JIM RINGER - The Band of Jesse James: The Best of (1996)
At one time, it appeared as though singer/songwriter Jim Ringer would be a major star; instead, he wound up as a cult figure with a small but devoted following. He was born in Yell County in the Arkansas Ozarks; during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s, his family migrated to California's Central Valley. It was a rough life, and by 18, Ringer was serving a three-year prison sentence. For a few years afterward, he was a transient hopping freight trains from job to job until 1969, when he became a professional musician. Two years later, he was a hippie in Berkeley, where he and 12 other friends bought a 1948 Chevy school bus and formed the Portable Folk Festival; the group spent 1971 touring the country and performing. Near the end of the year, Ringer began performing with Kenny Hall & the Sweet's Mill String Band; he cut an album with them in 1972. That year, he also cut his first solo album, Waitin' for the Hard Times to Go, for Folk-Legacy Records. After meeting singer Mary McCaslin in 1972, Ringer teamed up professionally and personally with her, but continued to play individually too. In 1973, Ringer signed to Philo and released Good to Get Home. Two more albums followed in the subsequent three years. After he and McCaslin were married, they recorded a duet for Philo called "The Bramble and the Rose." Ringer signed to Flying Fish in 1981 and recorded Endangered Species, which produced the highly touted "Whiskey and Cocaine" and featured performances by the Dillards, the Burrito Brothers, and the Hot Band. He and McCaslin split up in 1989, and three years later, Ringer died on St. Patrick's Day.
JOHNNY CASH - Personal File (2006)
The recordings Johnny Cash started making for Rick Rubin's American label in 1993 launched a journey through the Great American Songbook from traditional tunes to alt-rock that continued until, literally, the end of his life. What wasn't known at the time was that Cash had anticipated the American Recordings concept 20 years earlier. A series of informal private sessions he recorded in 1973 featuring just voice and guitar--with a few numbers added between then and 1982--were left untouched at his House of Cash studio, unearthed only after his death in 2003. These 49 songs, labeled "Personal File," show him exploring 19th-century parlor tunes, Tin Pan Alley pop, gospel, little-known Cash originals, classic and contemporary country, and even a recitation of Robert Service's poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee." On many, his spoken introductions reveal personal ties to a given number. Cash reprises early country fare like Jimmie Rodgers's "My Mother Was a Lady" and "The Letter Edged in Black." He also revisits later country classics like the Louvin Brothers' "When I Stop Dreaming," close friend Johnny Horton's hit "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)," John Prine's "Paradise," and stepdaughter Carlene Carter's "It Takes One to Know Me." The second disc is a virtual hymnbook, blending traditional gospel and A.P. Carter tunes with a sacred composition by Rodney Crowell and Cash gospel originals. For those enchanted by the illness-ravaged soulfulness of Cash's later American recordings, hearing him in his prime is not only breathtaking--it underscores the depth of his still-remarkable musical vision.
BOBBY FLURIE - While You Were Sleeping (2015) & Roy Buchanan's Guitar (2017)
Bobby Flurie was born in New York City, grew up in the Baltimore Washington D.C. area, and became a guitar fanatic at age 16, playing some of his first gigs in strip clubs. While attending Peabody Conservatory of Music in the late sixties, where he was classically trained, he realized that he really wanted to play rock and roll, and started playing the D.C. club scene. It was about that time that he met legendary guitarist Roy Buchanan, who mentored him and helped him develop his musical imagination. Soon after, Bobby was heard by a national booking agent, who recruited him to play with Quicksilver Messenger Service, touring major cities throughout the country.
He then relocated to the San Francisco Bay area where he spent 22 years, working with such acts as Country Joe & The Fish, The Chambers Brothers, The Pointer Sisters, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Big Brother & the Holding Co., Huey Lewis, and many more. He eventually returned to the East Coast to be closer to his family, and remains quite active in the music industry, playing, writing, and recording more music than ever before.
JOHN MAYER - The Search for Everything (2017)
John Mayer first teased his seventh album, The Search for Everything, through a pair of EPs that contained eight of the record's 12 songs. It was a sly way for the singer/songwriter to ease back into his soulful side, a sound he largely abandoned during an extended dalliance with Laurel Canyon country-rock -- an infatuation that culminated in his position as a substitute Jerry Garcia in the Grateful Dead satellite group Dead & Company. Although it's ostensibly a breakup album, The Search for Everything doesn't feel haunted: Mayer glides through the record so smoothly, the supple sound seems almost insouciant. It is also quite alluring. Mayer may be reverting to the sound of Continuum, alternating between R&B workouts and soul-baring ballads, but forward movement is the unifying sentiment here. The nimble funk opener, "Moving on and Getting Over," makes that plain, as does the plaintive "Changing," which summarizes his plight simply: "I may be old and I may be young/But I am not done changing." Some of Mayer's change can be charted in how he hangs onto his romantic past, burying some of his heartache on the deceptively exuberant opener, "Still Feel Like Your Man," and offering a bittersweet denouement in the admission "You're Gonna Live Forever in Me." Mirroring his emotional maturity is a sharpening of his songcraft. While he's always shown a knack for slow-burning soul, the progression and arrangement of the smoldering "Rosie" feel as sophisticated as the lithe grace of "Emoji of a Wave," while "Roll It on Home," an easy-rolling country-rocker that tips its hat to the Dead, shows how he absorbed the lessons of his Laurel Canyon detour of Born and Raised and Paradise Valley. Those two records, along with such earlier workouts as Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert, reveal the extent of Mayer's ambition, but The Search for Everything succeeds because he's not donning a new costume: instead, he's settling into a groove he can claim as his own, and it feels like he's at home.
OTIS TAYLOR - Fantasizing About Being Black (2017)
Otis Taylor stands alone among 21st century blues musicians in his fearlessness in redefining what the music means in modern society. He pushes forward, but he also has a deep knowledge of its history, and 2017's Fantasizing About Being Black draws upon the past to offer commentary of contemporary race relations in America. Taylor's 11 original compositions -- including four earlier tunes re-recorded for this record -- take stock of African American history, from slavery into the present, but there's a concentration of stories from the 20th century, including songs devoted to World War II and Civil Rights marchers. No matter the setting, the songs feel alive, an impressive achievement made all the more so because of how understated Taylor's delivery is. He's expanded the essential single-chord boogie of John Lee Hooker so it's become mesmerizing and open-ended, but this music isn't designed for passive listening. There's dramatic tension in its circular chords and its sparseness helps draw attention to his stories. Neither his music nor lyrics follow shopworn blues changes, but that's why they feel so vital: far from resting on clichés, Taylor recasts the blues and the history of Black America on Fantasizing About Being Black in a way that speaks to a new century, and the results are bracing.
SAVOY BROWN - Witchy Feelin' (2017)
2017 release from the veteran blues outfit. Blues is not for the faint-hearted. Since the genre first drew breath, it's greatest practitioners have embraced the darkness, spinning tales of hardship and death, hellhounds and devilry. If the sleeve of Witchy Feelin' sests that Kim Simmonds, too, has a tendency towards the macabre, then Savoy Brown's iconic leader is happy to confirm it. "Blues has always dealt with themes of the Devil, witchcraft and so forth, and I've always written along those lines. At least three of the songs on Witchy Feelin' have that hoodoo vibe..." Witchy Feelin' proves the Devil still has all the best tunes. From the thrillingly brittle guitar riff that opens Why Did You Hoodoo Me, we are in the hands of a master, with Simmonds reigniting the seismic vocals and searing fretwork that established Savoy Brown as linchpins of the '60s British blues boom. Recording alongside Pat Desalvo (bass), Garnet Grimm (drums) and engineer Ben Elliott, Simmonds leads us into a world of dark nights, wild weather, women and whiskey: all perennial themes given a modern twist by this ageless bluesman. "The songs on this album have been two years in the making," he reflects. "I tried to write songs that had a personal point of view yet can be relatable to everyone. On 'Vintage Man', I wrote about being the type of guy who doesn't change as he gets older. I wrote about the power of love on 'Why Did You Hoodoo Me'. And with 'Guitar Slinger', I wrote a song about seeing a great guitar player in an old country bar - as I did when I first saw Roy Buchanan in '69."
TKO - Let It Roll (1979) & In Your Face (1984)
Brad Sinsel formed TKO, originally called Mojo Hand, in 1977 with Rick Pierce. Two years later, TKO released its debut LP, Let It Roll (which reportedly sold around 150,000 units before Infinity Records collapsed), and by 1981, the band was headlining shows at Seattle and touring as the opening act for AC/DC, Van Halen, Heart, The Kinks and Cheap Trick. TKO went through several personnel changes before recording its best known album, In Your Face, in 1984, and its final album, Below the Belt, in 1986. TKO broke up in 1987 and individual members went on to pursue other projects.
