JIMMY BOWSKILL & CARLOS DEL JUNCO - Blues, Etc... (2016)
Carlos del Junco is a Cuban-Canadian harmonica musician.He specializes in playing the ten hole diatonic harmonica. He was taught to play chromatically by using an "overblow" technique taught to him by Howard Levy, a jazz virtuoso. In 1993, he won two gold medals at the Hohner World Harmonica Championship held in Trossingen, Germany. He was judged world's best in both the diatonic blues category and the diatonic jazz category.
Mr. Bowskill, a multi-talented, young man hailing from Bailieboro, has been entertaining crowds with his incredibly advanced bluesy guitar riffs since he was 11 years old. His first CD, ‘Old Soul’, in 2003, reflected his youthful talent and strong, rich vocals. His second CD, ‘Soap Bars and Dog Ears’, was nominated for a Juno when he was 13, making him the youngest individual to be nominated for the award. Mr. Bowskill has toured Canada and Europe for years. He had the opportunity to play with two premier guitar players, Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa, in Germany, billed as the Three Js. He has opened for Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Wishbone Ash. Currently, he is based in Port Hope and performs regularly with his band, The Jimmy Bowskill Band.
Nominated for Maple Leaf Blues Awards 2016 Acoustic Act of The Year and Harmonica Player of The Year. A dose of roots, country and pop infused blues from two masters of their craft.
TRACKS: 01. Beale St. Toodle-Oo 02. Roll Away The Stone 03. Everybody Knows 04. Heaven's Where You'll Dwell 05. If I Called Your Name 06. Confidence Man 07. Can't Lose 08. Hug You (Live) 09. Spike Driver Blues 10. The Blues Don't Like Nobody (Live)
JOHN ENTWISTLE - Smash Your Head Against The Wall (1971) & Whistle Rymes (1972) 
Smash Your Head Against the Wall is the debut solo album by John Entwistle of The Who, released on Track Records. Its strange cover strangely resembles an Egyptian sarcophagus - but it is in fact Entwistle wearing a death mask while looking through the chest X-ray of a lung cancer patient. a parody of anti-smoking advertisements of the era.The album itself offers a more downbeat and aggressive view of life than even the Who had to offer at their most pessimistic, as witnessed in the title track (aka "My Size"), the hazy rocker "Heaven And Hell" (which features some sterling acid guitar riffing by Cyrano Langston) and the closing track, "I Believe In Everything", which ends with a seemingly impromptu chorus of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", to end a sometimes uncompromising album on an unexpectedly happy note. Who bandmate Pete Townshend once said about the album, "We learned more about John from him making an album than we did in all the years he'd ever played bass with us", a reference to both his quiet demeanor and his then-mostly unknown capabilities as a songwriter. Keith Moon, Vivian Stanshall and Neil Innes all make guest appearances.
Whistle Rymes is the second solo album by John Entwistle, bassist for British rock band The Who. The album's title pokes fun at a common misspelling of Entwistle's surname. Several of the tracks give a humorous look on domestic life, following the birth of Entwistle's son, Christopher. "Ten Little Friends" was written on piano at John Entwistle's Ealing home studio and sprang from a bout of writer's block. The title comes from a set of troll figures given to him by the Who's Keith Moon. The track features a guitar solo from Peter Frampton. As well as his usual bass guitar, Entwistle also plays bass synthesizer. Whistle Rymes is described by Allmusic as having a catchy, straightforward, pop-tinged rock with dark, often bitingly sarcastic lyrics.
JOHN ENTWISTLE - Thunderfingers: The Best Of (1996)
John Entwistle (1944 - 2002) was an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician, film and music producer. In a music career that spanned more than 40 years, Entwistle was best known as the original bass guitarist for the English rock band The Who. He was the only member of the band to have formal musical training. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Who in 1990. Entwistle's instrumental approach used pentatonic lead lines, and a then-unusual treble-rich sound ("full treble, full volume") created by roundwound RotoSound steel bass strings. He was nicknamed "The Ox" and "Thunderfingers," the latter because his digits became a blur across the four-string fretboard. In 2011, he was voted as the greatest bass guitarist of all time in a Rolling Stone magazine reader's poll. According to The Biography Channel, Entwistle is considered by many to be the best rock bass guitarist that ever lived, and is considered to have done for the bass what Jimi Hendrix did for the guitar.
TRACKS:01. My Size 02. Pick Me Up (Big Chicken) 03. What Are We Doing Here 04. You're Mine 05. I Believe In Everything 06. Who Cares 07. Thinkin' It Over 08. I Wonder 09. Apron Strings 10. The Window Shopper 11. I Found Out 12. I Fell Better 13. Made In Japan 14. Roller Skate Kate 15. Mad Dog 16. Drowning 17. Fallen Angel 18. Too Late The Hero
THE DOORS - London Fog 1966 (2016)
Previously unreleased and not even known to exist until recently, this marks the earliest recordings of the band and finds the quartet mixing blues covers with early versions of Doors originals.
London Fog 1966 is the first of many special activities and releases coming to celebrate The Doors’ 50th Anniversary in 2017.
Along with the unreleased music, the set is packed with memorabilia and historic liner notes to provide a true time capsule of that fabled night at the London Fog, including a postcard, the set list handwritten by John Densmore, a program for the Royce Hall UCLA student film screening, plus a London Fog coaster. There are also liner notes included from Sunset Strip legend Ronnie Haran-Mellen, who was the talent booker at the Whisky a Go Go. Haran-Mellen saw The Doors live for the first time at the London Fog and then booked them as the permanent house band at the Whisky, leading to the band’s signing to Elektra and meteoric rise to superstardom. During their residency at the London Fog, The Doors frequently worked out new songs on stage that would eventually appear on various studio albums. At this show, the band played two originals. The first, “Strange Days,” would become the title track for the band’s second studio album, which also came out in 1967. This is one of the only known live recordings of this track. The other Doors original, “You Make Me Real,” wasn’t officially released on a studio album until Morrison Hotel in 1970.
TRACKS: 01. Tuning (I) 02. Rock Me 03. Baby Please Don't Go 04. You Make Me Real 05. Tuning (II) 06. Don't Fight It 07. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man 08. Strange Days 09. Lucille
ESSRA MOHAWK - Primordial Lovers (1970) & Essra Mohawk (1974) 
Essra Mohawk (born Sandra Elayne Hurvitz) is an American singer-songwriter who has recorded a dozen albums, many receiving critical acclaim. In addition to releasing several critically acclaimed solo albums, she has collaborated with Al Jarreau, Bonnie Bramlett, Al Stewart, Narada Michael Walden, and Keb' Mo'; provided background vocals for John Mellencamp, Jerry Garcia, and Kool & the Gang; and written songs for Cyndi Lauper and Tina Turner. She released her first single, "The Boy with the Way" with B-side "Memory of Your Voice," on Liberty Records in 1964, under the name Jamie Carter. She later declined several offers of staff writerships, although the Shangri-Las and Vanilla Fudge began recording her material.
Primordial Lovers, is a 1970 rock album by Essra Mohawk. In 1977 Primordial Lovers was listed as one of the "25 All Time Best Albums" by Rolling Stone Magazine. In 2000 the album was re-released by Rhino Handmade as a 22 track collection, combining the original album with a non-album single, "Jabberwock Song", and the 1974 follow-up album, Essra Mohawk.The original 1970 Reprise issue of the album included a 20-page booklet with the album's song lyrics. In 2010 the original album was reissued by Collector's Choice with five extra tracks.
Mohawk’s self-titled third album may be her most conventional. She covers the George Gershwin “Summertime” in a bluesy way, and only one of the 11 original tracks clocks in at more than four minutes, and that one (“I Cannot Forget”) is only four minutes and 24 seconds long. The lyrics are more sedate as well, frequently about love between a man and a woman. Yet Mohawk still takes risks and sings the odd lyrics about life and death, nature and transcendence, faith and reason, etc. The Elektra album comes off as quirky (“My right hand has six fingers”) more than weird.
CHRIS WILSON & GEOFF ACHISON - Box Of Blues (2012)
01. Further On Up The Road
02. In The Midnight Hour
03. Long Distance Call
05. Boogie-Woogie Country Girl
06. Walking To My Baby
07. Messin' With The Kid
08. You Don't Have To Go
09. Baby What You Want Me To Do
10. Walking Blues
Two of Melbourne's premier blues / roots acts team up for a jam session of enormous proportions. Geoff Achison is a musician of remarkable ability with fans all over the world. Having taught himself to play in the isolation of rural Australia, he has developed a blues / funk style all his own that can be delicate one moment and explosive the next. Chris Wilson, meanwhile, is an accomplished blues harmonica player, guitarist and vocalist. He's shared stages with Bob Dylan, provided backing vocals on the Merril Bainbridge song Under The Water and has toured extensively playing at many festivals, both in Australia and overseas.
GEOFF ACHISON - Chasing My Tail (2002)
Australian based guitar maestro Geoff Achison's album Chasing My Tail featuring more of the same recipe that has won him fans around the world. Here he presents a fresh batch of original songs, bluesy rave-ups and a couple of old favourites too. Achison has been a key player on the Melbourne blues scene for some years now but has more recently been wooing them in the USA and Britain. Closer to home, Geoff was recently honoured as an Official Patron of the Frankston International Guitar Festival. The choice of music for the new album has largely come from audience requests. Featuring his world famous Souldiggers, the Horns From Hell and Classically Blue Strings this album showcases the variety of working combos Acho has found himself making music with over the past few years. JB Hi Fi, the national music retailer chain in Oz sums it up: "After a couple of live albums break, Geoff Achison returns with what could be considered a sampler disc of all his current musical states of mind. From acoustic-based blues to (almost) New Orleans Jazz/Blues, this works from one end to the other without any hiccups along the way... Those of you who know the man's talents will need no more encouragement..."
TRACKS: 01. Chance 02. Kerry Lou 03. You And I 04. Begging Bowl 05. Find Yourself A Fool 06. Chasing My Tail 07. Me And My Baby 08. Reason To Live 09. Let It Happen 10. Kissing Angels 11. Whipping Post 12. All The Way
BOBBY RADCLIFF - Freaking Me Out! (2011)
"Freaking Me Out" is the 2011 released brainchild of New York City blues man Bobby Radcliff, who has released a string of consistently stellar blues albums in the past. This is his first album of all-original music, penned by Radcliff himself. Bobby Radcliff has a very distinct style of playing and singing the blues, which has been inspired in large part by the late great Magic Sam of Chicago but essentially has become Bobby's very own sound signature in an inimitable and personal way. Of course, all of the best blues are personal, and when Bobby plays and sings the blues, it's hard to get any more personal than that. Come to his live show, and you'll see what I mean. It doesn't hurt also that Bobby Radcliff is easily one of the world's best guitar players and a very strong and spirited singer. Combine with that Bobby's penchant for spontaneity and high-voltage intensity, and you have yourself a wicked, wicked musician in Bobby Radcliff. With this album, Bobby has charted a new direction toward the more raw, unfiltered, and edgy compared to his previous efforts. This album is also recorded "live in studio" using vintage tube equipment like his previous "Natural Ball" album, but "Freaking Me Out" is decidedly more personal, decidedly more in your face, and decidedly more biting.
TRACKS: 01. Invisible Man 02. Quake 03. Indiana Woman 04. San Francisco Drive 05. Black Hearted Woman 06. Picking On Me 07. Bad Dreams 08. Rub A Dub 09. Tango Whip 10. Emergency Room 11. Billy's Nocturne 12. Quake (Alt) 13. Invisible Man (Alt) 14. San Francisco Drive (Alt) 15. Indiana Woman (Alt) 16. Emergency Room (Alt)
THE WHO - My Generation (1965) [5CD Box Set, 2016]
In the half century since its release The Who’s debut album My Generation has lost none of it’s raw visceral power and still stands as the ultimate musical declaration of teenage rebellion. The title track alone has been covered innumerable times by the likes of Oasis, Green Day, Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden amongst many more.
