Author: Alan Sculley

MUSIC FOR MERRYMAKING | Great holiday albums for 2019

It’s been a rather prolific year for holiday albums, across all the various genres, with some surprisingly stellar standouts. Here’s a brief look at some of this year’s selections.  Idina Menzel: Christmas: A Season of Love If one 2019 Christmas album is likely to become a big seller year after year, it’s probably this one. Menzel, whose work in the Frozen  movies made her one of the world’s most popular vocalists, applies her considerable talents to 18 songs, most of which are time-tested favorites. They’re given big, brassy treatments (that on occasion go just a bit overboard), but Menzel...

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HERE HE IS | Lyle Lovett and His Large Band to perform in Thousand Oaks

This summer, Lyle Lovett is once again doing an extensive tour of the United States. This means he gets to experience one of his favorite aspects of being a musician on a nightly basis.   “I just appreciate them so much,” Lovett said of his touring musicians, which over the years he has deployed in various configurations from a small acoustic combo up to his Large Band, which has had as many as 16 members. “I mean, nothing gives me a greater thrill in my musical life than to get to stand in the middle of them and listen to...

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QUALITY OVER QUANTITY | NYC hardcore band Show Me The Body packs a punch in a short show

Don’t go to see Show Me The Body expecting some sort of Springsteen-esque show that rocks on for three hours or more. The New York City-based trio doesn’t stay on stage much longer than a half hour, which on the current tour is enough time to play Dog Whistle, the new Show Me The Body album, in its entirety, plus a couple of older tunes.  “We still haven’t done sets like over 35 minutes. We really like to keep it short,” frontman Julian Cashwan Pratt said in a mid-April phone interview. “Before, whenever we got to Europe, Europeans are,...

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MOOD MUSIC | As It Is coming to Rock City Studios

When the 2017 album, Okay, was finished, frontman Patty Walters and the other members of As It Is knew they had taken an important step forward as a band. “I think with Okay we felt this kind of musical liberation, where there were a lot of both darker songs and lighter songs [compared] to what we had done on our first record, just taking small steps in both directions to see how people kind of warmed to us experimenting musically,” Walters said of the album, the British band’s second release, in an early January phone interview. “When it was...

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BACK TO THE BLUES | Jonny Lang returns to his early blues-rock sound on Signs

Jonny Lang says his current album, Signs, is an example of just letting an album be what it wants to be musically. “I don’t know what will come next,” Lang said in a recent phone interview. “But yeah, this one was just the record that felt right in this season of my life.” Signs is the kind of album that’s likely to please longtime fans who first heard Lang in the late 1990s, when he was in his teens and releasing his early work. With his fiery blues-rock sound, his accomplished guitar playing and a rough and tumble singing...

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