Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971
Practically a hometown performance in Toronto, this concert captures Neil solo, live and acoustic. Among the set's highlights are the premiere of "Old Man" more than a year before it would appear on the "Harvest" album, and a powerful, stripped-down treatment of "Ohio" just months after the CSNY studio release. It's worth paying a bit more to get the entire CD-DVD package that includes the concert video.
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
6/5/07 (Hear Music)
Sir Paul reflects on his rich musical past and even slips in a medley as if to reference "Abbey Road." The acoustic album-opener "Dance Tonight is a simple tune that might get stuck in your head, if your "memory" isn't already full. A deluxe edition was issued late in the year with extra live tracks recorded at the Electric Ballroom in London. Speaking of live McCartney, A&E recently televised a 2007 Macca concert at the Olympia in Paris. Paul played acoustic versions of "Blackbird", "Michelle," "Dance Tonight" and "Calico Skies."
Jon Anderson - Live from La La Land
6/25/07 (Opio Media)
The lead vocalist for Yes recorded this show at the Roxy in Los Angeles and released it on his own label as an import. Still in fine voice, Anderson accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and performs Yes classics like "Roundabout," "Owner of a Lonely Heart and "Yours is No Disgrace."
Stephen Stills - Just Roll Tape
In late April, 1968, Stills had just finished producing some sessions in New York for then-girlfriend Judy Collins when he decided to lay down some all-acoustic tracks of his own. The demos include the first-ever recordings of the CSN standards "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" (dedicated to Collins), "Wooden Ships," and "Helplessly Hoping," as well as Stills' solo material like "Change Partners" and "So Begins the Task."
Mark Knopfler - Kill to Get Crimson
9/18/07 (Warner Bros)
Dire Straits' main-man Knopfler has been releasing quality solo albums for several years now. In typical fashion, the latest album features his distinctive, elegant guitar style and rich, baritone vocals. The opening track, "True Love Will Never Fade" is a nice acoustic number.
Joni Mitchell - Shine
9/25/07 (Hear Music)
Joni came out of retirement to put together this fine collection of tunes. Several songs underscore her strong feelings about what has happened to the environment. Some of the instrumentation reminds me of the "Court and Spark" album. Check out Joni's re-recorded version of "Big Yellow Taxi."
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Magic
His first release with the E Street Band since 2002's "The Rising" finds Springsteen at the top of his game. Some tracks echo Bruce's love of '60s rock and roll, but the production is very much 2007. The acoustic-based songs are the title track and the CD's hidden track, "Terry's Song," Springsteen's memorial to his long-time assistant and friend, Terry Magovern.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
What a year for Robert Plant...the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in London and this unique collaboration with bluegrass star Alison Krauss. The duo's vocals blend together well and the track selection is varied as Plant & Krauss cover the Everly Brothers, Tom Waits, Gene Clark and Townes Van Zandt. One of the tracks, "Please Read the Letter," also appears on "Walking into Clarksdale" which Plant released in 1995 with his Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page.
Eagles - Long Road Out of Eden
10/30/07 (Eagles Recording Company)
The 28-year hiatus between studio albums was worth the long wait for Eagles' fans. The band went from 1979's "The Long Run" to 2007's "Long Road Out of Eden" with just 1994's live release "Hell Freezes Over" in between. Acoustic stand-outs include "Waiting in the Weeds", "Center of the Universe" and "No More Walks in the Wood."
James Taylor - One Man Band
11/13/07 (Hear Music)
Sweet Baby James sounds as good as ever on this acoustic effort, recorded at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, not too far from Taylor's home in the Berkshires. The usual suspects are all here, including "Fire and Rain," "You've Got a Friend," "Carolina in My Mind" and "Country Road." It's also nice to hear "Something in the Way She Moves" which dates back to his first album.
Here's looking forward to a great '08 for acoustic rock!
Check out Acoustic Storm listener posts from the past on The Acoustic Storm Web site.