INA FORSMAN - Ina Forsman (2016) & Been Meaning to Tell You (2019)
Ina Forsman is the one you’ve been waiting for. Maybe you’ve caught a glimpse of her on the blues stages of Europe, blowing out the speakers with that burnt-honey voice. Perhaps you marked her for future greatness when she represented Finland at the 2014 European Blues Challenge, or during her early guest spots with Guy Verlinde and Helge Tallqvist. Now, as this next-big-thing releases her self-titled debut album – and rocks the house on the famous Ruf Records Blues Caravan 2016 – it’s time for a proper introduction. Released on Ruf Records, Ina Forsman is everything that great music used to be: real, raw, written from the heart and shot from the hip. Likewise, Ina herself is everything that great frontwomen are meant to be: enigmatic, honest, passionate and dangerous. By the time you’ve heard these ten self-penned songs – plus a stellar cover of Nina Simone’s “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl “– you’ll know her inside-out, and want to know more. Read on. Play Ina Forsman and the first thing that hits you is the voice. That astonishing delivery is a major weapon in Ina’s arsenal, and the icing on the big-band brass and soul-blues piano of these breakup and redemption songs. Growing up in Helsinki, Finland, she always hoped it would take her places. “I was six years old when I first said out loud that I wanted to be a singer. My influences go back to the time my aunt gave me my first Christina Aguilera album when I was seven. For me, a great singer is someone who has power in their voice and isn’t afraid to use it, in all of its colours and shades.” Yet Ina’s debut album goes far deeper than a God-given voicebox. These eleven songs speak of an artist who lives and breathes the blues, having gigged from the age of seventeen and received guidance in the genre from Finnish harmonica legend Helge Tallqvist. “Helge was the first person who introduced blues to me,” she remembers. “He took me to the studio and put our band together a couple of years ago. There aren’t enough words to describe how much I learnt from him. So much about music, but also about organising gigs, doing the boring paperwork, and life in general.”
She's full of surprises. 'Try Every Single Beat', with it's Latin rhythms and a lyric that Ina hopes will let you "feel the moment and stop being so goddamn concerned what other people are thinking". Try 'Chains', with it's throbbing percussion and gang-chant vocals. Even when she writes a love song, Ina twists the template, with 'Whatcha Gonna Do' and 'Why You Gotta Be That Way' giving two perspectives on sexual harassment. "The first song tells the situation from a man's point of view," she explains. "He sees a beautiful girl, tries to get her attention and ends up making some fucked-up decisions. The second song tells the story from the girl's point of view: she just wants to carry on with her stuff but this dude won't leave her alone." It all ends with the stunning 'Sunny' - a smoky acapella masterclass, written entirely by Ina, that sends you off into the world with goosebumps, ready to spread the word about this extraordinary artist. Been Meaning To Tell You is the second album that you hoped Ina Forsman was capable of - and then some.
KEITH RICHARDS - Talk Is Cheap (1988) [30th Anniversary 2 CD Deluxe Edition, 2019]
Talk Is Cheap is the debut solo album by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, released in 1988. Recorded and released during a long-standing falling out with Mick Jagger, Talk Is Cheap received positive reviews upon its release.
30th Anniversary 2CD Deluxe Edition. 1st CD with the original 11 tracks + 2nd CD featuring 6 unreleased bonus tracks. Bonus tracks feature appearances from Mick Taylor, Chuck Leavell, Bootsy Collins, Johnnie Johnson, Joey Spampinato & Bernie Worrell. Remastered by original producer Steve Jordan. Can’t believe it- this is much more than the usual remastering. It is like I hear this album for the first time - so many details I never noticed before… (when this was first released I found it a bit monotonous, to say the least, and now I hear all that music). So very happy. Thank you for being such a great medium of the Divine, Mr Richards.
ROBIN TROWER - Coming Closer to the Day (2019)
It's rare to find a '60s legend still on trailblazing form in their eighth decade. But while Trower's peers recycle the old hits or retreat from view, the 73-year-old guitarist finds himself in a golden late-bloom of creativity. Even at this career pinnacle, Trower admits he "just can't stop". And with Coming Closer To The Day, his songcraft and soulful performances have never sounded more alive. Acting on artistic instincts – rather than bowing to market forces – might not be a fashionable or profitable approach in the modern music industry. But in 2019, it's a philosophy that is driving Trower's late career to new creative heights, as the bluesman tightens his grip on the long-term fans who fell for his classic '60s work, while reeling in younger music-lovers who crave something honest and unvarnished in the age of artifice.
"I think that I'm drawing much more from my roots now," he considers, "rather than shying away from them. I'm not worried about what the music is – or what people might think of it. I'm just doing this out of the sheer joy of doing it. My passion for guitar now is stronger than ever. It's still a great thrill, just to play…"
SUZI QUATRO - No Control (2019)
The American rock vocalist has successfully worked as a musician for more than fifty years, delivering with unbridled energy her greatest hits such as ‘Can The Can’, ‘48 Crash’, ‘Devil Gate Drive’, ‘If You Can`t Give Me Love’, ‘She`s In Love With You’ or ‘Stumblin In‘ which made her an icon in the 1970s, and wowing her fans again and again with her new material. So it comes as no surprise that she’s not thinking of retiring. “I’ll retire when I go onstage, shake my ass, and there is silence,” she says, fully aware of the fact that that moment is still a long way off.
James Nuttall catches up with legendary rock singer Suzi Quatro in her Essex home to chat about her new studio album, No Control. “This album seems to have a life of its own”, begins Suzi Quatro in her prominent Detroit accent. At 68, the original rock chick isn’t letting her eligibility for a pension get in the way of her work. 2019 marks her 55th anniversary in the music business and 46 years since the release of Can the Can, her first UK number one single. By the time the year is out, she will have completed two Australian tours, a UK tour, a German tour and various dates in Europe.
