Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Upcoming releases: B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Hot Club of Cowtown

Hot Club of Cowtown

My inbox has been flooded in recent days with several noteworthy DVD/Blu-Ray and CD collections set for release over the next few months. Read on to hear about upcoming releases from B.B. King, The Rolling Stones and Hot Club of Cowtown.

New York, NY (May 27, 2009)—Eagle Vision, the wholly-own subsidiary of Eagle Rock Entertainment, will release the legendary king of the blues, B.B. King, Live At Montreux 1993, on Blu-Ray disc and DVD on June 2 (DVD retail sales price $14.98, Blu-Ray retail sales price $24.98).

The 17-song, 99-minute set features the then 68-year old Mississippi Blues Boy in rare form, feeding off the palpable crowd love, singing his heart out and bending those notes on ol’ Lucille, making her cry and moan. With his smokin’-hot bigband behind him punctuating every wiggle of his ample torso with staccato horn blasts, B.B. spans the gamut of blues from jump-blues and barrelhouse boogie to the kind of dramatic balladry that wrings out every last teardrop of emotion.

A special Blu-Ray exclusive features three tracks from King’s triumphant 2006 Montreux appearance: “Why I Sing The Blues,” “When Love Comes To Town” and “Guess Who.” B.B. King has, since 1949, recorded some of the greatest blues ever put to wax. With over 50 albums to his credit, he’s come from busking on the streets to being one of the most internationally beloved names in all of entertainment. He hitchhiked to Memphis as a teenager where he was tutored by his cousin, blues legend Bukka White. After Sonny Boy Williamson gave him his start on the radio, B.B. toured the south, naming his guitar Lucille after a woman who was the cause of a fight and an arson in Twist, Arkansas (where B.B. went running into the burning building to save his beloved guitar).

His first #1 hit was the “Three O’Clock Blues” and he toured to support it by playing 342 one-night stands in 1956! He has since honed his guitar style to incorporate elements of Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker, and has influenced every generation of axmen since including Clapton, Beck, Page, Perry and more. B.B. King has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival a record 19 times and is scheduled there again this summer. Track Listing

1) Fanfare

2) Six Pack

3) Two I Shoot Blues

4) BB King intro

5) Let The Good Times Role

6) When It All Comes Down (I’ll Still Be Around)

7) Chains of Love

8) Caldonia

9) All Over Again

10) Since I Met You Baby

11) Playing With My Friends

12) Ain’t Nobody Home

13) Why I Sing The Blues

14) Blues Man

15) Rock Me Baby

16) Please Accept My Love

17) The Thrill Is Gone


New York, NY (May 26, 2009) – Universal Music Group have confirmed details of the third and final installment in the reissues of the re-mastered, post 1971 studio albums by The Rolling Stones.

Dirty Work, Steel Wheels, Voodoo Lounge, Bridges To Babylon and A Bigger Bang, released July 14, 2009, complete the trilogy of reissued albums, which started in May with the re-appearance of the legendary Sticky Fingers, Goats Head Soup, It’s Only Rock’n’Roll and Black And Blue and Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You and Undercover in June.

A rousing cover of Bob & Earl’s Harlem Shuffle, with Jagger’s distinctive vocals to the fore, heralded the arrival of Dirty Work. This single made the Top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1986. Produced by Steve Lillywhite and the Glimmer Twins, the album was dedicated to the memory of Ian Stewart, the group’s original piano player and unofficial sixth member, who died the previous year.

The release of Steel Wheels in 1989 followed the group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and coincided with their eagerly-awaited return to the live arena. Recorded at Air Studios in Montserrat and Olympic in London, it made the Top 3 in Britain and in the States. It contains classic tracks like the US Top 5 single Mixed Emotions as well as Rock And A Hard Place, which boasts a trademark riff as infectious as any they’ve come up with. The incredibly atmospheric Almost Hear You Sigh also charted while Richards often reprises the ballad Slipping Away in concert.

Recorded in Dublin and in Los Angeles, and produced by Don Was, Voodoo Lounge topped the British charts on its release in 1994. The rockers Love Is Strong – featuring Jagger on harmonica – You Got Me Rocking and I Go Wild all performed strongly in the UK Top 40, while Out Of Tears continued the group’s fine tradition of late-night, soul-searching, soul-infused ballads and featured a killer vocal performance by Jagger. The singer also excelled on the equally contemplative Blinded By Rainbows, a forgotten gem in their repertoire, and the swaggering Sparks Will Fly, driven by the ever-excellent Charlie Watts on drums. Voodoo Lounge deservedly won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995.

Originally issued in 1997, Bridges To Babylon made the Top 3 in the US and number 6 in the UK. The yearning and sinuous Anybody Seen My Baby? and the mean and moody Saint Of Me – both Top 30 hits in the UK – in particular, showed the band remained at the cutting edge. Energetic rockers Low Down and Too Tight repay further investigation as do the three tracks sung by Richards, in particular the closer How Can I Stop which features another jazz legend, Wayne Shorter, on saxophone.

