Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prog Rock Christmas featuring members of YES, ASIA, Renaissance, Utopia, Focus, Curved Air, Hawkwind & more...

This sounds like a pretty cool way to ring in the holiday season!

Prog Rock Christmas Featuring Members of YES, Renaissance, Utopia, Focus, Curved Air, Hawkwind & ASIA

Special guest performance by legendary actor Malcolm McDowell!

Join producer Billy Sherwood (Yes, Circa) for an expansive musical journey through Christmas classics of yesterday and today, all performed by leading figures in Prog Rock music!

Includes gorgeous performances by guitar legend Steve Morse, angelic vocalists Annie Haslam (of Renaissance) and Sonja Kristina (of Curved Air) plus Thijs Van Leer (of Focus), Simon House (of Hawkwind) and others! Also a special guest performance by actor Malcolm McDowell!

Available on both CD in an attractive digipak and on limited edition vinyl in your choice of RED or WHITE!

Track List:
1. Run With The Fox - Jon Davison
2. Christmas Lights - Kasim Sulton
3. Carol Of The Bells - Steve Morse
4. The Twelve Days Of Christmas - Annie Haslam
5. Wonderful Christmastime - Billy Sherwood & Patrick Moraz
6. I Believe In Father Christmas - Martin Turner
7. Fairytale Of New York - Leslie Hunt & Robin McAuley
8. O Come All Ye Faithful - Sonja Kristina
9. A Christmas Song - Thijs Van Leer
10.  You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Malcolm McDowell
11. Linus & Lucy (Charlie Brown Christmas Theme) - Geoff Downes [CD ONLY]
12. Silent Night - Nik Turner & Simon House
13. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Wetton

To purchase the CD or Vinyl:

Lyndsey Parker and Mindi Abair to co-host the 2020 'She Rocks Awards' at 2020 Winter NAMM Show

With the 2020 NAMM Show only two months away, major news related to the music event continues to emerge...

Lyndsey Parker and Mindi Abair announced as
Co-Hosts for the 2020 She Rocks Awards 

Entertainment editor/radio host and GRAMMY®-nominated musician will lend their talents to 8th annual event honoring women in music and audio on January 17, 2020 in Anaheim, CA

Lyndsey Parker
Mindi Abair
Anaheim, CA, November 21, 2019 – The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) announces Yahoo Entertainment music editor and SiriusXM radio host Lyndsey Parker and two-time GRAMMY®-nominated saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair as co-hosts of the upcoming 2020 She Rocks Awards. Recognizing women who stand out as role models in the music industry, the live event takes place on January 17, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. at the House of Blues Anaheim during the NAMM Show. This year’s honorees include Lzzy Hale, Linda Perry, Gloria Gaynor, Suzi Quatro, and many more. Tickets are available at

Lyndsey Parker Lyndsey Parker is the music editor at Yahoo Entertainment and co-host of the daily SiriusXM Volume show Volume West. Considered an expert in music and pop culture, Parker is an Online Journalism Award nominee and has written for Elle, MOJO, Rolling Stone, NME, and Guitar. She has appeared as a commentator for the ABC special The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, AXS TV’s The Top Ten Revealed, and the documentary I Want My MTV, as well as for VH1's Behind the Music, CNN, MTV, The Insider, and Good Day L.A.. She is the author of Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan (one of the first e-books published as part of Rhino Records’ all-digital music book series, which went to #1 on the iTunes Music Books chart), and is currently co-authoring the memoir of legendary groupie Mercy Fontenot, a former member of the GTOs. For more:
Highly sought-after saxophonist/vocalist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Mindi Abair has been electrifying audiences around the world since her debut album in 2000, flawlessly bringing together saxophone, vocals, and a dynamic stage presence. She has garnered ten #1 radio hits, six Top 5 solo records and two #1 spots on the Billboard album charts. Abair has toured and recorded with: Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Smokey Robinson, Gregg Allman, Booker T. Jones, Trombone Shorty and more. She also authored the book How To Play Madison Square Garden - A Guide to Stage Performance and served as a National Trustee for The Recording Academy. In 2019, she and her band, The Boneshakers, released No Good Deed, a hard-hitting blues rock album. For more: 

The WiMN Founder, Laura B. Whitmore, comments, “Lyndsey and Mindi are perfect complements to the inspiring, high-energy, evening we have in store this year. I look forward to working with them to offer our guests another unforgettable experience.”  