RANDY MEISNER - One More Song (1980) & Randy Meisner (1982) 
Randall Herman Meisner is a retired American musician, singer, songwriter and founding member of the Eagles. Throughout his professional musical career, Meisner's main role was that of bassist and backing high-harmony vocalist as both a group member and session musician. He co-wrote the Eagles hit song "Take It to the Limit", which he also sang.
"One More Song" is the second solo studio album by Randy Meisner. It was released in late 1980, on Epic in the United States, and in the United Kingdom. The album is to date Meisner's most successful album as a solo artist, peaking at number 50, on the US Billboard 200 chart. The single, "Deep Inside My Heart" featuring Kim Carnes, peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard 100, and the single "Hearts on Fire" peaked at number 19, three months later.
"Randy Meisner" is the third solo studio album (and the second self-titled) by Randy Meisner. It was released in mid 1982, on Epic in the United States, and in the United Kingdom. It is to-date Meisner's final solo album of original material. The album features a duet with Heart's lead vocalist, Ann Wilson.
THE TROGGS - Archeology (1966-1976) 
The Troggs (originally called the Troglodytes) are an English garage rock band formed in Andover, Hampshire in May 1964. They had a number of hits in the United Kingdom and the United States. Their most famous songs include the US chart-toppers "Wild Thing", "With a Girl Like You" and "Love Is All Around", all of which sold over 1 million copies and were awarded gold discs "Wild Thing" is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was an influence on garage rock and punk rock.
A double-CD, 52-track box set that proves there was a lot more to The Troggs than "Wild Thing" and "Love Is All Around." This archetypally primitive British Invasion quartet scored many hits in the U.K. that barely dented the charts in the U.S., like "With A Girl Like You," "Night Of The Long Grass," and the notoriously racy "I Can't Control Myself." They're all here, along with notable album cuts, B-sides, and worldwide post-1968 flops. Primitive they may have been, but The Troggs who wrote most of their own material did not lack a flair for hard pop hooks, and could display a surprising delicacy in their ballads. Several of their obscure singles and album tracks are equal in worth to their hits, like the gothic but pretty "Cousin Jane," and the witty light psychedelia of "Maybe the Madman" and "Purple Shades." Some of the '70s hard rockers and glammish novelties are unimpressive, and 52 songs is arguably excessive. But there are a fair number of obscure gems to be found on this well-annotated package.
SCOTT WALKER - Scott 1, 2, 3 & 4 (1967-1969)
Scott Walker, star of the Walker Brothers and one of the most influential singers in rock history, dies aged 76.
Scott Walker (born Noel Scott Engel - January 9, 1943 – March 25, 2019) was an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer. Walker was known for his distinctive baritone voice and an unorthodox career path which took him from 1960s pop icon to 21st-century avant-garde musician. Walker's success was largely in the United Kingdom, where his first three solo albums reached the top ten. He lived in the UK from 1965 and became a British citizen in 1970. First coming to fame in the mid-1960s as frontman of the pop music trio The Walker Brothers, Walker began a solo career with 1967's Scott, moving toward an increasingly challenging baroque pop style on late '60s albums such as Scott 3 (1969) and Scott 4 (1969). His solo work did not sell well, leading him to reunite with The Walker Brothers in the mid-1970s. From the mid-1980s, Walker revived his solo career while moving in an increasingly avant-garde direction that The Guardian likened to "Andy Williams reinventing himself as Stockhausen." Walker continued to release solo material until his death, and was last signed to 4AD Records. As a record producer or guest performer, he worked with a number of artists including Pulp, Ute Lemper, Sunn O))) and Bat for Lashes.
Scott Walker's success as a teen idol singer of Spectorish ballads with the Walker Brothers in no way prepared listeners for the mordant, despairing lyrics of his solo debut. To compound the surprise, he does his best to imitate the vocal girth of Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra on this mix of original tunes and covers, which also features sweeping, bloated orchestral arrangements. It was hardly rock, and pop of a most oddball sort, but it found a surprisingly large audience -- in Britain, anyway, where it reached the Top Three in 1967. Poke behind the velvet curtain of the languid MOR arrangements, and one finds a surprisingly literate existentialist at the helm of these proceedings. His lyrical nuances were probably lost on his audience of predominately teenage girls, though they've earned him a small cult audience that endures to this day. Besides presenting three of his own compositions, Walker covers tunes by Weill/Mann, Tim Hardin, and Andre & Dory Previn on this album, as well as three songs by his favorite writer, Jacques Brel. Highlights include his exquisitely anguished rendition of Brel's classic "Amsterdam" and his dramatic cover of the early-'60s Toni Fisher pop ballad "The Big Hurt."
Although Walker's second album was his biggest commercial success, actually reaching number one in Britain, it was not his greatest artistic triumph. His taste remains eclectic, encompassing Bacharach/David, Tim Hardin, and of course his main man Jacques Brel (who is covered three times on this album). And his own songwriting efforts hold their own in this esteemed company. "The Girls From the Streets" and "Plastic Palace People" show an uncommonly ambitious lyricist cloaked behind the over-the-top, schmaltzy orchestral arrangements, one more interested in examining the seamy underside of glamour and romance than celebrating its glitter. The Brel tune "Next" must have lifted a few teenage mums' eyebrows with its not-so-hidden hints of homosexuality and abuse. Another Brel tune, "The Girl and the Dogs," is less controversial, but hardly less nasty in its jaded view of romance. Some of the material is not nearly as memorable, however, and the over-the-top show ballad production can get overbearing. The album included his first Top 20 U.K. hit, "Jackie."
