Thursday, October 31, 2019

Journey, The Pretenders to embark on extensive 2020 North American Tour

Two bands I last caught in 2016 (at two different concert events) are joining forces and going on tour in 2020. Here is the media release, and note that tickets go on sale next week...Robert Kinsler

Journey sets extensive 2020 North American Tour with The Pretenders
Five Month Tour Kicks Off Friday, May 15 
Tickets on Sale Friday, November 8, at 10 AM
Arnel Pineda, left, with Neal Schon of Journey.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
Journey - Neal Schon (founding member and lead guitarist), Ross Valory (co-founding member and bassist), longtime members Jonathan Cain (keyboardist) & Steve Smith (drummer), and Arnel Pineda (lead singer) – have set an extensive North American tour in 2020 with the PRETENDERS that will feature all new production and hits from start to finish. The 60+ date tour, produced by Live Nation, begins Friday, May 15, through Saturday, September 12, and tickets go on sale Friday, November 8, at 10 AM. All times are local. A full listing of tour dates can be found below.
Fans can expect to hear iconic Journey classics such as “Lights,” “Faithfully,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Open Arms,” “Wheel In The Sky,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” and the seminal “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which is the top-selling digital catalog track in history,  as well as Pretenders’ hits such as “I’ll Stand By You,” “Back On The Chain Gang,” “Brass In Pocket,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” “2000 Miles,” “My City Was Gone,” “Middle of the Road,” and many more.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets for select shows before the general public beginning Monday, November 4, at 10 AM through Thursday, November 7, at 10 PM. Citi and other local presales will start on November 5, at 10 AM.
A limited number of LaneOne Premium Packages will also be available, including amazing seats, transportation, preferred entrance and more.  Check HERE for LaneOne details.

Chrissie Hynde performing at The Forum in
Inglewood, CA in December 2016.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
The Pretenders cross the bridge between punk, new wave and pop music like no other band, with genre-defining songs like “I'll Stand By You,” “Back On The Chain Gang” and “Don't Get Me Wrong.” The band has sold over 25 million albums and founder & leader Chrissie Hynde is one of contemporary music's greatest songwriters. Chrissie’s 2015 memoir Reckless: My Life As a Pretender, was hailed by the New York Times upon its release as "honest and distinctive… a love letter to rock and roll." After delivering 2016’s unflinchingly head-strong Alone album (produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), the Pretenders continue to tour worldwide.

Arnel Pineda of Journey in 2016.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
JOURNEY is one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, creating some of the best-known songs in modern music. Since the group’s formation in 1973, the band has earned 19 top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums and has sold nearly 100 million albums globally.  Their Greatest Hits album is certified 15 times-Platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified award holders. The band continues to tour and record into the 21st century, performing concerts for millions of fans worldwide, and received the prestigious Billboard "Legends of Live" touring award.  2018’s massive co-headlining tour with Def Leppard was the band’s most successful tour to date, landing them in the Top 10 year-end touring chart with more than 1 million tickets sold. In 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In March 2019, Journey released a live DVD/CD set from their concert at the Budokan in Tokyo, featuring the first-ever performances of the band’s “Escape” and “Frontiers” albums in their entireties. Journey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and is the subject of the award-winning documentary, “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey.” 

