19.02.2018

Melanie Dekker.....

"Secret Spot is a new, spirited and dynamic Melanie Dekker album, recorded with award winning Canadian producer Sheldon Zaharko, and supported by Creative BC and the Government of British Columbia.

A collection of 10 songs that will take you to a few special corners of your heart. There is depth and variety, and the more you listen, the sweeter the details get. Each song visits a time, and a place, where a feeling glues that moment together. The pace is somewhat like walking through a city on a sunny day where the wind is howling and seems to chase you, as it’s strength differs with every turn you make.

“This folk pop record was mostly influenced by the last 100 shows, journeys experienced with my family and dearest friends over the last 5 years, and paying attention to the ‘quiver’ you get when something makes the hair on your arms stand up.  The music I listened to these past few years, City & ColourTom PettyThe BandJohn Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and inevitably some heartbreak also played a part”.

 "The backbone of most of the tracks are my acoustic guitar, and then I coloured the songs with my favourite musicians and instruments. I also dared to use my fingers on the piano track on ‘Always Gonna Be’, gently strummed the ukulele on ‘More Human’, got funky with the Wurlitzer piano on ‘Better When We Do’, and gently hammered it all home on a Rhodes on ‘When It’s Over’, the final and most gentle track."

 

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18.02.2018

Grateful Dead.....

The Grateful Dead forged its legend on the road, traveling countless miles between 1965 and 1995 to perform a world record 2 318 shows for millions of devoted fans. The band's refusal to ever play a song the same way twice has endeared generations of fans, many of whom prefer certain live versions of songs over their studio counterparts, and garnered the popular phrase among Dead Heads, "there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert".

Made for die hard Dead Heads and new fans alike, "The Best Of The Grateful Dead Live" is the ultimate live collection, a 2 disc set with recordings selected from the band's official live albums on Warner Bros and Arista, plus a few tracks from their many archival live releases, beginning with "St Stephen" from the group's 1st official live album, 1969's "Live/Dead", and ending with the poignant "So Many Roads," taken from the band's final concert at Chicago's Soldier Field in July of 1995

"The Best Of The Grateful Dead Live" will be available as a 2 CD set on March 23rd, 2018. The music will be available through digital and streaming services as well. On the same date, "Volume One" of the collection will also be available on 180 gram vinyl as a 2LP set, covering the 1st half of the album. "Volume Two" on vinyl will be released at a later date.

"We wanted to follow up the 2015 "The Best Of The Grateful Dead" studio set with a live counterpart, and have focused our efforts on the band's primary live albums, as well as some key tracks from archival concert releases", says band archivist and producer David Lemieux. "Just as there was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert, there is also nothing like a live Grateful Dead recording, it's no secret that as good as the Dead's studio recordings were, they excelled in front of an audience, and this set provides an overview of just how great the Dead were live in concert".

 

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17.02.2018

The Decemberists.....

The Decemberists have announced a new studio album, "I’ll Be Your Girl", which is set for release on March 16th, 2018, via Capitol Records. The band has also unveiled the record’s 1st single, along with a batch of spring and summer tour dates.

"I’ll Be Your Girl" was recorded in the group’s hometown of Portland, OR, with producer John Congleton, who has worked with the likes of St Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen and more. In a note posted to their Facebook page, the band writes, “the songs tend to the darker, more absurdist side of things, I mean, how can you blame us, and features a lot of nice vintage synth work by Jenny and Chris, some heavy drumming from mr Moen and, of course, the sort of baroque bass work you’ve come to expect from the former mr Lincoln High, Nate Query. All in all, everyone acquitted themselves quite nicely”.

“When you’ve been a band for 17 years, inevitably there are habits you fall into”, lead vocalist and songwriter Colin Meloy says in a press release. “So our ambition this time was really just to get out of our comfort zone. That’s what prompted working with a different producer and using a different studio. We wanted to free ourselves from old patterns and give ourselves permission to try something different”.

 

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16.02.2018

N.R.B.Q. 1969.....

The New Rhythm And Blues Quintet formed over 50 years ago, and after playing together for a few years, the band began recording with Eddie Kramer and inked a 2 record deal with Columbia Records. Their eponymous debut appeared on shelves in 1969, featuring the band’s wide ranging originals, peppered with versions of songs from artists as wide ranging as Eddie Cochran and Sun Ra, plus a co-write between the band’s Terry Adams and jazz experimentalist Carla Bley.

It was, and is, a wildly original and influential release. For all of its stature, it’s hard to believe in its 49 year existence, it has never been reissued, nor ever appeared on CD or digital. That changes March 16th, 2018,  when "NRBQ" is available once again, on CD, for the first time, digital, and as a gatefold LP. Combining elements of the original, with additional photos and new liner notes from Jay Berman, the package has never looked, nor sounded better. The band is still going strong, and this reissue follows hot on the heels of their 5 CD boxed set, "High Noon : A 50 Year Retrospective", and last year’s critically acclaimed EP, "Happy Talk". As Berman says in his notes, "this historic and monumental recording has been remastered, and finally authorized for re-release. This album is a great reminder that NRBQ is on a mission, one that holds steady to its original inspiration to this day. For those fans who missed it the first time around, it hasn’t aged a bit".

 

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15.02.2018

J Briozo.....

J Briozo evolved out of a set of songs that Swallows' lead singer Jeff Crandall wrote as the Minneapolis based band was set to return to the studio to record their 3rd full length album, "In The Shadow Of The Seven Stars". The acoustic guitar and piano based songs that Jeff was working on were written from the perspective of a fictional singer songwriter named J Briozo, a persona loosely based on his mother’s Portuguese ancestry.

Jeff wasn’t convinced at the time that this would be anything other than a studio project, assuming he’d play most of the parts, and he had no real intentions of conjuring up a band to perform the material.

However, as Swallows began recording in one studio, Jeff began recording the basic tracks for "Deep In The Waves" in another studio across town and he quickly recognized that his solo album had begun to take on a life of its own. The new album was going to require the talents of his Swallows’ band mates to fully realize the vision that Jeff was developing for the project.

Jeff decided to invite members of Swallows to add additional parts to the somewhat open frameworks he had laid out for the songs on the album. The group composed their parts in the studio, creating psych pop, rock, jazz, orchestral and folk arrangements for the songs. By the end of the tracking, it was clear that a compelling new sound had developed and a full band would needed to support it.

 

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14.02.2018

Jackie DeShannon.....

After spending the 1st full decade  of her recording career at Liberty/Imperial Records, where she immortalized such iconic anthems as “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”, Jackie DeShannon was wooed away to Capitol Records in 1971. Upon landing at her new label, the Kentucky born DeShannon was dispatched to Memphis’ American Recording Studios, where, with producer Chips Moman and a crack band consisting of Bobby Emmons and Bobby Woods on keyboards, Reggie Young on electric guitar, Mike Leach on bass, Johnny Christopher on acoustic guitar, and Gene Crisman on drums, she recorded a avorful mix that embraced her southern soul roots blended with country, gospel, and pop.

The wide ranging repertoire included the DeShannon originals “West Virginia Mine” and “Now That The Desert Is Blooming”, along with songs by George Harrison, “Isn’t It a Pity”, Van Morrison, “And It Stoned Me”, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, “Child Of Mine”, Emitt Rhodes, “Live Till You Die”, Arlo Guthrie, “Gabriel’s Mother’s Highway”, Spooner Oldham & Dan Penn, “Sweet Inspiration”, and others. But those tracks inexplicably remained in the vaults, leapfrogged by the tracks DeShannon cut at Capitol Studios upon returning to California that turned into her "Songs" album. In fact, of the Memphis tracks, only a single, “Stone Cold Soul”, and a lone track on "Songs", “Show Me”, were released at the time.

The rest of the "Songs" album, co-produced by DeShannon with Eric Malamud and John Palladino, featured covers of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”, retitled “Lay, Baby, Lay”, and Hoyt Axton’s “Ease Your Pain”, plus a shimmering trio of DeShannon originals, “Salinas”, “Bad Water”, and a remake of “West Virginia Mine”.  DeShannon’s stay at Capitol proved to be short lived, legendary producer Jerry Wexler bought out her contract to bring her to Atlantic Records, leaving most of Jackie’s Memphis masters unreleased. Some of those masters emerged as part of a long out of print UK collection decades later, but now, for the 1st time, all 25 of Jackie’s Capitol recordings are available on this Real Gone Music compilation. "Stone Cold Soul : The Complete Capitol Recordings" presents Jackie’s rare Memphis tracks, including 5 previously unreleased titles along with her "Songs" album. The CD also offers a stunning selection of never Before seen period photographs from her personal collection, along with in depth liner notes from Joe Marchese, taken from an interview with Jackie. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, "Stone Cold Soul" offers essential listening for any Jackie DeShannon fan or vintage roots rocker. March 2nd, 2018.

 

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13.02.2018

R Wood & R Lane.....

What do 2 Faces do when their lead singer, bon vivant Rod Stewart,  doesn’t show up for the "Ooh La La" recording sessions? They work on a soundtrack for an obscure film by actor and friend Alexis Kanner, most famous for his guest roles on the late 60's TV series 'The Prisoner', and draft the uppermost rank of British rock royalty to play on it.

Indeed, given the pedigree of the personnel on this project, it is rather stunning how obscure this 1976 album from Faces members Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane remains, having only been issued on CD abroad and for a brief time at that, one suspects it has much to do with the flop of the film, which appears to have only been screened at the Canadian Film Festival, and the fact that the original LP was released 4 years after it was recorded in 1972.

Just listen to the roll call of session men on "Mahoney’s Last Stand", which was produced by Glyn Johns, himself a British rock and roll noble of good standing and fresh from producing Paul McCartney and Wings’ "Red Rose Speedway" when he worked on this album, Pete Townshend, guitar and special electronic effects”, Blind Faith and Family member Rick Grech, fellow Faces Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, soon to be fellow, for Wood Rolling Stones habitués Ian Stewart, Bobby Keys, and Jim Price, Micky Waller, Wood’s fellow member in the Jeff Beck Group of the late ‘60s, and Grease Band member Bruce Rowland, to name but a few.

As for the music, much of it has a rustic, rural feel in keeping with the film’s setting, which follows the misadventures of a recluse who rents a ramshackle farm in the Canadian countryside, with some nods, “Woody’s Thing”, towards the blues rock Wood would explore with Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones. But without a doubt the highlight is Lane’s “Just For A Moment", which is here in both vocal and instrumental versions, it’s a prime example of the wistful roots rock that made Lane’s post-Faces solo career so compelling. Richie Unterberger’s liner notes examine this Little known detour in the careers of 2 British rock legends, fascinating for Faces and Stones fans.

 

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12.02.2018

Brian Flanagan.....

Brian Flanagan is an Irish songwriter, composer, vocalist, musician and poet. He has worked with artists from diverse musical backgrounds such as Michael Flatley, Nadine Coyle, Eric Bibb, Nathan Carter, Finbar Furey, Brian Kennedy and Sharon Shannon. Brian is renowned for his ability to write to order, emotionally charged pieces that are immediately engaging. He scored a Christmas Top 10 hit for Síle Seoige & Friends in 2014 with ‘Maybe This Christmas’ and has 4 iTunes # 1 tracks to his name.

Love, loss, self pity, recognising chances and taking them, or not, almost mystical nature experiences, Life changing encounters, art and artists, environmental protection, human rights, it is truly a broad, moving and very current spectrum of themes which Irish singer songwriter Brian Flanagan has worked through in the 11 tracks of his CD. Until recently he has released a string of successful singles.

The melodies are catchy, but not banal. After having listened to the album a few times you'll find many of the wonderful tunes continually rotating around in your head, getting more familiar and enjoyable with each turn. That is of course also due to Flanagan's warm and velvety voice, the soft background choirs and the unassuming but wonderfully musical and supportive instrumental backing.

Good examples are the haunting lamentations of the flute on the title track "Where Dreams Are Made", the crystal clear yet warm Irish pipes in "Flowers In The Window", a piece in memory of a friend, and the piano dripping notes like a tap in the self-searching "Whole Lot Of Livin'". The harmonium in "Lagan Love" is played by Flanagan himself, conjuring up the picture of mists rising from the river.

The listening experience gets a further deeper dimension if you read the song lyrics with their surprising images in the graphically opulent booklet. Brian Flanagan often sings quite quickly, with sometimes unexpected stops and starts. He occasionally throws in Irish words like "grá" (love), and not only in the traditional "Lagan Love". 


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11.02.2018

Meadow Creek.....

Meadow Creek is mr and mrs Peter and Linda Dahl from Degerfors, Sweden. Linda is a singer and songwriter who got her 1st record deal at the age of 17, when she was the lead vocalist in the band Angel. A few years later, the band got a smash hit with the song “Sommaren I City”, which became a Swedish summer classic, and is still played regularly at every Swedish radio station.

Peter is a multi instrumentalist, producer and songwriter who started as a touring guitarist at the age of 11. As a member of the cover band Peckas Pack he has cut off most of Sweden’s party scenes. In 1996, the Dahl couple joined and started one of Sweden’s first ABBA tribute shows together with some friends from Stockholm, “SOS – A Tribute To ABBA”, touring in both Sweden and the rest of Europe for 16 years.

Meanwhile their love for bluegrass and country music grew stronger and Linda and Peter started the band Whisky & Dynamite, which became very popular on the Swedish country scene. They recorded and released 2 albums in 2006 and 2009, and their songs entered radio stations all over the world.

As songwriters, the couple has written a lot of songs for various artists and bands. For example Roger Pontare, Streaplers, Blender, Sten & Stanley, Drifters, Fernandoz, Barbados, Black Jack, Fryd & Gammen, Fernandoz and others. They have had several songs at Svensktoppen  and they also wrote the song who won Melodifestivalen in Sweden in the year of  2000. Their song, “När Vindarna Viskar Mitt Namn”, was performed by the artist Roger Pontare. The song won the Swedish final and then ended up at # 7 in the Eurovision Song Contest.  They also competed in other countries selections for the Eurovision song contest.  In 2016 they wrote the song “Golden Frame” for artists Matilda & Stefan, who won the regional final in Svensktoppen Nästa, which Sveriges Radio P4 organizes. In recent years, the couple has also worked with Starlab Publishing and writes J-pop and K-pop songs to the Asian market. 

Right now, the Dahl’s focus is their new duo Meadow Creek, which entered the studio in the summer of 2017, and recorded their own material in the style of singer songwriter, country, americana, blues and pop.  Producer of the new album is Göran Eriksson, Black Lake Music, also known as the band leader and guitarist in Jill Johnson’s band.

 

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10.02.2018

Concert For George.....

