Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sights and Sounds: The Gourds, Nick 13, Marcia Ball, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

Upcoming albums and tours abound. Some recent releases are posted below.

The Gourds to perform at Americana Music Conference on October 12, 2011 at Mercy Lounge in Nashville

37-date National Tour begins on Monday, August 1

New Album Old Mad Joy recorded at Levon Helm Studios with producer Larry Campbell

Available September 13, 2011

The hard-touring band The Gourds - whom the New York Times called "one of the best performing bands in America" - are gearing up for a 37-date summer and fall tour. The band has earned a reputation for incredible concerts. Frontman Kevin Russell has described the live show as “kind of a cross between a revival, a house party, a pep rally, and a pow wow.”

The Gourds will also be performing during this year’s Americana Music Conference in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on October 12, 2011.

The tour will give audiences a chance to hear new songs from the band’s Vanguard Records debut Old Mad Joy created at Levon Helm Studios with producer Larry Campbell (Musical Director of Helm’s ‘Midnight Rambles’ and formerly with Bob Dylan). Old Mad Joy will be available on September 13, 2011.

In a recent review, the Houston Press raved, “Don't be surprised if they hit 80 home runs this year as they tour hard behind what will likely be the most important album of their storied career.”

The band has played roughly 150 shows a year since 1998, so they possess an intuition with one another as performers and an utter command of the stage. Initial tour dates below with more to be added.

The Gourds 2011 National Tour
8.01 The Golden Light Cantina - Amarillo, TX
8.02 KTAOS Solar Center - Taos, NM
8.03 Crested Butte Mountain Resort - Crested Butte, CO
8.05 Knotty Pine Supper Club - Victor, ID
8.06 Northern Rockies Folk Festival - Hailey, ID
8.07 Choppers - Big Sky, MT
8.20 Nutty Brown Cafe - Austin, TX
9.09 The Compound Grill - Phoenix, AZ
9.10 The Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
9.13 Echo - Los Angeles, CA
9.14 Moe's Alley - Santa Cruz, CA
9.15 The Palms - Winters, CA
9.16 Slim's - San Francisco, CA
9.17 Lobero Theatre - Santa Barbara, CA
9.22 Courville's - Beaumont, TX
9.23 Threadgill's - Austin, TX
9.24 Kessler Theater - Dallas, TX
9.28 The Linda - Albany, NY
9.29 The Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
10.01 Sullivan Hall - New York, NY
10.04 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
10.06 The State Theatre - Falls Church, VA
10.07 Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
10.08 Albino Skunkfest - Greer, SC
10.12 Mercy Lounge - Nashville, TN – Americana Music Conference 

10.14 TBA - Houston, TX
10.27 Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA
10.29 Harrigan Centennial Hall - Sitka, AK
11.05 Discover Downtown Music Fest - Corpus Christi, TX
11.11 The Henry Strater Theatre - Durango, CO
11.12 Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO

11.14 TBA - Lincoln, NE
11.17 High Noon Saloon - Madison, WI
11.18 Shank Hall - Milwaukee, WI
11.19 Martyr's - Chicago, IL
11.20 Lafayette Brewing Company - Lafayette, LA
12.10 The Paramount Theatre - Austin, TX


Southern California country/Americana musician Nick 13 has announced additional dates to his much anticipated US tour. Heartfelt singer-songwriter Audra Mae will tour in support in August and former frontman for The Juliana Theory and thriving Americana artist Brett Detar will support in September and October. Tour dates and ticket info can be found here.

Hitting the road in support of his critically acclaimed, self-titled debut, Nick 13 will entertain packed venues across the country beginning in August with his blissful amalgam of honky-tonk, roots, country western and American music.

Known by many as the frontman for the internationally celebrated dark rock trio Tiger Army, Nick 13 is blazing new trails as a country music artist to the delight of fans and critics alike. In a recent interview with, Nick 13 talks about his passion for vintage country and his transition from rock star to country artist. “It doesn't make sense on the surface to some folks how I could come from that sort of background musically and be as into country as I am, but that's the real connection. It's raw emotion, and it's honest. That's the thing they really share.” Read the entire interview here:

Critics are abuzz with Nick 13’s new solo album, which recently entered Billboard charts at #132, #2 Heatseekers and #22 Country Albums, calling it “a set of stylishly evocative originals” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “a gorgeous tribute to the best country formulas out of Nashville's golden music era in the 1960's” (

Check out what other critics are saying!

“Nick 13′s brand of barroom Bakersfield country is nothing short of pure enjoyment.” –

“His self-titled solo debut is a beaut of dyed-in-the-wool hillbilly and honky-tonk, performed straight as an arrow with the skill of a master practitioner.” –

“Unlike anything currently on Country radio, this album leaves me close to speechless.” –

“Nick 13 has made one of the hands down, most solid country-western albums in a very long time.” –

“It’s worth your time to listen to the entire album from beginning to end” –

“It’s as though Nick 13 has found his true voice in country music and his dreamy crooning was made for his new honky-tonk, hillbilly digs.” –

“it’s good and as country as you can get.” –

Don’t miss country music’s newest star on tour this fall!


Nick 13 Tour Dates:
Aug 11 - Velvet Jones - Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 12 - SLO Brewing - San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug 13 - The Alley - Reno, NV
Aug 15 - Aladdin Theatre - Portland, OR
Aug 16 - Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA
Aug 18 - Amoeba – San Francisco, CA
Aug 19 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
Aug 20 - Rio Theatre - Santa Cruz, CA
Sept 12 - The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 13 - Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Sept 15 - Club Dada – Dallas, TX
Sept 16 - Continental Club – Houston, TX
Sept 17 - Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio, TX
Sept 18 - Austin City Limits Music Festival - Austin, TX
Sept 21 - Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Sept 22 - Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Sept 24 - The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
Sept 26 - Firehouse 13 – Providence, RI
Sept 27 - Mohawks Place – Buffalo, NY
Sept 28 - Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights, OH
Sept 29 - Southgate House – Newport, KY
Sept 30 – TBA – Chicago, IL
Oct 1 - Shank Hall – Milwaukee, WI
Oct 2 - 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 4 - Knuckleheads Saloon - Kansas City, MO
Oct 5 - Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
Oct 7 - Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 8 - State Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT

For More Information:


"Based in Austin and steeped in New Orleans, Marcia Ball plumbs the richness of both musical meccas. From rootsy swamp pop and blues-drenched boogie woogie to languid ballads, Ball is equally comfortable with brash roadhouse romps and caressing love songs." -USA Today

Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball will celebrate the release of her new Alligator Records CD, ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS, on Friday, August 5, 2011 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Ball's groove-laden New Orleans R&B, heart-wrenching ballads and driving Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite of music fans all over the world. Her music mixes equal parts simmering soul fervor and rollicking Crescent City piano. Over the course of her career, Ball's infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional songs have won her a loud and loyal fan base all over the world. ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS is Ball's fifth release for Alligator. Three of her previous four CDs have received Grammy nominations. Ball has also collected seven Blues Music Awards since 2001, including the 2009 "Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Of The Year" award, and was voted "Female Blues
Artist Of The Year" and "Most Outstanding Musician--Piano" in the 2009 Living Blues Readers' Poll. Ball was inducted into the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Concert information is as follows:

Date: Friday, August 5, 2011
Venue: The Coach House
Address: 33157 Camino Capistrano
City: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Phone: 949-496-8930
Showtime: 8 p.m.
Ticket price: $18
*Also appearing: Coco Montoya

Produced by famed songwriter, musician and producer Gary Nicholson (Delbert McClinton, Wynonna Judd, T. Graham Brown), ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS finds Marcia Ball at a creative peak. Ball wrote or co-wrote every song-something she had never done over the course of her forty-year career. Throughout the proceedings, her stellar musicians add power and nuance to the music, perfectly complementing Ball's expert piano playing, slice-of-life lyrics and melodic, storytelling vocals.

Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother's collection. From her aunt, Marcia heard more modern and popular music. But it wasn't until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the power of soul music. One day in 1962, she sat amazed while Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen.

In 1970, Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn't long before she was performing in the city's clubs with a progressive country band called Freda and The Firedogs, while beginning to hone her songwriting skills. It was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. "Once I found out about Professor Longhair," recalls Ball, "I knew I had found my direction."

When the band broke up in 1974, Marcia launched her solo career, signing to Capitol Records and debuting with the country-rock album Circuit Queen in 1978. Discovering and honing her own sound, she released six critically acclaimed titles on the Rounder label during the 1980s and 1990s. Her recordings and perfor-
mances received glowing reviews in major music publications, and Marcia was featured on leading television and radio programs, including Austin City Limits and NPR's Fresh Air and Piano Jazz.

Since the release of her Alligator debut Presumed Innocent in 2001, Ball has received more popular and critical acclaim than ever before. 2003's So Many Rivers continued the push forward, with Billboard declaring, "Ball is a consummate pro-a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Powerful. Righteous." 2005's Live! Down The Road received equally impressive praise. The New Orleans Times-Picayune said simply, "Bayou boogie has a queen and her name is Marcia Ball." Billboard said, "Peace, Love & BBQ is a welcome ray of sunshine. This is a potent batch of tunes, highlighted by Ball's keyboard mastery."

Living the life she loves, Marcia has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. "Forty years of roadside attractions and the life of roaming 'round has never worn thin," she proudly says. "I love it when the wheels start rolling, when the band starts playing, when the crowds start dancing." Now, with ROADSIDE
and a long list of high profile tour dates, Ball will bring her blend of Texas roadhouse boogie and Louisiana swamp blues to fans around the globe. "What's not to like about Marcia Ball?" asked The Austin Chronicle. "Scrumptious, Southern-fried boogies, blues, and ballads with the infectious street beat of New Orleans at the core." Clearly, in whatever city she performs or wherever her songs play, there is no better roadside attraction than the foot-stomping, soul-stirring music of the great Marcia Ball.

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers release 'Gift Horse' on Vanguard Records on Oct. 11, 2011

North American 'Boys Only (Plus Girls)' Headline Tour Kicks Off September 27, 2011!

Massachusetts rockers Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, vocals), Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, vocals) and Sam “Steamer” Getz (guitars, vocals)— return this fall with Gift Horse, their second studio release on Vanguard Records, available on October 11, 2011. Produced by Mark Weinberg, Gift Horse brings the rich legacy of rock & roll into the present tense with 11 real-life narratives about love, family, and what it means to be an American today.

Stephen Kellogg chose to title the album Gift Horse for a clear cut thematic reason. “There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’” Kellogg says, “which translated as showing appreciation for what you have.’ That’s exactly what this record’s about - appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the first single and opening track, “Gravity.” Kellogg writes, “Gravity you’re knocking me out/ You’re shakin’ me up till I twist and I shout/ Oh, Gravity it’s okay in the clouds/ But I love it right here with my feet on the ground.”

Leading up to the release of the album, SK6ERS embark on a North American headline tour with Jon McLaughlin beginning September 27 in Birmingham, AL. Additional stops include Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. See full list of tour dates below.

With Gift Horse Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers make a bold statement with a simple message. If you are ready to embrace the core values of life wrapped in timeless rock & roll then this is the record you’ve been waiting for.

Gift Horse Track Listing:
1. Gravity
2. Who We Are, Who We’ll Become
3. Long Days, Fast Years
4. 1993
5. Charlie and Annie
6. Songs For Lovers
7. We Belong Here
8. Watch You Grow
9. My Favorite Place
10. Roots and Wings
11. Noelle, Noelle

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers – Boys Only (Plus Girls) Tour
September 27 @ WorkPlay, Birmingham, AL (with Amy Lennard)
September 28 @ The Social, Orlando, FL (with Amy Lennard)
September 29 @ Vinyl, Atlanta, GA (with Amy Lennard)
September 30 @ Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC (with Amy Lennard)
October 1 @ Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC (with Amy Lennard)
October 3 @ Exit/In, Nashville, TN (with Amy Lennard)
October 5 @ Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI (with Amy Lennard)
October 6 @ Varsity Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (with Amy Lennard)
October 7 @ Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI (with Amy Lennard)
October 8 @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL (with Amy Lennard)
October 9 @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL (with Amy Lennard)
October 11 @ Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA (with Amy Lennard)
October 12 @ The Egg, Albany, NY (with Amy Lennard)
October 13 @ Paradise, Boston, MA (with Amy Lennard)
October 14 @ Higher Ground, Burlington, VT (with Amy Lennard)
October 15 @ Iron Horse, Northampton, MA (with Amy Lennard)
October 25 @ Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, IN (*Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers and Chris Koza ONLY*)
October 26 @ Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI (with Chris Koza)
October 27 @ Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH
October 28 @ The Basement, Columbus, OH (with Chris Koza)
October 29 @ Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI (with Chris Koza)
October 30 @ Lee's Palace, Toronto, ONT
October 31 @ Water Street Music Hall, Rochester, NY
November 2 @ Café 210, State College, PA (with Deep River)
November 3 @ World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA (with Deep River)
November 4 @ World Cafe Live, Wilmington, DE (with Deep River)
November 5 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC (with Deep River)
November 25 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
November 26 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
November 29 @ Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO (with Graham Colton)
November 30 @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS (with Graham Colton)
December 1 @ Fox Theater, Boulder, CO (with Graham Colton)
December 2 @ Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO (with Graham Colton)
December 3 @ State Room, Salt Lake City, UT
December 4 @The Reef, Boise, ID
December 6 @ Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
December 7 @ Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
December 8 @ Slim's, San Francisco, CA
December 9 @ Key Club, Los Angeles, CA
December 10 @ Winston's, San Diego, CA
December 13 @ HOB-Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX
December 14 @ The Parish, Austin, TX
December 15 @ White Rabbit, San Antonio, TX
December 16 @ Capital, Houston, TX

For more information, visit

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicago proves less than sterling

This review was originally published on July 29, 2011 on the Soundcheck blog on the Orange County Register Web site.

Pacific 2011: Chicago proves less than sterling

Catching Chicago in concert always seems to be a hit-and-miss affair. On one hand, the group consistently performs solid versions of its long parade of hits in enthusiastic fashion that pleases fans. On the other, it can be hard to embrace the long-running band because Chicago’s performances are the sort of freewheeling affairs that fail to soar like those from other classic acts that still command top billing.
Indeed, I’ve seen a number of veteran acts this month – Steely Dan, the Monkees, Paul Rodgers – and all of them delivered shows stronger than Chicago’s sold-out affair at Pacific Amphitheatre Thursday night (July 28, 2011).

Founding member Robert Lamm‘s vocals no longer pack the power they once did, so a number of other players in the group share singing duties, which ultimately leaves no strong frontman to bring focus to their live shows. There’s certainly no doubt about the greatness of Chicago’s best songs (“Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “Saturday in the Park”), yet it can be a tougher stretch to champion over-sweetened ballads like “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “Baby, What a Big Surprise.”
In the end, despite persistent doubts about Chicago being one of rock’s finer forces, there was plenty to enjoy during the ensemble’s 125-minute concert in Costa Mesa.

If there was a centerpiece at the band’s show it was the three-member horn section, this time featuring founding member Lee Loughnane on trumpet, with Nick Lane filling in for James Pankow on trombone and Ray Herrmann substituting for Walt Parazaider on woodwinds. They had plenty of chances to shine throughout the night, with Herrmann’s flute solo on the beautiful “Colour My World” and the threesome’s collective work for “Old Days” and “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” among the outstanding parts of the concert.
The arrangement of “Saturday in the Park” was also effective, with Lamm carrying the tune while performing on a portable over-the-shoulder keyboard. The audience seemed to finally be in the mood to get on their feet and have a good time, singing and clapping along.

