Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Led Zeppelin to release previously-unheard tracks for Record Store Day

Okay Zep fans, you know where you will be on the morning of Saturday, April 21st, right?

Earlier today, Led Zeppelin's Facebook page posted an exciting announcement that a limited-edition 7-inch vinyl single featuring two previously-unheard mixes of classic Led Zeppelin songs will be issued on Record Store Day.

The two tracks, mixed by Jimmy Page and known as the Olympic Studios Mix of "Friends" (originally featured on 1970's Led Zeppelin III) and the Sunset Sound Mix of "Rock and Roll" (from 1971's Led Zeppelin IV), will be available exclusively from brick-and-mortar music retailers. The highly-anticipated releases also marks the 50th anniversary of the band.

You can see the cover artwork provided by Rhino Records on the left!

The previously-unreleased version of "Rock And Roll" provides an additional peek into the fabled "Sunset Sound Mixes" on Led Zeppelin IV. Only two previous "Sunset Sound Mixes" have been released, the first being the version of "When The Levee Breaks" on the original album and the second the "Stairway To Heaven" mix that debuted on the 2014 deluxe edition. The previously unheard "Olympic Studios Mix" of "Friends" is a stripped-down version, without the orchestration of the final mix, offering a true fly-on-the-wall feel from the band's recording sessions for Led Zeppelin III at Headley Grange.

Find a participating record store here.

Sights and Sounds: Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore announce new LP

Americana fans can rejoice at the news that Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are joining forces. Check out the media release before for details on the duo's forthcoming album and tour dates...

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore announce new album: Downey to Lubbock

Worldwide release date: June 1, 2018
Available for Pre-Order NOW!

“It’s like we’ve been playing together since we were kids,” says Downey, California’s Dave Alvin of his musical partnership with Lubbock, Texas native Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Given their myriad of shared influences and the undeniable chemistry the pair exhibits on ‘Downey To Lubbock’ (June 1/Yep Roc Records), it seems hard to believe they haven’t. 

Friends for over three decades, it took Alvin - the founder of seminal punk roots band The Blasters – and Gilmore, of the pioneering country-folk trio
The Flatlanders, until last year to collaborate at long last. Embarking on a spontaneous twelve-city tour, the two seasoned veterans of the road found a mutual love of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Texas and West Coast Country Music, traditional folk and early Rock n Roll. Their duo sets could effortlessly drift from Merle Hagard to Sam Cooke to the Youngbloods, and the pair had so much fun they began planning a record as soon as the tour wrapped.

The result is ‘Downey To Lubbock,’ a twelve-song collection that takes on a diverse range of American music spanning nearly one hundred years. Along with ten covers, Dave Alvin wrote two originals for the record: the autobiographical title track and the fantastical “Billy The Kid and Geronimo.”The latter sees Alvin and Gilmore trade verses as their folk heroes have a prescient bar room debate on morality, oppression and injustice.

You can get more information and ordering details via the official Yep Roc Records site here.


May 25 - Strawberry Fest - Grass Valley, CA
June 1 - Heights Theater - Houston, TX
June 2 - Antone's - Austin, TX
June 3 - Kessler - Dallas, TX
June 7 - Word Café Live - Philadelphia, PA
June 8 - City Winery NYC - New York City, NY
June 9 - Narrows - Fall River, MA
June 13 - Rams Hear - Annapolis, MD
June 14 - Birchmere - Alexandria, DC
June 16 - Shea Theater - Turner Falls, MA
June 17 - Clearwater Fest - Cotton on Hudson, NY
June 20 - Sportsman Bar - Buffalo, NY
June 22 - Valley Dale Ballroom - Columbus, OH
June 23 - Club Café - Pittsburgh, PA
July 21 - Americana Music Fest - Telluride, CO
July 25 - Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA
July 26 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
July 27 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
July 28 - Moes - Santa Cruz, CA
July 29 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Chico, CA

Stagecoach Festival introduces the Bazaar with Nikki Lane's Stage Stop Marketplace

I saw songstress Nikki Lane when she performed at Stagecoach in April 2015 (read my review of that event here), and she put on a terrific show. Here is news about her heightened role at the country music festival this year...

