Monday, May 30, 2022

Album reviews: Michael Ubaldini, Walker Brigade, Sass Jordan, Def Leppard, Ghost Hounds, Florence + The Machine

Amidst the darkness of 2022 comes a long line of marvelous new album releases.

Michael Ubaldini
Title: Rabbit Foot Carnival (Blackwater Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones' "Exhile on Main Street"
Tell me more: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Michael Ubaldini is back with Rabbit Foot Carnival, a bona fide masterwork that finds the acclaimed artist using rich melody-adorned songcraft to ignite his literate observations on life, love, death, faith, the frayed American dream and the uncertain forces that propel each of us toward an uncertain tomorrow. Effortlessly dipping into roots rock, Americana, country blues, folk and gospel across 14 original songs, Ubaldini uses that vast sonic canvas along with his signature songwriting to zero in on these especially troubled times. Early standout cuts on the album include the irresistible rocker "Lazarus Blues" (bolstered by the terrific gospel vocals of Julie Harris), spirited celebration of faith "Free If You Want It," rollicking old school rocker "Rats In Your Attic" and haunting acoustic blues sortie "Roadside Prayer." The magic continues with late disc standouts like the driving Rolling Stones-flavored "Sabre Jet," poignant "General Store," and "Love Up Close," and rollicking blues rocker "Black Diamond Train." Ubaldini will celebrate the release of Rabbit Foot Carnival on the date of its June 3 release with a performance at the NAMM Sheraton Park Stage at 6 p.m. as part of the NAMM Show coming to Anaheim. He will also perform at Cooks Corner, 19152 Santiago Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 4Information:

Walker Brigade
Title: If Only (Big Stir Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Cheap Trick's debut album, Dinosaur Jr., X
Tell me more: Los Angeles-based quartet Walker Brigade's debut album If Only is equal parts hard hitting post-punk and melodic indie rock. The band's winning approach plays out across the outstanding disc, which includes 13 standard tracks along with six bonus cuts. Like groundbreaking Los Angeles band X, Walker Brigade has an effective one-two punch courtesy of the male-female vocals of guitarists Jeff Charreaux and Tracy Walker; their sharp vocals come in service of songs that are catchy and propelled by solid musicianship from the entire band (which also includes drummer Craig Tyrka and bassist Mark Fletcher). Among the highlights on If Only is roaring "Fallout," glam-mining "Tower," genre-defying delight "Judy Holliday," harmonies-anchored lead single "Choker," punk-fueled "Sand In My Joints" and glorious version of Robyn Hitchcock's "I Wanna Destroy You." Information:  

Sass Jordan
Title: Bitches Blues (Stony Plain Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Grace Potter, Janis Joplin, Sass Jordan
Tell me more: Following up on her 2020 album Rebel Moon Blues, Canadian songstress Sass Jordan is set to release her latest foray into the enduring genre via the wonderful Bitches Blues. The album puts the celebrated singer's powerful soprano front and center, with her signature vocals enhanced by the work of an amazing cast of players (guitarists Chris Caddell and Jimmy Reid, bassist-harmonica great Steve Mariner, drummer Cassius Pereira, keyboardist-backing vocalist Jesse O'Brien). The album features eight enticing electric blues tracks, including the blistering opener "Still Alive and Well," heartfelt piano-anchored blues ballad "Even," compelling "Still The World Goes Round," Delta-flavored "You Gotta Move," infectious "Ain't No Big Deal On You" and yearning "Change Is Coming."  Bitches Blues will be available June 3 via Stony Plain RecordsInformation:  

Def Leppard
Title: Diamond Star Halos (Mercury Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Def Leppard, Queen, T. Rex
Tell me more: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame British rockers Def Leppard have returned with their long-awaited Diamond Star Halos, an album that offers up plenty of new sonic pay dirt while delivering on the distinctive sound (and parade of hits!) forged by the troupe in the 1980s and '90s. Highlights on the 15-track album include the soaring "Take What You Want," reflective "This Guitar" (featuring guest Alison Krauss sharing vocals with lead singer Joe Elliot), the sing-along "Fire It Up" (bolstered by Phil Collen's dazzling guitar work throughout), mellifluous "Liquid Dust," lovely Baroque power ballad "Goodbye For Good This Time" and introspective rocker "Open Your Eyes." A limited edition version of Def Leppard's 12th studio album  not reviewed here and available as an import  features 17 tracks. Information:  

