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Music Notes

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On August 30, 2020
The big news in music right now is the death of Justin Townes Earle. He had both the blessing and the curse of being the son of Steve Earle and named after Townes Van Zandt, but he was certainly a very fine artist in his own right. I wasn’t a huge fan of all of […]

Music Notes

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On August 7, 2020

I haven’t seen any shows in five months, which is terrible. But I have read a lot and that has included a few books about music. Might as well discuss them. First, I read Stephen Foehr’s W

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This is a genuinely astounding document. An hour of interviews with old musicians concluding with them playing the Dr. Pepper theme song. Doc Watson, Muddy Waters, Maybelle Carter, Bill Monroe, Bo Diddley, Grandpa Jones, etc. The interviews themselves are great and then it’s actually kind of interesting to hear the same song done in so […]

Music Notes

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On May 18, 2020

Let’s talk tunes! I didn’t really spend enough time last week talking about the life and impact of Little Richard. But you really need to read Bill Wyman on his astonishing life. Jason Isb

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Music Notes

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On May 9, 2020
There are two huge names in the music world who died this week. But I want to focus on a third: Wussy’s guitarist John Erhardt. This is a devastating loss for lovers of that great cult band. Erhardt played a great regular guitar, but it was on the steel that he truly excelled. Starting with […]

Music Notes

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On May 2, 2020

Willie Nelson turned 87 this week. In honor of that, Texas Monthly ranked all 143 of his albums. This is truly the list we all need. Things that are correct about this list: #1 is Phases and Stages an

Music Notes

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On April 25, 2020

It is Fiona Apple’s world and we are just living in it. I review her album below, but there’s plenty of great material on her in recent days and weeks. Apple is the peak of the tortured ar

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Music Notes

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On April 11, 2020
The loss of John Prine is, for me, the biggest loss of COVID-19 thus far. I don’t have that much to add beyond what Scott and Simon wrote. I saw Prine in 1999, just after he came back from his first bout of cancer. This was in Knoxville and he had his Oh Boy labelmate […]

Music Notes

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On March 31, 2020

The last show I saw before the coronavirus restrictions was Bill Frisell, at the Shedd in Eugene, Oregon. This is a good time to talk about Frisell’s role in my musical life. When I was in colle

McCoy Tyner, RIP

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On March 6, 2020

The great jazz pianist is gone, at the age of 81. Tyner’s famous for his legendary work with John Coltrane at the peak of the saxophone master’s career between 1961 and 1965. Somewhat oddl

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