Indeed, by the time Chicago got to its night-ending “25 or 6 to 4,” the entire crowd was up and cheering the nine men as they performed their most powerful song of the set. Singer-bassist Jason Scheff handled the majority of the high-flying tenor notes while guitarist Keith Howland unleashed a torrent of speedy notes on his guitar.

But one last thing: I hope Chicago quickly decides to never perform a Christmas song in July again. With the band set to release a holiday album later this year, a Christmas tree was wheeled out on stage and Howland sang a rock version of “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.” The moment made no sense and just didn’t work.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paul Rodgers celebrates legacy with hits-heavy show at Pacific Amphitheatre

Pacific 2011: Paul Rodgers packs in the hits

Review and photo by Robert Kinsler; the review was originally posted on The Orange County Register Web site.

Time has been kind to Paul Rodgers. While many of his contemporaries have lost most (or all) of their voices, ultimately becoming parodies of their youthful rock-star selves, Rodgers’ talents and looks have hardly changed since I first caught him fronting the Firm in the mid-’80s. I went to that show specifically to catch Jimmy Page, who performed several solos while seated and played terribly – but I came away awed by Rodgers’ talents as a singer and frontman.

At Pacific Amphitheatre Wednesday night (July 27, 2011), the 61-year-old Brit, who fronted Free and Bad Company in the ’70s as well as a resurrected Queen this past decade, celebrated his long career with a heavy-on-hits 15-song set before an enthusiastic crowd.

Those on hand who love hard-hitting classic rock were in the right place to be sure. Hardly any Free or Bad Company staples were excluded, and the headliner and his solid four-man band rocked hard while never letting any individual song’s dynamics or groove slip away.

Rodgers, 61, has maintained a voice aptly suited to material that blends British blues and hard rock, and he proved that over and over again Wednesday. His ensemble leaped out of the gate with a charging “Can’t Get Enough,” immediately getting the crowd on their feet. The next selection, blues-rock gem “Honey Child,” may not have been as well-known, yet its forceful delivery, which kept the audience standing, matched the performance on the outstanding Bad Company: Live at Wembley set issued earlier this year.

There were shifts in mood and approach throughout the 90-minute concert. For “Seagull,” Rodgers started alone on acoustic guitar, then lead guitarist Howard Leese came out, also on acoustic, and added some nice lead lines for additional texture. Finally, the rest of the band emerged and the song continued to build to a vibrant finish.

His instrumental work while standing at the piano (“Bad Company”) or offering up a quick harmonica solo (“Feel Like Makin’ Love”) provided deeper layers to admittedly familiar material. He also had no trouble getting the audience to become an essential player in the proceedings, as the last verse and chorus in “Shooting Star” were sung completely a capella by Rodgers, bolstered by the crowd and his band mates.

Rodgers rewarded fans with a strong encore, offering up the Free classic “All Right Now” (Leese’s solo killed) and the seldom-heard “Walk in My Shadow,” a Free song (the first ever penned by Rodgers) that showcased the singer’s lifelong love affair with the rich junction where rock and blues meet.

Setlist: Paul Rodgers at Pacific Amphitheatre, July 27, 2011

Main set: Can’t Get Enough / Honey Child / Run with the Pack / Ready for Love / Mr. Big / Feel Like Makin’ Love / Bad Company / Seagull / Burnin’ Sky / Fire and Water / Shooting Star / Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy / Movin’ On
Encore: All Right Now / Walk in My Shadow

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Hank Williams, Rory Gallagher, Jellyfish, The Deep Dark Woods

Hank Williams, Jellyfish and The Deep Dark Woods are all set to be featured on forthcoming releases. Here are some recent highlights of exciting updates that have arrived in my stuffed inbox. Enjoy!


This Unique Package Includes The Very First Recordings Of Williams At Age 15 Plus Recordings From His First Syndicated Radio Series in Restored Audio and Much More

Time Life and the Estate of Hank Williams announced this week the September 13, 2011 release of newly discovered historic Williams’ recordings that are meticulously restored with state of the art technology. Hank Williams: The Legend Begins is a 3-CD package that offers one disc entitled “Rare And Unreleased,” which contains the earliest recordings of a 15-year-old Williams and four songs from a home recording in 1940. The other two CDs are from Williams’ first syndicated radio show in 1949, Health And Happiness, that have been restored using the technology that earned so many plaudits for the Grammy nominated project, The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus! This highly developed sound technology delivers Williams’ performances as they were originally heard more than sixty years ago.

"Talk about a discovery!,” exclaims Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams. “The first recording of my dad when he was fifteen was given to me decades ago, and then the 1940 home recordings followed a few years later. My husband Keith and I finally got up the nerve to get with the best sound people in Nashville to see if we could salvage these extraordinary recordings. It worked! We did it! What a special treat for music lovers around the world to listen to the talent of an evolving genius. These recordings are a God send and very special to me and Hank’s fans.”

“Hank continues to speak to and entertain us across the generations,” says Mike Jason, Senior Vice President of Retail, Time Life. “These recordings give us a rare and special insight as this American music giant begins his career.”

What an incredible experience to hear Hank Williams’ first recordings as a teenager of Fan It and Alexander’s Ragtime Band. This is the first time they have been heard since 1938 when Williams recorded them. Williams had started building a local following in Montgomery, Alabama at the time and the songs display an incredible confidence at such a young age. On these early recordings Williams is joined by his long-time pal and accordionist, Pee Wee Moultrie.

A 1940 home recording shows how much Williams’ voice had matured in two years when he rocks out to four classics of American music; Freight Train Blues, New San Antonio Rose, St. Louis Blues, and Greenback Dollar. The songs ultimately ended up in the possession of Jett Williams, and the tunes show a wide range of musical styles from an ancient Appalachian song to popular charted hits of the era.

By 1949, Williams had two major hits under his belt and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It was at this time he recorded his first syndicated radio series, The Health And Happiness Show. The program’s name was tied to the sponsor of the show…..Hadacol, a patent medicine that contained 12% alcohol. Forty-nine songs from the show have been restored on Hank Williams: The Legend Begins which gives superior quality to these historic CDs. The shows include songs, like Tramp on the Street, that he never performed elsewhere.

Also included on the “Rare and Unreleased” CD is an additional program. The March Of Dimes show features several songs and a touching monologue from Williams, in which he talks about the fear of polio that blighted every summer in the early 1950’s; in particular, he expresses his concern that Hank, Jr. might contract the disease. Williams died shortly before the cure was announced that ended the scourge.


'Defender,' 'Fresh Evidence,' 'BBC Sessions' and 'Wheels Within Wheels' Due August 16

Dedicated to preserving the extensive catalog of the late Rory Gallagher, Eagle Rock Entertainment, in conjunction with the Gallagher family, is proud to announce the final four re-releases on August 16, 2011 of an artist whose stature continues to grow in a day and age where true musical heroes are far and few between.

Rory’s third ‘80s album, Defender, came out in ’87 with the core of the band drummer Brendan O’Neill and bassist Gary McAvoy. Additional flourishes—including piano, harmonica and other keyboards—were effectively utilized depending upon the track. This first effort for his own label, Capo, featured 12 blistering originals including fan favorites “Loanshark Blues” and “Continental Op.”

With the dawn of a new decade, Rory’s Fresh Evidence, in 1990, proved this great artist’s ability to shed skins and pursue different stylistic avenues while remaining true to his original esprit de corps. They say a true artist is always changing and on this final studio recording, Rory tackled genres with the ease of a true master. With his trusty mates of the Defender and Jinx lineups plus the return of pianist Lou Martin, Rory went deep into the American psyche to plumb the depths of zydeco, Louisiana Swamp Rock, jump blues and Boogie Supremo! It’s a veritable tour-de-force of hard rock genius.

BBC Sessions, originally released posthumously in 1999, is Rory rocking out with drummers O’Neill, Rod De’Ath and Ted McKenna (depending upon the track), pianist Martin and bassist McAvoy on 22 songs over two discs, one live, one studio. From Muddy Waters (“Garbage Man”) to Chuck Willis (“Feel So Bad”), Rory has said he performed this show for the BBC in honor of all the years he spent glued to the radio while growing up in Ireland. It’s a debt he was honored to pay back and he did it in spades.

