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The great rock record producer Andy Johns has passed away.
RIP Paul Williams, founder of Crawdaddy! and a brilliant writer.
Alvin Lee of Ten Years After has died at the age of 68.
The incomparable Van Cliburn has died at the age of 78.
In his own cagey yet warm-hearted way, Gurf Morlix has amassed the accomplishments befitting an icon of American music. The superlative guitarist, producer and songwriter isn't living in the past. His latest album is very much in the present tense.
Kevin Ayers, founder of Soft Machine, has died at the age of 69.
If soul music is anything it's the expression of unfiltered feeling -- in melody and rhythm, theme and voice. Sometimes it's utterly primal, and sometimes, as in the music of Jesse Dee, it's finely, joyfully arranged.
The music of Calexico is too cinematic and moving to be reduced to any silly "mariachi rock" label. Even when pared down to an acoustic essence, the band contains elusive and evocative multitudes.
Some rumors do pan out: Mobb Deep reunites.
Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison have finally gotten around to making the album they've always wanted to make. To say the wait for "Cheater's Game" was worth it would be the understatement of this or any year.