V.A. - The Big Stiff Box Set (2007)
From their very first single in 1976, Nick Lowe’s Heart Of The City/So it Goes, to its debt ridden demise in 1986, Stiff Records discovered, nurtured and promoted a succession of seminal acts, including Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Madness, Kirsty MacColl, Devo and The Pogues.
It wasn’t Britain’s first independent record company, but it was undoubtedly something of a trailblazer, exerting an over-riding influence on the dozens of DIY set-ups (such as Factory and Mute) that emerged in its wake during the punk and new wave musical revolution of the mid-late 70s.
The label was reactivated in the 21st century, issuing great records by the likes of Chris Difford and Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby, which nicely complimented the treasures of the glory years - such as the very first punk single (The Damned’s New Rose), Number One smashes like House Of Fun by Madness and curiosities like Max Wall’s highly amusing England’s Glory. (http://www.unionsquaremusic.co.uk/)
This is the ultimate anthology of Stiff Records, charting 30 years of one of the most daring and influential labels in UK pop history. A celebration of Stiff `The World’s Most Flexible label’ across 98 tracks , from number one hits to rare curiosities, and a 68 page full colour booklet.
VANILLA FUDGE - Spirit Of '67 (2015)
One of the greatest and most influential bands ever, Vanilla Fudge is back with a bang. But the truth is, they never really went away. Born 1966 in Long Island, New York, Vanilla Fudge created an immediate stir with their moody extended covers of popular songs of the day. Not only did the band fit right in with the psychedelic climate of the times, but they added something extra and exciting to the enterprising environment. Stately and weighty, Vanilla Fudge threaded their endeavors with improvisational escapades and symphonic measures, leading them to be quite a unique animal. The band definitely invented a style all their own, and are properly regarded godfathers of both progressive rock and heavy metal.
These classic rock icons are keeping the spirit of real rock music alive with their own versions of The Box Tops The Letter, Procol Harum s Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Who s I Can See For Miles, Spencer Davis Group s Gimme Some Lovin and lots more!
TRACKS: 01. I Heard It Through the Grapevine 02. The Letter 03. I Can See for Miles 04. Break on Through (To the Other Side) 05. The Tracks of My Tears 06. I'm a Believer 07. Gimme Some Lovin' 08. For What It's Worth 09. Ruby Tuesday 10. Whiter Shade of Pale 11. Let's Pray for Peace
THE DOORS - Bright Midnight - Live In America (2001)
Decades after Jim Morrison's death effectively ended the Doors' career as an active band, the surviving members' legal efforts to wrest control of their legacy from others yielded some pleasant surprises. Found during the effort were a dozen or so professionally recorded concerts from late in the band's career--recordings they began to self-distribute online through their own Bright Midnight label. This 13-track from-the-vaults anthology effectively culls together a new Doors live album that chronicles some edgy moments from 1969 and '70. With singer-provocateur Jim Morrison ever the focus, the band has bravely eschewed sonic revisionism in favor of a largely unvarnished historical snapshot. Kicking off with an 11-minute-plus take of their signature "Light My Fire," the band quickly shows that its jam-ethos was more about emotionally charged musical consciousness expansion than about showcasing their licks to a perfect groove. Morrison leads the charge throughout, whether playfully crooning during a 1969 Hollywood Aquarius Theater take of "Touch Me," carousing through "Been Down So Long" and "Roadhouse Blues" in bluesy/boozy 1969 shows in Detroit and Boston, respectively, or playing the role of mad shaman poet to the max in a rare, 16-plus-minute live invocation of "The End."
Bright Midnight: Live in America is a live album by The Doors released in 2001. It is a compilation of performances in different U.S. cities in 1969 and 1970. It was released by Elektra on CD as a limited edition.
TRACKS: 01. Light My Fire [Philadelphia] 02. Been Down So Long [Detroit] 03. Back Door Man [Pittsburgh] 04. Love Hides [Pittsburgh] 05. Five To One [Pittsburgh] 06. Touch Me [Hollywood] 07. The Crystal Ship [Hollywood] 08. Break On Through (To The Other Side) [New York] 09. Bellowing [Boston] 10. Roadhouse Blues [Boston] 11. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) [New York] 12. Love Me Two Times, Baby Please Don't Go, St.James Infirmary [Bakersfield] 13. The End [Detroit]
V.A. - Honkers & Bar Walkers: Vol.1, 2 & 3 (1993/2002)
This Vol.1 serves as a strong introduction to the tenor sax and occasional alto oriented R&B music of the early 1950s. It includes a few major hits (most notably Jimmy Forrest's "Night Train" and Tab Smith's ballad feature "Because of You") and six previously unissued alternate takes. Also heard from are Teddy Brannon, Cozy Eggleston, the underrated Jimmy Coe, Doc Sausage (on 1950's "Sausage Rock"), Fred Jackson, Chris Woods, Fats Noel and Paul Bascomb. Overall, it gives listeners a fine sampling of the United and Regal catalogs. Fun and occasionally riotous music. - allmusic.com
The riffing and bumptious beats here (Vol.2) can blur into an indistinct haze over the course of its 22 tracks, but taken individually, there are a number of fine performances. Highlights include an astonishing artistic and technical display from alto master Hilton Jefferson on the ballad "Darkness on the Delta" -- one of four tracks from drummer and bandleader Panama Francis; the unidentified baritone sax player with Bobby Smith on "That's for Sure"; and the prototypical yakety sax of King Curtis' "Rush Hour." There are also some interesting vocal choruses, notably the lugubrious moaning behind the unidentified bluesy tenor sax on "Hard Times" from Charlie Ferguson & His Orchestra. The hopelessly politically incorrect stereotyping on "Gitchie Gitchie Goomba," one of two tracks from Morris Lane & His Orchestra, is the only lame moment. The compilation's documentation is helpful: Bob Porter's useful liner notes provide context and attempt to identify as many of the key performers as possible, and the track listings include session dates, master numbers, and take numbers. The remastering is also very good, bringing to life sounds that current players might be able to approximate but never replicate. - allmusic.com
Before Jimmy Smith reinvented the organ -- before the explosion of soul-jazz in the late '50s and early '60s -- there were the honkers: big-toned, extroverted, hard-blowing swing/R&B tenor men who believed that instrumental jazz had a right to groove. It is no coincidence that Willis "Gator" Jackson, Wild Bill Moore, Jimmy Forrest, Arnett Cobb, and other honkers of the late '40s and early '50s went on to play soul-jazz in the '60s; honker music, like soul-jazz, swung relentlessly and did so in a very accessible, straightforward, groove-oriented fashion. Assembled in 2002, Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 3 picks up where its two predecessors left off and spotlights some more recordings from the honker era. Not all of the 22 tracks on this compilation are instrumentals; several are examples of vocal-oriented jump blues. Nonetheless, swing-based instrumentals dominate this 64-minute CD, and ultimately, the spotlight belongs to tenor sax honkers like Eddie Chamblee, Jim Conley, and the abovementioned Wild Bill Moore. Spanning 1949-1954, these recordings came at a time when Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and other bebop heavyweights were pointing jazz in a more intellectual, less groove-oriented direction. But the honkers didn't want to be abstract and ultra-complex; their roots were Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Lunceford, and Louis Jordan, and they didn't believe that jazz was strictly for intellectuals in Sweden. Honkers valued accessibility, which is why instrumentals like Conley's "The Cat Creeps," Moore's "Dynaflow," and Chamblee's arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" are as straightforward and uncomplicated as they are. Honkers -- like Basie, Lunceford, and Hampton back in the '30s -- saw no reason why instrumental jazz couldn't be party music. Those who admired Delmark's two previous Honkers & Bar Walkers collections will be equally appreciative of Vol.3. - allmusic.com
SIMON & GARFUNKEL - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) [from HDtracks, 2014]
Bridge Over Troubled Water was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade, and it hasn't fallen too far down on the list in years since. Apart from the gospel-flavored title track, which took some evolution to get to what it finally became, however, much of Bridge Over Troubled Water also constitutes a stepping back from the music that Simon & Garfunkel had made on Bookends -- this was mostly because the creative partnership that had formed the body and the motivation for the duo's four prior albums literally consumed itself in the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. The overall effect was perhaps the most delicately textured album to close out the 1960s from any major rock act. Bridge Over Troubled Water, at its most ambitious and bold, on its title track, was a quietly reassuring album; at other times, it was personal yet soothing; and at other times, it was just plain fun. The public in 1970 -- a very unsettled time politically, socially, and culturally -- embraced it; and whatever mood they captured, the songs matched the standard of craftsmanship that had been established on the duo's two prior albums. Between the record's overall quality and its four hits, the album held the number one position for two and a half months and spent years on the charts, racking up sales in excess of five million copies. The irony was that for all of the record's and the music's appeal, the duo's partnership ended in the course of creating and completing the album. - allmusic.com
TRACKS: 01. Bridge Over Troubled Water 02. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) 03. Cecilia 04. Keep The Customer Satisfied 05. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright 06. The Boxer 07. Baby Driver 08. The Only Living Boy In New York 09. Why Don't You Write Me 10. Bye Bye Love 11. Song For The Asking
FAITH NO MORE - Album Of The Year (1997) & Sol Invictus (2015)
Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1981. The band was originally named Faith No Man. Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin are the longest remaining members of the band, having been involved with Faith No More since its inception. The band underwent several lineup changes early in their career, along with some major changes later on. The latest version of Faith No More to perform consists of Mike Bordin, Roddy Bottum, Billy Gould, Jon Hudson, and Mike Patton. After releasing six albums, Faith No More officially announced their breakup on April 20, 1998.
Album of the Year is the sixth studio album by American rock band Faith No More. It was released on June 3, 1997, (June 9, 1997 in the UK and Europe) and is the first album to feature the band's current guitarist Jon Hudson. It is the final studio album by the band to be released through Slash Records, as well as their last album for nearly eighteen years after their break-up in April 1998, citing the members' interests in pursuing other projects. The album was recorded in Billy Gould's home studio, and is described by Allmusic as being "more straightforward musically than past releases." The album spawned three singles - "Ashes to Ashes," "Last Cup of Sorrow" and "Stripsearch." Critical reception upon release has been mixed, with some critics cited that the members' involvement with other projects at the time detracted from the album's overall sound.
