GLENN HUGHES - Burning Japan Live (1994)
This was the first official live solo album to be released by Hughes. It features a set-list of fifteen songs, four from his 1994 solo album From Now On..., three songs from the Hughes/Thrall album and seven Deep Purple numbers. It also features a never before heard song entitled Still In Love With You, on which Hughes plays keyboards. Hughes’ band for the concerts was the same as the band that played on From Now On..., including Europe members Mic Michaeli, John Levén and Ian Haugland (who only performed on the bonus tracks from From Now On...). It is of note that a live version of the track Kiss Of Fire (from the first Phenomena album) was recorded during the same performance and included on the Talk About It EP. There is an error in the sleeve notes for the album; they mistakenly credit the tracks This Time Around and Owed To G to Bolin/Hughes/Paice, when they should read Hughes/Lord and Bolin, respectively.
The definitive album (live or otherwise) from the former Deep Purple and Hughes/Thrall Band guitarist and songwriter. Much of the material here comes from the Purple canon as well as solo material. These shows made an indelible mark on his fans and are some of the most energetic live recordings ever.
TRACKS: 01. Burn 02. The Liar 03. Muscle And Blood 04. Lay My Body Down 05. From Now On 06. Into The Void 07. Still In Love With You 08. Coast To Coast 09. This Time Around 10. Owed To G 11. Gettin' Tighter 12. You Keep On Moving 13. Lady Double Dealer 14. I Got Your Number 15. Stormbringer
FOGHAT - Foghat (1972); Foghat [Rock and Roll] (1973); Energized (1974); Rock And Roll Outlaws (1974); Fool For The City (1975); & Night Shift (1976)
Foghat are an English rock band formed in London in 1971. The band is known for its prominent use of electric slide guitar in its music. The band has achieved 8 gold records, one platinum and one double platinum record, and despite several lineup changes, continues to record and perform to the present day. Foghat specialized in a simple, hard-rocking blues-rock, releasing a series of best-selling albums in the mid-'70s. While never deviating from their basic boogie, they retained a large audience until 1978, selling out concerts across America and earning several gold or platinum albums. Once punk and disco came along, the band's audience dipped dramatically.
With their straight-ahead, three-chord romps, Foghat's sound was American in origin, yet the members were all natives of England. Guitarist/vocalist "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl were members of the British blues band Savoy Brown, who all left the group in the early '70s. Upon their departure, they formed Foghat with guitarist Rod Price. Foghat moved to the United States, signing a record contract with Bearsville Records, a new label run by Albert Grossman. Their first album, Foghat, was released in the summer of 1972 and it became an album rock hit; a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" even made it to the lower regions of the singles charts. For their next album, Foghat didn't change their formula at all -- in fact, they didn't even change the title of the album. Like the first record, the second was called Foghat; it was distinguished by a picture of a rock and a roll on the front cover.
Foghat's second album was their first gold record, and it established them as a popular arena rock act. Their next albums -- Energized (1974), Rock and Roll Outlaws (1974), Fool for the City (1975), Night Shift (1976), Foghat Live (1977), Stone Blue (1978) -- were all best-sellers and all went at least gold.
NEIL YOUNG & THE SHOCKING PINKS - Everybody's Rockin' (1983)
By following the hi-tech Trans after only seven months with a rockabilly album, Neil Young baffled his audience. Just as he had followed the sales peak of Harvest in 1972 with a series of challenging, uncommercial albums, Young had now dissipated the commercial and critical acceptance he had enjoyed with 1979's Rust Never Sleeps with a series of mediocre albums and inexplicable genre exercises. Everybody's Rockin', credited to "Neil & the Shocking Pinks," represented the nadir of this attempted career suicide. Running less than 25 minutes, it found Young covering early rock evergreens like "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes" and writing a few songs in the same vein ("Kinda Fonda Wanda"). If he had presented this as a mini-album at a discount price, it would have been easier to enjoy the joke Young seemed to intend. As it was, fans who already had their doubts about Young dropped off the radar screen; Everybody's Rockin' was his lowest-charting album since his 1969 solo debut, and he didn't release another album for two years (his longest break ever between records).
TRACKS: 01. Betty Lou's Got A New Pair Of Shoes 02. Rainin' In My Heart 03. Payola Blues 04. Wonderin' 05. Kinda Fonda Wanda 06. Jellyroll Man 07. Bright Lights, Big City 08. Cry, Cry, Cry 09. Mystery Train 10. Everybody's Rockin'
CRAZY HORSE - Scratchy: The Complete Reprise Recordings (2005)
Neil Young may not ever allow his Reprise outtakes to be released, but that doesn't mean there's not a lot of equally cool stuff from an orbit near his that can't be enjoyed -- and Rhino Handmade has hit a mother lode with this double-CD set, which offers a lot more than even dedicated Crazy Horse fans may expect. Thanks to their convoluted membership history and a series of label changes, Crazy Horse had one of the stranger release histories of almost any '70s band -- their stuff and, to some extent, their sound are all over the map. Scratchy: The Complete Reprise Recordings makes a strong case, however, for the primacy of the first lineup and their work on Reprise, assembling all of their released work for the label plus the equivalent of an album's worth of outtakes and radio spots, and two tracks by Danny & the Memories, the group that preceded the formation of Crazy Horse by five years or so. The group's self-titled debut album has bounced in and out of print for the last 34 years, but here it's been remastered with the kind of attention that makes it sound like one is hearing it for the first time -- the close sound of the acoustic guitars on "I Don't Want to Talk About It" and the roaring electric instruments on "Gone Dead Train," "Dance, Dance, Dance," and "Downtown" are impressive to these ears, the harder-rocking numbers now displaying the raw power and impact that the group exuded on-stage; the remastering job has undone the inevitable flattening process that went into the vinyl release, so that Billy Talbot's bass, in particular, now gets a killer showcase, and Jack Nitzsche's piano on "Carolay" gets as much play as the massed acoustic guitars that carry the rhythm figure at the center of the song. What's more, the crispness of the sound has brought the singing out in vivid detail -- if the LP could have sounded this bracing and powerful, this band might well have seen the success it deserved. The second half of the first CD is filled out with the tracks off of their second album, Loose; thanks to the ensuing lineup changes that took place, they're a bit of a letdown after the 11 gems from Crazy Horse, though not bad on their own terms -- the group plays from less melodic strength and raw inventiveness, but make up for it with a lot of enthusiasm and positive vibes in their sound, especially on the acoustic numbers such as the gorgeous "One Thing I Love" or "All Alone Now." The real treat, however, is the second disc, which opens with a string of extraordinary outtakes, including the title track -- the outtakes sound incredible and feature exceptional playing, and "Scratchy" by itself is worth the price of admission, 12 minutes of stunning electric interaction; and it's followed by the gorgeous acoustic piece "Dear Song Singer," plus a long version of "Downtown"; the first Danny & the Memories cut, "Can't Help Loving That Girl," was, in its own time, a throwback to early-'60s doo wop style, while the second, "Don't Go," was much more contemporary circa 1965. The set is attractively designed, with separate pockets for each disc and a beautifully designed booklet with extensive annotation, all in a very practical slipcase-style package. It's a bargain for any fan of this band or any of its members, and worth tracking down.
CRAZY HORSE - At Crooked Lake (1972) & Crazy Moon (1978)
At Crooked Lake was the second album Crazy Horse released in 1972, and also featured their second post-Danny Whitten lineup. Guitarist George Whitsell and keyboard player John Blanton had left, to be replaced by brothers Michael and Rick Curtis. This resulted in pretty much an entirely new band again, consisting of Rick Curtis (guitar/banjo/vocals), Greg Leroy (guitar/slide/vocals), Michael Curtis (keyboards/guitar/mandolin/vocals), Billy Talbot (bass) and Ralph Molina (drums). It was just the continuing presence of Talbot and Molina that kept the Crazy Horse name, as the album was essentially a debut from a new group. Their use of the name was probably a bad idea, as it would forever associate them with Danny Whitten and as Neil Young's backing group, when they probably had wanted to start afresh.
Six years went by between the release of Crazy Horse's third album, At Crooked Lake, and its fourth, Crazy Moon, and a lot of water went under the bridge in the meantime. Crazy Horse was, in effect, three different bands on its first three albums because the only constants were bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina as lead singers, songwriters, guitarists, and keyboardists came and went. The band name seemed to be retired by 1973, but in 1974 Talbot and Molina hooked up with singer/guitarist Frank Sampedro as Crazy Horse, leading to sessions with their erstwhile employer Neil Young that resulted in the Young/Crazy Horse album Zuma. At the same time, they recorded some Crazy Horse tracks that sat around for years, finally being finished off in the summer of 1978 for release here. The result is the first album since their debut, 1971's Crazy Horse, that sounds identifiable as the band that backs Young. In part, that's because Young himself is present on guitar on the tracks "She's Hot," "Going Down Again," "New Orleans," "Downhill," and "Thunder and Lighting," and brings along his production associates David Briggs and Tim Mulligan as well as his pedal steel player Ben Keith. But it's also because this is a well-realized effort on which Sampedro proves to be the first of the many successors to original guitarist Danny Whitten to fit in well with Molina and Talbot; because Molina and Talbot have upped their participation beyond providing the rhythm and some vocals, contributing to the songwriting as well; and because the guest musicians include a bevy of Crazy Horse alumni and friends including keyboardist Barry Goldberg (producer of the pre-Crazy Horse band the Rockets); Greg Leroy (Crazy Horse guitarist, 1971-1972); Bobby Notkoff (Rockets violinist); and Michael Curtis (Crazy Horse keyboardist, 1972). This is something of a Crazy Horse reunion effort, and it shows the band off at its best, or at least probably as good as it could be without co-founder Whitten, who died in 1972.
NEIL YOUNG + PROMISE OF THE REAL - Earth (2016)
Mother Earth is more than Neil Young's title heroine here; she is an instrument too. Recorded live last year with his current, youngblood combo, the 13 songs - all pulled from the ecology section of Young's library - are overdubbed with choral gleam, extra guitar drama and noisy approval by a peanut gallery of livestock, turkeys, insects and crows. There is also rolling thunder and hard rain, hinting at the payback to come. As Young sings in "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" from 1990's Ragged Glory, "How long can you give and not receive?"
