Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Record Store Day releases, Jon Anderson, Ricky Skaggs

Why get scared on Halloween when so much new music awaits? I went digging through the dark labyrinth of my inbox and unearthed a few gems to share. So if you have interest in the upcoming 'Black Friday' and other chilling updates, read on...



In keeping with its commitment to the annual vinyl bonanza that is Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and hundreds of similar stores internationally, Warner Bros. Records has announced that it will make several vinyl pieces available on November 25th (or Black Friday, if you speak retail), exclusively in honor of 2011's second annual Record Store Day. April saw the release of vinyl from The Flaming Lips, Devo, Mastodon, Sonic Youth, and others. The day after Thanksgiving, the following very special exclusive releases will go on sale in record stores across the country and at

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Remastered and reissued for the first time in 20 years, this Anniversary edition of the SoCal funk-rock giants' classic 1991 album will be released on 140-gram red vinyl and is limited to 2,500 units domestically. Produced by Rick Rubin, Blood Sugar Sex Magik has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and was the Red Hot Chili Peppers' introduction to worldwide popularity and critical acclaim, spawning several hit singles including "Under The Bridge" and "Give It Away."


Iron and Wine: Live at KCRW
This live collection features Iron and Wine, fronted by Sam Beam, in an intimate on-air acoustic performance at Los Angeles' influential tastemaker radio station KCRW this past Jan 26, 2011. This intimate performance includes songs from Iron and Wine's current album Kiss Each Other Clean, and other favorites as well as audio from his interview with Jason Bentley. The package includes a limited-edition LP pressed in an edition of 2,500 copies only and a CD.


Tom Petty: Kiss My Amps (Live)
This limited-edition LP features six live tracks from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' 2010 tour supporting their album Mojo - Petty's first album with the Heartbreakers in eight years. It includes "Sweet William," a B-side recorded live during the 2008 tour and referred to at the time by Rolling Stone as their "new favorite Petty song." Limited to 5,000.


The Black Keys: Two-song 12" EP
The Black Keys' new record El Camino will be released Dec 6th on Nonesuch Records. Produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys, the album was recorded in the band's new hometown of Nashville. A limited-edition 12" of the already popular single "Lonely Boy," pressed on limited edition vinyl, will be available at independent retailers as part of Record Store Day, with another album track, "Run Right Back," on the B-side.


Eric Clapton Blues Box
We are proud to present the definitive sound and vinyl offering of three of Eric Clapton's most celebrated blues explorations. This three album five disc box has been carefully recut for vinyl at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Chris Bellman and pressed on the finest grade 180- gram European vinyl for the highest quality analog sound imaginable. Box set includes: From The Cradle, Riding With The King and Me And Mr. Johnson, plus a unique 12" x 12" lithograph. Each box is beautifully packaged in a high quality paper wrapped design. This title is non-exclusive to Record Store day but limited to 2500 copies.


About Record Store Day:
Record Store Day is managed by the Music Monitor Network and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

For more about National Record Store Day, please visit

Open Doors Will Always Open Hearts... OPEN – The New Opus By Jon Anderson

Digital Download Available Now

Asheville, NC – Much to the excitement of music fans across the globe, on October 25, 2011 legendary YES vocalist Jon Anderson will release as a digital download an epic musical work entitled OPEN. A return to the long-form composition that Jon Anderson is best known for, (“Close To The Edge”, “Gates of Delirium”, "Revealing" and “Awaken”), OPEN is a 21-minute exhilarating musical journey; a pioneering effort that weaves intricate melodic and harmonic themes within a classical music framework whilst showcasing Anderson's iconic vocals and timeless melodies throughout. In many ways OPEN is a return to Jon Anderson's musical roots, as YES music continually flows through his veins, making it only natural to revisit now and again. Coupled with wonderful orchestration by his neighbor and good friend Stefan Podell, messages of peace, love, light and freedom are further explored within OPEN, making listening an uplifting and joyous experience!

" 'Forever taken to that place of understanding,' are the first lyrics of OPEN, as though I am always remembering my true musical journey. To create this work, I sat with my 19th Century guitar and strummed ideas last spring 2010. Songs just poured out of me that week, and before I knew it I had created a long form musical idea, and with the help of Stefan Podell's powerful orchestration, we put together what is now 'OPEN.'