TRACKS: 01. Collision 02. Stripsearch 03. Last Cup Of Sorrow 04. Naked In Front Of The Computer 05. Helpless 06. Mouth to Mouth 07. Ashes To Ashes 08. She Loves Me Not 09. Got That Feeling 10. Paths Of Glory 11. Home Sick Home 12. Pristina
Sol Invictus (Latin for Unconquered Sun) is the seventh studio album by American rock band Faith No More, released on May 19, 2015. It is Faith No More's first studio album since 1997's Album of the Year, marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career, and their first release on Reclamation Records. Sol Invictus is also the band's first album since 1992's Angel Dust not to feature a lineup change from after one consecutive studio album. The album marks the group's fifth collaboration with longtime producer Matt Wallace, though it also happens to be the third album he did not produce, his involvement being reduced to helping with the final mix.
TRACKS: 01. Sol Invictus 02. Superhero 03. Sunny Side Up 04. Separation Anxiety 05. Cone Of Shame 06. Rise Of The Fall 07. Black Friday 08. Motherfucker 09. Matador 10. From The Dead
AL DI MEOLA, JOHN McLAUGHLIN & PACO DeLUCIA - Friday Night In San Francisco (1981)
Loose and spontaneous, this (mainly) live album is a meeting of three of the greatest guitarists in the world for an acoustic summit the likes of which the guitar-playing community rarely sees. Broken up into three duo and two trio performances, Friday Night in San Francisco catches all three players at the peaks of their quite formidable powers. The first track features Al di Meola and Paco de Lucía teaming up for a medley of di Meola's "Mediterranean Sundance" (first recorded by the duo on di Meola's classic 1976 album Elegant Gypsy) and de Lucía's own "Rio Ancho." It is a delightful performance, full of the fire and inhuman chops that one expects from two players of this caliber. However, the two guitarists obviously have big ears, and they complement each other's solos with percussive, driving rhythm parts. There is a laid-back, humorous element to Friday Night in San Francisco as well, best witnessed in di Meola and John McLaughlin's performance of Chick Corea's "Short Tales of the Black Forest." Rapid-fire licks from the pair soon give way to atonal striking of the body of the guitar, running picks along the strings, etc. Before the farce is completed, they have played a blues and quoted the Pink Panther theme. It is funny stuff, and it serves to dispel the image of the trio, especially di Meola, as super-serious clinicians more concerned with technique than music. The other great piece of evidence against such a narrow-minded claim can be found in both the quality of the compositions featured on Friday Night in San Francisco as well as the sensitivity and dynamic variation brought to the performances. A perfect example of this is the sole studio track, a McLaughlin composition entitled "Guardian Angel" (the opening theme of which is taken straight from "Guardian Angels," a song that appears on McLaughlin's 1978 Electric Dreams album). It is a fine piece, and one that features a haunting melody as well as some of the best solos on the record. All in all, Friday Night in San Francisco is a fantastic album and one of the best entries in all of these guitarists' fine discographies. - allmusic.com
TRACKS: 01. Mediterranean Sundance - Rio Ancho 02. Short Tales Of The Black Forest 03. Frevo Rasgado 04. Fantasia Suite 05. Guardian Angel
LEGENDS - Live at Montreux 1997 (2008) @320 DVD Audiorip + AVI
Michael Heatley's liners note that saxophonist David Sanborn and guitarist Eric Clapton worked on the first Lethal Weapon film in 1986, scoring another three of the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover movies with Steve Gadd on drums for one of the sessions. So these five chaps have a "family tree" of sorts and take the stage on the opening night of the July 4-19, 1997, Montreux Jazz Festival, nestled on Lake Geneva in the resort town in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. One would thing the majesty of the country and the moment would inspire. Sad to say, despite the appreciative audience and world-class résumés working in unison, the long songs go on and on. And on. Keep in mind, Clapton was deified when his guitar exploded into "Sunshine of Your Love" or "White Room" on radios around the world. There are no such explosions here. In fact, this entire performance could've been your favorite bar band down the street with Sanborn sitting in. Close to 12 minutes of "Snakes" is repetitive -- do you really want to hear Marcus Miller and Gadd give a bass and drum clinic? Want to watch it as well? The crowd loves it, and with the excitement of these giants performing in front of them, that's understandable. This just won't go down as their classic stuff. Clapton sings "Going Down Slow," but there are no revelations. No sweat, no crumbs from heaven. If anything, Sanborn gets overexposed on this release; his instrument -- usually a treat to sweeten up great songs -- finds itself becoming predictable and clichéd. It's not that there are any embarrassing moments -- and maybe that's part of the problem, as the music is machine-like, consistent, and very laid-back. One really needs Michael Heatley's liner notes to put things into perspective, and when you find yourself reading liner notes and not looking up at the TV, you begin to realize that entertainment is an art. With Joe Sample, Gadd, Miller, Sanborn, and Clapton exercising their chops and playing for themselves, one keeps hoping someone in the audience will have the good sense to jump up and scream "Stop going through the motions and entertain, dammit." Remember how the "Judas" remark got Bob Dylan to lash out with one of his best performances of "Like a Rolling Stone" ever? That's a moment you won't find here. Inevitably, Legends: Live at Montreux 1997 is a nice souvenir for those who attended, and another DVD that collectors will want to own but not play very often.
LINE UP: Eric Clapton - Guitar/vocal, Marcus Miller - bass, David Sanborn - sax, Joe Sample - keyboard, Steve Gadd - drums
LUCIFER'S FRIEND - Awakening (2015)
German hard rock band Lucifer’s Friend was one of the most interesting and entertaining outfits of the early 1970s. Fronted by leather-lunged British vocalist John Lawton, the music was propelled by Peter Hesslein’s imaginative guitar lines and bassist Dieter Horns’ heavier-than-uranium rhythms. The band’s self-titled 1970 debut album proved to be a defining work of hard rock and heavy metal, putting them similar commercial footing with like-minded fellow travelers Dust, Atomic Rooster, or Uriah Heep and influencing the next generation of (harder) bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Still, Lucifer’s Friend seemed to strle for an identity that they’d already perfected on the first go-round, and subsequent albums evolved from the progressive rock of 1973’s Where The Groupies Killed The Blues to the jazz-fusion of the following year’s I’m Just A Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer to the melodic rock of the band’s late 1970s efforts. Lawton split in ’76 to front Heep in the wake of David Byron’s departure, and Lucifer’s Friend soldiered on until breaking up in 1981. A brief 1994 reunion between Lawton and Hesslein resulted in the Sumo Grip album, a throwback to their original sound, and then the band went quiet for another 20 years. 2015 may well prove to be Lucifer’s Friend’s year, however. Lawton, Hesslein, and Horns are reuniting to play the Swedish Rock Festival in June, and are currently putting together a full tour. Sadly, original band drummer Joachim Rietenbach passed away a few years ago, so newcomer Stephan Eggart will occupy that position, with Yogi Wichman, who played on Sumo Grip, on keyboards.
CD1 includes a re-mastered selection of the "most popular" Lucifer's Friend songs. CD2 includes Four Hot New Original Studio Tracks recorded in Oct-Nov 2014
JOY DIVISION - Unknown Pleasures (1979) & Closer (1980) [Remastered 2007, 2 x 2CD]
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris. Formed by Sumner and Hook right after they attended a Sex Pistols gig, Joy Division transcended their punk roots to develop a sound and style that made them one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement. Their self-released 1978 debut EP, An Ideal for Living, drew the attention of the Manchester television personality Tony Wilson. The sleeve's Germanic imagery drew criticism and speculation on their politics, not helped by later name changes. Joy Division's debut album Unknown Pleasures was released in 1979 on Wilson's independent label Factory Records. Aided by Martin Hannett's sparse production, it was a critical success with the British music press. Despite this early acclaim, Curtis suffered from severe depression and personal difficulties, including a broken marriage and epilepsy. In particular he found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, during which he often suffered seizures. In May 1980, on the eve of the band's debut American tour, Curtis, aged 23, committed suicide. Closer, Joy Division's second and final album was released two months later; the album and preceding single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" became the band's highest charting release. After Curtis's death, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success. Today Joy Division are seen as one of the most influential bands of the late 1970s.
2007 digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the influential Manchester quartet's 1979 debut album. Joy Division's influence on modern music is not only based around the band's unique sound, but also their vision, their personalities and their intense and troubled vocalist, Ian Curtis who committed suicide on the eve of their first tour of the U.S. Disc One features the original album containing 10 tracks including 'Disorder', 'She's Lost Control' and 'Interzone'. Disc Two features 12 tracks recorded live at The Factory in Manchester, April of 1980. Rhino.
2007 digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the influential Manchester quartet's 1980 album. Joy Division's influence on modern music is not only based around the band's unique sound, but also their vision, their personalities and their intense and troubled vocalist, Ian Curtis who committed suicide on the eve of their first tour of the U.S. Disc One features the original album containing nine tracks including 'Heart And Soul', 'Isolation' and 'Passover'. Disc Two features 11 tracks recorded live at ULU in February of 1980. Rhino.
