Thursday, October 01, 2015

Sights and Sounds: MUSIC WORTH BUYING episode, Bobby Long, Mike Zito, Iron Maiden

Blues, classic hard rock and modern folk get their due via upcoming tours and new releases. Here is a quick roundup...And there is also a new episode of Music Worth Buying to watch!

Watch the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING where TJR and I discuss some of the saddest songs we know!

Bobby Long heads to Europe and UK in support of the worldwide release of his Ode to Thinking album from Compass Records

"Conflicted and clouded thoughts churn beneath the surface of Long's full-bodied melodies and full-blooded vocals. At times, his immersion in mordant Americana shades into melodrama, but that only adds to this set's bite. Long is an observer and outsider who sees an America where tradition is laced with venom, and the rustic clapboard hides a rusty nail." --Acoustic Guitar Magazine, November, 2015

Bobby Long / Photo credit: Eric Peterson
U.S.-based British singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Long starts a month-long tour of Europe on Saturday (October 3) in Zwolle, Netherlands followed by his first tour of his native U.K., all in support of the worldwide release of his new album, Ode To Thinking from Compass Records. Fueled by a recently completed tour of two dozen U.S citiesOde To Thinking has been enjoying AAA radio airplay and exceedingly positive notices, among them this from Canada's SunMedia Syndicate:  "While his soulfully weathered pipes and folk-troubadour stylings mark him as a throwback to the halcyon days of mid-'60s-imagine Sam Cooke jamming with Dylan-the 29-year-old's topical lyrics and evolving songcraft make it clear he's no mere nostalgist. He's well worth your time."  

The recent U.S. tour included tapings of the nationally-syndicated Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour (to begin airing October 10), the Ohio-based PBS program for Western Reserve Public Media, airing on WNEO and WEAO-TV in October and The Alternate Root, which will air December. In addition, he made numerous promotional appearances on local television and radio. The music video for "I'm Not Going Out Tonight," the album's first single, can be viewed here:
Recorded in Austin, TX, Ode To Thinking is a taut collection of 11 original songs, produced by veteran producer Mark Hallman at his Congress House Studios. It was originally financed by a highly-successful crowd-funding campaign via PledgeMusic ( that allowed fans and music supporters to essentially pre-order the album even before it was recorded. As a result a over 800 individual pledges, the album debuted onBillboard Magazine's Heatseekers chart the first week after its release.
Long, who emerged from London's burgeoning folk music renaissance, relocated to New York in 2009, cultivating a loyal fan base for his evocative lyrics set to plaintive melodies. His catalogue includes two well received albums, A WINTER TALE (2011) and WISHBONE (2013) as well as a five-song EP called THE BACKING SINGER (2011) and a volume of poetry, LOSING MY BROTHERHOOD (2012). He is working on a sequel to be published next year.

Long was one of the breakout artists to play the Acoustic Stage at this year's venerable Glastonbury Festival in England. It was his first high profile appearance in his native country and spawned the series of U.K. shows scheduled for November immediately following his month-long tour of Europe.  The European tour includes stops in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic.


Mike Zito digs deep in Keep Coming Back

Blues Guitar slinger slides, picks and grooves
on new album
Produced by Trina Shoemaker and Zito –
CD out Nov 6

“He’s a rough-edge sculptor who has the classic masters in mind and then makes a unique modern artist statement.” – Boston Blues Society

Ruf Records award winning artist singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Zito paints a beautiful imperfect picture with Keep Coming Back. Colorful images of his past, present and future are all set to some of the most powerful melodies of his career. Recorded at Dockside Studios in Louisiana, the album was produced by Grammy Award winning Trina Shoemaker and Zito himself, is set for November 6, 2015 release. Taking cues from his musical collection, live shows and his solid backing band, The Wheel, the guitarist finds himself in a fine place.

“Having fun and playing music you love and believe in; it’s all about the song.” – Mike Zito

This Texas rocker bleeds the words in his songs – “I’m Drunk” (co-written with Anders Osborne) describes his life-long addiction struggles and how many victims he has left behind.  Mike always returns to his founding values of honest, original songs, drawn from the emotional depths, twisting the great American genres into bold new shapes. The Credence Clearwater Revival cover, “Bootleg”, closes out the album with a bang, is most fitting for Zito’s voice. That voice moved a writer enough to call it, “velvet”.

The title cut is a memo to himself of how life runs in circles.  It’s a typical slice of brutal honesty from a man who has always told it straight. Ask Mike for his backstory and he’ll give you warts and all.

"Keep Coming Back; Give your burden to the Blues
Keep Coming Back, Whatta ya got to lose"

Keep Coming Back is home to seven new Zito-penned originals, three co-writes with Anders Osbourne and two covers, Bob Seger’s “Get Out Of Denver” and CCR’s “Bootleg”.  “I love to tell stories,” says the bandleader, “and these songs are stories from my heart, my crazy mind and my life. With the help of Anders, I think I’ve got the best collections of songs I’ve written yet.”

“…his fiery playing elevates each and every song, as do the swallow-your-emotions vocals.” –Vintage Guitar

Working with producer Trina Shoemaker gave Zito a fresh new start. “Trina and I were simpatico in our ideas of what this album would sound and feel like,” recalls Mike, “and she nailed it. This album is raw when it needs to be, subtle, sincere and grooving all the way through. My band is in top form. The musicians gave their all to the songs and brought out the best in me.” This band took the energy from the road to the studio in a hot flash. Top notch players include Jimmy Carpenter (saxophone/vocals), Scot Sutherland (bass), Rob Lee (drums) and Lewis Stephens (keys).

