Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Paul Rodgers & Friends, Gary Moore, Pearl Jam

Wow! Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing several highly-anticipated releases, including DVD titles a legendary performance by Paul Rodgers & Friends and the final live performance by guitarist Gary Moore. And fans of Pearl Jam can get amped about the broadcast premiere of Pearl Jam Twenty this fall!

Paul Rodgers & Friends 'Live At Montreux 1994' On DVD And CD September 13, 2011

To be totally succinct about it, Paul Rodgers (pictured on the right, courtesy of Thilo Rahn) is simply one of the best rock frontmen in history. Period. No argument. End of discussion. His soulful blustery pipes have stood the test of time from Free, Bad Company and The Firm to Queen and beyond. Be it blues, rock’n’roll, ballads, R’n’B, or pop, there isn’t anything this man cannot sing.

On September 13, Eagle Rock Entertainment will simultaneously release Paul Rodgers & Friends Live At Montreux 1994 on CD and DVD [MSRP $14.98 for DVD, $13.98 for CD]. Touring in support of his Grammy nominated Muddy Water Blues album (available on Eagle Records), Rodgers assembled a top notch unit of blues and rock veterans to give the Montreux faithful the night of their lives. What a lineup! , Queen’s Brian May, Black Country Communion’s Jason Bonham , Toto’s Steve Lukather and Journey’s Neal Schon, joined guitarist Ian Hatton, bassist John Smithson and such blues performers and players as Eddie Kirkland, Sherman Robertson, Luther Allison, Robert Lucas and Kenny Neal. As Willie Dixon says, it’s a wang-dang doodle!

Material consisted of many of the songs Rodgers penned and built his sterling reputation on (including “All Right Now,” “Can’t Get Enough” and “Feel Like Making Love”) but the bulk of the evening was nothin’ but the blues: faithful joyously jam-happy renditions of songs written by Robert Johnson in 1936 (“Crossroads”), Sonny Boy Williamson in 1937 (“Good Morning Little School Girl”), Booker T & The MGs in 1967 (“The Hunter”) and three that Willie Dixon wrote for Muddy Waters in 1954 (“I’m Ready” and “Hoochie Coochie Man”) and 1961 (“Let Me Love You Baby”).

Complete Track Listing:
1) Introduction
2) Travelling Man
3) Wishing Well
4) Louisiana Blues
5) Fire And Water
6) Muddy Water Blues
7) Good Morning Little School Girl
8) I’m Ready
9) Little Bit Of Love
10) Mr. Big
11) Feel Like Making Love
12) Let Me Love You Baby
13) The Hunter
14) Can’t Get Enough
15) All Right Now
16) Crossroads
17) Hoochie Coochie Man

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.


Eagle Rock Entertainment will release, on September 20, 2011, the very last live performance in the life of acclaimed guitarist/singer/songwriter Gary Moore. Live At Montreux 2010 strikingly shows a major return-to-rock for the musician who spent years exploring the blues. In fact, in the last days of his life, Moore, who died on February 6 of this year, was working on a new rock album. [MSRP $13.98 for CD, $14.98 for DVD, and $19.98 for Blu-ray]

What makes this release so compelling is the inclusion of three never-before-released gems, “Days Of Heroes,” “Where Are You Now” and “Oh Wild One,” that he previewed for the Montreux audience and had fully intended to put on the album he was writing and recording at the time. The rest of the set is heavy on the 1980s rock he pioneered solo, as well as his late 60s/70s work with Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy and Skid Row. And, of course, some blues.

Gary Moore was born in 1952 Belfast, Ireland. Heavily influenced by Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, he joined Skid Row (not to be confused with the American band of the same name) as a teenaged phenomenon in 1969 for three albums before going solo, joining Thin Lizzy, and going solo again. His hit single “Parisienne Walkways” catapulted him into the hearts and minds of discerning music lovers around the globe and subsequent forays into Celtic (Wild Frontier, 1987) and blues (Still Got The Blues, 1990) preceded an album with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce (BBM, 1994). Much more blues would follow, most notably Power Of The Blues in 2004. Through it all, he maintained the highest level of musicianship and became revered for his constant searching and the redefining of his own artistry.

Track Listing:

1) Over The Hills And Far Away
2) Military Man
3) Days Of Heroes
4) Where Are You Now?
5) So Far Away/Empty Rooms
6) Oh Wild One
7) Blood Of Emeralds
8) Out In The Fields
9) Walking By Myself
10) Johnny Boy
11) Parisienne Walkways

1) Over The Hills And Far Away
2) Thunder Rising
3) Military Man
4) Days Of Heroes
5) Where Are You Now?
6) So Far Away/Empty Rooms
7) Oh Wild One
8) Blood Of Emeralds
9) Out In The Fields
10) Still Got The Blues
11) Walking By Myself
12) Johnny Boy
13) Parisienne Walkways

For more information on the Paul Rodgers or Gary Moore collections, visit Eagle Rock's official Web site.

THIRTEEN's American Masters celebrates Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary with Cameron Crowe's intimate new film

Pearl Jam Twenty premieres Friday, October 21 on PBS as part of the first PBS Arts Fall Festival

Features never-before-seen footage, career-spanning performances and new band interviews

Watch the trailer and connect with other music icons at

American Masters continues its 25th anniversary season with Pearl Jam Twenty, premiering nationally Friday, October 21, 2011, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings). Academy Award®-winning director and music journalist Cameron Crowe creates a definitive portrait of the seminal band carved from over 1,200 hours of rarely and never-before-seen footage, plus over 24 hours of recent band interviews and concert footage. The captivating, two-hour documentary gives viewers and fans an intimate first glimpse into Pearl Jam's journey in honor of the band's 20th anniversary. American Masters Pearl Jam Twenty is part of the first PBS Arts Fall Festival, a multi-platform event anchored by nine films that highlight artists and performances from around the country.

Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band's formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them - giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Part concert film, part insider hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists, the film celebrates the freedom that allows Pearl Jam to make music without losing themselves, their fans, or the music lovers they've always been. Pearl Jam Twenty features new interviews with original band members Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder, drummer Matt Cameron, and friend and Soundgarden singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, as well as archival performance and interview footage of Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Kurt Cobain, and Neil Young.

Complex and relevant after two decades, Pearl Jam remains a giant musical force and one of the biggest and most magnetic touring acts in the world. With over 60 million albums sold worldwide, they continue to create and perform all on their own terms. Known for their passionate expression, intense and philosophical lyrics, and amazing relationship with fans, Pearl Jam is not known for their media or personal exposure, making the revelations in Pearl Jam Twenty all the more special.

"When I set out to make this film, my mission was to assemble the best-of-the-best from Pearl Jam's past and present and give audiences a visceral feeling of what it is to love music and to feel it deeply - to be inside the journey of a band that has carved their own path," says Cameron Crowe. "There is only one band of their generation for which a film like this could even be made, and I'm honored to be the one given the opportunity to make it."