In 1997, the band reunited for a rare performance as part of Seattle's Pain in the Grass concert series. The band reissued their albums through Metal Mayhem Music and their Northwest Passage show in 2001 was in celebration of the legendary Seattle band's best works. Brad Sinsel, after the TKO demise, formed the short-lived band War Babies, who recorded an album in 1992 which played with many so-called grunge bands, but failed for being too hard rock/metal for the '90s.
EAGLES - Transmission Impossible - Legendary Broadcasts From The 1970s - 1990s (2017)
Three CD ser featuring The Eagles finest live performances. Featuring four magnificent live broadcast recordings from the Eagles from across their career, all boasting superb audio quality and enticing set lists, this compilation of the group in concert is destined to become the definitive live collection documenting this extraordinary collective. Including an early show from the band recorded in the Netherlands in 1973 while the guys were on their first European jaunt, disc one further features their set at the California Jam Festival in 1974, which includes a guest appearance from Jackson Browne. Disc 2 continues with the Eagles show from The Forum in Inglewood, CA, at the beginning of the next decade in 1980, a rare broadcast which features the wonderful King Of Hollywood - a tune rarely played live - and an excellent version of Joe Walsh s Turn To Stone , among other favourites. Disc 3 concludes this compilation with an acoustic set from Burbank, CA in 1994, with the boys playing a selection of their very finest and best known songs, when even at this late period in the group s history it is clear that the Eagles had lost none of their live prowess or dynamic performance skills.
THE ROLLING STONES - The Complete British Radio Broadcasts 1963-1965 (2017)
The Stones radio recordings from their early days have been out countless times before but this is the best looking package to come out so far. Like many bands of the day, The Stones had to peddle their wares on the airwaves with the best of them. Their earliest appearances saw them playing most of the material they recorded on their first few singles and debut album. However, they used the opportunity to play some other songs which they hadn’t committed to wax. Most of the performances were for the BBC Radio’s flagship pop programme ‘Saturday Club’ but the band also appeared on the Joe Loss Show a couple of times and on ‘Top Gear’, a new show concocted by the BBC to compete with the rise of pirate radio. In view of the past increase of interest in rhythm & blues groups in Britain, an exceptionally good future is predicted for us by many people," Brian Jones wrote to the BBC in January 1963, requesting an audition. They turned him down, but soon changed their mind. Between that autumn and the summer of 1965, the Rolling Stones recorded numerous classic radio sessions for the BBC, which are presented here, digitally remastered, together with background notes and images. Features performances on Saturday Club, Blues In Rhythm, The Joe Loss Pop Show, Big Beat '64, Top Gear, Rhythm And Blues, Big Beat '65, and Yeh! Yeh!. Containing some of the most vital British R&B ever recorded, the set is an essential purchase for serious Stones fans.
AUSSIE ROCK '70 - Daddy Cool, Mondo Rock, Mighty Kong
Daddy Who?... Daddy Cool was the debut album by Australian rock band Daddy Cool. Released in July, 1971 it was the first on Robie Porter's Sparmac label. It was the first Australian album to make #1 nationally and stayed at #1 for seven weeks, it smashed all previous sales records - gold within a month - an unprecedented 60,000 copies sold in its initial release, and went on to become the first Australian LP to sell more than 100,000 copies. The album was originally issued in a textured cover and featured a cartoon rendering of band members by Melbourne artist Ian McCausland (see infobox at right) which became the group's logo. While Daddy Cool's guitarist, Ross Hannaford, was responsible for overall album cover design, McCausland created the band's graphics and much of their visual image. Most of the original songs were written by guitarist, vocalist Ross Wilson except "Bom Bom", which was co-written with Hannaford. The rest of the album contained 1950s R&B covers - The Rivals' "Guided Missiles", Etta James' "Good Rockin' Daddy", Marvin & Johnny's "Cherry Pie", The Rays' "Daddy Cool" and Chuck Berry's "School Days". Daddy Who?... Daddy Cool was also released in the US on the Warner/Reprise label and the band toured in support of its release. Two singles were lifted from the album: "Eagle Rock" #1 on the Australian national singles chart and "Come Back Again" which reached #3. The album was re-issued in 1975 (with different sleeve under the title Daddy Who? Daddy Gold!) on Wizard Records (also owned by Porter) and in 1982, with the original artwork but non-gatefold sleeve.
Ross Wilson was recently described, by noted Australian rock historian Ian McFarlane, as "one of this country’s national treasures". With a 45+ year career, that continues to this day, Wilson has given this country nearly five decades of great music. From his pioneering Sixties bands (The Pink Finks, Party Machine and Sons of the Vegetal Mother), to his national breakthrough with Daddy Cool, Ross Wilson's place in Australian music history was assured. However, it did not end there. After disbanding Daddy Cool - and in an incredible three-year run - he formed the short-lived 'super group' Mighty Kong, re-formed Daddy Cool, produced (amongst others) the mega-selling Skyhook's debut album Living In The Seventies, started a record label (Oz Records) with Glenn Wheatley and formed Mondo Rock. From 1976-1978 the band, initially called Ross Wilson's Mondo Rock,honed their live skills on a seemingly endless series of one-nite stands across the country. The line-up took some time to gel, eventually settling with Peter Laffy (guitar), Randy Bulpin (guitar), Tony Slavich (keyboards), Simon Gyllies (bass) and Iain McLennan (drums). It was this line-up who recorded the half-studio / half-live debut Primal Park. Our deluxe reissue of Primal Park adds the 1978 debut single 'The Fugitive Kind' along with seven further bonus tracks.
Aussie rock icon Ross Wilson has been at the helm of two of Australia ’s biggest bands (Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock) plus one of our more obscure: Mighty Kong. Mighty Kong lasted less than a year, but they did leave us with one terrific and underrated album: All I Wanna Do Is Rock. When Daddy Cool broke up in August 1972, Wilson and Ross Hannaford set about forming a new band that would explore a heavier style that harked back to the pre-DC days of Sons Of The Vegetal Mother and The Party Machine. After some initial changes - that at one stage included Tim Gaze (Tamam Shud / Kahvas Jute) and Gulliver Smith (Company Caine), the final line-up was settled with Wilson, Hannaford, Russell Smith (Company Caine), Tim Partridge (Company Caine) and Ray Arnott (Spectrum). Signing to the newly formed Wizard Records, the band recorded All I Wanna Do Is Rock with American producer John Fischbach. The album came out in December 1973 along with the single “Callin’ All Cats (The Cats Are Callin’)”. With a mixture of funky hard rockers like “Hard Drugs (Are Bad For You)” and “Homesick And Horny” and two terrific Gulliver Smith / Russell Smith penned ballads “Some Other New Address” and “With A Smile Like That (How Could We Refuse)” Mighty Kong seemed poised for success. But, despite some enthusiastic reviews and excellent live shows, Mighty Kong were still overshadowed by the spectre of Daddy Cool. Wizard’s decision to release a Daddy Cool live album and a swag of DC singles just before the release of the Mighty Kong album did not help matters either. The success of the Daddy Cool material eventually led to a one-off Daddy Cool appearance at the 1974 Sunbury Festival. Their performance was so well received that, two weeks later, Daddy Cool reformed and Mighty Kong were no more. Still…it makes an excellent “what if” story and this reissue is a reminder of the varied repertoire from one of Australia ’s all-time talents. Of course, after Daddy Cool broke up for a second time in 1975, Wilson formed Mondo Rock and had another successful run.
PARISH HALL - Parish Hall (1970)
Parish Hall was a power trio from the California Bay Area. The band consisted of Gary Wagner (guitar, piano, vocals), John Haden (bass), and Steve Adams (drums). Specializing in a hard rock/blues rock sound, their album was originally released near the end of 1970 on a small local California record label. Reminiscent of the sound of another popular trio of the day, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Parish Hall had begun to gain the recognition of some European collectors by the late 1990s, and originals have fetched high prices in collector's markets. All songs on this album are originals written by Wagner and hold up well when compared to other hard rock acts. The album has been reissued by Akarma with the original artwork and digitally remastered sound.
TRACKS: 01. My Eyes Are Getting Heavy 02. Dynaflow 03. Ain´t Feelin' Too Bad 04. Silver Ghost 05. Skid Row Runner 06. Lucanna 07. We´re Gonna Burn Together 08. Somebody Got The Blues 09. How Can You Win 10. Take Me With You When You Go
NANCY WILSON - Live At McCabes Guitar Shop (1999)
With the decline in Heart's popularity in the 1990s, its guitarist/singer/songwriter Nancy Wilson made a first, tentative stab at a solo career by scoring the 1996 film Jerry Maguire and appearing on the soundtrack album. While working on the score, she began turning up at the hootenannies at the folk club McCabes Guitar Shop in Los Angeles, and the result is this album, which represents a second toe in the water for her. Playing acoustic guitar and mandolin, and accompanied only by a couple of friends on background vocals, Wilson covers Paul Simon ("Kathy's Song"), Joni Mitchell ("A Case of You"), and Peter Gabriel ("In Your Eyes"), strips down some Heart hits ("Even It Up," "Angels," "These Dreams"), and, most interestingly, performs some new originals. Wilson sounds more confident on the covers, and the guitar is sometimes mixed higher than the vocals, but several of her compositions sound promising. Maybe the next step is a real solo album.
