Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sights and Sounds: Chris Isaak, Grace Potter, Herb Alpert

Several big announcements to share today...

Chris Isaak's new album 'First Comes the Night' debuts at No. 2 in Australia; exclusive album prepiere via NPR 'First Listen'

Rock and Roll music sounds better than ever with the launch of Chris Isaak’s new album First Comes The Night set to be released this Friday, November l3.  With the album debuting at No. 2 and holding in Australia where Isaak is currently a judge on X-Factor, the exclusive album premiere on NPR First Listen and some very impressive early reviews, First Comes The Night, Isaak’s first album of original tunes in six years, is poised for success.

Recent reviews:

“It's been six years since Chris Isaak released an album of new material, so maybe that's why First Comes the Night is bursting with life. Even at its most languid, the Nashville-and-noir-inspired album is packed with swagger, heart and foot-stomping fun.  First Comes the Night offers up a looser-limbed and more vibrant Isaak than we've seen in a long time.” – CBC Music

“On Isaak’s previous album, 2011’s Beyond the Sun, he covered songs that had come out of Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio, where Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and others cut classic sides in the ’50s. If that album was mid’-50s Presley at Sun, First Comes the Night is later Presley at RCA.”
– USA Today

 First Comes The Night is Isaak's singing. Isaak has a strong base that doesn't confine him. Still deliciously viscous in quieter moments and rousingly grand when he takes a verse to the max, the 59-year-old's tenor has grown rawer, lending his inquiries into heartbreak an air of menace. If his 1989 classic "Wicked Game" froze sexual enthrallment in yuppie amber, Isaak is now much freer in his expressions of angst. The meanness of "Please Don't Call," the playful plaintiveness of the Latin-tinged "Don't Break My Heart" and the gentle reflectiveness of "The Way Things Really Are" all benefit from Isaak's years of experience, as well as the worn edge in his tone. He can still sing like a dream, but Isaak's gotten better at capturing nightmares.” – NPR

Listen to the album in its entirety on NPR ‘FIRST LISTEN’ HERE: http://www.npr.org/2015/11/04/452619027/first-listen-chris-isaak-first-comes-the-night

Watch Isaak’s electrifying live performance of the single “Please Don’t Call” on X FACTOR: https://au.tv.yahoo.com/x-factor/clips/29801856/chris-isaak-please-don-t-call/?cmp=st

Mix Magazine feature story: 

First Comes the Night is available in two configurations – a standard version with 12 songs and a deluxe edition with 5 bonus tracks. Read my concert review that ran in The Orange County Register of Chris Isaak's outstanding show in Anaheim, CA that he headlines this past August.

Grace Potter announces first leg of the 2016 Midnight Tour

Grace Potter sets upcoming tour dates.
Photo credit: Rich Gastwirt
Midnight’s shift towards pop is nervy and refreshing… Potter retains enough bite to satisfy even diehard rock purists.”

“…a successful artistic gambit…for those adventurous enough to follow her.”

“One of the greatest living voices in rock today has returned for a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.”

“..her first solo album Midnight, pop rock gets a real kick in the cherry-red pants….With its songs about sex and dancing, self-confidence and risk, Midnight is a mid-career turn for Potter that proves genuinely freeing.”

Grace Potter and her backing band the Magical Midnight Roadshow have announced the first leg of their 2016 Midnight tour.  Kicking off in January, the U.S. headlining dates will take the band across the country in support of Potter’s solo album, Midnight, released this past August.  Potter will also travel to Australia to play the Byron Bay Bluesfest and New Zealand for the inaugural Auckland City Limits festival in March.  Presale tickets will be available to the fan club Tuesday, November 10th  at 10am ET/ 7am PT at http://www.gracepotter.com/#tour.  To sign up for presale access click MEMBERS.  Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, November 13.

Heralded as one of today’s best live performers, Grace Potter has played every major music festival from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo and Rock in Rio.  She’s had the honor of sharing the stage with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Mavis Staples, Kenny Chesney, The Flaming Lips, and The Roots to name just a few.  At the invitation of The First Lady, Michelle Obama, and Conan O’Brien, Grace recently performed for the troops in Qatar (where she was joined on stage by the guitar-playing O’Brien). Through the years Grace has made it a priority to support her home state of Vermont and this past week was honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the state’s highest honor in the creative sector.

