Monday, November 12, 2018

1960s-spawned heroes ring in holiday season with good cheer

It's 2018, but '60s icons Eric Clapton, the Monkees, Mike Love and William Shatner have each released stellar holiday music collections available now.

Artist: Eric Clapton
Title: Happy Xmas (Bushbranch Records / Surfdog Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Clapton
Tell me more: On his first-ever full-length holiday album, Eric Clapton has pulled off the masterful feat of recording an album that will sound in tune with any season. There is a warmth and authenticity across Happy Xmas where the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist has matched his time-honed baritone vocals and signature guitar work with the spirit of the holiday season. Clapton has taken his mastery of the blues and found a way to reinterpret the traditional likes of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and bona fide classics like "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" into a cohesive and sterling collection of festive offerings. Clapton makes many of the tracks his own; the soulful "Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday," Chicago blues-flavored "Christmas Tears" and breezy folk rocker "Home for the Holidays" are early nuggets on the LP; a genre-defying instrumental arrangement of "Jingle Bells" the exhilarating "It's Christmas" and baroque blues nugget "Sentimental Moments" are late disc standouts. In addition to Clapton's stellar talents, an all-star backing band featuring bassist Nathan East (Fourplay, Toto), drummer Jim Keltner (Ringo Starr, John Lennon, the Traveling Wilburys), guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, fiddler Dirk Powell and others join the wonderful proceedings along the way. Eric Clapton has added an original song to the mix; the poignant "For Love On Christmas Day" is a beautiful and timely ballad that speaks to so many in its collective hope for a more caring world. Information:

Artist: The Monkees
Title: Christmas Party (Rhino Records)
You might like if you enjoy: The Monkees, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Buck
Tell me more: Capturing the magic of the Monkees' most beloved recordings of the 1960s and fusing that with the energy of contemporary power pop, Christmas Party features a mix of classic seasonal favorites, artful remakes and newly-penned songs that make for one of the most inviting sets of the season. Gems fill this sparkling collection; the Andy Partridge-penned "Unwrap You At Christmas" is bolstered by a sweet string section and soaring vocals from Micky Dolenz. Michael Nesmith's affecting vocals add just the right moodscape to a wistful cover of Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song." A shimmering cover of the Alex Chilton-penned Big Star classic "Jesus Christ" and lush version of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" are reworked enough to make them essential. Several of the late Davy Jones' vocal tracks are used on the disc, including a lovely "Silver Bells." Peter Tork uses his rich baritone and skills on the banjo in a poignant Americana-styled version of "Angels We Have Heard On High." Among this writer's favorite tracks are the instantly-infectious "What Would Santa Do," a melodic rocker written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo that takes a playful swipe at those who can't get into the Christmas spirit; "House of Broken Gingerbread" is another killer new cut (this one penned by album producer Adam Schlesinger and Michael Chabon), a potent and tuneful modern rocker. Information:

Artist: Mike Love
Title: Reason For The Season (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beach Boys, Hanson, Mike Love
Tell me more: Beach Boys lead singer and co-founder Mike Love has released Reason For The Season, a stocking stuffer-worthy dozen-track collection of Christmas classics and newly-penned songs. Hightlights on the tuneful set include the joyful title track and melodic "Must Be Christmas" (the latter featuring Love joining forces with several of his children). The feel of the album is buoyant and will put the listener in a good mood, a happy outcome that draws immediate comparisons to the magic of listening to the Beach Boys. The good tidings include the spirited "Celestial Celebration," "Finally It's Christmas" (featuring Hanson), "Away in the Manger" (which recalls the magic of the Ray Conniff Singers) and gorgeous "O Holy Night." Information:

Artist: William Shatner
Title: Shatner Claus – The Christmas Album (Cleopatra Records)
You might like if you enjoy: William Shatner, Billy Gibbons, Elliot Easton
Tell me more: Roll over Ebenezer Scrooge and tell the Grinch the news. William Shatner's iconic style of dramatic spoken word is used to entertaining effect on the aptly-titled Shatner Claus  The Christmas Album. On this 14-track collection, Shatner is joined by a wide-ranging field of musical guests who add sonic firepower to the wonderful set of reworked Christmas classics. On "Blue Christmas," Shatner shares lead vocals with Brad Paisley; this take is particularly effective with Paisley's sweet vocals and virtuoso guitar licks enhancing the countrified version. The freewheeling "Winter Wonderland" is a fun-filled romp with guitar great Todd Rundgren adding some dynamic lead and rhythm fretwork. Shatner joins forces with Cars lead guitarist Elliot Easton on a rollicking '50s-styled "Run Rudolph Run." Shatner is more serious on the potent "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," his resonant spoken word layered amidst Rick Wakeman's keyboards and Samantha May's lovely soprano. Shatner and Iggy Pop team up for a tender symphony-draped "Silent Night." And it's hard to think of a more entertaining take on "Twas the Night Before Christmas" than Shatner's colorful reading heard here. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Sir Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band announce Special 30th Anniversary Tour

