Friday, September 30, 2011

Sights and Sounds: The Beatles, Hugh Laurie, Chris Pierce, Shane Alexander

Big news for Beatles fans leads the way in today's roundup of noteworthy media releases. Read on and have a good weekend!


AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 8, 2011 (Time Life)

Deluxe Packaging Includes Rare and Candid Photos by Astrid Kirchherr,
Signed Contracts and Personal Biographies Handwritten by Each Member in 1961

Fifty years after The Beatles first entered a recording studio, the complete collection of those tracks will be available for the first time in North America when THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition, is released to stores November 8, 2011 on Time Life.

The 2-CD set comes with a specially-designed book that is a historical trove of concert and intimate photos taken by Astrid Kirchherr and others who were with The Beatles during the early days of their career. The book also includes handwritten biographies by each member of the group, signed contracts, original artwork taken from posters and records, and text by Hans Olof Gottfridsson, who has spent years researching this period of the Beatles’ career.

In North America, it is generally believed that the Beatles’ recording career began on Capitol in 1964. Few know that it actually began on the German Polydor label in 1961. As Gottfridsson notes in the book for THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS, Polydor executive and big band leader Bert Kaempfert discovered the group in a German nightclub, signing them to his own company and then releasing the songs through Polydor. The night they signed the contract at Kaempfert’s kitchen table, the four Beatles wrote brief autobiographies, reproduced here in their original handwriting. Through a combination of music, photos, documents, artwork and history, THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS beautifully captures John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison just before they rocketed to international stardom. The earliest days of The Beatles have never been revisited in such detail.

The set includes every recording they made for Kaempfert and Polydor in 1961 and 1962. Multiple versions have been released throughout the past several decades – some in mono, some in stereo – each with distinctly different sounds. Most notably, the US versions of these tracks were overdubbed with another guitar player and drummer in an attempt to mirror the edgier sound the group had evolved into, unbeknownst to American fans at the time of their release in 1964. All versions of every track, including mono and stereo mixes, are included in the double disc set, remarkable in their difference but all bearing the same unmistakable sound of a wholly new kind of band.

Many of the Polydor tracks feature Tony Sheridan on lead vocals, a decision made by Kaempfert. However, John Lennon sings lead vocals on “Ain’t She Sweet,” and George Harrison plays an instrumental, “Cry For A Shadow.”

THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition is a remarkable story, told through music, mementos and words, of a band on the cusp of changing music and pop culture forever. The collection is a fascinating and comprehensive view of one of the most important yet overlooked moments in Beatles history.

Catch Hugh Laurie live on PBS Great Performances tonight, Sept. 30

An American favorite for his award-winning role in the hit TV series House, versatile British actor Hugh Laurie showcases his musical side in an atmospheric personal odyssey filmed on location in New Orleans.

Taking its name from his recent Billboard #1 Blues album, Let Them Talk is Laurie's very personal journey into the heart and soul of that music: "Here I am in the French Quarter playing with all these amazing musicians. This may be about as good as it gets. In fact, this may be what heaven is like."

Laurie sings a wide selection of tunes, accompanying himself on piano or guitar, and backed by some of the town's top-flight musicians. He refuses to pigeonhole his selections. "There are only two categories: good and bad. Those are the only things that matter." Throughout the hour, there are intimate performances and rehearsals with blues legends Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans," as well as another fellow traveler from Great Britain similarly inspired by this uniquely American music, Sir Tom Jones.

Of Laurie's piano prowess, Jones observes admiringly, "He must have listened to a lot of blues players, a lot of boogie-woogie players," and notes that Laurie's playing resembles that of Jerry Lee Lewis. Thomas marvels that when she saw him on the keyboards on House, she "could tell he was actually playing."

Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk - A Celebration of New Orleans Blues airs on THIRTEEN's Great Performances on Friday, September 30 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (including on KOCE-TV here in Orange County, CA where I am based).

Click here to check your local listings to confirm the exact channel and air time.

Get Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk at Rhino Records.


Pierce And Shane Alexander Co-Headline "Brothers From Another Mother" Tour

Record Release Showcase Parties Include Hotel Cafe In Los Angeles On Tuesday, October 11

Singer/songwriter Chris Pierce will be touring the U.S. this fall in support of his new album, I Can Hear You, set for October 11, 2011 release. He'll be hitting the road with his 1951 Gibson ES-150, a couple harmonicas and longtime friend Shane Alexander, another acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist. The two will co-headline the "Brothers From Another Mother" tour, which launches on October 17 at Nashville's 12th & Porter. The run will include a show at The Living Room in New York City on October 28. Pierce, who has opened for such artists as Seal, B.B. King, Al Green, Toots and the Maytals, and Colbie Caillat, will also play a series of Southern California record release showcase parties. The first will be at Hotel Café in Hollywood on October 11. See below for itinerary.

"Pierce, whose work has been compared to that of musical elder tribesmen Van Morrison, Jimmy Cliff, Bill Withers and Otis Redding - engages his audiences with his rich vocals and heartfelt tunes," said, which included Pierce on its list of "homegrown artists you ought to know." noted: "his tunes...seem to come from a heart so open and honest that, your cynicism safely checked at the door, you believe music possesses mystical healing powers too."

For a limited time, fans can get a free download of the soulful focus track "Looking for the Spark," which opens I Can Hear You, at:

Shane Alexander is an internationally known singer/songwriter/guitarist with four solo albums to his credit including his newest release, Mono Solo. Since 2005, in addition to his own headlining tours, Alexander has toured with Jewel, Seal, Suzanne Vega, Bon Iver, and most recently, opened for Styx / Yes on their 'Progressive U.S. Tour' in July-August of 2011. Shane Alexander's music has been licensed for over 50 television shows and films, including: "Bones," "Criminal Minds," "White Collar," and "One Tree Hill."

"This album is for the strugglers, the invisible people - those who make light out of the darkest of times even when it seems like no one is listening," says Pierce.

Co-produced with GRAMMY® award winner Seth Atkins Horan, who has worked on each of Pierce's previous releases, most of I Can Hear You's 10 tracks were captured live on the first take, underscoring the raw emotion of the material. Pierce penned five songs himself and four with long-time collaborator Marvin Etzioni. A poignant version of Bill Withers' "Hope She'll Be Happier," featuring simply vocals and piano, completes the collection. I Can Hear You follows Walking on the Earth, which was named one of the Top 10 albums of July 2008 by Nic Harcourt, formerly of KCRW, and 2009's Chris Pierce Live at the Hotel Café.

Although Chris developed otosclerosis, a rare hearing disorder that led to the loss of hearing in one ear at age 15, a journey he addresses in "Thunder or the Rain," music continued to be his passion. He was awarded the prestigious Ella Fitzgerald scholarship for jazz studies at USC when he was 18. Impressed by his performance at a small Hollywood party, Seal invited him to open on a string of worldwide tours, launching his career to a new level. His music has been heard in the film Soul Men and on Music From and Inspired by Crash and been licensed by Banana Republic and such shows as "Brothers and Sisters," "Eli Stone," "In Plain Sight" and "Army Wives."

Chris Pierce - Upcoming Tour Dates

Record Release Parties

10/11 Hollywood, CA Hotel Café (w/Shane Alexander)

10/12 Ventura, CA Zoey's Café (w/Shane Alexander)

10/15 San Diego, CA Anthology (w/Melissa Morgan)

10/16 Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke (w/Shane Alexander)

"Brothers From Another Mother" Tour with Shane Alexander

10/17 Nashville, TN 12th & Porter

10/18 Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde Bar

10/20 Louisville, KY Uncle Slayton's

10/21 Dayton, OH Wrights

10/22 Cincinnati, OH House Concert

10/26 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café

10/28 New York, NY The Living Room

10/29 Cambridge, MA T.T. the Bear's Place

11/1 Ogunquit, ME Jonathan's

Additional dates to be announced.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Chris Isaak, R.E.M., Jack's Mannequin, Joe Cocker, Chicago

Lots of news to share regarding upcoming releases, including several scheduled to arrive in October...

