STILLS & COLLINS - Everybody Knows (2017)
Judy Collins provided Stephen Stills with the inspiration for "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," a song he composed in 1969 as their relationship was coming to an end. Lovers no more, the two remained friends over the years and decided to strike up a musical partnership nearly 50 years later, releasing Everybody Knows in September of 2017. The album deliberately plays off their past, with the duo reviving songs from their individual albums -- "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" from Collins; "So Begins the Task" from Stills -- and selecting covers from their peers, including the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care," Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country," and Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows," which also lends its name to the album title. It's a clean and crisp production, so much so that its transparency reveals the disparity between Collins' sweet voice and Stills' scraggly singing, a pairing that can sound as smooth as sandpaper. Nevertheless, there's an inherent warmth to Everybody Knows. Stills and Collins have a gentle, easy chemistry and the studio-slick supporting performances provide a nice bed for a project that is less nostalgia than a reassuring reminder of the comfort of growing old together.
TRACKS: 01. Handle with Care 02. So Begins the Task 03. River of Gold 04. Judy 05. Everybody Knows 06. Houses 07. Reason to Believe 08. Girl from the North Country 09. Who Knows Where the Time Goes 10. Questions
GEORGE HARRISON - Through Many Years (1999)
A patchy assortment of outtakes and rarities from Harrison's early solo career, filled out with a few similar items from Ringo Starr's early solo sessions. The first half-dozen tracks are the most exciting, as all are outtakes from George's best album, All Things Must Pass, only one of which ("I Live for You") was previously bootlegged (in inferior quality). "Dera Dhun" (which Harrison briefly busked in the Beatles' Anthology documentary) and "Gopala Krishna" are pleasant, if unformed, tunes that, as their titles indicate, have an Indian influence, although they are performed by a rock band with no Indian instruments. There's also a derivative rockabilly jam ("Going Down to Golders Green"), a half-assed vamp on "Get Back," and, straight from the bottom of the All Things Must Pass barrel, "Pete Drake's Talking Steel Guitar," which is exactly that. It's followed by the three February 1969 solo demos that already appeared on Anthology 3. With VigoTone's typical hubris, the (very good) liner notes describe two of the tracks as boasting superior mixes here. The early-'70s non-LP Harrison B-sides "Deep Blue," "Miss O'Dell," and "I Don't Care Anymore" are useful to completists, as they haven't been reissued on CD, although none are among his more memorable compositions. Rounding out the program are a 1969 television-special mix of Starr's "Octopus's Garden" (including some non-Beatles musicians), a "Stormy Weather" outtake from Starr's first solo album, and two unissued tracks from Starr's 1970 Beaucoups of Blues album. The fidelity is excellent throughout the disc.
TRACKS: 01. I Live For You 02. Dera Duhn 03. Gopala Krishna 04. Going Down To Golders Green 05. Get Back 06. Pete Drake's Talking Steel Guitar 07. Old Brown Shoe 08. All Things Must Pass 09. Something 10. Deep Blue 11. Miss O'dell 12. I Don't Care Anymore 13. Octopus's Garden 14. Stormy Weather 15. The Wishing Book 16. Nashville Freak-out
TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS - Method To My Madness (2015) & Stompin' Ground (2017)
Night after night, Tommy Castro, a fierce and fiery road warrior, fervently delivers his driving, blues-soaked, soul-baring music to fans all over the world. Over the course of his four-decade career, Castro has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of fans, packing dance floors, always leaving them screaming for more. He and his band, The Painkillers (currently featuring bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown), play music that is guaranteed to fire up fans and with Method To My Madness (available now on CD and 180 gram blue translucent vinyl, the group turns the intensity up another notch. “My main objective when making a new album,” says Castro, “is to do something different from before. I’ve always been a blues guy; it’s what I’m meant to do. But I’m always listening and reacting to what’s going on in the outside world, experimenting with my guitar tone and my songwriting approach to constantly keep my music fresh. In the end, though, my brand is on every song.” Method To My Madness finds Tommy Castro And The Painkillers at their very best.
