Given Bob Mould's reputation for searing electric rock & roll, it may be easy to think that the title of File Under: Easy Listening is ironic, and it is to a certain extent. But beneath the loud guitars lie the friendliest, most relaxed pop songs Mould had ever written. "Your Favorite Thing" and "Can't Help You Anymore" are two of Mould's most direct, pop-oriented songs, driven by instantly memorable melodies and hooks; they are also the most conventional songs on the record. The best moments come when Sugar push the boundaries a bit, whether it's on the country-rock of "Believe What You're Saying," the swirling "What You Want It to Be" and "Company Book," the searching ballad "Panama City Motel," or "Explode and Make Up," which bristles even at its most delicate moments. Mould throws in one classic spite-fueled rocker, "Granny Cool," but the record's finest moment is "Gee Angel," a powerhouse melodic scorcher.
Born in Brooklyn, raised in Switzerland, resident of Toronto, and recording in Memphis, singer Shakura S'Aida turns in her second solo album, Brown Sugar, for the German Ruf Records label. On her first CD, UMI's Blueprint, she sang blues cover songs from the 1940s and ‘50s, but here she and her guitarist, Donna Grantis, have penned nine of the 11 songs themselves. They have done so in some familiar blues styles, starting with the opening trio of 12-bar blues tunes, "Mr. Right," "Walk Out That Door," and "Gonna Tell My Baby," then going on to less hardcore variations such as the blues-rock found on "(Did It)" Break Your Heart" and the bluesy piano ballad "Angel on High"…
The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 75 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley and Conway Twitty did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden Moon and Satellite.
Released in 1975, SMOKED SUGAR features the production guidance of Hadley Murrell who became well known for his production and promotion of local acts within the Phoenix Soul scene of the 60s (The Servicemen and Freddie, Henchi & The Soulsetters) as well as drawing upon the technical expertise of world renowned engineer Angel Balestier, (Solomon Burke, David Ruffin, Caston & Majors, Eddie Kendricks etc).