Monday, July 31, 2017

Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson - The Bottom Line Archive Series to featuring once-in-a-lifetime pairing of legends

Great songwriting will undoubtedly be on display on this highly-anticipated release coming out later this summer...

The Once-in-a-Lifetime Pairing of Two Songwriting Legends
Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson
Performing Their Classic Songs and Talking About Songwriting
In Their Own Words with Vin Scelsa
Recorded LIVE at The Bottom Line Cabaret (1994)

New York, NY, July 31, 2017 -- The Bottom Line Archive Series presents its next release: the once-in-a-lifetime live performance by Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson at the height of their craft, set for release September 15, 2017. Recorded at the legendary Bottom Line club in Greenwich Village, the album presents an evening of music, songwriting and storytelling - intimate, acoustic, historic. The Bottom Line Archive label is distributed via BFD/Red; BFD is a division of Bob Frank Entertainment.

Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson: In Their Own Words with Vin Scelsa is the only time these two master songwriters performed together. Over the course of one night (2/2/94) with noted radio personality Vin Scelsa leading the conversation, Reed and Kristofferson swap stories and songs. The evening and two-disc set includes Reed performing eight songs including Sweet Jane, Romeo Had Juliet, Legendary Hearts; Kristofferson's seven include Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Help Me Make it Through the Night; and each performing a cover (Kristofferson does Bird On A Wire, Reed performs Tracks of My Tears).

This singular meeting - Reed from the jungles of New York City and Kristofferson from the heart of the South - made music history, says Bottom Line co-founder/curator Allan Pepper. "It was very rare that we could present two giants on the same stage on the same night, especially artists of this caliber and impact. With this release, people who weren't there that night can experience that special night with these true music legends talking about their process and craft, cracking a few jokes along the way."

According to the liner notes penned by series producer Gregg Bendian, who performed frequently at The Bottom Line with his band, The Mahavishnu Project, "both artists were much-beloved Bottom Line regulars. Kris played a total of 42 shows at the club, while Lou played no less than 54 shows there. Many will recall that Lou recorded his famous Take No Prisoners live album over the course of five nights at club, in May of 1978. That level of relaxed comfort and spontaneity so evident on this recording is no accident. It's the sound of artists who indeed feel quite comfortable and at home on the stage of what was clearly their New York venue of choice. The playful banter of camaraderie and mutual admiration between Kris, Lou and Vin heard on this document bears this out beautifully, and the Bottom Line audience can be heard laughing, gasping, chiming in, and hanging on every note."

This release is the 12th in a planned rollout of titles over the next few years, including classic live performances by Jack Bruce, Ralph Stanley, the Brecker Brothers, Pete Seeger & Roger McGuinn, Harry Chapin and Kenny Rankin, among others.
Bottom Line co-founder/curator Allan Pepper has recordings of more than 1,000 shows from Greenwich Village nightclub, which always booked an eclectic mix of rock, jazz, blues, folk and other forms of music during its 30-year run. Pepper and the label are currently in conversation with representatives from many of the acts.
All music from The Bottom Line Archive has been mixed and mastered at The Magic Shop, an award-winning state-of-the-art studio in New York.

The Bottom Line Archive can be pre-ordered on Amazon and iTunes; and available on all digital providers. Previous editions of the BLA series are also available on Amazon and iTunes. 

About The Bottom Line:
The Bottom Line was a legendary music venue at 15 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. Owned by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, the Bottom Line opened February 12, 1974 and enjoyed a 30-year run.  Bruce Springsteen played showcase gigs at the club and Lou Reed recorded the album Live: Take No Prisoners there.  Harry Chapin held his 2000th concert at the Bottom Line in 1981.  The Bottom Line hosted an extremely wide variety of music. Among the thousands who performed on its stage were: Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, The Police, Billy Joel, Patti Smith, Hall & Oates, Prince, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Betty Carter, Ravi Shankar, Ramones, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus, Neil Sedaka, Al Kooper, Tom Waits, Peter Gabriel, Cheech & Chong, Sam & Dave, Southside Johnny, John Cale, Laura Nyro and many more.

