Thursday, September 19, 2019

Robert Plant looks back at the rise of Led Zeppelin on 'Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road' Sunday

Pretty cool news for fans of both AC/DC and Led Zeppelin as Brian Johnson interviews Robert Plan on the next episode of "Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road" airing on Sunday, Sept. 22...


Brian Johnson, left, with Robert Plant.
WATCH: ROCK LEGEND ROBERT PLANT LOOKS BACK AT THE RISE OF LED ZEPPELIN IN THIS FIRST-LOOK AT SUNDAY’S ALL-NEW EPISODE OF BRIAN JOHNSON: A LIFE ON THE ROAD, AIRING SEPT. 22, 2019
Watch and Share the First-Look Clip Here
On this week’s episode of Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road, Legendary AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson takes an excursion to North Wales where he explores a ruined castle with rock god Robert Plant, chatting about the vocalist’s love of American Blues, the creation of Led Zeppelin, and Plant’s acclaimed solo career and award-winning collaborations
“I suppose Cream, The Greatful Dead, the white blues thing was kickin’ in. And you had that great west coast thing going on with Jefferson Airplane and stuff. You had a sub-culture develop, and we kind of attached ourselves to that. We didn’t have any social statements to make. We weren’t visionaries, in that sense. But we were, still by our age, at the time, still part of that huge movement of energy.”
“I think for all of us, it was just serendipity that you could actually have four people… I mean me and Bonzo had played a lot together. Jimmy and John had been in various bands but they were session guys, and they were pretty well heeled, you know, pretty hot on the scene. But it didn’t matter to me and Bonzo, all we wanted to do was get a square meal.”
Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AXS TV.
Next week, Johnson travels to see legendary The Who frontman Roger Daltrey on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
About AXS TV
Launched in 2012 by visionary entrepreneur Mark Cuban in conjunction with AEG, AXS TV has established itself as the premier destination for music and entertainment programming, and is the newest addition to the Anthem Sports & Entertainment portfolio. The network delivers an eclectic programming roster that includes original series, live concerts, music documentaries, live wrestling and mixed martial arts. AXS TV is currently available nationally in the United States and parts of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For a list of providers, visit www.axs.tv/subscribe.  For more information, visit www.axs.tv.



Van Morrison announces details of new album - 'Three Chords And The Truth' - to be released on Exile/Caroline International

Exciting news that legendary artist Van Morrison is set to release a new album this fall...




Exile/Caroline International, released October 25, 2019
First track - Dark Night of the Soul - online everywhere now
UK & US tour dates including five London Palladium shows
 
September 18, 2019 - Van Morrison has announced details of a new album - Three Chords And The Truth. It will be released on Exile/Caroline International available on CD/vinyl and digital download on October 25, 2019.
 
Three Chords And The Truth is truly something wonderful — fourteen new original compositions effortlessly encapsulate the Van Morrison sound and showcase his talents as one of our generation’s most celebrated songwriters. His sixth album in just four years, Three Chords And The Truth is further proof that Van Morrison is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and a creative force to be reckoned with.
 
Three Chords And The Truth was produced and written by Van Morrison (except for If We Wait for Mountains which was co-written with Don Black). The album features contributions from legendary guitarist Jay Berliner and a duet with The Righteous BrothersBill Medley (Fame Will Eat the Soul). Explaining what it was like to record the album, Van Morrison said:
 
You’re just plugging into the feeling of it, more the feeling of it… when they’re playing… It’s like reading me. So, I think there’s more of that connection.”
 
The first track from the album - Dark Night of The Soul - is released online everywhere today (Wednesday 18th September). Listen here.
 
Three Chords And The Truth features the tracks:
 
  1. March Winds In February
  2. Fame Will Eat The Soul
  3. Dark Night Of The Soul
  4. In Search Of Grace
  5. Nobody In Charge
  6. You Don’t Understand
  7. Read Between The Lines
  8. Does Love Conquer All?
  9. Early Days
  10. If We Wait For Mountains
  11. Up On Broadway
  12. Three Chords And The Truth
  13. Bags Under My Eyes
  14. Days Gone By
 
Van Morrison is performing a series of shows around the album release date and has also announced a residency at the London Palladium in March 2020. Van Morrison plays;
 