Watch / Listen: Grace Potter - "Empty Heart"

Midnight was recorded and mixed at Barefoot Studios in Hollywood, CA, with producer Eric Valentine. The core studio band consisted of Potter and Valentine on most of the instruments, with Matt Burr on drums and percussion. In addition, members of Potter’s longtime band The Nocturnals: guitarists Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco and bassist Michael Libramento contributed to the sessions, as well as former tour-mates and friends singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter, Audra Mae, Noelle Skaggs of Fitz & the Tantrums, and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age. Potter has released four studio albums through major label Hollywood Records: 2006’s Nothing But The Water, 2007’s This is Somewhere, 2010’s self-titled album and 2012’s The Lion The Beast The Beat, with the latter two both debuting Top 20 in the U.S. In 2010, Potter was featured on Kenny Chesney’s Grammy nominated, platinum-selling hit, “You and Tequila,” and his 2015 hit, “Wild Child,” which also achieved #1 status on the (billboard) Country chart.

Grace Potter tour dates are as follows:

Dec. 2 – Englewood, NJ@ Bergen Performing Arts Center  
Dec. 3 – Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theatre 
Dec. 4 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Paramount Theatre 
Dec. 5 – Ithaca, NY@ State Theatre †
Dec. 6 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom †
Dec. 8 – Concord, NH @ Capitol Center for the Arts †
Dec. 10 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount †
Dec. 11 – Philadelphia, PA@ The Fillmore †
Dec. 12 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall

† support act Oh Whitney

Jan. 13 – Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
Jan. 15 – Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
Jan. 16 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Jan. 17 – Miramar Beach, FL @ 30A Songwriters Festival*
Jan. 20 – Roanoke, VA @ Berglund Center
Jan. 21 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT
Jan. 22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Jan. 24 – Wilmington, NC @ Humanity and Fine Arts Center
Jan. 26 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
Jan. 28 – Mobile, AL @ Saenger Theatre  - Mobile
Jan. 29 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Jan. 30 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theatre
Jan. 31 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theatre
Feb. 4 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
Feb. 5 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
Feb, 6 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
Feb. 8 – Jackson Hole, WY @ Jackson Hole Center for the Arts
Feb. 10 – Missoula, MT @ The Wilma Theatre
Feb. 11 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Feb. 12 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre          
Feb. 13 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox
March 4 – Okeechobee, FL @ Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival*
March 19 – Auckland, NZ @ Auckland City Limits*
March 25 –Tyagarah, AU @ Byron Bay Bluesfest*
March 26 – Tyagarah, AU @ Byron Bay Bluesfest*

 * Festival dates

More dates to be announced.

Herb Alpert's 'Come Fly With Me' hits #2 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart

Annoncues reissue of 'Whipped Cream & Other Delights' to celebrate the album's 50th Anniversary; 26 additional titles to follow through 2016

Herb Alpert's new Come Fly With Me continues the legendary musicians' recent success on the charts. When the album was released on September 25, it debuted at #2 on the Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart and #7 on the Jazz Album Chart. Five weeks later, the album remains in the Contemporary Jazz Chart's top 10. The record features seven brand new original songs as well as signature takes on some of the most indelible melodies of the 20th century - among them George Harrison's "Something," Billy Strayhorn's "Take The A Train" and the Sinatra-popularized title track.
Alpert has stayed well acquainted with the Billboard charts throughout his illustrious five decade career - a centerpiece being the iconic LP 'Whipped Cream & Other Delights,' which hit #1 on the Billboard 200 fifty years ago this month. Famous for hits like "A Taste of Honey" and its cutting-edge cover art, the record remained the top-selling album in the country until March 1966, and has sold over six million copies to date.
On November 20th, Herb will be reissuing Whipped Cream to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary. A newly remastered version of the record will be available on LP and CD just in time for the holiday season. The re-release of 26 additional titles will follow 'Whipped Cream.' For the first time ever, all have been remastered for iTunes. Herb's 1968 'Christmas Album' is set for a November 27th re-release, and classics like The Lonely Bull, South of the Border, and Rise will follow next year.
Herb and his band will round out their 2015 touring schedule with an intimate West Coast run during the first week of December.
Tour dates:
December 2 - Saratoga, CA - Montalvo
December 3 - Saratoga, CA - Montalvo
December 5 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's Oakland
December 6 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's Oakland
December 7 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's Oakland
Albums Remastered of iTunes:
The Lonely Bull
Volume 2
South Of The Border
Whipped Cream & Other Delights
Going Places
What Now My Love
Sounds Like...
Herb Alpert's Ninth
The Beat Of The Brass
Christmas Album
The Brass Are Comin'
You Smile - The Song Begins
Coney Island
Main Event Live
Magic Man
Keep Your Eye On Me
Midnight Sun
Steppin' Out
In The Mood

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