Supergroup Black Country Communion (Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian) announce new album

Black Country Communion is back! The hard-rocking supergroup is set to release a new album this fall. I got to see and review the band back in June 2011 and they were amazing (see my review of that show here). Can't wait! Robert Kinsler

The brand new studio album "BCCIV" from supergroup Black Country Communion is available for pre-order now
Highly anticipated CD and Vinyl will be released worldwide on Friday, September 22nd

Black Country Communion delivers classic rock musicianship on another level. The Anglo-American rock group comprising vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol) and blues-rock guitarist/vocalistJoe Bonamassa, will release their long awaited and highly anticipated fourth album, BCCIV, via J&R Adventures on Friday, September 22nd 2017. This is the band's first studio album since 2013's Afterglow.

The Pre-order is available now via the Band's website, itunes and Amazon.

Just like its three predecessors, 'BCCIV' was overseen by legendary producer Kevin Shirley, whose catalogue of hit classic rock records for Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Journey, The Black Crowes, has made him the hottest producer that rock music has to offer. Shirley, who originally had the idea of putting Hughes and Bonamassa in a band after seeing them jamming together onstage in Los Angeles back in November 2009 - is the group's unofficial 'fifth member'.

Joe Bonamassa rocking the City National Grove of Anaheim with BCC in June 2011.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

Black Country Communion
 is an earth-shattering combination of American and British rock influences-a bona fide super group that conveys to the world a simple but important message: classic rock is alive and in good hands in the 21st century. Their communion together forms something that is greater than the sum of its parts, creating a legacy being cemented within the halls of music history.
Due to extensive tour and recording schedules for all of the band members' solo careers, this super group is hard to catch live and currently only has 3 live concerts scheduled with no immediate plans for more.  Just announced today, the group will play two UK exclusive shows at the Wolverhampton Civic on January 2nd, 2018 and at the Eventim Apollo in London on January 4th, 2018 - For ticket information visit:  BCC will also make a special guest appearance to perform on Joe's SOLD OUT Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea Music Festival sailing February 26- March 2nd, 2018 (

The initiative for the new album came from Joe Bonamassa, who contacted the band in 2016 to see if they would be up for going back into the studio to write and record a fourth album.  Says Joe, "I just felt the time was right for Black Country Communion to go back into the studio and write and record a new album. When I contacted Glenn, Derek and Jason, they immediately agreed to give it shot. The timing was right."

During October 2016, when news first broke about the band getting back together, things on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, started blowing up and fan reaction was overwhelming. It was clear to see that BCC fans were hungry for another album. Since then, BCCIV is destined to become one of the he biggest hard rock albums of 2017.

Black Country Communion taking a bow at City National Grove of Anaheim in June 2011.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
Black Country Communion's inception took place when front man and bass guitarist Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa fused their styles on stage in Los Angeles in November 2009 for an explosive performance at Guitar Center's King of the Blues event. With the help and guidance of producer Kevin Shirley, they further added to their rock lineage by recruiting drummer Jason Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. Taking their name from the industrial area in Britain, and the birthplace of both Hughes and Bonham, Black Country Communion released their self-titled debut album in 2010, and with that, unleashed their brand of take-no-prisoners hard rock to a world thirsting for music with substance.

Following the release of another two studio albums, 2011's well-received Black Country Communion 2 and 2012's equally impressive Afterglow, plus a smoldering live CD released in 2011, Live Over Europe, the band has firmly established themselves as one of hard rock's premier acts. The band took a hiatus in 2013 and focused on their successful solo careers.

BCC has cultivated a reputation not only as amazing songwriters, but as a powerful live act, is only exceeded by their dedication to their craft, and a willingness to challenge and motivate each other to make the best music they can.

When BCC's self-titled debut album was originally released in September 2010, Classic Rockdescribed it as "Possibly the best hard rock album of 2010," while MOJO awarded it 4 stars. Music Radar hailed the disc as "a potent and stomping collection of riff-heavy rockers that will undoubtedly stun listeners."

During its first week of release in the UK, BCC's debut album hit the #1 spot in the Official Top 40Rock Album Chart. It was voted #3 in Classic Rock's "Critics Album of the Year" poll, and listeners of Planet Rock crowned BCC as the Best New Band of 2010. In the States, former VH1 Classic TV show "That Metal Show" dubbed BCC as the Best New Rock Band of the last 10 Years.

Issued a mere nine months later, Black Country Communion 2 was darker and deeper than its predecessor.  Once again it topped the UK's Rock Album Chart. The band were also the recipients of the Best Breakthrough Act award at Classic Rock's prestigious Roll Of Honour Awards. Acknowledging that more than a single listen was required to fully appreciate its "depth and artistry", the same magazine rightly called 'BCC2' "one stone-solid classic song after another."