Crowe was among the band's inner circle when they formed and has maintained a close friendship with the band since his days as a reporter for Rolling Stone in Seattle. Almost 20 years after the band's inception, Eddie, Jeff, Stone, and Mike gave their longtime friend the okay to raid the vault and assemble the story no one but those closest to them ever knew. Audiences will become intimate with the Seattle musicians whose sound and social consciousness were revolutionary - Pearl Jam stood up to both the prevailing social politic and the oppressive music industry.

"We are delighted to be presenting Pearl Jam's 20th on American Masters' 25th - a truly perfect anniversary celebration. We continue the tradition of matching world-class filmmakers with subjects like this band, who revolutionized our culture with their music and their exemplary social consciousness," says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters, a seven-time winner of the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series.The seriesis a production of THIRTEEN for WNET New York Public Media. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York's public television stations. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local documentary and other programs to the New York community.

As part of their year-long "PJ20" celebration, Pearl Jam will release the Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack and book in September. The soundtrack from Columbia Records/Sony Music is comprised of tracks selected by Cameron Crowe, making the album a true companion piece to the film. Published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and Atlantic Books in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the book is an aesthetically stunning chronicle of Pearl Jam's past two decades, compiled and written by veteran music writer Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson, and featuring a foreword by Cameron Crowe and material from all his own band interviews. Also this September: Pearl Jam's Alpine Valley Labor Day anniversary weekend concert and 10-date Canadian tour, followed by the film's theatrical release. The DVD will be available in October after the PBS broadcast premiere. For more information, visit

To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website ( offers streaming video of select films, interviews, essays, photographs, outtakes, and other resources. As part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival, will host an online interactive exhibit that takes viewers into the design process behind Pearl Jam's CD and poster artwork.

American Masters is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers. This PBS Arts Fall Festival presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station KCTS. Funding for the launch of PBS Arts has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.

About WNET New York Public Media
WNET is America's flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces such acclaimed PBS series as Great Performances, American Masters, Nature, Need to Know, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Noah Comprende and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through SundayArts, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.

About PBS Arts Fall Festival
As part of its commitment to increase every American's access to and participation in the arts, PBS kicks off the multi-platform PBS Arts Fall Festival October 14th. Anchored by Friday night broadcasts, the Fall Festival features artists and performances from nine communities across the country and celebrity hosts from each locale. With full-length performances; local mini-documentaries of arts scenes around the country; backstage access through interviews; artist and performer profiles; online immersive exhibits; and classroom resources, the PBS Arts Fall Festival entertains and inspires consumers by offering a front-row seat to the creativity, culture, history and scope of the arts. Funding for the launch of PBS Arts Fall Festival has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.

Craig Chaquico plays Coach House on Saturday, Sept. 3

Former Jefferson Starship guitarist (seen here at NAMM in January 2011) has carved out a successful solo career blending rock, contemporary jazz, blues, new age and American Indian styles. He’ll be the headliner at a three-act concert in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011.

Craig Chaquico, the lead guitarist who performed on all of Jefferson Starship’s hits from 1973 to 1990, quickly reinvented himself as an influential instrumentalist who went on to sell more than a million albums as a solo act, with compositions that blend rock, contemporary jazz, blues, new age and American Indian styles.

Chaquico (pronounced Cha-KEY-so) will headline Saturday night (Sept. 3, 2011) at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. He most recently came to Orange County in January, when he attended the NAMM music trade show in Anaheim and performed on acoustic guitar and the laser-guided instrument Beamz.

I had the pleasure of getting to meet the legendary guitarist and see him perform at NAMM, and even took him up on his offer to play on the Beamz while he played guitar. That is likely the closest I'll ever get to performing with a high-profile player of his calibre to be sure!

Compositions such as “Indian Spring,” “Cafe Carnivale” and “Gathering of the Tribes” are among Chaquico’s memorable works.

The Sacramento native’s most recent full-length album, Follow the Sun, was released in 2009 as a tribute to his late parents. The disc includes the flamenco-style “Azores Lisboa” (a reference to the Azores Islands and Lisbon, Portugal, where his parents lived before coming to the United States), the jazz-tinged “Solar Wind,” the funky “Circus Beach” and a cover of Kenny G’s “Songbird.”

Other releases include the Grammy-nominated Acoustic Highway (1993), Acoustic Planet (1994), Four Corners (1999), Shadow and Light (2002) and “Midnight Noon” (2004).

Tickets for Chaquico's performance at The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA, are $20.

For more information, contact the Coach House at (949)496-8930 or visit

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lou Reed & Metallica join forces; Peter, Paul and Mary celebrate the holidays; Michael W. Smith goes instrumental

Fans of Lou Reed, Metallica, Michael W. Smith, and Peter, Paul and Mary will all find truly-anticipated releases on the way this fall. Here are some highlights of the latest releases to land in my inbox.


In what is sure to be one of the most talked-about alliances of the year, New York king of avant-rock Lou Reed has teamed up with best-selling hard rock band Metallica to record a brand-new album, entitled Lulu, which will be released by Warner Bros. Records on November 1st, 2011. The album was co-produced by Reed, Metallica, Hal Willner who has produced albums for Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, among others and Greg Fidelman. Fidelman also mixed the record.

The idea for these two giants of modern music to work together was born after the 25th anniversary Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame concerts in New York City in October 2009. Metallica -singer/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Rob Trujillo - played with Reed on Velvet Underground classics "Sweet Jane" and "White Light/White Heat." "We knew from then that we were made for each other," Reed says.

After that triumphant performance, Reed suggested they all make a record together. At first they planned to record an album of Reed's older material, what Ulrich describes as "some of Lou's lost jewels - songs that he felt he'd like to give a second spin, and we could do whatever it is we do to some of those songs." That idea "hung in the air for a couple of months." Then, a week or two before that session was to begin, "Lou called up and said, 'Listen, I have this other idea.'"

That idea was to record a series of songs Reed had written for American avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson and German theater group the Berliner Ensemble's production of the Lulu Plays, which premiered in Aprilat the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, founded by Bertolt Brecht. The songs are inspired by German expressionist Frank Wedekind's early 20th century plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box, and were a rewrite of Edgar Allan Poe's, The Raven, which emerged as a graphic novel on Fantagraphics Press.

"We were very interested in working with Lou," says Hetfield. "I had these giant question marks: What's it going to be like? What's going to happen? So it was great when he sent us the lyrics for the Lulu body of work. It was something we could sink our teeth into. I could take off my singer and lyricist hat and concentrate on the music part. These were very potent lyrics, with a soundscape behind them for atmosphere. Lars and I sat there with an acoustic and let this blank canvas take us where it needed to go. It was a great gift, to be asked to stamp 'TALLICA on it. And that's what we did."

"We had to bring Lulu to life in a sophisticated way, using rock," Reed says. "And the hardest power rock you could come up with would have to be Metallica. They live on that planet. We played together, and I knew it: dream come true. This is the best thing I ever did. And I did it with the best group I could possibly find. By definition, everybody involved was honest. This has come into the world pure. We pushed as far as we possibly could within the realms of reality."