During a break in touring in 2015 Pete Townshend discovered tapes in his audio archive featuring previously unheard demos for the album which also included three totally unreleased songs that the other members of The Who hadn’t ever even heard, ‘The Girls I Could Have Had’, ‘As Children We Grew’ and ‘My Own Love’.
The spectacular 79-track five disc Super Deluxe Edition of My Generation features these unheard songs as well as unreleased demos, unreleased alternate mixes, new remasters and a stereo remix which was created using new overdubs from Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. For this mix Pete used exactly the same guitars and amps as the original album and Roger used the same type of microphone.
BOBBY RUSH - Porcupine Meat (2016)
Bobby Rush has been making records for just short of half a century, and if he hasn't become a household name, he's certainly the king of his own particular hill. Rush's wild mixture of soul, blues, and funk, along with his vivid and sometimes raunchy storytelling, has made him the leading star on the modern chitlin circuit, playing working-class nightspots in primarily African-American communities in the South and Midwest. Rush is a showman with plenty of swagger, a tough but effective vocal style, and a gift for putting his own breed of down-home surrealism to classic blues and R&B tropes. Ever since he was prominently featured in the PBS documentary series Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues - A Musical Journey in 2003, Rush's visibility among blues fans has been on the rise, and 2016's Porcupine Meat, his first album for Rounder Records, sounds like an effort to make Rush a bit more palatable to mainstream blues fans. Thankfully, producer Scott Billington has given Rush's music a new level of studio polish without robbing him of his personality or his signature sound, and if he's paired Rush up with a few guest stars (including Joe Bonamassa and Keb' Mo'), he's also put together a studio band that navigates his deeply Southern sound with a strong but easy groove. On numbers like "Nighttime Gardener," "Catfish Stew," and the title cut, Rush's adventures with the opposite sex are as crazy as ever (especially when he compares a woman to "Porcupine Meat" - "too fat to eat, too lean to throw away"). When Rush takes on more straight-ahead blues material like "Got Me Accused" and "I'm Tired," he's got a stubborn fire that sets him apart from most folks trading in the 12-bar. And on "I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around" and "Funk o' de Funk," Rush cuts a dancefloor-filling groove that's especially impressive coming from a man of 83. Porcupine Meat isn't Bobby Rush at his strongest or wildest, but as a piece of record-making, it's one of his best albums in ages, and hardly sounds like the work of a man who has been doing this since the mid-'60s - it's fresh, funky, and fun.
TRACKS: 01. I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around 02. Porcupine Meat 03. Got Me Accused 04. Snake In The Grass 05. Funk O De Funk 06. Me, Myself And I (Featuring Joe Bonamassa) 07. Catfish Stew 08. It's Your Move (Featuring Dave Alvin) 09. Nighttime Gardener (Featuring Keb Mo) 10. I Think Your Dress Is Too Short 11. Standing On Shaky Ground 12. I'm Tired (Tangle Eye Mix)
GARY JEFFRIES - Middle Class Man (2011)
If you like good ole mule kickin' Southern Rock, you will love Gary Jeffries first solo album, "Middle Class Man". This is his 9th CD release since his days with Virgin Records as lead vocalist for hard rock band, Asphalt Ballet, in the early 1990s. The band's popularity soared on MTV: "Soul Survive" was indoctrinated to MTVs Wall of Fame for being the undefeated music video winner of Headbangers Ball; and videos "Tuesday's Rain" and "Unlucky, Mr. Lucky", also did quite well. Upon leaving Asphalt Ballet, Gary moved back to Monroe, Louisiana and started gigging throughout the South, staying very busy with his music. However, he couldn't stay away from Los Angeles, and returned to record album, "Real Deal" with Southern rockers, The Regulators, a band that played in front of 14,000 bikers at Sturgis, a popular campground in Buffalo Chips. Gary later released three CDs with Alligator Stew, a group that recorded "First Taste Of", "Alligator Stew" and "Monticello Live", and hailed as a band as having produced some of the best Southern Rock music heard in years. But, this time around, Gary decided to take a little flavor from all his years, including a few of his all time favorites to make one of the best heart felt, hard hittin' Southern rockin' albums of the times, "Middle Class Man". Ya gotta get this one.
TRACKS: 01. Free 02. Heaven Winds Blow 03. Middle Class Man 04. Ash Top Ashes 05. Know Ya Too Well 06. Blood On The Highway 07. Flowers On My Grave 08. Mississippi Girl 09. Free My Soul 10. Bad Moon Rising 11. Southern Pride 12. Free In Heaven
THE DOORS - Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (1972) 
Originally released in 1972, this gold-certified double album was the first compilation to be released after Jim Morrison's death in 1971. The Doors now make their legendary, long out-of-print compilation Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine available for the first time as a 2-CD set. The 22 songs that appear on the collection provide a wide-ranging introduction to the music recorded between 1967-71 by the original quartet, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison. The band's longtime engineer Bruce Botnick remastered the music heard on this reissue, which takes its title from a lyric in "The End. " Mixing familiar cuts and deep tracks from six studio albums, Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine touches on everything from hits like "Break On Through" and "Love Her Madly" to unexpected delights like "The Spy" from Morrison Hotel and "Running Blue" from The Soft Parade. Adding yet another dimension to the album's track list is the inclusion of two stellar b-sides: "Who Scared You" which appeared in March 1969 as the flipside to "Wishful Sinful, " and a cover of Willie Dixon's " (You Need Meat) Don t Go No Further" which was paired with the smash "Love Her Madly" in 1971.
THE DOORS - L.A. Woman (1971) [40th Anniversary Edition, 2011]
The Doors' final album with Jim Morrison in the lineup is by far their most blues-oriented, and the singer's poetic ardor is undiminished, though his voice sounds increasingly worn and craggy on some numbers. Actually, some of the straight blues items sound kind of turgid, but that's more than made up for by several cuts that rate among their finest and most disturbing work. The seven-minute title track was a car-cruising classic that celebrated both the glamour and seediness of Los Angeles; the other long cut, the brooding, jazzy "Riders on the Storm," was the group at its most melodic and ominous. It and the far bouncier "Love Her Madly" were hit singles, and "The Changeling" and "L'America" count as some of their better little-heeded album tracks. An uneven but worthy finale from the original quartet. [Rhino's double-disc 40th Anniversary Edition of the Doors' final album, L.A. Woman, may not have the two bonus cuts from the 2007 reissue of the record - "Orange County Suite" and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further" - but it does have a full disc of bonus material, including alternate takes of every one of the album's ten songs, plus the unreleased original "She Smells So Nice" and a cover of Muddy Waters' "Rock Me." Neither of the new discoveries feels finished - there's little polish on the cover, while "She Smells So Nice" seems invented as the Doors play -- but the charm of this edition is that the unreleased material is considerably looser than the finished album. Given that there are no great differences in either arrangements or lyrics -- almost none on the former, nothing notable on the latter - it is the general vibe of these rough run-throughs that counts, as each alternate take amplifies the comfortably assured virility that is L.A. Woman's calling card.]
DISC 1: 01. The Changeling 02. Lover Her Madly 03. Been Down So Long 04. Cars Hiss By My Window 05. L.A. Woman 06. L'america 07. Hyacinth House 08. Crawling King Snake 09. The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) 10. Riders On The Storm
DISC 2 - Previously Unissued: 01. The Changeling [Alternate Version] 02. Love Her Madly [Alternate Version] 03. Cars Hiss By My Window [Alternate Version] 04. L.A. Woman [Alternate Version] 05. The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) [Alternate Version] 06. Been Down So Long [Alternate Version] 07. Riders On The Storm [Alternate Version] 08. She Smells So Nice 09. Rock Me
HEART & THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - Live at The Royal Albert Hall (2016)
Making their first live appearance at London’s Royal Albert Hall in June 2016 to a sold-out crowd, Heart was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who added further depth and epic scale to the band’s songs. The set included hits, fan favorites and both new and reinterpreted tracks from their most recent album Beautiful Broken. The Line-Up for this special show features Ann Wilson (Vocals); Nancy Wilson (Guitar & Vocals); Ben Smith (Drums); Dan Rothchild (Bass); Craig Bartock (Guitar); Chris Joyner (Keyboards) and, of course, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nick Davies. As a Bonus Feature, this release includes an interview with the band. The chemistry between band and orchestra, that Live At The Royal Albert Hall With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra captures, added a truly magical quality to a concert that will live long in the memory of those Heart fans lucky enough to be present.
The show on 29th June was Nancy and Ann Wilson’s first ever performance at the world-famous London venue and they were backed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
CHRIS THOMPSON - Chris Thompson (1973)
The tiny British label Village Thing put out some of the finest U.K. folk releases of the early ‘70s, with a roster including Wizz Jones, Steve Tilston, and Ian A. Anderson (not to be confused with the Jethro Tull frontman). But even for Village Thing, whose initial runs were only a couple of thousand copies per album, Chris Thompson's debut album was a little-seen obscurity. It's been estimated that only about 1,000 copies of the 1973 recording were made, and that all but 100 were destroyed as part of some kind of tax scam. This was unfortunate both for Thompson, a New Zealander whose guitar talents had made him a favorite on the London folk scene, and for fans of the music. Fortunately, the album was subsequently reissued on CD on the U.S. label Scenescof, but the later repackaging on Sunbeam went a step further by pairing the original album with a whole extra disc of bonus material. Early-‘70s London was not exactly lacking for phenomenal folk guitarists, but even amid the likes of Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, et al, Thompson must have stood out. His fretboard expertise is the most immediately striking aspect of the album: his fingerpicking technique rivals that of anyone on the scene at the time, and on stand-out tracks like "Her Hair Was Long" (which was wisely repurposed a couple of years later on Thompson's major-label debut), the New Zealander achieves an intensity of tone that only an artist like Jansch could match. Thompson is sometimes tossed under the psych-folk umbrella, and the striking opening cut, the instrumental "Hugo Spellman," certainly falls into that category, taking on a raga feel with help from members of Magic Carpet on Indian instruments. But for the most part, this is a relatively straightforward outing typical of the Village Thing catalog, incorporating some traditional blues and folk influences but mostly striking a distinctly ‘70s singer/songwriter tone. And despite the focus on Thompson's fleet-fingered instrumental capabilities, he comes off as a skilled songwriter as well, with more lyrically oriented tunes like "Don't Be Afraid" and "Dream" comparing favorably with the work of any of his aforementioned peers.
THE ROLLING STONES - Saint Of Me (1998)
"Saint of Me" is a single by The Rolling Stones from their 1997 album Bridges to Babylon. Mick Jagger sings about various people in history who had converted to Christianity, notably St. Paul and St. Augustine. Jagger then states that they will never make a saint out of him. The song is notable for its performers. With Jagger on vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards, Waddy Wachtel and Ron Wood play electric guitars (Keith Richards is notably absent), Me'Shell Ndegéocello and Pierre de Beauport on bass and six-string bass, respectively, and Stones-recording veteran Billy Preston on organ. "Saint of Me" reached #26 in the UK and #94 in the US. The track also reached #13 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks. A recording from the Bridges to Babylon Tour can be found on the 1998 live album No Security. The B-side, "Anyway You Look at It", is a ballad and appears on the Rarities 1971 - 2003 compilation, released in 2005.