The country singer curates an array of Country, Western and vintage shopping vendors

Nikki Lane performing at Stagecoach
Festival in April 2015.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 26, 2018) - New to this year, Stagecoach introduces The Bazaar featuring Nikki Lane’s Stage Stop Marketplace which will be open all weekend long, April 27 through April 29. Having performed in 2015 and again in 2017, Nikki Lane now brings her Nashville style and vintage flare to the festival to curate a marketplace of merchandise and highlight vintage goods ranging from art, clothing and accessories.

“Curating the Stage Stop Marketplace is the perfect way for me to blend my love for country music with my love for vintage western wear and American made products,” says Nikki Lane. “All of the vendors are hardworking small business owners working to maintain integrity and authenticity with regard to how they dress and live.”

Together alongside like-minded merchants, Nikki’s Stage Stop Marketplace will allow fans access to deep dive their eclectic styles and country-inspired fashion. Additionally, Nikki and friends will be surprising attendees throughout the weekend with pop-up, acoustic performances right inside the Marketplace.

A shopper’s haven, the Stage Stop Marketplace will include Nikki’s curated vendors, such as High Class HillbillyLone Hawk HatsHoneywood Vintage, and Bandit Brand.

“Attendees can expect to see unique items of all kinds,” continues Nikki, “such as perfectly distressed blue jeans, cowboy boots, and rock and roll t-shirts layered with enough old turquoise to sink a ship; all curated by vintage dealers from all over the US.”

Beyond Nikki’s Stage Stop Marketplace, and into the surrounding Bazaar, there will be over 35 vendor booths including returning favorites and Stagecoach newbies showcasing their wares. Vendors such as BycilaCake and Punch,Calico HatsNaytures EmpireTrails ClothingWallet Buckle and more to be announced will be featuring country clothing, western hats, cowboy boots, belt buckles, boot straps, leather utility belts, handmade fresh flower crowns and more.

Kacey Musgraves, seen here performing at the
Stagecoach Festival in 2015, will be a featured
performer in 2018. Photo: Kelly A. Swift
This year’s Stagecoach will feature headliners – multi-platinum duo Florida Georgia Line, four-time Grammy Award winning Keith Urban, and a rare festival appearance by Garth Brooks – and performances by Lee BriceJake Owen, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini and others. New to the festival this year, Stagecoach will introduce SiriusXM Spotlight Stage which will showcase country music’s freshest finds with up close performances starting at noon each day. Also, returning to the festival is the air-conditioned HonkyTonk Dance Hall and the kid-friendly Half-Pint Hootenanny. 

Passes are on sale now at stagecoachfestival.com and the last week to grab passes at the current price is Wednesday, March 7th before the prices go up.

Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival is a celebrated outdoor music festival presented by Goldenvoice. It was founded in 2007 by Paul Tollett, the creator of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. While it is primarily a country festival, artists from folk, bluegrass, roots rock and alternative country also perform and attend. Country stars like Luke Bryan, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, The Eagles, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, and Ray Price, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard have been past performers. Complete festival information at StagecoachFestival.com

Monday, February 26, 2018

Masters Shine on New Sets

A plethora of outstanding titles featuring classic and emerging artists have been released recently, including a highly-anticipated release from The Doors, a collection celebrating singer-pianist Nina Simone, a tribute to power pop favorite Matthew Sweet and several strong movie soundtracks.

