December 1, 2004

Adrian Legg
Melding snappy chicken pickin', Travis-style alternating bass, swing-band voicings, real-time retuning, bagpipe-like drones, and pedal steel-inspired bends,

Adrian Legg pushes the boundaries of solo guitar like no one else. His broad sonic palette includes acoustic colors from a miked parlor guitar ("My Blackbird Sings All Night"), ringing mag-pickup timbres ("Nail Talk"), and sizzling undersaddle pickup sounds bathed in ambient washes of digital processing ("English Blue"). Pledging no allegiance to any particular genre or musical period, he bounces from delicate, hymn-like melodies to funky Jerry Reed riffs to pensive modal improvisations. A skilled arranger, Legg occasionally augments his guitar with string and brass ensemble accompaniment; these organic sounds provide a welcome foil to his electronic explorations. While many of the originals on this instrumental record have a somber cast, Legg's subversive take on tone and technique give Inheritance a playful feel. Favored Nations.
-Andy Ellis

The Derek Trucks Band
Live at Georgia Theatre
The first live album from 10-year road veterans the Derek Trucks Band reflects a group that has evolved into something wholly unique and exciting.

DTB separates itself by reflecting inspirations from Eastern music, classic jazz, and world beat, in addition to the prerequisite Southern rock and Granola grooves of the jam band scene. Vocalist Mike Mattison, on this his first release with the band, proves to be worth his weight in soul on Paul Pena's "Gonna Move," and Kofi Burbridge's keyboard stylings are consistently cool. But of course, the primary force at work is the absolutely transcendent guitar playing of Derek Trucks. Unlike the consistently mellow vibe of his latest studio effort, Soul Serenade, Live at Georgia Theatre captures the eternally stoic-faced Trucks positively bristling with energy, "Joyful Noise" being a good case in point. Live at Georgia Theatre is not available in stores, but it can be had at several online music sites such as, iTunes, or Columbia.
-Jimmy Leslie

Eric Ambel
Known for providing edgy lead guitar for Joan Jett's Blackhearts and Steve

Earle's Dukes, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel is also an acclaimed producer. For this collection of swampy, gritty rockers, he dips deep into his library of orphaned tracks recorded between 1990 and 2004. His two previous solo discs epitomize rowdy guitar tone, and the 15 songs on Knucklehead uphold this tradition. Offering a woozy mix of NYC garage rock, early Neil Young, and Sticky Fingers-era Stones, the songs range from 8-track cassette demos to studio tracks cut with his pals from the Bottle Rockets, Martin's Folly, the Del-Lords, the Yayhoos, and Roscoe's Gang. As a bonus, the liner notes include intriguing details about the personnel, gear, and instruments. Next time you feel the urge to loosen a few screws, crank up Knucklehead. Lakeside Lounge.
-Andy Ellis  

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