THREE DOG NIGHT - Seven Separate Fools (1972) & Around The World With Three Dog Night (1973)
Three Dog Night is an American rock band. They formed in 1967 with a line-up consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. This lineup was soon augmented by Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Michael Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums). The band registered 21 Billboard Top 40 hits (with three hitting number one) between 1969 and 1975. It helped introduce mainstream audiences to the work of many songwriters, including Paul Williams ("An Old Fashioned Love Song"), Hoyt Axton ("Joy to the World"), Laura Nyro ("Eli's Comin'"), Harry Nilsson ("One"), Randy Newman ("Mama Told Me Not to Come"), and Leo Sayer ("The Show Must Go On").
According to an ever-increasing pile of Levinson-Ross press releases at my right elbow, this has been quite a summer for Three Dog Night. Their heralded Tour of Tours is nearing the five million gross mark, with an unoffical $125,000 record set at the Pocono Speedway Festival for roughly an hour's work. The group's recorded material, of course, continues to sell like there's no tomorrow (all seven of their previous LPs were certified gold), and Seven Separate Fools is likely to ease into that exalted company with merely the slightest effort. It is all capped, as if the foregoing hasn't been enough to glitter every band's eye from here to Reno, by a late August television special, in honor of which a higher-up in the Dogs' management firm has said "It's pleasant to find that patience is still rewarded."
After six studio albums, beginning in 1969, a single "in concert" disc Captured Live at the Forum, from Los Angeles, September 12, 1969, and the first of many "greatest hits" packages (Golden Biscuits), came the superstar band's ninth album, the double-disc live album from 1973, Around the World With Three Dog Night.
VANILLA FUDGE - Vanilla Fudge (1967) - The Beat Goes On (1968) - Renaissance (1968) - Near the Beginning (1969)
Vanilla Fudge was one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal. While the band did record original material, they were best known for their loud, heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs, blowing them up to epic proportions and bathing them in a trippy, distorted haze. Originally, Vanilla Fudge was a blue-eyed soul cover band called the Electric Pigeons, who formed on Long Island, NY, in 1965. Things started to pick up for the band in 1968: early in the year, they headlined the Fillmore West with the Steve Miller Band, performed "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on The Ed Sullivan Show, and released their second album, The Beat Goes On. Despite its somewhat arty, indulgent qualities, the LP was a hit, climbing into the Top 20. That summer, Atco reissued "You Keep Me Hangin' On," and the second time around it climbed into the Top Ten. It was followed by Renaissance, one of Vanilla Fudge's best albums, which also hit the Top 20. The band supported it by touring with Jimi Hendrix, opening several dates on Cream's farewell tour, and late in the year touring again with the fledgling Led Zeppelin as their opening act.
In 1969, the band kept touring and released their first album without Morton, the expansive, symphonic-tinged Near the Beginning. After part of the band recorded a radio commercial with guitarist Jeff Beck, the idea was hatched to form a Cream-styled power trio with plenty of individual solo spotlights. Exhausted by the constant touring, the band decided that their late-1969 European tour would be their last. Following the release of their final album, Rock & Roll, Vanilla Fudge played a few U.S. farewell dates and disbanded in early 1970. Bogert and Appice first formed the hard rock group Cactus, then later joined up with Jeff Beck in the aptly named Beck, Bogert & Appice. Appice went on to become an active session and touring musician, working with a variety of rock and hard rock artists. Vanilla Fudge reunited in 1984 for the poorly received Mystery album, and have since reunited several more times, though only for tours. Their most recent incarnation features keyboardist Bill Pascali in place of Mark Stein.
FANTASTIC NEGRITO - The Last Days Of Oakland (2016)
Oakland musician Fantastic Negrito took home a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, a first for the singer-songwriter. The guitarist, whose real name is Xavier Dphrepaulezz, won for his album “The Last Days of Oakland," a record that tackles politics, society, race and a changing Bay Area landscape through slide guitar riffs and urgent, sometimes anguished, vocals. He refers to it as “black roots music for everyone.”
Fantastic Negrito is a man's truth told in the form of black roots music. Each song the true story of a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million dollar record deal, the lows of a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma, and is now in the phase of rebirth despite his playing hand being mangled. Negrito's music emphasizes rawness and space. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Rather than update the Delta Blues, Fantastic Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip James intact, building bridges to a modern sound with loops and samples of his own live instruments. But the primary element that drives Fantastic Negrito's music is uncut realness and zero concern for "pop" anything.
TRACKS: 01. Intro - Last Days Of Oakland 02. Working Poor 03. About A Bird 04. Scary Women 05. Interlude 1 - What Do You Do 06. The Nigga Song 07. In The Pines 08. Hump Thru The Winter 09. Lost In A Crowd 10. Interlude 2 - El Chileno 11. The Worst 12. Rant Rushmore 13. Nothing Without You
V.A. - Motown: The Complete No. 1's [10 CDs Box Set] (2008)
The opening salvo to Universal's celebration of Motown's 50th anniversary, the ten-disc Motown: The Complete No. 1's wisely takes the broadest possible reading of "number one," interpreting that phrase to mean any single that topped the R&B or pop charts or any international chart, or even songs that topped the charts in a cover version by another non-Motown artist...or in the case of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise," was even sampled by another artist. In other words, this 202-track set -- 192 hit singles, plus those ten "bonus" hits that were either covered or sample sources -- means to feature every Motown song that everybody knows and it pretty much does, although it also contains a lot of singles that most Motown fans don't know and there are a lot of well-known songs that aren't here, because using the top of the charts as a definitive yardstick for measuring popularity is problematic. Not every huge hit reaches the pole position, nor is every chart-topper an enduring piece of pop art, and if the competition for the top was tough, as it certainly was during Motown's heyday of the '60s, there might be a lot of songs left behind, as there are here. Nevertheless, it's still pretty shocking to realize that by the time disc three on this gargantuan set starts, Motown has already left Detroit for Los Angeles, leaving behind their period of greatest creativity and iconic power, as well as that house on West Grand Boulevard that serves as the model for the creative packaging on this deluxe set. That means that most of this set doesn't sound like Motown, at least according to the classic definition of the Motown sound, which may make it of considerably less interest to the kind of listener who would be drawn to a replica of the Motown museum, but the range of the set is nevertheless impressive. There is certainly a drop-off in quality as the label enters the '80s on disc seven, but there's not only plenty of terrific music between Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Shop Around" and Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady," it's possible to hear the big picture of modern soul and R&B between these two extremes, which is pretty impressive indeed. - allmusic.com
ARC ANGELS - Living In A Dream (2009)
Arc Angels were a blues rock band formed in Austin, Texas in the early 1990s. The band was composed of guitarist and singers Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton and two former members of Stevie Ray Vaughan's band Double Trouble, drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon. The 'Arc' in the band's name came from the Austin Rehearsal Complex where the band first started jamming.
"Living in a Dream" is the first live album and DVD by the Texas blues rock band Arc Angels, their second album over all. The first disk of the album contains the majority of a show recorded March 26, 2005 at Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas. The show proved to be historic for the band, playing the entirety of their debut album, a then unreleased song, "Crave and Wonder" and a cover of Muddy Waters' "She's Alright." This show also proved to be the Arc Angels' final with original bass guitarist Tommy Shannon. The second disk contains 3 studio tracks recorded for specifically for this album in 2009 and the remainder of the 2005 show, the song "Spanish Moon." The DVD contains the Stubb's show and interview footage, directed by Kyle Ellison and produced by Mark Proct and Charlie Boswell.
DISC 1 - Live At Stubb's: 01. Paradise Café 02. Carry Me On 03. The Famous Jane 04. Good Time 05. She's Alright 06. Always Believed In You 07. Sent By Angels 08. Crave And Wonder 09. Nadine 10. See What Tomorrow Brings 11. Shape I'm In 12. Living In A Dream 13. Too Many Ways To Fall
DISC 2 - New Studio Tracks: 01. Crave And Wonder 02. What I'm Looking For 03. Too Many People 04. Spanish Moon
HERD - The Complete Herd (2005)
Before '70s superstardom, even before Humble Pie, Peter Frampton got his first taste of celebrity as a singer and guitarist in the Herd, who chalked up several hits in Britain in 1967 and 1968. Frampton was only 17 when the single "From the Underworld" went into the British Top Ten in late 1967; "Paradise Lost" and "I Don't Want Our Loving to Die" were hits for the group in the first half of 1968. The Herd's brand of mod was extremely commercial and good-timey- and pop-oriented, a bit like a muted and mainstream Small Faces. Much of their material (including all of the hits) was written by their management team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who had supplied songs for the Honeycombs (of "Have I the Right" fame). Frampton and keyboardist Andy Bown wrote most of the band's original tunes, and one can presume that the limitations of the Herd's overtly pop approach (which sometimes encompassed MOR ballads and orchestrated arrangements) were a factor in his decision to leave for Humble Pie after the Herd had issued just one album and a few singles. After a few Frampton-less singles, the Herd scattered; Andy Bown released a few solo albums and has done session work with Frampton and Pink Floyd.