Exciting news that Sir Ringo Starr will be continuing the gift of music and his amazing legacy to the world in 2019. Read my review of his September 29, 2018 performance at the Greek Theatre here.

Ringo’s new book Another Day In the Life, his third with Genesis Publications, to be released in Limited Edition and available in November 2018 and wide to follow in April 2019

Monday November 12, 2018 – Today Sir Ringo Starr announced tour plans for 2019 with his All Starr Band, featuring Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and the return of All Starr alum Hamish Stuart.
The first leg begins in March with one U.S. show at Harrah’s Resort Southern California on March 21st before the band head to Japan, starting in Fukuoka on March 27th and ending April 11th in Osaka (full dates listed below). August 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of Ringo and His All Starr Band and they will hit the road for a celebratory tour which will kick off at Caesar's in Windsor on August 1st and then head to Ravinia near Chicago, Illinois to play two shows with the Beach Boys August 3rd and 4th and two shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman in Tennessee on August 7th and 8th.  The tour will conclude September 1st at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California, nearly 30 years to the day when the inaugural All Starrs completed their first tour on September 3, 1989. (A full itinerary will be announced soon).
This month Another Day In The Life, Ringo’s third book with Genesis Publications, will be released in Limited Edition, while the hard cover will available in wide release in April 2019. Pre-orders for the limited edition can be made at Following in the series that began with the sell-out success of Postcards From The Boys (2003) and Photograph (2013), this book will include previously unpublished photographs, captioned with Ringo’s observations and anecdotes. Reflecting his love of music, travel and nature, Another Day In The Life shows us the world as seen through Ringo’s eyes. From Los Angeles to Tokyo and everywhere in between, many of Ringo’s observational images celebrate the quirkiness of life.
November will also see Ringo honored when he receives the Humanitarian Award from the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF on “Giving Tuesday,” November 27, 2019 at their annual Snowflake Ball in New York City (see below for more information).
In a fitting comment taken from his upcoming book, Ringo wrote, "It's about changing one second so that people think peace and love, it's something I learned from the Maharishi. If you do something for good, the trees, the grass, the whole planet will support you - you're always loved. I live in that world."
That message of universal Peace & Love has become synonymous with Ringo, who has for over 10 years celebrated his birthday with a Peace & Love event. This July 7, 2019 will see it return to Los Angeles, and further details will be announced soon.
Ringo and His All Starr Band Tour -- Japan Dates:
Wed Mar 27 Sun Palace Hall, Fukuoka, Japan 
Fri Mar 29 Uenogakuen, Hiroshima, Japan
Mon Apr 1 Tokyo Electron Hall Miyagi Sendai Japan
Tue Apr 2 Shimin Center, Koriyama, Japan
Wed Apr 3 Hitomi Kinen Kodo, Tokyo, Japan
Fri Apr 5 Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Tue Apr 9 Zepp, Nagoya, Japan
Wed Apr 10 Archaic Hall, Japan, Osaka
Thu Apr 11 Orix Theatre, Osaka, Japan
 For more information please visit:

About The George Harrison Fund For UNICEF:
The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF was established by the Harrison family and UNICEF USA in 2005 to support UNICEF programs that provide lifesaving assistance to children, including health, education, nutrition and emergency relief.
Ringo Starr performing at the Greek Theatre on
September 29, 2018. Photo: Robert Kinsler
About Ringo
Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, Sir Ringo Starr knew “at a very young age” what he wanted to do.   Since beginning his career with The Beatles in the 1960s, Ringo has been one of the world's brightest musical luminaries. He has enjoyed a successful, dynamic solo career as a singer, songwriter, drummer, collaborator, and producer.  He is a longtime advocate for humanitarian and environmental causes.
Throughout his career he has received nine GRAMMY® Awards, and has twice been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- first as a Beatle and then as solo artist. Between 1970 and 2017, Ringo has released 19 solo studio records.  He has acted in over 15 films, received an Academy Award®, and has been nominated as an actor for an Emmy®. Ringo has published four books, his most recent, 'Another Day in the Life' was released in November 2018.  In March 2018 Ringo was knighted by Prince William, having been selected for the honor by Queen Elizabeth II for knighthood for his music and charity work.
 For all his many creative successes, Ringo is and always will be first and foremost a musician, a drummer.  Peace and love are his life’s rhythm and melody, and he propels this universal message in everything he does: his evocative artwork, his enthused live performances, his legendary songs, all imbued with the joy, reflection, and wisdom of the music icon the world knows and loves simply as “Ringo.”
About Genesis Publications
Genesis Publications was founded in 1974 in Britain as an independent publishing house true to the arts of printing and craftsmanship. Today, Genesis creates some of the world’s most sought-after books for readers in 90 countries, and in 2017 is celebrating its 100thedition (see more at

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody: Fans Vs Critics

Watch the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING where TJR and Robert Kinsler discuss the success of the  movie "Bohemian Rhapsody" despite so many negative reviews from critics. 

Friday, November 09, 2018

Larkin Poe release new album 'Venom & Faith' today

After catching the duo Larkin Poe in an incredible performance at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, CA earlier this year, I am excited to check out their new album 'Venom & Faith' that is released today...

"The siblings cover themselves in the Delta mud, clawing through the mosquito-infested woods with sounds that get under your skin and stay there." - American Songwriter
"This is the kind of music that nabs Grammy nominations" --Taste of Country
"The band keeps a strong outlaw mentality and defy expectations of roots rock" --Paste Magazine
"Electric, raucous romp" --Rolling Stone
“Swaggeringly bad girl bluesy rock” - The Guardian
“A sister act with staying power” - NPR
New Album Venom & Faith Out TODAY
via Tricki-Woo Records

Duo currently Touring North America 

Riding on the crest of their new single "Honey Honey" which premiered last week, Nashville-based sister duo LARKIN POE have released their third album VENOM & FAITH via Tricki-Woo Records. This album is the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed sophomore album Peach, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist Album.

Venom & Faith was produced by the band and engineered by their long-time collaborator Roger Alan Nichols. It was recorded in Nashville earlier this year in between headline shows, festival dates such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and a featured guest performer spot on Keith Urban’s Graffiti U World Tour.

Larkin Poe approached Venom & Faith with fierce independence, from Rebecca’s powerful vocals on “Ain’t Gonna Cry” to Megan’s sultry lap steel on “Good And Gone,” the sisters weave their talents into the fabric of their experience and a picture of the American South. “Blue Ridge Mountains” harkens to the sisters’ hometown, “drinking sweet tea every day” with stomping percussion and churning riffs.

Still, the sisters maintain an outlaw mindset in a traditional genre. Unbound by tawdry embellishments, Larkin Poe infuse pop sensibilities into their sound, blending old-school elements of rock and soul with drum samples, hip-hop production values, and resonant lyrics like “California king-sized dreams in a twin bed.” Venom & Faith redefines what it means to make emotionally resonant music while also maintaining boundary-pushing musicality.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Favorite 100 Songs Of All Time - Part 4: Songs 16-20

On the latest episode of our "Favorite 100 Songs of All Time," TJR and Robert Kinsler weigh in on songs 16-20. Among the artists whose songs make the list are the Raspberries, Big Star, Blur, the Police, the Jayhawks and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Rhapsody of Stellar Sounds

R.E.M., Fastball, Dead Can Dance and Blues Traveler are featured on must-hear new releases, while the success of the newly-released film "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a great reason to rediscover Queen courtesy of the 2012 multi-format release "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest."

