Wednesday, September 30, 2020

AC/DC confirm comeback! Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams set to return for new album 'PWR UP'

AC/DC - Singer Brian Johnson and guitarist Angus Young
in concert.  Photo: Kelly A. Swift
AC/DC is back! After several days of online hints, today comes official word that the legendary hard rockers are set to return with a new album titled PWR UP. And that includes a lineup that features singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd, bassist Cliff Williams along with lead guitarist Angus Young and rhythm guitarist Stevie Young. This afternoon (Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020), the band confirmed this news via social media channels and other online announcements. Johnson had been away from the group for four years (after experiencing serious hearing loss), while Rudd had been missing from the lineup for the past five years!

The next album will be the band's first since 2014's Rock Or Bust! LP.

A new photo of the rock quintet was released today and can be seen above!

For fun, check out my review of AC/DC's performance at Coachella back in April 2015 HERE.

We don't yet know when PWR UP will be released, but let's hope soon! 2020 could use it!!!

Neil Young announces immersive 'Return To Greendale'

 In a year of a parade of impressive reissues comes Return To Greendale, one of Neil Young's most ambitious and winning projects...Robert Kinsler


Deluxe Box Set Out November 6 Via Reprise Records Includes Album and Film of Unprecedented Eco-Minded Concert, and Making-Of Documentary

Neil Young / Photo: Henry Diltz 

September 30, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) —
 NEIL YOUNG is pleased to announce the release of Return To Greendale, a live album and concert film of the historic 2003 tour that brought his 25th studio album, Greendale, to life both musically and theatrically. Out November 6 via Reprise Records, the songs and performance remain topical as ever, powered by themes of environmentalism, corruption, and the destructive effects of capitalism. Featuring Young’s trusty partners Crazy Horse, the Toronto recording captures the epic experience of Young’s immersive, small-town rock opera. The multimedia exploit seamlessly blended Young’s powerful lyrics and Crazy Horse’s heavy blues thrash with musical theatre, as actors joined the band onstage to play out Greendale’s narrative as it unfolded. Like Greendale itself, the show eschews elaborate production in favor of a ragged and rough-hewn feel that does right by its source material. 

Return to Greendale will be released in several formats. The limited-edition deluxe box set includes a Blu-ray of the full concert, two LPs and two CDs, and a DVD of Inside Greendale, a documentary capturing the making of the album. It will also be available separately on double vinyl, a two-CD set, and digitally on Neil Young Archives (NYA) and at all major DSPs. Inside Greendale features footage of Young and Crazy Horse in the studio, mixed with segments from 2003’s Greendale fictional film. Both Inside Greendale and the concert film are directed by Bernard Shakey and produced by L.A. Johnson (Human Highway, Rust Never Sleeps). Click here to pre-order Return To Greendale.

The story of Greendale follows multiple generations of the Green family as they go about their lives in a fictional California town. Through the perspectives of multiple characters—Grandma, Grandpa, Edith, Earl, the doomed Jed, and eco-warrior Sun Green, among them—Young tells a poignant story about small-town America and the need for immediate action to save the environment. That need, of course, has only become more urgent. On Return to Greendale, the 10 songs from Young’s powerful original album are performed in sequence, with a cast of actors speaking the sung words, adding to the already blistering intensity of the performance.
Return to Greendale is the 16th installment in Young’s Performance Series. Previous installments have covered pivotal live moments from nearly every era of Young’s long-running career, including early acoustic performances and legendary, full-band barn-burners. Labeled “a revolution in fandom” by The GuardianNeil Young Archives was the first totally immersive fan-experience website and remains the only portal for all things Neil Young.

Return to Greendale track listing for audio and Blu-ray:
1.  Falling from Above
2.  Double E
3.  Devil’s Sidewalk
4.  Leave the Driving
5.  Carmichael
6.  Bandit
7.  Grandpa’s Interview
8.  Bringin’ Down Dinner
9.  Sun Green
10. Be the Rain

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Apple Original Films and Billie Eilish announce documentary feature film, “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” coming February 2021

I've been a fan of Billie Eilish since I first caught her performance at weekend #1 of Coachella in April 2019 via the livestream of the festival. You can read my review of that event HERE. For the latest news on the artist, read the official media release below...Robert Kinsler

Apple Original Films and Billie Eilish announce documentary feature film, 'Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry,' coming in February 2021

Watch Billie's Announcement HERE

Photo credit: Kenneth Cappello

Apple and Billie Eilish have announced that the highly anticipated documentary feature film, “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry," directed by award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler (“Belushi,” “The September Issue,” “The War Room”), will premiere in theaters and on Apple TV+ in February 2021. The documentary is from Apple Original Films, in association with Interscope Films, Darkroom, This Machine and Lighthouse Management & Media.