Artist: The Doors
Title: The Doors: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Doors
Tell me more: The Doors remain one of rock's most groundbreaking and original bands of any era. So anytime new music emerges from The Doors' short but prolific career there is a bona fide reason to celebrate. The last known unseen performance of The Doors in existence has been released, and it truly offers up an astounding experience for discerning fans of the Los Angeles-spawned quartet. The Doors: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 features the group coming out on stage at 2 a.m. on Aug. 30, 1970 in a performance that featured an understandably-reserved Jim Morrison (the singer had been the focus of a well-publicized obscenity trial in Miami). But while Morrison spends most of the set positioned close to his microphone and rarely even opens his eyes, the concert itself is bolstered by the power of the band's songs, strength of the musicianship and Morrison's emotive vocals. Highlights include a driving "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" and a 14-minute take on "Light My Fire." In addition to the concert film, there is a bonus featurette titled "This Is The End" anchored by 17 minutes of interviews conducted by the film's original director (Academy Award-winner Murray Lerner) with guitarist Robby Krieger, drummer John Densmore and original Doors manager Bill Siddons. There is additional archival interview footage with the late keyboardist Ray Manzarek from 2002. The Doors: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 is available on Blu-ray+CD (the version reviewed here), as well as on DVD+CD and via Digital Video. Information: TheDoors.com.

Artist: Nina Simone
Title: Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles (BMG/Bethlehem)
You might like if you enjoy: Nina Simone
Tell me more: Remastered in 2017 and released earlier this month, the 14 tracks on Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles celebrate the 60th anniversary of Nina Simone entering Manhattan's Beltone Studios to record her debut album Little Girl Blue for Bethlehem Records. Only 25 at the time, the North Carolina native was already a talented singer blessed with a rich voice and virtuoso skills at the keyboard to match. At the session she recorded what would be her first hit "Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)" and a wide range of other material showcasing her already-keen musical talents. Take the buoyant "Love Me or Leave Me," where her contralto soprano and baroque-meets-jazz piano skills are blended artfully. She could also deliver moving and hushed ballads, as evidenced by her version of Rodgers & Hart's "Little Girl Blue" and an ambitious instrumental interpretation of the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune "You'll Never Walk Alone." On the rousing jazz-meets-blues instrumental "African Mailman," she pounds on the keys and conjures up a storm accompanied by bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Al "Tootie" Heath. The newly-issued collection comes just in time to celebrate Simone's upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14. Sadly, Simone died at the age of 70 in April 2003. Information: bmg.com.

Artists: The Hangabouts, Michael Carpenter, Popdudes, more
Title: Altered Sweet (Futureman Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Matthew Sweet, Lannie Flowers, Lisa Mychols
Tell me more: Available as a 2-disc audio CD set or as a digital album, Altered Sweet is a wonderful tribute to singer-songwriter-guitar great Matthew Sweet. The shimmering, well-crafted and melodic songcraft associated with Matthew Sweet is on display everywhere here. Lisa Mychols kicks things off with an ace take on "Looking at the Sun" and the power of the selections rarely falters. Standouts on the first half of the disc include Greg Pope's creative "Not When I Need It," Chris Richards & the Subtractions' tender "Someone to Pull the Trigger," simple friend's delightful baroque pop-mining "Sick of Myself," Michael Simmons' faithful take on "Heaven and Earth" and The Hangabouts' expert reworking of "When I Feel Again." The latter half of the rewarding 27-track collection includes a rocking take on Sweet's beloved 1991 hit "Girlfriend" courtesy of Michael CarpenterNick Piunti's contagious "Behind The Smile," and Arvidson & Butterflies' dashing "Byrdsong." Things wrap up with the Popdudes' affecting Americana-tinged ballad "I Almost Forgot." Information: https://futuremanrecords.bandcamp.com/

Composer: Ludwig Göransson
Title: Black Panther (Original Score) (Hollywood Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Hans Zimmer
Tell me more: Yours truly is anxious to see the new Disney-Marvel superhero film "Black Panther," not only because of the parade of strong reviews but because I've been thoroughly enjoying Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson's score for the box office smash. Some of the selections are weighted in favor of traditional African percussion and vocal styles (the exhilarating "Wakanda Origins," luxurious "Wakanda," genre-defying "Wake Up T'Challa"), while others draw comparisons with Hans Zimmer's modernistic blend of symphonic and rock elements (the edgy "Royal Talon Fighter," sweeping "A New Day"). Overall, the music here is dramatic and provides an exciting listening experience. Information: Disney.com.

