Sunday, July 06, 2014

Wide range of new releases showcase new and emerging artist

Fans of pioneering L.A. rockers The Doors, as well as authentic country and blues all have reason to celebrate thanks to a myriad of recent releases now available. In addition, guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson has issued an incredible live album that captures his dynamic wizardry.

Artists: Todd Rundgren, Lou Gramm, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, more
Title: Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors (Purple Pyramid Records/Cleopatra)
You might like if you enjoy: The Doors, Steve Morse, Ian Gillan, Todd Rundgren
Tell me more: As groundbreaking and wonderful as The Doors were, few noteworthy full-length tributes to the Los Angeles rockers have been issued over the years. Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors goes a long way to revisiting the band via 16 songs that feature a wide range of classic and prog-rock heroes joining forces. The majority of tracks are remarkably faithful to the psychedelic rock versions carved out by Jim Morrison and company in the late '60s and early '70s, while reflecting the signature styles of the participating players. Standouts include "L.A. Woman" (featuring singer Jimi Jamison of Survivor fame), a rousing "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)" with singer Todd Rundgren and ASIA keyboardist Geoff Downes, and the ambitious "Light My Fire" featuring Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan and amazing instrumental work from Yes guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Information:

Get 'Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors'

Artist: Ray Goren
Title: LA Sessions (RJRay Entertainment, Inc.)
You might like if you enjoy: Jonny Lang, Albert King, Robert Cray
Tell me more: At only 14, Ray Goren is already a master electric blues guitarist. On his just-released five-song EP LA Sessions, the Orange County, California-based teen proves his vocal and songwriting skills are now a match for his blazing and nuanced fret work. Produced by the legendary Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), highlights include the uptempo soul-fused blues rockers "You Gotta Learn" and"Stop Waiting," and the tender R&B ballad "Memories."  Information:

Buy 'L A Sessions' here

Artist: Mary Sarah
Title: Bridges (Cleopatra)
You might like if you enjoy: Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Lynn Anderson
Tell me more: Eighteen-year-old songstress Mary Sarah has issued the ultimate tribute, titled Bridges, singing some of her favorite songs as duets with the singers who first gave life to those tracks. Shining examples of Sarah's interpretative skills and shining soprano include an uptempo take on "Jolene" with Dolly Parton and affecting version of "Crazy" with the great Willie Nelson. My favorite version on the wide-ranging set is a powerful revisit of "Heartaches by the Number" with the late Ray Price. Information:

Artist: Corb Lund
Title: Counterfeit Blues (New West Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Chris Isaak, John Hiatt, Dave Alvin
Tell me more: Alberta, Canada-based singer Corb Lund is the latest in a long line of celebrated singers dating back to Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash who have journeyed to Sun Studio in Memphis to mine sonic gold. On Lund's wonderful Counterfeit Blues (recorded in a mere two days!) the ghosts of all those greats as well as more recent musical visitors (Chris Isaak and Michael Ubaldini immediately come to mind) are recalled through the freewheeling rockabilly "Big Butch Bass Bull Fiddle," countrified "Little Foothills Heaven," and spirited barn burner "Hurtin' Albertan." A deluxe version of the album includes a bonus DVD disc with an extended version of the documentary Memphis Sun that was originally aired in December 2013 on CMT Canada. Information:

Purchase 'Counterfeit Blues (CD+DVD)' here

Artist: Eric Johnson
Title: Europe Live (Provogue)
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Johnson's previous studio albums
Tell me more: When it comes to real-life guitar heroes, few can equal the technical skills, artistic touch and compositional depth of Eric Johnson. The Grammy Award-winning musician, who burst on the world stage with his 1990 masterwork Ah Via Musicom, has released another essential collection. His newly-issued Europe Live not only features energetic reworkings of previous compositions but includes several new selections (the dazzling "Intro" and astounding blues-on-steroids "Evinrude Fever"). Whether reflecting on his youth in the stirring "Austin" or simply unleashing breathtaking runs that sing during "Zenland" or "Cliffs of Dover," Johnson remains a marvel. Information:

Buy 'Europe Live' here

Robert Kinsler

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