On his new album, Stompin’ Ground, Tommy Castro opens windows both into his past and his always-evolving musical future. Produced by Castro and guitar wunderkind Kid Andersen and recorded at Andersen’s soon-to-be legendary Greaseland Studio in San Jose, Stompin’ Ground finds Castro letting loose on a set of 12 tracks featuring six originals and new versions of songs he learned and played as a young up-and-comer. He is simultaneously looking back with autobiographical originals and cover songs that inspired him, while forging a forward trail with modern lyrics atop blistering blues-rock. With The Painkillers firing on all cylinders behind him, Castro lays it all on the line from the opening notes of Nonchalant to the final, introspective Live Every Day. From the autobiographical My Old Neighborhood to the socially aware Enough Is Enough and Fear is The Enemy to versions of Elvin Bishop’s Rock Bottom and Taj Majal’s Further On Down The Road (two of his favorite songs from his earliest heroes), Stompin’ Ground is pure musical pleasure. “As soon as we started cutting,” Castro says, “we knew we were onto something.” In addition to the The Painkillers, Castro’s friends Charlie Musselwhite (harp and vocals on Live Every Day), Mike Zito (guitar and vocals on Rock Bottom), Danielle Nicole (vocals on Soul Shake) and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo (guitar and vocals on Them Changes) add their talents to Stompin’ Ground. “I heard each one of my friends’ contributions on these songs in my head as I was working on them. Happily, when I reached out and actually asked, everyone said yes.”
THE WHO - My Generation (1965) [2012, Japan] & A Quck One (1966) [2012, Japan]
My Generation is the debut album by English rock band The Who, released by Brunswick Records in the UK in December 1965. In the US, it was released by Decca Records as The Who Sings My Generation in April 1966, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing. The album was made immediately after the Who got their first singles on the charts and was later dismissed by the band as something of a rush job that did not accurately represent their stage performance of the time. On the other hand, critics often rate it as one of the best rock albums of all time: in 2003, the album was ranked number 236 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and named the second greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine. In 2004, it was #18 in Q magazine's list of the 50 Best British Albums Ever. In 2006, it was ranked #49 in NME's list of the 100 Greatest British Albums. In 2004, the title track was #11 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In June 2009, the 1966 US version of the album "The Who Sings My Generation" was selected for the National Recording Registry of the US Library of Congress. The album, deemed "culturally significant", will be preserved and archived. This 2012 Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from The Who features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and 2012 remastering. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the UK first press LP and comes with a serial-numbered label card. Two cardboard sleeve jackets, each replicating the first press LP of the US edition and the Japanese one, are included as well. Comes with an obi that replicates the one included with the Japanese first press LP. Also includes a description and lyrics.
The Who's second album is a less impressive outing than their debut, primarily because, at the urging of their managers, all four members penned original material (though Pete Townshend wrote more than anyone else). The pure adrenaline of My Generation also subsided somewhat as the band began to grapple with more complex melodic and lyrical themes, especially on the erratic mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away." Still, there's some great madness on Keith Moon's instrumental "Cobwebs and Strange," and Townshend delivered some solid mod pop with "Run Run Run" and "So Sad About Us." John Entwistle was also revealed to be a writer of considerable talent (and a morbid bent) on "Whiskey Man" and "Boris the Spider."
These 2012 reissues were remastered by Jon Astley (Mono) and Manabu Matsumura (Stereo).