Oct 2nd             Reno, Grand Sierra Resort (SOLD OUT)
Oct 4th             Los Angeles, The Greek Theatre,
Oct 5th             Santa Barbara Bowl (SOLD OUT)
Oct 6th             Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl
Oct 8th             Churla Vista CA, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre,
Oct 21st          Bournemouth, International Centre
Oct 23rd          Cardiff, St David's Hall
Oct 27th          Oxford, New Theatre
Oct 28th          Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
Dec 2nd           Brighton, Dome
Dec 3rd           Brighton, Dome
Dec 31st          Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 1st             Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 2nd            Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 31st            Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Feb 1st             Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 5th             Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 7th             Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 8th             Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Mar 20th         London, The Palladium
Mar 21st         London, The Palladium
Mar 22nd        London, The Palladium
Mar 24th         London, The Palladium
Mar 25th         London, The Palladium
 
For tickets and information visit www.vanmorrison.com/live

Depeche Mode to present new documentary ' Depeche Mode: Spirits in the Forest'

Here is a media release that just landed in our inbox...


IN CINEMAS WORLDWIDE ON NOVEMBER 21
FEATURING EMOTIONAL STORIES HIGHLIGHTING THE UNIVERSAL POWER OF MUSIC, INTERWOVEN WITH PERFORMANCES FROM THE BAND’S RECORD-BREAKING 2017/2018 GLOBAL SPIRIT TOUR, THE FILM WILL BE PREMIERED BY TRAFALGAR RELEASING AND SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT AS A WORLDWIDE, SPECIAL, ONE-NIGHT THEATRICAL EVENT ON NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Tickets on sale from September 26 at spiritsintheforest.com
DEPECHE MODE TO PRESENT NEW DOCUMENTARY DEPECHE MODE: SPIRITS IN THE FOREST
IN CINEMAS WORLDWIDE ON NOVEMBER 21
FEATURING EMOTIONAL STORIES HIGHLIGHTING THE UNIVERSAL POWER OF MUSIC, INTERWOVEN WITH PERFORMANCES FROM THE BAND’S RECORD-BREAKING 2017/2018 GLOBAL SPIRIT TOUR, THE FILM WILL BE PREMIERED BY TRAFALGAR RELEASING AND SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT AS A WORLDWIDE, SPECIAL, ONE-NIGHT THEATRICAL EVENT ON NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Tickets on sale from September 26 at spiritsintheforest.com
London, UK, September 19: Depeche Mode, along with Trafalgar Releasing, Sony Music Entertainment and BBH Entertainment, are excited to announce the upcoming release of the new feature-length documentary and concert film, SPIRITS in the Forest, coming to cinemas worldwide for a one-night event on November 21. The film will bring fans together around the world to celebrate the impact of Depeche Mode’s music and performances. SPIRITS in the Forest will be screened in more than 2,400 cinemas, from Adelaide to Zagreb, in over 70 countries. 
Directed by award-winning filmmaker and long-time artistic collaborator Anton Corbijn, the release of Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest follows the band’s 2017/2018 Global Spirit Tour, which saw them play to over 3 million fans at 115 shows around the world.
Diving into the deeply emotional stories of six special Depeche Mode fans, the film weaves together exhilarating musical performances filmed at the final shows of the tour at Berlin’s famed Waldbühne (“Forest Stage”) with intimate documentary footage filmed in the fans’ hometowns across the globe. It shows not only how and why the band’s popularity and relevance has continued to grow over the course of their career, but provides a unique look into music’s incredible power to build communities, enable people to overcome adversity, and create/ connections across the boundaries of language, location, gender, age, and circumstance.
"I'm exceptionally proud to share this film and the powerful story that it tells," said Dave Gahan, of Depeche Mode. "It's amazing to see the very real ways that music has impacted the lives of our fans." 
Added Martin Gore, "In today's world of turmoil and divisiveness, music really can be a force for good and can bring people together."
Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing has said on the news: “Trafalgar Releasing are excited to be working with Sony Music and the Depeche Mode team on the upcoming release of SPIRITS in the Forest. As a band who have always been on the cusp of innovation with their unique sound, we look forward to bringing fans around the world together to celebrate one of the most exciting and influential music acts of the last century."