Chris Isaak's 'Beyond The Sun' - The Record He's Always Wanted To Make - Available October 18, 2011

After more than a quarter century into his career, Grammy nominated Chris Isaak has finally created the album he’s always wanted to make. Beyond the Sun, Isaak’s first Vanguard Records release out Oct. 18th —is truly a labor of love. As a child spinning his parents 45s in their Stockton, California home, this deeply committed artist has been obsessed with the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Studio and the visionary artists who got their starts there—including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis—all of them discovered and nurtured by the late, great Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.

Now, at long last, Isaak has acted on this lifelong obsession, magically recapturing the transformative hepcat brilliance of the classic sides cut by these greats at Sun with Phillips during the mid-’50s and ‘60s, while also getting down to the heart and soul of his own deeply rooted musical identity. “I did this because I love this music—that’s the entire reason,” Isaak explains. "These guys discovered this music for us and we had to rediscover it. There’s no way to do it exactly like they did it, so you’ve gotta give a little bit of your own take on it.”

Mostly recorded at Memphis’ Sun Studio with his longtime band, Chris and his bandmates hit the bulls-eye on these tunes. This handpicked collection includes “Trying To Get To You,” “It’s Now or Never,” “So Long I’m Gone,” “Ring of Fire,” “Dixie Fried,” "Pretty Woman,” and a blistering rendition of “Miss Pearl” by the nearly forgotten Sun artist Jimmy Wages. Both before and during the sessions, Chris penned some original tunes in the spirit of these sacred texts – “Live It Up” and on the second disc “Lovely Loretta.”

Beyond the Sun will be available in both the 14-song standard set as well as a deluxe package that includes the bonus disc with additional 11 tracks. A 2 LP vinyl edition of the deluxe package will be available in November.

Exclusive pre-order packages are available now at

R.E.M. Caps Its 31-Year Recording Career With Its First-Ever Definitive Greatest Hits Album, Due From Warner Bros. Records on November 15, 2011

After R.E.M. ignited the blogosphere on September 21st with the news that they had decided to "call it a day as a band" via a statement on their website, the beloved band have announced that they will release their final album, R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 - 2011, on Warner Bros. Records on November 15, 2011. The album is a 40-song career-spanning retrospective that collects, for the first time ever, songs from R.E.M.'s entire back catalog, including the pioneering American band's years on both the IRS label (1982 to 1987) and Warner Bros. Records (1988 to 2011). The album is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. A brand-new song, "We All Go Back To Where We Belong," goes to radio and will be available for sale on October 18, 2011.

R.E.M. formed in 1980 when singer Michael Stipe met guitarist Peter Buck in an Athens, GA, record store where Buck worked. After recruiting bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry, R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe," in 1981, followed by 1982's Chronic Town EP, capturing the imagination of a new generation of music lovers and bringing "guitar pop back into the underground lexicon," as All-Music put it. Widely credited with inventing the college-rock genre, R.E.M. became the most influential American alternative rock band in history -- inspiring such artists as Sonic Youth, Pavement, Nirvana, and Radiohead -- for achieving multi-platinum mainstream success while maintaining their distinct identity.

Over the course of its career, the band has released 15 studio albums: Murmur (1983), Reckoning (1984), Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), Life's Rich Pageant (1986), Document (1987), Green (1988), Out of Time (1991), Automatic For The People (1992), Monster (1994), New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), Up (1998), Reveal (2001), Around the Sun (2004), Accelerate (2008), and Collapse Into Now (2011). They have sold more than 85 million albums worldwide.

"Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey," says Mike Mills of choosing the songs that appear on R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 - 2011. "We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together."

In addition to liner notes written by band members Berry, Buck, Mills, and Stipe, the album also features three new songs that R.E.M. finished after they completed their last album, Collapse Into Now: "A Month of Saturdays," "We All Go Back To Where We Belong," and "Hallelujah," which were recorded over the summer in Athens with Accelerate and Collapse Into Now producer, the estimable Jacknife Lee. The band came roaring back with those two albums in the last two years, achieving some of the best reviews of their career and enabling them to go out at the top of their game.

The track-listing for R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 - 2011 is as follows:

Disc 1:
Gardening At Night
Radio Free Europe
Talk About The Passion
Sitting Still
So. Central Rain
(Don't Go Back To) Rockville
Driver 8
Life And How To Live It
Begin The Begin
Fall On Me
Finest Worksong
It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
The One I Love
Pop Song 89
Get Up
Orange Crush
Losing My Religion
Country Feedback
Shiny Happy People

Disc 2:
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Everybody Hurts
Man On The Moon
What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
New Test Leper
At My Most Beautiful
The Great Beyond
Imitation Of Life
Bad Day
Leaving New York
Living Well Is The Best Revenge
Supernatural Superserious
Oh My Heart
A Month of Saturdays
We All Go Back To Where We Belong

Jack's Mannequin to release 'People and Things' on Oct. 4, 2011

Jack's Mannequin will release the band's People and Things on Oct. 4, and will celebrate release week by hosting several unique events. On Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., Jack's Mannequin will host a film screening at the Angelika Theatre in New York City to present short films for each of the songs on People and Things. The 11 short films were commissioned to provide an artistic visual counterpart to the album and were each directed by a different independent director.

The screening event will be followed by a stripped-down performance by frontman Andrew McMahon. Tickets for the screening sold out in record time, but the short films will also be premiering on YouTube at the same time as the theater event. The film for the track "Television" (which recently premiered on Entertainment Weekly) is up on YouTube now.

For more information on all things Jack's Mannequin, including the band's upcoming tour dates, visit:

Rock legend Joe Cocker preps new album 'Hard Knocks' for release by 429 Records on Nov. 22, 2011

Joe Cocker is without a doubt, a true musical legend. With 40 years and counting as a major player in the music business, the singer with that unmistakable bluesy soul voice has earned countless accolades for his artistry - Grammys, Golden Globes, Academy Awards and platinum selling albums worldwide. The iconic singer is now signed to 429 Records in North America and is gearing up for the release of “HARD KNOCKS”—his 21st album. “HARD KNOCKS” is a collection of 9 all new songs plus a cover version of the Dixie Chicks’ “I Hope.” Produced by Matt Serletic (Matchbox 20, Carlos Santana), “HARD KNOCKS” has the timeless “Cocker” sound fusing soul, pop and rhytm and blues into an undeniably infectious mix of a singularly unique contemporary style. “HARD KNOCKS” will be available on 429 Records on November 22nd.

The recording sessions took place in Serletic’s own Emblem studios in Los Angeles involving a host of acclaimed musicians like Ray Parker Jr., Tim Pierce and Joel Shearer on guitar, Josh Freese, Matt Chamberlain and Dorian Crozier on drums, Chris Chaney on bass and Jamie Muhoberac on keyboards. The songs were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Bob Ludwig. Songwriters Kara Dioguardi of recent American Idol fame and Marc Broussard have contributed songs to the collection.

Says Cocker, “I don’t really know what you would call this album: ‘rock/pop’? It’s a little more pop than I’ve been into for quite a while so it would scare me sometimes. I would do the basic tracks and then Matt would go away and do some of these overdubs and he had all these electronic things on there. It was sometimes like ‘Oh, my god!’. But I wanted to work with Matt very much. And I always knew what kind of record we would be making.”

Track listing:

1) Hard Knocks
2) Get On
3) Unforgiven
4) The Fall
5) So It Goes
6) Runaway Train
7) Stay The Same
8) Thankful
9) So
10) I Hope

For more information, visit:

Chicago Releases Very Special Christmas Record, 'O Christmas Three,' On October 4

Features Dolly Parton, America, Steve Cropper, and BeBe Winans

Chicago, the legendary "rock and roll band with horns" who Billboard has called the top American rock group of all time, will release a brand new Christmas record on October 4, 'O Christmas Three,' their 33rd record and third album of holiday music. The album features special guests Dolly Parton, America, Steve Cropper, and BeBe Winans, and was produced by veteran producer Phil Ramone, one of the most respected and prolific music producers in the recording industry (Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Elton John, Paul McCartney).