Scott Walker's final British Top Ten album was the first to be dominated by his own songwriting. Ten of the 13 tunes on this 1969 LP are originals; the remaining three, naturally, were written by one of his chief inspirations, Jacques Brel. There are some interesting moments here. "Big Louise" talks about a hefty prostitute with shocking explicitness for a pop star album of the era. "Copenhagen" (like much of Walker's '60s work) foreshadows David Bowie. "Funeral Tango" is a particularly vicious Brel song. "30 Century Man" is an uncommonly folkish and focused tune for Walker. "We Came Through" is an oddball cavalry charge featuring one of his occasional forays into Ennio Morricone spaghetti Western-like production. The tension between Walker's dense, foreboding lyrics and orchestral production is unusual, to say the least. But too often, it's too difficult to penetrate Walker's insights through Wally Scott's string - drenched production. It shrouds the lyrics in a fog that's often too syrupy to justify the effort needed to fight through it.
Walker dropped out of the British Top Ten with his fourth album, but the result was probably his finest '60s LP. While the tension between the bloated production and his introspective, ambitious lyrics remains, much of the over-the-top bombast of the orchestral arrangements has been reined in, leaving a relatively stripped-down approach that complements his songs rather than smothering them. This is the first Walker album to feature entirely original material, and his songwriting is more lucid and cutting. Several of the tracks stand among his finest. "The Seventh Seal," based upon the classic film by Ingmar Bergman, features remarkably ambitious (and relatively successful) lyrics set against a haunting Ennio Morricone-style arrangement. "The Old Man's Back Again" also echoes Morricone, and tackles no less ambitious a lyrical palette; "dedicated to the neo-Stalinist regime," the "old man" of this song was supposedly Josef Stalin. "Hero of the War" is also one of Walker's better vignettes, serenading his war hero with a cryptic mix of tribute and irony. Other songs show engaging folk, country, and soul influences that were largely buried on his previous solo albums.
CARL VERHEYEN - The Grand Design (2016) & Essential Blues (2017)
Nobody who’s ever heard Carl Verheyen play, whether solo or in Supertramp, can doubt his guitar-playing aptitude. There are times on The Grand Design when he astonishes. The range of his expression takes in folk (Beyond My Reach), pomp (Live My Days) and Supertramp-style pop rock (Adeline). The album shifts gear from the moody introspection of Intangibles Collide through to the more expansive tenacity of Candy Fame.
And throughout, there’s a feeling that Verheyen is capable of adapting to any style. But this is also something of a hindrance, because there’s a sense here of a collection of songs with no perceived flow. Taken individually, the tracks are thoroughly enjoyable, matching exhaustive musicianship with a respect for melody. But does it work as an album? Not really. It’s as if Verheyen is strling to find his own personality, simply because he can go across the spectrum. He’s clearly a lot more effective in a band situation, rather than out on his own. However, this is a more than decent release, and the version of Bob Dylan’s evergreen The Times They Are A-Changin’ sums up Verheyen’s talent for finding fresh ways to tell an old story. Classy, if slightly flawed.
Carl Verheyen Essential Blues brings together four world-class musicians for a rare showcase of all things blues. Named one of the World's Top Ten Guitarists by Guitar Magazine and One of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Classic Rock Magazine, Carl now has 14 albums to his credit and is widely known as Supertramp's lead guitarist. For the first time in Seattle, Carl is bringing a four-piece band to Highway 99. Carl will be joined by longtime bassist Dave Marotta (Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, Bruce Hornsby, Manhattan Transfer) and the original CVB drummer John Ferraro (Boz Skaggs, Aaron Neville, Linda Ronstadt, Eddie Van Halen). Added to the mix is keyboard master Jim Cox, who has toured recently with James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, and Mark Knopfler. As Carl puts it, "Exploring the deep and wondrous avenues of the blues with this band is a very special experience for me."
RUBETTES - The Albums 1974-1977 (2015)
Formed in 1973 in England, the Rubettes were originally organized as a session outfit by Wayne Bickerton of Polydor A&R. Inspired by the successes of Sha Na Na, Mud, and Showaddywaddy, they combined glam rock presentation (red and white suits with matching caps) with a rock & roll revival sound. Their first release, 1974's "Sugar Baby Love," was an instant smash, remaining at number one in England for five weeks while denting the U.S. charts at number 37 in August, and remains their best-known record. Subsequent releases would be less successful, but the band soldiered on and continued to tour on the nostalgia circuit well into the 2000s.
The Rubettes' original lineup featured John Richardson on drums, Mick Clarke on bass, Bill Hurd and Peter Arnesen on keyboards, and Tony Thorpe on guitar. Vocalist Paul DaVinci left the band just before "Sugar Baby Love," replaced by Alan Williams. Their name, like their music, was selected to consciously tap into '50s America iconography, and the revival sound bore fruit in the U.K. on several more singles: The "Sugar Baby Love" soundalike "Tonight" was a strong follow-up, and "Jukebox Jive" and "I Can Do It" went Top Ten there as well. None charted in the States, though, and the band, which had evolved from prefab status to full-fledged band, moved from glammy nostalgia into more serious territory. They turned many a head with 1976's "Under One Roof," a sensitive portrayal of a gay man disowned and later murdered by his father; along with Rod Stewart's "The Killing of Georgie," it was one of very few songs tackling the difficult topic of homophobia. At the time some speculated that the song had been designed to be so uncommercial as to get the band dropped from their label. If so, it worked all too well, as the Rubettes soon fell silent in the face of dwindling success. Arnesen left that year, followed soon after by Hurd, and by 1979 the group was history. In 1983, though, at the urging of a German promoter, Williams re-formed the band for festival shows. Redubbed the Rubettes featuring Alan Williams to counteract other acts passing themselves off as the Rubettes, the reconstituted unit continued to tour Europe in oldies revival packages intermittently into the 2000s, with original members Richardson and Clarke back in the fold along with ex-Kinks keyboardist Mark Haley.
ALLY VENABLE BAND - Puppet Show (2018) & Texas Honey (2019)
A powerhouse from the Lone Star State, the Ally Venable Band has ignited excitement in the modern blues scene. Lead vocalist and guitarist, 19 year-old Ally Venable, started singing at an early age in church and when she turned 12 ,picked up the guitar, and there was no turning back. Guitar Player Magazine stated that,? “Venable pulls off a stunner of gritty and/or sultry blues-rock tunes embellished with lots of tasty guitar solos.” A recipient of many awards, Ally has is a two-time winner of the East Texas Music Award for “Female Guitarist of the Year ” and was also three-time ETX Music Award winner for “Blues Band of the Year” and “Album of the Year”.
