Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Sights and Sounds: Michael Ubaldini strikes with new videos, Americana Virtual Conference Lineup

Plenty of important news and music to share for a Wednesday...Robert Kinsler

Watch Michael Ubaldini's timely hard-hitting videos

Michael Ubaldini / Photo credit: Jesse Navarro
Singer-songwriter great Michael Ubaldini has released two new videos that seem to tap into the turmoil of the times more strongly than any other music videos I've seen this year, in large part, because of the power of the songs and his straightforward performance of those songs. The videos for Ubaldini's "Badge of Freedom" and "Peace Sign" are embedded below.

Elvin Bishop, Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder, Angela Davis, Alice Randall, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Thorn, RIAA’s Mitch Glazier and Michele Ballantyne Plus More First-Rate Speakers Added to Programming Lineup at Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference

Three-day virtual music industry conference on Sept. 16-18, 2020, brings together Cash to speak with Davis, Cooder, Raitt and Randall on the history of protest music; Bishop and Thorn to talk about how artists can get creative off the road; Glazier and Ballantyne to lead a discussion on the state of the recording industry
Passes On Sale Now

Top Row (L-R): Elvin Bishop, Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder
Middle Row: Bonnie Raitt, Paul Thorn, Angela Davis
Bottom Row: Mitch Glazier, Michele Ballantyne, Alice Randall
Just one week after announcing its first programming lineup, the Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF) has revealed a second wave of programming for Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference. The three-day online gathering will host an important discussion led by Rosanne Cash on the history of protest music featuring Ry Cooder, revered political activist Angela Davis, Bonnie Raitt and award-winning author Alice Randall. RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Glazier and COO Michele Ballantyne will be leading a conversation on the current state of the recording industry. More programming info can be found below. Passes are on sale here.

In just a little over a month, Thriving Roots will invite attendees online for inspiring panel sessions with first-rate speakers as they navigate talks on music, culture and everything in between. For the panel “Love and Vigilance,” Cash herself shares the idea behind it best, saying, “I invited some old friends — Bonnie Raitt and Ry Cooder — and some new friends — Alice Randall and Angela Davis — to play songs and talk with me about the history of protest music, the long, hard journey of Black musicians to achieve justice, and the anger and longing of the present moment.”

Rosanne Cash performing at the
Grammy Museum in Los Angeles
on Oct. 5, 2010.
Given the ever-evolving nature of the music industry, hearing rare and up-to-date insight from its leading professionals is paramount. During “Record Setting,” join the Recording Industry Association of America's Glazier and Ballantyne for a conversation on the state of the recording industry, current trends and their outlook. Elsewhere, “The Future of Americana” links up Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett with industry veterans Leslie Fram (CMT), David Macias (Thirty Tigers), Linda Ryan (Gimme Radio) and Bruce Warren (WXPN / NPR Music’s World Café) for a forecast into the genre’s future over a decade after The Recording Academy established its “Best Americana Album” category.

Additional new programming includes “Striking a Chord,” which finds GRAMMY® Museum Executive Director Scott Goldman sitting down with this year’s Americana Instrumentalist of the Year Nominees Ellen Angelico, Annie Clements, Brittany Haas, Zachariah Hickman and Rich Hinman as they share stories about their respective career journeys. Attending artists will want to check out “How to Stay Creative When You’re Off the Road,” an inside look at how musicians can maximize their productivity while being grounded in one place, led by Bill Bowker (KRSH) in conversation with roots artists Elvin Bishop and Paul Thorn.

In between panels and after business hours, attendees will also be treated to re-energizing music break segments and immersive special events, rounding out the variety of content found at Thriving Roots. Attendees should tune into Dualtone Music Group’s virtual music break highlighting the breadth of their artist roster and Radio Woodstock's Empire State of Americana, which spotlights five rising stars.