GRATEFUL DEAD - The Grateful Dead (1967) [50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, 2017]
Before they were the Grateful Dead, they were “San Francisco’s Grateful Dead.” At least that’s how they were to be billed on the title of their debut album: a scuzzy, organ-drenched oddity, more representative of the era it came from than the band it introduced. Leading up to the record’s release in 1967, the Grateful Dead had fortified their reputation as an uncontainable force, a live act who had to be seen to be believed. They were a band inextricably linked to their locale (Haight and Ashbury, San Francisco) and the scene it had hatched (namely Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests, for which the Dead served as the house band). In a spirited but nascent Vancouver show attached to this 50th anniversary reissue, mostly comprised of embryonic attempts at original songs (“Cream Puff War,” “Cardboard Cowboy”) and jumpy renditions of soon-to-be standards (“I Know You Rider,” “New Minglewood Blues”), the audience greets the band with silence. Bob Weir responds dryly, “I see our fame has preceded us.” He’s not entirely kidding. At the time, no one was quite sure what to do with the Grateful Dead. It was a question the band would face multiple times throughout their career and one that was immediately apparent when they recorded their debut album: How do the Grateful Dead present themselves, stripped of the context that defines them?
While the band would never find a definitive answer to that question (although they came a hell of a lot closer on their next self-titled release, a staggering live album from 1971), their debut record found the Dead choosing the path of least resistance. Signed to Warner Brothers with a “jazz rate” deal meaning they were paid by song length, not number of tracks—the band conceded to nearly every label expectation, transforming themselves into something like a traditional garage rock band. In thirty-five minutes, they speed through the album’s nine songs with an anxious energy, resulting in an endearing-but-muddy listen—something Phil Lesh would describe as “sound and fury buried in a cavern.” Maybe it was the nerves of a group of young freaks trying to sell themselves for the first time, or maybe it was the massive amount of Ritalin they were all on, but the Grateful Dead sound more energetic here than they ever would. Which is to say, if the Dead’s characteristic brand of sprawling experimentalism isn’t your bag, then this might be the album for you.
The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe 2-CD Set includes the original album remastered as well as the full unreleased show from P.N.E. Garden Auditorium, Vancouver, BC, Canada on July 29th, 1966. Also includes four additional tracks from the subsequent night at same venue.
BOBBY CHARLES - Bobby Charles (1972) [Deluxe Edition, 2011] & Last Train To Memphis (2004)
Bobby Charles was a unique musical talent. The Louisiana native with Cajun roots brought all the swampy sounds and deep culture of his home to his music, but Charles’s songs also took a village to raise. Charles himself was a pure songwriter, one that operated more on intuition than musical ability. He didn’t really play instruments, but when he was a teenager he wrote hits like “See You Later, Alligator” and “Walking to New Orleans” that are classics to this day. Charles was a songwriting prodigy, a guy who worked out the words and some sort of melody in his head, and then enlisted friends to flesh them out with twangy, lush instrumentation.
Charles only released one album in the ‘70s, 1972’s Bobby Charles, but it is an undeniable classic, one of the great pop records the decade offered. At a time where singer-songwriters were everywhere - the 1970-‘74 bin at the record store is still an endless source of inspiration for modern folk and pop acts - Charles released a record that stood above the rest. Since four out of five members of the Band play on the record and it sure sounds like a Band record (albeit a more shuffling version of one), some have called this an unofficial part of that group’s catalogue. But while to do so may be a decent descriptor, it is also dismissive of Charles’s singular talents and charm.
Digitally remastered and expanded 3-CD Deluxe Edition of this 1972 album housed in a cardboard replica of a wooden box.
Includes a remastered version of the original album with a wealth of unreleased material recorded during those sessions and others recorded at Bearsville Studios throughout 1974. The set closes with a newly unearthed, 30-minute interview Charles did that was recorded shortly before the Bobby Charles album was released in August 1972. Released by Rhino Handmade 2011.
Not quite a new album and not quite a compilation, Bobby Charles' 2004 release Last Train to Memphis is closer to a clearing-house for little-heard recordings than a proper album. Billed as a single-disc release paired with a bonus disc, the two-CD set contains a total of 34 songs, and since there is no distinct difference between the two discs, it only seems appropriate to treat it all as a sprawling double album. Jim Bateman says in his perfunctory, largely biographical liner notes that this album "fills in the years between his critically acclaimed 1972 Bearsville release and today," which is certainly true, since all 34 songs on the two discs were recorded sometime between 1971 and 2001. The liners do detail the individual recording dates and lineups for the tracks, but it's hard to tell when and where - or even if - these songs came out prior to this release. This is particularly true because not only does the sequencing make no chronological sense - the first disc hopscotches from 1999 to 1979 back to 1975 then leaps ahead to 1997 before going back to 1984 - but because Charles' music is so consistent in both tone and quality it's hard to tell when these recordings are from, based on the production or performance. Of course, there's a certain charm to that. Very few artists could have such a patchwork assembled and make it sound cohesive, which this certainly does. This all flows from his brilliant eponymous 1972 album for Bearsville, which blended his signature spin on New Orleans R&B with an Americana bent borrowed from his friends in the Band. Overall, it's a little slicker and smoother than the loose-limbed, rustic Bobby Charles - plus, its sprawling nature means it's not nearly the compulsive listen as that underappreciated gem - but it's consistently satisfying, filled with satisfyingly modest new Charles originals and friendly, engaging reworkings of warhorses like "See You Later Alligator." So, even if Last Train to Memphis is frustrating when closely inspected, if it's taken as just a collection of 34 fine Bobby Charles recordings, it's very pleasurable, and not in the least because there are so few Charles recordings that it only seems right to savor every one.
THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND - Together Forever (1978) & Tenth (1980)
The expanded reissue of Marshall Tucker's Together Forever, originally issued in 1978 and the follow-up to the platinum-selling Carolina Dreams, was not so much a change in direction, but a musical expansion of their various strengths. Working with veteran jazz producer Stewart Levine, the Tuckers looked outside the Southern rock paradigm a little farther for inspiration and sustenance. Jazz had always been a fringe element of the band's sound, and here, Levine brought it closer to the surface. That is not to say that Marshall Tucker abandoned their rock & roll aesthetic, far from it. They just deepened the open-ended nature of their tunes to include more improvisation and took a more textural approach to composing and recording. The set opens with Toy Caldwell's stellar "I'll Be Loving You." His stiletto-edged guitar is the catalyst for the song's drive, but the gorgeous suspended and major sevenths that created new harmonic vistas made Doug Gray's highly emotive vocals sound as if they were coming from the land itself. Likewise, "Love Is Mystery" was progressive country at its best in the 1970s. The jazzy stroll of "Dream Lover," with its lilting funk undertones, was something from outer space. The 2004 expanded remaster includes a live reading of "Bound and Determined," which is jazz-funk cowboy music. And if that sounds awful, its groove is over the top and riddled with knots and grease. The recording quality on the tune isn't so great, but the performance is so inspired it's a welcome addition here.
Riding high from such late-'70s classics as "Carolina Dreams" and "Together Forever," the Marshall Tucker Band appeared to be running on full cylinders heading into 1980. With the success and return to their cowboy roots on 1979's Running Like the Wind, many thought the tradition would continue with their next record. That said, Tenth was almost a 90° turn for the band, favoring the slick, warm radio-friendly production and boogie rock a la the Doobie Brothers and other contemporaries. Things only go back to the ranch ever so slightly on the jam-friendly "Cattle Drive," which could easily be backdrop music for a scene on Dallas rather than a "hands-down-back-at-the-ranch" working man's anthem. This isn't the band in their finest form, but it's nowhere near their worst, either. This 1980 release, recently reissued on theWounded Bird imprint in 2005, was the last recording by the Marshall Tucker Band to feature the original lineup. Founding member Tommy Caldwell died tragically a month after the album's release from injuries sustained in a severe automobile accident.
CAT STEVENS - Greatest Hits (1975) [Remastered 1988] & Majikat: Earth Tour 1976 (2005)
Like many of his peers, Cat Stevens made records that were identified by strong, memorable hit singles, but make no mistake: he made albums that were cohesive works onto themselves. For that reason, the very idea of a Cat Stevens greatest-hits collection may be troublesome to some fans, since they will only notice the missing album tracks, but Greatest Hits does its job exceptionally well. With the exception of "The Hurt," all of his hits from the early '70s -- "Wild World," "Moon Shadow," "Peace Train," "Morning Has Broken," "Sitting," "Oh Very Young," "Another Saturday Night," "Ready," and "Two Fine People" -- are here, along with three other fine album tracks. In short, it is everything that casual fans need -- and even fans that find a favorite or two missing will be hard-pressed to deny that this is a solid introduction and a great listen.
Recorded just past his commercial zenith and about a year and a half before he quit the music business for good, this concert recording from Cat Stevens's mid-'70s Majikat tour (filmed in Williamsburg, Virginia) lay unused in the vaults for the better part of three decades, and its 2004 release is a reminder of just how successful and talented he was. Playing acoustic guitar and piano and performing solo, with minimal backing, and with a full band (not to mention a trio of magicians and an impressive stage set), Stevens runs through some 20 songs, drawing from his entire catalog, with particular emphasis on Tea for the Tillerman. The remastered digital sound is excellent, and there are plenty of extra features, including a lengthy and informative contemporary interview with Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam), six additional songs from the archives (one of which, "Moonshadow," is presented in animation), and a reproduction of the original tour program. Even if this weren't the only available visual evidence from Stevens's career, Majikat (Earth Tour 1976) would be a worthy and valuable record of one of the most popular artists of his time.