Ally’s bandmates are multi-instrumentalists. Bassist, Bobby Wallace is a master at his craft and his years of experience enhance the band. Classically trained musician and drummer, Elijah Owings, brings a steady, but dynamic sound to the band. He is the backbone of their rockin’ blues sound. Ally’s second release Puppet Show debuted at #7 on the Billboard Blues Charts, and captured the attention of Ruf Records owner, Thomas Ruf. Venable is currently readying the release of her 3rdalbum, Texas Honey with producer Mike Zito (Samantha Fish, Jeremiah Johnson,) Zito, an award-winning artist in his own right, guests on the record as does Eric Gales. Texas Honey released by Ruf Records on March 22, 2019.
FAMILY - BBC Radio Volumes 1, 2 & 3 (2004 - 2009)
A blues-based band with art rock inclinations, Family were one of the more interesting groups of hippie-era Britain. Fronted by the deft and frequently excellent guitar playing of John "Charlie" Whitney and the raspy, whiskey-and-cigarette voice of Roger Chapman, Family were much loved in England and Europe but barely achieved cult status in America. While bands like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, and the Keith Emerson-led Nice (and later Emerson, Lake & Palmer) sold lots of records, Family, who frequently toured with these bands, were left in the shadows, an odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans. Although the band's first official release was Music in a Doll's House in 1968, the roots of the band went back as far as the early '60s, when Whitney started a rhythm & blues/soul band called the Farinas while at college. In 1966, Whitney met Roger Chapman, a prematurely balding singer who had a voice so powerful that, to quote Robert Christgau, "It could kill small game at a hundred yards," and the two began a creative partnership that would last through two bands and into the early '80s. With Whitney and Chapman leading the way, Family became whole with the addition of bassist Ric Grech, saxophonist Jim King, and drummer Rob Townsend. Within a year they were hyped as the next big thing, and under that pressure and intense British pop press scrutiny delivered their debut record in 1968, Music in a Doll's House. Doll's House is pop music redolent of the Zeitgeist: Chapman's voice is rooted in the blues and R&B, but the record is loaded with strings, Mellotrons, acoustic guitars, and horns essentially all the trappings of post-psychedelia and early art rock. Almost completely ignored in the States, Doll's House was a hit in Britain and Family began a string of "less art rock/more hard rock" albums that ended, as did the band, with the release of It's Only a Movie in 1973.
After Family's demise, Whitney and Chapman formed the blues-rock Streetwalkers; other Family members (of which there were quite a few in the band's tempestuous eight years) such as John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia) and Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart) went off to find fame and fortune elsewhere. Trivia buffs note: it was Ric Grech who was the first to leave Family in 1969 to become the least well-known member of supergroup Blind Faith. Sadly, that proved to be Grech's biggest mistake, as Blind Faith imploded in a year, and Grech (whose last notable band membership was in Traffic), long plagued by drinking problems, died of liver failure in 1990. Charlie Whitney went on to play in an extremely low-key country/blues/bluegrass band called Los Rackateeros, and Roger Chapman moved to Germany, where his solo career flourished. A fine, occasionally great band, Family deserved more recognition (at least in America) than they received something that a thoughtfully compiled career-spanning CD retrospective might rectify.
GEORDIE feat. BRIAN JOHNSON - The First 4 (2004)
Geordie were a British glam rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne, most notably active in the 1970s. The original (from February 1972) Geordie line-up included: Vic Malcolm (lead guitar), Tom Hill (bass guitar), Brian Gibson (drums) and Brian Johnson (lead vocals). Their first single, "Don't Do That" broke into the UK Top 40 in December 1972. In March 1973, Geordie released their debut album, Hope You Like It on EMI label. Trying to compete with such British glam rock outfits as Slade and Sweet (Geordie supported the former on a UK tour, as well as the latter at a concert at the Rainbow Club, London in March 1973), they achieved UK Top 10 status with "All Because of You" (April 1973) and had a UK Top 20 hit with "Can You Do It" (July 1973). They also had several appearances on BBC Television including 15 appearances on Top of the Pops, one of which was in November 1972. In the early 1970s Geordie toured Australia regularly and gained a solid following in Newcastle, New South Wales, due to the "Newcastle" connection and the song "Geordie's Lost his Liggie" gained popularity and airplay in Newcastle. They were one of the regular touring bands to play at the "art deco" Savoy Theatre in Lambton. Their second album, Don't Be Fooled By The Name (1974), including a cover of traditional "House of the Rising Sun", failed to yield a hit. After their 1976 album Save the World, frontman Johnson left for a solo project. The band's final album, No Good Woman, in 1978 consisted of three unreleased tracks with Johnson and new material recorded by Malcolm with future Dire Straits keyboardist Alan Clark, vocalist Dave Ditchburn, bassist Frank Gibbon, and drummer George Defty. Johnson had meanwhile begun to perform as Geordie in a new line-up, sometimes also called Geordie II, in which he was the only original member. The band signed a recording contract in 1980, but finally folded that spring when Johnson replaced the late Bon Scott in AC/DC.