Earth stops at songs as far back as 1970's "After the Gold Rush" and "Vampire Blues" from 1974's On the Beach. But these performances are more urgent, in point and force, than Young's 2015 studio manifesto, The Monsanto Years. In the jubilantly rough, electric stretches of "Hippie Dream" and "Big Box," it's like you're getting 1991's live Weld cut at Farm Aid with the last-stand fervor of Freedom. The applauding ducks and geese after the half-hour freakout "Love and Only Love" are Young's reminder that nature itself is music - and silence is not an option.
DISC 1: 01. Mother Earth 02. Seed Justice 03. My Country Home 04. The Monsanto Years 05. Western Hero 06. Vampire Blues 07. Hippie Dream 08. After The Gold Rush 09. Human Highway
DISC 2: 01. Big Box 02. People Want To Hear About Love 03. Wolf Moon 04. Love And Only Love
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid (1970) + Black Sabbath (1970) + Master Of Reality (1971) + Black Sabbath Vol.4 (1972) 
Black Sabbath is the eponymous debut studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath. Released on 13 February 1970 in the United Kingdom and on 1 June 1970 in the United States, the album reached number eight on the UK Albums Charts and number 23 on the Billboard charts. Although it was poorly received by most contemporary music critics, Black Sabbath has since been credited with significantly influencing the development of heavy metal music.
Paranoid is the second studio album by English metal band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970, it was the band's only LP to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of 13 in 2013. Paranoid contains several of the band's signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track, which was the band's only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often regarded as one of the most quintessential and influential albums in heavy metal history.
Master of Reality is the third studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in July 1971, it is widely regarded as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It was certified double platinum after having sold over 2 million copies. Master of Reality was Black Sabbath's first and only top 10 album in the US until 13 forty-two years later.
Vol. 4 is the fourth studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in September 1972. It was the first album by Black Sabbath not produced by Rodger Bain; guitarist Tony Iommi assumed production duties. Patrick Meehan, the band's then-manager, was listed as co-producer, though his actual involvement in the album's production was minimal at best.
GEORDIE - Can You Do It (2003) & Keep On Rocking! (1989)
Formed, as their name would sest, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Geordie were one of the groups that made hard rock popular in the singles charts during the 1970s. A burst of four top forty hits inside a year hinted at greater things to come, but fate decreed that the group would become better known as a live draw. If chart hits proved hard to come by, the group were regulars on the tour circuit for the next few years before coming to a natural end in 1976. A second incarnation emerged soon after and toured almost non-stop for the next three years or so. The sudden death of AC/DC s Bon Scott and his subsequent replacement by Geordie lead singer Brian Johnson brought Geordie to an end for a second time, although the original group has frequently reformed for nostalgic reunion shows and to re-record their best known tracks for this album. It is indicative of the professionalism of Brian Johnson that he can switch effortlessly from the Geordie hits Can You Do It and All Because Of You to the many hits of AC/DC and keep the audience enraptured throughout.
Brian Johnson is a singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist for the Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. In 1972, Johnson formed the glam rock band Geordie and became their lead singer. However, after a few hit singles, the band split up in 1978. Johnson reformed Geordie in 1980, however, just after a record deal had been signed, he was asked to audition for AC/DC. A few days after the audition, Johnson was told he would be replacing Bon Scott as the lead vocalist of the band. Johnson’s first album with AC/DC, Back in Black, is the band’s biggest selling album.
NEW YORK ROCK & ROLL ENSEMBLE - Reflections (1970)
The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble was a rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, whose music was described as "classical baroque rock". The group was known for performing in white tie and tailcoat (not tuxedo), as typically worn by classical musicians. For their third, and certainly best, record the classically inspired New York Rock And Roll Ensemble recruited Greek composer and songwriter Manos Hadjidakis. The resulting "Reflections" plays like a film score, not surprisingly, given Hadjidakis's experience as a composer of just such works, with epic instrumental sweeps and passages of quiet melancholy. Many of the tracks, such as "Orpheus," "The Day," and "Kemal," incorporate the folk melodies of Hadjidakis's homeland while maintaining a baroque psychedelic touch. The album was originally composed in New York City where Manos Hadjidakis was living since 1966 for the band New York Rock & Roll Ensemble and the lyrics were in English. In 1993 the album was re-released with new lyrics in Greek which were written by Nikos Gatsos and performed by Aliki Kagialoglou.
TRACKS: 01. Orpheus 02. The Day 03. Love Her 04. Dance Of The Dogs 05. Kemal 06. Dedication 07. The Three Answers 08. Street Song 09. Bitter Way 10. Noble Dame
JAN AKKERMAN - Profile (1972); Tabernakel (1973) & Jan Akkerman (1977)
A musician of nearly legendary prowess, Jan Akkerman for a time eclipsed Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck among reader polls in England as the top guitarist in the world. Akkerman was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and showed his musical inclinations early, taking up the guitar while still in grade school. His taste and interests were extraordinarily wide-ranging, from pop/rock to classical, with room for blues, Latin, and other influences. During the late '60s, Akkerman, van der Linden, bassist Bert Ruiter, and singer Kaz Lux formed Brainbox, who were good enough to get a recording contract with Parlophone Records. He was involved with an early incarnation of the group Focus, founded by conservatory-trained flutist Thijs Van Leer, but didn't join until after that group had issued its unsuccessful debut album -- he took Van der Linden with him from Brainbox and, with Van Leer and bassist Cyril Havermans (later succeeded by Ruiter) from the original Focus, formed a new group of that name.
With Akkerman's virtuoso guitar work and arrangements coupled to Van Leer's classical influence (and his yodeling on their breakthrough hit, "Hocus Pocus"), the new group found a large international audience beginning in 1972, which transformed Akkerman into a superstar guitarist. After leaving Focus in 1976, Akkerman began releasing a stream of solo albums, which frequently embraced classical, jazz, and blues, and started leading his own bands. Much of his work during the 1980s wasn't released officially outside of Holland, but his periodic recordings with Van Leer, coupled with efforts to revive Focus
ROBERT CRAY BAND [with Stevie Ray Vaughan] - Live... Texas '87 (2016)
Tin-eared critics have frequently damned him as a yuppie blues wannabe whose slickly soulful offerings bear scant resemblance to the real down-home item. In reality, Robert Cray is one of a precious few young blues-based artists with the talent and vision to successfully usher the idiom into the 21st century without resorting either to slavish imitation or simply playing rock while passing it off as blues. Just as importantly, his immensely popular records helped immeasurably in jump-starting the contemporary blues boom that still holds sway to this day. Blessed with a soulful voice that sometimes recalls '60s great O.V. Wright and a concise lead guitar approach that never wastes notes, Cray's rise to international fame was indeed a heartwarming one. For a guy whose 1980 debut album for Tomato, Who's Been Talkin', proved an instant cutout, his ascendancy was amazingly swift -- in 1986 his breakthrough Strong Persuader album for Mercury (containing "Smoking Gun") won him a Grammy and shot his asking price for a night's work skyward. He toured extensively to support it, both in his own right and opening for stars such as Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and Huey Lewis. This superb live set, broadcast on Q102 Radio, captures him on the cusp of stardom, and includes blistering performances of almost all the album (including the hit single, Smoking Gun), as well as a guest appearance from the great Stevie Ray Vaughan.
ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD - The Royal Gospel (2016)
The follow-up to 2015’s Blues Music Award-nominated Don’t Look Back album, The Royal Gospel was recorded in a mere seven days in February 2016 at Dockside Studios in Louisiana. Working with noted producer David Z, the band played together live in the studio, their chemistry allowing them to capture many of their performances in a minimum of takes. “We walked in not really knowing what we were gonna do,” Philips says in a press release for The Royal Gospel. “Cyril and Bart come to us with chord progressions, tempos, and ideas and we build together. We’d just fall right into the thing and all of a sudden, there’s the song. On this record, we came together as a band. It was a magical thing to witness.”
The Royal Gospel pushes the band’s blues-rock roots even further, taking advantage of Walker and Vaughan’s intertwined guitars to build a more electric sound that rocks. Hard. Listening to a preview of the album, a number of songs stand out. “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire” burns like an open flame with its scorching fretwork and soulful vocals. “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” features stellar instrumentation, and the intro alone will blow your mind, the song itself a high-octane mix of the Neville Brothers’ New Orleans soul and blistering blues-rock guitar.
WALTER TROUT - Alive In Amsterdam (2016)
"Alive in Amsterdam" is the sound of a man announcing his resurrection after a period on the ropes. As Trout’s army of international fans are painfully aware, recent times have taken the bandleader to the brink, following a bleak diagnosis of life-threatening liver failure and hepatitis C in 2013. Trout’s rebirth began with a successful transplant in May 2014, and gathered pace with 2015’s ‘Battle Scars’: the acclaimed studio album that channeled his near-death experience into raw autobiographical songs.
Walter Trout has never sounded so alive. The date is November 28th, 2015. The location is Amsterdam’s opulent Royal Theatre Carré. And the occasion is a live performance of the blues-rock legend at full-throttle. “We were rocking,” remembers Trout of the comeback concert captured on "Alive in Amsterdam" “If people are expecting a laid-back show, that’s not what they’ll get. This is potent stuff…”
DEEP PURPLE - On The Road (2001)
Four CD Boxset. 30th Anniversary Live Collection with Three Previously Unreleased Tracks ('strange Kind of Woman,' 'lazy' and 'fireball') and Seven Tracks on CD for the First Time in Most of Europe. Includes Fully Illustrated and Annotated Booklet.
The set is aimed more at the general Deep Purple fan, but does contain a fair proportion of tracks of interest to the more dedicated collectors. It had been hoped to take this through with unissued tracks by both the Turner and Satriani era, and end up with a Live At Olympia track. However "licensing problems" have precluded this. The discs will be individually packaged in jewel cases with simple inlays giving basic publishing data. The four discs will be housed in a hard slipcase, along with 12 collectors cards, and a multi-page booklet detailing the history of the band's official live recordings. Running time of each disc is one hour plus.
