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Reviews Written by
Peter Coats "Art Davis" (London)

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Doctor Velvet
Doctor Velvet
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real thing!, 24 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Velvet (Audio CD)
This guy is awesome. It is incredibly difficult to make modern blues albums which have anything like the atmosphere of the originals, but Nick Curran makes it all seem easy - great guitar and vocals, a rockin' band, fantastic production, the works. He's also a great songwriter and his choice of old material is impeccable.

I've been listening to blues for years and have never heard any modern blues artist sound half as good as this.

The Horse Whisperer
The Horse Whisperer
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £15.33

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning - a great country album in its own right, 27 Feb. 2005
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This review is from: The Horse Whisperer (Audio CD)
The guys who put this together really knew what they were doing.
Most soundtracks are just a hotch-potch of songs by artists who are only on the album because they happen to be hip at the time when the film is made.
This album works on its own terms as a great collection of country music by a range of major artists.
Also, unlike most soundtracks or compilations, the songs sound as though they were all recorded specially for this project, which creates the kind of consistency of mood that you would expect on a normal album, except that you've got 12 different artists to choose from.
The songs by Emmylou Harris, Alsion Moorer, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle are the standout tracks for me - poignant, authentic and evocative, and with great singing and musicianship.
Even if you haven't seen the film, this is a good starting point for anyone interested in getting into country music. If you like the songs on this record, any of these artists would be worth exploring further. Emmylou Harris and George Strait are country superstars in their own right.

The Complete Goldwax Records Singles
The Complete Goldwax Records Singles
Price: £12.62

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great soul singers, 30 Jan. 2005
The last review ("row, row your boat elsewhere") is one of the stupidest I've read in 5 years of buying CDs on Amazon. I can only conclude that the reviewer either (a) doesn't like southern soul music (in which case, why bother reviewing this album?) or (b) has listened to too much of it and lost the plot.
James Carr is widely regarded by people who know what they're taliking about (eg respected roots music writer Peter Guralnick: if you're interested, try reading his "Sweet Soul Music") as one of the great southern soul singers.
This compilation has several excellent examples of the southern soul style - Carr's impassioned vocals, great Stax-ish horn lines, tasteful Steve Cropper-style guitar licks, etc. All the ingredients of the classic southern soul sound.
"Dark end of the street" is Carr's best-known song, but also listen to "These ain't teardrops", "A man needs a woman", or my favourites "Pouring water on a drowning man" and "Fool for you", both of which demonstrate that Carr could handle up-tempo numbers just as well as the ballads which were his trademark.
Ignore the last review and check this out.

Live From Austin
Live From Austin
Price: £13.30

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues Brothers - eat your hearts out!, 9 Sept. 2004
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This review is from: Live From Austin (Audio CD)
This is an ass-kicking Texas RnB classic - a great singer and harmonica player leading a tight but swinging 10 piece band through a rollicking live set comprising a mixture of old classics and great originals.
It's not subtle but it certainly is effective. The rhythmn section is excellent, the horn riffs are huge and the soloists are on fire, particularly the tenor player.
I saw Delbert McClinton with a similar band playing at the legendary Antone's blues bar in Austin Texas a few years ago. It was a great night and this album really captures the atmosphere.
As an example of a live modern blues/RnB album, this is hard to beat.
If you like this album, you'll probably like a lot of Delbert McClinton's stuff, although the studio albums lack a little of the excitement of this live set. A good place to start would be Delbert's early classics The Jealous Kind and Plain from the Heart, which are available as a two album set.
By the way the reference to the Blues Brothers isn't completely off the point. They covered Delbert McClinton's "B Movie Box Car Blues" (which appears on this album) on their excellent first album, Briefcase Full of Blues, which was recorded live in LA before the Blues Brothers movie came out and it all became a bit commercial, and is worth checking out too.

The Philadelphia Story [VHS] [1940] [1941]
The Philadelphia Story [VHS] [1940] [1941]
Offered by stephensmith_426
Price: £12.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top 10 comedies of all time!, 2 April 2002
Unless you hate old films - this is from 1940 - then you can't fail to love this. It's fast, funny, sophisticated and sexy, with a fascinating menage a trois between spoiled society brat Katherine Hepburn, cynical ex-husband Cary Grant and inverted snob reporter Jimmy Stewart.
Each of the three protagonists is a strong and attractive character but the film never takes sides and we're left guessing until the last frames.
Not to be missed!
Not sure what the other top comedies should be, though.

Moon Beams
Moon Beams
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic by a great ballad stylist, 29 Nov. 2001
This review is from: Moon Beams (Audio CD)
Like the John Coltrane Ballads album (also strongly recommended) this album is a rare example of a jazz album made up exclusively of ballads.
Evans is one of the few musicians who could carry it off - the tunes have a consistent mood and dynamics, but the intelligence and intensity of Evan's playing avoids the blandness which might have affected a lesser artist. The overall effect is also helped by the fact that the album was recorded together with the faster, more swinging album "How my heart sings", with the trio alternating the ballads on "Moonbeams" with the more straight-ahead tunes on "How my heart sings".
"Polkadots and moonbeams" is a particular favourite.
Evans is also one of those artists where, if you like one album, you'll probably like almost anything he's produced, particularly anything up to 1965. For starters, check out "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", "Waltz for Debby" or "Trio 64", not forgetting Evan's major role in the landmark Miles Davis album "Kind of Blue".

His Girl Friday [VHS] [1940]
His Girl Friday [VHS] [1940]
Offered by stephensmith_426
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!, 27 Nov. 2001
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the great comedies of all time. Fast, witty, stylish and very modern. Cary Grant is at his best and Rosalind Russell is more than a match for him. Also check out The Philadelphia Story and The Awful Truth.

Dynasty: The Stuarts 1560-1807
Dynasty: The Stuarts 1560-1807
by John Macleod
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The royal family from hell!, 29 July 2001
Popular history at its best, this is a fascinating insight into a quirky and idiosincratic family, most of whom were singularly ill-suited to royalty and would have been better off if they'd never sat on the throne in the first place! Written in a fast (after a slow start) witty style, this is aimed as much at the student of the human psyche as the student of history, yet has enough serious historical analysis to satisfy both.

The Lives Of The Great Composers: Third Edition
The Lives Of The Great Composers: Third Edition
by Harold C. Schonberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every Classical music lover!, 20 April 2001
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This is the perfect introduction to the history of classical music, a fascinating and amusing mixture of biography, anecdote, musical analysis and social history. It gives a real insight into the development of the music, the alliances and rivalries between composers and the reaction of critics and the public to new compositions. The author writes with great authority but also with humour, a lightness of touch and a genuine enthusiasm for a vast range of music, coupled with a refreshing lack of bias in most cases - though the chapter on Mahler is an exception. I've owned a copy since 1985 and I can't remember how many times I've read it, either cover-to-cover, individual chapters or just dipping in from time to time. On Desert Island Discs, the castaway is allowed just one book (as well as the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare). This would be my book.
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