Friday, November 01, 2013

Sights and Sounds: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Deep Purple, Tears for Fears

With the weekend here, why not provide a recap of some highlights I wasn't able to squeeze in earlier this week...

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell return to Austin City Limits on Saturday, November 2

Austin, TX—November 1, 2013—Music legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell return to Austin City Limits (ACL) and share the ACL stage for the first time. The pair celebrate their shared history, their recent collaborative album Old Yellow Moon and the continuing power of the song in a new episode that premieres November 2nd. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online at immediately following the initial broadcast.

Friends for forty years, Harris and Crowell have an entwined four-decade history of music-making. ACL veterans, both artists have each appeared on the program seven times, although this episode marks the first time the pair have performed together on the ACL stage. The Americana icons perform favorites and songs from their acclaimed duets album Old Yellow Moon. The collaboration was chosen as album of the year at this year's Americana Music Awards and the pair was honored as duo of the year. American Songwriter says of the album, “On Old Yellow Moon, Harris and Crowell embrace the entire range of life and music they've experienced, from the reckless passions of youth to the reflectiveness of age, from loose-limbed hillbilly boogies to graceful balladry.”

“It’s great to be back at the world’s greatest and longest-running music show,” says Harris as she takes the ACL stage with Crowell. The breathtaking performance includes the two longtime kindred spirits joining their voices on Crowell originals as well as revivals of songs by Roger Miller, Matraca Berg and Kris Kristofferson. Harris opens with some of her earlier Gram Parsons-era hits, and the duo fast-forwards to a more recent era for Harris' “Red Dirt Girl” and Crowell's “Rock of My Soul”, their voices wrapping the songs in the kind of harmonies only old friends can generate. Special guest Shawn Colvin joins in the finale for a spirited take on Crowell's “Stars On the Water.” The episode celebrates a longtime friendship and collaboration, and the pleasure the two music legends take from singing some of their favorite songs is palpable.

“Emmylou and Rodney are an important part of the history of ACL – going all the way back practically to the beginning,” says executive producer Terry Lickona. “But it goes deeper than that – they reflect the heart and soul of what ACL is all about. And the two of them together is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts!”

Episode Setlist:
Pancho & Lefty
Luxury Liner
Red Dirt Girl
Rock Of My Soul
Invitation to the Blues
Back When We Were Beautiful
Chase the Feeling
Dreaming My Dreams
Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight
Old Yellow Moon
Stars on the Water

Season 39 Fall Broadcast Schedule (six additional episodes to be announced)

October 5        Juanes | Jesse & Joy 
October 12      Phoenix 
October 19      The Lumineers | Shovels & Rope
October 26      Vampire Weekend | Grizzly Bear
November 2    Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
November 9    Emeli Sandé | Michael Kiwanuka
November 16  Jim James | The Black Angels
November 23  ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013

The complete line-up for the full 13-week season, including six new episodes to air beginning January 2014, will be announced at a later date. Check the news section for additional episode updates.

About Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits (ACL) is a television series on PBS that records and broadcasts original musical performances from exciting new talent and legendary artists of all genres.

Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in American television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. ACL has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2012, ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin.

ACL is produced by KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by AMD, Budweiser, the Austin Convention Center Department and Dell. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at


Pioneering Hard Rockers' Machine HeadIn Rock, Fireball and
Who Do We Think We Are! Will Be Reissued as Gold CDs in
New Numbered, Limited-Edition Set on November 19
Hot on the heels of the news that they have been nominated for 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, classic rockers Deep Purple will be feted with a deluxe, limited-edition boxed set featuring 24-Karat Gold CDs of four of their best-selling albums, according to Audio Fidelity president Marshall Blonstein.  November 19 is the release date for DEEP PURPLE:  THE AUDIO FIDELITY COLLECTION, which will include IN ROCK (1970), FIREBALL (1971), MACHINE HEAD (1972) and WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE! (1973).  The four CDs, containing such breakthrough Deep Purple hits as "Smoke on the Water" and "Woman From Tokyo," will be housed, appropriately, in an embossed metallic container, each engraved with a unique edition number, and will be sold through both online and traditional retail outlets.

Embossed, numbered container.
THE AUDIO FIDELITY COLLECTION features the legendary second lineup of Deep Purple, which originally formed in 1967 in Hertfordshire, north of London. By 1970, the pioneering hard-rock/metal quintet consisted of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, vocalist Ian Gillan, keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. Originally issued in the U.S. by Warner Bros. Records, the four albums represent the band at the peak of its popularity and creative powers. The double-platinum MACHINE HEAD reached No. 7 on Billboard's Top Albums chart; FIREBALL, IN ROCK and WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE! all were certified Gold. "Woman from Tokyo" (from WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE!) and "Smoke on the Water" (MACHINE HEAD) were Top 10 singles and remain staples of classic-rock radio. (Reflecting in 2012 on Deep Purple's long overdue nomination for Hall of Fame induction, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather commented, "What's the first song every kid learns to play? 'Smoke on the Water.' And they're not [yet] in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?")
All four discs in THE AUDIO FIDELITY COLLECTION will contain original album artwork and will feature the remastering done by engineer Steve Hoffman when the individual CDs were previously issued by Audio Fidelity. "They have been unavailable for five years," says label president Blonstein, "and since then we've had numerous requests from customers to 'reissue the reissue.' So we decided to offer them again, but in this special boxed-set edition." Indeed, copies of the earlier MACHINE HEAD and WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE! currently fetch handsome prices on sites like Amazon and eBay. To distinguish the forthcoming CDs from the earlier editions-and to enhance the unique collectability aspects of the boxed set-the new discs' outer sleeves come with gold, instead of black slip cases.
Deep Purple, which has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, was announced (on October 16) as a nominee for the 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which will be held in New York City in April of 2014. Inductee selections will be announced in December.

Founded in 2002 by Marshall Blonstein, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-karat Gold CDs and its virgin-vinyl album editions, though it also releases DVD titles. Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that Blonstein started in 1986, following stints as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King's Tapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchises The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke).

Tears for Fears in July 2007 in Costa Mesa, CA
Tears for Fears gives 'The Hurting' deluxe treatment

George A. Paul's Music Minded blog has an excellent overview of Tears for Fears' The Hurting deluxe release celebrating the 30th anniversary of the notable album. Read it here.

I have always been impressed when catching Tears for Fears (Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal) live. Read my review of the duo's performance at the Pacific Amphitheatre in July 2007 on the Orange County Register site by clicking here.

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