"Concert For George" was first released across a number of formats in 2003 and documented that emotional and rather joyous evening on November 29th, 2002, when friends, family and former bandmates came together to celebrate the life and work of George Harrison. Almost 15 years after that release, February 23rd, 2018, it will be reissued, available for the very first time on 4LP vinyl and other formats, including new video audio combo packs and a very exclusive deluxe box set.

Despite the big names, there was something very intimate about this event and the people who performed all knew and loved George. They included Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and Joe Brown, who closed the show with a tear jerking performance of "I’ll See You In My Dreams".

Significantly, this new vinyl version features the complete sound recordings from "Concert For George", the first time all the songs from the performance have been available on an audio product. This means that Sam Brown‘s stonking rendition of "Horse To The Water", arguably one of the best of the night, is included on the vinyl edition. The CD's remain as before, and include a slightly edited down 20 track collection. Side 8 of the new vinyl includes a beautiful looking etched mandala design.

A limited edition deluxe box set includes the 4 LP vinyl, 2 CD's, 2 BluRay's and 2 DVD's along with a 12x12 hard bound 60 page book. Fans who buy this edition also get a cutting from the original handpainted on stage tapestry used as the backdrop at the Royal Albert Hall on November 29th, 2002. This is mounted on an individually numbered card. This deluxe edition is limited to 1000 worldwide and includes a note from Olivia Harrison, explaining the story behind the tapestry. Before you get too excited, this edition is $350.

Although the content on BluRay, DVD and the 2 CD's hasn’t really changed, the full concert is on the 1st BluRay or DVD, while the 2nd video disc offers the theatrical version with additional material, this time around there are combo editions available as 2 CD + 2 BluRay set or a 2 CD +2 DVD package. If you don’t want the video (but why wouldn’t you?) there’s a 2 CD edition as well.

 

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09.02.2018

Southern Swampers.....

In 1969, after years of working as the house band for the late Rick Hall at the legendary FAME Studios, where the likes of Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett recorded, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section struck out on their own. Affectionately known as the Swampers, the band set up their own studio, Muscle Shoals Sound, at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, AL, and they didn’t have to wait long for artists to seek them out. Cher, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, and many other superstar acts came to town to get a helping of the Swampers’ funky, soulful Southern swamp sound.

But unlike other celebrated studio musicians such as Booker T & The MG’s, the Swampers never put out a record of their own material. Until now. This month, "Muscle Shoals Has Got The Swampers" will finally see the light of day. The title is taken from the shoutout given to the band by Lynyrd Skynyrd in “Sweet Home Alabama”, and the album includes 14 previously unreleased instrumental tracks, mainly from 1969 to 1978, that sizzle with precision and groove.

“We were never known as soloists because people gave us so much work”, says Swampers bassist David Hood. “Everyone would ask, ‘When are you guys gonna make an album?’. We just didn’t have time”.

Eventually the Swampers, which also includes guitarist Jimmy Johnson, drummer Roger Hawkins, and the now deceased keyboardist Barry Beckett, tried to make a record with a couple of singers, but as Hood says, “It sounded like the singer, not us”.

Unearthed by Jackson, Mississippi based Malaco Records, many of the album’s tracks came out of studio jams the foursome would play while sitting around waiting for whatever legend was ready to record. A few of the cuts, including “Muscle Shoals Malmo Express”, were recorded specifically for a friend in Sweden who needed theme music for his public radio show. All told, the collection is a vital snapshot of music history and stands as a testament to the deep influence the band had on modern music. “I’m happy this is finally coming out”, says Hood, one of the more modest and unassuming music legends around. “I’m really proud of what we’ve done”.

 

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08.02.2018

Nina Simone.....

Few artists have had the impact on pop, soul, rock and jazz as the iconoclastic Nina Simone. Simone played by her own rules in life and art, recording some of the most electric and eclectic music imaginable in any genre. It wasn’t uncommon on a Simone album to find politically charged protest music alongside popular Broadway hits and reworkings of contemporary rock songs. This April, she will enter the Rock'N'Roll Hall Of Fame, though she preferred to call her singular fusion of genres 'black classical music'. Throughout her long and fascinating career, the singer, pianist, songwriter and activist recorded for a variety of labels, including Philips, RCA Victor, and CTI. But 2 new compilations are looking at her 2 earliest recording affiliations, for the Bethlehem and Colpix labels. On February 9th, 2018, "Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles" will arrive from BMG, and 2 weeks later, "The Colpix Singles" will be released on the newly reactivated $tateside label.

Nina Simone began her recording career at the jazz oriented Bethlehem Records label at the age of 25 in 1958. Her debut album "Little Girl Blue", named for the Rodgers and Hart standard, would feature 11 of the 14 tracks she recorded for the album, including what would become a signature song, “Porgy (I Loves You Porgy”, from George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward’s Broadway opera, "Porgy & Bess". By the time “Porgy” began rising on the charts, Simone had already moved on to Colpix Records, but Bethlehem continued to capitalize on the artist’s small trove of recordings for the label both on the collection "Nina Simone & Her Friends", also featuring Chris Connor and Carmen McRae and on 45 RPM singles.  Between 1959 and 1962, Bethlehem issued all of the material Simone had recorded for the label.

"Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles" will be released on CD and vinyl.  The 14 track CD version follows the chronology of the original singles, while the vinyl LP version has “Porgy (I Loves You Porgy)” and “Love Me Or Leave Me”, Simone’s debut single, on a bonus 7" replica 45 rather than on the LP. Additionally, Barnes & Noble will have an exclusive blue vinyl version. Ashley Kahn’s new liner notes draw on a fresh interview with drummer Al 'Tootie' Heath, who joined Simone and bassist Jimmy Bond on the intimate recordings.  The collection of original mono single versions has been produced by the acclaimed team at Omnivore Records.

Simone’s move to Colpix Records was a fruitful one. She remained at the label from 1959 to 1964, releasing 10 albums and numerous singles. Those singles are being collected on the 2 CD, 27 track, release simply entitled "The Colpix Singles", also available in a 14 track highlights edition on vinyl. Singles were drawn from both live and studio albums for the label, including "The Amazing Nina Simone", "Nina Simone At Town Hall", "Nina Simone At Newport", and "Nina Simone Sings Ellington". At Colpix, Simone recorded some of the most sly, sultry, and incendiary music of her career, touching on folk, blues, jazz, and soul, including renditions, all included here, of “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair”, “Willow Weep For Me”, “Cotton Eyed Joe”, “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl”, and an answer song to Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road, Jack” entitled “Come On Back, Jack”.  Featuring all of the songs in their original mono single versions, including some unique edits, "The Colpix Singles" will be released on $tateside, which Warner Music’s Global Catalogue Division relaunched last year to focus on  classic jazz, soul, and r'n'b releases, making Nina Simone an ideal candidate for the new label’s roster.

 

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07.02.2018

Martin Kerr.....


Since arriving in Canada as a homeless traveler, UK born singer songwriter Martin Kerr has built his career one passerby at a time, singing his way from street corners to concert halls and arenas. Often compared to the best of the 1970’s troubadours, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, John Denver, Martin's soulful voice and lyrics connect with listeners of all ages and backgrounds.

Now he's raising his young family by performing more than a 150 shows a year, in folk clubs and listening rooms, at farmer’s markets, house concerts and festivals, even schools, offices and places of worship. He has carved out a niche as one of the most approachable and inventive musicians around.

“I've always wanted to take my music to the people where they are. I watched other musicians playing the same venues for the same people late at night and not making a living, so I thought I would try something different. I decided to play pretty much anywhere people gather, no matter their ages or backgrounds and performing for them when they weren’t expecting it. If you surprise people with something beautiful, with passion and sincerity, people will remember and support you”, said Kerr.

His hard work has paid off in a big way. In May 2017, Kerr sold out the 1,700-seat Winspear Centre, the most prestigious concert hall in his adopted hometown of Edmonton. His notoriety also landed him the opening slot for legendary songstress Sarah McLachlan at the 20,000 seat Rogers Place.

With the release of his new album ”Better Than Brand New”, Martin Kerr has gone from local hero to national talking point. Without any label backing, and relying only on his grassroots following, the album landed in the Canadian Top 10 and made it to #2 on iTunes. Now he is looking to take his burgeoning reputation as an entertainer and songwriter to a global level.

Although he has released a number of albums in the past, consisting of original material, cover song Projects, as well as a few children’s albums, and selling in excess of 20,000 copies in all, ”Better Than Brand New” sees Kerr stepping up his game on all levels.

“There is quite a contrast on the album. A few songs are incredibly intimate with just my guitar and voice, while others have synths and big drums, electric guitars and full on production”, says Kerr. “Some grow from one to the other. My producer, Stew Kirkwood, and I share an admiration for artists like Peter Gabriel and Radiohead and decided to emulate some of those more epic soundscapes that we loved from those albums”.

Kerr is an artist who believes that music has the capacity to change hearts and minds. Imbued with a deeply held social conscience, Kerr wants his audiences to not only be entertained, but to be moved.

“As a kid I fell in love with artists like Tracy Chapman and Cat Stevens, they write very personal songs about their own lives, but with an aspect of social commentary, which I’ve always admired and try to emulate”, he said.

Following in the traditions of the great folk music storytellers of past generations, Kerr’s incredibly poignant and well crafted acoustic song ”Mr Liao”, tells the tale of a down on his luck migrant farmer trying to eke out a living for his family.

“I met the family when I was teaching in China. They lived on the other side of a wall from me. I was living in a foreigners’ compound and there was this 10 foot high wall with sharpened glass on top that kept poor people from getting in, which made me very uncomfortable, because I had gone there to be with ordinary people”, he said. “On my time off I would go outside the gate and meet the migrant farmers and got to know this gentleman, his wife and son. The song tells the story of how this family got to be where they are. It’s a really tragic story and almost everybody I have played it for has cried”.

Each show and each song from Martin Kerr takes listeners on an authentic and powerfully emotional journey. Much like life, there is joy, there is sadness, there is injustice, there is love and loss all presented through melodies that stay with the listener.

Martin Kerr’s connection to people of all ages, backgrounds and all tastes, cultivated through his many years as a fearless and friendly street performer has allowed him to develop his craft as a songwriter, and especially as a live performer, in ways that are truly unique and organic. With the global release of ”Better Than Brand New”, he is set to do the same with audiences around the world.


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06.02.2018

Neil, Willie & The Real.....


"Time is fluid in this far fetched, whimsical western tale of music and love. Somewhere in the future past, The Man In The Black Hat hides out between heists at an old stagecoach stop with Jail Time, Particle Kid, and an odd band of outlaws. Mining the detritus of past civilizations, they wait for the Silver Eagle, for the womenfolk, and for the full moon's magic to give rise to the music and make the spirits fly....."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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05.02.2018

More Marillion.....

After the success of last year’s "Misplaced Childhood" box set, the Marillion reissue campaign continues into 2018 with a similarly lavish multi disc set of 1994 fan favourite "Brave".

Steven Wilson has remixed the original album in 5.1, which should delight fans, as a new mix is likely to bring out some of the more subtle elements of the original recording. A hi-resolution stereo mix will also be included.

The BluRay disc will include a documentary on the making of the band’s concept masterpiece, though details on this are rather scant. The original "Brave" movie will not be included.

2 discs of live material will compliment the studio material. The show from La Cigale in Paris will be released in complete form for the 1st time. The main "Brave" set was originally released as disc 2 of the "Made Again" live album in 1995, but the encores have never been issued commercially. In addition to the complete "Brave" on the 1st live CD, a 2nd disc will include ‘Cover My Eyes’, ‘Slainte Mhath’, ‘Sugar Mice’, ‘Sympathy’, ‘Easter’, ‘Waiting To Happen’, ‘Hooks In You’ and ‘The Space’.

March 9th, 2018.

 

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04.02.2018

Rupert Holmes.....

English born New Yorker Rupert Holmes may be best known for his hit singles "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" in 1979 and "Him" in 1980, but several years prior to this, Rupert broke onto the music scene with 3 meticulously crafted albums for the Epic label in the space of 2 years. These albums were full of perfectly told stories of love, life and loss, and paved the way for Rupert’s ascendancy to the big time.

These 3 albums are now available together in one package, fully endorsed by Rupert, and containing engrossing sleeve notes including a brand new interview with Rupert himself.

Contains an array of bonus tracks, many of which have never been heard before, and with an absolute exclusive and a must for fans, this package contains the first ever live recordings of Rupert Holmes ever released. All selected by the man himself.

Contains the singles ‘Terminal’, ‘Talk’, ‘Our National Pastime’, ‘I Don’t Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Deco Lady’, ‘Weekend Lover’ and ‘Who, What, When, Where, Why’, plus rare alternative and live versions of a number of these.

All material has been fully remastered, with audio being sourced from Rupert’s own private collection of master tapes wherever possible. Contains CD wallet replicas of the Epic albums, faithfully reproducing their original artwork. So if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, make sure you pick up this excellent definitive collection of Rupert Holmes’ complete Epic years.

Cherry Red Records, February 23rd, 2018.

 

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03.02.2018

Scott Smith Band.....

The critical raves for Scott Smith’s 2016 debut album "The Sum Of Life" found the emerging americana country rocker earning praise for 'his strong homage to rock and roll' and 'vocals that call to mind Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan'. Vocal comparisons are great, but let’s also pay respect to the thoughtful poetry of his lyrics. On “My Soul to Keep”, the high energy, horn fired track that lays the spiritual foundation of his latest EP "Igniting The Flame", the singer songwriter waxes poetic about his own burgeoning career, and by extension, ponders just where all of us are headed

He sings, “God bless the light that shows the way, there’s some black and white then some grey, invest in your future, plant some seeds, it wouldn’t be a journey if you know where it leads”. Then there’s the extreme addictiveness of his songs, which, just like music did in the old days, makes you want to listen over and over. 

Thus far, Smith’s journey as an indie artist has taken him to places, and opened the door to exciting collaborations, far beyond where he dreamed growing up in the Bay Area absorbing the insights of his 1st guitar teacher, David Nelson of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage. “The SF music scene greatly inspired me along with birth of the 60’s music”, he says. “My older brother introduced a lot of music to me. I bought my 1st Grateful Dead album when I was 6. But I loved Stones and Beatles, Cream, all that stuff, too. There was so much happening musically living in the Bay Area at that time. It was very alive. It was great to learn from David and listen to stories of the birth of the Bay Area music scene and legends like Janis Joplin and Grateful Dead. What inspired those performers were old time music and old blues”.