"It's definitely not a Metallica album, or a Lou Reed album," adds Hammett. "It's something else. It's a new animal, a hybrid."

About Lou Reed: The king of New York avant-rock, Lou Reed made innovative, iconoclastic music with the profoundly influential The Velvet Underground before "Walk On The Wild Side" gave him 1972's most unlikely pop hit. He reacted to this development with admirable perversity; releasing a stream of diverse and challenging solo albums, from the macabre, monumental Berlin to the subtle, seductive Coney Island Baby, from the wallpaper-peeling Metal Machine Music (Cash Box review: no stars) to the punk pivot Street Hassle. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1996. Recent years have seen his always-present literary bent come increasingly to the fore on works like New York, Magic And Loss, and The Raven.

About Metallica: Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica have become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 100 million albums worldwide and playing to millions of fans the world over. They have scored several multi-platinum albums, including 1991's Metallica (commonly referred to as "The Black Album"), which is the best selling album in history of Soundscan scanning almost 15.7 million albums in the United States alone. Their latest album, Death Magnetic, was certified platinum just six weeks after it debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in October 2008. Metallica have also garnered numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

Peter, Paul and Mary's 'Holiday Concert' in stores on Oct. 18, 2011

The Family Favorite Finally Debuts on DVD

'Holiday Concert' features performances of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and other classic holiday songs plus the Hits “Puff, The Magic Dragon” and “Blowin’ in the Wind”

What began in 1981 as a benefit for the New York Choral Society has now become a decades-long holiday music tradition. Peter, Paul and Mary’s legendary Holiday Concert makes its DVD debut October 18, 2011 from Shout! Factory. Long anticipated by fans, the concert was only available on VHS and is currently out of print.

The live concert features a symphony orchestra and a 200-voice chorus performing a mixture of the group’s iconic folk classics such as “Puff, The Magic Dragon,” Christmas and Hanukkah songs and carols as well as traditional spirituals and holiday songs. A longtime holiday family favorite, the DVD is a must have for fans of the trio and DVD collectors alike. Fans can now pre-order the DVD on

The annual PBS special became a holiday ritual for families throughout North America who faithfully watched the show. Highlights of The Holiday Concert DVD include performances by children from Mary’s elementary school accompanying the trio on “Light One Candle” as well as Peter’s Hanukkah song written especially for this show. Renowned conductor emeritus Robert DeCormier of the New York Choral Society, makes an appearance, sharing the stage with the trio as his former student, Mary Travers, sings gloriously with Paul and Peter, completing a remarkable musical circle.

Peter, Paul and Mary are undoubtedly, one of the most cherished musical ensembles of all time and The Holiday Concert DVD showcases the warmth and universal reach of their music.

Peter, Paul and Mary’s 25th Anniversary Concert Program Listing:

1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

2. A Soalin’

3. I Wonder As I Wander

4. O Come O Come Emmanuel

5. The Magi

6. Children Go Where I Send Thee

7. Twas The Night Before Christmas

8. The Friendly Beasts

9. Hayo, Haya

10. Light One Candle

11. Weave Me The Sunshine

12. Marvelous Toy

13. The Cherry Tree Carol

14. Puff, The Magic Dragon

15. Blowin’ In The Wind

16. This Land Is Your Land

17. O Come All Ye Faithful

18. Hark The Herald Angels Sing

19. Silent Night

20. Hallelujah Chorus

21. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Smith’s 23rd Career Studio Album Available Nov. 22, 2011

One of contemporary Christian music’s most enduring and beloved artists, Michael W. Smith presents the highly anticipated instrumental follow-up to his 2000 RIAA Gold-selling album, Freedom. Titled Glory, the project, Smith’s 23rd career record, will be available at national retail outlets on Nov. 22, 2011.

Recorded with a 65-piece orchestra at London’s prestigious AIR Studios (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Peter Gabriel, Pirates of the Caribbean, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”), Glory was arranged by Smith’s longtime friend David Hamilton and features a moving collection of original music. Included on the album, produced by Smith, are “Glory – The Overture,” “The Patriot,” “Heroes,” “Whitaker’s Wonder,” “Redemption,” “Atonement,” “The Romance,” “The Tribute” and a larger-than-life symphonic version of “Agnus Dei.”

Smith comments, “I’ve said many times that Freedom is my favorite record, so I’m very excited to be releasing my second instrumental record. I think the people that enjoyed Freedom will love this one; and I actually think some of the unique musical twists this project is taking will open it up to a whole new audience as well.”

On the inspiration for Glory, Smith notes, “When I work with an orchestra I feel like I’m in my element. I often think of the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ and the famous quote by the film’s hero Eric Liddell. He says, ‘when I run I feel His pleasure.’ This statement encompasses my experience when I work on instrumental music. When I’m able to see sweeping melodies and epic, cinematic songs come to fruition, it’s like I am offering a prayer to our Father in Heaven.”

Glory will be released via MWS Group and distributed by Provident Distribution/Sony Music.
Standby for additional on Smith’s forthcoming fall and winter tours. For a list of current tour dates, visit:

About Michael W. Smith
Throughout his 29-year career as a recording artist, Michael W. Smith has amassed an impressive catalog of achievements. His prior 22 albums have garnered multiple honors including an American Music Award, three GRAMMY ® Awards (from 13 nominations), 44 GMA Dove Awards and 33 No. 1 radio hits. In addition, he holds 16 Gold, 7 Platinum and 2 Double-Platinum albums for career sales of 15 million. Wonder, Smith’s 22nd career album, released Sept. 28, 2010. Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2009, Smith has scored film projects, written 12 books and been featured by media outlets including “Hannity,” NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Larry King Live,” “FOX & Friends,” The Associated Press, Billboard, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and more.

Constantly giving back to the community, one of Smith’s current projects is Rocketown – a nightclub for teens in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. – which serves as a safe place for young people to enjoy music and for artists to be discovered. He and wife of 30 years, Debbie, are the proud parents of five children.

For more information on Michael W. Smith please visit: or

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vanguard Records new releases set: Merle Haggard, Chris Isaak, Indigo Girls, Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers

After a strong schedule of summer releases featuring new full-length albums from Glen Campbell and David Serby, a stunning live album from Bad Company, and - not one - but two collections paying tribute to Buddy Holly, fall is looking pretty good too. Vanguard Records has just announced a number of exciting releases on the way.


Merle Haggard - Working In Tennessee - October 4th
Iconic country music legend, Country Hall of Famer, and most recently a Kennedy Center Honoree, Merle Haggard’s Working In Tennessee, marks his second disc for Vanguard Records. This is a collection of self-penned Haggard riches, plus a couple of classics made famous by Johnny Cash, as well as a new version of Merle’s stalwart “Working Man Blues” featuring Willie Nelson and his son Ben Haggard. Working in Tennessee is another in a long line of stellar discs filled with Haggard’s honest and candid observations of the world with backing by his longtime band The Strangers plus a number of veteran studio cohorts. Produced by Haggard and Lou Bradley at the Hag’s Northern California Tally studio, the album is another worthy addition to his tremendous body of decades of radiant work.

