Chess Records & Damon Albarn & Kelis Reviews

Jim and Greg explore the history and influence of Chess Records. During its 25-year run, the Chicago label put out music by Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters—forever changing the sound of rock and roll.

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Chess Records

50 years ago, The Rolling Stones touched down in the United States for their very first American tour. While here, the band made a pilgrimage to Chicago’s legendary Chess Records to record their take on tunes from the label’s blues heavyweights like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Chuck Berry. Those Chess sessions appeared on The Stones second album, 12 x 5, which also debuted 50-years ago. To mark the occasion, Jim and Greg explore the history and legacy of Chess, whose 25-year run produced music that influenced rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and more. Jim and Greg highlight these Chess artists:

  • Muddy Waters
  • Willie Dixon
  • Chuck Berry
  • Howlin’ Wolf
  • Little Walter
  • Sonny Boy Williamson
  • Bobby Charles
  • Buddy Guy

Everyday Robots Damon Albarn

Everyday Robots (Special Edition)

Since founding the Britpop group Blur, frontman Damon Albarn has bounced from project to project – writing and singing for Gorillaz, collaborating with African artists on Mali Music, and even composing an opera called Dr Dee. But only now, at age 46, has Albarn finally released a solo album. Everyday Robots is a deeply personal debut, with Albarn boldly exploring his dark past, existential crises and struggles with heroin. But the constant brooding is too much for Greg. He insists that Albarn’s work with Gorillaz was just as personal, yet more upbeat, and with hooks you could dig into. Robots, on the other hand, is a Trash It. Jim couldn’t disagree more. He considers the album a masterpiece, with Albarn baring his soul over heartbeat percussion and stripped-down instrumentals, and would absolutely Buy It.

Food Kelis

Food

Singer (and Cooking Channel personality) Kelis Rogers has just released her sixth album, called, appropriately, Food. Kelis was huge in the UK in the early 2000s, but her 2003 hit Milkshake was the first (and last) time that American audiences paid her much attention. On Food, Kelis is again blending the creative and the culinary—not only does the album have songs titled Breakfast and Jerk Ribs, but she also uses cooking to signify themes of love and family, notes Jim. He’s thrilled to see Kelis creating energetic neo-soul again. Greg hears layers of flavors on the album, and appreciates that producer Dave Sitek took care to showcase her voice, which comes out as sultry, ragged, and honest. Food is some of the best music Kelis has made, and our hosts gobble it up. It’s a double Buy It.

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