DEEP PURPLE - Time For Bedlam [EP] (2017)
01. Time For Bedlam
02. Paradise Bar
(Non Album Track)
03. Uncommon Man
(Previously Unreleased Instrumental Version)
04. Hip Boots
(Rehearsal, Ian Paice's Recording)
Time For Bedlam' is an up-tempo classic Deep Purple song and the first glimpse of the upcoming album inFinite' that follows the successful - Now What! . The limited edition EP features non-album songs & unreleased recordings. The B-side Paradise Bar' is a brand new recording that resulted from the album rehearsals and recordings. Hip Boots's' final version will be found on the upcoming album, the EP includes a special instrumental rehearsal version that was recorded by no other than Ian Paice himself. To round off the 4-track single, Now What!'s' Uncommon Man' can be found as instrumental version, highlighting the beautiful melody and intricate arrangements. Time For Bedlam', as well as the album, has once again been produced by Bob Ezrin who has formed with the five members of Deep Purple an explosive songwriting team. Limited edition CD EP. Contains previously unreleased tracks. Lyric video on Youtube with thousands of views already! Full album Infinite' to follow in April. Full scale album campaign will include radio, TV, press and online promotion. The Long Farewell tour in 2017.
BILL WYMAN - 80th Birthday Gala (2016)
Bill Wyman was joined by a host of musical legends to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Indigo at the O2 in October 2016. It was hailed as the musical line-up of the year – with 5-star reviews in The Telegraph – and that’s not surprising. Where else would you get the Rolling Stones sending a video message, while the likes of Van Morrison, Robert Plant, Imelda May, Mick Hucknall, Bob Geldof and many more joined Bill on stage for an evening gig that was packed with emotion, music and soaring performances, supported superbly by the Rhythm Kings. The answer is Bill Wyman’s 80th birthday gala concert – a tour de force of great music. Held at the Indigo at the O2 in London as part of Bluesfest, the intimate nature of the gig fitted the evening perfectly, as Bill introduced a stellar line-up, with Joe Brown followed by Mark Knopfler starting the evening with a mesmerising performance, with Mark delivering sublime guitar licks that held the audience spellbound. What followed was act after act delivering a passionate tour of rhythm and blues including Little Red Rooster, Route 66, and I’m Crying. Bill also collected his lifetime achievement award from Bluesfest, which was presented on stage.
TRACKS: 01. Intro 02. Ruby Tuesday (with Joe Brown) 03. Tulsa Time (with Joe Brown) 04. Summertime Blues (with Joe Brown) 05. Donnegan's Gone (with Mark Knopfler) 06. Song For Sonny Liston (with Mark Knopfler) 07. Playtime Deluxe (with Mark Knopfler) 08. Muleskinner Blues (with Van Morrison) 09. I Believe To My Soul (with Van Morrison) 10. Mean Ol' World 11. Harlem Shuffle 12. I Shall Not Be Moved 13. You Never Can Tell 14. RS Message 15. Martin Taylor Intrumental 16. Martin Taylor Instrumental 2 17. Beast Of Burden 18. Time Is On My Side 19. Little Red Rooster 20. Route 66 (with Little Steven) 21. Je Suis Un Rockstar 22. I'm A King Bee (with Mick Hucknall) 23. Reconsider Baby (with Mick Hucknall) 24. 634-5789 25. Man's World (with Beverley Skeete) 26. Tell You A Secret (with Mike Sanchez) 27. Let The Good Times Roll (with Imelda May) 28. I'm Crying (with Imelda May) 29. I Feel So Bad (with Robert Plant) 30. Let That Boogie Woogie Roll (with Robert Plant) 31. I Need Your Lovin Every Day (with Robert Plant) 32. I Need Your Lovin Every Day (Reprise)
CREAM - Fresh Cream (1966) [Super Deluxe Edition, 2017]
Fresh Cream is the debut studio album by Cream released in 1966. It was the first LP release of producer Robert Stigwood's new "Independent" Reaction Records label, released in the United Kingdom as both a mono and stereo version on 9 December 1966, the same time as the single release of "I Feel Free". The album was released a month later, in January 1967, in the United States by Atco Records in both mono and stereo versions. For many years, only the UK and U.S. stereo mixes were available in CD. The UK mono album was reissued on CD for the first time in late 2013, as part of a deluxe SHM-CD and SHM-SACD sets (both editions also contain the UK stereo counterpart) sold only in Japan. The album peaked at No. 6 on the UK album chart and No. 39 on the U.S. album chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 101 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Included in the Fresh Cream reissue are three CDs featuring mono and stereo mixes of the original album – plus singles from the period, alternate takes and outtakes, early EPs and BBC session recordings. The fourth disc consists of Blu-ray audio versions of the mono and stereo mixes, plus bonus tracks. All told, the set includes nearly 100 tracks, and is fleshed out with a hardback book filled with essays and photos. A six-LP vinyl edition of the set is reportedly on tap for April 2017.
ZZ TOP - Greatest Hits (2017)
ZZ Top is a rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. Current members are bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons (the band's leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), and drummer Frank Beard. One of just a few major label recording groups with the same lineup for more than 45 years, critics and fellow musicians praise ZZ Top for its technical mastery. "As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers," according to former musician, critic and collector Michael "Cub" Coda. "Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom [...] while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support." The band released its first album - called ZZ Top's First Album - in 1971. Beginning with blues-inspired rock, the band incorporated new wave, punk rock and dance-rock by using synthesizers. The band is also known for its humorous lyrics laced with double entendres and innuendo. The band's top-selling album was the 1983 Eliminator, which sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Total record sales of 25 million place ZZ Top among the top-100-selling artists in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. That includes 11 gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum records as of 2016, according to the RIAA. By 2014, ZZ Top had sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
CHARIOT - Chariot (1968)
Chariot, which evolved out of a ‘60s outfit called The Knack, are often described as a Cream-influenced blues/psych trio, although to many ears their sound exhibits more than a hint of a classic flower power groove, with some decidedly progressive touches. Although the other band members seem to have disappeared without trace, English-born drummer Pug Baker went on to play with a number of minor bands, such as the RCA-signed Rocking Horse, and Waves, a group that enjoyed a short tenure with Epic. Baker is still bashing the skins, and is currently plying his trade with southern rockers Ghost Riders.Chariot’s lone musical offering, this eponymous release with its stunning artwork, appeared on the obscure National General label in 1968. The label, which apparently was the musical arm of the National General Cinema corporation, was distributed by Buddah Records and only lasted long enough to issue a handful of records including several undistinguished soundtracks.
TRACKS: 01. Yolanda Jones 02. You Let Me Love You 03. Gamblin' Man 04. The War Is Over 05. Home Wreckin' Mama 06. Hey People 07. Variety Woman 08. Got To Be A Lover 09. Poor Man Blues
GARY MOORE - Rockin' Every Night: Live In Japan (1986)
Robert William Gary Moore (4 April 1952 - 6 February 2011)
Rockin' Every Night - Live in Japan is a live album recorded by Gary Moore at Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Kaikan in 1983, during the Corridors of Power tour. Despite being released in Japan in 1983, it was not given a European release until 1986. The 2002 CD reissue included three live tracks recorded at the Marquee, London on 26 August 1982, originally from a bonus EP included with the first 25,000 vinyl copies of Moore's earlier album Corridors of Power. The song "Sunset", which had been a staple of Moore's live setlist since 1980 - despite not appearing in studio form until 1982, when it surfaced on Cozy Powell's Tilt album - is dedicated to the late Randy Rhoads, who had died several months prior. Keyboardist Don Airey had previously recorded and performed with Rhoads in Ozzy Osbourne's backing band during the Diary of a Madman tour.
TRACKS: 01. Rockin' Every Night 02. Wishing Well 03. I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow 04. Nuclear Attack 05. White Knuckles 06. Rockin' And Rollin' 07. Back On The Streets 08. Sunset
Hookfoot was a band formed at the end of the '60s as a recording unit by a half-dozen session players associated with Dick James' publishing and later with his DJM Records label. They never made much of an impression on the charts, despite their work being licensed to A&M Records, through which they released four LPs in the U.S.A. Ian Duck (vocals, harmonica), Dave Glover (bass), Roger Pope (drums, vocals), and Caleb Quaye (guitar, vocals) were the original lineup, with Bob Kulick (guitar, vocals) coming in alongside Quaye, and Fred Gandy joining on bass later. This band had originally been session musicians for artists on the DJM label, including a certain Elton John.
INA FORSMAN, LAYLA ZOE & TASHA TAYLOR - Blues Caravan 2016: Blue Sisters In Concert (2016)
It's the magic ingredient that turns a good live album into a great one - and it comes spilling from the speakers on Blues Caravan 2016. This release puts you right there, in the heart of the crowd, on the hottest tour of the year, feeling the anticipation rise as the clock ticks down and the compere steps up: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Blue Sisters...!" Twelve years after Thomas Ruf first had his brainwave, the Blues Caravan tour remains a grand tradition for the legendary Ruf Records label, showcasing three artists on the brink of the big-time. In 2016, crowds across the States and Europe were wowed by the Blue Sisters: an international bill taking in Finland's rising star Ina Forsman, American R&B royalty Tasha Taylor and Canada's celebrated singer-songwriter Layla Zoe. Now, with the release of Blues Caravan 2016, recorded February 22nd at the Hirsch club in Nürnberg, Germany, all the thrills of that tour come flooding back. Ruf Records is renowned as a magnet for next-big-things, and as Tom Ruf says, "there's always enough fresh talent to keep the show on the road".
BLACK SABBATH - The Ultimate Collection (2017)
The band, who have been performing for over 45 years, have to date sold over 75 million records which includes over 24 platinum albums in the UK alone and over 15 million records in the United States. Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Black Sabbath were formed in Birmingham in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), and Bill Ward (drums and percussion). Originally formed as a heavy blues-rock band named Earth, the band began incorporating occult and horror-inspired lyrics with tuned-down guitars, changing their name to Black Sabbath and releasing multiple gold and platinum records in the 1970s.
