Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Whitey Morgan, "Grandpa's Guitar"

Sometimes a song just hits you right where you live.

Whitey Morgan, probably the biggest hell-raising honky tonker out of Flint, Michigan, settles down a bit on his latest album Grandpa’s Guitar, a collection of acoustic pieces in honor of his grandfather, William Henry Morgan.

The song, which Morgan said was one of the most difficult he’s ever recorded, recalls the impact that his grandfather had on his life. In the story, he recalls finding a treasured tape of his grandfather playing and singing in the basement and his first experience with the guitar at the knee of his grandfather. Later, after his grandfather passes away, he consoles himself by once again retreating to the basement, finding that guitar and letting his sorrow sing through the strings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Best of 2014: Hard rock and metal

We enjoyed a really strong year in hard rock and metal, so much so that some albums I really enjoyed got bumped off of my Best of 2014 list. There were great comebacks from the likes of Sanctuary, Body Count and, of course, Judas Priest. There were releases from some very promising new acts like Anti-Mortem and Black Crown Initiate. There were entries from some steady-as-ever acts.

As always, this list is subject to change with my mood, or as I discover a few records that I somehow missed over the course of the year, but here’s my Best of 2014 list for hard rock and metal — at least, as of the last week of the year …

No. 10 — SANCTUARY – THE YEAR THE SUN DIED: It’s been 25 years since Sanctuary’s last album, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell that from this record. This is a bit heavier perhaps, a bit more progressive, than the band’s earlier work, but just a stellar album all the way around.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Best of 2014: Country and Southern rock

Unlike my Best of 2014 list concentrating on hard rock and metal, not a whole lot changed from my mid-year picks for country and Southern rock. There was a little bit of shuffling and a new entry or two, but precious little from the second half of the year managed to unseat anything from my early Best of 2014 list …

No. 10 — MATT WOODS – WITH LOVE FROM BRUSHY MOUNTAIN: Woods is a really good songwriter, an underrated art in country music today. That’s really what makes this record stand out for me. It’s about the songs and stories.