This seasoned musician has a lot to reflect on, solo albums, a Blues Music Award winner, a founding member of Royal Southern Brotherhood, as the wheels keep rolling for him.  There’s a spectrum of genres that can only be called Americana – part-blues – half a cup country and another cup of rock – makes Mike Zito who he is.

Iron Maiden to open 'The Book Of Souls World Tour' in North America in February 2016

9 Shows announced for the U.S. - Band's new album THE BOOK OF SOULS” debuts at #4 on BILLBOARD 200 chart

#1 in more than 40 countries around the world

LOS ANGELES, CA - October 1, 2015 - Rock legends IRON MAIDEN will open their highly anticipated The Book of Souls World Tour in the U.S.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Feb 24, flying in on their enormous Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet Ed Force One, piloted by vocalist Bruce Dickinson, carrying band, crew and stage production and equipment over 55,000 miles around the world visiting around 35 countries. 

The full list of U.S. dates are:

FEB 24                   FT LAUDERDALE, FLA                                BB&T CENTER
FEB 26                   TULSA, OK                                                   BOK CENTER
FEB 28                   LAS VEGAS, NV                                           MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER
MAR 30                 NEW YORK                                                  MADISON SQUARE GARDEN             
APR 05                  DETROIT, MI                                                PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS
APR 06                  CHICAGO, IL                                                UNITED CENTER
APR 11                  TACOMA, WA                                             TACOMA DOME
APR 13                  DENVER, CO                                               PEPSI CENTER
APR 15                  LOS ANGELES, CA                                      THE FORUM

Tickets start going on-sale October 8 – check for market specific info. As usual, there will be an exclusive pre-sale for IRON MAIDEN Fan Club members, details of which can also be found along with information on how Fan Club members can participate in the draw to be “First To The Barrier.”

Bruce comments;

“We cannot wait to get back out on tour. Maiden thrive on touring and getting out to our fans, it’s also what we enjoy the most.  When we play in Fort Lauderdale it will be 19 months since our last show at Sonisphere in the UK so we will be raring to go.

On previous Ed Force One Tours we only had time to play New York, L.A. and Florida. For the world tour next year we’ve made more time in order to take Ed Force One to our fans in many more parts of the country, like Tulsa where we haven’t played since 1987 on the Somewhere In Time Tour and Tacoma where we haven’t played in 15 years, along with Vegas, Detroit, Chicago and Denver too this time round. We wanted to start off in Ft Lauderdale so we could first visit Nicko’s “Rock ‘n Roll Ribs” nearby and have a few Trooper beers to celebrate the start of The Book of Souls World Tour! We will of course visit Canada too and those dates will be announced very soon!

We haven't decided on the set list as yet and won’t until we start rehearsing but we really look forward to playing a number of new songs live, especially as the recording was so much live. However, as it’s been a while since we saw you all, I am sure we will include plenty of older fan favourites too. I think the fans will be delighted by what we have in mind. We are also in the middle of creating the new show and rest assured we are working hard to bring you all something spectacular, something with a lot of heart!!! You certainly deserve it for your patience.“

The support band on The Book Of Souls World Tour will be The Raven Age

Iron Maiden continue to be actively dedicated to ensuring their fans always have full access to the best possible tickets in the fairest possible way. Manager Rod Smallwood comments:

“We are trying to ensure that our fans get the tickets they want in the prime positions without paying over the odds to unofficial ticketing agencies. Maiden get infuriated with the way fans sometimes have to pay more than the agreed ticket price at our shows. So we will, wherever possible and with the full assistance of the Promoters, arrange a paperless ticketing system at least for the floor and best seated sections to try to eliminate as much of the ticket scalping and exchanges as we can. We put this into practice for North American dates since 2010 and it worked well and we received many positive comments back from our fans. The intention is with paperless ticketing that only those who actually pay initially for the tickets will get into the show so scalping is generally avoided (please see the comments from Ticketmaster below). We are also doing everything we can to avoid any drain of tickets to the Secondary Ticketing sites which we feel make unfair profits from music fans.

Finally, we are of course once again arranging exclusive ticket pre-sales for our fan club members (go to for details) so they can be quick off the mark for great tickets and will also continue to run the contest in appropriate venues for fan club members so they can be ‘First To The Barrier’ prior to the show. We hope that these measures will help our fans as much as possible and ask that they keep checking for details on our website.”


Where possible the North American Iron Maiden shows will operate a paperless ticket policy. Select tickets will be sold via Ticketmaster’s Paperless Ticket delivery (also known as Credit Card Entry), which means fans will not receive a physical concert ticket for their entry into the event.  Buying paperless helps ensure fans have secure and convenient access to event tickets at the intended original sale price. On the day of show, concertgoers just need to bring the credit card they used for the ticket purchase and a government-issued photo ID to the concert. All members of the ticket purchaser's party must be present at the same time to enter the venue. The venue’s ticket usher will swipe their credit card upon entry and present each person in their party with seat locator slips for quick access into the show. To purchase paperless tickets or for more information, fans should or call the Ticketmaster charge-by-phone number at 1-800-745-3000.

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