Gearing up for its eighth consecutive year, the She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. Previous award recipients include Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, The B-52s, Colbie Caillat, Sheila E, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector, Orianthi, Lisa Loeb, The Bangles, and many more, plus a collection of role models from all walks of the music and audio industries.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2020 She Rocks Awards, available in four tiers that include dinner and more. This event is open to the public; a NAMM Show badge is not required to attend the She Rocks Awards. Find out more and purchase tickets at

The 2020 She Rocks Awards is sponsored by Sweetwater, PRS Guitars, Shure, Marshall Amplification, Reverb, D’Angelico, NAMM, Martin Guitar, Rat Sound Systems, Roland, Zildjian, Fishman, Sennheiser, D’Addario, Seymour Duncan, PreSonus, M.A.C Cosmetics, Monster Energy, Hippeas, Gibson, Tech 21, Clif Bar, Sabian, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Soundgirls, Parade magazine, Premier GuitarGuitar Girl MagazineThe Music & Sound RetailerMusic Inc., MusicNews, Guitar PlayerGuitar WorldBass PlayerElectronic Musician, Music Radar, KVR Audio, Future Publishing, IK Multimedia, and more.  

Learn more about the She Rocks Awards at
# # #
About The Women’s International Music Network (WiMN)     
Founded in 2012, the Women’s International Music Network unites women who work within all facets of the music and audio industries. With as its hub, the WiMN provides a community for women within the industry while enriching their careers and musical experiences through networking and sharing. The Women’s International Music Network produces events such as the #SheRocksIt panel & networking series, WiMN She Rocks Showcases and the She Rocks Awards, and is founded by music industry veteran Laura B. Whitmore. For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2020 GRAMMY Awards nominees announced

The Nominees for the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards have just been announced.
Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land' has
earned several nominations.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift

The high-profile artists who appear to be front runners in the high-profile categories include Billie Eilish, LizzoBon Iver, Tanya Tucker, Brandi CarlileAriana Grande, and H.E.R. 

I have long been less than thrilled with the myriad of categories and overall ignoring truly-deserving artists from a number of genres by the Recording Academy. That said, a number of my favorite artists are being recognized this year, with nominees representing rock, blues, Americana, country and other genres in the mix.

I was especially happy to see The Cranberries' final album In The End nominated for Best Rock Album, and Keb' Mo's Oklahoma nominated in the Best Americana Album category. I was also pleased to see Elvis Costello and The Imposters received a well-deserved nomination for Look Now. That album (read my review here) was truly one of the best albums of 2018.

One category that is very exciting is for Best Contemporary Blues Album. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite here, but it is sure great to see Gary Clark Jr. (This Land), Larkin Poe (Venom & Faith), and Southern Avenue (Keep On); Clark's This Land was also nominated in the Best Rock Performance category.

Other artists I'm rooting for when the trophies are handed out in 2020 include Bobby Rush, Thom Yorke, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Tycho, Sara Bareilles and Tool

The official media release I received in my inbox this morning is below:


Larkin Poe's 'Venom & Faith' has deceived a well-
deserved nomination.
Tanya Tucker has been nominated for 4 GRAMMY
Bobby Rush has picked up a well-deserved nod for
his 'Sitting on Top of the Blues' album.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (NOV. 20, 2019)—Recording Academy® President/CEO Deborah Dugan alongside Academy Chair of the Board of Trustees and renowned record producer Harvey Mason Jr., as well as GRAMMY Awards® host Alicia Keys and past two-time GRAMMY® nominee Bebe Rexha, today revealed nominees for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards in select categories. This year's nominees reflect a melting pot of artistic innovation that defined the year in music, showcasing the unparalleled craftsmanship of established artists and the industry-shifting impact of rising music creators. Leading nominees Lizzo (8)Billie Eilish (6) and Lil Nas X (6) not only topped the charts but ignited a cultural conversation around their genre-bending hits. As the only peer-selected music award, the GRAMMY Awards are voted on by the Recording Academy's membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers and engineers.

"I am in complete awe of the inspiring nominees who have poured their hearts and souls into their craft, and in turn, have provided fans worldwide a year of music that changed us, stirred our emotions and inspired us to do more," said Dugan. "Today's announcement reflects a new era for the Recording Academy—an army of engaged members that welcomes diversity, embraces creativity and champions young musicians on the rise. It's shaping up to be a year of firsts, and I can promise that the 62nd GRAMMY Awards will pack the same punch as this year's nominees. I am proud to march forward alongside our members and nominated artists."