This year has been strong for music releases from Trafalgar Releasing in cinema. Recent successes have included BRING THE SOUL: THE MOVIE, which became the single largest event cinema release globally, Grateful Dead’s 9th Annual Meet-Up at the Movies, Tribeca documentary Between Me and My Mind about Phish frontman, Trey Anastasio, Rush Cinema Strangiato 2019 and The Cure: Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London.
Trafalgar Releasing’s music slate also includes the upcoming Roger Waters  Us + Them, which recently received its World Premiere at the International Venice Film Festival, Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² and Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour. The London based outfit have previously released films including Coldplay: A Head Full of DreamsThe Music Center presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, Khalid Free Spirit, One More Time with Feeling, among others.
Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest will be screened in cinemas around the world on November 21. Tickets are on-sale from September 26 at spiritsintheforest.com, where fans can find the most up-to-date information regarding participating theaters and sign up for event alerts.

LINKS & DETAILS:
Global theatrical release date: November 21, 2019


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Rolling Stones "Bridges To Buenos Aires" - November 8, 2019

I've absolutely enjoyed the 'Bridges to Bremen' multi-format release featuring The Rolling Stones that was released back in early June 2019 (read my review of that 2019 title here). Now another date from the legendary British rockers'  Bridges To Babylon Tour that drew 4.5 million fans across 97 shows presented on 4 continents is coming! Here is the media release on the highly-anticipated 'Bridges to Buenos Aires' release...


The Rolling Stones' 'Bridges to Buenos  Aires'

Previously Unreleased concert film set for release on November 8, 2019

RESTORED, REMIXED AND REMASTERED SHOW LIVE FROM ARGENTINA
FEATURING GUEST APPEARANCE FROM BOB DYLAN
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
PRE-ORDER HERE

New York, NY (September 18, 2019) – Bridges To Buenos Aires was today announced by The Rolling Stones for release on November 8, 2019. The previously unreleased concert film from their Bridges to Babylon Tour has been completely restored, remixed and remastered. This latest release from Eagle Rock Entertainment’s acclaimed Rolling Stones archive series will be available on DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, digital video, limited edition blue translucent 180gm triple vinyl, and digital audio. Pre-orders are available now.
Bridges to Buenos Aires captures the complete show from April 5th 1998, the last date of the band’s five-night sell-out residency at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina’s capital city. The legendary Bob Dylan joins the band onstage for a unique performance of “Like A Rolling Stone”.
From the explosive opening salvo of “Satisfaction”, it’s evident that both the band and the crowd mean business. The latter are packed in like sardines at the River Plate Stadium, all of them moving as one. They welcome The Stones back with the warmth of long-lost brothers.
The band then unzipped over two hours of pure, animalistic rock 'n' roll exhilaration. Then-new songs from Bridges To Babylon found their natural place in a setlist that included some of the most recognizable anthems of the rock era. “Flip The Switch”, “Saint Of Me” and “Thief In The Night” rub shoulders with a brooding “Gimme Shelter”, Jagger's acoustic and Ronnie's slide guitar on “Sister Morphine,” and a whole host of singalong crowd-pleasers.
Then, suddenly, and without introduction, Dylan. The bard had played his own set to the adoring River Plate crowd before ambling on stage to double-date with Jagger on “Like A Rolling Stone”, which the Stones had admirably inhabited on 1995's StrippedBob's customarily approximate vocal style certainly kept Mick on his toes, but the bonhomie of the moment gave further warmth to a set that was growing evermore fierce.
The Rolling Stones have always preferred to cross bridges rather than to burn them. By the time they said buenas noches to Buenos Aires that night in '98, they had left Latin America a love letter to be treasured.
This concert film has been meticulously restored from the original master tapes, and the audio remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings.
select text taken from Bridges to Buenos Aires sleeve notes, by Paul Sexton.
Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 5.13.07 PM

About Eagle Vision
Eagle Vision is an imprint of Eagle Rock Entertainment, the world-leading producer and distributor of music-related audiovisual content. Founded in 1997, the multi-award-winning company completes over 50 productions a year including concerts, documentaries, scripted formats and specials representing over 2,000 hours of programming. The vast catalogue includes work by award-winning filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Brett Morgan, Paul Dugdale, Stanley Nelson and Bob Smeaton. Eagle Rock has worked alongside a variety of artists including the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Jay Z, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Frank Sinatra, Black Sabbath and Imagine Dragons.
eagle-rock.com

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Worth the Wait: Hot Club of Cowtown, Janiva Magness, Those Pretty Wrongs, Tiger Army

Four favorites are back with highly-anticipated albums, including Austin trio Hot Club of Cowtown, blues singer Janiva Magness, rock duo Those Pretty Wrongs and alternative rockers Tiger Army. 