Artist: R.E.M.
Title: The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC (Craft Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: R.E.M.
You might like if you enjoy: Spanning nearly 25 years and featuring inspired live and in-studio versions of some of the band's most beloved hits and rarities, The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC is without a doubt one of the greatest and most important releases of the year. Available in several formats including a Super Deluxe 8 CD/1 DVD box set, and via 2 CD (the version reviewed in his column), 2 LP and digital formats, R.E.M.'s growth and artistic spirit is reflected across the performances which span from November 1984 to March 2008. Among the many disc one highlights are the introspective "World Leader Pretend," Americana-flavored acoustic nugget "Half a World Away," anthemic "Lotus" and yearning piano-anchored "Electrolite." Disc two features a slew of equally-compelling performances including the countrified "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville," elegiac "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)," propulsive indie rocker "Driver 8," fiery "The One I Love" and genre-bending "E-Bow The Letter" (featuring guest Thom Yorke of Radiohead). The two-disc set closes out with a stirring take of "Man On The Moon." Information:

Artist: Fastball
Title: All The Pain Money Can Buy (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls
Tell me more: Listening to the timeless songs that play out across the 20th Anniversary edition of Fastball's All The Pain Money Can Buy (available Nov. 9, 2018) it's unbelievable the album was released back in 1998. The good news is the original LP's remastered 13 tracks sound better than ever and the reissue is bolstered by nine must-hear bonus tracks. Tony Scalzo (lead vocals, bass, keyboards), Miles Zuniga (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Joey Shuffield (drums) found a way to effortlessly blend the best of '90s alt rock and melodic power pop into their own sonic brew, with fantastic tracks such as "The Way" (one of the decade's most enduring classics), "Fire Escape" and "Out Of My Head" putting an equal focus on strong songwriting, top-tier musicianship and energetic performances. Beyond those three radio staples, the reissue puts a spotlight on compelling cuts heard across the collection. The ambitious track "Slow Drag," neo-'60s rocker "G.O.D. (Good Old Days)," edgy melodic gem "Damaged Goods." The bonus tracks are worth repeated listens, notably the hard hitting "Quit Your Job" and blues rock-tinged "Freeloader Freddie" (both tracks recorded for "All The Pain Money Can Buy" but not ultimately included on the original release), a cover of the Replacements' "Androgynous" and an acoustic version of "The Way." Information:

Artist: Dead Can Dance
Title: Dionysus (Pias America)
You might like if you enjoy: Moby, Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard
Tell me more: The newly-released Dead Can Dance album Dionysus marks the duo's first new studio LP since 2012's Anastasis. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard have created a new album whose genesis came after Perry became fascinated by long-held spring and harvest festivals with their origins in Dionysian religious practices throughout Europe. Each of the movements in the two act masterwork relate to the Dionysus myth (Dionysus is the Greek god of wine, ritual madness, religious ecstasy and fertility). The musical depth and power of the concept work is a musical mix of Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and nature-flavored sonic stylings that intoxicate and excite. The musical pieces capture specific themes; the lush "Sea Borne," fast-moving "Dance of the Bacchantes," evocative "The Mountain" and distant "Psychopomp" are among the enticing selections on "Dionysus." There has always been an otherworldly quality to the blend of Perry's resonant baritone and Gerrard's exotic soprano, with the tapestry of world music and classical influences providing a soundscape that is the pair's alone. Dionysus marks another essential offering in Dead Can Dance's rich discography. Information:

Artist: Blues Traveler
Title: Hurry Up & Hang Around (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors
Tell me more: Blues Traveler's 13th studio album Hurry Up & Hang Around is a joyous affair, featuring a dozen tracks that deliver on the band's groundbreaking mix of rock, blues, folk, Southern rock, soul and psychedelia. The brisk "Accelerated Nation" kicks things off, bolstered by John Popper's signature vocals and dazzling harmonica work. Other moods and shades are expressed with equal zeal on the winning disc; the lovely "She Becomes My Way," blues-meets-funk cut "The Touch She Has," reggae-flavored "When You Fall Down" and tender "Ode From the Aspect" demonstrate the diversity and strength of the New Jersey-spawned quintet.  Blues Traveler will headline at Belasco in Los Angeles on Nov. 13. Information:

Artist: Queen
Title: Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest (Eagle Rock)
You might like if you enjoy: Queen
Tell me more: With the tremendous success of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in movie theaters around the world over the past week, many new (and long-time) fans wanting to see and hear more from Queen and lead vocalist Freddie Mercury should get the multi-format release Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest. The last full-length Queen concert filmed with Mercury, the concert film was filmed on July 27, 1986 in a rousing performance at the Népstadion in Budapest in front of 80,000 fans. The set list features many of the band's biggest hits, all performed with emotional firepower. Queen was at the height of their powers, delivering a mix of massive rockers ("Tie Your Mother Down," "Hammer to Fall"), elegant ballads ("Who Wants to Live Forever," "Love of My Life") and radio favorites ("Bohemian Rhapsody," "Under Pressure," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "We Are the Champions"). Filmed three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this historic event was the first Western rock concert performed in a stadium behind the-then Iron Curtain. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Friday, November 02, 2018