A Bigger Bang, the Rolling Stones last studio album to date, made the Top 3 on both sides of the Atlantic in 2005. Its release coincided with the group’s longest ever world tour, lasting two years, a feat likely to remain unbeaten by any other rock artist. Recorded mostly in France, it recalls the informal vibe of Exile On Main Street and has sold in excess of 2.5 million copies to date. A double A-side single coupling the rocker Rough Justice and Streets Of Love, another superior soulful ballad, reached number 15 in the UK, while the Bush-baiting Sweet Neo Con made headlines in the US.. A Bigger Bang more than lived up to its title.

These albums will be re-mastered and all retain the original track listings and sleeve design.
Fans will have the option of purchasing a collector’s box in which to house all 14 studio albums. The catalogue will also be available digitally. The classic album Exile on Main Street will also be released in early 2010 by UMG as part of wider plans for this title.


Internationally renowned swing/pop trio Hot Club of Cowtown is set to release their first new album, "Wishful Thinking" on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.
From the bright lights of the Grand Ol’ Opry to the UK’s Glastonbury Festival, to regular appearances on Prairie Home Companion and festival stages worldwide, The Hot Club of Cowtown has ascended from its unlikely beginnings in NYC’s East Village nearly a decade ago to become the premier ambassador of hot jazz and Western swing through sheer tenacity, virtuosity and the unstoppable power of their breathtaking live show.

On "Wishful Thinking," set for release August 18 (Thirty Tigers), we find the core group of Elana James (fiddle, vocals), Whit Smith (guitar, vocals) and upright bassist (Jake Erwin) reunited for their first new album in five years. Infusing their songwriting with a colorful montage of characters and perspectives, Wishful Thinking shows the band deftly embracing disparate influences – from the combustible "Can't Go on this Way," by Texas swing master Bob Wills – to the minor key gypsy violin line and longing chorus of "Reunion." The music here is elegant and imaginative: Elana’s spring-fingered violin solos and Whit's effortless, liquid guitar lines are propelled by Jake’s driving percussive upright bass. Across the entire album, there is a palpable sense of both genuine excitement and the keening longing expressed in ballads: Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia,” sung by Whit, and the album’s gorgeous closer, Elana’s "little girl lost" turn at George and Ira Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Whit’s original, “Carry Me Close,” is a song of loss and regret that echoes the classic feel of Appalachian mountain ballads.
"Wishful Thinking" is also the first-ever HCCT record with drums, courtesy of Damien Llanes. The new pulse is evident on songs like “Cabiria,” inspired by one of Fellini's most famous characters, whose noir sophistication could land it on the soundtrack of a European art film as easily as late-night country radio. The shuffling brushwork on “Heart of Romain” is Elana's homage to French film actor Romain Duris and the films of Tony Gatlif and captures the musical sophistication and sizzle of Stephene Grappelli and Django Reinhardt’s Quintette du Hot Club de France.
Lauded on NPR, darlings of international stages from Japan's Fuji Rock Festival to the Stagecoach and all points in between, HCCT began as a combustible trio playing traditional music but began to develop its own sound through invitations to collaborate, tour with, and work alongside more contemporary artists. The trio was hired (and survived) tours with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, first opening for them then playing with them: Elana, a classically trained violinist and the legitimate heir to the great tradition of Western swing which she learned firsthand horse wrangling and working with Texas fiddle masters (and a few stolen encounters with traveling Romany fiddlers), became the first dedicated female instrumentalist to tour in Bob Dylan’s band in over 30 years.

An invitation from Bryan Ferry for HCCT to reinterpret his material coaxed the band into the modern mainstream. Rachel Ray put them in her cookbook! Their appearances at mega-festivals from Byron Bay (Australia) to Fuji Rock (Japan) to Glastonbury (UK), and performances on Jools Holland’s TV show, "Later,” have brought the band international acclaim and a little closer to the millions waiting to fall in love with their music. HCCT has taken a traditional idiom, dusted it off, transfigured it, and reinterpreted it on its own terms. The music is blazing, modern, and has more energy than ever.

But HCCT understand that the beauty and danger that makes great music lies not only in the notes that are played, but from secrets that are held close to one’s heart. They are true proponents of the old adage less is more – they never sacrifice taste and simplicity for mere dazzle. “Bob Dylan taught me that you have to keep some mystery,” confesses Elana. “Don't give it all away. The power's in holding some things back.”

HCCT is currently touring the UK for Wishful Thinking (released May 4 in Europe and the UK). The band is amassing daily 4-star reviews for their live tour dates, including The Guardian and The Independent, complemented by five sessions on BBC radio. HCCT will be alternately touring the US and abroad through the end of 2009 and well into 2010.

1 comment:

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