Now, seven years on from its inception, Bonamassa feels the time is right to bring the original BCC line-up back for album #4. "We had around 4 months to write this album, and I think the results speak for themselves," comments Glenn Hughes. "All four of us wanted to make a record that stood up to the first three albums, however, the new album is more of a progression, as we wanted to be careful not to repeat the previous albums. A lot has happened since we last recorded the Afterglow album in 2013, so, in many ways, the new album shows BCC with a much harder, riffier and bigger and bolder sound.  If you're looking for a folk album, this ain't the one."
The band assembled to record BCCIV at Cave Studios in Los Angeles in January 2017.  The album was mixed at Cave Studios in Sydney in March.  The songs on BCCIV will appeal to all fans of high quality hard rock, also those that admire singers of distinction. Hughes is not known as The Voice of Rock for nothing.
In terms of content, 'BCCIV' expands upon the progression that took place between the first three albums. With an abundance of heavy riffs, undeniable hooks, melodic flair and infectious choruses, BCCIV is a spectacular album that gets bigger and bolder with repeated spins.
"I wanted the new album to physically shake your soul. It's a wake-up call." explains Hughes.

L-R: Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham & Derek Sherinian.  
Photo credit: Neil Zlozower
'BCCIV' Tracklisting
1. Collide (4:07)
2. Over My Head (4:06)
3. The Last Song For My Resting Place (7:57)
4. Sway (5:24)
5. The Cove (7:11)
6. The Crow (6:00)
7. Wanderlust (8:18)
8. Love Remains (4:53)
9. Awake (4:42)
10. When The Morning Comes (7:56)
Black Country Communion: Official Website / Facebook /Twitter

New music: 'Frank Sinatra Collection,' Chris Fullerton, GospelbeacH, John Williams & Simone Pedroni

A mix of old and new treasures play out via several legendary television specials featuring many of the greatest singers of the 20th century, a collaboration between composer John Williams and classical pianist Simone Pedroni, and two new albums featuring outstanding emerging artists.  

Title: The Frank Sinatra Collection; The Timex Shows Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
You might like if you enjoy: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Lena Horne, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald
Tell me more: The four hour-long episodes that play out across volumes 1 and 2 of "The Frank Sinatra Collection" are true time machines. Volume 1 features two episodes of the Sinatra series, including the first episode broadcast on Oct. 19, 1959 and featuring guests Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Mitzi Gaynor. The second episode (broadcast in late 1959) is highlighted by several appearances by legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald, including the beautiful "There's a Lull in My Life." 

Kicking off the second volume is an early 1960 episode titled "To The Ladies" featuring Sinatra joined by guests Lena Horne, Mary Costa, Juliet Prowse and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The final episode serves as a tribute to Elvis Presley, with Sinatra and a cast of notables welcoming home Presley when he returned from his U.S. Army service in March 1960. But that episode also features Ol' Blue Eyes delivering a stirring live version of "Witchcraft" while Sammy Davis Jr. sings "Come On Bess" from "Porgy and Bess"; the show comes to a dramatic close with several performances featuring the King of Rock and Roll including Sinatra and Presley joining forces for a medley "Witchcraft" and "Love Me Tender." The comedy and music across the two discs is top-rate, and the episodes really serve as a time machine for the style of musical variety programming that graced the airwaves in television's formative years. Information:

Artist: Chris Fullerton
Title: Epilepsy Blues (Eight 30 Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Corb Lund, Michael Ubaldini, Townes Van Zandt
Tell me more: Austin-based singer-songwriter Chris Fullerton is the rare modern-day artist able to tap into the traditional sounds personified by Hank Williams and Hank Snow while delivering wry and insightful lyrics that capture life's myriad of of challenges and joys in the here and now. The title of Fullerton's new album Epilepsy Blues is not merely a clever phrase; Fullerton has epilepsy and that reality informs many of the songs on the 10-song disc. "Bad Winds" is delivered with minimal accompaniment, Fullerton's deep baritone deciphering the pain of dark places; the title track chronicles the struggles of his condition, including enduring epileptic seizures as he sings: "The first time's bad but the second time it's worse / the third time's sad and the fourth time it just hurts / but it's all downhill from there, it don't get no worse." Elsewhere the magic of life plays out in sharp contrast to the bad times. The sparse "Float On Up & See" is as beautiful and affecting as any love song released in memory, and the acoustic ballad "Come On In" is almost equal to that master stroke with its quiet power. Information:

Artist: GospelbeacH
Title: Another Summer of Love
You might like if you enjoy: Dawes, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Petty, Beachwood Sparks
Tell me more: While it has been 50 years since the original Summer of Love enraptured the world in 1967, the Brent Rademaker-fronted troupe GospelbeacH conjures up that mythical season on its aptly-titled disc Another Summer of Love. With a shimmering sound that recalls the Laurel Canyon sound of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Rademaker's pleasing voice and acoustic guitar is adorned with lush arrangements that make for folk rock that is melodic and ambitious. The breezy "In the Desert," driving "California Fantasy," alt country-spirited "You're Already Home" and "The City Limits," and Byrds-meets-Tom Petty gem "(I Wanna See U) All the Time" featuring Jason Soda's 12-string guitar textures. Other musicians whose notable contributions help create the beautiful soundscape that helps define Another Summer of Love include keyboardist Jonny Niemann, drummers Derek Brown and George Sluppick, bassist Ben Reddell, backup singers Miranda Lee Richards and Pearl Charles. Information:

Artists: John Williams, composer; Simone Pedroni, piano
Title: John Williams: Themes and Transcriptions for Piano (Varèse Sarabande Records)
You might like if you enjoy: John Williams, Simone Pedroni
Tell me more: Composer John Williams and famed classical pianist Simone Pedroni have joined forces for one of the more interesting and successful collaborations in memory. Williams and Pedroni each transcribed about half of the pieces included on John Williams: Themes and Transcriptions for Piano, with Williams' own piano suites from his "Lincoln" and "The Book Thief" among the highlights. All of the piano-only arrangements dazzle thanks to Pedroni's incredible talents at the Steinway Concert Grand piano. Fans of Williams' enduring "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter"-related scores, as well as his soundtrack for "Schindler's List" and others will find this a dynamic listening experience allowing Williams' timeless compositions to be rediscovered. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Alice Cooper releases new album 'Paranormal' tomorrow

Here are all the details - as well as the cover artwork - for Alice Cooper's new album Paranormal that will be released tomorrow (Friday, July 28, 2017)...

As previously announced, Paranormal is out tomorrow, July 28, on earMUSIC and can be pre-ordered via Amazon and iTunes today. The album features two songs written and recorded with the original members of the Alice Cooper band and also boasts guest appearances by ZZ Top guitarist Billy GibbonsU2 drummer Larry Mullen and Roger Glover of Deep PurpleParanormal was produced by long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin (Pink FloydDeep Purple). 

In addition to the new studio album and the two new recordings from the original Alice Cooper band, fans will receive a bonus of 6 live tracks recorded at one of Cooper's 2016 shows in Columbus, OH. Head here to check out the new Paranormal photo app and insert yourself onto the album cover. There will also be a limited run of blood-red vinyl available at indie retailers across the country. Listen to samples of each track from the album below via the embedded link.

"...[Paranormal]'s got enough fist-shaking brainbangers to get us through the summer..." - Team Rock

"It's the middle of summer, but school is back in session as Alice Cooper teaches us how it's done." - The Washington Post

"Alice Cooper is America's most beloved villain" - AXS

"There's almost no other rockers of Alice's vintage that could pull off such a feat. Sharpen up the guillotine, folks; he ain't done yet." - Paste Magazine

He'll join up with Deep Purple beginning in August. Highlights include The Greek in Los Angeles on August 13 and Jones Beach on August 26. Alice Cooper is on a world tour throughout 2017. Full North American tour dates below.

For more information visit

Photo credit: Rob Fenn
2. Dead Flies
3. Fireball
5. Fallen In Love
6. Dynamite Road
7. Private Public Breakdown
8. Holy Water
9. Rats
10. The Sound of A

New studio recordings with the original Alice Cooper band:
11. Genuine American Girl 
12. You And All Of Your Friends
Live in Columbus, Ohio, May 6th, 2016 with the current Alice Cooper band:
13. No More Mr. Nice Guy
14. Under My Wheels
15. Billion Dollar Babies
16. Feed My Frankenstein
17. Only Women Bleed
18. School's Out

