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Dave Ray’s Legacy

I confess that my first thought upon hearing of this collection was: “A three-CD ‘legacy’ release of ‘rare and unreleased recordings’ from Dave Ray?? I’ve never even heard of the guy.” But it turns out that I was in fact well acquainted with his music, though not with his first name. Instead, I knew him…

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Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Wonderland

The long, mournful trumpet-and-piano intro to “Palisades Park,” the atmospheric opening track on Counting Crows’ first new studio album in six years, suggests that we’re in for something different. In fact, though, much of the rest of the CD should sound rather familiar to longtime fans. Containing nine tracks (a deluxe edition adds acoustic demo…

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Harvey Kubernik’s Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

Leonard Cohen turns 80 this year and book publishers have taken note, issuing a large crop of books about the one-of-a-kind singer/songwriter. The volume you should run out and buy first, of course, is my own Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters. After that, though, you might want to pick up Leonard Cohen:…

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY 74

Fleetwood Mac had nothing on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when it came to internal discord. But like the Mac pack, CSNY managed to leave much of its friction at the stage door. And to the extent that it couldn’t, it often used its competitive squabbles to fuel first-rate music. This fascinating and well-recorded new…

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Chrissie Hynde: Stockholm

Chrissie Hynde spent 35 years leading the Pretenders and proclaiming that she’d never go solo. The ostensible big news here is that she has finally put out an album under her own name, but the reality is that nothing has changed. She’s still the lead singer of a rock group; she’s just not slapping the…