Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Inbox Update: Don McLean, John Hiatt, Mel Brooks

There is plenty of news relating to upcoming releases of fans from a wide range of genres. Here are a few highlights from my inbox...

'Don McLean: American Troubadour' documentary set for release on Sept. 11

Documentary offers rare behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s greatest singer-songwriters, Includes wxclusive interviews with McLean, Brian Wilson, REM’s Mike Mills and incredible archival footage including performances of McLean’s songs by Elvis Presley and Fred Astaire

Forty years after his iconic “American Pie” reached #1 on the Billboard pop singles chart, Don McLean will be the subject of a new and authorized documentary, DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR. Due out on September 11, 2012 (Time Life), McLean granted unprecedented access and interviews for the film, revealing his personal account of a career spanning over four decades and performing songs that have become integral parts of American pop culture. DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR also features over 15 live performances including “American Pie,” “Vincent,” “Crying” and “And I Love You So” along with extensive commentary by historian and Rolling Stone journalist Douglas Brinkley, interviews with other artists such as Brian Wilson and REM’s Mike Mills, footage of McLean on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and performances of his songs by Elvis Presley and Fred Astaire (who inspired “Wonderful Baby”). On the same date, a double CD of McLean’s biggest hits will also be released. Also titled Don McLean: American Troubadour, the CD set will include live performances as well as a special duet of “And I Love You So” with Nanci Griffith.

DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR is produced and directed by four-time Emmy® award-winning Jim Brown whose work includes: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, The Weavers: Wasn’t That A Time, and A Vision Shared: Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. "I let Jim Brown into my life because I respect him and trust him,” explains McLean. “We’ve known each other for forty years and he allowed my ideas to be fully realized while telling my story accurately and poetically."

"Don Mclean is a true artist and rugged individualist,” says Brown. “He has deep American values that have defined an amazing and admirable life. I think some of his best work is yet to be discovered, and that people will be listening to, singing, and recording his songs for decades to come."

McLean will make a number of television and radio appearances throughout the fall to promote the film and double CD set before embarking on a European tour.

John Hiatt tilts the 'Mystic Pinball'
New album available on Sept. 25, 2012 via New West Records

John Hiatt will release his next album on Sept. 25, 2012.
Acclaimed musician and songwriter John Hiatt will release Mystic Pinball on September 25 via New West Records. Called "...one of rock's most astute singer-songwriters of the last 40 years" by the Los Angeles Times, Hiatt continues to write brilliant character studies, twisting entertaining storylines with cunning lyrics and wry humor including "We're Alright Now," the first single from Mystic Pinball. The blues driven "We're Alright Now" is available to hear today at www.americansongwriter.com. Mystic Pinball will be available as both a CD and on limited edition 180-gram vinyl.

Hiatt and his band, The Combo, have gained a reputation for captivating crowds at their live shows as The Tennessean depicts: "He prowls the stage, delivering the bluesy stuff in a whiskey-burn howl, shouting the rock stuff and fronting a formidable band that can turn on a dime, from ballads to bombast." Hiatt & The Combo begin a US run mid-August that includes dates with Steve Earle, a special appearance at the Americana Festival in Nashville and two shows at City Winery in NYC (full list of dates below.)

For Mystic Pinball, Hiatt's 21st studio album, Hiatt turned to producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley (Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Joe Bonamassa.) Shirley also produced Hiatt's highly praised Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns, which the New York Times declared was "...his best since 1995." Hiatt relies on the exceptional musical skills of Doug Lancio (electric guitar, mandolin, Dobro), Kenneth Blevins (drums and percussion) and Patrick O'Hearn (bass) to play with him on the record.

John Hiatt's career as a performer and songwriter has spanned more than 30 years and everyone from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop has covered his work. Hiatt began his solo career with the 1974 album Hangin' Around the Observatory. His landmark 1987 release Bring The Family, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, was his first album to chart in the U.S. 2000's Crossing Muddy Waters was called "The most natural and relaxed John Hiatt album in years..." by All Music Guide. In 2008, Hiatt released Same Old Man, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and was honored by the Americana Music Association with their prestigious "Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting Award." Critical acclaim continued for The Open Road (2010) with The Boston Herald praising "Hiatt knocks together a rocking, full-throttle road record that in its tone, toughness and mix of blues, r & b and country harkens back to his landmark Bring the Family" while the Associated Press proclaimed "Hiatt remains at the top of his game" in reference to Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (2011.)

