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CD Reviews:
Listening Room: "Songs For My Father," David Bromberg and more

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007

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Various Artists, “A Song for My Father” (One Eighty Music) **1/2

Call this Rock Stars: The Next Generation, and if there’s no shock in this future, there’s at least confi rmation of a fairly talented genetic jean (sic) pool. The 14-track album, available solely at Target stores, features artists’ children having a go at their dads’ songs with an affinity their own fathers probably couldn’t have shown for their parents’ music. Most of the interpretations here are faithful, though the album’s best — and lead-off — track, Salvador Santana’s rendition of “Evil Ways,” accelerates the sultry groove of the Santana band arrangement into high-speed, brassy funk-rock with sharp dynamics and a rap for good measure. Devon Allman’s Honeytribe makes a more subtle alteration to the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider,” using electric rather than acoustic guitar to give the song a more raw kind of bite and drive, while Spencer Gibb & 54 Seconds take a more epic approach to the Bee Gees’ early ’70s hit “Run to Me.” Wilson Phillips divides and mostly conquers with an airy treatment of the Beach Boys’ “Warmth of the Sun” by Carnie and Wendy Wilson and a lightly trippy take on the Mamas and the Papas’ “Got a Feeling.” The female voice of Jen Chapin is a bit jarring on Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” but most of the other participants — including A.J. Croce, Ivan Neville and Ben Taylor — sound like younger images of their fathers. Given their legacy, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


David Bromberg, “Try Me One More Time” (Appleseed) ***

The former Bob Dylan sideman’s first new album in 17 years is a comfortable, stripped-down affair featuring just Bromberg and his instruments, with one original (the title track) and a selection of covers of traditional material and songs by Dylan, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and Reverend Gary Davis. It’s a kind of aural trip to a Greenwich Village club or the front porch of Bromberg’s house making us wish we’d heard more from him in the last decade and a half — and won’t have to wait another 17 years for his next album.


Beck, “The Information: Deluxe Edition” (Geffen) — Three bonus tracks, six remixes, a lyric book, videos and more sticker sheets are added to the pop auteur’s 2006 release.

B.G. & the Chopper City Boyz, “We Got This” (Chopper City Records/Koch) — The debut release of the new project from former Cash Money Millionaire MC B.G., which includes his younger brother, Hakim.

Blinded Black, “Under the Sunrise” (SideCho) — The hardrocking sextet’s national debut comes just two years after the band’s formation in St. Louis.

David Childers & the Modern Don Juans, “Burning in Hell”

(Little King) — The Charlotte, N.C., Americana troupe’s eighth album is a typically rocking affair.

Dr. Dog, “We All Belong”

(Park the Van) — The loose-limbed Philadelphia quintet went lo-fi for high gain on its fourth release.

Goo Goo Dolls, “Let Love In: Expanded Edition” (Warner Bros.) — The 2006 release is bolstered by a live DVD and two new acoustic recordings, including “Better Days.”

Andy Narell, “Tatoom” (Heads Up) — The jazz maverick brings in guitarist Mike Stern, saxophonist David Sanchez and percussionist Luis Conte to dress up the sound of his 30-piece steelband.

nine inch nails, “Live: Beside You In Time” (Interscope) — A DVD filmed during the group’s visually arresting 2005-06 “With Teeth” tour.

Radio Moscow, “Radio Moscow” (Alive) — Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced the debut set from this Iowa psychedelic blues-rock trio.

Slim Thug, “Serve & Collect”

(Boss Hogg Outlawz/Koch) — The Houston rapper showcases his stable of Boss Hogg Outlawz, including fellow MCs such as PJ Tha Rap Hustla, Chris Ward and Sir Dailey.

Otis Taylor, “Definition of a Circle” (Telarc) — The Chicago bluesman’s latest features guest appearances by Charlie Musselwhite, Gary Moore, Ron Miles and his own daughter, vocalist Cassie Taylor.

The Very Tall Band, “What’s Up?” (Telarc) — More music from the 1998 stand at New York City’s Blue Note by jazz legends Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Milt Jackson.

Matt Wertz, “Everything in Between” (Nettwerk) — The third release from the Nashville-by-way-of-Missouri singer-songwriter.

Willard Grant Conspiracy, “Let It Roll” (Dahlia Recordings/Reincarnate Music) — The Southern California collective opens its ranks even more this time, with guests such as Steve Wynn and Robert Lloyd and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

Joe Zaniwul, “Brown Street”

(Heads Up) — The keyboardist and his big band pay homage to his old band, Weather Report, on this twodisc set, with help from former bandmates Victor Bailey and Alex Acuna.

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