Author Archives: David Kunian

Asylum Street Spankers, The Last Laugh (Yellow Dog Records)

There are many bands that integrate humor with their songs, but few who do it so well or without detracting from the music as the late, lamented Asylum Street Spankers. This, their final recording (allegedly), is taken from their final gig (allegedly). It emphasizes their strong points: the way they play together on acoustic instruments, [...]

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Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood, Juice (Indirecto Records)

Medeski, Martin and Wood have a good thing going with 20-plus years of being both a groovy and avant-garde organ trio. Adding John Scofield to their tight chemistry could have been disastrous, but Scofield knows his way around soul and funk, and his presence has broadened their sound. This is their third collaboration, every bit [...]

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Luther Dickinson, Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues (New West Records)

Guitarist and singer Luther Dickinson’s new solo record has a retrospective aura to it. Both musically and lyrically, Dickinson is looking back at his past exploits and reflecting upon them. The sound of the record is simple and a little raw. It’s all acoustic guitar, upright bass, drums, and some fife. It is more in the [...]

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Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Dereconstructed (Sub Pop)

It seems that every smart band from the South has to make their southern statement record. Tom Petty, Jimbo Mathis, and the Drive By Truckers have all made great and provocative records on that theme. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires now have done theirs, and it’s fantastic. This record rocks hard. Bains III [...]

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Marcello Benetti Shuffled, From East To West (Independent)

Drummer Marcello Benetti Shuffled’s new record From East To West builds on this quartet’s debut. It shares the sense of whimsy and fun, but here the music also has a degree of formality at certain points. It starts with a short five-part suite “Il Barone.” The first movement “He’s Funny” reflects the title with its [...]

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Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, The Age of Exploration (Independent)

It’s rare that a concept record rocks so hard. Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers’ debut recording is propulsive and energetic with the songs and humorous and droll with the commentary that brackets several songs. This is not a surprise, as the band consists of members of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Misfit Power, [...]

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Davis Rogan is Still Raw and Funky Without the Chaos

It’s the day of Cosimo Matassa’s funeral, and Davis Rogan and I are sitting in the kitchen of Esplanade Studios eating his wife’s cookies and talking up his new record that is being recorded upstairs. “Kind of fitting that I’m missing Cos’ funeral because I’m recording an album,” he says. “He’d like that. I mean, [...]

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One Song’s Story: “Get You a Healin’”

Carlo Ditta, owner of Orleans Records and long-time New Orleans musician/producer/raconteur, got on the phone to the OffBeat offices last month. He had seen the Backtalk interview that Brett Milano had done with Paul Thorn and wanted to make a point about the great version that Paul did of his song, “Get You a Healin’.” [...]

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Luke Winslow-King, Everlasting Arms (Bloodshot Records)

This new record from Luke Winslow-King is more than several steps up from his previous fine record. That one, The Coming Tide, had great songs and good playing but, compared to this one, he and the band sounded like they were skating over the top of the music. Here, Winslow-King and his band seriously dig [...]

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Cristina Perez, The Sweetest Thing (Independent)

Cristina Perez’ new recording has all the traits of a classic jazz vocal recording. Her voice is light and bouncy. She has a flirtatious tone that invites the listener in. The arrangements are simple and uncluttered (by her husband, banjoist and composer Chris Edmunds) which allows for her voice to shine through. There are few [...]

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