"The Sum Of Life" featured guest performances by virtuoso classical and rock violinist David LaFlamme, acoustic guitarist Nina Gerber, boogie woogie pianist Mitch Woods, among others. For his more americana driven follow up EP "Down To Memphis", Smith invited legendary mandolinist David Grisman, a longtime friend of Jerry Garcia, to play on a rollicking tribute to the Grateful Dead.

Likewise, "Igniting The Flame" finds Scott upping his musical game with LaFlamme, keyboardist Spencer Burroughs, who also played on "Down To Memphis", veteran 'Tonight Show' and Mavis Staples backup singer Vickie Randall, veteran trombonist and horn arranger Mike Rinta and saxophonist Paul Branin. To help him with his vocal production, Smith turned to producer Julie Wolf at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, where Creedence Clearwater Reveival and Santana, among other legends, have recorded. 

Other key tracks on the new EP include another rambunctious horn drenched rocker “Drop Kick It”, Smith’s whimsical, upbeat response to a bad day, featuring the line, “wondering where it all went wrong, how did your life become a country song?”, the edgy rocker “Bulls Eye To My Heart”, which blends images from TV with a romp about falling hard for someone, and “Rolling Home”, which finds Smith rising to the challenge of writing a highly memorable traditional blues song 

“In addition to stronger vocals, "Igniting The Flame" reflects my progress as a songwriter who can write about meaningful things but keep everything fun and catchy”, Smith says. “This EP is definitely a step up from my previous projects. While I’m honoring the great artists that have influenced me, I’m also staying on the fringe. I like being on the outside of the mainstream. On the edge. I like giving a positive message, even in downer songs. I like rock because it lifts my spirits, takes me out of my funk and reminds me to let go of fears and just live”.


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02.02.2018

Edgar Winter.....

 

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01.02.2018

Elmore James.....

Mississippi born bluesman Elmore James left his imprint on a generation of rock performers with his electrified style, influencing Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards during his too brief lifetime. That influence extends to the world of roots music and the new James tribute album "Strange Angels: In Flight With Elmore James", which includes Rodney Crowell's rendition of "Shake Your Money Maker". Crowell's version retains the shimmying rhythm and tempo of James' original, replacing the strutting bass riff with some sizzling electric guitar.

"First time I heard 'Shake Your Money Maker', I was completely floored", says Crowell. "I couldn’t stop playing it for weeks. When I was asked to participate in this tribute, I jumped on it. Down and dirty, ethereal rock and roll is how I describe the song".

Released last week, January 26th, 2018, in conjunction with what would have been James' 100th birthday, "Strange Angels" also features Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer on the title track, Jamey Johnson and Warren Haynes on "It Hurts Me Too" and Tom Jones on "Done Somebody Wrong".

 

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31.01.2018

Mary Battiata.....

The Heart, Regardless” is a joyful tilt toward traditional country from singer songwriter Mary Battiata and her alt country project, Little Pink. It features 13 original tunes from Mary and some of the finest players on the mid atlantic’s country and bluegrass scenes, with contributions from special guests Dudley Connell (The Seldom Scene), Mike Munford (IBMA 2013 Banjo Player Of The Year), Baltimore songwriter and honk tonk bandleader Arty Hill and more. From the acoustic twang of “Tall Timbers,” the tale of a sister and brother on the 18th century Chesapeake Bay, to the dark tele, pedal steel and bodhrum pulse of “March 16”, an anti war anthem set in Northern Iraq in 1988, to the second line feel of “Six Miles Out”, and the early country and rockabilly sound of “20 Words” and “Can’t Take My Mind Off You”, ”The Heart, Regardless” is a fiery charmer.


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30.01.2018

Rundgren Dozier Nash.....

The new Lamont Dozier album, an acoustic re-imagining of many of the classic Motown catalogue he co-wrote (we're talking 50 # 1's here, folks!), is progressing beautifully. The album, produced by the legendary Fred Mollin, features cameos from a wonderful range of great artists, Gregory Porter, Cliff Richard, Rumer, Todd Rundgren, Jo Harman and Graham Nash included. BiG i AM Promotions & Management are honoured and delighted to play a part in this amazing project with a true musical giant who helped shape the history of modern music.

 

 

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29.01.2018

Chris Squire.....

"In March we will be reissuing Chris Squire's much loved 'Fish Out Of Water'. There will be a standard edition and a special box set. The box set will include a 180g vinyl cut at Abbey Road, an excellent new 5.1 mix by Jakko M Jakszyk, original remastered, plus singles and extras, and it has the full support of Chris Squires estate. It is a lovely tribute to Chris." ~ Vicky Powell, Esoteric Recordings

 

 

 

 

 

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28.01.2018

Wishbone Ash.....

Wishbone Ash's ”The Vintage Years 1970 – 1991” is a strictly limited deluxe 30 CD box set. Authorised by all of the original band members, this beautifully packaged tribute to one of Britain’s finest bands is loaded with rarities and memorabilia, and includes a lavish 156 page hardback book written by Classic Rock's Dave Ling. A 3rd of the collection features previously unheard and unreleased material. Strictly limited to 2500 copies, all discs have been remastered. Along with copious extras, posters, poster book, 7" single and more, the set includes individually signed photos of each band member. Released April 20th, 2018, on Madfish, the label behind the award winning Family, Steve Hillage and Small Faces box sets.

 

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27.01.2018

Procol Harum.....

Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of an official limited edition super deluxe box set celebrating 50 years of the legendary Procol Harum, "Still There’ll Be More".

This 8 disc set comprises 5 CD's and 3 DVD's, of which the 3 discs draw upon the key tracks from Procol Harum’s illustrious career. Disc 4 features the band’s legendary concert at the Hollywood Bowl on September 21st, 1973, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Roger Wagner Choral...e, whilst disc 5 features a previously unreleased concert at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens on March 17th, 1976.

Of the DVD content, NTSC region free, which features over 3 ½ hours of footage, mostly previously unreleased, disc 6 begins with a performance of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" on the BBC TV show 'Top Of The Pops' from December 1967, before moving to the archives of the German Beat Club series. All of the band’s surviving performances for the show are here, including the entire un broadcast raw video footage of the band’s Beat Club Workshop studio concert from 1971, shorn of the visual gimmickry of the actual broadcast, revealing the pure performance on DVD for the first time.

Disc 7 features the entire 65 minute recording session of a performance for the German Musikladen series in October 1973, most of which was never shown on television.

Disc 8 features more BBC TV performances, including a rendition of "Pandora’s Box" from 'Top Of The Pops' in September 1975 and the band’s set for the 'Sight & Sound In Concert' series in March 1977.

This lavish re-mastered set also features a 68 page hard backed book with an essay by Patrick Humphries and a lengthy in depth commentary on the performances featured by respected Procol Harum authority Roland Clare. The book also includes many previously unseen photographs and memorabilia from Gary Brooker’s private collection. "Still There’ll Be More" also includes a 60x40 reproduction poster from a Procol Harum concert, featuring support from Vivian Stanshall, in 1976.

"Still There’ll Be More" is the most elaborate celebration of Procol Harum’s music released to date and this deluxe box set is a fine tribute to 5 years of one of Britain’s greatest bands.

Esoteric Recordings, March 23rd, 2018.

 

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26.01.2018

Deborah Henriksson.....

Deborah Henriksson is a Grammy nominated American born Swedish singer and lyricist. Her music is straightforward, with simple or orchestral soundscapes, sometimes playful, sometimes full of dark beauty.  The genre is a mix of americana, pop, celtic and folk. Swedish music magazine Lira writes, ”The music finds its cement and individuality in the voice which is unmistakably her own”.

Deborah releases her 5th album ”Near And Far” in early 2018. The album was selected for the first round of the American Grammy’s 2018 in the category ”Best Pop Vocal Album”, and it has received brilliant reviews in the United States, Sweden, and Australia.  Songs from ”Near And Far” are also nominated for prizes in the prestigious UK Songwriting Contest.

Her song "Whisper" was voted # 1 for 8 weeks on the Swedish Independent Chart.  Other songs have enjoyed significant radio airplay in every state in the US, and every province in Canada, but also, among many other countries, in the UK, Sweden, France, Poland, Holland, Australia and China. Deborah has also been on several American TV shows in New York and New England, and her music videos have been aired on over 60 American TV channels.

Deborah has toured in the US, the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Austria.

Charlie Elland of folkwords.com writes, ”The more you listen to Deborah’s voice, the more you find yourself laying aside the weight of the day and slipping under a magical spell”.

 

Jimi Hendrix.....

Unreleased songs recorded by Jimi Hendrix between 1968 and 1970 will be released this year. Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings just announced that they will release Hendrix’s “Both Sides Of The Sky” on March 9th, 2018. The 13 track album includes 10 songs that have never been released.

Hendrix died in 1970 at age 27. The new album is the 3rd volume in a trilogy from the guitar hero’s archive. “Valleys Of Neptune” was released in 2010, followed by “People, Hell & Angels,” released in 2013. Eddie Kramer, who worked as recording engineer on every Hendrix album made during the artist’s life, said in an interview that 1969 was a very experimental year for Hendrix, and that he was blown away as he worked on the new album.

“The first thing is you put the tape on and you listen to it and the hairs just stand up right on the back of your neck and you go, ‘Oh my God. This is too fucking incredible”, said Kramer. “It’s an incredible thing. 40, 50 years later here we are and I’m listening to these tapes going, ‘Oh my God, that’s an amazing performance’”.

Many of the album’s tracks were recorded by Band of Gypsys, Hendrix’s trio with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. Stephen Stills appears on 2 songs, “$20 Fine” and “Woodstock”. “It sounds like Crosby, Stills & Nash except it’s on acid, you know”, Kramer, laughing, said of “$20 Fine”. “Jimi is just rocking it”, he added. “It’s an amazing thing”.

Johnny Winter appears on “Things I Used To Do”, original Jimi Hendrix Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding are featured on “Hear My Train A Comin’’’ and Lonnie Youngblood is on “Georgia Blues”

Kramer produced the album alongside John McDermott and Janie Hendrix, the legend’s sister and president of Experience Hendrix. Kramer said though “Both Sides Of The Sky” is the last of the trilogy, someone could find new Hendrix music in an attic or a basement, which could be re-worked. He also said they have live footage of Hendrix, some just audio and some in video, which they plan to release.

“It was amazing just to watch him in the studio or live. The brain kicks off the thought process, it goes through his brain through his heart and through his hands and onto the guitar, and it’s a seamless process”, Kramer said. “It’s like a lead guitar and a rhythm guitar at the same time, and it’s scary. There’s never been another Jimi Hendrix, at least in my mind”.

 

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25.01.2018

Jonathan Wilson.....

"I’m very excited to finally announce my new album 'Rare Birds' out March 2nd, 2018, on Bella Union. It’s a 13 song double vinyl situation, all recorded and mixed at my own Five Star Studios in Echo Park, Los Angeles, USA. I’ve been working on this record for the last few years. It's finally complete, and I can’t wait for you all to hear it. The 1st single 'Over the Midnight' is out now, as is the video by Render Fruit. I’m also hitting the road with my band and doing a big sweep of the US, UK, and Europe also starting March 2nd. I can say without a doubt that 'Rare Birds' is my favorite work to date. These are my favorite songs I’ve ever written. It’s really not a concept album, it is meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel in 2018 for calming healing music. I think we need whimsical surrealism, journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer affairs. I have included elements consciously and purposefully that I think will incite hope, positivity, reflection, longing, patience, mastery, abandon, fire, soothing meditation, agitation, it's all in there. I hope you love it." ~ Jonathan Wilson


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24.01.2018

Joan Baez.....

Legendary singer, songwriter, activist and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Joan Baez‘ brand new album "Whistle Down The Wind". Produced by 3 time Grammy® Award winner Joe Henry and recorded over 10 days of sessions in Los Angeles, "Whistle Down The Wind" gathers material by some of Baez’’s favourite composers.

"Whistle Down The Wind" is Joan’’s 1st new studio album in a decade, since 2008’’s critically acclaimed "Day After Tomorrow", which was produced by Steve Earle. Its release ignited an extraordinary decade of achievement by Joan, including the PBS American Masters series premiere of her life story, "Joan Baez : How Sweet The Sound" in 2009, which underscored the 50th anniversary of Joan’s debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Joan’s seminal debut album of 1960 was honoured by the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences in 2011, which inducted it into the Grammy® Hall Of Fame, and subsequently by the Library Of Congress in 2015, which selected it to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. That same year, Amnesty International bestowed its highest honour on Joan, the Ambassador Of Conscience Award, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights, and she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017.

Joan Baez remains a musical force of nature of incalculable influence. She marched on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, inspired Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war, and stood with old friend Nelson Mandela in London’’s Hyde Park as the world celebrated his 90th birthday. Joan’’s earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963. Thus began a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues on "Whistle Down The Wind", and which will reverberate long into the future across Joan’s lifetime of recordings.

Proper Records, March 2nd, 2018.

 

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23.01.2018

Spirit Box Set.....

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a new 5 CD remastered clamshell box set by the legendary band Spirit. Formed in Los Angeles in 1967 from the remnants of The Red Roosters, Spirit was one of the great bands to emerge on the US west coast in the psychedelic era.

Featuring the talents of 16 year old guitarist Randy California, who had played guitar with Jimi Hendrix in New York the previous year, his step father, drummer Ed Cassidy, along with Jay Ferguson, vocals, percussion, John Locke, keyboards and Mark Andes, bass, Spirit signed to producer Lou Adler’s newly established Ode Records label in late 1967.

Their self titled debut album appeared some months later and demonstrated the breadth and diversity of the band covering psychedelic, rock and jazz influences and featuring such legendary cuts as "Fresh Garbage", "Uncle Jack", "Topanga Windows", "Mechanical World", "Elijah" and "Taurus", the subject of a court case decades later when it was alleged Led Zeppelin had taken the musical structure of the piece as a basis for "Stairway To Heaven".

The band’s follow up album, "The Family That Plays Together", spawned the hit single "I’ve Got A Line On You", and was one of their finest works thanks to material such as "It Shall Be", "Aren’t You Glad", "Silky Sam" and "Darlin’ If".

Leading up to the recording of 1969’s "Clear" album Spirit recorded the soundtrack to Jaques Demy’s film 'The Model Shop'.

In 1970 Spirit recorded the classic "The Twelve Dreams Of Doctor Sardonicus" for Epic Records, from which the single "Animal Zoo" was taken and included excellent material such as "Nature’s Way", "Mr Skin", "Space Child", "Morning Will Come" and "Soldier".

Sadly the original line up of Spirit fell apart some months later leaving just Ed Cassidy and John Locke to assemble a new incarnation of Spirit for 1972’s "Feedback", which saw brothers Al and John Staehely join the band on bass and drums respectively. Spirit went on hiatus soon after, although California and Cassidy would continue to tour and record as Spirit on and off until California’s untimely death in 1997.