'O Christmas Three' features original Chicago members Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walt Parazaider. The band is joined by Dolly Parton on Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time," America on "I Saw Three Ships," BeBe Winans on "Merry Christmas Darling," and celebrated guitarist Steve Cropper on "Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day," a new song co-written by Loughnane.

"I think this Christmas album will be enjoyed by young and old alike," Loughnane said. "It was an exciting project to put together. I hope that our fans and other people who just happen to hear the album will feel that energy," Lamm added.

Clear Channel's top-rated New York City radio station, WLTW-FM, will host a special listening party for the new record on November 28th at NYC's BB Kings Blues Club, where Chicago will perform highlights from 'O Christmas Three.' It will also serve as a benefit for Musicians On Call, which brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.

With constant touring - they've never missed a year - and sell-out shows all over the world, Chicago's musical proficiency is at a zenith. "I think the band is playing better than we ever have before," Loughnane said. Regarding the famous horn section, Parazaider added: "There is a magic. I liken it to a spiritual wire. Lee's here, Jimmy's here, I'm here, and that spiritual wire just passes through all three of us."

'O Christmas Three' will be available on the band's web site site, iTunes, and A music video of one of the songs will soon be up on the band's official website.

O Christmas Three track listing:
1) Wonderful Christmas Time (featuring Dolly Parton)
2) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
3) I Saw Three Ships (featuring America)
4) Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
5) What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
6) It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
7) I'll Be Home For Christmas
8) On The Last Night Of The Year
9) Merry Christmas Darling (featuring Bebe Winans)
10) Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day (featuring Steve Cropper)
11) My Favorite Things
12) O Christmas Tree
13) Jingle Bells
14) Here Comes Santa Claus/Joy To The World

Chicago is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in five different decades. In Billboard Magazine's list of Top 100 artists of all time, Chicago came in at #13, the highest charting American band. Lifetime achievements include a Grammy Award, multiple American Music Awards, record sales of more than 100 million an incredible 25 of their 32 albums have been certified platinum, and the band has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.

Other Chicago news:

For the last two years, the band has joined forces with the American Cancer Society to create "Sing With Chicago," a highly successful promotion that has raised tens of thousands of dollars to fight breast cancer, in which winning bidders sing the hit song "If You Leave Me Now" with the band at every concert. The proceeds from this year's "Sing With Chicago" promotion will be raised in the name of Paqui Kelly, the wife of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, who is battling breast cancer.

As Jimmy Pankow says, "ideas are always going." Known for their original and innovative music style, Chicago released an exciting Latin music project of 12 of their greatest hits called 'Chicago ¡Exitos!' earlier this year. They hired New York producer and arranger John Van Eps, who gathered the best Latin arrangers, musicians and singers that he could find and created amazing Latin style versions of Chicago's hits, Some of the Latin music styles featured on the record are Latin Pop, Bomba, Afro, Songo, Cha Cha, Mozambique, Joropo, Mambo, Merengue and Dancon.


Polly Parsons, Gram Parsons Foundation announce launch of new Web site

I received this media release in my inbox earlier today. A a long-time fan of Gram Parsons, I'm hoping this new site will provide a well-deserved place to honor the legacy of one of the true pioneers of country-rock and alt-country.

The Gram Parsons Foundation announces the launch of the First Online Destination for All Things Gram Parsons

Thanks to the efforts of Gram's daughter, Polly Parsons via The Gram Parsons Foundation, supporters and fans now have an online destination for everything Gram Parsons; from music to photographs, from videos to social networking. Due to an overwhelming demand, The Gram Parsons Official Website ( was set up to honor Gram, often noted as the pioneer of "country rock,” as an iconic musical trailblazer.

The Gram Parsons Foundation has the great pleasure of introducing an online community where people can share stories, photos and knowledge about this legendary musician. This is a fan resource as much as a tribute, offering tribute concert and fan gathering updates and to-the-moment Twitter and RSS Feeds. The demand created by the current musical community will allow fans of Gram to gather and discuss everything from the new Emmylou Harris record (Hard Bargain) and her song about Gram ("The Road"), to indie bands like Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes, Dawes and Mumford & Sons, who have all cited influences by or have garnered some press comparisons to Gram.

“Over the last few years, fans have been requesting for an official online destination to connect with my father and his music. My sincere wish is that this site becomes a wonderful place to visit, hang a while, read stories from those closest to him and the musicians that love him, listen to music, learn about and BE with Gram,” says Gram Parsons daughter, Polly, in a letter to visitors on the site's home page, “My father would love to know you're visiting!”

The site's home page features the live RSS and Twitter feeds, documenting the constant activity about Gram, as well as hosting Gram TV, which is currently "playing" a clip reel from the 2004 tribute concerts which featured Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakum and others. The foundation’s goal for Gram TV is to update content to feature the up and coming artists who are inspired by Gram’s music.

The site also features a music page, streaming songs and lyrics from Sweetheart of the Rodeo (The Byrds), Safe at Home (The International Submarine Band), Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe (The Flying Burrito Brothers), and the solo albums GP and Return of the Grievous Angel. The archive tab for The Official Gram Parsons Website opens a treasure trove of online content, ranging from videos hosted on the Gram Parsons Official YouTube channel, streaming interviews with Gram, Gram Parsons quotes, articles and photographs. There will soon be an online store with Official Gram Parsons merchandise along with a "gift" to all the long standing fans in time to mark what would have been Gram's sixty-fifth birthday on November 5.

The mission of The Gram Parsons Foundation is to support musicians and artists from around the world with addiction and recovery services. The foundation's dedication to helping those with substance abuse issues is further shown at Polly Parsons' Hickory Wind Ranch, the premiere sober living homes for men and women in Austin, TX. It was only natural that Polly was driven to provide support and a nurturing environment by helping other members of the artistic community in need - a full circle moment. The goal of Hickory Wind Ranch is to help every member of their community learn how to live a full and rich sober life and to achieve physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Hickory Wind Ranch is proud to share their gift to the community through their involvement with A&E's Intervention.

For more information about the Gram Parsons Foundation, please visit the foundation on the web at

Like the Gram Parsons Foundation on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

To bid on items in their e-bay Charity auction, visit

For more information about Hickory Wind Ranch, please visit

Like Gram Parsons on Facebook.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blues legend Buddy Guy still impressing at 75

Photo courtesy of Bob Steshetz

My review was originally published in Soundcheck on The Orange County Register Web site.

Over the past few decades there has been a tendency by blues fans (as well as writers who cover the genre) to seek out the next great electric guitar hero. Since the tragic death of Stevie Ray Vaughan in August 1990, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, even John Mayer have all been championed to fill that elusive role.

While those relative newcomers have their own ways to excite (my money’s on Bonamassa to be the most lasting and inventive), there is something to be said for checking out what few pioneers remain, especially when one is still at the top of his game.
Such was the case for a large crowd that mostly filled City National Grove of Anaheim Friday night to catch Buddy Guy, who at 75 proved he isn’t ready to be relegated to the sidelines. A sharp performer with a still-mighty voice and fiery guitar technique that has inspired everybody from SRV to Clapton, the Louisiana native thrilled the audience, despite admitting that he was a bit under the weather.

Whether performing his own hits or artistic remakes of material made famous by Cream, John Lee Hooker or Ray Charles, Guy was in full command. Early in his winning set, he led his four-man band through an epic “Hoochie Coochie Man” that allowed him to showcase both his expressive vocals as well as his ability to play guitar with startling dynamics — the softest touch at one point, firing on all cylinders moments later.

Another element that stood out is how much fun Guy seems to be having nowadays. He smiled, joked with the crowd and seemed eager to share the spotlight with the talented players around him. The highlight of a mini acoustic set found Guy sitting on a stool to offer up a reworked version of Cream’s “Strange Brew,” the master performing some of Clapton’s famous licks as he merged his own technique with lines familiar to every classic-rock true-believer in the house.
Guy’s most recent album, 2010′s solid Living Proof, was revisited toward the end of his 75-minute set courtesy of a confessional “74 Years Young.” “I still make blues albums even though they don’t play them on the radio,” he said before dipping into the Chicago-style song. His playing here, notably during the solo, was fiery yet controlled, emotional in a way that often eludes younger heroes out to impress with nothing but speed.
Still, this appearance flew by — almost as soon as it seemed to start Guy was rapidly finishing it, with a powerful version of his rocker “Someone Else is Steppin’ In.” I certainly hope that title isn’t true just yet.