Wheels Within Wheels was lovingly put together in 2003 by Rory’s brother Donal who knew just how much the late guitarist wanted to put out an all-acoustic album of traditional blues, bluegrass, and Irish folk. He may have never had the opportunity during his tragically short life to complete this project, but Wheels Within Wheels stands as a beautifully crafted gem, with not only songs by Robert Johnson and Bill Monroe, but originals and re-arranged versions of tunes so old, they’re in the Public Domain. The album features various guest artists, such as Martin Carthy, Bert Jansch, Lonnie Donegan, Bela Fleck, and The Dubliners. Exquisitely sung and played, it’s also a sad reminder of what this great artist might have gravitated towards had he the pleasures of growing old gracefully.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris.

Omnivore Recordings to release Jellyfish "Bellybutton" and "Spilt Milk" exclusively on vinyl LP on Sept. 27, 2011




Omnivore Recordings has announced they will release influential power pop band Jellyfish's debut album Bellybutton and follow up Spilt Milk exclusively on vinyl LP. The only two full-length studio albums in the band's short, storied history, each release has been cut directly from the album's original analog masters. Distributed by EMI, this will be the first time Bellybutton and Spilt Milk will be made commercially available in the U.S. on vinyl.

Bellybutton, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will be limited to 1,500 copies pressed on translucent blue vinyl complete with replicated original album tri-fold sleeve. The band's 1990 debut album was released to rave critical reviews, hailed for its fresh, effervescent, power pop sound, and charted three singles: "The King Is Half-Undressed" (#19 Billboard Modern Rock Chart), "That Is Why" (#11 Billboard Modern Rock Chart), and "Baby's Coming Back" (#62 Billboard Hot 100 chart) each of which spawned a music video that would go into rotation on MTV (yes, they actually played music videos in 1990).

Spilt Milk, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will also be limited to 1500 copies pressed on translucent purple vinyl. The bands follow up release took up where Bellybutton left off, an elaborate and complex studio creation described as a "flawless pop gem" with comparisons to The Beatles and The Beach Boys for its lush vocal harmonies. The album yielded the top 10 single "The Ghost at Number One" (#9 Billboard Modern Rock Chart).

Even though the group lasted for only two albums, over four years, their influence on power pop bands since has been as profound as the bands that Jellyfish were influenced by (Cheap Trick, Big Star, Badfinger, Raspberries) - all part of a power pop tradition being handed down one generation at a time.

Formed in San Francisco by singer/songwriter Andy Sturmer and singer/songwriter Roger Manning, the duo rounded out the band's initial lineup with guitarist Jason Falkner (The Three O'Clock, The Grays)and Roger's brother Chris Manning on bass. Following Bellybutton's support tour, Falkner and (Chris) Manning left the band due to creative differences and exhaustion from life on the road. Their next album Spilt Milk was created by Andy and Roger with help from then session men Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Spoon), Lyle Workman (Beck, Todd Rundgren) and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates). Following a tour in support, the group disbanded in 1994.

About Omnivore Recordings:

Founded in 2010 by longtime, highly respected industry veterans Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen, and Brad Rosenberger, Omnivore Recordings' vision is to preserve the legacies and music created by historical, heritage, and catalog artists while also releasing previously unissued, newly found "lost" recordings and making them available for music-loving audiences to discover. Omnivore Recordings is distributed by EMI in North America and Ace Records UK in Europe. The label's first releases included the limited LP release of Big Star Third, a limited-edition Buck Owens 7" of previously unreleased material, The Motels shelved third album Apocalypso, legendary Bay Area soul singer Darondo's unreleased Music City Sessions and the first official stateside release of Leon Russell's 1971 Live in Japan album, originally released and available only in Japan.

Omnivore Recordings official website:

The Deep Dark Woods to release 'The Place I Left Behind'


The Deep Dark Woods wake the ghosts of Appalachia with their prairie gothic pyre-side tales. On their new record, The Place I Left Behind, the band finds continuity in themes of temporal and geographic alienation, neglected inward trails, and the scars of abandoned intimacies.

Buoyed by the success of working with mastermind recording engineer Darren Van Niekerk, on their self produced CBC Songquest single “Charlie's (is Coming Down)” the band decided to approach their new album the same way. Recorded in Halifax with Van Niekerk behind the board once again, The Deep Dark Woods’ first self produced album allowed them to experiment in the studio as never before. Toying with numerous reverbs, vintage amps, instruments and mellotron, they also tried some never before played versions and arrangements of some of the album's songs. While more physically and mentally exhausting than previous albums, it turned out exactly the way the band wanted it to and the reward is their most realized album to date.

The record opens with a song about Saskatoon’s rougher edges. “West Side Street” is a study in contrasts – finespun vocals and a gently rolling melody cushion the gloomy story. “The Place I Left Behind” is loosely based on an old folk standard. Gorgeously morose, the title track confirms that The Deep Dark Woods capture lonesome yearning at its loveliest. “Sugar Mama” is a sweet and lively invitation to tap toes and shake off the blues; a seeming coming-of-age story is treated with playful banjo and an airy gait.

A rainstorm over the desert of modern music, The Place I Left Behind offers murder ballads alongside scrappy rockers, lovesick hymnals and slow-dance waltzes. The album illuminates folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history. The Place I Left Behind echoes with traces of time and space that are never fully abandoned or forgotten.

The Place I Left Behind will be released on Six Shooter Records in Canada on August 2nd and Sugar Hill Records in the US and worldwide on October 18, 2011.

Power-pop invades Orange County Fair

Nushu, from left, features singer-guitarists Lisa Mychols, Hillary Burton and drummer Tom Richards.

Popgarden Radio Presents the Rock on the Road Tour

Who: Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings, Popdudes, The Tickets, Nushu

Where: Plaza Arts Stage, The Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa

When: Sunday, July 24, 2011


Although I missed the first two acts on the power-pop bill titled "Popgarden Radio Presents the Rock on the Road Tour" hosted by Florida-based Adam Waltemire on Sunday afternoon, July 24, I did see the last four artists who played on the Plaza Arts Stage as part of the event. And the good news is all four acts delivered the sonic goods in spade.

Nushu features singer-songwriter-guitarists Lisa Mychols and Hillary Burton (pictured here). On Sunday, they were joined by bassist Emma Jenson and drummer Tom Richards and together delivered a generous dose of outstanding songs that recalled the Bangles and Go-Go's, as well as modern-day Danish indie rock duo The Raveonettes.

Nushu performed a bunch of great songs, including original uptempo originals like "Beautiful Magical," "Here's To Feeling Free" and "Synthia," as well as artful remakes (a sweet cover of Phil Seymour's "Precious to Me"). Mychols and Burton are each strong singers on their own, but the kicker is how well their voices blended together throughout the rewarding set. If you don't have Nushu's debut Nevermind Lullabye or the duo's 2010 sophomore effort Hula, get them via the group's official Web site at

The Tickets play infrequently, so any excuse to hear singer-songwriter Bryan Shaddix (pictured here) perform his original material is a good one. And while his songs stand high on their own, fans of Crowded House, Squeeze and Nick Lowe will find something to love in the songs the quartet played under a searing summer sun on Sunday. He played older favorites such as "Heartland," "I Don't Belong" and "Way Down Here," as well as some new songs. One track, which is likely titled "It's Really Getting Strange,"
had a strong and heavy Neil Young vibe and really stood out to me.

One of the joys of attending a power-pop concert is the realization is that (some) musicians still know how to have fun. Take Southern California's Popdudes, a rotating band of players that feature drummer John Borack (pictured below) and available players who want to tear up on reworked versions of mostly-obscure covers. I mean, how many bands dare to cover Nick Gilder's 1978 hit "Hot Child in the City"?

