Alejandro Escovedo rocks out on ‘Burn’

Alejandro Escovedo may not be a household name, but he should be. The 65-year-old singer-songwriter emerged in the 1970s as a punk rocker, gained acclaim as a soulful Texas-based alt-country star

Lady Gaga’s powerful voice stars on uneven ‘Joanne’

Lady Gaga has spent the last few years proving her vocal chops — the Grammy-winning album with Tony Bennett, the show-stopping "Sound of Music" tribute at last year's Academy Awards,

Norah Jones returns to her roots

Fourteen years later, we're still a deeply polarized nation. Those who loved Norah Jones' breakout debut album, "Come Away With Me," will enjoy "Day Breaks." It's music for the coffeehouse

Phish delivers uneven effort on ‘Big Boat’

Phish will not be remembered for its studio releases and "Big Boat" shows why. Bookended with a couple of duds, obfuscating some real gems in between, the Vermont-based jam band's 13th

Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir delivers earthy solo effort

The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, showing more than a little touch of grey at age 68, delivers a heartfelt and earthy solo record with "Blue Mountain." It's Weir's first solo effort

Robert Glasper Experiment genre hops on ‘ArtScience’

The Robert Glasper Experiment hoists a jazz sail on "ArtScience" for a spirited cruise on seas of soul, dance, funk and pop. Recorded in New Orleans in two weeks, the band

Meat Loaf, Steinman reunite on ‘Braver Than We Are’

The cover of "Braver Than We Are" bears two names, those of rock belter Meat Loaf and songwriter Jim Steinman. It's a rare writer who gets his name front and center,

Better than ever days for Incognito

One may ask how a band achieves longevity, especially when members have come, gone and come back again. For an answer, you need look no further than Bluey, the co-founder

‘Schmilco’ is meditation on loss, loneliness

Wilco’s “Schmilco” finds the Chicago sextet in a mostly acoustic mood, musing on happiness, loneliness, isolation and loss. Not exactly arena rock anthem material. And that should hearten even the most hardened

Joanna Connor’s fierce blues on ‘Six String Stories’

Six String Stories” is her first studio album in 14 years, but thousands of gigs in the interim have only enriched Chicago-based Joanna Connor’s fierce guitar skills and expressive, bluesy

Amos Lee hones sweet spot he found a long time ago

Amos Lee continues to deliver the kind of laid-back, soulful sound that has set his work apart for years. He just keeps getting better at it. On his latest album, "Spirit," Lee

Hvorostovsky sings of ‘War, Peace, Love and Sorrow’

The opera world was shocked by news last year that Dmitri Hvorostovsky had brain cancer. But the beloved Russian baritone with the velvety voice and phenomenal breath control carried on,

Wild Beasts live up to name on potent ‘Boy King’

Wild Beasts live up to their name on the potent "Boy King," 10 electric exposures of the English art rockers' raw carnal desires. Led by Haden Thorpe's sometimes ghostly vocals and

Joe Lovano 2005 live set spotlights Hank Jones

With this summer's Newport Jazz Festival about to begin, Joe Lovano has pulled from the vaults his 2005 performance there with a quartet that included the late pianist Hank Jones,

Candi Staton blends gospel and dance on new album

Candi Staton blends gospel themes and messages of redemption and caution with dance music, funk and soul on “It’s Time to Be Free,” revisiting earlier hits and perhaps creating new

Aaron Neville shakes a funk feather on ‘Apache’

Aaron Neville picks up the pace and delves into songwriting on “Apache,” a lively album meshing New Orleans R&B with Brooklyn funk. Ably guided by Soulive’s Eric Krasno and backed by