RANDALL BRAMBLETT - The Bright Spots (2013) & Devil Music (2015)
Throughout Randall Bramblett's long, storied career as a sideman and as a solo artist, he has doggedly mined the sources of his earliest inspirations soul, R&B, blues, and roots rock for the lessons they teach about creative expression. As a result, his albums have always moved a little deeper, a little wider, and have taken enough chances with those forms that he's too mercurial to pin down he's a marketing person's nightmare, but a real music fan's (and musician's) delight. The Bright Spots, his ninth offering, is at once his loosest and most adventurous studio recording. Bramblett raised $30,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording. Seven tunes were recorded with his longtime band and some friends at drummer, co-producer, and engineer Gerry Hansen's studio near Bramblett's home in Athens, Georgia, while the remainder were done with a smaller group in Nashville. The different lineups and locations add a varied, very live-from-the-floor feel (which in fact most of these cuts were), despite the fact that Hansen and Bramblett took some real chances in post-production. One example is on the smoking, midtempo gospel blues "Every Saint," with its canny loop of Pygmy children splashing around in a creek as both intro and backdrop. There are some popping, funky rockers, including opener "Roll," with its stinging guitars, wailing B-3, and punchy horns. The grimy, psych-tinged, gospelized groove of "John the Baptist" (with a killer baritone sax by Tom Ryan and spacy Coral electric sitar by Davis Causey) is a real standout. "Whatever That Is" is swampy, Rhodes-fueled blues, while "Trying to Steal a Minute" is a steamy, nocturnal, suffocatingly close, shuffling funk blues with throbbing bass, big hypnotic shuffling drums, and layered washes of keyboards and guitar. The loop-drenched blues funk in "You Bring Me Down" is forceful for Betsy Franck's gospel wail soaring above the musical fray. The finest moments here are the ballads. Bramblett seems to have been listening to the Mercury-era Rod Stewart records when he wrote the gorgeous love song "My Darling One." The tender, shimmering, poetic "Detox Bracelet," with its lithe keyboards and skittering hi-hat, is his own startling, unique invention. Throughout the record, Bramblett's dusky, soulful voice inhabits his words as if what is portrayed by them is happening in real time, and while the considerable hooks help him there, it's his poignant lyrics that bring him the rest of the way into the center. In this latter area, he's as good and as deep as virtually anybody. The Bright Spots, while immediately recognizable as a Bramblett album, doesn't sound like anything else in his catalog. It's bold, inventive, colorful, and at times profound.
Devil Music, the tenth album by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Randall Bramblett, is a dark, swampy groovefest. Its 11 songs may depict broken characters, lost causes, wandering souls, and haunted spirits, but the songwriter celebrates them for who and what they are and revels unapologetically in their flaws and triumphs. Bramblett employs a musical patchwork of contemporary sonics and rhythms to extend the margins of blues, R&B, and gospel without watering them down. The core band features guitarists Davis Causey and Nick Johnson, drummer/producer/engineer Gerry Hansen, and either Michael Steele or Michael Rhodes on bass. They are augmented by occasional horns, a pair of percussionists, and a few heavy-hitting guests. "Dead in the Water" about being trapped in crime and addiction -- employs Bramblett's slippery Hammond B-3 to drive a rumbling bass and guitar vamp over a snare and bass-drum shuffle. His distorted, cracking vocal is pierced by Mark Knopfler's atypically meaty guitar lines. The title track offers a tale from Howlin' Wolf's biography about visiting his mama after his success. Her response? "Get away from me devil." The hip-hop rhythm, ambient loops, horns, and greasy guitar ride are pushed into the red by a quaking bass, and the vocal "Mama, I can't stop/Playin' that devil music/I got the devil music/Down in my soul" chills the marrow. In "Angel Child," a rounder tries to seduce an innocent while freely admitting his moral bankruptcy. Ballsy. Derek Trucks' wrangling, tonally rich slide guitar contrasts beautifully with Bramblett's slithering, soulful vocal. "Pride in Place" is a grimy, choogling blues-rocker, with punchy guitars, pulsing bassline, rattling tom-toms, and spiny keyboards under a desperate confessional narrative: "When you want to love somebody/With all your damaged soul/You don't want to know about/The fire that started that you can't control...." Former Sea Level bandmate Chuck Leavell adds spicy, New Orleans-style blues piano to the swaggering R&B in "Reptile Pilot." "Whiskey Headed Woman" filters noir-ish jazz-blues and modern R&B through the lens of D'Angelo's Voodoo. "Thing for You" is a cut-time, bumping soul tune with Bramblett's Wurlitzer piano (and tenor saxophone break) punching through brittle snares and silvery electric guitars. His singing especially in the falsetto soars effortlessly above the unshakable rhythm section. Lyrically, his songs balance conscientious rational choices against addictions and base human instincts through the paths and pitfalls of living in the boardroom or on the societal fringes. Devil Music may feel like an outlier in Bramblett's catalog, but restless experimentation has always been his trademark. The production, though far from slick, may initially startle, but through it, Bramblett reveals tradition to be a living, evolving process rather than a group of fixed archival notions.
JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR - Reckless Heart (2019)
Having famous fans such as Joe Bonnamassa and Glen Hughes and being described by Jools Holland as a dazzling talent, it’s hard to deny that Joanne Shaw Taylor has certainly mastered her craft and become one of the worlds most formidable guitar players. Having signed to Sony/Silvertoneat the beginning of 2018, Joanne is back for her 6thalbum, ‘Reckless Heart’ which was recorded during the summer of 2018 at Rust Belt Studios in Michigan. Joanne is thrilled to be releasing her new album: "I decided for this album I wanted to go further back to my roots. A large part of that was my decision to work with Al Sutton. Al’s been a good friend of mine since I moved to Detroit in 2008 and I’ve always been a big fan of his work with the Detroit Cobras, ThornettaDavis and most recently Greta Van Fleet. Working together was something we’d always discussed and in particular that he’d like to hear me do something more raw and live. The other main reason for recording in Detroit was the calibre of musicians in that town, and we were lucky enough to score some of the best in Ron Otis, James Simonson, Phil Hale and Chris Codish. I couldn’t be happier with it; we managed to incorporate my love of soul, blues and rock into the album and I think it’s probably my most honest work to date.