On Sunday, singer-bassist Robbie Rist (who as a child actor played Cousin Oliver in the final six episodes of The Brady Bunch) led the outfit on a satisfying journey of rediscovery. From The Who's early gem "The Kids Are Alright" to the mostly-forgotten 1972 hit "It Never Rains in Southern California" and even the Nick Lowe classic "Cruel to Be Kind," the Popdudes blasted out of the gate and exhibited a Devil-may-care attitude that worked.

Last but definitely not least came a full set courtesy of Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings, who absolutely floored the fairgrounds with a dozen songs that had the crowd cheering from start to finish. Few outfits fuse rock, rockabilly, Beatles pop, alt-country and Americana styles as well together as Clevenger (pictured on the right) and company, and that was clear on the uptempo likes of audience favorites like "Supermarket Checkout Queen" and "Love You Like a King," as well as a slew of great new songs (a song I believe is titled "Sober and Alone" truly rocked, as did a Smithereens-styled song called "The Blue Side of Town").

The troupe ended the fest with a rollicking cover of The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers," a song suited to Clevenger's authentic genre-defying approach.

The Fab Four, Jumping Jack Flash bring Beatles, Stones classics to the Orange County Fair

From left: Ardy Sarraf (as Paul McCartney), Gavin Pring (George Harrison), Erik Fidel (Ringo Starr) and Ron McNeil (John Lennon) rock out as the Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band, at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 23, 2011.


My review was originally posted on The Orange County Register Web site on Sunday, July 24, 2011.

Pacific 2011: Big fun with Beatles, Stones tributes

It has been both interesting and instructive to watch how popular so-called tribute acts have become in recent years. While there have long been salutes to the Beatles, ever since the success of Beatlemania in the late ’70s, there are now tributes to everybody from Journey to the Doors, Queen to David Bowie, Heart to the Smiths, all playing to enthusiastic crowds (and often at the OC Fair this summer).

But “The Greatest Show That Never Was” provided a fascinating boost to the growing parade of musicians emulating famous groups, with Saturday fare at Pacific Amphitheatre featuring a hypothetical bill featuring the Beatles (played by the Fab Four) and the Rolling Stones (courtesy of Jumping Jack Flash).

Whether because ticket prices to see the real Stones or Paul McCartney are routinely in the triple digits (even for cheaper seats at their shows) or because tributes offer strictly nostalgia and classic hits, casual concert-goers seem to be increasingly comfortable cheering on the singer-actors portraying the real-life icons. Indeed, there were only a few small blocks of empty seats at the back of the venue this night.

“The Greatest Show That Never Was” also had a foolproof approach, the Fab Four and Jumping Jack Flash alternating sets over the course of two hours. While one group was playing, the other had time to change into attire reflecting another era. That meant no downtime or intermission was required.

Things kicked off with actor Jerry Hoban portraying Ed Sullivan introducing the Fab Four, who came out as the Beatles as they appeared in early ’64. McCartney (played and sung by the excellent Ardy Sarraf) would ultimately do most of the heavy lifting in terms of really locking in the Beatles vibe, his voice a close match to Sir Paul’s and his commitment to the part including the ability to play the bass and acoustic guitar left-handed. But Ron McNeil (as John Lennon), Gavin Pring (as George Harrison) and Erik Fidel (as Ringo Starr) all handled their parts well.

While it was fun to watch the group perform the infectious “All My Loving” and “Eight Days a Week” in its first set, I’ve always been more keen to watch the Fab Four re-create the late-’60s material the real Beatles never played live (except in subsequent solo careers). Modern-day technology is a good thing in the hands of savvy players like these, who conjured the orchestral parts on an epic “A Day in the Life” and the horn section for “Got to Get You into My Life” using keyboards in their second set.

But seeing as their task is to (exactingly) cover material from the crown jewel of rock’s catalog, the quartet merely had to faithfully perform one gem after another to please. Getting everyone to sing along during “Twist and Shout” early on or “Hey Jude” later in the night was a snap. In the end, even naysayers can be grateful that the Fab Four is likely introducing young fans (many of whom I saw seated around me at Pacific) to the timeless songcraft and magic of the Beatles.

O.C.-based Jumping Jack Flash had the more challenging task Saturday night. While the quintet was up to the task, they had more years to cover and required guitarist Pat Hennessy (initially portraying Brian Jones) to also play material from the early-’70s Mick Taylor era as well as the later Ron Wood period.

Yet the group, led by singer Todd Loweth (who certainly had Mick Jagger‘s mannerisms down) and guitarist Young Hutchison (ditto on him mirroring the look and guitar style of Keith Richards), managed to highlight the band’s various eras effectively.

Fans of the early Stones got “Time Is on My Side” and “19th Nervous Breakdown,” while those of us who prefer the band’s late ’60s stuff got “Honky Tonk Women” and the tribute band’s namesake single. Later, they tackled the ’80s hit “Start Me Up,” but the group also incorporated side players during its sets, with singer Jill Hennessy really belting out some wonderful vocals during “Gimme Shelter.”

What if the real Beatles and Stones had ever shared the bill? Would they have joined forces to perform together? That is exactly how Saturday night ended, with the members of both tributes playing together. In a bit of good fun, one group would start a song from its source, and then the other would segue that into another tune.

That soon led to a fun-filled tug-of-war between “Satisfaction” and “Day Tripper,” with a creative arrangement that blended both songs into one. It all came to a dramatic finish with the Beatles’ “The End,” with all the musicians playing together and every guitarist taking a turn at one of the jam’s fiery solos.

'Listen To Me: Buddy Holly' features Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson and more

Buddy Holly is being honored with an exciting collection featuring the celebrated likes of Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Zooey Deschanel and many more top names. Buddy Holly would have celebrated his 75th birthday on Sept. 7, 2011. The singer-songwriter-guitarist died in a tragic plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959; he was only 22. The media release posted below arrived in my inbox today.

Listen To Me: Buddy Holly: New Tribute CD Out Sept. 6, 2011







(New York, NY) Songmasters announces the upcoming release of Listen To Me: Buddy Holly, an extraordinary new collection featuring contemporary takes on songs originally written and performed by the late, great Buddy Holly. The album – presented as part of Songmasters’ innovative Listen To Me: Buddy Holly multi-media campaign – arrives in stores and at all digital retailers via Verve/Forecast Records in the US and in eOne Music Canada on September 6, 2011. International release follows.

Listen To Me: Buddy Holly features a remarkable line-up of artists paying tribute to the iconic work of an artist many consider to be the first true “singer/songwriter” performer of the rock ‘n’ roll era. Among those contributing brand-new recordings to the collection are Stevie Nicks, Patrick Stump, Jeff Lynne, Natalie Merchant, Imelda May, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, The Fray, Cobra Starship, Brian Wilson, Chris Isaak, Pat Monahan (of Train), Zooey Deschanel, Eric Idle, and the one and only Ringo Starr. The album will include the incomparable version of “That’ll Be The Day” recorded originally by Linda Ronstadt and produced by Asher. Never bested, this track remains, according to Asher, the most outstanding version of that Holly classic available.

“We are trying to keep Buddy Holly’s name alive so younger generations can appreciate it the way I do,” says Brian Wilson. “Buddy is unique. He matters because his music is timeless.”

Listen To Me: Buddy Holly is Executive Produced by multiple GRAMMY Award-winning producer/artist/manager/executive Peter Asher, whose own personal connection to Holly’s music goes back to 1965, when Peter & Gordon’s timeless cover of “True Love Ways” proved a massive hit both here and in the U.K. In addition, Asher produced Linda Ronstadt’s smash renditions of “It’s So Easy” and “That’ll Be The Day,” both of which served to further bolster the amazing durability of Holly’s legacy.

“Buddy showed us how brilliant and unforgettable songs could be written using the simplest of chords,” says Asher. “He taught us the value of a lyric which came from the heart and the importance of making records the way you heard them in your head. His music has never ceased to play a major role in my life and work.”