Darkroom/Interscope Records artist Billie Eilish released her groundbreaking debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” in 2019 and won Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album at this year’s 62nd Grammy® Awards in January, followed by her rousing performance of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ at the 92nd Oscars®. This year also saw 18-year-old Eilish release her internationally hailed official James Bond theme song ‘No Time To Die,’ for the forthcoming MGM/Eon Productions James Bond Motion Picture.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. For more information, please visit

Recent Releases Roundup: Ricky Byrd, Heidi Newfield, Cidny Bullens, Brian Bromberg

A diverse field of musical styles are explored via new audio releases featured in my latest column...

Ricky Byrd
Titles: Sobering Times (Kayos Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Ronnie Wood, Jim Carroll Band, the Smithereens, Willie Nile
Tell me more: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Ricky Byrd isn't facing his demons alone. On his newly-released Sobering Times, the New York-based artist is triumphantly celebrating his recovery with the world at large via a slew of stellar rock originals marked by his straightforward confessional lyrics and infectious rock song craft. The melodic "Quittin' Time (Again)," edgy "Together," breezy "Hear My Song" (featuring Byrd's wonderful mandolin work), acoustic proclamation "Pour Me," and roots rockers "Tired" and "Recover Me" (the latter a terrific duet with Willie Nile) are among the the terrific cuts on the album. Byrd released Clean Getaway in 2017 as a musical statement about recovering from addiction, but it's clear from the strength of "Sobering Times" there was plenty of territory yet to explore this time around. Released on Sept. 25, 2020 (the 33rd anniversary of the day the former Joan Jett & the Blackhearts lead guitarist started on his sober journey), Sobering Times is a wide-ranging release that not only celebrates Byrd's stellar guitar talents and songwriting, but his expressive baritone vocals and ability to mine new pay dirt in the classic sounds of '70s and '80s rock. A stellar cast of players joins Byrd on the recording including Bob Stander (bass guitar, percussion), keyboardist-accordion player Jeff Kazee (of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes fame), drummer Steve Holley (Wings, Ian Hunter, Joe Cocker), drummer Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel) and vocalist Christine "The Beehive Queen" Ohlman (Saturday Night Live band). Information:

Heidi Newfield
Titles: The Barfly Sessions (Not Famous Enough LLC)
You might like if you enjoy: Ruthie Foster, Janiva Magness, Larkin Poe, Sass Jordan
Tell me more: Nashville, Tennessee-based songstress Heidi Newfield's explosive talents as singer, harmonica master and songwriter are exhibited across the freewheeling The Barfly Sessions. The 14-track disc finds the artist co-writing and collaborating with a number of ace songwriters and top-tier guests (Jim Lauderdale, Delbert McClinton, Chris Stapleton, Matt King and more). Produced by Newfield along with Jim "Moose" Brown, The Barfly Sessions is a mostly rousing high-octane affair as evidenced by the fiery opener "I Won't Wait Around," countrified "Wrong Side of the Bottle," aptly-titled "Bring This House Down" and rousing cover of "The Blues is My Business (with Newfield and McClinton sharing lead vocals as well as blues harp duties). Newfield also showcases her potent soprano on the soulful ballad "Three Things," tenderhearted country-flavored "Wait For It" and "Temporary Fix (For a Permanent Scar)," and the wistful "When Heaven Falls." Information:

Cidny Bullens
Titles: Walkin' Through This World (Blue Lobster Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Cindy Bullens
Tell me more: The bold Walkin' Through This World marks singer-songwriter Cidny Bullens' first release as a transgender man; the album (produced by the artist and Ray Kennedy) explores and documents the real-life story of the Nashville-based artist's five-year gender transition. That story is bolstered by the bona fide artistic power and authority of the songs on the disc.   The LP opens with the tuneful "Little Pieces," Americana-mining "Purgatory Road," spoken word-centered anthem "Walkin' Through This World" and affecting "The Gender Line"  which collectively showcase the stellar variety of sounds that bring the LP's theme to life. Other highlights for this listener were the infectious roots rocker "Crack The Sky," uptempo "Call Me By My Name" and spirited rock and roller "Lucky For Me." "Walkin' Through This World" features collaborations with a number of well-known artists including guest vocalists Beth Neilson Chapman, Rodney Crowell, Mary Gauthier, Bill Lloyd and Jess Leary.  A two-time Grammy nominee as Cindy Bullens, the artist has worked with a who's who of greats including Bob Dylan, Sir Elton John and Rod Stewart. What's more, Bullens sang lead vocals on several tracks of the soundtrack of 1978's "Grease" (including "It's Raining on Prom Night" and "Freddy, My Love"). Information:

Brian Bromberg
Titles: Bromberg Plays Hendrix - 2020 Remix and Remaster (Artistry Music)
You might like if you enjoy: Brian Bromberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, Stan Getz, Jimi Hendrix
Tell me more: Celebrated jazz bassist Brian Bromberg has issued a remixed and remastered version of his 2008 album Bromberg Plays Hendrix. Re-released in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Hendrix's passing in September 1970, listeners will be blown away that no electric guitars are used on the album; rather, Bromberg uses both acoustic and electric basses (including overdriven electric piccolo bass, a 24-fret instrument with each string tuned an octave up) while drummer Vinnie Colaiuta is also key as they revisit some of the most beloved Jimi Hendrix classics with dazzling arrangements sure to please fans of both jazz and Hendrix. To describe this album as impressive is truly an understatement. My favorite tracks on the album include the opener "Fire," flat-out thrilling "All Along the Watchtower," jazzy "Hey Joe" and high-powered "Purple Haze." The outstanding new mix isn't all; a previously-unreleased funk-tinged rock original track titled "Jimi" recorded during the original sessions is featured here as well. Listen to Bromberg Plays Hendrix with headphones folks and be prepared to be blown away. I sure was! Information:

Robert Kinsler

Monday, September 28, 2020

Joe Bonamassa's live concert reaches 44 countries, 17K+ tickets; Ryman Auditorium fills every seat with cutouts for first time

I got to view Joe Bonamassa's fantastic live concert performed at the Ryman Auditorium and it was definitely the next best thing to being there. The audio and high-def visuals of the virtual concert were excellent and the performance was amazing. Until we get to the other side of this global pandemic, Bonamassa's approach is a great way to go.

Here is a media release to share about the event as well. Make plans to get Bonamassa's forthcoming studio album when it is released next month... Robert Kinsler




Joe Bonamassa at Ryman Auditorium
Photo credit: Kit Wood


A large portion of Joe’s appeal lies in his supernerd tendencies, attention to detail and genuinely enormous breadth of chops. And you sense that he cares – really cares – about all this.
Classic Rock

Joe’s heartfelt performance succeeded in taking the edge off what has been an awfully long break, and there’s no doubting at all the untrammeled power of a Joe Bonamassa live performance, even in an empty room. 8.5
Sonic Abuse

If you’ve ever attended a live Bonamassa show you know that Joe doesn’t cut corners. Every detail is meticulously planned…With his livestream concert, Bonamassa shows the music industry that livestream shows are a viable alternative for artists when done in a professional manner...incredible guitar, a tight performance with top notch production and sound.
Blues Rock Review


On Sept. 20, 2020, guitar icon Joe Bonamassa truly stole the show. Performing LIVE, in real time, from Ryman Auditorium, Bonamassa played his new studio album Royal Tea (recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London) in its entirety, a month before its release on October 23rd, along with fan favorites from his recent 20th anniversary album, A New Day Now, which is his 23rd #1 album!

The legendary venue typically seats 2,300, but for one night only, the real crowd was the size of a major stadium, and in-house nearly every seat was filled with a custom cardboard cutout. The event sold over 17,000 tickets, reaching 44 countries, bringing audiences of all cultures and backgrounds together, worldwide for one very special live music presentation. Considering the number of households watching concerts together from home, one ticket could actually account for an entire family, so the true number of viewers would likely skyrocket. Furthermore, there’s still time to check out the action – tickets for the livestream are available through the entire rest of the week until September 27th.

Between ticket sales and donations during the After Party Showcase the event raised $32,000 already for Bonamassa’s Fueling Musicians program, presented by his non-profit Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation (KTBA). The showcase featured some of the genre's most talented, emerging acts of this generation, with over an hour of non-stop performances from artists including Ally Venable Band, The Cold Stares, Elles Bailey, Ida Mae, Jared James Nichols, Jontavious Willis, Katy Guillen & The Drive, Robert Jon & The Wreck, Southern Avenue, Tyler Bryant and Vanessa Collier.