Click here to pre-order Working In Tennessee.

The Indigo Girls - Beauty Queen Sister - October 4th
Grammy-winning folk-rock duo Indigo Girls’ fourteenth studio album, Beauty Queen Sister is a stunning 13-song collection featuring the signature storytelling that fans have grown to love, touching on modern-world worries and romanticizing the simplicity of days gone by. Recorded in Nashville, the duo reunited with producer Peter Collins, with whom the Indigo Girls worked on 1992’s Rites of Passage and 1994’s Swamp Ophelia. The Indigo Girls’ constant touring, as well as staunch dedication to a number of social and environmental causes, has earned them a fervidly devoted following over the years. So many artists who launched their careers in the late 1980s have slipped from our collective memory, yet the Indigo Girls continue to sing night after night to multi-generational audiences who flock to their shows and give themselves over to the power of their music. Beauty Queen Sister will be the fourth album released on their own IG Recordings/ Vanguard Records.

Click here to listen to the first single, "Making Promises."

Chris Isaak - Beyond The Sun - October 18th
Beyond the Sun, Chris Isaak’s Vanguard Records debut is a self-described labor of love. Since he fell in love with his parents’ 45s as a child in Stockton, California, this passionate writer/artist has been obsessed with the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Studio and the visionary artists who got their starts there—including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis—all of them discovered and nurtured by the great producer Sam Phillips. Now, at long last, Isaak magically recaptures the transformative brilliance of the classic sides cut by these greats at Sun with Phillips during the mid-’50s, while also getting down to the nitty-gritty of his own deeply rooted musical identity. Isaak’s longstanding desire to musically salute his inspirations was fast-tracked when he read a 2000 interview with Phillips that appeared in the Oxford American. Phillips was asked if any contemporary recording artists grabbed his attention. His response blew Chris away. “I don't keep up with the business like I used to,” said Phillips, “but I love to listen to Chris Isaak. He’s very talented, and his music is so damned honest. It’s incredible.” That pretty much sealed the deal for this Sun worshiper. Produced by Isaak, Beyond the Sun was recorded mostly at the historic Sun Studio in Memphis with his longtime band and features a guest performance by the Memphis legend, ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement. Beyond The Sun will be released in a standard and deluxe package. The deluxe package includes 14 tracks plus 11 additional recordings. A 2 LP vinyl edition of the deluxe package will be available in November.

Click here to stream samples from Beyond The Sun

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixters - Gift Horse - October 11th
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. 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. 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.

Click here to listen to the first single, "Gravity." / Click here to pre-order the album.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Max Weinberg returning to Orange County on Sept. 30

THE MAX WEINBERG 7+ featuring BILL CHAMPLIN (formerly of CHICAGO) are set to perform in Mission Viejo on Friday evening, Sept. 30

Max Weinberg, legendary long time drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and amazing Tonight Show Band leader teams with Grammy Award winning vocalist, songwriter and Hammond B3 player extraordinaire Bill Champlin, to create an evening of pop, funk, Jazz and great rock and roll. Bill Champlin is best known for his 28 years as the keyboardist/ vocalist/ songwriting mainstay of the legendary group Chicago ("Hard Habit to Break" "Look Away") as well as the founder and leader of the seminal 1960’s San Francisco area “rock band with horns” Sons of Champlin. Both artists will be featured performing select songs from their illustrious careers.

Earlier this summer, Weinberg and Champlin performed in Newport Beach before an enthusiastic crowd, and for all of those who missed that concert (including yours truly), this marks a perfect chance to catch the acclaimed artists together again.

Here are key details:
Max Weinberg and Bill Champlin will perform as part of a musical kick off for the Mission Viejo Readers

When: Friday – September 30th – 7:00

Where: Norman P. Murray Center – Sycamore Room

24932 Veterans Way
Mission Viejo, CA

VIP Gold – Assigned, First Seven Rows - $70

Reserved Section -Open Seating Rows 8 through 14 - $45

General Admission -Rows 15 through 21 - $35

For more information, visit
or call 949-842-2227

Sights and Sounds: Brian Wilson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jon McLaughlin

Here are some of the more interesting items to land in my inbox since I last posted. Hey, and who knew that Brian Wilson wanted to rework classics from "Snow White," "The Lion King" and "Dumbo"? Actually sounds pretty interesting...Users of iTunes (and who doesn't nowadays?) will want to check out the latest news about the forthcoming album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Pop Legend Brian Wilson Puts His Stamp on In the Key of Disney



Wouldn't it be nice if Brian Wilson put his inimitable stamp on the Disney songbook? That's exactly what the Beach Boys co-founder and musical living legend has done on In the Key of Disney, Wilson's new Disney Pearl collection of songs from seven decades of Disney films. Featuring hits from early-animated classics such as "Snow White" and "Pinocchio," up through last year's "Toy Story 3," the new album boasts Wilson's trademark harmonies, lead vocals and brilliant pop arrangements. Brian Wilson's In the Key of Disney arrives in stores and at online retailers Oct. 25.

In addition to producing the album, Wilson wrote all vocal arrangements and co-wrote arrangements for his band with Paul Von Mertens. Song selection was a careful process for Wilson, who chose from among every era of Disney films, to appeal to kids and adults of all ages. Said Wilson, "Like every kid in America, I grew up loving Disney, especially the animated classics. The songs from those masterpieces were as much a part of my musical education as anything else. So it only made sense that I would want to put my spin on some of those truly great songs."

Drawing on Wilson's genius for layered vocal harmonies and crisp pop arrangements, In the Key of Disney is a must for fans of the Beach Boys and Disney music. Songs included on the album are:

1."You've Got a Friend In Me," the Oscar®-nominated hit from "Toy Story," given a funky New Orleans twist with classic Brian Wilson harmonies.
2."Bare Necessities," a rousing rendition of the 1967 classic from "The Jungle Book," re-envisioned in the Tin Pan Alley style that so impacted Wilson as a songwriter.
3."Baby Mine," the gentle ballad from "Dumbo," done as a doo-wop lullaby in the fashion of the Beach Boys' "In My Room."
4."Kiss the Girl," one of the unforgettable songs from "The Little Mermaid" punctuated by stunning Brian Wilson harmonies.
5."Colors of the Wind" the signature song from "Pocahontas" and winner of the 1995 Academy Award for Best Original Song, reinterpreted as only Brian Wilson can.
6."Can You Feel the Love Tonight," the Oscar®-winning ballad (composed by Wilson's friend Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice) from "The Lion King" adorned with Wilson's flawless choral harmonies.
7."We Belong Together," Wilson's sizzling rock 'n' roll take on the Oscar®-winning Randy Newman classic from "Toy Story 3."
8."I Just Can't Wait to Be King," one of the cheeriest tunes from "The Lion King," made even more fun by Brian Wilson.
9."Stay Awake," the lullaby from "Mary Poppins," a surprising choice but revived beautifully with Wilson's intimate arrangement.
10."Heigh Ho/Whistle While You Work," the album's sole instrumental, is a masterful, whimsical medley drawn from "Snow White."
11."When You Wish Upon a Star" from "Pinocchio," the album's closer and arguably the signature song from the Disney pantheon, given new life with Wilson's lush harmonies.