Released February 3rd 2017, The Ultimate Collection is curated in conjunction with the band, the 31-track collection features the band’s classic songs including Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs, N.I.B. and The Wizard as well as choice cuts from their classic albums and is the definitive accompaniment for all Sabbath fans as well as those with a love of hard rock. Remastered by renowned engineer Andy Pearce (Motörhead, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, Iggy & The Stooges), the Ultimate Collection is available in multiple formats. Alongside the 2-CD and digital/HD formats, a limited edition “Crucifold” edition, a heavyweight 4 LP vinyl version produced in the shape of the cross.
NIACIN - Deep (2000)
01. Swing Swang Swung
02. Best Laid Plans
03. Sugar Blues
04. Stompin' Ground
05. Blue Mondo
06. Panic Button
07. Bootleg Jeans
08. Mean Streets
09. This One's Called...
11. Ratta McQue
12. Things Ain't Like They Used To Be
Deep is the third studio album from the jazz rock fusion trio Niacin, released in March 2000. Niacin is a neo-fusion instrumental trio featuring bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Dennis Chambers, and keyboardist John Novello. Founded in 1996, the band's name comes from the timbral foundation of the Hammond B3 organ; vitamin B3 is also known as niacin. While the members pursue solo and sideman projects, they have continued to record and tour as a unit.The album is heavily loaded with Billy Sheehan's powerful bass solos and features contributions from guest musicians Glenn Hughes on vocals and Steve Lukather on guitar.
BIG BILL MORGANFIELD - Bloodstains On The Wall (2016)
Big Bill Morganfield is the son of Muddy Waters and has emerged in the past few years as one of the top blues talents in America. Bill has played all over the world in the past 15 years, bringing pure joy to those who have had the pleasure of seeing one of his live performances. Big Bill Morganfield is Masterful, Powerful, Poetic, Fresh. Indeed, there is a definite message in his music that grabs your soul and touches your heart. Bloodstains On The Wall offers an expanded scope of the blues. From the expected Postwar chestnuts (associated with the likes of Otis Rush, Willie Dixon and his father, Muddy Waters), to original gems like “When You Lose Someone You Love” and “Hold Me Baby.” Big Bill es, “This world we live in is rapidly changing where lives or a life seem to be worth very little. But, all life and all lives have meaning. Black, White, Red, Yellow or whichever color you may be, all lives matter. Too much blood is being spilled on our streets.”
TRACKS: 01. Lost Without Love 02. I Don't Know Why 03. When You Lose Someone You Love 04. Too Much 05. Help Someone 06. Bloodstains On The Wall 07. Can't Call Her Name 08. Wake Up Baby 09. Keep On Loving Me 10. I Am The Blues 11. Help The Bear 12. Hold Me Baby
KROKUS - Big Rocks (2017)
January 27th, 2017 marks the release of "Big Rocks", the brand new studio album of Switzerland's legendary hard rock act Krokus. On "Big Rocks" Krokus are paying tribute to bands and artists like Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who, Steppenwolf, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and many more by presenting their very own versions of classic tracks such as "My Generation", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Whole Lotta Love", "Quinn The Eskimo", "Born To Be Wild" and others. "Big Rocks" offers a total of 14 tracks: 13 cover songs and a re-recorded version of Krokus' hit "Backseat Rock N' Roll", all of them flawlessly executed, brilliantly interpreted and spiced up with the typical Krokus edge. Well done, boys! Very well done!
As a first single Krokus have chosen their very own rendition of Folk-Rock classic "The House Of The Rising Sun". It is safe to say that the legendary Swiss hard rockers managed to breathe new life into the track by overhaulin' it Krokus-style! Bassist and producer Chris von Rohr describes his first encounter with the song as follows: "The first time I came across this song was in the wild sixties. I was lying on my bed and all of a sudden I heard the voices of a thousand angels sing." It was this exact feeling the band tried to capture with their own version of the song and the result speaks for itself: "The House of the Rising Sun" by Krokus sounds raw and loud yet embodies the soulful sound of the original.
TRACKS: 01. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath Cover) 02. Tie Your Mother Down (Queen Cover) 03. My Generation (The Who Cover) 04. Wild Thing (The Troggs Cover) 05. The House Of The Rising Sun (The Animals Cover) 06. Rockin' In The Free World (Neil Young Cover) 07. Gimme Some Lovin' (Spencer Davis Group Cover) 08. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin Cover) 09. Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran Cover) 10. Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf Cover) 11. Quinn The Eskimo (Bob Dylan Cover) 12. Jumpin' Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones Cover) 13. Back Seat Rock'n Roll (Krokus original recording)
ALABAMA - Angels Among Us - Hymns & Gospel Favorites (2014)
01. I Saw The Light
02. Because He Lives
03. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
04. I'll Fly Away
05. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
06. Church In The Wildwood
07. The Old Red Cross
08. Raising Alabama
09. Jordan's Banks
10. Let's All Go Down To The River
11. Lift Me Up
12. Angels Among Us
One of the most acclaimed country bands of our time, the award-winning Alabama is a name synonymous with tight harmonies, chart-topping songs and the fabric of American music. Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook celebrate their love for gospel music with this special collection containing 12 songs of faith. Featuring 'Church in the Wildwood,' 'I'll Fly Away,' 'The Old Red Cross' and an all-new recording of their hit 'Angels Among Us,' this release captures the heart and values of the band as well as those unmistakable blends that have made them a household name for decades.
THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS - The Gilded Palace Of Sin (1969) & Burrito Deluxe (1970)  & The Flying Burrito Bros [vinyl] (1971)
The Flying Burrito Brothers helped forge the connection between rock and country, and with their 1969 debut album, "The Gilded Palace of Sin", they virtually invented the blueprint for country-rock. Though the band's glory days were brief, they left behind a small body of work that proved vastly influential both in rock and country. The Flying Burrito Brothers reunited later in the '70s, albeit without their founding members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, and continued performing and recording in a variety of incarnations into the '80s.
"Burrito Deluxe", the group's second album, was released in the spring of 1970. After its release, Gram Parsons left the group and was replaced by Rick Roberts, a local Californian songwriter. Roberts' first album with the band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, was released in 1971. After its release, Kleinow left the band to become a session musician and Leadon departed to join the Eagles. The Burritos hired pedal steel guitarist Al Perkins and bassist Roger Bush to replace them, as well as adding guitarist Kenny Wertz and fiddler Byron Berline to the lineup.
"The Flying Burrito Bros" is the third album by the country rock group, The Flying Burrito Brothers, released in the spring of 1971. Before recording sessions for the album began, Gram Parsons departed from the band for a solo career, leaving Chris Hillman and "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow to carry on. In Parsons' place, the band hired a young unknown musician named Rick Roberts, who later was the primary lead singer of Firefall. Guitarist Bernie Leadon would also leave the band shortly after the album's release, going on to co-found the Eagles. Over the winter of 1970 to 1971 the band returned to Sunset Studios to record their third album. With Jim Dickson again the producer, assisted by Bob Hughes, the group developed original pieces mainly from Chris Hillman and Rick Roberts, along with a revisitation of a Bob Dylan composition. Several outtakes from the recording sessions later appeared on several compilations following the band's demise. Following the release of the album, further personnel changes occurred including Kleinow departing to focus solely on session recordings.
MAN - Revelation (1969) & 2 Oz's Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle (1969) & Man (1971) & Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In (1971)
The guitarist for Welsh progressive rock band Man, Deke Leonard, has died at the age of 72. - RIP
Man were one of the most promising rock bands to come out of Wales in the early '70s. Along with Brinsley Schwarz, they helped establish the core of the pub rock sound, but they played louder and also had a progressive component to their work that separated them from many of their rivals. The group originated as a Four Seasons-cum-Beach Boys vocal outfit, based in Swansea, Wales, called the Bystanders, who began experimenting with a tougher, more progressive sound on-stage. They were encouraged to pursue this direction, and Man were formed -- Micky Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Deke Leonard (guitar, vocals), Clive John (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Ray Williams (bass), and Jeff Jones (drums).
Their first release, Revelation, issued in 1969 on Pye, was a concept album that yielded a successful European single, "Erotica," which contained the sound of an orgasm and thus failed to chart in England. Their second album, 2 Ozs. of Plastic with a Hole in the Middle, showed a slightly new direction for the band, with a nearly live-in-the-studio sound and more creative interplay between the guitars, that some critics compared to early Quicksilver Messenger Service and other West Coast bands. Deke Leonard, in particular, whose playing was heavily influenced by Mick Green of the Pirates, became the star of the group by popular acclaim. When their contract with Pye Records ended in 1969, the group signed with United Artists-Liberty, with a new rhythm section consisting of Terry Williams on drums and vocals and Martin Ace playing bass. Their third album, Man, was a critical success, and their follow-up, 1971's Do You Like It Here, Are You Settling In, yielded several popular concert numbers. In February 1972, the group appeared at the Greasy Truckers' Ball, a benefit concert held in London that was taped for posterity, alongside Brinsley Schwarz and Hawkwind. Their performance was so impressive that United Artists chief Andrew Lauder (who was also responsible for helping the post-Roy Loney Flamin' Groovies get their sound together) encouraged them to do a full live album. The result was Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth, the band's breakthrough album, even though it was originally released in a limited-edition pressing of 8,000 copies. The album became a much sought-after collector's item in England, and suddenly the group had the attention of most of the record-buying public.