Tickets purchased this week will continue to support the cause, benefiting touring musicians unable to make a living due to COVID-19. To date the program has raised over $350,000 in total and has supported more than 190 touring musicians impacted by the pandemic.

The Sept. 20 Ryman Auditorium concert is in the works to be broadcast on public television and will be available on DVD at a later date. 

To keep up with everything Bonamassa, visit, and be sure to stay connected on social media.

Instagram: @joebonamassa
Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation:

Sunday, September 27, 2020

MUSIC WORTH BUYING Classic: Cheap Trick's "The Latest" and The Decemberists' "The Hazards of Love"

and Robert Kinsler are celebrating 10 years of their MUSIC WORTH BUYING series by re-posting their earliest episodes on YouTube. Watch their 2nd episode HERE where Robert champions Cheap Trick's June 2009 album release The Latest and TJR shares his love of The Decemberists' March 2009 LP The Hazards of Love.

You can watch the classic episode HERE.

Friday, September 25, 2020

First Aid Kit returns with cover of Ted Gärdestad’s "Come Give Me Love"

 Check out First Aid Kit's colorful and super-uplifting version of  Ted Gärdestad’s "Come Give Me Love". The English and Swedish versions are both fantastic...Robert Kinsler



Today, First Aid Kit has released their cover of Ted Gärdestad’s “Come Give Me Love.” The Söderberg sisters recorded two versions of the song: one with the original Swedish lyrics, and an English version with their own translated lyrics. Watch animated lyric videos by Mero for both versions HERE. First Aid Kit’s re-work of “Come Give Me Love” comes alongside the Swedish Cancer Society’s launch of their annual pink ribbon, which Klara and Johanna designed this year.
In speaking about the song release, First Aid Kit says:
”Ted Gärdestad is a Swedish national treasure. Just like us he started his music career when he was only a teenager and wrote songs with his older brother Kenneth. Ted did most of the melodies and Kenneth the lyrics. ‘Come Give Me Love’ is a classic song about a relationship coming to an end. To us, it is the epitome of Swedish summer, holding both hope, longing, and a twinge of sadness.
The original track was produced by none other than Björn and Benny from ABBA, with ABBA on backing vocals. We are huge fans of the original production and wanted to stay close to that 70s folky sound. This is an homage to that time period and recording style. We recorded this with producer Daniel Bengtson at Studio Rymden in Stockholm earlier this spring. We think the added vocal harmonies bring that unique First Aid Kit touch to the song. We hope more people will discover this gem through our translated version and that it brings some feeling of hope to what has been a very dark year.”
Discussing their partnership with the Swedish Cancer Society on the design of the annual pink ribbon, First Aid Kit says: “This year we designed the pink ribbon for the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden). When we found out that the Swedish Cancer Society used ‘Come Give Me Love’ for their campaign movie last year, we figured this was a great opportunity to finally record our rendition of it. Once the Swedish Cancer Society reached out and asked if we wanted to design this year's pink ribbon, we of course accepted without hesitation. The pink ribbon is a very important campaign and the more we can contribute to cancer research, the better. With our design, we wanted to pay tribute to companionship and the bond that entwines us. It's about sisterhood, love, and hope. To have someone to hold your hand when you’re venturing into unchartered territory, that security means everything.”
“Come Give Me Love” follows the release of their successful album Ruins, the ‘Tender Offerings’ EP, and singles “Strange Beauty” and “On The Road Again.”

Larkin Poe announce new covers album; share first song, "Nights In White Satin"

Super cool news for a Friday, and make sure to check out Larkin Poe's official music video for their arresting cover of the Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin." Awesome...



Larkin Poe are set to release Kindred Spiritstheir first-ever covers album. Out November 20, Kindred Spirits is a collection of stripped-back versions of both classic and new songs, and it follows the release of their fifth studio album, Self Made Manreleased this past June on their own Tricki-Woo Records. Self Made Man has already amassed chart-topping success and critical acclaim. American Songwriter calls Larkin Poe "self made badasses" and No Depression said that Larkin Poe are “kicking butt with a mixture of rocking blues to make powerful, defiant statements” while the Atlanta Journal Constitution says “Larkin Poe simply dominates” and Garden & Gun raves “southern music traditions loom large in the story of Larkin Poe.” In its first week of sales the album rose to the top of Billboard’s “Top New Artists Albums” and “Current Rock Albums” charts, while also climbing to #1 “Blues Albums” and #2 on the “Americana/Folk Albums.” 