JOURNEY with PRETENDERS 2020 Tour Dates:
FRI15-MayRidgefield, WASunlight Supply Amphitheater
SAT16-MayGeorge, WAGorge Amphitheatre
MON18-MayVancouver, BCRogers Arena
WED20-MayBoise, IDExtraMile Arena
THU21-MayWest Valley City, UTUSANA Amphitheatre
SAT23-MayInglewood, CAForum
SUN24-MayChula Vista, CANorth Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
TUE26-MayAnaheim, CAHonda Center
WED27-MayConcord, CAConcord Pavilion
FRI29-MayWheatland, CAToyota Amphitheatre
SAT30-MayMountain View, CAShoreline Amphitheatre
MON1-JunPhoenix, AZAk-Chin Pavilion
TUE2-JunAlbuquerque, NMIsleta Amphitheater
THU4-JunDenver, COPepsi Center
SAT6-JunEast Troy, MIAlpine Valley Music Theatre
SUN7-JunSt. Paul, MNXcel Energy Center
TUE9-JunSioux Falls, SDDenny Sanford PREMIER Center
WED10-JunDes Moines, IAWells Fargo Arena
FRI19-JunOklahoma City, OKChesapeake Energy Arena
SAT20-JunDurant, OKChoctaw Grand Theater*
MON22-JunRogers, ARWalmart AMP
WED24-JunMemphis, TNFedExForum
FRI26-JunMaryland Heights, MOHollywood Casino Amphitheatre - St. Louis, MO
SAT27-JunNoblesville, INRuoff Home Mortgage Music Center
MON29-JunCincinnati, OHRiverbend Music Center
TUE30-JunCuyahoga Falls OHBlossom Music Center
THU2-JulMoline, ILTaxSlayer Center
FRI3-JulTinley Park, ILHollywood Casino Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL
SUN5-JulClarkston, MIDTE Energy Music Theatre
WED8-JulGrand Rapids, MIVan Andel Arena
FRI10-JulColumbus, OHNationwide Arena
SAT11-JulBurgettstown, PAKeyBank Pavilion
MON13-JulToronto, ONBudweiser Stage
TUE14-JulQuebec City, PQVideotron Center
FRI17-JulHartford, CTXFINITY Theatre
SAT18-JulDarien Center, NYDarien Lake Performing Arts Center
WED29-JulMansfield, MAXfinity Center
THU30-JulWantagh, NYNorthwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
SAT1-AugSaratoga Springs, NYSaratoga Performing Arts Center
SUN2-AugBristow, VAJiffy Lube Live
TUE4-AugHolmdel, NJPNC Bank Arts Center
WED5-AugCamden, NJBB&T Pavilion
FRI7-AugVirginia Beach, VAVeterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach 
SAT8-AugCharlotte, NCPNC Music Pavilion
MON10-AugRaleigh, NCCoastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
WED12-AugNashville, TNBridgestone Arena
THU13-AugAtlanta, GACellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
FRI21-AugTampa, FLMIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds 
SAT22-AugWest Palm Beach, FLCoral Sky Amphitheatre at the S. Florida Fairgrounds
MON24-AugJacksonville, FLVyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
WED26-AugOrange Beach, ALThe Wharf
THU27-AugNew Orleans, LASmoothie King Center*
SAT29-AugBossier City, LACenturyLink Center
SUN30-AugDallas, TXDos Equis Pavilion
WED2-SepSan Antonio, TXAT&T Center
THU3-SepCorpus Christi, TXAmerican Bank Center Arena
SAT5-SepThe Woodlands, TXCynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
WED9-SepLexington, KYRupp Arena
FRI11-SepHershey, PAHersheypark Stadium
SAT12-SepBethel, NYBethel Woods Center for the Arts
*Not promoted by Live Nation.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Mickey Dolenz recalls introduction to Jimi Hendrix

Make sure to tune in on Halloween night to catch Micky Dolenz on AXS TV's MIXTAPE. In the segment available via the link below you get to see Dolenz reflect on his seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and subsequently getting the trio as the opening act for the Monkees. Cool stuff! Robert Kinsler

Mickey Dolenz recalls enlisting young guitarist Jimi Hendrix to open up for The Monkees in this exclusive look at all-new episode of 'MixTape,' airing Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at 8:30 P.M. ET/5:30 P.M. PT

Dolenz Shares His Favorite Childhood Musical Influences, Reveals How He Had to Learn to Play Drums in ‘The Monkees,’ and Talks About His Latest Tour in this In-Depth Episode  
Los Angeles, CA (October 28, 2019) – Mickey Dolenz, beloved entertainer and founding member of the chart-topping rock quartet The Monkees, takes viewers on an intimate journey through his celebrated career and shares the songs that inspired him on an all-new episode of AXS TV’s MIXTAPE—premiering Thursday, October 31 at 8:30pE/5:30pP. MIXTAPE in partnership with the leading music streaming service Spotify, provides music fans with each episode’s custom playlist as well as access to the MIXTAPE podcast that includes additional commentary on Spotify.
In this exclusive first look, Dolenz relays a priceless anecdote of searching for an act to open up for The Monkees as they were preparing to head out on tour. “I’m at the Monterey Pop Festival,” Dolenz recalls, “and all of a sudden these three guys come on stage in all these psycho-jello clothes and stuff, and they just looked incredible. That was, of course, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.” Dolenz thought the groundbreaking trio would be the perfect complement to The Monkees, as both bands had a very theatrical style. He continues, “I guess they liked the idea, our producers liked the idea, so sure enough a few months later we’re opening up and Jimi is the opening act. He did six or eight shows with us, and he was a great guy... We had a lot of fun.” Watch it here.

