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The Flowers Of Indulgence and Nick Ray Reviewed

The Flowers Of Indulgence and Nick Ray Reviewed

The Flowers Of Indulgence – 2 Dollars and 99 Cents 

Similar artists: The Black Keys, The Band

Genre: Folk, Classic Rock

Bands and artists releasing their b-sides, demos, or previously disregarded material is nothing new. Hell, some bands go as far as to release live records of nearly all of their concerts. These are the sorts of creative decisions that, most of all, excite the group’s managers and publicists. They give the accountants something to do. And, if they have enough time, they will allow the singer to buy a new fishing boat. 

However, Bob Dylan’s three-decade mission of officially adding odds-and-ends songs to his discography has been treated like the discovery of unknown Shakespeare plays. More people are studying the use of rhyme or the historical characters that appear in these songs than international trade or the conflict in Palestine. That’s a pretty marvellous thing, especially since many of those songs are sensational. 

But there’s plenty for a regular listener to go through, and many of them sound as rough as anyone who has seen the great man live will attest to. Cleverly named and willing to raid the archives, The Flowers Of Indulgence translate one of the least known of these songs, “2 Dollars and 99 Cents”, to modern lovers of blues-rock.

You get the feeling that Dylan himself would appreciate the cover treatment. It comes complete with a mighty convincing rhythm and blues groove, a slippery slide guitar and a voice that, against the odds, is modelled after Dylan’s singing style. 

As for Dylan’s lyrics, is there a message from The Prophet hidden inside these lines? Sure it is, if you want, even if the words sound written on the spot and all leading back to the title  “2 Dollars and 99 Cents.”


Nick Ray – Northern Lights

Similar artists: Peter Gabriel, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Chris Cornell

Genre: Americana, Alt Country

Show business makes some people a lot of money. But having an entertaining show in itself is not enough to sustain a musical career—not for any considerable amount of time. You could be the King or the Queen of Pop, and one day, people will demand that you sing on key. You may be the most acrobatic dancer, and one day, people will ask how many good songs you have written. 

It all comes back to this, and, in some ways, that’s unexciting. There’s no real way to cheat the system. Not for long. Audiences like to dance, but most of them prefer hearing songs about the struggles and triumphs of their regular lives. Audiences like to dance, but they also want to hear someone who has spent years honing on their skills of singing, songwriting and playing an instrument. It’s such a simple formula that it’s boring. And it just takes years to perfect it. 

Nick Ray’s “Northern Lights” is simply a very well-performed, classic country-rock song that’s built on old-fashioned, strong foundations. There’s no gimmick here. Nope, Nick Ray can just sing. And he can write songs that a lot of people will feel were written about them. Takes thousands of hours of practice to get this lucky. And since not a lot of people are putting in those hours, let’s celebrate the ones who have. 

The Flowers Of Indulgence - 2 Dollars and 99 Cents 

8.0

Nick Ray - Northern Lights

8.0

Pros

Cons

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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