TRACKS: 01. Saint Of Me (Single Edit) 02. Anyway You Look At It 03. Gimme Shelter (Live) 04. Saint Of Me (Deep Dish Club Mix) 05. Saint Of Me (Todd Terry Extended Remix)
CHICAGO - Chicago at Carnegie Hall (1971) [Remastered & Expanded, 2005]
The band winds its way through muscular versions of the epic "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon," "Travel Suite," as well as lengthy renderings of deeper cuts such as "South California Purples," "Fancy Colours," and the ten-minute-plus opening "In the Country." One of the set's most notable highlights is the politically charged "For Richard and His Friends." The lengthy and well-jammed-out cut is both groovy and propulsive. However, the acoustics at Carnegie Hall are quite frankly not (and really never have been) properly suited for heavily amplified music. While the percussion and electric guitars are clearly audible, the woodwind and brass section come off sounding extremely thin and devoid of any real timbre. This is unfortunate, as a primary component of the band is the contrasting textures between the two. Enthusiasts seeking a much more sonically accurate portrait should by whatever means necessary locate the Live in Japan 1972 two-CD set -- which also includes tracks from Chicago's fifth effort.
Rhino released a deluxe edition of At Carnegie Hall in 2005. The mini-box set contains a remastered version of the quadruple album spread out over three CDs, plus a disc of unreleased material from the concerts. Reproductions of the three posters included in the original set are included, along with a 36-page booklet that includes new liner notes, the original artwork, plus a list of all the concerts Chicago played between 1967 and 1971.
NEIL YOUNG - Peace Trail (2016)
The 21st century revived Neil Young's radical spirit and, along with it, his sense of musical adventure. These two strands converge on Peace Trail, a rickety record written and cut in the wake of his 2016 live album, Earth. Neil wrote Peace Trail quickly and recorded it even faster, pushing through ten songs in four days with the support of ace drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell. According to Bushnell, most of the album consists of first or second takes but Peace Trail sounds like it entirely comprises rehearsal tapes, with the rhythm section lagging behind as they follow Young's basic chord changes. In form, almost all of the ten songs are folky protest numbers but Neil slashes through his hippie haze with shards of overamplified harmonica, guitar squalls, and vocoders, the modern world intruding on his melancholy reveries and subdued anger. It's interesting aesthetically, but the problem with Peace Trail isn't the concept, it's the execution. Intended as a musical bulletin ŕ la "Ohio" or Living with War, Peace Trail is filled with songs about its precise moment in time -- "Indian Givers" is about the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline, "Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders" concerns rampant xenophobia -- but the execution is so artless it veers toward indifference. Young's songs are so simple they feel jejune and the performances are intentionally ragged, with Keltner and Bushnell stumbling through rhythms as if they're learning the songs as they're being recorded. To compound the oddness, the production by Young and John Hanlon is deliberately scattered with sound effects, displaying a flair assembled with more care than either the album's composition or recording. All this adds up to one of Neil Young's genuinely strange albums, a record that's compelling in its series of increasingly bad decisions.
V.A. - The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music (2016)
The Musical Mojo of Dr. John 2 disc live recording captures a star-studded concert at New Orleans' Saenger Theatre, with Dr. John joined by a stunningly diverse assortment of notable guest artists, who perform 22 songs written, recorded and/or popularized by Dr. John during his prolific six-decade career, honoring his large and still-growing musical legacy.
The performers include Bruce Springsteen, who duets with Dr. John on the 1973 smash 'Right Place Wrong Time'; Jason Isbell, who delivers a heartfelt 'Blow Wind Blow'; John Fogerty, who performs the raucous Crescent City anthem 'New Orleans'; Mavis Staples, who brings gospel fervor to 'Lay My Burden Down'; Widespread Panic, who lend musical muscle to 'Familiar Reality'; and Ryan Bingham, who delivers a haunting 'Back by the River.'
Fittingly, The Musical Mojo of Dr. John also features memorable performances by several New Orleans legends, including Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Terence Blanchard, John Boutté, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste of the Meters, and Aaron, Charles and Cyril Neville. Bassist Don Was served as the project's musical director, leading an all-star house band that also included Allman Brothers Band/Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, renowned NOLA pianist John Gros, Funky Meters guitarist Brian Stoltz and journeyman drummer Kenny Aronoff, as well as Dr. John's longstanding musical compatriot, trombonist Sarah Morrow.
SYD BARRETT - Crazy Diamond [The Complete Recordings] (1993)
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (6 January 1946 - 7 July 2006) was an English musician, composer, singer-songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band. Barrett was excluded from Pink Floyd in April 1968 after David Gilmour took over as their new guitarist, and was briefly hospitalised amid speculation of mental illness.
A three-CD box set that enshrines Barrett's complete recorded legacy as a solo artist. Besides including his two 1970 albums, this collection includes the 1989 compilation of unreleased material, Opel. The chief attraction of this set for Barrett fans is no less than 19 previously unreleased alternate takes from throughout his quite brief solo career. All of those alternate takes, it's important to note, are alternate versions of songs that appear on the three previously available albums; no entirely unheard compositions were unearthed. Nonetheless, these alternate takes are more interesting listening than you might expect, for a couple of reasons. First, Barrett was so mercurial (and occasionally unfocused) in the studio that it was difficult to get him to play a song the same way twice. Second, the alternate takes are usually starker and more acoustic in nature than the official versions; they're not better, but have interesting different slants. With some of the songs repeated two, three, or even four times, this is definitely for the hardcore fan. But it's a beautifully produced document, with a meticulously detailed booklet, of a uniquely primitive visionary, and has many moments of charming and chilling power. It includes everything salvageable that he produced, with the exception of the Peel Sessions. It doesn't match his work with the original Pink Floyd, but the music continues to influence and be emulated (most notably by Robyn Hitchcock), though never equaled.
WILLIE NELSON - For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price (2016)
Willie Nelson joined Ray Price's Cherokee Cowboys in 1961, the first step in a lifelong friendship between the two men. From that point on, the pair never fell out of touch. At the height of his superstardom in 1980, Nelson cut a duet album with Price called San Antonio Rose, the first of three joint efforts they'd cut over the years. Whenever the pair got together, they'd sing the old songs, Western swing standards and honky tonk classics from the '50s and '60s - the songs that form the core of For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, a salute Willie delivered three years after Price's 2013 death. Supported by producer Fred Foster and arranger Bergen White - a duo who also were friends with Price and completed his final album, Beauty Is - Nelson doesn't make any attempt to freshen up these songs, which is the album's charm. Nelson salutes every phase of Ray's career, reviving the lush Nashville strings of Price's early-'70s hits in addition to the dry, dusty Texas two-steps and Ray Price shuffles. All of these sounds are considered traditional from the vantage of 2016 and, in effect, For the Good Times extends the tradition, not through reinvention but rather adherence. Nelson has been singing these songs all of his life, recording them several times a decade, but instead of seeming recycled, For the Good Times underscores how the song may remain the same but the singer does not. Nelson is showing his age -- his voice is leathery and tattered, much thinner than it was just ten years ago -- and yet that's part of the point of the album. Willie sang these songs with Ray and now that Price is gone, Nelson sings them a little differently, his love and melancholy accentuating his weathered voice. It makes for an affectionate and bittersweet album, one that is a fitting tribute to a lifelong friend.
TRACKS: 01. Heartaches By The Number 02. I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) 03. Faded Love 04. It Always Will Be 05. City Lights 06. Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me 07. Make The World Go Away 08. I'm Still Not Over You 09. Night Life 10. Crazy Arms 11. Invitation To The Blues 12. For The Good Times
WILLIE NELSON - And Then I Wrote (1962) [Remastered & Expanded 2016]
Willie Nelson is one of the most versatile, enduring, and influential talents in country music. As a vocal stylist, songwriter, bandleader, and even occasional movie actor, Nelson's long commercial reign has been outstripped only by his boundless energy as a performer and songwriter. Since the mid-1950s, his recorded output has been so vast as to confound all but the most dedicated discographers. This essential release presents Nelson's underrated debut LP, “… And Then I Wrote.” The album was originally issued in 1962 by the Liberty label and has been long unavailable on CD. It features a number of his songs that were made famous by other performers, such as the memorable “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and “Hello Walls.” In addition to the original masterpiece, this remastered collector's CD also contains 15 bonus tracks, consisting of hard-to-find sides released by Liberty, and small imprints like Starday, D-Records and Rx, during the same early period. This set offers listeners the opportunity to hear the foundations of one of the most important heroes of country music.
DEREK AND THE DOMINOS - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
[4 CDs Super Deluxe Edition, 2011]
Extremely limited box set containing the expanded two CD edition of the Layla... album, the remastered double disc edition of Derek And The Dominos: In Concert, an audio-only DVD featuring DTS 5.1 and Dolby Surround 5.1 versions of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, mixed by legendary engineer Elliot Scheiner, a double 180gm vinyl reproduction of the original album, a hardcover book, artfully designed with rare and never-seen photographs, and featuring four meticulously researched essays and facsimiles of Derek And The Dominos concert tickets and various promotional items, including the famous "Derek is Eric" button. Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of this ground-breaking 1970 album. Derek & The Dominos were the almost fictional group recruited by Eric Clapton which came together during the sessions for George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album in 1970. The band released only this one studio album in December 1970, which has been re-evaluated since its release and is now regarded as one of Clapton's finest recordings and is often considered to be the defining achievement of Clapton's career. The album melded an astounding collection of musical styles - Blues, Folk, R&B and Rock - into one timeless package. It consistently appears in listings of the best rock albums ever recorded, and was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000 and continuous to be noticed by critics. This deluxe edition features six exciting performances from what was to be Derek And The Dominos' second album plus all four audio performances from Derek And The Domino's sole, historic television appearance on The Johnny Cash Show, November 9, 1970. Also features two tracks produced by Phil Spector in early summer 1970 and the outtake "Mean Old World". - amazon.com
SCOTT WALKER + SUNN O))) - Soused (2014)
Soused is unlike any previous Scott Walker recording for two reasons. First, it's a complete collaboration with the doom drone duo Sunn 0))); second, it, unlike any of his albums since 1984's Climate of Hunter, requires no previous context for appreciation. While these five tracks are undeniably "heavy," as a whole the music is more conventionally "melodic" than one would anticipate from this pairing. Sunn 0)))'s Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley add their third guitarist, Tos Nieuwenhuizen, while Walker is again assisted by longtime associate keyboardist and sound sculptor Peter Walsh, with an unusually small cast of players. "Brando" kicks off with bright keyboards and Nieuwenhuizen playing lead lines straight out of '80s pop-metal. Walker's baritone erupts like he's singing musical theater: "Ah the wide Missouri/Dwellers on the bluff/Across the wide Missouri..." before his centered denouement admits "...No, never enough...." Sunn 0)))'s overdriven power drones, a bass drum, and the sound of cracking bullwhips enter before Walker intones: "A beating would do me a world of good." The fractured imagistic narrative unfolds lyrically and sonically, juxtaposing pastoral nature with violence as the language of exchange in power and submission, religiously and carnally. In "Herod 2014," Walker addresses one of his favorite topics: totalitarianism. He uses the New Testament narrative of the slaughter of innocents as a metaphor for the endgame of state paranoia. Amid distorted and detuned angular guitar drones are massive throbbing keyboard and drum effects and a lone bell. Though sometimes nearly drowned in the mix, the bell is constant -- the mother's voice protecting her children. "Bull"'s atonal guitars squall onto a wall of sine-wave hum, feedback, Moog, bleating trumpet, and voices in dynamic textural shifts. It's dangerously, deliciously close to heavy metal. "Lullaby" is the most abstract thing here, yet its recurring sectional themes are easy to accommodate. A limited palette of sonic colors creates a frame for doomy, droning, and stinging metallic guitar riffs, dissonant and melodic keyboard effects, and programmed drums. Throughout the set, Walker's lyrics are more than poetic devices; they're textural and sonic elements that add dimension to his singing. As defined here, "Soused" accurately means "drenched" in sound. Walker's and Sunn 0)))'s individual identities, while always on full display, are brought jaggedly and thunderously together in an enthralling recording that equals the sum of its mighty parts.