MARY-ANN BRANDON - If Love Hurts (1997) & We Belong Together (2010)
Nashville Music Award Nomination "Best Blues Record" (If Love Hurts/Taxim records). Three Grammy Nominations for her songs that are featured on records in "Best Blues Release Category". Mary-Ann's songs have been used in two JBL speaker television commercials and as stingers on the television broadcast of the 1997 Super Bowl Game. Mary-Ann has toured extensively throughout Europe playing at the Amsterdam Blues Festival, Poretta Soul Festival, Belgium Blues Night Festival, The Belinzona Blues Festival, The Trieste Blues Festival, along with many other prestigious dates as opening act on Albert King's final European tour. She has also performed at The King Biscuit Festival in Helena Arkansas, Blues Estafette in Utrecht Holland and The Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne Switzerland. In addition to her own recording career, Mary-Ann has worked as a background vocalist on records with: Larry LaDon, Ken Saydak, David Olney, Tommy Tu Tone, Tim Krekel, Earl Gaines, Roscoe Shelton, Johnny Jones, Al Garner and the Roadrunners, Sam Lay, Fingers Taylor, Larry Burton, Billy C. Farlow, Charles Walker, Stan Webb, Freddie Waters, James Nixon and Fred James.
Nashville producer Fred James is as much a documentarian as he is musician and entrepreneur, and his Bluesland Productions is considered one of the world's foremost independent music companies devoted to blues, soul, and American roots music. On February 3, 1954, Fred James was born in San Antonio, TX, the family moving to Wichita, KS, where he was raised. His father, Fred James, Sr., is a noted jazz trumpet player who recorded with the Johnny Harris Quartet in the '70s. His uncle, Doug James, is a New York studio musician who has worked with Paul Butterfield, Orleans, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and many others. With radio in the mid-'60s being very eclectic, and with jazz and blues constantly played around the house while he was growing up, Fred found that he liked it all, inspirations and influences coming from Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Buck Owens, and, according to the producer/musician, "all of the rock groups." His first attendance at a concert was the Jimmy Smith Trio with the Ramsey Lewis Trio; the second was a Dick Clark road show with Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, Keith Allison, Paul Revere & the Raiders, and the Animals.
WHITESNAKE - The Purple Album [Deluxe Edition] (2015)
The Purple Album features revved-up versions of songs from Coverdale's tenure in Deep Purple some 40 years ago, from 1973 to 1976. The idea took hold after the death of Purple keyboardist Jon Lord in 2012, when Coverdale reached out to guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to share his grief and make amends. The two hadn't spoken in 30 years, and their last meeting had ended in a fistfight, but they started talking. Eventually they discussed doing a collaboration, but talks broke down when they could not agree on the musical direction. Coverdale was ready to abandon the idea of revisiting his past until his wife, Cindy, made a sestion. "She said, 'Why don't you look upon it as a Whitesnake album?,' and it really started to resonate with me, especially after a couple of glasses of wine," he recalls. "And I called my musicians, and they were absolutely thrilled about the idea." After talking to Frontiers, the band started working on the project. "Everyone did their homework, and every performance is done respectfully in honor of [Deep Purple's] musicians. Though I focused on the twin-guitar attack of Whitesnake, we had a guest keyboard player because a huge part of the Deep Purple sound was Jon Lord playing that amazing Hammond organ."
The Whitesnaking of the Deep Purple songs is evident on the album. Hot rockers and midtempo romps outnumber the ballads. Standouts abound: "Burn" kicks off the album like the scorcher that it is and stands up to the harder late-'80s work of the band, as do "Love Child" and "Lady Double Dealer." "Soldier of Fortune" sounds like a Whitesnake hit.
TRACKS: 01. Burn 02. You Fool No One (Interpolating Itchy Fingers) 03. Love Child 04. Sail Away 05. The Gypsy 06. Lady Double Dealer 07. Mistreated 08. Holy Man 09. Might Just Take Your Life 10. You Keep On Moving 11. Soldier Of Fortune 12. Lay Down Stay Down 13. Stormbringer 14. Lady Luck (Bonus Track) 15. Comin Home (Bonus Track)
KIM FOWLEY - Mondo Hollywood Kim Fowley's Phantom Jukebox Vol.1 (1995) & The Trip Of A Lifetime (1998)
Artist, producer, writer, arranger, musician, and all-around first-class baloney-thrower Kim Fowley was the man on the scene in Hollywood, CA, during the mid- to late '60s. This collection compiles 20 tracks from Fowley's solo recordings, circa 1966-1969. The collection kicks off with the garage punker "Underground Lady" from 1966, which, Fowley is happy to point out, was released before the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" and the Music Machine's "Talk Talk." "The Trip" is a fascinating bit of drug-laced ephemera ("Summer's here kiddies/It's time to take a trip," Fowley leers in the intro) and one of the CD's highlights. "Fluffy Turkeys" was the A-side of one of Fowley's singles for the Original Sound label and surely must have creeped out label honcho Art Laboe, who bailed on releasing a planned full-length album after hearing this slice of madness. Fowley's version of the novelty hit "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha!" was a hit in Denmark and on Radio London, and is a true psycho artifact of its day. The pop art extravaganza "Pop Art '66" might have influenced Fowley's chauffeur, Mark Wirtz, who later produced "Excerpt From a Teenage Opera" for Keith West. "The American Dream" is Fowley at his most accessible, while the garage psych of "Reincarnation" (one of several tracks included that were co-written by Michael Lloydof the Smoke) recalls the fury and vitriol of L.A.'s own Seeds, a band he later produced.
This compilation isn't the final word on Fowley, but it's quite a statement. In the liner notes, Fowley -- who provides fun comments for each track -- recalls that "these selections were recorded by me to get girls, confuse people, and have fun...These recordings were one-off, hobby, experimental events. In the Silver '60s anyone could record. And we all did. It was a great time. You should have been there." This retrospective provides evidence that Fowley wasn't himself "all there" in the '60s. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to see all of the musicians and groups he's been involved with since then.
B.B. KING - Ladies & Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King (2012)
For more than half a century, Riley B. King – better known as B.B. King – has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. B.B.King has one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles, his economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Ronnie Woods, The Edge, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimmy Page, Slash and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. Even well into his 80’s B.B.King continues to tour extensively, averaging over 250 concerts per year around the world. This year as well as touring extensively in the US he will be playing in the Lebanon, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Brazil.
This multi-format career retrospective is being released to celebrate his 50th Anniversary signing to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962. Leading the way with a 10 CD, 194 track collection chronicling his entire career from his first recordings in 1949 through to his most recent studio album. Housed in a beautiful deluxe box including a 72 page silver gilded hardback book, featuring essays from Ashley Kahn and Dick Shurman. Also packed with glorious images and memorabilia, illustrating this incredible career. All lovingly assembled and engineered by the Grammy Award winning Bill Levenson and Andy Mckaie.
CAROLE KING - Writer (1970) & Music (1971)
Writer is the debut album by Carole King and was released in 1970. King already had a successful career as a songwriter, and been a part of The City, a short-lived group she formed after moving to Los Angeles in 1968. Tracks on the album include "Up on the Roof" which was a number 4 hit for the Drifters in 1962, and "Child of Mine", which has been recorded by Billy Joe Royal, among others. The album did not receive much attention upon its release, though it entered the chart following the success of King's next album, Tapestry, in 1971. Reviewers rate it positively if not as highly as Tapestry, one noting that it was the "most underrated of all [her] original albums". And, in a review that also covered Tapestry in Rolling Stone, Jon Landau wrote, "Writer was a blessing despite its faults" and that though the "production was poor", King herself made the album "very worthwhile".
Music is the third album by American singer-songwriter Carole King. It is a continuation of the style laid down in Tapestry. The album was released in December 1971 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. It features songs such as "It's Going to Take Some Time" (US No. 12 by The Carpenters), "Sweet Seasons," a No. 9 hit for Carole King, and "Brother, Brother". Carole King: Music experienced immediate success and was certified gold on December 9, 1971, days after release. It was certified platinum on July 17, 1995. Music entered the top ten at No. 8, becoming the first of many weeks both Tapestry and Carole King: Music would occupy the top ten simultaneously. The album hit No. 1 on New Year's Day 1972 and stayed there for three consecutive weeks. King plays the piano and celeste on many tracks.
CANNED HEAT WITH JOHN LEE HOOKER - Carnegie Hall 1971 (2015)
Canned Heat is an American blues/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965. The group has been noted for its own interpretations of blues material as well as for efforts to promote the interest in this type of music and its original artists. It was launched by two blues enthusiasts, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson’s 1928 “Canned Heat Blues”. After appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals at the end of the 1960s, the band acquired worldwide fame.
Canned Heat teamed up with blues legend John Lee Hooker for the classic 1971 double album Hooker n’ Heat and embarked on a subsequent historic tour together that has been captured here in all its glory!This vintage set shakes and boogies with tons of authentic blues rhythms including the fantastic “Back Door Man” and “Let’s Work Together” as well as the Hooker-led bonus track “Tease Me Baby!” Available on both CD and limited edition green vinyl, and packaged with liner notes by Dave Thompson with a brand new interview by Heat drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra!
SPIN DOCTORS - The Best Of Spin Doctors (2011)
There were many pseudo-hippie, jam-oriented blues rockers in New York during the early '90s, but only the Spin Doctors made it big. And they made it big because they not only could immerse themselves in a groove, but they also had concise pop skills. "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" were cleverly written singles, full of clean, blues-inflected licks and ingratiating pop melodies. Pocket Full of Kryptonite had been around for nearly a year when MTV and radio began playing "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," but once they started playing it, they couldn't stop. the Spin Doctors became an overnight sensation, selling millions of albums around the world.
Their second album, 1994's Turn It Upside Down, didn't sell very well when it was released, largely because the first single, "Cleopatra's Cat," was a failed experiment in funk. But the second single, "You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast," was in the vein of "Two Princes," and the album began to sell after the song was released. In the summer of 1996, the Spin Doctors released You've Got to Believe in Something. After the album failed to make an impression on the charts, the Spin Doctors were dropped from Epic in the fall of 1996. After a couple of years, the group found a new label; their first record for Uptown/Universal, Here Comes the Bride, appeared in the summer of 1999. It was seemingly their swan song, however. By this point original members Eric Schenkman (guitar) and Mark White (bass) had left the band, and Barron's voice was failing him. The Spin Doctors broke up, and the greatest hits set Just Go Ahead Now appeared like a nail in their coffin. Their journey wasn't quite over, however. The band reunited for a series of shows in 2001 and 2002, and they used that momentum to head back into the studio, where they recorded Nice Talking to Me. The album was released by Ruff Nation/Universal in fall 2005.