Ghost Hounds
Title: You Broke Me (Maple House Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Buddy Guy, Dennis Jones Band, Vintage Trouble, 
Tell me more: Fans of both Chicago and Southern blues will find plenty to love about Pittsburgh troupe Ghost Hounds. I was fully impressed when I caught the band open for The Rolling Stones in Austin last year, and the sextet fully delivers on the energy they displayed in concert via their new album You Broke Me. Lead singer Tre Nation's potent lead vocals are the central attraction, but the contributions of the rest of the band shine bright across the wonderful nine-track disc; guitarist Johnny Baab, guitarist Thomas Tull, bassist Bennett Miller, drummer Blaise Lanzetta and keyboardist Joe Monroe add magic on every track. The mighty blues cut "Through Being Blue Over You," smoking title track, infectious blues rocker "Baby We're Through" and blistering version of Howlin' Wolf's 1956 classic "Smokestack Lightning" are among the highlights on You Broke MeInformation:  

Florence + The Machine
Title: Dance Fever (Republic Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Kate Bush, Florence + The Machine, Japanese Breakfast
Tell me more: Florence + The Machine's new album Dance Fever marks the first release by British songstress Florence Welch and company since 2018. The ambitious album fully delivers on the artist's far-flung themes and musical powers across its wonderful 14-track run. Written and produced across the span of two COVID-related lockdowns, work on the disc was completed in London and New York with producers Jack Antonoff and Dave Hayley (of Glass Animals fame). The majestic opener "King" (bolstered by all manner of sonic shifts), propulsive electronica-tinged "Free," soulful "Dream Girl Evil," anthemic "Cassandra," driving "Daffodil," acoustic "The Bomb" and intoxicating "My Love" are among the many standouts on the terrific return. Welch is a singer armed with a soprano that is both powerful and expressive, and the track listing across Dance Fever is the perfect expression of those marvelous gifts. Florence + The Machine are set to embark on a North American tour on Sept. 2, 2022, including two dates at The Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15Information:

Robert Kinsler

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Jimi Hendrix June 10 London Hard Rock Hotel Blue Plaque Event

Here is a timely media release of interest to fans of Jimi Hendrix, classic rock, Linda McCartney and rising singer-guitar great Cristone "Kingfish" Ingram...Robert Kinsler


Friday, May 27, 2022

'Top Gun: Maverick Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' now available

The soundtrack to Top Gun: Maverick featuring new music by Lorne Balfe, Lady Gaga, Harald Faltermeyer and Hans Zimmer is now available.  Being cited as "totally in tune with the original" and "terrific," the album features original score and songs, plus a performance by Miles Teller heard in the film.  Following is the official media release...Robert Kinsler

The film, from Paramount Pictures, lands in theaters nationwide today

Santa Monica, California, May 27, 2022
- Interscope Records announces the release of Music From The Motion Picture Top Gun: Maverick  out today, May 27th.  Available at all digital retailers, as well as CD, the soundtrack is available now.  A Target exclusive CD of the soundtrack includes an exclusive cover and poster. Arriving as one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year from Paramount PicturesTop Gun: Maverick arrives in theaters nationwide today.
Earlier this month Lady Gaga revealed “Hold My Hand” as the first single to be released from the soundtrack. Produced by Gaga and BloodPop© with additional production by Benjamin Rice, the soaring anthem received widespread critical acclaim right after its release with Billboard declaring “Lady Gaga soars with “Hold My Hand,” and Vanity Fair raved the song “catapults her [Gaga] into next year’s Oscar race.”  
I Ain’t Worried” by GRAMMY® nominated band OneRepublic followed. Produced by Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Simon Oscroft and Tyler Spry, OneRepublic will perform “I Ain’t Worried” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC, 11:35/10:35c), tonight May 27th
With a combination of classics from the original film, new music, and score, the album reflects Top Gun’s past, present, and future all at once. It boasts instantly recognizable cuts such as the theme song “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, while Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller recorded a show-stopping live rendition of “Great Balls of Fire” showcased in the film and included on the record. Plus, it features original score tracks by the movie’s composers—Lorne BalfeHarold Faltermeyer and Academy® Award winner Lady Gaga and multiple Academy® Award winner Hans Zimmer. See below for a complete track listing. 
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer added“This album continues the musical legacy that the original Top Gun ignited back in 1986. We are so thrilled to have Lady Gaga and OneRepublic lend their artistry towards putting a modern spin on the already iconic and beloved soundtrack.”
Making waves already, “Hold My Hand” was written for the motion picture and is featured throughout the film. The motion picture version of “Hold My Hand” features additional production and score by Lorne Balfe and Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer. It also marks Gaga's return to writing and producing original music for film, after the success of 2018's A Star is Born soundtrack that earned Gaga an Academy Award, four GRAMMYs®, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and Critics’ Choice Award.
Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick visits Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) after more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators. Maverick is where he belongs –pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
  1. Main Titles (You’ve Been Called Back to Top Gun)
  2. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
  3. Darkstar
  4. Great Balls of Fire (Live) by Miles Teller
  5. You’re Where You Belong / Give ‘Em Hell
  6. I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic
  7. Dagger One is Hit / Time to Let Go
  8. Tally Two / What’s the Plan / F-14
  9. The Man, the Legend / Touchdown
  10. Penny Returns – Interlude
  11. Hold My Hand by Lady Gaga
  12. Top Gun Anthem
About Paramount Pictures 
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Paramount (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA), a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Paramount Pictures controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, and Paramount Players. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
 “Top Gun: Maverick (Music From The Motion Picture)” Album

