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John Swenson


  • An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set

    The Allman Brothers band live on because live performance is what they're about. The call of the road and the thrill of collective improvisation are the animating forces behind this rock institution, ever since 1971's live At Fillmore East confirmed their reputation and provided their commercial breakthrough. 2nd Set, the sequel to the 1992 concert […]

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  • Milagro

    After releasing his first twenty-six recordings on CBS/Sony, Carlos Santana begins a new phase of his career with Milagro, one of the finest sessions he's done. The album reaffirms Santana's position as the standard-bearer for fusion music. Santana is the most successful practitioner of fusion because he understands the style not as a souped-up rock-jazz […]

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  • Thirty Years of Maximum R&B

    Classic rock radio has distorted the histories of most of the bands it features by reducing their output to a handful of tracks played ad nauseam. The Who's catalog is rich enough to support scores of successful anthologies, official and bootleg, laced with unreleased material. Yet this box set had been preprogrammed by classic rock […]

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  • The Last Rebel

    Southern rock reached its peak popularity during the Carter years but stopped on a dime in the Eighties. Now it's back in full force just as another Southern Democrat settles into the White House. Lynyrd Skynyrd recaptures its trademark hard-rocking sound with The Last Rebel. The Kentucky Headhunters reunite with old friends for a third […]

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  • Boom Boom

    John Lee Hooker is the last of the classic Mississippi Delta blues guitarists, the unaccompanied bards who could generate more energy sitting on a low stool and playing an acoustic than most rock bands can summon up going full tilt. He has been one of the most prolific recording artists of his generation, rivaling Lightnin' […]

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  • The Right Time

    There is no greater living blues singer than Etta James, and no producer more attuned to the right setting for a blues diva than Jerry Wexler. The recent collaboration between these two giants, The Right Time, is as spectacular an update of R&B as that statement suggests it would be. The album is overpowering in […]

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  • Shades of Two Worlds

    The Allman Brothers Band has come almost eerily full circle with Shades of Two Worlds. Charged by topflight performances from Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman, the band summons up both the spirit and the musical resonance of the original group. Betts, continually overshadowed by the mythical stature of the late Duane Allman, has never been […]

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  • Enlightenment

    Van Morrison doesn't make easy-listening records. Oh, sure, you can sit back and let his smooth, buttery R&B vocals roll across the arrangements, but there's too much else going on to let it stop there. Ever since he threw aside the mantle of pop singer more than twenty years ago to make Astral Weeks, Morrison […]

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  • Moonflower

    Carlos Santana has had problems with creative direction for the past few years. Ever since the commercial failure of his groundbreaking Welcome album and the corporate refusal to release Lotus, the masterful recording from a series of Japanese concerts that presented the Santana band at its instrumental apogee, Carlos has been casting around for a […]

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  • Departure

    Departure offers ample proof that the Seventies hard-rock genre so many people have been trying to bury for the last few years just doesn't want to die. Journey may well be the best American band in this idiom, which is ironic, because, stylistically, they've always seemed to struggle with it, as if hard rock were […]

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