Anthology Vol. 1 Cowboy Man (Curb/MCA Nashville)
The Lone Star State’s favorite rural son (next to Willie, of course) gets his due with this 15-track set. Featuring tunes both with and without his Large Band, this single disc includes two brand-new songs that sound like the artist’s old standards (“San Antonio Girl,” “The Truck Song”). With nine albums and 4 million sold, it’s about time the 44-year-old from Klein, Texas, got his overview.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Live at Montreux ’82 & ’85 (Epic/Legacy)
On a fateful Switzerland summer night, a Texas bluesman took to the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival and changed the way the world would listen to guitar solos. That night, David Bowie and Jackson Browne would witness (among booing fans) the dynamic playing of Vaughan (then 28) and assist in signing his band to a major label. Available for the first time in its entirety, the 1982 show ignited the career of one of the greatest guitarists to ever pick up a Fender Stratocaster. Essential for any Stevie fan.
As Debbie Harry and the boys from New York City are busy working on their new album (due out next year), six reissues of remastered classic albums have hit the stores — many in digital form for the first time. See if the names Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat, Plastic Letters, Autoamerican, Blondie, and The Hunter ring any bells. Each disc is packaged with a bunch of bonus tracks — live covers, previously unreleased, extended mixes, demos, and then some.
— JAMES E. MAYFIELD