Newly re-mastered, this anthology features all of Spirit’s recordings for the Ode and Epic labels between 1968 and 1972, and notably includes the entire mono mix of the band’s self titled debut album, appearing on CD for the first time, the complete soundtrack to the film 'The Model Shop', along with original 1968 stereo mix of "The Family That Plays Together", associated out takes, singles and alternate mixes undertaken in 1991 for the "Time Circle" compilation.

"It Shall Be" also includes an illustrated booklet with essay by Malcolm Dome featuring archive interviews with Randy California and Ed Cassidy.

Esoteric Recordings, February 23rd, 2018.

 

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22.01.2018

Ajay Mathur.....

Mart Kawaii of ’Flowers In A Gun’ introduces the Grammy nominated singer songwriter Ajay Mathur as 'a true citizen of the world, born in India, living in Switzerland and creating his own version of americana with Zeppelin-esque guitars, exotic instruments, catchy songwriting and lyrics that speak to the heart'. The best way to describe the thread that runs through the genre bending songs on Ajay Mathur’s newest album ”Little Boat” is ‘resilience’. The songs are inspired by Ajay’s own life experiences and are about growing stronger in the face of adversity, bouncing back after going through tough situations and coming out the other side, stronger and better. ”Little Boat” follows on Ajay’s previous releases of ”A Matter Of Time” in 2011, ”Come See Conquer” in 2013 and the highly successful ”9 To 3” in 2015, that earned him a Grammy nomination in 2017. All of his albums have enjoyed excellent reviews, rankings on the charts and positive acknowledgement in the international media. ”Little Boat” is an emotional roller coaster ride, from the 1st song of this 12 track album right to the very last, and highlights Mathur’s one of a kind approach to songwriting and recording, while promising a unique musical adventure to mature and curious music lovers.


Brandi Carlile.....

Brandi Carlile's new album "By The Way, I Forgive You" is due out via Low Country Sound, an imprint of Elektra Records,  run by producer Dave Cobb, on February 16h, 2018. Cobb produced the album alongside Shooter Jennings, and the album will be Low Country Sound's 1st release. Carlile and company recorded the album at Nashville's historic RCA Studio A. Longtime collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth were also on hand, and co-wrote the album's songs with Carlile. Along with the album announcement, Carlile also shared the album's first single, "The Joke," and revealed a string of tour dates in support of the new release. "By The Way, I Forgive You" follows "The Firewatcher's Daughter" from 2015, as well as a 2017 release from Carlile, a 10th anniversary edition of her landmark sophomore album "The Story", called "Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years Of The Story (An Album To Benefit War Child)".

 

 

 

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21.01.2018

Heavy Horses.....

On February 9th, 2018, Parlophone Records will release the 40th anniversary ‘New Shoes Edition’ of Jethro Tull's "Heavy Horses", a 3 CD, 2 DVD box set, featuring the original album, plus additional studio recordings, live material and an extensive new booklet.

Ian Anderson explains its particular focus on horses and agricultural Life, saying :

“As a child, my big passion was to get off the leash and explore the local wooded and leafy suburbs. So it didn’t suddenly become new in 1977, it was just that the subject matter fitted what I wanted to write about at the time”.

 

 

 

 

 

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20.01.2018

The LYNNes.....

The LYNNeS are Canadian heartbreak poets Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson. These 2 songwriters are not new to working together, having toured and written songs off and on over the past 10 years, and with Miles having produced 2 of Hanson's albums, ”River Of Sand” in 2014 and ”7 Deadly Spins” in 2015. For THE LYNNeS songs are what matter the most, and their debut album “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” pairs hauntingly gritty lyrics with tight vocal harmonies.

The duo adopted an old school approach to recording their album, choosing to record to tape and recording all the bed tracks and many of the vocal and acoustic guitar parts live off the floor. Tracks like “Don't Look Down” and “Dark Waltz” showcase the unmistakable touch of Juno award winning guitarist Kevin Breit (Nora Jones, KD Lang, Rosanne Cash). The infectious “Recipe For Disaster” highlights the songwriting duo's knack to craft a catchy melody and memorable lyrics, while the radio friendly title track “Heartbreak For The Radio” begs for the listener to hit repeat. The athletic groove of the funky “Halfway To Happy” is a brilliant counterweight to the airy “Blue Tattoo”, which would not be out of place on a Fleetwood Mac album.

Each song on the album is a co-write, producing a truly collaborative effort, drawing on the strengths two Lynn(e), to create a sum greater than two individual parts.

The 2 witty songwriters play off each other live, often leaving the audience howling with laughter with their between song-banter. Miles has a slight edge in the humour department. Not surprising given Hanson’s burden of a lifetime of carrying the weight of a superfluous E. In addition to their beautiful harmonies, the 2 are skilled multi instrumental musicians, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, harmonica, mandolin, percussion.

Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer songwriters, with 14 albums to her credit, the winner of 4 Canadian Folk Music Awards, including 2011 English Songwriter Of The Year, and a 2003 Juno award for Roots & Traditional Solo Album Of The Year. Her song “Black Flowers” appeared on Claire Lynch’s Grammy nominated album “North By South”.

Lynne Hanson has been playing her brand of ’porch music with a little red dirt’ for the past 10 years, has released 6 albums, won the Colleen Peterson Award for songwriting, and been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.

 

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19.01.2018

Denny Doherty.....

Back in January 2016, Real Gone collected the complete singles of The Mamas & The Papas onto a 2 CD collection, to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary. 2 years later, today, January 19th, 2018, the label is turning its attention to a solo member of the band by releasing "Of All The Things : The Complete ABC/Dunhill Masters" by Denny Doherty, featuring Doherty’s 1971 album "Watcha Gonna Do" together with other assorted tracks, including four unreleased.

By 1969/1970, it looked as if The Mamas & The Papas were done. The group’s 4th album, "The Papas & The Mamas", had been released in 1968 and since then, Cass Elliot and John Phillips had moved on to solo recordings, while Michelle Phillips began an acting career. That is when the band’s label, ABC/Dunhill, came to Denny Doherty and informed him that he contractually owed them a solo album himself.  Doherty was teamed with future Eagles producer Bill Szymczyk to record what would become "Watcha Gonna Do".

Material began to be prepared for the album, with Doherty writing or co-Writing 5 new songs of the eventual 10 tracks. His collaborators included his then girlfriend/future wife Linda Woodward, and musician “Phast” Eddy Fischer, currently of the duo Robin & Eddy. A band was put together with Doherty, Woodward, Fischer and musician Gabe Lapano, who also contributed a song to the album with Woodward, forming the musical core.  The band was then rounded out with Bryan Garofalo, Russ Kunkel, Eric Hord, Buddy Emmons, Jimmie Haskell, labelmate Barry McGuire and even Szymczyk joining in.

Recording began in the summer of 1970 and the album would have a country feel, coinciding with work done by The Flying Burrito Brothers, Rick Nelson and John Phillips on recent projects, and foreshadowing the sound Szymcyzk would work with when he produced the Eagles. In addition to the originals on the album, Doherty would cover Hank Williams’ classic “Hey, Good Lookin'” and perform a medley of Beatles tunes with “Here Comes The Sun/The Two Of Us”. He would also revisit an earlier Mamas & The Papas hit with a substantially reworked “Got A Feelin’”.

"Watcha Gonna Do" was released in February 1971, but did not make much a dent on the charts.  Doherty would return to the original The Mamas & The Papas one more time when the group was obligated to record one more album for ABC/Dunhill. "People Like Us" was released in November 1971.

Real Gone’s CD is rounded out by 6 other songs Doherty recorded at ABC/Dunhill during this period. He contributed “To Claudia On Thursday”, featuring Spanky McFarlane of Spanky & Our Gang on background vocals, to Jimmie Haskell’s concept album "California ’99" in 1971, it was also released as a single. “Shadows On My Wall”, another Doherty/Woodward/Fischer composition, was recorded for the "Watcha Gonna Do" sessions, but remained in the vaults. However, Robin & Eddy have been performing the song onstage over the years as “Words Are Hard To Find”.

Doherty would record one more session for his label in 1972, which yielded 4 more tracks. 2 of those, “Sail The Waterway” and “Giles Of the River”, were written by a pre-Steely Dan Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, who also played on the tracks. Steely Dan producer Gary Katz helmed the sessions.  Steely Dan would release their debut later in 1972, and their own version of “Waterway” was issued as the b-side of their still unreleased on CD 1st single, “Dallas”. John Kay of Steppenwolf later recorded “Giles”. Eddy Fischer keeps “Shadow Sounds”, which he wrote with Doherty and Woodward, alive in his current setlist, but Doherty’s original 1972 recording has never been Heard, until now.  Finishing out the set is Doherty’s version of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter’s ballad “Of All The Things”. The song was not released at the time and was only 1st heard on last year’s The Mamas & The Papas "Ultimate Anthology" box set, a premium for Public Television.

Denny Doherty would move to Columbia Records for a short stint later in 1972, before going to Paramount Records in 1974. He would record an album, unreleased until 2001, featuring Michelle Phillips and Cass Elliot during his tenure there. The single “You’ll Never Know” was released from the sessions and was one of the final recordings to feature Elliot as she died two days after the single’s release. Doherty would move to various arenas over the ensuing decades, including further recordings, the Broadway stage, stints in The New Mamas & The Papas beginning in the 1980's, and several gigs on Canadian television.  Doherty passed away in January 2007 at the age of 66.

Real Gone’s compilation includes a 20 page booklet and the liner notes include quotes from collaborators and friends, including Eddy Fischer, Bill Szymczyk, Michelle Phillips, and Denny’s children. It has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.

 

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18.01.2018

Kyle Carey.....

“In her gentle, modest way Kyle Carey represents both a well traveled path, but also an innovation” ~ Celtic Beat Magazine

Possessed of an elegant grace, on ”The Art Of Forgetting” Kyle Carey weaves together resonant threads of Celtic and American roots music into a rich tapestry of acoustic storytelling. Produced by 4 time Grammy winner Dirk Powell, the album unites an all star international cast of musicians, Louisiana’s Sam Broussard on guitar, Scotland’s John McCusker on fiddle, the Netherlands’ Ron Janssen on octave mandolin, Nashville’s Kai Welch on trumpet, Ireland’s Mike McGoldrick on flute, and North Carolina’s Rhiannon Giddens on backing vocals. Powell, one of the world’s leading experts on traditional fiddle and banjo styles, particularly Cajun, lends his particular skills as well.

Carey’s own story is as worldly as her music, raised by her schoolteacher parents first in the Alaskan Bush, where she heard Yup’ik Eskimo spoken as often as she heard English, and then in rural New Hampshire. She studied literature in college, and then travelled to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on a Fulbright Fellowship to begin her study of the Gaelic language and its music. Carey is one of those scarce as hen’s teeth Irish Americans fluent in the language of her ancestors.

That was followed by a 2 year sojourn on the Isle of Skye, there she cemented her command of the Gaelic language and fell under the tutelage of Christine Primrose, a native of nearby Lewis and one of Scotland’s most revered traditional singers. From Primrose she learned the secrets of pronunciation and tone that distinguish those who sing from the deep heart of that music.

Carey has showcased that style in the traditional Gaelic songs, 2 on each album, that have graced her previous CD’s and also this 3rd one. Her 2011 debut, ”Monongah was recorded in western Ireland and produced by Donogh Hennesy of the acoustic super group Lùnasa. ”North Star”, released in 2014, was recorded this time in Scotland, and was produced by Seamus Egan, a founding member of Solas.

In her original material, however, she breaks new ground in her ability to make that style the pulse of a new American sort of folk music. The essence of that revolution lies in the real distinction Carey draws between Celtic Americana, i.e. the well traveled path of American musicians performing in the style of traditional Celtic music, and the Gaelic Americana that she writes and performs. Her music is innovative not only in its bone deep feel for Celtic tradition, but in all that she is able to graft on to it by way of a personal vision as capacious as the North American continent.

The Americana portion of this synthesis has been plucked variously from bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian ballads and fiddle tunes, in the lyrics from personal experience, Appalachian folktale, Dustbowl narrative, the Old and New Testaments, Greek mythology, and the rough hewn poetry of West Virginia’s Louise McNeill.

Celtic Beat has noted that some Celtic purists have found Carey’s Gaelic Americana upsetting, which is good, as ’that is what makes her such a valuable artist’. A spokesman for the World Music Network, which will be distributing The Art of Forgetting, entirely agrees, ’Carey represents the true vision of a transatlantic artist’.

There may well be a well travelled path for folk music in these transatlantic lanes, but no one has done it like Carey, to shift into reverse, to go back to the graves of her ancestors, to learn the language they spoke, the songs they sang, and to use this knowledge in creating a new sort of American folk music, one that continues to cross boundaries, to forge alliances.

“Take the North Star for your journey”, Carey sings in that duet with Rhiannon Giddens. She has done so, and it has brought her, and her audience, to this, her 3rd release, and the most fully wrought realization of her vision.


Chris Hillman.....

Chris Hillman co-founded some of the most classic, seminal, groundbreaking acts of the 60's and 70's, including the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Bros, Manassas, and the Souther Hillman Furay Band. But, in the mid 70's, he decided it was time to try things on his own. The 20 track "The Asylum Years" compilation, to be released on February 9th, 2018, by Omnivore Recordings, combines Hillman’s 2 Asylum LPs on one CD for the 1st time.

1976 brought "Slippin’ Away", the musical journeyman’s 1st solo release. Produced by renowned engineers Ron and Howard Albert, it was a star studded affair, featuring members of Booker T & The MG’s, Poco, Buffalo Springfield, Turtles, and ace studio musicians. Hillman took his place as frontman, and the results were the epitome of the classic 70's L.A. sound.

He returned the following year with "Clear Sailin’", which saw him dial back the flashy supporting cast for a more traditional release, sounding much like the iconic music he had created in his early years with the Byrds and the Burritos. For "Clear Sailin’" Hillman assembled a core band, including soon to be superstar Richard Marx, with production helmed by Jim Mason. A number of songs feature co-writes with Crawdaddy magazine’s founder, Peter Knobler.

Hot on the heels of Hillman’s 2017 critically acclaimed album "Bidin’ My Time",produced by Tom Petty, "The Asylum Years" presents both of those 70's albums on 1 CD, with an essay from Scott Schinder, featuring a new interview with Hillman. Quoted in Schinder’s liner notes, Hillman revealed, “Doing these records was part of my growing process. Do we ever master our professions? Not really, you’re always learning something. It was with the Desert Rose Band that I really felt that I’d come to a point where I’d put in enough time for it to pay off musically. These records are all steps on that journey, and the journey’s been pretty wonderful”.