Unfortunately, it was at after the release of that album that Deke Leonard decided to exit the lineup to pursue a solo career, which he launched with the successful album Iceberg. Man were making a reputation for themselves and their next album, Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day, yielded some good songs (including "Bananas"). At that point, Pye released a retrospective of their first two albums, while the group's current lineup began shifting again -- Deke Leonard was back for Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics, and Slow Motion led to the group's first American tour. They followed this up with their first serious misstep, a hookup with Quicksilver's John Cippolina as producer for what proved to be a disappointing album, Maximum Darkness. The Welsh Connection, released by MCA in 1976, marked the end of the original group's history, although the band did get one more album out, entitled All's Well That Ends Well.
JOHN WETTON - Raised In Captivity (2011)
John Kenneth Wetton (12 June 1949 - died 31 January 2017) was an English singer, bassist, and songwriter. - RIP
He was born in Willington, Derbyshire, and grew up in Bournemouth. He rose to fame with bands Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash. After his period with King Crimson, Wetton formed UK, and later he was the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, which has proved his biggest commercial success. Their self-titled debut album sold 8 million copies worldwide and was Billboard magazine's No. 1 album of 1982. He later formed the duo Icon with Geoff Downes (ex-Yes, ex-Bles) and since the 1990s has had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums. Wetton has had a long career as an in-demand session bass player and has collaborated with many members of progressive rock bands such as Yes (including Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Geoff Downes, Alan White, Billy Sherwood and Peter Banks), Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, and Genesis (Steve Hackett).
"Raised in Captivity" is the sixth solo studio album by the English rock musician John Wetton, released in 2011.
TRACKS: 01. Lost For Words 02. Raised In Captivity 03. Goodbye Elsinore 04. The Last Night Of My Life 05. We Stay Together 06. The Human Condition 07. Steffi's Ring 08. The Devil And The Opera House 09. New Star Rising 10. Don't Misunderstand Me 11. Mighty Rivers
DAVID BYRON - Take No Prisoners (1975) & Baby Faced Killer (1978)
He became most famous as the original singer of the English rock band Uriah Heep between 1969 and 1976. David Byron sang on ten Uriah Heep albums: Their first "Very 'eavy Very 'Umble" (originally slated as a Spice release which becomes apparent after listening to "The Lansdowne Tapes",) "Salisbury", "Look at Yourself", "Demons And Wizards", "The Magician's Birthday", "Live", "Sweet Freedom", "Wonderworld", "Return To Fantasy", and "High And Mighty". During these six years David Byron gained a reputation with his operatic vocals and harmonies as one of the best rock vocalists and frontmen in the world. In 1975 Byron released his first solo album, "Take No Prisoners" (Bronze Records ILPS 9824) which also featured fellow Heep members Mick Box, Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake. But unfortunately for Byron, he'd also gained a reputation for hard drinking which eventually led to him being sacked from Uriah Heep at the end of a Spanish tour in July 1976. Ken Hensley said at that time, "David was one of those classic people who couldn't face up to the fact that things were wrong and he looked for solace in a bottle". Uriah Heep's manager at the time Gerry Bron said Byron had been dismissed in "the best interest of the group", having already secured a replacement singer. Bron explained that Byron and the other Heep members had been in disagreement for some time over fundamental issues of group policy, and that the differences had been finally brought to a head following the band's recent tour of Britain and Europe. "It was felt by the rest of the group that they could no longer reconcile David's attitude with their own", commented Byron.
"Take No Prisoners" is the debut solo album of British rock singer David Byron. It was released whilst he was still vocalist for Uriah Heep and features Heep bandmates Mick Box and Lee Kerslake.
"Baby Faced Killer" is the second solo album of British rock singer David Byron.
STEELY DAN - The First Four (1972 / 75)
"Can't Buy a Thrill" is the debut studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released in November 1972 by ABC Records. It was produced by Gary Katz and written by band members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The album was recorded at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles.
"Countdown to Ecstasy" is the second studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released in July 1973 by ABC Records. It was recorded at Caribou Ranch in Nederland, Colorado and at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California. After the departure of vocalist David Palmer, the group recorded the album with Donald Fagen singing lead on all the songs. Although it was a critical success, the album failed to generate a hit single, and consequently charted at only number 35 on the Billboard 200. It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having shipped 500,000 copies in the United States. Well received upon its release, Countdown to Ecstasy received perfect scores from music critics in retrospective reviews.
"Pretzel Logic" is the third studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released on February 20, 1974 by ABC Records. It was written by principal band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. They recorded the album at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles with producer Gary Katz and prominent Los Angeles–based studio musicians. The album was a commercial and critical success upon its release. Its hit single "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" helped restore Steely Dan's radio presence after the disappointing performance of their 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy. Pretzel Logic was reissued in 1999 to retrospective acclaim from critics.
"Katy Lied" is the fourth album by Steely Dan, originally released in 1975 by ABC Records. It went gold and peaked at #13 on the US charts. The single "Black Friday" also charted at #37. It is the first appearance of singer Michael McDonald on a Steely Dan album. Jeff Porcaro, then only 20 years old, played drums on all the songs except "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)", which features session drummer Hal Blaine. It also marked the first appearance of Larry Carlton who played guitar on "Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More"
THE BAND - The Last Waltz (1978) [Rhino, 2002]
As a film, The Last Waltz was a triumph -- one of the first (and still one of the few) rock concert documentaries that was directed by a filmmaker who understood both the look and the sound of rock & roll, and executed with enough technical craft to capture all the nooks and crannies of a great live show. But as an album, The Last Waltz soundtrack had to compete with the Band's earlier live album, Rock of Ages, with which it bears a certain superficial resemblance -- both found the group trying to create something grander than the standard-issue live double, and both featured the group beefed up by additional musicians. While Rock of Ages found the Band swinging along with the help of a horn section arranged by Allen Toussaint, The Last Waltz boasts a horn section (using Toussaint's earlier arrangements on a few cuts) and more than a baker's dozen guest stars, ranging from old cohorts Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan to contemporaries Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Van Morrison. The Band are in fine if not exceptional form here; on most cuts, they don't sound quite as fiery as they did on Rock of Ages, though their performances are never less than expert, and the high points are dazzling, especially an impassioned version of "It Makes No Difference" and blazing readings of "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Levon Helm has made no secret that he felt breaking up the Band was a bad idea, and here it sounds if he was determined to prove how much they still had to offer). Ultimately, it's the Band's "special guests" who really make this set stand out -- Muddy Waters' ferocious version of "Mannish Boy" would have been a wonder from a man half his age, Van Morrison sounds positively joyous on "Caravan," Neil Young and Joni Mitchell do well for their Canadian brethren, and Bob Dylan's closing set finds him in admirably loose and rollicking form. (One question remains -- what exactly is Neil Diamond doing here?) And while the closing studio-recorded "Last Waltz Suite" sounds like padding, the contributions from Emmylou Harris and the Staple Singers are beautiful indeed. It could be argued that you're better off watching The Last Waltz on video than listening to it on CD, but either way it's a show well worth checking out.
The box set The Last Waltz is a 2002 four-disc re-release of the 1978 album The Last Waltz documenting the concert The Last Waltz, the last concert by The Band with its classic line up. A full forty tracks are taken from the show in addition to rehearsal outtakes. Twenty-four tracks are previously unreleased.
DELBERT McCLINTON & SELF-MADE MEN - Prick of the Litter (2017)
At 76, Delbert McClinton still delivers the goods as a singer and songwriter. While it's true that his vocal delivery is a tad more grainy and not quite as powerful as in decades past, like all great stylists, he's learned to compensate and is no less expressive as a result. Despite its title, Prick of the Litter is the gentlest album he's ever released.
The set showcases a softer side of his instrument in beautifully arranged tunes that derive inspiration from the songs of Johnny Mercer and Nat King Cole, Percy Mayfield (whose "The Hunt Is On" he covers here), Solomon Burke, and even Louis Armstrong. With his working band the Self-Made Men (keyboardist Kevin Mckendree, guitarist Bob Britt, bassist Michael Joyce, and drummer Jack Bruno), backing vocalists Vicki Hampton and Wendi Moten, and guests ranging from Lou Ann Barton and Jimmie Vaughan to Al Perkins and Glenn Clark, McClinton delivers tunes that range from airy ballads and grooving jump blues to classic American pop and swing. First single "Like Lovin' Used to Be" is a perfect illustration of the album's roomy, intimate sound. With brushed snares and hi-hat, acoustic guitars, walking bassline, and a lilting jazz piano, McClinton evokes the spirit of Mercer as his backing singers slide in just behind him. Jim Hoke's smoky tenor saxophone adds fills and a lovely solo. "Doin' What You Do," with its sultry twin voicings of B-3 and Rhodes, Britt's spidery guitar, and his own harmonica offer a nocturnal vibe to suit the humid, sensual groove for the singers to interact with. "Don't Do It," a relaxed shuffle, could have been recorded at any time in McClinton's long career. It's classic roadhouse R&B with swinging horns, Vaughan's chunky, biting lead lines, and Barton's soulful wail complementing the frontman's grit and grain. Clark adds a harmony vocal to his co-write on the woolly "Skip Chaser" with greasy horns and guitars. McClinton gets to use his still formidable - albeit a bit rougher - falsetto on the sensual soul ballad "Middle of Nowhere" that recalls Burke. The Mayfield tune cooks with a punchy horn stomp as McClinton's delivery simmers just beneath it. And that Satchmo thang? Check "Jones for You." Both the singer and Tim Quimette's trumpet pay homage to the master's easy swing - though McClinton's humorous lyrics are coarser than anything Armstrong would abide. The set closes with the shuffling, summery swing of "Rosy,' driven by McKendree's Henry Butler-esque NOLA blues piano and Ray Agee's tender, muted trombone solo. McClinton doesn't try to reinvent the wheel on Prick of the Litter, but he doesn't have to; his voice, despite his age, was made for songs like these, while the charts and band performances are equally inspired. This is a memorable date in a catalog full of them.
