Friday, May 18, 2012

Sights and Sounds: Doheny Blues Festival, Los Lobos, Third Day, Audio Fidelity reissues

Doheny Blues Festival update

Happy Friday everybody. I hope to see many of out at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point this weekend. The weather outlook is great (70s during the day) lineup is really exciting this year, with the legendary Gregg Allman and better-all-the-time Steve Miller Band each set to headline a date at the fest. Here is a link to my in-depth preview story about the festival that ran in The Orange County Register's print edition today.

Speaking on the blues and roots music, check out my most recent Kinslerscope columns in the Desert Star Weekly to get my takes on a wide range of new music including releases from Joan Osborne, Cash Box Kings, Tab BenoitThe Jayhawks and more!

And now on some notable news items pulled from my inbox...

Los Lobos Kiko Live to be released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray

Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition to be released on CD on Aug. 21, 2012

Los Lobos is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Kiko with the August 21 release of Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition on CD, and Kiko Live on CD, DVD and a 2-disc Blu-ray/CD set from Shout! Factory. The Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition features bonus material including demo versions of album tracks and live recordings, and new liner notes written by Los Angeles journalist and longtime friend of the band, Luis Torres. Kiko Live captures their February 24, 2006, performance at the House Of Blues in San Diego , CA , where the band performed the critically acclaimed release in its entirety, during a string of shows devoted to the album. Never before released or broadcast, Kiko Live also contains interviews with the band and others involved in the making of the studio album.

The Los Angeles Times premiered a performance clip of “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon” from Kiko Live on Wednesday, May 16

Released in 1992, Kiko was embraced by fans and hailed by critics as the band’s defining moment, the album that put Los Lobos back on the innovation track. The album, wrote All Music Guide, “demonstrated the breadth of their sonic ambitions.” Kiko was produced by Mitchell Froom, who received a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year for his work on the album, and who had previously collaborated with the band on La Bamba. Dubbed “the album of the year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, and one of “The Essential Recordings of the ‘90s” by Rolling Stone, Los Lobos also took home an MTV Music Video Award for Breakthrough Video for “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” in 1993.

Prior to Kiko, Los Lobos had been “segregating our influences, treating them parochially,” as Steve Berlin puts it: a rockabilly tune here, a Tex-Mex there, some folk, a bit of country, an R&B tune, plenty of classic rock. This time, they decided to take all of those myriad influences out of their separate boxes, toss them into the air and let them fall where they might. “Whatever our unconscious minds’ response was to the stimuli, that was what we wanted. We let our imagination take over and didn’t try to control it.”

They began recording new original Hidalgo-Pérez compositions such as “Two Janes,” “Peace,” “Arizona Skies,” “Short Side of Nothing” and “Rio de Tenampa,” self-producing and following their instincts sound-wise. Comments the band’s Cesar Rosas, “With that album we didn’t want to be tied down to all the conventional ways of recording, so we started experimenting and making up sounds.”

To date the beloved band from East L.A. has recorded 18 albums, including their most recent studio album, 2010’s Tin Can Trust. They’ve won multiple Grammy Awards, and continue to tour regularly. Born out of the desire to have a community-conscious event celebrating food, culture and music in their hometown, Los Lobos recently held the 1st Annual Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival at Los Angeles’ iconic Greek Theatre. The festival featured performances by preeminent LA bands X and Mariachi El Bronx, among others, with special guests Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, and Flaco Jiménez joining Los Lobos on stage.

Next year Los Lobos will celebrate 40 years together, a monumental achievement in a world where bands come and go in the blink of an eye. A rare example of longevity in a volatile music world that stresses style over substance, Los Lobos’ lineup has remained uninterrupted since 1984, when Berlin joined original members Louie Pérez, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, and Conrad Lozano, each of whom had been there since the beginning in 1973.

“This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them,” wrote Rolling Stone, and indeed, Los Lobos is a band that continually reboots itself and expands its scope with each passing year, while never losing sight of where they came from.

“There’s this thing that still happens, this musical thing,” says Pérez. “But if you took everything away, even the music, you’d still end up with four guys who were friends and hung out and grew up in the same neighborhood. And you can’t take that friendship away from us.”

More information at

Third Day at work on its next studio project

New album being produced by legendary Brendan O'Brien

Veteran rock band Third Day has been spending a generous part of 2012 immersed in the recording of its next studio album. The forthcoming project, Third Day’s 17th career offering, is being recorded within the walls of its own state-of-the art studio, The Quarry, in Atlanta, Ga. Third Day is working with veteran rock producer Brendan O’Brien.

O’Brien is well known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave and The Fray, among others. A former vice president of Epic Records, O’Brien has won two GRAMMY Awards including 2010’s producer of the year, Non-Classical award. In addition, O’Brien has production credits on 14 albums that have topped the Billboard 200 sales chart.

