Bob Mosolgo

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Decade of Difference: Drive-By Truckers

PHOTO CREDIT: Brantley Gutierrez

The Drive-By Truckers became one of the most respected alt-country acts of the 2000s by applying equal parts history, folklore, politics, and character studies to present an unvarnished image of the South.

Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley started the band in 1996 after the pair had performed together since the 1980s. The band has had a fluid lineup – the original group that appeared on the debut album, 1996’s “Gangstabilly” was gone except for Hood and Cooley by the time they released a live record in 2000.

For 2001’s 2 disc Southern Rock Opera, the band expanded to a three guitar lineup like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band whose history plays into the album. While touring in support of the widely praised record one of the guitarists left and Jason Isbell was added to the lineup.

Continuing the fluidity in their lineup, Jason Isbell announced his departure from the group after three years. Soon the band added longtime friend Spooner Oldham and embarked on an acoustic tour followed by a new record “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark”. The mammoth 19 track record was hailed as a southern gothic masterpiece.

2020 saw the release of two albums from the band. First came “The Unraveling”. With a four year gap between records it was the longest period DBT had gone without a new record. They made up for it by releasing “The New OK” a few months later.

2023-03-21T16:23:27-04:00March 24th, 2023|

Decade of Difference: Chaka Khan

Photo courtesy of the artist

With a career spanning five decades, Chaka Khan has embraced changing musical tastes.  From her early work winning Grammys as the lead vocalist for the R&B group Rufus to her success with the first crossover hit to feature a rapper and in collaborations with a wide range of musicians Steve Winwood, Ry Cooder, De La Soul and Chicago, Khan has truly earned her name as the ‘Queen of Soul’.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Khan describes her Hyde Park neighborhood as “an island in the middle of the madness” . Her parents were supportive of music and three of the five children would go on to have professional careers in the industry.

Khan was playing in a local band when members of Rufus spotted her and asked her to join. The group caught the attention of musician Ike Turner who flew them out to Los Angeles to record at his studio. Turner wanted Khan to become an Ikette; she declined stating she was “really happy with Rufus. But Ike’s attention was certainly a boost.”

Chaka Khan started her solo career in parallel with Rufus, scoring her first hit with the disco tune “I’m Every Woman”, written for her by Ashford & Simpson. Rufus finally dissolved in 1983 but had one more hit with Khan before they were gone.

In 1984 Khan had her first million selling solo hit with “Feel For You”, written by Prince and featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica. The track won the Best R&B song Grammy. To date Chaka Khan has won 10 Grammys and placed singles on the charts in four decades.

2023-03-21T16:26:45-04:00March 23rd, 2023|

Decade of Difference: George Benson

Photo courtesy of the artist

For many music fans, George Benson’s career may be defined by his best selling and award winning 1976 album “Breezin’”, which won the artist Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Record of the Year. Benson followed this with three more Grammy wins in 1980, 1993 and 2006 and is one of the most awarded Jazz guitarists.

George Benson began his career s a singer, recording his first record as an eleven year old and forming his first rock band at seventeen.Working initially with a guitar hand made by his stepfather, Benson got interested as a teen in jazz and was soon playing professionally with Brother Jack McDuff before forming his own jazz ensemble as a twenty-one year old.

Early albums established Benson as a premier guitarist, but it was the move into more pop oriented music in the 70s that made Benson a star.

!976’s “Breezin” was only the second time in his professional career that Benson sang on his record. Quincy Jones encouraged him to look for other opportunities and Benson did, delivering a string of top 10 R&B and pop singles in the 70s and 80s.Over his long career George Benson has received 10 Grammys.

Criticism of Benson comes from jazz purists who claim he has abandoned the genre with his frequent and successful forays into pop and R&B. To that he quotes jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine: Someone asked him: ‘Stanley, you’re a great saxophone player. Why do you play that funny music?’ He said, ‘Because I want to.’”

