Ry Cooder has always believed in the "mutuality in music," and this may be no more evident in his career than with his fifth album, Chicken Skin Music (a Hawaiian colloquialism, synonymous with goosebumps). Even more than usual, Cooder refuses to recognize borders – geographical or musical – presenting "Stand By Me" as a gospel song with a norteño arrangement, or giving the Jim Reeves country-pop classic, "He'll Have to Go," a bolero rhythm, featuring the interplay of Flaco Jimenez's accordion and Pat Rizzo's alto sax. Elsewhere, he teams with a pair of Hawaiian greats – steel guitarist and singer Gabby Pahinui and slack key guitar master Atta Isaacs – on the Hank Snow hit "Yellow Roses" and the beautiful instrumental "Chloe." If Cooder's approach to the music is stylistically diverse, his choice of material certainly follows suit. Bookended by a couple of Leadbelly compositions, Chicken Skin Music sports a collection of songs ranging from the aforementioned tracks to the charming old minstrel/medicine show number "I Got Mine" and the syncopated R&B of "Smack Dab in the Middle".
"Skin Tight" is the fifth studio album by the Ohio Players and the first released through the Mercury label. "Skin Tight" signified a turning point in the group's career towards a more jazzy and polished funk sound. The album began the Players' dominant platinum selling period, and would bring them a much bigger audience. In fact, this release would outsell all of their previous LPs combined. The band produced and recorded the album in Chicago, with Barry Mraz as recording engineer. The final mix was mastered by Lee Hulko.
Lindsey Buckingham has released only four albums as a solo artist in 25 years. While he remains active as a producer and session musician, this is his first offering in 14 years. Those who saw Cameron Crowe's film Elisabethtown got a sneak peak: Buckingham's "Shut Us Down" was featured in the film. Under the Skin is perhaps the most nakedly visible and tender recording he's ever dropped. He wrote much of the set while on tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2003…
If there’s one thing you learn from listening to a lot of prog/rock/fusion music, it’s that lightning-fast guitar players are a dime a dozen. Listeners are generally impressed the first couple of times they hear a nimble fingered axeman set their fretboard on fire, but after you realize that there’s a ton of similar guitarists out there cutting CDs you begin to get a bit jaded. This causes the listener to begin looking for traits other than speed to set guitar players apart. The reason I’m bring this up is because when I first fired up Jeff Kollman’s latest CD Shedding Skin I thought to myself “Great, another amphetamine-fingered guitarist with an entire hour to kill noodling pointlessly with his instrument.” However, after listening to the first few tracks I realized that Jeff Kollman is a shredder with “the difference” – that difference being that he can actually write a catchy tune and gets enough variance in his guitar sound to keep things interesting through most of Shedding Skin.