TRACKS: 01. Even It Up 02. Kathy's Song 03. Half Moon 04. Everything 05. A Case Of You 06. Sister 07. Love Mistake 08. Ground Zero 09. Leghead's Lament 10. In Your Eyes 11. Angels 12. These Dreams 13. The Rain Song
ROBIN TROWER - Live (1976) & Living Out of Time: Live (2005)
An excellent recording of a superb 1975 stadium show in Sweden, Robin Trower's Live album is a perfect snapshot of the guitar hero in his prime. The record also gives ample evidence of why the Robin Trower Band was one of the most successful live guitar rock acts of the '70s, highlighting not only Trower's virtuoso Stratocaster licks, but the soulful vocals of bassist James Dewar and the polyrhythmic drumming of Bill Lordan. The song selection here is top-notch, the most obvious treat being the perennial Trower classic "Too Rolling Stoned," to which Lordon (who replaced Reg Isadore, drummer on the studio version of the song) contributes a somewhat funkier flavor. The same treatment is given to a blistering take on "Little Bit of Sympathy," which contains moments that recall the legendarily telepathic interplay between Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell. It's a mystery why James Dewar isn't generally recognized as one of the finest blue-eyed soul singers of the '70s, as he is easily as talented and convincing as Paul Rogers or Joe Cocker. Here, he's in excellent form and his vocals on the slow-burning "I Can't Wait Much Longer" are spine-tingling. Although none of the performances stray too far from the songs' studio versions, that fact is part of what makes this album interesting. Live shows the Robin Trower Band to be a quintessential no-frills blues-rock band, capable of kicking serious ass no matter what the setting.
Sharing four tunes with its 2004-released studio counterpart, Living Out of Time, this 2005 performance, recorded at a single gig in Bonn, Germany, is a reminder that Robin Trower is every bit the guitar player he was on his first live album from 1976. Interestingly, three tunes ("Too Rolling Stoned," "Daydream," and the concert-closing "Little Bit of Sympathy") are reprised from that early collection. Trower and band were ready to release another studio album after Living Out of Time when this was recorded, but none of those tracks made it into this set. Regardless, this is a rousing show that respectfully runs through the warhorses such as a fiery ten-minute "Bridge of Sighs" and the aforementioned tunes, with as much enthusiasm as the newer, far less familiar tracks. Vocalist Davey Pattison ably replaces the unforgettable James Dewar, who passed away in 2002. He has the same gravelly, soulful bite as Trower's original vocalist and almost as much emotion, even if he isn't working in a unique style. Trower remains Trower, whipping off edgy, Hendrix-inspired riffs on his trusty Stratocaster like he just thought of them. One straight blues sneaks in, a thinly veiled rewrite of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" (Trower recorded that on his 1973 debut) titled "I Want You to Love Me" and credited to Trower. Otherwise, it's business as usual and business is good as the band charges through this material with impressive chops, live sound that is muscular enough to be studio quality, and nearly inaudible audience participation. Any Trower fan will be thrilled with this document, not just because he's playing with such passion, but also because the mix of new and old material is handled so deftly. It shows that the guitarist has remained true to his original vision yet has moved on to write more quality material, albeit in the same vein as the '70s music that still identifies him. By maintaining his connection to the past but continuing to refine - if not redefine - his style on tunes like "Sweet Angel," Trower remains one of the few hard rock survivors still worth experiencing in concert nearly 30 years after the release of his most influential work.
V.A. - Folkways: A Vision Shared [Tribute To Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly] (1988)
Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly is a 1988 album featuring songs by Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly interpreted by leading folk, rock, and country recording artists. It won a Grammy Award the same year. Produced by Harold Leventhal, Guthrie's long-time business manager and folk music and theatrical impresario, the album received widespread critical acclaim and included performances by Guthrie's son, Arlo Guthrie, and many other luminaries: Bob Dylan, Fishbone, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Little Red School House Chorus (Sarah St. Onge, director), Taj Mahal, U2, and Brian Wilson. I can't think of many tribute albums that work great, but I thoroughly enjoy this tribute to Woody Gutherie and Leadbelly aka Huddie Ledbetter. If you aren't familiar with their music, just listen, you will feel the presence of these musical greats. They had powerful lyrical ballads. And what they had to say is clearly from different cultural backgrounds. Woody Gutherie's folk ballads told of the depression and the journeys traveling across the country heading west to escape the Dust Bowl, while Leadbelly's music reflected on the work songs of poor farmers and immigrants. Musical superstars are featured here, recorded in 1988, and featured are some wonderful music and captivating stories like the a capella rendition of Leadbelly's "Sylvie" by the beautiful harmonies of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Dylan's "Pretty Boy Floyd"; John Mellencamp "Do Re Mi"; Bruce Springsteen sings "I Ain't Got No Home". Equally entertaining are Willie Nelson singing "Philadelphia Lawyers" and Arlo Guterie's "East Texas Red". Emmylou Harris with her perfect sweet voice is mesmerizing in "Hobo's Lullaby" ....can't you hear the steel rails humming?"
Mama’s Pride, “The Pride of St. Louis” was formed in 1972 by brothers Pat and Danny Liston and was named as a tribute to their mother. The band worked hard and was eventually being taken under the wing of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Ronnie Van Zant. When Van Zant died in the legendary plane crash, it effectively slowed Mama’s Pride journey as well. With little record company support and personal issues, they finally broke up in 1982. After playing couple years on local Missouri scene, Mama’s Pride signed a recording deal with Atlantic and recorded their self-titled debut album in three days. The band spend following couple years on the road playing with variety of bands from the Charlie Daniels to The Outlaws.
In 1977 Mama’s Pride was back in the studio and released the follow-up, Uptown and Lowdown, which introduced a new keyboard player, Paul Willet to the fans. Album did fairly well and songs like “She’s a Stranger to Me Now” and “Merry-Go-Round” gained airplay on radio. The band was into talks with late Ronnie Van Zant and he was supposed to produce third Mama’s Pride album, but when Van Zant died in the notorious plane crash, it effectively slowed Mama’s Pride journey as well. In 1978 they played as Gregg Allman’s back-up band on his solo tour after which, the band was dropped from their label ATCO and little by little forgotten in the throws of disco. They still continued to perform as Mama’s Pride until 1982 when the band finally broke up.
ALBERT KING - On My Merry Way: The Earliest Sessions Of The Guitar King 1954-1962 (2017)
Albert King doesn’t require much of an introduction, he was one of the “Three Kings of the Blues” and arguably next to B.B. he was perhaps the most popular of the many genuine blues guitarists to have been adopted by the rock world during the mid-1960s. Albert began playing in the late ‘40s and made his first recordings in 1953 and it is these early sessions that are the focus of this outstanding collection from Jasmine. Includes tracks “Blues At Sunrise” his fine version of Tampa Red’s “Little Boy Blue” and his hit song “Don’t Throw Your Love On Me So Strong” plus many other superb tracks. Albert King influenced many artists including Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and Stevie Ray Vaughan. This then is Albert King’s first tentative steps towards global popularity compiled in chronological order and with fully detailed liner notes. Albert King was an icon of electric blues guitar. These recordings, of all of his first efforts in St Louis and Cincinnati studios, Bobbin and King records, clearly show his unique development as an artist, from the Elmore James influence of Be on Your Merry Way, to the more sophisticated Blues At Sunrise, to the Stax-like Howlin For My Darling these are priceless gems to blues enthusiasts. This package is unique in that it has all these stages in one well packaged disc. However, there should be his Coun-tree sides included as well, they have only ever appeared in one now out-of-print compilation.
TOM WAITS - Rain Dogs (1985) & Franks Wild Years (1987)
With its jarring rhythms and unusual instrumentation -- marimba, accordion, various percussion -- as well as its frequently surreal lyrics, Rain Dogs is very much a follow-up to Swordfishtrombones, which is to say that it sounds for the most part like The Threepenny Opera being sung by Howlin' Wolf. The chief musical difference is the introduction of guitarist Marc Ribot, who adds his noisy leads to the general cacophony. But Rain Dogs is sprawling where its predecessor had been focused: Tom Waits' lyrics here sometimes are imaginative to the point of obscurity, seemingly chosen to fit the rhythms rather than for sense. In the course of 19 tracks and 54 minutes, Waits sometimes goes back to the more conventional music of his earlier records, which seems like a retreat, though such tracks as the catchy "Hang Down Your Head," "Time," and especially "Downtown Train" (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety. Rain Dogs can't surprise as Swordfishtrombones had, and in his attempt to continue in the direction sested by that album, Waits occasionally borders on the chaotic (which may only be to say that, like most of his records, this one is uneven). But much of the music matches the earlier album, and there is so much of it that that is enough to qualify Rain Dogs as one of Waits' better albums.