Artist: Hot Club of Cowtown
Title: Wild Kingdom (Gold Strike Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Django Reinhardt, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Western swing
Tell me more: Hot Club of Cowtown's much-anticipated eleventh album Wild Kingdom is filled with the signature blend of traditional-mining Western swing, roots and hot jazz that singer-violinist Elana James, singer-guitarist Whit Smith and bassist-singer Jake Erwin long ago made their own. The material resonates with a contemporary energy even while the soundscape recalls some distant time. The lovely "Last Call" is a tender ballad showcasing James' rich soprano and the artful keyboards of guest pianist Joe Kerr. Flashy guitar work helps propel Smith's "Caveman" and more introspective "Easy Money." The infectious blues-meets-Americana cut "Tall Tall Ship" and dynamic jazz-flavored "Ways of Escape" and "Before This Time of Men" are among the many standouts on the wonderful Wild Kingdom. The 14-track disc is focused mostly on new originals, but the band has reworked a couple of classics including their affecting interpretation of the traditional Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond" and the disc-ending cover of the Les Paul and Mary Ford's "How High the Moon," the latter a perfect vocal duet for James and Smith. In addition to the aforementioned Kerr, guests include drummer Damien Llanes and percussionist Oliver Rajamani whose contributions bolster the fantastic vocals and musicianship displayed by Hot Club of Cowtown across "Wild Kingdom." Information: hotclubofcowtown.com.



Artist: Janiva Magness
Title: Change in the Weather (Blue Élan Records)
You might like if you enjoy: John Fogerty, CCR, Taj Mahal, Janiva Magness
Tell me more: It's difficult to think of many artists more deserving of a tribute than John Fogerty. Both as the leader of groundbreaking Bay Area rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist, Fogerty's blend of blues and rock has come in the service of stellar song craft. Grammy-nominated blues artist Janiva Magness' Change in the Weather is sure to please fans of Fogerty's recordings as well as her own expansive discography. Reworking a dozen classics across the Dave Darling-produced set, Magness was drawn to the power of the songs  including the melodic choruses and timeless themes of protest and social justice. Magness uses her mighty soprano to celebrate and paint the songs with her own touch. A gospel-tinged take on "Wrote a Song for Everyone," a spirited blues-meets-rock "Lodi" (a duet with country outlaw singer Sam Morrow), and swampy blues take on "Don't You Wish It Was True" (featuring bluesman Taj Mahal) are early wins. Later on the disc Magness artfully reworks "Bad Moon Rising" (bolstered here by a good dose of slide guitar courtesy of guitarist Zachary Ross), the fiery "Fortunate Son," a stirring "Deja Vu (All Over Again)" and joyful "Lookin' Out My Back Door" keep the momentum going on the second half of the wonderful release. Information: JanivaMagness.com.



Artist: Those Pretty Wrongs
Title: Zed for Zulu (Burger Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Fastball, dada
Tell me more: The sophomore effort from Those Pretty Wrongs certifies that the creative teaming of Jody Stephens (of Big Star fame) and Luther Russell first heard on their 2016 self-titled debut is just what the sonic doctor ordered. Memphis-based Stephens and Los Angeles' Russell have the rare ability to craft songs that are simultaneously straightforward and melodically glorious. The shimmering and introspective gems "Ain't Nobody But Me" and "You + Me" are both as beautiful as any song in memory, revealed via nuanced and poignant recordings that will grab the listener with a single listen. Even acoustic-rooted material ("Time to Fly" "The Carousel") shine with an otherworldly glow, with burgeoning arrangements marked by acoustic guitars that are subsequently joined by a growing cast of musical layers. Make no mistake; the songs here are ambitious with the string section-adorned "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," the psychedelic baroque pop sortie "Hurricane of Love" and haunting "A Day in the Park" among the choice offerings on Zed for Zulu. Information: burgerrecords.com.