Having been a catalyst and innovator on the musical landscape for decades, "The Asylum Years" sees this Byrd take flight.

 

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17.01.2018

Roxy Music's 1st.....

Roxy Music have announced details of a box set devoted to their self titled debut album. It’ll be released by Universal Music on February 2nd, 2018. It’ll be available as a 4 disc super deluxe edition, featuring previously unreleased demos, outtakes, radio sessions, rare footage and 136 page book. Meanwhile, the whole album has been remixed in 5.1 by Steven Wilson. A deluxe 2 D set, featuring a 24 page booklet, will also be released, as well as a digital version and on 180 g vinyl.

Speaking about the band’s debut, guitarist Phil Manzanera commented, “At 21, my musical dreams came true, recording this album with these wonderfully talented and unique band members. Magical times, magical music”. Saxophonist Andy Mackay recalls, “Late 71/72 Roxy was our arts lab. The place where we exchanged ideas and dreams freely and created and explored a new sound landscape. We stepped into Command Studios with a complete album in our heads, and half the next one, and it only needed the tape to start running, no album was as easy to record again”.

Drummer Paul Thompson, “The 1st Roxy Music album was my opportunity to create. I wasn’t used to this type of lineup, I was used to being in guitar based bands but always wanted to broaden my horizons and here was my chance. A landmark in the history of pop”. Looking back on the album, Bryan Ferry reflected, “We never really felt accepted, I can see how the old guard would have felt threatened by it, because it was so jammed full of ideas and a massive amount of energy. But we hadn’t paid our dues, not in the same way. And we’re still not a part of it, not really, even to this day. That’s been very hard over the years, to try and make it work without being one of them. The ‘them’ is always different, but we’re not part of it. It’s been one of the triumphs, that we’ve managed to stay sane. Or sane-ish. We’re a part of it all, somehow, but still on the outside”.

 

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16.01.2018

Backtrack Blues Band.....

Backtrack Blues Band announces a January 26th, 2018, release date for the group’s new live CD/DVD, ”Make My Home In Florida”, on Harpo Records.

There was a packed house at the historic Palladium Theater in St Petersburg, Florida, on January 6th, 2017, when the Backtrack Blues Band arrived for the show. Excitement was in the air, as the hometown audience knew the performance was being filmed and recorded for the band’s new live album.

There’s no doubt the group felt the enthusiasm, as Backtrack Blues Band delivered a strong mix of both blues classics and original songs. Borrowing from T Bone Walker, BB King, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, while also adding several original songs including the title song, “Make My Home In Florida”, this was a magical night of blues music.

The band’s founder, lead singer and harmonica ace Sonny Charles described the evening, “we knew that the show was being filmed and recorded, but the band never discussed it much. Our goal was to relax and have fun playing to a sold out room. We are all such good friends, and we genuinely appreciate what each guy brings to our sound, so it was actually easy for us to just go out there and let it roll”.

The relaxed, fun vibes are captured perfectly on ”Make My Home In Florida”, and it’s hard not to have a good time when this album is cranking.

Backtrack Blues Band is no stranger to large audiences, having played major blues festivals in America and Canada , and opened for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others during its 37 year history. But given the extensive preparations for a 5 camera high definition film project and state of the art recording, this night was bound to be special.

The band’s style of blues is built upon a blend of Sonny Charles’ amplified harmonica and Kid Royal’s Texas style lead guitar. Both men add convincing vocals, and the rhythm section of former Amazing Rhythm Aces bassist Jeff ’Stick’ Davis and drummer Joe Bencomo, plus guitar player Little Johnny, drives this blues machine in high gear with an infectious groove. The result is a tight, honest night of blues music, played straight from the heart, with no gimmicks or studio enhancements. It’s the kind of performance that evolves from many years of playing together, in a band that truly loves working as a team.

Backtrack Blues Band was formed in the tropics and the group values its Florida and Caribbean roots. The band was an early leader on the Florida blues scene in the 1980’s, as one of the 1st authentic blues acts in Tampa Bay. The ”Make My Home In Florida” release marks the group’s 6th album and reflects decades of musical experience from deep down south.

The band also travels to the Caribbean for shows, and Sonny keeps a home on St John in the US Virgin Islands. The album’s song, “Shoot My Rooster ,“was derived from his island experiences. As Sonny explained, “on St John, we have lots of wild animals that roam the island and keep us entertained, donkeys, goats, iguanas and chickens are everywhere. At my place, a feral rooster hung out, and crowed loudly every morning. A friend said I should shoot the rooster. I never did pull the trigger, but it did inspire me to write a new tune”. 

On ”Make My Home In Florida”, the Backtrack Blues Band brings its unique blend of Chicago blues and Texas inspired guitar to full measure, resulting in one of the most exciting live blues albums in quite a while. While they may seek out the sunshine and warm waters of Florida and beyond, on this live CD/DVD, the Backtrack Blues Band delivers stone cold blues music at its very best.

As writer and author Bill Dahl summarizes in the package’s liner notes, “whether they’re cooking up a dynamic original or reviving a hallowed classic, the Backtrack Blues Band has a sound all its own. This exciting in concert collection is the next best thing to experiencing them in the flesh!”

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15.01.2018

Dr John's Grooves.....

This brand new collection will include an LP of the best Atco Records tracks and an additional LP of unreleased demos, recorded by Dr John between the years 1968 and 1974. The bonus material has never been issued before on any format. Taken from the highest quality sources, this album will have lacquers cut at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis. The deluxe ROG edition would be pressed on 180g black vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands and come in a gatefold tip on Stoughton sleeve. Each 2LP set will be individually numbered and strictly limited. Run Out Groove Records, January 26th, 2018.

 

 

 

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14.01.2018

Caroline Wickberg.....

After realizing it never sounded good when she sang other peoples songs, Caroline Wickberg stopped dreaming about becoming a jazz diva and foucused on her own songs. The brand new EP ”I’m Not Mad” circles around separation, death, letting go and the confusion and clarity that comes with it. How do you know if you’re finally truly happy, or if you’re farther away from reality, and deeper into the madness of the mind, than ever? The music surrounding the lyrics has grown from Carolines Wickbergs roots in pop, country and jazz, and together with friend and producer Henrik Alsér her acoustic songs spread out to become little landscapes…..


Tommy Emmanuel.....

The Players Club is a new imprint from the Mascot Label Group. This label will be home to great and free spirited guitar music and jams. Imagine being in a cool, dark and sweaty club with a couple of great musicians about to start their set.

The 1st Players Club album is by none other than Tommy Emmanuel, who is a guitar hero to every other guitar hero around the world, and 1 of only 5 people named "Certified Guitar Player" by the legendary Chet Atkins.

His new album "Accomplice One" will be released on January 19th, 2018. "Accomplice One" features an impressive list of some of today’s most respected performers, from across the musical spectrum, including Jason Isbell, Mark Knopfler, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs, JD Simo, David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Suzy Bogguss and many more.

This is an album for all types of Tommy Emmanuel fans, from longtime guitar aficionados who’ve followed his career for decades, to lovers of great songs and melodies who flock to Tommy’s shows for the emotional authenticity driving every performance.

 

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13.01.2018

Perry, Reid & Zander.....

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry will release his all star solo album "Sweetzerland Manifesto" in January 2018. The 10 track album, executive produced by Perry's Hollywood Vampires band mate, Johnny Depp, features guest vocalists like Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, the New York Dolls' David Johansen and Terry Reid, alongside musicians like drummer Zak Starkey and Perry's sons Tony and Roman on synths and drum programming.

"It's going to be interesting to see what songs people gravitate to because there's such a wide variety of tunes", Perry said in a statement. All of the "Sweetzerland Manifesto" tracks were either written by Perry or a collaboration between the guitarist and his guest vocalist, the lone exception is a cover of PF Sloan's "Eve of Destruction", featuring Perry himself on vocals while Depp provides drums.

"Sweetzerland Manifesto", due out January 19th, 2018, on Roman Records, is Perry's 1st solo album since 2009's "Have Guitar, Will Travel". Perry recorded the album at Los Angeles' Studio 1480, with the guitarist producing the album with Bruce Witkin.

 

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12.01.2018

Matthew O'Neill.....

Matthew O’Neill’s ”Trophic Cascade” is the debut release from Underwater Panther Coalition. O’Neill found acclaim with the ”Campfire Cook” LP issued in 2015 via California’s Lone Pine Records, and was praised by LA Weekly, CMJ, Magnet Magazine and others.

Returning with ”Trophic Cascade”, we see a more driven and determined O’Neill. Offering a more sophisticated record that’s bigger, bolder and more ambitious, he charts sonic territories unimaginable to listeners of his earlier works.

Having spent much of his early years living nomadically in National Forests and on Indian reservations, and working seasons on isolated farms and ranches, O’Neill’s worldview and experiences are full of contradictions, and these can he heard on this gorgeously eclectic new LP.

O’Neill channels the sounds of americana, psychedelia, soul, folk, rock’n’roll, funk, world and country, along with the spirits and sights of the great outdoors. Matthew lives and breathes the kind of expansive music that allows the listener to bring their own trip to the trip.

Twang and tribal drumming clash with synth, sax, strings and stoner guitar solos. These contradictory musical elements combine beautifully with album’s message. But there’s plenty of style to accompany the substance.

Pulling together an incredible ensemble of musicians, O’Neill is backed by a luscious layering of baritone sax and contrabass clarinet by Stuart Bogie (Arcade Fire, David Byrne & St Vincent, Iron &Wine, Sharon Van Etten), synth/keys by Frank LoCrasto (Cass McCombs), soulful vocals by Shayna Steele (Hairspray Live, Bette Midler), cello by Dave Eggar (Patti Smith, Frank Ocean, Paul Simon, Sia), bass by Jacob Silver (Charles Bradley, Lauren Hill, Lucinda Williams), and co-produced with 2 x Grammy winner Diko Shoturma (Bjork, St Vincent, David Crosby), the album sounds huge.

Opening with the call to action “Bridge Builder”, Matthew says, “’Bridge Builder’ exists at a confluence of Native American ways, failing political systems, concepts of personal freedom, and alternative positive futures”. It’s a strong dose of crunching Americana full of stomp and swagger, O’Neill sets the tone early, but this is no one-note outing.

O’Neill offsets the Nick Cave tinged malevolence of “Poisoning The Well” (“and you got that blood stained white T-shirt from when they took her from you, and I got those guilt ridden old sneakers, hanging on the line”) with the delirious psychedelia and tribal drumming of “1000 Years”.

While the shimmering and soulfully progressive “Louisiana” hints at the 70’s, he soon offers a more experimental twist on the singer songwriter format with the brass heavy “There You Go Again”, before diving headfirst into the cocksure, irresistible groove of “Alzheimer’s Blues”.

Though a consistent and full sounding collection, the album rarely repeats a trick, innovating, building and exploring from beginning to end.


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11.01.2018

Fleetwood Mac.....

Fleetwood Mac will include a slew of previously unreleased studio and live recordings on a new reissue of their 1975 self titled album, out January 19th, 2018. The new set will be available in several formats, including a deluxe edition featuring 3 CD's, 1 DVD and 1 vinyl LP. An expanded 2 CD set will also be available, as will a single disc featuring a remastered version of the original album. The remastered audio will also be available digitally and on streaming services.

Released in 1975, "Fleetwood Macmarked the Fleetwood Mac's 10th studio album, but only their 1st with Lindsey Buckingham on guitar and Stevie Nicks on vocals. The record topped the Billboard album chart and produced several classics including "Rhiannon" and "Landslide".

The forthcoming deluxe and expanded editions of "Fleetwood Mac" will notably feature a complete alternate version of the album made up entirely of previously unreleased outtakes and live recordings. The live songs were recorded during concerts in 1976, and the deluxe edition will include 14 additional unreleased live tracks. The deluxe and expanded sets will also include the remastered album, as well as single mixes for "Over My Head", "Rhiannon", "Say You Love Me" and a previously unreleased version of "Blue Letter". Meanwhile, the deluxe edition will include the original album pressed on 180-gram vinyl, plus a DVD featuring 5.1 surround sound and high resolution 24/96 stereo audio mixes of the record.

 

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10.01.2018

Hion Martell.....

Hion Martell is a 4 piece band from Sweden. The band has been around with various lineups since 1992. The band's music is influenced by the british blues rock, american southern rock and 70's glam rock, as well as giants such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. All boiled down to a distillate that satisfy the most demanding rock'n'roll connoisseur.

 

Stax Singles 4.....

The latest edition to the best selling "Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles" collection of box sets, "Volume 4" delves deep into the Stax archives, offering rare singles and b-sides, spanning the heyday of the Memphis label, from the early 60's through the mid 70's. This 6 CD collection includes a cross section of music from all of Stax's associated imprints, including Truth, Chalice, Enterprise, Hip and Ardent, offering not just soul tracks, but also gospel, country, rock and blues. An accompanying booklet, with photos and extensive new liner notes, will round out the package. January 12th, 2018.

 

 

 

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09.01.2018

Dionne Warwick.....

Dionne Warwick’s recordings for the Scepter label rank as arguably the most successful run of any artist, and certainly of any female artist, for an independent label during the 1960's. But all that success had a downside for her considerable legacy, Scepter became a hot property for acquisition, and as a result the label’s holdings were bought and sold several times before Dionne herself arranged to buy her own masters back. By that time, though, the Scepter tapes had been scattered in disarray, thus leaving a lot of material in limbo and causing compilers to throw up their hands.

Well, where other reissue labels fear to tread Real Gone Music goes full speed ahead. "Odds & Ends : Scepter Records Rarities" offers 25 hard to find tracks, plus some bonus promo spots, from the Scepter vaults, including rare alternate versions of hits like “Don’t Make Me Over”, “I Say A Little Prayer”, and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose”, stereo singles “He’s Moving On”, “Amanda”, foreign language singles “A House Is Not A Home” in Italian and French, “Walk On By” in German and Italian, and just plain lost tracks, like “Our Ages Or Our Hearts” and “Monday, Monday”. Many of the selections are previously unissued and most are making their CD debut. What’s more, this one’s released with the full cooperation of the legendary lady, Dionne herself, who sat down for an interview with liner note writer Joe Marchese, and includes rare photos. Remastered by Ted Carfrae, "Odds & Ends : Scepter Records Rarities" is a stone solid must for any Dionne fan, and of course any Bacharach David fan as well, this is some of the greatest, and rarest, vocal pop music of the 60's. January 12th, 2018.

 

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08.01.2018

Emily Herring.....