Today, Larkin Poe share the first song from Kindred Spirits -- The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin.” Larkin Poe has been known to post covers on their YouTube channel where they recently performed the song, and the series has gained an expansive following. In a recent tweet, Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues praised their performance "Love it, love them, love them playing it. Thank you Rebecca and Megan."
Larkin Poe describe the song as deeply haunting, and a song that transcends genre. “We remember hearing Doc Watson, a true American treasure, sing it late in his career — his beautiful voice soaring through a dark theater, the plaintive lyric unforgettable. It’s hard to believe that Justin Hayward was only 19-years-old when he wrote it.”
Accompanying the song is a beautifully captivating music video that showcases archived and historically significant clips. “When we were brainstorming about creating a visual companion for ‘Nights In White Satin,’ we had a romantic idea that stitching together old footage would evoke a nostalgic feeling that matches the vibe of the song.”

About Kindred Spirits Larkin Poe says:
“Music is a bridge that can connect generations across time. In recording Kindred Spirits, our admiration for the artists who originally wrote and performed the songs blossomed into an even deeper reverence. Coming up in a family of music lovers, a lot of the songs we have always seemed to gravitate towards learning have been with us since childhood; we started a YouTube series dedicated to paying tribute to our musical heroes in 2015 that unexpectedly took off and when fans began requesting recorded versions of the songs, we started daydreaming about how an interpretive album might take shape. Bringing these old friends into the studio, stripping them back to the bones and recording them live and raw, felt like a ritual. We’re grateful for the experience of making this album and grateful to the Kindred Spirits who have come before us and written the soundtrack of our lives.”

Larkin Poe recently announced several live performance screenings via their all new POECAST. The band will be sharing an acoustic band show (with stories from the road) on October 4. The performance will air twice, first at 2pm ET and then again at 8PM ET. If fans are unable to watch the show “live”, they will be available to watch after each airing. During the stream, the full band will be in the chat room interacting with fans plus special guests are expected to make appearances in the chat room as well. Larkin Poe aired their first full rock band performance via their Poecast on September 20. Show tickets, VIP passes, limited edition shirts and posters are available now.

(Tricki-Woo Records)
Release date: November 20, 2020
01. Hellhound On My Trail (Robert Johnson)
02. Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz)
03. Rockin’ In The Free World (Neil Young) 
04. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (Elvis Presley)
05. In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
06. Nights In White Satin (The Moody Blues)
07. Who Do You Love (Bo Diddley)
08. Take What You Want (Post Malone)
09. Ramblin’ Man (The Allman Brothers)
10. Bell Bottom Blues (Derek & The Dominoes)
11. Crocodile Rock (Elton John)


Thursday, September 24, 2020

New Linda Ronstadt documentary "Linda and the Mockingbirds" coming October 20, 2020

Legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Linda Ronstadt will be featured in a new music documentary coming out next month. Here is the official media release that just landed in my inbox...Robert Kinsler

Linda Ronstadt documentary 'Linda and the Mockingbirds' to be released digitally Oct. 20, 2020 from Shout! Factory


Los Angeles, CA – 
Linda and the Mockingbirds, a beautiful new documentary capturing Linda Ronstadt’s 2019 journey to Mexico with a group of young students, will be released digitally on October 20 by Shout! Studios and PCH Films. From award-winning director and producer James Keach (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me), who also produced the 2019 Linda Ronstadt documentary The Sound of My VoiceLinda and the Mockingbirds is the result of Ronstadt’s introducing Keach to Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, for whom she has been a patron for 26 years. The film is available for pre-order now.
Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds) is a grassroots organization in the Bay Area of California committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture. Founded by Eugene Rodriguez, Los Cenzontles provides the local community with a family-friendly setting for traditional arts education and cultural events. With a record of 30 years of excellence, they have drawn supporters like Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Los Lobos.
Linda and the Mockingbirds chronicles a road trip with Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a tour bus full of young singers, dancers and instrumentalists to the small town of Banámichi in the Mexican state of Sonora, where Ronstadt’s grandfather grew up. There they meet up with their Mexican counterparts, the folkloric dance troupe Grupo de Danza Xunutzi, and put on soulful performances showcasing Mexican culture.

