Top 220 or, a Tale of Two Rob Thomas'

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The latest from Robert "Top" Thomas is "The Town Crier" and it's on Wild Roots Records and the first on my best of 2013 list. This is a knock-out, kick-ass blues album by a wailing frontman with that perfect gruff blues voice and some shredding guitar solos, reminiscent of all those great old legends such as Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Johnson and like that. The first five seconds of the first song, "Mississippi Quickie" has that beat that your feet will dig right off according to one who knew, John Lee Hooker, who once noted that, "Back in 1932, I invented the boogie." No bad cuts and "Lazy Little Daisy" and "Bad Seed" (also a creepy movie) are good ones and "Daddy's Gone" is the best one from Rufus Thomas' talented son.


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The latest from Matchbox Twenty is "North" and it's on mighty, mighty Atlantic Records - and just like the other three, this one is a smash hit. The prime ingredient is obviously frontman Rob Thomas - he's got that perfect rock star voice, the band adds heavenly harmonies and there's never a note of place on these carefully crafted pop gems. The first single - good choice - is "She's So Mean," sure to live long and prosper as a dedication favorite. Do you like singers than can sing on pure power pop songs? So does everybody else. So what's better, mean or crazy?

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Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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