Erik Lundgren has made music for 2 decades and his albums have had many different moods and even genres over the years, but one thing is always apparent, he is always rooted in nature, heavily inspired by the Scandinavian wilderness. Growing up in a small town in Sweden, surrounded by forests, he often spent his time writing lyrics and music alone in the woods. Back in 2009 he lived in Japan where he spent a great deal of time soaking the Japanese culture and surroundings, it lead to the album ”One For The Road”, an album he released for free, which received over 100.000 downloads.
He's been a solo act since he left the band Sink back in 2005 and started releasing albums under his own name. Recording all instruments on his own and producing his own work. Almost 10 years and 26 albums later he joined forces with Jimmie Nolsøe on guitar (To My Green Lands) and Kaare Grasbøll (Rovers Ahead) on keys and accordion. During the last year they have slowly transitioned from acoustic to electric, equipped the western guitars with pickups and pedalboards.
He does not care much about labeling his music and rather go by the ’whatever sounds good’ mentality, which is the only rule Erik uses, as he records his odds and ends, brewing his new tunes. And he loves to use instruments and objects out of their elements. Mixing sound design with traditional singer and songwriter techniques. But for the latest album ”Door Dwellers” he decided to try something new, to tell 3 stories in every song. Every song contains a piece of famous folklore from somewhere around the world. They also tell a story about Erik or someone close to him. And a classic traditionally told singer and songwriter cliché. The lyrics has been gently woven together to let the audience make their own interpretation.
The album takes great inspiration from the small forgotten rituals and oddities that cultures used to execute or perform, and rituals we still exercise to this very day, but might have forgotten the story behind them. The fear of evil spirits lurking in doorways ready to possess or snatch any woman being carried over the threshold by her newly wedded husband. Hence the title ”Door Dwellers”.
Concord Bicycle Music recently announced the springtime release of "Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live And More". This exciting set pays tribute to the legendary power pop band’s lost 3rd album, recorded in 1974, but shelved until 1978, after the band broke up.
In 2010, Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, the sole surviving member of the classic lineup, assembled a group to pay tribute to Big Star’s iconic frontman Alex Chilton, who’d passed away suddenly in spring of that year.
Stephens recruited Mike Mills of R.E.M., Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, Chris Stamey of The dB’s and Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, also touring members of Big Star since their 1993 reunion, for a tribute gig in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that took place with a full orchestra to match the lush sounds of "Third", and afterward, the group toured with local orchestras and ensembles, covering both "Third" as well as the 2 perfect LP's that preceded it, "#1 Record" and "Radio City".
A show in Glendale, California in 2016 was recorded for "Thank You, Friends", and features guest appearances from Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone, Robyn Hitchcock, Dan Wilson, Benmont Tench and The Kronos Quartet.
The show will be available as a standalone 2CD set or a 2CD/DVD or Blu-ray package, the show on the video disc will premiere at this year’s SXSW Festival, presented by Stephens, director Benno Nelson and other members of the "Third" ensemble. Stamey and Anthony DeCurtis have written new liner notes for the package.
Elsewhere, the new compilation "The Best Of Big Star" tidily collects, on 1 CD or 2 LP's, 16 tracks from "#1 Record", "Radio City" and "Third". As a bit of a nod to collectors, 6 of the tracks are presented in their original single mixes, and 4 of those appear to be making their debut on CD.
"Thank You, Friends" is in stores April 21st, 2017, while "The Best Of Big Star" follows a week later.
Few groups epitomised the spirit of the late 60's and early 70's like Principal Edwards Magic Theatre. A collective of musicians, dancers, poets and sound and lighting engineers, based around the music of Root Cartwright, the group produced one of rock’s first forays into multi media presentation and found themselves championed by, and recording for, the great John Peel.
This set brings together both albums recorded for Dandelion Records, "Soundtrack" and "The Asmoto Running Band", plus 5 recently unearthed BBC session tracks, unreleased demos and a fantastic live recording made at London’s Hampstead Theatre in September 1971. Together, those unreleased recordings shed new light on this most intriguing of groups, and point towards the direction a 3rd Principal Edwards Magic Theatre album might have taken.
Recent years have seen a revival of interest in P.E.M.T., including lengthy pieces in both Record Collector and Shindig! magazines. Their musical eclecticism, blending rock, folk and classical elements with wit and invention, warrant the consideration of all serious aficionados of such things. Cherry Red Records, April 14th, 2017.
Hometown Marie is a band from a small town called Mariestad in Sweden. The band started up around 3 years ago by singer songwriter Oskar Östman and drummer Simon Peterson.
Hometown Marie has not been lazy during these 3 years. They've been of doing a lot at home in Sweden, but during their 1st year as a band they have been off to Glasgow and London playing venues, and after 2 years they traveled all the way to Nashville to write songs, play and meeting people.
During 2016 Hometown Marie did over 30 shows in Sweden, released a new EP called "Wild Side", and also returned to Nashville for some more networking and playing.
Their music is described as very wide, with influences from old to new rock, with a big touch of country.
Even though Michael Nesmith has bid farewell to his days as part of the Monkees, he’s not slowing down. After giving what he said was his final performance with the group last year, Nesmith took some time to wrap up his autobiography, which will be published on April 18th, 2017.
"Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff" tells the story of Nesmith’s life, starting with his childhood in Dallas, where he was raised by a single mother, Bette, who invented Liquid Paper, and moving on to the set of The Monkees in Los Angeles, where he became a star with his 3 young bandmates.
Along the way, Nesmith became a pioneering force in the fields of music video and virtual reality. "Infinite Tuesday" will covers those subjects too.
To accompany the book, Rhino Records will release a companion album four days earlier on April 14th, 2017, with the slightly modified title, "Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs". The compilation which will include 14 tracks from Nesmith’s career, starting with his first recording, “The New Recruit”, which he made under the name Michael Blessing.
The selections run all the way up through the mid 00's, and feature solo tracks, songs recorded with the Monkees, cuts by his country rock group, the First National Band, his 1979 cult hit “Cruisin'” and a solo take on “Different Drum”, a song he wrote that became Linda Ronstadt‘s breakout single with the Stone Poneys.
Rodney Crowell will release his 1st album in over 3 years on April 7th, 2017, via New West Records. The set includes contributions from Sheryl Crow, John Paul White and ex-wife Rosanne Cash.
The 10 song set, "Close Ties", follows "The Traveling Kind", his acclaimed collection of duets with long time collaborator Emmylou Harris. Co-produced by Jordan Lehning and Kim Buie, the album features a duet with Sheryl Crow on the haunting ‘I’m Tied To Ya,’ and ‘It Ain’t Over Yet,’ a vocal collaboration with his Rosanne Cash and John Paul White. It is the 1st time Crowell and Cash have appeared on record together since Cash’s "Interiors" album in 1990.
"Close Ties" both demonstrates Crowell’s strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication and his profound musical reach. It’s at once his most intimate record and his most accessible, the product of years of understanding the ways songs can enter, and be entered by, life. "Close Ties" is a loose concept record that ranges from songs about Crowell’s childhood in Texas, to songs about arriving in Nashville as a young songwriter, to songs about friends and lovers lost.
It is a roots record, in the sense that Crowell himself has deep roots that stretch back into the alternative country scene of the early 70's, that included Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and more. But it defies easy classification. Is it country? Is it a singer songwriter record? “I have declared my loyalty to americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell, share a common thread, and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favour of a singular vision. Which resonates with me”.
Father John Misty.....
"Pure Comedy", Father John Misty’s 3rd album, is a complex, often sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released 2 widely acclaimed albums, "Fear Fun" in 2012 and "I Love You, Honeybear" in 2015), and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Kid Cudi.
While we could say a lot about "Pure Comedy", including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen, we think it’s best to let its creator describe it himself.
"'Pure Comedy' is the story of a species born with a half formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, ﬁnding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing, and to whom they are delicious, is the reliance on other, slightly older, half formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like love, culture, family, etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that".
"Pure Comedy" was recorded in 2016 at the legendary United Studios in Hollywood, CA. It was produced by Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, with engineering by Misty’s longtime sound person Trevor Spencer and orchestral arrangements by renowned Composer and double bassist Gavin Bryars, known for extensive solo work, and work with Brian Eno, Tom Waits and Derek Bailey.
Sub Pop Records, April 7th, 2017.
Charlie McGettigan started his musical career in the 1960's in various rock bands in Donegal. Moving to Dublin in 1968 he honed in on the thriving folk scene there at the time. In 1973, Charlie formed the highly successful group Jargon, which went on to win the prestigious Letterkenny Folk Festival, following in the footsteps of bands like Clannad and Pumpkinhead.
Charlie joined forces with Paul Harrington and Brendan Graham to win the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with “Rock 'n' Roll Kids”. He has released many solo albums, including “In Your Old Room”, “Family Matters”, “The Man From 20” and “Stolen Moments”, produced in Nashville by legendary producer Bil Vorndick.
Charlie’s songs have been recorded by many artists including De Danann, Mary and Frances Black, Ray Lynam, Daniel O’Donnell, Sandy Kelly and Hal Ketchum to name but a few.
These days Charlie tours both here in Ireland and abroad. He presents 'The Saturday Connection' on Shannonside and Northern Sound Radio, a 2 hour programme where he previews live music and theatrical events, interviews guests from the world of arts and Entertainment, and plays an eclectic mix of music and song on CD.
Stockfisch Records is proud to release this wonderful new album, "Some Old Soemone", presenting Charlie McGettigan as a remarkable Irish singer and songwriter.
Bob Dylan x 3.....
A 3 disc studio album from Bob Dylan, "Triplicate", will be released on March 31st, 2017, featuring 30 brand new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically arranged 10 song sequence, "Triplicate" showcases Dylan’s unique and much lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most influential songwriters. The Jack Frost produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan, and marks the first new music from the artist since "Fallen Angels", which was released in early 2016.
Angus Crowne has been performing since his early teens, and is an accomplished author, screenwriter, playwright, theatrical producer, and concert producer, who has worked with Queen , Boy George, Fatboy Slim, Spacehog, Paul Oakenfold, Chris Thompson and many more.
When asked in a recent interview how Angus Crowne & The Family Jewels materialized, he stated "As we start to get older, especially in our late 40's, society seems to want you to slow down and let the youth have their turn. I say bullshit, I still have a lot to say". About ukebilly punk, "It's a new genre, mine, my music is ultimately about honesty and truth, and if I get to piss a few people off along the way, then my work here is done"
About the self titled debut album, "It's about where I am in my life right now, it's about getting older, wiser, but at times feeling frustrated and bitter, the message in all the songs on the album aren't too difficult to figure out, some are tongue in cheek, some are hard, but all of the songs are me, and that has made working on them very special".
When Christian Kjellvander toured Europe last year, he visited Stockfisch Records, and spontaneously Günter Pauler recorded "Solo Live", a solo performance in the Bürgersaal, Northeim, Germany, on May 16th.....
Before touring with Dave Davies and becoming bassist for The Bangles in 2008, Derrick Anderson romped throughout Los Angeles, from 1995 to 2004, flashing an energized, cheeky brand of pop rock. But finally, it’s time for Derrick to arrive as a solo artist.
"A World Of My Own" draws inspiration from the Cavern Club, Brill Building and Laurel Canyon, and the album’s 13 songs feature guest performances from an array of kindred spirits. "A World Of My Own" opens with the upbeat “Send Me Down A Sign” and heavy-hitting “Waiting For You”, which feature backing by Smithereens. The sonic punch of “Waiting For You” is heightened by a panoramic mix from producer Ed Stasium.
Renowned for his work with Ramones, Smithereens and Talking Heads, Stasium mixed 2 additional tracks on "A World Of My Own", the party driven “Stop Messin’ About” and a wild and woolly cover of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”. “Happiness” features stinging guitar lines by Matthew Sweet, while “A Mother’s Love” showcases incomparably lush vocals by Bob, John, and Susan Cowsill. “When I Was Your Man” combines The Bangles’ guitarist Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson with Kim Shattuck on guitar and vocals. The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs joins the Peterson sisters for backing vocals on 2 other songs, “Something New” and “Spring”, the latter also reunites him with The Andersons' guitarists Robbie Rist-Anderson and Wil O’Brien-Anderson, and drummer Marc Joseph-Anderson.
With a chance to share the entire range of his talents in his debut, full length album, and the help of the great friends in his extended musical orbit, Anderson invites you to extend your landing gear, scan the horizon and explore "A World Of My Own". Omnivore Recordings, April 7th, 2017.
Urban Desert Cabaret.....
Urban Desert Cabaret is the musical project of Joe City Garcia. It is a place where Joe City creates and plays music that breaths the great American Southwest. From his youth in Northern New Mexico, and throughout a stretch of time in Los Angeles and the California desert, Joe has been playing everything from Tex Mex folk to garage phychedelia to punk rock.
In the mid 90’s, along with a few other notable musical pilgrims, he became part of an early Joshua Tree, CA, music scene that revolved around Fred Drake’s groundbreaking Rancho de la Luna Recording Studio, recently featured in the Foo Fighters ’Sonic Highways’ HBO series. During that period, Joe was introduced to L.A. author, journalist and performer, Rubén Martínez, who invited him to co-write and record music for a theatrical project called Border Ballad. Subsequently they toured and performed in New York, Boston, Washington DC Los Angeles, Northern California and other places in between.