This year's nominees were selected from more than 20,000 submissions across 84 categories, and reflect the wide range of artistic innovation that defined the year in music (Oct. 1, 2018–Aug. 31, 2019). The final round of GRAMMY voting is Dec. 9, 2019–Jan. 3, 2020. The Recording Academy will present the GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, live from Los Angeles' STAPLES Center and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8:00–11:30 p.m. ET/5:008:30 p.m. PT.

The following is a sampling of nominations from the GRAMMY Awards' 30 Fields and 84 Categories.
For a complete nominations list, visit For media assets, please visit the Recording Academy press room here. Click here to download our social media toolkit.

Record Of The Year:
"Hey, Ma" — Bon Iver
"Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish
"7 Rings" — Ariana Grande
"Hard Place" — H.E.R.
"Talk" — Khalid
"Old Town Road" — Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
"Truth Hurts" — Lizzo
"Sunflower" — Post Malone & Swae Lee

Album Of The Year:
i,i — Bon Iver
Norman F***ing Rockwell! — Lana Del Rey
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish
thank u, next — Ariana Grande
I Used To Know Her — H.E.R.
— Lil Nas X
Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) — Lizzo
Father Of The Bride — Vampire Weekend

Song Of The Year:
"Always Remember Us This Way" — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
"Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish O'Connell & Finneas O'Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
"Bring My Flowers Now" — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
"Hard Place" — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris, H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)
"Lover" — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
"Norman F***ing Rockwell" — Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
"Someone You Loved" — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)
"Truth Hurts" — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)

Best New Artist:
Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Maggie Rogers
Tank And The Bangas

Best Pop Solo Performance:
"Spirit" — Beyoncé 
"Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish
"7 Rings" — Ariana Grande
"Truth Hurts" — Lizzo
"You Need To Calm Down" — Taylor Swift

Best Pop Vocal Album:
The Lion King: The Gift — Beyoncé
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish
thank u, next — Ariana Grande
No. 6 Collaborations Project — Ed Sheeran
Lover  — Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording:
"Linked" — Bonobo
"Got To Keep On" — The Chemical Brothers
"Piece Of Your Heart" — Meduza Featuring Goodboys
"Underwater" — RÜFÜS DU SOL
"Midnight Hour" — Skrillex & Boys Noize Featuring Ty Dolla $ign

Best Rock Album:
Amo — Bring Me The Horizon
Social Cues — Cage The Elephant
In The End — The Cranberries
Trauma — I Prevail
Feral Roots — Rival Sons

Best R&B Performance:
"Love Again" — Daniel Caesar & Brandy
"Could've Been" — H.E.R. Featuring Bryson Tiller
"Exactly How I Feel" — Lizzo Featuring Gucci Mane
"Roll Some Mo"  — Lucky Daye
"Come Home" — Anderson .Paak Featuring André 3000

Best Rap Album:
Revenge Of The Dreamers III — Dreamville
Championships — Meek Mill
I Am > I Was — 21 Savage
Igor — Tyler, The Creator
The Lost Boy — YBN Cordae

Best Country Song:
"Bring My Flowers Now" — Brandie Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
"Girl Goin' Nowhere" — Jeremy Bussey & Ashley McBryde, songwriters (Ashley McBryde)
"It All Comes Out In The Wash" — Miranda Lambert, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
"Some Of It" — Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde & Bobby Pinson, songwriters (Eric Church)
"Speechless" — Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Dan + Shay)

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Thirsty Ghost — Sara Gazarek
Love & Liberation — Jazzmeia Horn
Alone Together — Catherine Russell
12 Little Spells — Esperanza Spalding
Screenplay — The Tierney Sutton Band

Best Gospel Album:
Long Live Love — Kirk Franklin
Goshen — Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers
Tunnel Vision — Gene Moore
Settle Here — William Murphy
Something's Happening! A Christmas Album — CeCe Winans

Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album:
X 100PRE — Bad Bunny
Oasis — J Balvin & Bad Bunny
Indestructible — Flor De Toloache
Almadura — iLe
El Mal Querer — Rosalía

