Sunday, November 29, 2015

Celebrated artists make eagerly-awaited returns

Fall 2015 has revealed a number of exciting returns for classic artists, including long-awaited returns by Jeff Lynne's ELO and British pop-rock outfit Squeeze, as well as high-profile releases from Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, German hard rock outfit Scorpions and a solo album from ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons.

Artist: Jeff Lynne's ELO
Title: Alone in the Universe (Columbia)
You might like if you enjoy: Traveling Wilburys, ELO
Tell me more: For the better part of the 1970s and '80s, the Electric Light Orchestra  better known as ELO  thrilled rock fans with dozens of spectacular hits including "Evil Woman," "Turn to Stone," "Don't Bring Me Down," "All Over the World" and "Mr. Blue Sky." When the band folded in 1986, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Jeff Lynne became busy working as a producer for the likes of George Harrison and Roy Orbison, and a key member of supergroup of the Traveling Wilburys seemingly put an end to ELO. With 2015 being a year chalk full of amazing returns (Blur, the Zombies, Squeeze, Duran Duran), an amazing full-length disc from Jeff Lynne's ELO has to be heard to be believed. An acclaimed producer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Lynne displays his myriad of talents across Alone in the Universe, a disc where he masterfully handles the majority of duties on his own. Lynne can still unleash shimmering symphonic epics (including the wonderful single "When I Was a Boy" and swirling "The Sun Will Shine On You"), but some of the most sterling songs here include the confessional ballad "All My Life," yearning "I'm Leaving You" and reflective title track. Here in the U.S., there is a deluxe edition of Alone in the Universe that includes two bonus tracks. Information:

Get 'Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone In The Universe' (Amazon U.S. Deluxe Exclusive) here

Artist: Squeeze
Title: Cradle To The Grave (Caroline)
You might like if you enjoy: Crowded House, Squeeze
Tell me more: Featuring Squeeze's first new album of new material since 1998, the newly-released Cradle To The Grave finds Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook and company forging ahead even while celebrating their storied melodic and literate style that yielded a slew of classics in the 1970s and '80s. The songs here blend power pop and melodic rock, adorned with lovely harmonies and creative arrangements that enhance each song's core power (many of the tales here honest chronicle middle age). "Happy Days" is as exhilarating as its title; the ambitious Beatles-styled "Sunny" and Americana-tinged "Haywire" are the creative equal of Squeeze classics such as "Tempted," "Black Coffee in Bed" and "Cool For Cats." A thrilling return to be sure. Information:

Buy 'Cradle To The Grave' here

Artist: Bryan Adams
Title: Get Up (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: Jeff Lynne, Bryan Adams
Tell me more: Singer-songwriter Bryan Adams' latest album Get Up was produced by legendary Jeff Lynne (Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, George Harrison), and the project is something that ultimately stretches the reach of Adams' sincere style of rock 'n' roll. Some of the songs here incorporate elements of classic rock stretching back to the genre's roots (particularly the 50s-flavored "You Belong To Me" and Beatles-mining "Don't Even Try"), while "Go Down Rockin'" captures the spirit of the Ontario, Canada native's classic '80s works. The lovely "Yesterday Was Just a Dream" is a wonderful track that is as contemporary and affecting as anything Adams has ever recorded. Information:

Get 'Get Up' here

Artist: Scorpions
Title: Return To Forever (Legacy)
You might like if you enjoy: Scorpions, AC/DC
Tell me more: AC/DC isn't the only classic hard rock band to have silenced the naysayers in 2015. Germany's Scorpions - who remarkably have been together for 50 years - have issued one of their best-ever discs. Return to Forever features the blend of strong riffs, melodic heavy metal and power ballads that marked the band's wave of top-selling albums issued throughout the 1980s and early '90s. Singer Klaus Meines remains a wonder, his voice able to convey youthful abandon as well as more mature emotions. "House of Cards" is the band's most compelling ballad since 1990's classic "Wind of Change." Rockers need not worry; the pumping "All For One," "Going Out With a Bang" and "House of Cards" are among the bona fide hard rockers on the album. The straight-forward and aptly-titled "Rock 'n' Roll Band" sums up the 5 decade career of one of the globe's most enduring hard rocking outfits. Information:

Purchase 'Return To Forever' here

Artist: Billy Gibbons and the BFG's
Title: Perfectamundo (Concord Records)
You might like if you enjoy: ZZ Top, Los Lobos
Tell me more: While ZZ Top front man Billy Gibbons' distinctive vocal growl and blistering lead guitar work will quickly be recognized on Perfectamundo, the first-ever solo album from Gibbons stands apart in style from his role in his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. Here Gibbons' musical stamp is mixed with a decidedly Cuban flair courtesy of his musical collaborator Martine "G.G." GuiGui. The festive, dance-minded affair blends blues, Latin rhythms, rap, Carribeano and other exotic elements. Infectious and authentic, highlights include the Mexicano-blues rocker "Got Love If You Want It" and percussion-anchored "Sal Y Pimiento." Information:

Get 'Perfectamundo' here

Robert Kinsler

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fabrizio Grossi, Lance Lopez and Kenny Aronoff set to release Supersonic Blues Machine debut

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday everybody! This is my last post until after the holiday...

Album Scheduled For February 26, 2016 Via Provogue / Mascot Label Group,
Featuring Guest Appearances From Billy F. Gibbons, Walter Trout,
Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Eric Gales, And Chris Duarte

New York, NY --- Fabrizio Grossi, Lance Lopez and Kenny Aronoff have announced the debut release from Supersonic Blues Machine on February 26, 2016 via Provogue / Mascot Label Group.  The album features guest appearances from Billy F. Gibbons, Walter Trout, Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Eric Gales, and Chris Duarte.  Pre-Orders go live today here:  All purchasers will receive the instant gratification track "I Ain't Falling Again."  Provogue Records has also presented an album trailer: (Embed Code Follows Below).

Real blues is the music of life experience. It is simple, but contains multitudes - feelings and knowledge accrued over decades. Collectively, the trio of musicians that make up Supersonic Blues Machine (SBM) have experienced more than three typical lifetimes. These world-class musicians have banded together in Supersonic Blues Machine, bonding in their love of this uniquely American genre and motivated by a desire to help its spirit evolve.

Fabrizio Grossi (bass/producer/engineer/wordsmith) worked his artistry in his birthplace - Milan, Italy - before migrating to London, Canada, New York, and currently Los Angeles. 
Texan Lance Lopez (guitar/vocals) accrued at least one lifetime of experience before he was out of high school while playing bars in Louisiana and Florida. College came in the form of tours with R&B legend Johnny Taylor and blues masters Lucky Peterson and Bobby Blue Bland.  Kenny Aronoff (drums) has a resume that spans four decades and reads like a “Who’s Who” of roots rock legends, including John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Eric Clapton, Jack White, Billy Gibbons, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Dr. John.

SBM stems from Fabrizio Grossi’s desire to return to his roots. “The blues is what makes me tick. It is the main ingredient of any successful musical recipe,” he explains. “It is like pasta in Italian food. You can add all the ingredients you like and any sauce, but the pasta is the core of the dish. I’m the chef and blues is my pasta.”   Aronoff calls it “a blast from the past aimed at the future.” Says Grossi, “You will feel B.B. King’s presence on stage even though we might be wearing space suits.”

Grossi found a magical connection with Kenny Aronoff when the two toured as the rhythm section of Toto guitarist Steve Lukather’s side Jam band “Goodfellas.” The next step came when Lance Lopez contacted Grossi about working on the Texas guitar whiz’s new solo project. While they were recording, Grossi got a call from Billy Gibbons, whom he had met on a Los Angeles session. The ZZ Top guitarist had known Lopez as a young blues prodigy, and strongly suggested Grossi and Lopez join forces. It was the Reverend Billy G’s blessing that helped birth Supersonic Blues Machine, and a stronger imprimatur for a nascent blues-rock project would be hard to find.

