Friday, November 30, 2018

The Decemberists set to release new EP on December 14

Although 2018 is almost in the history books, holiday albums are not the only new releases being issued this month. Today comes news that The Decemberists will release a new EP on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018...



The Decemberists will release a new EP, Traveling On, on December 14. The five-song EP—which will be available on 10” vinyl, CD, and as a digital album—is a collection of b-sides from the sessions that produced their inspired eighth studio albumI’ll Be Your Girlwhich came out in March. Listen to the title track “Traveling On,” which is available to stream or download today.

The track listing for the Traveling On EP is as follows:

1. Down On The Knuckle
2. I Will Not Say Your Name
3. Tripping Along (Full Band Version)
4. Midlist Author
5. Traveling On

I’ll Be Your Girl found the band—lead vocalist and guitarist Colin Meloy, guitarist Chris Funk, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, bassist Nate Query, and drummer John Moen—embracing different influences and working with a new producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Rey) to broaden their sonic range and explore new approaches to making music. The album featured the #1 Triple A radio hit “Severed.”

See what the critics said about I’ll Be Your Girl:

Every band needs to refresh and reconsider its sound sooner or later, no matter how sharp it's gotten over the course of a long career — even The Decemberists, a band whose records have always come bursting with verve... ‘I'll Be Your Girl’ captures a collaborative spirit that keeps the band sounding vibrant and alive... As a lyricist, Meloy seems emboldened”—NPR Music

The Decemberists threw a lot of us for a curveball when they announced that their new album would feature a lot of synths, but it turns out it was exactly the album The Decemberists had to make — ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’ is their best in years.”—BrooklynVegan

The Decemberists make the album of their lives with ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’”—PASTE

A newly invigorated Decemberists”—RELIX

Absorbing… The Decemberists know how to seize the day”—MOJO

From folk and prog to metal and indie, they’ve embraced each new frontier”—Uncut

a strong and thoroughly enjoyable record – full of bold ideas, bright colours and the charm and lyricism that make The Decemberists so fundamentally engaging... A genuine and welcome joy.”—Drowned In Sound

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Walter Trout to release new album 'Survivor's Blues' on January 25, 2019

Always great news when we get news that another Walter Trout album is on the way!

Walter Trout and Provogue Records announce global release of 'Survivor's Blues' on January 25, 2019

Pre-Order Goes Live with Lead Instant Grat Track “Me, My Guitar And The Blues”

