and down through the chambers of the nautilus. The Plum […]

Buddy Guy, Rhythm and Blues (RCA Records)

Buddy Guy is probably, let’s face it, the greatest living electric guitar player besides B.B. King. Can you prove it with this double-disc set? About one-third of the time. Maybe […]

Joshua Polk, Beauty School Dropouts (Exploding God Heads)

First cut straight out of the gate, I’m thinking, “My God, this is where Calvin Johnson escaped to!” ’Cause that first cut sounds exactly like the former Beat Happening frontman’s […]

The Upstarts, Live In New Orleans (Independent)

Someone must answer the call. So many headaches, heartaches, backaches, cracked hearts, turned-down raises, unanswered messages—someone somewhere must agree to undertake the balm. Into the breach, this fivesome (plus James […]

Various Artists, Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins Square Records)

Gotta sing high, if you want to sing out over those accordions. Conventional wisdom. But some people are unconventional, one way or another. Angelas LeJeune (great-uncle to Iry, great-great-uncle to […]

Strange Roux, Boogieman (Total Riot Records)

The boogieman, Wikipedia tells us, exists in various forms around the world, known as Sack Man, El Coco, Babau, Butzemann, Bala, and many other names. For Strange Roux, it’s cause […]