Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Music

So this is the “new normal?” Or is it a return to the “old normal?” Either way, regardless of how you spent this past year, regardless of your thoughts on the world, politics, and economics of the world, furrowing your eyebrows at this or that or embracing all the necessary and arguably unnecessary changes in the world, one needs a constant personal and universal soundtrack to keep going, to keep sane, to keep grounded and inspired. As the newest round of the holiday season gets ready to dawn upon us, music not only acts as the perfect and always obvious choices for even the most discriminating of tastes, but also something that brings much-needed relief and communion to end another challenging year and brace everyone for what lies ahead in 2022. So as always, here’s my picks for some of the sonic highlights released this year, spanning all genres and tastes.

Check out our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Music.

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Alvin Lee, Rock Guitarist For Ten Years After, Dead At 68

Alvin Lee, one of the unsung guitar players from the late 1960s, whose absolutely blazing work in the British band Ten Years After endeared him and solidified his niche to the hard rock/electric blues scene of that era, has died at the age of 68, according to his official website.

Lee, who made an art out of playing his guitar with a hyper fast yet with an extremely passionate bluesy soul style, will truly go down as one of the greats of all time, even though he never really was a household name in musical circles. Usurped for the most part by his peers like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, and the like, Alvin Lee really stood in a class by himself. Combining all the elements of the aforementioned men and amplifying old blues artists and their respective styles like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and early rock pioneer Chuck Berry, Alvin Lee brought a twofold sensibility to rock and roll; he took the past and contemporized it in the present.

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