Aug 12 - Chelsea Theater at The Cosmopolitan - Las Vegas, NV
Aug 13 - The Greek - Los Angeles, CA 
Aug 15 - AK Chin Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ
Aug 16 - Isletta Amphitheatre - Albuquerque, NM
Aug 18 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, TX
Aug 19 - Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX
Aug 21 - Chastain Park Amphitheatre - Atlanta, GA
Aug 23 - Jiffy Lube Live - Bristow, VA
Aug 24 - BB&T Pavilion - Camden, NJ
Aug 26 - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre - Wantagh, NY
Aug 27 - Xfinity Center - Boston, MA
Aug 28  P.N.C. Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
Aug 30 - Klipsch Amphitheater - Indianapolis, IN
Sept 01 - KeyBank Pavilion - Pittsburgh, PA
Sept 02 - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON
Sept 03 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Detroit, MI
Sept 06 - Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL
Sept 08 - Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre - St. Louis, MO
Sept 09 - Blossom Music Center - Cleveland, OH
Sept 10 - Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH

By Brad Tolinski

"PARANORMAL is like 12 great episodes of The Twilight Zone," laughs Alice Cooper, "each song tells its own twisted little tale."
Yes, the inimitable King of Shock Rock is back with his first album of original material in six years. It's a weird and wonderful collection of guitar-driven delights, but what else would you expect from the composer of beautifully warped classics like "Under My Wheels," "I'm Eighteen" and "Billion Dollar Babies"?
Produced by long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Deep Purple), and featuring guests like ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, as well as a highly anticipated mini-reunion of the original Alice Cooper band members, Paranormalis full of surprises and riveting turns.

"My definition of paranormal is something that is 'other than normal' or 'alongside of normal'," says Cooper. "You could say my whole career has been that. I would look at what was normal and step left of it. That's what gets people's attention. They'd listen to our music and see our show and say, 'That's so strange...oh yeah, that's so Alice."
In keeping with his passion for the unexpected, the singer decided to steer clear of writing another concept album like 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, and focused on creating an explosive collection of unforgettable standalone songs.
"Bob Ezrin and I wanted to break the mold," says Alice. "I said, let's get 20 different ideas from 20 different places, put our spin on them, and go with whatever turns out the best."
Out of the 20 tunes, they picked a dozen to immortalize, each played for thrills, chills and even a few laughs. "Dynamite Road" tells the story of a band that has a deadly encounter with the devil. In "Fireball," the singer has a bad dream about the end of the world, only to wake up in time to see it happening in real life. "Genuine American Girl" is about a tough guy who is transgender and not afraid to let the world know about it, and the title track is the tender story about a girl and her best ghoul friend.
 "Alice doesn't have a problem being scary," Cooper says about his rock and roll alter ego. "He likes to be a villain, but he also has a slapstick side. He'll threaten to slit your throat, and then slip on a banana peel."
Banana peels aside, perhaps the biggest surprise on Paranormal is the historic two-song mini-reunion with his former bandmates, guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith.
"When the original band broke up in 1975, there was no bad blood," explains Cooper.  "There were no lawsuits-we had just burned out the creative process. We had gone to high school together and had recorded something like five Platinum albums in a row. We were never out of sight of each other for 10 years. Everybody just went their own way. Neal, Dennis and I always stayed in touch. Mike disappeared for a while and Glen Buxton passed away in 1997, which was a big blow."

"But last year Neal called me up and said, 'I have a couple of songs.' I said great, bring 'em over. Then he said Mike was stopping by, so I had them come to my house and we just worked on a few things for a week. Then Dennis called up and said, I got a couple songs. So, I thought, hey let's do this! When you listen to record, it just fits right in."
One could argue that the two songs, "Genuine American Girl" and the Who-inspired "You and All Your Friends," do more than fit in. They stand out, as in their iconic sound being instantly recognizable.
Like any great entertainer, Alice Cooper is compelled to over deliver. In addition to the 12 new tracks on Paranormal, the singer has included a bonus disc of his current band playing killer live versions of some of The Coop's greatest hits, such as "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "Billion Dollar Babies" and "School's Out." Think of it as a taste of what to expect at an Alice Cooper concert circa 2017, including a summer co-headline North American tour with the equally legendary Deep Purple.
"This album is like the sideshow at a circus," Cooper concludes. "It's a little creepy. There's a three-headed monkey and the snake woman, but you're intrigued. That's where Alice lives, and it's been the place to go for 50years."