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One of the best music sites I’ve bumped into this year has to be Wolfgang’s Vault. If you love live music and you haven’t checked it out, you should. Once you’ve registered on the site, you have access to an amazing array of concerts by major and lesser-known artists. It’s a tremendous resource, easy to use and best of all, it’s free.
The content consists of concerts never committed to CD, some coming from syndicated radio shows such as King Biscuit Flower Hour. It streams effortlessly to your computer, the sound is generally excellent and you can even buy some concerts for about $10 if you so choose, the going rate of an ITunes album. There is also a well-written description of what you’re hearing with insight into the particular concert and some background on the artist, along with a detailed personnel listing.
I recently clicked on a Karla Bonoff concert at the Bottom Line in New York, forgetting that I have a friend that played in her band for a while. When I read the synopsis, he was listed there in the band lineup. For the uninitiated, she wrote some of Linda Ronstadt’s biggest hits.
Artists range from The Doors to Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison to James Taylor, Dylan to Miles, Jean Luc-Ponty to Larry Coryell, Ronstadt to Emmylou Harris, the Stones and on and on. It’s ridiculous. And it’s really wonderful.
I would guess they are paying some licensing fees as it’s been around for a while and doesn’t appear to be in danger of being shut down. You receive an e-mail update sometimes daily on what is new. They appear to add about 25 concerts a week. Go there and listen to some good, and often rare, performances.