Tom Waits wrote a song called "Frank's Wild Years" for his 1983 Swordfishtrombones album, then used the title (minus its apostrophe) for a musical play he wrote with his wife, Kathleen Brennan, and toured with in 1986. The Franks Wild Years album, drawn from the show, is subtitled, "un operachi romantico in two acts," though the songs themselves do not carry the plot. Rather, this is just the third installment in Waits' eccentric series of Island Records albums in which he seems most inspired by German art song and carnival music, presenting songs in spare, stripped-down arrangements consisting of instruments like marimba, baritone horn, and pump organ and singing in a strained voice that has been artificially compressed and distorted. The songs themselves often are conventional romantic vignettes, or would be minus the oddities of instrumentation, arrangement, and performance. For example, "Innocent When You Dream," a song of disappointment in love and friendship, has a winning melody, but it is played in a seesaw arrangement of pump organ, bass, violin, and piano, and Waits sings it like an enraged drunk. (He points out the arbitrary nature of the arrangements by repeating "Straight to the Top," done as a demented rhumba in act one, as a Vegas-style Frank Sinatra swing tune in act two.) The result on record may not be theatrical, exactly, but it certainly is affected. It also has the quality of an inside joke that listeners are not being let in on.
ANGEL - Studio Discography 1975 - 1979
Angel should have been big. The ’70s glam rock / heavy metal band had all the right pieces, but somehow the cylinders were not firing properly to put them over the top. They hoped to change that with the release of 1978’s ‘White Hot’ — but it just didn’t quite turn out that way. Discovered by Gene Simmons and signed to Casablanca Records, Angel took the glam ideal on their own path. Where Kiss twisted it into a comic book fantasy, Angel turned it into — well, they wore all white, sort of playing “Heaven” to Kiss’ “Hell,” as it were. In 1975, the band released their self titled debut album, which was full of loud guitars, soaring vocals and catchy tunes like ‘Rock And Rollers,’ ‘On & On’ and the classic ‘Tower.‘ It should have made a splash, but alas, the waters were still. Angel delivered more of the same on albums two (‘Helluva Band’) and three (‘On Earth as it Is in Heaven’), but still nothing much happened. The band were able to pick up momentum along the way, primarily based on their live shows, which featured glam rock theatrics over loud hard rock (and featured a giant talking “Angel” head, which was, you know . . . pretty cool).
Ticket sales were steady, but album sales stalled. It was decided for their fourth effort they would streamline things and push their pop side (always at the core of their songs) to the fore. ‘White Hot,’ released in January of 1978, found the band strling with a slight identity crisis. Though the bombast of Kiss was still big business, things were changing. New Wave was forcing (or inspiring, depending on the act) bands to cut back on spectacle and bombast, and trim things down to their roots. In the case of Angel, those roots lay in the pop music of the ’60s and early ’70s.
- Angel (1975)
- Helluva Band (1976)
- On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1977)
- White Hot (1978)
- Sinful (1979)
RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS - Groovin' In Greaseland (2017)
Wildly fun, musically fearless and bursting with bravado, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have created one of the blues’ most instantly recognizable sounds and no-holds-barred styles. Featuring the world-class talents of harmonica master, songwriter and vocalist Rick Estrin, guitar wunderkind Chris “Kid” Andersen, keyboard wizard Lorenzo Farrell and dynamic drummer Alex Pettersen, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats serve up sharp and incisive original blues and gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. With his wily and unforgettable original songs and his hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin. No one looks like him either, as Estrin is always dressed to the nines, sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour haircut. Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ fourth Alligator album, Groovin’ In Greaseland, features 13 original songs, 11 by Estrin (including one co-written with Andersen), and one each by Andersen and Farrell. From the true life wisdom of “The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” to the rambunctious “Hot In Here” to the humorous, semi-autobiographical “Dissed Again” to the hard luck “Living Hand To Mouth”, the album delivers one winning performance after another. The band’s dazzling performances bring the songs to life as richly detailed characters spill their secrets and share their stories. One listen makes it clear that this is one of the tightest and most original groups in any genre, constantly inspiring each other to new heights.
TRACKS: 01. The Blues Ain't Going Nowhere 02. Looking For A Woman 03. Dissed Again 04. Tender Hearted 05. MWAH! 06. I Ain't All That 07. Another Lonesome Day 08. Hands Of Time 09. Cool Slaw 10. Big Money 11. Hot In Here 12. Living Hand To Mouth 13. So Long (for Jay P.)
801 - Live @ Hull (2009)
Fans of the original 801 Live album will know and love the songs found here. This was recorded during the famous 1977 tour and features a number of songs found on that classic recording. Of course, Eno is not here and the same excitement and tight playing are not found. However, this is still a very good album. Manzanera released this in 2000 as part of his Archive Series and intended it for fans or collectors. However, this album is a great example of late-'70s prog/art rock. Yes, the long-drawn-out guitar solos are here, but these are interesting, melodic solos; they fit the songs and actually add a great deal. The music is a great cross section of Manzanera's pre-1977 history. Roxy Music is represented here, with a blistering version of "Out of the Blue" featuring Eddie Jobson that is brilliant, with a great violin solo and wonderful arrangements. Also here is some of Manzanera's best solo material, including the brilliant "Diamond Head." Also worth note is the 801 take on "Tomorrow Never Knows" (known here as "TNK"), sounding eerie and frightening with atmospheric vocals. The sound quality is not the best, but it is lacking the typical overdubs so often found on live recordings, and for that reason it is worth extra points. This really is a treasure for Manzanera fans, but others might find something of interest here as well.
Recorded live in 1977. The cd of the 801 Listen Now gig at Hull University contains a guest appearance by Eddie Jobson from Roxy Music, Frank Zappa and UK, (who turns in a mighty performance on ‘Out of The Blue”). The performance contains the whole set. Rough, ready and raucous fun.
TRACKS: 01. Lagrima 02. TNK 03. Flight 19 04. Listen Now 05. Law and Order 06. City of Light 07. Initial Speed 08. That Falling Feeling 09. Without Your Love 10. Diamond Head 11. Out of the Blue 12. Remote Control 13. Miss Shapiro 14. You Really Got Me
801 - Live (1976) [Collectors Edition, 2009]
801 provided Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera with one of his most intriguing side projects. Although the band only played three gigs in August and September 1976, this album captures a night when everything fell right into place musically. That should only be expected with names like Eno and Simon Phillips in the lineup. (Still, the lesser-known players bassist Bill MacCormick, keyboardist Francis Monkman, and slide guitarist Lloyd Watson are in exemplary form, too.) The repertoire is boldly diverse, opening with "Lagrima," a crunchy solo guitar piece from Manzanera. Then the band undertakes a spacey but smoldering version of "Tomorrow Never Knows"; it's definitely among the cleverest of Beatles covers. Then it's on to crisp jazz-rock ("East of Asteroid"), atmospheric psych-pop ("Rongwrong"), and Eno's tape manipulation showcase, "Sombre Reptiles." And that's only the first five songs. The rest of the gig is no less audacious, with no less than three Eno songs including a frenetic "Baby's on Fire," "Third Uncle," and "Miss Shapiro"'s dense, syllable-packed verbal gymnastics. There's another unlikely cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," while Manzanera turns in another typically gutsy instrumental performance on "Diamond Head." This album marks probably one of the last times that Eno rocked out in such an unself-consciously fun fashion, but that's not the only reason to buy it: 801 Live is a cohesive document of an unlikely crew who had fun and took chances. Listeners will never know what else they might have done if their schedules had been less crowded, but this album's a good reminder.
DISC 1 - Queen Elizabeth Hall, September 3rd 1976: 01. Lagrima 02. T.N.K. (Tomorrow Never Knows) 03. East Of Asteroid 04. Rongwrong 05. Sombre Reptiles 06. Golden Hours 07. Fat Lady Of Limbourg 08. Baby's On Fire 09. Diamond Head 10. Miss Shapiro 11. You Really Got Me 12. Third Uncle
DISC 2 - Shepperton Studios, August 23rd 1976: 01. Lagrima 02. T.N.K. (Tomorrow Never Knows) 03. East Of Asteroid 04. Rongwrong 05. Sombre Reptiles 06. The Fat Lady Of Limbourg 07. Baby's On Fire 08. Diamond Head 09. Miss Shapiro 10. You Really Got Me 11. Third Uncle 12. Lagrima (Reprise)
PHIL MANZANERA / 801 - Listen Now (1977) [2000 Remaster]
Phil Manzanera had no problem filling his mid-'70s downtime away from Roxy Music. His guitar graced some 20 albums, like John Cale's Fear, Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets, and Nico's The End. This outing from his all-star side group is slicker than his 1976 live debut album, but no less worthwhile; some 16 musicians are credited. The sound is sleek and sophisticated; even lyrics aren't exempt from creative twists, as shown on "Listen Now"'s glistening jazz-pop which cleverly juxtaposes its title against a bouncy "now, now, listen" chorus. The song also questions how people are living life in a repressive society, even as "Law and Order" and "City of Lights" ponder its breakdown. Other songs visit more personal turf. "Flight 19" details a young man's angst-filled reaction to his lover's injuries, "Postcard Love" dismisses the perils of on-road romances, and "That Falling Feeling" takes a more wistful look at how people grow apart over a gliding Manzanera guitar part. (Yet another sly twist shifts the chorus from "Can't you feel it moving in?" to "You can feel it moving in.") Three totally different instrumentals round out matters. The best one is the lilting "Island," anchored by a climbing Bill McCormick bassline, as Manzanera unleashes his full array of guitar-altering devices. "Initial Speed" and "Que?" take more of a jazz/fusion tack; they're different snapshots of Manzanera's graceful, intelligent guitar style. This album's one of the most absorbing entries of Manzanera's lengthy career.