Thursday, May 12, 2022

New music: Arcade Fire, The Muffs, Rush, Bobby Cole

A new studio album from Arcade Fire and several special edition reissues are definitely worth celebrating this week.

Arcade Fire
Title: WE (Columbia Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, U2
Tell me more: On the heels of the band's mesmerizing last-minute appearance at Weekend #1 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last month, Arcade Fire has released their sixth full-length studio album WE. Divided into two disparate sides ("I" and "WE"), the seven-track album conjures up the exhilarating spirit of the band's most ambitious albums (2007's Neon Bible and 2010's The Suburbs) while moving the Canadian heroes into the future via a terrific 40-minute ride. The impacts of the extended COVID-19 lockdown affected most of the world including Arcade Fire whose Win Butler and Régine Chassagne (the husband and wife duo at the center of the band) wrote much of the music sans their bandmates. Lyrically, WE touches on alienation, technology overload, survival, romance and parenthood. Such lofty ambition wouldn't matter if the songs didn't have the melodic sweep and overarching power heard across the disc; fortunately WE delivers in spades. The anthemic "Age of Anxiety I," burgeoning "Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)," "The Lightning I, II," majestic "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)," Neo-electronica "Unconditional II (Race and Religion)" featuring Peter Gabriel on backing vocals and acoustic-flavored album closer "WE" are among the powerful originals on Arcade Fire's marvelous return. Information:

The Muffs
Title: Really Really Happy (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: The Muffs, The Pandoras, Pixies
Tell me more: Nearly 18 years after its original release, an expanded and essential edition of The Muffs' 2004 album Really Really Happy will be released May 13 through Omnivore Recordings. The original album's highlights include the catchy opener "Freak Out," yearning "A Little Luxury," tuneful "Something Inside," hard-hitting "And I Go Pow," heartfelt "How I Pass The Time," the introspective closer "The Story of Me" and a parade of other great songs. The lineup of 22 bonus tracks includes 16 of Kim Shattuck's original demos for the album along with the previously unissued "My Imagination," "Just The Beginning" and "I Hate Gym." The fusion of tight melodic punk rock, melody-anchored songcraft and strong production make for a fantastic listen across the double-CD title. In addition to Shattuck (vocals, guitar, harmonica), the Muffs' lineup includes Ronnie Barnett (bass, toy piano) and Roy McDonald (drums, percussion). Information:  

Title: Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary Deluxe (Mercury Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Rush, Triumph, progressive rock
Tell me more: Rush's best-known album, 1981's Moving Pictures, has been reissued in several first-rate configurations. Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary Deluxe edition reviewed here is a 3-disc version featuring the 2015 remaster of the original album (available on audio CD for the first time) and the complete, unreleased Toronto concert from March 25, 1981. Also included is a booklet with new illustrations by Hugh Syme, plus liner notes by Kim Thayil, Les Claypool, Taylor Hawkins, Bill Kelliher and Neil Sanderson. It's clear that disc 1 features stellar versions of many of the rock trio's most beloved originals ("Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta," "YYZ," "Limelight"), and the aforementioned concert features a terrific track listing sure to please fans of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. The audio quality of the historic concert in the band's hometown of Toronto includes outstanding sounding versions of classics such as "Freewill," "Limelight," "The Trees," "YYZ," "Xanadu" and "Closer To The Heart." Information:  

