A mid-2013 Monkees concert is a powerful reminder of why these guys were such big stars in the mid-'60s. The band's three surviving members — Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork — dole out the hits like a vintage jukebox at a family-style restaurant. But a modern Monkees show serves up a good deal more, including a pinch of the banter that made the Monkees everyone's favorite wise-cracking, prefab pop band — and, perhaps best of all — a generous serving of Nesmith's music.
Carolyn Wonderland’s new Bismeaux Records release, Peace Meal, ranks high in the never-ending quest for the perfect road trip soundtrack. In fact, I spent a couple of hours on Northern California’s windy mountain roads grooving to her rich, bluesy voice and driving (pun intended) blues-rock arrangements of classic and new material. I can’t decide whether I like her raspy, lush-toned vocals or soulful and skillful guitar playing better, but luckily I don’t have to choose!