Previously announced Thriving Roots programming includes intimate conversations between Brandi Carlile and Yola; Emmylou Harris and Ken Burns; and Jackson Browne and Mavis Staples. There will also be artist-friendly songwriting workshops and case studies like Mary Gauthier’s "Accessing the Universal in Your Songs: Mercy Now,” Taj Mahal’s “Music Is the Healing Voice” and an artist development breakdown with Black Pumas. Moreover, the Woody Guthrie Center will examine the use of music in political campaigns during “Music as a Rallying Cry,” while “The Anatomy of a Publicity Campaign” groups top PR pros to dissect artist campaigns.

With over 50 panel discussions and more than 40 special events filled with music, Thriving Roots will bring the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its top industry professionals and leading artists. Previously announced speakers include Rhiannon Giddens and John Leventhal.

The Thriving Roots platform will launch ahead of the three-day virtual conference at a later date to be announced so attendees can personalize their online presence, customize their own daily schedule and begin networking with other attendees.
The virtual conference agenda will be announced in late August. For the latest updates, please visit

About Thriving Roots:
Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference is a three-day music industry conference slated to take place Sept. 16, 17 and 18, 2020. Presented by the recently announced Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF), the educational initiative brings the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its leading artists and industry professionals. With a wide variety of online programming including stimulating panels and immersive special events, attendees are in store for a unique experience that will go beyond today’s webinar-style conferences. Passes are on sale here.

About the Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF):
The Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and charitable organization, was founded to preserve Americana music through education. Its endeavors strengthen understanding, awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage, shine a light on inspiration, and promote the capacity and engagement of future creators. The foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs, musical performances and public events. Throughout the year, its partnership with The Americana Music Association focuses on the preservation of past legacies and traditions that spotlight Americana music’s heritage, while also looking ahead to ensure the future of the community’s generations to come.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

The Rolling Stones set to premiere Official “SCARLET” Video starring Paul Mescal

Exciting news as it relates to the super cool, previously unreleased Rolling Stones track "Scarlet." 

The Rolling Stones set to premiere official 'Scarlet' video starring Paul Mescal on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020

Photo credit: Edward Cooke



The official video for The Rolling Stones’ new track “Scarlet” is set to be released on Thursday August 6, featuring Emmy-nominated actor Paul Mescal, who starred in critically acclaimed television series ‘Normal People’. The video trailer is out now, watch it hereJoin the official video premiere on YouTube at 7 p.m. BST on August 6 here.

A love letter to ‘Scarlet,’ the video was directed by directing duo ‘Us’ and filmed with a socially distanced shoot at London’s iconic Claridge’s hotel.

“Scarlet,” the previously unheard Stones track featuring Jimmy Page and Rick Grech, was released on July 22 and will be included on the box set and deluxe CD and vinyl editions of the forthcoming multi-format release of 1973 classic Goats Head Soup, alongside two previously unreleased tracks “All The Rage” and “Criss Cross,” plus many more rarities, outtakes and alternative mixes. Goats Head Soup, restored to its full glory and more, will be released by Polydor/Interscope/UMe in multi-format and deluxe editions on September 4. Pre-order Goats Head Soup here.






Monday, August 03, 2020

New Music: Psychedelic Furs, Deep Purple, Blue Öyster Cult, the Go-Go's

Several of rock's groundbreaking artists have new and forthcoming releases available. There are essential new full-length studio efforts from the Psychedelic Furs and Deep Purple, as well as a multi-format concert title from New York-spawned rockers Blue Öyster Cult. Also worth celebrating is a new Showtime documentary and inspired single from Los Angeles' the Go-Go's.