1977 album now digitally remastered with 3 bonus tracks, 2 previously unreleased. For this release, the group was officially billed as "Phil Manzanera / 801". Additional artists include, Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson and Paul Thompson (Roxy Music), Dave Mattacks(Fairport Convention) and Godley and Creme (10CC). Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London, England from December 1975 and July 1977, and The Manor, Oxford, England in April 1977. Originally released on EG Records.
TRACKS: 01. Listen Now 02. Flight 19 03. Island 04. Law and Order 05. Rude Awakening 06. Que 07. City of Light 08. Initial Speed 09. Postcard Love 10. That Falling Feeling 11. Blue Gray Uniform 12. Remote Control
RODRIGUEZ - Rocks: Live In Australia (2014)
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, known professionally as Rodriguez is an American singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. His career initially proved short lived in the United States, but unknown to Rodriguez his albums became extremely successful and influential in South Africa, where sales of his records outnumbered those of Elvis Presley. Because of scarce information about Rodriguez, it was incorrectly rumored there that he had committed suicide shortly after releasing his first album. In the 1990s, determined South African fans managed to find and contact Rodriguez, which led to an unexpected revival of his musical career. This was told in the 2012 Academy Award–winning documentary film Searching for Sugar Man and helped give Rodriguez a measure of fame in his home country. In May 2013, Rodriguez received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his alma mater, Wayne State University, in Detroit.
This Album provides a glimpse of Rodriguez’ Live Shows on his successful tour of Australia in 2014. Included on the album are four cover tunes that he makes his own. Because this is a live album, like his show, there is a mixture of his own songs and those written by others – for instance Cole Porter and Jefferson Airplane…
TRACKS: 01. Climb Up On My Music 02. I Wonder 03. Sugar Man 04. Rich Folks Hoax 05. Inner City Blues 06. Street Boy 07. I'm Gonna Live Till I Die 08. Just One Of Those Things 09. Somebody To Love 10. Learning The Blues
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND & THE SECOND COMING - The Allman Brothers - Second Coming (Bootleg, 1969 - 1970)
In 1969 a revolution was launched from the streets of Macon, consisting of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and a uniquely spirited brotherhood. The revolutionaries of record were the Allman Brothers Band, who, as the founders of what became known as Southern rock, changed the course of popular American music and turned Macon into the recording hot bed of the 1970s. From 1969 to 1979, the Allmans called Macon home, and their contributions and exploits have become a legendary part of this town’s history. The band was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 by brother Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) with Gregg Allman (vocals, organ, songwriting), Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jaimoe (drums). While the band has been called the principal architects of Southern rock, they also incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows have jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
Tracks 1-5: The Allman Brothers Band: Studio demos 1969-1970
Tracks 6-8: The Second Coming: Recorded live at the Jacksonville Armory, Jacksonville, FL 03-30-1969
TRACKS: The Allman Brothers: 01. Revival 02. Leave My Blues At Home 03. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 04. Don't Keep Me Wondering 05. Don't Want You No More Second Coming: 06. Born In Chicago 07. Jam Willie Jean 08. Tavellin' Music Jam
V.A. - Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues - A Musical Journey (2003)
Five-CD deluxe boxed set includes a comprehensive collection of the music from the seven films airing on PBS. A definitive overview of blues, from its earliest recordings over 80 years ago, to contemporary artists and new recordings made specifically for The Blues. Music from the PBS Series The Blues, executive produced by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
This is by far the best and most comprehensive introduction to recorded blues ever assembled, drawing styles, record labels, and eras together with the efficiency of a spider’s web. These five discs-tied to the hit-and-miss PBS film series Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues-embrace field hollers, early queens Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, the music’s first composer W.C. Handy, Delta slide guitarists, string bands, piano barrelhousers, jazz geniuses Count Basie and Lionel Hampton, Texas hotshots, lyric poets Percy Mayfield and Willie Dixon, Chicago powerhouses from Muddy Waters to Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf and howling white boys, soulkittens Etta James and Janis Joplin, juke joint brawlers like Hound Dog Taylor, African torchbearer Ali Farka Toure, modern guitar heroes Stevie Ray Vaughan and Luther Allison, and even recent hit-makers Peggy Scott-Adams and Susan Tedeschi. And that’s just a smidgen of the talents represented across more than 100 cuts. Nonetheless, there are grave omissions in disc five, which focuses on contemporary blues. The raw electric sound of present-day Mississippi, embodied by R.L. Burnside and other artists on the Fat Possum label, has done much to open the ears of college-age audiences and should be included. Also absent are the music’s most important contemporary innovators: Afro-blues fusionist Corey Harris, psychedelic folk bluesman Otis Taylor and rap-blues proselytizer Chris Thomas King. Still, it’s obvious this collection is a work of devotion and intelligence as well as commerce. - amazon.com
DISC 1: 01. Shortnin' / Henduck - Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band 02. Long John - Lightning & Group 03. Crazy Blues - Mamie Smith 04. St. Louis Blues - W.C. Handy 05. Muddy Water - Bessie Smith 06. Match Box Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson 07. Billy Lyons & Stack-O-Lee - Furry Lewis 08. "Ma" Rainey's Black Bottom - "Ma" Rainey 09. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground - Blind Willie Johnson 10. Savoy Blues - Louis Armstrong 11. Downtown Blues - Frank Stokes 12. Frankie - Mississippi John Hurt 13. Fishing Blues - Henry Thomas 14. How Long How Long Blues - Leroy Carr 15. Canned Heat Blues - Tommy Johnson 16. Statesboro Blues - Blind Willie McTell 17. It's Tight Like That - Tampa Red & Georgia Tom 18. Pine Top's Boogie Woogie - Pine Top Smith 19. Guitar Blues - Lonnie Johnson 20. Pony Blues - Charley Patton 21. Diddie Wah Diddie - Blind Blake 22. K.C. Moan - Memphis Jug Band 23. Standin' On The Corner (Blue Yodel # 9) - Jimmie Rodgers 24. Sittin' On Top Of The World - Mississippi Sheiks 25. Preachin' The Blues - Son House
DISC 2: 01. Devil Got My Woman - Skip James 02. C.C. Rider - Lead Belly 03. Baby Please Don't Go - Big Joe Williams 04. Dirty Mother For You (Don't You Know) - Roosevelt Sykes 05. Billie's Blues - Billie Holiday 06. Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson 07. I Good Mornin' Little School Girl - Sonny Boy Williamson 08. Shake 'Em On Down - Bukka White 09. Roll 'Em Pete - Joe Turner & Pete Johnson 10. Catfish Blues - Robert Petway 11. Going To Chicago Blues - Count Basie Orchestra with Jimmy Rushing 12. Key To The Highway - Big Bill Broonzy 13. Me And My Chauffeur Blues - Memphis Minnie 14. Worried Life Blues - Big Maceo Merriweather 15. Cross Cut Saw Blues - Tommy McClennon 16. Evil Gal Blues - Lionel Hampton Sextet with Dinah Washington 17. Strange Things Happening Everyday - Sister Rosetta Tharpe 18.Honeydripper Pt.I - Joe Liggins 19. Drifting Blues - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers featuring Charles Brown 20. Let The Good Times Roll - Louis Jordan 21. That's All Right Mama - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup 22. Call It Stormy Monday - T-Bone Walker 23. Good Rockin' Tonight - Wynonie Harris 24. Ain't Nobody's Business, Part One - Jimmy Witherspoon 25. Double Crossing Blues - The Johnny Otis Quintette with Little Esther & The Robins
DISC 3: 01. Mother Earth - Memphis Slim 02. Please Send Me Someone To Love - Percy Mayfield 03. Rocket 88 - Jackie Brenston 04. Dust My Broom - Elmore James 05. No More Doggin' - Rosco Gordon 06. Juke - Little Walter 07. Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton 08. Reconsider Baby - Lowell Fulson 09. The Things That I Used To Do - Guitar Slim 10. In The Night - Professor Longhair 11. (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters 12. Eisenhower Blues - J.B. Lenoir 13. Blue Monday - Fats Domino 14. Hard Times - Ray Charles 15. I Hear You Knockin' - Smiley Lewis 16. Mystery Train - Elvis Presley 17. Don't Start Me To Talkin' - Sonny Boy Williamson II 18. Smokestack Lightnin' - Howlin' Wolf 19. Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley 20. I'm A King Bee - Slim Harpo 21. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry 22. Farther Up The Road - Bobby "Blue" Bland 23. So Many Roads, So Many Trains - Otis Rush 24. First Time I Met The Blues - Buddy Guy