“Joe City Garcia sings from a body that has shot through both heaven and hell and some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful desert landscapes that lie in between”. ~ Rubén Martínez
In 2014 Joe reconnected with old friends in Joshua Tree, out of which emerged a body of newly inspired music in the form of ”Sometimes The Angels”, recorded at Back Of The Moon studios and released in 2015. A follow up, ”Shadow Of A Ghost”, recorded at Red Barn Recorders, has just been released. Each release has culminated in European tours throughout Austria, Slovakia, Poland and Germany, as well as Southern California, and a 2017 tour is being planned.
These days, when not on tour, Urban Desert Cabaret and Joe City can be found writing, playing and recording new music back in the ever inspiring high desert of California. Urban Desert Cabaret loves to travel and perform, and is eager and ready to play shows wherever and whenever possible.
The Hollies 73-88.....
With a title inspired by the opening line of The Hollies’ track ‘I’m Down’, this boxset, "Head Out Of Dreams", includes 6 CD's filled with rarities, previously unreleased material and remastered B sides. This 6 CD set also features a 24 page booklet, with liner notes by long time fan Uli Twelker that provides a meaningful insight into The Hollies’ musical path.
"Head Out Of Dreams" follows The Hollies’ journey from 1973 to 1988, seeing Allan Clarke returning to be part of the band, bringing the band back to achieving chart positions all over the world with ‘The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee’. As such, the boxset is fittingly subtitled "The Complete Hollies August 1973 – May 1988".
This 6 CD set covers the hit single ‘The Air That I Breathe’, along with tracks such as ‘Just One Look (1983 Version)" and ‘I’m Down’, which are alongside ‘You’re All Woman’ and ‘You Gave Me Strength’, both of which are previously unissued on official CD anywhere.
Parlophone Records, today, March 17th, 2017.
Aimee Mann seems to have a good sense of humor about herself and her career, her appearance as Carrie Brownstein’s cleaning lady on 'Portlandia' is evidence enough of that. But there’s also no denying that her music is depressing, so much so that Spotify has installed a feature where, if you listen to "Lost In Space" enough times on a loop, it calls a therapist on your behalf. Okay, so we made that last part up. But Mann has historically been a chronicler of life’s disappointments both simple and profound, a tradition she appears to be continuing on her new album, "Mental Illness". The 11 tracks on "Mental Illness" make up Mann’s first full length album since 2012’s "Charmer", and were recorded with the assistance of guest musician Ted Leo, who also makes up one half of Mann’s side project The Both. "Mental Illness" is due out March 31st, 2017, on Mann’s own SuperEgo Records.
People vs Larsen.....
People vs Larsen has offered an innovative voice in the indie and blues music scenes in New York since 2012 and have established themselves as one of the best live bands in New York City. Emanating from a wide breath of influence centered around the blues, People vs Larsen delivers a musical experience which infuses blues, rock, jazz and indie music, and gives audiences a powerful, soulful and uplifting experience.
Tom Larsen, guitar and vocals, Spencer Murphy, bass, and Jordan Rose, drums, released their debut self titled record in the fall of 2012, and are releasing their 2nd album “Loving Losing” in early 2017.
“Loving Losing" features the addition of renowned Crosby Stills & Nash organist Todd Caldwell, and showcases the breadth of Tom Larsen's compositional and arranging prowess, from the massive, orchestral arrangement of Feist's ”Limit To Your Love”, to the gritty, hard charging blues rock groove of ”One More Time”, from the funk infused brass sounds of ”Big Leg Woman”, to the poignant, lush colors and counter lines of ”When I Call You”, or haunting, virtuosic intimacy of the acoustic tracks such as ”Big Brass Bed”, ”Loving Losing” is a truly complete record from start to finish.
People vs Larsen has played venues across New York, and continues a four year residency at the McKittrick Hotel. They have toured all over the Northeastern US, California, south eastern US, as well as Mexico. The group is currently working on material for a 3rd album to be released on One Trick Dog Records at the end of 2017.
Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release "The Psalms", the striking new album from American country music legend Jessi Colter, on March 24th, 2017. With lyrics drawn from timeless and sacred poems, these spiritually powerful and intimately personal recordings are spontaneous musical interpretations of the old testament songs attributed to the shepherd, poe and musician David. "The Psalms" are considered among the greatest works of western literature.
"The Psalms" is the first new album of Jessi Colter studio music since the release of the artist's "Out Of The Ashes in" 2006. "The Psalms" is produced by American composer, musician, writer and rock scholar Lenny Kaye, who co-authored "Waylon - An Autobiography", the life story of Jessi Colter's husband and musical collaborator Waylon Jennings.
The core tracks for "The Psalms", featuring Jessi Colter (piano and voice) and Lenny Kaye (electric and acoustic guitar), were recorded at Dubway studios in Manhattan during two extraordinary sessions on February 16th and 17th, 2007 and January 4th and 5th, 2008, nearly a decade ago.
On "The Psalms", the original tracks have been augmented with sublime musical contributions from a variety of artists including Bobby Previte (drums, cymbals, tympani, triangle), Al Kooper (Hammond organ), Paul Dugan (arco bass), Mia Theodoratus (harp), John Jackson (mandolin, violin), Jenni Muldaur (background vocals), Jesse Lauter (mellotron), Black Sea Hotel (Willa Roberts, Sarah Small, Shelley Thomas) (background vocals).
Walter Lathouwers and Bart Barbier. Opposites by look, complementary musical. There is no better way to describe this Belgium based singer songwriter duo.
Walter started playing guitar at age 8. As a self taught singer songwriter he sang and played wherever he could. Through the influence of the bands of the early 70's, he evolved as a musician with a broad interest in blues, pop and rock.
Bart started playing classical guitar at age 7. In his teens he discovered the electric guitar and sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Richie Blackmore, which were the first main influences. In 1996 he joined the 'De Til, Music Univerity' in Antwerp. Afterwards he became a guitar teacher and, occasionally, a session guitarist.
They started writing music together in 2015. Very early on they realised that this process was going far too smooth and in the fall of 2015 they deceided their music needed a platform. So the acoustic experience was born and a first try out gig was planned for Febuary 2016. The reactions were so positive that in the next weeks, new gigs were flying in. A few months later they composed more than enough songs to fill a complete album, and the plans for their 1st full album were born.
In June 2016 they entered the Sputnik Studio in Schoten and recorded their 1st full album "No Time For Rock'N'Roll" in an intense period of just 3 days. The album has just been released. It features 11 original songs and 1 remarkable cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'". The music has a big 'in your face' feeling in the most positive way and shows a remarkable musical craftmanship in songwriting and performance. Their style is a sweet marriage of all american and roots based styles of music. From heartland folk, rock to delta blues and so muck more.
Gradually towards the end of 2016 some local radiostations in Belgium and the Netherlands started broadcasting their music. At this very moment, the beginning of 2017, they are full speed ahead in promoting the released album and writing new material for the next step. Lathouwers & Barbier is live already joined by singer An Cornillie and they also started rehearsing with a full band.
01. Love Me Better
03. Lose My Number
04. Don't Give Me Those Eyes
05. Someone Singing Along
07. Make Me Better
08. Time Of Our Lives
11. Courtney's Song
"The Afterlove", Atlantic Records, March 24th, 2017.
Will T Massey.....
"I traded my shotgun for studio time, to a guy who lived on the edge of town, that was one. Some guys from Austin and I travelled out to West Texas. There was an older fiddle player with me, and a negro woman. That was two. Jesse Taylor and I did some studio work together out in Lubbock. A bunch of other people were involved, that was three. I met Bruce Springsteen, making four, in L.A. I still owe him money for some studio time. 5 and 6 were solo's. The objective was to have some relationship with an audience. I got the Sexton brothers together on 7, back in a big studio. The Eastside Flash and I got together on 8, comfortable, cerebral working, crafted instrumentation, rootsy. Lost a love and made number 9. Lost a friend working on it. Dig it. Others, you know I'm spinning 'em.” ~ Will T Massey
Mortimer, the harmony soft rock trio from New York who signed with Apple Records in 1968 on the strength of George Harrison's say so. The 2nd LP of their career was due for release in the summer of 1969, but was pulled at the last minute, due to the changes at Apple. The tapes have sat in the vaults ever since. Now RPM Records is pleased to present for the first time the LP that should have been the release straight after The Iveys LP in the Apple Records catalogue.
Mastered from the original tapes, the recordings were originally produced by Peter Asher, with additional arrangements by Richard Hewson. Bearing a photo taken by Peter Asher, this is from a previously unseen cache of photos archived by Apple, a select few of which adorn the CD booklet.
The title track is the song given to Mortimer by Paul McCartney which The Beatles later recorded as "Two Of Us". The CD also includes the songs recorded during the sessions, but which were not slated for the original LP, including album versions of "Christine Tildsley" and "Ingenue's Theme". March 17th, 2017.
”Welcome to ’Root Of The Sun’, my 12th CD. Work on this began in 2013 and was completed in 2015. It was placed on the backburner when the circumstances of life brought me ’Never Mind The Rain’. I wish I could remember when and where I stumbled across the term ’Root Of The Sun’, however, I do know that Pat Manfredo’s remarkable photo on the cover captured its essence. She has a great eye, don’t you think?
As always I am and will remain eternally grateful to my collaborators in the studio including most eminently my good friend and producer Eddie Seville, who heroically breathes life into these songs. I have learned that the presentation of music requires a great ear, vivid imagination, technical prowess, shared vision and lucky accidents. After 9 years of collaboration it is evident that Eddie brings that, and so much more to this process. Eddie and our other multi-instrumental musical genius, Karl Allweier, are all over this work and I am ever indebted to them.
These songs had time to marinate since they sat in the studio for a long time. They came to me in their own time and waited patiently for me to bring them to you. I hope you will agree that it was worth the wait. There are a lot of songs and I’ll just say a few words. In the end, you’ll be the judge.” ~ Steve Mednick
“The Ceremony Of Innocence” is the 1st CD since my 12th and the 1 before my 14th, which will be called ’Following The Thunder’. Can you tell by the sentence structure that I am trying to avoid something? I guess I don’t want to call it my 13th, although, I just did. The truth is that I am not superstitious, but my mother was, and I suppose this reticence to state the obvious is homage to her fixation with that number. On the other hand, this 4th volume of my ’Problems In Democracy’ series of CD’s is about an election with a result that was not predicted, predictable, anticipated or, in the end, welcome by the voters of my country. So, if my mother were here, she would probably say, ’you see that number is a bad omen’. Is there such a thing as a good omen? Whatever the case, the CD was held up until after the election because something inside of me said, ’who knows what will happen?’. And it did.
The title of the CD comes from a poignant poem called ’Second Coming’, written by William Butler Yeats, in the aftermath of World War I, a time of isolation, anti-immigrant fervor, xenophobia and nativism. At that time the purity of our pilgrim past was being diluted by new immigrants from the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Polish ghettoes. Oh, how history repeats itself. The US now has a president who has signed executive orders to build a wall on the Mexican border, ban Muslims from coming to the US and reinstate the gag rule on international health programs. He vows to ’make America great again’ while placing a shroud on Lady Liberty. As the journalist Charlie Pierce has said, ’This isn’t funny anymore’. In spite of all our flaws and the embrace, far too often, of ugly prejudice and an irrational obsession with guns, we have long remained a beacon for the rest of the world. We are a great and mighty nation nourished by our remarkable living Constitution. Let us continue the struggle during our next 4 years and beyond. We are better than this! ’Meanwhile back on the planet earth, they said it couldn’t happen here. You’d like to think for what it’s worth, that the truth will trump your fears. I hear white noise on the radio, I hear him lying to the masses. Hiding what was deep in his soul, you can only hope that this nightmare passes’.
This CD is dedicated to the memory of my aunt, Roz Larman, who cared about music, musicians and the future of her country. It is also dedicated to the hope that we will rise again from wherever we are headed.” ~ Steve Mednick
Tedeschi Trucks Band.....
Tedeschi Trucks Band, led by the husband and wife team of singer guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks, have grown into one of the most deeply skilled and admired musical ensembles in the world. 2016 was the 12 piece juggernaut's most impressive and successful year to date. Loaded with triumphant follow ups and notable firsts, from headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to performances in 7 countries abroad and multiple night sell outs in major cities across the US, including a 6 night stint at New York City's Beacon Theatre, to a 2nd annual 'Wheels Of Soul' summer amphitheatre tour, the group played more shows and sold more tickets than in any year of their 6 year history, not to mention releasing 3rd studio album, "Let Me Get By", produced by Trucks with songs written for the first time as an ensemble.
The new definitive 15 track "Live From The Fox Oakland", the first live offering since 2012's "Everybody's Talking", captures the band performing in September 2016 at the absolute top of their game. From the opening notes of "Don't Know What It Means", to their transcendent takes on Derek & The Dominos' "Keep On Growing", Leonard Cohen's "Bird On The Wire" and The Beatles' "Within You, Without You", to the closing solo on "Let Me Get By", "Live From The Fox Oakland" is yet another galvanizing document of one of the finest bands around and one who's only getting better with time.