Artist: Tiger Army
Title: Retrofuture (Luna-tone / Rise Records)
You might like if you enjoy: The Stray Cats, Lee Rocker, Raul Malo
Tell me more: Armed with a top-tier voice that draws favorable comparisons with a young Chris Isaak and Raul Malo, Nick 13 leads his energetic troupe Tiger Army through a fiery and inspired batch of originals on Retrofuture. The songs on Retrofuture  the band's first new album release in more than three years  range from the raging psychobilly rockers "Eyes Of The Night" and "Death Card" to the wistful "Beyond the Veil" and the decidedly melodic rockabilly nugget "Last Ride" (the latter is this writer's favorite song on the LP). With the wide range of material and stellar performances captured on the Ted Hutt-produced album, Retrofuture also serves as a great introduction of those who have not yet discovered the outstanding outfit. Information: TigerArmy.com.


Robert Kinsler

Since You're Gone: The Cars' Ric Ocasek Remembered

TJR and Robert Kinsler celebrate the life and legacy of The Cars' Ric Ocasek; the pioneering artist and producer died in his home in Manhattan on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

Watch the episode here.





Monday, September 16, 2019

Keane announce North American tour on the heels of upcoming album 'Cause and Effect,' out Sept. 20, 2019

Very exciting news for Keane fans on this side of the Atlantic! Good to see the band is back!...

In advance of Keane’s upcoming album Cause and Effect,  the band have announced their North American tour!  Kicking off March 5, 2019 in Vancouver at The Commodore Ballroom, Keane will tour the U.S. and Canada with 16 shows throughout March 2020.  Keane spent the summer blowing away festival crowds across Europe and instantly sold out underplays in the the U.S. including New York’s Bowery Ballroom and The Roxy in LA. 
Cause and Effect is Keane’s follow-up to Strangeland of 2012, which included the singles "Disconnected" and "Silenced by the Night.”  The birth of the new album came as something of a surprise even to the band.  During their hiatus, singer Tom Chaplin had released two successful solo albums but missed his old sparring partner Tim Rice-Oxley.  “I found myself wondering how I had come to let this very enigmatic and important relationship in my life drift,” Tom said.

Meanwhile Tim, going through his own personal struggles, found he had written an album’s worth of incredibly personal songs fueled by humour as well as pain. When Tom, bassist Jesse Quin and drummer Richard Hughes heard the songs, they were immediately drawn to them both sonically and lyrically.  “Hopes and Fears was a break-up album too,” Tim said, referring to Keane’s acclaimed 2004 debut, with “Somewhere Only We Know,” a massive hit, covered by Lily Allen, Kacey Musgraves, David Archuleta, and others. “But it was about a break-up when I was 19. It’s a bit different when you’re older and you’ve got kids – your whole little world shifts on its axis.”
“The Way I Feel,” like the other ten tracks on Cause and Effect , is an emotional and remarkable slice of life, and reminiscent of the very best of Keane.  It’s an exciting period for one of the UK’s great bands and a very welcome return.  As Tim has said, “We’ve got a lot of great music in us.”  Cause and Effect  is just that.
NORTH AMERICA TOUR DATES:
3/5/20              Vancouver, BC           The Commodore Ballroom
3/6/20              Portland, OR               Roseland Theater
3/7/20              Seattle, WA                 Showbox
3/9/20              Oakland, CA               Fox Theater
3/10/20            Los Angeles, CA         Dolby Theater
3/13/20            Denver, CO                 The Mission Ballroom
3/15/20            Austin, TX                   Emo’s
3/16/20            Houston, TX                House of Blues
3/18/20            Dallas, TX                   House of Blues
3/20/20            Chicago, IL                  Cadillac Palace Theatre        
3/21/20            Nashville, TN              CMA Theater
3/23/20            Toronto, ON                Danforth Music Hall
3/24/20            Montreal, QC              M-TELUS
3/25/20            Boston, MA                 Orpheum Theatre
3/27/20            Washington, DC         The Anthem
3/28/20            New York, NY             Beacon Theater

2019 TOUR DATES IN LATIN AMERICA: 
11/13/19          Monterrey, MX            Teatro Citibanamex
11/15/19          Guadalajara, MX         Auditorio Telmex
11/17/19          Mexico City, MX          Corona Capital Festival
11/20/19          Bogota, Colombia        Royal Center 
11/22/19          Lima, Peru                  Parque de la Exposicion
11/24/19          Santiago, Chile           Caupolican Theater 
11/25/19          Santiago, Chile           Caupolican Theater 
11/27/19          Asunción Paraguay    Jockey Club 
11/29/19          Buenos Aires, AR       Buenos Aires Arena
12/1/19            São Paulo, Brazil        Espaco Das Americas


Friday, September 13, 2019

Ringo Starr announces release of his 20th studio album 'What's My Name?' - coming Oct. 25, 2019

Very exciting to hear Ringo Starr has a new album on the way this fall!



