Now That’s What I Call the 1990s focuses on the decade’s second half, splitting its time between pop songs and the alternative music that followed in grunge’s footsteps. Pearl Jam and other hard-edged bands are absent from this compilation; instead, slicker groups like Live (“I Alone”) and Collective Soul (“Shine”) represent the wave of mainstream rock that swept through the Clinton era, with Everclear (“Father of Mine”) and Sublime (“What I Got”) thrown in for good measure. Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” and New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” help anchor the album’s pop side, while the inclusion of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” is a reminder that the decade also spawned many an omnipresent wedding song. Ignoring grunge, Euro-dance, and teen pop makes this a narrow-minded compilation, but for those who like the aforementioned songs, Now That's What I Call the 1990s is an easy way to get them all in one place.
The 2010 issue of Mississippi Blues by Sonny Landreth on the Fuel 2000 imprint is not a new album, nor is it a representative compilation of his oeuvre. In fact, the set is a complete repackage of the album entitled The Crazy Cajun Recordings originally issued on CD by Great Britain’s Edsel in 1999. The material dates from 1973 and 1977, recorded with the famed Huey P. Meaux (aka the Crazy Cajun) when he wasn’t touring with Clifton Chenier as part of his Red Hot Louisiana Band. These 20 tracks range from Landreth’s Lafayette, LA-styled take on the acoustic Delta blues solo and with a band that included a mandolin player, an electric bassist, and a drummer to his early electric experiments playing a meld of Cajun-flavored soul, rock, and R&B. The electric slide guitar fury evidenced on his own records from the 1980s onward is all but absent here, but the acoustic slide work is particularly plentiful – check his reading of “I Know You Rider,” “Lazy Boy,” and the stomping “Prodigal Son”.
Flawless in execution, and driven by some of the most infectious and compelling music written in recent years, ‘Alive’ demonstrates an openness that is not always achievable in a studio setting. It is this telepathic empathy between the players and their collective desire to take the music in new directions that prompted Jon Newey (Editor of Jazzwise Magazine), to describe them in live performance as ‘the most exciting and imaginative piano trio since EST’.
Hypnos 69 was founded in 1994, Diest, Belgium. When Steve and Dave Houtmeyers decide in the summer of '94 to found a band with Tom Vanlaer, also the story of a band that would bring new life to the '60s and '70s psychedelic underground rock-scene of today began: Hypnos 69. The name was appropriately taken from the ancient Greek god of Sleep and Subconsciousness. The number 69 stands for equilibrium and stability; properties that can be retrieved in the marked sound of the band. Thanks to the cooperation with Orange Factory, Hypnos 69 developed a very powerful live-reputation, which placed them at the top of the contemporary psychedelic rockscene…