"These days, I enjoy watching the classic Disney films with my own children and grandchildren," says Wilson. "It's fun to watch them discover the magic, both in the stories and characters, as well as in the music. I made this album for them, just as much as for me and for my fans, and I hope everyone enjoys it."

Brian Wilson is one of the great American composers of the last 100 years. The Southern California native, along with his brothers, a cousin and a friend, formed the Beach Boys while still in their teens. With Wilson as chief songwriter and arranger, the band not only turned out dozens of hits, but changed music forever thanks to Wilson's innovative melodies and harmonies. Songs like "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda," "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," and the #1 smash "Good Vibrations" remain indispensable staples in the rock 'n' roll canon. The band's "Pet Sounds" (1966) is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Wilson continued to make great music after the Beach Boys, with 10 solo albums including his breathtaking Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE, which he began recording in the 1960s and finally completed in 2004 to thunderous critical acclaim and Top 20 chart success (as well as earning a Grammy). A member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honoree and recipient of multiple Gold and Platinum records, Wilson has earned his well-deserved pop music immortality. Last year, Wilson made his Disney Pearl debut with Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin, which included his versions of great Gershwin tunes as well as two new songs fashioned from fragments given to Wilson by the Gershwin estate.

Brian Wilson: In the Key of Disney will be available wherever music is sold on Oct. 25. For more information on Walt Disney Records' releases, please visit, become a fan at or follow us at For more information on Brian Wilson, please visit


Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album I'm With You, which will be released Monday, August 29th by Warner Bros. Records, is the first rock album specially mastered to optimize digital sound quality for iTunes Store customers. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and mastered for iTunes using high-resolution sourced audio to provide fans with an incredibly rich listening experience.

"We are excited to work with iTunes to make an even better listening experience for fans," says producer Rick Rubin, who produced the band's five previous albums. "We can't wait for everyone to hear it."

Earlier this month, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" claimed the top spot on Billboard's Alternative chart, enabling the Los Angeles quartet to surpass their own record for the artist with the most Number One singles in Modern Rock radio chart history with 12. The track is also No. 1 on both the BDS and Mediabase charts for the third consecutive week.

I'm With You is Red Hot Chili Peppers' first new album since the two-set Stadium Arcadium, which debuted at No. 1 in 28 countries around the world, including the U.S. - their first Number One album on the Los Angeles quartet's home turf. The album spawned three No.1 Modern Rock hits: "Dani California" (which spent 14 weeks at No. 1 and is one of three songs in the history of Billboard's Alternative Chart to debut at No. 1), "Tell Me Baby," and "Snow (Hey Oh)." To support Stadium Arcadium, the Chili Peppers played to millions of fans around the world throughout 2007, including sold-out arena tours of Europe and North America, appearances at the Fuji Festival in Japan and Live Earth, and headlining slots at Lollapalooza in Chicago, and the Leeds and Reading Festivals in the U.K.

One of the most successful acts in rock history, Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold more than 60 million albums, including five multi-platinum LPs, and won six Grammy Awards, including "Best Rock Album" for Stadium Arcadium, "Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group" for "Dani California," "Best Rock Song" for "Scar Tissue," and "Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal" for "Give It Away." Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, will travel to South America in September for several shows, including a headlining stint at the Rock in Rio Festival in Brazil on the 24th. In October, the band set off on a European tour. Please visit for all tour dates.



Singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin will kick off the release of his much anticipated new album, Forever if Ever, with a three month tour that will include over 40 concerts throughout North America, co-headlining with Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers. Forever if Ever (due September 6, 2011) embodies McLaughlin’s irresistible songwriting style and charismatic live performances, and is the newest album in a career that has been filled with critical acclaim and a dizzying array of success that has taken him up the charts, to the Oscars, into the studio with fellow artists like Jason Mraz, and on the road with Sara Bareilles and Kelly Clarkson, and Marc Broussard.

Four years, two albums, hit singles like “Beautiful Disaster” (with a hook that few could resist) and an Academy Award performance brought McLaughlin to an unlikely crossroads when it came time to record a new disc. He wanted to write songs, and he wanted them to be his own. Grateful for the brilliant songwriters his label had paired him with while making 2007’s Indiana and OK Now (2008), he missed the profound connection he felt when singing lyrics that tapped into his own soul. So Jon parted ways with Island Records and got back to writing solo.

With creative control back in hand, it was only natural for McLaughlin to take on producing duties as well, bringing his longtime band into the studio with him for the first time. It gave Forever if Ever a truly complete, band-like sound that he’d missed during his major-label recording sessions. And at the core of it all remained Jon’s sweetly melancholy songs. Liberated by the freedom to write without budgets, radio and marketplace weighing in, McLaughlin was able to let his stories and characters live like never before with lyrics that are painfully, achingly beautiful. He wrote songs about love of all kinds, heartache, longing and loss that were intensely personal yet universal, instantly apposite to his fans.

Jon will bring his new songs, and his hits, to life this fall on his extensive three month tour with Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers. Just prior to heading out on the road, Jon will join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for a very special concert on September 10th at Conner Prairie in Fishers, IN. The event, Concert For A Cause: Jon McLaughlin with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, will raise funds for Outreach Inc and the symphony’s community programs.

For more information, including his upcoming tour dates throughout North America, visit Jon McLaughlin's official Web site at

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sights and Sounds: James Brown, Malajube, Tyler Ramsey, Tony Bennett, Amy Winehouse

Lots of news in the world of music. I've reposted some edited news releases that have landed in my inbox over the past couple of days...Enjoy!

The GRAMMY Museum Presents Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown exhibit exploring Brown’s trailblazing role as the “Godfather of Soul”

Exhibit set to open September 17

Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown will debut at The GRAMMY Museum. The exhibit will focus on James Brown as the “Godfather of Soul” – blazing a trail in American music by blending gospel, pop and soul- as well as show Brown’s role as a trendsetter in both fashion and dance. The exhibit will also illustrate how Brown used his music and celebrity to positively impact the Civil Rights Movement and race relations of the 1960’s. The exhibit will open to the public on Saturday, September 17, 2011.

“Not only is James Brown one of the greatest vocalists in soul music, he is also one of its primary architects, using the genre to inspire other artists and further advance his cause, said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. “It’s an honor to pay tribute to his musical and cultural legacy at The GRAMMY Museum.”

Born into poverty in Georgia , James Brown began performing gospel and R&B at an early age. His first R&B hit came with the 1956 release “Please, Please, Please” with The Famous Flames. However, it was in the following decade that that Brown achieved major success, starting with 1965’s “Papa’s Gotta Brand New Bag.” As the 1960’s continued, Brown became a black icon, known as much for his increasing social activism as his legendary live performances. Once dubbed as the “hardest-working man in show business,” James Brown charted more R&B hits (116) than any other performer and is second only to Elvis Presley in Billboard Hot 100 pop hits (96).