2023-03-21T16:35:39-04:00March 22nd, 2023|

Country Feeback Playlist for March 19, 2023

Country Feedback Playlist for          3/19/2023

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Caleb Caudle – Forsythia – Crazy Wayne – 2022

Aaron Raitiere – Single Wide Dreamer – At Least We Didn’t Have Any Kids – 2022


The Youngers – Nashville Again – Out in the Country – 2022

The Shootouts – Stampede – Tomorrow’s Knockin (with Jim Lauderdale) – 2023

Jim Lauderdale – I’m A Song – End of the World Rag – 2014

The Quebe Sisters – The Quebe Sisters – My Love, My Life, My Friends – 2019


Pony Bradshaw – North Georgia Rounder – Holler Rose – 2022

Joe Keene – I’ve Done It All In My Time – Hitch Hikin’ Soldier – 2022

Geoffrey Miller – Leavin’ 101 – Good Morning Blues – 2022

Slink Moss Explosion – Floating Ghost Hotel – Loneliness is Searchin’ – 2022

Tammy Wynette – (Single) – Stand By Your Man – 1968


Channing Wilson – Dead Man – Crazy Over You – 2023

Lucero – Should’ve Learned By Now – At the Show – 2023

Gurf Morlix – The Tightening of the Screws – The Pulse is Primal – 2022

Danny Barnes – Dirt On The Angel – Ooh-La-La – 2003


Ray Wylie Hubbard – Dangerous Spirits – Dangerous Spirits – 1997

Will Hoge – Small Town Dreams – Desperate Times – 2015


2023-03-18T09:11:38-04:00March 19th, 2023|

Country Feeback Playlist for March 12, 2023

Country Feedback Playlist for          3/12/2023

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Eileen Jewell – Queen of the Minor Key – Radio City – 2011

Robert Earl Keen – Ready for Confetti – Top Down – 2011


Arlo McKinley – The Mess We’re In – To Die For – 2022

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Dirt Silver and Gold – Country Pie – 1976

Various – Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson – I’m An Old Chunk of

Coal <Jamey Johnson> – 2022

Merle Haggard and The Strangers – Branded Man – Branded Man – 1967


Bailey Biggers – Coyote Red – Black Eyed Susan – 2022

Jonathan Richman – Jonathan Goes Country – Since She Started To Ride – 1990

Kaitlin Butts – What Else Can She Do – Bored If I Don’t – 2022

The Band – Jerico – Atlantic City – 1993


Various – Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll – Erol’s Song <Jason Eady> – 2016

Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life – Irene – 2016

Son Volt – Trace – Drown – 1995

Blackberry Smoke – Like An Arrow – Free On The Wind – 2016


Reckless Kelly – Reckless Kelly Was Here – 52 Vincent Black Lightning – 2006


2023-03-11T18:09:52-05:00March 12th, 2023|

Decade of Difference: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Photo By:  Vladimir Title: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Source: Flickr License: CC-BY-SA 2.0

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard got started in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 and are prolific – producing 23 albums over their 13 years plus an additional 14 live recordings.

The bandmates all attended school in the Melbourne area. Joey Walker and Eric Moore met while attending music school and they added the remaining members when they all played together as an informal jam band. The band has a reputation for exploring different genres and using innovative recording techniques. As an example, the group recorded vocals for one song on their debut full-length album by having the vocalist sing into an iPhone, with three other iPhones scattered in the studio to also record.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have explored lots of different styles and formats with their many records. Early on the group recorded a ‘cult western audio book’ telling the story of outlaws, child soldiers and more set in the US west. The group also released an album with elements of fantasy and touches on the concept of mind control. Their Quarters album released in 2015 is appropriately named – consisting of four songs each 10 minutes and 10 seconds in length

In 2017 the band met a promise to release five studio albums in a single year and those included a sci-fi concept record, an improvised jazz record and an experiment in microtonality.

While the albums cover a wide range of topics, there are recurring characters, leading to the term ‘Gizzverse’ to describe the narrative running through their albums.

2023-03-08T10:44:00-05:00March 9th, 2023|

Decade of Difference: James Keelaghan

Juno award winning Canadian folk artist James Keelaghan has been called ‘Canada’s finest songwriter’ by the esteemed music critic Dave Marsh. Keelaghan is well known for his storytelling during concerts, giving the back story on many of his songs. Keelaghan specializes in historically based songs rooted in Canada and US history.

One of his most famous songs relates the tale  of the devastation of the Mann Gulch fire of 1949 in the state of Montana. Fifteen smokejumpers parachuted in to fight the fire. When the winds turned they trapped and ultimately killed twelve of them. Keelaghan tells this true story of the smokejumpers’ experience through the point of view of Dodge, one of the only 3 remaining survivors.

James Keelaghan has won one Juno award and received nominations for two others. Along with Latin musician Oscar Lopez .he recorded a unique record of celtic latin fusion, a style they dubbed “Celtino”.

Regarding his interest in historical tales, Keelaghan says that it is as much a matter of the story finding him rather than him working to research possible songs. He says that often he will have a fan mention some obscure happening, and when Keelaghan follows up, he finds a song.

