Rich Kienzle

Rich Kienzle

  colbert finale

                                                                                         (Scott Gries/AP)

The Colbert Report ended last night and its host concluded with a sing-along version of the venerable ballad "We'll Meet Again" with Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, and a cast that included Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Alan Alda, Toby Keith, Sesame Street Characters, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Brokaw, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Doris Kearns Goodwin and a slew of other political, media and showbiz luminaries.

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The Mavericks' 'Mono' due February 17

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 06:56

 

Mavericks Mono cover

A year after making a genuine comeback with their stunning album In Time, the Mavericks are back with a new album: Mono, to be released by The Valory Music Company on February 17.

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 Some would note that along with Joan Jett, Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Green Day, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today.  Many who aren't aware of their work might think them a mere 60's addendum.  And they would be wrong.

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Last night's series finale of the increasingly controversial Aaron Sorkin  HBO series The Newsroom included a country standard that's been played in recent years by the Avett Brothers, to name a few. I'm not going to get into all the recaps and flak the show's storylines have generated in the past week or so. There are plenty of blogs and so on to cover that.  The musical interlude itself has stirred debate among fans.

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 SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any farther if you haven't watched the Sons of Anarchy series finale, "Papa's Goods."

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Tenor saxophonist Bobby Keys, who died of cirrhosis this week at his Franklin, Tennessee home at 70, was a part of rock and roll almost from the beginning. Best known for his stage and recording work with the Rolling Stones and other giants of the genre, Keys, born in Slaton, Texas in 1943, started on harmonica before going to sax. He was still a teenager when he met Buddy Holly (they never performed together). Through the 60's Keys played in backup bands on national rock tours featuring various artists, like the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars,

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she-him cover

This week's "Believe Your Ears" PG Music podcast reviews Classics by She & Him, consisting of New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Portland musician M. Ward.  This collection of 13 pop standards features favorites from the 30's to the 60's done in various combinations, in some cases adding overtones of better known versions and in others re-imagining the arrangements.  It's available digitally, on CD and of course, on vinyl.

The podcast is available at this link.

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NO SPOILERS:  "Red Rose," Sons of Anarchy's penultimate episode, will stand, regardless of what happens in next week's series finale, as one of the most intense episodes of any series in this so-called New Golden Age of television.  It came complete with a cameo from a star of a past legendary FX series, another wink from SOA creator Kurt Sutter.

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bill evans cover

The legacy of pianist Bill Evans (1929-1980) only increases over time. His pivotal role during his brief 1958-59 stay with Miles Davis (replacing Red Garland) and his involvement in the landmark 1959 Kind Of Blue album long ago became established fact. Evans wasn't there long and moved to establish his own career. The short-lived trio he formed with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Scott LaFaro would itself become one of the most significant and enduring small groups in jazz.

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With different bluegrass styles abundant nowadays, and many younger players only slightly aware of the music's origins, this punch list offers a bit more insight into a genre with a narrative that's often oversimplied by fans and scholars with preconceptions.

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