Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker was a critically acclaimed American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was an influential pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 67 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Duke Robillard pays homage to T-Bone Walker with this collection of swing, big band and blues songs. The bubbly and bouncy "Lonesome Woman Blues" has a be-bop Count Basie feeling as his supporting players are given brief solos to shine, particularly the horn section. There is far more substance and style to this approach than a rehashed run-through à la Brian Setzer. This fluidity continues, albeit a bit slower in tempo with the swinging "T-Bone Shuffle" which carries the same head-bobbing groove. Here the horns lead the way but Robillard makes his presence felt on guitar near the homestretch, and throughout the stellar "Pony Tail." The barroom blues and drum brushes on "Love Is a Gamble" takes things down to a creepy crawl, bringing to mind Dr. John or Delbert McClinton. An early favorite has to be the rousing and toe-tapping "Alimony Blues," an indication that Robillard wants to pay tribute in the right way by nailing each song beautifully.
The last truly indispensable disc of the great guitar hero's career, and perhaps the most innately satisfying of all, these mid-'50s recordings boast magnificent presence, with T-Bone Walker's axe so crisp and clear it seems as though he's sitting right next to you as he delivers a luxurious remake of "Call It Stormy Monday." Atlantic took some chances with Walker, dispatching him to Chicago for a 1955 date with Junior Wells and Jimmy Rogers that produced "Why Not" and "Papa Ain't Salty." Even better were the 1956-1957 L.A. dates that produced the scalding instrumental "Two Bones and a Pick" (which finds Walker dueling it out with nephew R.S. Rankin and jazzman Barney Kessel).
Guitarist T-Bone Walker is one of the most influential musicians in musical history. The Texan was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar and his recordings, made in the early 1940s for Capitol, Rhumboogie, and Black & White, are some of the earliest defining moments for electric blues. His playing was influential upon others of his era: most notably B. B. King but also several jazz players and many rock greats. He made a lot of records throughout his later career, some of variable quality. The less ground-breaking albums have often been overlooked; one of the best is his 1969 Bluestime LP Every Day I Have The Blues. Producer Bob Thiele took him to Capitol studios, teamed him up with some of the best session musicians and made a crisp, slightly funky masterpiece. There are great vocal performances, such as on the title track and Sail On, and his guitar sounds amazing on For B. B. King.
Even more than its predecessor, the aptly titled Dart to the Heart eschews the heavier, more political tendencies that had become synonymous with Bruce Cockburn's music for more than a decade, returning to a more personal, introspective side. The opening track, "Listen for the Laugh," a horn-driven rocker that wouldn't have been out of place on many of his recordings during the '80s, and the almost joyful finality of "Tie Me at the Crossroads," bookend what is primarily more subdued material, including the tender second track, "All the Ways I Want You," which more suitably sets the tone for the album. And though it may not possess the intensity or power of his early-'80s output, Dart to the Heart comes with nearly a quarter century of experience behind it, bringing an insight, depth, and maturity to Cockburn's ventures into love and the mystic. Still, there's just enough outrage and frustration to keep things interesting. Musically, T-Bone Burnett's sympathetic production tastefully and engagingly frames the songs, placing Cockburn's vocal and characteristically superb guitar at center stage.
After working with Burnett numerous times most recently on the soundtrack for the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis and the related Town Hall/Showtime concert Another Day, Another Time Punch Brothers decided to join forces with the multiple Grammy Award winning producer for their new record. Last summer, the band and Burnett spent a month at Hollywood s Ocean Way Recording laying down the songs that guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, mandolinist and lead singer Chris Thile, and fiddler Gabe Witcher had written during several writing retreats last winter and spring.
Recorded at the Ambassador Hotel's Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night is a marvelous concert celebrating one of the most popular music singers of the 20th century. Joined on stage by a number of well known musicians - Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, T Bone Burnett, J D Souther, James Burton, Tom Waits, Steven Soles, Jennifer Warnes, K.D. Lang, Jackson Browne, Jerry Scheff, Ron Tutt, Steven Soles, and Glen Hardin – Roy Orbison performed seventeen of his greatest hits, including "Dream Baby", Blu Bayou", "Candyman", "Go, Go, Go (Down The Line)" and "Oh Pretty Woman".