New York, NY --- Walter Trout and Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group will release Survivor’s Blues globally on January 25.  Trout is no ordinary artist and this is no ordinary covers album. From the day he conceived the project to the moment he counted off the first song in the studio, he had a bolder plan for this release.  Trout shares. “I’m riding in my car sometimes, and I’ve got a blues station on – and here’s another band doing Got My Mojo Workin’. And there’s a little voice in me that says, ‘Does The World need another version of that song?’ So I came up with an idea. I didn’t want to do ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Messin’ With The Kid.’ I didn’t want to do the Blues greatest hits. I wanted to do old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how Survivor Blues started…”
Over the course of the last several decades, Walter Trout has been a prolific artist.  He’s regularly released offerings from the studio, so this moment of offering a covers album is somewhat of a curveball.  His 2017 all-star release, We’re All In This Together, shows no sign of burning out and continues to receive accolades and sales on a global basis, alongside four awards for Blues Rock Album Of The Year and being Walter’s first #1 Billboard Blues album. He reflects, ”It’s really overwhelming. How do I follow that up? I’ve always respected guys who went out on a limb, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan. You never know what they’re gonna come out with.”
Likewise, long-standing fans have given up trying to second-guess Trout’s next move. The track listing of Survivor Blues is a window into the 67-year-old’s fast-moving backstory, chronicling a five-decade career whose one constant is his deep love of the Blues. Opener “Me, My Guitar And The Blues” tips a hat to cult hero Jimmy Dawkins, whose records Trout devoured while cutting his teeth as a ’60s axeslinger in New Jersey. “Nature’s Disappearing” nods to his celebrated ’80s tenure in John Mayall’s near-mythical Bluesbreakers. In-between, you’ll find cherished favourites from a lifetime’s listening, with songs that caught Trout’s ear at key junctures in his journey, from backing up John Lee Hooker in the ’70s, to bringing the groove to Canned Heat in the ’80s or breaking through as a solo artist in the ’90s.
The roll-call of artists might be eclectic, but there’s a cohesion to Survivor Blues. From the outset, Trout made it his mission to harness the power and spirit of the originals, while stamping his inimitable musical personality onto each new take. He offers, “My idea was to do these songs like me, to arrange them for my band and style - not to just copy the originals note-for-note.”  
Last September, as recording began at the Los Angeles studio of iconic Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, Trout and long-standing producer Eric Corne shared their vision with the only band who could measure up. The thunder and finesse of drummer Michael Leasure. The muscular groove of bassist Johnny Griparic. The spell-casting fingers of keyboards session god and regular Trout conspirator, Skip Edwards. “I’d play them the original,” remembers Trout, “and then I’d say, ‘Here’s how the song goes, what have you got?’ I’d give these guys a lot of freedom. The record was mostly done live, with us set up in a circle, just to get the feel of us going there together. And you can feel it, y’know?”
Walter Trout has a connection to each of these songs selected. He reflects on Chicago Bluesman Jimmy Dawkins never receiving the recognition deserved in covering “Survivor Blues.” He reveals, “The last line – ‘Since you left me, All I have left is Me, My Guitar and the Blues’ – is one of the greatest lyrics I’ve heard in my life and I start crying just saying it. And my wife thinks it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”  Sunnyland Slim’s “Be Careful How You Vote” stresses the importance of choosing carefully at the ballot box, without taking sides. Certainly relevant for all members of society. Universal themes are also explored on Otis Rush’s defiant “It Takes Time” and the funk-flavoured groove of Luther Johnson’s “Woman Don’t Lie.” With J.B. Lenoir’s “Talk To Your Daughter,” he recalls, “I found this song that Lenoir does all by himself with the guitar, very slowly, almost without even a rhythm. I played the original to the band and said: ‘Now we’re gonna turn it into Jimi Hendrix’. I wanted to use it as a vehicle for the band and for my guitar-playing and vocals. I wanted to belt it out.”
There’s rarely been a Trout record without a tip of the hat to Mayall, and here the Brit-blues godfather is represented by “Nature’s Disappearing.” He reveals, “I was nervous about doing it because it’s by my mentor and surrogate father. John told me he’d read an article about ecology and pollution – he put the magazine down at the end and wrote that song in five minutes. It’s even more relevant today, with all the environmental regulations being thrown out and national parks being sold off to oil companies.  
You don’t hear a track like “Goin’ Down To The River” every day either, with Mississippi Fred McDowell’s ancient gem decorated with slide guitar from a very special guest. “There was something about the lyric,” muses Trout. “Y’know, ‘I’m going down to the river, I’m gonna let the waves and the water wash my trouble down’. It tore me up, but the original is very different. I decided to take the verses that spoke to me, and then rearranged the song almost Muddy Waters-esque with that slide lick. Robby Krieger was coming in every day, listening and hanging out, so I said, ‘I’d love it if you played on this song’. So when I say ‘Play it, Robby’ – that’s Robby Krieger from The Doors. We just did that in the studio – boom, there you go.”
All they needed was a title. And as Trout surveyed his bloodied-but-unbowed cohorts – and reflected on a collection of blues songs whose raw power remained undimmed – he knew the suggestion of his wife and manager, Marie, couldn’t be topped. “We started thinking about these enduring songs and the guys playing on the album,” he reflects. “Mike is in recovery. Johnny almost didn’t make it. Skip has had a triple bypass. And I almost didn’t make it after my liver disease in 2014. So Marie said to me, ‘You’re a group of survivors. You’ve all been through hell and you’ve come back. These songs are survivors. This album needs to be called Survivor Blues’. I just looked at her and said: ‘You got it’.”
Of course, when it comes to Walter Trout, survival is an understatement. Survey the glittering late-bloom career of this ageless bluesman and all evidence suggests an artist on a steep upward trajectory. Trout nods: “My career is going great. My kids are doing great. My wife and I are madly in love. I’m the most healthy I’ve ever been. So I haven’t just survived. Right now, I’m in the best time of my life…”
The complete track listing features “Me, My Guitar And The Blues,” “Be Careful How You Vote,” “Woman Don’t Lie” (Featuring Sugaray Rayford), “Sadie,” “Please Love Me,” “Nature’s Disappearing,” “Red Sun,” “Something Inside Of Me,” “It Takes Time,” “Out Of Bad Luck,” “Goin’ Down To The River” (featuring Robby Krieger), and “God’s Word.”  The release will be available in 2LP plus MP3, CD, Digital and MfiT Digital.
1/11     Phoenix, AZ                                                                Rhythm Rom
1/12     Phoenix, AZ                                                                Rhythm Room
2/01     Kansas City, MO                                                        Knucklehead’s
2/02     Des Moines, IA                                                           Winter Blues Fest
2/05     New York, NY                                                            Sony Hall
2/07     Washington, DC                                                         The Hamilton
2/08     Hartford, CT                                                               Infinity Music Hall
2/09     Newton, NJ                                                                 The Newton Theatre
2/10     Beverly, MA                                                               The Cabot
2/12     Annapolis, MD                                                           Rams Head
2/16     Playa Potrero Guanacaste, Costa Rica                        Costa Rica Blues Festival
2/19     Richmond, VA                                                            Tin Pan
2/23     Boca Raton, FL                                                           The Funky Biscuit
2/24     Boca Raton, FL                                                           The Funky Biscuit
2/25     Tampa, FL (Through 3/01)                                         Keeping The Blues Alive at Sea 
From May in to June, Walter Trout will join Provogue / Mascot Records label mates Jonny Lang and Kris Barros on the Rockin’ Blues 2019 tour in Europe.  Appearances will be stages in:
5/23     Berlin, DE                                                                   Huxley’s Neue Welt
5/25     Cologne, DE                                                               Carlswerk Viktoria
5/26     Paris, FR                                                                     La Cigale
5/28     Milan, IT                                                                     Fabrique
5/29     Munich, DE                                                                Backstage Werk
5/30     Frankfurt, DE                                                              Batschkapp
6/01     Tilburg, NL                                                                 013
6/02     Hamburg, DE                                                              Markthalle
6/04     London, UK                                                                02 Forum Kentisch Town

