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Gibson Recommends Magic Bullets a CHILD but in life yet a DOCTOR in love

One of the reasons why young rock acts like the Walkmen and Interpol are so attracted to the echoing, jagged sound of early ’80s U.K. indie-pop is because that music—simultaneously informed by post-punk angst and swoony romanticism—packs an emotional impact on its surface alone.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007    11:04 AM

Gibson Recommends Luther Russell Repair

Luther Russell has spent almost two decades in the Americana scene—since before there even was an Americana scene—and while he’s yet to become a well-known name, the time he’s spent with his old band the Freewheelers and on his own has allowed Russell to hone his craft.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007    10:55 AM

Gibson Recommends Grace Potter and the Nocturnals This Is Somewhere (Free MP3 Download!)

Sounding for all the world like some long-lost sister of the Allman Brothers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have proven that it’s possible to entwine brawn and brain—not to mention spirituality and sensuality—and still come out at the top of the jam band heap.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007    5:09 PM

Gibson Recommends Jesse Harris The Hottest State (Free MP3 Download!)

Movie soundtrack albums are generally spotty at best, but this collection of songs—all penned by Americana singer-guitarist Jesse Harris but performed by various star musicians—shines as one of the most cohesive modern compilations.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007    5:02 PM

Gibson Recommends B.B. King Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual, King of the Blues

In the late ’60s, noted jazz critic, syndicated columnist, producer, and writer Ralph J. Gleason hosted a series of educational television programs that featured live performances and intimate interviews with jazz and blues giants. Called Jazz Casual, the series ran from 1961 to 1968, and included 28 programs starring such greats as John Coltrane, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Carmen McRae. These amazing portraits of American musicians in their prime are now individually available on DVD.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007    9:36 AM

Gibson Recommends Lou Reed Coney Island Baby

Long before new wave, punk, and glam, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground wrote songs about taboo topics and the dark side of rock ’n’ roll. Heroin, transvestites, sadism—no subject was off limits for Reed and his cronies, who released two groundbreaking records in 1967, The Velvet Underground & Nico (a.k.a. “the banana” album) and White Light/White Heat. This was at the height of Flower Power, and songs like “Sister Ray” and “Waiting for My Man” provided a stark, gritty contrast to the incense and beads of the day.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007    9:36 AM

Gibson Recommends Suzanne Vega Beauty and Crime

While Lou Reed has been considered New York City’s musical poet laureate for many years, Suzanne Vega provides some pretty stiff competition for that title on this disc, the most bracing distillation of the Big Apple’s essence to come along since Reed’s seminal New York. Beauty and Crime, the singer-songwriter’s first new recording in six years, is an alternately wistful and steely look back at a hazy vision of a bygone Gotham in which spit, rather than polish, dominated the landscape.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007    9:36 AM

Gibson Recommends Vince Gill These Days

When Vince Gill began work on These Days, he didn’t anticipate it would blossom into a four-disc set, comprising 43 new songs. At first, he simply hoped to explore different aspects of his musical persona—honky tonk, blues, roots rock, and, of course, the ballads that have earned him legions of female fans.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007    9:36 AM

Gibson Recommends Willie Nelson Songbird

With his leathery voice, hippie braids, and amazing narrative powers, Willie Nelson is an icon of American roots music. Though branded as a country singer, the Texan weaves jazz, swing, and blues into his songs, and his albums reflect a life spend exploring sound with a complete disregard to stylistic borders and categories.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007    9:36 AM

Gibson Recommends Adam Zwig Cast Iron Letters (Free MP3 Download!)

The fact that former Shapeshifter guitarist Adam Zwig works by day as a Seattle psychotherapist doesn’t mean he’s not a tough cookie to crack. Since leaving the late-’90s hitmaker Shapeshifter in 2002, Zwig’s released four rootsy, bluesy solo albums—the excellent Cast Iron Letters the most recent among them.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007    8:42 AM