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  • Orange Wedge: Wedge- little known band from Baltimore, Maryland in the early '70s put out a couple of very fine melodic hard rock albums that sadly never saw widespread release. Both are available now on CD & LP and are worth checking out.

  • Incredible Hog: Volume 1- though there was never to be a Volume 2, this heavy rock trio cranked out this tasty slab of fiery music that was a cross between Cream and Blue Cheer with a dose of Black Sabbath thrown in for good measure. If heavy early '70s blues rock is your thing, you've come to the right place.

  • JPT Scare Band: Past is Prologue- gotta love finding all these heavy rock rarities, and this is a band who recorded a few albums back in the late '70s but never released them till a decade or so ago. Guitar heaven for all you proto-metal fans out there!

  • Keef Hartley Band: Little Big Band- great but short live set from Hartley & Co, one of the most underrated of the horn bands of the early '70s. Plenty of tasty jams on this one, featuring killer drumming, lots of horns, and fiery guitar solos.

  • Alvin Lee: In Flight/On the Road to Freedom/Let it Rock- exploring all the Alvin Lee albums post Ten Years After, and he released a slew of good ones, some solo, some collaborations. As is always the case, expect good, hard rocking blues n boogie with a touch of folk thrown in, and plenty of kick ass guitar playing.

  • Randy Holden: Population II- holy smoke, can't believe this smoldering platter of acid laced psychedelic blues metal has escaped me all these years! Holden briefly played guitar for Blue Cheer but it's this solo album this tips the richter scale with torrents of proto-metal blues rock guitar. One of the heaviest albums of the late '60s that no one knows about.

  • Night Sun: Mournin'- here's another proto-metal rarity from the early '70s that is almost never mentioned. This band mixed the creepiness & heaviness of Black Sabbath with some of the bluesy/proggy keyboard flights of Deep Purple. A truly crushing and evil sounding album that is not to be missed.

  • Meshuggah:The Violent Sleep of Reason- completely brutal new release from the Swedish masters of djent/progressive extreme metal.

  • Opeth: Sorceress- there's a reason this was my #1 of 2016...just can't get enough of this mix of vintage hard rock, prog rock, psychedelia, and folk.

  • Blood Sweat & Tears: the whole early catalog- although owning a decent 'greatest hits' set for 25 years, I never really dove much into the music of BS&T, until now. Man, was I missing out! Great mix of big band jazz, soul, rock, pop, and folk, complete with a marvelous horn section and great vocals.

  • The Blues Brothers: Pocket Full of Blues- owned this on LP when I was a kid, back when John Belushi & Dan Ackroyd could do no wrong in my eyes thanks to their work on Saturday Night Live and various films they appeared in. This is still a fun album, and I was happy to find a used CD for just a couple of bucks, bringing back memories from decades ago.

  • Chicken Shack: The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions/Poor Boy The Deram Years 1972-1974- two great sets that feature just about all the stuff you need from this underrated British blues rock band.

  • Spirit: Spirit/Clear- the two Spirit albums I needed for my collection are now in my possession. '60s psychedelia doesn't get much better than this.

  • Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac/Mr. Wonderful/The Pious Bird of Good Omen- picked these up in a cool 3 in 1 box set, all the original first three releases from the Peter Green led version of the band. More British blues at its best.

    The Neal Morse Band: The Similitude of a Dream- just a wonderful, epic modern prog album with plenty of nods to the greats of the '70s. Easily the best concept album of 2016.

  • Metallica: Hardwired...To Self Destruct- again, this isn't 'great' Metallica, but it's a grower and easily their best album since ...And Justice For All. Though I don't agree with some of the 'album of the year' accolades is has received, it's still pretty damn good overall and I've reached for it numerous times over the last month or so.

  • Glenn Hughes: Resonate- another late 2016 release that keeps getting plenty of airplay here.

  • The Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome- the guys can still bring it!

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