Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Sweet,"Hits" (Angel Air SJPCD 435)- The current incarnation of Sweet is little more than a rather superior tribute band these days,with only singer and guitarist Andy Scott remaining from the original line-up which set so many teenage hearts fluttering during their glam-rock heyday in the early seventies. Scott and company's latest CD offering finds the four musicians revisiting  the delights of Sweet's back catalogue as they serve up very reasonable facsimiles  of golden oldies  such as "Teenage Rampage," "Blockbuster"  and "Ballroom Blitz" to name but a few.

                                 Susan Cattaneo,"Haunted Heart" (Jersey Girl Music)- The homegrown singer-songwriter genre may  be in a fairly moribund state these days but things couldn't be more different in the U.S.of A.,where gifted rootsy balladeers seem to emerge from the woodwork with startling regularity.  Susan Cattaneo combines her musical career with her academic duties  as a  Songwriting Professor at the Berklee College of Music, and her fourth solo album captures the Boston based performer in particularly fine fettle as she unveils a batch of deliciously organic and wordy creations led by  "Barn Burning," "Lies Between Lovers" and "Revival."

                                   Danubia Orchestra Obuda/Heja,"Brahms:Hungarian Dances Nos.1-21"(Warner Apex 2564 64443-1)- Johannes Brahms initially conceived these stirring adaptations of Hungarian folk themes with the piano in mind  and they've since  gone on to become some of the composer's most popular creations. This rousing recording  dates from 2008 and finds the Budapest Orchestra immersing themselves in the rustic charms of the complete cycle of  21 "Hungarian Dances" with commendable verve and passion.

                                  The O's, "Thunderdog" (Electric Honey EH 1304)- The guitar and banjo wielding duo of Taylor Young and John Pedigo hail from Dallas,Texas and "Thunderdog" finds the two musical mavericks mining a rich vein of life affirming Americana. The O's have been likened to a cross between country music legends  the Louvin Brothers and the Lovin' Spoonful,and discerning music lovers will have an opprtunity to enjoy  their infectious sound in the flesh when Taylor and John occupy the support slot on Del Amitri's forthcoming British tour.Excellent album.

                                    Gregg Allman,"I'm No Angel-Live" (Cherry  Red  CRDVD 182)- Singer and keyboard player Gregg Allman is best remembered these days for his sterling  musical exploits with the Allman Brothers Band, the trailblazing  outfit which helped to spearhead the Southern Rock phenomenon in America during the early seventies. The fates have been much less kind to Gregg since those days but he remains a compelling performer in his own right,and this live DVD captures his full length show at The Cannery in Nashville in 1988,including  a spirited re-vamp of  the  old Allmans crowd-pleaser ,"Statesboro Blues."

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