TRACKS: 01. Brando (Dwellers On The Bluff) 02. Herod 2014 03. Bull 04. Fetish (Flip'n'zip) 05. Lullaby
JIMI HENDRIX - Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12-31-1969 (2016)
Well, this is something serious Hendrix collectors have been waiting for. Band of Gypsys famously played a total of four shows 12/31/69 and 1/1/70 at the Fillmore East (two shows each night). This is the complete first set from the first night; their debut live show. Although the original Band of Gypsys album was compiled from the second night, it wasn't because there weren't amazing performances to choose from on the first night. The first couple songs are a bit rough around the edges, but when Jimi goes deep blues with "Hear My Train a Comin'," he really starts feeling it and turns in an absolutely amazing version (that's why it was previously released on Band of Gypsys 2 and Live at the Fillmore East). "Machine Gun" is another stunner. There are significant differences to the lyrics, and the structure of the song is different as well (Billy Cox says both Jimi and Buddy Miles were doing things that weren't done in rehearsals). "Bleeding Heart" is another amazing blues performance leading into two songs that were almost never performed live: "Earth Blues" and "Burning Desire." Throughout the set, the band is absolutely locked in. They aren't just playing; they're clearly listening to each other and Hendrix turns in some scorching guitar. The most interesting thing might be the realization of how much of these sets and songs was improvised by the band, as shown by the differences in "Machine Gun" from night to night. Eddie Kramer deserves credit for a truly excellent mix (and probably some judicious editing on "Changes"). It's not really fair to compare Machine Gun to Band of Gypsys since one is a largely unedited complete performance and the other is the best cuts selected from a couple shows. That said, there are performances here that rival those of the original Band of Gypsys album, and hearing Jimi on his game with great sound will always be welcomed.
TRACKS: 01. Power Of Soul 02. Lover Man 03. Hear My Train A Comin' 04. Changes 05. Izabella 06. Machine Gun 07. Stop 08. Ezy Ryder 09. Bleeding Heart 10. Earth Blues 11. Burning Desire
GOV'T MULE - 2016-12-31 - The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY (2017)
Beloved Southern rockers Gov’t Mule set up shop at NYC’s The Beacon Theatre, playing the second of two sold out shows to ring in the New Year. Unlike years past, Mule remained very tight-lipped about their New Year’s plans, only adding suspense to what was sure to be a historic celebration. In the end, the band would pay tribute to countless musical legends who passed on in 2016, everyone from David Bowie to Prince to Bernie Worrell to Maurice White and more.
The first set of the night was all Mule, as the band worked through a number of their original tunes like “Thorazine Shuffle,” “Child Of The Earth” and more. They also welcomed guitarist Oz Noy on “Birth Of The Mule” and “Sco-Mule” getting warmed up for the festivities ahead.
It was set two that began the tributes, as the band came out of the gate with a trio of Parliament Funkadelic songs in honor of Bernie Worrell. The first song included percussionist Marc Quinones as well as the Chronic Horns, who were then joined by Jasmine Muhammad & The Sweet ’16 Singers for some soulful backup vocals. The ensemble would stay on stage as the band moved into a tribute to Leon Russell with “Tight Rope” and “Delta Lady.” The Eagles’ Glenn Frey was the next focus, with heartfelt covers of “Take It Easy” and “Already Gone” played in his honor.
The horn and vocal sections remained on stage during a fabulous tribute to Ms. Sharon Jones, with performances of “100 Days, 100 Nights” and “Midnight Rider.” They kept things going with a performance of “Lucky Man” by Emerson Lake and Palmer, in honor of both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake who passed away this year. Perhaps one of the most soulful moments of the show came in honor of Leonard Cohen, with performances of “Hallelujah” and “Bird On The Wire” played in memory of the brilliant songwriter and singer.
The show continued with “Angel Band” in honor of Dr. Ralph Stanley, a legend of the bluegrass genre, as well as “Mama Tried” in honor of Merle Haggard, a legend of the folk genre. Two Americana heroes that truly deserve recognition for their dedication to their craft. “Shining Star” and “Getaway” both followed, as Gov’t Mule honored the late Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire with a guest filled celebration. They then brought out “Descending,” a Black Crowes song, in honor of keyboardist Eddie Harsch who recently passed on.
David Bowie got his due next, as the band welcomed out Jimmy Vivino for a guitar-fueled take on the classic ballad “All The Young Dudes.” They kept up the energy for “Rebel, Rebel” before shifting their sights onto a Prince tribute, closing out the set with “Kiss” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” They would ultimately return for an encore, with Marcus King in tow, and resume their Bowie/Prince tribute with “Purple Rain” and a reprise of “All The Young Dudes.” What a show! So many remarkable musicians were honored at this show, each spanning such a unique subset of the music community as a whole. Mule put together a tremendous show for New Year’s, honoring the past and moving ahead into 2017 with a gusto.
DISC 1: 01. New Year's Eve 02. Larger Than Life 03. Thorazine Shuffle 04. Funny Little Tragedy 05. Thorazine Shuffle Reprise 06. Child Of The Earth 07. Which Way Do We Run 08. Brighter Days 09. Birth Of The Mule
DISC 2: 01. Sco-Mule 02. Maggot Brain 03. New Years Countdown 04. Flash Light 05. Red Hot Mama 06. Tight Rope 07. Delta Lady 08. Take It Easy 09. Already Gone 10. 100 Days 100 Nights 11. Midnight Rider
DISC 3: 01. Lucky Man 02. Hallelujah 03. Bird On A Wire 04. Angel Band 05. Mama Tried 06. Shining Star 07. Getaway 08. Descending 09. All The Young Dudes 10. Rebel Rebel 11. Kiss 12. Let's Go Crazy 13. Introductions 14. Purple Rain 15. All The Young Dudes
STEVE MILLER BAND - Box Set (1994)
Close to definitive is the best way to describe the three-disc box Steve Miller Band. That, or missed opportunity. The set is divided pretty well, with the first disc being devoted to the early years, the second to the hitmaking era, and the third to the blues. Now, this isn't a hard-and-fast breakdown, since there's no one on God's green earth who would call "Abracadabra" a blues, but it's a pretty good template for a box. The problem is the execution, particularly as the box gets off the ground. The historical childhood recordings that kick off the first disc are interesting, but they're alienating for anyone outside of hardcore fans. Then, much of the early work is present in oddly edited versions, which aren't particularly welcome. Still, this does round up nearly all of the highlights from throughout Miller's career, which does make it valuable for fans who want a pretty exhaustive, but not definitive, compilation. Nevertheless, Anthology and Greatest Hits, especially, remain the best way to hear Miller at his peak.
It would've been news if Steve Miller hadn't grown up to be a musician. Les Paul (a Wisconsin friend of Miller's physician father) taught him his first chords, and Miller gleaned his bluesy, melodic sense from T-Bone Walker, a frequent guest at the family's back-yard parties. That innate musicality permeates Miller's satisfying box set (generously kicked off with early home recordings of those two childhood heroes), placing a warm artistic sensibility ahead of slavish devotion to historical chronology. The result is one of the most listenable, user-friendly multidisc compilations around. Fans will find samples of Miller's first San Francisco-based successes of the '60s, through his string of ubiquitous '70s hit singles (refreshingly sequenced on disc 2 to emphasize the inherent genius of the perfect three-minute pop song) to later work rife with jazz and the subtle shadings of maturity. Miller is one of rock's most consistent (albeit persistently underrated) writers and performers. This collection proves that those who know him only from "Jungle Love" and "Abracadabra" don't know Steve Miller at all.
64 tracks which compile some early rarities and his late '60s San Franciscan work, every major '70s hit from the band- Fly Like an Eagle; The Joker; Rock'n Me , etc.-and a whole disc of blues. In short, it's all sides of this multifaceted rocker, even early childhood recordings, plus key album tracks like Space Cowboy; Living in the U.S.A.; Going to Mexico , and more. Definitive!
FRANKIE MILLER - Once In A Blue Moon (1972) & High Life (1974) & The Rock (1975) & Full House (1977)
Blue-eyed soul singer Frankie Miller made his name on the English pub rock circuit of the early '70s, and spent around a decade-and-a-half cutting albums of traditional R&B, rock & roll, and country-rock. In addition to his recorded legacy as an avatar of American roots music, his original material was covered by artists from the worlds of rock, blues, and country, from Bob Seger and Bonnie Tyler to Lou Ann Barton and the Bellamy Brothers. And Miller himself scored a surprise U.K. Top Ten smash in 1978 with "Darlin'," giving his likable, soulful style the popular airing many fans felt it deserved all along. Frankie Miller was born November 2, 1949, in Glasgow, Scotland; he began singing with local bands beginning in 1967, in a style influenced by American soul singers like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Otis Redding. After a few years, he moved to the more fertile music scene in London, where he soon met ex-Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower in the summer of 1971. Impressed with Miller's talents as a raw soul belter in the vein of a Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker, Trower offered him a job as lead vocalist of his new band Jude. It wasn't to be Miller's big break, though; internal conflicts had split the group apart by the following year, and Miller returned to the London pub rock circuit. During 1972, he made frequent appearances at the Tally Ho in Kentish Town, often sitting in with Brinsley Schwarz, and signed a solo record deal with Chrysalis. Using the Brinsleys as a backing band, Miller recorded his debut album, Once in a Blue Moon, that year. Though it wasn't a hit, it was reviewed respectably; more importantly, Miller sent a copy to New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint, who was impressed enough to produce Miller's next album. Miller traveled to New Orleans in 1973 to record High Life with an authentic Toussaint-led backing band, resulting in one of his most acclaimed and artistically satisfying albums.
Upon returning to England, Miller assembled a Stax-style backing band -- dubbed simply the Frankie Miller Band -- featuring guitarist Henry McCullough, keyboardist Mick Weaver, bassist Chrissy Stewart, and drummer Stu Perry. This group traveled to San Francisco to record The Rock (named after Alcatraz), which was released in 1975. The band dissolved not long after, and Miller put together a new outfit called Full House, featuring guitarist Ray Minhinnett, keyboardist Jim Hall, bassist Charlie Harrison, and drummer Graham Deacon. They issued the aptly titled Full House in 1977, which, oddly enough, became fairly popular in Sweden. However, once again, Miller's backing band imploded, and he was back on his own for 1978's Double Trouble, which produced his first British Top 30 hit in "Be Good to Yourself." Late that year, Miller scored a runaway Top Ten hit in the U.K. with "Darlin'," a single included on his 1979 LP Falling in Love (aka Perfect Fit). (Typical of Miller's luck in the record business, his best-known song wasn't an original.) 1980's Easy Money was recorded in Nashville, and some of 1982's Standing on the Edge was recorded at Alabama's legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. During this period, Miller also had a Scottish hit with his cover of Dougie McLean's "Caledonia." 1986's Dancing in the Rain was his final studio album.
In August 1994, Miller suffered a devastating brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma for five months. Unable to walk or talk upon his emergence, Miller rehabilitated himself enough to begin writing songs again; at a late-'90s benefit concert in Edinburgh, Miller's new collaboration with Will Jennings, "The Sun Goes Up, the Sun Comes Down," was performed by Bonnie Tyler, Paul Carrack, and Jools Holland. In 2016, an album called Frankie Miller's Double Take saw release. The album featured a clutch of unreleased Miller originals he'd recorded prior to his hemorrhage, all performed by admirers of Frankie's, including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Kid Rock, Huey Lewis, Paul Carrack, and Willie Nelson.
