Album Review

A Noteworthy Louise Goffin Compilation

Offspring of famous artists face skeptical audiences whose first inclination is often to suspect that they’re simply cashing in on their household names. What such audiences fail to consider is that the children of stars inherit genes as well as monikers. That’s undoubtedly one reason why many of them—including Hank Williams Jr., Julian Lennon, and… Continue reading A Noteworthy Louise Goffin Compilation

Album Review

A Five-Star Folk CD

About 30 seconds into the third CD from Michael Howard, who grew up playing in punk bands but now pledges allegiance to acoustic folk, I was already becoming a fan. The first of Gasoline Dream’s 10 self-penned tracks, a lilting love song called “Meet Me at the Front Lines,” is a lyrically rich minor classic… Continue reading A Five-Star Folk CD

Album Review

A Cult Favorite, Preadolescent Soul, and More

Judy Henske and Jerry Yester, Farewell Aldebaran. It’s easy to see why this 1969 album from then husband-and-wife Jerry Yester and Judy Henske flopped, but just as easy to understand why it has remained a cult favorite for nearly half a century. Originally released on Frank Zappa’s Bizarre label, the vintage LP contains 10 tracks… Continue reading A Cult Favorite, Preadolescent Soul, and More

Album Review

A Front-Row Seat for the Birth of the Beach Boys

For some people—OK, for the vast majority of people—the Beach Boys’ pre-2016 catalog will suffice. After all, the group’s landmark original albums have already been remastered and reissued with bonus tracks; and you can also buy 1993’s Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys, a five-CD box that gathers all the significant singles and album… Continue reading A Front-Row Seat for the Birth of the Beach Boys

Album Review

Five New Winners

I’ve been working my way through a big pile of recent album releases and separating the rejects from the keepers. Here’s a look at some of the CDs that made the cut. John Gorka, Before Beginning: The Unreleased I Know. Veteran folkie John Gorka issued his highly regarded first album, I Know, in 1987. Two… Continue reading Five New Winners

Album Review

The Turtles Emerge from Their Shells

  How good were the Turtles? At their best, so good that they couldn’t screw things up even when they tried. After they topped pop charts with 1967’s addictive “Happy Together” and made the Top 10 with songs like “It Ain’t Me, Babe” and “She’d Rather Be with Me,” their struggling independent label, White Whale,… Continue reading The Turtles Emerge from Their Shells