Hugh Jackman announces world tour

Now is the time to start thinking about 2019. Today comes news that famed singer/actor Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables, The Greatest Showman, X-Men franchise) will be going on a global tour next year, including a two-night engagement at the Hollywood Bowl. Tickets for most dates go on sale beginning Friday, December 7, 2018. See the media release below for more details...

November 29, 2018 – Today, Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman, announced his first world tour.  The Man. The Music. The Show. will see Jackman performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra.  The tour is produced by AEG Presents, TEG-Dainty, and Robert Fox.  

The tour will kick off with 12 shows across Europe and the UK beginning Monday, May 13th in Hamburg, Germany at Barclaycard Arena, with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, Manchester, Dublin, and London, with two shows at The O2 Arena.  The 22-city North American leg will begin Tuesday, June 18th at Toyota Center in Houston, TX, with stops in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Las Vegas, and New York, with two shows at Madison Square Garden, as well as two performances at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Tickets go on sale beginning Friday, December 7.  Tickets will be available in Europe and the UK at 9 AM local time and in North America at 10 a.m. local time at  A limited number of exclusive VIP packages will be available. These exclusive offers can include an amazing selection of reserved-seated tickets, custom merchandise (designed exclusively for package purchasers) and much more.  For more information please visit

Hugh Jackman has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, as successful on stage in front of live crowds as he is on film. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time.

Jackman garnered his first Academy Award® nomination, for Best Actor, for his performance in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, based on the popular stage show created from Victor Hugo’s famous novel of the same name. Jackman’s standout performance as protagonist Jean Valjean also earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, as well as Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations, for both Best Ensemble and Best Male Actor in a Leading Role, and a BAFTA Award nomination. Most recently, he was nominated for his role as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman. Sales for the soundtrack to the film have broken records the world over and reached multi-platinum status in many countries including the UK and America.