THE MONKEES - Missing Links: Vol. 1, 2 & 3 (1987 / 1996)
Missing Links is a 1987 compilation album by The Monkees. While "Apples, Peaches, Bananas And Pears" and "If You Have the Time" both featured in the reruns of their 1960s television series,  none of the tracks had ever been issued commercially. Missing Links is the first volume of a three-volume set (followed by Missing Links Volume 2 and Missing Links Volume 3). "All Of Your Toys", written by Bill Martin, was the first recording to feature all four Monkees performing playing on the track, and was intended to become their third single. A publishing issue prevented the songfrom being released, and Neil Diamond's "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" was chosen instead. Michael Nesmith re-recorded "Nine Times Blue" for his Magnetic South album and "Carlisle Wheeling" (as "Conversations") for his Loose Salute album. When originally released on vinyl in the U.S. in 1987, tracks 7, 8, 15 and 16 were not included. The compact disc was released in the U.S. and UK in 1988.
The second volume, and arguably the best, of the excellent Missing Links series of Monkees rarities. Volume 2 focuses primarily on the TV-only versions of songs which appeared in different arrangements on the Monkees' albums. A few songs unreleased on vinyl, such as Michael Nesmith's rollicking "All the King's Horses," and a haunting a cappella version of the Spanish Christmas carol "Riu Chiu," are also included. The Monkees recorded dozens of songs early in their career to be used on their TV show. Some of them were later re-recorded for albums, often in very different versions. Often, the earlier television versions are superior, as with Nesmith's "You Just May Be the One" and a beat-group version of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart's "I Wanna Be Free," and these are the versions included here, alongside a handful of late-period Nesmith outtakes.
Here's the third and final installment in Rhino's Missing Links series of Monkees rarities compilations. Not as consistently impressive as the first pair, it's still a thoroughly entertaining 50 minute collection. Oddly, this is the first time the original TV theme song has been made available in its TV edit on a Monkees release (it had appeared on V/A comps and samplers). Recorded 1966-1969. The ever-reliable Andrew Sandoval provides extensive liner notes and the once-reliable Inglot / Hersch handled the mastering. Nice artwork too.
FRANK ZAPPA - Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa [A Memorial Tribute] (1996)
This 1996 CD compilation was the first one put out privately by the Zappa family following Frank Zappa's death in 1993 from prostate cancer. The music includes three new versions of familiar Zappa works, followed bytheir better-known counterparts that have previously appeared on both LPs and CDs. As Dweezil Zappa explains in his liner notes, this previously unreleased excerpt from "Black Napkins" is not yet fully formed; oddly enough, like the version that follows from Zoot Allures, the Napoleon Murphy Brock sax solo has been edited out. The new version of the next instrumental, "Zoot Allures," fares better in comparison to the well-known take from the Zoot Allures CD, in spite of some distortion inadvertently added by the Tokyo PA system during its recording. "Merely a Blues in A" marks the initial release of a gritty blues likely improvised during a 1974 Paris concert. Finally, two versions of Zappa's sensational blues "Watermelon in Easter Hay" close the CD. The early 1978 concert version features a slightly faster tempo with minimal accompaniment by his band, although Zappa's solo ideas are already well conceived. Zappa's solo on the studio version, originally heard on the release Joe's Garage Acts 2 & 3, was taken from a concert recording and mixed with a sparse yet effective studio backing; it remains one of Zappa's most fascinating guitar solos. Unlike the posthumous new Zappa CDs that have appeared on Rykodisc after 1993, this one carries a rather high price tag, although it consists of only four new recordings among its seven tracks. The fancy package includes a removable stick-on moustache and goatee like the late composer's own facial hair. Zappa fans will likely enjoy this limited-edition CD, which is available exclusively through zappa . com, although they would have likely preferred all previously unreleased songs and alternate takes instead.
TRACKS: 01. Black Napkins (Live, Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 22, 1975) 02. Black Napkins (Album version) 03. Zoot Allures (Live, Nihon Seinenkan, Tokyo, Japan, February 5, 1976) 04. Merely A Blues In A (Live, Palais des Sports, Paris, France, September 27, 1974) 05. Zoot Allures (Album version) 06. Watermelon In Easter Hay (Live, Rhein-Neckar Stadion, Eppelheim, Germany, February 24, 1978) 07. Watermelon In Easter Hay (Album version)
TOM WAITS - Closing Time (1973) & The Heart of Saturday Night (1974)
Tom Waits' debut album is a minor-key masterpiece filled with songs of late-night loneliness. Within the apparently narrow range of the cocktail bar pianistics and muttered vocals, Waits and producer Jerry Yester manage a surprisingly broad collection of styles, from the jazzy "Virginia Avenue" to the up-tempo funk of "Ice Cream Man" and from the acoustic guitar folkiness of "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You" to the saloon song "Midnight Lullaby," which would have been a perfect addition to the repertoires of Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett. Waits' entire musical approach is stylized, of course, and at times derivative -- "Lonely" borrows a little too much from Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" -- and his lovelorn lyrics can be sentimental without being penetrating. But he also has a gift for gently rolling pop melodies, and he can come up with striking, original scenarios, as on the best songs, "Ol' 55" and "Martha," which Yester discreetly augments with strings. Closing Time announces the arrival of a talented songwriter whose self-conscious melancholy can be surprisingly moving.
If Closing Time, Tom Waits' debut album, consisted of love songs set in a late-night world of bars and neon signs, its follow-up, The Heart of Saturday Night, largely dispenses with the romance in favor of poetic depictions of the same setting. On "Diamonds on My Windshield" and "The Ghosts of Saturday Night," Waits doesn't even sing, instead reciting his verse rhythmically against bass and drums like a Beat hipster. Musically, the album contains the same mixture of folk, blues, and jazz as its predecessor, with producer Bones Howe occasionally bringing in an orchestra to underscore the loping melodies. Waits' songs are sometimes sketchier in addition to being more impersonal, but "(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night" and "Semi Suite" are the equal of anything on Closing Time. Still, with lines such as "...the clouds are like headlines/Upon a new front page sky" and references to "a 24-hour moon" and "champagne stars," Waits' imagery is beginning to get florid, and in material this stylized, the danger of self-parody is always present.
TOM WAITS - Nighthawks At The Diner (1975)
For his third album, Nighthawks at the Diner, Tom Waits set up a nightclub in the studio, invited an audience, and cut a 70-minute, two-LP set of new songs. It's an appropriate format for compositions that deal even more graphically and, for the first time, humorously with Waits' late-night world of bars and diners. The love lyrics of his debut album had long since given way to a comic lonely-guy stance glimpsed in "Emotional Weather Report" and "Better Off Without a Wife." But what really matters is the elaborate scene-setting of songs like the six-and-a-half-minute "Spare Parts," the seven-and-a-half-minute "Putnam County," and especially the 11-and-a-half-minute "Nighthawk Postcards" that are essentially poetry recitations with jazz backing. Waits is a colorful tour guide of midnight L.A., raving over a swinging rhythm section of Jim Hughart (bass) and Bill Goodwin (drums), with Pete Christlieb wailing away on tenor sax between paragraphs and Mike Melvoin trading off with Waits on piano runs. You could call it overdone, but then, this kind of material made its impact through an accumulation of miscellaneous detail, and who's to say how much is too much?
JOHN MARTYN, DANNY THOMPSON WITH ARRAN AHMUN - The Brewery Arts Centre Kendal 1986 (2001)
ince the early part of the '70s, John Martyn has explored various shades of folk, jazz, rock, and blues, often in tandem with double bassist Danny Thompson. This union has yielded some amazing moments both in the studio and on-stage, as is documented on such recordings as Bless the Weather, Solid Air, and Live at Leeds, to name a few. Recorded 15 years prior to its release in 2001, and nearly a decade since they had last appeared together on record, The Brewery Arts Centre Kendall 1986 is a live pairing of the two, along with drummer Arran Ahmun, in a primarily acoustic setting. Interestingly enough, a John Martyn record hadn't featured any acoustic guitar since 1977's One World, which was the last time Thompson had done a session with him. Throughout their time working together, whether on the original recordings or in concert, Martyn and Thompson have always relied on chemistry, pure musicianship, and a sort of jazz-like spontaneity, all of which are apparent on The Brewery Arts Centre. Over the course of 17 tracks, Martyn and company round up many of the usual suspects from his extensive catalog, including "Solid Air," "Bless the Weather," and "May You Never," placing them in familiar surroundings, while later tunes like "Angeline," "Lookin' On," and the beautiful "Sweet Little Mystery" seem equally at home here. Thompson and Ahmun, whether setting a groove or falling in around Martyn's sometimes affected, sometimes straightforward guitar, are masterful throughout. Other highlights include a conga and bass-driven "One Day Without You," the subdued passion of "Make No Mistake," and the haunting moodiness of "One World." The only real drawback, as is the case with many of these One World live recordings, is the somewhat lifeless sound. The Brewery Arts Centre may not necessarily be essential, but it should be of interest to fans.
Rare recording for the British folk artists. 17 tracks recorded at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, on the 11th or 12th June 1986. Highlights include, 'One Day Without You', 'Solid Air', 'Sweet Little Mystery', 'Bless The Weather' & 'Beverley'. 2001 release.
TRACKS:01. One Day Without You 02. Solid Air 03. Sweet Little Mystery 04. Bless The Weather 05. Beverly 06. Make No Mistake 07. Dealer 08. Outside In 09. Spencer The Rover 10. The Easy Blues 11. Man In The Station 12. Angeline 13. Lookin' On 14. Johnny Too Bad 15. One World 16. May You Never 17. Over The Hill
PAUL PERSONNE, 'BUMBLEFOOT RON THAL & ROBBEN FORD - Lost In Paris Blues Band (2016)
Lost in Paris Blues Band album by Robben Ford / Paul Personne / Ron Thal was released Dec 09, 2016 on the Ear Music label. Lost in Paris Blue Band is the unique result of a spontaneous, 3-day studio session of exceptional musicians in Paris. This album contains 13 cover versions of blues, folk and rock masterpieces, such as One Good Man (Janis Joplin), Trouble No More (Muddy Waters), Watching The River Flow (Bob Dylan). Lost in Paris Blues Band CD music contains a single disc with 13 songs.
Ronald Jay "Ron" Blumenthal better known by his stage name Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal is an American guitarist, songwriter, recording artist and producer. Paul Personne is a French blues singer and guitarist and Robben Ford is Robben Ford.
TRACKS: 01. Downtown (written by Tom Waits) 02. Fire Down Below (written by Bob Seger) 03. Little Red Rooster (written by Willie Dixon) 04. I Don’t Need No Doctor (written by Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Jo Armstead) 05. One Good Man (written by Janis Joplin) 06. Tell Me (written by Howlin’ Wolf) 07. You’re Killing My Love (written by Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites) 08. It’s All Over Now (written by Bobby & Shirley Womack) 09. Trouble No More (written by Muddy Waters) 10. Evil Gal Blues (written by Leonard Feather, Lionel Hampton) 11. I Can’t Hold Out (written by Elmore James) 12. Watching The River Flow (written by Bob Dylan) 13. Driftin’ Blues (Acoustic Version) (written by Johnny Moore, Charles Brown, Eddie Williams)
JOOLS HOLLAND - Piano (2016)
Jools' brand-new 2016 release is an album centred around his 50-year relationship with the Piano, exploring different piano styles and performed on a variety of pianos.This record features eight of Jools' original compositions as well as 10 carefully selected pieces interpreting the work of the pianists and composers that he loves.