Boasting a line-up hailed by Holly’s widow, Maria Elena, as “fantastic,” Listen To Me: Buddy Holly stands tall among the many tribute albums devoted to Holly’s work. These exceptional interpretations, produced by Asher and performed by artists whose own noteworthy careers span three generations of post-Buddy rock ‘n’ roll, create an innovative collection of “modern authentics” that showcase the versatility, range, and across-the-board appeal of Buddy’s music.
“Nothing that’s happened since [the beginning of rock] can really obscure the power and influence of Buddy’s original records and his contribution to music,” declared Jackson Browne in his studio session for the album. “Things that are immortal have a way of continuing to be born in the world.”

Ringo Starr (who contributes a delightful take on “Think It Over” to the album) put it plainly: “In the whole of rock ‘n’ roll history, he’s in the top 10!”

The Listen To Me: Buddy Holly campaign celebrates what would have been Holly’s 75th birthday by honoring his brief but brilliant life and career through an astonishing range of events, recordings, and charitable programs over the next year. September 7th – Holly’s birthday – will see the long awaited unveiling of Holly’s much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – a permanent public monument to a genuinely noteworthy artist. Peter Asher will be among the featured speakers at the event, which will be hosted by the owners and publishers of Holly’s catalog.

That evening, a number of the stars featured on Listen To Me: Buddy Holly – along with special surprise guest artists and friends and family from Holly’s too-brief life – will team up for Songmasters’ “Ultimate Buddy Party,” an invitation-only V.I.P. concert event to be held at The Music Box in Hollywood. Asher will serve as the evening’s musical supervisor, with the performers backed by a stellar house band led by renowned session guitarist, Waddy Wachtel. The concert event will be shot live in HD for broadcast starting with PBS’ December 2011 pledge drive, followed by a deluxe DVD/CD release. Further details will be announced prior to that release.

The Listen To Me: Buddy Holly celebration continues in October with the kick-off of the Listen To Me “True. Great. Original. National Talent Competition,” a distinctively formatted search for the next generation of true, great, original music artists. Conducted in collaboration with OurStage, the contest will see participants competing in three performance categories reflecting Holly’s lasting musical legacy.

“Buddy did everything he could to make sure that talented young musicians and songwriters got a real chance,” explains Maria Elena Holly. “He even started his own label – he called it ‘Prism’ – to make this possible. He would be especially thrilled, as I am, that so many outstanding artists are part of this effort to honor his personal commitment to recognize and help great young musical talent.”

Listen To Me: Buddy Holly marks the inaugural event of Songmasters’ Listen To Me series of year-long multi-media celebrations of the True. Great. Original. artists who forever changed modern music and culture. Each future campaign will feature today’s leading and emerging artists paying tribute to their musical forebears to raise support and awareness for the next generation of songwriters, performers, and entrepreneurs.

Songmasters’ continuing support for emerging talent carries on Holly’s legacy of boosting and empowering new artists. Since 2009, Songmasters has endowed The Holly Prize, an annual award juried and presented by the Songwriters Hall of Fame to recognize and support the “all-in-one songwriter,” an exceptionally talented and inspired young musician/singer/songwriter whose work exhibits the ambition and artistic qualities of Holly's music. Listen To Me: Buddy Holly will also benefit numerous music-related organizations – including The GRAMMY Foundation’s “GRAMMY Camps” and Artists’ House Music – each of which support the artistic growth and professional development of young musicians and industry innovators. Additionally, the winners of the Listen To Me talent contest will receive grants, cash and product awards, and performance opportunities to help launch their professional careers in music.

Buddy Holly is, of course, one of rock ‘n’ roll’s true pioneers, the original “all-in-one songwriter.” In an era when most artists performed songs penned by leading songwriters of the day, Holly wrote and recorded his own uniquely personal material, establishing the creatively independent tradition that defines the genre. What’s more, as leader of his own band, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Holly set the template for one of rock’s ultimate archetypes, the singing, guitar-playing frontman of a two-guitars-bass-and-drums combo. As if all that weren’t enough to confirm Holly’s lasting influence, he was also a forward-thinking businessman who had started his own artist-run independent label at the time of his tragic death, anticipating by a half-century the need for artists to both control their creative expression and the commercial value of their work. In both his music and career innovations, Buddy Holly has become more than just a legend or an icon – his influence can be seen and heard in most every aspect of modern popular music.

Listen To Me™ and True.Great.Original.™ are trademarks of Songmasters

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Tommy Keene, Spin Doctors, Coldplay, and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Here are the latest media releases to catch my eye...enjoy!

Tommy Keene 'Behind The Parade' set for release on August 30

Tommy Keene will be releasing his 9th studio album Behind The Parade on August 30, 2011 on Second Motion Records. We cannot stop listening to this album since we received the masters and it is arguably one of Tommy's best works of his career, hands down. You are going to love it!

Second Motion Records is now are taking Pre-orders! Click here to order!!

The album will be available in three formats: CD, MP3 download and 180-gram limited vinyl! Order now and you will instantly be able to download the album! Over a month ahead of release!

Tommy will be touring the US in September in support of Behind The Parade dates are listed below:

Sept 6 - LOS ANGELES, CA - Silverlake Lounge
Sept 9 - ARLINGTON, VA - Iota

Sept 10 - BROOKLYN, NY - The Rock Shop
SEPT 11 - BOSTON, MA - Church
SEPT 13 - CLEVELAND, OH - The Grog Shop
SEPT 14 - MILWAUKEE, WI - Shank Hall
SEPT 15 - CHICAGO, IL - Schubas
SEPT 16 - St PAUL, MN - The Turf Club

Tracklisting & Info:
Artist: Tommy Keene
Album: Behind The Parade
Streetdate: Aug 30th, 2011
Label: Second Motion Records
Catalog Number: SMR-035

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ‘Pocket Full of Kryptonite,’ Spin Doctors Set U.S. Club Tour for October; Band to Perform the Smash Album Live, in its Entirety, for First Time in U.S.

‘Two Princes’, ‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’ and Other Tracks are Remastered, as Epic/Legacy Plans Pocketful Of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition - Deluxe August 30, 2011 Two-CD Package to Include Rare Demos and Live Recordings

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Pocket Full of Kryptonite, Spin Doctors have confirmed a special U.S. club tour for October. For the first time ever in the United States, the band will perform ‘Kryptonite’ live, in its entirety, at each concert. In January 2012, the band will return to Europe for a “Kryptonite Live" club tour as well. Tickets for both tours will go on sale this week.

The Fall tour coincides with Epic/Legacy’s August 30, 2011 release of a deluxe, two-CD edition of ‘Pocket Full of Kryptonite’, available for pre-order here and elsewhere.

When top-class musicianship and great songwriting meet, the result can help to define an era. Such was the case with Spin Doctors’ Pocket Full Of Kryptonite, one of the biggest smashes of the 1990s, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. Featuring hit after hit, from ‘Two Princes’ to ‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’ and more, the original album reached #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart, made the magazine’s Top 100 list of the Best-Selling Albums of The Decade, hit #2 in the UK and #1 in Australia and New Zealand, was certified 3x Platinum in Canada, Gold in Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore, and cemented the group’s debut as an international phenomenon. In fact, ‘Two Princes’ was the most-played rock song in the world in 1993, and was recently certified by BMI with 3 million international radio plays (‘Little Miss’ is at the 2 Million mark.)

As a live band, the core members of Spin Doctors (Chris Barron (lead vocals), Eric Schenkman (guitar), Mark White (bass) and Aaron Comess (drums),) are among the best in the business, a fact often overshadowed by their commercial success, but arguably more important than ever. Now, with the upcoming release of ‘Pocket Full of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition’, Spin Doctors are hitting the road once again to do what they do best: perform great pop/rock songs for live audiences.? Like their H.O.R.D.E. allies Phish, Blues Traveler, Allman Brothers and more, and like The Black Crowes, Counting Crows and other respected contemporaries, Spin Doctors are a reminder that hits and chops needn’t be mutually exclusive.

