#19 August 2007

#19: August 2007FEATURES

STAX RECORDS: Soul on Vinyl. The legendary label’s heavenly highs produced incomparable music, but disquieting lows produced a padlocked door. Radio personality Richard Skelly’s spin on the past and future giant.

PRODUCERS: The producer’s role can be elusive, but the goal is not: to make a given artist’s work all that it can be. They suggest, shout, cajole, whatever. Elmore’s Katharine Boone nails down the “whatever.”

DEPARTMENTS

Booker T. and Arnie GoodmanLetter from the field: Arnie Goodman, who knows music, history and BBQ, takes us to the Memphis area, where there’s an abundance of all three. (BTW, “I have BBQ every meal when I’m in town” is absolutely true.)

Influences: Ralph Stanley & Béla FleckInfluences: Ralph Stanley’s banjo has led the pickin’ pack straight and true for over a half century. Bela Fleck forges a more circuitous route

Kickin’ in Your Stall: Smokey clubs, high school gyms, festival stages big and small, ballparks: Carl Gustafson has played them all. No acoustics compare with the marble fl oors near Sunglass Hut, in an Idaho Mall

Festivals: Lakes, rivers, oceans east and west, mountains or downtown, upcoming festivals worth the journey

On The Record: Tab Benoit fishes music from the bayou, and has reeled in a keeper; Mavis Staples and Porter Wagoner represent the veterans, while youngsters Joss Stone and Matt Mays + El Torpedo strut their chops. Special page on Paul McCartney and Les Paul

Collecting: Albert King influenced every blues and rock musician on earth. Ten albums that belong in any serious collection

Also Appearing: The hills were alive with the sound of jamming at Hunter Mountain: make plans for next year. A selection of beachworthy books, and DVDs for those inevitable rainy Sundays

Re.Issues: Turning 50 is this year’s event, and Vanguard’s no exception: Junior Wells, Charlie Musselwhite and James Cotton celebrate the milestone, too. Benny Goodman, Jose Feliciano and Robert Lockwood, Jr. (among others) sound better than ever

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