The first tune recorded for the Supersonic Blues Machine project was “Running Whiskey,” written by Gibbons, Grossi, and Tal Wilkenfeld. It features Gibbons on guitar and vocals and helped forge the sound of this new blues-rock supergroup. “It had the twist on the blues that infuses all the other songs on the record,” says Grossi.

The guest guitarists on Supersonic Blues Machine’s debut West of Flushing South of Frisco are not a random selection of famous names, but more like members of an extended family. “I have worked on projects with Warren Haynes [guest and co-writer on ‘Remedy’], and when he tours anywhere near Dallas, he will always have Lance sit in,” Grossi explains. Lopez and Chris Duarte (“That’s My Way”) have been friends for years, and the SBM guitarist grew up with guest Eric Gales (“Nightmares and Dreams”). Walter Trout (“Can’t Take It No More”) is yet another member of this blues fraternity who, despite battling health issues, was anxious to contribute to the project. Finally, Grossi describes Robben Ford (“Let’s Call It a Day”) as the “classiest guy” he knows. “All these people light up the room when they walk in,” he says.

European and North American tours are planned. “It was important for us to do this with people who can eventually join us live on stage when we tour,” says Grossi. “Every night will see different guests appearing. It will be like The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’ tour.”

Supersonic Blues Machine marks a new page in the story of three creative musicians with a history of lending their prodigious talents to others. “Here, the artist is us, no boss to follow or established identities to be maintained,” says Aronoff. “We’re writing our own book, and when you have been blessed and enriched by having collaborated with so many significant artists, your vocabulary gets richer.” Adds Lopez: “We’re mixing all the shades of the blues with our personal sound.”

An anonymous sage once said, “We used to sing because crying didn’t seem to help much.” The blues is not just about experience. It is about creating catharsis to help people through the hard times. “Everyone on this record has fought through their own personal demons,” says Grossi. “This is the redemption record.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Eclectic tastes sure to be satisfied via range of new titles

Click here to read my latest column featured in Desert Star Weekly. If you can't access the embedded article (which is featured on page 14 of the issue that will open), you can read a text version below.

Two contrasting releases from singer-guitarist Holly Golightly, as well as impressive returns from Herb Alpert and bluesman Joe Louis Walker are worth discovering.

Artist: Holly Golightly
Title: Slowtown Now! (Damaged Goods/Forced Exposure)
You might like if you enjoy: Wanda Jackson, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs
Tell me more: Holly Golightly has been busy in 2015. Not only did she recently release a new album with her well-established Americana project Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, the English artist has also released a new solo album that conjures up Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey and modern-day favorites She & Him with a sense of fun and purpose as evidenced by the tuneful sunshine pop of "Frozen In Time," the early-styled rocker "As You Go Down," and Baroque folk ballad "Forevermore." Information:

Artist: Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs
Title: Coulda Shoulda Woulda (Transdreamer/Megaforce)
You might like if you enjoy: Holly Golightly, X, The Knitters, Brown Bird
Tell me more: The latest collaboration from Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs (the duo of British singer-guitarist Holly Golightly and Texas-spawned multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Lawyer Dave), "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" is a dozen song set of spirited indie Americana. There is an authenticity to all of the songs here, with the duo blending blues, rock, country folk and roots rock with equal aplomb. From the straight-forward rocking blues of "Little Mule" to the more detailed acoustic Delta ballad "What He Does" and introspective Appalachia-laced vocal duet "Lonesome Grave," there is a warmth and honesty to everything here. Information:

Artist: Herb Alpert
Title: Come Fly With Me (Herb Alpert Presents)
You might like if you enjoy: Herb Alpert, Vince Guaraldi Trio
Tell me more: The Zombies are not the only popular '60s hit makers to enjoy a full-on resurgence in recent years. Trumpeter Herb Alpert won a Grammy for his 2013 disc "Steppin' Out" and has just released the aptly-titled "Come Fly With Me," a disc that proves the 80-year-old artist is still able to deliver top-flight performances. Blending artful covers and melodic originals, all of the compositions retain the jazz meets Bossa Nova style that was a stamp of Alpert's '60s and '70s hits, although he often influses reggae rhythms into several of the pieces (including a version of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and his own "Walkin' Tall"); a jazzy and especially tender instrumental version of George Harrison's Beatles classic "Something" and yearning version of Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train" are among the other standouts on "Come Fly With Me." Information:

Artist: Joe Louis Walker
Title: Everybody Wants a Piece (Provogue)
You might like if you enjoy: Walter Trout, Buddy Guy, Tommy Castro
Tell me more: Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker is in full form on the recently-issued “Everybody Wants a Piece.” A guitarist who isn’t afraid to tear into his electric guitar with the freewheeling approach of Buddy Guy and the late Jimi Hendrix, the Bay Area native shines as both singer and guitarist across the 11-track disc, including on the blues rocker “Do I Love Her,” soulful “Black & Blue” and “Witchcraft” (both showcasing Walker’s strong lead vocals) and Delta-minded standout “Gospel Blues.” The final track, “35 Years,” recalls the infectious spirit of Chicago blues greats Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Information:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spend 'This Christmas' with Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, best to start rolling out the media releases focusing on new holiday music's worth noting Matthew and Gunnar Nelson will kick off their Christmas tour here in Orange County, CA at the legendary Coach House on November 20th...

The duo's first-ever holiday album will be available
digitally on Nov. 20 and in stores on Dec. 4

Celebrate "Christmas with the Nelsons" at shows across the country beginning on Nov. 20 in San Juan Capistrano, CA

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson have achieved international success, with a double-Platinum album, multiple top 40 hits, including a No. 1 single, and sold-out concerts around the world on their list of accomplishments. Now, the duo are looking ahead to the next chapter, which begins with their first-ever holiday release, This Christmas. The album, currently available for pre-sale on iTunes and Amazon, will be available digitally starting on Nov. 20 and in stores on Dec. 4. More than just a collection of holiday songs, the album, which was produced by Matthew and Gunnar, affirms the power of their unique bond and family heritage.

"In addition to our original single 'THIS CHRISTMAS', we were able to rearrange Christmas classics that people the world over have loved like family members for generations,” said Matthew. “We've made them sound fresh and new while at the same time respecting their integrity and history. We're absolutely thrilled with the results, and hope our listeners will be too,” added Gunnar.

This Christmas Track Listing:
1. This Christmas (ft. Alyssa Bonagura)
2. Joy To The World
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
4. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
5. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
6. Mele Kelikimaka (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
7. Away In A Manger
8. Holly Jolly Christmas
9. Blue Christmas (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
10. Jingle Bells
11. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
12. White Christmas

An all-star support team added depth and dimension to the brothers' fundamental tracks, with Nashville studio veteran Ed Seay mixing and a lineup of musicians that included fiddle virtuoso Molly Cherryholmes and Michael Bonagura from Baillie & the Boys. Michael's daughter, singer/songwriter Alyssa Bonagura, plays a prominent vocal role on the title track, written by Matthew, Gunnar, Alyssa and Michael with an unusual narrative twist.

"It's a challenge to write a Christmas song that's not like something people have heard a million times before," Gunnar admitted. "So we started talking about this concept of two best friends that realize, on the night of miracles, that actually they're in love with each other and always have been. If miracles can happen on Christmas, maybe that's the night people in love can risk telling each other."

For all the wonders conjured throughout This Christmas -- the rich harmonies and imaginative thematic development in "Joy to the World," the fresh rhythmic perspective on "O Come All Ye Faithful," the intimacy of "White Christmas" – the title track most vividly forecasts what lies ahead.

Impeccably written, with a cascading motif adding a special shimmer to the story, it suggests that the Nelson brothers are about to pass their most significant career milestone since their debut.

"I believe we've reclaimed the same excitement we had before we made our first album," Matthew offered. "We were firing on all cylinders. We knew exactly what we wanted. We're there again -- two brothers with a vision and a sound that no one else has."

"We've made a conscious decision to come from the heart," Gunnar summed up. "It's amazing what happens when you stop fighting the universe and start doing what you were born to do."

For so many around the world, Christmas means rebirth. For Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, This Christmas heralds an adventure that's only beginning.