ROGER McGUINN - Roger McGuinn (1973); Peace On You (1974); Roger McGuinn & Band (1975) & Cardiff Rose (1976)
As the frontman of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn and his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker guitar pioneered folk-rock and, by extension, country-rock, influencing everyone from contemporaries like the Beatles to acolytes like Tom Petty and R.E.M. in the process. James Joseph McGuinn was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, where by his teenage years he was already something of a folk music prodigy. After touring with the Limelighters, in 1960 he signed on as an accompanist with the Chad Mitchell Trio, appearing on the LPs Mighty Day on Campus and At the Bitter End; frustrated with his limited role in the group, he soon joined Bobby Darin's group when the singer moved from pop to folk.
After appearing on sessions for Hoyt Axton, Judy Collins, and Tom & Jerry (soon to be known as Simon & Garfunkel), McGuinn began playing solo dates around the Los Angeles area, where he soon formed the Jet Set with area musicians David Crosby and Gene Clark. After a failed single under the name the Beefeaters, the group recruited bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, changed their name to the Byrds, and set about crystallizing McGuinn's vision of merging the poetic folk music of Bob Dylan with the miraculous pop sounds heard via the British Invasion. McGuinn was the only member of the Byrds to play on their landmark debut single "Mr. Tambourine Man," but his jangly guitar work quickly became the very definition of the burgeoning folk-rock form; still, despite the Byrds' immediate success, both commercially and critically, the group was plagued by internal strife, and following the release of their 1968 country-rock breakthrough Sweetheart of the Rodeo, McGuinn was the only founding member still in the band.
RORY GALLAGHER - Wheels Within Wheels (2003)
Although best known for his barnstorming blues-rock, Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher had a softer side, too. All of his studio albums contain at least one acoustic folk-blues track, and Gallagher included an unpled set in the majority of his live shows way before that was fashionable. Almost eight years after his death, Rory's brother Donal compiled a 14-track collection of previously unreleased work dedicated to Gallagher's folkier approach. It's the second such posthumous album (the terrific live and very electric BBC Sessions came out in 1999), and focuses on an important if lesser recognized aspect of the guitarist's career. It's also an eclectic set that shifts from melodic ballads ("Wheels Within Wheels") to instrumental modified flamenco ("Flight to Paradise" with classical guitarist Juan Martin) and solo Delta blues (a studio take of Tony Joe White's "As the Crow Flies," the live version of which was a highlight of Irish Tour). And that's just the first three songs. Unreleased gems such as "Lonesome Highway" sound like classic Gallagher (this even features a pled-in solo), but the disc is most successful when it unearths rare collaborations with Martin Carthy, Bert Jansch, and Scottish skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan. The latter is caught live on a rousing version of "Goin' to My Hometown," one of this album's many highlights. The heavily bootlegged "The Cuckoo," also finds official release in a stirring version assisted by Roland Van Campenhout on second guitar. Three live tunes with stripped-down accompaniment from Béla Fleck on banjo and harmonica master Mark Feltham find Gallagher running through a seemingly improvised medley of "Amazing Grace," Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues," and Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky," showing just how diverse Gallagher's tastes were. Established Gallagher fans will love this for the unusually laid-back setting, but Wheels Within Wheels might also attract a hardcore folk audience likely unaware of the rock guitarist's affinity for this genre. The varying sound quality is a little sketchy, especially on the concert tracks, but the sheer enthusiasm and joy infused in these grooves override any audio shortcomings.
TRACKS: 01. Wheels Within Wheels 02. Flight To Paradise 03. As The Crow Flies 04. Lonesome Highway 05. Bratacha Dubha 06. She Moved Thro' The Fair-Ann Cran Ull 07. Barley & Grape Rag 08. The Cuckoo 09. Amazing Grace 10. The Walking Blues 11. Bluemoon Of Kentucky 12. Deep Elm Blues 13. Goin' To My Hometown 14. Lonesome Highway Refraining
ERIC CLAPTON - I Still Do (2016) [Japan Edition, with bonus track]
01. Alabama Woman Blues
02. Can't Let You Do It
03. I Will Be There
05. Catch The Blues
06. Cypress Grove
07. Little Man, You've Had A Busy Day
08. Stones In My Passway
09. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
10. I'll Be Alright
11. Somebody's Knockin'
12. I'll Be Seeing You
13. Freight Train
GALLAGHER & LYLE - Gallagher & Lyle (1972); Willie And The Rapdog (1973); Seeds (1973) & The Last Cowboy (1974) [Japan 2016]
The pop duo phenomenon that spawned such acts as Simon & Garfunkel, Brewer & Shipley, and Seals & Crofts was predated by the duo formed by songwriters, guitarists, and vocalists Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle. Initially attracting attention as songwriters of Dean Ford & the Gaylords' single "Mr. Heartbreak's Here Instead," Gallagher and Lyle went on to record as a duo and as members of McGuinness Flint and Ronnie Lane's group Slim Chance. Gallagher and Lyle continued to balance their performances and recordings as staff songwriters for the Beatles' Apple label, writing "Sparrow" and "International" for Mary Hopkin. The title track of their sixth duo album, Breakaway, was later covered by Art Garfunkel. Gallagher and Lyle first played together in Largs, a small town near Glasgow in Ayrshire, Scotland. Relocating to London in 1967, the duo became full-time writers at Apple. Three years later, they joined with Tom McGuinness and Hughie Flint to form McGuinness Flint. Although McGuinness Flint recorded two successful singles, "When I'm Dead and Gone" and "Malt and Barley Blues," the group disbanded in 1971. Recording their self-titled debut duo album for Capitol, Gallagher & Lyle switched to the A&M label by their second effort. Their first release on A&M, however, was a reissue of their debut album.
In the spring of 1974, Gallagher and Lyle joined Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance, remaining with the group until May 1974. Gallagher and Lyle balanced their work with the band with additional duo albums, How Come and The Last Cowboy. They continued to record on their own following the breakup of the group. Breakaway was released in 1975, Love on the Airwaves in 1977, and Showdown in 1978. Switching to the Phonogram label, they recorded their final album, Lonesome No More, in 1979. Following a tour to support the album, Gallagher and Lyle went their separate ways. Lyle continued to write, in collaboration with Terry Britten, reaching his peak with "What's Love Got to Do with It," covered by Tina Turner, and "Just Good Friends," recorded by Michael Jackson.
NICOLETTE LARSON - Live At The Roxy (2006) & The Very Best Of Nicolette Larson (1999)
Montana-born Nicolette Larson began her musical career in earnest in San Francisco in the early '70s, singing with David Nichtern & The Nocturnes. Moving south to Los Angeles, she became friends with Linda Ronstadt, through whom she was introduced to Neil Young. By 1978 she'd contributed backup vocals to Young's American Stars 'N Bars and Comes A Time. The latter featured “Lotta Love,” which would become Larson's own signature song as included on her own 1978 album Nicolette. After providing harmonies for the likes of Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and The Doobie Brothers, and doing a stint in Commander Cody, Larson released four solo albums for Warner Bros. before moving to Nashville and recording her MCA debut, Say When, which garnered the Country Music Academy's Best New Female Vocalist award and produced the hit duet with Steve Warner, “That's When You Know When Love's Right.” She continued recording until a cerebral edema took her life in December of 1997. In February of 1998 two tribute concerts were held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, gathering such artists as Carole King, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, and Bonnie Raitt (a CD recording of the concert was released on the Rhino record label in February 2006).
Originally released as a promo disc in 1979, Live At The Roxy captures a December 20, 1978 performance and the legendary Sunset Strip venue. Live At The Roxy is available as an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies.
VALA CUPP - One Thing On My Mind (1990)
Vala was born in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1954 and has been singing Blues and R&B since age 15 (after hearing a recording of Bessie Smith). "It really struck me big time," Cupp recalls. She became fascinated by "the most macabre tunes." "The strong ones are a kick in the butt to sing, and they're a strong emotional release. They are more colorful lyrically, give you more to work with when evoking a feeling."
Vala toured with John Lee Hooker as his opening singer and duets partner for 14 years (1987 through 2001), and has shared the stage with such luminaries as Ry Cooder, Elvin Bishop, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Albert Collins, Charlie Musslewhite, Greg Allman, Kenneth Threadgill, Hiram Bullock, Coco Montoya, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Dale Watson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lydia Pense, Carlos Santana, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks. She died on Oct. 31, 2005, in her Austin home.
TRACKS: 01. Six Eggs & A Pint Of Vodka 02. Think Twice Before You Go 03. Self Destructive Blues 04. Don't Touch Me 05. Man Size Job 06. Crawling Kingsnake (Duet With John Lee Hooker) 07. Any Old Arms 08. Jailhouse Blues 09. One Thing On My Mind
WISHBONE ASH - Wishbone Ash In Concert (2002) & Bare Bones (2002)
During the early- and mid-'70s, Wishbone Ash were among England's most popular hard rock acts. The group's roots dated to the summer of 1966, when drummer Steve Upton formed a band called Empty Vessels with bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and guitarist Glen Turner. Empty Vessels soon changed their name to Tanglewood and moved to London; during a gig at the Country Club in Hampstead, they were seen by would-be rock manager Miles Copeland, who was impressed with the jazz and progressive rock influences within the band and offered to be their manager.
Glen Turner left the band at that point, and an advertisement for a guitarist resulted in the addition of both David Alan "Ted" Turner and Andy Powell, who provided the basis for the sound of the new lineup with intertwining riffs and phrases drawn from both soul and blues, coupled with Martin Turner's melodic bass sound and Upton's jazz-influenced drumming. A new name was called for, and after several sestions by Copeland that proved unacceptable, "Wishbone Ash" was chosen from two lists of words. The group rehearsed for weeks at Copeland's home, working out an entirely new repertoire, and played their first gig opening for the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. It wasn't too long before they were opening for Deep Purple, where a sound check jam between Powell and Ritchie Blackmore led to a recording contract with the American Decca label. Their self-titled first album appeared in 1970; Pilgrimage and Argus followed over the next two years, and each showed a major advance in the band's sound. The release of 1973's Wishbone Four reflected a greater maturity to the group, and was their first fully developed album, with songwriting that didn't hide behind a progressive pose but luxuriated in the members' folk music inclinations, without compromising the harder edge of their music. The album also saw the departure of Ted Turner, who was replaced by Laurie Wisefield. Locked In and New England followed; Martin Turner departed after 1979's Just Testing, to be replaced by ex-King Crimson bassist/singer John Wetton. Wishbone Ash soldiered on through the 1980s, and in 1986 even got back with Copeland, by now a major player in the recording industry by virtue of his management of the Police and his founding of I.R.S. Records. Wishbone Ash's history came full circle with the reunion of Powell, Upton, Ted Turner, and Martin Turner, and the recording of three albums for I.R.S.. They remained a working band into the 1990s, led by Andy Powell and Ted Turner and touring and recording regularly.
