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Ted Hawkins–Happy Hour

HAPPY HOUR Ted Hawkins Rounder Records 2033 I can still remember feeling shocked during my first play of Ted Hawkins’s debut album, Watch Your Step, in 1982. It was the dawning of the electro-pop era, and Hawkins stood out like some hairy, primordial beast stranded at noon in midtown Manhattan. I don’t mean that Hawkins […]

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Los Lobos–By the Light of the Moon

BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON Los Lobos Slash/Warner Bros. 25523-1 It is late at night, let’s say. The house is as quiet as a moonlit field, but the mind is full of commotion; it’s an ornery, unsatisfied old cuss, and it’s used to its freedom, including the freedom to move about, which has nothing […]

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Group Growth

MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE at United Church of Hyde Park March 8, 1987 CHICAGO ENSEMBLE at Mandel Hall March 17, 1987 Any music organization that survives its first ten years deserves commendation. This season, at least three of the better-known groups in town are marking that milestone. The Chicago Ensemble, the Chicago String Ensemble, and […]

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Eleventh Dream Day

Over the past couple of years Eleventh Dream Day has gradually built up a raging head of steam, a blistering one-two guitar attack that sounds like somebody throttling down an empty highway at 3 AM. Frontman/songwriter Rick Rizzo likes to write about people driven over the edge by their irrational urges, but he also constructs […]

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Frank Sinatra–The Voice: The Columbia Years 1943-1952; Jerry Lee Lewis–The Killer 1963-1968; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band–Live/1975-85

THE VOICE: THE COLUMBIA YEARS 1943-1952 Frank Sinatra Columbia CXT 40343 JERRY LEE LEWIS: THE KILLER 1963-1968 Jerry Lee Lewis Bear Family Records BFX 15210 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND: LIVE/1975-85 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Columbia C5X 40558 Boxed sets–those unwieldy but rewarding multivolume compendiums– probably represent the best way […]

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Bach to Bach

BACH’S MASS IN B MINOR Basically Bach at First United Church of Oak Park September 7, 1986 BACH’S MASS IN B MINOR Music of the Baroque at Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ November 4, 1986 Much attention has been given over in recent years to the “authenticity” movement in serious music circles, to the […]