The Record Company announce 2019 support dates on Bob Seger's final tour

The Record Company are a fantastic trio based in Southern California. They will be the perfect opening artist for Bob Seger in 2019, and make sure to arrive early if you are catching any of those shows. Check out my review of the group's most recent album here...

The Record Company announce 2019 support dates on Bob Seger's final tour, including a hometown performance at The Forum in Southern California 

The Record Company rocking the Backporch stage at the 2016 Doheny Blues Festival.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

The Record Company will hit the road with Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band in early 2019 for a special run of arena shows, including a stop at the Forum in their home town of Los Angeles and more. The shows are part of Seger's final tour after 5 decades on the road. Tickets for the newly announced dates - Vancouver, Fresno, San Diego, Sacramento - will go on sale Friday, November 9 at 10 a.m. local time. All other dates are on sale now.  

The announcement follows a huge year for The Record Company, who released their critically acclaimed sophomore album All Of This Life (Concord) in June. The album debuted in the top 5 on multiple Billboard charts, including Top New Artists and Top Alternative Artists, and lead single, "Life To Fix" hit #1 on the Billboard AAA charts, the FMQB Top 200, and the Americana radio chart. Rolling Stone said ‘All Of This Life’ "isn't so much a return to form as it is taking that form to a big new level," and NPR Music praised the band's "winning combination of hustle and heart."

The Record Company is currently in the midst of their own national headlining tour, which includes a hometown show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on November 10th. Full tour routing below.

Nov 2 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Nov 3 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
Nov 5 - Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater
Nov 6 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Nov 7 - Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
Nov 9 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Nov 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov 28 - Peoria, IL @ Monarch Music Hall
Dec 14 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
January 29 - Billings, MT @ Rimrock Auto Arena *
January 31 - Boise, ID @ Ford Center *
February 2 - Portland, OR @ Moda Center *
February 7 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena *
February 9 - Seattle, WA @ Tacoma Dome *
February 12 - Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center *
February 15  - Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena (SOLD OUT) *
February 17 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center *
February 21 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena  *
February 23 -  Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum (SOLD OUT) *
February 28 - Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center *
March 16 - London, UK @ O2 Forum
March 18 - Brussels, Belgium @ AB Ballroom
March 19 - Frankfurt Am Main, Germany @ Zoom Frankfurt
March 20 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
March 21 - Paris, France @ Olympia
March 22 - Berlin, Germany @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
* with Bob Seger 

For more information, please visit 

'Springsteen On Broadway' Soundtrack Album Out December 14, 2018

For all of us who couldn't get to New York City to see the Boss, at least we can get this release or tune into Netflix...

Columbia Records will release the Springsteen On Broadway soundtrack album on December 14, featuring the songs and stories from Tony Award winner Bruce Springsteen's historic 236-show run at Jujamcyn's Walter Kerr Theatre. Consisting of the complete audio from the upcoming 'Springsteen On Broadway' Netflix release, the soundtrack album will be available on 4 LPs or 2 CDs as well as a digital download and on streaming services. 

Listen to "Land of Hope and Dreams" from the 'Springsteen On Broadway’ soundtrack album HERE.

Based on his worldwide best-selling autobiography 'Born to Run,’ 'Springsteen on Broadway' is a unique evening with Bruce, his guitar, a piano, and his very personal stories. On the 'Springsteen On Broadway’ soundtrack album, each of these stories appears as its own track, labeled as an "introduction" to the song it precedes.  The audio for ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ was mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain and mastered by the acclaimed Bob Ludwig.

'Springsteen on Broadway' is available for pre-order starting today.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Larkin Poe partner with BILLBOARD to premiere "Honey Honey"

Larkin Poe were terrific when I caught them at the Doheny Blues Festival earlier this year. Here are details about their upcoming new album, as well as how to see their new music video...