TRACKS: 01. Real Guitars Have Wings 02. King Will Come 03. Cosmic Jazz 04. Keeper of the Light 05. Why Don't We? 06. Blowin' Free 07. Medley: Blind Eye / Lady Whiskey / Sometime World / Phoenix / Jailbait
Bare Bones is an all-acoustic studio album from rock band Wishbone Ash. It features re-arranged versions of old classics and a number of new original and cover songs. It is the only studio album to feature guitarist/vocalist Mark Birch and the first album in eight years to feature drummer Ray Weston. Several special guests also appear on the album, including former vocalist Claire Hamill. In support of the album, the band would integrate an all-acoustic set within their concert repertoire throughout 1999 and 2000.
TRACKS: 01. Wings Of Desire 02. Error Of My Ways 03. Master Of Disguise 04. You Won't Take Me Down 05. Love Abuse 06. One More Chance 07. Baby Don't Mind 08. Living Proof 09. Hard Times 10. Strange Affair 11. Everybody Needs A Friend
JIMMY BARNES - Soul Searchin' [Deluxe Edition] (2016)
James Dixon Swan, better known as Jimmy Barnes, is a Scottish-born Australian rock singer-songwriter. His career both as a solo performer and as the lead vocalist with the rock band Cold Chisel has made him one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. The combination of 14 Australian Top 40 albums for Cold Chisel and 13 charting solo albums, including nine No. 1s, gives Barnes the highest number of hit albums of any Australian artist. Barnes launched his own career less than a month after Cold Chisel's Last Stand tour came to an end. He assembled a band that included Arnott, former Fraternity bass player Bruce Howe and guitarists Mal Eastick (ex-Stars) and Chris Stockley (ex-The Dingoes) and began touring and writing for a solo album. Signing to Mushroom Records, Barnes released his first solo album Bodyswerve. He was now billing himself as Jimmy Barnes, instead of merely 'Jim Barnes' as he had been credited during his Cold Chisel days.
2016 album of Soul classics recorded in Nashville with help from Joe Bonamassa, Steve Cropper (Booker T & The MG's / Stax), Dann Penn & others. Includes a bonus CD with an additional 8 tracks!
DISC 1: 01. She's Looking Good 02. Hard Working Woman 03. A Woman Needs To Be Loved 04. Cry To Me 05. If Loving You Is A Crime (I'll Always Be Guilty) (With The Memphis Boys) 06. It's How You Make It Good 07. I Worship The Ground You Walk On (Feat. Steve Cropper) 08. Bad Girl 09. Lonely For You Baby 10. The Dark End Of The Street (Feat. Dan Penn) 11. Mercy Mercy 12. Rainbow Road
DISC 2: 01. I Testify 02. Mustang Sally 03. More And More (With The Memphis Boys) 04. Drowning In The Sea Of Love 05. In The Midnight Hour 06. In A Broken Dream (Feat. Joe Bonamassa) 07. You've Got My Mind Messed Up (With The Memphis Boys) 08. Suspicious Minds (With The Memphis Boys)
VAN MORRISON - ...It's Too Late To Stop Now... Volumes II, III, IV (2016)
A 3-CD/1-DVD collection of previously unreleased live concert recordings from Van Morrison's mythic 1973 tour with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, "It's Too Late To Stop Now.. Volumes II, III, IV & DVD" collates peak performances originally recorded at three venues: The Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Civic Center, and The Rainbow Theatre in London. The set's DVD features professionally-lensed live footage from the Rainbow Theatre, which originally aired on the BBC in the UK and is now available for the first time as a commercial home video release. It's Too Late to Stop Now… Volumes II, III, IV & DVD was remixed from the original multi-track tapes by engineer Guy Massey. Although the original It's Too Late to Stop Now… cherry-picked recordings from throughout the 1973 tour, none of the songs featured on It's Too Late to Stop Now… Volumes II, III, IV & DVD appeared on the classic live LP.
GARY WRIGHT - Gary Wright's Extraction (1970) & Footprint (1971) 
Gary Malcolm Wright is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known for his 1976 hit songs "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive", and for his role in helping establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in rock and pop music. Wright's breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver (1975), came after he had spent seven years in London as, alternately, a member of the British heavy rock band Spooky Tooth and a solo artist on A&M Records. While in England, he played keyboards on former Beatle George Harrison's All Things Must Pass triple album (1970), so beginning a friendship that inspired the Indian religious themes and spirituality inherent in Wright's subsequent songwriting. His work since the late 1980s has embraced world music and the new age genre, although none of his post-1976 releases has matched the popularity of The Dream Weaver.
First two solo albums from ex-Spooky Tooth keyboardist. These date from the early '70s and were originally on A&M records. They have been digitally remastered and come housed in a slipcase with new sleeve notes. He released these two fine albums in succession after the initial breakup of the band, with `Extraction' coming out in 1971 and `Footprint' the next year. While critically acclaimed, they were not commercial successes at the time, in spite of the quality of the material. They now get a second chance, and fans of great rock music have reason to rejoice.
PAUL McCARTNEY - Pure McCartney (2016)
This is the only comprehensive career collection released of Paul McCartney's solo works (outside of the The Beatles) from his 45 year solo career. The collection was personally curated by Paul McCartney and many tracks have been remastered for this collection.
'Me and my team came up with the idea of putting together a collection of my recordings with nothing else in mind other than having something fun to listen to. Maybe to be enjoyed on a long car journey or an evening at home, or at a party with friends. So we got our heads together and came up with these diverse play lists from various periods of my long and winding career. The word career is a bit misleading because to me it has been more like a musical adventure than a proper job. It pleases me, and often amazes me, that I ve been involved in the writing and recording of so many songs, each of them so different from the others. But on my next long car journey this will be the soundtrack for the ride, and a great ride it has been coming up with these songs. So jump in your hot rod or relax in your hot bath and give these ditties a spin and remember that if half of the pleasure we had in putting this collection together communicates itself to you, we ll all be riding high!' - Paul McCartney
JOHNNY WINTER with DR. JOHN - Live In Sweden 1987 (2016)
Blues legend Johnny Winter is joined by the equally legendary Dr. John on Swedish TV, recorded in 1987. From the opening notes of Sound the Bell to the finale of a positively incendiary Jumpin Jack Flash, Winter is in great form. The blues and rock take a side trip to New Orleans when the masterful Dr. John joins the band on piano.
After years of degrading VHS tapes and bootleg DVDs, fans of Johnny Winter and Dr. John can finally have a pristine copy of their Live in Sweden 1987 on DVD along with CD, vinyl and digital formats. Recorded live at the famed Sonet Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in January of 1987, this eight-song set with New Orleans Jazz and Zydeco legend Dr. John (aka: Malcolm John Rebennack) features the likes of Sound the Bell, Jumpin Jack Flash, Prodigal Son and Sugar Sweet.
TRACKS: 01. Sound the Bell 02. Don't Take Advantage of Me 03. Mojo Boogie 04. You Lie Too Much 05. Sugar Sweet 06. Love Life & Money 07. Jumpin' Jack Flash
TINSLEY ELLIS - Red Clay Soul (2016)
Landslide Records is proud and excited to announce the compact disc release of Red Clay Soul, a vibrant new set of original, soulful compositions from veteran Georgia blues rocker Tinsley Ellis. A follow up to Ellis award winning, critically acclaimed Tough Love, the new album combines Ellis masterful guitar and vocal prowess with fresh arrangements and a crack backing band. Produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, Red Clay Soul was recorded live in McKendree s Nashville studio with bassist Steve Mackey and drummer Lynn Williams. Oliver Wood (the Wood Brothers) contributed guitar and background vocal parts on the duet, Givin You Up, which he also co-wrote with Ellis. Additionally, Red Clay Soul boasts a wide ranging assortment of soul induced blues rock that opens with All I Think About, a Freddie King inspired rocker, then moves along effortlessly through the southern soul of Callin and the Latin based instrumental, Estero Noche. A hardworking road warrior known for relentless touring in the U.S. and abroad, Ellis is set for a worldwide slate of festival, theater and club bookings for the rest of the year.
TRACKS: 01. All I Think About 02. Givin' You Up 03. Callin' 04. Anything But Go 05. Hungry Woman Blues 06. Circuit Rider 07. Don't Cut It 08. Party Of One 09. Estero Noche 10. The Bottle, The Book Or The Gun
HAPPY THE MAN - Live (1997)
Often compared to Yes for their melodicism and Gentle Giant for the complexity of their compositions, Happy the Man added their own high-caliber musicianship, a sense of symphonic drama, odd time signatures, spacy sound, and occasional whimsy to their brand of progressive rock. Although their largely instrumental oeuvre was rather inconsistent, Happy the Man still carry a devoted following on the prog rock collectors' circuit. The group was formed in 1974, and during the '70s featured keyboardist Kit Watkins, keyboardist/woodwind player Frank Wyatt, guitarist and occasional vocalist Stan Whitaker, and bassist Rick Kennell, plus a rotating succession of drummers.
Great performances from the all too short lived Happy The Man, from recently discovered 1978 live tapes. The tracks were recorded by the final band line-up,with drummer Coco Roussel. There are terrific live versions of tracks from their two Arista albums, some of which differ from the original studio releases. This is a great progressive sympho jazz rock album from one of the best and most underrated prog rock seventies bands.