MAVIS STAPLES - If All I Was Was Black (2017)
The year 2017 has been full of political unrest and growing racial division in the United States, but for good or ill, Mavis Staples has seen days like these before. As a teenager, she was a member of the Staple Singers, who in their days as a gospel group were close friends and allies with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the strle for civil rights was at its peak. They also experienced more than their share of violence and hostility as an African-American family band touring in the Deep South in the late '50s and early '60s. Mavis Staples was too strong to let hatred and narrow-mindedness break her when she was a twenty-something, and at the age of 78, she still isn't about to back down. Released in 2017, If All I Was Was Black finds Staples once again collaborating with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, who produced the sessions and wrote the bulk of the songs, and while the lyrics tend not to focus on the specifics of the chaos that's marked the time it was made, it's definitely an album intended to speak to troubled times. As a woman of deep spiritual beliefs, Staples is the ideal vehicle for these songs, which often deal with hatred, inequality, and indifference while making clear that love and understanding have the capacity to heal America's wounded spirit. Staples' vocal style here is informed by equal parts vintage gospel and classic soul, and together they fill these messages with strength, compassion, and a much-needed sense of hope. The lyrics sometimes reflect Tweedy's usual tropes as a writer, but Staples gives them a musical and emotional force that sets them apart. Her voice is in splendid shape for a septuagenarian, still supple and able to navigate the twists of the melodies while sailing confidently over the arrangements that fuse indie rock with the feel of '70s soul. And if this set of songs is a bit short on specific answers to our problems, well, "We Shall Overcome" never explained how that would happen either. What's most special about If All I Was Was Black is the way Staples and her collaborators confront the challenges of a distraught world while filling the listener with the belief that all is not lost, that we can get past bad times and build a better future if we try. Quite simply, this is an album America needs.
ROY ORBISON - Dream Baby: The Complete 1956-1962 Singles (2017)
Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him "the Caruso of Rock" and "the Big O." Between 1960 and 1966, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely" (1960), "Crying" (1961), "In Dreams" (1963), and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964).
Roy Orbison recorded the majority of his best work between the mid ‘50s and the early ‘60s, including hits like “Only the Lonely,” “Ooby Dooby,” “Running Scared,” “Crying,” “Dream Baby,” and “Workin' for the Man,” to name just a few. The aforementioned songs, and many others, have been included on this essential CD, which compiles all of Roy Orbison's 7” singles (A & B sides) released between 1956 and 1962 by such iconic labels as Sun, RCA, and Monument. The original gems presented here have been brilliantly remastered to achieve the most pristine sound. These sides helped to consolidate “The Big O” (Orbison's nickname) as one of the all-time-great singers.
GOV'T MULE - 2017/10/22 - The Academy, Dublin, IE (2017)
The show opens with Hammer and Nails from 2002’s The Deep End, Volume 2. It soon becomes clear that there’s a reason the band needs to play such a long show. It’s less of a gig and more like 800 people were invited to a jam session. Everyone is so familiar with their instruments and each other, and so tight, that they don’t always seem to be sticking to the plan but rather enjoying themselves and seeing where the night takes them. Or maybe that is the plan! Tracks from the new album including Sarah, Surrender and Stone Cold Rage are mixed with older ones like Thorazine Shuffle and Mule. This is a band with a huge back catalogue to choose from and the extended show means the crowd are really treated to a bit of everything, even including Sco-Mule, from their live album with jazz guitarist John Scofield. There are so many elements mixing together the show really is a huge melting pot of genres. Haynes, while a consummate performer, isn’t one for chatting, and other than a hello and a few thank you’s he doesn’t say much until the end of set one when he tells the crowd there will be a short break, then “we have a whole other set for you.” The crowd weren’t told in advance that this was the program or the evening, so the news is greeted with cheers and general delight. They do indeed return after about fifteen minutes and open set two with their cover of Van Morrison’s Ballerina. The second set sees them really let loose. With each member free to do his own thing within the confines of a song, they frequently begin, go off on a flying solo or a jam between a couple of members, then come back to the song without so much as a blink.
TRACKS: 01. Hammer & Nails 02. Mule 03. Thorazine Shuffle 04. Banks Of The Deep End 05. Sarah, Surrender 06. Stone Cold Rage 07. Sco-Mule 08. Whisper In Your Soul 09. Dreams 10. Ballerina 11. Rocking Horse 12. Revolution Come, Revolution Go 13. No Need To Suffer 14. Dolphenius 15. Painted Silver Light 16. Devil Likes It Slow 17. Million Miles From Yesterday 18. Railroad Boy 19. Soulshine 20. Tupelo Honey 21. Soulshine
JERRY CORBITT & CHARLIE DANIELS - Live I (1970) & Live II (1971)
Jerry Corbitt (1943 – 2014) was an American guitarist, harmonica player, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as a founding member and guitarist of the rock band The Youngbloods.