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Live In Europe (1973)
This album has often taken it on the chin from fans and critics who failed to perceive its value. Long regarded as an inferior release, mostly because it emerged at the tail-end of CCR's history, after Tom Fogerty had quit, and came from the tour associated with unpopular Mardi Gras album, Live In Europe was considered something of a bummer. Neither the original LP release (which spread under an hour of music onto four sides), nor the edited domestic CD presented much to enjoy -- the band sounded flat and harsh. Victor Entertainment's 1998 remastering from Japan, in 20-bit sound off the uncut tape (which restores two songs off the original LP that are missing from the American CD), rectifies those mistakes and more. It puts the listener seemingly at the concert (and center-stage in the stereo mix) in terms of the closeness of the sound, and gives us a chance to hear how spirited and refreshed CCR was performing as a trio. The band reinvented songs they'd originally cut as a quartet in blazing fury, with Doug Clifford pounding away with a rock-solid beat, Stu Cook's bass doing graceful acrobatics covering for the "missing" rhythm guitar, and John Fogerty in a soaring virtuoso performance that must've cost him five pounds in sweat alone each night on this tour. The 20-bit audio gives the band a close, loud, crunching sound like a Chuck Berry performance on 50,000 watts of amplification and, given the animated nature of the performance, the whole album now makes for bracing as well as fascinating listening, with "Keep On Chooglin'" a great way to end the official history of the band, assuming that it had to end. The original tape always had some minor flaws, in terms of microphone placement and mixing, but the Victor reissue minimizes them. As a bonus, the Japanese CD restores Stu Cook's "Door To Door," (one of the better non-Fogerty numbers off of Mardi Gras), to the song lineup. The album doesn't appear to offer much, but with "Sweet Hitch-Hiker," "Up Around The Bend," "Hey Tonight," or "It Came Out of the Sky," much less "Proud Mary," "Green River," or "Lodi," there is still no earthly reason for it to be dropped by Fantasy when it was issued on CD. The price is high, but the music is worth it. - allmusic.com
JETHRO TULL - Minstrel In The Gallery (1975) [40th Anniversary La Grande Edition, 2015]
Minstrel in the Gallery is the eighth studio album by British band Jethro Tull, recorded in April and released in September 1975. The album go on a different direction from their previous work War Child (1974), with the orchestration being replaced by a string quartet conducted by David Palmer. The band also return to the blend of electric and acoustic pieces, in a manner more closely to Aqualung (1971) and Thick as a Brick (1972) and for the first time since their two concept albums, released a song with more than ten minutes, which ocupies almost all of the b-side of the record. It would be the last album to featured bassist Jeffrey Hammond, who was replaced by former Carmen bass player John Glascock.
Jeffrey Hammond’s last album as a bassist, Jethro Tull’s Minstrel in the Gallery, has been reissued in a 40th anniversary edition. The two-CD/two-DVD 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition includes the original 1975 album, expanded to feature the b-side “Summerday Sands,” outtakes and alternate session material on one disc. The second disc is a live recording of a show at the Olympia in Paris on July 5, 1975, which included an early performance on Minstrel in the Gallery songs. After Minstrel in the Gallery’s release, Hammond essentially left music behind and returned to the world of fine art. Minstrel in the Gallery 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition is available on CD/DVD, vinyl and as a digital download.
ERIC CLAPTON - Forever Man (2015)
With 51 tracks spanning three decades of Clapton’s solo career on Reprise Records, Forever Man is a new compilation of classic studio tracks, live tracks, and a bonus Blues-themed disc. Featuring the Grammy Award-winning tracks "Change The World," "Tears In Heaven," and "Bad Love" and including material from Eric’s Grammy Award-winning albums From The Cradle and Unpled.
The release of Forever Man coincides with an upcoming tour, which includes nine concert dates in celebration of his 70th birthday on March 30th. The shows will take place at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden on May 1st and 2nd and at London's Royal Albert Hall on May 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd. The shows will feature Clapton, accompanied by his band members Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton, Sharon White, and Michelle John, with opening support act Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders. Forever Man is available for pre-order beginning today, Mar 17th, and will be available in multiple configurations: a 3-CD, a vinyl 2-LP set and digital downloads. The package also comes with liner notes written by noted rock journalist and author Malcolm Dome.
EPITAPH - Epitaph (1971)  & Stop Look And Listen (1972)  & Outside The Law (1974) 
Along with Lucifer's Friend, Blackwater Park, and other bands even more obscure, Epitaph were members of a curious fraternity of '70s German bands that featured British singers. Founded in Dortmund in late 1969 by vocalist/guitarist Cliff Jackson and his compatriot James McGillivray, plus locally bred bassist Bernd Kolbe, Epitaph were originally named Fagau's Epitaph, but decided to shorten it after moving to Hanover, where they eventually signed with Polydor. Second guitarist Klaus Walz joined the fold halfway through the sessions for their eponymous debut (released in 1971), which, along with its successor, Stop, Look & Listen (1972), contained only five lengthy tracks, largely comprised of post-psych progressive rock, spiced with occasional jazz accents and widespread twin-guitar harmonies. Neither LP succeeded at introducing the band to a significant audience, though, and McGillivray had quit by year's end, being replaced by German drummer Achim Wielert, just as Epitaph were beginning to experiment with a more compact and direct hard rock style. This was previewed by the two singles they released in 1973, but Polydor still decided it was time to cut their ties to the group, who surprisingly headed off to America almost immediately, drawn by the promises of a start-up indie label called Billingsgate.
Epitaph wound up recording their third and most critically acclaimed LP, 1974's Outside the Law, in Chicago, afterwards embarking on a tour of the U.S. with ex-Karthago drummer Norbert Lehmann -- only to have it rudely interrupted when Billingsgate went bankrupt. Drained by their string of bad luck and feeling lucky simply to escape back to Germany without being held responsible for Billingsgate's debts, Epitaph called it quits in January of 1975.
JETHRO TULL - Stand Up (1969) [Collectors Edition, 2010]
Stand Up itself probably needs no introduction for Jethro Tull fans. It has always been a spectacular release containing plenty of beloved numbers, such as the heavy blues rock of "A New Day Yesterday", which signaled the arrival of Barre as a guitarist of significant talents, the bands rock interpretation of the classical gem "Bouree", hard rockers "Back to the Family" and "Nothing is Easy", whimsical fare such as "Fat Man" and "Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square", plus the more adventurous pieces such as "For A Thousand Mothers", "We Used to Know", and "Look Into the Sun". Throughout it all, Ian Anderson adds his unique vocal, flute, and acoustic guitar talents to these bluesy, folky, and often times heavy rocking songs. Recorded and engineered by Andy Johns, Stand Up was always a great sounding album considering the time period, and this 2001 remaster sounds great. Included here are songs recorded during the same time period that wound up on Benefit and the Living in the Past albums, namely the excellent "Living in the Past", "Driving Song", and "Sweet Dream", along with the rare "17". Also included is the 1969 BBC Radio session which featured a few of the top tracks from the then new album, the standouts being "Bouree" and "Nothing is Easy", although "Fat Man" and "A New Day Yesterday" are also quite fine as well. You get a great snapshot of this new incarnation of Jethro Tull starting to reall gel and mold into the force they would shortly become.
Over on CD2 you get the 1970 Carnegie Hall benefit concert, which was previously released in part on the Jethro Tull 25th Anniversary Box Set back in the early 1990's. At this point in time, John Evan had joined the band on keyboards, and the band were in fine, raucous form. Though a good portion of the set features Stand Up material, there are also tracks from the just release Benefit album, as well as a very early peek into Acqualung with an epic version of "My God". Highlights here include a monstrously heavy version of "Dharma For One", a driving "Nothing is Easy", the proto progressive metal of "To Cry You a Song", and the mysterious, bluesy rock piece "Sossity, You're A Woman/Reasons For Waiting/Sossity, You're A Woman". Throw in some extended guitar, piano, drum, and flute solos, and you have a wild affair in New York City from 1970 that Tull fans who didn't pick up the earlier box set will want to have in their collections.
ELVIN BISHOP - Can't Even Do Wrong Right (2014)
Triple-threat singer, songwriter, and guitarist Elvin Bishop has had a mostly under-the-radar five-decade career since he first hit the scene in 1965 with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and over the course of some 20 albums under his name, his brand of good-humored R&B, country, and pop-laced blues has made him into sort a Jimmy Buffett for the blues crowd. With Can't Even Do Wrong Right, a scorching set of joyous blues rock, Bishop shows the world that's he's as good as he's ever been, and it's one of his most consistent albums, full of sweet, funky guitar licks, good songs, and a bouncy let's-all-have-a-good-time house party vibe. The title track leads things off with a wink, all ching, gritty, and solid. "No More Doggin'," which features guest blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite, roars and stomps like a good barroom blues jam should, while the instrumental version of Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do" here has a kind of easy flowing and resilient grace, even without lyrics, and Fats Domino's "Bo Weevil" gets turned into a bluesy honky tonk shuffle with considerable bite. Bishop carries it all with a good-natured grin, plays wonderful guitar, and sounds like he's having the time of his life. As Bishop has put it in interviews, the blues ain't football, you don't have to retire at 30, and you can play it all your life. Thankfully, he's done that, and thankfully, he continues to do it with passion, energy and joy.
TRACKS: 01. Can't Even Do Wrong Right 02. Blues With A Feeling 03. Old School 04. Let Your Woman Have Her Way 05. No More Doggin' 06. Everybody's In The Same Boat 07. Dancin' 08. Honest I Do 09. Bo Weevil 10. Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
The 36th annual Blues Music Awards were held on Thursday night at Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. Not only was the evening a celebration of the blues music of the past year, but it also marked the opening of the Blues Hall of Fame which had its ribbon cutting on Thursday and will open to the public Friday morning at 10:00 AM. Elvin Bishop was the big winner for the night taking awards for Album of the Year (Can't Even Do Wrong Right), Band and Song for the album's title tune.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND - A Little Something from the Road, Vol.1 (2015)
Provogue/ Mascot Label Group is pleased to announce the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s “A Little Something from the Road, Vol. 1” EP on limited edition vinyl on Record Store Day on April 18th, 2015 to dovetail Kenny Wayne’s April UK tour which kicks off in Salisbury City Hall, Friday April 10th. The live recordings were culled from Kenny Wayne’s “Goin’ Home” 2014 tour and album which saw KWS revisit vintage blues classics that first ignited his love of the blues and inspired him to play guitar.
TRACKS: 01. Looking Back 02. House Is Rockin' 03. You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover 04. Woke Up This Morning 05. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
CHICKEN SHACK [Featuring Stan Webb] - Unlucky Boy (1973)  & Goodbye (1974) 
Chicken Shack are a British blues band, founded in the mid-1960s by Stan Webb (guitar and vocals), Andy Silvester (bass guitar), and Alan Morley (drums), who were later joined by Christine Perfect (McVie) (vocals and keyboards) in 1968. Chicken Shack has performed with various line-ups, Stan Webb being the only constant member.
Originally released in 1973, but reissued with four extra tracks as part of Sanctuary's Blues Masters series in 2003, Chicken Shack's Unlucky Boy finds guitarist/vocalist/songwriter and band founder Stan Webb in fine form. Only drummer Paul Hancox remains from the uneven Imagination Lady, and indeed the horn-oriented approach here is much different than the plodding Led Zeppelin-isms of the previous disc. Webb contributes six originals, and even though they are derivative of Savoy Brown (a band he joined for the Boogie Brothers album just a year later), his approach here is much more subtle and controlled than on his last effort. Chris Mercer's saxes, often double tracked to sound like a horn section, bring a tough R&B to the mix, and drummer Hancox is a controlled powerhouse. Webb also reigns in his impulse to overextend guitar solos so prevalent on Imagination Lady, whipping off tight, controlled leads instead. Producer Neil Slaven contributes honest, witty, and often self-deprecating liner notes that help explain why two of these songs suffer from poor mixes (basically, he had consumed various substances and couldn't salvage the songs after the fact).
With a live reputation so strong, it was only a matter of time before Stan Webb’s ensemble delivered a concert recording, but when this album came out the time wasn’t right, as the band had ceased to exist and their mastermind joined competitors SAVOY BROWN. Not that his decision to thwart things is reflected in “Goodbye” that saw the guitarist surrounded with a new line-up and discarding the artful fabric of the recent "Unlucky Boy" in order to focus on the loose brilliance of standards like “Tutti Frutti” or “Everyday I Have The Blues” where the audience engages in a catchy call-and-response. A different sort of reflection comes out of the “Poor Boy” rumble and “Thrill Is Gone” that pack desolation as tight as it gets for an axe to cry and the voice to weep. There’s anguish in the spare muscularity of “You Take Me Down” and a heavy sense of doom in “Going Down” that bulges with Rob Hull’s bass and Dave Wilkinson’s bopping piano, but then there’s panache in the improvisational vibe that surges through “Webb’s Guitar Shuffle”, a hurricane rehash of Bert Weedon’s tune, and “Webb’s Boogie” as instruments do the talking – eloquently to the hilt. As far as farewells go, this one is a brilliant bow.
ELVIS PRESLEY - Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology (1999)
Elvis Presley never sounded better than he does on these recordings made in Memphis at Chip Moman's American Sound Studios in January 1969. The artist was still on an incredible high following the success of his legendary NBC-TV "comeback" special, which had aired a little over a month earlier. Eager to record some relevant music after a decade of horrible movie soundtracks, Presley decided to work with Moman's smash-making (122 hits in three years) Memphis house band. Indeed, four charting singles came from these sessions--"Suspicious Minds," "Don't Cry Daddy," "In the Ghetto," and "Kentucky Rain"--as well as two critically acclaimed albums, From Elvis in Memphis and Back in Memphis. This two-disc set includes all the music the King recorded during that stint at Moman's studio, ranging from Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, and Beatles covers to current and old country hits ("Gentle on My Mind," Johnny Tillotson's "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'") to a cover of Chuck Willis's classic "Any Day Now" that tops the R&B original. Of special note is "Long Black Limousine," a song about a huge star returning to her small hometown in a hearse. All the originally released American recordings are available on the From Nashville to Memphis box set. RCA fleshes out this collection with previously unreleased alternate takes (including the in-between studio chatter), as well as the Darin tune ("I'll Be There," a hit for Gerry & the Pacemakers) and a snippet of one previously unheard tune, "Poor Man's Gold." There's been much debate about the mix, but these tracks sounded great on vinyl in the late 1960s, and they'll continue to sound great for years to come, no matter the format. - amazon.com
FOOLS GOLD - Fools Gold (1976) LP
Starting out as Dan Fogelberg's backing band, Fool's Gold decided to strike out on their own with this eponymous disc. Full of high harmony & easy country rock tunes, Fool's Gold will warm the hearts of anyone who is a fan of such bands as the Eagles or Poco. Highlights include 'Rain, Oh Rain', 'Rollin' Fields & Meadows', & a cover of Fogelberg's own 'Old Tennessee'. Helped out by such friends as Glyn Johns, Glenn Frey, & Joe Walsh along the way, Fool's Gold has just the right blend of country & rock to entice listeners to enjoy this fine album.
TRACKS: 01. Coming Out Of Hiding 02. Rain, Oh, Rain 03. Choices 04. Rollin' Fields And Meadows 05. Sailing To Monterey 06. I Will Run 07. Old Tennessee 08. One By One 09. The Way Love Grows 10. Love Me Through And Through
BRAINBOX - Brainbox (1969) [Remastered, 2011] & Parts (1972) [Remastered, 2012] & The 3rd Flood (2011)
Brainbox is a Dutch rock group from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band was founded in Amsterdam by guitarist Jan Akkerman , drummer Pierre van der Linden and singer Kazimir Lux (Kaz). Their debut single was "Down Man", which established their progressive blues sound. They had several hit singles in the Netherlands, including "Between Alpha and Omega", "Doomsday Train", "Reason to Believe" and "Smile". Soon after they released their first album, Jan Akkerman and Pierre van der Linden left the group to join Focus. After Pierre van der Linden and Jan Akkerman left, Brainbox bass player Cyril Havermans also followed to join Focus, replacing the original bass player Martin Dresden. They were replaced by guitarists Herman Meyer and Rudie de Queljoe and drummer Frans Smit. Meyer was later replaced by John Schuursma. After Kaz Lux left the group in 1971, their popularity waned and they split up in 1972. In 2004 Kaz Lux reassembled the band (though without Jan Akkerman) and they performed in the Netherlands. In 2010 and 2011 the band performed again and recorded a new studio album The 3rd Flood.
JAMES BURTON, ALBERT LEE, AMOS GARRETT & DAVID WILCOX - Guitar Heroes (2015)
These four Telecaster Masters shake up the rock and roll universe on this historic release, recorded during a one-time special performance at the Vancouver Island (Canada) MusicFest on July 12, 2013. Rooted in blues and rockabilly influences, each of the four legends have shaped and changed the sound of popular music since the mid-1950s. The musicianship, good taste, camaraderie and energized interplay showcased on stage that night made guitar history, now preserved on recordings for everyone to experience. As Albert Lee, himself, proclaimed that night, “Welcome to my dreams here!”
Backing the four Guitar Heroes for this concert were the members of Albert Lee’s regular touring band: Jon Greathouse (keyboards/lead vocals), Will MacGregor (bass) and Jason Harrison Smith (drums/background vocals). The 11-song repertoire recorded for the program is presented just as it was heard that night, with no editing, overdubs or studio sweetening. Just four amazing guitar players having fun together and creating a magical night of music. Songs run the gamut of roots music, with explorations into blues, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and a touch of country.
THE HOLLIES - What Goes Around... (1983) [Remastered, 2005]
What Goes Around... heralded the return of Graham Nash into the Hollies fold after a 15-year (1968-1983) sabbatical. Although the absence of bassist Bernie Calvert technically disqualifies this effort as a true reunion of the "classic" mid-'60s incarnation, the quartet assembled for this album and subsequent North American tour features the talents of Nash (vocals), Alan Clarke (vocals), Tony Hicks (vocals/guitars), and Bobby Elliott (drums). The combination of decent songwriting - although there are no contributions from the band - and their densely constructed trademark vocal blend makes this oft-overlooked assemblage worthy of revisitation. The seeds of this project were planted nearly 18 months before the album was released. The first incarnation of the band - including original bassist Eric Haydock - made an appearance on the legendary BBC pop music program Top of the Pops. This is also worthy of note as the same quintet had performed for the show's debut episode on New Year's Day 1964. So the timing could not have been more congruous as 1983 likewise marked the Hollies' 20th anniversary. The bandmembers provided no original material, relying instead on contributions from studio musicians and keyboardists Paul Bliss and Mike Batt, who not only provide over half of the songs, they also add significantly to the album's heavy synth sound. So pervasive are the keyboards that at times they actually drown out the vocals. Otherwise, the up-tempo light pop arrangements on the tracks "Casualty" and "If the Lights Go Out" work well. The sublime vocal arrangement and delivery on the ballad "Someone Else's Eyes" is arguably the strongest moment on the disc. Additionally, there are also a few interesting cover tracks on What Goes Around... "Stop! In the Name of Love" was released as the LP's single and indeed became a Top 40 hit. The band also updated their version of "Just One Look" - which had been a Top Ten hit for the Hollies two decades prior.
