Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Gene Clark, Steven Wilson, Old Californio

Media releases announcing a wealth of remasters and new releases have been flooding my inbox in recent weeks. Some more highlights of the bundle are posted below with artwork. Enjoy!

Seminal LP From The Byrds' Gene Clark Receives Long-Awaited Release

"Gene Clark wrote some of the best tunes of the Sixties." - Rolling Stone

On August 30, 2011, Two Sides To Every Story, the seminal, out-of-print solo album from Gene Clark, a founding member of the Byrds, will be released on CD and vinyl by High Moon Records, the New York City-based reissue label, marking its much-anticipated return to print for the first time in 20 years. The High Moon Records remastered version of the 1977 RSO album will include rare bonus material, detailed liner notes by Gene Clark biographer John Einarson, and never-before-seen photos by legendary rock photographer Ed Caraeff (Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, The Who, Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame permanent collection.)

In a 2010 Uncut feature on readers' 50 most-desired reissues, Two Sides To Every Story figured prominently at the #3 spot on the list.

'Two Sides' features seven Clark originals, and three covers. It was produced by Thomas Jefferson Kaye who also produced Clark's masterpiece 'No Other,' and features Doug Dillard (The Byrds, Dillard & Clark) on banjo, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell) on guitar and Emmylou Harris on backing vocals.

Gene Clark served as The Byrds' chief songwriter in the mid-sixties, penning some of their most essential songs, including "Feel a Whole Lot Better," "Eight Miles High" and "You Showed Me." 'Mr. Tambourine Man' is one of rock's greatest debut albums," said Rolling Stone. "The attention getters were the Bob Dylan covers, but actually, the most vital songs on the album are the Gene Clark originals."

Artists influenced by Clark include Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Paul Weller, Fairport Convention, Yo La Tengo, the Flamin' Groovies, Wilco, The Jayhawks, and Ryan Adams. Clark is widely considered to be the godfather and pioneer of three musical genres: folk-rock, country-rock, and psychedelic-rock. His undisputed psych classic, "Eight Miles High" was released a full six months before the Beatles' initial foray into psychedelia on 'Revolver.'

Co-founded by George Baer Wallace and J.D. Martignon, High Moon Records is a New York City-based reissue label specializing in unearthing exceptional, rare, previously-unreleased, and out-of-print material from the '60s, '70s and beyond. The catalogue will comprise essential releases, ranging from lesser-known gems and cult legends to acknowledged music visionaries.

For additional details on High Moon Records please visit:

KScope to Release Steven Wilson's 'Grace for Drowning' on Blu-Ray Sept. 27

’Grace For Drowning’ Is First Ever New Rock Album Released in Full-Feature Blu-Ray Video Format

On September 27, 2011, Kscope will release Grace For Drowning, the new album from producer/writer/singer/instrumentalist Steven Wilson (best known as the founder and frontman of Porcupine Tree).

Grace For Drowning is the second album released under Wilson’s own name, and builds on the artistic inroads he forged with 2009’s exceptionally well-received Insurgentes.

Grace For Drowning also represents a milestone in audio fidelity as the first-ever new rock album released primarily as a Blu-Ray video disc, with music in 5.1 surround sound and accompanying video content for every song. The video content includes music videos starring Wilson (he’s only appeared in two previous music videos) as well as excerpts from the recording, mixing, and mastering sessions, presented in interactive formats that bring fans closer than ever to the production process.

Says Wilson, “Insurgentes was an important step for me into something new. This record takes that as a starting point, but it’s more experimental and more eclectic. For me the golden period for music was the late sixties and early seventies, when the album became the primary means of artistic expression, when musicians liberated themselves from the three minute pop song format, and started to draw on jazz and classical music especially, combining it with the spirit of psychedelia to create “journeys in sound” I guess you could call them. So without being retro, my album is a kind of homage to that spirit. There’s everything from [Ennio] Morricone-esque film themes to choral music to piano ballads to a 23 minute progressive jazz–inspired piece. I’ve actually used a few jazz musicians this time, which is something I picked up from my work remixing the King Crimson records.”