Only during the past decade has he decided that music is truly his career. Previously he worked on the assumption that soon he would go back to school and train as a lawyer.

2023-03-08T10:32:18-05:00March 8th, 2023|

Country Feeback Playlist for March 5, 2023

Country Feedback Playlist for            3/5/2023

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Spaceship Orion – 1973

Pony Bradshaw – North Georgia Rounder – Holler Rose – 2022


John Hartford – Morning Bugle – Nobody Eats at Linebaughs Anymore – 1972

Sam Bush – Radio John: The Songs of John Hartford – I’m Still Here – 2022

Eleven Hundred Springs – Midway – What Do You Know – 2012

Justin Trevino – Travelin Singin Man – Feel Again – 2012


Rosanne Cash – Kings Record Shop – Tennessee Flat Top Box – 1990

Cracker – CountrySides – Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room – 2003

Morgan Wade – Reckless – Carry Me Home – 2021

Joshua Hedley – Country & Western – Broke Again – 2022


Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Metal Firecracker – 1998

Fred Eaglesmith – Crowd Around the Mike Volume 2 – White Trash – 1998

Cornell Hurd Band – Fanmail:From The Lost Planet – The Guns of Navarone, Texas – 2005

Johnny Cash – The Johnny Cash Show – Sunday Mornin’ Comin Down – 1970

Carolyn Wonderland – Miss Understood – Misunderstood – 2008

Riley Cotton – A House with Blue Siding – Dallas – 2022


2023-03-05T00:07:49-05:00March 5th, 2023|

Decade of Difference: Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonens’ 50 plus year career began in his hometown of Washington DC when he and friend Jack Casady formed their first band, the Triumphs. Later, attending Antioch college, Kaukonen learned the fingerpicking style of guitar playing and got his introduction to the music of the Reverend Gary Davis which became an integral part of his performances.

Moving on to northern California, Kaukonen enrolled at Santa Clara University where he played in coffee houses and accompanied Janis Joplin on some acoustic demos. From there Kaukonen helped form Jefferson Airplane, followed by Hot Tuna and when that band broke up, he continued a solo career he began when Hot Tuna was still active.

Jorma Kaukonen has continued his solo career and work with Hot Tuna over the decades. His career has also been marked by numerous collaborations, from working with Jaco Pastorius to collaborating with former members of the Grateful Dead.

2022 was a landmark year for Kaukonen. Paired with Jack Cassidy, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo continued their five decade plus career with Hot Tuna marking the 50th anniversary of their first studio record Burgers.

The Legendary Typewriter Tape: 6/25/64 Jorma’s House was released, bringing a piece of often-whispered-about rock ’n’ roll history to modern turntables. The record is a fly-on-the-wall document capturing a rehearsal between Kaukonen and Janis Joplin, both at the time up-and-coming musicians in the Bay Area of California.

Kaukonen and Joplin met in 1962 at a hootenanny while he was attending Santa Clara University, and he began accompanying her at gigs around the area. “At the time, with this tiny little coffee shop that I doubt held more than 40 or 45 people, she needed somebody to back her up. We were just fooling around backstage, and we just kind of liked each other musically,” Kaukonen said.

2023-02-21T12:13:56-05:00February 22nd, 2023|

Decade of Difference: Cory Wong

Cory Wong at 2021 Newport Jazz Festival       Adam Kissick/Newport Jazz

Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist Cory Wong was introduced to classic rock and jazz by his father as a pre teen. Starting piano lessons at 9, Wong had an interest in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, leading him to learn to play the bass and start a band. Moving on to the University of Minnesota, Wong focused on jazz, recording two albums with Minnesota based jazz ensembles.

Wong worked as a studio musician and toured with a variety of artists before meeting the members of Wulfpeck at a house party in 2013. Recognizing a connection, Wong has appeared on all of the bands’ records following that session.

In 2016 Cory Wong released his debut solo album. The eclectic mix of jazz, funk, R&B and rock was mostly instrumental but featured another Wulfpeck collaborator, vocalist Antwuan Stanley  on a few tracks. The record established a pattern for following releases from Wong – mostly instrumental but featuring a special guest artist. This has included keyboardist Jon Batiste. The pair collaborated on 2020’s Meditations, which earned a Grammy nomination.

Wong’s latest studio release Power Station is influenced by 80’s funk and pop and features his current tour band mate Victor Wooten.

2023-02-21T08:09:33-05:00February 21st, 2023|