“Maybe it’s genetic memory, but I feel very at home when I go to Mexico,” says Ronstadt in the film. “When I’m in Mexico, I have a better understanding of who I am, and who my family is, you know? I feel great pride in it, and I always have. I hope it makes the kids feel like that, that they have more of an understanding of where they came from, the culture they came from, who they are, why they’re important, why they should never be rendered invisible or without their dignity.” 
Ronstadt’s passion for her Mexican heritage is evident, and there is sheer joy and appreciation in her face as she watches the concert, praising the young talent. The performances are riveting, with children and young adults singing and dancing in traditional costumes, musicians performing on guitars, violin, and traditional instruments, the explosive rhythm of the zapateado dancers’ shoes striking the ground. A young performer dedicates a sorrowful song about lonely orphan in a palm grove to Ronstadt, which she explains to Browne is a song she learned from her grandfather when she was a child.
The film also takes on the subject of immigration. Through the personal stories of the Los
Cenzontles instructors and students, the heartbreak of family separations, racism, and border politics are illustrated in emotional interviews.
Sitting next to a border wall covered in barbed wire, Los Cenzontles member Lucina Rodriguez tells the story of how she immigrated to the US illegally as a 10 year old child with her mother and brothers in order to be reunited with her father, later becoming a US citizen. Her family’s treacherous crossing inspired Browne and Eugene Rodriguez to write "The Dreamer," a song that asks: "A dónde van los sueños?" — "Where do the dreams go?"
Reflecting on the bus trip back to the Arizona border, Ronstadt reflects on the families that have been recently separated there. Thinking of her 2 year old grandniece who was on the bus with her, she muses, “What if we got to the border, and they took Annabelle away and put her in a cage? If they took her away from her mother who loves her, and her father who loves her and wants to protect her, and just lost her in the system? We’d just be beside ourselves.”
Linda and the Mockingbirds artfully blends the narratives of celebrating the music and culture of Mexico and the powerful subject of immigration. 
“The reason we play music is to celebrate our sorrows and our joys,” says Ronstadt. “To try and help make sense of something that oppresses you, or celebrate something that lifts you up.”
A treasured musical icon, Ronstadt is the recipient of multiple GRAMMY® Awards, American Music Awards, and Academy of Country Music awards, as well an ALMA Award and an Emmy. In her prolific recording career she released three hit Spanish-language albums, including Canciones De Mi Padre ("Songs of My Father”), introducing the music of her childhood to new generations and fans worldwide.
“For nearly 30 years, Linda Ronstadt has opened doors for our music and youth arts program,” says Rodriguez. “To us she is a mentor, teacher, inspiration — and family. In Linda and the Mockingbirds, James Keach tells our story with depth and dignity. We hope it builds bridges across cultural divides. We hope it makes people sing, smile, reflect, and want to dance.”
About PCH Films
PCH Films, based in Los Angeles, California, is an award-winning multimedia and post-production company co-founded by acclaimed filmmaker James Keach in 2007. The company develops, produces, and finances feature films and documentaries in addition to offering a wide range of post-production services. The company’s goal is to continue to create intelligent, humanistic entertainment across multiple platforms that appeals to a broad audience. PCH Films' releases include the Oscar-nominated feature documentary Glen Campbell...I’ll Be Me (received three GRAMMY Awards), Augie, David Crosby: Remember My Name, and Critics’ Choice Award-winning Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, which was one of the top-grossing documentaries of 2019. In fall 2020, PCH Films is releasing two films produced and directed by Keach: Turning Point, an extraordinary documentary that follows the quest for the first medication that could treat the underlying processes of Alzheimer’s disease, and Linda and the Mockingbirds, featuring music superstars Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and young musicians from Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy. 
Learn more about PCH Films by visiting and follow it on Twitter and Facebook at @pchfilms. 
About Shout! Studios
Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital and broadcast. Reflecting Shout! Factory’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence, Shout! Studios champions and supports like-minded filmmakers and creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling. Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers and producers. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Staple Singers’ ‘Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection’ available as 7-CD box set

This promises to be one of the best special sets of 2020! Earlier this year a quartet of The Staple Singers' post-Stax titles were reissued and you can read my review of those winning releases HERE. - Robert Kinsler

The Staple Singers' Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection
to be available in a deluxe seven-CD box set
Acclaimed collection celebrates The Staple Singers' Stax Years, including all of their studio albums on the iconic label, plus live recordings and rarities

Click here to pre-order the 7-CD set
Click here for the digital collection
Special exclusive bundles, including a Stax t-shirt, available via the Stax Store