Monday, May 13
Barclaycard Arena
Tuesday, May 14
Mercedes-Benz Arena
Thursday, May 16
Lanxess Arena
Friday, May 17
Ziggo Dome
Sunday, May 19
Tuesday, May 21
SAP Arena
Wednesday, May 22
AccorHotels Arena
Friday, May 24
Manchester Arena
Monday, May 27
Birmingham Resorts World Arena
Thursday, May 30
Sunday, June 2
The O2 Arena
Monday, June 3
The O2 Arena
Tuesday, June 18
Toyota Center
Wednesday, June 19
American Airlines Center
Friday, June 21
United Center
Saturday, June 22
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul
Monday, June 24
Little Caesars Arena
Tuesday, June 25
Scotiabank Arena
Thursday, June 27
TD Garden
Friday, June 28
Madison Square Garden*
New York City
Saturday, June 29
Madison Square Garden*
New York City
Sunday, June 30
Wells Fargo Center
Monday, July 1
Capital One Arena
Washington DC
Wednesday, July 3
State Farm Arena
Friday, July 5
Amalie Arena
Saturday, July 6
BB&T Center
Wednesday, July 10
Pepsi Center
Thursday, July 11
Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City
Saturday, July 13
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas
Sunday, July 14
Gila River Arena
Tuesday, July 16
Valley View Casino Center
San Diego
Wednesday, July 17
SAP Center at San Jose
San Jose
Friday, July 19
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles +
Saturday, July 20
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles +

*tickets for the Madison Square Garden shows go on sale Monday, December 10th at 10 AM local
+ The on-sale date for the Hollywood Bowl shows will be announced soon

About AEG Presents
AEG Presents is one of the world’s largest live music companies.  The company is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global concert tours, regional music events and world-renowned festivals.  AEG Presents operates in North America, Europe and Asia with 15 regional offices. Touring artists include Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Elton John, Celine Dion, Kenny Chesney and more. The festival roster includes the iconic Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Stagecoach, Desert Trip, Firefly, Hangout, and British Summertime at Hyde Park, totaling more than 40. The company owns, manages or exclusively promotes in more than 75 clubs and theaters worldwide, including Agora Theatre, Cleveland; Forest Hills Stadium and Webster Hall, New York; Shrine Auditorium and The Fonda, Los Angeles and Eventim Apollo, London. AEG presents more than 12,000 shows annually and conducts business under such globally renowned brands as AEG Presents, Goldenvoice, The Bowery Presents, Concerts West, Messina Touring Group, Marshall Arts LTD, and Madison House Presents.  For more information visit

TEG-DAINTY produces and promotes shows across Australia and New Zealand, South East Asia and South Africa. Tours include Guns N Roses, Katy Perry, Phil Collins, Michael Bublé, Bon Jovi, Eminem, Queen and Adam Lambert, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, George Michael, U2, Yusuf (Cat Stevens), Neil Diamond, Tony Bennett, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey and many more. Sports entertainment, Live Events include World Wrestling Entertainment. Theatrical Productions and investments include Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, Hairspray the Musical, The Rocky Horror Show. For more information visit

About Robert Fox Ltd
Robert Fox has produced over sixty shows in the West End, Broadway and Australia. He produced Hugh Jackman in the musical The Boy From Oz about Australian entertainer Peter Allen on Broadway, as well as the Australian Arena tour of the same show. He also produced Hugh Jackman’s Back on Broadway and Broadway to Oz. Other productions include David Bowie’s Lazarus, Skylight, The Audience, God of Carnage, The Breath of Life, Another Country, The Blue Room, The Lady in the Van, Chess. Film and TV credits include Netflix’s The Crown, The Hours, Atonement, Iris, Notes on a Scandal. For more information visit

Monday, November 26, 2018

Rock 'n' Roll Reads: Open Up These Essential Titles

Gift-minded music volumes focused on Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Zombies and Excello Records make their mark on the printed page.  

