Is there a reader among us who doesn’t dig ZZ Top? We mourn the passing of Joseph Michael “Dusty” Hill (72), bassist, vocalist and keyboardist for the tres hombres. Blending blues, boogie, bone-crushing rock, born-for-MTV visuals, humor and outrageousness – they once took a passel of live animals on stage as part of their 1976 – 1977 Worldwide Texas Tour – Hill, drummer Frank Beard and guitarist Billy F. Gibbons have scorched stages worldwide. As a friend said, “it’s amazing how just three guys could make that much sound.” Rest in peace, Mr. Hill.
In this issue: Anne E. Johnson gets inspired by the music of Renaissance composer William Byrd, and understands The Animals. Wayne Robins reviews Native Sons, the superb new album from Los Lobos. Ray Chelstowski interviews The Immediate Family, featuring studio legends Waddy Wachtel, Lee Sklar, Russ Kunkel and others, in an exclusive video interview. I offer up more confessions of a record collector. Tom Gibbs finds much to like in some new SACD discs. John Seetoo winds up his coverage of the Audio Engineering Society’s Spring 2021 AES show.
Ken Sander travels through an alternate California reality. WL Woodward continues his series on troubadour Tom Waits. Russ Welton interviews cellist Jo Quail, who takes a unique approach to the instrument. In another article, he ponders what’s needed for sustaining creativity. Adrian Wu looks at more of his favorite analog recordings. Cliff Chenfeld turns us on to some outstanding new music in his latest Be Here Now column. J.I. Agnew digs deeper into the extraordinary Telefunken M15A tape machine. B. Jan Montana faces the music. Rudy Radelic continues his definitive survey of jazz legend Cal Tjader. We fill out the issue with some modern-day blues, incredibly rare loudspeakers, the ages of plastic and an organ donation.
J.I. Agnew, Ray Chelstowski, Cliff Chenfeld, Jay Jay French, Tom Gibbs, Roy Hall, Rich Isaacs, Anne E. Johnson, Don Kaplan, Don Lindich, Stuart Marvin, Tom Methans, B. Jan Montana, Rudy Radelic, Tim Riley, Wayne Robins, Alón Sagee, Ken Sander, Larry Schenbeck, John Seetoo, Dan Schwartz, Russ Welton, WL Woodward, Adrian Wu
Ivan Berger, Steven Bryan Bieler, Harris Fogel, Robert Heiblim, Ken Kessler, Bob Wood
“Cartoon Bob” D’Amico
James Whitworth, Peter Xeni
James Schrimpf, B. Jan Montana, Rich Isaacs (and others)
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