In addition to Dolenz’s appearance on MIXTAPE, he can be seen traveling across the country performing with his band and also as a part of the tour “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today – A Tribute to The Beatles’ White Album,” where Dolenz is joined on stage with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, former Chicago front man Jason Scheff and Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland. The “White Album’ shows feature songs from the famous record as well as personal hits from each member. For more information about the tour dates and tickets, visit

MIXTAPE airs every Thursday at 8:30pE/5:30pP, only on AXS TV

Music Legends Inspire Anew via Highly-Anticipated Returns

Albums from two bona fide Rock and Roll Hall of Famers as well several exciting titles from rediscovered artists make for a diverse field of notable new releases.

Artist: Neil Young with Crazy Horse
Title: Colorado (Reprise)
You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young, Pearl Jam
Tell me more: Listening to the eagerly-awaited return from Neil Young with Crazy Horse (Colorado) is akin to catching up with a beloved old friend. From the gentle melodies and approach on the aptly-pegged "Olden Days," wistful "Milky Way" and tender "Eternity" to the blistering "Shut It Down" and "Help Me Loose My Mind," the album finds Young, guitarist-keyboardist Nils Lofgren, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina locked in and firing on all cylinders. Colorado is the troupe's first effort since 2012's stellar Psychedelic Pill, and the release is often focused squarely on the plight of planet Earth, notably the aforementioned "Green Is Blue" and "Shut It Down." Young's keen observations are told with an urgency that proves he has lost none of his celebrated mettle over the past 50+ years. The 13-minute "She Showed Me Love" revisits the territory of some his most potent rockers with Crazy Horse while the acoustic gems "I Do" and "Think Of Me" recall the quiet Americana-swept beauty displayed across his classic 1992 Harvest Moon album. Information:

Artist: Ringo Starr
Title: What's My Name? (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, Ringo Starr
Tell me more: It is hard to believe that What's My Name? is Ringo Starr's 20th solo album. But anyone who has seen Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band in recent years knows the former Beatle and world's most famous purveyor of "peace and love" continues to release fun and spirited albums featuring his winning signature rock 'n' roll sound. Starr's new album has plenty to celebrate, from the celebratory "Life is Good" and "Thank God for Music" to the shimmering "Magic" (bolstered by Steve Lukather's artful and flashy guitar work) and scintillating "Send Love Spread Peace" to the genuinely funky "Gotta Get Up to Get Down" (featuring Joe Walsh on vocals and guitar). This writer's favorite track is the soulful rocker "Better Days"; that track features some of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's best-ever lead vocals amidst a soundscape that actually draws comparisons with some of Duran Duran's best-known modern rockers. There are several classics covered here, the best being a tender take on John Lennon's "Grow Old With Me" featuring Paul McCartney on bass and backing vocals. The album closes out with the exuberant Colin Hay-penned title cut, the perfect way to wrap up the disc. High-profile guests abound across What's My Name? including bassist Nathan East (Fourplay), keyboardist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and guitarist Dave Stewart (the Eurythmics). Information:

Artist: Disturbed Furniture
Title: Continuous Pleasures (Arevarc Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Ride, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Mazzy Star, Blondie
Tell me more: When Disturbed Furniture reunited two years ago to perform and record new music it marked the return of an important player from New York's early 1980s underground music scene. Now the band's five-song EP Continuous Pleasures is available and is re-introducing the art rockers' timeless approach to a new generation of savvy listeners. The vibe and sound here recalls groundbreaking bands such as Ride and Mazzy Star, but with the unique approach of singer Alexa Hunter, guitarist Jorge Arevalo Mateus, drummer Mick Oakleaf and bassist Shin Sakaino adding something special to the mix. A blend of indie rock, poetic spoken word and world music tinges, the five-song disc will hopefully serve as fire for the creation of a full-length LP from the band soon. The range of emotions and sounds probed range from the post-punk push of "Hit or a Miss" and dreamy sheen of "Halo of Pain" to the Latin-tinged feel of "Angel of Losses," the latter a beautiful showcase for Hunter's dynamic soprano and Mateus' nuanced guitar textures. Information:

Artist: Jimmy "Duck" Holmes
Title: Cypress Grove (Easy Eye Sound Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Marcus King, Otis Taylor
Tell me more: The Dan Auerbach-produced Cypress Grove is truly a celebration of the otherworldly talents of bluesman Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, a 72-year-old great whose sound connects listeners with the Delta blues of the early 20th century. On the newly-issued Cypress Grove, Holmes is joined by a parade of notable guests including guitarist Marcus King, drummer Sam Bacco, bassist Eric Deaton and aforementioned Auerbach who collectively recreate the experience of dropping by Holmes' Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi on a Saturday night. The sound here is not confined to the past, but rather serves as a time tunnel that blends past and present as the freewheeling Holmes often defies rigid and repeating chord progressions in favor of hypnotic grooves (just listen to "Goin' Away Baby," "Little Red Rooster" and "All Night Long"). Other standouts on the excellent album include "Hard Times" (where Holmes tackles Skip James' song to the lone accompaniment of his own guitar), the rough-and-tumble acoustics of "Devil Got My Woman" and his confessional "Gonna Get Old Someday." Information:

Artist: Grace Potter
Title: Daylight (Fantasy)
You might like if you enjoy: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Beth Hart
Tell me more: Grace Potter's Daylight marks a strong return for the singer/multi-instrumentalist, whose last album Midnight was released back in 2015. This time around Potter continues her mostly-successful quest to blend rock, soul, blues and Americana in creative and artful ways. The soulful blues of "Love Is Love," loose retro rocker "On My Way," rootsy acoustic nugget "Shout It Out" and Motown-mining "Back To Me" (the latter featuring the contributions of Lucius) will hit home for fans of the songstress who has always impressed me in concert. The shining gem on the disc is the stunning ballad "Release," an affecting turn about letting go of someone you love; it doesn't hurt that Potter delivers some of the most emotive singing of her career on that track and across the disc. Information:

Robert  Kinsler

Saturday, October 26, 2019

When Is It Time For Artists to stop Touring?

"When is it time for artists to stop touring?" TJR and Robert Kinsler address that question on a new video:

Friday, October 25, 2019

Sights and Sounds: Neil Young, Loverboy, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, Frank Zappa

Going into the weekend, here is a roundup of notable music news that landed in my inbox this week...Robert Kinsler

I will have a full-length review in my column that runs early next week, but I still want to let everyone know that the highly-anticipated return of Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Colorado, is officially out today. Colorado is the first new studio album featuring Young and Crazy Horse since 2012's Psychedelic Pill, which was truly one of the great albums released that year. This album also marks the return of legendary Nils Lofgren (piano and guitar) to the ranks of Crazy Horse. The lineup is rounded out by Billy Talbot on bass and Ralph Molina on drums. I've just started playing the album today and it is just wonderful to hear the powerful and freewheeling artists back and making powerful expansive rock 'n' roll together.

Mike Reno of Loverboy.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
If you missed Loverboy's headlining performance at City National Grove of Anaheim last night, you can still catch the '80s hitmakers when they perform at Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in Indio on Saturday night, October 26. I've driven out to Fantasy Springs a few times and it is a terrific place to catch shows. Most recently, I caught Brian Wilson and the Zombies at the venue, and it is an intimate space to catch high-profile names. I last caught Canadian rockers Loverboy in concert when the band performed with Rick Springfield last year and the band was great. You can read my review of that August 2018 concert here


