It is the season of giving, with The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio, blues great Otis Taylor and singer-songwriter Amos Lee all set to celebrate 2012 in style. Here are highlights that Santa has dropped off in my inbox over the past day or so...
The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio Brings Rock History to Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
Pat DiNizio , lead singer of The Smithereens, launches his latest show entitled Confessions of a Rock Star at Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The production is a hybrid of a one-man show, rock concert and multimedia event covering DiNizio's 32-year career in rock and roll.
A live band performs the hits that shaped DiNizio's childhood, paying tribute to his musical heroes such as Buddy Holly and The Beatles, and includes chart-topping songs from The Smithereens. Video screens show rare footage and photos that accompany the musical journey from life in New Jersey to rock and roll stardom.
"This show is a chance for me to pay tribute to the kings of rock and roll," says DiNizio. "After more than three decades of performing, I am excited to bring this experience to the Las Vegas Strip and Riviera Hotel & Casino."
"I have been a long-time fan of The Smithereens and having Pat DiNizio perform six nights a week at the Riviera is great for music lovers," said Andy Choy , president and CEO of Riviera Hotel & Casino. "Pat has a very interesting story to tell, from his humble beginnings to performing in Las Vegas ."
The Smithereens hit the rock charts with "Blood and Roses," "Only a Memory" and "A Girl Like You".
Tickets to Confessions of a Rock Star are $29.95 and can be purchased at the Riviera box office, online at www.RivieraHotel.com or at 702-794-9433. Showtime is 7 p.m. Wednesday – Monday nights.
About The Riviera Hotel & Casino
Celebrating more than 55 years of non-stop entertainment, the newly renovated Riviera Hotel & Casino is one of the iconic casino and hotel destinations in Las Vegas . With more than 2,000 hotel rooms and 160,000 square feet of convention space, the Riviera brings a rich tradition of quality, service and hospitality excellence. Located on the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Riviera features the only bingo room on the Strip, headlining entertainment, wonderful dining options and more than 100,000 square feet of casino space. For more information, visit www.RivieraHotel.com.
Otis Taylor’s Contraband set for release February 13, 2012
Pedal steel player Chuck Campbell (left) and Otis Taylor jam on the Renaissance Stage during the second half of the 13th annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point in May 2010.
Otis Taylor isn’t defined by any single category. A musical alchemist and a true innovator, Taylor has never been afraid to experiment beyond the blues tradition.
The subject matter on his new CD, Otis Taylor’s Contraband, set for release February 13 on Telarc, is familiar terrain as he sings of love, social injustices, personal demons and war.
The album takes its title from an article that appeared in Preservation Magazine about runaway slaves who during the American Civil War escaped to the Union lines at Fort Monroe, VA. Known as “contraband,” they lived in camps where conditions were often worse than life on the plantation.
On Otis Taylor’s Contraband, the iconoclastic bluesman is reunited with several longtime collaborators including Ron Miles on cornet, pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell, djembe player Fara Tolno, fiddler Anne Harris and the Sheryl Renee Choir. Bass is handled by Taylor’s daughter Cassie and Todd Edmunds.
AMOS LEE TO RELEASE B-SIDES EP, AS THE CROW FLIES, ON FEBRUARY 14TH, 2012
EP Includes Six Tracks From The Mission Bell Recording Sessions Featuring Lee Backed By Members of Calexico
Blue Note recording artist Amos Lee will release a six-song collection of previously unheard songs as a CD, digital, and 10”-vinyl EP, entitled As The Crow Flies, on February 14, 2012. The songs were recorded during the sessions for Lee’s critically acclaimed album Mission Bell, which was produced by Calexico frontman and multi-instrumentalist Joey Burns. The tracks on As The Crow Flies are also produced by Burns and feature musical backing by Burns and Calexico drummer John Convertino.
Mission Bell debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums and Billboard Rock Albums charts when it was released in January 2011, earning the Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter the highest chart position and best sales week of his career. Earning critical raves from scores of media outlets, the album also spawned the Triple A radio hit “Windows Are Rolled Down,” which gave Lee his first-ever No. 1 single.
In other Lee news, on November 19th, PBS began airing ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival featuring the genre’s established and rising artists performing at the 10th Americana Music Association Honors and Awards ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where Lee joined a line-up that included Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Civil Wars, and The Avett Brothers.
This month, Lee wraps up an amazing year with his final live performances of 2011, which include an appearance at KBCO’s Holiday Concert Series in Denver with Brett Dennen on December 9, and two shows with one of Lee’s heroes, singer-songwriter John Prine, on the 16th and 17th. Lee also recently captured an amazing performance at Tucson’s historic Fox Theatre with members of Calexico for the upcoming fourth season of Public Television’s hit program Live From The Artists Den with the episode due to air in early 2012. For a sneak peek, watch the trailer here: http://artistsden.com/2012/. In January Lee heads to Europe for two-sold out shows in Amsterdam, as well as shows in Paris and London — all with support from The Punch Brothers. Please see below for details.
The track-listing for As The Crow Flies is as follows:
“May I Remind You”
“Mama Sail To Me”
“There I Go Again”
Lee’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:
12/09 Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre (w/Brett Dennen)
12/16 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre (w/John Prine)
12/17 New Orleans, LA Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts (w/John Prine)
01/16 Amsterdam Paradiso (w/The Punch Brothers) SOLD-OUT
01/17 Amsterdam Paradiso (w/The Punch Brothers) SOLD-OUT
01/19 Paris La Cigale (w/The Punch Brothers)
01/21 London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (w/The Punch Brothers)
For more information: