Taylor Made Blues
Otis Taylor is the Ken Burns of blues music, a socio-cultural historian with a talent for storytelling. Actually, "blues" is too narrow a label to describe Mr. Taylor's latest album, My World is Gone. Taylor chronicles the plight of native Americans, past and present, with evocative sounds of galloping banjo grooves, sprightly breezes of cornet, aural ribbons of fiddle, and guitar solos that flare like phosphorous-tipped matches. But it's Taylor's gruff baritone – by turns sorrowful and joyful – that lingers in the memory's ear.
When a jinni steals away parts of people's personalities, it's up to the young wizard Oliver to jump between the real world and the magical one to set things straight. The charming tone and stunning graphics of new game Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch come courtesy of Studio Ghibli, the celebrated Japanese animation house that made "The Secret World of Arrietty." For PlayStation 3.
Oscar winner Steven Spielberg took home his first directing statuette for Schindler's List, based on the true story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved hundreds of Jews during World War II. Now an elegant, 20th-anniversary limited edition includes an extensive high-definition restoration of the film in all current formats: Blu-ray, DVD, a digital copy, and UltraViolet. Extras include a feature-length documentary with a behind-the-scenes look at the USC Shoah Foundation created by Mr. Spielberg as part of his work on the Holocaust project. Available March 5.
An unbroken line of country music royalty rolls on in style with a fine new release by the granddaughter of legend Hank Williams. The Highway is blond-tressed Holly Williams's third record and by far her best, with an impressive guest list – Jakob Dylan, Dierks Bentley, Jackson Browne, and Gwyneth Paltrow – lending a hand on harmonies. Her Americana music is an intimate, stripped-down affair deftly guided by Grammy-winning producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars). Several of the album's affecting songs are about her famous family, shining a light on the unsung Williams women.
Tired of people talking loudly on cellphones or jangly, obnoxious ring tones? So were the staff at the website The Art of Manliness, so they asked artist Ted Slampyak to create 1940s-era propaganda posters urging phone users to be more polite. Check them out at http://bit.ly/politephones.
Dolly up close
If you like the classics of pop music and want to know more about how hit songwriters have succeeded, then Ovation has the show for you. The arts cable channel premièred Song By Song with a six-part episode on Johnny Cash last fall and now continues as a series March 10. First up is a look at six songs by Dolly Parton. Fellow artists and top entertainers comment on her impact and influence.