Composer: Frederik Wiedmann
Title: Hangman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varèse Sarabande Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Dead Can Dance, Hans Zimmer
Tell me more: Although the film "Hangman" didn't score well with critics, the original motion picture for the American crime thriller is first rate and well worth discovering. Composer Frederik Wiedmann has crafted an especially potent work presented via 21 tracks on a single disc. The self-titled theme is bolstered by a strong sense of urgency; "Suicide Attempt" - featuring the haunting soprano of Ayana Haviv - recalls vocalist Lisa Gerrard's memorable work with Dead Can Dance. Other tracks such as the unsettling "Underneath The Cross," lovely "An Old Case," spellbinding "Archer" and tense "No Rest" bristle with sonic firepower. Information: VareseSarabande.com.

Robert Kinsler

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Music Worth Buying episode: Ty Segall, First Aid Kit

Watch the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING where TJR and Robert Kinsler celebrate and discuss First Aid Kit's new album Ruins and Ty Segall's Freedom's Goblin:

Jimi Hendrix 7" "Lover Man" vinyl out now; "Both Sides of the Sky" album coming March 9, 2018

Here is some important and great news as it relates to the forthcoming Jimi Hendrix album "Both Sides of the Sky"...


Cover Image: Randy Chavez

Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings have today released a limited Jimi Hendrix, numbered edition, 7” vinyl single to be available exclusively at select independent record stores. Fans can find the closest local indie retailer stocking the 7” at http://www.recordstoreday.com/UPC/190758239972. “Lover Man” is drawn from Jimi Hendrix’s upcoming album Both Sides of the Sky (out March 9), and is backed by a live version of “Foxey Lady,” recorded in Bussum, Holland in November 1967. Both tracks are previously unreleased.

In addition, the digital track “Lover Man” was released today as the third single from the album, available now at all streaming and download outlets.

Yesterday morning, album co-producer Eddie Kramer called into the top rated Chris Evans Breakfast Show on the UK’s BBC Radio2 to premiere “Lover Man” on air [listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05z02zp] and then did the same for NPR’s World Café in the US. In addition, MOJO premiered a special behind the scenes clip with Kramer delving into the making of this track. Watch here: 

Guitar World has also recently announced a special event on March 7th in New York City at The Cutting Room as part of their BackStory Events series where journalist Brad Tolinski will sit with legendary producer Eddie Kramer and John McDermott, Experience Hendrix producer and catalog manager, for an in depth interview discussing Both Sides of the Sky, followed by an audience Q&A.Tickets are available now and the event will be live streamed by Guitar WorldFor tickets and information on the livestream http://backstoryevents.com/event/hendrix/

“Lover Man,” which UNCUT deemed “a weaponised piece of funk, with Buddy Miles in particularly thunderous form,” was recorded at the Record Plant in New York on December 15, 1969 by Hendrix’s then recently assembled new band: Billy Cox on bass, Buddy Miles on drums and Jimi Hendrix on guitar and vocals. The session took place two weeks before the trio introduced itself to the world via four triumphant New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts at the Fillmore East, which would ultimately yield the live album Band of Gypsys (1970) as well as its recently released, critically acclaimed follow up, 2016’s Machine Gun.  While the song became a favorite Hendrix concert staple, this dynamic studio rendition of “Lover Man” has been never before been issued. 

One of the best-known songs in the entire Hendrix canon, “Foxey Lady” first appeared on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album Are You Experienced (1967). The live recording of it that serves as the single’s B-side comes from the band’s second European tour. It was recorded when the original Jimi Hendrix Experience (Jimi, bassist Noel Redding, drummer Mitch Mitchell) performed it at Vitus Studios in Bussum, Holland on November 10, 1967.