Paul McCartney makes Orange Amplification's Cliff Cooper LIPA Honoured Friend

Sir Paul McCartney and Cliff Cooper  at
the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
Awards Ceremony on July 26, 2019.
Orange Amplification Founder and CEO, Cliff Cooper has been made an Honoured Friend of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). He was presented with the award by Sir Paul McCartney at a ceremony held on the 26th July 2019 at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
When making the award, Mark Featherstone-Witty of LIPA said, ‘Cliff is our Honoured Friend. This rather special award is given to people who have been generous …….without a hint of expecting anything in return. So Cliff for this award you are an exemplar!.......Putting something back is part of your psyche…….You are a hero and it is good to know there are people like you in the world and even better, associated with us!
Founded in 1968, Orange Amplification was born from Cliff’s love of music and skill as an electronics designer. The company is famous for its British made AD and Rockerverb series and the introduction of the groundbreaking TerrorCrush and Crush Pro series. Many of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists love and use Orange’s iconic amps including Jimmy PageStevie WonderFoalsOasisMastodonMadonnaJim RootBilly GibbonsGeddy LeeGlenn HughesOrianthi and Marcus King to name but a few.
LIPA was co-founded by Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty in 1996. Today, LIPA is a university-level provider of world class teaching for performers of all genres. Earlier this year, five LIPA graduates made it into Stage’s list of the 100 Most Influential People Working in UK Theatre.
Cliff and Orange started working with LIPA more than fifteen years ago when he purchased the Beatles Museum from Wembley PLC. When he sold the museum to Liverpool Council it had more than doubled in size. ‘I am extremely proud to receive this award, especially as it came as a complete surprise and from such a distinguished Institution’ said Cliff commenting on his award.
Cliff joins a list of people honoured by LIPA that includes The Late Sir George MartinSir Ian McKellenOzzy & Sharon OsborneBill NighyBen EltonDawn FrenchStephen FryRowan AtkinsonThe Late Amy Winehouse and many, many more.
To find out more about Orange Amplification please go to To find out more about LIPA, please go to

Robbie Robertson's 'Sinematic' Deluxe Edition out today via UMe



Los Angeles – October 252019 – Legendary songwriter/musician Robbie Robertson’s acclaimed new album, Sinematic, is now available as a Deluxe Edition, which presents the evocative 13-song collection on CD and 180-gram 2LP vinyl with an accompanying lavish 12” x 12” casebound 36-page hardcover book featuring the custom artwork Robertson created for each track. Listeners are brought even further into Robertson’s Sinematic world with the suite of multimedia images, which includes a series of striking portraits and abstract images, ranging from expressionist paintings to experimental photography. In one depiction, a photo of Robertson’s Walther 9mm pistol, “the same gun James Bond used,” is drenched in crimson and gold, juxtaposed next to a menacing figure. In another, paint seeps into a textured canvas as if it’s been burned in. The limited edition collector’s set is available exclusively at uDiscover. Order here:
For fans who would like to own a piece of Robertson’s artwork, four images – the Sinematic album cover, “Beautiful Madness,” “Shanghai Blues,” and “Walk In Beauty Way – are available for purchase as archival-quality, framed canvas prints in a limited run of 100 for each. To view and order the images, visit:
Robertson’s first new studio album in eight years was inspired by his decades of creating and composing music for film and is filled with gripping tales of villainy and vice, mobsters and gangsters embroiled in corruption and crime, melancholy stories about destruction and devastation and a pair of deeply personal songs about The Band and the youthful dream that launched his wildly successful six decade-long career. The dramatic collection, which plays like a series of mini movies, builds on Robertson’s celebrated solo works while pushing his songwriting into exciting new sonic territory. Sinematic has received rave reviews with Rolling Stone calling it, “An album of story-songs set to the sort of diaphanously blues-rock that characterizes Robertson’s sleek, expansive film music,” continuing, “Robertson’s guitar is a voice that always rings true.” Mojo praised, “The Band legend’s first solo album since 2011 is a blockbuster,” while Uncut said, “The music sounds great, dark and ambient: a rootsy industrial palette.” Associated Press commented that “Robertson is dialed-in when taking a bittersweet look back at his days with The Band in ‘Once Were Brothers’” and American Songwriter expressed that “the album’s title accurately describes the visual aspects this music conjures.”

Robertson drew inspiration for Sinematic from his recent film score writing and recording for director Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited organized crime epic, “The Irishman,” as well as the feature documentary film, “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” based on his 2016 New York Times bestselling memoir “Testimony.” The documentary, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival to widespread praise in September, will have its U.S. premiere as the opening night film at the annual documentary film festival DOC NYC on November 6. It will receive a theatrical release in early 2020 by Magnolia Pictures who have acquired the film for worldwide distribution.

“I was working on music for ‘The Irishman’ and working on the documentary, and these things were bleeding into each other,” says Robertson of the impetus for Sinematic. “I could see a path. Ideas for songs about haunting and violent and beautiful things were swirling together like a movie. You follow that sound and it all starts to take shape right in front of your ears. At some point, I started referring to it as ‘Peckinpah Rock’,” a nod, Robertson says, to Sam Peckinpah, the late director of such violent Westerns as “The Wild Bunch.”