Emily Herring simply sings purest country music. Witness ”Gliding”, Herring's 4th record, produced by legendary instrumentalist Steve Fishell and releasing on Austin based Eight 30 Records, delivers all raw emotion with a voice branded at birth for honkytonks. Listen. You'll hear.

The daytime auto mechanic and nighttime singer songwriter effortlessly infuses her new collection with equal measures swagger and sway. “I found an immediate connection with Emily”, Fishell says. “Her voice rings like Rosie Flores did in the 1980’s when I played with her during the Los Angeles cowpunk movement. She has that energy and fire”.

”Gliding” shows both while deftly balancing sharp songwriting with endlessly energy. Spiritual motion guides the journey. “Gliding's a movement with a certain stillness attached”, the longtime central Texas resident says. “You're at the mercy of the wind along with the extreme force of gravity. The title track leads you off the ledge and into a moment where time stands still, your thoughts slowly moving through what could have been with only the implication of the inevitable”.

The elegant narrative measures up. “It's completely unintentional that this album has such an undercurrent of sadness”, Herring admits. “Even the covers are just songs I love and love to sing. Only one song maintains an honest to goodness uplifting lyrical quality. A few suggest the possibility of a happier tomorrow, but today's usually still painful in some way. Even 'Semi Truck' is a theoretical bummer”.

Meanwhile, Herring's originals effortlessly showcases an already seasoned songwriter rising rapidly. The song cycle, 10 vibrant vignettes backing earthy with ethereal, simultaneously salutes influences past while pointing eyes toward the future. High watermarks transcend.

Few songwriters frame such direct lines toward heart and home. “I'm eager for her to become more well known in the americana world”, Fishell says. “Emily's music speaks to me and makes me smile. She's a poet, very personal and passionate in her writing, heartfelt and soulful when she sings, a universal artist who rings true and with honesty and such a compelling voice. I think people will take notice and want to hear more. She's truly inspiring and I was lucky to work with her. Plus, she laughs all the time and is a joy to be around”.

 

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07.01.2018

David Crosby.....

About to make another ’Lighthouse’ record with Michael League, Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis. Can’t help it. Won’t make a dime, but it’s so much fun to do, so we will.” ~ David Crosby

 

Betty Davis.....

Betty Davis was riding high in the 70's. A new record label, a series of high profile relationships, and intensely sexualized live performances made her a rising star. It seemed like everything was aligned to take the music world by storm. So Betty and band got back into the studio where she would act as writer, producer, and performer, creating what she thought would be her definitive release.

What emerged was the unapologetically uncompromising, self referential 1975 album "Nasty Gal". Now, over 40 years later, Light In The Attic Records is proud to announce the reissue of this final Island Records release by unparalleled funkstress Betty Davis.

The re-release features liner notes by John Ballon, writer of the Wax Poetics Betty Davis cover story in 2007, original album art, complete lyrics, rare photos, and interviews.

Ahead of its time, "Nasty Gal" shows Betty digging deeper into her musical and cultural expression than ever before, and delivers from every angle. This is Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone inspired funk rock at its finest. From the title tracks mutant groove and grunt, to her onetime husband and jazz legend Miles Davis co-written ballad “You and I”, this lady will tear your heart out. Betty’s time is now.

Light In The Attic Records, January 12th, 2018.

 

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06.01.2018

Stephen Stills.....

New music from Stephen Stills? Sort of! Our friend Richard Gerstein wrote a song with Stephen back in the day. It's been resurrected with Stephen doing overdubs on the guitar in his home studio. Richard's album, ’Bears Back’, will be out early in 2018 and one of the tracks will be the song he and Stephen wrote together, ’Give It Up’, produced by Tony Braunagel.” ~ Susan Miller

 

 


 

 

 

 

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05.01.2018

Henry Diltz.....

 

Zappa @ The Roxy.....

 

 

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20.12.2017

The Beatles Xmas.....

Apple and Universal Music has just issued a new Beatles box set just in time for this Christmas. "The Christmas Records" is a vinyl box set that features 7 coloured vinyl records. Each 45 features the Fab Four’s original festive messages, which were issued every year to the fan club on flexi disc.

The Christmas messages were very much an annual tradition and ran from 1963 to 1969. They are largely spoken word with lots of larking around, although 1967’s does feature "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", which if you are feeling generous you could describe as a song.

These Christmas messages have been newly pressed as 7" coloured vinyl singles for this new limited edition box set. It also comes with a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club’s national newsletters, which were mailed to members with the holiday flexi discs.

"The Christmas Records" box set was released on December 15th, 2017. A vinyl picture disc of "Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" will be issued on the same day.

 

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19.12.2017

Beth Wimmer.....

In late 2017, Beth Wimmer releases her 4th full-length album, ”Bookmark”.

Bookmark”, Wimmer's 1st new collection in 6 years, offers 9 original songs, and one fantasy fulfilled of covering the late David Bowie's ”Starman”. As usual, Wimmer changes up her styles and energies, and the tunes' various stories are playful, intelligent, revealing and hopeful. Sometimes dreamlike, sometimes presented by different characters seemingly residing within Wimmer, ”Bookmark” burns with guitar based grooves, ambience, infectious rhythms, and Wimmer's mature vocal delivery.

”Bookmark” is co-produced by guitarist Billy Watts (Mojo Monkeys, Eric Burdon, Jennifer Warnes) together with Wimmer, and features lush, expert, storytelling guitar work from Watts, and the irresistible solid fun rhythm section of David Raven on drums (Mojo Monkeys, Keith Richards, Jim Lauderdale, Norah Jones) and Taras Prodaniuk on bass (Mojo Monkeys, Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams).

The songs from ”Bookmark” are additionally accented with Wimmer's acclaimed musical mates in Switzerland, singer Suzie Candell, bassist Rodrigo Aravena, and multi instrumentalist Dänu Wisler.

Catch Beth Wimmer live on tour in 2018, primarily in Switzerland, with tour dates in Austria, Germany, Italy, Holland and other European states also in the works.

 

More Monkees.....

Who's ready for even more of "More"? In honor of the 50th anniversary this year, we've super sized "More Of The Monkees" with a staggering 91 tracks, including 55 previously unreleased alternate takes, remixes, and newly discovered concert recordings from 1967, the band's earliest known live tracks, as well as a bonus 7" of "I'm A Believer" (Remix)/"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Vocals Only).

"This is the most exciting archival dig through The Monkees' vault since 2009's 'The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees" deluxe edition. Every track is newly mastered for this set, the live material is the most historically significant of their career", says Andrew Sandoval, who produced the set and wrote a new essay for its expansive booklet.

This super deluxe edition takes listeners into the studio for the making of the album through extensive studio outtakes. Many make their debut here, including the 1st recorded versions of "Words", "Valleri", "Hold On Girl" and more. Backing tracks for early version of "Sometime In The Morning", "I'm A Believer" and "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" offer a behind the scenes perspective on the creative process.

However, the set's most historic aspect is the inclusion of newly discovered unreleased live music. Recorded in Arizona in 1967, these 10 tracks are The Monkees' earliest known live recordings. The performance highlights songs from the band's 1966 self titled debut, "I Wanna Be Free" and "Papa Gene's Blues", along with covers of Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" and Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover".

"More Of The Monkees", super deluxe edition, was available on December 15th, 2017.

 

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18.12.2017

Lelle Dahlberg.....

I was born in the rural outback of Bureå, Sweden, to hard working parents. My mother Siri worked with caring for the elders, and and my father Torsten worked the vast forests of Västerbotten.

The one who inspired me to take up music from the very beginning, was my grandfather on my mothers side, Kalle Markström. He played the guitar, the fiddle and sometimes he sang.

I think I must have been about 10 years old when I started to investigate grandpa’s beautiful Levin archtop guitar. Got my first own guitar a few years later and eventually started playing alongside a couple of friends and we formed a band, The Sailors.

I wrote my 1st song when I was 13, and after that there has been hundreds and hundreds more, some where I have written both music and lyrics, some are co-writes, and some just lyrics for the music of others. A couple of hundred has been recorded by artists and bands and has topped the Swedish charts.

Now, I have finally decided to release a few of my own songs on an album, this time under my own name, or rather, Lelle Dahlberg.

These words are true.”

~ Lelle Dahlberg

 

DRAM & Young.....

DRAM and Neil Young’s long rumored song is finally coming out. It’s called “Campfire”, and it appears on the soundtrack to the new Netflix film, 'Bright', starring Will Smith. The soundtrack album is due out December 22nd, 2017, via Atlantic Records. It also features tracks from Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, A$AP Rocky, Tom Morello, Alt-J, Lil Uzi Vert, and more. Directed by David Ayer, 'Bright' sees Will Smith as an LAPD officer who partners with an orc in the movie’s fantasy world. It’s coming to Netflix also on December 22nd, 2017. DRAM teased his collaboration with Young last year, calling the experience 'monumental'. DRAM recently released a new Rick Rubin produced song called “Check Ya Fabrics”. Young’s "Hitchhiker" archival album came out in September, and his new album "The Visitor" was released December 1st, 2017.

 

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17.12.2017

Monterey Pop 1967.....

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer Of Love, the 1st and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock'n'roll. Monterey featured career making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse line up that included Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & The Papas, The Who, The Byrds, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic style, and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock, DA Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend, Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin’s performance. "The Criterion Collection" is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring the films "Monterey Pop", "Jimi Plays Monterey" and "Shake! Otis At Monterey", along with every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew. Released last Friday, December 15th, 2017.

 

 

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16.12.2017

Sebastián Caldas.....

Sebastián Caldas Zeballos was born in Uruguay in 1977. He moved to Sweden at the age of 2. He started playing classical guitar in Malmö at the age of 9 and knew very early that he would dedicate the rest of his life to music. His formal education was first in Spain where he studied with maestro Marco Socias at Musikene, The Higher School Of Music Of The Basque Country. There he got a higher diploma in music with classical guitar as specialty in musical performance in 2006. In 2004 he was awarded with 2nd prize in the International Guitar Competition Of Azpiazu in the duos modality, in San Sebastián, Spain. He has got master degree from Piteå Musikhögskola at the Master Program in Music Performance with Jan-Olof Eriksson.

Sebastián Caldas Zeballos has recorded 2 solo albums with the label Daphne, distributed by Naxos, both with very good reviews from the Swedish musical press.

Sebastián Caldas Zeballos has received 3 grants from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and 1 from Musikverket. The Swedish Uruguayan guitarist is very interested in working across genres and barriers. His project Moving Horizons, a collaboration with percussionists from the Candombe tradition has toured in Scandinavia and South America.

In 2016 Caldas took the project to a new level with the “Moving Horizons Meets Anty Ram Trio”, working with musicians who use improvisation as their main means of expression. The ensemble played in Oslo, at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in Stockholm, in Malmö, and in Borås, Sweden.

Nowruz”, Sebastián Caldas Zeballos’ latest album, has been praised by the Swedish Guitar & Lute Magazine for being a reference in Scandinavia for Latin American guitar music, as well as for being innovative in collaborating with musicians from other traditions.

In 2017 Caldas toured Uruguay and Argentina with the “Moving Horizons Meets Anty Ram Trio”, funded by the Swedish Arts Grants committee.

 

 

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15.12.2017

Tamla Motown 1966.....

Given the speed and frequency with which the Motown label made recordings during its heyday, the company’s vaults are known to be vast. Large amounts of unreleased material have been added to compilations and reissues over the years, while still other collections have been solely devoted to never before heard tracks from the label’s superstars. Due to European copyright laws that allow unused recordings to enter the public domain, Motown has been releasing digital only copyright extension compilations for the past several years beginning with the multiple "Motown Unreleased 1962 : Guys, Girls, Jazz, and Gospel" volumes.

Last year’s "Motown Unreleased : 1966" was the largest single package yet, featuring 80 tracks and nearly 4 hours of music. Inevitably with each annual release comes the question, “when will these be available on CD?”. UMC, a Universal catalogue arm, is coming to the rescue. Today, on December 15th, 2017, UMC will issue "Motown Unreleased : 1966" as a 4 CD box set limited to 1 000 units.

The artists found on this compilation are a veritable who’s who of Motown, including Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Miracles, Four Tops, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martha & The Vandellas, Marvelettes and The Supremes. It also features some of Motown’s lesser known acts like The Underdogs, Debbie Dean and Little Lisa. In addition, "Motown Unreleased : 1966" has some major artists who were on Motown, but found greater success elsewhere like jazz crooner Billy Eckstine, Isley Brothers and The Spinners. One short lived band whose members would go on to have great fame were The Mynah Birds, whose line up in 1966 included Rick James, Bruce Palmer and Neil Young. Due to various complications, the group only recorded a handful of songs for the label which remained unreleased for years. A couple of have seen the light of day in previous years, and now 2 more are being unveiled officially: “I’ve Got You (In My Soul)” and “I’ll Wait Forever”.

The range of material covered on this set is wide, from, of course, Motown hits, standards, Broadway, rock and gospel. There are several alternate and early versions of familiar songs such as Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and several takes of Four Tops’ cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Wives & Lovers”, each with a different lead vocalist. Other cover versions of non Motown pop and rock songs include The Supremes covering Beatles’ “Michelle”. There are new duets to discover as well, such as between Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, and Gladys Knight and The Spinners.

 

Robert Ellis.....

Sometimes, songs become so imbedded in our minds, and our culture, that their essential nature makes us forget how unusual they may actually be. And one like “Gentle On My Mind”, written by John Hartford and made iconic by Glen Campbell, is no exception. Hartford, himself, admitted that it actually broke all the musical rules, in terms of what should work commercially, it’s layered thick with his signature newgrass banjo instrumentals, it’s more poetry than traditional verse chorus verse, in fact, there is no proper chorus, and it was written in just 20 minutes. Now, it feels like a traditional, and a priceless one at that. Still, Hartford’s not a household name. Though years after his death in 2001, he’s up there amongst the treasured gods in the eyes of so many modern working artists, particularly in the americana, country and folk realms.

He’s certainly an influence on Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman, who toured together and developed an artistic symbiosis on the road before recording "Dear John", their tribute to the work of Hartford that was released on December 8th, 2017, through Cory Chisel's and Adriel Denae’s Refuge Foundation for the Arts. And this version of “Gentle On My Mind” from the collection showcases the kinship Ellis and Hartman carry with the Grammy winner. Together, their voices meld into a soft, harmonious coo, and a luscious, complex interplay of guitar gives the song new life despite its classic status, particularly as the last minute dissolves into just instruments alone when these two incredibly gifted players add what feels like a hidden last verse with no vocals to be found. Utilizing the bones of the past to pave way to the future, they prove that timeless and gentle can still cut just as deep.