Opening the show was a thrilling young outfit that put every second of its 45-minute spot to epic use. Wichita-based Moreland & Arbuckle boast a sparse lineup but cranks out a huge sound. Singer Dustin Arbuckle sang and blew harmonica to inject solos with rhythm in a way this writer hasn’t quite witnessed before. Aaron Moreland played various electric guitars (including a cigar-box axe), seamlessly mixing up lead riffs, tasty slide work and crunchy barre chords. Drummer Kendall Newby, meanwhile, had such a powerful style it filled in the sonic region where listeners might wonder what had happened to the bass.
But that description shares only part of their sound. The trio’s material is a perfect amalgam of Delta blues, Southern rock, folk and Chicago sizzle, with the melodic strains of “Just a Dream,” a rousing cover of Tom Waits‘ biting “Heartattack and Vine” and the heavy “The Brown Bomber” charging the night. How great it would be to see these guys tear it up on the Backporch Stage at the Doheny Blues Fest. As both the legendary headliner and these newcomers proved, blues isn’t about to go away quietly into the night.

To read more on Moreland & Arbuckle, check out my review of the band when they opened for Jonny Lang at the Anaheim House of Blues last year:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Rush, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie

Rush, Leonard Cohen, and a slate of artists honoring Woody Guthrie all have wonderful collections set to arrive soon. Here are several news releases worth sharing!

Rush Unveil "TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND"; 2-CD Set Recorded During Legendary Trio's Recent World Tour; Band Simultaneously Release Live Version of Landmark Album "MOVING PICTURES" on Vinyl; "TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND" and "MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011" Will Both Be Available November 8

Legendary rock band Rush have announced details for the first offerings through their recently announced partnership with Roadrunner Records. On November 8, Anthem/Roadrunner will simultaneously release a two-disc live album entitled TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND as well as MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011 on vinyl and digital formats.

Captured in April at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena during the renowned trio's extensive Time Machine World Tour, TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND marks the band's first live album recorded at a U.S. show, a deliberate nod of gratitude to the first city to support Rush on its radio airwaves. The wildly popular tour featured a set filled with classic hits, fan favorites, and a glimpse into Rush's forthcoming 20th studio album CLOCKWORK ANGELS. As a centerpiece for the concerts, the band performed their landmark album MOVING PICTURES in its entirety -- a first in the band's long and illustrious career. Rave reviews of the tour included The Hollywood Reporter's declaration that "the current Time Machine jaunt is nothing less than a must see... for nearly three hours, with intermission, Rush proved why it remains among rock's elite live acts." Full track listing for TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND attached below.

MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011 marks the first live recording of the band's most successful album to date. Originally released in 1981, this year marks the 30th anniversary of MOVING PICTURES, which features some of Rush's most well-known songs like "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," and "YYZ."

In related news, Rush is also releasing Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland on BluRay and DVD formats on November 8 via Rounder Records in the U.S. and Eagle Rock Entertainment abroad. VH1 will be airing a 2-hour concert culled from the footage as part of their annual "Rushashana" program on September 29. This fall, Rush will be returning to the studio to resume work on their highly anticipated 20th studio album, CLOCKWORK ANGELS due out in 2012.

With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush -- Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart -- is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. The RIAA has certified Rush for the third most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Rush's vast catalog includes such classics as 1974's self-titled debut, 1976's 2112, 1981's MOVING PICTURES, 1996's TEST FOR ECHO, and 2002's VAPOR TRAILS. Rush's most recent studio album, 2007's SNAKES & ARROWS, debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, marking the band's highest chart debut since 1993, as well as their eleventh top 10 album in the U.S. In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with a number of Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage at this year's gala event. Enjoying a recent pop culture renaissance, Rush made a rare television appearance -- their first in over 30 years -- on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and a memorable cameo in the film "I Love You, Man." A career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature summed up the renowned rock trio's continuing artistic vitality by observing, "It's true that Rush doesn't mean today what it did in '76 or even '96. It may mean more."


Available November 8, 2011


1. The Spirit Of Radio
2. Time Stand Still
3. Presto
4. Stick It Out
5. Workin' Them Angels
6. Leave That Thing Alone
7. Faithless
8. BU2B
9. Free Will
10. Marathon
11. Subdivisions
12. Tom Sawyer
13. Red Barchetta
14. YYZ
15. Limelight


1. The Camera Eye
2. Witch Hunt
3. Vital Signs
4. Caravan
5. Moto Perpetuo (featuring Love For Sale)
6. O'Malley's Break
7. Closer To The Heart
8. 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
9. Far Cry
10. La Villa Strangiato
11. Working Man




Every album has been remastered from the original analogue master tapes
Limited edition release via available starting October 11, 2011, through Columbia/Legacy

Spanning 42 years of studio and concert albums released from 1967 to 2009, THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION box set gathers together a lifetime of recordings from Leonard Cohen. Every album has been remastered from the original analogue master tapes. Cohen celebrates his 77th birthday on September 21, 2011.

THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION contains all 17 of Cohen's albums, each in a mini-LP replica CD jacket of the original release. Along with these, a lavish 36-page booklet will include all discographical annotations and recording information, as well as a brilliant 1,300-word essay by Pico Iyer. This limited edition box set is available now for pre-order via in advance of the October 11th release date through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

From the 1960s to the '00s, the transcendent beauty of Leonard Cohen unfolds over the course of THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION. Individually, the 17 albums in the box set comprise:

•SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN (released December 1967);
•SONGS FROM A ROOM (April 1969);
•LIVE SONGS (April 1973);
•DEATH OF A LADIES' MAN (November 1977);
•RECENT SONGS (September 1979);
•VARIOUS POSITIONS (February 1985);
•I'M YOUR MAN (February 1988);
•THE FUTURE (November 1992);
•FIELD COMMANDER COHEN: TOUR OF 1979 (February 2001);
•TEN NEW SONGS (October 2001);
•DEAR HEATHER (October 2004);
•LIVE IN LONDON (March 2009);
•LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT 1970 (October 2009);
•SONGS FROM THE ROAD (October 2009).

"Cohen sits outside every category," writes Iyer, "and throws together high culture and street slang, Buddha and the blues, so you never know what's coming next... He's lived in Nashville, in L.A. (and in the high dark mountains behind L.A. at the Mount Baldy Zen Center) as well as on the carless Greek island of Hydra, known for its donkeys and faraway monasteries. He's inspired filmmakers from Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Oliver Stone and acted as the head of Interpol on Miami Vice. He's written a classic Old Testament book of psalms and sung on Duets with Elton John. Everything you know of him is wrong."

Pico Iyer, who annotated Columbia/Legacy's The Essential Leonard Cohen double-CD collection nearly a decade ago, is a confidante of Cohen, who personally chose him for the job. The Oxford-born and Eton-educated author, essayist, novelist, biographer, and world-renowned travel writer has contributed articles to Conde Nast Traveler, Civilization, the New York Review of Books, Sports Illustrated, and the Times of London. Iyer's books, which have been translated into many languages and published around the world, include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul, the novels Cuba and the Night and Abandon.

As Iyer makes clear, Cohen's four decades-plus odyssey at Columbia Records is impossible to categorize or pin down. Prolific and productive, he has shepherded at least three generations of music fans along on his journeys. Sabbaticals and hiatuses have ensued, always marked by album comebacks and concert tours that have left his followers breathless and awestruck.

"You'll meet the earnest troubadour," writes Iyer, "with 'one hand on a hexagram and one hand on a girl' and you'll see the grave old philosopher who could be met on the backstreets of Jerusalem. You'll hear the sound of a soul, alone, raising a cry to the heavens, and that of the silky man of the world accompanied by a chorus of female voices. You'll think you're listening to one of the great ironists of rock 'n' roll -- 'We met when we were almost young' -- and then you'll hear him calling out for surrender."