"The filmmakers who were working on the 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' tribute we did with Leon Russell in 2015 sent us a sizzle reel and the way they did it felt so good we invited them to come out on our West Coast tour and they filmed our two shows at Oakland and recorded every show of the tour to do maybe a compilation live album", explains Trucks."But the 2nd night in Oakland felt so good we decided to make the live album that one show, I like it, there's a pretty amazing version of 'Bird On The Wire', and with Leonard Cohen and Leon passing it feels even more relevant. There are also a lot of tunes from the new record and it captures Alam Khan on sarod. He came out and sat in with the band.I recorded with him a few times and he showed up that night to do 'These Walls' from our 'Revelator' album and the stuff he plays throughout is just awesome".
Fantasy Records, March 17th, 2017.
Lowlands & Friends.....
”In 2012 we invited friends from around Pavia to make an album for the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth. It was a fun way to make music with friends and local bands we love, while paying tribute to one of the greats. In 2016 with a few more band and solo albums under our belt we decided to record Townes’ last ever setlist and to invite friends we had played and recorded with from around the world. We had no budget and every single guest played for free as we recorded this in livingrooms and kitchens, studios and rehearsal rooms. Someone even made a contribution over the phone. Musicians from Austin to Melbourne, from Stockholm to Southend on Sea, from Philadelphia to Pavia. We treated Townes’ songs not as relics but as living and breathing beings and we mixed them up till we smiled. To tie all the various contributions together we needed someone special and we got him. Ex-Borderline manager, legendary tour manager and DJ, Barry Marshall-Everitt was the only man I would have trusted to bring it together. We love his radio work and thought it would be cool to present this as a radio session. Rome based Route 61 Music adopted this album and my thanks goes to Ermanno Labianca for opening his doors to us for this album. I am proud of the album and so grateful to all involved, both past and present Lowlands members as well as all the guests. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed recording it. Thanks.” ~ Edward Abbiati, Lowlands
Marty Stuart will release "Way Out West", his 18th studio album, on March 10th, 2017, on Superlatone Records. The album was conceived as a love letter by one of country music’s living legends, whom has played with everyone from Johnny Cash to Lester Flatt, to the lonely, but magical american west, specifically the promised land of California. "If you go and sit by yourself in the middle of the Mojave Desert at sundown and you're still the same person the next morning when the sun comes up, I'd be greatly surprised", says Stuart. "It is that spirit world of the west that enchants me".
Produced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), and featuring the Fabulous Superlatives, guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and new member, bassist Chris Scruggs, Marty’s longtime band, which NPR Music said could “melt your heart with 4 part harmonies, rock your bones with honky tonk, and dazzle you with picking worthy of their name”, "Way Out West" is a cinematic tour de force. Listeners can feel the warmth of those desert winds over the album's 15 tracks, a collection of newly written originals, instrumentals and rare covers like the Benny Goodman penned "Air Mail Special", and "Lost On The Desert", once recorded by Johnny Cash. "I asked Johnny about that song when I was in his band”, says Stuart, “and he said the only thing he remembered about it was changing some words. ‘Way Out West’ just as easily could have been titled ‘Lost On The Desert’".
If ever a song summed up America’s state of mind in 2016, it’s Scott Smith’s piano stomping rocker “The World Is Strange”. Aiming to convey the overall concept of his infectious debut album ”The Sum Of Life” in its cover art, the Bay Area based americana, country and blues influenced singer and songwriter hit upon a piercing lyric on that track, “The Lord’s gone away, he ain’t comin’ back, he’s on his way to Vegas in a new Cadillac”. So on the album cover, the almighty, silver hair and beard whipping in the breeze, rolls carefree on the I-15, about to pass by a hitchhiking Smith, as if to say, “You’ve lived it, you’re a rocker, write some songs, you figure it out”.
Over the course of the acoustic instrumental title track and the spirited mix of 10 edgy rockers and soulful ballads that follow, he does just that, with, to paraphrase the Beatles, a little help from his legendary Bay Area musical friends. Smith first tapped David LaFlamme, a virtuoso classical and rock violinist, who was the founder of the iconic San Francisco band It’s A Beautiful Day. LaFlamme put his signature sound on the free flowing acoustic instrumental opening title track, the uplifting and encouraging old school country and americana tune “Bad Dreams” and “The Best Gift.
Smith also invited Nina Gerber, who became famous for playing with the late folk artist Kate Wolf, to play acoustic guitar on the title track. Nina Gerber also plays electric slide guitar on “Over It Soon” and ”Messing With Reality”.
Mitch Woods plays boogie woogie piano on “The World Is Strange” and the rollicking anthem “Payday”. Also featured are Tommy Tutone drummer Vic Carberry, pianist and keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi, who has played with Yanni and Andy Summers.
Fleetwood Mac will release an expansive, 30th anniversary edition of their 14th studio album, 1987's "Tango In The Night", on March 10th, 2017, via Warner Bros Records. The reissue is packaged in 3 format,: a 1 CD set featuring remastered audio, an expanded 2 CD version with rare and unreleased recordings, and a deluxe version featuring 3 CD's, a 180 gram LP and a DVD with music videos and a high resolution version of the album.
With "Tango In The Night", Fleetwood Mac fully immersed themselves in the decade's glossy production style. Showcasing the diverse styles of primary songwriters Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, the 12-track LP spawned a quartet of hit singles, "Big Love", "Seven Wonders", "Everywhere" and "Little Lies". Their 2nd highest selling album behind 1977 masterwork "Rumours", it remains the group's final studio Project, with the classic quintet line up of Buckingham, Nicks, McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.
The deluxe and expanded reissues features a disc of 13 previously unheard recordings, including an alternate version of shimmering Christine McVie ballad "Mystified", a demo of Buckingham's epic, percussion heavy title track and rare B-sides "Down Endless Street" and "Ricky". The deluxe edition offers a 3rd disc with 14 12" mixes, including dub versions of "Seven Wonders" and "Everywhere", and a DVD with videos of "Big Love", "Seven Wonders", "Little Lies", "Family Man" and "Everywhere".
Buckingham and McVie recently announced an album of duets tentatively titled "Buckingham McVie". The set, which features contributions from John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, is loosely slated for a May release.
Tom & Sera.....
Tom Mank and Sera Smolen have been performing and writing music together since 1994. Mank, a self taught singer songwriter, and Smolen, a conservatory trained cellist, blend their musical languages into an eclectic style. Guitar, voice, and cello have many ways of blending, with the cello as bass, and doubling with guitar or soloing. Mank’s eloquent writing of instrumentals is contrasted well with his poetic lyrics.
Their latest CD, “Unlock The Sky", was recorded in Woodstock with Ithaca and Woodstock, NY, area musicians and vocalists contributing (Jeannie Burns, Terry Burns, Ron Kristy, Julie Last, Kirsti Gholson, Manuel Quintana), along with artists from Belgium and the Netherlands (Amy Merrill, Kimberly Claeys, Gait Klein Kromhof). This CD will be premiered In Ithaca, NY, in March 2017 and in Europe in April 2017, during their 10th tour of the Netherlands and Belgium. Their previous CDs have received enthusiastic reviews in both the US and Europe.
Tom Mank, an independent singer songwriter for the past 20 years, has played in folk, blues and bluegrass bands collaborating with a host of singers and instrumentalists in Boston, MA, Brattleboro, VT, Keene, NH, and Ithaca, NY. He currently performs primarily with Smolen and many other musicians and continues to generate new music.
Dr Sera Smolen is an active performer of many genres of music, including 4 centuries of classical music. In addition to her collaboration with Mank, she has performed extensively with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Albert Consort New Violin Family, Tri Cities Opera, Mansfield University Piano Trio, Ithaca Piano Trio, Trio Melange, Chiron Festival of the Creative Spirit, and Cornell University Hesterian Musicism. She has taught at Mansfield University, Alfred University, Hobart & William Smith, and Ithaca College. She is the assistant director of the New Directions Cello Festival, a founding member of the Binghamton Cello Festival, and a guest clinician around the US and Canada.
One of the most gifted composers in American music history, Stephen Sondheim, is celebrated by legendary folk icon Judy Collins on this spectacular studio album. Gorgeous and stunning versions of Sondheim's most moving songs, including the song that started it all, "Send In The Clowns", which Collins covered in 1975, became her best selling and highest charting single, establishing her as the pre eminent female folk artist of the day. Also available as a live concert DVD. Cleopatra Records, today, March 3rd, 2017.
Cindy Lee Berryhill.....
Cindy Lee Berryhill emerged on the music scene in the late 80's with "Who’s Gonna Save The World", followed by the Lenny Kaye produced "Naked Movie Star". 1994’s "Garage Orchestra" continued the trend, receiving 4 stars from Rolling Stone. Sadly, her husband, Crawdaddy magazine founder Paul Williams sustained a traumatic brain injury in 1995, and while she continued to write and perform, she focused on caring for him until his passing in 2013.
Determined to retain and honor the beauty and joy of the relationship they shared, Berryhill set out to write and record an album full of visionary songs. With the help of her musical friends including DJ Bonebrake (X, The Knitters), Probyn Gregory and Nelson Bragg (Brian Wilson), Syd Straw, Michael Jerome Moore (The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Richard Thompson, John Cale) and more, they all understood that a grand musical adventure was in store. The result? "The Adventurist". With co-production from Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Peter Case, Rickie Lee Jones), David Schwartz (television composer for 'Northern Exposure', 'Arrested Development', 'Deadwood'), and others, "The Adventurist" showcases orchestral arrangements, chunky rock guitar, and as Berryhill friend and fan Dave Alvin puts it, raw nerve lyrics.
"The Adventurist" is an album full of songs that are a tribute to the love shared with her late husband, but will definitely resonate with everyone who takes this journey. Omnivore Recordings, March 10th, 2017.
”I'm a singer songwriter in the americana genre. My start was in the coffee houses of Toronto, some 35 years ago. Those folk beginnings we're followed by a 10 year run as front man and writer for Canadian roots rockers The Bel-Vistas. The last couple of decades have been spent raising a family and pursuing music as a solo artist. I work away in my home studio now and am sometimes involved in recording and producing for others. My brand new release is called “Under The Circumstances”, and is a musical journey through the often unwieldy lives we lead. Influences are many, but the ones who set the bar high for me, then and now, include, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Van Morrison and Nick Lowe. If you’re a fan of thoughtful, melodic, roots based song writing I encourage you to have a listen. For the most part I perform as a solo acoustic act, and when all stars align I have a wonderful band called The Confessors who make me look good.” ~ Mark Ripp
Son Of Velvet Rat.....
Son Of The Velvet Rat celebrates the release of their 6th album, ”Dorado”, a golden treasure of desert inspired tracks produced by the critically acclaimed songwriter and producer, Joe Henry. The album debuted internationally on February 17th, 2017, with a dual release by Fluff & Gravy (CD + vinyl) and Mint 400 (digital distribution).
“’Dorado’ was recorded quickly over just a few days, and it had to be. The songs as deft pieces of writing had already been well considered, but their articulation needed to be urgent for the mystery at the heart of them to spark and fizz with real time revelation. Georg and Heike, the husband and wife duo from Austria who are lock and key to Son Of The Velvet Rat, both closing the circle of their shared intention, and springing it open, seem invariably to embody the purest constructs of americana. The voices you hear from this album hover like strobing waves rising from a ribbon of heated black road, and that is precisely how they entered my world, as an apparition both unmistakable and untouchable, other worldly, yet utterly familiar. I sometimes believe that as sprawling and confused as our national character has become, it requires a foreigner to actually make sense and whole cloth of its particular alchemy, to see it clearly, as if from the fire tower high above us.“ ~ Joe Henry, producer.
Alongside this latest album creation with Joe Henry, the band catalogue includes collaborations with other luminaries such as Lucinda Williams and former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer. Peter Jesperson, former producer and manager of The Replacements, put it aptly, “beautiful and somber music, their lyrics are pure poetry”.
After years of finding inspiration in the California desert, Son Of The Velvet Rat chose in 2013 to leave behind their impressive band history in Austria, with 5 albums to their credit, and make their home in Joshua Tree. This new endeavor finds the 2 commuting between the anonymous wasteland of Los Angeles and the fierce but fragile beauty of the high desert, reinventing their creative sphere in a completely different artistic environment. There’s a certain strangeness in their music and sound, with its origins woven deeply in the cultural heritage of the European folk noir and chanson traditions, and it certainly strikes a chord in all who know the grounding force of gravity and still like to dance on the tightrope.
With 2 fantastic singers and songwriters in Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, an underrated guitarist and songwriter in Gene Cornish, and the great Dino Danelli on drums, plus a pair of studio svengalis in engineer Tom Dowd and arranger Arif Mardin, to rival George Martin, The Rascals were the closest answer America had to The Beatles during the 60's. The resemblance wasn’t limited to the composition of their line-up and the profusion of hit releases, either, like the fab four, The Rascals were able to author chart topping singles, while simultaneously crafting albums that held together as artistic statements.
Witness the fact that The Rascals’ albums have seen numerous reissues by multiple labels, their singles, on the other hand, have eluded a comprehensive collection, in large part because the band had two phases to their career, one with the Atlantic label, the other on Columbia. Now, just over 50 years after they first hit the top of the charts with “Good Lovin’”, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first ever compilation to collect all of the band’s single sides in one place. At 47 songs strong, "The Complete Singles A’s & B’s" includes the A and B side of every single The Rascals ever cut, both their hit Atlantic tracks and, for the first time ever on CD, their later Columbia 7” releases.