Best Americana Album:
Years To Burn — Calexico And Iron & Wine
Who Are You Now — Madison Cunningham
Oklahoma — Keb' Mo'
Tales Of America — J.S. Ondara
Walk Through Fire — Yola

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
Beastie Boys Book — (Various Artists) Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Scott Sherratt & Dan Zitt, producers
Becoming — Michelle Obama
I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years As A Two-Time Cancer Survivor — Eric Alexandrakis
Mr. Know-It-All — John Waters
Sekou Andrews & The String Theory — Sekou Andrews & The String Theory

Best Song Written For Visual Media:
"The Ballad Of The Lonesome Cowboy" — Randy Newman, songwriter (Chris Stapleton), Track from: Toy Story 4
"Girl In The Movies" — Dolly Parton & Linda Perry, songwriters (Dolly Parton), Track from: Dumplin'
"I'll Never Love Again" (Film Version) — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Aaron Raitiere songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper), Track from: A Star Is Born
"Spirit" — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie & Ilya Salmanzadeh, songwriters (Beyoncé), Track from: The Lion King
"Suspirium" — Thom Yorke, songwriter (Thom Yorke), Track from: Suspiria

Best Music Film:
Homecoming — Beyoncé
Remember My Name — David Crosby
Birth Of The Cool — (Miles Davis)
Shangri-La — (Various Artists)
Anima — Thom Yorke
The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards—music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, "like" Recording Academy on Facebook, and join the Recording Academy's social communities on InstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Groundbreaking artists shine on new collections

There is something for just about every listener via a wide range of new releases available this fall.

Artist: Sarah Brightman
Title: HYMN: Sarah Brightman in Concert (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Sarah Brightman, Idina Menzel
Tell me more: A year after Sarah Brightman's 12th studio album Hymn was released, the multi-format companion release HYMN: Sarah Brightman in Concert has been issued and provides a fully immersive experience for fans of the English soprano. Indeed, the visual/audio recording was captured at the Festspielhaus in the Bavarian Alps; the two-act performance features a musical film in the first act followed by a live concert. Brightman's three-octave voice remains a wonder and is used to perfection as she is accompanied by her band as well as the Bavarian Philharmonic Orchestra, a 50-voice choir and the Ludwig Ensemble of dancers. Guest performers on the title include Japanese keyboardist Yoshiki, and singers Vincent Niclo, Mario Frangoulis and Narcis. Brightman's signature vocals hit their mark on the rich mix of material, ranging from classical crossover selections ("Sogni," "Figlio Perduto") to Broadway hits (particularly "Phantom Of The Opera") and rock- and pop-mining selections (Brian May's "Who Wants To Live Forever" and La Bionda's "There For Me"). Beyond the stunning audio and visual featured on the title is the power of the choreography of dancers, use of state-of-the-art lighting and other theatrical effects that add power to the concept film and concert that follows. One of the early highlights of the film is where Brightman performs "Beautiful" near a reflecting pool, and the bending of her image in the creatively-lit water offers an artful look to the performance. Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray include behind the scenes footage, interviews and photo galleries. HYMN: Sarah Brightman in Concert is available on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD and via digital formats. Information:

Artist: Harry Nilsson
Title: Losst and Founnd (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Randy Newman, Ringo Starr, Jimmy Webb
Tell me more: This year has seen a slew of deluxe reissues, concert recordings and lost treasures, none greater than the final album from legendary singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Set for release on Nov. 22, 2019  more than 25 years after he was struck down by a fatal heart attack at the age of 52  Nilsson's aptly-titled Losst and Founnd finds the late American artist joined by a number of top-tier guests on nine original songs along with his versions of Yoko Ono's inviting "Listen, the Snow is Falling" and Jimmy Webb's beautiful "What Does a Woman See in a Man." The signature sound that had Nilsson scoring a number of radio hits in the late '60s and early '70s abounds across the new disc, from the New Orleans rhythm and blues romp of "Animal Farm" and infectious title track to the tender "Love is the Answer." Guests on the outstanding album include famed drummer Jim Keltner (Ringo Starr, John Lennnon, George Harrison), pianist Jimmy Webb, bassist Klaus Voormann, and Harry's son Kiefo Nilsson. Album producer Mark Hudson is featured everywhere, contributing vocals, percussion, guitar and bass guitar to the ambitious project; his poignant liner notes add depth to the collection. Information:

Artist: David Ball
Title: Thinkin' Problem (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: George Jones, Merle Haggard, Uncle Walt's Band
Tell me more: The 25th Anniversary edition of singer-songwriter David Ball's 1994 hit album Thinkin' Problem includes all 10 songs from that LP as well as eight bonus tracks adding up to an essential collection celebrating traditional country music. Ball, who had previously been a member of the Austin-based trio Uncle Walt's Band, found much-deserved commercial success with Thinkin' Problem, which featured the title track (his first major hit) as well as subsequent hit singles "When The Thought of You Catches Up With Me," "Look What Followed Me Home," "What Do You Want With This Love" and "Honky Tonk Healin'." Listening to the album in 2019, it's easy to believe that all of the songs could have been radio staples, especially the lovely ballad "12-12-84." The bonus material shines as well, with the sparse 2019 acoustic take of "What Do You Want With This Love," spirited "Give Me Back My Heart" (a 1993 studio demo) and the breezy "Circle of Friends" and "I've Got My Baby On My Mind" among my favorites. Information:

Artist: Kinky Friedman
Title: Resurrection (Echo Hill Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson 
Tell me more: Texas-based singer-songwriter Kinky Friedman has released a profound album of original songs that serve as a bona fide reminder of the power of music and song craft. Resurrection is an album that shines a welcome light on Friedman, 73, who is writing and crafting songs that draw on his life experiences along with his ever-keen observations at the world around him. The songs have an authentic and timeless feel to be sure, from the utterly beautiful moodscape he paints on "I Love You When It Rains" and acoustic tapestry of "The Bridge That Wouldn't Burn" to the Latin-flavored "Al! Mariachi," countrified blues of the Kris Kristofferson-flavored "Resurrection" and Texas-styled ballad that looks at a beloved pet ("A Dog in the Sky"). Friedman's deep baritone is the perfect instrument to lead the charge when unleashing his songs, and the album is bolstered by the production talents of Larry Campbell and guest vocals from Willie Nelson on the title track. This is one of 2019's outstanding new albums, one that will resonate as deeply generations from now as it does today. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sights and Sounds: Annual "Mystery Science Theater 3000" Turkey Day Marathon returns this Thanksgiving from Shout! Factory TV

What would Thanksgiving be without a little comedy to go with all that Turkey and Pumpkin Pie?

Shout! Factory TV to Host 2019 Mystery
Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon

Annual Holiday Streaming Marathon Invites Fans to Spend Thanksgiving with their Robot Friends 

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey—cinematic turkey, that is! This Thanksgiving, crack open some canned wassail and join your fellow MSTies for the beloved annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon! Hosted by everyone’s favorite robot friends, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, this year’s marathon features six classic episodes of MST3K hand-picked by series creator Joel Hodgson.

Starting at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT on Thursday, November 28, the holiday marathon will showcase six classic MST3K episodes, as well as new episode intros featuring Tom Servo and Crow. Visit for info on how to watch the Turkey Day marathon and participate in Turkey Day festivities during the holiday week by using the hashtag #MST3KTurkeyDay.  

For those who can’t get enough helpings of cheesy cinema, Shout! Factory TV will whet your appetite with the launch of the dedicated Mystery Science Theater 3000 Twitch channel! Leading up to the start of the Turkey Day marathon, this new channel will launch with a full week of classic MST3K episodes livestreamed in chronological order, starting at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT on Wednesday, November 20th. Following the Turkey Day marathon, the channel will remain a dedicated home for classic MST3K episodes and related programming. Visit for more info. 

For updates on all things Mystery Science Theater 3000, follow @MST3K, @JoelGHodgson, @ShoutFactoryTV and @ShoutFactory on Twitter, “Like” on Facebook, and follow @MST3K on Instagram. 

To keep up to date on all MST3K news, visit  

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Stellar releases showcase extraordinary artists

Several reissues as well as a terrific greatest hit and a previously-unreleased compilation of live performances make for a special crop of new highly-recommended collections available now.