For more information, visit Visit: or

Watch Coldplay on Friday's iTunes Festival online

On Friday (July 22, 2011), Coldplay will headline a show at London's Roundhouse venue as part of this year's iTunes Festival. The entire performance will be broadcast live to all 23 countries with an iTunes Store, via iTunes on PC/Mac and on the iTunes Festival app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Coldplay are due on at 9:15 p.m. (click here to find out what time that is where you are). Plus, tune in at 7:45 p.m. to see the support set from The Pierces, whose wonderful album was produced by Coldplay's very own Guy Berryman. For more information on how to watch, head to The show will also be broadcast live on Xfm radio, and via the station's website (NB: you'll need a UK postcode to listen online).




Verve Records & DH Records are proud to announce the new album from North London-based brother-and-sister trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis entitled Smoking In Heaven. Set for a September 13, 2011 release, Smoking In Heaven, the follow-up to the groups acclaimed self-titled debut, is an exciting, self-penned studio album of original material that delves in and out of genres and displays a penchant for multiple styles, textures and tempos. With each of the thirteen tracks challenging senses and pushing the group's boundaries, Smoking In Heaven clearly exhibits Kitty, Daisy & Lewis's admirable dedication to authenticity and secures their rightfully earned reputation as talented and highly original purveyors of sound.

As with all of the tracks on their debut, Smoking In Heaven was produced and recorded by brother Lewis and his father Graeme Durham in their vintage home studio using ribbon microphones and analogue tape formats, eliminating computer generated sound from their musical equation.

United by a strong sense of playfulness and deep rhythmic quality, Smoking In Heaven represents the band's evolution from talented young enthusiasts to bona fide musicians with a groundbreaking contemporary sound. From ska-tinged rock 'n' roll crafted upon seductive trumpet solos, luau guitar riffs and exotic vocals, to boldly pulsating rhythms that connote '60s soul and blues, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have created an album that is rooted in the past but entirely original - affirming them as one of 2011's sovereign bands.

The first single from the new album is "Messing With My Life." The song clearly showcases the trio's ability to create highly original music in a variety of styles, while not committing to just one. Listen and watch the video for "Messing With My Life" here

Since their formation, the trio has mesmerized fans and critics with their frenzied live shows - which took place anywhere from pubs to amphitheatres (KDL were Coldplay's main support on their 2009 US Summer tour.) Along with their performances, the trio captivates with their multi-instrumental capabilities, and ability to inspire by living and breathing the music they play.

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis will spend all of 2011 on the road. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monkees concert: images from the Greek Theatre concert on July 16, 2011

Since The Register was not able to run a slide show in connection with my Monkees concert review, I wanted to post some photos from the concert here. Enjoy everybody and a special "thank you" to Craig and Laura Feiner for letting me post the great concert photo below that features all three Monkees who performed in Los Angeles on July 16!

From left, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones perform at the Greek Theatre on July 16, 2011.

Long-time Monkees fans Laura and Craig Feiner before the show at The Greek Theatre on Saturday, July 16.

Ricky Glore (left) of Chicago and his father Rick Glore of Northern Kentucky are long-time fans of the Monkees and flew out to Los Angeles to catch the Monkees at the Greek Theatre on July 16.

I captured Davy Jones (right) singing to the crowd in the early minutes of the Monkees' fun-filled performance at the Greek Theatre on July 16. The awesome shots below of Peter and Micky are courtesy of Craig and Laura Feiner. Thanks for sharing! Monkeemania is alive and well.

Rock on the Road Tour coming to OC Fair, Queen reissues highlighted on 'Music Worth Buying' episode

Before you tune in to watch the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING, make sure to get read all the details about the Pop Garden Radio Presents: Rock on the Road Tour coming to the Orange County Fair this Sunday, July 24.

Here are the details about this day-long concert event, which features a powerful power-pop lineup including Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings (pictured above). And remember, admission to the fair includes admission to the concert!

What: Pop Garden Radio Presents: Rock on the Road Tour - OC Fair
Plaza Arts Stage in cooperation with Time Warner Cable

Where: Orange County Fair, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

When: Sunday, July 24 · 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Details about the event:
11 a.m. - Steve Kobashigawa
Noon - Rick Hromadka & Phil Rosenthal
1 p.m. - Nushu
2 p.m. - The Tickets
3 p.m. - Popdudes
4 p.m. - Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings

The show is included with Fair admission

The Pop Garden Radio Presents: The Rock on the Road Tour Season 2 CD will be available at the show.

Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings ("Miss Independence") and Popdudes (a cover of ELO's "Xanadu") have previously unreleased cuts on the CD!

Check out the latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING to hear TJR and me discuss a high-profile series of deluxe Queen reissues courtesy of Hollywood Records.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Ten Years After, Rush, Woody Guthrie, Lee MacDougall

This past week I was pretty slammed prepping to conquer Carmageddon and cover the Monkees' show at the Greek Theatre, as well as sit down with Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen for a story that will run in The Orange County Register next month.

What follows are some of the standout releases that landed in my inbox over the past week or so. It is particularly exciting that Ten Years After's 'A Space in Time' is being honored on its 40th anniversary with a wonderful reissue.


Ten Years After's A Space in Time and Rush's Roll the Bones Are Latest
Limited-Edition Gold CDs from the Premier Audiophile Imprint

Another rock reissue bonanza for music collectors will take place on Tuesday, July 19 when Audio Fidelity, the premier audiophile label, delivers 24-Karat Gold CDs of Ten Years After's 1971 A SPACE IN TIME and Rush's 1991 ROLL THE BONES albums. Issued as numbered, limited editions, each title will be retired after its initial run has sold out, and will be available through both online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

A SPACE IN TIME was the most successful album by British guitarist Alvin Lee and his bandmates. Their seventh LP, it reached No. 17 on Billboard's chart (where it spent half a year) and was the stylistic breakthrough that liberated the group from its blues-boogie heritage. Fans who'd thrilled to Lee's blazing soloing on "I'm Going Home" in the Woodstock documentary found much to like on tracks like "One of These Days" and "Hard Monkeys," but a whole new legion of followers was attracted to Ten Years After by the more reflective "I'd Love to Change the World." The latter was a bonafide pop hit in the fall of 1971 and evolved into an enduring staple of FM classic-rock over the years. A SPACE IN TIME became a platinum-seller and garnered impressive nods from critics, including the Village Voice's reviewer, who found it to be Lee and company's "toughest, fullest, most coherent album yet."

ROLL THE BONES was the 19th album by Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush (vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer Neal Peart). It was also the group's first in a decade to enter the Top 5 on Billboard's LP chart, thanks to the fact that it featured four mainstream-rock hits: "Dreamline," "Bravado," "Roll the Bones" and "Where's My Thing (Part 4, Gangster of Boats Trilogy)," which received a Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental of 1991.

Rush's reputation as rockers did not preclude the lyrically dark album from showcasing several tuneful tracks ("Bravado," the harmony-lightened "Neurotica," the synthesizer-driven "Heresy"). A platinum album, ROLL THE BONES was produced by Rupert Hine, whose credits include music by Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks, Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins. Hine also contributed keyboards and backup vocals to the album.

Founded in 2002 by entertainment-industry legend Marshall Blonstein, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-karat Gold CDs and its 180-gram virgin-vinyl album editions, though it also releases DVD titles as well. Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that Blonstein started in 1986, following stints as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King's Tapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchises The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke).

For more information, visit

Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Plans Continue With Launch of

On Thursday, July 14, 2011, on what would be the 99th birthday of American folk music legend Woody Guthrie, The GRAMMY Museum, in conjunction with Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and the Woody Guthrie Archives, has announced the launch of The site is designed to serve as the official home of the recently announced Woody Guthrie Centennial Tribute, taking place in 2012.

