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Don Waller

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Percy Sledge Does It Differently

Photo by Richard King The first time Percy Sledge walked into a recording studio, he walked out with a No. 1 record. With stately, gospel-drenched organ framing Sledge’s ice-pick-through-the-heart vocals, his 1966 recording of “When a Man Loves a Woman” became the first “deep soul” record to top the Billboard......
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The Revelators

Sometime between voting to destroy — then spend billions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars reconstructing — a foreign nation and passing not one but two tax cuts that mostly benefit the richest 1 percent of Americans, the U.S. Congress decreed 2003 to be the Year of the Blues. (Insert your own......
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The Vindicators

Photo by M. Henry With a patented blast of stompbox-laden sturm und twang guitar, greazy organ, blowzy sax, slobbering harmonica, wordless vocals and a party vibe that only comes in screw-top bottles, the Fleshtones returneth with Do You Swing?, the NYC quartet’s 12th studio album since they first brought their......
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Fleetwood Mach 2

WAY BACK IN THE HALCYON DAZE OF 1987, SANTA CRUZ, CA­spawned indie rock quintet Camper Van Beethoven -- whose first taste of success came with their 1985 debut album Telephone Free Landslide Victory, thanks to the ska-inflected sarcasm of "Take the Skinheads Bowling," their big college-radio "hit" -- got the......
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Do Right Man

BOB DYLAN. BRIAN WILSON. ELVIS COSTELLO. TOM Waits. Van Morrison. Nick Lowe. When soul giant Solomon Burke stepped back into the studio in February to record his first secular material in five years -- he's also a bishop in his House of God for All People's church -- these were......
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Too Much To Dream

From the ”mind-expanding“ flight of the 2,000-pound bumblebee opening to the liquid, screaming, droning guitars to the ”(I Can‘t Get No) Satisfaction“--derived drums, the Electric Prunes’ ”I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)“ induces supersonic flashbacks to the first chimes-of-freedom-flashin‘ daze of 1967. The single broke out of the......
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Just One of Those Things

BRYAN FERRY As Time Goes By (Virgin) We‘re on the cusp of a brave new millennium in which we’re all going to be cashing in our high-tech stock options and having virtual sex with our domestic robots, so naturally former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry gifts us with an album‘s......
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New Trad, Dad

MARK LANEGAN I'll Take Care of You (Sub Pop) You've got to love -- or at least respect -- any album where songs written by the late Gun Club leader Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Leaving Trains front person Falling James bump uglies with compositions by country legend Buck Owens, gospel/soul......
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Brotherly Love

Shouting with the Isleys THE ISLEY BROTHERSIt’s Your Thing: The Story of the Isley Brothers (Epic AssociatedT-NeckLegacy) Clocking in at three hours and 40-some minutes, this three-CD box set provides just about the definitive aural history of the perennially underrated family act. Ronald, Rudolph and O‘Kelly Isley started out singing......
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Master of the Game

KOOL KEITH Black Elvis/Lost in Space (Ruffhouse/Columbia) Imagine a world where a rap album didn't come chock-full o' stereotypical skits, 187 "special guest" appearances -- 'cause the guy whose name is on the cover couldn't hold his own mama's attention for more than 15 minutes -- crossover-minded pop samples, the......
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