Colin Hay-penned title track available now!


(September 13, 2019, Los Angeles, CA) – Today, Ringo Starr announced his 20th studio record, What’s My Name, to be released on UMe October 25, 2019. What’s My Name is the latest in a series of heartfelt and homespun records that Starr has produced in his home studio and a distinguished, ever-changing yet often repeating cast of musical characters and friends playing along with Ringo. Those friends include Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Nathan East, Colin Hay, Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel and more (full track and credit list below).

For Ringo, recording at home, known as Roccabella West, has become a welcome and productive way of life. “I don’t want to be in an old-fashioned recording studio anymore, really,” Starr explains. “I’ve had enough of the big glass wall and the separation.  We are all together in here, whoever I invite over. This is the smallest club in town. And I love it, being at home, being able to say hi to Barb, it’s just been good for me and the music.”

With the help of the many familiar faces appearing on the album and in the credits, as well as Bruce Sugar recording and mixing, What’s My Namereflects Ringo desire to keep his homemade music feeling fresh and vital, whether by introducing new collaborators, like songwriter Sam Hollander, or by being more open to recording songs he has not written, co-written or in one case, even produced. “Sam Hollander’s people got to Bruce Grakal, my lawyer, and said, “Sam would like to say hi to Ringo.” So I told Sam to come over. After we wrote a song together, “Thank God For Music.” Then Sam called and said, “I think I may have another song,” so I said, “Let me hear it.” He had written it all. He had written a song out of things I said in an interview in Rolling Stone.  I loved the sentiment of it – he had one verse about spending too much time in hospitals, but I didn’t want to even sing that verse – the pity verse. Sam came over and I put the vocals on, and said, `You produce this one,’ but Sam said, “Well, you’re going to do drums.” So, I went in and played it through twice.” I like two takes. And he took “Better Days” away and did it.”

Colin Hay and Ringo Starr at Greek
Theatre in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2018.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
The new album’s title track and first single -- “What’s My Name” -- is a rousing anthem written by a returning All-Starr Band member this past summer, Colin Hay, that turns a familiar chant from Ringo’s live shows into a rousing rocker sure to be a future crowd-pleaser. “This was Colin Hay’s fourth time in the All-Starr Band, and a friend told me that, unbeknownst to me, Colin wrote a song years ago called, “What’s My Name.” I said, “Bring it up to the house and let’s hear it.” Later I heard, Colin couldn’t find it! He’d written the song down six years ago and put it in this pile or that pile.  But it ended up at the bottom of the drawer. So, Colin came over and played it for me, and I LOVED it. I loved the verses. I loved the sentiment. In all honesty, there’s not a lot of people who could get away with asking, “What’s my name?” in a song. If you’ve been to the show, you already know the title. I’m blessed that most things coming my way are peace and love. There are still always trials and tribulations. But I just feel in life, the sun shines this way. I’m blessed. I always have the same talk – an audience can be tortured. We give them everything we’ve got. We give each other everything we’ve got. And sometimes it’s not enough. But most nights it’s everything. I’ll play the best I can for you. And you play the best you can for me. That’s all I can ask.”

Yet the emotional centerpiece of What’s My Name is Starr’s deeply felt version of “Grow Old With Me” by his late great friend John Lennon. This is a performance for the ages, one made all the more powerful and moving when we realize that Ringo is blessed to be still living the dream of growing older with the one he loves in a way that his beloved friend John was imagining with Yoko when he wrote this song in the years before his tragic death.  As Starr rightly notes with a warm smile, “I’m still living that dream.”

For Ringo, the inspiration to record “Grow Old With Me” now came when he ran into noted record producer Jack Douglas who had produced John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy album, among other classic recordings.