Bringing together a collection of diverse artifacts, rare photographs and more, the exhibit features items from the private collection of the Brown family. On display, visitors will see a broad array of items including:

* Stage costumes worn by Brown, including one of his signature capes

* Early albums

* Rare photographs of Brown both on and off stage

* Handwritten lyrics

* Ticket stubs, concert posters, tour books and fan memorabilia

Additionally, The GRAMMY Museum has interviewed artists and musicians who have worked with or have been influenced by Brown, sharing their perspectives on the role that he played in transforming R&B music into soul and the influence he had on fashion and culture. Featured footage includes conversations with Bootsy Collins, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, T.A.M.I. Show Director Steve Binder, Chuck D and many more.

“The amount of artists who list James Brown as a major influence is incredible,” said Santelli. “From his activism in the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties, to being a major player in the Blaxploitation craze in the seventies to his obvious contributions to Funk and Hip-Hop - it’s no wonder why James Brown is one of the world’s most sampled recording artists of all-time.”

Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown will be on display in The GRAMMY Museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery through January 22, 2012.

The GRAMMY Museum is located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245 , and Los Angeles , CA 90015 . With an entrance off of Figueroa Street , the Museum resides within the L.A. LIVE campus, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles .


Acclaimed Francophone Rockers Malajube announce U.S. tour dates

New album LA CAVERNE slated for September 13, 2011 release on MB3 Records

Montreal's indie stars Malajube are proud to present their much-awaited new album: La Caverne. The album is out in the US on September 13, 2011 via MB3 Records. In mid-September, Malajube will be embarking upon a cross-country North American tour in support of La Caverne. They will be playing 10 dates throughout the US with artists such as Brian Bonz, Les Sans Culottes, Johnny Chan & The New Dynasty 6, Patrick Watson, The Besnard Lakes & The Barr Brothers.

On their fourth studio release, Malajube has carefully crafted an album full of texture, spontaneity, and excitement while maintaining an exacting attention to detail. Unique, tonal melodies push the sound forth, creating a flowing tale of both harmony and beat. Guitar-based but synth-influenced, La Caverne brings pop into a more impartial genre-- borrowing from a vast array of influence, from rock to punk to electronic.

Check the full run of US dates below:

September 16th || New York, NY || Mercury Lounge *
September 17th || Brooklyn, NY || The Rock Shop ^
September 21st || Los Angeles, CA || The El Rey %
October 1st || Minneapolis, MN || Triple Rock Social Club #
October 2nd || Madison, WI || High Noon Salon #
October 4th || Chicago, IL || Lincoln Hall #
October 5th || Kalamazoo, MI || The Strutt #
October 6th || Cleveland, OH || Beachland Ballroom & Tavern #
October 7th || Philadelphia, PA || Johnny Brenda's #
October 8th || Hartford, CT || Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art #

* - with Brian Bonz
^ - with Les Sans Culottes, Johnny Chan & The New Dynasty 6
% - with Patrick Watson, The Besnard Lakes & The Barr Brothers
# - with The Besnard Lakes



To celebrate the life and music of Amy Winehouse, the “2011 MTV Video Music Awards” will pay special tribute to the late British songstress with music legend, Tony Bennett. Winehouse and her hero, Bennett, recently recorded the duet, “Body and Soul,” for his upcoming Duets II album, out September 20, 2011. Marking his first appearance on the VMA stage since 1993, Mr. Bennett, who won one Album of the Year, at the 1995 Grammy Awards for the CD MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett, will introduce the tribute, which includes unveiling footage from their recording session together. “Body and Soul” was Winehouse’s final session and took place this past March at Abbey Road Studios in London. The single and video will be released by Columbia Records September 14, Amy’s Birthday, in support of the Amy Winehouse Foundation established by the late singer’s family to help a number of charities connected with children and young people.

“It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse and when you listen to the recording of “Body and Soul,” it is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance as one of the most honest musicians I have ever known,” said Mr. Bennett.

Winehouse, known for the depth and power of her soulful voice will be remembered by fans and peers for her awe inspiring talent and classic hits such as “Rehab,” “Back to Black,” “Me & Mr. Jones,” and “You Know I'm No Good.”

Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse said, “Our family is honored that the VMA’s are giving Amy this wonderful tribute. We know that Amy’s performance of Rehab at the MTV Movie Awards played an important part in Amy’s worldwide success.”

2011 VMA performers include Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and Young The Giant. Jonah Hill, Rick Ross, Seth Rogen, Odd Future, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Lautner, Drake, Joe Jonas, Jared Leto, and JB Smoove from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm are confirmed to present. Additionally, Jessie J was just announced as VMA house artist. The “2011 MTV Video Music Awards” will air live from Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT)..

The 2011 “MTV Video Music Awards” will be available to a potential viewing audience of more than 1.2 billion people via MTV’s global network of more than 60 channels reaching more than 640 million households around the world as well as through syndication. In addition, its convergent programming and content will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV’s nearly 200 digital media properties around the world.

To watch video of last year’s biggest moments, get the full list of last year’s show winners and can check out fashion, celebrity and music commentary from the shows’ red carpets, please go to

Tyler Ramsey: "The Valley Wind" Song Stream Premiere, New Album iTunes and Fat Possum Pre-orders Live Now




Tyler Ramsey premiered a stream of the title track of his upcoming third album, The Valley Wind, yesterday on Sirius XMU Blog Radio and My Old Kentucky Blog: The song can also be streamed and shared via the following player: The Valley Wind, which will be released September 27th, 2011 on Fat Possum, is also now available for pre-order on iTunes and via Fat Possum's webstore. The iTunes album version will include an exclusive cover of "All Through The Night," the Jules Shear-penned song made famous by Cyndi Lauper.

Following September tour dates with Band Of Horses, Ramsey - the band's guitarist - will head out on the road in early October for his own headlining shows. His October tour begins at The Grey Eagle in hometown Asheville, NC on the 6th and includes a show at Joe's Pub in New York, NY on the 10th. A current list of dates is below, with more to be announced shortly.

The Valley Wind is a crystalline yet warm album, nine finely spun songs filled with Ramsey's rich, plaintive vocals and expressive, intricate guitar playing. Opener "Raven Shadow" is a brief instrumental introduction that highlights his stirring guitar lines, and is followed by the evocative and cinematic title track. Elsewhere, the album ranges from the lush yet simple, finger-picked guitar of "1000 Blackbirds" to the rolling, fuller band sound of "Stay Gone"; from the hypnotic, contemplative "Time Is A Changing Line" to the insistent, chiming "When It's Done"; and from the slowly waltzing "Angel Band" to the moody "All Night."

