Featuring the leading blues man of his time Buddy Guy, the highly regarded gospel tinged Rootsy blues of The Holmes Brothers, and pianist Pinetop Perkins from the classic Muddy Waters band, this DVD should have been an excellent blues primer. In fact, sad to say the project falls short of that mainly because of a seemingly complete absence of editing, meaning that Buddy Guy's set actually starts and finishes on a slow blues, while the Holmes Brothers must surely have delivered something better during their set, which includes a faux pas from guitarist Wendell Holmes on an introductory phrase.
Helmed by T-Bone Burnett and Craig Street, the soundtrack to the music-intensive TV crime drama series gets ultra-hip artists to cover songs not necessarily associated with them—all with eerie musical backgrounds that match the program's tone. Unfortunately, the intriguing concept fares better on the small screen than on the big speaker, as artists like Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, and Joe Henry, among others, get lost in a uniformly listless production. Exceptions are Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman's original instrumental "Crossing Jordan Themes," the Holmes Brothers' take on Blind Willie Johnson's "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond," and Alison Krauss' tackling of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home." Series star Jill Hennessy debuts with Tom Waits' "You're Innocent When You Dream" and Bob Dylan's "It's all Over Now, Baby Blue" and acquits herself well enough.
The Barr Brothers gave us a surprise outtakes EP with Alta Falls back in 2015, but the Montreal outfit are finally ready to deliver a proper full-length follow-up to 2014's Sleeping Operator. Titled Queens of the Breakers, the new LP is out October 13 via Secret City.
On Out of the Loop, Randy and Michael Brecker stepped up to the plate with their second long-player of the '90s, 20 years after their first foray into the jazz-funk-fusion realm. The album is surprisingly strong, and any fears of a paint-by-numbers attempt to cash in on past glories are quickly dispelled with the opening "Slang," which is reminiscent of Amandla-era Miles. Here, as throughout the disc, Michael's sax solo burns with abandon, while brother Randy's trumpet glides across a tastefully smooth and melodic terrain.
The idea behind Paint It Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones is such a simple, appealing one that it's a wonder that the record wasn't made before 1997. The Stones never made any secret of their debt to the blues, so it makes sense that their songs would sound good when performed by blues and R&B artists…