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Showing posts from August, 2015

Zephyr "Heartbeat" (1982)

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The Colorado band Zephyr, founded by the wife-and-husband team of Candy Givens (vocals, harmonica) and David Givens (bass, guitar, synthesizer), are best remembered as the band that launched the career of the late Tommy Bolin, the highly regarded guitarist who later became a member of the James Gang, Deep Purple, and a solo artist before his death in 1976. Zephyr's self-titled debut album from 1969 mixed hard rock and blues in ways similar to the first Led Zeppelin album (released that same year). It's a fine album, to be sure, although Bolin's guitar work made a better initial impression than the contributions of frontwoman Givens, whose Janis Joplin-like wailing and blaring blues harmonica often sounded shrill on this album. The second album, Going Back To Colorado (1971), found the band moving toward less powerful hippie-era folk-rock, diminishing Bolin's guitar presence and putting more emphasis on Givens' vocals, which were considerably scaled down to better s…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 24: Loretta Lynn “Van Lear Rose”

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The 24th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in June and July of 2015. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its platinum members every three months.

The twenty-fourth Vault package mainly focused on Loretta Lynn’s 2004 album Van Lear Rose, which was produced by Jack White. The package contained a new vinyl edition of the album, and a related DVD. The 7-inch single included two previously unreleased White Stripes covers of Lynn’s songs.

Van Lear Rose is the highly respected 2004 album by the seasoned country legend. It earned wide critical acclaim, crossover success, and two Grammy awards (including Lynn’s first ever in the category of Be…