Friday, October 28, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Buddy Holly tribute coming to PBS, Rodrigo y Gabriela set to release 'Area 52,' David Nail to sing at World Series tonight

What do Buddy Holly, a Beatle, the World Series and 'Area 51' have in common? All are included in an admittedly wide-ranging wrap-up of new media releases plucked from my inbox...

Coming in December 2011 (check local listings)

– Historic Concert Features Paul Anka, Peter Asher, Michelle Branch, Cobra Starship, Shawn Colvin, Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Raul Malo, Graham Nash, Stevie Nicks (pictured here), Boz Scaggs, and Patrick Stump; Special Guest Appearances by
Phil Everly, James Burton, Albert Lee; Featured Tributes by Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Imelda May, and More –

Click here to watch a great five-minute video about the upcoming PBS special.

BUDDY HOLLY: LISTEN TO ME / THE ULTIMATE BUDDY PARTY, an extraordinary concert event held at The Music Box in Hollywood on what would have been Buddy’s 75th birthday (September 7, 2011), is available only through PBS, beginning this December. Offering viewers a front row seat for this once-in-a-lifetime concert, BUDDY HOLLY: LISTEN TO ME is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning December 3, 2011 (check local listings).

Produced by Songmasters, the all-star tribute proved an historic rock ‘n’ roll moment, with an incredible line-up of performers including Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Raul Malo, and Graham Nash — rocking the house in the company of a host of superstar guests. Among them were such avowed Holly fans as Paul Anka, Boz Scaggs, Shawn Colvin, Patrick Stump, Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta and Victoria Asher, Michelle Branch, and famed guitar slingers James Burton and Albert Lee. The amazing finale featured all performers in the show in a rousing rendition of Holly’s best-known song, “That’ll Be The Day.”

As if all that weren’t enough, a series of live and video tributes were featured throughout the show, including homages to Holly from Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Pat Monahan (of Train), Imelda May, and the one and only Eric Idle of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame.

Peter Asher, producer of the Listen to Me: Buddy Holly album (and musical legend in his own right) is the evening’s host and music supervisor. He is joined by Chris Isaak as co-host and performer. Asher assembled an incomparable all-star “house-band” led by Waddy Wachtel — one of rock’s most acclaimed guitarists and musical directors. With their superb musicianship the performers gave energized, sometimes moving, always modern, authentic and unique interpretations of Holly’s most enduring and iconic songs. Adding to the magic of this musical celebration are other friends and family from Buddy Holly’s life, including Maria Elena Holly and Phil Everly, making what may well be his last public musical appearance.

Asher’s personal connection to Holly’s music goes back to 1965, when Peter & Gordon’s timeless cover of “True Love Ways” proved a massive hit both here and in the U.K. In addition, Asher produced Linda Ronstadt’s smash renditions of “It’s So Easy” and “That’ll Be The Day,” both of which served to further bolster the amazing durability of Holly’s legacy. Songmasters’ Listen to Me: Buddy Holly album features 15 entirely new versions of Buddy’s most iconic songs by leading artists, many of whom participated in this special concert.

“Buddy showed us how brilliant and unforgettable songs could be written using the simplest of chords,” says Asher. “He taught us the value of a lyric which came from the heart and the importance of making records the way you heard them in your head. His music has never ceased to play a major role in my life and work.”


•“Crying, Waiting, Hoping” – Chris Isaak
•“Everyday” – Patrick Stump
•“Heartbeat” – Chris Isaak and Michelle Branch
•“I’m Looking for Someone to Love” – Lyle Lovett with James Burton
•“It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – Paul Anka
•“It’s So Easy” – Stevie Nicks
•“Learning the Game” – Shawn Colvin
•“Listen to Me” – Raul Malo
•“Maybe Baby” – Boz Skaggs
•“Oh, Boy” – Patrick Stump
•“Not Fade Away” – Stevie Nicks
•“Peggy Sue” – Cobra Starship (Gabe Saporta and Victoria Asher)
•“Raining in My Heart” – Graham Nash
•“Rave On” – Boz Scaggs, Graham Nash and Peter Asher
•“That’ll Be the Day” – All-Star Cast
•“True Love Ways” – Raul Malo
•“Well All Right” – Lyle Lovett

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.