Bobby Cole
Title: A Point Of View (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett
Tell me more: One of 1967's most legendary albums is finally available via a remastered and expanded version sure to please fans of jazz and '60s recordings. Bobby Cole's A Point Of View exceeds its legendary status thanks to the late artist's incredible talents as singer, songwriter and pianist as well as contributions from Grammy-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski and remastering from Michael Graves. Currently available on audio CD and digital, a double-LP version is slated for Fall 2022. The lovely "But It's Spring" is soaked in melancholy, Cole's vocal strengths showcased in each distinctive note of his delivery. The inspired jazzy gems that are revisited on the collection include the fleet "Heat," affecting ballad "You Could Hear a Pin Drop," soaring "A Perfect Day," evocative "Elegy For Eve" and reflective "I'm Growing Old." There a number of previously-unissued bonus tracks to discover too; the rollicking "Checkerboard Life," mournful "How The Lonely Spend Their Time," haunting "I Never Saw The Shadows," stirring "When She Was In Love With Me" and romantic "The Midnight Flower" shed abundant light on Cole's virtuosity. Information:  

Robert Kinsler

Monday, May 09, 2022

'The Beatles and India' coming to DVD, Blu-ray on June 21, 2022

I can't recommend this Beatles documentary strongly enough. It is must-see viewing for fans of The Beatles. Back in February I reviewed the film in my weekly column (read that review HERE); TJR and I also discussed the film at length via an episode available to view on YouTube HERE...Robert Kinsler

New from Silva Screen Music Group/Renoir Pictures:

The Beatles And India

Via MVD Entertainment Group

“When I first heard Indian music, I just couldn’t really believe that it was so great, and the more I heard of it, the more I liked it. It just got bigger and bigger, like a snowball."
~ George Harrison

A Never-Before-Seen Look at The Beatles' Visit to India!

In 1968, the world’s most popular rock & roll band, The Beatles, had achieved mass fame and fortune yet were searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Under the spiritual guidance of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh YogiThe Beatles took a trip to Rishikesh, India to study Transcendental Meditation® and set out on a path of deep enlightenment that would change the world.
The award-winning feature documentary, The Beatles And India (Silva Screen Productions, Renoir Pictures), examines how Indian music and culture shaped the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo and in turn, explores how The Beatles served as ambassadors of this pioneering World music sound and cultural movement.
Drawing together an expansive archive of footage including contemporaneous locale shooting in India, recordings, photographs, and compelling first-hand interviews, The Beatles And India exhaustively documents this East-meets-West touchstone in pop culture history. Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s book Across The Universe - The Beatles In India, the documentary was produced by British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose (his directorial debut) and cultural researcher Pete Compton. The Beatles And India has been awarded Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival “Tongues On Fire.” The Beatles And India has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2022 New York Indian Film Festival, and will be the closing film for the festival.
The Beatles were first introduced to Indian music while filming their 1965 film, Help!which featured Indian musicians in a restaurant scene. George Harrison would become a lifelong impassioned devotee of Indian music. He would soon buy his first sitar, befriend and study under sitar master Ravi Shankar and employ the instrument to revolutionary effect linking the worlds of pop music with Indian music on The Beatles song, “Norwegian Wood,” which appears on their Rubber Soul album. That song marked the group's, and particularly Harrison’s, full-on immersion into Indian music, resulting in a raga rock sound heard on The Beatles songs, “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Love You To” (Revolver), “Within You Without You” (Sgt. Pepper), and “The Inner Light" (B-side to the “Lady Madonna” single).
In early July 1966, while returning from shows in the Philippines, The Beatles made a quick stopover in New Delhi, India, marking their first trip to the country. Less than two years later, in February 1968, the group would return for an extended sojourn at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India where they would take a training course in Transcendental Meditation®. Their search for spiritual enlightenment would both shape their thinking and values and indelibly color the sounds of their expanding musical palette.
The Beatles And India is an unforgettable audio-visual experience that spotlights the legacy of that historic visit, chronicling The Beatles’ crucial role as avatars of a musical movement inspiring newfound societal and cultural awareness, weaving the fabric of pop and Indian music into a unified force of positivity and spiritual exploration.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Arcade Fire bringing World Tour to Kia Forum on Nov. 16, 2022