Artist: Michael Ubaldini
Title: Acoustic Rumble: 20th Anniversary Legacy Edition (bLACKWATER rECORDS)
You might like if you enjoy: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen
Tell me more: Although Michael Ubaldini's aptly-titled masterwork Acoustic Rumble was released back in 1999, the album's enduring exploration of social injustice, political corruption and the modern world's uncertain future ring as true now as they did two decades ago. So it's little surprise that the 20th Anniversary Legacy Edition of Acoustic Rumble is one of 2019's best and most important reissues. Bolstered by the inclusion of two new bonus tracks (the Americana-flavored "All in God's Name" and countrified "Armageddon Blues"), "Acoustic Rumble" continues to be a revelation with its well-aimed and insightful lyrics along with Ubaldini's powerful voice; the only accompaniment is that of his fiery acoustic guitar and blasting harmonica (the exception is Julie Harris providing some background vocals on "Armageddon Blues"). From the literate fire of "The 7th Trumpet" and inspirational anthem "Badge of Freedom" to the nuanced grace of "Shadows & Ghosts" and the articulate expose of lust on "World Comes Crashin' Down," every song here hits its mark. While Ubaldini certainly takes aim at the modern world's pitfalls and challenges, there is simultaneously a strong undercurrent of hope that calls out for every living soul to celebrate this short run we all get at life. "Acoustic Rumble" delivers on the late Los Angeles Times music writer Mike Boehm's 1999 review of the original release that declared: "Better than Bruce Springsteen at probing the national soul; his 'Acoustic Rumble' album goes one better then The Ghost of Tom Joad'.  This writer couldn't agree more. Information:

Artist: Anny Celsi
Title: Kaleidoscope Heart: 12 Golden Hits (Ragazza Music)
You might like if you enjoy: Aimee Mann, the Bangles, psychedelic-styled power pop
Tell me more: Songstress Anny Celsi's knack for writing and recording memorable songs is showcased across Kaleidoscope Heart: 12 Golden Hits, a fantastic collection that includes remixed and remastered tracks from her three previous albums; a newly-recorded gem is included as well. The dozen stellar songs recall Aimee Mann's ability to effortlessly spin inviting nuggets that resonate amidst swirling timeless song craft. There are songs that soar in the tradition of the best of power pop, notably the 12-string Rickenbacker guitar-enriched "Sideways Rain," Paisley Underground-mining "Tangle-Free World" and crunchier "Little Big Dress." Celsi is just as effective singing more probing tunes (the wonderful baroque pop of "Own Sweet Time," affecting "Oh Baby, Is The Circus Back in Town?" and harmonies-filled "Kaleidoscope Heart"). Other standouts on the disc include the euphoric '60s-styled "Au Revoir, My Darling," shining folk rocker "The Night She Learned To Drive" and soulful "Now You Can Hurt Me." Information:

Artist: Uncle Walt's Band
Title: An American in Texas (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Dawes, the Jayhawks
Tell me more: Omnivore Recordings continues to reintroduce under-the-radar and forgotten gems to modern-day audiences. Listen no further than the glorious second album from Uncle Walt's Band. "An American in Texas" was originally released back in 1980, and the mix of early Americana and groundbreaking three-part vocal harmonies sounds amazing  on the new reissue, which includes the original 12-track release as well as 13 bonus cuts. One of the most popular acoustic bands in Austin, Texas during the late 1970s and early '80s, the "An American in Texas" reissue goes a long way to help lovers of roots music get a proper introduction to the talents of Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood and David Ball. "Too Far To Fall" is a particularly gorgeous song, and the bonus track "Hard to Bear" features some decidedly amazing vocal harmonies. There are so many infectious and luxurious songs positioned across the album, ranking from the breezy "As the Crow Flies" and jazz-tinged "You Keep Me Holding On" to Appalachia-rooted "Green Tree" and Tex-Mex beauty of "For The First Time." The expanded edition of "An American in Texas" is available on LP, audio CD and digital formats. 

Artist: Neil Young
Title: Songs For Judy (Shakey Pictures Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young's "Harvest" and "Harvest Moon" albums
Tell me more: Songs For Judy is not only the debut release on Neil Young's own Shakey Pictures Records label, it's also a terrific must-hear album featuring cuts from the artist's 1976 solo tour. Twenty-two songs recorded at various tour dates, the disc is sonic nirvana for fans of Young's original gems written and recorded in the early part of his career. Favorites abound; he delves into Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul," the reflective "Heart of Gold," as well as the soul-stirring "After the Gold Rush" and "A Man Needs a Maid." Later there are stunning takes on "The Needle and the Damage Done," "Pocahontas" and "Sugar Mountain." As if all of that wasn't enough paydirt, the disc also features "No One Seems To Know," which is a song not officially released on any album by Young until now. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Alvin Lee ES-335 ‘69 Festival - released worldwide by Gibson

As regular readers of my posts know, Alvin Lee was one of my favorite artists. After seeing Ten Years After's performance in the film "Woodstock," I sought out and began getting as many of his albums as I could. Those included his albums with TYA, as well as Ten Years Later and his solo efforts.