Woody Guthrie's Words Inspire Contributors

Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Kurt Elling, Michael Franti, Nellie McKay, Tom Morello, Van Dyke Parks, Madeleine Peyroux, Lou Reed, Pete Seeger,Studs Terkel, Tony Trischka, Rob Wasserman And Chris Whitley

Collection Will Be's "Daily Deal" On September 26th

As the centennial of his birth approaches, the words of Woody Guthrie - America's greatest folksinger - seem more relevant than ever on the forthcoming album Note of Hope (429 Records). The Mp3 Store ( will make Note of Hope the "Daily Deal" on September 26, 2011 and will host a listening party on September 27, the day of its release. Jackson Browne's radio single from the album, "You Know the Night," is already topping AAA radio charts across the U.S.

"I was startled by how down to earth, funny and sophisticated Woody's lyrics were. Urban. They could have been written yesterday," says Lou Reed, who hits a nerve with a first-person tale of a man wandering Coney Island and contemplating "The Debt I Owe."

Reed is one of a stellar group of artists who collaborated with GRAMMY®-winning bassist Rob Wasserman to create Note of Hope's 12 tracks, which are based on primarily unpublished words and writings penned by Guthrie between 1942 and 1954 while he was living in New York City and Brooklyn.

Jackson Browne recently explained to Rolling Stone how Guthrie's 30-page notebook entry about the evening he met Marjorie Mazia, his second wife, became the nearly 15-minute "You Know the Night." You can get the details and hear both the album version and the 4-minute radio edit at

"Woody Guthrie has been hugely inspirational to my solo Nightwatchman work," notes Tom Morello. "'Revolutionary Mind' is a great lyric combining fury and humor, a story of love and longing in the midst of a class war throwdown."

Michael Franti brings to light another side of Guthrie with the earthy "Union Love Juice." "Woody is known for his story telling, and his socially conscious lyrics, but this song came from a poem which is about him expressing his sexual freedom," observes Franti.

"I love 'Old Folks' because it's beautiful and noble, in a way only the very old and nature can be. It's about the essence of life - so many otherwise perceptive people fall into the facile trap of youth worship. Woody's song is an honest breeze blowing through," says Nellie McKay, who confesses that, as she wrote the song: "I kept wanting to ask his advice."

"It was in deep Brooklyn that I heard my father tear up and crackle while singing (or song-speaking) the lyrics to 'This Land Is Your Land.' 'As far as I'm concerned, that is the American national anthem,' he said, "recalls Madeleine Peyroux, who contributes the sultry, politically charged "Wild Card in the Hole." "At this later time in life, I feel as close to the new songs of Woody as I did to my father's wet cheeks."

The collection kicks off with the evocative Van Dyke Parks' instrumental arrangement "The Note of Hope." Parks observes: "Guthrie fueled the counter-culture of the '60s. If it weren't for his prime example of unbartered love, courageous songsmiths like Phil Ochs et al would not have had a template to contemplate."

Ani DiFranco, Kurt Elling, Pete Seeger, Studs Terkel, Tony Trischka and Chris Whitley also contributed to Note of Hope, which The Australian hailed as "an extraordinary achievement that defies generic pigeonholing. "The release is the first of a series of events leading up to the 2012 centennial celebration of Guthrie's birth. Note of Hope was conceived by Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, who asked Rob Wasserman to lead the project. You can check out their interviews with American Songwriter at:

Woody Guthrie was born on July 14th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, and wrote over 3,000 songs in his lifetime. In February 2012, The GRAMMY Museum, in conjunction with Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and the Woody Guthrie Archives, will kick off a yearlong celebration that will include tribute concerts at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, OK (March 10, 2012) and at L.A. Live in Los Angeles (April 14, 2012). Details on these and other centennial events can be found at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sights & Sounds: Radiohead, The Monkees, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, The Eagles and more!

If it's Monday morning, there must be news and updates. This week brings several noteworthy items.

While we all wait to see if/when Radiohead (including singer Thom Yorke, pictured here) goes out on tour in support of The King of Limbs, there is some exciting news for fans of the band.

The Comedy Central show The Colbert Report will air its first hour-long episode Monday, Sept. 26, when Stephen Colbert sits down with the British rock group.

Radiohead will perform four songs, featuring material off its most recent album, The King of Limbs, as well as the recently debuted and unreleased track, "The Daily Mail." An additional song will also be performed for the online version of The Colbert Report, according to a report published by Associated Press today.

Colbert said in a statement: "I look forward to meeting the Radioheads and leveraging their anti-corporate indie cred to raise brand awareness for my sponsors."

And don't forget you can catch Radiohead when they perform on Saturday Night Live this coming weekend too!

Speaking of musicians being featured on television, the SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL is offering a number of programs throughout October interesting a variety of music fans. The Monkees, as well premieres of documentaries featuring legends Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel are on tap. Read on and then plan to tune in...

This October, SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL rocks out with INSIDE THE MUSIC, a series of specials that tell stories about the people and sounds whose influence can be heard the world over. The 2011 INSIDE THE MUSIC premieres showcase documentaries featuring two of the best-selling artists of the last thirty years, PHIL COLLINS: GOING BACK TO DETROIT and THE REAL WORLD OF PETER GABRIEL and HIP HOP: THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RYHYMES, a look at the global influence of rap music.

PHIL COLLINS: GOING BACK TO DETROIT premieres Sunday, October 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This hour-long special features the music from Collin’s first solo album in eight years. It recounts the major influence that Motown music had on a young Phil Collins as he was finding his musical voice, and follows him on a journey to rediscover the roots of the Motown Sound. Teaming up with The Funk Brothers, three original Detroit session guitarists, Collins records his new album of Motown hits “Going Back”, featuring some of Motown’s greatest songs including Dancing in the Streets, Nowhere to Run, My Girl and Papa Was A Rolling Stone. The program shows exclusive footage of Collins preparing for the album’s accompanying concert tour.


ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS - Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT - A journey into the incredible life of Klaus Voormann. Respected as one of the finest bass guitarists of all time, Voormann is best known for his association with the most popular and most influential band in rock ‘n roll history, The Beatles. ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS also features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, and Randy Newman. Joe Walsh and Simon are also interviewed in the film, with Simon recounting Voormann’s influence on her big hit, "You’re So Vain."

ELECTRIFIED: THE GUITAR REVOLUTION – Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT Without it, there would be no Hendrix, Clapton, The Beatles or rock n’ roll for that matter. This 60-minute high-wattage history lesson salutes the inventors, pioneers and gods of the electric guitar. The electric guitar was invented to be heard among the brass instruments of the big band era, but it soon took on a sound and life of its own. From the early days of the Model U and the Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience its evolution through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians, and rousing live performances. Virtuosos like G.E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band bring to life the sound innovations of the electric guitar.

Making the Monkees - Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT Making the Monkees follows the story of four young men with varying degrees of musical talent who landed parts on a new TV series about a fictional band. That band went on to outsell The Beatles and Elvis Presley combined in 1967. But their success was short-lived, and their downfall was as fast as their rise to stardom.

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN NETWORKS Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, formed to create a network featuring programs largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America ’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more about these programs and many more at

Here is a release that just landed in my inbox...





“It was just so damn obvious. So gorgeous, in-your-face obvious….

Someone from East Texas, a guy from Detroit, another from the Central Plains, and one from Florida….

They were an all-American rock ‘n’ roll outfit.”—J.D. Souther

From the bar of The Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard in 1971 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and beyond, the Eagles are unquestionably one of the trailblazing rock acts to ever take the stage.

On the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation, legendary music writer Ben Fong-Torres and Running Press present EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit (October 2011), a page-turning chronicle of the iconic band that brought listeners classics like “Witchy Woman”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Deperado”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “New Kid in Town”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California”. This is the unofficial and unauthorized inside story of the band and its members— Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, Don Felder, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh.