Both Sides of the Sky, the album home of “Lover Man,” is the third volume in a trilogy of albums intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in Jimi Hendrix’s archive. It follows Valleys of Neptune (2010) and People, Hell and Angels (2013), which both achieved top 5 chart ranking on Billboard’s Top 100 album chart. Recorded between January 1968 and February 1970, and featuring guest appearances by Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter and Lonnie Youngblood, Both Sides of the Sky contains 10 unreleased tracks. It will be available on CD, digital, and as a numbered 180-gram audiophile vinyl 2LP. The project was co-produced by Eddie Kramer, Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer on all of his albums made during his life, along with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott.
Pre-order Both Sides of the Skyhttps://jimihendrix.lnk.to/bothsides
“Lover Man” track list (out Feb 23):
Side A) Lover Man*
Side B) Foxey Lady (live)*

Both Sides of the Sky track list (out March 9):
1)         Mannish Boy*
2)         Lover Man*
3)         Hear My Train A Comin’*
4)         Stepping Stone*
5)         $20 Fine*+
6)         Power Of Soul^
7)         Jungle*
8)         Things I Used to Do#
9)         Georgia Blues++
10)       Sweet Angel*
11)       Woodstock*+
12)       Send My Love To Linda*
13)       Cherokee Mist*

*Previously unreleased
^ Previously unavailable extended version
+Featuring Stephen Stills
#Featuring Johnny Winter
++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

Produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is home to the world's foremost library of historically significant commercial recordings, a peerless collection of works by the most significant musical artists of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Across a variety of platforms, the label has revolutionized the catalog market, offering contemporary music fans access to thousands of meticulously restored and remastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, rap/hip-hop, world music, classical, comedy and more.

Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix has been run, since its inception, by the family members handpicked by Al during his tenure as Chairman. It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of their daily operations, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi's timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Concert review: Bahamas Thrills at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles

Review by Jon Gossard
Afie Jurvanen

Thursday evening, February 21, saw Toronto-based Bahamas visiting the lovely Teragram Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles and performing a sold out show in front of an appreciative audience in support of the recently released Earthtones LP.  

From the first notes of "So Free" to the final strains of "Any Place" over an hour later, the crowd was held in rapture by frontman and songwriter Afie Jurvanen and his able band.  Bassist Darcy Yates and drummer Jason Tait provided rock-steady rhythm for the duration of the show, ranging from the spartan requirements of "Waves" to the deep groove of "Bad Boys Need Love Too," always in pocket, always serving the song and allowing their bandmates to layer above with confidence.  Guitarist Christine Bougie provided tasteful accompaniment all evening long, adding texture throughout and providing several standout solos that built on the melodic elements of each song to create emotional high points.  Playing sans plectrum for the evening, Bougie’s sinewy six-string work provided compelling counterpoint to Jurvanen’s own terrific guitar playing, and at times some of her more staccato lines even reminded this listener of Stevie Wonder’s syncopated keyboard playing.  

A highlight of the evening was Bougie’s delicate work on the lap steel guitar on the haunting "Like A Wind," a dynamic song that makes the most of its quiet-loud-quiet structure.  The sublime Felicity Williams weaved her gorgeous backing vocals throughout each song, treating her voice as another instrument within the band, sometimes mimicking melodic lines in call-and-response with the guitars or soaring into the upper reaches in several spine-tingling moments such as in "No Wrong," and always amazing the audience with her ability to add depth and emotion.  

One ardent admirer of Williams’ in the audience was even called out by Jurvanen, eliciting a shy smile from Williams herself, who perhaps doesn't realize just how important she is to the overall sound of the band.  Not to be outdone, Jurvanen capitalized on the freedom afforded by having a crack band and shined as both guitarist and singer.  One of Jurvanen’s most intriguing qualities is his ability to unleash a line from his guitar that reminds you just how potent of a guitarist he is and yet he always plays within the song, never adding notes for the sake of notes, only playing what he believes the song needs.  

His statements on the guitar throughout the night’s performance were consistently in support of that one thing: the song.  Jurvanen is clearly comfortable as a vocalist as well, playing with the phrasing of his lyrics to the delight of the crowd and hitting upper register notes with ease and emotion, such as on the intense encore-opening "Never Again."  Jurvanen himself commented on the crowd’s respectful appreciation of the music as they provided the silence the songs need to be fully appreciated but also displayed hearty enthusiasm at the many musical and emotional highlights of the evening.  Bahamas continues to tour in support of the wonderful Earthtones and this reviewer strongly recommends that readers experience the band in an intimate environment such as the Teragram sooner than later.  By all rights, Bahamas will be entertaining much larger venues in the near future

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Music: Van Morrison, Tony Banks, Tinsley Ellis

There is a trio of wonderful new releases from decidedly-different corners of the sonic universe to recommend. A concert film featuring Van Morrison, an orchestral album from legendary Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks and a new studio set from bluesman Tinsley Ellis would make welcome additions to any music lover's library. 