TRACKS: 01. Service With A Smile 02. Starborne 03. Open Book 04. Hidden Moods 05. Morning Sun 06. I Forgot To Push It 07. Ibby It Is 08. Nossuri (The Moon, I Sing) 09. I Carve The Chariot On The Carousel 10. Steaming Pipes 11. Knee Bitten Nymphs In Limbo 12. Mr.Mirror's Reflection On Dreams
HAPPY THE MAN - Happy The Man (1977) & Crafty Hands (1978)
Happy the Man is an American progressive rock band formed in 1973. Often compared to Yes for their melodicism and Gentle Giant for the complexity of their compositions, Happy the Man added their own high-caliber musicianship, a sense of symphonic drama, odd time signatures, spacy sound, and occasional whimsy to their brand of progressive rock. Although their largely instrumental oeuvre was rather inconsistent, Happy the Man still carry a devoted following on the prog rock collectors' circuit. The group was formed in 1974, and during the '70s featured keyboardist Kit Watkins, keyboardist/woodwind player Frank Wyatt, guitarist and occasional vocalist Stan Whitaker, and bassist Rick Kennell, plus a rotating succession of drummers.
V.A. - Janis: Little Girl Blue (2016)
Janis Joplin is one of the most revered and iconic rock & roll singers of all time, a tragic and misunderstood figure who thrilled millions of listeners and blazed new creative trails before her death in 1970 at age 27. This soundtrack to the acclaimed documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, showcases Janis at her very best and features brand new liner notes from Oscar nominated Director & Producer Amy Berg, rare, vintage photos and reproductions of letters written by Janis as detailed throughout the documentary.
A remarkable career-spanning anthology, Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), brings together 17 essential Janis Joplin live and studio performances, including classic solo and Big Brother & the Holding Company tracks. The album debuts a previously unreleased version of "Piece of My Heart" (also featured in the documentary and recorded live at the Generation Club in New York City in April 1968 during the Wake for Martin Luther King concert, this performance was included in the 1991 D.A. Pennebaker/Chris Hagedus short film, "Comin' Home," and has been never been available as a commercial audio release). Janis: Little Girl Blue includes an early recording of Janis Joplin singing Lead Belly's "Careless Love"; live performances with Big Brother & The Holding Company (from San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom, the Monterey Pop Festival, the Generation Club in New York City and Detroit's mythic Grande Ballroom); the Kozmic Blues Band (Frankfurt, West Germany, April 12, 1969); Janis live at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair (August 17, 1969) and the legendary Festival Express Tour (July 4, 1970). Rounding out Janis: Little Girl Blue are definitive studio performances from the classic four original albums--Big Brother & The Holding Company, Cheap Thrills, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl--recorded during Joplin's lifetime. All of the recordings on the Janis: Little Girl Blue soundtrack album may be heard in the film.
MOUNTAIN - Over The Top (1995)
Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi and Corky Laing were a great early 70s hard rock band that pioneered the sound that we now call heavy metal. Along with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, Mountain was among the first rock bands to take the blues-rock structure of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience and make it louder and more aggressive. Mountain was a big influence upon much of the hard rock/metal of the following decade, and the classic "Mississippi Queen" was a seminal FM radio hit.
Over The Top is an anthology of Mountain's musical legacy from its beginnings in Leslie West's 1969 debut, Mountain (later taken as the name of the trio) through the successful early 70s LPs to reunions in the 80s and 90s. It begins on CD 1 with six tracks from Leslie West's Mountain LP, which sounds much the same as the group, Mountain. It's bluesy rock with West's guitar skills on full display. Tracks 7 to 13 cover most of the Climbing album. This is some of the group's best stuff including the classic Mississippi Queen and another excellent rocker, Never In My Life. Next is some live material featuring a very long Stormy Monday, and an extended five-minute guitar solo. Disc 2 begins with songs from the Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers of Evil albums. This is still prime material from the 1971 - '72 era. Then we have two tracks from the 1974 Avalanche album, where things started to go downhill a bit, followed by two tracks from the 1985 reunion album Go For Your Life, where the group sounds like an 80s metal band. Last there are two tracks that were recorded just for this compilation in 1994 by Leslie West, Corky Laing and former Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding. These tracks are decent, but don't rank with Mountain's classic material. Overall, Over The Top is a good anthology collection that is far more thorough than the earlier The Best of Mountain collection.
BLACK MOUNTAIN - Discography (2005 - 2016)
Drawing on blues, psychedelia, acid rock, Led Zeppelin, and the Velvet Underground, Black Mountain's sound was a cross between the darkness and grit of the Warlocks and Brian Jonestown Massacre's trippiness, with a folkie undertow weaving through it all. Black Mountain leader Stephen McBean previously fronted the semi-acoustic cowpunk band Jerk with a Bomb, but after releasing two albums, he reshaped the Vancouver-area band into a group called Black Mountain. After debuting in October 2004 on Jagjaguwar with the 12" Druganaut, Black Mountain stayed with the label for an eponymous full-length, issued the following January. Joining McBean for the album were local players Matthew Camirand, Jeremy Schmidt, Joshua Wells, and Amber Webber, listed collectively to preserve the band's communal ethic. (Black Mountain ran concurrent to and intermingled with McBean's other band, lo-fi classic rockers Pink Mountaintops).
The debut album earned enthusiastic reviews in the music press, and Coldplay tapped Black Mountain to open for them on an arena tour. In January 2008, Black Mountain released their sophomore album, In the Future, and showed off their willingness to explore proggy (and dry) territory with the 17-minute opus "Bright Lights." The group's third full-length album, Wilderness Heart, arrived in 2010, and earned the group the Polaris Prize, one of the highest honors in Canadian music. In 2012, Black Mountain released their soundtrack to the film Year Zero, an ambitious documentary about surfing set against a dystopian, post-apocalyptic backdrop. In 2015, the self-titled debut album was reissued in a special expanded edition for its tenth anniversary, and the following year, Black Mountain issued their fourth proper album, IV, which was produced by Randall Dunn, best known for his work with Sunn O))). IV also featured Arjan Miranda on bass, replacing Matthew Camirand in the lineup. The band followed up on the album's release with an extensive international concert tour.
- Black Mountain (2005)
- In The Future (2008)
- Wilderness Heart (2010)
- IV (2016)
THE ROLLING STONES - Totally Stripped (2016)
Totally Stripped is a newly-revised version of the documentary that was originally made to coincide with the release of The Rolling Stones Stripped album released in November 1995. It tells the story of the two studio sessions and three live shows that made up the Stripped project. This followed the conclusion of the mammoth Voodoo Lounge tour and found The Stones reimagining tracks from their back catalog pared back versions alongside a couple of carefully chosen covers in the studio and doing smaller scale club gigs to showcase these versions, which was a marked contrast to the huge arenas and stadiums that had hosted the Voodoo Lounge tour. This new version of the documentary includes previously unseen footage and lays bare the inner workings of both The Rolling Stones and of some of their best loved tracks. Revealing, intimate and moving, Totally Stripped is unmissable. The deluxe edition also contains a CD of favourites drawn from across the three live shows and three DVDs featuring, for the first time, each of those shows in full.
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PAUL SIMON - Stranger To Stranger [Deluxe Edition] (2016)
For anyone who s been listening to great music during the past half-century, Paul Simon is certainly no stranger. So one of the most remarkable things about his extraordinary new masterpiece, Stranger to Stranger Paul Simon s 13th solo record is that it conjures a vivid and vital new context to his well-established genius as a singer and songwriter. Full of thrilling textures that feel fresh and modern, while still offering subtle and artful allusions to our shared musical past, Stranger to Stranger presents the perfect opportunity to get to know Paul Simon in a new way. A significant sonic breakthrough on Stranger to Stranger came when Simon wrote the song 'Insomniac s Lullaby,' and found himself reminded of the musical possibilities first sested by Harry Partch the 20th Century American composer and theorist who created custom-made instruments in microtonal tunings. Besides recording sounds from various Partch instruments, one of the key realizations Simon gathered from Partch was the observation that singing in music is akin to human speech, and Simon started to shape vocal lines on the album that way. Stranger to Stranger allows the listener to experience Simon s singular voice with the shock of the new. Here, his strong voice and conversational lyrics usher us into a brave new musical world where expectations are defied and exceeded, as they were thirty years ago with another masterpiece, Graceland. On Stranger to Stranger, Simon worked with old friend and collaborator Roy Halee a name familiar from countless recordings now rightly considered classic. 'It s about getting you to actually hear something in a new way. It s about making music that sounds old and new at the same time; music with a sense of mystery,' says Simon. Paul Simon s collage of sounds for Stranger to Stranger also includes the Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap!, whose sound he ended up putting on three of the tracks ('The Werewolf,' 'Wristband' and 'Street Angel'). 'Sound is the theme of this album as much as it s about the subjects of the individual songs. If people get that, I ll be pleased,' explains Simon.... 'The right song at the right time can live for generations. A beautiful sound, well that's forever.'
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DEBBIE BOND - Enjoy the Ride [Shoals Sessions] (2016)
Singer, guitar player and songwriter Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years. Her singing has been compared to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, both of whom she cites as big influences on her music. The truth is that Debbie does it her way, playing a dynamic mix of searing originals and covers that she makes her own. Her impressive musical story includes many years of performing with older traditional Alabama blues musicians, including Johnny Shines, Eddie Kirkland and Willie King. Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and original song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues, rock, jazz and Americana influences.
This unique musical synthesis can be heard on her latest album, 2016’s “Enjoy The Ride.” Of the 11 tracks, six are originals written by Debbie Bond and her partner, Rick Asherson. This project was recorded in The Shoals by the great Billy Lawson (FAME, Muscle Shoals Sound, Wishbone and more), with assistant Jerry Masters (FAME, Muscle Shoals Sound and more). The result is a fine collection of songs, infused with that big fat, warm and soulful Muscle Shoals, Alabama, sound.