It opens with Jools' own May, a unique field recording of his piano in conversation with songbirds, influenced by French composer Olivier Messiaen, followed by Grand Hotel, co-written with Sting a while ago and here completely reinvented with a mix of contemporary dance rhythms and stride piano. Next is a collaboration with iconic musician and producer Brian Eno, who sings backing vocals and experiments with soundscapes on Track 3, Last Date. The album also sees Jools performing alongside his acclaimed Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on three of the tracks: Strange Cargo; Romantic Ruin; and Bumble Boogie (in which he quotes Bach's Prelude No 1). The stylistic range is broad, taking in the baroque counterpoint of Christabel and the blistering boogie woogie of Bang And Pop as well as paying tribute to works by great Jazz artists Mary Lou Williams, Sidney Bechet, Freddie Slack, and Erroll Garner. In contrast, the middle of the album showcases a four-strong blues segment inspired by Jimmy Yancey and Lloyd Glenn. Jools pays tribute to his friend and collaborator Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) by covering Rebennack's Dorothy, but perhaps the greatest example of Jools' breadth of approach is his arrangement of Eruption by Dutch prog rock group Focus. The album was overseen by Jools' long-time producer Laurie Latham, with engineer Ron Box, and was recorded with vintage equipment in a variety of locations, including the Kent Marshes.
THORNETTA DAVIS - Honest Woman (2016)
This CD has been 20 years in the making. Thornetta Davis is the Queen of Detroit’s blues scene with over 30 Detroit Music Awards to her name. She began her career with Lamont Zodiac and the Love Signs, who became The Chisel Brothers featuring Thornetta Davis when the lead singer departed. Her first solo album was released in 1996, entitled Sunday Morning Music on Seattle’s Sub Pop label. The HBO Series The Sopranos picked up “Cry” from that album and Entertainment Weekly magazine gave the CD a hugely positive review. Having opened for a host of the music scene greats and appearing on albums with the likes of Bob Seger, Davis has toured the world and garnered praise for her live performances and her music in film and television. It has been 20 years since that first CD and with it we get to hear the superb voice and music from this fantastic diva of the blues! The CD features some great guest artists, including Kim Wilson, Larry McCray, Steve McCray and Kerry Clark.
TRACKS: 01. When My Sister Sings The Blues 02. I Gotta Sang The Blues 03. That Don't Appease Me 04. Set Me Free 05. Am I Just A Shadow 06. I Need A Whole Lotta Lovin' (To Satisfy Me) 07. I'd Rather Be Alone 08. I Believe (Everything Gonna Be Alright) 09. Sister Friend Indeed 10. Get Up And Dance Away Your Blues 11. Can We Do It Again 12. Honest Woman 13. Feels Like Religion
ARLO GUTHRIE & PETE SEEGER - Precious Friend (1982) & The Best Of Arlo Guthrie (1977)
Recorded in late summer of 1981, Precious Friend, the second of Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger's live collaborations, is pretty much what you would expect. Seeger is his usual folksy self, leading the crowd through a series of folk tunes ranging from the traditional African chant "Wimoweh (Mbube)" to Harry Chapin's "Circles," while Guthrie mixes his warm counterculture storytelling with selections of old ragtime, gospel, and folk. And while Seeger's singalongs and Guthrie's raps can wear a bit thin after a while, there are some genuine moments of both energy and hominess that are quite nice. Listening to Pete Seeger is kind of like hearing a museum piece, which in his case is fine. On the other hand, tracks such as Guthrie's cover of Tom Paxton's "I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler" and especially "Neutron Bomb" have lost much of their initial charm with time. He's more successful with time-tested material such as the 1920s ragtime of "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," as well as Blind Blake's "Run, Come See Jerusalem" and a trio of tunes by his father. Still, it's Seeger's homage to his friend and fellow Weaver, Lee Hays, who had recently passed away, that is the album's true highlight. Included along with the Weavers hits "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "If I Had a Hammer" (co-written by Seeger and Hays) are a couple of wonderful Hays originals -- the old union number "Raggedy, Raggedy" and the morbidly funny "In Dead Earnest," written shortly before his death. Seeger and Guthrie's sense of tradition may be warm and inviting in a live setting, but mixing a little more of what made Guthrie's late-'70s work special with the folksier material would have made for a better recording.
Had he not done anything else of significance, Arlo Guthrie could have built his entire career on the 18-minute folk/protest/novelty piece "Alice's Restaurant Massacree." And while early on it seemed as if this sort of humorous, hippie storytelling would be his metier, "Woody's son" slowly began to develop into a serious artist in his own right. Released in 1977, The Best of Arlo Guthrie is a worthwhile collection, if only for rescuing cuts like "Alice's Restaurant" and the live "Motorcycle (Significance of the Pickle) Song," and placing them in better company than some of his '60s records provided. Whereas these tunes -- including the smler's tale, "Coming into Los Angeles" -- were the highlights of his early recordings, they would simply act as pleasant distractions as his career progressed. As the '70s rolled around, such fine albums as Hobo's Lullaby -- which featured his lone Top 40 hit, Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans" -- and Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys showed real maturity, but were still most notable for Guthrie's taste in, and interpretations of, other folks' songs. Still, the latter's self-penned "Last Train" is among the best moments here. The track, which is built around Ry Cooder's soulful, acoustic guitar accompaniment, improves on such previous Guthrie originals as "Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad #16 Blues" (also included here), and leads into what would be his most productive period as a songwriter. "Last to Leave" and "Darkest Hour," taken from his eponymous 1974 release and 1976's Amigo, respectively, are good examples of this growth. The Best Of is a decent introduction to Arlo Guthrie's first ten years, but also look to the aforementioned records, starting with his best, Amigo, to get a more extensive overview of his music.
THE JAMES GANG - Yer' Album (1969) & Rides Again (1970)
The James Gang's debut LP, Yer' Album, was very much a first record and very much a record of its time. The heavy rock scene of the period was given to extensive jamming, and four tracks ran more than six minutes each. The group had written some material, but they were still something of a cover band, and the disc included their extended workouts on Buffalo Springfield's "Bluebird" and the Yardbirds' "Lost Woman," the latter a nine-minute version complete with lengthy guitar, bass, and drum solos. But in addition to the blues rock there were also touches of pop and progressive rock, mostly from Walsh who displayed a nascent sense of melody, not to mention some of the taste for being a cutup that he would display in his solo career. Walsh's "Take a Look Around" must have made an impression on Pete Townshend during the period before the album's release when the James Gang was opening for the Who since Townshend borrowed it for the music he was writing for the abortive Lifehouse follow-up to Tommy. If "Wrapcity (i.e., Rhapsody) in English," a minute-long piano and strings interlude, seems incongruous in retrospect, recall that this was an eclectic era. But the otherwise promising "Fred," which followed, broke down into a pedestrian jazz routine, sesting that the band was trying to cram too many influences onto one record and sometimes into one song. Nevertheless, they were talented improvisers, as the open-ended album closer, Jerry Ragavoy and Mort Shuman's "Stop," made clear. After ten minutes, Szymczyk faded the track out, but Walsh was still going strong. Yer' Album contained much to sest that the James Gang, in particular its guitarist, had a great future, even if it was more an album of performances than compositions.
With their second album Rides Again, the James Gang came into their own. Under the direction of guitarist Joe Walsh, the group - now featuring bassist Dale Peters - began incorporating keyboards into their hard rock, which helped open up their musical horizons. For much of the first side of Rides Again, the group tear through a bunch of boogie numbers, most notably the heavy groove of "Funk #49." On the second side, the James Gang departs from their trademark sound, adding keyboard flourishes and elements of country-rock to their hard rock. Walsh's songwriting had improved, giving the band solid support for their stylistic experiments. What ties the two sides of the record together is the strength of the band's musicianship, which burns brightly and powerfully on the hardest rockers, as well as on the sensitive ballads.
THE JAMES GANG - Live In Concert (1971)
02. You're Gonna Need Me
03. Take A Look Around
04. Tend My Garden
05. Ashes, The Rain And I
06. Walk Away
07. Lost Woman
The James Gang earned a great number of fans through their live performances, so it made sense that they would release a live record within months of their successful third album. Live in Concert captures much of the energy of their live performances, with Joe Walsh's guitar solos catching fire on nearly every song. However, the record also makes it clear that he was beginning to outgrow the confines of the James Gang, as Fox and Peters strled to keep up with his imaginative playing for most of the album.
MOTLEY CRUE - The End: Live In Los Angeles (2016)
On December 31, 2015, before a sold-out Staples Center arena in Los Angeles, Mötley Crüe bid their final farewell. Their 35-year career as a band ended with a spectacular New Year's Eve performance in their hometown, just a few miles from where it all started on the Sunset Strip. Mötley Crüe: The End - Live In Los Angeles – presented earlier this year in theaters worldwide – captures performances of such mega-hits as "Kickstart My Heart," "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Smokin' in the Boys Room," and "Dr. Feelgood." Produced and distributed by Eagle Rock Entertainment, Mötley Crüe: The End fully captures the energy and emotion of the evening. Known for their over-the-top production, Mötley Crüe did not disappoint for their last show ever on New Year's Eve: from massive, cutting-edge pyro, including Nikki Sixx's bass guitar spitting fire over 30 ft. into the air, and Tommy Lee's "Crüecifly" drum roller coaster, amongst many other spectacular elements. Lead singer, Vince Neil, delivered an emotional, "thank you" speech to the audience, while the band supplied next-level, high-octane fueled energy, ringing in the New Year on stage with thousands of balloons raining down on the crowd. The grand finale of the show included a blow-out performance of their hit single, "Kickstart My Heart" with Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil floating above the audience in far-reaching "cherry-pickers." Leaving fans in tears, the show concluded with an emotional encore rendition of "Home Sweet Home" from the second stage riser in the center of the audience. - amazon.com
TRACKS: 01. Intro 02. Girls, Girls, Girls 03. Wild Side 04. Primal Scream 05. Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) 06. Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) 07. Rock N Roll Part II / Smokin' In The Boys Room 08. Looks That Kill 09. Mutherfucker Of The Year 10. In The Beginning / Shout At The Devil 11. Louder Than Hell 12. Saints Of Los Angeles 13. Live Wire 14. T.N.T. (Terror 'N Tinseltown) / Dr. Feelgood 15. Kickstart My Heart 16. Home Sweet Home
JOHNNY CASH - In Prague Live (2016)
Since his death in 2003, the mining and repackaging of releases from Johnny Cash has been slow but steady. Beginning with Unearthed, a collection of unreleased material from the first four American Recordings albums Cash began with producer Rick Rubin in 1994, songs recorded during sessions in the months leading up to Cash’s death were released in 2006 as American V: A Hundred Highways and again in 2010 under the title American VI: Ain’t No Grave. 2014 saw the release of Out Among the Stars, an album of shelved songs recorded with Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s. Not to be left out of the mix are live recordings. Released in 2005, Live from Austin, TX featured songs recorded during Cash’s 1987 performance on Austin City Limits. A 1990 show recorded in Asbury Park, New Jersey, was released in 2007 as The Great Lost Performance. 2015 brought about Man in Black: Live in Denmark 1971, a televised performance of Cash with the Carter Family, Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers recorded during a Scandinavian tour. Previously released on DVD in 2006, Man in Black: Live in Denmark 1971 was first issued on vinyl as a Record Store Day Black Friday 2015 exclusive, with CD and digital releases following a week later.