Los Angeles, CA (September 23, 2020)—Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce a deluxe CD edition of Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection. The acclaimed box set, which was previously released on vinyl digital formats, celebrates one of music’s greatest gospel and soul groups, The Staple SingersAvailable for pre-order today, and set for a November 13th releaseCome Go With Me presents all of the group’s studio albums released on the iconic Memphis label, spanning 1968–1974, and features the Staples’ biggest hits, including “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me).” Each album was remastered from the original analog masters by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl, while the seventh disc offers rarities, non-album singles and live recordings from the legendary 1972 Wattstax music festival. Housed in a slipcase, the seven-disc collection also includes a booklet with archival photos and liner notes from American music specialist and curator Levon Williams (formerly of the Stax Museum and the National Museum of African American Music), and folklorist, ethnomusicologist and writer Dr. Langston Wilkins.

Released on vinyl and digital platforms earlier this year (in February), Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection received strong praise from such outlets as Uncut, Mojo and Paste, the latter of which wrote, “this marvelous run of records sound brand new in these new all-analog pressings, with the earthy tang of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and the Bar-Kays horn section ripping out of the speakers with hip-shaking fervor... This is a milestone of American musical history, treated with the appropriate levels of respect and reverence.” All six of the Staple Singers’ albums with Stax were also made available in hi-res 24-bit/192 kHz and 24-bit/96 kHz formats for the first time.

By the time that the Staple Singers signed to Stax in 1968, the family quartet—helmed by patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples, with daughters Cleotha and Mavis, and son Pervis (later replaced by his sister Yvonne)—had long graduated from the gospel circuit. The Chicago group had become well known in the counterculture and folk scenes and were performing alongside major rock acts like Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead. The Staples had also become formidable voices in the Civil Rights movement, and many of their songs preached a message of empowerment and racial equality.

In the fall of ’68, the group went into the studio to record their first album for Stax, Soul Folk in Action, working with producer Steve Cropper and songwriter Homer Banks. The sessions were set against a backdrop of social and political turmoil, which climaxed with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. The Staple Singers were known for writing politically charged “message songs,” and the year’s events certainly inspired many of the tracks on this album, including “Long Walk to D.C.” and “The Ghetto.” In their liner notes, Levon Williams and Langston Wilkins write that both of these songs “Truly tapped into the experiences and emotions of Black America at the close of the ’60s. The former is a tribute to the 1963 March on Washington told from the perspective of a poor yet hopeful African American person willing to use their last dimes to make it to the rally … Conversely, the somber and haunting ‘The Ghetto’ takes listeners deep into the isolation and despair of inner-city life.” Also notable to this album are stunning covers of The Band’s “The Weight” and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” recorded in tribute to the fallen Stax star, who died tragically just a year earlier in a plane crash. The Staple Singers returned to the studio with Cropper the following year to record We’ll Get Over (1970). Highlights include the standout message song “When Will We Be Paid,” as well as covers of tracks like Sly & the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” and Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “The End of the Road.”

Though both Soul Folk in Action and We’ll Get Over carried powerful messages and tight-knit harmonies, neither had commercial success. And so, for the band’s third album, Stax co-president Al Bell (who signed the band) took the helm as producer. Williams and Wilkins note that “As a long-time DJ, Bell’s ear for what moves Black listeners, both literally and metaphorically, had been keenly crafted over several years. Bell hosted shows that had both sacred and secular followings and had amassed a wealth of experience from watching, noting and deeply understanding the impact music has on varied audiences. His ear was essentially priceless.”

With support from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as “The Swampers”), the Staple Singers found a winning team with Bell, and the resulting album, 1971’s The Staple Swingerswould be their first charting record, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard’s top R&B albums. The LP offered a funkier sound from the group, with high-energy singles like “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)” and the Smokey Robinson cover “You’ve Got to Earn It.”

The group reunited with the Swampers and Bell for 1972’s Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, an album that transformed the Staple Singers into mainstream stars. Peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard 200, the groove-filled album featured the Staples’ first No. 1 hit—the infectious “I’ll Take You There,” and “Respect Yourself,” a song which Williams and Wilkins declare “encapsulates the Staple Singers’ entire career.” The powerful message song not only resonated with African Americans but also with many women across the country as they, too, fought for equal opportunity.

