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Posies, Frosting on the Beater (DGC Records)

The Posies played like they had something to prove at Jimmy’s a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone there to prove it to. Having just released their second major […]

Nanci Griffith, Other Voices, Other Rooms (Elektra Records)

Clearly Nanci Griffith doesn’t put much stock in the notion of “anxiety of influence.” Rather than try to obscure the faces of the artists who have inspired her, the singer-songwriter […]

Loudon Wainwright III, History (Charisma Records)

What Loudon Wainwright III is doing on History should be recognizable to New Orleans listeners: Wainwright’s father, the Life magazine journalist of the same name, died recently, and this album […]

John Jackson, Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (Arhoolie Records)

When sifting through obscure blues, you find lots of characters. Life stories can equal, and sometimes even surpass, the music, but it is the music that ultimately counts—colorful stories only […]

Ella Fitzgerald, The Ella Fitzgerald 75th Birthday Celebration: The Original Decca Recordings (MCA Records)

Ella Fitzgerald was only twenty when she recorded her 1938 Decca smash, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.” Within a year she was listed at the top of national magazines’ readers’ polls. Now, on […]

Lenny McDaniel, Bad for Me (Renegade Records)

When New Orleans expatriate Lenny McDaniel came home after 13 years of self-imposed exile in Los Angeles, he didn’t return empty-handed. He brought along material that became his debut as […]

Midnight Creepers, Breaking Point (Wild Dog Records)

On this, the Midnight Creepers’ third, and by far best, recording, ordinary white boy Daytona blues has become Philly funkified and gospel deep. This crack outfit functions as the King […]

Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet, The Juliet Letters (Warner Brothers Records)

A lesser talent might have screwed up such an interesting idea. Which is: based on the premise of the Veronese professor who replied to letters addressed to “Juliet Capulet,” write […]