Returning to the music, 2016 also brings forth the CD release of Koncert v Praze (In Prague – Live), a 1978 recording previously available as a vinyl-only pressing in Czechoslovakia circa 1983. Koncert v Praze (In Prague – Live) celebrates Cash’s first Eastern European shows, occurring twenty-three years into a career that would last another quarter-century. Alongside his Tennessee Three and the Carter Family, Cash entertained some 40,000 Eastern Europeans during a four-show run in April 1978. Performing at the request of the Czech government, the global fame of Cash was such that the Prague dates sold out in two days, making Cash one of the first American artists to part the Iron Curtain. Featuring a set that includes staples “Ring of Fire”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “I Walk the Line” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down”, Koncert v Praze (In Prague – Live) is most notable for its multiple medleys. Falling in the middle of the set, Cash combines the traditional “I Ride an Old Paint” with cowboy ballad “Streets of Laredo” for the first of two; the second a tetrad of railroad songs, beginning with “Hey Porter”, Cash’s first single, and including traditionals “Wreck of the Old ‘97” and “Casey Jones”, before concluding with E.T. Rouse’s “Orange Blossom Special”.
TRACKS: 01. Ring Of Fire 02. Folsom Prison Blues 03. I Still Miss Someone 04. Big River 05. Cowboy Medley: I Ride An Old Paint / Streets Of Laredo 06. Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down 07. I Walk The Line 08. Last Date Earl Ball 09. City Of New Orleans 10. Railroad Medley: Hey Porter / Wreck Of The Old '97 / Casey Jones / Orange Blossom Special 11. Wabash Cannonball 12. Wabash Cannonball (Conclusion)
ARLO GUTHRIE - Alice's Restaurant (1967) & Amigo (1976)
Arlo Davy Guthrie is an American folk singer-songwriter. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, he is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. Guthrie's best-known work is his debut piece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a satirical talking blues song about 18 minutes in length that has since become a Thanksgiving anthem. His only top-40 hit was a cover of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans". His song "Massachusetts" was named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life. Guthrie has also made several acting appearances. He is the father of four children, who have also had careers as musicians.
With Amigo, Arlo Guthrie's ninth album, he cemented his place as an important artist in his own right. Like Woody, Arlo has always tempered his sense of tradition and what's important, with a playfulness and sense of humor. The opener, "Guabi, Guabi," a traditional African tune, is as quirky and lighthearted as it is straightforward, whereas "Grocery Blues" is a typical, if humorous and effective Guthrie novelty song. On the other hand, what places Amigo a slight notch above his previous work is the strength of his original material. "Massachusetts" is a gorgeous paean to his home state, while "Darkest Hour," an evocative tale of love, lust, power and intrigue, is folk storytelling at its finest. However, it's at the end of the first half of the record that Arlo does the memory of his father most proud. "Victor Jara," the story of the martyred Chilean folk-singer and activist, is one of the best and most moving topical songs of the decade, while "Patriot's Dream" is a stirring call-to-arms to the fading protest movement of the '60's. While side two may lack the sheer power of the first, it possesses a certain charm of its own. "My Love" and "Ocean Crossing" are tender love songs, "Manzanillo Bay" is a lovely, south-of-the-border travelogue and there's even a respectable cover of the the Rolling Stones' "Connection" to close the album. His last studio recording for three years, Amigo is a passionate, touching and funny collection of songs, and remains the pinnacle of Arlo Guthrie's career, as well as a perfect illustration of his many sides and strengths.
GRAHAM PARKER - These Dreams Will Never Sleep: The Best Of Graham Parker 1976-2015 (2016)
Lowe, Paul Weller and Bruce Springsteen. Parker’s song writing prowess and live intensity lead Springsteen to declare “It was ‘76, that was when ‘Howlin’ Wind’ came out and, you know I was just getting’ my own ball rolling and suddenly I felt all of this heat. I felt all of the heat on my back when I put that record on because it was so good and it was one of those records that you’re gonna say ‘every single cut is spectacular. And his voice was so…it was one of those ‘cuts through the bullshit’ voices”. His professional music career started in 1975 at the age of 24. After coming to London to find like-minded musicians to play his songs, he formed Graham Parker & The Rumour with Martin Belmont, Brinsley Schwarz, Andrew Bodnar, Steve Goulding and Bob Andrews. They signed a major record deal and recorded the aforementioned ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ which was released in early 1976 to widespread acclaim. The bands growth in popularity was rapid and following extensive touring and four albums and an EP, they disbanded in 1980 with Graham going solo and releasing some 25 albums including the standout collections “Struck By Lightning”, “Deepcut To Nowhere” and “Don’t Tell Columbus”. In May 2011, The Rumour started working together again after almost 30 years. They recorded ‘Three Chords Good’ in July of that year and ‘Mystery Glue’ in 2015.
These Dreams Will Never Sleep, The Best Of, 1976-2015’ is a Six CD / One DVD boxset celebrating the incredible 40 year career of one of Britain's most seminal songwriters - Graham Parker. Released on 30th September, the 124 track box consists of three anthology discs with some of Graham’s best loved recorded work as a solo artist and with The Rumour - one of the UK’s pioneering pre-punk bands. The ‘Live At The BBC’ 19 track disc includes very rare, choice picks from Graham Parker & The Rumour’s 1979 Live At Hammersmith Odeon show, and Live From BBC Sight and Sound in 1977. Discs five and six are ‘Live From The London Forum’, these never before heard recordings are taken from Graham Parker & The Rumour’s last ever live show in 2015, and also feature the legendary Rumour Brass Section for the first time since 1980. The whopping 34 track DVD is a perfect blend of old and new. A specially recorded live show taken from Graham Parker & The Rumour’s last ever tour, last year at The Brook in Southampton makes up the first 21 tracks, and this is followed by rare archive solo performances in the late 70’s on TV shows including Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test. Alongside this, there is a 36 page hardcover book, featuring a new interview with Graham and an overview written by Holly A. Hughes, as well as a poster and 3 postcards.
THE BUTTS BAND - The Complete Recordings (1996)
The Butts Band featured ex-Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. In 1975, the band recorded two albums for Blue Thumb which expanded on the music they originally made with the Doors. Complete Recordings includes both of the albums on a single disc, making it a definitive retrospective.
Butts Band came about as a consequence of The Doors trying to find a replacement for Jim Morrison. The remaining Doors were in London in 1973 had auditioned several British singers including Howard Werth (the singer with Audience), Kevin Coyne (from Siren) and Jess Roden (who was the leader of Bronco UK).Howard Werth rehearsed with the band for a week with a view to stepping into Morrison's shoes. Elektra records founder Jac Holzman favoured Werth as he had at one stage foreseen Audience taking over The Doors' spot on Elektra - but Audience had fallen apart and he now saw Howard and The Doors merging as the new Doors. However, Ray Manzarek and his wife Dorothy were expecting a child, and Manzarek eventually called it off and went back to Los Angeles, leaving Densmore and Krieger in London. They began looking for a new project, linking up with Roden, Phil Chen and Roy Davies to form the Butts Band. In an early interview in Melody Maker or NME Krieger explained the origin of the name: "'Butts Band' equalled a bunch of losers desperate for a gig, hence the tattered speaker on the front cover." Their debut, the self-titled album Butts Band was released in 1974. After the pressure of two members living in California and three in London led the band to split (following a low key tour and the odd TV appearance), Krieger and Densmore released all the band members and recruited an all American band to produce a second album, titled Hear and Now, in 1975.
STATUS QUO - The Best of 1968 - 1971 (1989)
Status Quo are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1964, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969. They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock band, including "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in 1967, "Whatever You Want" in 1979 and "In the Army Now" in 1986 and 2010. Twenty-two of these reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with "Rockin' All Over the World". In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Status Quo starred in their first feature film, Bula Quo!, which was released to cinemas in July 2013. The film coincided with the release of the soundtrack album Bula Quo!, which peaked at number 10 in the UK Albums Chart. The first single from the album, "Bula Bula Quo" was released in June 2013, and is Status Quo's one hundredth single release.
TRACKS: 01. In My Chair 02. Railroad 03. Good Thinking Batman 04. Josie 05. Gerdundula 06. To Be Free 07. Everything 08. Mean Girl 09. Down The Dustpipe 10. Hey Little Woman 11. Need Your Love 12. Shy Fly 13. Lazy Poker Blues 14. Daughter 15. (April) Spring, Summer & Wednesdays 16. Spinning Wheel Blues
Rick Parfitt 1948 - 2016 - RIP
Statement from The Parfitt Family & Status Quo Manager, Simon Porter:
We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today. He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall. This tragic news comes at a time when Rick was hugely looking forward to launching a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017 following his departure from Status Quo’s touring activities on medical advice. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, fellow band members, management, crew and his dedicated legion of fans from throughout the world, gained through 50 years of monumental success with Status Quo. Rick is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twins Tommy and Lily and Rick’s adult children Rick Jnr and Harry. No further comment will be made at this time and Rick's family, and the band, ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time.
SVEN ZETTERBERG - Soul Of A Man 1990-1999 (2004)
Talking about blues players outside America it´s hard to leave out Sven Zetterberg, Sweden´s most versatile artist in this field. Being both an excellent singer, guitarist, songwriter and harmonica player extraordinary, he has become a house-hold name all over Scandinavia. Unfortunately Sven has left us. But we still have all the memories and music, that he was a huge part of. - RIP
Scandinavian bluesman Sven Zetterberg has been impressing Swedish audiences since the early '70s with his guitar, harp, and raw soulful vocals. He was born in 1952 in Skarblacks, Sweden, and started playing harmonica at the age of 12 when he discovered the music of Little Walter. His first band, Telge Blues, was formed in 1972 and played the Swedish club scene for a number of years, followed by the formation of Sven Zetterberg and the Chicago Express. This band, for the better part of ten years, held the top position in the Swedish blues scene and recorded four albums -- The Blue Solution in 1990, Watch Your Step 1991, Permanently Blue 1995, and Steppin' Out in 1996 -- before breaking up. Through the years, Zetterberg has learned from and played with a host of American blues greats who have traveled through Scandinavia, including Jimmy Rogers, Sunnyland Slim, and Jimmy McCracklin. In 1979, Zetterberg made his first trip to America, heading directly to Chicago, making further contacts with several important musicians. This culminated in the 1983 album Chicago Blues Meeting, featuring Sunnyland Slim and S.P. Leary. Zetterberg continued to tour and release discs, including his first solo recording Blues From Within on the Amigo label in 1999. Let Me Get Over It followed in spring 2001.
SNOWY WHITE - Released (2016)
Since the late 1960s, Snowy White and his characteristic guitar-playing have made their mark on tasteful blues rock. Whether as a member of Thin Lizzy (on the albums Chinatown and Renegade), working with Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), as an indispensable tour musician for Pink Floyd and later Roger Waters, or as a highly-respected solo artist: Snowy has always remained true to his love for excellent, handmade music. Over a period of two years, Snowy worked on his new album at home in his studio. Mostly on his own…for the first time in his long and distinguished career.
The result: 13 tracks that move between blues and rock, and show off his elegant guitar style which has enthralled fans the world over. If you’re talking beautiful guitar tones, nuances and mature articulation, then that is Snowy’s guitar-playing down to a T. An unassuming gentleman who is happy with his life and his career - even if he never quite received the adulation other guitarists with his skills enjoyed. Released is a mature, beautifully balanced and multi-facetted album by a true master of his art.