Charlie Daniels was Born 28 October 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Daniels, who wrote "Carolina (I Love You)" about his youth, was the son of a lumberjack and was raised with a love of bluegrass music. He borrowed a guitar when he was 15 years old and immediately learned to play basic tunes. He then acquired skills on mandolin and fiddle, but had to modify his playing when he lost the tip of his ring finger in an accident in 1955. He formed a bluegrass band, ''The Misty Mountain Boys'', but the group changed its name to ''The Jaguars'' following the single ''Jaguar'', which they recorded in 1959 (produced by Bob Johnston). Daniels said, "for nine years we played every honky-tonk dive and low-life joint between Raleigh and Texas". This enabled him to master a variety of musical styles, but his only national success came in 1964 when he wrote an Elvis Presley B-side "It Hurts Me", a tender ballad that remains one of his best compositions.
In 1967, Daniels followed Bob Johnston his sestion to accept regular session work in Nashville. He played electric bass on Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline and later appeared on his albums Self Portrait and New Morning. He also worked with Marty Robbins, Hank Williams Jr. (on Family Tradition) and Ringo Starr (on Beaucoups Of Blues), and took Lester Flatt his place alongside Earl Scr. He produced albums by The Youngbloods and by Jerry Corbitt. The latter, in turn, produced one by Daniels, both of which were released in the USA by Capitol Records.
DENNIS WILSON - Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) [Legacy Premier Edition, 2008]
Pacific Ocean Blue is the debut album by American songwriter-musician Dennis Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys, and the only one to be released in his lifetime. When released in August 1977, it was warmly received critically, and noted for outselling the Beach Boys' contemporary efforts. Two singles were issued from the album, "River Song" and "You and I", which did not chart.The album remains a focal point of Wilson's legacy, being referred to as a "classic". Wilson intended to record a follow-up, entitled Bambu, but the album was left unfinished at the time of his death in December 1983.
After 30 years, this lost classic reemerges to the delight of fans worldwide. Since coming out in 1977, this CD had only been released for six months in 1991. This collections contains never officially released tracks from Dennis' Bambu album which only existed as bootlegs for decades. Per Dennis Wilson 'Everything that I am or will ever be is in the music. If you want to know me, just listen.' Features 'Holy Man' an unfinished track that never received Dennis' vocal part with Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters laying down brand new vocals. This limited edition deluxe packing feature 50 page, full color book with two brand new essays and never-before-seen photos and memorabilia.
BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND - Greatest Hits (1994) & Greatest Hits 2 (2003)
For over 20 years, Bob Seger was one of the best mainstream rock & rollers in America, developing a distinctive body of honest, hard-rocking songs. More songs than can be put on this single-disc set, unfortunately. While many of Seger's trademarks are here -- "Turn the Page," "Old Time Rock & Roll," "Night Moves" - there is no "Rock and Roll Never Forgets," "Katmandu," "Shame on the Moon," or any of his pulverizing early records, when he was as tough as fellow Michigan rockers the MC5 and the Stooges; this is one time when a double-disc set would have held enough quality material. Nevertheless, what is here is fine and contains enough first-rate material to satisfy most fans.
In 2003, when "deluxe editions" and "definitive collections" were the name of the game in reissues, it was refreshing to see Bob Seger's defiantly retro Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 hit the shelves. The title and the approach hark back to the days when a hits compilation was followed a few years later by a supplement, covering roughly the same territory and adding a few new singles. Seger's first Greatest Hits had all the big hits, from "Night Moves" to "Old Time Rock & Roll," and while it was very effective at that level, many of his big hits were ballads, so by extension the hits collection downplayed his rock & roll, which is was kind of odd for a singer/songwriter known as a passionate rocker. And while there was no arguing with what was on Greatest Hits, it left off many songs that illustrated his depth as a songwriter -- and that's not even counting that it left his handful of non-LP singles and songs unaccounted for or the fact that it ignored his early Cameo/Parkway singles, the Bob Seger System, or his first seven albums. Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 solves a lot of these problems and is a stronger album than the first Greatest Hits because of it. While it's still frustrating that Seger ignores his early material (the Cameo/Parkway songs are owned by somebody else, but he certainly could dip into the first seven albums, at least for "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"), it's also true that they're of a different aesthetic than the anthemic blue-collar rock that he first etched out on 1975's Beautiful Loser. That is the music that made him a star, and that's the music that fuels this collection, all the way through to the lesser-known latter-day sides "Manhattan" and "New Coat of Paint," as well as the brand-new cuts "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow," two hard-rocking songs that are some of his best music in years.