Underwriters: Songmasters, Public Television Viewers and PBS
Producers: Songmasters and KQED-TV
Executive Producer: Jennifer S. Cohen, Songmasters
Co-Executive Producer: Regan McCarthy, Songmasters
Music Supervisor and Producer: Peter Asher
Director: Scott Lochmus
Writer/Producer: David Leaf
Line Producer: Eileen Bernstein
Music Director: Waddy Wachtel
Format: CC Stereo HD




ATO Records is excited to announce the release of the new studio album by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Entitled Area 52, the record was produced by the legendary Peter Asher and will come out on January 24, 2012. Area 52 contains nine of Rod and Gab's favorite songs from their own catalogue re-arranged and re-configured for a 13-piece Cuban orchestra comprised of some of Havana's finest young players, collectively known as C.U.B.A. It's Rodrigo y Gabriela's first recorded collaboration with another group of musicians.

Area 52 was mixed by Rafa Sardina, one of the leading studio musicians in the Latin music world, and arranged by London-based pianist, composer and arranger Alex Wilson. Recording took place in the Miramar district of Havana, Cuba, at Abdala Studios, founded by the Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez, as well as at Rod and Gab's studio in Ixtapa, Mexico. Other players on the record include: bassist Carles Benavent (Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea, Miles Davis), drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament, White Zombie), sitarist Anoushka Shankar and drummer Samuel Formell (Los Van Van).

"The album is called Area 52 because we felt like Mulder and Scully approaching this -- it was just a crazy idea, to see if a big Cuban band could play our music, a step in the dark. We knew it was out there, everyone has heard of Area 51, but we wanted to take it a little further," Rodrigo says. "We saw it as a trip into the unknown, an experiment," he continues. "Okay we knew the producer, and had spoken to the arranger on Skype; but we didn't know the musicians or the studio, or Cuba for that matter."

Fresh from scoring Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with Hans Zimmer, Rod and Gab headed for Cuba in the summer of 2010 armed with their guitars, unplayed arrangements and a sense of intrepid trepidation. They had met Asher, known for his work with James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, 10,000 Maniacs, Diana Ross and others, as well as doing A&R at Apple Records, while working on Pirates of the Caribbean and came up with the idea for Area 52 shortly thereafter.

Asher says: "Rodrigo and Gabriela are two of the most extraordinary musicians with whom it has ever been my privilege to work. From Gab's complex multi-voice one-woman rhythm section to Rod's searingly creative lead lines, they are forging genuinely new, exciting and viscerally powerful music."

While mindful of the rich history of Cuban music, Rod, Gab, Asher, Wilson and Sardina were keen to imbue the project with the vitality and brio that are synonymous with the fierce guitar duo. "We have great love and respect for the well known Cuban musicians," says Rod, "but it was really important for us to seek out the best young players in Havana." He adds: "Our music is high energy, high intensity; and we wanted guys who could interpret our vision and match our approach."

With career sales in excess of 1.2 million albums, blockbuster movie scores, sell out world tours that span London to Los Angeles, Paris to Tokyo and Dublin to Sydney, and not forgetting the love and respect of fellow musicians like Metallica, Testament's Alex Skolnick, Al Di Meola and L Shankar, Rodrigo y Gabriela have worked hard to reach Area 52.

The band will be touring throughout 2012.

For more information, visit:




MCA Recording and Grammy-nominated artist David Nail will sing the patriotic song “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch at GAME 7 of Major League Baseball’s WORLD SERIES.

“I'm truly honored to be asked to sing ‘God Bless America’ tonight. Obviously being from Missouri and a Cardinal fan, just to be able to watch game seven in person is a once in a lifetime experience in itself,” Nail says. Game 7 is scheduled for October 28 and will broadcast live on Fox.

Nail is also making an appearance on the new GAC series Day Jobs on Oct. 30 (8 p.m./Eastern). Nail will put in a full day of work at a Dairy Queen in his home state of Missouri.

On Nov. 15 MCA Records Nashville will release Nail’s second album The Sound Of A Million Dreams. The Sound Of A Millions Dreams is the follow-up to Nail’s acclaimed first outing, I’m About To Come Alive, which garnered Nail a Grammy nomination for Best Male Vocal Country Performance for his hit “Turning Home” and an Academy of Country Music Award nomination for Single of the Year for his “Red Light.”

The Sound Of A Million Dreams was produced by Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell and Glenn Worf and includes Nail’s current Top 15 hit “Let It Rain”. Along with the current single, The Sound Of A Million Dreams is comprised of eleven songs, including “I Thought You Knew”, which Nail co-wrote with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum and Monty Powell; “Desiree”, written by Keith Urban and Vernon Rust; and the loving track “Catherine”, which Nail wrote for his wife.

Nail has been touring extensively to give his fans a preview of The Sound Of A Million Dreams with an opening slot for Taylor Swift on her Speak Now Tour.

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