Archive for Sammy Llanas

Review: Lots o’ New Stuff

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by 30daysout

As usual, the new album racks fill up between SXSW and Record Store Day next weekend … and there is a lot of good new stuff out there.  So let’s get right to the best:

J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf hasn’t put out a studio set since 2002 but with the new Midnight Sessions he turns back the clock with a collection of excellent songs ranging from the elegaic rocker “The Night Comes Down (For Willy DeVille)” to the delicate acoustic ballad “The Green Fields of Summer.”  The album swerves from loose, Rolling Stones-flavored rockers like “Tragedy” (a duet with Shelby Lynne), Americana ear candy like “Always Asking For You” and love-man funkiness with “Overnight Lows” and a cover of the Lou Donaldson classic “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky.”  In addition to Shelby Lynne, guests include Neko Case and Merle Haggard.  Highly recommended.

Listen: “Tragedy” by Peter Wolf w/Shelby Lynne

At one point on Women + Country, Jakob Dylan sings “Everybody’s Hurting,” and he is talking about an America that’s been shaken down to the roots – namely the common hard-working Americans who can’t see a future for themselves and their loved ones.  On this album Dylan visits the America that was most vividly depicted by the Band so many decades ago, and the music (produced by T-Bone Burnett, in the style of the Plant-Krauss masterpiece Raising Sand) lends the songs a ghostly, dreamlike quality.  But lest you think this is all depressing stuff, “Lend A Hand” assumes a jaunty French Quarter strut and the opener “Nothing But The Whole Wide World” perfectly blends Dylan’s voice with backing singers Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, who drift in and out throughout the album.  This album has really grown on me, and you should give it a chance to grow on you too.

Listen: “Everybody’s Hurting” by Jakob Dylan

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Live: Batfest, Austin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2008 by 30daysout

Two million freakin' bats!

They sure love their bats in Austin, Texas.  About 2 million bats live under the Congress Avenue bridge and just about every summer night people gather along the busy bridge around dusk to watch these bats come out from their hiding places and fly out into the night.  Look closely at the photo above – those are people lined shoulder to shoulder along the bridge.

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Review: BoDeans, “Still”

Posted in Review with tags , , , on April 1, 2008 by 30daysout

BoDeans album

In the 25-year history of Wisconsin roots-rock outfit the BoDeans, the name of producer extraordinaire T-Bone Burnett pops up intermittently.  Burnett produced the duo’s 1986 debut album, he was on board when “Closer To Free” hit the Top 10, and now Burnett is back at the helm for the BoDeans’ newest, Still.  Roots rock of the sort crafted so effortlessly by Kurt Neumann and Sammy Llanas likely belongs to a long-gone day and age, but a few repeat listenings of Still may make the tunes sound fresher than they really are.  Nonetheless, the opener “Pretty Ghost” is appropriately spooky, while “Lucille” has an irresistible garage-rock thump.  While the rest of the songs seem to spin off into the land of been-there-done-that, the boys’ blended voices still sound great.  Any producer — no matter how big the name or how deep his bag of studio tricks may be — can manufacture that kind of magic.  A quarter of a century down the line, the BoDeans still have at least that goin’ for them … and that’s plenty.  You should catch them live if you can. 

MP3: Everyday

The BoDeans official website