DISC 4: 01. Hide Away - Freddie King 02. Drivin' Wheel - Junior Parker 03. Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker 04. Frosty - Albert Collins 05. You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had - Muddy Waters 06. Killing Floor - Howlin' Wolf 07. Death Letter Blues - Son House 08. You Gotta Move - Mississippi Fred McDowell 09. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan 10. Hoodoo Man Blues - Junior Wells 11. Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor 12. All Your Love - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton 13. I've Got A Mind To Give Up Livin' - Paul Butterfield Blues Band 14. Red House - Jimi Hendrix 15. Born Under The Bad Sign - Albert King 16. Mama Talk To Your Daughter - Magic Sam 17. Tell Mama - Etta James 18. Group Ain't Superstitious - The Jeff Beck 19. She Caught The Katy (And Left Me A Mule To Ride) - Taj Mahal 20. Black Magic Woman - Fleetwood Mac 21. One Good Man - Janis Joplin
DISC 5: 01. The Thrill Is Gone - B.B. King 02. Dallas - Johnny Winter 03. Have You Ever Loved A Woman - Derek & The Dominos 04. Give Me Back My Wig - Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers 05. One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band 06. Down Home Blues - Z.Z. Hill 07. Pride And Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble 08. Smoking Gun - Robert Cray 09. Tuff Enuff - Fabulous Thunderbirds 10. I'm In The Mood - John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt 11. Timbarma - Ali Farka Toure 12. Am I Wrong? - Keb' Mo' 13. Cherry Red Wine - Luther Allison 14. Bill - Peggy Scott-Adams 15. Just Won't Burn - Susan Tedeschi 16. Voodoo Music - Los Lobos 17. Round And Round - Bonnie Raitt 18. Vietnam Blues - Cassandra Wilson 19. I Pity The Fool (Live) - Robert Cray & Shemekia Copeland 20. Sweet Home Chicago - Keb' Mo' & Corey Harris
HEART - Strange Euphoria (2012)
It's almost astonishing that it took until 2012 for Strange Euphoria, the first multi-disc retrospective box set of Heart's five-decade-plus career, to arrive. The set contains three CDs and a live concert DVD entitled "The Second Ending," shot between February and March of 1976 for Washington State's KSWU-TV. Strange Euphoria is nearly everything a retrospective like this should be. It's packaged in a square white slipcase with the band's logo embossed in silver, and a die-cut heart dead center. The discs are encased in a quadra-fold cover, illustrated with a photo collage of album covers, band shots, singles, posters, etc. The 60-page book contains lots of rare photos, but most importantly, it features a track-by-track commentary from Ann and Nancy Wilson on the songs they chose for the box. In a sense, these poignant observations are a teaser for both their forthcoming autobiography, Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll, to be issued in September, and their upcoming album Fanatic, due in October 2012. The song choices here are chock-full of hits, balanced by numerous rarities, demos, and live cuts. Figuring fans had the hits, the Wilson sisters chose to focus on the demos of iconic tracks as "Magic Man," "How Deep It Goes," "Crazy on You," "Heartless," "Dog & Butterfly," "Desire Walks On," "Under the Sky," etc., from all different periods in the band's history. Some of these, particularly "Magic Man and "Crazy on You," are revelatory in their contrast to the album versions. Among the rarities are the opening track on disc one, "Through the Eyes & Glass," released as Ann Wilson & the Daybreaks, their first recorded single in 1969, and numerous "basement tape"-style demos of other material that was never released such as "Boppy's Back" and "Any Woman's Blues" (the latter with the Seattle Blues Revue Horns). The live stuff is just as credible; check "Barracuda," "White Lightning & Wine," and "Never" (with John Paul Jones), along with various selections from the Lovemongers' "Kiss," "Sand," "She Still Believes," and more. That said, it is live that Heart is at its most original, and would that there were more of this material. The DVD was Heart's portion of a public television documentary, but the clip finds them performing nine tunes, including fine versions of "Dreamboat Annie," "Sing Child," "Magic Man," and more. While the purchase of box sets is usually reserved for an act's most loyal following, Strange Euphoria is also a fantastic introduction to one of rock's most enduring bands.
DAN AUERBACH - Keep It Hid (2009) & Waiting On A Song (2017)
As frontman of the Black Keys, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach embraced the raw sound of electric blues-rock alongside drummer Pat Carney. The Ohio-based band released a string of acclaimed albums during the early 2000s, including the Top 20 hit Attack & Release, before Auerbach opted to branch out with a concurrent solo career. Having built his own studio in Akron, OH, the songwriter began recording new material that melded his bluesy background with elements of psychedelia, country, and gospel. Recording sessions took place during the downtime between the Black Keys' tour dates, and Auerbach soon compiled enough material for a debut album. The resulting record, Keep It Hid, was released in 2009 by Nonesuch Records.
When Dan Auerbach released his debut solo album Keep It Hid in 2009, the Black Keys were on the verge of superstardom; it was a busman's holiday, not the start of a career. Waiting on a Song, its 2017 sequel, arrives in the midst of an extended hiatus from the Black Keys, who took a breather after a run of blockbusters that coincided with Auerbach establishing himself as a producer of note. On these extracurricular projects, Auerbach broadened his sonic palette, working with everybody from Americana stalwart Ray LaMontagne to post-modern noir diva Lana Del Rey, and he brings this new bag of tricks to Waiting on a Song. Sharing more in common with the groovy classic-soul moves of his 2015 side-project the Arcs than the heavy-footed stomp of the Black Keys, Waiting on a Song's heart lies in the glimmering productions of Jeff Lynne in the late '80s. "Shine On Me" glistens like an outtake from the Traveling Wilburys and it's not an isolated incident. Auerbach keeps circling back to this bright, cheerful sound, accentuating it with elements of Memphis soul and an undercurrent of classically constructed Americana. The title Waiting On A Song hints at such craftsmanship and its co-written by John Prine and Pat McLaughlin, whose presence sests that Auerbach is adding singer/songwriter to his impressive resume. The thing about this album is, it shows the power of craft across the board: he's become a vivid, imaginative producer and now he's writing songs to match.
YANK RACHELL'S TENNESSEE JUG-BUSTERS - Mandolin Blues (1998)
Yank Rachell has long been a legend in the blues world. One of the few blues mandolin players, Rachell recorded several notable sessions during 1929-1941 and then was off record for 22 years. After spending time outside of music, he was rediscovered and in 1963 he performed the music on this CD reissue. Rachell (who was in his fifties at the time), is in excellent voice throughout the date although it is his mandolin work that makes this set particularly special. He is reunited with two notable friends from the 1930s (guitarist Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon who is heard on harmonica and jug) and is assisted on some numbers by both Big Joe Williams and the up-and-coming Mike Bloomfield on guitars; several numbers find Rachell backed by three guitars. Yank Rachell would remain active until shortly before his death on Apr. 9, 1997. This comeback set (which adds six previously unreleased tracks to the original ten-song program) is one of his definitive recordings and is a perfect showcase of the great bluesman's talents.
NICK GRAVENITES & MIKE BLOOMFIELD - Steelyard Blues [OST] (1972) 
A tremendous soundtrack album to director Alan Myerson's film Steelyard Blues, which starred Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, and Peter Boyle, this collection feels like a side project collaboration between the Electric Flag and Paul Butterfield Blues Band with added performances by Maria Muldaur and Merl Saunders. The majority of the material is written and performed by the great Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield, the 14 songs really standing up on their own as a work not dependent on the film and not feeling like they are mere chess pieces to supplement a Hollywood flick. Gravenites does a masterful job of producing, with "Common Ground" resembling a great lost Electric Flag song — Annie Sampson trading off on the vocals with Gravenites as Janis Joplin did with him on In Concert. Muldaur co-wrote "Georgia Blues" with Bloomfield and Gravenites, while they gave Muldaur and Saunders the opportunity to contribute a tune by including their "Do I Care." "My Bag (The Oysters)" adds some pop/doo wop to the affair, a nice twist, and it borders on parody. Gravenites is always able to jle his serious side with a tongue-in-cheek wink, and this interesting and enjoyable effort deserved much wider play.
Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 - August 8, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, television host, and actor. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from January 1969 through June 1972. During his 50 years in show business, Campbell released more than 70 albums. He sold 45 million records and accumulated 12 RIAA gold albums, four platinum albums, and one double-platinum album. He placed a total of 80 different songs on either the Billboard Country Chart, Billboard Hot 100, or Adult Contemporary Chart, of which 29 made the top 10 and of which nine reached number one on at least one of those charts. Campbell's hits include his recordings of John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind"; Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman", and "Galveston"; Larry Weiss's "Rhinestone Cowboy"; and Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights".
Campbell made history in 1967 by winning four Grammys in the country and pop categories. For "Gentle on My Mind", he received two awards in country and western, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" did the same in pop. Three of his early hits later won Grammy Hall of Fame Awards (2000, 2004, 2008), while Campbell himself won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He owns trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and took the CMA's top award as 1968 Entertainer of the Year. Campbell appeared as a supporting role in the film True Grit (1969), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. Campbell also sang the title song, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
KIM SIMMONDS - Jazzin' On The Blues (2017)
"Jazzin' On The Blues" is guitarist Kim Simmonds' fifth solo album release. Known as the founder and continuing leader of the legendary blues/ rock band Savoy Brown and with a star on the Rock Walk of Fame, Simmonds is recognized globally as one of the world's finest guitar players. He is also known as one of the very first musicians from the UK to re-invent the blues in the mid-sixties (post-The Rolling Stones) with music that continues to be an influence today. Simmonds' solo efforts have all been acoustic in nature with material ranging between country blues songs and Americana roots music. On "Jazzin' On The Blues", however, Simmonds shows off his acoustic playing with a beautiful mix of jazz, blues and a new age style....twelve instrumentals played with the assurance and mastery of a virtuoso guitar player. Never has the audience heard Kim in this context and "Jazzin' On The Blues" promises to be a release that will open the eyes of many people, in a different way, to the guitarist's magical playing and writing.
THE CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD - Barefoot In The Head (2017)
Working at a whiplash speed that seems alien in the 21st century, when bands are pressured to work on three-year album cycles in a digital world when everything exists in an ever-present now, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood are prolific in a way that belies their blissed-out vibes. Barefoot in the Head is the band's fifth album of original material, arriving in a calendar year that also includes another studio album (Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, which appeared just about a year prior to Barefoot), a half-hour studio EP (If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home by Now), and a live LP (Betty's Self-Rising Southern Blends, Vol. 3). It's a release schedule that reads as frenetic, but Barefoot in the Head benefits from the CRB's work ethic. There's an elastic ease to its dusky grooves, grooves rooted in long-players from the dawn of the '70s. Sure, it's a throwback sensibility but the Chris Robinson Brotherhood aren't revivalists; they're torchbearers, carrying hippie blues traditions into a new century. A close listen of Barefoot in the Head reveals the new things the CRB bring to the table, namely a facility with funk ("Behold the Seer," "Blue Star Woman") and an ability to turn a smeary sunset into a warm psychedelic bath ("Glow"), but they are also expert in the old ways, as evidenced by the rustic charm on "High Is Not the Top." No matter how much the Chris Robinson Brotherhood emphasize vibe, the group doesn't disregard songs; the songs are nimble and open-ended, inviting exploration but also ready to be played simply. The result is the CRB's best record to date: one that captures their trippy side as easily as it showcases their sturdy foundation.
THE BEATLES - Anthology 1 - 3 (1995/96)
The Beatles Anthology is the name of a television documentary, a three-volume set of double albums, and a book focusing on the history of the Beatles. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all participated in the making and approval of the works, which are sometimes referred to collectively as the Anthology project, while John Lennon had archival interviews. To accompany the Anthology series, three albums were issued, each containing two CDs or three vinyl LPs of mostly never-before-released Beatles material (the exceptions being the Tony Sheridan-era material), although many of the tracks had appeared on bootlegs for many years prior.
Two days after the first television special in the series had aired, Anthology 1 was released to stores, and included music recorded by the Quarrymen, the famous Decca Records audition tapes, and various out-takes and demos from the band's first four albums. It also included the song "Lend Me Your Comb", omitted from the collection Live at the BBC, released the previous year (1994). The song "Free as a Bird" was included at the very start. 450,000 copies of Anthology 1 were sold in its first day of release, the most sales for an album in a single day ever. The band's first drummer Pete Best, replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962 before the Beatles recorded professionally for EMI, received his first substantial Beatles royalties from this album, for the inclusion of early demo tracks on which he played. Anthology 2 was released on 17 March 1996. The second collection presented out-takes and demos from the Beatles' sessions for Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Magical Mystery Tour. These included selected early demos and takes for Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever", previously available only to bootleg collectors. The new song "Real Love" - which, like "Free as a Bird", was based on an unfinished Lennon recording - was also included in the two-CD collection. Anthology 3 was released on 28 October 1996. The third collection featured out-takes and demos from The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be as well as several songs from Harrison and McCartney which later became post-Beatle tracks.
JERRY LEE LEWIS - Four Original Mercury Albums (2017)
Four LPs on two cds make great value, especially when you take it into account you not only have the ‘killer’ Jerry Lee Lewis but also his sister, Linda Gail Lewis. Linda when asked, performed good ol’ southern country soul (and gospel) and had the sass to go with it! Such is the chemistry between the siblings I am prompted to question why didn’t they do more together. Or why didn’t Jerry Lee record more duets? When it came to singing a heartfelt country song there wasn’t too many who could match never mind outdo the Ferriday, Louisiana-born, piano playing legend. During this collection you will, I am sure enjoy ol’ Jerry Lee’s efforts. Taken from recordings made during 1969 and 1970, and of almost a decade later he was back performing rock’n’roll with Keeps Rockin’. In title alone it pretty much informs the listenrt where Lewis’ heart was at that moment in time. As Lewis has always been prone he flipped from country, r&b country to rock’n’roll (and gospel too) from a tender age. I guess, his upbringing and at times colourful marriages would also have been a persuasion. Lewis’ showmanship likewise had a bearing on the material as he would take a song, both live, and in the studio and turn it on its head.
BARBARA LYNN - Here Is Barbara Lynn (1968)
To be a woman singing your own blues and soul songs in 1960s Texas was a rare thing. To do so while brandishing a left-handed Stratocaster and bashing out hard-edged licks was even rarer. Yet that's just what Barbara Lynn did, inspired by Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee. And it was a hit: her 1962 debut single, You'll Lose A Good Thing, recorded with session musicians including Dr. John, gave her an R&B chart Number One and a Billboard chart Top 10 hit. It was a path that Lynn chose at elementary school in 1940s Beaumont, Texas, when she told her mother she wanted to play guitar. ''I decided that playing piano was a little bit too common, you know what I mean?'' says Lynn in the new liner notes. ''You'd always see a lady or a little girl sitting at a piano. I decided I wanted to play something more unexpected, so that's when I got interested in learning to play the guitar.'' Self-taught, first on the ukulele and then on a guitar, Lynn formed her first group, Barbara Lynn and Her Idols, while still at school and soon took the local scene by storm. Hers was a powerful talent in a petite package, a performer who could stand up against the best - even as a teenager.
Spotted while performing, underage, in Louisiana, she was offered the chance to record her own material, songs that filtered the experience of being a black Texan teen with power, feel, and guts. Ten of the twelve tracks on her debut album were her own compositions. ''It took a lot of time,'' Lynn remembers of the recording process, ''but we got Good Thing, we got our hit. I loved it. I loved meeting the new musicians; a lot of the guys who played on that record became friends. And seeing how the engineers worked and how they produced the sounds, all of that was really interesting to me.'' The success of that single took Lynn out on the road with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, BB King, The Supremes, Chuck Berry, Guitar Slim, and The Temptations. BB King even wrote a letter to Lynn's mother to tell her what a talented daughter she'd raised. She appeared at the Apollo Theater, she was twice on American Bandstand, and one of her songs, Oh Baby (We've Got A Good Thing Goin') was covered by The Rolling Stones. Though she was a precocious performer, hers is a talent that came to full bloom on Here Is Barbara Lynn, her 1968 album produced by Huey P. Meaux and originally released on Atlantic Records. The record was conceived as an introduction to Lynn's prodigious talents: her deeply felt guitar playing, her gutsy soulful singing skills, and her songwriting prowess. It combined her early hit with a raft of new songs, each packed with Lynn's passion and fire. Yet the introduction to her world - now reissued by Light In The Attic - largely proved to be her swansong. She married in 1970, aged 28, had three children, and largely retired from the music industry for most of the '70s and '80s. Now touring again, she's amused to think of her 46 year-old album gaining new fans. ''I hear this album, and it seems like... it seems like the old times to me,'' she says. ''I don't know, it's strange to know it's coming out again. It is going to be a wild, first time thing for me, like going back in time. But I'm excited to see what happens.''