Artist: Van Morrison
Title: In Concert (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Van Morrison
Tell me more: The newly-released In Concert features a memorable Van Morrison concert filmed at the BBC Radio Theatre in 2016. The iconic singer is backed by a terrific musical cast of players and singers as he explores a stellar catalog that encompasses a mixture of blues, folk, jazz and classic soul. The 76-minute concert includes a few choice hits (including an animated "Wild Night" and jazzy "Brown Eyed Girl," the latter bolstered by Van the Man's sax playing), but the larger joy of this fast-moving performance is in the choice of deep cuts. The gorgeous "Every Time I See A River" (a newer track from his 2016 LP "Keep Me Singing"), spiritual "Whenever God Shines His Light," yearning ballad "Carrying A Torch" (enhanced by Dana Masters' backing vocals) and the set-ending "In The Garden" are among the winning numbers featured during the inviting show. In addition to that main performance, there is a bonus 12-song "Up On Cyprus Avenue" concert filmed on Morrison's 70th birthday. Van Morrison In Concert is now available on both DVD and Blu-ray. Information: eagle-rock.com.

Artist: Tony Banks
Title: 5 (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Rick Wakeman, composer Howard Shore
Tell me more: As a founding member of Genesis, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tony Banks is recognized for his work as a keyboardist and songwriter with that legendary progressive rock group. Fans of Genesis can catch up with Banks via his extraordinary new orchestral album titled 5. The disc's opener "Prelude to a Million Years" is an ambitious piece that draws favorable comparisons with Howard Shore's riveting score of the  "Lord of the Rings" trio of films; however, Bank's piece was actually commissioned for the 70th Cheltenham Music Festival in 2014. The success of that work's world premiere on July 5, 2014 under the baton of conductor Maxime Tortelier with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra was the genesis of 5. The five track album marks Banks' 10th album apart from his work with Genesis, and the emotional weight and beauty of the work here is lavishly delivered by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Choir along with conductor Nick Ingman. Produced by long-time collaborator Nick Davis, "5" features an intoxicating blend of symphonic textures and forays. The nuanced "Reveille," aptly-titled "Ebb & Flow," the cinematic "Autumn Sonata" and a reworking of the exhilarating Genesis-era composition "Renaissance" fill out the wonderful 5. The album is set for release on Feb. 23, 2018. Information: TonyBanksMusic.com.

Artist: Tinsley Ellis
Title: Winning Hand
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Clapton, Tommy Castro, Gary Moore
Tell me more: Fans of electric blues music  and great guitar playing  should check out Tinsley Ellis' new album Winning Hand. "The Sound of a Broken Man" is the album's first entry, and Ellis' fiery guitar work impresses with every phrase. But that proves to be just the beginning, as the Atlanta native offers up scorching performances that showcase his virtuoso chops and artistic touch where even the most blistering lead solos come in the service of solid songs. The tender "Gamblin' Man" showcasing Ellis' outstanding baritone vocals, the playful "I Got Mine," old time Southern rocker blaster "Satisfied" that joyfully explodes out of the stereo speaker, and gentle R&B "Don't Turn Off the Light" are among the must hear tracks on the aptly-dubbed "Winning Hand." Ellis will headline at The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Admission is $15. Information: www. www.TinsleyEllis.com and TheCoachHouse.com.