Nelson Tour Dates:
Nov 20 The Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Nov 21 The Cave - Big Bear Lake, CA *
Nov 22 Saint Rocke - Hermosa Beach, CA *
Nov 27 South Point Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV †
Nov 28 South Point Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV †
Nov 29 South Point Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV †
Dec 01 Green Valley Recreation Center - Green Valley, AZ *
Dec 02 Musical Instrument Museum - Phoenix, AZ *
Dec 04 McPherson Opera House - McPherson, KS *
Dec 05 McPherson Opera House - McPherson, KS *
Dec 06 Missouri Theater - St. Joseph, MO *
Dec 12 Williams Center for the Arts - Oelwein, IA *
Dec 13 Lucille Tack Center for the Arts - Spencer, WI *
Dec 14 Paramount Theatre - Saint Cloud, MN *
Dec 15 Paramount Theatre - Saint Cloud, MN *
Dec 16 Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts - Bloomington, IL *
Dec 17 Holly Springs Cultural Center - Holly Springs, NC *

* Christmas With The Nelsons
† Ricky Nelson Remembered

Social Media:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mika's 'No Place In Heaven' Special Edition out now

With the terrible terrorist attacks that hit Paris on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, news of the release of Mika's much-anticipated Special Edition of "No Pleace In Heaven" likely didn't receive much attention over the weekend. So I wanted to highlight it here. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in France, and the families of the victims of the heinous attacks. 

NEW YORK, NY (November 13, 2015) – MIKA releases No Place In Heaven Special Edition[Republic Records/Casablanca Records] at all digital retailers today. It’s available for purchase HERE.
The platinum-selling international pop impresario expands his critically acclaimed fourth full-length—2015’s No Place In Heaven—with a bonus 14 staples performed live alongside the Symphonic Orchestra of Montreal.
Recorded at the The Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal in Montreal, QC, he adds a new dimension to fan favorites such as “Grace Kelly” and “Elle Me Dit” with accompaniment from the orchestra. His unmistakable voice feels right at home inside these beautiful, bombastic, and booming symphonic arrangements.
No Place In Heaven saw MIKA once again evolve, while simultaneously enchanting pop culture at large. The album bowed in the Top 10 of the U.S. iTunes Pop Albums Chart upon release, going Top 5 in five countries around the globe. People described it as “scrumptious ear candy,” and OUT Magazine proclaimed it, “his most sophisticated, self-assured, yet whimsical album to date.”
Following release, he performed new music on Good Morning America’s annual Summer Concert Series. Online, the music video for the single “Talk About You” racked up over 3.4 million YouTube/VEVO views. He also paid homage to Queen singer Freddie Mercury with the cinematic “Last Party” video directed by renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, which would receive over 2.1 million views. In addition to snapping the album cover photo, this was Lindbergh’s very first collaboration with a music artist. Recently, MIKA has enjoyed high-profile syncs in both Pitch Perfect 2 and Spy.
Outside of music, his influence continues to expand worldwide. MIKA has been a judge on the X Factor Italy and a coach on The Voice France after topping the charts in France with the release “Boum Boum Boum.” He’s also been tapped by watch innovator, Swatch, as a creative ambassador creating striking designs for the line. In addition, he’s collaborated with Italian fashion leader, Valentino, architecting custom suits with the creative directors for his European tour and television appearances.
  1. Talk About You
  2. Good Guys
  3. L'Amour Fait Ce Qu’il Veut
  4. All She Wants
  5. Last Party
  6. Les Baisers Perdus
  7. No Place In Heaven
  8. Staring At The Sun
  9. Hurts
  10. Boum Boum Boum
  11. Good Wife
  12. J’ai Pas Envie
  13. Oh Girl, you’re the devil
  14. Ordinary Man
  15. Je Chante
  17. Hurts - Remix
  18. Beautiful Disaster
  19. Feels Like Love
Bonus Orchestral Track listing
  1. Toy Boy
  2. Grace Kelly
  3. Underwater
  4. Boum Boum Boum
  5. Relax (Take It Easy)
  6. Last Party
  7. Origin Of Love
  8. Happy Ending
  9. Over My Shoulder
  10. Good Guys
  11. Rain
  12. Any Other World
  13. Love Today
  14. Elle Me Dit

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Music Worth Buying: Peter Frampton and Bad Company reissues shine

Watch the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING where TJR and Robert assess several  essential new reissues: Peter Frampton's wonderful 2003 album Now and the seminal 1974 debut from Bad Company.