TRACKS: 01. Enjoy The Ride 02. Rainbow 03. Love Vibration 04. Left Me In The Dark 05. Find A Way 06. I Am The Blues 07. Humble Pie 08. Wishbone 09. Remedy 10. Start With Love 11. Train Song
ROY ROGERS & NORTON BUFFALO - Roots of Our Nature (2002)
As quintessentially American as corn on the cob or the rodeo, the blues-streaked music created here by slide guitarist Roy Rogers and harmonica player Norton Buffalo marks their first studio collaboration since two early-'90s releases. Buffalo, a longtime Steve Miller Band member, and Rogers, who has played with Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker, are so musically in synch that all 13 of their original songs on this CD serve as engaging testimonials to their friendship. Each West Coaster is a virtuoso on his instrument, but neither engages in showiness. Instead, their phrases combine in low-key expressions of faith, longing, strle, and triumph. Rogers and Norton aren't outstanding singers, yet they get by without disrupting the special guitar-harp rapport at the crux of the music. Buffalo does deliver his all-time best studio vocal on "If I Were a King." On "Trinity" the words sustain an especially rustic eloquence through multiple verses dedicated to visions of salvation. If retro affectation bothers you, it's best to imagine this session transpiring on some snowy night, within the glow of an iron stove at some crossroads general store. When heard on these terms, Roots can cast a spell to remember.
TRACKS: 01. Don't Throw Your Changes On Me 02. All I Want 03. Under The Rug 04. Requiem 05. If I Were A King 06. Ritmo De Las Almas (Rythm Of The Souls) 07. Making New Love Out Of Old 08. Long Hard Road 09. Trinity 10. Deny And Down The Distance 11. Seven Hearts 12. Highway Bound 13. Happy Go Lucky
ROY ROGERS & THE DELTA RHYTHM KINGS - Live! At the Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room (2004)
A northern California-based blues guitarist, Roy Rogers works firmly out of a Delta blues acoustic style and is particularly good with a slide. A member of John Lee Hooker's '80s Coast to Coast Band, Rogers produced and played on Hooker's Grammy-winning comeback album, The Healer, and its follow-up, Mr. Lucky. During the early '70s, Rogers played with a variety of Bay Area bar bands. In 1976, he and harpist David Burgin recorded A Foot in the Door, which was released on Waterhouse Records. For the next few years, he played in various bands before he formed his own, the Delta Rhythm Kings, in 1980. Two years later, John Lee Hooker asked Rogers to join his Coast to Coast Band and the guitarist accepted. Rogers stayed with Hooker for four years, leaving in 1986. That same year, he released his debut album, Chops Not Chaps, on Blind Pig Records. The record was successful with blues audiences and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award.
In 1987, he released his second solo album, Slidewinder, which was followed two years later by Blues on the Range. In 1990, Rogers produced Hooker's The Healer, and the following year he produced the iconic bluesman's Mr. Lucky, which also won a Grammy. In 1991, Rogers recorded a duet album, R&B, with harmonica player Norton Buffalo. The following year, the duo released another record, Travellin' Tracks. Rogers' output lagged in the mid-'90s, but he worked steadily at the end of the decade, performing concerts across America and recording albums like 1997's Rhythm & Groove and 1998's Pleasure + Pain. He recorded an album in 2001 with Shana Morrison (Van Morrison's daughter) and released an instrumental album entitled Slideways in 2002. Another duet album with Norton Buffalo appeared later that year called Roots of Our Nature. In 2008, Rogers collaborated with legendary Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek on the album Ballads Before the Rain. It would prove to be a successful and creatively rewarding pairing which the duo repeated again in 2011 on Translucent Blues. The album reached number one on the Americana Roots chart and prompted a third collaboration in 2013's Twisted Tales. Rogers' 12th solo album, Into the Wild Blue, was released in the summer of 2015.
TRACKS: 01. Ever Since I Lost You 02. Down Home Girl 03. Mellow Apples 04. Built for Comfort 05. Terraplane Blues 06. I'm a Stranger Here 07. Gertie Ruth 08. Down in Mississippi 09. Vida's Place 10. Duck Walk 11. Shake Your Moneymaker 12. For the Children
MICHAEL McDONALD - The Ultimate Collection (2005)
Since Warner/Rhino's 2005 Ultimate Collection appeared a mere four years after their last Michael McDonald compilation -- 2001's The Very Best of Michael McDonald -- it may seem that it's a little early to rehash the same recordings yet again. That suspicion is unfounded, since The Ultimate Collection finally delivers what McDonald fans have been waiting for: his solo hits and Doobie Brothers smashes on the same disc. Not that this has every hit he ever had -- his minor 1991 single "All We Got" isn't here, for instance -- but most listeners won't notice the omissions since this 19-track collection has "What a Fool Believes," "Takin' It to the Streets," "Minute by Minute," "You Belong to Me," "Real Love," "It Keeps You Runnin'," "I Gotta Try," "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," "No Lookin' Back," "Sweet Freedom," "Yah Mo B There," and even his recent 2004 hit cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Consequently, this is by far the best showcase for his smooth, soulful soft rock, and the one Michael McDonald disc fans both casual and fanatical should own.
SMILE - Gettin' Smile (1982)
Smile were an English rock band based in London, best known as the predecessor to renowned rock band Queen. The band was formed in 1968 by Brian May, who went on to become Queen's guitarist. It included Tim Staffell as singer and bassist, and later, drummer Roger Taylor, who also went on to play for Queen. They recorded only six songs and disbanded in 1970.
“Smile was really a semi-professional outfit, we had not made the big jump to go professional. I guess we could not because we were all still at college.” That’s how Brian May described the precursor to Queen in the documentary, “Champions Of The World”. Featuring Brian on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums, Smile included half the members of the band, which, would go on to scale heights few in the Rock world would ever rival.
TRACKS: 01. Doin' All Right 02. Blag 03. April Lady 04. Polar Bear 05. Earth 06. Step On Me 07. Man From Manhattan [Original Version] 08. Man From Manhattan (Back Again) 09. Hold On Me 10. Knock On Wood 11. Nsu 12. How Can It Be 13. Step On Me (Take 1) 14. Step On Me (Take 2) 15. Purple Haze 16. Our Life Is Driftin' 17. Remember 18. Sweet Wine
THE DOORS - Alive, She Cried (1983)
Alive, She Cried is a live album by the American rock band The Doors. The title of the album is taken from a line in the song "When the Music's Over". Following the resurgence in popularity for the band due to the 1979 film, Apocalypse Now, and the release of the first Doors compilation album in seven years, Greatest Hits, released in 1980, the push was on to release more Doors music.
The recordings are from various concerts during the period 1968–1970; they include "Gloria", originally a hit for Them, and an extended version of The Doors' best known song "Light My Fire". John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful joined the band on stage to play harmonica on Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster". The album was discontinued as 1991 saw the release of In Concert, a double-album which included all of the songs from Alive, She Cried and Absolutely Live, as well as a few other live tracks. The version of "Light My Fire" from this album is actually from a variety of sources. "The Graveyard Poem" is actually a recited poetry piece from Boston in April 1970. It was inserted into the break of "Light My Fire" for this album. "Gloria" was also edited to exclude some risque verses. Later releases of "Gloria" on the Bright Midnight label restored the edited verses.
TRACKS: 01. Gloria 02. Light My Fire 03. You Make Me Real 04. Texas Radio & The Big Beat 05. Love Me Two Times 06. Little Red Rooster 07. Moonlight Drive
TONY JOE WHITE - Rain Crow (2016)
“Tell Me a Swamp Story” isn’t just the title of the closing track of veteran Tony Joe White’s 17th studio album, it encapsulates and describes his entire career in five words. Everything about White - from his soggy, musty baritone voice, darkly creeping guitar and even the ever-present, feature-hiding fedora - exudes the shadowy mystery and musk of the swamp music and culture he has always personified. And who better to capture that in the studio than his son Jody who has lived with his dad’s vibe his entire life. Although Nashville-based for many decades, White has never sounded particularly country-ish. Rather he preferred digging into the dimmer, less inviting Southern backwoods where his unique style is closer to the raw Delta blues attack of early Fat Possum artists like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. He and son Jody double down on everything White lovers have come to expect on Rain Crow. No track is less than four minutes which allows space for White to unravel his stories with a laconic, edgy flair that sets a my mood the album revels in. Nothing is rushed as the stripped down instrumentation of bass, drums and keys supports White with an understated pulsating energy you can cut with a dull knife. There’s plenty of JJ Cale Okie-rhythm in White’s gumbo, but it’s slathered with psychedelic, downer drenched guitar and left to fester in darkness where it turns into a hot, sticky goo. At 73, White has nothing left to prove but still illustrates there is plenty of fire in his belly in these 10 evocative tracks, all of which make “Polk Salad Annie” sound like a nursery rhyme in comparison.
DAVE MASON - It's Like You Never Left (1973) & Dave Mason (1974) 
After a protracted legal battle with Blue Thumb Records, Dave Mason finally signed to Columbia and released the hopefully titled It's Like You Never Left, his first new studio solo album in more than three years. Mason received prominent vocal assistance from Graham Nash, who helped turn tracks like "Every Woman" into singers' showcases. (Other guests included Stevie Wonder and George Harrison.) The songs had all the catchiness, but not as much of the individual flavor of Mason's best work. And the modest commercial acceptance the album enjoyed made it apparent that he would have to rebuild some career momentum.
Using his touring band, which included keyboard player Mike Finnigan and guitarist Jim Krueger, Dave Mason turned in a strong pop/rock collection on his second, self-titled Columbia album. "Show Me Some Affection" was one of those songs that should have been a hit single, Mason recut a fuller version of "Every Woman," originally heard on It's Like You Never Left, and the album also included Mason's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," in an arrangement patterned after the one by Jimi Hendrix, on which Mason had played six years earlier.
RAINBOW - Monsters Of Rock: Live At Donington 1980 (2016)
On Saturday, August 16, 1980, Rainbow took to the stage to headline the first rock festival to be held at Castle Donington. It was the culmination of the band's tour in support of the hugely successful "Down To Earth" album, released in 1979, and would prove to be the last live show featuring this particular lineup of the band: Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Don Airey (keyboards), Graham Bonnet (vocals), Roger Glover (bass) and Cozy Powell (drums). This was the inaugural Monsters of Rock Festival, held at Castle Donington, England. Rainbow were headliners of a bill that also included Judas Priest and Scorpions. As it turned out, this was the last performance of Rainbow’s Down to Earth lineup that included star guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, his former Deep Purple band mate Roger Glover on bass, hard rock veterans Cozy Powell (drums) and Don Airey (keyboards) and the relatively obscure Graham Bonnet, who took over on vocals after Ronnie James Dio left to join Black Sabbath. The set featured tracks from the then-new album alongside classics from earlier in their career. There are virtuoso solo spots for Blackmore, Airey and Powell which serve to highlight the sheer musical prowess in the band.
