Doug Collette
New Releases - (in order of recollection‚ which may be most telling of all criteria)
Son Volt - American Central Dust

The Church - untitled #23
Tommy Keene - In the Late Bright

Derek Trucks Band - Already Free (Already Live) (Read our interview with Derek)
Phish - Joy

Gov't Mule - By A Thread
Monsters of Folk - MOF
Ian Hunter - Man Overboard
Hill Country Revue - Make A Move
Yim Yames - Tribute To...
John Mayall - Tough
Chris Potter - Ultrahang
The Black Crowes - Before the Frost/Until the Freeze
Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarians II
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood - Live at MSG
Archive Releases
The Bill Evans Trio - Turn Out the Lights: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings June 1980
The Beatles - Remastered CD's
Grateful Dead - Winterland 1977: The Complete Recordings
2009 in music was like a great round of fireworks.....the quiet of anticipation early in the year gave way to an explosion of color and action by way of Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon in late March‚ sandwiched between two parties at the Highline Ballroom: Will Bernard's band (with Hess‚ Moore and Medeski) and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk... comfortably walking the streets of NYC (past the Dakota apartments) in street clothes was a harbinger of spring and summer‚ not to mention string of hometown shows in the immediate future including NMA‚ Charlie Hunter‚ DTB and Soulive: what it must be like to tour?! Plenty of time to rest and refresh before the beginning of Discover Jazz where shows were stolen right and left: Anat Cohen on opening night at the Flynn and Branford Marsalis' own precocious drummer a few nights later on the same if to prove the premise "holidays are a state of mind‚" The English Beat anointed Memorial Day early at Higher Ground and The Church consecrated the 4th of July coming all the way from their native Australia to do so... in the heart of the summer. Bob Dylan and his band played the blues while "buckets of rain" fell at Champlain Valley Expo. Gov't Mule rose to the occasion of a visit to one of their favorite cities by pulling out all the stops on the waterfront in Boston while‚ less than a month later‚ the Allman Brothers effectively enacted a "Tribute to a Brother" (Gregg as much as Duane) in the sylvan environs of New Hampshire... right in between Phish closed their summer tour in Saratoga Springs‚ performing as authoritatively as they did tentatively at the beginning at Fenway Park: seeing the sun break through the clouds as Trey took his first solo May 31st wasn't so much cosmic as purely symbolic... likewise seeing Jay Farrar set his feeding-back electric guitar center stage near the end of the woefully under-attended September show at Higher Ground seemed like nothing so much as an act of defiance to a culture that can't seem to dumb itself down enough--or perhaps not‚ given the sold-out attention given The Black Crowes' reaffirmation of their status as one of the best bands on the planet just days before! The best was the Derek Trucks Band on November 6 at Paramount Theatre in Rutland, VT. Heartening too was to watch The Wood Brothers win over Bruce Hornsby's audience at FlynnCenter in the autumn and Hot Tuna‚ in much more than a metaphorical testament to the eternal power of the blues‚ demonstrated how great musicianship‚ like great music itself‚ has a timeless quality. This was a week after MMW enjoyed themselves no end on the same South Burlington stage and three weeks before The Mule return to the Beacon for their NYE run: the Big Apple Venue may have kicked out The Brothers after twenty-years of spring runs‚ but cannot keep Haynes & Co. from ushering in 2010 with a resounding flourish: multiple sets over two nights are like that round of fireworks that seems like it will never end... and it won't in a sense‚ any more than the music ever stops: Dr. Dog is just around the corner in Higher Ground Showcase Lounge come January‚ Phil and Bobby brave winter in New England and travel furthur to NH in February just before Beck and Clapton take over MSG... meanwhile Stefon Harris‚ Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman are set to light up The Flynn early in the New Year.... how sweet is all that? The Bard put it best (again): "It frightens me the awful truth of how sweet life can be."