The march toward February 3 continues in earnest, and while there’s not a hell of a lot here to jump up and down about, you might get reacquainted with a forgotten gem or two this week, and that’s also worth celebrating.


Sizzling cameos from modern blues legends
Doyle Bramhall II and Susan Tedeschi (who just happens to be the bandleader’s wife, wink wink) highlight Already Free, the sixth album from
The Derek Trucks Band. Free — which features a smashing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Down in the Flood” among its eleven originals — finds the band moving away from their bluesy roots and toward a more streamlined, soulful rock sound. I say talent this good is welcome in any capacity.

The next phase in Sony Legacy’s blisteringly brilliant Playlist series begins its rollout this week, and among the highlights: career recaps for Journey’s former lead singer Steve Perry, whose solo work has never gotten its proper due, in my never-to-be-humble opinion; Indigo Girls, from whom a proper greatest hits is long overdue; and the late, great Dan Fogelberg, whose tragic death in 2006 brought a terrific career to a too-early end. Pretty much everything you’d expect to see on such collections are included: of course Perry’s disc includes his solo smashes “Oh Sherrie,” “Foolish Heart,” and his largely overlooked 1994 comeback “You Better Wait”; and of course Amy and Emily’s set includes “Galileo,” “Power of Two,” and “Closer to Fine,” in addition to a riveting live cover of “Midngiht Train to Georgia” and a pair of masterpieces — the title track, and the lead single, “Moment of Forgiveness” — from their criminally underappreciated 2002 album Become You; and, even though there exist no fewer than five Fogelberg best-of sets, I expect you’ll find his to be the most enjoyable listening experience of the three, because you better believe any single disc that crams the likes of “Hard to Say,” “Make Love Stay,” his gorgeous 1990 cover of The Cascades’ ’50s classic “Rhythm of the Rain,” and his 1983 tour de force “Same Old Lang Syne” — a devastating story song about a pair of former lovers who bump into each other on Christmas Eve and ponder what’s become of their lives over a six pack shared in the front seat of the woman’s car — onto one chunk of musical real estate is right the hell up my alley, honey. Mark it.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • Fierce Tony-Award-winner Heather Headley returns this week with her third full-length album, Audience of One.

  • Now That’s What I Call Motown!, the venerable compilation series’ latest installment, featuring 25 classic tracks from the likes of Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, and Rick James.

  • And finally, a pair of Wal-Mart exclusives: just ahead of their January 30 release of Workin’ On a Dream, as well as their hotly-anticipated appearance during the Super Bowl’s halftime show, comes a collection of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band‘s Greatest Hits. At just twelve tracks, it’s far from comprehensive, but, as it includes “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark” and “The Rising” and “Lonesome Day” (which might just be my favorite Springsteen track ever) and “Radio Nowhere,” it’s one riveting hell of a listen.

  • And also from Wally World, an exclusive collection from those slyly brilliant folks over at Thrive Records entitled Total Workout! Containing classic mixes from Whitney Houston, Anastacia, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Dayne, and ten others, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but neither is it anything you won’t love.


3 responses to “we drank a toast to innocence,
we drank a toast to now
(or: january 13 — a thumbnail sketch)”

  1. the buzz from Lin:

    The songs you listed as “the best” of Dan Fogelberg, I think dont really do Dan justice. While the most widely known works and outstanding on their own, I think they typecast Dan as a soft balladeer–and Dan, by far, is so much more than that!! My favorites would include the likes of “Crow” “Netherlands” “To the Morning” “False Faces” “The Reach” “Nexus” “Give Me Some Time” “Wysteria” “Phoenix” and oh-heck EVERY SINGLE SONG IS MY FAVORITE!!!!

  2. the buzz from Lin:

    I meant to say–That every single song Dan wrote in his entire career are my favorite!! I really cannot pick just one!! What I was trying to get across was- that Dan could do any genre of music from Country to the Blues, and do it so well!! His music is just amazing and its really ashame that most people only know him from his more commercially known works. You know-I have gotten many an album/CD in my time-that the only good tracks ended up being only the “hit”–While On Dan’s album/CD’s–the best are almost always the ones not played on radio and such!!! Oh yeah–a great storysong, try listening to “Tuscon, Arizona”!! I read this one was Dan’s all time favorite song that he wrote!!! RIP Dan, your music will live on.

  3. the buzz from brandon:

    Hey Lin, thanks so much for the comments! I’m a huge Fogelberg fan myself (and, I agree, “Tucson, Arizona (Gazette)” is a *killer* song), but I gotta tell you, those opening piano notes in “Same Old Lang Syne” put a lump in my throat every single time I hear ’em. For my money, it gets no better than that.

    Thanks for checking out the Buzz, and here’s hoping you’ll stick around. 🙂