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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Solid Gold: Buddy Beaverhausen Does Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks is surely at or near the apex of the rock'n'roll pyramid. Like Cher, Debby Harry or Chrissie Hynde, she has a unique, iconic voice and the respect of her peers.

And, so, the release of a new album, 24 Karat Gold, is an event in this year's Season of the Witch. Nicks wrote all these previously unreleased tracks long ago and they are produced by The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart expertly.

Earth goddess, gypsy, enchantress, feminist, Ms Nicks has a distinct persona that shines through the 14 tracks of her album. The latest single, "Mabel Normand," is a heartfelt, empathetic ballad about the drug-addicted silent film star who died of complications of tuberculosis at age 37. (The character, Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd., is reconfigured from her name.) Though touching, it is not one of my favorite tracks, frankly.

All but three songs were self-penned. "The Dealer," "Blue Water" with Lady Antebellum and "Cathouse Blues" are wonderful. "Carousel" is a touching tribute to Nicks' mother. The Mountain Women song, "Belle Fleur," sounds sophomoric and silly (some songs were written as early as 1969) but, overwhelmingly, this is a very strong album (her first since 2011) from a major pop-music figure.

National Nights of 1,000 Stevies should be jam-packed this year! Just warning you.

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