 

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14.12.2017

Alan Haksten.....

Alan Haksten was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1984. He is one of the icons of the tango in the present. This year, Alan will play with Niko Garay, composer, pianist and guitarist who works on different projects in Buenos Aires, and Hernán Díaz Karich, violinist of the most renowned tango orchestras.

On their 3rd European tour, they will give concerts in Sweden, Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, featuring material from their latest album, "En La Ciudad De Los Pájaros". This project traces tango music from the beginning to the present, through traditional compositions from the Rio de la Plata, their own works and also the music of Astor Piazzolla.

Since 2016 they have been presented in Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Strasbourg, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Ystad, Gothenburg, Borås, Zagreb, Athens, Hydra, Tinos and other cities.

We invite you to join the dance floor and dance with the Alan Haksten Ensemble.

 

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13.12.2017

Jimmy Webb.....

Author of such songs as “Galveston”, “Wichita Lineman”, and “Up, Up and Away”, Jimmy Webb is one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, but his solo album releases have never caught fire commercially. That all seemed destined to change as preparations began in 1978 to record the album that wound up being dubbed "Angel Heart". Fresh off an international hit with Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch”, the hot production team of Matt McCauley and Fred Mollin had put together a can’t miss band consisting of David Foster, Lee Sklar, Dean Parks, Bob Glaub, and Jeff Porcaro, David Paich, and Steve Lukather of Toto.

The label, 20th Century Fox, was 100% behind the project, and they were recording in the hallowed studios of Sunset Sound with a young Mark Linett, soon to be the preferred engineer for The Beach Boys, at the console. What could go wrong? Well, in classic record biz fashion, everything. As the band was assembling in the studio, word came down that the 20th Century Fox record exec behind the project got fired. Contracts came down from the new label president demanding Jimmy give up his publishing royalties on the project. And so Jimmy and his manager told the label to go jump in the lake, albeit in more colorful fashion.

But Jimmy, with such an incredible band all set up and raring to go, couldn’t resist. He paid for the sessions himself. And everybody in town swung by to pitch in. Michael McDonald, Graham Nash, Kenny Loggins, Gerry Beckley, Stephen Bishop, Daryl Hall, Leah Kunkel, Valerie Carter, they all sang on the record. The results were gorgeous. Just one problem. No record deal. Finally, Lorimar Records picked it up and put it out in 1982, after insisting that 3 songs be dropped and 2 new ones recorded. But, though Lorimar had major label distribution through Sony at the time, they were about to be dropped, too, so the record received zero promotion.

A couple of CD releases came and went in the 80's and 90's, but the true story and glory of "Angel Heart" has remained to be told, until now. Real Gone Music’s 35th anniversary expanded edition not only includes the 3 songs from the album sessions that were cut, but also adds 3 other unreleased Webb demos, contributed by Jimmy himself, for a total of 6 unreleased tracks. What’s more, the liner notes feature rare, never Before seen photos of the recording sessions along with a first person account from co-producer Fred Mollin of what went down during the making of the album. Remastered, fittingly, by Mark Linett from the original tapes, this is the Jimmy Webb record that was meant to be, it’s a major find and a key, overlooked part of his catalog. Released last week, December 8th, 2017.

 

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12.12.2017

Todd Kessler.....

Todd Kessler has quite a story, and, with all the memories floating around in his head, perhaps it makes sense that his new album, scheduled for release late this year, is entitled ”About Memory”. With precision and grace, Kessler seeks to make sense of the past, while looking pensively into the future. Appropriately, ”About Memory” finds Kessler going back to his roots, producing a timeless folk sound, with hints of alt rock and classic americana.

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Todd Kessler was always singing. He began playing the trumpet at 9 years old, but by 12, he’d fallen in love with the guitar and began writing his own songs. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in music theory and composition, Kessler began work on his first LP, ”We Are the Musicmakers”. The album was released in 2006 and led to a series of gigs across Chicago.

Shortly thereafter, Kessler formed a new band and teamed up with producer Greg Magers (Lupe Fiasco, Umphrees McGee, Matthew Santos) for his next 2 releases, ”The Veronica EP” and ”Boomerang”. Both albums were well received, allowing Kessler and his band to perform at some of Chicago’s most famed venues, including, Schubas Tavern, Double Door and Lincoln Hall. With a democratic songwriting process, Kessler and his band decided to work under a new name, Todd Kessler & The New Folk. In 2012, they released their 1st album, ”Sea Fever”, which was produced by Manny Sanchez (Patrick Stump, Umphrees McGee). The album’s release was supported with a lengthy residency at Schubas Tavern, but as it happened, Kessler missed part of the residency when he was chosen as part of Team Ceelo on NBC’s ’The Voice’.

Gaining exposure from ’The Voice’, Todd Kessler & the New Folk began touring more, playing festivals like Summerfest, Taste Of Chicago and Mile Of Music. Between 2013 and 2015 the band worked on new material and released 2 singles, ”Exactly Where I Should Be” and ”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. But, as members of the New Folk began getting married and having children, life on the road became arduous. Eventually, the New Folk agreed to a break, disbanding indefinitely to spend time with their families.

Even with 2 young children, Kessler has managed to write an impressive amount of new songs. After the birth of his 2nd son in 2015, Kessler’s songs took on a more nostalgic tone, confronting the range of emotions that come with fatherhood. Like watching old home movies, the songs play like the soundtrack to the human condition. And, these are the songs that make up Kessler’s new album, ”About Memory”.

Recorded in Los Angeles at New Monkey Studio (made famous by Elliot Smith), ”About Memory” was produced by Marc Daniel Nelson (Fleetwood Mac, Colbie Caillat) and Ran Jackson (Katy Perry, Goo Goo Dolls) and mastered by Eric Boulanger, who has worked with industry titans like Adele, Green Day, and Neil Young. ”About Memory” proves a brand new beginning for Kessler, or as he calls it, ’a way to move forward by looking back’.

Influenced by artists like Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Ryan Adams and David Gray, Kessler has evolved into the consummate storyteller, ’when a songwriter can tell a story that is specific to them, yet allows the listener to hear him or herself in it, that’s the pinnacle for me’, shares Kessler. ’I like to call myself a realistic optimist. I will always tend to see the bright side of things but don’t shy away when things get real’.

 

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11.12.2017

Van Morrison.....

"Versatile" is positive proof that Van Morrison is built differently to other artists. One of very few British recording artists to warrant the description ‘living legend’, Van is currently working at a rate to put musicians a 3rd of his age to shame, an ethic that harks back to his early days as a recording artist who’d easily release multiple brilliant long players within the space of a year.

While "Roll With The Punches" saw Van revisit many of the definitive rhythm and blues records that have stayed with him all his life, Van’s latest album sees him delve further back into recorded music’s archives to interpret some of the 20th century’s greatest vocal jazz standards.

Across "Versatile’s" 16 tracks, Van Morrison interprets some of the very building blocks of modern music in his own utterly unique style. As well as songs originally made famous by the likes of Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Righteous Brothers, Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole, "Versatile" features 6 stunning new Van compositions, including "Broken Record", a timeless piece of late night swing.

A joy from start to finish, "Versatile" is a completely different record to "Roll With The Punches", yet it’s incontrovertibly Van and proof, if ever it were needed, that at 72 years of age, he’s not going to slow down any time soon.

 

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10.12.2017

Rupert Wates.....

Rupert Wates was born in London and has been based, since 2007, in New York City and Colorado. He averages 120 live shows a year, in every state in the US, in Canada and Europe. He has won well over 30 songwriting and performing awards. In the last 3 years alone, 2 tribute albums to his material have been recorded, ‘Crazy Puzzle’ in 2015, by Nashville based performer Roxie Rogers, and ‘Wide Open Heart’ in 2017, by Los Angeles vocalist Susan Kohler.

Rupert Wates’s 9th solo album takes an unflinching look at the dangers, disillusionments and cruelties of today’s world, in which "The Lights Of Paris" offer a symbol of love, beauty and hope. On this disc, Wates’s signature sound has been reduced to the essentials of his voice and distinctive fingerstyle guitar, with color added by virtuoso musicians Adrianna Mateo, violin, and Brian Sanders, cello, in string arrangements by Grammy nominated John Guari. To preserve the warmth and spontaneity of a live performance, the album was recorded live in the studio in just 2 days. Singing with the voice of the timeless balladeer, Wates takes us song by song on a journey through the shadows that threaten to engulf us, towards the faint but still glowing lights.

 

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09.12.2017

U2's Experience.....

U2‘s new album "Songs Of Experience", is just available as a 3 disc box set and a trio of other physical formats. Recorded in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles, "Songs Of Experience" follows 3 years on from 2014’s "Songs Of Innocence" and follows on from this summer’s "The Joshua Tree" reissue and tour.

The album is being released as a 13 track jewel case CD, a 17 track deluxe CD edition which is packaged as a gatefold card wallet, and a 16 track 2LP gatefold cyan vinyl edition. The vinyl sounds very well spec’d and includes 2 black poly lined sleeve, 2 printed inners and a 6 panel oversized booklet.

Additionally, there is a deluxe box set that gathers both the deluxe CD and the double cyan vinyl and packages them in a 12″ x 12″ rigid box. This is numbered and also comes with a fold out poster and a “Songs Of Experience Newspaper”. The box and the standalone 2LP cyan vinyl both come with a download code.

2 tracks from the album, "The Blackout" and "You’re The Best Thing About Me", had already been made available. The latter has been remixed by Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo and features as the last bonus track on the deluxe CD, this is the one track not on the 2LP set. The album has been produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder, with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow and Jolyon Thomas. The cover image, by Anton Corbijn, features band members’ teenage children Eli Hewson and Sian Evans.

"Songs Of Experience" was released on December 1st, 2017.

 

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08.12.2017

Zachary Richard.....

Singer, songwriter, poet, cultural activist, environmentalist, Zachary Richard is best known as recording artist and performer. With 20 albums on his roster, including several gold and platinum albums, his musical career is international.

In 1996, Zachary Richard founded Action Cadienne, a non profit organization devoted to the promotion of the Acadian culture and French language of Louisiana. In March, 1997, he is decorated Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of the Republic of France. That same year, he is initiated into the Ordre des Francophones d’Amérique by the government of Québec. In the course of his career he has received 4 honorary doctorates from the University of Moncton, New Brunswick, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, l’Université Ste Anne, Nova Scotia, and the University of Ottawa, Canada.

In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Zachary Richard founded SOS Musiciens to come to the aid of the musical community of Louisiana. In 2009, he is decorated with the Order of Canada, one of very few Americans to receive Canada’s highest civilian award. Following the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe of 2010, Zachary Richard founded Gulf Aid Acadiana to help restore the Louisiana coast and support its communities. The Cercle Richelieu Senghor awards him the Prix Richelieu Senghor in a ceremony at the Senat de France in 2013. In 2015, Zachary Richard is named Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowmment of the Arts. The following year he is decorated Officier des Palmes Académiques by the Republic of France and promoted Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

Zachary Richard is producer, narrator, and composer of several television documentaries. In 2000, ’Against The Tide’, the story of the Cajun people of Louisiana is awarded Best Historical Documentary by the National Educational Television Association, USA. The French version, ’Contre Vents, Contre Marées’, is awarded the Prix Historia by the Institut d’Histoire de l’Amérique Française in 2003. Other documentaries will follow, ’Coeurs Batailleurs’, a 26 part series that investigates the Acadian diaspora around the world, and ’Migrations’, which studies bird migration in North America and is awarded the Liriot d’Or, first prize, at the Festival International du Film Ornithologique of France in 2008.

More recently, Zachary Richard narrated and composed the music for ’Kouchibouguac’, which examines the social upheaval that accompanied the expropriation of 250 Acadian families for the creation of a Canadian national park. In 2016, in the award winning documentary ’Cajun Heart’, Zachary Richard explores his roots and examines the nature of Acadian and Cajun identity into the 21st century. In 2017, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, LPB, broadcasts Attakapas, the Cajun Story, a multimedia concert with tells the story of the Acadian and Cajun people of Louisiana in song.

Fiercely attached to the French language and Acadian culture of his native Louisiana, Zachary Richard is the author of 4 children’s books, as well as 4 volumes of poetry, ’Faire Récolte’received the Prix Champlain and Feu the Prix Roland Gasparic in Bucharest, and the History of the Acadians of Louisiana, UL Press. He is Louisiana’s first French Language Poet Laureate.

New album ”Gombo” to be released in late 2017.

 

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07.12.2017

Rush Remaster.....

"Earlier this year, I was asked by Rush to remix their classic 1977 album 'A Farewell To Kings' into 5.1 surround sound for its 40th anniversary, and it now appears on BluRay as part of a deluxe box set that also includes 3 CDs and 4 LP's that was released December 1st, 2017. The remix was done with feedback and final approval from Alex Lifeson. I also made stereo and 5.1 mixes of a 4 minute instrumental sequence found on the original tapes. This is basically a longer alternate version of the electronic music used at the start of 'Cygnus X1', so not a new Rush song as such, more a piece of sound design, but hopefully interesting to hear if you're a fan of the album. The set also includes a complete 1978 concert recording." ~ Steven Wilson

 

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06.12.2017

Steven Casper.....

With Steven Casper at the helm on lead guitar and vocals, he and his band, Cowboy Angst, get tighter every year. In 2013 they were recognized by Country Music Television, CMT, who called their song, “Trouble” a ’recommended americana track’. In 2015 they were declared, ’one of the hottest unsigned bands’ by Music Connection Magazine. Now Steven Casper and the boys are back with ”Sometimes Jesse James”, his 8th recording and his 7th production with Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan, Van Dyke Parks).

The members of Cowboy Angst are well known studio musicians and longtime members of this band. John McDuffie on electric and classical guitar, pedal steel and lap steel, as well as co-writing a song on the album, Carl Byron on electric and acoustic piano, accordion, and B3 organ, Herb Deitlebaum on bass, Jay Nowac on drums. Ingber not only co-produces with Casper, but also lends additional guitar, keyboard, percussion, bass, dulcimer, cittern, and backing vocals.

Casper has once again, made a deliberate choice in putting out an EP in accordance with our on-demand society and listening practices. “Most people listen to streaming services these days, so I like to get my music out there, fast”. ”Sometimes Jesse James” consists of 6 honest and skillfully crafted songs that do a great job showcasing Casper’s own brand of americana. Casper’s sound incorporates influences from country to rock, blues to r’n’, and always with a bit of cajun and tex mex thrown in.

