Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations for 2016

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If you are in the business of selling blood pressure medicine, you probably discuss the inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as often as possible. Just last week a complete stranger growled at me, while waiting in line to see The Zombies, “THEY SHOULD BE IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME!” I almost responded with “Are you kidding me?” just to see if the guy’s head would have exploded

Grand Opening of the Texas Musicians Museum, July 25th, 2015, Irving, Texas

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Museum curator Tom Kreason has worked tirelessly for years to make this a project a reality. Financially, the museum is a partnership with the city of Irving as part of a downtown renovation plan, but the vision, sweat equity, and execution of the myriad details required to make this concept a reality has all been overseen by endless hours of planning, work, and personal sacrifice by Mr. Kreason

Brian Wilson, Verizon Theater, Grand Prairie, Texas, Wednesday 24th June, 2015, Review

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Wilson is a sympathetic figure, even more so do to the recent biopic Love & Mercy, and with his personal tragedies and triumphs, it’s impossible not to root for the man. He was in good spirits on this evening, giving brief song introductions (“This one’s in the key of E,” “Let’s hear the girls yell,” “This one rocks like hell!”) and punching the air for emphasis

The Mountain Goats, Kessler Theater, Dallas, Texas, June 8, 2015 Review

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I have never travelled too deeply into the Mountain Goats catalogue, but that wasn’t necessary to understand and appreciate what this show was really about. Fundamentally, it was about John Darnielle’s love of performing and an audience that loved him for his unique artistic vision. It was a young crowd filled with hipsters and nerds and perhaps people that fall comfortably into both categories

There Was a Time, When She was Mine… The 25 Greatest Songs of 1982

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“Cleaning Windows,” Van Morrison. “Cleaning Windows” is a utopian vision of a perfectly fulfilled life, where the pursuit of money is less important than the physical and soul nourishing activities such as reading Kerouac, listening to Muddy Waters, and eating Paris buns. Van was a working man in his prime when he developed this beautiful vision.

30 Essential ‘70’s Songs from the Lone Star State

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The following excerpts from Steve Crawford’s book “1000 Essential Songs from the 1970s focuses on Texas born or Texas based artists with entries from Waylon, Willie, Ray Price, ZZ Top, Billy Joe Shaver, the late, great Townes Van Zandt, and many other musicians who were completely comfortable wearing cowboy hats.

Dennis DeYoung, Eisemann Center, Richardson, Texas, Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 Reviewed: Styx And Stones…

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The current version of Styx does a much better job of replicating the band’s recorded output than DeYoung’s group, which had a decidedly Vegas sound. Both the guitarists had extended solo turns throughout the night, displaying every cliché in the 1970’s I’m-a-shredding-hot-poop-guitar-hero arsenal. This is a show that someone could enjoy for pure camp for about half an hour, but that’s only 25% of the evening.

25 Philadelphia (or Philly Inspired) Soul Classics from the 1970s

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What was the most important and influential U.S. city in terms of 1970’s music? A strong argument could be made for Philadelphia. Producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell created a silky soul sound that resulted in a string of hit records early in the decade and the disco beat was popularized by MFSB drummer Earl Young. Listed below are 18 tracks that were Philly creations, then several more inspired by the same sound and production techniques

Twenty Five British Classic Rock Tracks from the 1970s

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After the British Invasion took America by storm in 1964, U.S. radio listeners long remained fascinated with U.K. musicians, who often were simply updating the Delta and Chicago blues traditions with a better sense of style. The U.K. bands represented below range from the traditional hard rock and metal of The Who and Led Zeppelin to the more progressive rock styles of The Moody Blues and Pink Floyd

Twenty Rare Essential Soul Tracks from the 1970s

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Their organ/percussion heavy version of “Apache” wasn’t a hit, but was latter dubbed “the national anthem of hip hop” and has been sampled by Missy Elliot, LL Cool J, Moby, Nas, and Grandmaster Flash. Drummer Jim Gordon, who had played with Derek and the Dominoes, was responsible for what would become one of rap music’s most famous beats.

Lessons in How Not to Run a Business from Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, Texas

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I would have loved to have said a few words to Butch Hancock after the show – about how much his music has meant to me and it was an honor to see him perform, but I felt like I needed to leave quickly to avoid another manufactured confrontation. So, Danny Boy, don’t worry about profiling me in your club again, because I’ll never be back. And, if you don’t like this pic of Butch Hancock that I took during his soundcheck, sue me.

The 25 Greatest Songs of 1981

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If your ears were glued to pop radio stations in 1981, you would have been enjoying “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, and “Theme from ‘Greatest American Hero’ (Believe It or Not)” by the handsome and multi-talented Joey Scarbury. Scarbury also recorded “Flashbeagle” for the 1984 Peanuts special It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, an animated tale about a rogue pooch who was repeatedly arrested for indecent exposure.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – The Pride of Cotton Plant, Arkansas

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe had a complicated relationship with religion – she was born into the business of religion and when she performed secular music, it was always at the risk of alienating her core audience. Late in her life she stated that she wasn’t a “fanatical believer,” although that may have been more of a casual comment than a reflection of her core convictions.

The 25 Greatest Songs of 1980

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“Crawford, you are a first rate goldbricker. When will you start earning your keep, you lousy bum?” “Um…hello…is this my mom?” “Funny. Do you know what it means to be a contributing writer to Rock NYC?” “Limited street cred with aging punk rock strippers?” “It means you actually write for us. Alyson Camus sends in more articles in a week than you do in six months.”

Steve Earle's "Terraplane" Reviewed

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On one level you can admire the schoolyard punk hubris of Earle titling his record with a Robert Johnson reference, but his blues pastiches are so comparatively pale that it makes him seem completely blinded by his own arrogance. I’m left wondering if anyone in Earle’s camp ever tells him that he has a bad idea

Steve Crawford's Top 30 Songs Of 2014

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rock nyc writer Steve Crawford has spent much of the year working on a book of the greatest songs in the 1980s, but still followed the latest releases close enough to include Old 97’s encapsulated history of life in a rock band, Lydia’s ode to being told to give oral stimulation and long time faves DBT. A mix of Americana and the occasional curve ball for 2014.