Born July 14, 1912 in Okemah , Oklahoma , Woody Guthrie is considered to be one the most influential folk singers of all time. Many of his songs have become folk song standards, and have been performed in many languages throughout the world. Pretty Boy Floyd, Pastures of Plenty, Hard Travelin’, Deportees, Roll on Columbia, Vigilante Man and This Land Is Your Land are among the hundreds of his songs that have become staples in the canon of American music and beyond.

The Woody Guthrie Centennial celebration will kick off in February 2012 and will celebrate Guthrie’s extraordinary body of work and impact on American music. Unique in scope, the year-long celebration will include a host of tribute concerts, educational curricula, lectures, conferences, a touring exhibition, new releases, grassroots hootenannies and more.

“The influence of Woody Guthrie and his music continues to be felt worldwide,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. As we look forward to celebrating Guthrie’s 100th birthday throughout 2012, new events will be announced on a weekly basis. Fans everywhere will be able to utilize the Woody100 site as the official hub of all things Guthrie.”

British Singer-Songwriter Lee MacDougall Set for 2nd U.S. Tour This Year


Two-Month Multiple City "All The Right Places" Tour Kicks Off In New York on August 4

Capitalizing on the success of his debut tour of the U.S. earlier this year, which included a performance at the SxSW Festival in Austin in March, British singer-songwriter-guitarist Lee MacDougall, returns for his second tour of the U.S. beginning in August. Dubbed the All The Right Places tour, the schedule kicks off in New York City on August 4 and will cover multiple cities over a two-month period.

Since his initial appearances in the U.S., MacDougall has successfully toured in Germany, Austria and Italy as well as playing in his hometown of London, where, in addition to an intimate club date, he opened for headliner Bon Jovi at the massive Hard Rock Calling Festival in London's Hyde Park on June 25th. He will also be supporting Atlantic Records recording artist Rumer on her UK tour in November.

MacDougall has become known for mesmerizing audiences with emotionally-driven melodies and resonating vocals. Louisville's Backseat Sandbar says of MacDougall: "He has the type of voice that can fill every crevice of a room and every fiber in your body. Its clear perfection can play your heart strings as easily as his fingers strum his guitar."

Earlier this year, MacDougall released an self-produced 11-song CD called IF WALLS COULD TALK that is available from his website ( and at his live shows. The CD includes the standout tracks "The Star Hotel," "She" and "Joanna," among others. Additionally, noted producer Jim Lowe (who has worked with the Stereophonics, Taylor Swift and the Charlatans) produced several tracks with him, including the version of "She" that is part of a three-song EP he released via iTunes last year. An acoustic rendition of the song produced by Lee appears on IF WALLS COULD TALK.

With the expansion of his live repertoire, MacDougall is releasing a new self-produced CD (recorded in his bedroom) called FOR A FEW TALES MORE to coincide with the upcoming U.S. dates. This 10-song release includes a number of new songs, among them the affecting "Smile" and "Hindsight," which have become highlights of his live performances.

Originally from the fishing town of Grimsby in the north of England, MacDougall emerged from the open mic night circuit in London that has spawned new acoustic English artists in the last two years. His ability to couple a strong lyrical narrative with a memorable melody has enabled him to establish an international fan base that expanded when his music was embraced by the community of fans of the Twilight films.

But it is the strength of his songwriting that has earned him recognition on both sides of the Atlantic and support slots with artists such as Train, Starsailor, Paolo Nutini, The Feeling, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. The Independent Music Scene wrote: "This is an artist that allows his voice to be heard clearly without masking the pure talent of the song. The music is great for having a lonely listen, to a couple's dance, to a drive through the country side with nothing to care about. The songwriting is straight forward without being simplistic."

Following his U.S. tour dates, he will make a return visit to Germany, Austria, Italy and England. The U.K. leg will include shows supporting Rumer on her multi-city tour.

Visit: or

The Monkees deliver big fun at The Greek Theatre

Davy Jones waves to the crowd at The Greek Theatre shortly after taking the stage at the Monkees' performance on Saturday, July 16.

This review was first published on the Soundcheck blog on The Orange County Register Web site on Sunday afternoon, July 17, 2011.

It’s been 45 years since Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith burst on the scene with the release of their first hit single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” and the debut of their weekly NBC series. But watching three of the four Monkees perform Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at the Greek Theatre, it seemed as if it was 1966 all over again.
Sure, the band (minus Nesmith, who hasn’t participated in any such reunions since the late ’90s) and the majority of fans who filled the venue have seen the decades race by. But I can’t remember a concert that was as much fun as the Monkees’ nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Just in the past couple of months I’ve caught amazing concerts by Steely Dan and U2, but those were mostly serious affairs staged in front of crowds often disengaged from the performances. This appearance was both a concert and a revival complete with the integration of artful footage from the television series, the cult film Head, even old commercials. Based on what was going on around me, the majority of fans seemed to be excited and genuinely interested in the show.

Not so long ago it looked as if there wouldn’t be any more Monkees resurrections when word reached the faithful in early 2009 that Tork had to undergo surgery and treatment for a rare form of head and neck cancer. His successful battle against the disease may not have been front-and-center Saturday, but it certainly added weight to the celebration at the Greek.
The most amazing aspect of Saturday’s 135-minute show, however, was how the Monkees (backed by a sharp seven-member group) delivered strong, poignant performances of their diverse material. There were the rollicking rockers usually sung by Dolenz, such as “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”and “Goin’ Down”; humorous material from Tork, like “Your Auntie Grizelda”; singalong favorites like “Daydream Believer”; and plenty of well-played hits, from “I’m a Believer” to “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”
On the whole, there was truly something for every sort of Monkeemaniac.

This outing also reminded how the Monkees’ brief initial recording run (1966-1971) saw them stretch beyond tuneful radio-ready hits for which they remain best known. A block of songs from Head explored their artistic spirit, with the lush theme from the 1968 film (“Porpoise Song”) drawing sonic comparisons to Radiohead or Pink Floyd. “Shades of Gray” had all three singing in distinctive harmony, while Dolenz led a rousing version of “Randy Scouse Git,” belting out the song while banging on a large drum positioned at the front of the stage.
All three Monkees displayed the same chemistry and wit that made their popular show such a hit decades ago and during subsequent reruns (it currently airs on Antenna TV at noon on Saturdays and Sundays). “I’m Davy’s dad,” said Jones in the early moments of the concert. “Davy will be out in a minute.”

At one point, Tork — impressive on guitar, keyboards and five-string banjo — talked at length about how the Monkees had to fight to play their own songs in the beginning. To be certain, all three played various instruments throughout the lengthy show; Dolenz’s drumming was particularly effective on “Can You Dig It.”

Still, if this rewarding tour proves to be a finale for the group, that would be too bad. It would be great if Nesmith would team up with the other guys and celebrate just one more time. He might find it as fun for himself as for the thousands of fans who would welcome him back with open arms.

Setlist: The Monkees at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, July 16, 2011
Main set:
Overture and Monkees Theme / I’m a Believer / Mary, Mary / Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) / The Girl I Knew Somewhere / Love Comes Knockin’ / Randy Scouse Git / Valleri / Papa Gene’s Blues / Saturday’s Child / I Wanna Be Free / That Was Then / I Don’t Think You Know / All of Your Toys / Hard to Believe / What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round? / She / She Hangs Out / Sometime in the Morning / Someday Man / Circle Sky / Can You Dig It / As We Go Along / Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? / Porpoise Song (Theme from “Head”) / Daddy’s Song / For Pete’s Sake / Cuddly Toy / Words / Shades of Gray / Goin’ Down / It’s Nice to Be With You / Your Auntie Grizelda / Last Train to Clarksville / A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You / (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone / Daydream Believer
Encore: Pleasant Valley Sunday / I’m a Believer / Exit music (the band played the Monkees’ theme while clowning around on stage and thanking the audience)