Top Picks: 'Bill Moyers: The Language of Life,' a Funny Bob Dylan Album, Joe Bonamassa's 'Dust Bowl,' and More

Article excerpt

Bill Moyers' DVD anthology on spoken poetry, live recordings of a Bob Dylan concert, Joe Bonamassa's latest album 'Dust Bowl', and more recommendations.

Bonamassa blues

Joe Bonamassa is a little bit Stevie Ray Vaughan, a little bit B.B. King, with a mash-up of British blues-rock and Nashville twang thrown in. His latest disc "Dust Bowl" smolders with the soaring stomp of "Black Lung Heartache," chugs with squealing guitar on "Slow Train," and employs veteran rock singer Glenn Hughes on "Heartbreaker," a song written by Paul Rodgers. Bonamassa broke through as a guitarist, but his husky vocals are solid, too. Some of the finest moments on the new collection come when he branches into country leanings, with expert assistance from Vince Gill ("Sweet Rowena") and John Hiatt ("Tennessee Plates").

The power of language

In "Bill Moyers: The Language of Life," the celebrated journalist explores the magic of the spoken word. This three-disc set of eight episodes delves into the richness of modern poetry, including interviews and performances from such luminaries as Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, Gary Snyder, and Coleman Barks.

A scientist in the kitchen

Nathan Myhrvold - former chief technology officer for Microsoft - and a team of 20 scientists, chefs, and photographers have transported the simple act of cooking into something much more complex. Think molecular biology as your guide to carving meat. The six-volume "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking" emphasizes maximizing flavors with sous-vide techniques, a step above most home cooks, but foodies with scientific minds are giddy over the freeze-frame photos. …