Along the way you’ll hear such legendary songs as “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore”, “Good Lovin’”, “Groovin’”, “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long”, “A Girl Like You”, “How Can I Be Sure”, “A Beautiful Morning”, “People Got To Be Free”, “See” and many more. The earlier tracks in their original mono single mixes, the later songs in their stereo single mixes. Such a monumental release deserves annotation commensurate with its importance, and for this 2 CD set Ed Osborne has penned a 4500 word essay containing exclusive quotes from Cavaliere, Brigati, and Cornish, punctuated with rare European picture sleeve singles and photos. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, and featuring a total of 19 charting songs, "The Complete Singles A’s & B’s" takes its place as the definitive career spanning collection from America’s greatest blue eyed soul outfit. Real Gone Music, March 3rd, 2017.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have been gigging and recording together since February 2012, it’s been a very fertile and productive time, with ‘This Is The Life I Choose’ being the band’s 4th studio album, all of which are full of potent and diverse original songs. Add to this two live albums and it is obvious that the musical chemistry and drive of songwriters Zoe and Rob will not let the band stagnate for a moment. The individual CV’s of the 4 musicians is second to none on the British music scene. Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have made a name and reputation for consummate musicianship, stylish delivery, and a deep rooted, rich and diverse musical vocabulary.
Here at last is the anthology Jukes fans have been waiting for, the one that not only includes all 4 albums the group cut with Miami Steve Van Zandt, including the CD debut of the promo only LP "Jukes Live At The Bottom Line", but also finally, finally presents this seminal body of work in newly remastered form. Indeed, the Epic recordings of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, the crucial early sides that made their reputation, and featured a ton of Springsteen and E Street Band spillover, have long suffered from indifferent sound and packaging, as all reissues have been taken from the same digital masters made at the dawn of the CD era.
"The Fever : The Remastered Epic Recordings" changes all that, all 4 Epic albums including "I Don’t Want To Go Home", "Jukes Live At The Bottom Line", "This Time It’s For Real" and "Hearts Of Stone", plus the single version of “Havin’ A Party”, appear here in brand new, sparkling versions, remastered from the original master tapes by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios in New York. What’s more, the 2 CD, 40 track collection offers new liner notes by Chris Morris that feature fresh quotes from Southside Johnny himself, and Bruce Springsteen’s original liner notes for "I Don’t Want To Go Home". Speaking of Springsteen, his fingerprints are all over these projects, with such songs as “The Fever”, “Little Girl So Fine”, “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town”, “When You Dance”, “Talk To Me”, “Trapped Again” and “Hearts Of Stone”, all written or co-written by 'The Boss', while Van Zandt not only produced all 4 Epic albums, but wrote much of the repertoire. But the real star here, of course, is Southside Johnny himself, one of the great White r'n'b singers of this or any other time, backed by a crack band, including The Miami Horns, and with such special guests as Ronnie Spector, The Coasters, The Drifters and The Five Satins. Real Gone Music, March 3rd, 2017.
Anton Walgrave is a man who creates music. He sings and he plays, because this world needs singing and playing. Anton tells a story. A story that resulted in 8 albums so far, in a career that's over 16 years. No 2 albums the same, never the same process of making them. This brought Anton from the large record companies, to smaller labels, and to self released albums. ”Where Oceans Meet” is the newest result of this, and once again the proof of a restless willfulness.
Just as Walgrave is following his own path, he tries to get closer and closer to his audience. Literally so, the album was record live, in front of an audience. 2 recording sessions in 2 nights, in the breathtaking scenery of an 18th century chapel just outside of Brussels. Anton played the album in its entirety, with the help of a string quartet, guitars, vocals and electronics. With top class engineer Staf Verbeeck and in front of the cameras. More than ever connected to the people listening, because of the intimate music and the overwhelming setting.
The people present contributed to these nights in a more active way as well. They could choose to co-finance the recordings, for whatever amount they considered right. Others can just buy the album on the website, also for what they choose to pay. Same counts for the shows Anton plays. Touring together with his companion de route Jelle Van Den Bergh with just their folding bikes and trains, from living room to living room, every time being able to actually meet his audience. Not in the spotlights, but really between the people. DIY and peer-to-peer are the somewhat cold terms for this, but the reality is all the more warm. 'Sharing possibilities' is how Anton calls it, people share their living rooms, he shares his music, the audience shares the possibility for him to keep making that music. Because the concerts also work on the pay-what-you-want principle. Moreover, the whole financial background is available on the website, because Anton sees no reason not to be open about that. Small scale thinking, proximity, sustainability, affordability, trust, that's what it's all about to Walgrave. That is his path.
Just like the way of working, the album is about connection. About the love that ties every one of us together, even if many seem to have forgotten that. It's a connection that Anton tries to establish with his music and his concerts. Anton Walgrave has been on the road for more than 16 years. That's what he loves doing. And arriving, that's not what it's about.
Ed Sheeran has confirmed details of his hugely anticipated new album, "÷", set for release on March 3rd, 2017 through Asylum Atlantic Records. Ed’s 3rd studio album, is on course to become one of the most significant global album releases of 2017 and sees the 25 year old Suffolk native in his finest form yet. The genre defying LP is the result of an artist who consistently pushes himself in new directions, uncovering fresh musical ground using a seemingly limitless musical vocabulary. Drawing inspiration from a host of personal experiences and subjects, Ed takes you through a hugely personal journey, be that reflecting on past relationships, family memories, his musical career or his time off travelling the world in 2016. Musically "÷" is an array of beautifully orchestrated and emotive ballads, impassioned raps laid over hip hop beats, timeless acoustic guitar masterpieces and innovative, idiosyncratic pop music.
Husky Tones’ punk blues style favours the common rawness, simplicity and emotion shared between the punk and blues genres. Live it is delivered by the unique set up of a female drummer and singer Victoria Bourne and guitarist Chris Harper. Their approach to punk blues mirrors what they love as audience members, inventive, individual and fully aware of tradition, without being a slave to it.
African and punk drumming patterns as a basis, fuzz boxes, guitar through guitar and bass amp this is how the Husky Tones create their full sound. Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Time For A Change’ in 2015 they have been making new friends and fans performing around the UK and songs from the album have been played on national and international radio. They have built a reputation for intense live shows performing at places such as London’s 100 Club and Blues Kitchen, Brighton’s Latest Bar, The Fleece in Bristol and national UK festivals.
Rock, blues, punk and folk. These are the core elements of Husky Tones’ 'Who Will I Turn To Now?’. The album takes you on a journey with songs that scream and cry, lush vocals drifting on a sea of heavy guitar riffs, ’Who Will I Turn To Now?’ combines songs of protest, despair and love, tales of the benefits system, climate of cuts and the disintegration of capitalism. As well as reference to modern day politics, it has historical roots with a ballad, ’Island Of Barbed Wire’. The song is about Victoria’s great uncle who was interned on the Isle of Man as a German prisoner of war just for being a German living in the UK when war broke out. He was married to an English woman, and the song tells their story, an expression of powerlessness in the face of terrifyingly sad global events, which is as relevant today as it was during World War 1. Husky Tones are ready to protest and have an attitude that music is a force for change.
Artful Dodger was a band ahead of its time, casting hard edged hooks into a mid 70's pond that wasn’t quite ready to bite on the genre that came to be known as power pop. Had they come along a few years later, things might have been quite different for this outfit hailing from Fairfax, VA, for their 3 albums for the Columbia label hold up to this day as shining examples of the style.
Their first 2records, 1975’s "Artful Dodger" and 1976’s "Honor Among Thieves", combine Beatle-esque pop and driving rock in the finest Raspberries tradition, they feature refreshingly straightforward production from Jack Douglas and/or Eddie Leonetti and some really tremendous songwriting, especially on tracks like “Wayside” and “Scream”. And 1977’s "Babes On Broadway", while showing some signs of a group frustrated with its lack of commercial success, definitely has its moments, particularly on the song “Can’t Stop Pretending”. Unfortunately, without a stylistic pigeonhole to place them in, Columbia was unable to move any copies and dropped them, which explains why Artful Dodger has been so hard to find in the digital era, with CD's of their first 2 albums commanding huge sums online and the 3rd one never coming out at all.
Now, Real Gone Music is shining a long overdue spotlight on this seminal power pop band with a 2CD set that includes all 3 albums plus a couple of single versions, their complete recordings for the Columbia label, newly remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York. Jeremy Cargill’s notes feature fresh quotes from band members Steve Cooper and Steve Brigida, plus some rare photos from the Columbia vaults. Real Gone Music, March 3rd, 2017.
This ”Soul Reunion” album has Jon Strider coming full circle in his musical, and personal, life. Indeed, it is a departure from his ’rhythm’n’folk’ and ’retro rockin' country’ recordings released between 1990 and 2015.
Growing up in Berkeley, CA, in the 1960's, Jon was exposed to many styles of music, but was particularly taken by r’n’b, soul music and blues. He thought it was high time that he made a recording that celebrated this music, and tapped his more soulful side. 4 years in the making, Jon sincerely hopes you'll enjoy this fantastic album.
Unlike many of Strider's albums, ”Soul Reunion” is keyboarda and vocals driven, rather than guitar driven. This gives the record a beautifully warm, yet still powerful and soulful. sonic texture. Jon's eloquent piano playing swims beautifully with Skip Edward's compositional hammond b3 performances. Based in L.A., Skip has played on thousands of top drawer records, among them albums by Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, kd lang and Ike Turner.
The project's other stand-out is Mariam Ucharu. To imagine this recording without her background vocal contribution is simply unimaginable. It also must be noted, that Jon is singing, producing and arranging, better than ever. All these factors, along with top drawer musicians, and Emil Isaksson's engineering prowess, assure that the goods are delivered, no doubt about it. And, Indiana and Nashville based mastering whiz, Paul Mahern, makes absolutely sure that the promise of ”Soul Reunion” is fully realized.
Orbison & Friends.....
Roy Orbison’s 1987 comeback concert at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, featuring guests such as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt, and originally released as a black and white TV special, a home video and an album, has been re-edited and re-mastered, and will be released as CD/DVD and CD/BluRay sets for its 30th anniversary, with lots of previously unreleased footage. According to a press release, the film should not be considered a reissue.
“Because the concert had been shot using seven separate cameras, there were hundreds of hours of footage that went unused and unseen”, the press release states. “Roy’s youngest son Alex Orbison and his co-editor Luke Chalk have gone back and re-edited the entire performance so that, while the look will be familiar to those that have seen the original version, the vast majority of footage in ‘Black & White Night 30’ has never been seen before by the public”.
The DVD and BluRay will include alternate versions of 6 songs, plus a 33 minute mini documentary. According to the press release, the mini documentary consists of rehearsal footage and pre and post show interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, kd lang, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne from that night. Absolutely none of this content has ever been released commercially, and until recently, has only been rumored to exist”.
The CD/DVD and CD/BluRay sets will be released on February 24th, 2017, and PBS will air the re-edited film in March.
In addition to Springsteen, Costello, lang, Raitt and Browne, other guests include Tom Waits, Jennifer Warnes and JD Souther. The core band for the show is former Elvis Presley sidemen James Burton (guitar), Glen D Hardin (piano), Jerry Scheff (bass) and Ron Tutt (drums).
Gilmour & Unicorn.....
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered edition of “Blue Pine Trees”, the 1974 album by Unicorn. Featuring a line-up of Ken Baker (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Pete Perryer (drums, vocals), Pat Martin (bass, vocals) and Kevin Smith (lead guitar, mandolin), “Blue Pine Trees” was released on the Charisma label in 1974, the album was Unicorn’s 2nd LP and was produced by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who also featured on pedal steel and guitar on several tracks. This new remastered edition of “Blue Pine Trees” features 6 bonus tracks, ‘Volcano’ (an out-take from the “Blue Pine Trees” sessions), ‘The Ballad Of John & Julie’ (recorded for a BBC Radio session), ‘Bog Trotter’, ‘Ooh Mother’ (both sides of a 1974 single), along with ‘I’ll Believe In You (The Hymn)’ and ‘Take it Easy’ (issued as a single in 1975). The booklet features a new essay featuring an interview with Pat Martin and fully restores the original Hipgnosis album artwork. February 24th, 2017.
Jardier is a 5 piece band that play a contemporary amalgam of pop, rock, folk and blues, knit together with great production and emotional and soulful vocal performances. The band started out in 2014 as a solo project of the band’s frontman and author Alex, who gradually formed a band of experienced musicians, who in their own right shape clever, modern arrangements around his songs.
Their self titled debut album was produced by Zmago Smon aka Zed, who in the past produced and worked with artists such as Exploited, Andreas Johnson, Kent, Millionaire and others.
So far, Jardier have landed quite a few gigs locally and wider, including several relatively high profile festivals, such as Europavox (FR), Waves Vienna (AT), INmusic Festival (CRO), Budapestshowcasehub (HU), the 2015 Slovene edition of the Finnish Flow Festival, and, among others, supported artists such as Biffy Clyro and The KVB.
Toronto roots rock mainstays the Sadies followed up 2013's "Internal Sounds" with their Gord Downie and the Conquering Sun collaborative album in 2014, and now they're ready to return to their usual lineup for a new album. "Northern Passages" is set to be released today, February 17th, 2017, through the band's new label home of Dine Alone Records.