Robert Kinsler

Todd Rundgren to tour with Utopia; headline Cleopatra Records' first-ever SXSW Showcase

This is shaping up to be another busy year for legendary singer-songwriter-guitarist Todd Rundgren. There are several choice news items I have gathered here...Robert Kinsler 

Todd Rundgren's Utopia to Return this Spring via a Highly-anticipated U.S. Tour

Utopia performing in 1977.
How sweet is this announcement? Groundbreaking artist Todd Rundgren is set to return with his mid-1970s troupe Utopia and tour the U.S. beginning April 18, 2018. 

On the tour, Rundgren will be joined by bassist Kasim Sulton, drummer Willie Wilcox and keyboardist Ralph Shuckett. A complete list of the newly announced concert dates, cities and venues is posted below. Various VIP packages are available at the official Utopia site.

Although Rundgren has performed a few reunions with various members of Utopia dating back to 2011, this more high-profile affair is sure to please fans of Utopia. The band had an enduring top 40 hit titled "Set Me Free" in 1980 but broke up in 1986.

Todd Rundgren's Utopia 2018 Tour
4/18 - Jim Thorpe, PA, Penn's Peak
4/20 - Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
4/22 - Houston, TX, House of Blues
4/23 - Dallas, TX, Majestic Theater
4/25 - Broward, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
4/27 - St. Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theater
4/28 - Atlanta, GA, Tabernacle
4/29 - Durham, NC, Carolina Theater
5/1 - Huntington, NY, Paramount Theater
5/2 - Washington, DC, Warner Theater
5/3 - New York, NY, Town Hall
5/5 - Philadelphia, PA, Tower Theater
5/6 - Boston, MA, Orpheum Theater
5/7 - Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Theater
5/9 - St. Louis, MO, Peabody Opera House
5/10 - Cincinnati, OH, Taft Theater
5/12 - Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Theater
5/13 - Minneapolis, MN, State Theater
5/15 - Grand Rapids, MI, 20 Monroe Live
5/15 - Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
5/17 - Detroit, MI, the Fillmore
5/19 - Cleveland, OH, Hard Rock Live
5/22 - Chicago, IL, Chicago Theater
5/24 - Denver, CO, Paramount Theater
5/26 - Las Vegas, NV, The Joint at Hard Rock
5/27 - Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theater
5/29 - Los Angeles, CA, the Wiltern
5/30 - San Francisco, CA, the Masonic
6/1 - Seattle, WA, Moore Theater
6/2 - Portland, OR, Revolution Theater
6/4 - Sacramento, CA, Crest Theatre
6/5 - Riverside, CA, Fox Performing Arts Center

Rock Legend Todd Rundgren Headlines Cleopatra Records First Ever SXSW Showcase!
Los Angeles, CA - One of the few remaining truly independent, privately owned record labels in existence today, L.A.-based Cleopatra Records has been championing underground music and outsider artists since its inception in 1992. Now, the label has teamed up with the biggest music festival dedicated to discovering and promoting new talent, SXSW, to announce the first ever official Cleopatra Records showcase. 

Headlining this special event is legendary songwriter/producer/guitarist, Todd Rundgren, an artist well known for pushing the boundaries of rock and pop with his distinctive flair for the eccentric and unusual. Todd’s newest album, White Knight, was released by Cleopatra Records in May of last year and features guest performances by Trent Reznor, Robyn, Joe Satriani & Daryl Hall.

In addition to Rundgren, the showcase will also bring together some of the label’s newest acts including dreamwave artist Pastel Ghost, whose first album Abyss has been reissued by Cleopatra and will also see their forthcoming album released later this year on the label. Alternative metal cabaret act from Mexico, Descartes A Kant, partnered with Cleopatra for their newest album Victims Of Love Propaganda in May of last year while L.A.’s own death rock architects, Egrets On Ergot, released Surfeit Of Germütlich last October. Electronic duo United Ghosts will issue their Cleopatra debut later this year while local Texas band Nite, consisting of twin brothers Kyle and Myles Mendez, saw their newest release Rebornlaunched in July of 2016. Each of these bands demonstrates the label’s fondness for uniquely creative acts and a commitment to supporting truly artist-driven music.

The official SXSW showcase for Cleopatra Records will be held at Elysium in downtown Austin, TX on March 15th. The first band will start at 8pm.

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