Purchase Peter Frampton's 'Now' now

Get 'Bad Company (Deluxe)(2CD)' today

Legends, hit makers showcased on new DVD/Blu-ray titles

What do the far-flung likes of the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Elliott Smith have in common? All are the focus of newly-issued films available now.

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Title: From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990 (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Tell me more: Rock fans wanting to see a Rolling Stones concert that captured the Brits at their best should check out the recent release From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990. Filmed during the Stones' 10-date run at the Tokyo Dome in 1990 where the band marked its first-ever live dates in Japan, the footage has been fully restored and the audio has been newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain to achieve something equaling the power of the 130-minute performance in front of 55,000 excited fans. The set list is truly perfect, balancing the band's best '60s and '70s classics with five standouts from the Stones' outstanding 1989 album Steel Wheels. The highlights come fast and furious including the soulful "The Harlem Shuffle" bolstered by the work of the Uptown Horns, the disco-rocker "Miss You" featuring Bobby Keys' terrific work on sax, the full-on rocker "Rock and a Hard Place," and an incredible performance of the band's masterwork "Gimme Shelter" with Mick Jagger and singer Cindy Mizelle trading potent lead vocals. Information:

Buy 'From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990 [Blu-ray]' here

Artist: Katy Perry
Title: The Prismatic World Tour Live (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Katy Perry, Madonna
Tell me more: Katy Perry has scored plenty of hits since the release of her 2008 album One of the Boys, but it are the singer-songwriter's extravagant concerts that impress most. So fans of the popular pop star will be thrilled with her concert film The Prismatic World Tour Live which offers a dazzling mix of music, theatrical effects, fearless acrobatics, eye-catching costumes and radio hits galore. Filmed in Sydney, Australia in December 2014, Perry and her cast of dancers and musicians are fully showcased across the seven-act production by director Russell Thomas. A popular songstress able to masterfully blend dance-minded disco pop with light rock, high points on the concert film include the animated "Roar," EDM-styled "Wide Awake," piano-anchored ballad "By the Grace of God" and sparkling "Firework." Information:

Get 'The Prismatic World Tour Live' here

Artist: Lenny Kravitz
Title: Just Let Go: Lenny Kravitz Live (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Jimi Hendrix, Gary Clark Jr.
Tell me more: Just Let Go is far more than a concert film. Because while the title features Lenny Kravitz and his excellent band performing during a 2014 European tour, the DVD title (also available on Blu-ray and digital) offers a revealing look at the process that the rocker and his troupe prepare for a tour, and how playing concerts is an entirely different experience than recording in a studio. Director Paul Dugdale is able to deliver both the concert performances and interview segments with a unified vision. The performances sizzle; "Dirty White Boots" (with Kravitz tearing up on lead guitar), "American Woman," the funky "Dancin' Til Dawn," acoustic "Sister" and blistering version of "Are You Gonna Go My Way." Information:

Get 'Just Let Go Lenny Kravitz Live [Blu-ray]' here

Artist: Elliott Smith
Title: Heaven Adores You (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake
Tell me more: The first full-length documentary to ever explore the life and music of acclaimed singer-songwriter Elliott Smith (1969-2003), Heaven Adores You is as heartfelt and introspective as the song craft of its gone-too-soon subject. Utilizing a blend of gritty visual images of the locations he called home (primarily Portland, New York City and Los Angeles), performance video and audio of Smith, and interviews with those who knew him best, Heaven Adores You is a compelling portrait of Smith and his long artistic shadow. Even music fans not familiar with Smith will be impressed by his life story and excerpts from his original songs, including "Miss Misery," "Son Of Sam," "Happiness" and "Waltz #2." Information: and

Purchase 'Heaven Adores You' here

Robert Kinsler

Friday, November 13, 2015

John Lennon to be honored at all-star concert celebration & televised special

John Lennon's legacy more than deserves this forthcoming event. I am hoping that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr might be invited to participate. That seems only fitting...

