Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Classic Sounds Celebrated on New Releases

A stylish 1980's rock 'n' roll film, and a trio of musical tributes available on audio CD and digitally highlight a new crop of releases available now.

Title: Streets of Fire {Collector's Edition} (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: The Blasters, the Fixx, the Shout! Factory collector's edition of the 1974 film "Phantom of the Paradise"
Tell me more: The two-disc Blu-ray collector's edition of Streets of Fire is cause for celebration for fans of the cult classic. Originally released in 1984, the film's catch phrase "A Rock & Roll Fable" plays out over each frame thanks to writer-director Walter Hill's sharp instincts, great on-screen performances (including Diane Lane, Michael Pare, Rick Moranis, Willem Dafoe and Amy Madigan) and songs penned by the Blasters (the band appears on screen playing two of their songs), Tom Petty & Belmont Tench, the Fixx and others. The look and style of the film artfully blends '50s cars and retro cityscapes with '80s hair styles and music video trappings of that era; the result is a look and feel that belongs to this fast-moving 93-minute movie alone. The 2K high-def transfer of the film looks and sounds fantastic and there are extras galore, including a new "The Making of Streets of Fire" documentary, vintage featurettes, a theatrical trailer and still gallery. Information:

Title: Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records (Americana Music Society Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Early recordings featuring Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis; Bobby Rush
Tell me more: A love letter to Memphis' Sun Records and its founder Sam Phillips, Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records exudes a joyful and nostalgic spirit celebrating the groundbreaking sounds of the 1950s. A number of roots and Americana artists join forces across the 10-track title, revisiting classic tracks spanning blues, country and rockabilly and first forged by Carl Perkins (a great "Sure to Fall (In Love With You) featuring Valerie June, Jimbo Mathus and Amy LaVere), Johnny Cash (Alvin Youngblood kills "Folsom Prison Blues"), Howlin' Wolf ("Moaning' at Midnight" with Luther Dickinson and Lightnin' Malcolm) and other greats. Blues legend Bobby Rush, 83, is a direct link with the original icons who recorded in Memphis in the 1950s and delivers a rousing original "Tough Titty," a tribute to the late Junior "Mr. Blues" Parker. All proceeds from the Americana Music Society will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Information:

Artist: Stanton Moore: The Songs of Allen Toussaint
Title: With You In Mind (Cool Green Recordings / Mascot Label Group)
You might like if you enjoy: Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John
Tell me more: One of the late 20th century's leading American musical voices, Allen Toussaint (who died in November 2015 at age 77) was a musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer who helped spread the New Orleans R&B sound around the globe. The newly-issued tribute Stanton Moore: The Songs of Allen Toussaint celebrates Toussaint with 10 glorious selections produced by Moore (who also plays drums on the disc) that feature many of the players influenced by Toussaint's extensive artistic touch. The funky "Here Comes the Girls" kicks off the buoyant collection and features Cyril Neville (lead vocals, trombone) and Trombone Shorty (trombone solo) joining forces. Spiritual forays ("Life"), instrumentals (the rousing "Java" featuring Trombone Shorty, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and alto sax player Donald Harrison Jr.), ballads ("All These Things") and uptempo romps (the jazzy "Night People") are handled with an equal amount of energy and musical dexterity, all fully honoring the legacy and free wheeling spirit of the groundbreaking Gert Town, Louisiana native. Information:

Artist: Robert Kraft Trio
Title: North Bishop Ave. (Resistor Record Co.)
You might like if you enjoy: Bill Withers, the James Hunter Six, Robert Cray
Tell me more: Austin-based singer-songwriter Robert Kraft has a smooth and soulful voice able to deliver deeply affecting material that draws comparisons with vocal greats such as Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye. On his new seven-song disc "North Bishop Ave." the Robert Kraft Trio (Kraft, guitarist JD Pendley, bassist Lindsay Greene) join forces with some great guest players and backing vocalists for upbeat material ("So Beautiful" and "I Want to Show You," both featuring some hot guitar work from Pendley), tender ballads ("Gotta Have You," "Alone With You") and a rhythmic cover of the 1950 Leon Payne song "You've Still Got a Place In My Heart." Fans of traditional smooth soul, Motown and R&B will love this album. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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