Indiana Album: Mike Reeb – “Breaking”

For a good album to elevate to great, especially for local or undiscovered talent, finding a unique sound while embracing familiar influences becomes important. Some (Lenny Kravitz, Oasis) took that idea to a near-breaking point, while others don’t go far enough, and we are left with music that doesn’t find it’s way into our heart and guts.

Lafayette’s Mike Reeb does a fine job of blending his influences and own sound on his new album Breaking. A record filled with images of melancholy and heartbreak, Reeb casts his bright pop and rock music into the mix to keep it engaging. Continue reading “Indiana Album: Mike Reeb – “Breaking””

Indiana Album Review: Scott Kellogg – “Silver In Their Veins”

On his debut album “Silver In Their Veins”, Bloomington singer/songwriter Scott Kellogg works with producer Paul Mahern to conjure the spookiness of a T Bone Burnett album, his singing recalling Robbie Robertson’s post-Band work, the music a nod to U2’s non-hit Joshua Tree songs, and enough Another Brick-era Pink Floyd to add glistening atmosphere to the project. It’s a crisp-yet-warm sounding album, with lyrics non-specific enough to let you tell the story your way.

Kellogg, a singer/songwriter outside the boundries of folk, opts to bypass making an acoustic guitar-based record. Instead, he and Mahern zero in on layers of sound, close-miked vocals and never straying from melody over experimentation. Continue reading “Indiana Album Review: Scott Kellogg – “Silver In Their Veins””

Rock News: Americana chart; U2 and Culture Club; Indiana connection to California music

Rock Water Cooler – Things to talk about to appear really smart….
Top 10 – This week’s Americana chart
1 ROBERT PLANT Band of Joy
3 RAY LAMONTAGNE & THE PARIAH DOGS God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise
4 JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE Harlem River Blues
5 MARTY STUART Studio B Sessions
6 LOS LOBOS Tin Can Trust
7 MAVIS STAPLES You Are Not Alone
8 OLD 97S The Grand Theatre
9 JOHN MELLENCAMP No Better Than This
10 KIM RICHEY Wreck Your Wheels

→ After retiring the floppy disk in March, Sony has halted the manufacture and distribution of another now-obsolete technology: the cassette Walkman. The final batch was shipped to Japanese retailers.The first generation Walkman was released on July 1, 1979. Sony sold more than 200 million Walkman’s over the 30 years. Continue reading “Rock News: Americana chart; U2 and Culture Club; Indiana connection to California music”

The Roots of Rock History / April 25-May 1

Cheap Trick doing the Beatles, Elvis Costello covering Nazareth, Springsteen climbs a wall, and U2 bombs.

April 25
Just days after completing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967, The Beatles lay down tracks for “Magical Mystery Tour” at Abbey Road studios in London.

Cheap Trick version of a classic tune from “Abbey Road” – just because we can…:

April 26
ABC’s telecast of “U2: A Year in POP” in 1997 becomes the lowest-rated prime-time program in the history of major network television.

Here’s what part of that broadcast looked like, with Dennis Hopper doing narration:

April 27
Ray Stevens
releases what would be his biggest hit, “The Streak”. The novelty tune would make it to the top of the US charts next month.

April 28
Blondie brings a touch of New Wave to the Hot 100 when “Heart Of Glass” reaches #1 in 1979.

April 29
Aretha Franklin releases “Respect” in 1969, her soon-to-be signature tune.

April 30
Elvis Presley records “Jailhouse Rock” in 1957. The song will go on to top the US Best Sellers list, the Hot 100, the R&B chart and even the Country and Western chart. It will also become the first single to enter the UK chart at #1.

In 1964,The Beatles receive $140,000 for the rights to having their pictures included in packages of bubble gum in the USA.

After playing Memphis during a southern tour in 1976, Bruce Springsteen climbs the fence at Graceland in an attempt to see Elvis Presley. Security guards stop him and he is escorted off the grounds.

Twiggs Lyndon, the road manager for the Allman Brothers Band, is arrested in 1970 for murder after he stabbed a club manager during an argument over a contract. At the ensuing trial, Lyndon’s lawyers will argue that he had been temporarily insane at the time of the incident and that touring with the Allman Brothers would drive anyone insane. Incredibly, Lyndon will be acquitted.

Then there’s the case of 51 year-old Darrell Sweet, drummer of Nazareth, best remembered for their 1976 hit “Love Hurts”. He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1999 before a show in New Albany, Ind., when he began feeling ill and within minutes went into cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the New Albany Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris performing “Love Hurts”:

May 1
In 1955, Leonard Chess signs Chuck Berry to a recording contract after he came highly recommended by Muddy Waters.


Pink Floyd’s, “Dark Side of the Moon” finally drops off the US albums chart in 1988, after a run of 725 weeks (almost 14 years).

Santacular Christmas Countdown: #17 – U2


From the uber-successful “Very Special Christmas” album (the first one), our earnest boys of U2 take the Darlene Love/Phil Spector classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and give it the echo-and-Edge treatement. 

(Did You Know? –  Love provided backing vocals for the cut).

Recorded during the height of their initial powers, just after “The Joshua Tree” release, the group adds enough drama and bombast to keep up with the exquisite original.  Gotta admire U2 for their ability to take on anything (song, idea, sound) and end up giving it their own stamp.  Not as much a staple of rock radio at Christmastime as it should be. Recorded July 1987 during a sound check at a stop during their Joshua Tree Tour in Glasgow, Scotland.  The video was filmed in Baton Rouge, LA.  Though just 2:18 in length, enough time for Bono to fully rock the hat.