NATIONAL HEAD BAND - Albert 1 (1971)
2008 digitally remastered edition of this lost Progressive Rock classic. Formed in 1969 from the ashes of Liverpudlian band the Business, Albert 1, released in 1971, featured future Thin Lizzy, Caravan and Camel keyboard player Jan Schelhass, future Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake, guitarist Neil Ford and bass guitarist David Paull (soon to join Jonesy). Produced by Yes and ELP engineer Eddie Offord, the album features wonderful material such as "Got No Time" and "Mister Jesus". Albert 1 is one of the few Progressive albums of note not to receive an officially sanctioned release until now.
TRACKS: 01. Got No Time 02. You 03. Too Much Country Water 04. Lead Me Back 05. Listen To The Music 06. Islington Farm 07. Try To Reach You 08. Brand New World 09. Mister Jesus
THE GODS - Genesis (1968) & To Samuel A Son (1969)
The Gods were an English group founded in 1965. The original band members included Mick Taylor (later with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and The Rolling Stones), Brian Glascock, his brother John (later with Jethro Tull), keyboardist Ken Hensley (later with Uriah Heep) and Joe Konas. Lee Kerslake (drums) joined in 1967 and would later also play in Uriah Heep. Greg Lake (later of Emerson Lake Palmer fame) joined in 1967 and left the band after approximately one year.
After recording two albums, Genesis (1968) and To Samuel a Son (1969), they signed with a new record company, recruited Rebel Rousers singer Cliff Bennett and formed Toe Fat, which also lasted two years and two albums. In 1970, they published an album under the pseudonym Head Machine, untitled "Orgasm" with Ken Hensley on keys, guitars and vocals, John Glascock on bass, Joe Konas on guitars and Lee Kerslake on drums.
HEAD MACHINE - Orgasm (1970)
Before playing with Cliff Bennet’s band Toe Fat, Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake (later together again in Uriah Heep) found time to record an album for a specific project called Head Machine, although it was supposed to be released as The Gods’ third album. The title of the album was “Orgasm”. The producer of the album was David Paramor, who also produced The Gods’ albums. The music is good, but not outstanding, and the style is something between The Gods and Toe Fat. Ken describes this project as a “mercenary” one, which means that they were involved only for the money, professionally speaking. He states that it wasn’t really his band, and there are some doubts about the songwriting credits, since on the album it’s written that Paramor composed all the songs, but there’s deffinitely a “Ken Hensley touch” on them. It is one of the heaviest records that Hensley has ever been involved.
TRACKS: 01. Climax - You Tried To Take It All 02. Make The Feeling Last 03. You Must Come With Me 04. The Girl Who Loved, The Girl Who Loved 05. Orgasm 06. The First Time 07. Scattering Seeds
TOE FAT - Toe Fat & Toe Fat II (1995)
Toe Fat was an English rock music band, active from June 1969 to 1971, notable for including two future members of Uriah Heep. Formed in June 1969, the band was fronted by former Rebel Rouser Cliff Bennett and, in the course of its two-year, two-album career, featured lead guitarist and keyboardist Ken Hensley; bassist John Glascock (who replaced original bassist John Konas (Joseph Stanley Konas)); and drummer Lee Kerslake. After the first album, Kerslake and Hensley were replaced by Brian Glascock (drums) and Alan Kendall (guitar) respectively. The band was founded by Bennett, a former pop star, after the dissolution of the Cliff Bennett Band. He teamed with the former Gods keyboard player Hensley, who drafted in fellow ex-Gods members Kerslake and Glascock. The name was decided over dinner when Bennett and his manager attempted to create the most disgusting band name possible.Toe Fat was signed to the record label, Rare Earth, in the US. In the UK, the band signed with EMI, who released their first album on the Parlophone label, and the second on Regal Zonophone.
The eponymously titled first album flopped commercially, but gained considerable critical praise. Such was their stir that after their first single, "Workin' Nights", (the B-side was an early Elton John composition "Bad Side of the Moon") they were booked for a tour supporting Derek and the Dominos in the US. The album was also notable for its cover designed by the recently formed graphic art company Hipgnosis. The cover showed a beach scene with four people who have large toes superimposed over their heads. For the US release, a man and a topless woman in the background were replaced by the image of a sheep. The photo of the band on the back of the US album shows Cliff Bennett, Alan Kendall, John Glascock, and Lee Kerslake even though Alan Kendall did not play on the first album. This was an interim line-up, Lee Kerslake would soon depart also before second album was recorded.
DISC 1 - Toe Fat (1970): 01. That's My Love For You 02. Bad Side Of The Moon 03. Nobody 04. The Wherefors And The Why's 05. But I'm Wrong 06. Just Like Me 07. Just Like All The Rest 08. I Can't Belive 09. Working Nights 10. You Tried To Take It All
DISC 2 - Toe Fat Two (1971): 01. Stick Heat 02. Indian Summer 03. Idol 04. There'll Be Changes 05. A New Way 06. Since You've Been Gone 07. Three Time Loser 08. Midnight Sun
CHARLIE DANIELS - The Roots Remain (1996)
Charles Edward "Charlie" Daniels is an American multi-instrumentalist, actor, lyricist, and singer, known for his contributions to country, bluegrass, and Southern rock music. He is perhaps best known for his number one country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Daniels has been active as a singer and musician since the 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008 and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. Daniels was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. A talented and showy fiddler, Charlie Daniels and his band fuse hardcore country with a hard-edged Southern rock, boogie, and blues. The group - which has had a rotating cast of musicians over the years - has always been known for its instrumental dexterity, but Daniels and company were also notorious for their down-home, good-old-boy attitude; in the early '80s, they became a virtual symbol of conservative country values. Daniels and his band experienced the height of their popularity at the end of the '70s and early '80s, but they remained a popular concert attraction well into the '90s.
The Roots Remain is a three-disc box set covering the Charlie Daniels Band's entire career. Over the course of 45 songs, the box touches upon all of his hits - including "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Long-Haired Country Boy," and "Uneasy Rider" - plus key album tracks, B-sides, and several unreleased and rare gems, such as his take on Eric Clapton's "Layla." Roots Remain is the most comprehensive compilation of Charlie Daniels recordings ever assembled and it misses very few important tracks, making it the one definitive retrospective.
V.A. - Gunsmoke Vol. 1 & 2 (2017)
Stag-O-Lee present the first and second volume of the new limited edition series, Gunsmoke. The first two volumes were previously vinyl-only releases). This is a collection of oddball country weepers, moody rockabilly, and popcorn noir from the 1950s and early '60s. So turn out the lights, sit back and relax to the soundtrack from a jukebox in a ghost town. For best results: listen to after dark. The CD combines the first two vinyl volumes for 25 tracks in all: Includes "Come Back Juanita" by Juan Montego & His Habana Sound, "Pale Faced Indian" by Marvin Rainwater, "Satan's Chauffeur" by Jimmy Minor, "Silver Coin" by Ken & Carol Crag, "Watcha Gonna Do" by Hayden Thompson, "The Klan" by The Gatemen, "Mad Witch" by Dave Gardner, "Laughing All Over My Grave" by Ray Stevens, "They Took John Away" by Steve Arlen, "Don't Jump" by Billy Fury, "The Hanging Day" by Warren Smith, "Riding Shotgun" by Danny Welch, "Satan Is Her Name" by Steve King & The Echelons, "Born To Love One Woman" by Ric Cartey, "All I Can Do Is Cry" by Johnny Bond, "Gringo" by El Clod, and "Baby Doll" by The Magnificent Seven.
Stray are a British band formed in 1966. Vocalist Steve Gadd (born 27 April 1952, Shepherd's Bush, London), guitarist Del Bromham (born Derek Roy Bromham, 25 May 1951, in Acton, London) (ex Tradera), bass player Gary Giles (born Gary Stephen Giles, 23 February 1952, in London) and drummer Steve Crutchley (born 1952) formed the band whilst all were attending the Christopher Wren School in London. Richard "Ritchie" Cole (born 10 November 1951, in London) replaced Crutchley in 1968.
They signed to Transatlantic Records in January 1970. The group's brand of melodic, hook-laden hard rock proved to be a popular draw on the local club scene during the early 1970s. However the band did not have commercial success with its record releases. At one stage Charlie Kray, (brother of the Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie), was their manager. Gadd left the band in 1975 due to artistic differences and was replaced on vocals by Pete Dyer.
The original Stray finally dissolved in 1977, although Bromham later continued to play in various resurrected versions of the project well into the 2000s. There are two Iron Maiden connections to Stray. The early song "All in Your Mind" from the Stray 1970 debut album was covered by Maiden, and Maiden bassist Steve Harris's daughter Lauren has covered "Come On Over". From late 2006 until early 2007, the band's back catalog of eight studio albums issued originally during the 1970s were re-released by the UK-based Sanctuary Records in compact disc format. The new releases are remastered and add bonus tracks culled from single B-sides, studio outtakes and BBC broadcast sessions.
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