Eddie Shannon is an undersized, sports-car mechanic who dreams of racing an expensive car in a European meet. He meets and falls in love with Barbara Mathews, and thinks she loves him. She introduces him to Steve Norris and Harold Baker, who ask him to drive the getaway car in a bank robbery they are planning. He refuses, but changes his mind after some gentle persuasion from Barbara. The job is pulled off and, following a wild getaway, Eddie learns that Barbara was just using him and that Steve and Harold have plans to kill him. Gritty retribution is just around the corner.
For Erik Reece, life, at last, was good: he was newly married, gainfully employed, living in a creekside cabin in his beloved Kentucky woods. It sounded, as he describes it, "like a country song with a happy ending." And yet he was still haunted by a sense that the world-or, more specifically, his country-could be better.
It isn't surprising that Lucinda Williams' level of craft takes time to assemble, but the six-year wait between Sweet Old World and its 1998 follow-up, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, still raised eyebrows. The delay stemmed both from label difficulties and Williams' meticulous perfectionism, the latter reportedly over a too-produced sound and her own vocals. Listening to the record, one can understand why both might have concerned Williams. Car Wheels is far and away her most produced album to date, which is something of a mixed blessing. Its surfaces are clean and contemporary, with something in the timbres of the instruments (especially the drums) sounding extremely typical of a late-'90s major-label roots-rock album.
Eric Clapton is usually thought of as John Mayall's most important right-hand man, but the case could also be made for his successor, Peter Green. The future Fleetwood Mac founder leaves a strong stamp on his only album with the Bluesbreakers, singing a few tracks and writing a couple, including the devastating instrumental "Supernatural."…
A man shows up at Kimberley Prescott's villa claiming to be her brother. But Ward Prescott died in a car accident a year ago, so how can this man be him? Despite Kim's protests that the stranger isn't her brother, everyone else accepts him, including their uncle. Kim begins to fear for her sanity and her life.
An investigative reporter (Robert Ryan) travels to a small European country with the hope of exposing its dictator's family secrets.
In Memoriam. RIP Mr. Buddy. Buddy De Franco, a highly accomplished and exquisite jazz clarinetist who began his career in several leading swing bands of the 1940s before pivoting to bebop in the late 1940s and early '50s and teaming with leading jazz artists throughout the LP era, died on Dec. 24. He was 91. The album may be laidback, but it's hardly mellow at all – thanks to the presence of Sonny Clark on piano! The session's one of those great 50s pairings of Clark's piano and the clarinet of Buddy DeFranco – proof not only that Buddy could sound pretty darn soulful when he wanted, but also that he was always willing to grow and bring in some new ideas to his music.