DEEP PURPLE - Days May Come And Days May Go [2CD Edition] (2008)
In March 1976 Deep Purple played their last concert in Liverpool, and passed into rock’n roll legend. There remains a fascination with the original band’s work which remains to this day and nowhere do people’s opinions polarise more widely than with the final Mk 4 line-up. They managed three months on the road before it all fell apart. Speculation as to whether Mk 4 could have ever scaled the heights of their illustrious predecessors is still rife amongst the fans. Both David Coverdale and Jon Lord are on record as defending the attempts to carry on with Tommy Bolin, citing the incredible atmosphere during the “Come Taste The Band” album rehearsals. The problem was that none of this material had survived. At least that was thought to be the case.....
When Bolin joined, they spent weeks rehearsing, some of which was taped but lay forgotten for twenty years. It is from these recordings that Days May Come... has been lovingly assembled. There are early versions of songs for the "Come Taste The Band album, exhilarating blasts of the band jamming together, rehearsing or enjoying David Coverdale’s painfully accurate working men’s club rendition of Sonny & Cher. All in all a rare treat for fans, which proves that the final line-up of Deep Purple really did have what it takes. This special edition includes an extra half hour of material previously unavailable only via mailorder and has been extended to a double disc set.
....next post on Monday, sorry, too busy.... (force majeure) :(
IAN GILLAN - Dreamcatcher (1997) & Eye To Morocco (2009)
Dreamcatcher is a studio album by Ian Gillan, released in September 1997 in Japan, October 1997 in the United Kingdom and in May 1998 in the US. All songs were performed by Ian Gillan accompanied by Steve Morris. The album was being worked on between 1995 and 1997. There are three different versions of the album. The basic European edition consists of twelve tracks. The US edition was remixed by Bob Katz, the order of the songs was changed and it has a different cover. The Japanese edition includes of two extra tracks. Dreamcatcher is considered the most obscure album in Gillan's career. It features mostly acoustic songs, closer to folk and blues traditions than to rock, the genre for which Gillan is mainly known. It received little media attention and generally had rather disappointing reviews.
One Eye To Morocco is a solo album by Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. The album material was written during the gap of Deep Purple's 2008 world tour, in the US. It was released on 6 March 2009 on Edel Records as CD, Limited Edition CD and Vinyl. As Gillan himself tells, he was in the Jewish-quarter of Kraków listening to the related stories of Oskar Schindler when the voice faded – and then returned and somebody told him: 'Ah, Ian you have one eye to Morocco.' – It was Tommy Djiubinski. Ian didn't understand the meaning of this Polish idiom, until he was told the whole idiom: "To have one eye to Morocco and another to Caucasus". The idiom describes a cross-eyed, or wandering eye person. This idiom inspired Gillan to make another solo album, and the title for the album was set to "One Eye To Morocco."
JOHN HAMMOND - So Many Roads (1965) & At the Crossroads: The Blues of Robert Johnson (2003)
John Paul Hammond is an American singer and musician. The son of record producer John H. Hammond, he is sometimes referred to as John Hammond Jr. He began playing guitar in high school, partially inspired by the album Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall. He attended Antioch College for one year but dropped out to pursue a music career. By the mid-1960s he was touring nationally and living in Greenwich Village. He befriended and recorded with many electric blues musicians in New York, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Levon And The Hawks (later known as The Band), Mike Bloomfield, Dr. John, and Duane Allman.
So Many Roads is Hammond's most notable mid-'60s Vanguard album, due not so much to Hammond's own singing and playing (though he's up to the task) as the yet-to-be-famous backing musicians. Three future members of the Band Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, and Levon Helm are among the supporting cast, along with Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, and Mike Bloomfield also contributes. It's one of the first fully realized blues-rock albums, although it's not in the same league as the best efforts of the era by the likes of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band or John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. In part that's because the repertoire is so heavy on familiar Chicago blues classics by the likes of Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters; in part that's because the interpretations are so reverent and close to the originals in arrangement; and in part it's also because Hammond's blues vocals were only okay. Revisionist critics thus tend to downgrade the record a notch. But in the context of its time when songs like "Down in the Bottom," "Long Distance Call," "Big Boss Man," and "You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover" were not as well known as they would become it was a punchy, well-done set of electric blues with a rock touch.
If Robert Johnson could look down from heaven or up from hell, he'd likely find it very interesting that John Hammond, Jr. had covered his songs. Here is a white guy, after all, who sounds like a black blues singer and chooses of his own free will to frequently return to the repertoire of an obscure black guitarist/singer from the 1930s. At the Crossroads collects this musical meeting of the minds or souls by gathering 14 of Hammond's Johnson covers, recorded between 1965 and 1978. Like Johnson, Hammond relies mostly on solo acoustic guitar. In this way, it's easy to certify his versions of "Come on in My Kitchen" and "32-20 Blues" as the real deal, or, as a folk enthusiast would say, "authentic." At the same time, renditions of "Milkcow's Calf Blues" and "Stones in My Passway" are less raw and penetrating than Johnson's, and one could easily say that Hammond's real gift is that of a popularizer of rural acoustic blues. The last four cuts include full-band takes of "Sweet Home Chicago," "When You Got a Good Friend," "Judgment Day," and "Rambling Blues." While these cuts surely won't pass the purity test, they're nonetheless lots of fun. At the Crossroads is a cross-cultural, racial, and generational document, and offers a good one-stop look at one artist's nod toward another.
ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS - 4 Albums 1967/69
Winds of Change is the debut album by Eric Burdon & the Animals, released in October 1967. Winds of Change opened the psychedelic era in the history of Eric Burdon & the Animals although Burdon's drug experiences had taken a great leap forward months earlier with his first acid trip, and he and the group had generated some startlingly fresh-sounding singles in the intervening time, it was Winds of Change that plunged the group headfirst into the new music. The record was more or less divided into two distinctly different sides, the first more conceptual and ambitious psychedelic mood pieces and the second comprised of more conventionally structured songs, although even these were hard, mostly bluesy and blues-based rock, their jumping-off point closer to Jimi Hendrix than Sonny Boy Williamson.