The group’s 1973 follow-up, Be What You Are, featured the Top Ten hit “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me),” popular single "Touch a Hand, Make a Friend” and the sweetly harmonized “Love Comes in All Colors,” while the Staple Singers’ final album with Stax—1974’s City in the Sky—includes such highlights as the politically charged “Washington We’re Watching You,” “Back Road into Town” and “Who Made the Man,” which marked a return to the group’s gospel roots.

The final disc in Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection offers a selection of live tracks from the Staple Singers’ energetic performance at Wattstax, as well as B-sides like “Stay With Us,” non-album singles like “Oh La De Da” and rarities that include “Walking in Water Over Our Head” and “Trippin’ on Your Love.”

Following their time at Stax, the Staple Singers continued to tour and record throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and received a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. In recent years, Mavis Staples has been back in the spotlight—headlining tours and reaching a new generation of fans with her solo records. In 2016, she was the subject of a documentary (Mavis!) and ended the year as a Kennedy Center Honoree.

Click here to pre-order the 7-CD set Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection
Special exclusive bundles, including a Stax t-shirt, available via the Stax Store

Track Listing - Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection (CD edition):
Soul Folk in Action
1.     We’ve Got to Get Ourselves Together
2.     (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay
3.     Top of the Mountain
4.     Slow Train
5.     The Weight
6.     Long Walk to D.C.
7.     Got to Be Some Changes Made
8.     The Ghetto
9.     People, My People
10.  I See It
11.  This Year

We’ll Get Over
1.     We’ll Get Over
2.     Give a Damn
3.     Everyday People
4.     The End of Our Road
5.     Tend to Your Own Business
6.     Solon Bushi (Japanese Folk Song)
7.     The Challenge
8.     God Bless the Children
9.     Games People Play
10.  A Wednesday in Your Garden
11.  The Gardener
12.  When Will We Be Paid

The Staple Swingers
1.     This Is a Perfect World
2.     What’s Your Thing
3.     You’ve Got to Earn It
4.     You’re Gonna Make Me Cry
5.     Little Boy
6.     How Do You Move a Mountain
7.     Almost
8.     I’m a Lover
9.     Love Is Plentiful
10.  Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)
11.  I Like the Things About You
12.  Give a Hand – Take a Hand

Be Altitude: Respect Yourself
1.     This World
2.     Respect Yourself
3.     Name the Missing Word
4.     I’ll Take You There
5.     This Old Town (People in This Town)
6.     We the People
7.     Are You Sure
8.     Who Do You Think You Are? (Jesus Christ the Super Star)
9.     I’m Just Another Soldier
10.  Who

Be What You Are
1.     Be What You Are
2.     If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)
3.     Medley: Love Comes in All Colors / Tellin’ Lies
4.     Touch a Hand, Make a Friend
5.     Drown Yourself
6.     I Ain’t Raisin’ No Sand
7.     Grandma’s Hands
8.     Bridges Instead of Walls
9.     I’m on Your Side
10.  That’s What Friends Are For
11.  Heaven

City in the Sky
1.     Back Road Into Town
2.     City in the Sky
3.     Washington We’re Watching You
4.     Something Ain’t Right
5.     Today Was Tomorrow Yesterday
6.     My Main Man
7.     There Is a God
8.     Blood Pressure
9.     If It Ain’t One Thing It’s Another
10.  Who Made the Man
11.  Getting Too Big for Your Britches

Bonus Disc: Singles, Live & More
1.     Stay With Us
2.     Brand New Day (Theme from The Landlord)
3.     Walking in Water Over Your Head
4.     Oh La De Da
5.     I Got to Be Myself
6.     Trippin’ on Your Love
7.     Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom) (Live at Wattstax)
8.     Are You Sure (Live at Wattstax)
9.     I Like the Things About You (Live at Wattstax)
10.  Respect Yourself (Live at Wattstax)
11.  I’ll Take You There (Live at Wattstax)

About Stax Records:
One of the most popular soul labels of all time, Stax has become synonymous with its gritty, Southern sounds. Originally known as Satellite Records, the Memphis imprint was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart. Over the course of two decades, Stax released more than 800 singles and nearly 300 LPs, picking up eight GRAMMYS® and an Academy Award along the way. In all, Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in the Top 100 pop charts, and a staggering 243 hits in the Top 100 R&B charts. For more info, visit and follow @StaxRecords on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About Craft Recordings:
Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Concord, Fania, Fantasy, Fearless, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Sugar Hill, Vanguard, Vee-Jay and Victory, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation—ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord Recorded Music. For more info, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, and Spotify.