NEW YORK, NY - November 13, 2015 - In honor of what would have been John Lennon's 75thbirthday, Blackbird Presents in partnership with AMC today announced Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert, an all-star concert event celebrating the music and message of the legendary music icon. The one-night-only concert event taping will be held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30pm ET, and air exclusively on AMC onSaturday, December 19th at 9:00pm ET/PT.
This once-in-a-lifetime concert, produced by Blackbird Presents, will bring together fans, friends and music royalty to honor Lennon's musical legacy. The event will feature performances by: Aloe Blacc, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Peter Frampton, JUANES, Kris Kristofferson, Pat Monahan (Train), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine)Willie Nelson, The Roots, Chris Stapleton, and Steven Tyler. Additional performers will be announced at a later date.
GRAMMY® and EMMY® Award winners Greg Phillinganes ("Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life: An All-Star GRAMMY Salute") and Don Was ("The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute to the Beatles") will serve as music directors for this extraordinary concert event. DGA® Award winner Gregg Gelfand ("The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute to the Beatles") is the director.
"It's beautiful to see so many wonderful and talented musicians come together for this special show to celebrate John's birthday," said Yoko Ono. "John's art continues to give hope, light and happiness to generations of people everywhere. His belief that each of us can change the world continues to inspire the human race to believe in themselves, and his influence is everlasting in everyone's hearts as we all share in the possibilities and power of music."
"It would be impossible to quantify the immense impact John Lennon continues to have on modern culture," said Keith Wortman of Blackbird Presents. "His music and lyrics continue to shape the lives of musicians and millions of fans around the world. I can't think of any better way to celebrate his 75th birthday than to honor his legacy with this extraordinary event. It's going to be an unforgettable evening."
"We are proud to be associated with this special event, and to bring Imagine: John Lennon 75thBirthday Concert to AMC viewers," said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development, AMC and SundanceTV. "We are continuing to explore unique opportunities in
non-fiction programming and special events that can live alongside our original productions and movies, and we know this remarkable event will do just that and attract Lennon fans and music lovers of all ages."
Tickets are available to the general public on Tuesday, November 17th at 9:00am ET through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone (1-866-858-0008), and all Ticketmaster Outlets. Tickets are available in person beginning Wednesday, November 18th at the Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and The Beacon Theatre box offices.
A portion of proceeds from the concert will be donated to Robin Hood. Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization, creates and funds over 200 of the most effective programs, to help 1.8 million New Yorkers learn and earn their way out of poverty. For more information, please visit
Keith Wortman of Blackbird Presents is the creator and executive producer of the show. Overseeing the project from AMC are Eliot Goldberg, senior vice president of non-fiction and alternative programming for AMC and SundanceTV, and Marco Bresaz, vice president of non-fiction and alternative programming for AMC and SundanceTV. Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution throughout traditional and digital media (worldwide music, digital, and broadcast).

About Blackbird Presents:
Blackbird Presents is a worldwide leader in the creation and production of once-in-a-lifetime concert events, broadcast series, specials and music releases.  Blackbird's legendary concerts celebrate our most beloved music icons and feature performances by today's biggest stars at the world's most iconic venues. Past events have honored such icons as Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Levon Helm, Dr. John, Gregg Allman, Mavis Staples, Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harrisamongst others. Keith Wortman is the CEO of Blackbird Presents.
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About AMC:
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row with "Mad Men," and six of the last eight with back-to-back honoree "Breaking Bad." The network boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last three years with "The Walking Dead." AMC's current original drama series include "The Walking Dead," "Better Call Saul," "Hell on Wheels," "TURN: Washington's Spies," "Halt and Catch Fire," "Humans," "Fear the Walking Dead," and the forthcoming "Into the Badlands," "The Night Manager," "Broke" and "Preacher." AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like "Talking Dead," "The Making of The Mob," "Comic Book Men" and the upcoming "Ride with Norman Reedus" and "The American West." AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.