Sinematic opens with “I Hear You Paint Houses,” featuring the devilish invitation from Robertson, “Shall we take a little spin/To the dark side of town?,” that sets the album’s stage for these noirish, cinematic vignettes. Drawn from Scorsese’s film, “The Irishman,” and the book it’s based on, Charles Brandt’s “I Heard You Paint Houses” about confessed hit man Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, the song is a riveting duet with Van Morrison that features bright guitar and a blithe tone that belies its chilling lyrics (mob code for hiring a hit man, painting houses refers to spattering walls with blood). The song will be featured in “The Irishman” alongside Sinematic’s emotional closing track “Remembrance,” which will play during the film’s end credits.

Narrated in Robertson’s cool parched croon, the yarns unspool over his vibrant guitar stylings and a bedrock of moody, midtempo rock, anchored on most tracks by bassist Pino Palladino (John Mayer Trio, The Who), drummer Chris Dave (D’Angelo, Adele), and keyboardist Martin Pradler, who also mixed the record. The band is rounded out with Afie Jurvanen, who provides guitar and backing vocals, along with vocalist Felicity Williams, a regular collaborator with Jurvanen in his band Bahamas. Robertson is joined on the album by special guest vocalists Van Morrison, Glen Hansard, Citizen CopeJ.S. Ondara, and Laura Satterfield; musicians Jim Keltner, Derek TrucksFrédéric Yonnet, and Doyle Bramhall II; and producer Howie B who provides throbbing electronic textures to several tracks.

On Dead End Kid,” one of Sinematic’s many standouts, Robertson turns the lens inward as he recalls some of the obstacles and low expectations he faced as a youth as a member of a First Nation and Jewish gangster family. “When I was growing up in Toronto, I was telling people, ‘One of these days I’m going to make some music and go all over the world,’” Robertson said. “Everyone was like, that’s never going to happen. You’re a dead end kid. Because my relatives were First Nation people and Jewish gangsters, it was assumed my dreams were going to explode. I found strength in overcoming that disbelief.” Wielding his guitar like a dangerous weapon, he demonstrates the breathtaking playing skills that caused a frenzy on Bob Dylan’s notorious 1966 electric tour and that helped to birth the Americana genre. Robertson’s defiant lyrics recall his teenage dream to play his music around the globe: “I want to show the world/Something they ain’t never seen/I want to take you somewhere/You ain’t never been.” Robertson’s raspy vocal is perfectly complemented by Glen Hansard’s soulful, soaring voice. The acclaimed Irish vocalist of The Frames, The Swell Season, and star of the film “Once,” Hansard resurfaces on Sinematic’s spirited rocker “Let Love Reign,” inspired by John Lennon’s call for peace.

Throughout the album, Robertson takes listeners through a colorful tour of society’s seedy underbelly. “Shanghai Blues is a vivid saga examining China’s notorious Green Gang mobster Du Yuesheng, who dominated opium, gambling and prostitution operations in the early 20th century. More crime and mystery unfold in the moody “sinphony,” “Street Serenade.” The edgy, electronic “The Shadow is a nostalgic homage to Orson Welles’ entrancing radio crime drama.

Robertson’s guitar playing takes center stage on two instrumental tracks, “Wandering Souls” and the album’s string-laden closer, “Remembrance,” written for his late friend, Microsoft co-founder and music lover Paul Allen. Robertson enlisted Allen’s guitar heroes Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II, plus drummer Jim Keltner, for the grand and melancholy elegy.

While many of the songs on Sinematic focus on sinful themes far removed from Robertson, he draws from his own extraordinary life story for the track, “Once Were Brothers,” a bittersweet reflection on The Band, written for the new documentary of the same name. Robertson is joined on the track by Nairobi native J.S. Ondara and American singer/songwriter Citizen Cope. Mournful strains of a harmonica and organ play as Robertson relates The Band’s farewell, singing “Once were brothers/Brothers no more.” Of the song, Robertson says, “There is war and conflict involved. Writing it hurt inside sometimes, but those experiences can be rewarding in the emotional outcome. It hurt but I loved it.”