It marks the 10th studio album from the unit, which has been composed of singer and guitarist brothers Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky for more than 20 years now. The latest batch of songs was recorded in the basement of the Good brothers' parents in north Toronto last winter, and a press release describes the resulting record as a wild acid folk country punk trip.
The first sampling of the new material arrives with the single, "Riverview Fog". It started out as a letter written to the band's friend and fellow Canadian musician Rick White. The former Eric's Trip member has worked as a producer for the band in the past, and the twangy new tune hears the Sadies voicing their desire to reconnect soon.
Legendary Dutch rockers Golden Earring see their long career celebrated with a 29 CD "Complete Studio Albums" box set. All 26 studio albums are included in this box, from their 1965 debut "Just Earrings" to 2015’s "The Hague". 3 bonus CDs with non album tracks, such as 'That Day', 'Sound Of The Screaming Day', 'So You Want To Be A Rock’n’Roll Star' and 'L.A. Woman', complete the collection. The band have always been enormous in Holland, but flirted with international success in the early 70's thanks to the popularity of their 1973 single 'Radar Love', from the "Moontan" album, which was a sizeable hit in the UK and the US. It’s not clear, at this stage, if all or any of this content is remastered, but this set brings together a total of 307 tracks and the booklet will feature sleeve notes by music journalist Tjerk Lammers. "Complete Studio Albums" is released tomorrow, February 17th, 2017.
Australian artist Steve McNaughton has earned high praise as one of Sydney’s best contemporary songwriters whilst achieving independent chart success and overseas airplay. His music varies from solid radio friendly hooks, to passionate, upfront and personal material. He has been writing songs for over 20 years and performing with different artists and bands around Sydney for nearly as many.
Steve launched his 1st album ‘Hardly Softly Rock’ in 1999, and as the name suggests it was an album with an impressive blend of solid rock and sweeter US westcoast rock. Several of the singles on the album, particularly ‘Hold Me Tonight’ and ‘Stalingrad Still Stands’ gained both massive local and overseas radio airplay and spent many weeks in the top 10 of the Ison Live Radio Top 50 chart. With 2 duets on the album, one featuring legendary Aussie rocker John Swan, and the other blues vocalist Jenny Lang, the album quickly sold out the original CD run.
In 2007 Steve released his 2nd album ‘Storm Chaser’ full of songs with solid radio friendly hooks and some definite groove and attitude. The opening title track ‘Storm Chaser’, was inspired by Scott Currens, and other American storm chasers. It is a high energy rock song that fully captures the fury of nature when the plains turn violent across the United States’ mid-west.
Skope TV and radio magazine has been full of praise for this album and provide the following glowing tribute, “Steve McNaughton’s ‘Storm Chaser’ is an earth moving experience. If you turn on the CD and close your eyes you could almost mistake his vocals for the legendary Elvis Costello. There seems to be a clear influence from that era. The CD is full of up tempo contagious tunes. The instrumentation is a good companion to solid, well written lyrics and the production takes some interesting turns, with killer background vocals that really drive a couple of the songs”.
Now we have his latest album ‘Eagles Aloft’, his best album by far. With this album, Steve has taken a huge leap into the contemporary country scene using US westcoast artists, some americana and Nashville influences, for inspiration. The result is a slick album of crossover country and soft rock, earning rave reviews from highly credible sources. Donna Wilson from the Nashville Examiner not only gave the album a 5 gold star rating, but states “ this is one album you absolutely must have in your collection”.
Douglas Garnett from Skope Magazine and Radio, heaps praise on the album and is full of superlatives with these quotations, on some of the stand out tracks, “’Cross Country’ is the first track from the new album by Steve McNaughton, titled ‘Eagles Aloft’. Bluegrass is the first thing that comes to mind, americana with roots in country. The players are top notch and the production is perfect for jukeboxes in pubs all across the beltway. ‘One More Shot’ steps things up a notch, with an upbeat driving guitar and some gypsy like fiddling. ‘Floating’ has a Tom Petty type of feeling to it. This song is a story driven track with a soulful organ guiding the vocals. Even Steve’s voice sounds like mr Petty at times throughout the song. The vocal harmonies are great and the guitar solo shows a lot of restraint. My stand out track on the album is ‘When You’ve Got It Good’ sounding like a cross between Eagles and Heartbreakers. Americana is the best way to describe it. Pop for the golden age of radio”.
A little over 3 years ago, Sheryl Crow took her career in a radically different direction with the release of her debut country album, "Feels Like Home". Despite a relentless touring schedule and promotional campaign, the album didn't make much of an impression with country fans and no single placed higher than # 72 on the Hot 100.
"It was still a great experience and I learned a lot", says Crow. "But I gotta say that the country market is commerce at its most fully realized. Right now, I want to have an experience that feels detached from anything in commerce".
That was her mindset when she recorded her upcoming pop record "Be Myself", which was cut with her 90's collaborators Jeff Trott and Tchad Blake, the team responsible for hits like "My Favorite Mistake" and "Everyday Is A Winding Road". The album is slated for release in late March or early April.
"I really wanted to get back to how I got started on my 2nd record and 3rd record", Crow says. "I wanted to revisit that sound and that feeling. It was a complete blast and the most effortless thing I've ever done".
Crow has worked consistently with songwriter and producer Trott during the past 2 decades and they remain close, but reuniting with Blake was another story.
"It began with Jeff and I saying, 'What would complete this'?", she says. "We both said, 'Tchad Blake'! I thought in a million years he wouldn't come over because he lives in Wales and I haven't seen him in 15 years. But I emailed him and he said, 'When do you want me there'? He flew over and stayed with me in an apartment over my garage. Every day at 5PM we'd drink a Guinness. He went through cancer treatment a year ago, and so we both had that in common. It felt profoundly sweet having him and Jeff here".
Once the trio that created 1996's "Sheryl Crow" and 1998's "The Globe Sessions" had reassembled, new songs began coming quickly. Over a period of just 3 weeks in September and October, they had created 17 compositions. More than anything, Crow wanted to make sure she wasn't overthinking the work.
"As you get older you start making records that are more calculated and you're trying to compete with what you've done and not repeat yourself", she says. "You get more methodical and more analytical about the music and that doesn't necessarily make it better. I wanted to have the feeling I had when I made my first 2 records, which was like being a kid playing with my friends and writing about whatever came to mind".
The album was finished before Donald Trump won the presidential election, but the chaos that overtook the world in 2016 is still heavily reflected in the lyrics. "Fear is definitely present in the songs", Crow says. "I think the election really incited a feeling of us against them, and a feeling of trying to get back to reason, so thematically there's a lot of that on the record. Also, technology, for better or worse, is a theme. I really think that so much vitriol in our dialogue is partially due to the fact that people communicate over technology without having a sense of empathy".
1 track Crow is excited to share with her fans is "Heartbeat Away". "I wrote it before that was any discussion of Russia", she says. "But it's about espionage and a guy who is burying his money off the coast of the Cayman Islands and Russia is hacking. Cut to the election and it became really foreboding, very eerie. It ends with a guy with a red face getting on a private jet and flying off into space. I almost changed it to an orange face, but I decided to just keep it red".
Another song, "Halfway There", reflects on divisions in America and is a contender for the 1st single, which may come out shortly after Trump's inauguration. "I am a liberal, which I think most people know", Crow says. "And I've seen Nashville change a lot in the past 10 years that I've been here. The idea of the song is that even though you may drive a big Chevy truck and I drive my hybrid, or you may wear designer clothes and I wear ripped jeans, that doesn't mean we don't want the same things in life and the same things for our kids in the future. The message is we need to agree to disagree and just try and meet halfway there".
Returning to her 90's roots may come off to many as a complete rejection of her short lived country period, but Crow doesn't see it that way. "It's not a rejection at all", she says. "It's just that a fair portion of my songs where inspired by the Rolling Stones during their "Let It Bleed" and "Exile" periods when they were doing their version of country, and the Flying Burrito Brothers and people that rocked. That doesn't get played at country radio, so I don't know why I would ever get played at country radio. I'm not shunning country music. I'm just not part of that format".
Even if she were part of the format, the country radio promotion game isn't something she enjoyed. "It was more political than I expected", she says. "You do lots of free playing for radio stations in trade for getting played between 3 and 4 in the morning. And that's just not how other formats work, and that goes against my grain. I'm too old to allow that for myself and to spend any night away from my kid for that is not justified".
Crow plans to promote "Be Myself" with a huge tour. At one point there was talk about doing an 'Outlaws' tour with Neil Young and Willie Nelson, but she's not sure if that is still happening. "They're still putting it together", she says. "They've asked us to do it, and I'd be fully on board. Then we'll do a bunch of our own dates".
In the meantime, she's also working on an all star record with Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson and many others. Several of the songs are new, though she's duetting with Keith Richards on the 1994 Rolling Stones tune "The Worst", and Johnny Cash's estate has allowed her to cut a virtual duet with the 'Man In Black' on "Redemption Day", a songs of hers he covered toward the end of his life. She hopes to get the album into stores near the end of the year.
In the meantime, "Be Myself" seems poised to reconnect with old school Sheryl Crow fans, but she says that isn't the goal. "I don't know who I'm gonna connect with", she says. "I don't know how it gets played at Spotify or other subscription services. I don't look at it and think I'm gonna make a ton of money and I'm gonna have big hits cause I know that's not how it works anymore. But I would love for people to hear it, and I would love for them to enjoy it and have the experience that I used to have when I'd hear a song and go, 'Oh, my gosh, I totally get it'".
Nile Rodgers & Chic.....
Nile Rodgers was deep into the production of "It's About Time", the first Chic album in 2 decades, when he learned that Prince died. "We were really buddies", says Rodgers, adding with a laugh, "as buddy as you can be with Prince". After a string of personal losses since late 2015, Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner and Lemmy, the news hit Rodgers particularly hard. He delayed the Chic LP, writing in a new blog post that it befit a more festive milieu, and a 40th anniversary in 2017 was the perfect occasion.
"If we had put out the album last year, it would have been the 39th anniversary of Chic", Rodgers says. "No one gives a shit about 39 or 37 or 38. And I went, 'Wait a minute. 2017 is the 40th anniversary of Chic'. And then it hit me it was the 40th anniversary of Studio 54. No matter what bad stuff goes on in the world, it's just like your birthday, you still can celebrate and pay tribute to these anniversaries. The fact that it's 40 years later and we're still going strong. Our gigs are fun and great. It still feels the same as when we first started, other than the fact that my guitar feels heavier", Rodgers laughs.
Although all the songs for the album are written, Rodgers decided to hold off on finishing them until he's ready to release it. "I purposely didn't finish stuff off because there are a lot of artists who wanted to do features with us that we just didn't get to". He says the album will contain a joyful vibe, but with deeper lyrics. "We write happy songs and it's nice to tell people that we're happy, even if there's double entendre going on to reflect the times that we're living in", he says. "So on the surface, it's joyous. Underneath, when you listen to the lyrics, you may go, 'Oh, that's what they're really saying'".
The Chic album, which will be accompanied by what Rodgers' blog post calls a "big surprise", though he is staying mum about ("It's pretty big", he says assuringly), will contain 10 songs. Rodgers intended to keep it vinyl length and continue what he calls the 'old school' tradition of making the single the longest track on the LP, as he did on "Le Freak", "Good Times" and "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)", as well as David Bowie's "Let's Dance", which Rodgers produced. "Every song is cut long, because we like to jam", he says. "When I'm editing, I purposely say, 'OK, this song is the one. This has got the bop. That's the long song'".
Playing long, dance oriented songs live is another piece of Rodgers' 2017 plan. He wants his concerts to evoke the non stop party feeling of Studio 54, the legendary nightclub that originally gave Chic a platform. "Studio 54 made a little band from New York internationally relevant", he says. "Before we were even a part of the Studio 54 inner circle, our music was blasting there every single night". His prime goal is to make the concerts 'big dance parties' that are fun, romantic and even a little nostalgic.
The Doors 1st Album.....
Packaged in a 12x12 hardcover book, "The Doors 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" includes a remastered version of the album's original stereo mix, available on CD for the 1st time in a decade and remastered for the 1st time in nearly 30 years. The album's original mono mix was also remastered for this set and is making its CD debut. An LP version of the mono mix is also included. The 3rd disc features live performance from The Matrix in San Francisco on March 7th, 1967, recordings heard on this deluxe edition were sourced from the recently discovered, original tapes, previously thought to be lost. Music journalist David Fricke provides detailed liner notes for the set, which includes a selection of rare and previously unseen photographs. Elektra Records, March 31st, 2017.
An award winning artist, for her singing, songwriting and instrumental work, Eileen Kozloff is a multi-instrumentalist who has been actively involved in the autoharp world for nearly a quarter of a century. She is best known for her unique pick-less style of diatonic autoharp and for her soaring vocals, stunning harmonies and commanding performances. Her ability to compose, play and sing in a wide range of genres has made her a versatile festival performer and workshop teacher.
In addition to performing at festivals, concerts and dance venues, Eileen has appeared live on numerous radio and television broadcasts, and for several years she was a rostered artist with the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Artist In Residence program. In the winter of 2012, Eileen performed and taught workshops at 2 Australian Folk Festivals, Cygnet, in Tasmania, and Illawara, in Wollongong. A return tour of Australia is now planned for 2017.