The Twain Shall Meet is the second album by Eric Burdon & the Animals. It was released in 1968 on MGM Records. The mix of topical songs, surreal antiwar anthems, and diffuse psychedelic mood pieces on The Twain Shall Meet is extremely ambitious, and while much of the group's reach exceeds its grasp, it's all worth a trip through as a fascinating period piece. In fact, the mood pieces predominate, mostly underwritten and under-rehearsed, and recorded without the studio time needed to make them work. "Just the Thought" and "Closer to the Truth" are dull and unfocused, even as psychedelia, while "No Self Pity" and "We Love You Lil" are above average musical representations of mind-altered states. "We Love You Lil" opens with a clever play on the old popular tune "Lili Marlene" that leads to an extended guitar jam and ethereal backing that rather recalls the early work of Focus, among other progressive rock acts. "All Is One" is probably unique in the history of pop music as a psychedelic piece, mixing bagpipes, sitar, oboes, horns, flutes, and a fairly idiotic lyric, all within the framework of a piece that picks up its tempo like the dance music from Zorba the Greek while mimicking the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'." On the more accessible side are "Monterey," a distant precursor to Joni Mitchell's more widely heard post-festival anthem "Woodstock," with some clever musical allusions and a great beat, plus lots of enthusiasm; and the shattering "Sky Pilot," one of the grimmest and most startling antiwar songs of the late '60s, with a killer guitar break by Vic Briggs that's marred only by the sound of the plane crash in the middle.
Love Is is the third album by Eric Burdon and The Animals. It was released in 1968 as a double album. Love Is was issued in both the United Kingdom and United States. It was the last album released before The Animals' second dissolution in 1968. An edited version of the track "Ring of Fire" was released as a single and peaked at No. 35 in the UK pop charts, breaking the top 40 in Germany, Holland, and Australia as well. Aside from the self-penned "I'm Dying Or m I?", the album consists entirely of cover songs with extended arrangements by the Animals and sometimes even additional lyrics and musical sections. The entire Side D is occupied by a medley of songs originally by Dantalian's Chariot, a former group of band members Zoot Money and Andy Summers. Dantalian's Chariot archivists have been unable to locate a recording of "Gemini", and it is possible that Eric Burdon and the Animals were the first to actually record the song.
Every One of Us is an album by Eric Burdon & The Animals. It was released in 1968 on MGM Records. Eric Burdon & the Animals were nearing the end of their string, at least in the lineup in which they'd come into the world in late 1966, when they recorded Every One of Us in May of 1968, just after the release of their second album, The Twain Shall Meet. The group had seen some success, especially in America, with the singles "When I Was Young," "San Franciscan Nights" and "Sky Pilot" over the previous 18 months, but had done considerably less well with their albums. Every One of Us lacked a hit single to help drive its sales, but it was still a good psychedelic blues album, filled with excellent musicianship by Burdon (lead vocals), Vic Briggs (guitar, bass), John Weider (guitar, celeste), Danny McCulloch (bass,12-string, vocals), and Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion), with new member Zoot Money (credited, for contractual reasons, as George Bruno) on keyboards and vocals.
GENESIS - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974) [2013 Japan, 2CD]
Given all the overt literary references of Selling England by the Pound, along with their taste for epic suites such as "Supper's Ready," it was only a matter of time before Genesis attempted a full-fledged concept album, and 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a massive rock opera: the winding, wielding story of a Puerto Rican hustler name Rael making his way in New York City. Peter Gabriel made some tentative moves toward developing this story into a movie with William Friedkin but it never took off, perhaps it's just as well; even with the lengthy libretto included with the album, the story never makes sense. But just because the story is rather impenetrable doesn't mean that the album is as well, because it is a forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak. Even if the story is rather hard to piece together, the album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to pop-oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to instrumentals. This means that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway contains both Genesis' most immediate music to date and its most elliptical. Depending on a listener's taste, they may gravitate toward the first LP with its tight collection of ten rock songs, or the nightmarish landscapes of the second, where Rael descends into darkness and ultimately redemption (or so it would seem), but there's little question that the first album is far more direct than the second and it contains a number of masterpieces, from the opening fanfare of the title song to the surging "In the Cage," from the frightening "Back in NYC" to the soothing conclusion "The Carpet Crawlers." In retrospect, this first LP plays a bit more like the first Gabriel solo album than the final Genesis album, but there's also little question that the band helps form and shape this music (with Brian Eno adding extra coloring on occasion), while Genesis shines as a group shines on the impressionistic second half. In every way, it's a considerable, lasting achievement and it's little wonder that Peter Gabriel had to leave the band after this record: they had gone as far as they could go together, and could never top this extraordinary album.
2013 Limited edition paper sleeve Japanese SHM-CD pressing.
TEN WHEEL DRIVE - The Best Of (1995)
When Bette Midler put the Jerry Ragovoy/Larry Weiss song "Stay With Me" in her film The Rose, it was a sly tribute to the genius of Genya Ravan and her innovative ensemble Ten Wheel Drive. The former Goldie Zelkowitz hit big in Europe with "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," which Peter Noone has said Zelkowitz/Ravan's manager nicked off producer Mickey Most's desk. Most and Noone, of course, hit in America with "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" on a Herman's Hermits release. Zelkowitz emerged from her pioneering girl group (later producing Ronnie Spector's first solo disc) to front an adventurous and highly experimental unit known as Ten Wheel Drive. With elements of Blood, Sweat & Tears meeting Big Brother & the Holding Company somewhere in the middle, Ten Wheel Drive covered the gamut of pop styles. The band's three albums with Ravan, and a fourth without her on Capitol, only hinted at Ten Wheel Drive's potential. Polygram's Bill Levenson has done another commendable job putting together a solid collection featuring six tracks each from the first two discs and four from the third. A track from the Capitol disc co-written by Schefrin/Zager/Ravan and entitled "Why Am I So Easy to Leave" would have made this perfect but, clocking in at 79:05, this disc is generous indeed.