“When we were getting together as a band to talk about starting work on this project, we did an exercise where each member named his top five albums of all time. Brendan O’Brien had at least one record on all of our lists,” offers bassist, Tai Anderson.

Mac Powell, the band’s front man, shares, “Our time with Brendan has been nothing less than an amazing experience. He is one of my favorite producers. Having made so many great records with so many amazing artists through the years, I consider it such an honor to be working with him. Brendan has definitely stretched me as a songwriter and vocalist more than any other producer ever has.”

The new project follows a stellar 2011 for Third Day, which included being the first Christian artist ever to receive ASCAP’s coveted Vanguard Award, as well as wrapping up its highly successful spring/fall “Make Your Move Tour” which saw numerous sell-out performances.

Additional information on Third Day’s latest record is forthcoming. In the meantime, fans can catch the band on select concert performances throughout the summer, where it intends to begin previewing select tracks from the new recording. For a current list of tour dates, visit:

Photo above features Third Day recording at The Quarry

Photo credit: Peter Doyle

Audio Fidelity rocks the 1950s, 70s and 80s with new reissues from Elvis Presley, Jeff Beck and Jane's Addiction

Jailhouse Rock EP and Jeff Beck Group get 12-inch vinyl treatment; Nothing's Shocking goes Gold

Marshall Blonstein, president of Audio Fidelity, has announced May 22, 2012 as the release date for the reissue of a trio of legendary rock recordings. Elvis Presley's 1957 JAILHOUSE ROCK EP and Jeff Beck's 1972 album THE JEFF BECK GROUP will be issued in 12-inch vinyl editions, and Jane's Addiction's 1988 debut, NOTHING'S SHOCKING, will arrive as a numbered, limited edition 24-Karat Gold CD. All will be sold through online and brick-and-mortar retailers alike.

The King of Rock and Roll gets the royal treatment with a dual-speed reissue of his JAILHOUSE ROCK EP, which features performances of five songs from his second feature film of the same name. Side One of the disc offers the tunes at 33 1/3 rpm while Side Two plays them at 45 rpm. The selections include three Leiber-Stoller classics-the title track (Presley's ninth No. 1 single in just over a year), the ballad "I Want to Be Free" and the full-tilt rocker "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care"-as well as "Don't Leave Me Now" and "Young and Beautiful," both penned by veteran Presley scribe Aaron Schroeder ("Big Hunk O' Love," "It's Now Or Never"). Issued in November of 1957, the 45 rpm EP hit No. 1 on Billboard's EP chart and ultimately sold more than five million copies; the title-track single held the survey's top slot for seven weeks and entered the U.K. charts at No. 1.

Among the many artists who've covered "Jailhouse Rock" was Jeff Beck (on his second solo set, Beck-Ola). THE JEFF BECK GROUP was the fourth and last album by the band, which then found the super-guitarist supported by vocalist Bobby Tench, drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Clive Chapman and keyboardist Max Middleton. Recorded in Memphis with Booker T. & the MG's guitarist Steve Cropper producing, THE JEFF BECK GROUP enjoyed extensive FM airplay and a 26-week stay on the Billboard chart. Beck's considerable talent and imagination are prominently displayed on a wide array of material, from Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" and Stevie Wonder's "I Gotta Have a Song" to Carl Perkins' rockabilly classic "Glad All Over" and a blazing cover of bluesman Freddy King's "Going Down." Beck himself penned the opening "Ice Cream Cakes," "Sugar Cane" (with Steve Cropper), "Highways" and the soulful instrumental "Definitely Maybe." THE JEFF BECK GROUP will be issued as part of Audio Fidelity's "nicely priced" vinyl Target Series.

Los Angeles' Jane's Addiction made one of the more formidable debuts of the 1980s with NOTHING'S SHOCKING. The group, comprised of vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins, generated combustible-and eventually widely popular-mix of punk-rock energy and arena-rock ambition on this 1988 album, which boasted the alternative-rock hit "Jane Says" (No. 6 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart). Produced by Dave Jerden, who had engineered albums by the Rolling Stones, Talking Heads and others, NOTHING'S SHOCKING also features two additional singles, the Zeppelin-esque "Ocean Size" and the more raucous and metallic "Mountain Song." The latter, like the album's front cover design, engendered controversy upon release, with MTV refusing to air the song's video clip as it contained nudity. The expansive, psychedelic "Summertime Rolls" and the swinging jazz interlude "Thank You Boys" revealed additional dimensions to the band, many that would be explored in subsequent albums like NOTHING'S SHOCKING's successor, RITUAL DE LO HABITUAL, and 2003's STRAYS.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the music these guys make. The one and only time I have seen them live was in a little club in LA .. Great show, Los Lobos tickets were cheap and you should have seen how people crowd reacted. They cross boundaries for those who love good music.