Her extensive repertoire is a rich mix of old time chestnuts, Carter Family songs and her original compositions, which stylistically run the gamut from country, blues and folk, to jazz and even rock’n’roll. The Old Time Herald calls her approach “emotive, clear and controlled, reminiscent of the best of the revivialists, such as Joan Baez or Anne Hills”, and her performances “heartfelt, with ravishing, wide ranging vocals".
Eileen's recordings have garnered stellar reviews and her discography includes 2 critically acclaimed CD’s with her former band, Well Tempered String Band, as well as 3 solo efforts, "Solitary Rider", "Hearts & Souls Entwined", and her forthcoming 3rd solo CD “Just Words”, which is scheduled for release in early 2017.
Paul McCartney will reissue his 1989 album, "Flowers In The Dirt", with a slew of rare demos with Elvis Costello and never before seen video footage, March 24th, 2017, via MPL/Capitol/UMG. The release will be the 10th installment in McCartney's archive collection, available in 3 different formats, A 3CD/1DVD set, a 2CD set and a double vinyl LP.
All 3 editions will include a remastered version of the album and a set of McCartney and Costello's original and previously unreleased demos. Those include early versions of the 4 songs Costello contributed to "Flowers In The Dirt" ("My Brave Face", "You Want Her Too", "Don't Be Careless Love" and "That Day Is Done"), plus "The Lovers That Never Were", which ended up on McCartney's follow-up "Off The Ground", and "Playboy To A Man" and "So Like Candy," which appeared on Costello's 1991 LP "Mighty Like A Rose". The other 2 demos, "Twenty Fine Fingers" and "Tommy's Coming Home", have been bootlegged, but never officially released.
The 3CD/1DVD set of "Flowers In The Dirt" will also come with an extra set of demos from 1988, as well as a download that includes b-sides, song remixes, single edits and 3 unheard cassette demos, "Don't Want To Confess", "Shallow Grave" and "Mistress & Maid". The DVD will include 3 new short films, featuring never Before seen footage from the writing and recording sessions, plus music videos and the documentary, "Put It There", originally released on VHS in 1989.
Capping off the 4 disc deluxe edition will be 3 books. A 32 page notebook that collects McCartney's handwritten lyrics and notes, plus a catalog of Linda McCartney's "Flowers In The Dirt" photo exhibit, a 64 page book featuring stills from the music video for "The One", and a 112 page book that delves into the making of "Flowers In The Dirt" with interviews from McCartney, Costello and other contributors.
"Semper Femina" is Laura Marling’s 6th album, an intimate, devoted exploration of femininity and female relationships, and among her finest work to date. Written largely on the tour that followed 2015’s "Short Movie" and recorded in Los Angeles with production from Blake Mills, it is at once a distinctive and musically compelling collection of songs, run through with Marling’s fierce intelligence, a keen, beautiful and unparalleled take on womanhood. Also available as a limited deluxe 2LP edition including bonus material, live tracks and a digital download card.
Clapton & Cale.....
Nearly 10 years to the day that Eric Clapton held an all star gig at San Diego's iPayOne Center, a concert that was immortalized as a live album last year, the guitarist will release the DVD and BluRay of the March 15th, 1997 performance this spring. "Live In San Diego With Special Guest JJ Cale" features Clapton performing alongside Cale on 5 tracks, including Clapton's Cale-penned hits "After Midnight" and "Cocaine", and Robert Cray on "Crossroads". Clapton's band at the time also featured guitarists Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II. Clapton and Cale's San Diego performance came less than a year after the 2 artists collaborated on 2006's "Road To Escondido". "This is the realization of what may have been my last ambition, to work with the man whose music has inspired me for as long as I can remember", Clapton said of Cale at the time. "Live In San Diego With Special Guest JJ Cale" will arrive March 10th, 2017. In addition to the concert, the DVD and BluRay includes bonus footage of Clapton and Cale rehearsing "Anyway The Wind Blows" and "Who Am I Telling You?".
Surrender Hill is a duo out of Sedona, Arizona. The duo started performing together in 2014 and is made up of South African, Sony recording artist Robin Dean Salmon and singer songwriter, Afton Seekins, who was born in Alaska and raised in Arizona.
Surrender Hill has just completed their 2nd album. The album, “Right Here Right Now”, was recorded at Eastwood Studios in Nashville, TN. The album features a fantastic lineup of musicians including Paul Griffith on drums, Eric Fritsch on bass and Mike Daly on pedal steel.
Surrender Hill's debut was released in April of 2015 and the duo has toured internationally since. The debut album was recorded in Sedona, AZ, with additional recording, mixing and mastering done in Nashville, TN. All of the songs on both albums were penned by Seekins and Salmon.
Surrender Hill's sound is acoustic guitar and vocal driven with lasting hooks and melodies. A comfortable blend of americana, country and roots rock.
Although this will be Surrender Hill's 2nd release, it will be Robin Dean Salmon's 12th album release. Salmon has spent his life working as a performing songwriter, musician and producer. He has 2 album releases with Epic/Sony and 8 albums released on various indie labels. Salmon has been nominated for 2 New York Music Awards and has performed throughout the United States, Europe and South Africa. Robin's touring and recording career has been extensive and he has worked with a very diverse group of artists, such as Rodney Crowell and Cyndi Lauper to Modern English, Al Perkins and Kenny Vaughn.
Afton Seekins is no stranger to the stage. In addition to being a performing singer songwriter, Seekins spent 8 years in New York City working as a professional dancer and choreographer. Her work has been featured on networks such as MTV, VH1 and NBC.
"The String Quartets" is an album of classic Jethro Tull repertoire, imaginatively arranged for classical string quartet with the flute, guitar and vocals of songwriter and producer Ian Anderson, and John O’Hara. "The String Quartets" is a new album by Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson and the Carducci Quartet, featuring the classic songs of Jethro Tull, arranged and orchestrated by John O’Hara. Ian plays flute on most of the tracks and even sings a few lines here and there to provide his trademark sounds in the context of classical music traditions. "Living In The Past", "Aqualung", "Locomotive Breath" and "Bungle In The Jungle" are amongst the album track listing, but appear, along with their fellow musical travelers, under more cryptic titles to differentiate them from the original recordings and arrangements. Recorded in the crypt of Worcester Cathedral, UK, and in St Kenelm’s Church, Sapperton, Gloucestershire, UK, Ian says that this album is “perfect for lazy, long sunny afternoons, crisp winter nights, weddings and funerals”. He forgot to add, perfect also after a night of wild, abandoned sex or to celebrate the win of your favourite football team. Essentially, anytime music for sophisticated lovers of classic rock too afraid to wear their Jethro Tull t-shirt at the village barbecue.
Guy Clark, channeler of the human condition, plainspoken poet, master luthier, seasoned painter and damn fine guitar player, was above all a man. Probably the closest thing to Hemingway, Nashville, or the Lone Star State, would ever see, lean prose, gut strings ringing and a hard won dignity that embraced tenderness as the ultimate manifest of toughness. By the time he arrived at Dualtone, he was already a legend for his exacting song craft that elixired truth tempered with compassion, grounded by vivid detail. "Workbench Songs", "Somedays The Song Writes You", "Songs & Stories" and "My Favorite Picture Of You" measured the life, the heart, the humanity that defined Clark's writing, especially having fully lived well into his 7th decade. We are is pleased to announce the release of "Guy Clark: The Best Of The Dualtone Years", a celebration of Guy's albums recorded under the Dualtone moniker. March 3rd, 2017.
01. All The Purchaser's Option
02. The Angels Laid Him Away
04. Birmingham Sunday
05. Better Get It Right The First Time
06. We Could Fly
07. Hey Bebe
08. Come Love Come
09. The Love We Almost Had
10. Baby Boy
11. Following The North Star
12. Freedom Highway
"Freedeom Highway", Nonesuch Records, February 24th, 2017.
Singer songwriter Michael Lanning began performing in theatre at the age of 9. With an extensive background and training in music and theatre, Michael has been a featured performer in many theatre companies including San Bernardino Civic Light Opera and the legendary Summer Stock, Junior University. Michael has recorded and/or toured with such musical greats as Donovan, Fleetwood Mac, Rockpile, Larry Gatlin, Frank Wildhorn, Mike Post and George Harrison. Michael's band, Jiva, was the first American band signed to the Harrison label, Dark Horse Records, with George serving as their executive producer.
Michael's distinctive, yet versatile, style made him a top session vocalist for national television and radio commercials for over a decade. As an actor and a singer, his credits include Steven Bochco's "Coprock", ”Wayne's World”, "ER", "Thunder In Paradise" and "Baywatch".
A songwiter and a music publisher, Lanning's songs have been recorded by producer and guitar legend Dave Edmunds, The Stray Cats, French recording star Slyvie Vartan and many others. As a musician, Michael has mastered guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, drums and percussion, And, is a hunt and peck pianist. Sorry, mom…..
Michael starred in both the Tony nominated Broadway and national tour productions of composer Frank Wildhorn's "The Civil War". He played Dozer in the world premiere musical "Mask" at The Pasadena Playhouse, based on the motion picture, starring Cher. He was featured as ’The Preacher’ in the world premiere musical "Bonnie & Clyde" at The La Jolla Playhouse in the winter of 2009 and at The Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, in the winter of 2010, and on Broadway at The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 2011. He was also a featured vocalist for 6 years with The Trans Siberian Orchestra and was introduced as "the most soulful white man on the planet".
Celebrated filmmaker Jim Jarmusch says "Gimme Danger", his critically acclaimed documentary about The Stooges, is more an essay than a document. “It’s our love letter to possibly the greatest band in rock’n’roll history”. Named an official selection to the New York, Toronto and Cannes film festivals, "Gimme Danger" presents the band’s story and explores its influences and impact, complete with some never Before seen footage and photographs.
Emerging from Ann Arbor, Michigan, amidst a countercultural revolution, The Stooges’ powerful and aggressive style of rock'n'roll blew a crater in the musical landscape of the late 60's. Jarmusch says, “no other band in rock’n’roll history has rivaled The Stooges’ combination of heavy primal throb, spiked psychedelia, blues a billy grind. There is no precedent for The Stooges, while those inspired by them are now legion”.
Rhino Records offers the perfect complement to the film with "Gimme Danger : Music From The Morion Picture". The digital and CD versions include 14 songs that focus on the group’s 1st 3 studio albums, "The Stooges", "Fun House", and "Raw Power", and feature band members Iggy Pop, Ron and Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander, and James Williamson. Slightly truncated, the LP version features Stooges songs and has a selection of tracks previously only available on CD and digital formats, including the vinyl debut of the outtake “Lost In The Future”.
Both Jarmusch and Pop helped select songs for the soundtrack, which mixes indelible studio recordings, "I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “1969” and “Loose”, with rare studio outtakes, “I Got A Right”, “I'm Sick Of You” and “Asthma Attack”. Fellow Detroit natives MC5 make an appearance on the Collection, as well, with “Ramblin’ Rose” from the group’s 1969 debut, "Kick Out The Jams". The oldest songs on the collection pre date The Stooges and spotlight Pop with his previous bands, the Iguanas, “Again And Again” and Prime Movers Blues Band “I’m A Man”.
Rhino Records, February 24th, 2017.
Brandi & Old 97's.....
”I’m good with God, I wonder how she feels about me?”. So ends the chorus of the Old 97’s’ “Good With God”, the lead single from the band’s 11th album, "Graveyard Whistling". Due February 24th, 2017, the album offers up another boozy blast of Texas twang, train beat percussion and guitar grit from Rhett Miller and company, who recorded its 11 songs in the same border town studio that spawned the group’s major label debut, "Too Far To Care", 2 decades earlier.
With their original four piece lineup still intact, the Old 97’s’ welcome a new face into the fold with “Good With God,” whose titular omniscient character is played by Brandi Carlile. The 2 trade vocal duties throughout, with Carlile’s voice bathed in plenty of godly reverb.
The result is an ominous, off kilter duet between Miller and his maker, driven forward at highway speed by bandmates Philip Peeples, Murry Hammond and Ken Bethea. Produced by Vance Powell, "Graveyard Whistling" also features help from co-writers like Nicole Atkins and Butch Walker, making it one of the most collaborative albums in the band’s catalog. Some habits never die, though, and the band will be supporting the album’s release, as they’ve supported every record before it, with a lengthy spring tour that stretches from the Florida coastline to Southern California.
Son Of Velvet Rat.....
The upcoming release from Austrian duo, Son Of The Velvet Rat, "Dorado", rides through the dusty California desert with haunting folk noir melodies. The album was produced by Joe Henry and Ryan Freeland, at Stampede Original Studio in Culver City, CA. It is due out on February 17th, 2017, on Fluff & Gravy/Mint 400. Husband and wife duo Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder capture the sweltering heat and arid wind of the sandy landscape they now call home. Adding a layer of backing vocals from Victoria Williams, the album becomes an almost danceable counterpoint to the somber nature of the lyrics. Altziebler’s distinctively deep smoky voice carries the melodies on its journey, as the falling sweat seems to evaporate before ever hitting the cracking dirt.
On her new release “Baby, We All Know”, Miss Tess continues to explore her own personal crossroads of American roots music. This full length release features 11 finely crafted and well sung original songs. Heightened by Tess’ prowess on her Weymann archtop guitar, she is accompanied by her top notch band, The Talkbacks, featuring guitar ace and co-conspirator Thomas Bryan Eaton. The songs were further enlivened with piano, organ, pedal steel and fiddle in the studio.
Tess says “I consider this my best yet collection of original music. In writing these tunes I stepped out of myself and into many different characters, based on real life and my imagination, and pulled sounds and stories from my musical fantasyland. Baby, we all know their secrets and on goings, in a world of mischief and troubled fun”. These songs were penned at Tess’s yearly writing retreat in New Hampshire, and at her home in Nashville. Yet time and place don’t bear much relevance here, the subjects she speaks through live in the streets of New Orleans, in the backwoods hollers of Tennessee, on a train heading to Mexico, and under the sheets.
Tess got her musical start at home in Maryland, her childhood nights ending in music. Her parents would sing her to sleep with the gentle, tender sounds of American folk songs, occasionally interrupted by their 30’s swing band rehearsing in the basement. Tess studied pianomas a child, and continued on as a teenager to take up the guitar and singing, and eventually began her own studies in early jazz and blues. All grown up, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks regularly steal the show at venues with something a little rowdier and more eclectic. Infused with classic country and honky tonk, southern rhythm and blues, New Orleans jazz and swing, and sounds of swamp pop and early rock ‘n’ roll, she is an embodiment of everything that it still homegrown in America.
Miss Tess has been releasing albums and leading a band for over a decade, spanning her career over many different cities, including Baltimore, Boston, New York, and her new home base of Nashville, TN. Straddling her move from New York to Nashville, the new album was recorded in both cities. The recording cast includes her steady band mate and co-producer, Thomas Bryan Eaton, producer Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Tift Merritt), Robin Macmillan, Jake Silver, Roy Williams, Stefan Zeniuk, Eric Frey, Dominic Billet, Kai Welch, John Pahmer, Aaron Shaffer Haiss, Oliver Craven, Maya De Vitry and Caitlin Canty.
A follow up to 2012’s “Sweet Talk” and 2013’s “The Love I Have For You”, both released on Signature Sounds Recordings, “Baby, We All Know” will be released independently. As she expands and grows more into her own sound, Tess is still hard to categorize. She says “Many times after the show, somebody will come up to compliment the band and ask me what kind of music we just played. After mumbling through a few different genres I usually just tell them it’s my music and hope they enjoyed the show”.
Enjoyable is just what “Baby, We All Know” is, propelled by the classic quality of Tess’s vocals, compelling and totally believable. The production throughout is the right balance of punch and rhythm, without getting in the way of the vocals or songwriting, giving this collection of songs a plentiful dose of old school swagger. Time after time, Miss Tess is able to utilize sounds and styles from a past era combined with modern sensibilities to present an authentic and engaging presence.
Ryan Adams has announced a new album, "Prisoner", out February 17th, 2017, via Pax Am/Blue Note Records. In a recent interview, Adams spoke about the inspiration for the album, "I started writing this record while I was going through a very public divorce, which is a humiliating and just a fucking horrible thing to go through no matter who you are. To be me and to go through that the way that I did was destructive on a level that I can’t explain. So a lot of extra work went into keeping my chin up and remembering what I did and what I loved about who I was". "Prisoner" is the follow-up to "1989", Adams’ song for song remake of Taylor Swift’s album of the same name, and a project that he does not look back fondly upon. It marks Adams’ first full length collection of new music since 2014’s "Ryan Adams".
The new album from Alison Krauss, ”Windy City”, will be released February 17th, 2017. Produced by Buddy Cannon. Mixed by Gary Paczosa. Recorded by Neal Cappellino, Tony Castle, TW Cargile. Orchestra arrangements by Kristin Wilkinson. Featuring Buddy Cannon, Melonie Cannon, Sidney Cox, Suzanne Cox, Teddy Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Dan Tyminski, Hank Williams Jr, Barry Bales, Richard Bennett, Ron Block, Chad Cromwell, Scott Ducai, John Hobbs, Jim Horn, Mike Johnson, Kenny Malone, Brent Mason, Joe Murphy, Matt Rollings, Charles Rose, Jeff Taylor, Bobby Terry and Tommy White.
Lynn Anderson is one of the top 10 charting female country singers of all time, the first to win an 'American Music Award', the first to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden, and was a regular on TV, starring on broadcasts ranging from The Lawrence Welk Show to The Tonight Show to Starsky & Hutch.
Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present a collection that finally does justice to the superstar career of Lynn Anderson, 40 tracks, 38 hits, her classic chart and Columbia sides, lovingly remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios and annotated by Joe Marchese.
"The Definitive Collection" starts with her first hit, “Ride, Ride, Ride”, and continues with every other notable song, including “Rose Garden”, “You’re My Man”, “How Can I Unlove You”, “What A Man, My Man Is”, “Keep Me In Mind”, “Mother, May I”, “That’s A No No”, “Cry”, “Listen To A Country Song”, “Fool Me” and many more hits, both major and minor. Great, great 70's country from an often overlooked artist. Real Gone Music, February 3rd, 2017.
Lorin Hart has been writing songs about basic issues of love and trouble for most of the time since she left the snowy pastures of Northwestern University and dove into the whirlpools of Haight Ashbury, Woodstock, Cambridge, Greenwich Village, Coconut Grove and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
After years of partnering with her guitar slinger husband, and running around briefly with the likes of Tim Buckley, Leonard Cohen, Phil Oaks, Country Joe Macdonald and Lucinda Williams, they split up and she kept half the debt, her guitar and the kids. She recorded her 1st solo CD ”Breathe” with Hal Blaine and Don Randy of the famed Wrecking Crew some years back, which brought her air play around the country, as she continued writing while finishing raising up her spectacular children. She has now released her 2nd album ”Love Come Back”, featuring Jim Keltner, and looking forward to many more years of finding ways to tell her story in song.
The famed Paul Zollo would have her tell you she is also the grandaughter of renown early silver screen stars, John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy.
Having filled a major gap in the late, great Lesley Gore’s discography with its release of her Motown album "Someplace Else Now", Real Gone Music now turns its attention to the other major missing piece of her catalog, the 1976 album she recorded for A&M Records. "Love Me By Name" not only reunited Lesley with producer Quincy Jones from her hit-making 60's days, but brought her into together with a truly staggering array of talent, including Herbie Hancock, Toots Thielemans, Harvey Mason, Jim Keltner, Dave Grusin and just about every other studio superstar you could name, even the Partridge Family.
"Love Me By Name" features compositions written by Gore and her songwriting partner Ellen Weston, most notably the title track, which was later covered by Dusty Springfield, Patti Austin, and Jennifer Holiday among others. The album also gave a nod to the disco and funk trends that were so prominent in pop music at the time, particularly on the lead-off track, “Sometimes”, which paired her unmistakable pipes with the Brothers Johnson. This reissue marks the worldwide debut of this album on CD, and adds two rare single versions as well as liner notes by Joe Marchese that explore the life and times of this remarkable lady. Real Gone Music, February 3rd, 2017.
Larry Coryell is one of the greatest guitarists ever to walk the face of the earth, but he remains somewhat underappreciated, witness the fact that this, his 2nd solo album, has never been released on CD until this reissue. 1969’s Coryell offers an intriguing blend of improvised and arranged pieces, with an all star cast that includes Ron Carter, Bernard Purdie, Albert Stinson, “The Jam with Albert” is perhaps the highlight of the entire album, Chuck Rainey, and Free Spirits bandmate Jim Pepper. Jimi Hendrix is definitely an influence on this jazz rock gem, but Coryell takes his axe in directions only known to him, at this time, only John McLaughlin, with whom Coryell would shortly cut the one off "Spaces", could rival him in the fusion field. Bill Kopp’s notes include copious quotes from Larry Coryell himself, and Mike Milchner’s remastering lets this overlooked album shine. Real Gone Music, February 3rd, 2017.
Delaney & Bonnie.....
Though they never achieved the popular success enjoyed by some of their peers, Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett spearheaded the roots rock revolution of the late 60's and early 70's along with The Allman Brothers Band and The Band, turning away from the exoticism of psychedelia towards music rooted in blues, country and soul. Witness the fact that the “& Friends” that played with the pair included Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Dave Mason and Bobby Whitlock, out of Delaney & Bonnie’s various aggregations arose Derek & The Dominos and Joe Cocker’s band for the legendary "Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour".
For "Motel Shot", the duo’s 4th studio album and their 3rd for Atco, the circle of friends included Cocker, Whitlock, and Mason, plus appearances by Duane Allman, Gram Parsons and John Hartford among others. But for the most part, this is a largely acoustic, charmingly informal affair dipped in gospel and dominated by the Bramletts and Whitlock, the "Motel Shot" title refers to informal, after hours jam sessions on the road. But there’s a whole lot more to the story, and to this release.
The project began not in a hotel room, but in the living room of engineer Bruce Botnick, with November 1970 sessions as a prospective release for Elektra Records. But, after Delaney had a falling out with label head Jac Holzman, the project moved to Atco, who put the band into a proper studio to re-record much of the material. Those later sessions comprise the original album, which has here-to-fore only appeared briefly on CD in Japan, but, after hours of tape research, co-producers Bill Inglot and Pat Thomas uncovered the original living room sessions that yielded the 8 unreleased tracks on this expanded edition CD release.
Remastered by Inglot, with an essay by Thomas that includes exclusive, and extremely candid, quotes from Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Whitlock, Bruce Botnick and Jac Holzman, "Motel Shot" finally is presented here the way it was originally conceived, and takes its rightful place as one of the great albums of the classic era of the roots rock movement.
Real Gone Music, February 3rd, 2017.
Kurt Deemer Band.....
The debut CD by the Kurt Deemer Band,” Gaslight”, stands apart in both content and execution. Drawing on the angst of americana rock and the melancholy of alternative country, Deemer’s songs feel strangely familiar, yet vital and new.
The swirling dream time arrangements forgo the formulas and emerge lean yet fully embellished. Pedal steel and hammond b3 rise from the mix, catching the ear for a second before fading into the background, subtle enough that you might have just imagined them there. A pop sensibility from long ago prevents anything from getting in the way of a great song.
These are stories of personal disillusionment and partial redemption, about finding one’s place in the world having being eaten alive and swallowed whole, but still emerging alive and kicking. A sense of grace and mellow alienation runs throughout the compositions. Our anger has turned to disappointment coupled with a determination to persevere. We have grown to accept that some true sadness will be woven into the fabric of our lives and we’re okay with that.
The result is not bitter, it’s hauntingly bitter sweet, like a chance meeting with an ex-lover. It is the intimate journey from being authentically broken to cautiously hopeful, in all of its intense and uneasy glory. This is impassioned detachment at its nuanced best.
"Stitch Of The World", Tift Merritt's 6th studio album, was written on a friend's farm in Marfa, TX, at Merritt's California cabin, and in New York City, in the wake of several major changes in her life. The album was recorded in Los Angeles while Merritt was 6 months pregnant, after which she relocated to her hometown of Raleigh, NC. The time since the release of "Traveling Alone" has also found Merritt recording and touring with Andrew Bird in his Hands of Glory, MC Taylor's Hiss Golden Messenger and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Merritt work shopped the songs on "Stitch Of The World" with longtime friend Sam Beam of Iron & Wine after bumping into him in an airport. The limited edition CD is only available on initial pressing, and the bonus tracks are not available for purchase with the digital album. Yep Roc Records, January 27th, 2017.
Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a new remastered CD and DVD collection by The Move. "Magnetic Waves Of Sound" features a newly remastered 21 track CD featuring all of the Move's UK hit singles, along with key album tracks from their 4 studio albums.
The accompanying hour long DVD in this collection is a true 1st, and features 21 appearances on BBC TV and German television, and a promotional film, all shot between 1967 and 1970. These include a performance of "Fire Brigade" on Top Of The Pops from February 1968 and the band's entire Colour Me Pop performance for BBC 2 from January 1969.
Also featured is a rare promotional film of "I Can Hear The Grass Grow", a trio of songs performed live from the German TV show Beat, Beat, Beat, recorded in June 1967, and a fine selection of Move appearances on the German TV show Beat Club, all gathered together on DVD officially for the 1st time. Of all of the groups to emerge in Britain in the latter half of the 1960s, The Move was arguably one of the finest. A powerful act on stage, the group were blessed with one of the most imaginative songwriters of his generation in Roy Wood. "Magnetic Waves Of Sound" is a fitting celebration of the legacy of The Move. Esoteric Recordings, January 27th, 2017.
Iconic musician and Blues Hall Of Fame member John Mayall will release his latest CD, "Talk About That", on January 27th, 2017, from Forty Below Records. Joining Mayall (vocals, keyboards, harmonica and guitar) and Greg Rzab (bass), Jay Davenport (drums) and Rocky Athas (guitar) as special guest, is legendary guitarist Joe Walsh, who plays on 2 tracks, “The Devil Must Be Laughing” and “Cards On The Table”, both John Mayall compositions. The songs showcase Walsh’s amazing guitar work and are destined to be two of the many highlights on this new disc.
Produced by John Mayall, who also designed the album package, and Forty Below Records president Eric Corne, who also engineered and mixed, "Talk About That" was recorded at House Of Blues Studio in Encino, CA, and contains 11 tracks, 8 originals, plus covers from Memphis soul music songwriter Bettye Crutcher, blues great Jimmy Rogers and singer songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams. The album also showcases a 3 piece horn section that adds extra punch on several tracks, including the infectious New Orleans flavored “Gimme Some Of That Gumbo”.