PAT BENATAR - Live From Earth (1983) & Ultimate Collection (2008)
Patricia Mae Andrzejewski, known professionally as Pat Benatar, is an American singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy Award winner. She has had considerable commercial success, particularly in the United States. During the 1980s, Benatar had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified Gold albums, 17 Billboard chartings and 15 of them being Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", "Love Is a Battlefield", "We Belong" and "Invincible". Other popular singles include "Heartbreaker", "Treat Me Right", "Fire and Ice", "Promises in the Dark", "Shadows of the Night", and "All Fired Up". Benatar was one of the most heavily played artists in the early days of MTV. She was the first female artist to play on MTV, performing "You Better Run".
"Live From Earth" provides eight tracks from Pat Benatar's 1982-83 tour, at which point the tiny dynamo had put out four albums, with the last three having made it to the top four ("Precious Time" went all the way to #1). The album made it to #13 on the Billboard album charts, which is not bad in comparison. For me the chief attraction is hearing Benatar sing without all the dubbing that happens in the studio. So the net effect is listening to raw Benatar (as distinct from unpled, which I can tell you is pretty good after having heard her at Lillith Fair). The 1983 album ends with a couple of studio tracks, her hit single "Love Is a Battlefield," which made it to #5, and "Lipstick Lies," which is not exactly a bad filler. Even though eight live tracks is pretty paltry and adding the studio tracks violates the whole point of the album, I end up rounding up because of the latter. It is a close call, and being a big Benatar fan probably has something to do with it because only one of those is going to be interested in this album in the first place.
Pat Benatar Ultimate Collection is a compilation album by rock singer Pat Benatar, released in 2008. The 2-CD and digital collection features 40 classic and signature songs, including 20 top 40 chart hits. Some of the songs include "Heartbreaker", "Love Is a Battlefield", "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", "Fire and Ice", "Invincible", and "We Belong". Benatar toured more than 40 cities across North America in 2008, performing her top hits and fan favorites.
BEN E. KING - Anthology (1993)
R&B and soul singer Ben E King, best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76. King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me. After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961. It returned to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK, following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert. The song has charted nine times on the US Billboard 100 over the years - King's version twice and seven times with covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner.
It was also sampled for Sean Kingston's 2007 number one single Beautiful Girls. In 1999, the BMI announced that the song, written by King with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was the fourth most-played track of the 20th Century on US radio and TV. Earlier this year, the US Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, declaring that "it was King's incandescent vocal that made it a classic". Stand By Me, Spanish Harlem and There Goes My Baby were all named in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and were all given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
BAD COMPANY - Straight Shooter (1975) [Deluxe Edition, 2015]
Forty years ago Bad Company released the follow-up to their multi-platinum, self-titled debut. The album, titled Straight Shooter, soared up to #3 on the albums charts and was certified Triple Platinum for sales of over 3 million units. Now, in association with Rhino Entertainment Company, the band has remastered the album from the original tapes making it sound crystal clear, as if one were standing in the recording booth watching it all go down! If that is not enough great news, the Deluxe Edition also comes with a second disc that contains 14 bonus tracks, all but one of which was previously unreleased!
Bad Co fans will be drooling to check out alternate versions of Bad Company classics like "Good Lovin' Gone Bad," "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Shooting Star." The biggest thrill for the fans will be the inclusion of two lost songs never before released titled "See the Sunlight" and "All Night Long." As good as the bonus goodies are the best thing about this remastered release is still the main album. These tracks now sound so damn good it is scary! "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" literally jumps out of the speakers! "Feel Like Makin' Love" has an extra punch to it, and "Shooting Star" really comes to life with the updated sound. "Deal with the Preacher," "Wild Fire Woman" and "Anna" are all great songs that are oft overlooked when talking about the best of Bad Co, so it is wonderful that these songs are brought back to life.
BAD COMPANY - Bad Company (1974) [Deluxe Edition, 2015]
When Led Zeppelin and Peter Grant formed their own private label (under the umbrella of their parent company Atlantic), their first release on the label was not a Led Zeppelin album. That honor went to the newly formed “super group” Bad Company (June 15th, 1974). Why “super group”? Bad Company was formed by two ex-members of Free (Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke), Mott The Hoople’s killer guitarist Mick Ralphs, and King Crimson’s uber-bass maestro Boz Burrell. These three groups were high class acts in the UK with a solid following in the USA. The product of these four talents together formed a whole sound which was greater than the sum of the parts. There are some arguments amongst fans as to which is the best Bad Company album, but in sales figures, this debut outshined all later albums, and most critics agree this was an astounding “Debut” from some such an assembly of rock veterans.
Disc 1 is newly remastered audio of the original album. Disc 2 is completely new, recently discovered alternate takes and mixes and new mixes based on recently unearthed original multi-track tapes. This is the first time this album has been given the deluxe and expanded treatment.
WILLIE NELSON (AND FRIENDS) - Old Friends (1985)
Singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist Willie Nelson was born on April 30, 1933, in Abbott [Happy Bday Willie], Texas. During his extensive career, Nelson has written more than 2,500 songs and has released close to 300 albums. He has won multiple awards, including countless Grammys, American Music Awards and Country Music Awards. In 2012, the Country Music Association honored Nelson with an all-star tribute at the CMAs in Nashville. He is recognized worldwide as an American troubadour and icon, transcended musical genres and has remained relevant through five decades for his music, acting and as the face of such social causes as Farm Aid, development of bio-diesel and the legalization of marijuana.
In his personal life, Nelson has seen many ups and downs. He married Martha Matthews in 1952, and they had three children together, Lana, Susie, and Billy, before splitting up. In 1963, Nelson married singer Shirley Collie, but he divorced her to be with Connie Koepke. They had two daughters, Paula and Amy. Willie and Connie divorced in 1988 after Willie became involved with Ann Marie "Annie" D'Angelo. Nelson married D'Angelo in 1991 and they have been together ever since. They have two sons, Lucas and Jacob Micah.
TRACKS: 01. Take It To The Limit (With Waylon Jennings) 02. Angel Eyes (With Emmylou Harris) 03. I'm Movin' On (With Hank Snow) 04. Faded Love (With Ray Price) 05. Old Friends (With Ray Price) 06. Jim, I Wore A Tie Today (With Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash & Kris Kkristofferson) 07. I Gotta Get Drunk (With George Jones) 08. Reasons To Quit (With Merle Haggard) 09. Seven Spanish Angels (With Ray Charles) 10. Loving You Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) (With Dyan Cannon) 11. You Show Me Yours (And I'll Show You Mine) (With Amy Irving) 12. They All Went To Mexico (With Carlos Santana) 13. Hello Walls (With Faron Young) 14. There Stands The Glass (With Webb Pierce) 15. Heartbreak Hotel (With Leon Russell)
STEVE VAI - Stillness In Motion: Vai Live In L.A. (2015)
Stillness In Motion: Vai Live in L.A. was recorded October 2012 at Club Nokia in LA while Steve was on his two year worldwide Story of Light tour. This live 2CD features new, arresting arrangements of his classic material and fan favorites, including material from his latest album, 2012 s The Story Of Light. If you're a fan, I'm sure that you'll be buying this record anyway but if you're not really familiar with his work but are a fan of very solid compositions with a lot of heartfelt emotion in them, you need this. Don't be mistaken. I do not see Steve Vai as a "shredder" although he can certainly play at any tempo that he wants to, it's his compositional skills that really amaze me and what, to me, separates him from his peers. There is no noodling going on here, each note has impact and meaning. I'm not bagging on any players out there because there are a lot of very talented players making very good and worthy music, but to me, Steve Vai is on another level. Get this! - amazon.com
DISC 1: 01. Intro - Racing The World 02. Velorum 03. Band Intros 04. Building The Church 05. Tender Surrender 06. Gravity Storm 07. Weeping China Doll 08. John The Revelator 09. The Moon And I 10. The Animal 11. Whispering A Prayer
DISC 2: 01. The Audience Is Listening 02. Rescue Me Or Bury Me 03. Sisters 04. Treasure Island 05. Salamanders In The Sun 06. Pusa Road 07. Frank 08. The Ultra Zone 09. Build Me A Song La 10. For The Love Of God 11. Taurus Bulba
LAURENCE JONES - What's It Gonna Be (2015)
All or nothing. For Laurence Jones, it’s an easy choice. In recent times, the hotshot British bandleader has barely stopped for breath. There’s been the release of 2014’s all-conquering second album, Temptation. The triumphant Blues Caravan tour that saw him raise roofs across Europe. The auspicious nod to represent his country at this year’s European Blues Challenge. At this juncture, a less passionate artist might take a rest and count their royalties. No chance. Saviour of the British blues scene is not a position for part-timers, and in 2015, Laurence is back with his stunning third album, What’s It Gonna Be. What’s It Gonna Be. Now there’s a question. If you’ve followed the 23-year-old’s journey so far, from his roots as the hottest guitar gunslinger in Stratford-upon-Avon, through his 2012 breakout with Thunder In The Sky, to his rise with Ruf Records, you might have an inkling of the qualities that will be found on this third album. There’s gonna be white-hot fretwork. Vocals with power and soul. Songwriting that grabs you by the collar. Released in 2015 on Ruf Records, What’s It Gonna Be gives you all of the above. But it gives you more, too, pushing the bandleader’s talent further than ever before. The album sessions might have gone down at the Headline Music Studios in Cambridge, but as a career-long road-warrior whose songwriting antenna is always up, Laurence was channelling inspiration from across the planet when he started tracking in January 2015. “Last year,” he explains of the album’s backstory, “I had the experience of touring around Europe with the Ruf Records Blues Caravan. I got to explore ten different countries and I enjoyed conversations, laughter, smiles and tears with some wonderful people. This album is a collection of emotions and memories from that time.”