“Jack asked if I ever heard The Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” Ringo recalls. “And I had never heard all this. The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person. And I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best. The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from “Here Comes The Sun.” So in a way, it’s the four of us.”


What’s My Name is filled with other stand out collaborations and inspirations – starting with the opening track, the rocking “Gotta Get Up To Get Down”, which Starr co-wrote with his brother in law and long-time musical partner Joe Walsh. “I’ve been making music with Joe long before we became brothers, “Ringo said. “And we were having dinner with Klaus Voorman months ago, and for whatever, I said, “Well, you’ve got to get up to get down.” Joe and looked at each other and said, “We know that’s the title, so let’s write a song about it. “That’s how it is. Edgar Winter’s part on this track is just incredible. Edgar’s always incredible, but he out does himself in my book.” Additional tracks include: “It’s Not Love That You Want;” “Magic” co- written with his long time All-Starr Steve Lukather “I wrote that with Steve Lukather, who is magic. I made a mistake of telling Steve, “You’re my last best friend,” and so that how we’re live now. And he’s a beautiful guy. He sometimes puts out a hard shell, but he is so soulful. We work well together. And he’s even better when he’s not playing a thousand notes a minute – which he can. He’s the man. I love the man. Don’t tell him. Sometimes Steve’s so happy playing with me, I say, “You’re having too much fun.”
A cover of the classic “Money (That’s What I Want);” “Send Love, Spread Peace” and “Life Is Good,” which was inspired by the book written by the optimistic apparel company of the same name founded by Bert & John Jacobs. “I went to receive my honor at the Paley Center last year and I was wearing a hat that said, “Life is Good.” I liked the sentiment. And the guys from the Life is Good organization sent me t-shirts and a book, and Gary and I noticed that. And that’s how we wrote it. If we have a title, we just go.”

What’s My Name – to that question writer David Wild mused, What’s In A Name?
In the spectacular and singular case of Ringo Starr, what’s in his name is an enduringly fabulous lifetime of music & meaning, and yes, Peace & Love that all comes through loud and clear on Ringo’s latest album, What’s My Name.

Yes, there’s more than half a century of illustrious history in Ringo’s name. Yet what makes all that mean so much here and now is that the artist formerly known as Richard Starkey keeps earning his excellent and beloved name all over again, every time that he takes the stage with one of his All-Starr Bands and whenever he releases new music.
In the best way possible, drumming remains Ringo’s madness, and keeps him moving forward in time. As Starr remembers affectionately, “When I was a teenager, my mom always said, “Son, you’re at your happiest when you’re playing.” And it’s still true to this day. I’m blessed. I had a dream back when I was thirteen, and just last night I played with all my friends at the Greek, and I’ve been putting together All-Starr bands for 30 years. And it’s still a thrill.”
What’s My Name - The Track listing & Credits:
Produced by: Ringo Starr
Recorded and mixed by: Bruce Sugar
Pro Tools Editing: Bruce Sugar
Recorded at: Roccabella West Studio, United Recording
Gotta Get Up To Get Down (Richard Starkey, Joe Walsh)
Drums, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, Vocals: Joe Walsh
Clavinet, Synthesizer, Vocals: Edgar Winter
Bass: Nathan East
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel
Its Not Love That You Want (Richard Starkey, Dave Stewart)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Dave Stewart
 Bass: Nathan East
Piano: Jim Cox
Clavinet: Benmont Tench
Synth Horns: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Windy Wagner, Amy Keys
Additional Engineering: Ned Douglas
Grow Old With Me (John Lennon)
Drums, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Bass, BGV: Paul McCartney
Guitar: Joe Walsh
Piano: Jim Cox
Violin: Rhea Fowler, Bianca McClure
Viola:  Lauren Baba
Cello:  Isaiah Gage
Accordion: Allison Lovejoy
String Arrangement by Jack Douglas, Daniel Cole
Assistant Engineer on string session: Wesley Seidman
Magic (Richard Starkey, Steve Lukather)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, Piano: Steve Lukather
Bass: John Pierce
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV:  Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel
Money (That’s What I Want) (Berry Gordy, Janie Bradford)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters
Piano, Organ, Synth: Bruce Sugar
Better Days (Sam Hollander)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Piano: Grant Michaels
Organ: Peter Levin
Bass: Kaveh Rastegar
Guitar: Pete Min
BGV: Zelma Davis, Garen Gueyikian
Horns: James King
Produced by: Ringo Starr, Sam Hollander
Life Is Good (Richard Starkey, Gary Burr)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
Organ: Benmont Tench
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV:  Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel
Thank God For Music (Richard Starkey, Sam Hollander)
Drums: Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar:  Steve Lukather
Synth Bass, Piano, Organ: Jim Cox
 Synth Voice Pad: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters
Send Love Spread Peace (Richard Starkey, Gary Nicholson)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Dudas
Bass: Nathan East
Organ, Piano:  Benmont Tench
BGV: Windy Wagner, Amy Keys
What’s My Name (Colin Hay)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, BGV: Colin Hay
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
Harmonica: Warren Ham
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters
Starr also has a new book coming out October 15, Another Day In the Life (Genesis Publications) reflects his love of music, travel and nature and shows us the world as seen through Ringo’s eyes. Originally published as a limited edition, this hardback version will be widely available and
can be pre-ordered here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New Music Roundup: Lindsey Stirling, Bobby Rush, The Lilacs