Larkin Poe (from left, Rebecca and Megan Lovell) rocking at the 2018 Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, CA. Photo: Bob Steshetz

Ahead of the band's new record Venom & Faith (released via Tricki-Woo Records on November 9, 2018), Nashville-based sister duo Larkin Poe have teamed up with Billboard Magazine to premiere their newest single "Honey Honey".

Beguiled by the dubious baseline of the song's intro, Larkin Poe build a villainous atmosphere on "Honey Honey." The sinister slide guitar recalls the sound of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds before transitioning into the melodic poetry of the song's chorus. "Honey Honey" toggles back and forth between these sounds, eventually connecting the two with the determined rhythm of marching percussion leading the path to it's suspenseful ending.

Larkin Poe's Rebecca Lovell explained exclusively to Billboard, "It was so exciting to play around and build a section that would complement the song. I love how the start is; We were talking to our engineer as we recorded the song and he was blown away by how spare we wanted it to be, just with an upright bass sound. We stuck to our guns with that and we stumbled on the idea that made the song stick together."

As the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed second album Peach, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist AlbumVenom & Faith was produced by both the band and their long-time engineer Roger Alan Nichols. Those who pre-order the record will receive "Honey Honey," "Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues," Sometimes," and “Ain’t Gonna Cry” as an instant free download.

Recorded in Nashville earlier this year in between headline shows, festival dates such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and a featured guest performer spot on Keith Urban’s Graffiti U World Tour, Larkin Poe approached Venom & Faith with fierce independence. From Rebecca’s powerful vocals on “Ain’t Gonna Cry” to Megan’s sultry lap steel on “Good And Gone,” the sisters weave their talents into the fabric of their experience and a picture of the American South. “Blue Ridge Mountains” harkens to the sisters’ hometown, “drinking sweet tea every day” with stomping percussion and churning riffs. 

Still, the sisters maintain an outlaw mindset in a traditional genre. Unbound by tawdry embellishments, Larkin Poe infuse pop sensibilities into their sound, blending old-school elements of rock and soul with drum samples, hip-hop production values, and resonant lyrics like “California king-sized dreams in a twin bed.” Venom & Faith redefines what it means to make emotionally resonant music while also maintaining boundary-pushing musicality.

Venom & Faith will be released via Tricki-Woo Records on November 9, 2018. Album pre-orders and pre-saves on Spotify, iTunes and other digital retailers are available here:

Big Star 'Live on WLIR' coming from Omnivore on Jan. 25, 2019; recorded in 1974, on 2-LP set for the first time

Always a great day when there is Big Star-related news to share!

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In 1973 Big Star recorded its second album, Radio City, as a trio, after the departure of founding member Chris Bell. When the time came to tour, original bassist Andy Hummel decided to return to school to pursue his engineering education. With this departure, Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens recruited fellow Memphis native John Lightman to take over on bass, and the band readied its live set. 

That set was preserved, as Big Star recorded a radio session at Ultrasonic Studios in New York for broadcast on the city’s preeminent modern rock station WLIR-FM. Nearly two decades later, those recordings were issued as Live in 1992.Omnivore Recordings will reintroduce them, restored and remastered from the original tapes, as Live on WLIR, on CD and in its first official release on double LP. Street date is January 25, 2019.

The 15-track set features material from the band’s first two albums, as well as a cover of “Motel Blues” by Loudon Wainwright III (which originally appeared on his 1971 sophomore release, Album II).

With new, updated liner notes from Memphis writer/filmmaker Robert Gordon (who won a Grammy® for his essay in 2010’s Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky) and an interview with John Lightman by Chris Bell biographer Rich Tupica (There Was a Light: The Cosmic History of Big Star Founder Chris Bell)Live on WLIR enters the Big Star canon in the form it deserves. 

As Gordon observes in his liners: “Alex is, in this trio, playing all the guitar and singing lead, and he’s giving it about all he’s got. The road and the march of time eventually wore down that Alex, as time wears on all of us. But this recording is a clear window into the impenetrable past, making it a thrill today to hear Alex so young and enthusiastic.”

Track list:
1. September Gurls 
2. Way Out West
3. Mod Lang
4. Don’t Lie To Me 
5. O My Soul
6. Interview
7. The Ballad Of El Goodo
8. Thirteen
9. I’m In Love With A Girl 
10. Motel Blues
11. In The Street
12. You Get What You Deserve 
13. Daisy Glaze
14. Back Of A Car
15. She’s A Mover