TRACKS: 01. Intro - Eyes Of The World 02. Since You've Been Gone 03. Stargazer 04. Catch The Rainbow 05. Lost In Hollywood - Guitar Solo 06. Difficult To Cure - Keyboard Solo 07. Drum Solo - Lost In Hollywood 08. Lazy 09. All Night Long 10. Blues 11. Will You Love Me Tomorrow 12. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
DAVE MASON - Alone Together (1970) & Dave Mason & Cass Elliott (1971) & Headkeeper (1972) & Scrapbook (1972)
Alone Together was the debut solo album by Dave Mason. Performing with Mason was a roster of guest musicians, including Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, Jim Capaldi, Rita Coolidge, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Billboard Magazine (1970) wrote, "Mason with help from friends Jim Capaldi and Leon Russell proves his mastery of the rock idiom once and for all. The lyric content and music content of every song catches the senses of the listener and creates excitement". Bill Shapiro of the Rock and Roll Review (1991) says, Mason's "reputation as a composer, guitarist, and singer of the first rank is both merited and in evidence here". The song, "Only You Know and I Know", received a good deal of album-oriented rock radio airplay and reached number 42 in the USA, a major commercial success. The LP record itself was not the traditional black vinyl, about 30% of the albums were a swirled mix of pink, brown and beige.
The second album (Dave Mason & Cass Elliott) was released in March 1971 and was a success landing at the 49th spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. To promote the album, Mason and Elliot both appeared and performed on The Tonight Show and The Andy Williams Show. They also performed two concerts with the first one at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and the second at New York’s Fillmore East. Although Mason and Elliot remained close friends and both discussed interest in recording together again, this would be their only collaboration.
Headkeeper reached #51 on Billboard. Mason cites a special thank you on this album to Rita Coolidge, Graham Nash, and Spencer Davis. Half the songs are recorded at Sunset Sound Studios, and half include exerpts from live performances from the famed Troubadour in Los Angeles.
Scrapbook (1972)...rare album. Released in 1972 and no longer commercially available.
DELANEY & BONNIE - Home (1969) & Accept No Substitute (1969)
Delaney & Bonnie were the American musical duo, singers and songwriters Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. In 1969 and 1970 they fronted a rock/soul ensemble, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, whose members at different times included Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, King Curtis, and Eric Clapton.
"Home" is the debut album by husband-and-wife singers Delaney & Bonnie, released on the Stax label. Most of the album was recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis, Tennessee from February to November 1968 with additional overdubs in July 1969, and features many of Stax's house musicians, including Donald "Duck" Dunn, Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, and Isaac Hayes. The album's cover photo shows Delaney and Bonnie with Delaney's grandfather, John Bramlett, in front of the log cabin in Pontotoc, Mississippi where Delaney grew up. Stax released two singles from the album in the U.S., "It's Been a Long Time Coming" (1969) and "Hard to Say Goodbye" (1970). (The latter was issued to capitalize on the success of Delaney and Bonnie's later recordings for Atco/Atlantic, which once had a partnership with Stax.) "Just Plain Beautiful" b/w "Hard to Say Goodbye" was also issued as a single in the UK in 1969.
"Accept No Substitute" is the second studio album by American recording duo Delaney & Bonnie. It was recorded with many of the "friends" that would form the core of their best-known 1969–70 touring band, including Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Rita Coolidge. "Accept No Substitute" was released in July 1969 after Delaney & Bonnie had signed to Elektra Records. It only charted at number 175 on the Billboard 200 in August, but received widespread acclaim from critics.
JANIVA MAGNESS - Love Wins Again (2016)
Magness’ new album Love Wins Again is yet another evolutionary step for the soulful, elegant, award-winning singer -songwriter. It’s 11 core songs and two bonus tracks are built on a sonically sophisticated architecture that’s in full service of Magness’ remarkably flexible and generous voice - which can flow smoothly as champagne or churn up gravel on command. The album’s title is a mantra that resonates throughout: the concept of love as a physical, psychic and spiritual force that has the strength to conquer negativity, sadness and personal demons.
Love Wins Again marks Magness’ fifth collaboration with four-time Grammy nominated producer Dave Darling, whose instincts compel Magness to tap her deepest creative powers and lead her songs to unpredictable places. He has become her key songwriting foil and is the primary architect of the album’s gorgeous textural sound, which blends acoustic and electric instruments, flourishes of Latin percussion, horns and an enlightened approach to the studio to create perfect settings for her vocal prowess. And there’s more than range and craft to Magness’ voice. Her singing rings with sincerity. Since launching her career with 1992’s More Than Live, she has grown to become an accomplished storyteller and diviner of the heart.
RORY GALLAGHER - Stage Struck (1980)
Guitarist Gallagher's third officially released live album (during his lifetime) captures him on a grinding world tour in 1979 and 1980, pumping out blues-rockers with requisite aggression, yet none of the charm and subtlety that made his previous concert recordings so essential. The song selection is weak as it concentrates on lesser tracks from his late-'70s collections, but more problematically, the Irishman sounds like he's rushing the tunes and generally playing too loud. The arrangements bludgeon the songs behind a Wall of Sound, as Rory spits, rather than sings the lyrics, shouting above the crashing fray. This is particularly true of "Bad Penny," one of two newly added tracks for the revised 2000 edition, where Gallagher growls out the words as if they had little or no meaning, then shifts into a reggae beat that adds nothing to this version of one of his better tracks. While the live shows might have gone down well on-stage, when they're transferred to album, the excitement is lost, and instead of Gallagher's classy, snappy, eclectic mix of blues, folk, and rock, Stage Struck sounds like plodding, second-rate Bad Company or Foghat. Where both previous live discs added a few acoustic tunes as well as digging into deep blues to vary the sound and show Gallagher's versatility, this one stays firmly rooted in straightforward slish rock, with precious little roll. All the songs push the five-minute mark, but none have the sizzle and compactness of Gallagher's best work. He sounds like he's going though the motions for the first time in his career, making this a below par, if not quite valueless document. The two additional tunes total about 11 minutes, but the disc is at least 20 minutes short of its potential playing time. Surely there must have been other tapes from this tour of better quality to tack on here. In any case, this is a disappointing reminder that even the best artists can release inferior work. For prime live Gallagher, stick with either 1972's peppy Live in Europe, the blistering Irish Tour '74, or the terrific posthumous release BBC Sessions.
TRACKS: 01. Shin Kicker 02. Wayward Child 03. Brute Force And Ignorance 04. Moonchild 05. Bad Penny 06. Keychain 07. Follow Me 08. Bought And Sold 09. The Last Of The Independents 10. Shadow Play
GARY MOORE - Scars (2002)
After spending over a decade churning out electrified blues, Gary Moore partially returns to his hard rock beginnings in Scars. Reminiscent of '60s power trios such as Cream and especially the Jimi Hendrix Experience ("World of Confusion" is practically a rewrite of "Manic Depression" and "Ball and Chain" borrows the riff from "Voodoo Child"), Moore hasn't abandoned the blues, he's just pumped it up with blustery retro roots rock. With all the genre's limitations, the guitarist is so obviously inspired in this format that the album is a success on its own terms, even though it breaks little new ground. "Wasn't Born in Chicago" infuses jazzy drums and slight electronics to enhance the basic three-piece assault, resulting in the album's most unique and arguably best performance. Moore's pacing also helps as he softens his attack on ballads like "Just Can't Let You Go" and the closing "Who Knows (What Tomorrow May Bring)?" He effectively shifts from tender to tense to explosive in seconds and, even on the nearly 13-minute "Ball and Chain," keeps the listener involved through a combination of six-string talent, full-bodied vocals, and a sense of dynamics. Occupying a well-worn space with a potent fusion of blues power and hard rock, Scars shows Gary Moore comfortable in his skin. It's a red if not terribly original fusion that succeeds due to his talent, enthusiasm, and no-frills approach.
TRACKS: 01. When The Sun Goes Down 02. Rectify 03. Wasn't Born In Chicago 04. Stand Up 05. Just Can't Let You Go 06. My Baby (She's So Good To Me) 07. World Of Confusion 08. Ball And Chain 09. World Keep Turnin' Round 10. Who Knows (What Tomorrow May Bring)
THE ROLLING STONES - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! (1970) [40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set] (2009)
Originally released in 1969 as a way to divert attention from the bootleg sensation Live'r Than You'll Ever Be, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out received a lavish reissue treatment 40 years later, expanded to a three-CD/one-DVD set complete with a thick accompanying booklet. Instead of adding that original boot as a bonus, this anniversary edition fills out the November 1969 Madison Square Garden concert that provided the basis for the original LP, adding an EP's worth of unreleased Stones tracks from the show plus the opening sets by B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner, along with a DVD of live and behind-the-scenes footage. All the unearthed Stones material is strong -- particularly the pair of acoustic numbers, "Prodigal Son" and "You Gotta Move" -- but in comparison to what made it onto the LP, they do sound like outtakes (to be fair, the LP did have some minor overdubs whereas these five cuts seem to be unadorned with additions), and they're also overshadowed by the absolutely terrific opening sets. Ike & Tina were in a crowd-pleasing rock & roll covers mode, tearing through "Gimme Some Loving," "Son of a Preacher Man," "Come Together," and "Land of 1000 Dances" in addition to their trademark "Proud Mary," but B.B. serves up a condensed version of his standard set that positively smokes and is reason enough to pick up this deluxe edition.
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! - recorded in 1969 over two nights at Madison Square Garden - is the last official live document of the Rolling Stones in their swaggering Sixties prime; it's also one of the great live albums of all time. Expectations were high for the band on its 1969 tour, the Stones' first in the U.S. in three years, and their first outing without guitarist Brian Jones, who had died that summer. They delivered in spades. Keith Richards and new guitarist Mick Taylor combined for angry workouts on Ya-Ya's' "Midnight Rambler" - the album's bluesy nine-minute masterpiece - and a stark, rubbery "Sympathy for the Devil." Mick Jagger and Richards pull apart Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie" into a raunchy romp, as if to prove they had fully mastered the rock form.