Artist: The Psychedelic Furs
Title: Made of Rain (Cooking Vinyl)
You might like if you enjoy: The Psychedelic Furs, The Church
Tell me more: With the release of their eighth studio album Made of Rain  their first new album since 1991  the Psychedelic Furs remind the world why the band remains one of the elite modern rock heroes to have emerged in the early 1980s.  The London-spawned troupe's 12-song set is brilliant; this is a masterwork filled with cascading rockers, heaven-sent dream fields and golden sonic blasts that burst without faltering into hapless noisescapes. Singer-songwriter Richard Butler and his brother bassist Tim Butler, saxophonist Mars Williams, drummer Paul Garisto, keyboardist Amanda Kramer and guitarist Rich Good have an otherworldly ability to connect amidst the luxurious wall of sound, that approach aided by the stellar co-production of Richard Fortus (formerly of Richard and Tim Butler's mid-1990s band Love Spit Love, and a current member of Guns N' Roses). But a cool sound, top-tier musicianship and great production wouldn't mean much without great songs; thankfully fantastic tracks fill Made of Rain. The riveting "The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll," surging "Don't Believe," hypnotic "Wrong Train" and poignant "Ash Wednesday" help lead the charge on the first half of the LP. The decidedly raucous "Come All Ye Faithful," yearning rocker "No-One," tranquil "Tiny Hands" and disc ending arc of the ambitious "Stars" are among the standout on the last half of the LP. Information:

Artist: Deep Purple
Title: Whoosh! (earMusic / Edel)
You might like if you enjoy: Deep Purple, Rainbow
Tell me more: Coming Friday, Aug. 7, Deep Purple's forthcoming Whoosh! marks the 21st studio album from the hard-rocking British legends. Those wondering if the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have lost a step need not fear. Part of the so-called "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal" (along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath), Deep Purple continues to defy the ages on its latest full-length release. It's remarkable to hear how forceful and compelling the outfit's timeless approach sounds in 2020; the 13-track album kicks off with the majestic "Throw My Bones," a great melodic rock rock track bolstered by Ian Gillan's signature vocals and Steve Morse's astonishing guitar work. The magic doesn't end there; Deep Purple (whose lineup also includes founding drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Don Airey) thrill with songs that earn a place alongside bona fide band classics like "Highway Star," "Perfect Strangers" and "Knockin' at Your Back Door." The rocker "Drop the Weapon" is an assertive call for at-risk teens to step away from the dangers of crime in the big city  adorned with prog rock-worthy musicianship, lush vocals and an artfully plaintive ending. The probing "Nothing At All" is a true baroque rocker, with super enveloping vocal layers that lift the lofty choruses and buoyant keyboards. Another stellar original is the "The Power of the Moon," which blends goth rock stylings in the verses that perfectly offsets the more positive pull of the instrumental breaks and dynamic choruses. Listening to the album it's obvious the band  working for the third time with producer Bob Ezrin  continues to follow its rightful path to propel its sound to new depths. The striving "Long Way Round," purposeful "Man Alive" and apt album closer "Dancing In My Sleep" reflect that adventuresome wide ranging spirit. Elsewhere the quintet delivers winning straightforward rockers, notably "No Need To Shout," the old time rock 'n' roll-flavored "What the What" and blistering blues-tinged instrumental "And The Address." Whoosh! is another must-hear album from one of rock's enduring great bands. Information:

Artist: Blue Öyster Cult
Title: 45th Anniversary - Live in London (Frontiers Music)
You might like if you enjoy: Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple
Tell me more: In 2017, legendary rockers Blue Öyster Cult celebrated their 45th anniversary with a tour that took them throughout Europe and the U.K. One of the obvious highlights of the trek was the band's performance of all 10 tracks from their 1972 Columbia Records debut album in celebration of its 45th anniversary, a show at indigo at The O2 in London, England staged in June 2017. The band performed energetic and powerful takes on its early material, including a flawless take on the progressive rock opener "Transmaniacon MC," the lofty "Then Came The Last Days of May" (featuring spectacular lead guitar solos from Buck Dharma and Richie Castellano), genre-bending "Screams" and country-meets-blues rock "Redeemed." In addition to performing the tracks off their debut at that event, other classics from the band were delivered including the instrumental showcase "Buck's Boogie," energetic crowd-pleasing "Godzilla" and exhilarating "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." The full show was recorded and videotaped in 4K UHD. Live in London is available via CD+DVD, a 2LP vinyl version and via Blu-ray. The release looks and sounds amazing. Information:

Artist: The Go-Go's
Title: Club Zero (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: Music documentaries, the Go-Go's, the Bangles
Tell me more: On July 31, Showtime premiered the outstanding new Alison Ellwood-directed documentary "The Go-Go's," a revealing and entertaining look at the groundbreaking Los Angeles group that has the notable distinction of being the first and only all-female band to write their own songs and play their own instruments on a #1 album (1981's Beauty And The Beat). A bonus watching the members of the seminal band talk about their music and historic rise in the '80s is the new Go-Go's single "Club Zero," their first new recording in nearly 20 years. The infectious power pop-mining melodic track is worthy of the legacy of the band  singer Belinda Carlisle, guitarist Jane Wiedlin, guitarist Charlotte Caffey, bassist Kathy Valentine and drummer Gina Schock to be sure. Information:

Editor's Note: For an in-depth review of the new documentary "The Go-Go's," check out writer Lizzie Manno's piece in Paste. Her review is mostly accurate, although she doesn't appear to know that the members of the Monkees were recruited to play a band for a TV show, and on their own decided to actually pursue a real-life effort to embark on a music career outside of Hollywood. You can read her article here.

Robert Kinsler

'The B-52s: Live At The US Festival' on DVD and Digital coming Sept. 4, 2020

What a thrill! The B-52s' legendary performance at the 1982 US Festival is coming to DVD and digital later this summer! Here is the official media release and title artwork...

Los Angeles, CA – Travel back in time to a carefree Labor Day weekend in 1982, when The B-52s: Live At The US Festival comes to DVD and digital platforms on September 4, 2020 from Shout! Factory. The performance features all five founding band members, and the film is dedicated to Ricky Wilson, who passed away 5 years after the US Festival performance. In brand-new interviews included in The B-52s: Live At The US Festival, band members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson talk about Ricky, and what he meant to their unique sound, along with memories of performing at the US Festival. 

Dance this mess around with the all-time, good-time party band The B-52s in a wild and unforgettable live performance. This hour-long set, recorded at the inaugural US Festival in 1982, had the crowd dancing from start to finish, and was considered to be one of the best of the entire festival. 

"It was hot as hell in the desert but as soon as we got going we had the audience dancing up a dust storm,” says Fred Schneider.

This rare footage shows off the joyous energy and unique spirit that has been a hallmark of their music and live performances for over 40 years. 

Packed with 13 hits and favorites from the group’s early years, including “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire,” Private Idaho,” and others, Live At US Festival is the first-ever live concert DVD release from The B-52s’ classic era, and a tasty slice of rock history that’s an absolute must-see for anyone who likes to party out of bounds! 

The B-52s: Live At The US Festival is available for pre-order now at and

Party Out Of Bounds
Give Me Back My Man                                                                               
Planet Claire
Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can                            
Big Bird
52 Girls
Dance This Mess Around
Private Idaho
Rock Lobster
Strobe Light
About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

About The B-52s
Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, The B-52s—Fred Schneider [vocals], Kate Pierson [vocals], Cindy Wilson [vocals], — have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. They count John Lennon, Madonna, James Murphy, and Michael Stipe among their disciples. Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow have sampled classics from the band’s discography as Seth MacFarlane’s Family GuyThe Simpsons, Sugarland, and more offered up covers of their own. They inched towards the forefront of the post-punk movement in America codified by 1979’s self-titled The B-52s. Not only did the record go gold, but it also placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.” The gold-selling Wild Planet arrived hot on its heels in 1980. With Keith Strickland brilliantly filling the void in with music composition and live show guitar duties, 1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated the B-52s to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of the GRAMMY®-nominated “Roam” and “Love Shack”—which Rolling Stone lauded on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Friday, July 31, 2020