Arcade Fire has just announced a number of forthcoming tour dates, including a slew here in the U.S. with Beck opening (check out my most recent concert review of Arcade Fire, the band's memorable concert event at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2018. Read the review HERE)...Robert Kinsler



NOVEMBER 16, 2022







Following the universally rapturous reception to singles “The Lightning I, II” and “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid),” Arcade Fire's “excellent sixth album” (The New YorkerWE is released to the world in its entirety today, May 6, 2022, via Columbia Records at

Arcade Fire performing at Coachella in April 2022. 
Photo credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

WE’s release coincides with the announcement of Arcade Fire’s fall world tour. In the wake of surprise underplays including New Orleans’ Toulouse Theatre, New York’s Bowery Ballroom, Coachella’s Mojave Tent and KOKO in London, the WE world tour will bring the full production of Arcade Fire’s “must-see live act” (Variety) experience to global stages, launching in Dublin on Tuesday, August 30 and running through December 1 in Toronto. The North American leg of the WE tour — featuring very special guest Beckplaying a nightly acoustic set — will kick off October 28 in Washington D.C., while Europe will include special guest Feist for all shows.

The tour will make a Los Angeles stop at Kia Forum on Nov. 16, 2022. 


Tickets for all dates will be on sale to the public beginning Friday, May 13 at 10 a.m. local time. Arcade Fire has partnered with PLUS1 ( so that $1/£1/€1 per ticket goes to KANPE (, and their work bringing support to the most vulnerable communities in Haiti. For further information on this initiative, visit


Presale: Verizon will offer an exclusive presale for the Arcade Fire 2022 tour in the U.S. through the customer loyalty program Verizon Up. Members will have first access to purchase presale tickets for select shows beginning Monday, May 9 at 10 a.m. local time until Thursday, May 12 at 10 p.m. local time. For more details and to sign up, visit Verizon Up.


Citi is the official card of the Arcade Fire WE tour. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets for all U.S. dates beginning Tuesday, May 10 at 10 a.m. local time until Thursday, May 12 at 10 p.m. local time through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit


VIP: Arcade Fire will offer VIP packages for each show that include premium tickets, pre-show VIP lounge, specially designed and exclusive merchandise & more! Package contents vary based on the offer selected. Fans can visit for more information!


Make sure to tune into SNL tomorrow as Arcade Fire join the Saturday Night Live 5-timers club.




European Tour 2022


08/30/22 - Dublin, IE - 3Arena *

09/02/22 - Birmingham, UK - Utilita Arena Birmingham *

09/03/22 - Manchester, UK - AO Arena *

09/05/22 - Glasgow, UK - OVO Hydro *

09/08/22 - London, UK – The O2 *

09/11/22 - Lille, FR - Zenith *

09/12/22 - Antwerp, BE - Sportpaleis *

09/14/22 - Cologne, DE - Lanxess Arena *

09/15/22 - Paris, FR - Accor Arena *

09/17/22 - Milan, IT - Mediolanum Forum *

09/18/22 - Munich, DE - Olympiahalle *

09/21/22 - Madrid, ES - WiZink Center *

09/22/22 - Lisbon, PT - Campo Pequeno *

09/23/22 - Lisbon, PT - Campo Pequeno *

09/25/22 - Bordeaux, FR - Arkea Arena *

09/26/22 - Nantes, FR - Zenith de Nantes *

09/28/22 - Amsterdam, NL - Ziggo Dome *

09/29/22 - Berlin, DE - Mercedes Benz Arena *

10/01/22 - Warsaw, PL – COS Torwar *


North American Tour 2022

10/28/22 - Washington, DC - The Anthem ^

11/01/22 - Camden, NJ - Waterfront Music Pavilion ^

11/04/22 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center ^

11/08/22 - Boston, MA - MGM Fenway Music Hall ^

11/10/22 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena ^

11/12/22 - Chicago, IL - United Center ^

11/13/22 - Minneapolis, MN - The Armory ^

11/16/22 - Los Angeles, CA - The Kia Forum ^

11/19/22 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium ^

11/22/22 - Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena ^

11/25/22 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena ^

11/27/22 - Edmonton, AB - Rogers Place ^

12/01/22 - Toronto, ON - Scotiabank Arena ^


* with special guest Feist

^ with special guest Beck (acoustic)