Inspired by the Beatles and by early country-rock pioneers, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco, and with the help of Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and rising music industry superstar David Geffen, the Eagles quickly fashioned their own style. The ten years they spent together were a time of amazing productivity, maturation, creation and living the rock-and-roll dream. They produced albums that were both artistic and commercial triumphs; created classic songs that will be played until music is played no more; and brought joy to millions of fans around the world. But over time it would become obvious that this band that soared so high would eventually come crashing down.


They were on the road all of the time. They were constantly touring. They were living the rock and roll lifestyle to the fullest. As brilliant and talented as they were, they were also becoming fractious, paranoid and power-hungry. There were hard feelings and a constant war over the leadership and direction the band. By late 1980, the Eagles were no more.

EAGLES also covers:

* The birth of the Eagles, as a one-gig back-up band for Linda Ronstadt

* How the early leadership of the band was co-opted by its lesser known “stars”

* Frey and Henley’s methods of collaboration

* The risk they took in following up their highly praised debut with a “cowboy record” (“Desperado”)

* The band’s relationship with legendary rock producer Glyn Johns

* The continual war of words with the east coast rock press

* The decision to bring more rock energy to their music with the addition of rock guitarist Don Felder

* How wild man and hotel room-trasher Joe Walsh brought a chainsaw with him on the road

* The incredible commercial success of “Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”

* The story behind the band’s break-up

* The lows of life after the Eagles for Walsh, Schmit and Felder

* The extremely successful solo careers of Glenn Frey and Don Henley

* The highly touted and miraculous Eagles reunion and re-birth—“Hell Freezes Over”

EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit is an impressive combination of insightful rock journalism and dozens of classic images from the band’s early days to the reunion tours. Ben Fong-Torres has always been an admirer and eager documenter of the Eagles’ story. In EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit, he collects all of the great anecdotes from the last forty years on the stage and in the studio, sheds light on the internal narratives and grants readers an incredible inside look at one of the biggest rock bands to ever “Take It Easy” and “Take It To the Limit” in the same rock-and-roll lifetime.

“We didn’t set out to be a band for all times. We set out to be a band for our times.

And sometimes, if you’re good enough to be a band for your time, you become a band for all time.”

—Glenn Frey

About the Author:
Ben Fong-Torres graduated from San Francisco State University in 1966 and became a writer and then senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where he wrote 37 cover stories and hundreds of articles. He interviewed many of the biggest acts in rock and roll, including the Eagles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and more. He left Rolling Stone in the ’80s and has since written for Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Harper’s Bazaar, American Film, People, and many other publications. He has worked as a radio DJ and TV presenter, and is an accomplished book author with numerous music titles under his belt. He currently writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and Parade magazine. Fong-Torres lives in San Francisco.

EAGLES: Taking It to the Limit

Author: Ben Fong-Torres

Publisher: Running Press

Format: Hardcover; 192 pages; Retail Price: $30.00

ISBN-13: 978-0-7624-3984-3

Publication Date: October 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sights and Sounds: The Monkees return, Rolling Stones' 'Some Girls' celebrated

Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release 'The Monkees' TV Show On DVD - September 27

On September 27, 2011, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release both television seasons of The Monkees in two separate boxed sets. This is the first time in over 10 years that both seasons have become available on DVD, since their original Rhino Records release. [MSRP $39.98 per set]

The 32 half-hour episodes of Season #1, contained on six discs, originally aired in 1966. It was the first time on American television that a situation comedy keyed in on the zany escapades of a Beatles-styled rock band. The type of stylized new-age cinematic techniques (ala A Hard Day’s Night) were coupled with music from some of finest songwriters in America (Gerry Goffin/Carole King, David Gates, Neil Diamond, Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil). The terminally cute vocalist Davy Jones, guitarist Mike Nesmith, bassist Peter Tork and drummer Micky Dolenz catapulted songs such as “I’m A Believer,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train To Clarksville” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” into huge hits. Bonus features for the first season include commentary from the band and the show’s directors, trivia for each episode, a 16mm version of the original pilot, discography and vintage Monkees Kelloggs commercials.

The 26 episodes of 1967’s Emmy Award-winning Season #2, spread out over five discs, contains bonus commentary, trivia and discography. One can see a maturation in musical style between the two seasons as Jones, Nesmith, Tork and Dolenz actually transform themselves into that which they, at first, portrayed as actors. Their innate comedic talents, coupled with their obvious musical ingenuity, makes both seasons a fascinating time capsule of the 1960s.

Ultimately, all four proved themselves to be talented musicians, vocalists and songwriters in their own right who fought and won the freedom to make their own music. The Monkees aired on NBC television for two seasons, allowing the group to continue to record and tour for years afterwards.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris.

Speaking of Eagle Rock and great bands to emerge in the 1960s, there is big, BIG news for lovers of The Rolling Stones 1978 outstanding Some Girls. I consider this the last great Stones album (meaning it is strong from start to finish, and boasts more than a couple of good songs which has sadly been the case on the band's succeeding albums). Read on to get the latest on a forthcoming deluxe reissue of the album and a concert DVD/Blu-ray release featuring a performance from the tour that came in support of that disc...


Universal Music Group and The Rolling Stones are pleased to announce the release on November 21, 2011 of the re-mastered, expanded, Super-Deluxe, Deluxe and Digital editions of Some Girls, the groundbreaking album which introduced the music of the Rolling Stones to a whole new generation of fans.

Justly considered one of the finest works by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Ronnie Wood, Some Girls topped the US charts over three decades ago and remains the best selling album of their storied career. This new package will include some undiscovered gems that include tracks that have recently been unearthed from the Rolling Stones vaults by producer Don Was. Further details of the tracks will be unveiled at a later date.

Some Girls is the Rolling Stones' most direct and diverse collection of material, from Mick Jagger's irresistible falsetto on the four-on-the-floor filler Miss You, their eighth US number one, to the country-flavoured "Far Away Eyes" via the Chuck Berry meets punk snarl of "Respectable." And let's not forget the sensuous, "Beast Of Burden," one of Keith Richards’ finest tunes, which reached number 8 on the US singles chart, the garage rock of Shattered, the album's third US Top 40 entry, and the soulful swagger of the group's version of The Temptations' "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," another timeless offering in their canon of classic Stones Motown covers.

Following the critical praise and commercial success afforded the re-mastered, expanded editions of Exile On Main Street, which matched the chart performance of the epochal 1972 album, and returned the Rolling Stones to their rightful place at the top of the British charts in 2010, the extensive reissue of Some Girls constitutes the next step in the band's ongoing relationship with Universal Music Group. This started in April 2008 with Shine A Light, the soundtrack from the stunning concert film directed by Martin Scorsese, and has encompassed the reissues of the Rolling Stones re-mastered, post-1971 studio albums, several live albums and classic compilations, and the exhaustive box-set Singles 1971-2006 earlier this year.

Some Girls holds a special place in the history of the Rolling Stones and demonstrates why they remain one of the most thrilling and influential bands of all time. The 1978 album features a Keith Richards' classic "Before They Make Me Run," a signature song he stills performs defiantly to this day. Some Girls documented Mick Jagger's love of 70’s funk reflected in "Miss You," the dance track that wrongfooted many people, made the club and black charts, and made it okay for other mainstream acts at the time to ‘go disco’.

The 1978 album courted controversy because of Jagger's tongue-in-cheek lyrics on the title track, on "Miss You" and on "Respectable," perceived as a retort to the punk and new wave groups who had borrowed so much attitude and copped so many anti-establishment moves from the Rolling Stones. Ironically, the furore around the elaborate Some Girls package, designed by Peter Corriston and featuring the band members in drag – a nod in the direction of the picture on their 1966 single Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow? – and likenesses of Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Raquel Welch, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe that hadn't been legally cleared, necessitating a swift withdrawal and rethink.

Some Girls demonstrated the distinctive and definitive riffing from Keith Richards, with its abundance of unstoppable licks and majestic power chords driving the band into its brand new musical direction. This album not only defined him and his playing, but also defined a new era for the Rolling Stones, which Richards since described as a ‘sense of renewal’. Some Girls marks the only other time since recording "Satisfaction" where Richards used an effects pedal to ‘elevate’ the sound.