John Oates & The Good Road Band 'Live In Nashville' set for September 18, 2020 release

Check out details about John Oates & The Good Road Band's upcoming live album coming later this summer. And make sure to check out the great advance track "Anytime" - can't wait for this album! Robert Kinsler

John Oates & The Good Road Band ‘Live In Nashville’ Set For September 18th Release
Four new originals along with covers of Mississippi John Hurt, Jimmy Rogers, Don Gibson highlight second Thirty Tigers album

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2020—Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Oates has had a home in Nashville for more than a decade, performing with some of the city’s most sought-after musicians. John’s Thirty Tigers debut, Arkansas, performed with The Good Road Band, was released in 2018, proving a critical and commercial success in the Americana and roots community, a combination of originals with classic songs popularized by Mississippi John Hurt, Jimmy Rodgers and Don Gibson

After two-plus solid years of honing their chops through touring, that group – mandolin stalwart Sam Bush, pedal steel maestro Russ Pahl (Dan Auerbach), electric guitar whiz Guthrie Trapp, expert bassist Steve Mackay, cello prodigy Nate Smith (Kacey Musgraves) and drummer/percussionist extraordinaire Josh “Daddy” Day – returns intact for Live In Nashville, set for release on September 18 on all major digital streaming platforms. The set was recorded last January 9 at Station Inn, the legendary intimate listening room in The Gulch section of Nashville where the band first took shape. 

“This album represents a full-circle moment for me,” said John, in quarantine with his family in his adopted Music City home. “It feels like the culmination of the Arkansas project, being able to bring these guys back, and to be able to make this record after touring and playing so many shows together.” 

Inspired by Mississippi John Hurt, Live in Nashville features songs like the gospel-blues opener, “Lord Send Me,” the Delta blues of the standard “Stack o Lee” and an electrified take on “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” dubbed “Pallet Soft and Low,” where John manages to show off some of his well-honed rock guitar skills. In yet another “full circle moment,” John pays tribute to his own childhood with a cover of Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me,” the first song he learned to sing and play on guitar as a six-year-old after hearing it on the radio. Several of the songs come with Oates’ own stories about the songs, connecting the dots as to their connections, including popular hits of the era like the Mississippi Sheiks’ 1930 success, “Sittin’ on Top of the World,” Emmett Miller’s 1924 breakthrough, “Anytime” and Jimmy Rogers’ 1932 classic, “Miss the Mississippi and You.” 
Watch "Anytime" HERE
“I was always fascinated by this rural Americana Appalachian music, which opened the door for me to John Lee Hooker and other blues artists long before the British Invasion turned kids on to them. I always preferred the originals myself.” 

Live in Nashville traces how country, blues and gospel bubbled up from Mississippi and New Orleans and landed in northern urban cities like Chicago, St. Louis, and New York. John describes the sound as, “Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” 

“Something magical happened,” said John about his first time playing with The Good Road Band in the studio. “The thing you pray for, but so rarely achieve. My producer just said, ‘I don’t know what this is, John, but keep doing it because it’s cool.’” 

Live in Nashville shows what they are capable of on any given night, and in lieu of being able to see them in concert, this is the next best thing.

“This experience has made me a better player,” said John referring to what he's learned with his work in Daryl Hall and John Oates. “Playing with this caliber of musicians has really elevated my game and my ability to play guitar. As a musician, it helps me articulate what I need to do in a better way. I’m an improved singer, my vocal chops are stronger. For Daryl and I, our writing styles are totally predicated on how good we are as singers and musicians. I’ve been working my ass off. There’s nothing like touring to keep you sharp.” 

Live in Nashville offers concrete proof of that. 

Check out John Oates' official website for more details on the artist!