Ramsey wrote The Valley Wind while on and off the road over the past year, and recorded the album at Alex The Great studio in Nashville, TN over six days in early January. Friend and bandmate Bill Reynolds (who's worked with The Avett Brothers and Lissie) produced and aided on bass, while friend Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) sat in on drums and guitar, also singing background vocals. Ramsey's sophomore album A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea - which was praised by NPR, Stereogum, and Popmatters, among others - was re-released by Brown Records/Fat Possum in January.

Tyler Ramsey tour dates:









For more information about Tyler Ramsey and The Valley Wind, please visit:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Glen Campbell's return includes television and concerts

Although Glen Campbell's forthcoming "Ghost On The Canvas" won't be released until Tuesday, Aug. 30, I've had the chance to listen to the 16-track collection and it is a powerful album that will appeal to long-time fans of the legendary singer-songwriter-guitarist, as well as to casual fans not familiar with his blend of song craft. I plan to write a full-length review of "Ghost On The Canvas" in connection with the release date, but I was sent a detailed media release about Campbell's upcoming appearances in concert and on TV, so wanted to get that posted now.





Legendary musician Glen Campbell has announced a number of appearances surrounding the arrival of his remarkable new Surfdog Records release, Ghost On The Canvas. The album - which marks the iconic singer/guitarist/songwriter's final studio recording - arrives everywhere on August 30th.

Campbell will discuss the album, as well as his recent diagnoses of early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Terry Moran, slated to air tomorrow, August 23 (6:30 p.m. EST) on World News with Diane Sawyer. The interview will be followed by Nightline the same night (11:35pm) and the next day on Good Morning America. In addition, the multiple Grammy Award-winner will herald Ghost On The Canvas with an array of live TV performances, including NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 12 and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 27.

Ghost On The Canvas sees Campbell capping his brilliant career with one of his most moving and energized works to date, a powerfully emotional song cycle that sees him accompanied by a truly dazzling line-up of songwriters and musicians. Among the tunesmiths contributing original songs to the collection are such modern luminaries as Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, Robert Pollard, and Teddy Thompson, backed by a roster of players that includes Chris Isaak, Dick Dale, Billy Corgan, Brian Setzer, Rick Nielsen, Roger Manning and The Dandy Warhols. The album is produced by Julian Raymond, who also co-wrote a number of new songs with Campbell.

Ghost On The Canvas has already earned early praise from Rolling Stone which calls the disc "powerful" and England's Uncut, which awarded the album four-out-of-five stars while applauding Campbell's "majestic storytelling" and "soaring vocal(s)." In addition, Associated Press hailed a recent Campbell concert in Biloxi, Mississippi - his first live date since announcing his illness - as no less than "a triumph," noting that "the 75-year-old Campbell brought the crowd to its feet after acing the delicate runs in the middle of his classic 'Wichita Lineman.'"
Campbell will celebrate the new album - as well as his extraordinary five-decade-plus career - with a valedictory concert tour, dubbed "The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour." Among the highlights is a hugely anticipated show at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre, set for October 6, 2011. Campbell will then travel to England, Ireland and Scotland for a major series of dates, including an October 22nd concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. A slate of additional shows will be announced shortly.

* * * * *

For more than fifty years, Glen Campbell has been among popular music's most successful and significant artists, a multi-talented superstar who can rightfully be declared a living legend and a true American treasure. The Arkansas-born Campbell took up guitar at an early age and in 1958, relocated to Los Angeles where he immediately became an in-demand session musician. He joined forces with the legendary Wrecking Crew, a group of session players whose work can be heard on a stunning range of recordings spanning TV themes, film scores, and commercial jingles, to artists including Frank Sinatra, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Elvis Presley, and most famously the producer, Phil Spector, with whom they helped create the famed "Wall of Sound." In 1964, Campbell was invited to become a touring member of The Beach Boys, playing bass and singing falsetto harmonies, then later contributing guitar to 1966's seminal Pet Sounds.
Campbell achieved his first major success as a solo artist with "Gentle On My Mind," which proved a crossover smash upon its 1967 release. He followed it that same year with "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," marking the first in a string of collaborative hits penned by renowned songwriter Jimmy Webb that also includes such classics as "Wichita Lineman," "Where's The Playground, Susie," and "Galveston."

In addition to hit singles, Campbell also released a remarkable run of gold and platinum certified albums, including 1967's Gentle On My Mind, the first of seven consecutive collections to hit #1 on Billboard's "Country Albums" chart. Among them are full-length favorites like 1967's By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell and the 2x-platinum certified Wichita Lineman (both released in 1968), and 1969's Galveston.

As if his musical career weren't enough, Campbell also drew acclaim as an actor and TV personality, with credits that include 1969's True Grit (earning him a Golden Globe nomination as "Most Promising Newcomer") and four seasons as host of CBS' The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. The highly rated variety series saw Campbell joined by a spectacular assortment of stars - including John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Cream, Judy Collins - while also introducing some of country music's greatest artists to a wide national audience.

1975 saw the release of Campbell's biggest crossover triumph, "Rhinestone Cowboy," which earned RIAA gold certification while topping both Billboard's "Hot 100" and "Hot Country Singles" charts. Two years later saw Campbell repeating the feat with the gold certified, #1 smash, "Southern Nights," marking his fifth-ever country chart-topper as well as his seventh on Billboard's "Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks" tally.

Though Campbell's life has taken many difficult turns, his faith and family have long enabled him to keep pushing forward, both as a touring superstar and acclaimed recording artist. In 2008, he united with Ghost On The Canvas producer Julian Raymond for one of the most unique albums in his canon, Meet Glen Campbell. The album found Campbell putting his inimitable stamp on songs by such artists as U2, Green Day, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, and Jackson Browne, supported by members of Jane's Addiction, Jellyfish, and Cheap Trick.
Over the course of his astonishing career, Campbell can lay claim to six Top 20 albums and 21 Top 40 hit singles. His track record as one of country music's greatest stars includes 27 Top 10 country classics spanning 22 years, as well as nine #1 country albums.

Campbell has also received a stunning array of honors, beginning in 1967 when he made history by winning multiple Grammy Awards in both the Country & Western and Pop categories: "Gentle On My Mind" was honored as "Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Male" and "Best Country & Western Recording," while "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" was named "Best Vocal Performance, Male" and "Best Contemporary Male Solo Vocal Performance." The following year saw Campbell earning yet another Grammy when By The Time I Get To Phoenix was named "Album of the Year" - the first country album to win the top award. What's more, "Gentle On My Mind," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman" have all since received the "Grammy Hall of Fame Award."

Among Campbell's many other honors are seven Academy of Country Music Awards (including "Top Male Vocalist" and "Album of the Year" in both 1967 and 1968), three American Music Awards (celebrating "Rhinestone Cowboy" and the album that bears its name), three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, two Country Music Association Awards, and the UK's Q Award for "Q Legend." In addition, Campbell has received the Academy of Country Music's prestigious "Pioneer Award" and has been inducted to both the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Musicians Hall of Fame (honoring his membership in The Wrecking Crew).