The 1st song, “Down”, alternates between a Bo Diddly rhythm and country folk chords. It deals with recognizing our mind being our greatest strength, or our biggest weakness, when it puts negative thoughts and excuses in our heads, ’why crawl if you have a chance to fly’. “The Best Day Of Our Lives” is a ballad that has McDuffie’s pedal steel adding to the melancholy mood of the song, ’and the sun made diamonds that shone through the trees, as it danced across the sky, we knew it was late but we didn’t care, on the best day of our lives”.

“Wrecking Ball” is the only cover on the record, a daring and unique version of the Ryan Adam’s song. Ingber incorporates two instruments never used on a Steven Casper record before, a dulcimer and a cittern. He explains, ’with those 2 instruments, sonic textures that seemed initially somewhat at odds with the song as I first heard it, proved to be completely compatible, if not completely captivating. With the dulcimer playing the melodic lines, and the cittern playing the chordal rhythm, the track was filling out nicely”.

“They Call It Love” is a departure from a typical Casper song, as it’s a blues groove number along the lines of Little Feat. Casper tells us about the inception of the next song on the record, “Born To Lose Blues”, ’this song pattern and 1st verse came to me 4 or 5 years ago. There was not even a main theme and I couldn’t seem to finish it. About 6 months ago I started playing around with it again and the final 3 verses came right out. The original 1st verse was, ’I was naked in the storm, battered and abused, feeling kind of fragile, feeling kind of used, then I found you’.’

The record ends with “Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor”). This song was co-written by Casper and John McDuffie, who plays nylon string guitar on the song. ’For the last 4 records I’ve written an instrumental piece’, says Casper. ’I wanted a slow minor key mexican blues song for ”Sometimes Jesse James”.’

This 7th production between Casper and Ingber shows what a steady working partnership can produce. ’I can't over emphasize the importance of the discovery aspect of the creative process, be it music, painting, writing, etc’, says Ingber. ’I have been fortunate to have worked with Van Dyke Parks for many years. From my perspective, the discovery of the arc of a song is the vital component in making a song compelling and demanding our attention. Van Dyke is master of this, and his mastery didn't go unnoticed by me. Every song on ”Sometimes Jesse James” is the product of this discovery’ aspect’.

He continues, ’somewhere during the creation of the recording something happens that informs the path forward. It could be the way the organ intertwines with the vocal on the opening verse. It could be the way the chorus enters with complete inevitability. Once we make those discoveries, we're off to the races’.

 

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05.12.2017

Neil Young & P.O.T.R.....

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real released their new studio album "The Visitor" on Reprise Records, December 1st, 2017, in stores and via all digital music retailers. The vinyl edition will follow on January 5th, 2018.

When Neil Young entered Shangri La Studio with the band Promise Of The Real a few months ago, there were a lot of images and feelings careening around his soul. The country was heading in a direction Young had never seen, even though up until then he thought he'd seen it all. But something different was happening, and it had gotten inside his music. "I'm a Canadian by the way and I love the USA", he sings on the first song "Already Great". The ethos of "The Visitor" can be summed up in the refrain of "Already Great" where Young insists, "Already great, you're already great. You're the promise land, the helping hand. No wall. No hate. No fascist USA. Whose street? Our street!". From those words, Neil Young was ready to take a musical journey on his new album "The Visitor" like he had never taken before. It was one where he'd even surprise himself, always the mark of a creative leap. By the end of the recording sessions, he knew he'd made his most diverse album going all the way back to Harvest in 1972, when America was also in the throes of becoming unhinged. Neil Young didn't blink then, and he is not blinking now.

"The Visitor" is an intriguing and always exciting peek into the mind and heart of one of rock'n'roll's true seekers. Neil Young has wandered a wide path since coming to Los Angeles from Canada over 50 years ago. During those many decades he has established an immediately apparent individualism that cannot be predicted. Young has often said that when things become ordinary, he's ready to shake things up and head for new ground. It has always been what marks Young's music. His new songs, whether it's a mashup of spoken word and rock'n'roll on "Fly By Night", or the heart stopping beauty of "Forever", once again ask listeners to stay open and ready for whatever comes through the open channels of the man and his unstoppable band.

Listening to an album like "The Visitor" is not unlike taking off on a cross country trip without a map. There is no way to tell where the destination will lead or what will be encountered. At one moment the savage rock of "Stand Tall" leads into Caribbean and Latin musical strains rising through on "Carnival", only to turn around to embrace the blues on "Digging A Hole." There is also the modern funk rock of "When Bad Got Good", the anthemic "Children Of Destiny", and the spirit tugging strength of "Change Of Heart" to ensure the musical travels remain full of wonder. With the unlimited ability of Promise Of The Real, featuring Lukas and Michah Nelson along with Corey McCormick, Anthony Logerfo and Tato Melgar, the passionate power of their playing pushes the songs to maximum expression. There are very few rock bands now who can go to as many places as this outfit and always deliver their own distinct identity.

The closing song on "The Visitor" feels like a prayer for today and tomorrow. In "Forever," Neil Young sings "Earth is like a church without a preacher, the people have to pray for themselves". These lines, and everything else on this landmark release point to the future in a way that sounds the alarm for troubled times, but at the same time offers hope that, once again, music can help lead the way to understanding and hopefully a better place.

Today Neil Young walks in his own footsteps, just as he has done since his first days venturing into neighborhood clubs in Canada when he was still a teenager. He has a guitar, he has a voice and he has songs that express a unique way of looking at the world. And once again he is ready to tell us where we've been and just maybe where we might be heading. By listening we can join together and share the challenges and find a way forward together. Once again.

 

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04.12.2017

Kelsea Ballerini.....

Growing up means never apologizing for who you are, and what you've been through. And for Kelsea Ballerini, one of country music's new voices, growing up also meant having the courage to put it all, the loss, the love and the highs and lows of life, into song. The result? ”Unapologetically”, Ballerini's sophomore album, a collection of songs, all which she wrote or co-wrote, as on her gold certified debut ”The First Time”, meant to share her experiences over the past two years like a sonic journal, inviting listeners to open the book of her story and listen along.

From the first notes of "Graveyard" to the concluding chorus of "Legends", ”Unapologetically” is a snapshot of Ballerini's life since the release of ”The First Time”, all told through songs that push country's boundaries and reveal just how personal the Grammy nominee's writing can be. Though it could have been easy for Ballerini to just collect a loose selection of hits, she decided to make an ’intentional album’ instead, carefully curating tracks that unfolded within the record as her own musical documentary in 3 parts. It's not the norm to write albums this way, nor is it easy, but Ballerini goes with what is in her heart.

"I had to let myself be OK with being vulnerable", says Ballerini. "My first album, I wanted it to be an introduction, just reaching out my hand. I had a song about my parent's divorce, about being insecure, it was one song per emotion. In doing that, I wasn't really able to articulate the depth of those emotions. Now, having gotten older, having gone through a big breakup and having fallen in love in a massive way, I had to say, 'hey, let yourself feel that, let yourself write that'. The end product was this record, which is a chronological story of my life these past few years".

That record is ”Unapologetically”, an album that found Ballerini battling through her insecurities and coming out stronger, telling the story of the many ways her life has changed in the past several years from start to present, when those first loves turned into heartbreaks, those first thrills turned into bittersweet experiences and a girl turned into a woman. It wasn't an easy thing to retrace all those steps, but she did it, working with songwriters like Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, Ashley Gorley and Hillary Lindsey, and her production team from her debut, Jason Massey and Forest Glen Whitehead, writing over 200 songs but culling them into 12 sharp chapters in her life journey. And that journey begins with loss.

Most things end, not begin, in the graveyard, but that's where ”Unapologetically” starts, with "Graveyard", a moody and masterful meditation on burying ourselves in a relationship. Fans of ”The First Time” might not expect such a somber note to kick things off, but it sets the musical template for what comes next, the edgy ode to selfrediscovery of "Miss Me More", the smooth sass of "Get Over Yourself", and the anthemic "Roses".

"I was going through a breakup that was really hard on my heart, and finding success at the same time”, says Ballerini. "It was a big tug of war between my heart and head, and career and personal. It was messy. I didn't show it at the time, but now I get to". Indeed, these songs peel back the curtain on her personal life, but, in Ballerini fashion, they always offer her fans a way to cope together, to make the vulnerable feel empowered, and to move on to the future. And in that future? Life.

Because sometimes when you're broken, you have to learn to live again. Picking up the pieces after heartbreak are songs like "Machine Heart", which deals in the struggle for self love and perfection through tender vocals, and "In Between", which is Ballerini taking syncopated stock of her exact place in the world, "sometimes I play grown up, and sometimes I play pretend", she confesses. "Perfect doesn't exist, and I'm exhausting myself trying to be something that isn’t real", she says. "And I know if I am feeling that, then 90 % of the other girls that listen to my songs are feeling that too". There's "High School", Ballerini's soft, twangy meditation on growing up, and "End Of The World", a moment to realize that, even when it feels like we might have hit our limits, life keeps going on. And life's just better once we've found true love.

But leave it to the newly engaged Ballerini to enter this phase of ”Unapologetically” with a Motown tinged, tongue and cheek nod to romanticism on "I Hate Love Songs". Indeed, the back end of ”Unapologetically” is all about getting lost in this love, but not losing yourself. The title track is a dynamic pop country anthem about heading into a romance with no abandon, but it took living through songs like "Graveyard" to get here. And "Music" is a stunning, r’n’b drenched dip into the emotional impact that a lover, not unlike a good song, can bring to our lives.

Lastly, there's "Legends", the album's closing track and the 1st single that ties it all together. "'Legends' feels like a song about loss, about life and about love", she says. "And it just depends on the perspective you listen to it from on how you hear it. I wrote it 2 years ago when I was going through a breakup. But now, it's a love song. It's about a love you are reflecting on. About loss, life and love".

Throughout all these songs, Ballerini and her creative partners use a dynamic sonic palate, electronic textures, acoustic instrumentation, clever beats, layered melodies and a full range of Ballerini's vocals, perfectly imperfect, unlike an auto tune obsessed generation, she embraces the gorgeous frays within her notes. And she doesn't worry about genre barriers, either.

"We let ourselves be a little more free", she says, referring in particular to her relationship with producer and collaborator Whitehead, an integral part of her creative process. "You want to make the lyrics pop, and you want to make how you wrote the song translate, and sometimes that's a banjo and sometimes that's a beat drop. If the heart of the song gets across, I don't care which one it is".

Ballerini has come a long way from her hometown in East Tennessee, and it's not an overstatement to say that Ballerini's rise has been meteoric. The Black River Entertainment artist is a Grammy nominee for Best New Artist, banked 3 consecutive # 1 songs, a record, as she's the only female country artist to have done so from a debut, played slews of tour dates and nurtured a growing reputation as one of Nashville's sharpest writers. But Ballerini, who got her start in music at the age of 12 as a young girl learning to cope with life's trials and tribulations, is never one to stay stagnant. She wanted to make an album even more vulnerable and honest than she's even been, and use everything she's lived to build that next chapter.

And part of what makes ”Unapologetically” so special is that, even after opening for country greats including Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban and headlining her own tour, in addition to winning scores of accolades, including an ACM Award, a Billboard Rising Star Award and an ACCA for Breakthrough Female Of The Year, she's kept in touch with life's most important truths, and relayed that honesty through songs that make us laugh, make us smile, make us think and make us dance.

"You have to use your intuition and your heart, and do things your own way", she says. "That's what I hope my next chapter really is. I've just wanted every song, even the vulnerable ones, to make you feel empowered. There is so much strength in being vulnerable." Vulnerable, though loss, life and love. That's living ”Unapologetically”.

 

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03.12.2017

Chris Stapleton.....

Chris Stapleton's fans have known for most of 2017 that they could expect 2 new LP's from him this year, but now they have a release date and track list for the 2nd of those, "From A Room: Volume 2". His 2nd album of the year was released on December 1st, 2017. Its companion album, "From A Room: Volume 1", was released on May 5th, 2017, going on to top the country albums chart. Recorded at Nashville's RCA Studio A and produced by Dave Cobb, "From A Room: Volume 2" mirrors its predecessor in having a brief 9 tracks. Among those are "Tryin' To Untangle My Mind", a song that Stapleton has recently been featuring in his live sets, and "Midnight Train To Memphis," which dates back to his days with the Steeldrivers. The album features a pair of covers, as well, in Kevin Welch's "Millionaire" and Homer Banks and Lester Snell's "Friendship", previously recorded by Pops Staples.

 

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02.12.2017

Keegan McInroe.....

Keegan McInroe is a Texas based writer and musician. Raised in Lubbock, TX, he moved to Fort Worth in 2001, where he attended and graduated from Texas Christian University with degrees in religion and philosophy in 2005. While at university, Keegan began playing music in bars, and in 2003, he helped found the band Catfish Whiskey. The band called it quits in 2009.

A professional musician since 2006, McInroe now troubadours primarily as a solo artist. Since 2012, he spends about half of each year playing everything from house concerts to music festivals all across Europe, and splitting his time back home in the States, between Fort Worth, Dublin, TX, and the road.

His music weaves threads from old country, old blues and folk together with his own unique voice and perspective, creating an original tapestry of American roots music, earthy and lyric driven.

McInroe has shared the stage with Leon Russell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Willis Alan Ramsey, Carolyn Wonderland, Phosphorescent, Ian Moore, Innes Sibun, Tito and Tarantula, Eric McFadden, Otis Taylor, Eric Sardinas, Randall Bramblett, The Band of Heathens and many more.

He has also been published in various papers and magazines for his travel writing, stories, poems, and occasional forays into politics. Additionally, he hosts ’The Uncouth Pilgrim Podcast’, which airs on Texas Homegrown Radio and KFTW 97.5 The Pirate in Fort Worth, TX.

New album, "A Good Old Fashioned Protest", out now.

 

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01.12.2017

Wilson Pickett.....

Wilson Pickett was a pioneer of r'n'b and soul music. After signing with Atlantic Records in 1964, the Alabama born singer songwriter went on to record unforgettable hits like "Mustang Sally", "Land Of 1000 Dances" and his signature track, "In The Midnight Hour". Wilson Pickett’s extraordinary legacy is being celebrated with a new boxed set that brings together all 10 of the studio albums the Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer recorded with Atlantic Records between 1965 and 1971. The new collection features 10 classic studio albums, "In The Midnight Hour" (1965), "The Exciting Wilson Pickett" (1966), "The Wicked Pickett" (1967), "The Sound Of Wilson Pickett" (1967), "I’m In Love" (1968)," The Midnight Mover" (1968), "Hey Jude" (1969), "Right On" (1970), "Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia" (1970) and "Don’t Knock My Love" (1971). Each one is presented in a sleeve that replicates the original release’s artwork. All the discs are presented in a handsome clamshell box. Rhino Records, November 24th, 2017.

 

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