Title: Queen: Album by Album
Author: Martin Popoff
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Tell me more: With the commercial success of the 2018 motion picture "Bohemian Rhapsody" there has been an explosive interest in the music of the British rock quartet Queen. The release of author Martin Popoff's Queen: Album by Album is an inviting place for both casual and long-time fans of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band to learn more about the enduring work of Freddie Mercury (vocals, keyboards), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass) and Roger Taylor (percussion, vocals).  When readers get the beautiful 224-page Queen: Album by Album they are getting the insight of renowned rock journalist Popoff along with the perspective of a number of knowledgeable music notables including Sir Paul McCartney, Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Roger Manning, Jr. (Jellyfish, Beck), Derek Shulman (Gentle Giant) and many more who add their impressions and expertise on the band's first 15 albums (this includes all Queen LPs released during Mercury's lifetime and Made In Heaven released four years after his death). In addition to a full examination of each of the Queen albums the fully-illustrated book features live performance and behind-the-scenes photography along with a wealth of Queen ephemera like tickets and posters. Information:

Title: Bruce Springsteen: An Illustrated Biography
Author: Meredith Ochs
Publisher: Becker&Mayer! books
Tell me more: The beautiful hardcover Bruce Springsteen: An Illustrated Biography spans 182 pages and includes a myriad of images of the New Jersey rocker spanning his 50-year career. While the wealth of dynamic color and black & white images and 10 pieces of removable memorabilia (including Bruce Springsteen's draft card that saved him from being shipped off to Vietnam) will catch any fan's eye, author Meredith Ochs' wonderful writing style capturing the depth and range of Springsteen's singular career as recording artist and performer is equally essential. The volume offers all the high marks of Springsteen's distinguished career including and up to his recent "Springsteen on Broadway" series of performances in New York City. Information:

Title: Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob
Author: Created, collected & edited by Mary Lee Kortes
Publisher: BMG Books
Tell me more: Isn't it appropriate that one of the most interesting and original music-minded book titles of 2018 is focused on Bob Dylan? Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob will appeal to not only fans of Robert Allen Zimmerman but of poetry and the burgeoning field of understanding dreams. Brooklyn, New York-based author/musician Mary Lee Kortes has collected and compiled a collection of terrific writings where guests ranging from Patti Smith and Kevin Odegard to Jimbo Mathus (of Squirrel Nut Zippers fame) and everyday fans of Dylan have contributed their slumber time-gathered remembrances alongside more than 100 original illustrations, photographs and colorful images that adorn the 160-page hardcover edition. With dreams anything is possible as evidenced by wonderful nocturnal turns where Dylan is president, can be found fishing alongside a remote lake and even serving as a band mate of one dreamer. A terrific gift for any music fan. Information:

Title: Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story
Author: Randy Fox
Publisher: BMG Books
Tell me more: Part of BMG Books' newly-launched "RPM Series," Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story is artfully-sized at 7"x7" to mimic the classic dimensions of a 45 rpm record. The 200-page title delves into the history and influence of the groundbreaking record label Excello Records and its sister Nashboro label (the other initial volume in the series The Sub Pop Records Story offers a glimpse into the Seattle-based Sub Pop Records). Author Randy Fox, a Nashville-based author and deejay, has researched and lovingly restored the range of behind-the-scenes players and artists whose mix of Southern rock 'n' roll, jump blues, gospel, early R&B and Cajun-flavored swamp styles emerged out of Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1950s. The parade of influential artists celebrated includes Slim Harpo, the Prisonaires, Arthur Gunter, Lightnin' Slim and Lazy Lester. There are  also 16 pages of historic black & white photos included in the wonderful paperback. Information:

Title: The "Odessey": The Zombies in Words and Images
Authors: Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Hugh Grundy, Chris White
Publisher: Reel Art Press/BMG Books
Tell me more: Although The "Odessey": The Zombies in Words and Images was published in 2017, the lavish 152-page hardcover book has received renewed attention in 2018 with the 50th anniversary of The Zombies' 1968 masterwork Odessey and Oracle. With the Zombies once again nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this amazing journey through the seminal '60s-spawned band's career is fully captured via the memories of original members Rod Argent (keyboards, vocals), Colin Blunstone (lead vocals), Hugh Grundy (percussion) and Chris White (bass guitar, vocals). Fully illustrated, the volume features plenty of photographs from throughout the troupe's 50+ year run and the original artwork of artist Terry Quirk (who completed the cover of Odessey and Oracle a half century ago) and Vivienne Boucherat (who created mixed media artwork for each song). If you hurry, you can get a copy of the incredible book signed by original members Argent and Blunstone via the group's official website. Information:

Robert Kinsler