TRACKS: 01. Don't Do It 02. Doin' What You Do 03. Middle Of Nowhere 04. Skip Chaser 05. San Miguel 06. Pulling The Strings 07. Neva 08. Like Lovin' Used To Be 09. Jones For You 10. The Hunt Is On 11. Bad Haircut 12. Rosy
JOHN MAYALL - Talk About That (2017)
British blues legend and Blues Hall of Fame member John Mayall has finished up a new CD titled Talk About That, release by Forty Below Records, and that’s good news indeed! Working with his longtime band members Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass), and Jay Davenport (drums), the talented multi-instrumentalist Mayall co-produced Talk About That with Forty Below President Eric Corne at the House of Blues Studio in Encino, California.
Talk About That features eleven tracks, including eight original songs and smokin’ covers of Memphis soul legend Bettye Crutcher’s “It’s Hard Going Up,” bluesman Jimmy Rogers’ “Goin’ Away Baby,” and rocker Jerry Lynn Williams’ “Don’t Deny Me.” Of the original tunes, the New Orleans-flavored “Gimme Some of That Gumbo” features a three-piece horn section to spice up the recording. The album also features former James Gang/Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh performing on the Mayall originals “The Devil Must Be Laughing” and “Cards On The Table.”
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Pendulum (1970) & Mardi Gras (1972)
Pendulum is the sixth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records on December 7, 1970, their second album release of that year. A single from the album, "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" / "Hey Tonight", was released in January 1971. Pendulum is their only album to not contain any cover songs; all tracks were written by John Fogerty. It was the last album the band did with Tom Fogerty, who would leave the band to start a solo career. It was also the last album to feature John Fogerty as the record's sole producer. The most sonically adventurous CCR album, Pendulum is noted for its widespread use of horns and keyboards, in contrast to the group's previous albums, which were dominated by guitar. Among several lesser-known Fogerty songs ("Pagan Baby", "Sailor's Lament", "It's Just a Thought", "Born to Move") were two top-ten hits, "Hey Tonight" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?". Both songs reached number eight in 1971. It also contains their only avant-garde venture, "Rude Awakening #2".
Mardi Gras is the seventh and final studio album by American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released on April 11, 1972. The group disbanded after this album was released. Unlike previous albums, Mardi Gras had Stu Cook and Doug Clifford sharing songwriting and production with John Fogerty, as well as their own lead vocal contributions for the first time. Reviews were mixed to poor, and critics called the album "Fogerty's revenge". Following the album's release, the group was officially dissolved on 16 October in a statement released by the group and its record label Fantasy Records. Mardi Gras is the only album by the band that was not remastered and reissued until 2008 to mark the 40th anniversary of the band's formation.
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Creedence Gold (1972)
01. Proud Mary
02. Down On The Corner
03. Bad Moon Rising
04. I Heard It Through The Grape Vine
05. The Midnight Special
06. Have You Ever Seen The Rain
07. Born On The Bayou
08. Suzie Q
Creedence Gold is a compilation album of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1972. More Creedence Gold formed the second part, released in 1973. The original vinyl release featured pictures of the band under the colored profile flaps on the cover. Overseas releases switched the cover art, with the band photo on the front, and the colored silhouettes on the back.
Creedence Gold is a collection of Creedence Clearwater Revival's hit singles. Unfortunately, the album is a little too small to meet anybody's needs. A mere eight tracks are featured on Creedence Gold. Admittedly, these are eight tracks of amazing quality, but those looking for a more thorough collection will be pleased with the much more in-depth Chronicle, Vol. 1. Creedence Gold shows off the musical talent involved in the band. The 11-plus-minute "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is a fine showcase for Creedence's lead guitar styling, while "Born on the Bayou" is a fine sampler of how the band worked as a unit. By no means is Creedence Gold a bad album. Indeed, the eight tracks featured are eight of the best moments in their respective genres. As a compilation of Creedence's career, however, Creedence Gold fails miserably.
THORBJORN RISAGER & THE BLACK TORNADO - Change My Game (2017)
Change My Game should do exactly that for Thorbjorn Risager and The Black Tornado. After their last studio release Too Many Roads brought the Danish Rockers many accolades in 2014 including #5 on BRR’s top 20 list that year, they are back to firmly plant their flag with one of the more creative releases in recent memory. Filled with a myriad of songs that spans the gamut from dirty delta influenced blues, to soulful and dynamic ballads and some powerful rockers this album showcases the breadth of their abilities along with the Risager’s unique voice. It has been described as one part Ray Charles, one part Bob Seger, and part Joe Cocker and while you can hear all those influences there is definitely something unique that sets him apart. This collection of excellent musicians takes full advantage of the dynamic arrangements that a full eight-piece band including horns offers them. This is a great album that proves they are the real deal and that after 14 years and 11 albums they don’t show any signs of decay.
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - Live At Ludlow Garage (1970)
Live at Ludlow Garage 1970 features 91 minutes of the Allman Brothers Band in concert at a Cincinnati venue that they loved, nearly a year before their legendary Fillmore shows. The acoustics are good, though a little shaky -- the tape was made at seven-and-a-half IPS, the bare minimum professional standard, which leaves more hiss than one might like and a bit less clarity than a fully professional live album might show. On the other hand, the group's sound imparts its own punch and clarity, and it was done in stereo, and if not for the existence of the Fillmore tapes, and the fact that the albums they yielded sold a kajillion copies, this show might well have been released in the 1970s. It isn't as intense as the Fillmore shows, but it does capture the group as a little-known working band with but a single album out and building a reputation -- and with Dickey Betts yet to emerge as either a singer or composer and their sound still being worked out ("Statesboro Blues" gets a startlingly subdued performance, anticipating the acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" from the '90s recording An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set). They build their set on ambitious reinterpretations of songs by Blind Willie McTell, Muddy Waters ("Trouble no More"), John Lee Hooker ("Dimples"), and Willie Dixon (whose "Hoochie Coochie Man" is a soaring highlight of this two-disc set, in a version that makes every other white band's cover seem wimpy by comparison), climaxing with a searing though somewhat disjointed 44-minute version of "Mountain Jam." - allmusic.com
DISC 1: 01. Dreams 02. Statesboro Blues 03. Trouble No More 04. Dimples 05. Every Hungry Woman 06. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town 07. Hoochie Coochie Man
DISC 2: 01. Mountain Jam (Theme From First There Is A Mountain)
Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band drummer and co-founder, dead at 69 - RIP
COCKNEY REBEL - Cavaliers: An Anthology 1973-1974 (2012) & STEVE HARLEY - Unplug ged (2001)
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - who were not billed that way during 1973 and 1974, the two years they spent at EMI; they were merely Cockney Rebel - released just two albums for EMI and they're both collected here on the 2012 four-disc box set Cavaliers: An Anthology 1973-1974. What fills out the rest of the box? Both The Human Menagerie and The Psychomodo take up discs one and two and have non-LP singles added, then disc three rounds up 14 previously unreleased versions and mixes, with the fourth disc dedicated to Cockney Rebel at the BBC, features nothing but performances from 1974. Needless to say, this is not for the causal fan - after all, Harley's biggest hit, "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)," is nowhere to be found - but rather for those who want to dig deep, and those may not be limited to Harley fanatics, either. During these early years, Cockney Rebel blurred the lines between prog, glam, Canterbury, Roxy, and other arty flights of fancy, slowly gathering a sense of style and flash. The Human Menagerie is a little gangly but The Psychomodo is a full-stop gem, and fortunately that's the period that gets the greatest exploration here. Certainly, this box is for serious listeners, but it offers plenty of surprises and pleasures within its four discs. On Cavaliers (An Anthology 1973-1974) Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel cover a range of musical genres from pop to progressive rock and even classical music.
DISC 1 - The Human Menagerie
DISC 2 - The Psychomodo
DISC 3 - Alternative Versions & Mixes
DISC 4 - At The BBC - In Concert (1974)
At a time when every artist worth his salt, and a lot who wished they still were, was jumping on the "unplug ged" bandwagon, it became increasingly difficult to even hear that word without cringing just a little bit at the prospect of another round of hits strummed earnestly on acoustic guitars. But even amid so much swine there was the occasional pearl, and Steve Harley's contribution to the genre stands as one of the best. Of course, seasoned fans will immediately recognize Unplug ged as a straightforward reissue of 1999's Stripped to Bare Bones, but that does not diminish it; taking a leaf from that other music television staple, the "storyteller" format, Harley is a most engaging host, punctuating songs with humor and anecdote, and if he does push the "gee, it's really great to be here" sincerity button a little too often for comfort, then that goes with the territory as well. A quarter of a century had passed since he was last considered a commercial force, yet his audience is as devotedly die-hard as ever, and the songs have held up remarkably well too, particularly those (more than half the set) which were drawn from the peak years of Harley's career.
