Author Archives: Brian Robbins

Freelance word 'rassler, sloppy cartoonist, and thumper of stringed instruments. Tales, 'toons, and tunes at

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – CSNY 1974

Over the years, the legend of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young’s 1974 tour managed to surpass the memories of the music itself. It seemed what was best remembered were the wretched excesses of the 31 concerts that CSNY played in 24 cities between July 9 and September 14 of that year. […]

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Iron Orchard – For Amusement Only

Hallahooping out of western Illinois comes Iron Orchard, pulling off the cool feat of sounding like the hometown band of Just About Anywhere, USA. Zip codes and accents have nothing to do with what’s going on here: there’s a “Hey … don’t I know these guys?” familiarity to the dozen tunes on Iron Orchard’s new […]

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Rich Robinson – The Ceaseless Sight

Rich Robinson’s new solo album The Ceaseless Sight is a unique piece of work – an uplifting collection of tunes that comes with an inescapable contact high. The concept of an album crafted from positive vibes usually conjures up visions of smiley face emoticons and saccharine-laced, empty-cored melodies – but The Ceaseless Sight proves you […]

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Brian Henneman Of The Bottle Rockets: 20 Weird Dog Years And Still Countin’

Perhaps it hasn’t translated to millions of records sold, but for a solid two decades-plus the Missouri-based Bottle Rockets have been one of those bands that other players admire. Don’t waste a lot of time trying to tag them: alt country; Americana punk; rock ‘n’ twang … the Rockets are all of these things and […]

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Hank Williams Sr. – The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

At this point in time – 61 years since they hauled his lifeless body out of the back seat of that powder blue Cadillac on New Year’s Day of 1953 – Hank Williams Sr. has been dead over twice as long as he was alive. I’ll give you a moment to mull that over, take […]

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On the Verge at 81: Leo “Bud” Welch

Ask bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch why he waited until the age of 81 to record his first album and he won’t hesitate with his answer: “You need somebody to help you with things like that, and I never had nobody until now.” Which, in a way, makes Welch’s manager Vencie Varnado—he’s only in his 50s—the […]

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Phosphorescent Harvest

For their third studio outing the Chris Robinson Brotherhood shrugs off their tie-dyed spacewalker suits (as worn for their 2012 debut Big Moon Ritual) and the Vee-Eff-Dubya-Hall-on-acid vibe of their follow-up, The Magic Door. Phosphorescent Harvest finds CRB clad in comfy flannel shirts, ripped-kneed jeans and scuffed-up cowboy boots, cruising with the top down ‘neath […]

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All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs & Voice Of Gregg Allman

“Give ‘em flowers while they can still smell ‘em.” True and wise words for us all to remember: if you can say “Thank you” or “We love you” while the person you’re saying it to can still hear you, do it. In Gregg Allman’s case, one hopes there are many years’ worth of songs filling […]

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Quicksilver Messenger Service – Fillmore Auditorium 11/5/66

Cleopatra Records’ latest archival release from the Quicksilver Messenger Service’s live vaults takes us back – waaaaaaaay back – to the band’s early days. QMS would’ve been just over a year old when they hit the stage of San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium on November 5, 1966 – and they sound as if they’re still discovering […]

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Marc Ford: Fathers, Sons, Guitars, and Holy Ghost

Marc Ford doesn’t lug his resume around with him – he’d rather keep both hands free to carry guitars. Yeah, the list of folks he’s played with in the past is an impressive one (we’ll get into some of them as we go; you can always look them up), but that’s not what Marc Ford’s […]

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