« Quelque chose a changé ». Avec ces quatre mots, commence le nouveau livre, très attendu, de Philippe Labro. Ce « quelque chose », n’est autre que le début de la plongée dans une dépression nerveuse dont le célèbre romancier, journaliste et cinéaste, a été victime entre septembre 1999 et mai 2001.
Compiled and designed in the manner of Love, Murder, and God, three thematically compiled Johnny Cash anthologies released to wide acclaim in the spring of 2000, Life brings together 18 songs from Cash's back catalog that in one way or another deal with the nuts and bolts of many people's existence – home, nation, work, family, surviving hard times, and celebrating good times. Of course, the nature of this theme is broader and not nearly as cleanly defined as the themes of the three previous sets, and a few of these songs might have fared better elsewhere – "Where Did We Go Right" and "You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven" would have fit nicely on Love, while "I Talk to Jesus Everyday" and "Lead Me Gently Home" would not feel out of place on God. But as a summation of the broad and idiosyncratic worldview of Johnny Cash, Life fares very well indeed; Cash could set a protest song like "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" or "Man in Black" next to the fiercely patriotic "Ragged Old Flag" and see no contradiction, and celebrate the importance of hard work ("Country Trash") while savoring the sweet prospect of punching out the boss ("Oney").
Mississippi Delta Dues is a complete departure from Mickey Baker's landmark 1950s electric guitar work for Ray Charles and others. With acoustic bottleneck specialist Stefan Grossman at his side and surprisingly backed by the London Strings Orchestra, the talented guitarist covers a variety of tunes by long-dead bluesmen. Excluding the bonus tracks, this was previously released as House of the Blues, Vol. 5 on the Blue Star label.
Thunderstorm: A Surround Sound Experience SACD will completely transform any living space into the heart of a crackling thunderstorm. Specially designed and produced for SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc), but playable on any standard CD player, you will experience 64 times the clarity, depth, and audio resolution of a traditional CD. And featuring true 5.1 high-resolution surround sound, this Solitudes Thunderstorm SACD offers an audio experience like no other. It really is the next best thing to being there.
Nina Simone Sings the Blues, issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, High Priestess of Soul, featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut. It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah…It pleases me…." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow.