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Stories by Alan Segal

Lucinda Williams's Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is an acquired taste. If you have it, Christmas came early this year with the release of her new double-disc Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. The set collects 19 new ...

The River & the Thread, by Rosanne Cash

This is Rosanne Cash's first collection of original material in eight years. The daughter of country-music royalty, Cash is done writing songs about her rebellious youth and her traumatic marriage to Rodney Crowell. Although she ...

Paul McCartney's New

“Will you still need me...when I'm 64?” Yeah, even at 71 we need you, when you can still make great original music. My favorite cut on Paul McCartney’s new record is “Early Days,” an acoustic ...

Jake Bugg by Jake Bugg

It was suggested that I listen to some newer artists for review, so I downloaded Jake Bugg's self-titled debut, thinking, You can't get much newer then a 19-year-old. Bugg is a British singer/songwriter who's a ...

Paradise Valley, by John Mayer

After a notorious kiss and tell Playboy interview, John Mayer moved to remote Montana to escape the flack and recover from throat surgery. Lucky for us, while there he produced some of the best lyrics ...

Memphis, by Boz Scaggs

The first time I saw Boz Scaggs perform live was at the Matrix club in San Francisco in the early ’60s. Scaggs and another unknown, the future "gangster of love," Steve Miller, were fronting a ...

Donald Fagen's Sunken Condos

This is Donald Fagen's first album in six years and, no, it's not about condo owners underwater on their mortgages. It is another Steely Dan (minus Walter Becker) easy-listening mix of smooth jazz shot through ...

Born to Sing/No Plan B, by Van Morrison

Way back in ancient history — the ’60s — I was living in San Francisco, and one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny day was driving the winding road to Stinson Beach. I ...

Neil Young's Americana

Neil Young is one of the most prolific and eclectic music icons performing and producing music today. His latest collection is his first studio recording with the band Crazy Horse in nine years. Although the ...

Glenn Frey's After Hours

When I look at the cover of the new Glenn Frey album of out-of-focus retro lights, it brings back memories of my own "after hours" in the nightclubs of my past. That is exactly the ...

Bonnie Raitt's Slipstream

Blues-rock icon Bonnie Raitt's first studio album in seven years was worth the wait. In the album-cover photo of Raitt ascending stairs, she looks much younger than her senior-citizen status, and her voice and guitar ...

Paul McCartney's Kisses on the Bottom

There is a new sleeping pill that hit the market in February; it’s called Kisses on the Bottom. It's hard for me, as a long-time Paul McCartney fan, to be critical...but what was he thinking ...

John Cruz Rides Trade Winds into Anthology

"On the islands, we do it island style, from the mountain to the ocean, from the windward to the leeward side." About halfway through his set, Hawaii's Jimmy Buffet, John Cruz, started singing his signature ...

A Very She and Him Christmas

The two best-selling Christmas albums this year are Christmas from crooner Michael Buble, who channels Sinatra and Dino Martin's jazzy renderings of Christmas albums past, and A Very She and Him Christmas, a future classic ...

Rave On, a Tribute to the Songs of Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly's been dead 52 years. He died at 22 in a plane crash described "as the night the music died" by singer Don McLean in his classic-rock anthem "American Pie." Though his recording career ...

Anthology Serves Up Rare Croce

The son of Ingrid and the late Jim Croce took the stage at Anthology for a rare local appearance and, with a little help from his friends, proved once again he is one of San ...

Tin Can Trust by Los Lobos

When I lived in San Francisco, one of my favorite outings was walking down to Amoeba Records on Haight Street for the free artist-promo concerts. The most memorable was an extended set by blues-rock act ...

How to Become Clairvoyant

Sometimes, in the middle of a movie I'm enjoying, I’ll get a brain kick that tells me it’s really a winner. As I write this, I’m listening to ex-Band/Hall of Fame lead guitarist and songwriter ...

Blessed, Another Arrow From Lucinda Williams

If you're getting dressed to go to a party, you don't want to warm up listening to three-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams. But if you just ended a relationship and want some consolation that somebody ...

Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues

If any performer has earned the right to sing the blues, it's Gregg Allman. His brother died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the peak of the Allman Brothers band's ascent up the charts. ...

Peace Love Ukelele

If Freddy Mercury were alive, I'm sure he would be in awe of Jake Shimabukuro's virtuoso ukulele version of "Bohemian Rhapsody." As he did on his first album with the George Harrison classic "While My ...