Austin, Texas, based ethereal americana band Runaway Horse is set to release their debut album, ”Beautiful Blue”, on January 20th, 2017. Led by singer songwriter Mari Tirsa, the album draws the listener in with the sounds of an American frontier coupled with the far reaching influences of our dream world. It is both grounded and cosmic, grabbing the listener immediately while revealing its many layers with repeat spins. Tirsa blends earthy folk like vocals and plaintive ethereal tones with sparse and drifty guitars, keyboards and percussion to create a hypnotic cosmic americana vibe.
A native of New Mexico, Mari Tirsa writes songs that strive to connect the dust and toil of the landscape to the vast and otherworldly skies above. Together with her carefully curated band of musicians, she bridges grounded Americana folk with the ambient sounds of our dream world. Her music expresses the experience of cosmic consciousness and oneness.
Produced in Austin at Rubicon Studios by Daniel Barrett and featuring Rick Richards on drums , ”Beautiful Blue” is almost hymnal, carrying the listener from dark night of the soul moments to redemption and grace through the raw sensuality of the natural world.
3CDs + 1 BluRay in a book set. CD1: UK mono album + mono outtakes, mono singles and mono EP's. CD2: UK stereo album + stereo outtakes, stereo remixes including alternate versions. CD3: Early versions and demos + BBC recordings. Blu-ray: 24/96 hi-res of UK + US mono and stereo albums + bonus tracks. Universal Music, January 27th, 2017.
Chicago & Wilson.....
The 2nd album by the Chicago is coming back to CD in a newly remixed edition. On January 27th, 2017, Rhino Records will issue "Chicago II : The Steven Wilson Remix", featuring an all new stereo mix of Chicago's classic 1970 double album from the producer and engineer behind acclaimed remixes for progressive bands such as Yes, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
The creativity and innovation of the band formerly known as Chicago Transit Authority surged more than ever on its 2nd straight double album. "Chicago", now known as "Chicago II", earned the group and producer James William Guercio a string of US pop hits including "Make Me Smile" (# 9), "Colour My World" (# 7) and "25 Or 6 To 4" (# 4), but that didn't mean Chicago was simplifying the expansive approach behind its first jazz rock opus. "Make Me Smile" and "Colour My World" were excerpted from the album's centerpiece, composer James Pankow's 7 part, 13 minute song suite "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon". Terry Kath supplied a 4 part classically inspired suite "Memories Of Love", and Lamm, already the songwriter of the 1st album's hits "Beginnings" and "Does Everybody Really Know What Time It Is", supplied "25 Or 6 To 4", as well as teaming with Kath and Walter Parazaider to write the politically charged "It Better End Soon". The band's breakthrough, "Chicago II" reached # 4 in the US and # 6 across the pond.
Steven Wilson worked from the original 16-track tapes to create his new remix. He's quoted by Rhino in the press release: "Working with high resolution 96K/24 bit digitally transferred files, I had every element from the recording sessions isolated, which meant I was able to rebuild the mix from the drums upwards, recreating as closely as I could the equalization, stereo placement, reverbs, other effects, and volume changes of each individual instrument or vocal, but at the same time looking to gain definition and clarity in the overall sound". He continues, "So rich was their creative seam at the time that, like their debut, and the album that followed this one, it was a 2 record set. In fact, with unprecedented boldness the run of double albums was only broken by their 4th which was a quadruple (live) set! I consider all of these albums to be classics, but perhaps 'Chicago II' is the pre eminent masterpiece. It's got everything, moments of tender beauty to power riffs and scorched earth jazz rock, catchy melodies and gorgeous vocal harmonies. When I first heard it as a teenager I was captivated by the mixture of jazz, blues, pop, classical, progressive and heavy rock styles, including both improvisational elements and intricate arrangements, and by songs written and sung by several different members, all with their own unique personality. How could that possibly hang together? But it does, and brilliantly so".
"After coming off a successful 3 week tour of Scandinavia in the fall of 1986, my band the Textones found that our album 'Midnight Mission' was hard to follow up. Our next effort, 'Cedar Creek', came and went with little of the critical acclaim we were fortunate to have gotten on our debut. George Callins and I were writing a lot of songs we felt deserved to be Heard, but there were no takers. Fans, critics, and the music business had moved on. Then out of the blue our Swedish label, Volume Records, threw us a wild pitch, come to Sweden and record with Swedish rock stars Wilmer X. The result became my first solo album recorded in the country of my father's roots. The Wilmers' had just scored a hit record in their homeland and were gracious to back this Texas by way of Los Angeles rock and roll woman. My co-writers on 'Rubies & Diamonds' include guitarist George Callins and drummer Rick Hemmert of the Textones, Danny Wilde of the Rembrandts, Danny Tate, whose songs have been covered by Tim McGraw, Rick Springfield, Smithereens, and Jeff Healey, and George Green, who co-wrote some of John Mellencamp's best songs." ~ Carla Olson
Extended and remastered version available January 27th, 2017.
The Furious Seasons.....
“We’re not done yet, not by a longshot”, sings L.A. veteran David Steinhart on ”Look West’s” opening gem “Longshot”. And though he’s singing of a relationship, it’s utterly true of his muse, too. Having gone canyon rock, country, pop, western on last year’s ”My Love Is Strong”, with pleasing result, he goes one better, decamping with just his and lead guitarist Paul Nelson’s acoustics and harmonies, making western folk that shines the sharpest light on his pure strengths over now 21 LP’s in 32-years, beginning with ”Pop Art” and ”Smart Brown Handbag”, his remarkably seasoned songwriting and storytelling.
Regret, nostalgia, melancholia, distaste, and resigned philosophizing can be cloyingly dull in mediocre hands, Steinhart’s ruminations are warmhearted, tender, considerate, and appreciative, not for so much lost, but what remains. “I would love to see your face before another winter, before what’s coming next”. Let us not take him for granted, especially when he’s on top of his game like this.
“The album’s instrumentation is complex despite only being comprised of the trio, and Paul Nelson’s swift hand on guitar deserves special recognition. From the nostalgic wandering a European city late at night classical riff to introduce “A Thing to Behold”, to the beautiful solo on “Simple & Clean”, his melodies are the pulse of every song.
Even more than the gorgeous guitar, however, it’s the impeccable songwriting and heartfelt lyrics that lift this album up the furthest. Every track on the record is emotionally vulnerable, honest, and accessible. You’ll spend all fall unpacking the layers.
The Furious Seasons’ 5th release, “Look West” is a perfect departure from last years lush and orchestrated “My Love is Strong”. With “Look West” David Steinhart’s penchant for catchy melodies and story line lyrics are still firmly intact, but this time they are tackled by an acoustic trio that highlights the stories and creates a warmth that David and his brother Jeff haven’t achieved since the early days of their mid 80’s band, Pop Art. Jeff Steinhart plays a stand up bass for the first time in his career and guitarist Paul Nelson’s agile solo’s and harmonies helps “Look West” create a sound all it’s own. Not folk in the traditional sense, the folk, pop album soars with deep personal stories and melodies that will stay with you for long stretches.
The album concept was born out of months of 3 piece shows played in Southern California, including shows in support of John Hiatt, David Lindley and AJ Croce. Scott Campbell recorded a few of the tracks live in a home studio in Hollywood set up for Shelby Lynne. Tim Boland at White Light Studios in North Hollywood recorded the lion share of the album.
The 25th anniversary of Mickey Hart’s grammy winning world music album, "Planet Drum" contains 3 new tracks, "Sea Of Showers", "Throat Games" and "The Spot", that were initial sketches from the original album sessions and were revisited and completed by Mickey Hart and the band for this special release. The album is available on remastered CD, and for the first time ever, on vinyl. January 20th, 2017.
Mike Oldfield follows up 1975’s "Ommadawn" in the new year, with "Return To Ommadawn", his 26th studio album. As well as vinyl and CD editions, the new album will be available as a CD + DVD deluxe edition, which features a 5.1 surround sound mix on the DVD. "Return To Ommadawn" will be released on January 20th, 2017.
Produced by Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5) "Burn Something Beautiful" is renowned songwriter and singer Alejandro Escovedo's 12th solo studio album and most definitive album to date. The album was written, arranged and performed as a true collaboration with Peter and Scott in Portland, OR. The band is rounded out with guitarist Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks), Decemberists' drummer John Moen, Los Lobos' saxophonist Steve Berlin and singers Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Kelly Hogan (Neko Case). In a trailblazing career that began with The Nuns, San Francisco's famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to cult Texas band, True Believers, through countless all star collaborations and tribute album appearances, and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992's acclaimed "Gravity", Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions. Fantasy Records, January 20th, 2017.
American singer songwriter Wendy Webb releases her 5th studio album ”Step Out Of Line” on Spooky Moon Records. Songs written under a Nashville skyline with an urban attitude attracted legendary musicians Wayne Jackson, David Grissom, Mark T Jordan, Willie Weeks and Dan Dugmore to record with Webb. The record consists of 9 original songs along with a haunting electric piano rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’, a stunning tribute that pays homage to her Midwestern roots. The recordings took place in a private residence in Nashville where Webb co-wrote and co-produced with engineer Mark Keller.
Webb says, ”Having a house in town made the recording more organic and convenient for studio players to stop by after their day sessions to play on what I thought were some artful demos. Imagine the thrill of hearing Wayne Jackson, founding member of the Memphis Horns, blow that incredible trumpet solo on ‘Step Out Of Line’ in the living room, and know you captured that performance. Jim Horn played sax on ‘Destiny’s Muse’ in the dining room. I sang and played piano on Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’ live in the living room and Dan Dugmore added the gorgeous pedal steel solo. Each musician’s contribution was over the top. It was an extraordinary experience and very exciting”. Originally from Iowa and self taught on guitar and piano, Wendy moved to Los Angeles where she was fortunate to meet Joni Mitchell’s engineer, Henry Lewy, who offered her studio time and mentoring. She recalls, “That’s when I learned about recording and my own performance”.
With its bombastic brass heavy funk, deep blues and soul, paired with Lee Hazlewood’s subterranean baritone, ”13” would be best enjoyed with a tall Chivas in an off strip seedy Vegas lounge. Thing is, ”13” wasn’t initially intended to be a Lee Hazlewood album at all. By 1972 Hazlewood had settled in his new homeland of Sweden. To keep up his prolific output, he began to mine the recently defunct LHI Records' archives for material. One such gem, was an unreleased album by LHI staff producer Larry Marks, who had taken some of Hazlewood’s strongest compositions, arranged them in a soul vibe, and recorded his own vocals for them. Marks completed the album, but since Lee had no distribution in America and no funding at the time, the tapes were taken to Sweden where Lee decided to wipe Larry’s voice from the record entirely and replaced it with his own. And so ”13” was born. This reissue includes a download of the original Larry Marks version. Light In The Attic Records, Friday the 13th of January, 2017.
Emerging from Ann Arbor Michigan amidst a countercultural revolution, The Stooges powerful and aggressive style of rock n roll blew a crater in the musical landscape of the late 1960's. Assaulting audiences with a blend of rock, blues, r'n'b and free jazz, the band planted the seeds for what would be called punk and alternative rock in the decades that followed. Jim Jarmusch's new film "Gimme Danger" chronicles the story of The Stooges, one of the greatest rock n roll bands of all time. January 16th, 2017.
“‘Reflection’ is so called because I find it makes me think back. It makes me think things over. It seems to create a psychological space that encourages internal conversation. And externalones actually, people seem to enjoy it as the background to their conversations. When I make apiece like this most of my time is spent listening to it for long periods, sometimes several whole days, observing what it does to different situations, seeing how it makes me feel. I make my observations and then tweak the rules.” ~ Brian Eno
Singer songwriter Kelly Zirbes of L.A. based band Kelly’s Lot has returned to her roots and written 14 songs that express a lifetime of feelings. With 14 tracks, the new CD, ”Bittersweet”, contains a variety of roots and folk rock, the genre that Zirbes started in before she began a career in blues rock with 'The Lot'.
Based in Southern California for the last 21 years, the band has released 11 CD’s, toured nationally and internationally and and have recorded numerous songs for film and television. In 2016 Kelly began asking her friends and fans on Facebook for words to inspire these songs.
These compositions became the catalyst for a CD with lots of heart and message-driven lyrics. These words from friends, fans and even strangers conjured up a lifetime of stories and feelings that Kelly had been keeping at an arms length. Genres included on ”Bittersweet” include an Irish ballad, an acapella gospel tune, an old style country track, a blues tune and so much more. They will make you smile or cry, possibly both.
The CD is mixed by Fred Paragano from Paragon Studios in Nashville. 'The Lot' includes Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Sebastian Sheehan Visconti, Scotty Lund, Art Mendoza and Michael Mason on drums and percussion, Bill Johnston on sax and clarinet, Bobby Orgel on piano and b3, Matt McFadden and Chuck Maithonis on bass, Doug Pettibone on pedal steel and dobro, Frank Hinojosa on harmonica and Kelly Zirbes on guitar and vocals.
”Bittersweet” will be available as a limited release today, January 6th, 2017, at www.kellyslot.com and a wide release on January 27th, 2017.