For the most avid collectors, there will be a deluxe edition featuring the Blu-Ray version, 3 CDs, and a 120-page book of artwork and notes. It will also be released in vinyl and compact disc formats.

Wilson will be in the U.S. for a special press-only playback session of the album at Avatar Studios in NYC on July 28, followed by a limited-run U.S. tour in November. Ticket information will be available week of July 11.

Tuesday, November 8th – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
Thursday, November 10th – Baltimore, MD – Ram's Head Live
Friday, November 11th – NY, NY – Best Buy Theater
Saturday, November 12th – Philadelphia, PA – Temple Performing Arts Center
Sunday, November 13th – Boston, MA – Berklee Performance Center
Friday, November 18th – Chicago, IL – Park West

For more information, visit http://www.kscopemusic.com/ or http://www.gracefordrowning.com/.

Deemed "Progressive Americana" by Amoeba records co-founder Yvonne Prinz, Old Californio get set to officially release their highly anticipated sophomore record, Sundrunk Angels

Currently being played by radio stations all over the US and Europe, Old Californio hit the road with Sundrunk Angels this Spring and have continued to tour non-stop. The San Gabriel Valley quintet will catch their breath in LA with a CD release party on July 17, 2011 (hosting some very special guests), while officially releasing the record through Burnside distribution on July 19. For more information and tour dates, please visit: http://www.oldcalifornio.com

Old Californio record release party for Sundrunk Angels
Hosted by The Grand Ole Echo @ The Echo
Sunday, July 17, 2011 5:30-9:00 pm
Free/All Ages/ 1822 Sunset in Echo Park, CA 90026


“Old Californio's Sundrunk Angels is remarkable for its tight production, lyrical charm and nuanced vocal performances. However, the musicality and breadth of talent on display here is proof positive that California won't be able to keep this band to themselves for too much longer.”-- CountryChart.com

"Equally comfortable with rocking roll, folk ramble and country snap, the quintet has its style down well enough that it can concentrate on songs..Old Californio won’t win any prizes for innovation, but when the songs are as good as these, keeping the faith is enough."--The Big Takeover

“To describe Californian based Old Californio as a “country rock” outfit is of course to do them a grave dis-service, as they are patently a whole lot more than that: in turn dynamic, raw, tight, cohesive and rocking as well as occasionally laid-back, Sundrunk Angels includes more hooks throughout its ten fine songs than a fisherman’s basket.”--Terrascope, UK

“Old Californio would have fit nicely into the California music scene of the late 60’s and early 70’s, but they are not just a throwback band. Their music intertwines their influences with an original and contemporary approach.”--Chip Frazier, Twangville

"Old Californio takes the best of California, borrowing heavily from the Dead, and a bit from Eagles and The Byrds, to create an uncommon yet familiar sound that is undoubtedly rooted in their home state, undeniably reminiscent of the psychedelic era, and unequivocally refreshing to my musical palate...I will give this record the highest compliment I can give an album: It makes me want to see the band live. Hell, it sounds live, and I can only imagine the kind of jams Old Californio could unleash in a place like Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio (hint, hint)."--Steve Cicero, Americana Music Times

"There’s so much to love about (Sundrunk Angels); Rich Dembowski’s lyrics and vocals are still exceptional but the most important thing about this album is that you can throw it on and love everything on it--how many CD’s can you do that with these days?"--Yvonne Prinz, Caught in the Carousel

"Old Californio is fantastic West Coast country rock with a colorful, psychedelic touch. ..Sundrunk's brilliant songs like "Sundrunk Angels" and "Just A Matter Of Time" Not only do nice harmonies but also shimmering guitar climaxes. Banjo's, lap steel, Wurlitzer and strong vocal harmonies throughout the ten songs give even more dimension to this great album that really is sheer Cosmic American Music."--Altcountry.nl

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