Blood Sweat & Tears
Al Kooper, one of this country’s leading rock artists, was in town a couple of weeks ago. He has been performing, writing, and now producing rock musts for ten years and is best known for his work as an organist for Dylan, a member of tire Blues Project, and organizer of Blood, Sweat and Tears.
His latest album is “Super Session” with Mike Bloomfield and Steve Stills. In the next few months he will be releasing a double album that he recorded with Bloomfield at the Fillmore, a solo album, and an album he produced for the Don Ellis Orchestra.
Apr 1, 2021
Judy Collins Gets it On
We all know how lousy Detroit winters are. The snow is gray after an hour, then it turns to slush. It’s bitter cold. Your car can’t start and when it does it skids. You can’t take it anymore and want to split to Florida or California.
And then one nice day comes along. The temperature might only be twenty-five degrees, but it’s no longer bitter. There is no wind and the sun is bright and warm. The snow seems white again. You walk (and don’t even cut through buildings). The snow sparkles. You feel good and your blood tingles. You feel alive and radiant and for a poetic moment winter’s almost worth it.
Jul 27, 2021
A New Van Morrison
a review of
Van Morrison “Astral Weeks” (Reprise)
Van Morrison is partially responsible for people leaving the beach early in New York.
There is a song called “Gloria” that is sung by every would-be rock and roll singer on the beach.
G-l-o-r-i-a, it starts, never stops, and seems to have no other lyrics. Van Morrison wrote “Gloria.”
Jul 30, 2021
The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones
a review of
the Rolling Stones, “The Beggars’ Banquet” (London)
the Beatles, “The Beatles” (Apple)
The Beatles and Rolling Stones albums have been out for a couple of months now and we have a clearer perspective on what these, the super-est of the groups are up to.
When the Beatles’ album first appeared my immediate reaction was that it would be pretentious for anyone to attempt to “review” it. The Beatles had released a new album, of course it was great, and what else could us “lowly types” say about it.
Aug 12, 2021
New Groups and Non-Groups
There is a lot happening in pop music and it is ridiculous to predict trends. One noticeable occurrence is the breaking up of groups and the need for individual artists to “go it alone.”
The group movement started in England and came over with the Beatles.
On both sides of the Atlantic all musicians seemed to be in groups. Possibly forsaking their own musical desires, what seemed important to the rock artist was the group “sound.”
Aug 21, 2021
If you liked Buffalo Springfield, you will probably like the first ‘solo album of one of its departed members, Neil Young (on Reprise).
A Buffalo Springfield revival is taking place as people realize that of all the American groups that came out of the “Beatle revolution,” the Springfield rank with the very best. Not enough people seemed to realize that when the group was struggling to make it.
Sep 11, 2021
Lenny Bruce Lives!
I don’t know if people still buy comedy monologue records. We all know that after a couple of listenings we don’t play them until we have company and there is nothing else to do. But a Reprise-Bizarre (Frank Sinatra and Zappa together!) double album Lenny Bruce The Berkeley Concert is a service for the many of us who never heard him live.
Sep 11, 2021
The Flying Burrito Bros.
A few weeks ago the Flying Burrito Brothers brought their electrified, rockified country style music to the Grande Ballroom and the good folks responded with a silent Bronx cheer.
They wanted something familiar to vibrate their nervous systems, but the Burritos responded with soft, but apparently unsoothing country rock.
May 22, 2022
The Fifth Estate Interviews
John Mayall is one of the most respected white musicians playing the blues today. While the blues are popular and being utilized by many pop musicians who are good copyists and technically proficient, there are few original or innovative performers.
Mayall, who has been playing the blues since 1963, has released seven albums. He is serious about the music and is no longer interested in performing good imitations of black bluesmen. Instead, he has developed a personal and unique style.
Jun 13, 2022
A cop stood on the Grande stage, presumably to hold the crowds back. He was confused. He had no idea what was happening.
Some black guys and a girl went on stage coming out of the stoned-filled amorphous crowd to reaffirm their blackness and hipness. They knew what was happening.
The kids were there. They come every week. It doesn’t really matter who’s playing. They can be with their friends, dance, and lie on the floor high. Drop out on a Saturday night to prepare again for their pretty one-story suburban high school-prison. They kinda knew what was happening.
Jun 18, 2022
The Incredible String Band
The Incredible String Band came to town one night, a few weeks ago, to share themselves and their music.
They came courtesy of CREEM magazine, and found that Detroit’s people, like those of most cities, were not ready for the peaceful message and music of the ISB.
Although most of the vast Ford Auditorium on May 16 was empty, the stage was filled before Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, Rose, and Licorice came on.
Feb 9, 2019