A number of musical styles are showcased on a trio of top-tier recent releases.



Artist: Lindsey Stirling
Title: Artemis (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Lindsey Stirling, CHVRCHES, Evanescence
Tell me more: Lindsey Stirling's continuing search to elevate the world with her original compositions and incredible skills on the violin are celebrated on her latest album Artemis. The music on Stirling's fifth full-length album is both accessible and daring with the artist proving yet again how she can find success outside of commercial trends and the increasingly low bar exhibited by the majority of today's hitmakers. A bona fide concept album, Artemis was inspired by Artemis, who in Ancient Greek mythology, was the daughter of Zeus and serves as the goddess of the moon. Distant female voices enlighten the title track "Artemis," while Stirling's shining violin work offers expert counterpoint. The electronica "Foreverglow," dynamic symphonic rock-yearning "Love Goes On and On" (the latter featuring Evanescence lead vocalist Amy Lee) and buoyant electronica strike "The Upside" (featuring singer Elle King) are other standouts on the disc. My favorite selection on "Artemis" is "Between Twilight," which has an otherworldly beauty that would have been at home alongside composer Howard Shore's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Information: LindseyStirling.com.



Artist: Bobby Rush
Title: Sitting on Top of the Blues (Deep Rush Records / Thirty Tigers)
You might like if you enjoy: Buddy Guy, Sonny Boy Williamson
Tell me more: Bluesman Bobby Rush's aptly-pegged Sitting on Top of the Blues is filled with infectious tracks that recall the past while propelling the genre into the future. Launching things with the explosive "Hey Hey Bobby Rush," stylish lead guitar, a driving rhythm and R&B-flavored horns help bolster the winning track. A dance between blues harp and lead guitar introduces "Good Stuff" before Rush uses his powerful baritone to enthrall listeners the rest of the way. The songs on the disc powerfully fuse blues, soul, funk, and R&B in artful perfection. Other highlights on the Grammy Award winning artist's disc include the joyful "You Got the Goods on You," the nimble blues harp-anchored instrumental "Bobby Rush Shuffle," the acoustic Delta-drenched "Recipe for Love" and funked out "Shake Til' You Get Enough." Information: BobbyRushBluesman.com.



Artist: The Lilacs
Title: The Lilacs Endure (Pravda)
You might like if you enjoy: Matthew Sweet, Big Star, Material Issue 
Tell me more: Chicago-spawned power pop heroes The Lilacs are back with a terrific EP (The Lilacs Endure) that celebrates the band's knack for unleashing high-octane melodic rock. The band's loose approach triggers a favorable comparison with the Rolling Stones' freewheeling approach albeit with an emphasis on melodic rock; The Lilacs may be ragged around the edges but that's clearly a good thing. Credit to producer Richard Lloyd (Television, Matthew Sweet) and the lineup featuring Ken Kurson (guitar, vocals), David Levinsky (guitar, vocals), John Valley (drums), Steve Poulton (bass) and Jimmy Matt Rowland (Hammond organ, piano, synthesizer). Any of the songs on this disc will please fans of the genre to be sure. Information: www.facebook.com/TheLilacs1990/.


Robert Kinsler