Farmer's Daughter by Crystal Bowersox

So far, the two biggest success stories from American Idol are power-pop belter Kelly Clarkson and country superstar Carrie Underwood. Well, after listening to Crystal Bowersox's debut album, all I can say is move over ...

Elton John and Leon Russell: The Union

First, one has to get past the cover photo of these two senior citizen ’70s rockers leaning back on their pianos to appreciate the original, entertaining music within. Leon Russell, looking like a fugitive from ...

Cee-Lo Green, The Lady Killer

Okay, I'm not a big fan of hip-hop and rap. I'm just too old-fashioned to appreciate lyrics that call women "bitches" and "hos" to project sexuality in songs. The great R&B and soul singers of ...

Guitar Heaven, by Carlos Santana

There are two worthy new versions of rock classics on Carlos Santana's latest compilation album: one is a tag-team take of Carlos on his soaring guitar and Rob Thomas on guest vocal, recapturing and possibly ...

The Incredible Machine, by Sugarland

I became aware of Sugarland while watching a country-music awards show and heard hit song “Life in a Northern Town.” This spellbinding song, which packs original lyrics, world beats, and a reggae-gospel chorus, is unlike ...

Clapton by Clapton

Clapton’s 19th solo album is an entertaining mix of songs old, songs new, songs borrowed, and songs blue. That is, blues as only "Old Slowhand" can sing and play them. He is joined by name-brand ...

Le Noise

The title of Neil Young's new solo album, Le Noise, is a play on words from his collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Daniel Lanois. If you erase “Le,” you have a definitive review of the album. ...

Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

Help me, Rhonda, help, help me, Rhonda, get this CD...out of my head. Brian Wilson takes one of the greatest love songs ever written and turns it into the Beach Boys singing “Little Saint Nick.” ...

Dolphins Spotted in Mission Bay

On the morning of September 13, several of residents of South Mission Beach woke up and witnessed two rare sightings: a sunny morning devoid of any persistent marine layer and an animated pod of dolphins ...

Listening Booth: 1970, by Marc Cohn

Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn is best known for his 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis." On his new CD, Cohn takes us back to 1970, the year after Woodstock, and offers his interpretations of some of the ...

Idol Winner

I remember walking through the airport a week after Taylor Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol and seeing his face on the cover of every magazine. He had hit the big time after ...

Praise and Blame

Tom Jones and I go back a long time. While on a beach in Barcelona in the ’60s, I was feeling homesick, and over the speakers of a beachfront café came Jones's voice belting out ...

100 Miles From Memphis

"Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennesse..." What is it with Memphis these days? There’s a new TV series about a blues-singing detective (Memphis Beat) and new albums out by Cyndi Lauper (Memphis Blues) and ...

Mojo

I was getting bored with Tom Petty's music, but when I heard all the hype about his new album, Mojo, I decided to buy it. Wow! If I had to pick one word to describe ...

Bingo

Steve Miller is back with his first new studio album in 17 years, featuring the Gangster of Love's re-discovery of his Chicago blues roots. This album showcases the signature Miller Band sound with the addition ...

Point Loma Prowler

Emails have been circulating among women in Point Loma and Ocean Beach to warn of a suspicious male identified by police as someone "who says he's a freelance photographer." (Police know his name; however, because ...

Live at the Troubadour

In 1970, Carole King and James Taylor first performed together in a small nightclub in West Hollywood called the Troubadour. Thirty-six years and a lot of music history later, they returned with the same back ...

Midnight Souvenirs

Peter Wolf started in the music industry playing with bluesmen Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. He was also an influential freeform disc jockey but got famous as the lead singer for the J. Geils ...

Women and Country

I guess it's in their DNA. There must have been a Yiddish progenitor of Dylans Bob and his son Jakob sitting around campfires with cowpokes singing and strumming. First came Bob's "Lay Lady Lay," and ...

Take Love Easy

Sophie Milman was born in Russia, is Jewish, was raised in Israel, emigrated to Toronto. Yet she is best described by her mastery of a very American musical genre, as an interpreter of the great ...

Last in Line

At a community meeting at the Mission Beach Women's Club on May 12, Councilman Kevin Faulconer and Mayor Jerry Sanders announced that curbside recycling for Mission Beach would start on July 1, 2010. Mission Beach ...

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