Inspired by Robertson’s acclaimed 2016 autobiography, “Testimony,” director Daniel Roher’s “Once Were Brothers” is a confessional, cautionary, and sometimes humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The compelling film blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs, and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, and Ronnie Hawkins. Made in conjunction with Imagine Documentaries, White Pine Pictures, Bell Media Studios, and Universal Music Canada’s Shed Creative, the project is executive produced by Martin Scorsese; Imagine Entertainment chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein for Imagine Documentaries; White Pines Pictures’ president Peter Raymont, and COO Steve Ord; Bell Media president, Randy Lennox; Jared Levine; Michael Levine; Universal Music Canada president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios; and Shed Creative’s managing director Dave Harris. The film is produced by Andrew Munger, Stephen Paniccia, Sam Sutherland, and Lana Belle Mauro.




Los Angeles – October 25, 2019 – Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the iconoclastic composer Frank Zappa put on a series of spectacular, now legendary, shows around Halloween each year to celebrate his favorite holiday. Before settling on New York in 1974 to host his annual costume-clad festivities, which would continue until he retired the tradition in 1984, Zappa, fronting an exciting new band, performed two rousing back-to-back Halloween concerts the year prior at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. Whereas many of the NYC shows were not recorded, due to the musician’s union charging exorbitant fees making it virtually impossible to allow Zappa to record the event, there were no such restrictions at the Chicago show – in true Zappa fashion it was of course taped.

Now for the first time ever, Zappa’s two complete Halloween shows recorded on October 31, 1973 in Chicago, are available todayOctober 25 via Zappa Records/UMe, just in time for Halloween. These completely unreleased live recordings total more than four and a half hours and feature songs from across his prolific catalog, including his then just-released 1973 album Over-Nite Sensation and forthcoming 1974 record Apostrophe(‘), as well as early arrangements of compositions like “Penguin In Bondage,” “Dickie’s Such An Asshole” and “Village Of The Sun” that would appear on later studio and live albums. Continuing the Halloween series that the Zappa Family Trust began in 2017 with the acclaimed Halloween 77 releases, Halloween 73 is available as a specially designed, limited run four-disc costume box complete with a FRANKenZAPPA mask and gloves, housed in a display worthy box. Produced by Ahmet Zappa and Vaultmeister Joe Travers, the boxed set is rounded out with a 40-page booklet featuring detailed liner notes from Travers and Ruth Komanoff Underwood and Ralph Humphrey, Zappa’s bandmates who played in the shows, and a wealth of never-before-seen photos from the event.

The two full shows are presented on discs 1-3, with the fourth disc dedicated to unreleased rehearsals recorded just before the tour started. A single CD version titled Halloween 73 Highlights, which collects together 16 handpicked performances from both shows, is also available. The concerts were recorded on 1/2” 4-track analog tape which was stored in pristine condition in Zappa’s personal Vault. The tracks were digitally transferred in 96K/24B from the original analog tapes by Travers in 2019 and mastered and re-mixed by Craig Parker Adams. Both the deluxe boxed set and Highlights album will be available digitally for streaming and download.

Order Halloween 73 now:
Order Halloween 73 Highlights now:

After Zappa’s European tour that ended in September of ’73, the ever-restless musician decided to shake up his lineup once again and replaced woodwind and keyboards player Ian Underwood and violinist Jean Luc-Ponty with two new members: Chester Thompson on drums and Napoleon Murphy Brock who supplied vocals, tenor sax and flute. Following a month of rehearsals, the Halloween shows in Chicago marked the second gig for this new lineup. These recordings then represent the first official recording of this new configuration which as Travers writes in the liners, “would become infamous with the shows at The Roxy Theater scheduled for that December in Los Angeles and filmed for all posterity.”

Proceeding the Roxy performances, which can be heard in full on 2018’s The Roxy Performances boxed set, as well as the 1974 double live album Roxy & Elsewhere, it’s thrilling to hear the band dynamics and evolution. As Travers writes, “the music is fresh and going through changes, along with incorporating the new funky rhythms of Chester and the dynamic lead vocals of Napoleon. And with the mallets of Ruth Underwood prominently featured in the instrumentation, Bruce Fowler’s bionic trombone, Ralph Humphrey’s technical wizardry of the drum set, Tom Fowler’s command of the bass and the keyboard mastery of George Duke, it’s a no-brainer that this line-up would go on to be a favorite among fans. The musicianship and chemistry of the personnel blended so well together with the material Frank was writing. It would prove to be a golden period in the history of Frank Zappa and these Halloween shows are proof.”