TRACKS: 01. What's It Gonna Be 02. Don't Need No Reason 03. Evil 04. Touch Your Moonlight 05. Don't Look Back (feat. Sandi Thom) 06. All I Need 07. Being Alone 08. Good Morning Blues 09. Can't Get Enough (feat. Dana Fuchs) 10. Set It Free 11. Stop Moving The House
LAURENCE JONES, CHRISTINA SKJOLBERG, ALBERT CASTIGLIA - Blues Caravan Live 2014 (2015)
Now in its 10th year, the Ruf Records ‘Blues Caravan 2014' brings together three guitarists from the labels roster – namely fast-rising British player, Laurence Jones; the ‘jewel in the crown’ here, the superb Albert Castiglia, from Florida; and from Scandinavia, Norway’s own Christina Skolberg – over the CD/DVD package they perform a number of their own tunes and some standard covers – the running order slightly differing between the two formats. Recorded just over a year ago, on 9th February, 2014, at Harmonie in Bonn, Germany, the trio of guitarists are backed by the fine rhythm section of Roger Inniss (bass) and Miri Miettinen (drums). As mentioned the three principals share a mix of tunes, mostly from their Ruf releases, and the proceedings get underway with the Laurence Jones-penned tune that is in a way the title cut, “Join Me On The Blues Caravan”, which leads to a three song segment highlighting Christina Skolberg, all written by the lady herself, who made waves with her “Come And Get It” album. Albert Castiglia’s “Solid Ground” was a truly cracking album, and from that we have the storming “Put Some Stank On It” and as covered, The Rolling Stones classic, “Sway” from the “Sticky Fingers” milestone release. The ensemble tackle a couple of chestnuts in Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and both formats close with Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago”. The DVD has a few interesting performances, not on the audio CD, namely some Freddie King in the shape of “Freddie’s Boogie”; the often-covered blues of “Going Down Slow” and the late, great JJ Cale’s “Cocaine”. If you like your blues high-energy, rocky and guitars to the fore, this is for you!
VERNON REID [With Masque] - Discography 1996 - 2006
Vernon Alphonsus Reid is an American guitarist, songwriter, composer, and bandleader. Best known as the founder and primary songwriter of the rock band Living Colour, Reid was named No. 66 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Mistaken Identity (1996): Mistaken Identity is the debut solo album of American guitarist and Living Colour-member Vernon Reid, released in June 1996 on Sony Music-imprint label 550 Music. It features contributions from his backing band Masque, and production was handled by Reid, hip hop producer Prince Paul, and jazz producer Teo Macero. The album's title was inspired by Reid's experience with cultural identity in his life.
Known Unknown (2004): Vernon Reid finally follows up his solo debut with Known Unknown, a mere eight years (!) after Mistaken Identity. The template is basically the same: Reid and his longtime bandmates keyboardist Leon Gruenbaum and bassist Hank Schroy (drummer Marlon Browden is new for this recording) set up deceptively simple little heads and then just throw down. Reid gets some amazingly thick tones out of his guitar, and his playing sounds like no one else. Mistaken Identity was graced with some great clarinet blowing, courtesy of Don Byron. Byron sits out this date (although one of the solos in "Outskirts" sure sounds like clarinet), but that just gives Gruenbaum more room to stretch out. Byron's presence is missed, to be sure, but Gruenbaum turns in some absolutely head-spinning solos, often on his own keyboard invention, the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Chee Peeee. The production is a good bit more straightforward as well: Reid co-produced Known Unknown with engineer Joe Johnson, while the last one was helmed by Reid with Prince Paul and Teo Macero (what a producer lineup!). This album is totally instrumental, whereas the last one had a moment or two with vocals and many samples, and the loopiness and sense of humor Prince Paul brought to the table are largely absent. Interestingly, they try out a couple of covers on this album: Monk's "Brilliant Corners" and Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder," the latter of which is ultimately more successful (it ain't easy doing justice to Monk tunes). DJ Logic joins for "Voodoo Pimp Stroll," one of the album's highlights, along with the beautiful "Time." Known Unknown may not reach the highs of Mistaken Identity, but it's great to hear Vernon Reid's guitar out front again on an all-instrumental album. - allmusic.com
Other True Self (2006): Guitar-centered instrumental albums too often fall prey to the very musical virtuosity they intend to showcase. But ex-Living Colour axman Vernon Reid mostly succeeds here with a democratic musical approach that makes the diverse framework for his typically fluid fretwork often as compelling as the soloing it supports. Abetted by bandmates Leon Gruenbaum (keyboards), Hank Schroy (bass), and new drummer Don McKenzie on this second Masque album (and third Reid solo-oriented project overall), the guitarist explores everything from the space-thrash of the opening "Game is Rigged" and more faithful reggae of "Flatbush and Church Revisited" to unlikely covers of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and Radiohead's "National Anthem." While the guitarist gives unusual creative leeway to his bandmates throughout, Reid claims the album's central theme as his own: a multi-faceted musical autobiography that variously evinces itself on the traditional fusion of "Afrerika," the languorous jazz cool of "G," and the neo-classicism of "Prof. Bebey." - amazon.com
BIG DADDY WILSON - Live in Europe: From Bremen To Paris (2014) & Time (2015)
Champion Jack Dupree, Louisiana Red, Eddie Boyd... many musicians who made Europe their home and brought the blues with them succeeded here better than in the U.S. Even Luther Allison lived in Europe for 14 years before his big break. And now there´s Big Daddy Wilson, an American singer and songwriter who found his home in northern Germany. But something is different regarding Big Daddy Wilson. When he came over from the U.S. there was no blues in his baggage. He initially discovered the blues here in Germany which is where he will begin his international career. With his international solo debut on RUF Records Big Daddy Wilson is going to take one step further in his late career as a musician.
A new album that coming from North Carolina blues singer. This by Eric Bibb and Staffan Astner together with Big Daddy Wilson written and produced album alternates between acoustic and electric blues with strong soul and gospel influences. The guitar work sharing Eric and Staffan and Big Daddy's magical voice gives the whole an irresistible shine.
NIGHTWISH - Endless Forms Most Beautiful [Limited Edition 2CD Digibook] (2015)
The eighth studio long-player from the audacious Finnish symphonic metal outfit, Endless Forms Most Beautiful is also the first Nightwish outing to feature new vocalist Floor Jansen (After Forever, Revamp), who joined the group on the road in 2012 after the mid-tour departure of Anette Olzen. Nightwish has endured numerous lineup changes throughout its nearly 20-year career, but the band's sound has remained remarkably consistent, due in large part to the stabilizing presence of project founder and chief songwriter Tuomas Holopainen, whose overall vision for the band remains unchanged. Endless Forms Most Beautiful, like most Nightwish outings, is a concept album, though unlike 2011's narrative-driven Imaginaerum, it's a loosely conceptual affair that, according to Holopainen, celebrates the "beauty of life, the beauty of existence, nature, science." The title is taken from Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and the reliably opulent (full choir and live orchestra) inaugural cut, "Shudder Before the Beautiful," opens appropriately with a spoken word intro from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. It's a truly majestic piece and an excellent showcase for Jansen, who brings both gravitas and versatility to the table. Whether it's lilting Celtic folk-rock ("Élan"), Enya-esque fantasy-pop ("The Eyes of Sharbat Gula"), or straight-up, anthemic power metal ("My Walden"), she never overplays her hand, but she also never gets lost in the mix, which is impressive considering the swirling cacophony of sound cooked up by Holopainen and crew. Overall, Endless Forms Most Beautiful succeeds despite its strict adherence to the Nightwish formula. It's a well-oiled machine firing on all cylinders, both expansive and familiar, and it's arguably the group's most immediate-sounding record in years.
DISC 1 - Album Version: 01. Shudder Before the Beautiful 02. Weak Fantasy 03. Elan 04. Yours Is an Empty Hope 05. Our Decades in the Sun 06. My Walden 07. Endless Forms Most Beautiful 08. Edema Ruh 09. Alpenglow 10. The Eyes of Sharbat Gula 11. The Greatest Show on Earth
DISC 2 - Instrumental Version: 01. Shudder Before the Beautiful 02. Weak Fantasy 03. Elan 04. Yours Is an Empty Hope 05. Our Decades in the Sun 06. My Walden 07. Endless Forms Most Beautiful 08. Edema Ruh 09. Alpenglow 10. The Eyes of Sharbat Gula 11. The Greatest Show on Earth
SILJE NERGAARD - Be Still My Heart: The Essential (2005) & Chain of Days (2015)
Silje Nergaard is a Norwegian singer and songwriter of International renown. She is without question Norway’s all-time best selling Jazz artist with a total 13 albums released over a career that spans 20 years. From the first moment she entered the music scene at the age of 16, Silje established herself as one of Norway’s strongest songwriters. Her first hit single “Tell Me Where You´re Going” (with Pat Metheny ) was an International chart success, reaching the # 1 position in Japan (where they actually named a wine after her!) and placing in the Top 10 throughout Scandinavia and the UK.Silje´s album “At First Light” is still by far the biggest selling Norwegian Jazz album ever according to the official Norwegian Pop charts. The album entered the VG Pop charts at #1 in the first week of release at the start of the millennium. Silje has recorded and performed her songs with Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Toots Thielemans, John Scofield, Morten Harket (A-ha) and many more.
"Chain Of Days" is a “chain” of 11 songs with no genre-boundaries, carefully put together with a focus on melody. There is a touch of folk, pop, jazz, Norwegian folk-music, country and blues, but all of the songs have Silje Nergaard’s recognizable and distinct signature.
KING KING - Reaching For The Light (2015)
The wait is over. There's no denying the buzz surrounding King King's highly anticipated third studio album, Reaching For The Light. At a time when the shuffled playlist holds sway, along comes nine hot tracks that defy you to press skip. The album is set to rubber-stamp King King's status as the boldest creative force in the game, and dashes the hopes of rivals out to take their crown. "We're really proud of this album," says front man Alan Nimmo. "It's faster, louder, more energetic and more exciting. It's got the potential to blow the roof off." Don't call it a comeback. King King has never been away. Two years may have passed since the Glasgow outfit's all-conquering second album, Standing In The Shadows, established them as pack-leaders of the British scene, but Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards) have barely cooled their heels or left the headlines. There were the five triumphs at the 2014 British Blues Awards (including gongs for Best Album and Best Band). The nods came from top media tastemakers, from DJ Paul Jones to the Classic Rock: Blues Magazine. The blood and thunder of their international headline tours, and recent support slots with John Mayall gave the British blues-boom godfather a tough act to follow.