You can read my tribute to Alvin Lee that was published following his death in 2013 here. That article includes my re-posting of an article (published 25 years ago today) from The Orange County Register featuring my interview with the legendary singer-guitarist leading up to his performance at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. 

Read the media release below for details on the release of Gibson's "Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival" electric guitar. Very cool indeed! Robert Kinsler

 ‘Alvin Lee ES-335 ‘69 Festival’
Available Worldwide today, November 5, 2019

Blues-Rock Legend’s Signature “Big Red” Guitar From Breakout Festival Performance Released In Celebration Of
50th Anniversary Of Woodstock

“My famous Gibson 335 that I bought for £45 in Nottingham was the best investment I ever made.”
--Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee playing his Gibson 335.
Photo credit: Dan Garson
NASHVILLE, TN (November 5, 2019) Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, has announced the worldwide release of the new, limited-edition Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’. The leading guitar brand has created the exact ES-335 guitar in Aged Sixties Cherry. The striking guitar, which Lee called “Big Red” launched his performance to legendary status while showcasing his lightning-fast guitar playing at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock this year and Lee’s breakout festival performance, the historically accurate guitar is officially available now at Authorized Gibson Dealers worldwide. For more information, visit

When Ten Years After took their heavy, manic blues-rock to the stage at Woodstock in 1969, the band unleashed a performance that came to define not just the legendary festival, but the spirit and sound of a movement. Following their set, which ended in a blistering, masterful rendition of “I’m Going Home,” Ten Years After catapulted to worldwide stardom and Alvin Lee rose to join Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards as one of the most influential guitar gods of the time. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, Gibson is proud to present this Alvin Lee ES-335 ‘69 Festival’ guitar, built to the exact specifications of the guitar Lee used during his jaw-dropping, festival performance. The Gibson Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitar includes all of the stickers, aging, special modifications and mojo of the original. Only 50 of these limited-edition Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitars will be sold worldwide.

The Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival guitar
Watch and share the following video of the new Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitar featuring Leo Lyons (Ten Years After, co-founder and bassist), Loraine Burgon (Alvin Lee’s partner 1963-1973) and Barrie Cadogan (Little Barrie, Primal Scream, The The), Here.

"Really happy to hear that Gibson guitars is doing a limited edition 335 in honour of Alvin Lee. Alvin was a brilliant guitar player that became famous all around the world with his band-Ten Years After. He was a great friend of mine and Black Sabbath, he made a major impact on thousands of guitar players globally-including me! Thank you, Gibson - Alvin well deserves it!!”
--Tony Iommi
“Alvin was one of the most exciting Rock/blues guitarists of his generation. His red customised Gibson ES 335 not only gave him his signature sound but was also a part of his iconic stage personality.”
--Leo Lyons (Ten Years After co-founder and bassist 1966–2013)
Born in Nottingham, England, Alvin Lee began playing guitar at age 13 and formed the core of what would become the band Ten Years After by age 15. Originally influenced by his parent's prolific collection of jazz and blues records, it was the advent of Rock ’n’ Roll that truly ignited Lee’s interest and creativity with guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore providing his inspiration.
With Lee as guitarist, singer and songwriter, Ten Years After (TYA) first toured America in 1968 at the invitation of the legendary Fillmore promoter Bill Graham. American audiences were immediately captivated by the group’s innovative mix of blues, swing, jazz and rock alongside Lee's distinctive, soulful and rapid-fire guitar playing.
Alvin Lee’s groundbreaking, virtuoso guitar performance at Woodstock festival in 1969--captured live on film in the documentary of the festival--remains a gold standard of influence today for many guitarists and continues to introduce Lee to new music fans all over the world.
Listen to Alvin Lee:

For more information about Alvin Lee:
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Gibson Brands, the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TNGibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger and Gibson Pro Audio division brands Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and StantonGibson Brands is dedicated to quality, innovation and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands. Learn more at and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.