Band members Ruth Komanoff Underwood and Ralph Humphrey both provide some fascinating insight into what it was like to play with Zappa and some insightful history about these shows in the in-depth liner notes which also feature beautiful live shots and intimate backstage photos. Underwood details Zappa’s desire to constantly change up the musicians he worked with and states, “Frank, though, wasn’t looking back for a moment, but only characteristically ahead, relishing the excitement and challenge at hand. Personnel changes had become routine for him, and he thrived on the new musical possibilities and mix of personalities. It was evident, then and always, that Frank needed to live his life in a state of perpetual transition, a reality that could be as maddening to us as it was exciting for all. However unnerving these constant changes, the exertion made us better players, despite some figurative bumps and bruises.”

These concerts would be the only Halloween shows that Zappa performed in Chicago as the Halloween tradition would start the next year in NYC in 1974 and continue for the next decade. These shows would have the same unbridled, celebratory spirit of the NY gigs that David Fricke of Rolling Stone hailed as “advanced, instrumental ecstasy, cliff-edge improvisation and impromptu theatrical hijinks.”

Disc 1 (Show 1)
1. “Happy Halloween To Each And Every One Of You” 4:36
2. Pygmy Twylyte 3:25
3. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:24
4. Cheepnis 3:28
5. “Another Assembly Of Items” 1:29
6. The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue 1:02
7. Kung Fu 1:32
8. Penguin In Bondage 7:12
9. T’Mershi Duween 1:46
10. The Dog Breath Variations 1:47
11. Uncle Meat 2:24
12. RDNZL 5:54
13. Village Of The Sun 4:14
14. Ecidna’s Arf (Of You) 4:11
15. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 9:54
16. Montana 6:55
TRT: 62:12

Disc 2 (Show 1 Continued)
1. Dupree’s Paradise 19:12
2. “Almost Up To Date” 1:35
3. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 10:04
(Show 2)
4. “That Greatest Of American Holidays” 4:50
5. Cosmik Debris 6:51
6. “We’re Hurtin’ For Tunes” 1:04
7. Pygmy Twylyte 3:40
8. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:17
9. Cheepnis 4:18
10. I’m The Slime 4:29
11. Big Swifty 9:37
TRT: 67:56
Disc 3 (Show 2 Continued)
1. The History Of The San Clemente Magnetic Deviation 1:50
2. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 9:59
3. “Another New Event” :56
4. Farther O’Blivion – Part 1 9:03
5. Father O’Blivion – Part 2 10:10
6. “Pervert’s Special Holiday” 1:10
7. Penguin In Bondage 7:27
8. T’Mershi Duween 1:45
9. RDNZL 6:06
10. Inca Roads 10:55
11. Medley: Son Of Mr. Green Genes/King Kong/Chunga’s Revenge 16:23
TRT: 75:44

Disc 4 (Bonus Rehearsals 10-20/21-73)
1. The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue (10-21-73) 1:05
2. Penguin In Bondage (10-20-73) 6:45
3. T’Mershi Duween (10-20-73) 1:46
4. Dog Breath (10-20-73) 1:28
5. The Dog Breath Variations (10-20-73) 1:20
6. Uncle Meat (10-20-73) 2:18
7. RDNZL (10-20-73) 5:10
8. Magic Fingers (10-21-73) 4:47
9. Inca Roads (10-20-73) 14:38
10. Father O’Blivion (10-21-73) 17:54
11. Cosmik Debris (10-20-73) 10:36
12. Big Swifty (10-21-73) 4:41
TRT: 72:28

1. “Happy Halloween To Each And Every One Of You” (Show 1) 4:36
2. Pygmy Twylyte (Show 2) 3:40
3. The Idiot Bastard Son (Show 2) 2:17
4. Cheepnis (Show 2) 3:18
5. “Another Assembly Of Items” (Show 1) 1:29
6. The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue (Show 1) 1:02
7. Kung Fu (Show 1) 1:32
8. Penguin In Bondage (Show 1) 7:12
9. T’Mershi Duween (Show 1) 1:46
10. The Dog Breath Variations (Show 1) 1:47
11. Uncle Meat (Show 1) 2:24
12. RDNZL (Show 1) 5:50
13. I’m The Slime (Show 2) 4:29
14. Big Swifty (Show 2) 9:25
15. “The History Of The San Clemente Magnetic Deviation (Show 2) 1:48
16. Dickie’s Such An Asshole (Show 2) 10:24
TRT: 63:02