TRACKS: 01. Opening Peace 02. The Blues Talking 03. It's All Down To Me 04. It's Always Love (That Breaks Your Heart) 05. Out Of Control 06. I Know What's Coming 07. Blue Day 08. Blues On A Borrowed Guitar 09. Life Full Of Lonely 10. Missing... 11. Wrong Side Of The Tracks 12. Everything - It's Alright 13. How Was It For You
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - Live From A & R Studios (2016)
Live from A&R Studios is an album by the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded on August 26, 1971, at A&R Studios in New York City for a live radio broadcast. "The nine-song program was inspired work, showcasing the conflagration of six musicians focused as one... The A&R show, presumably taped in droves by home stereos, was widely bootlegged, and in the following decades considered quite a treasure of both performance and historical context. To have it officially released, cleaned up and remastered to a high polish from the original broadcast tapes, is to put it finally in the proper place for all to hear; the magnificence of the Allman Brothers Band in one of its finest hours of its finest year of 1971.
It was released on April 1, 2016.There have been bootlegs of this live, in-studio show circulating for a while, but they are all based on the air-check signal from the performance. This release has been mastered from the original multi-track tapes, so the sound is as good as it can get. It's unique in that it's studio quality recording while being a live show. The vibe in the room is very close, almost a house-concert feel to it. But none of that would matter if the music wasn't so damn good. This album is a perfect example of this era of the Allman Brothers. They are experienced showmen at this point, they know how to work a crowd. But they are obviously still having fun and their enthusiasm comes through in the long extended jams, the classic blues covers, a hint of the psychedelic 60's, and lots and lots of good old fashioned southern rock.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND - Milan, Italy, July 5, 2016 (2016)
Who do you love more, your mom or your dad? What is the best Bruce concert you’ve seen? Unanswerable questions. But chances are that if you’ve seen Springsteen play Milan’s San Siro Stadium, it’s a show that has to be in the running. 1985, 2003, 2008, 2012… every single show here has been special in its own way. And this year’s is no exception.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve played quite a few places… but this one is special,” says an emotional Springsteen at the end of San Siro 2013. “You are special. I keep you in my heart every time.” This is not rock cliché - he really means it. You can tell just from the facts: a mammoth set at 35 songs, three-and-a-quarter hours, with rarities, premieres, hits, and even a full album. And you can tell it from his face. I’ve seen Springsteen in San Siro all five times. 1985 was the first rock concert of my life. All were memorable, especially the rain-soaked 2003 show. What I saw tonight rivaled any of them for emotion, intensity, energy, passion and fun. This was one of the best concerts of my life: pure rock music, Bruce at his best. - rockol.com
WILLY DeVILLE - Acoustic Trio Live In Berlin (2002)
Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin is a 2002 album by Willy DeVille. The album consists of concert recordings made in Berlin to celebrate DeVille’s 25 years of performing, and concert recordings made in Stockholm. Buscadero, the Italian music magazine, named Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin one of the top-ten albums of 2002 in its critics' poll; its readers' poll named the album the 21st best album of 2002. For the Berlin concerts, DeVille brought along a stripped-down version of his band which he named "The Acoustic Trio.” The Trio consisted of Willy DeVille, Seth Farber, and David J. Keyes. For the Stockholm recordings, DeVille played with an expanded band - the Mink DeVille Band - that included guitarist Freddy Koella, double bassist David J. Keyes, percussionist Boris Kinberg, and background vocalists Doreen and Yadonna Wise.
Richard Marcus called the album "…a great example of not just Willy's talents as a songwriter, but as an interpreter of songs." He added, "A combination of his world-weary voice and the genuine emotion he seems to be able to invest in any song he sings are certainly a good part of why he is successful where others fail, but there's more to it than that. The intangible quality of having looked into the darker part of your soul and come out the other side with your spirit intact that can't be taught, only experienced, is always present when he performs.” Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin presents cover versions of blues, country, R&B, rock, and soul songs, as well as Willy DeVille originals. It is the second live album by Willy DeVille, the previous live album being 1993’s Willy DeVille Live. Many of the songs on this album also appear in the concert film The Berlin Concerts.
DISC 1: 01. St. Peter's Street 02. Batty And Dupree 03. It's Too Late She's Gone 04. Spanish Harlem 05. Trouble In Mind 06. Storybook Love 07. Big Blue Diamond 08. Shake Sugaree 09. Let It Be Me 10. That Is The Way To Make A Broken Heart 11. Hound Dog 12. Junker's Blues 13. You Better Move On 14. Night Falls 15. Since I Met You Baby 16. Heaven Stood Still
DISC 2: 01. I'm Blue So Blue 02. Keep A Knocking Sea Cruise 03. Shake Rattle And Roll 04. Rambling On My Mind 05. One Night Of Sin 06. Steady Drivin' Man 07. Goin' Over The Hill 08. Bamboo Road 09. Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot 10. Carmelita 11. All By Myself 12. Billy The Kid
SWEET PAIN - Sweet Pain (1969)
Called 'England's Heavy Blues Super Group’ in the States, Sweet Pain featured members of the Blues Breakers, Blues Inc and The Retaliation, but were in reality a supergroup that never really got off the ground. Crippled by management intransigence, Victor Brox and Aynsley Dunbar had to record incognito as Sam Crozier and Junior Dunn respectively.
The band comprised John O’Leary on harp, Annette Brox - later to become an opera singer - on vocals, Dick Heckstall-Smith on horns, Keith Tillman on bass and guitarist Stuart Cowell, who disappeared after the recording. The band loosely wrote and arranged the material in advance but only met as a unit in the studio. Melody Maker called them ‘hot and heavy’, as evidenced by Sick & Tired, while O’Leary and Heckstall-Smith were featured on the instrumental General Smith, named after Dick, and Brox sang beautifully on It’s A Woman’s Way. Real potential only partially realised.
TRACKS: 01. The Steamer 02. Changin' Your Mind 03. Rubbin' And Scrapin' 04. Sick And Tired 05. The Rooster Crows At Midnight 06. Troubles' Trouble 07. Don't Break Down 08. It's A Woman's Way 09. General Smit 10. Trouble In Mind 11. Song Of The Medusa
SPLIT ENZ - 1972-1979 Box Set (1992)
Split Enz were a New Zealand art rock and pop band during the late 1970s and early 1980s featuring brothers Tim and Neil Finn. The band started life in 1971 at Auckland University, where Tim met up with (old friend) Mike Chunn, Robert Gillies, Philip Judd and Noel Crombie. From 1972 the band became a full-time occupation for the friends, and they called the band Split Ends. The spelling was later changed to Split Enz when they went on their first trip to Australia, to signify their New Zealand roots. The musical style is best described as new wave - eclectic and wildly original, incorporating influences from art rock, vaudeville, swing, punk, rock and pop. Their costumes and hair were like nothing else, wild and colourful. Between 1972 and 1977 Tim shared leader duties with Phil; when the latter left the band for good, younger brother Neil Finn joined at 17 years of age, and he went on to write most of the major hits the band had. Their biggest international hit was the single "I Got You". After Tim decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career in 1983, it became clear that the other major songwriter, Neil, did not think the band could go on without him. The band finally broke up in November 1984. Whatever tension there might have been between the band and Tim was resolved, and they went on their final tour together, Enz with a Bang.
Split Enz 1972-1979 - Australian-only 6-CD box set comprising the original studio albums Mental Notes, Second Thoughts, Dizrythmia, Frenzy and The Beginning Of The Enz plus exclusive bonus CD of demos, live tracks and non-album material titled 'Oddz And Endz', housed in a custom maroon and gold picture box with with a superb illustrated and detailed 28-page band chronology booklet!
SPLIT ENZ - 1980-1984 Box Set (1992)
This Australian-only box set covers the period of the band's peak in popularity (1980-1984). Beginning with True Colours and ending with their swan song, See Ya Round, it shows the band in perfect pop form. While this is too ambitious for the casual fan, the devoted will find this essential for considerably improved sound and the bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks.
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid (1970) [Super Deluxe, 2016]
This new edition uses the 2012 remaster of the 1970 album and includes the 1974 quad mix of Paranoid. Bizarrely, the quad mix isn’t on a DVD (or blu-ray) but on CD. Since CDs cannot deliver audio in a surround sound format, this rare quad mix is ‘folded down’ to stereo. It will still sound different to the master version, but the whole point of quad mixes was to deliver a surround sound experience via four channels – something this CD won’t do. Truly perverse. The other two CDs contain two concerts from 1970, from Montreux (recorded shortly before the album was issued) and Brussels (recorded during the band’s television performance for public broadcaster RTBF). The latter has been widely bootlegged, but for this set, the entire show has been sourced directly from the RTBF master tapes for optimum quality.
The four-disc set comes with a hardbound book with extensive liner notes featuring new interviews with all four band members, rare photos, and memorabilia, a poster, as well as a replica of the tour book sold during the Paranoid tour.
DISC 1 - Paranoid (Original Album): 01 War Pigs - Luke's Wall 02 Paranoid 03 Planet Caravan 04 Iron Man 05 Electric Funeral 06 Hand Of Doom 07 Rat Salad 08 Jack The Stripper,Fairies Wear Boots
DISC 2 - Paranoid (Quadradisc Mix In Stereo 1974): 01 War Pigs - Luke's Wall 02 Paranoid 03 Planet Caravan 04 Iron Man 05 Electric Funeral 06 Hand Of Doom 07 Rat Salad 08 Jack The Stripper,Fairies Wear Boots
DISC 3 - Live in Montreux 1970: 01 Intro 02 Paranoid 03 N.I.B. 04 Behind The Wall Of Sleep 05 Iron Man 06 War Pigs 07 Fairies Wear Boots 08 Hand Of Doom
DISC 4 - Live in Brussels 1970: 01 Paranoid 02 Hand Of Doom 03 Rat Salad 04 Iron Man 05 Black Sabbath 06 N.I.B. 07 Behind The Wall Of Sleep 08 War Pigs 09 Fairies Wear Boots
PAUL BUTTERFIELD - Complete Albums 1965-1980 [14CD Box Set] (2015)
Paul Butterfield was the first white harmonica player to develop a style original and powerful enough to place him among the true blues greats. His initial recordings from the mid-60s featuring the legendary ‘Paul Butterfield Blues Band’ were eclectic, ground breaking tracks fusing electric blues with rock & roll, psychedelia, jazz and even Indian classical music. He released 12 studio albums over his career as well as an array of live albums and compilations with his most famous compositions being ‘Born in Chicago’, ‘Love March’ and ‘Our Love Is Driftin’’. In 2006, he was inducted into the Blues hall of fame for his contributions to bringing blues-style music to a younger and broader audience.
The 14CD set contains 13 of his albums under various monikers including Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Paul Butterfield’s Better Days and under his own name as a solo artist. These albums were largely released on Elektra, although the solo material and Better Days albums were issued on Bearsville Records. Expect this set to be presented in the usual clamshell box with CDs in card sleeves.
NIGHT RANGER - 35 Years And A Night In Chicago (2016)
Night Ranger is an American rock band from San Francisco that gained popularity during the 1980s with a series of albums and singles. The band's first five albums sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The quintet is perhaps best known for the power ballad "Sister Christian", which peaked at No. 5 in June 1984. After their success waned in the late 1980s, the band split up in 1989 and its members pursued other musical endeavours including group and solo efforts. Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy teamed up with bassist Gary Moon and released an album without the other original band members in 1995, but the band soon re-united to release two new albums in the latter half of the decade. Despite the departure of original keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald and guitarist Jeff Watson, the band has continued to tour and remains very popular in Asian countries, particularly Japan.
In celebration of their 35+ year career, this new live album, featuring all their classic and most recent hits, sees the band at the top of their game, delivering a superb performance not to be missed! Recorded May 7, 2016 concert at the the House Of Blues in Chicago.
DISCLAIMER: The music found through this blog is intended for review purposes and should not be seen as a substitute for the original, legal, RIAA approved, record company enriching product. Please note that songs are available for VERY short amount of time. And if you like the music BUY IT. Please support the artists and buy as much as you can directly from them and cut out the middle man.
zinhof [at] gmail.com