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Stories by Alan Segal

A Fool to Care, by Boz Scaggs

I first saw Boz Scaggs in 1966 at the Matrix in San Francisco. He was playing in a jazz-rock combo with some cat named Steve Miller. Fast-forward 50 years and they are both award-winning senior-citizen ...

May 8, 2015
American standards for an American Standard

In the 1960s, Bob Dylan provided my peers and I the soundtrack of our times, chuffing famous lines like "How does it feel/ to be on your own/ no direction home/ like a rolling stone?" ...

February 20, 2015
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 ...

December 6, 2014
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 ...

February 7, 2014
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 ...

November 1, 2013
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 ...

September 27, 2013
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 ...

August 30, 2013
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 ...

May 17, 2013
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 ...

February 1, 2013
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 ...

November 1, 2012
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 ...

July 26, 2012
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 ...

June 15, 2012
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 ...

April 25, 2012
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 ...

February 29, 2012
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 ...

February 1, 2012
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 ...

December 7, 2011
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 ...

August 24, 2011
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 ...

August 2, 2011
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 ...

June 18, 2011
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 ...

May 9, 2011
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 ...

March 21, 2011
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. ...

February 8, 2011
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 ...

January 30, 2011
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 ...

December 29, 2010
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 ...

December 14, 2010
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 ...

December 5, 2010
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 ...

November 14, 2010
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 ...

November 1, 2010
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 ...

October 17, 2010
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. ...

October 6, 2010
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.” ...

September 23, 2010
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 ...

September 15, 2010
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 ...

September 3, 2010
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 ...

August 29, 2010
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 ...

August 7, 2010
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 ...

July 24, 2010
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 ...

July 13, 2010
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 ...

June 23, 2010
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 ...

May 29, 2010
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 ...

May 5, 2010
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 ...

April 20, 2010
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 ...

February 24, 2010
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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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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