Mystic Pinball track listing:

1. We're Alright Now

2. Bite Marks

3. It All Comes Back Someday

4. Wood Chipper

5. My Business

6. I Just Don't Know What To Say

7. I Know How To Lose You

8. You're All The Reason I Need

9. One Of Them Damn Days

10. No Wicked Grin

11. Give It Up

12. Blues Can't Even Find Me

Current Tour Dates:

Tues, August 14 Annapolis, MD Ram's Head On Stage

Thurs, August 16 Cohasset, MA South Shore Music Circus *

Fri, August 17 Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent *

Sat, August 18 Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia Folk Festival *

Mon, August 20 Bloomington, IN Buskirk Chumley Theatre

Tues, August 21 Bloomington, IN The Castle Theatre

Wed, August 22 Lexington, KY Lex Opera House *

Thurs, August 23 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre *

Sat, August 25 Washburn, WI Big Top Chautauqua

Sun, August 26 Highland Park, IL Ravinia *

Mon, August 27 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre

Wed, August 29 Arvada, CO Arvada Center

Thurs, August 30 Boulder, CO Chautaugua Auditorium

Sat, September 1 Yosemite, CA Strawberry Fest

Sun, September 2 Napa, CA Uptown Theatre

Tues, September 4 Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke

Wed, September 5 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up

Thurs, September 6 Agora Hills, CA The Canyon

Fri, September 7 San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House

Mon, September 10 Wichita, KS The Cotillion

Fri, September 14 Nashville, TN The Cannery (AMA Festival & Conf)

Wed, September 19 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse

Thurs, September 20 Greenville. SC The Handlebar

Fri, September 21 Alexandria, VA Birchmere

Sat, September 22 Alexandria, VA Birchmere

Sun, September 23 Alexandria,VA Birchmere

Tues, September 25 New York, NY City Winery

Wed, September 26 New York, NY City Winery

Fri, September 28 Westhampton Beach, NY Westhampton Beach PAC

Sat, September 29 Plymouth, NH Flying Monkey

Mon, October 1 Brownfield, ME Stone Mtn Arts Center

* with Steve Earle

-- additional tour dates to be added; up to date schedule at www.johnhiatt.com

'The Incredible Mel Brooks - An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy'

5-DVD/1-CD set pays tribute to Mel Brooks; set for release on Nov. 13, from Shout! Factory

On November 13, 2012, Shout! Factory will release The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy, a 5-DVD/1-CD set that is a veritable treasure trove of all things Brooksian, a laugh-filled celebration of his illustrious career. This box set takes viewers on a journey through time with performances, extensive interviews, film clips and rare archival television footage, as well as some never-before-seen photos, and special tributes.

Welcome to the History of Mel Brooks, Part I. Included here are gems such as Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again, an evening with Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett that aired on HBO in September 2011 and was recently nominated for the “Outstanding Variety Special” Emmy® Award; the 1981 BBC documentary I Thought I Was Taller: A Short History of Mel Brooks; Excavating The 2000 Year Old Man, a PBS special on the story behind the iconic 2000 Year Old Man and the partnership between its two extraordinary creators, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner; Mel and His Movies, a New 5-Part exploration of his incomparable film career; vintage appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dick Cavett Show; episodes of the unforgettable TV series Get Smart, as well as When Things Were Rotten and his Emmy® award winning turn as unpredictable Uncle Phil on Mad About You; all with new introductions by Brooks; short films, tributes, and rare footage; a CD with long-lost comedy bits and songs from Brooks' movies; and a 60-page book featuring vintage photos, program notes and essays by Leonard Maltin, Robert Brustein, Gene Wilder and Bruce Jay Friedman.

American popular culture: The inimitable 2000 Year Old Man. Max Bialystock. Springtime for Hitler. Flatulent cowboys in Blazing Saddles. The bumbling Maxwell Smart. Young Frankenstein and his well-endowed monster. From stand-up to films to TV to Broadway, for 65 years, in every medium through which entertainment can possibly pass, Mel Brooks has conquered the world with laughter. A celebrated director, actor, producer, composer and writer, Brooks is one of only 11 people in history to win an Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar® and Tony® Award. And now, in a first-of-its-kind collection, fans of this ferociously gifted entertainer will fall joyfully down a rabbit hole into a wonderland of Brooks' television appearances, short films, documentaries, tributes, songs and genuine rarities.

Make sure to visit the Shout! Factory Web site for all of the details and track listing for this exciting collection of groundbreaking comedy and music.
Emmy® is the trademark property of the Academy for Television Arts & Sciences/ The National Academy for Television Arts & Sciences. Grammy® is the trademark and service mark of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Oscar® is the copyrighted property and registered trademark and service mark of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Tony® is the registered trademark of the American Theater Wing.

Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America . Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica , California . For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com

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