BRIAN MAY - Back To The Light (1992) & Another World (1998)
Back to the Light is the first solo effort of Queen's guitarist Brian May and his second non-Queen album. It was recorded between 1988 and 1992 at the Allerton Hill Studios, mixed at the Metropolis Studios and then released on 28 September 1992 in the UK. The album was released in the United States and Canada on 2 February 1993 with a different cover. The album contains the Top 10 singles "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "Driven by You".
Another World is the second full studio album delivered by Queen guitarist Brian May. Recorded at his home studio after the completion of the last Queen album, Made in Heaven, the album was released in the UK on 1 June 1998 and on 15 September of that year in the US. The album itself started as a cover album. The "Heroes" concept was to record his favourite tracks from his favourite artists, but the idea soon mutated into a full album. Some of the covers found their place on the album, whilst others were released as B-sides to singles and on the Another World tour promo CD. Brian May was on the Alas Smith and Jones show advertising the album. Drummer Cozy Powell died in a car accident before the album was completed.
JIM MESSINA - In The Groove (2016)
James Melvin "Jim" Messina is an American musician, songwriter, singer, guitarist, recording engineer and record producer. He was a member of the folk rock group Buffalo Springfield, a founding member of the country rock pioneer Poco, and half of the soft rock duo Loggins and Messina with Kenny Loggins.
Recorded live in September 2015 at The Clark Center and The Lobero Theatre, legendary singer/songwriter Jim Messina captures moments in time with these superbly rendered and lively performances. It’s a nice cross-section that spans the artist’s career from his time with Poco and Loggins & Messina to solo work. In addition to a core ensemble, Messina is joined by former Poco steel guitarist Rusty Young, who adds spice to modern classics like “Kind Woman” and “Listen to a Country Song.” And tracks like “Mojito Moon” and “Keep Me in Mind” possess a subtle jazzy element providing something for everyone.
TRACKS: 01. Please Welcome 02. Mojito Moon 03. Keep Me In Mind 04. Those Were The Days 05. Whispering Waters 06. Rusty's Intro 07. Follow Your Dreams 08. Jasper's Ride 09. Better Think Twice 10. When I First Met Rusty 11. Kind Woman 12. Childs Claim To Fame 13. Listen To A Country Song 14. Holiday Hotel 15. Be Free 16. It's Election Time Again 17. Same Old Wine 18. Changes 19. Angry Eyes 20. You Need A Man 21. Your Mama Don't Dance
THE LACHY DOLEY GROUP - Lovelight (2017)
Dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ, a player who can pump, pamper and pound unbelievable, intense, ferocious and sometimes transcendent sounds from his organ and clavinet, only to fire powerful bluesy vocals that rip straight from the heart screaming as they pass the vocal chords to produce one mesmerising and unforgettable show. Lachy Doley has seen much of the world, recording and touring with acts as diverse as Powderfinger, Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai, Jimmy Barnes, The Beautiful Girls - more recently recording on a new album of Joe Bonamassa’s which came out in early 2015. It was 2010 though, that saw the birth of The Lachy Doley Group and they have been heavily recording and touring ever since. The Lachy Doley Group are a unique sound in the classic and sometimes very traditional genre of the Blues. A power trio consisting of Bass, Drums and of course Doley firing on the Hammond, his vocal screaming from the heart and the incredibly rare Hohner D6 Whammy Clavinet in which most people double take on when they realise that sound isn’t an electric guitar but a 70 stringed keyboard with a huge Whammy Bar sticking out the guts of it.
TRACKS: 01. We're Free 02. Love Come Around 03. Lovelight 04. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City 05. Only Cure For The Blues Is The Blues 06. Get It While You Can 07. Who Was I Foolin (Featuring Jimmy Barnes And Nathan Cavaleri) 08. The Killer 09. Stop Listening To The Blues (Live At Blues On Broadbeach 2016)
RONNIE BAKER BROOKS - Times Have Changed (2017)
Ronnie Baker Brooks was born in Chicago, and started playing guitar around age six. At 19, he joined his father, Lonnie Brooks who by then had influenced some of the most well-known bluesman of our history: Jimmy Reed, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, and Junior Wells. For 12 years the two would tour together, putting Ronnie out front with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor. Times Have Changed, Brooks' first album in ten years, carries with it the weight of grown perspective and time spent perfecting old material. Brooks worked it with Steve Jordan, whose work runs from Keith Richards to Stevie Wonder, John Mayer and Eric Clapton.
The whole album came together over the course of a few weeks at Royal Studios in Memphis, the home of Al Green, Syl Johnson and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Jordan and Brooks brought in a mint press of Memphis music royalty: Stax Records staple Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave), Archie Turner (Al Green, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright), jazz saxophonist Lannie McMillan, and R&B icon Angie Stone. For several tracks, Brooks also enlisted members of the legendary Hi Rhythm Section, which served as the house band for hit soul albums by artists like Al Green and Ann Peebles.
TRACKS: 01. Show Me (feat. Steve Cropper) 02. Doing Too Much (feat. "Big Head" Todd Mohr) 03. Twine Time (feat. Lonnie Brooks) 04. Times Have Changed (feat. Al Kapone) 05. Long Story Short 06. Give Me Your Love (Love Song) (feat. Angie Stone) 07. Give The Baby Anything The Baby Wants (feat. "Big Head" Todd Mohr & Eddie Willis) 08. Old Love (feat. Bobby 'Blue' Bland) 09. Come On Up (feat. Felix Cavaliere & Lee Roy Parnell) 10. Wham Bam Thank You Sam 11. When I Was We
GOTTHARD - Silver (2017)
For all the trials, tribulations and downright tragedy that comes along with being in in rock n roll band for a quarter of a century, you’d perhaps forgive Gotthard if they’d chosen to rest on their laurels. They could have just stuck out a best of to celebrate their silver anniversary. Possibly they’d tag a couple of new songs on the end or something, but they’d just be an excuse to tour. Fair enough, but these boys are made of sterner stuff. That’s why they carried on after the awful loss of singer Steve Lee in 2010 and that’s why this is a brand-new record of what is in 2017 a pretty mammoth 15 songs. It’s also why “Silver” is so very, very good.
That this, their third album with new singer Nic Maeder, is a little special is immediately obvious given the stomping Deep Purple-isms of the opening song “Silver River”, and if the follow up “Electrified” is perhaps a little more Led Zep in its intentions, then it still packs quite the punch and possesses a superb hook. Experienced enough to know themselves at this point, this is a classy effort whichever way you look at it. Gotthard have toured with Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Bryan Adams to name a few, and there is definite nods to all of those here, as there is to Whitesnake, particularly on “Stay With Me”. Not least of which because Maeder has the feel of Dame David about him. The song itself is elevated from usual ballad fodder by a brilliant, soaring solo before its conclusion.
TRACKS: 01. Silver River 02. Electrified 03. Stay With Me 04. Beautiful 05. Everything Inside 06. Reason For This 07. Not Fooling Anyone 08. Miss Me 09. Tequila Symphony No.5 10. Why 11. Only Love Is Real 12. My Oh My 13. Blame On Me 14. Walk On 15. Customized Lovin
MIKE OLDFIELD - Ommadawn (1975) [Remastered + Bonus, 2010] & Return to Ommadawn (2017)
Ommadawn is the third record album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1975 on Virgin Records. As with Hergest Ridge and Tubular Bells, Ommadawn is another two-movement work. Mike Oldfield, as with Hergest Ridge, makes economic use of a relatively small number of subjects throughout Ommadawn and develops them extensively, both with musical variation and varying the instruments used. Each of the two movements of Ommadawn utilise their own subjects without sharing them between the two movements. Oldfield sought out the ancient Celtic influence on English music and composed for traditional instruments such as uilleann pipes on the original LP version. This is the 2010 edition of the album, which is a remixed and remastered version of the original. Oldfield has tried to accentuate subtle details that were previously almost buried in the mix. This edition also includes four bonus tracks.
TRACKS: 01. Ommadawn (Part One) 02. Ommadawn (Part Two) / On Horseback 03. In Dulce Jubilo 04. First Excursion 05. Argiers 06. Portsmouth
Return to Ommadawn is the twenty-sixth studio album by Mike Oldfield. It is a sequel to his third album, Ommadawn (1975). The album was released on 20 January 2017 on CD, CD/DVD, LP and as a digital download by Virgin EMI Records. Mike Oldfield: “When I first began to think of what I should do for my new album, I went on social media and asked the fans for their opinion. And so many of them seemed to want me to go back to the acoustic style of the first three albums, and of these it’s Ommadawn that appears to be their favourite one.”
TRACKS: 01. Return To Ommadawn, Pt. I 02. Return To Ommadawn, Pt. II
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin DVD (2003) [DVD Audiorip]
Exclamations of religious awe are in order. Legendary and long sought-after, this live Led Zeppelin collection is nothing less than the rock music equivalent of the Holy Grail. Quite simply, this is what all the fuss was about. Given that they were the biggest band in the world, Zeppelin were notoriously camera-shy in their heyday. Their official filmic legacy until now has been just the fascinating but flawed The Song Remains the Same. While this new set presents some previously unseen footage from the same 1973 Madison Square Garden gigs, its real wonders lie in the earlier (1970) Royal Albert Hall footage and the later Earls Court (1975) and Knebworth (1979) concerts. Everything here looks and sounds new-minted, thanks to painstaking restoration and remastering of both audio and visual sources, a Herculean labor of love on the part of co-producer Dick Carruthers working hand-in-glove with Jimmy Page. Trawling through thousands of yards of previously unseen film and unheard tape recordings--some with missing visuals, some with missing audio--Page and Carruthers have chosen only the best possible footage available. They were also at pains to make the segments segue seamlessly so that the viewer is treated to what feels like a continuous concert--just sample the transition from a grainy Super 8 "Immigrant Song" (Sydney, 1972) to "Black Dog" at MSG.