It has 4 movements all intertwined, and seems to have a life of its own. For those who love this kind of music, I feel so happy to present it as one of many I hope to create over the coming years. My love 'Janee' has helped in production with her unique musical observations and her angel voice. I am so happy and thankful... Many Blessings." Jon Anderson - October 2011

In other news, Jon Anderson is currently on tour in the US and Canada with fellow former YES member Rick Wakeman. The legendary duo performed a series of successful concerts in the UK in 2010 in support of their critically acclaimed CD release 'The Living Tree', and have now brought their highly anticipated show to America! In December 2011 Jon will be performing select solo concerts in South America. Go to for more information. Lastly, Jon Anderson's latest CD release 'Survival & Other Stories' has been garnering rave reviews worldwide by critics and fans alike. You can purchase the CD at:

Jon Anderson's OPEN is available as a digital download on October, 25, 2011 and can be obtained at:

For more information: or

Music Icon Ricky Skaggs named Entertainer of the Year and Musician of the Year at 17th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards

"I always try to entertain folks with good clean fun and stories from my youth," says Skaggs of the Entertainer of the Year nod. "I always try to bring the gospel message of hope in Jesus Christ to our shows as well. I think now more than ever, people all over the country need hope. I'm very thankful to have won this award. I certainly look up to all of the people in this category. They are taking the gospel out to the folks who really need to hear it. Thanks again so much. It means a lot to me."

Music icon Ricky Skaggs was named Entertainer of the Year and Musician of the Year at the 17th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards Show held on Oct. 28, 2011. Held at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the star-studded evening included a memorable performance of "Somebody's Prayin'" that featured Skaggs, John Elliot and six members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The track is from Ricky's July-issue CD, COUNTRY HITS BLUEGRASS STYLE. The show was co-hosted by GAC-TV's Storme Warren and Inside Edition's Megan Alexander.

This year marks Ricky's 50th in the entertainment field, and his rise to the top has been unparalleled in music history. From his days as a valued band member for artists like Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris, to the release of his first solo recording in 1981, Skaggs has taken his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. Skaggs was honored to be chosen from among the very best of musicians, and says: "It means a lot to have been included with pickers whom I so admire. I am honored to have won Musician of the Year." Credited with "single-handedly saving country music" in the mid-80s by renowned guitarist and producer, Chet Atkins, Skaggs has since blurred the edges of various genres, but maintained his unique musical individualism.

Ricky was honored by Power Source Magazine last week at their # 1 Awards Party held at the Wildhorse Saloon for "Someday Soon," a hit from last year's MOSAIC album. Skaggs has previously won the following ICM Awards: Musician of the Year, Christian Country Music Association - 1994, 1995; Musician of the Year - 2008; Inspirational Bluegrass Artist (with The Whites) - 2008; Mainstream Country Artist (with The Whites) - 2008; Mainstream Country Artist - 2009 and Inspirational Bluegrass Artist - 2010. The 14-time Grammy® winner has also been honored with eight Academy of Country Music Awards and eight Country Music Association Awards.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder hit the road next week for one show in Louisiana before heading North for seven engagements in Canada, November 4 - 12. They return stateside for shows in Virginia and Pennsylvania before Ricky embarks (with The Whites and family) November 28 on A Skaggs Family Christmas Tour. The seasonal tour, the entourage's eighth in as many years, is in support of A SKAGGS FAMILY CHRISTMAS VOLUME TWO, which was released last month. The 10-song disc features both studio and live recordings, and includes a bonus DVD filled with 26 performances of traditional seasonal favorites and new compositions. A Skaggs Family Christmas Tour concludes with an evening at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center on December 22. Information:

Speaking of the ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards Show, other major wins of the night included Lady Antebellum’s Hello World, in the Video category. Noted Dave Haywood of Lady A on their award: "This was a really emotional song and definitely the most dramatic video we've ever made. We are honored with the recognition from the Inspirational Country Music Award voters and we just appreciate the support of our fans. We want to give a shout out to Roman White, who directed this video and created such a powerful visual story for our song...big thanks to him as well."

Big Machine Label Group’s rising new superstar Justin Moore proved a winner with this year’s voters with Mainstream Inspirational Country Song honors being award to If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away. “This song is a gift from God,” he noted in acknowledging the honor. “I can’t think of a better way and a better place to win my first ever award so thank you very much and God bless you guys.”

Jeff Bates proved equally strong as a mainstream contender as he walked the Schermerhorn stage to receive Mainstream Country Artist top honors. Film honors went to Soul Surfer -- the dramatic true story of young surfer Bethany Hamilton’s deep encounter with God after losing her arm in a shark attack at the age of 13. Directed by Sean McNamara, who also co-wrote the screenplay with collaborative writer Deborah Schwartz, McNamara was at the Schermerhorn to accept the award.

An emotional highlight of the evening was the naming of The Fox Brothers as the recipient of the coveted Legend/Pioneer Award.


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