Latest episode of 'Music Worth Buying' celebrates wonderful comebacks from Yes and The Zombies

We've posted our latest episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING. TJR celebrates the latest album from prog rockers Yes and the genre-defying Blue Giant, while I profile the fantastic new album from The Zombies.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sights and Sounds: Hank Williams, The Temptations, The Supremes

With so many modern-day Americana and alt country artists gaining well-deserved attention (Mumford & Sons, Trampled by Turtles, The Wilderness of Manitoba, David Serby, Michael Ubaldini, etc.), it's no wonder there is renewed interest in the pioneers of the genre. Let's kick things off with lots of news about Hank Williams. Today's post offers plenty to excite fans of classic Motown too.

Time Life Continues to Shed New Light On American Music Legend
Hank Williams By Releasing Two New Digital Projects September 13, 2011

Offering First Ever E-Book Online: “Hank Williams: The Mother’s Best Shows In Words And Music” Penned by Hank Williams Biographer and Historian Colin Escott

Available For the First Time Digitally The Entire 143 Song Grammy Nominated “Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus!”

Hank Williams’ talent and life story continue to fascinate music fans around the world nearly 60 years after his death. As a result, Williams has become one of Time Life’s most successful artists during the last three years and now the company has partnered with Warner Distribution Company as a continuing part of this project for a new e-book about the music legend, Hank Williams: The Mother’s Best Shows In Words And Music that releases September 13, 2011. The book is written by the renowned Hank Williams historian, Colin Escott and takes the reader on a voyage of discovery into the roots of Williams’ music and the stories behind some of his most successful songs. His text considerably expands his work on the three top-selling box sets from the Mother’s Best recordings, including the highly acclaimed and Grammy nominated Time Life project, Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus!

Hank Williams: The Mother’s Best Shows In Words And Music is a new direction for Time Life by releasing the book digitally, and offering a unique synthesis of words, music, and photos. Besides providing the background on the history of the Mother’s Best radio shows, the e-book creates a compelling portrait of an artist that gave almost no interviews during his short 29-year life and results in a fascinating understanding of why this Pulitzer Prize winning artist still resonates with us after all these years.

According to Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams, “The relationship between the man, his music, his sense of humor, his overwhelming charisma, and the genius and tragedy of his short life all come together in these new initiatives. His awesome talent has not only survived the ages, it has survived and embraced the technology revolution and has become available once again to his ever-widening fan base.”

“From the beginning of this project we wanted to re-present Hank Williams in a fully three dimensional way sharing new insights into the man, his personality, music tastes, influences and his genius,” says Mike Jason, Senior Vice President/Retail, Time Life. “The e-book format has enabled Colin Escott to blend music, the story, photos and video into a more full representation. The forty-minute documentary included with the e-book features Williams’ daughter Jett interviewing two of Hank’s original band members. It wonderfully hits the mark, blending deeply personal reminscences and humor from these former Drifting Cowboys.”

At the same time, Time Life will digitally release the entire Grammy nominated project, Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus! that was also instrumental in Williams becoming the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize Award last year. The box set will be available at all digital music outlets. The project contains 72 complete 15-minute shows, featuring 143 performances by Hank Williams together with conversation, and much more. The recordings are from Williams’ Mother’s Best Flour shows, recorded at the pinnacle of his career in 1951. When Williams was planning to be out on tour, he prerecorded his Mother’s Best shows, and 72 of them miraculously survived.

As announced earlier, September 13 will also mark the release date of Hank Williams: The Legend Begins that includes the very first recordings of Williams at fifteen-years-old, home recordings from 1940 and his first radio series, Health And Happiness. All of the music in the 3-CD package has been meticulously restored with state of the art technology and brings Williams once again into the living room of the listener, as it would have over sixty years ago.

Classic Motown performances from 'The Ed Sullivan Show' with never-before-released footage

Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and SOFA Entertainment present The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show in celebration of The Temptations and Supremes 50th Anniversary. Both collections will be released on September 13, 2011 are packed with classic Motown performances from The Ed Sullivan Show, taped live between 1964 and 1971, and are fully restored with never before released footage.

The Supremes rose from poverty to become Motown’s most consistent hit-maker and the most popular female group of the 60’s. Along with the charmed circle of Motown singers, writers, producers and players, they rewrote the book on pop music, sang their way into the hearts of millions and made a lasting impression that continues to this day.

With a total of 16 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Best Of The Supremes collects some of the group’s greatest performances. Included in this DVD is their very first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in December 1964, showcasing their No. 1 hit "Come See About Me." Other timeless performances featured are “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “My World is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In The Name of Love” and “The Happening.” And, for the first time on DVD, this collection includes a full version of “Up the Ladder to the Roof” which is the only appearance by the “New Supremes” after Diana Ross went on to pursue a solo career.

The Temptations began their musical life in Detroit in the early sixties. With their flashy suits, distinctive harmonies and precise, split-second choreography, they popularized a refined style of performance that made them a household name. For the first time on DVD, you get the best of their Ed Sullivan Show performances. Included in this collection is the group’s very first appearance in May 1967, in which they performed a medley of hits including “My Girl” and “(I Know) I’m Losing You.” Other songs featured are the group’s No. 1 hit “I Can’t Get Next to You,” a playful version of “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” the Top Ten hit “Psychedelic Shack,” and the 1969 hit single “Runaway Child, Running Wild” with Dennis Edwards replacing David Ruffin.

Highlights of this collection include:
The Temptations’ special appearance alongside The Supremes with each group performing a medley of the other group’s hits, including “Get Ready,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” and “Baby Love.”
DVD debuting performances by The Temptations of “Hello Young Lovers,” “Autumn Leaves,” and never-before-released medleys of “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),” “All I Need,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’ll Be There” and “My Sweet Lord.”
The Temptations’ last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971 in which they performed “Get Ready” and their No. 1 hit “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” These tender and soulful performances were a fitting farewell to The Ed Sullivan Show.

Today, The Temptations and The Supremes continue to be an essential component of the Motown legacy. The Temptations recent DVD release, Get Ready: Definitive Performances 1965-1972, is currently double platinum, and their recent ICON CD has already sold more than 100,000 copies. The Supremes DVD release, Reflections - Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is also now double platinum. Fifty years later, original fans as well as new fans confirm with steady sales that these performers’ true artistry and talent is timeless.

For More Information Go To The Official Ed Sullivan Show Website.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sights and Sounds: 'Please, Please, Please: a tribute to The Smiths'

The Smiths are set to to honored with an exciting full-length collection set for release by American Laundromat Records in fall 2011.
And what a set it should be.

Among the artists set to be featured on Please, Please, Please: a tribute to The Smiths are Trespassers William covering "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," Sixpence None the Richer revisiting "I Won’t Share You" and Sara Lov offering up her take on "Well I Wonder."

Other artists set to tackle Smiths classics include Class Actress, Telekinesis, Greg Laswell, Kitten, Elk City, Girl in a Coma and Dala.

For more information on the forthcoming Please, Please, Please: a tribute to The Smiths, visit the American Laundromat Records Web site.