Stinson’s rocks with One Man Mutiny
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
Eric Clapton is a well-respected blues guitarist who's lately made more mediocre than good albums and has somehow managed to continue. Somehow he's managed to put his career on the side and work on these little side projects, like Winton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Reprise.) Whoa! For those of you expecting a hard-nosed blues album with Marsalis' trumpet wailing alongside Clapton's guitar, you're in for a surprise. This was an evening of vintage blues recorded last April, performed by The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Marsalis and Clapton kinda thrown in.
It's just a different musical look at the blues, one of the few things America can truly call it's own. The more I listen to this the more I like it. Anyone doubting Clapton's virtuosity will have to eat there words here as he plays magnificently without the help of any wa-wa pedals or other guitar gizmo stuff. Marsalis needs no introduction as one of the country's few remaining treasures. He's won a Pulitzer Prize for his jazz recordings, 8 Grammys and is the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Here as a musician and arranger he's nothing short of brilliant.
Standouts include the shows opener "Ice Cream," "Careless Love" and "Forty-Four." Clapton's trademark "Layla" gets yet another remake and having Clapton and Marsalis solo on this alone is worth the price of the CD.
Many know Tom Morello as the amazing guitarist from the hard rock bands, Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. He's also released three folk-rock albums under the moniker of The Nightwatchman. His latest, World Wide Rebel Songs (New West) is a clinched-fisted, punch in the face dose of political rock. While the albums foundation is acoustic guitars, Morello's gizmo-guitar rock solos are super charged. They're drenched in as much emotion as the lyrics to his songs. Also, Morello is very Wisconsin friendly joining the protesters in Madison against Gov. Scott Walker. How cool is that?
Standouts include the song he wrote about his time in Madison "Union Town" as well as "It Begins Tonight," "Stray Bullets," "Save The Hammer For The Man" (with Ben Harper guesting) and my favorite of the album "Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine." Wow this was unexpected. Dave Stewart has released an album I can't get out of my cd player. The Blackbird Diaries (Surfdog) is becoming one of my favorite albums of the year. The idea of this project is that Stewart would hole up in a Nashville studio armed with just a handful of uncompleted songs and a group of seasoned musicians and see what they come up with in a week.
Produced by Mike Bradford and using vintage recording equipment, Stewart of Eurythmic fame, has never sounded better. The record has an energy that is very much missing on most of today's computer, Pro Tools generated releases. This is a very analog, warm tube, sounding album. The final results are either the first or second takes of songs, many finished on the spot just before recording. Standouts include "Stevie Baby," "Can't Get You Out Of My Head," "All Messed Up" with Martina McBride and "So Long Ago."
Just because bassist Tommy Stinson lost his day job when the legendary Minneapolis alternative/punk band The Replacements disbanded, it didn't mean he went jobless. He went on to play with the likes of Bash and Pop, Perfect and most notably Guns N' Roses and Soul Asylum.His first solo album Village Gorilla Head, released in 2004, feature 13 tracks of power-pop, rock and thoughtful acoustic material which was greatly received. His second solo album One Man Mutiny (Done To Death), does indeed improve his funky styled guitar rock.
When you're consistently working with others, it can be hard to find your own nitch and identity. Stinson succeeds here with a fistful of strong material which rocks when it needs to and can get quiet at the right times too. Standouts include the very Rolling Stones-ish "It's a Drag," the tongue-in-cheek country styled "Zero To Stupid," "Meant To Be" and the acoustic title track "One Man Mutiny". This is a hip little album that makes one wish that Stinson would dump those other bands and work his solo career full time.
Last issue I reviewed Jimi Hendrix' Winterland box set and I failed to mention that a killer Hendrix album was also expanded and re-issued at the same time. Hendrix In The West (Experience Hendrix/Legacy) was originally released posthumously in 1972.It originally featured 8 songs recorded live; most notably his takes on the 50's classics "Johnny B Goode" and "Blue Suede Shoes." This set is now digitally remastered, expanded by 3 tracks and is chuck full of photos with an informative essay by John McDermott. Standouts include "Red House," "I Don't Live Today" and "Spanish Castle Magic." Three cheers for Hendrix' immediate family, who now control his estate, for taking great strides in updating his catalog.