Glad All Over
The Wallflowers truly have something to be “glad all over” about with their newest album released in October after an almost seven-year hiatus from creating music together. Jakob Dylan along with Rami Jaffee, bassist, Greg Richling, guitarist, Stuart Mathis and the group’s new drummer, Jack Irons, who played for The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam, comprise The Wallflowers’ line-up for this album.
The band gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for a month to record at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio. With a more simplistic sound and the basics of rock ’n roll as their goal, the two-time Grammy Award-winning group was produced by Jay Joyce and mixed by Rich Costey. Dylan wanted to place an emphasis on a collaborative effort going into this project, rather than his coming into the studio with numerous songs he was ready to produce.
Reboot the Mission was released as the band’s single, which has a Clash-like sound and a shuffle backbeat. Mick Jones from the The Clash is on vocals and guitar throughout the song, which reinforces The Clash’s influence that went into writing the single. Jones’ vocals are also featured on Misfits and Lovers, which adds a reggae-sound to the record.
The tracks Have Mercy On Him Now and It’s a Dream display Dylan channeling Petty and Springsteen’s 70’s hits.
While this album differs from The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse, which was released in 1996, it is a strong testament to Dylan and the rest of the group’s versatility and evolution.
The iconic Bob Dylan has released his 35th studio album entitled Tempest. The 10-song album encompasses a wide array of themes including: women, class, journeys, power, God’s mysterious will and death’s omnipresence. The songs take the listeners on a tour of stimulating dark lyrics.
Produced by Columbia Records, Dylan joined up with his band from the road, along with David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, who plays instruments including the accordion and fiddle.
Whistling from Dylan throughout the first song, Duquesne Whistle, has a raspy sound, which indicates his changing voice due to the longevity of his career.
While most of the tracks are more than five-minutes in length, the title track Tempest plays for more than 14 minutes. The song, which is about the sinking of the Titanic, makes references to James Cameron’s movie, Titanic, and has a meditation tone as Dylan narrates the details of those lost in this historic event.
The final song on Dylan’s album, Roll on John, is in remembrance of John Lennon. His lyrics refer to Lennon’s assassination, and he quotes the famous Beatle by saying, “I heard the news today, oh boy.”
Tempest made fans wonder if Dylan was referencing Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest. However, the album, which was released Sept. 10, 2012, is not the last for Dylan, despite the similarities that the titles share. The folklorist, yet again, has gathered a collection of lyrics and melodies that encourage audiences to listen in order to gain insight into an American legend.
The Boys of Broadway
Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley reinterprets a collection of songs from classic Broadway plays such as West Side Story, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, Pajama Game and Sweeny Todd, in her most recent album, Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway. She was initially inspired to record the album because of her engagement at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in New York City, where she sang songs that were originally performed by men on Broadway.
The 10-song CD displays her range and passion for Broadway music. With arrangements by Christian Jacob and Eric Stern, Buckley puts her unique twist on these male-dominated songs.
From Luck Be a Lady to I Won’t Dance, there is passion in her voice that exudes her true love for each handpicked song. The insert to the CD offers commentary from Buckley under each track about her feelings toward the songs or what led her to choose the particular track.
Arranged by Eric Stern and new lyrics by Eric Kornfeld, A Hymn to Her was adapted from My Fair Lady’s A Hymn to Him. Buckley calls it the “centerpiece” to the collection of songs, due to its witty, personalized lyrics that she sings with enthusiasm and charm.
Buckley chose not to sing all of the songs from the character’s perspective because she wanted listeners “to feel from a genderless all-encompassing place.” The upcoming inductee to the Theater Hall of Fame continues to push not only the music boundaries, but also the gender boundaries within music throughout her most recent work.