The DVD cover features West and East Mitten Buttes, photographed from the visitor centre at the Navajo Tribal Park located at Monument Valley, Arizona.
JOE SOUTH - Classic Masters (2002)
Singer/songwriter Joe South (born Joe Souter) began his career as a country musician, performing on an Atlanta radio station and joining Pete Drake's band in 1957. The following year, he recorded a novelty single, "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor," and became a session musician in Nashville and at Muscle Shoals. South appeared on records by Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan (Blonde on Blonde), and Simon & Garfunkel ("The Sounds of Silence"). During the '60s, South began working on his songwriting, crafting hits for Deep Purple ("Hush") and several for Billy Joe Royal, including "Down in the Boondocks." South began recording his own material in 1968, scoring a hit with the Grammy-winning "Games People Play" (Song of the Year) the following year. While South produced hits like "Don't It Make You Want to Go Home" and "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," Lynn Anderson had a smash country and pop hit in 1971 with South's "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden."
South took several years off after his brother's suicide in 1971, moving to Maui and living in the jungles. He had proven a rather prickly character, recording a song entitled "I'm a Star"; he was also busted for drugs and, never entirely comfortable performing, was known for an antagonistic stance in concert (he once sested that audience members start dancing around the concert hall and kiss his ass as they approached the stage). South briefly returned in 1975 with the Midnight Rainbows LP but retired from recording and performing soon afterwards. South returned in 1994 in a London concert showcasing American Southern performers and later re-entered the music publishing industry. He died from a heart attack at his home in Georgia in September of 2012; Joe South was 72 years old.
FREDDIE KING - Taking Care of Business 1956-1973 [7 CD Box] (2009)
Of the three blues Kings, Freddie is overlooked, never achieving the superstar status of B.B. and lacking the bad mother mojo of Albert, but he was every bit as crucial to blues and rock & roll as either, building upon B.B.'s piercing single lines and playing with the fury of Albert, creating a style that forever changed guitar in the 20th century. Eric Clapton, in particular, built upon Freddie's gut-busting guitar, adopting "Hide Away" as his early showcase with John Mayall, and other players who blurred the lines between rock and blues were forever indebted to Freddie, who himself smashed the barriers between the two styles almost from the beginning. This is clear from the beginning of Taking Care of Business: 1956-1973, Bear Family's monumental seven-disc testament to King's greatness. More than most artists, King was crying out for the kind of extensive, exhaustive treatment given by Bear Family: Freddie hopped from label to label, seemingly switching his name every time he appeared on a new imprint, and large chunks of his catalog never appeared on CD. Taking Care of Business rectifies that situation, gathering every studio session he recorded with the exception of his final stint at RSO in the mid-'70s. RSO's absence isn't felt because everything else he cut is here: his early, ignored single for Chicago-based EL Bee with Robert Jr. Lockwood on guitar; his sessions for Federal and King where he established his powerhouse signature instrumental style on "Hide Away," "Butterscotch," and "San-Ho-Zay," cut such passionate vocals as "Have You Ever Loved" and "I'm Tore Down," then later dipped his toe into such trends as the twist, bossa nova, and surf rock; his late-'60s sessions for Cotillion, where he got funkier than any other blues guitarist (a transition showcased on a heavily reworked "Hide Away"), and sang some deep soul; his Leon Russell-shepherded, rock & roll-tinged comeback on Shelter records in the early '70s, where he was playing for hippies and singing CCR and Spencer Davis Group. King often revisited his signature tunes, cutting them every time he changed labels, but each time the arrangements shifted, signaling how Freddie was always moving forward, finding new settings for his muscular voice and guitar. Surely, some of the detours he took weren't as successful as others - his "Do the President Twist" immediately pops to mind - but as Taking Care of Business winds towards its conclusion, what impresses is the variety, how King shifted with the times without chasing trends, how he stayed uniquely himself throughout it all, always a larger-than-life force whose power sustained no matter the setting, and remains thrilling all these years later.
MITCH KASHMAR - 100 Miles To Go (2010) & West Coast Toast (2016)
"In the golden era of post-war blues, Chicago was the home and proving ground for many of the legends of blues harmonica. Over the years, as the popularity of modern blues traveled from coast to coast and beyond, so did the players. By the late 1950s, one of the true pioneers of blues harp, George Harmonica Smith, had settled in Southern California, where his presence on the flourishing Los Angeles blues scene would have a tremendous impact in subsequent years on up-and-coming players such as Rod Piazza, William Clarke and Kim Wilson. Little could Smith have known that he would spawn a whole new offshoot of the blues harmonica tradition, helping to create what is now known to fans world-wide as 'the West Coast Sound', a hard-swinging, sophisticated, and distinctly different offshoot of the amplified harp sounds familiar in Chicago.
As time has gone by, a handful of masters of this new California sound have risen to the top of the heap and become influential and pioneering in their own right. One of the best of those on the scene today is Mitch Kashmar. Mitch has not only thoroughly absorbed the lessons of the masters, he's developed his own unique voice in the blues idiom, and not just on the harmonica. He's hands-down one of the heaviest and most soulful singers ever to emerge from the modern West Coast scene, and an engaging and witty songwriter, in addition to his virtuosic skills on the harmonica (it's those harmonica skills that earned him a spot touring for several years with the legendary rock/soul/funk band War). Kashmar has been one of the leading figures in West Coast blues for over three decades now, heading some of the tightest contemporary blues outfits you'll ever hear, and earning the respect and admiration of his peers, his elders, and a school of protégés with a tireless schedule of performances and series of stellar releases.
FREDDIE KING - (1934-1976) 
01. Pack It Up
02. Shake Your Bootie
03. Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do
04. Woman Across The River
05. Sweet Home Chicago
06. Sugar Sweet
07. Tv Mama
08. Gambling Woman Blues
09. Farther On Up The Road
For those of you who love the blues (Texas and Chicago style), this CD and Freddie King is for you! Freddie King is one of the most influential guitarists of his time. Truly a musician's musician! King's technique on the guitar is amazing. However, it's not his playing that makes him complete. It's his voice! Freddie sings with so much power and feeling that it sends chills down your spine. If you like the sound of B.B.King's "Lucile", wait until you hear Freddie on his Gibson 335! This is the only recording of Freddie King and his "pupil" Eric Clapton playing together and the song is simply wonderful. Apart from this one song it's just the Texas Cannonball at his rawest best.
JOHN LEE HOOKER - The Healer (1989)
The Healer is a blues album by John Lee Hooker, released in 1989. The album features collaborations with Bonnie Raitt, Charlie Musselwhite, Los Lobos and Carlos Santana, among others. The Healer peaked at number 62 on the Billboard 200 and "I'm in the Mood" won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Performance. Produced by Roy Rogers of the Delta Rhythm Kings the album's success 'permitted John Lee Hooker to live out the end of his life in comfort'. The Healer was a major comeback for John Lee Hooker. Featuring a wide array of guest stars, including Bonnie Raitt, Johnnie Johnson, and Los Lobos, The Healer captured widespread media attention because of all the superstar musicians involved in its production. Unfortunately, that long guest list is what makes the album a fairly unengaging listen. Certainly there are moments were it clicks, but that's usually when the music doesn't greatly expand on his stripped-down boogie. The other moments are professional, but not exciting. It's a pleasant listen, but never quite an engaging one.
TRACKS: 01. The Healer 02. I'm In The Mood 03. Baby Lee 04. Cuttin Out 05. Think Twice Before You Go 06. Sally Mae 07. That's Alright 08. Rockin Chair 09. My Dream 10. No Substitute
JIMMY BOWSKILL & CARLOS DEL JUNCO - Blues, Etc... (2016)
Carlos del Junco is a Cuban-Canadian harmonica musician.He specializes in playing the ten hole diatonic harmonica. He was taught to play chromatically by using an "overblow" technique taught to him by Howard Levy, a jazz virtuoso. In 1993, he won two gold medals at the Hohner World Harmonica Championship held in Trossingen, Germany. He was judged world's best in both the diatonic blues category and the diatonic jazz category.
Mr. Bowskill, a multi-talented, young man hailing from Bailieboro, has been entertaining crowds with his incredibly advanced bluesy guitar riffs since he was 11 years old. His first CD, ‘Old Soul’, in 2003, reflected his youthful talent and strong, rich vocals. His second CD, ‘Soap Bars and Dog Ears’, was nominated for a Juno when he was 13, making him the youngest individual to be nominated for the award. Mr. Bowskill has toured Canada and Europe for years. He had the opportunity to play with two premier guitar players, Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa, in Germany, billed as the Three Js. He has opened for Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Wishbone Ash. Currently, he is based in Port Hope and performs regularly with his band, The Jimmy Bowskill Band.
Nominated for Maple Leaf Blues Awards 2016 Acoustic Act of The Year and Harmonica Player of The Year. A dose of roots, country and pop infused blues from two masters of their craft.
TRACKS: 01. Beale St. Toodle-Oo 02. Roll Away The Stone 03. Everybody Knows 04. Heaven's Where You'll Dwell 05. If I Called Your Name 06. Confidence Man 07. Can't Lose 08. Hug You (Live) 09. Spike Driver Blues 10. The Blues Don't Like Nobody (Live)
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