THE HIGHWAYMEN - Live: American Outlaws (2016)
In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s the Highwaymen consisted of superstars Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Over a 10-year span they released three albums and toured a few times, much to the delight of Outlaw country fans. Columbia / Legacy has released a definitive Highwaymen set consisting of three CDs plus a live DVD of an entire 1990 concert. In this form, fans will experience a time when the quartet was happy, healthy, and full of piss and vinegar - a time when four of the biggest superstars in country music history set their egos aside and performed as a cohesive unit. Working their way through classics (“Mystery Train”), their individual hits (“Ring Of Fire,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” and “Good Hearted Woman”), and other Highwaymen tunes, the band has a good time, and the strength of their musical and personal bonds is plain to see. Today, only Nelson and Kristofferson are still standing, both in their 80s, both still working.
DAVID LINDLEY & EL RAYO-X - Very Greasy (1988)
01. Gimme Da 'Ting
02. I Just Can't Work No Longer
03. Do Ya' Wanna Dance
04. Talk About You
05. Papa Was A Rolling Stone
06. Werewolves Of London
07. Texas Tango
08. Never Knew Her
09. Talkin' To The Wino Too
10. Tiki Torches At Twilight
The final El Rayo-X record, while lovely, does not exactly contain the power and fury of the first two. On Very Greasy, David Lindley and his cohorts explore a myriad of lighter, more Caribbean rhythms and textures, rendering a very pleasing album. Some great covers such as "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Do You Wanna Dance" are pleasant enough, but the fact that hard rock Warrior drummer Ian Wallace - who was such a big part of the power of their second CD, Win This Record - is missing results in a weaker record. All in all, a very nice, eclectic slice, but not what this fine band was really about.
BLACK STONE CHERRY - Kentucky (2016)
01. The Way Of The Future
02. In Our Dreams
03. Shakin' My Cage
04. Soul Machine
05. Long Ride
08. Cheaper To Drink Alone
09. Rescue Me
10. Feelin' Fuzzy
11. Darkest Secret
12. Born To Die
13. The Rambler
14. I Am The Lion
Southern hard-rock establishment Black Stone Cherry pen a love letter to their home state with their fifth album, ‘Kentucky.’ Vocalist and lead guitarist Chris Robertson spins tales of love, hope, disaster, and magic with a voice cut from the same cloth as the legendary Ronnie James Dio. Titanic riffs and a torrential rhythm section propel “The Way of the Future,” “Hangman” and “In Our Dreams.” In an inspired touch, elements of soul music are weaved throughout, particularly in the stunning “Soul Machine.” Make no mistake, this album is not invoking bluegrass meadows and rolling hills. Instead, the stage is set to the cacophonous sound of Kentucky’s coalmines and devastating tornadoes for one helluva tale.
NICK MOSS BAND - From The Root To The Fruit (2016)
From the Root to the Fruit, is the The Nick Moss Band’s latest studio album and there are two juicy, discs with a total of 27 tracks of dynamite blues from the world’s best blues jam band! Each track features the superb talent that makes this group the powerhouse that it is! The title track features Moss himself on the harmonica, showing he is as skilled on harp as he is with the guitar. Michael Ledbetter proves he is head and shoulders above his contemporaries and why he favors other legends with his powerful vocals on tracks such as “Before The Night is Through,” “Love,” and “Me and I Dig.” “Before The Night is Through” features a smooth walking piano bass line by keyboardist Taylor Streiff. Disc two provides more material sure to satisfy your blues appetite! We enjoyed “Catch Me I’m Falling,” “Shade Tree, Serves Me Right (Space Jam),” and “Breathe Easy,” and we’re sure that fans will too. Those fortunate enough to see Serves Me Right ( Space Jam) performed live will be awestruck by the individual solos by drummer Patrick Seals and bassist Nick Fane.
JONI MITCHELL - Shadows and Light (1980) & Shine (2007)
Shadows and Light is Joni Mitchell's second live album, and it serves as a good retrospective of her jazzy period from 1975-1979. As expected, she assembles a group of all-star musicians including Pat Metheny (guitar), Jaco Pastorius (bass), Lyle Mays (keyboards), and Michael Brecker (saxophone) who give these compositions more energy than on the studio recordings. The musicians are given room to jam, and they sound terrific on uptempo songs such as "Coyote" and "In France They Kiss on Main Street." If there is a general theme of these songs, it's about growing older and maturing after the failed idealism of the late '60s (the album opens with audio clips from the movie Rebel Without a Cause). Although this album is pleasing, the live arrangements are not different enough from the studio versions to warrant higher marks. In fact, Mitchell has always been an album artist who recorded studio albums that had a sound and feel all their own. While Shadows and Light provides a nice summary of her experimental period for casual fans, interested listeners should start with Hejira or The Hissing of Summer Lawns.
DISC 1: 01. Introduction 02. In France They Kiss On Main Street 03. Edith And The Kingpin 04. Coyote 05. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat 06. The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines 07. Amelia 08. Pat's Solo 09. Hejira
DISC 2: 01. Black Crow 02. Don's Solo 03. Dreamland 04. Free Man In Paris 05. Band Introduction 06. Furry Sings The Blues 07. Why Do Fools Fall In Love 08. Shadows And Light 09. God Must Be A Boogie Man 10. Woodstock
Joni Mitchell, who had said she was retiring from music several years previously, signed a two-album contract with Starbucks' Hear Music that began with the release of Shine. The 10-track CD "feels like the return of Joni the storyteller," said Ken Lombard, the president of Starbucks Entertainment who also oversees Hear Music. In the United States, the album sold about 40,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number 14 on the Billboard 200 chart; this was Mitchell's best peak position in America since 1976's Hejira. Shine also peaked at #36 in the UK charts, making it Mitchell's first Top 40 album in the UK since 1991. In its first week on sale, Shine sold around 60,000 copies worldwide and as of December 2007, it has sold over 170,000 copies in the U.S.A.
TRACKS: 01. One Week Last Summer 02. This Place 03. If I Had A Heart 04. Hana 05 Bad Dreams 06. Big Yellow Taxi (2007) 07. Night Of The Iguana 08. Strong And Wrong 09. Shine 10. If
PATTI SMITH - Land [1975-2002] (2002)
Patti Smith completed her contract with Arista Records after 27 years by assembling this compilation, which serves as both a best-of and rarities collection, one disc devoted to each. Disc one is drawn from Smith's eight studio albums (with the exception of a newly recorded cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry"). Having scored only one hit single, "Because the Night," Smith was not constrained by chart performance, and she seems to have chosen the songs that still mean something to her (though in an interview she claimed to have taken fan preferences into consideration). Curiously, given the album title, the epic "Land" is missing, as are such straight-ahead rockers as "Ask the Angels" and "Till Victory." But most of Smith's more impressive album tracks are included, with the selection favoring her 1970s records, an imbalance that is redressed on the second disc, which contains 2001 live recordings of songs from later albums Gone Again, Peace and Noise, and Gung Ho. The disc also has a couple of previously released singles-only tracks (her hard to find debut, "Piss Factory," and "Come Back Little Sheba," a 1996 U.K. B-side), demos ("Redondo Beach," "Distant Fingers"), a 1996 studio outtake ("Wander I Go"), live recordings of older songs ("25th Floor," "Birdland"), and one newly recorded song, "Higher Learning," a lengthy studio jam on which Smith plays clarinet. The set concludes with a poem, "Notes to the Future," recited by Smith at the 2002 New Year's Day poetry reading at St. Mark's Church in New York, that reflects her optimism, which is also expressed in a goofier manner by the hidden track, an impromptu live performance of "Tomorrow" from Annie. Land (1975-2000) is a typically idiosyncratic compilation from a quirky but imaginative artist, and that's what her fans have come to expect, so they won't be disappointed.
ALBERT CASTIGLIA - Big Dog (2016)
Albert Castiglia is an American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. Castiglia has variously worked alongside Junior Wells, Sandra Hall, Aron Burton, Pinetop Perkins, Melvin Taylor, Sugar Blue, Phil Guy, Ronnie Earl, Billy Boy Arnold, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Jerry Portnoy, Larry McCray, Eddy Clearwater and Otis Clay.
Released in 2016 on Ruf Records, Big Dog confirms that Albert is a different breed to the lightweights and arrivistes who dominate the modern music scene. At 46, he's sled his way into contention the old-fashioned way: writing from his heart, bleeding into his performances, eating up the road. "I have no illusions about what kind of guitar player and singer I am," he states. "My style is raw, unadulterated, crude and heavy. I don't have the technical proficiency of other players, but I play what's in my heart and what I feel at that moment. When I write songs, they have to mean something." Recorded at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, there's not an ounce of fat on Big Dog's eleven tracks, with Albert darting between self-penned originals, cherished covers and co-writes with some of his closest compadrés. "You could smell the mojo in the sweet Southern air," reflects Albert, "and you could feel the mojo in the recording studio. We had a studio-savvy band with an incredible amount of soul, and Mike's role as producer was the wildcard."
JOHN ILLSLEY - Long Shadows (2016)
2016 release, the sixth solo studio album from multiple Brit and Grammy award winner John Illsley. After cutting his teeth as bass player and one of the founding members of Dire Straits, Illsley has also released a steady stream of solo material, an output that, although never rushed, has been critically acclaimed. Undertaking lead vocal, acoustic guitar and bass duties on all of the album's eight tracks, Illsley's unmistakable sound, approach to arrangement and song writing is paired with his faultless lyrical storytelling. A departure from the previous album's themes of personal trials and tribulations, Illsley comments that the lyrical content pertains to "the obvious political and social elements which have always concerned me." Illsley enlisted a roster of top friends and musicians for this release, including Simon Johnson (Lana Del Rey, James Morrison) on electric guitar and Guy Fletcher performing keyboard duties, as well as co-producing the album with Illsley. The Mark Knopfler owned British Grove Studios along with Room with a View Studio and A Bay Studios were used to record and produce the record, with Illsley's children Jess and Dee Dee Illsley also contributed backing vocals.
TRACKS: 01. Morning 02. In The Darkness 03. Comes Around Again 04. There's Something About You 05. Ship Of Fools 06. Lay Me Down 07. Long Shadows 08. Close To The Edge
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