DELIVERY & CAROL GRIMES
Delivery was a British blues/progressive rock musical group, formed in the late 1960s. The band was one of the wellsprings of the progressive rock Canterbury scene. Founded in 1966 as Bruno's Blues Band by guitarist Phil Miller, his elder brother, pianist Steve Miller, drummer Pip Pyle and bassist Jack Monck, the band gigged around London for a few years. In 1968, saxophonist Lol Coxhill joined them, and the band's name was changed to Steve Miller's Delivery. In 1969, the band teamed up with blues singer Carol Grimes and bassist Roy Babbington replaced Monck. The resulting line-up recorded and released one album: Fools Meeting. Although Grimes wanted to appear as a band member, the record company released the album under "Carol Grimes and Delivery". In 1971, Pyle left the band to join Gong and was replaced by Laurie Allan (who also later joined Gong). Soon after that, the band broke up.
Carol Ann Grimes is a British singer and songwriter. In 1969, she joined the band Delivery and recorded one album before departing for a solo career. Her debut solo album, Warm Blood (1974), was recorded with members of Area Code 615 and the Average White Band. She recorded her second album in Memphis, Tennessee, with the Brecker Brothers, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and The Memphis Horns. She founded the band Eyes Wide Open in 1984. Her career expanded into teaching and working in musical theatre. In the 1990s, he worked with the group Shout.
U2 - Songs Of Experience (2017)
Songs of Experience is the fourteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow, and Jolyon Thomas, and released on 1 December 2017. The album is intended to be a companion piece to U2's previous record, Songs of Innocence (2014). Whereas its predecessor explored the group members' adolescence in Ireland in the 1970s, Songs of Experience thematically is a collection of letters written by lead vocalist Bono to people and places closest to his heart. The personal nature of the lyrics reflects a "brush with mortality" that he had during the album's recording.
Songs of Experience was first mentioned by Bono on the day that Songs of Innocence was released in 2014. He began songwriting while recuperating from a serious bicycle accident that occurred in November. During the following year's Innocence + Experience Tour, U2 worked on the album using a mobile recording studio. The sessions continued into 2016, with the album mostly completed by the end of the year. The group had planned to release Songs of Experience in the fourth quarter, but after the shift of global politics in a conservative direction, highlighted by the UK's Brexit vote and the 2016 US presidential election, they chose to put the record on hold and reassess its tone. Consequently, Bono rewrote his lyrics to be more political. With the extra time, the band focused on finding arrangements for the songs that would work live and on record, while remixing and exploring different production techniques.
NEIL YOUNG + PROMISE OF THE REAL - The Visitor (2017)
The Visitors is the thirty-ninth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young and his second studio album with American rock group Promise of the Real. The album was released on December 1, 2017, on Reprise Records. “I’m Canadian, by the way, and I love the USA”, begins the first of 10 songs which survey Donald Trump’s United States with a long-settled immigrant’s sorrowful and disdainful eye. However, Neil Young’s third album with (son of Willie) Lukas Nelson’s band shrewdly eschews stereotypical angry songs for warm, pretty and even funny protest music. At best, this is really effective. He responds to Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan with the playfully pithy Already Great. Jabs at a “gameshow host, who has to boast about tearing down the things I hold most dear” don’t prevent Almost Always being a sublime melody. Elsewhere, curveballs accompany trademark country-rock chugs. Change of Heart features whistling and Children of Destiny is a politicised, bells and baubles, orchestral Broadway-style show tune (“Stand up for what you believe / Resist the powers that be!”) The scattergun approach can lack focus, but Young sounds energised by the need to confront hatred and division with humanity and hope.
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