In 2015, with so many bands seemingly content to settle for transient throwaway pop, Reaching For The Light is real music: an album to soundtrack the good times and soothe you during the bad. Of course, King King will take all the plaudits, sales and awards statuettes you care to sling their way but that s not the objective. "We all want to take this band as far as we can," says Alan. "You want to sell as many albums as possible, and anyone who says they don't enjoy five-star reviews is lying. But most important is that we ve got a great album that people can listen to and enjoy. That's what really matters and that's the truth."
DEB RYDER - Let It Rain (2015)
Los Angeles based singer, songwriter Deb Ryder is best known for her powerhouse vocals, and incredible range. She is receiving acclaim from critics as an up and coming force in the blues industry. Born in Illinois, the family moved to Chicago where Deb was surrounded by the blues of Chicago’s streets and clubs. At a very young age, she was exposed to Jazz, Blues and Gospel by her father, AlSwanson, a local singer, and Chicago music sensation. When the family relocated to Los Angeles, Deb was reintroduced to the blues through neighbor, and friend Bob Hite of the band Canned Heat. Bob and the band regularly performed at Deb’s stepdad’s famous 70’s Rock and Roll club, The Topanga Corral, where she opened nightly for such legends as Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Taj Mahal, Big Joe Turner, Charlie Mussel White, and a long list of blues greats that came for Big Joe Turners weekly blues night . Many of the Blues bands of the 60’s and 70’s were among the regulars who played the Corral. Her main influences include friend and mentor Etta James, Koko Taylor, BB King, and Taj Mahal. Those same influences are recognizable in her vocal and writing style.
TRACKS: 01. That's Just How It Is 02. Can't Go Back Again 03. You Won't Be True 04. Guilty As Sin 05. Cry Another Tear 06. Hold Your Lamp High 07. Money Monsoon 08. Kiss And Dream 09. Let It Rain 10. Ma Misere 11. Round And Around
SHARLEEN SPITERI - Melody (2008) & The Movie Songbook (2010)
Sharleen Eugene Spiteri is a Scottish recording artist and songwriter, and the lead singer of the rock band Texas. In 2013, Texas's worldwide album sales were counted at 35 million.After the release of Texas's 2005 album Red Book the band members confirmed that they would enter a hiatus. Spiteri performed as guest vocalist on Rammstein's "Rosenrot" album. She began work on her debut solo album, working with some of her former band mates. She wrote the vast majority of the tracks on the album. She released her debut solo album Melody on 14 July 2008 with "All The Times I Cried" serving as the album's lead single.
Spiteri released her second solo studio album The Movie Songbook which consists of movie covers chosen by Spiteri herself was released on 1 March 2010. The album's lead single "Xanadu" was released in February 2010, and charted at No. 71 on the UK Singles Chart in March 2010. As for the album, it charted at No. 13 on the UK Album Charts on 7 March 2010, thus becoming Spiteri's second UK Top 40 album as a soloist, and her seventh UK Top 40 album both as a soloist and a member of Texas. To promote the album, she performed in front of 55,000 fans supporting Paul McCartney on his Up and Coming Tour at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
COLIN COOPER PROJECT - From the Vaults (2014)
The late Colin Cooper was a founding member and leader of Climax Blues Band. A great song writer, vocalist, sax player and guitarist, whose distinctive baritone vocals were crucial to the mainstream success of ‘Couldn’t Get it Right’ (1978), a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic. This is a truly rare find - a collection of unreleased tracks recorded between 1995-2008, and taken from tapes completed at Colin's home studios and originally recorded for personal pleasure with no release plans at the time. The selection of music perfectly demonstrates Colin’s unique vocal style, accomplished musicianship and deep knowledge of the music he loved. Some songs even have a spoken introduction, giving a nice, laid-back feel to the Blues flavoured songs presented on this CD. As well as being an essential addition for Climax Blues Band collectors, this is a really pleasant album with tasteful sax, nice guitar work, and Colin’s warm vocals that will delight blues-rock fans.
TRACKS: 01. Cake Walk Into Town 02. Rambling On My Mind 03. Walkin' Blues 04. Sidewalk Hobo 05. Livin' With The Blues 06. Boeuf River Road 07. One Roomed Country Shack 08. It Hurts Me Too 09. I'm Not Downhearted But I'm Getting There 10. Key To The Highway 11. The Family 12. Making Whoopie 13. I Didn't Sleep A Wink Last Night 14. Twenty Four Hours
JOHNNY YOUNG - Chicago Blues (1990)
Johnny Young was an American blues singer, mandolin player and guitarist, significant as one of the first of the new generation of electric blues artists to record in Chicago after the Second World War, and as one of the few mandolin players to have been active in blues music in the post-war era. Young was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and played in string bands in Mississippi in the 1930s. He also claimed to have worked with Sleepy John Estes in Tennessee before moving to Chicago in 1940. By 1943 he was working with John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson and Muddy Waters and in the late 1940s he became a regular player on Maxwell Street, often with his cousin, guitarist Johnny Williams, as well as playing in clubs with Williams and Little Walter. His first recording was made in 1947 for the Ora Nelle label and featured Young singing "Money Taking Woman" on the A-side, accompanied by Williams, who sang "Worried Man Blues" on the B-side. A second session in late 1948, with Young and Williams joined by Snooky Pryor on harmonica, resulted in a single being released under the name "Man Young" on the Planet label. A further session for the J.O.B. label was unissued, and after a session playing guitar behind Snooky Pryor for Vee-Jay Young retired from performance for a time in the 1950s. The rise of white interest in blues in the early 1960s resulted in Young emerging from retirement in 1963, and he recorded for a number of labels including Vanguard, Testament, Arhoolie and Blue Horizon in the 1960s and early 1970s.
TRACKS: 01. Wild, Wild Woman 02. Keep Your Nose Out Of My Business 03. I'm Having A Ball 04. My Trainfare Out Of Town 05. I'm Doing All Right 06. Stealin' 07. Keep On Drinking 08. Hot Dog! 09. Come Early In The Morning 10. Moaning And Groaning 11. Cross-Cut Saw 12. Slam Hammer 13. Strange Girl 14. Ring Around My Heart 15. Sometimes I Cry 16. Don't You Lie To Me 17. On The Road Again 18. Walter's Boogie 19. Stockyard Blues
THUNDER - The Joy of Six [Limited Edition 3 EP Box Set] (2008)
Thunder are an English hard rock band, who originally formed in 1989 when the band Terraplane broke up, leaving lead singer Danny Bowes and guitarist/main songwriter Luke Morley to form a new group, namely Thunder. Retaining Terraplane drummer Gary James (popularly known as 'Harry' James), they completed the line-up with bassist Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst and guitarist/keyboard player Ben Matthews. Though the band's main area of support has remained their homeland of the UK, they also enjoy significant success in Japan.
In late 2008, Thunder released a set of Limited Edition EP's. The first "Six Of One..." was released in 2007, the second "..Half A Dozen Of The Other" was released in early 2008, with the final instalment "The Joy of Six" arriving in Autumn 2008. While "The Joy of Six" CD mounts directly into the presentation box, both of the other EP's come in their own gatefold digipak cases which in turn are stored inside the main box. All of the EP's were available to purchase exclusively through Thunder's online shop, or Townsend Records.
DISC 1 - Six Of One... (2007): 01. Chain Reaction 02. Yesterday's News 03. Midlife Crisis 04. Dirty Dream (Live) 05. What A Beautiful Day (Live) 06. A Million Faces (Live)
DISC 2 - ..Half A Dozen Of The Other (2008): 01. Make My Day 02. Bette Davis Meltdown 03. I Believe 04. Last Man Standing (Live) 05. Chain Reaction (Live) 06. Like A Satellite (Live)
DISC 3 - The Joy of Six (2008): 01. Yesterday's News (Naked Version) 02. See My Baby Walking 03. I Believe (Missionary Position Version) 04. So Sad Today 05. Only You Can Make Me Cry 06. Survivor
TINA DICO - In The Red (2006) & Live With The Danish Chamber Orchestra (2011) & Whispers (2014)
Tina Dico is a Danish singer-songwriter. She founded her own record label and releases her music independently, enjoying large success with her albums in her home country as well as critical acclaim across Europe. She is inspired by artists such as Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. In Denmark she performs both under her real name, Tina Dickow, and under the adopted name Tina Dico as well. Co-vocalist for Zero 7, Tina Dico has created a name for herself based on talent and talent alone. It took her beautiful voice, talented song writing skills, and personal wit to become a big success in her home country of Denmark. Word of the gifted singer spread like wild fire throughout Europe & North America and Tina's first EP, Far, garnered the kind of buzz most artists only ever dream about. One year later, Tina releases her highly anticipated first North American full- length, In the Red, an emotionally honest record, full of finely wrought tunes and riveting, bold choruses.
Live With The Danish Chamber Orchestra was recorded during her five sold-out concerts at the DR Concert Hall in June 2011. Tina Dico played alongside the Danish National Chamber Orchestra and performed amazing versions of songs from across her large and varied catalog; songs like 'Sacre Coeur', 'Heaven and Hell' and 'Count To Ten'. In addition, she played three brand new tracks including the explosive 'True North'. The CD contains 13 tracks.
When we whisper, we do so to conceal secrets; to deliver sultry messages to lovers that no one else present can hear, or use hushed tones to prevent disturbance. Why Tina Dico‘s latest studio album has been given this name is not, at first, entirely obvious. It does not whisper, but creeps and broods in its darkness, and rather than shying away it confidently pronounces. However, what it does do is confide its secrets. It feels at once like a very complete, mature piece of work that is also incredibly personal in the tales it tells. It explores the many shades of light and dark that accompany relationships, with love forming the foundations and focal point of this beautiful album.
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