The album cemented the position of guitarist Ronnie Wood, who had joined in 1975, and added his trademark slide and pedal steel playing to several of the album's most memorable tracks, including "When The Whip Comes Down" and "Shattered." He also co-wrote the Shattered B-side "Everything Is Turning To Gold." Some Girls also marked a move to the Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris for the Glimmer Twins production team of Jagger and Richards. These factors helped what is arguably the group's most focused and dynamic album, driven by the sans pareil rhythm section of drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman. Some Girls featured fewer guest musicians than any Rolling Stones albums since 1971, but the contributions keyboard-player Ian McLagan, Wood's bandmate in The Faces, saxophone-player Mel Collins, and harmonica-player Sugar Blue – discovered busking on the Paris métro – made Miss You in particular sound brighter than ever.

Amongst many eagerly-awaited extras, the Super-Deluxe edition of Some Girls will include a stunning, previously unseen Helmut Newton photo session from 1978, an essay by esteemed author and journalist Anthony DeCurtis putting the album in its cultural context, and a 7” single of "Beast Of Burden"/"When The Whip Comes Down" in its banned sleeve.

Thirty-three years on from its original release, the re-mastered, expanded, Super-Deluxe, Deluxe and Digital editions of Some Girls show why the 1978 album has often been hailed as the equal of Exile On Main Street. Some Girls is both a time capsule and a timeless listen. It features the band at their tightest and toughest, at their most vibrant and vital. It's an all-killer, no-filler, must-have album. It still packs a punch.


SOME GIRLS - now bigger, brighter and better than ever. And that isn't all the news for fans of the album.




Continuing their partnership with the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, Eagle Rock Entertainment have announced the DVD and Blu-Ray release of The Rolling Stones Some Girls Live in Texas 1978. Available for the first time ever on November 21, Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Bill Wyman live in concert during the 1978 US tour which followed the release of their groundbreaking album Some Girls. [Pre-book order date October 28, MSRP $14.98 for DVD, $19.98 for Blu-ray, and TBA for DVD/CD and Blu-ray/CD].

Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 comes hot on the heels of the huge success of 2010’s Stones in Exile and Ladies & Gentlemen and marks the next stage in the Eagle Vision / Rolling Stones enterprise. Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 will be available on four different formats: DVD, Blu-Ray, plus special edition DVD + CD and Blu-Ray + CD digipack presentations including a reproduction tour program. Bonus features on all formats will include a new interview with Mick Jagger. Worldwide theatrical distribution deals including the US (in October 2011) will be announced soon.

Capturing The Rolling Stones at their live best, and fully restored to the highest level of picture and sound quality, Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 was filmed at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Forth Worth, Texas on July 18, 1978 on what many fans consider to be one of the band’s greatest tours. This was due to the band’s ‘back to basics’ approach both musically and visually, as the shows were stripped back compared to previous tours, harnessing the new punk rock attitude of the late 70s.

Showcasing many songs from the Some Girls album, celebrated for being the Rolling Stones’ most direct and diverse collection of music, and which by the time the band arrived in Texas, had gone to the top of the US charts, this concert demonstrates the sheer force and raw energy of The Rolling Stones live on stage.

Some Girls songs like “Miss You,” “Respectable,” “Beast Of Burden,” “When The Whip Comes Down,” and “Shattered,” weave into a set list which also includes “All Down The Line,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Happy,” and “Brown Sugar.”
Originally shot on 16mm film, the concert footage has been carefully restored with the sound remixed and remastered by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi track tapes.

“Eagle is delighted to once again be working with the Rolling Stones on another landmark release highlighting an outstanding performance from the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.”
- Lindsay Brown, Managing Director Operations & International, Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd

The Rolling Stones – ‘Some Girls Live in Texas 1978’ is released November 21 on Eagle Vision.

TRACKLISTING: 1) Let It Rock 2) All Down The Line 3) Honky Tonk Women 4) Star Star 5) When The Whip Comes Down 6) Beast Of Burden 7) Miss You 8) Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) 9) Shattered 10) Respectable 11) Far Away Eyes 12) Love In Vain 13) Tumbling Dice 14) Happy 15) Sweet Little Sixteen 16) Brown Sugar 17) Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Format: DVD Cat No: EV303949Barcode: 801213039494RRP: $14.98DVD Format: NTSC Region 0Screen Format: 16:9Sound Formats: DTS Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital StereoRunning Time: 85 mins (Main Concert)Subtitles: (Bonus Features Only): English, French, Spanish, German Format: DVD + CDCat No: EV303959Barcode: 801213039593RRP: $TBADVD Format: NTSC Region 0Screen Format: 16:9Sound Formats: DTS Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital StereoRunning Time: 85 mins (Main Concert) Subtitles: (Bonus Features Only) English, French, Spanish, German

Format: Blu-ray Cat No: EVB334039Barcode: 801213340392RRP: $19.98Screen Format: 16:9Sound Formats: DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1, LPCM StereoRunning Time: 85 mins (Main Concert)Subtitles: (Bonus Features Only) English, French, Spanish, German Format: Blu-ray + CDCat No: EVB334049Barcode: 801213340491RRP: $TBAScreen Format: 16:9Sound Formats: DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1, LPCM StereoRunning Time: 85 mins (Main Feature)Subtitles: (Bonus Features Only) English, French, Spanish, German


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Paul McCartney, Elbow, The Kooks

It's nice to see Paul McCartney continuing to be honored for both his music, and efforts to make the world a better place. Since catching Elbow at Coachella earlier this year, I have been growing ever-fonder of the band's amazing recordings and can't wait to catch them at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles next month. And there is plenty of news from The Kooks' camp too. Read on friends...



Annual Gala Benefiting the MusiCares Foundation®
And Its Health And Human Services Programs For Music People
Will Be Held Feb. 10, 2012, During GRAMMY® Week

SANTA MONICA, Calif. —Paul McCartney, legendary singer/songwriter and 14-time GRAMMY® winner (as well as Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Award recipient), will be honored as the 2012 MusiCares® Person of the Year at its 22nd annual benefit gala, it was announced today (Sept. 13) by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation® and The Recording Academy®, and Scott Pascucci, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. Proceeds from the dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, two days prior to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards — will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

The legendary performer is being honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his singular creative accomplishments as well as his charitable work, which has included an extraordinary range of philanthropic activities over the years.

"Paul McCartney exemplifies the phrase 'artist/philanthropist,' and his extraordinary career is certainly a testament to the multifaceted power of his creative genius," said Portnow. "The unique talent, dedication, and spontaneity he brings to his projects and live performances are unsurpassed, but are equaled by the impressive generosity and commitment he consistently devotes to a range of important charitable causes."

"Paul immediately brings to mind artistic excellence and passion for causes that are dear to him," said Pascucci. "It is very inspiring that one of music's true icons makes philanthropy such a force in his life."

"I've been given a great gift — a life making music — and it's my privilege to try to make the world a better place by giving back," said McCartney. "For more than 20 years, MusiCares has helped so many music people in times of crisis — whether with emergency financial assistance or access to addiction recovery resources — and it is an honor to be recognized as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year."

The 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kindcelebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a star-studded tribute concert. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit

For breaking news and exclusive content, join the organization's social networks on Facebook (, Twitter (, and YouTube (

For information on purchasing tables and tickets to the event, please contact Dana Tomarken at MusiCares, 310.392.3777.



Following their third Mercury Music Prize Nomination for Best Album of 2011 earlier this month (and having won the award already back in 2008), the Manchester five-piece are about to embark of a full North American tour this Fall to continue promoting their wildly popular and critically acclaimed fifth studio full-length Build A Rocket Boys!

To coincide with the tour that takes them from Austin City Limits on Sept. 18 all the way west to The Greek Theater on Oct. 1st, the band are releasing their brand new single 'Lippy Kids' today in the States on iTunes with the added bonus track 'Open Arms' which was recently recorded live at the historic St. Paul's Cathedral in Manchester this summer.

