This section is for the worthy albums that were about to slip through the cracks.

Donna The Buffalo—Live From The American Ballroom
Cathy Grier—Comin’ Back To Me
Los Niños de Sara—Gipsyolè
Thelonious Monk—Straight No Chaser—Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Kathy Moser—Wings Over WaterGet Used To It!
Pete Seeger’s Greatest Hits
Gordon Stone Band—Red Room
Townes Van Zandt
     For The Sake Of The Song
     Our Mother The Mountain Delta Momma Blues
     Flyin’ Shoes
Buckwheat Zydeco—Down Home Live! Thanksgiving at El Sid O’s

Donna The Buffalo—Live From The American Ballroom 2/16/03
2001, Wildlife Music

Poppy rock with a roots edge. Think of the Nields without the quirk/slidy thing and add large doses of Cajun accordion, C-W plaintiveness, funky style, razor sharp socially astute lyrics and harmonic sweetness. A 2 disk live set from Ithaca’s biggest export —Mark Gresser

Back to Reviews Index

Cathy Grier—Comin’ Back To Me 2/16/03
2002, Shane Music

There’s nothing particularly new or earth-shattering here. We’ve all heard the blues-mama bag done better, and a hell of a lot worse. But, when you play your songs in New York’s ever-rumbling subway stations, you’ve got to come up with a few hooks to be heard above the din. As evidenced on ‘Comin’ Back To Me’ Cathy Grier’s done just that.

Grier’s got a pretty funky groove goin’ throughout these twenty-one songs and a big, soulful voice to match. Her guitar playing – dovetailing jazz, blues and folk is top-notch, and like her previous release Retracing is a fine if familiar listen. —Mike Jurkovic

Back to Reviews Index

Los Niños de Sara—Gipsyolè 2/16/03
2002, Intentcity

With a vibrancy and power that is phenomenal, they recreated the remains of Alabina and make a seamless blend of Gypsy Kings type flamenco and Basque music driven by the salsa of today's Cuba. The intricate guitar and hot horn rhythms blend in a way that reflects their common ethno-musicological origins and demonstrates the additive strength of the phenomenon of hybrid vigor. The songs are sensual and fiery and they move your soul as much as your soles. The rhythms seduce you, the horns entice and melodies arouse a heat that can only be likened to that of the Andalusian sun. The insistence of the salsa beat takes flight as if a flock of egrets from a sparkling sea, dropping shining motes of brilliance. This is soul moving, heart thrilling and dance floor filling while being exotic and tropical. Mucho caliente! —Mark Gresser

Back to Reviews Index

Thelonious Monk—Straight No Chaser—Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2/16/03
1989, 2002, Sony/Legacy
A fascinating soundtrack from an equally fascinating documentary, Straight No Chaser is pure Monk—off the square and ‘round the bend, following his music wherever it leads. Bold, linear, quixotic. This re-issue adds a high-balling, previously released studio version of the title track, to such brilliant cornerstone Monk-isms as “Pannonica,” “Epistrophy” and “Round Midnight.” Musicians include Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales, Ben Riley, John Coltrane, Ry Copeland, and Jimmy Cleveland. —Mike Jurkovic

Back to Reviews Index

Kathy Moser—Wings Over WaterGet Used To It! 2/16/03

Kathy Moser’s voice reminds me of Catie Curtis, but her singing style and lyrics are more “in your face.” The songs often dig into her dysfunctional past but the stance is one of defiant healing. “I know who I am, I suggest, I suggest, may I suggest you get used to it.” Though the subject matter is intense, the backing band, adventurous arrangements and upbeat style keep this from being a dwell in hell. The live demo that came with this package shows a performer growing by leaps and bounds making her next album anxiously awaited. —Michael Devlin

Back to Reviews Index

Pete Seeger’s Greatest Hits 2/16/03
2002, 1967, Columbia/Legacy

Upon its initial release in 1967, Pete Seeger was twenty-five years into his pilgrimage of performing and preserving many of the most celebrated songs this old world has ever sung. So imagine, if you will, the size of the task John Hammond had in picking an LP’s worth of greatest hits to properly represent the man, his music, and most importantly, his mission.

Now, even with four bonus tracks, we’re hardly scratching the surface, but that’s okay. It’s Pete Seeger after all, and that means you’re going to come away from this disc with a smile on your face and a renewed beating in your heart. You’re going to hear those old road and union songs and be glad someone took the trouble to commit themselves. You’re going to hear voices and words from other lands and know we’re all in it together no matter what the politicians tell us. These are but some of the Greatest Hits, including “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?,” “We Shall Overcome,” “The Bells Of Rhymney,” “This Land Is Your Land” and “Michael Row The Boat Ashore.” —Mike Jurkovic

Back to Reviews Index

Gordon Stone Band—Red Room 2/16/03
2001, Home Grown Music Network

Phans of Phish know the banjo pickin’ Stone from Pictures Of Nectar and Rift, and may have caught him live with the jam-masters on occasion. Here with drummer Russ Lawton and bassist Rudy Dauth, Stone’s virtuosity comes to life in many musical settings such as the romping “Cahboss,” country-reggae “Too Quick To Judge,” the near jazz-fusion title track and the down-home “Hammock Time.” —Mike Jurkovic

Back to Reviews Index

Townes Van Zandt 2/16/03
For The Sake Of The Song
Our Mother The Mountain Delta Momma Blues
Flyin’ Shoes


Tomato continues its great service to music lovers with these new reissues, including Townes Van Zandt’s still remarkable ‘67 debut, For The Sake Of The Song, which set into motion a legend as incarnate and organic today as then.

Though I’m of the mind that the only production Van Zandt needed was an audience, and mics for his soul deep vocals and well traveled blue guitar. These studio renditions, with their questionable arrangements, steal neither the resonant power of Townes’ words or his folksy core. Found here are the heart of a great songwriter and an enduring body of work: “Tecumseh Valley,” “Waiting Around To Die,” “Sad Cinderella,” “Kathleen,” “Loretta,” “Tower Song,” “No Place To Fall”…all moments of a man so in touch he touched us all. —Mike Jurkovic

Back to Reviews Index

Buckwheat Zydeco—Down Home Live! Thanksgiving at El Sid O’s 2/16/03
2001, Tomorrow Recordings

If there’s any other music that generates so much good timing, high stepping energy, I sure don’t know it. Zydeco is the king of sopping wet, sweating, dancing ‘til you drop and down home simple joie de vivre. Now, if there’s anyone in Zydeco who creates such with flair, energy and power, it’s Buckwheat Stanley Dural Zydeco. Down Home Live!, recorded at Ground Zero, El Sid-O’s is every bit the party you’d expect when the reigning lord and master comes home to do it on Thanksgiving at his home base. This baby cooks end to end and if it don’t move you, you dead! Buck exhorts the crowd, steams up the atmosphere and creates a Creole Zydeco party like no one’s business. From “What You Gonna Do” to “Beast of Burden,” Dural’s Hohner accordion is huge, Lee Zeno’s bass is a hurricane wind, Lil Buck Sinegal’s axe is all around and the horns are like to blow the world down. The boogieing starts and goes and goes and goes. The band is a combination of his home and road bands. They build tension, solo, jam and wail flat out. Filled with Buck’s best, stretched out live and played the way it is meant to, in front of a rabid hometown Southwest Louisiana crowd. This is as good as Zydeco on a disk gets! —Mark Gresser

Back to Reviews Index