Watch 'Lippy Kids'

09/18 - Austin City Limits, Zilker Park - Austin, TX
09/20 - Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
09/21 - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
09/22 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
09/23 - Popped Festival, FDR Park - Philadelphia, PA
09/25 - Terminal 5 - New York , NY
09/26 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA -
09/28 - Sound Academy - Toronto, ON
10/01- The Greek Theater - Los Angeles, CA


Band Perfoms On The Tonight Show With Jay Leno September 21st
And Returns To The U.S. For Fall Tour!

Each Ticket Sold Online To Receive A Free Download Of Single
"Junk Of The Heart (Happy)"

Download Of The Acoustic Version Available At

September 13, 2011 - New York, NY - The Kooks will release their eagerly anticipated new album, Junk of the Heart, today, September 13, 2011 on Astralwerks Records. Produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Belle & Sebastian), and recorded in The Sound Factory (Los Angeles) and Sarm Studios (London), the band's third album sees The Kooks solidifying their position as a bona fide album band with trademark killer hooks from their undeniable first single "Junk Of The Heart" to the Bowie-esque "Mr. Nice Guy" and the electro dub of "Runaway."

"Junk Of The Heart (Happy)" kicks off the new album with a dramatic breakbeat, and builds across acoustic guitar and warm washes of synth before collapsing into a chorus that won't soon leave you.

Fans can catch The Kooks performing this track on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on September 21st and can click here to watch the video for the song:

The Kooks will return to the U.S. for their first tour in three years beginning November 15 at the Trocadero in Philadelphia making stops in New York and Washington D.C. where both shows quickly sold out the week they were put on sale. In conjunction with their U.S. tour, the band will include a free mp3 download of the track "Junk Of The Heart (Happy)" with each ticket sold online. Additionally, an acoustic version of "Junk Of The Heart (Happy)" is now available via SPIN.

Last week, The Kooks partnered with Spin, Rolling Stone, KCRW, NYLON and Filter respectively to preview new tracks off of Junk Of The Heart:

While Yours Truly captured a beautiful acoustic performance of "Eskimo Kiss" by Luke and Hugh in San Francisco, which can be viewed here: and the band performed a sparkling cover of Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" at a Radio 1 performance, which can be viewed here:

"It's upbeat; an album to play in the sun" explains frontman Luke Pritchard of the forthcoming 12 song collection, "What we really wanted to do was build a proper, full album. Something you can listen to from front to back. We're an album band and this is a journey you come on with us."

Junk of the Heart follows The Kooks' multi-platinum debut, Inside In/Inside Out (2006) which peaked at number two in the UK Album Charts and its platinum selling UK number one follow-up, Konk (2008). The Kooks have sold over 2 million records globally.

The Kooks Tour Dates:

11/15 Philadelphia PA Trocadero

11/16 New York NY Webster Hall

11/17 New York NY Webster Hall

11/19 Boston MA House Of Blues

11/20 Washington DC 9.30 Club

11/22 Montreal QC Club Soda

11/23 Toronto ON Sound Academy

11/25 Columbus OH Newport Music Hall

11/26 Chicago IL Vic Theatre

11/27 Minneapolis MN First Avenue

11/29 Denver CO Ogden Theatre

11/30 Salt Lake City UT Club Sound

12/02 Seattle WA The Showbox @ The Market

12/04 Vancouver BC Commodore Ballroom

12/07 Los Angeles CA The Music Box

12/08 Los Angeles CA The Music Box

12/13 San Francisco CA The Fillmore

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Def Leppard, Heart headline Jack's 6th Show in Irvine

Def Leppard's Phil Collen and Joe Elliott perform for the crowd during the Jack FM event at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Sept. 10, 2011.

Over the last several years, I've come to the realization that nostalgia-minded music festivals bring out crowds more interested in drinking beer (or alcohol of any variety), shooting photos of pals with their cellphones and generally just taking advantage of any excuse to party.
Such was mostly the case at Jack's 6th Show, an annual event held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The good news was despite the casual attitude of the majority of the less-than-capacity crowd, there was some solid music making courtesy of Def Leppard, Heart, Dramarama and Marcy Playground.

Best known for their 1997 hit "Sex and Candy," Marcy Playground performed that hit and other solid original rock during a nine-song set. In truth, while the fans responded loudest when the trio out of NYC played "Sex and Candy" near the end of their 30-minute outing, other songs outdistanced that; the indie rocker "Poppies" and Nirvana-styled "Saint Joe on the School Bus" were decidedly more powerful.

Singer-songwriter John Easdale led Dramarama through a mighty performance, even overcoming a power failure that silenced the quintet's music making only two songs into their all-too-brief set.

"We broke the system," Easdale joked.

The good news is that Dramarama was ultimately able to start playing again, performing that song ("Scenario") and many others with a fiery style highlighted by "Prayer," "Work for Food" and "Last Cigarette." The ferocious performance of "Anything, Anything (I'll Give You)" ended a 30-minute set celebrating one of the 1980s' unsung alternative rock heroes.

There is nothing necessarily wrong Everclear, although I admit to never having been a big fan of the outfit. I had reviewed Art Alexakis and company several times before seeing them perform on Saturday and I found the group's best-known hits ("Father of Mine," "I Will Buy You a New Life") still don't resonate with me. What's worse is that Alexakis' voice was croaky and by the time the band got to the breezy, reggae-tinged "Wonderful" (my favorite song by Everclear) nine songs into the 10-song set, it was a painful listen. Don't even get me started on his flat acoustic version of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" a few songs before that.

When the action shifted over to the main stage at Irvine Meadows - oops - Verizon Wireless - singer-songwriter-guitarist Evan Watson took the stage to offer up a short set of acoustic blues. His voice was not especially effective, with his set reaching its zenith when Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell joined him on the stage for a cover of the Prince classic "Purple Rain."

Thankfully, there were a couple of good acts on the way to keep the party crowd and even us few discerning listeners happy.

Heart, featuring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, offered up plenty of firepower over the course of an appearance stretching just over an hour. From the opening salvo, a straight-ahead cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" to new material ("WTF" from the group's 2010 effort Red Velvet Car) and an assortment of '70s and '80s hits, the crowd was given frequent reasons to cheer. "Barracuda," "Heartless," "Crazy On You" and "Magic Man" showcased Ann's still-powerful soprano, while Nancy's rhythm guitar work and work on the mandolin (notably on "These Dreams") was as impressive as her fantastic harmony vocals - all of which really helped elevate the set.

Heart's encore featured the one-two punch of Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore" and the Who's epic "Love Reign O'er Me."

Headlining was Def Leppard, who turned in a fantastic, heavy-on-the-hits 90-minute showcase; the only downer being the bass mix that made everything sound a bit muddy. In fact, sometimes the lead guitar solos just didn't sound as mighty as they should have. I'm not the first to note this; writer George A. Paul also wrote this in his review that ran on the Soundcheck blog.

The performance was solid, with Joe Elliott and his long-time band mates belting out hits like "Let's Get Rocked," "Hysteria" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." A strong lighting component and effective visuals projected on large screens added to the show, notably during the opening "Undefeated" (a new song featured on Def Leppard's recently-issued Mirror Ball - Live & More collection).

Guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell offered up plenty of flashy solos, with Campbell shining on "Love Bites" and Collen's fretwork shining on "Photograph" and "Foolin’."

The most emotional part of the show came when Def Leppard paid tribute on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Performing an acoustic-styled "Two Steps Behind," the group then remained on a small stage that was positioned out in the crowd. After playing that poignant song, the ensemble performed "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" with acoustic guitars most of the way, before Collen and Campbell were handed electric guitars to bring the classic home in full electric glory.

Setlist: Def Leppard at Jack’s 6th Show, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, Sept. 10, 2011
Main set: Undefeated / Let’s Get Rocked / Animal / Foolin’ / Love Bites / Rock On (David Essex cover) / Rocket / Two Steps Behind / Bringin’ on the Heartbreak / Switch 625 / Hysteria / Armageddon It / Photograph / Pour Some Sugar on Me
Encore: Rock of Ages