"Come Live With Me" has Ravan's exotic vocals slinking up and down the scale alongside bass and guitar, and "Brief Replies" is reminiscent of Mae West singing in the film Myra Breckinridge, but it is Ravan's screaming-from-the-cosmos wail in her astonishing performance of "Stay With Me" that is the album's zenith. Pearl producer Paul A. Rothschild was enlisted to recreate Ravan's performance somehow and Bette Midler did a wonderful tribute to her, as well as to Joplin and to songwriter Ragovoy (who also co-wrote Joplin's signature tune "Piece of My Heart." Make no mistake, both Joplin and Midler have owed a debt to the work of Genya Ravan. Just listen to "Last of the Line," with its experimental pop that Big Brother & the Holding Company flirted with so often, or the dreamy "Shootin' the Breeze," which sounds like a Jackie DeShannon/Burt Bacharach reunion. It is second only to "Stay With Me" as the showpiece of the disc. Any group that goes out on so many limbs to cover pop, jazz fusion, hard rock, country, blues, and any other musical format whether in vogue or not, deserved the opportunity to generate more sound. This "best-of" is a unique snapshot of talents who have yet to receive their due.
TOM PETTY - The Best Of Everything (2018)
Consider The Best of Everything a companion piece to An American Treasure, the first posthumous Tom Petty compilation. Weighing in at four CDs, An American Treasure was designed as a gift to the devoted who were still in mourning. In contrast, The Best of Everything is aimed at the fan who didn't dig quite so deep, or perhaps to listeners who always liked Petty but never bothered to purchase an album. The Best of Everything relies on the hits that were largely absent on the box set but it takes a similar non-chronological approach to sequencing, a move that emphasizes Petty's consistency as both a songwriter and recording artist. This distinguishes The Best of Everything from 2000's Anthology: Through the Years, which also spanned two discs and contained four fewer songs than this 2019 set. Apart from that notable aesthetic choice, there is a considerable amount of overlap between the two double-disc collections namely, all the hits Petty had with and without the Heartbreakers between 1976 and 1993, when he switched from his longtime home of MCA to Warner. The Best of Everything trumps Anthology in that it also includes hits Petty had for Warner "You Don't Know How It Feels," "You Wreck Me," and "Walls" and extends to his strong last decade as a recording artist, adding two unreleased cuts for good measure (an alternate take of the title track which was heard in a shorter version on An American Treasure, the unheard "For Real," which is laid-back and nifty). All this adds up to the best overall overview of and perhaps introduction to Tom Petty assembled to date.
This collection of personal favorites and important milestones is the first anthology to span Petty’s entire career, from the first album to Mudcrutch 2. The album contains 38 tracks on 2CD’s including the hits “Free Fallin’, American Girl, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, You Wreck Me: and many more. The album also includes two unreleased tracks, “The Best of Everything (Alternate Version)” and the previously unreleased and unheard “For Real”.
THE ACTION - Shadows And Reflections: The Complete Recordings 1964-1968 (2018)
Sixties Mod band The Action only released six singles in their lifetime - or seven, if you count a pre-Action single by The Boys - but their legend has grown exponentially since their demise in 1968. The Action was the first band signed by Beatles producer George Martin after he left EMI to set up his own company AIR Productions. In due course, he produced the band's five singles issued on Parlophone between 1965 and 1967 as well as tracks intended for a never-released album. Shadows And Reflections is far and away the most comprehensive tribute to The Action so far assembled, boasting all their known recordings in the studio and live on radio/TV. Many of the original Parlophone single mixes have never been reissued in their original form on compact disc - until now. The fresh discovery of multi-tracks and rehearsal tapes has led to a whole disc's worth of previously unheard mixes and performances. The box set includes numerous photos of The Action in their heyday, with 16,000 words of sleeve-notes by David Wells and a 36-page booklet within a handsome digibook. Includes all previous material issued from the band's BBC sessions and post-Parlophone period, suitably remastered by Alec Palao.
THE STEVE MILLER BAND - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents The Steve Miller Band (2002)
By the early 70s Steve Miller was a beaten man. Still only in his mid-twenties, the precocious purveyor of acid-tinged blues rock had seen his stomping ground of the West Coast crumble at the hands of 'the man 'and had seen his band (which had featured a young Boz Skaggs) whittled away to nothing. His critically-lauded albums had made little money and Miller, himself injured in a car crash, was on the verge of quitting for good. Times were not good for the man once referred to by Miles Davis as a 'sorry-ass cat'. Yet a sabbatical spent licking his wounds and recapturing his muse was to prove his making. Within a year the 'Gangster of Love' was back with an album that was about to put him in the platinum league and sign his meal ticket forever. The album was The Joker and was rapidly followed by his masterpiece, Fly Like An Eagle. With a fresh band and a new fire in his playing, Steve was back. His return to favour is gloriously captured on this double live CD.
Taken from two shows separated by three years; this album is as good a testament to Miller's numerous strengths (and occasional weaknesses) as you could get. The first set, from 1973, has Steve retaining his stock in trade blues repertoire and blending it with the newer, fresher material. By the second set (from 1976) he's incorporated the stylish harp playing of the wonderfully monickered Norton Buffalo and has pushed further into the pop-rock that he was surely born to make.
WALELA - Walela (1997)
Walela is a trio of singers, named for the Cherokee word for hummingbird. The group was founded in 1996 by sisters Rita Coolidge and Priscilla Coolidge, with Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield as the third member. Featured as part of Robbie Robertson and the Red Road Ensemble's album Music for The Native Americans, Walela is known for their distinctive vocal blend brings. During the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Walela performed extensively in the Olympic Park. Their 1997 debut release on Capitol Records earned them the recognition of the Nammy Awards (Native American Music Awards) where they took home the award for Debut Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for "The Warrior". The group won the Native American Music Awards' best debut group and song of the year for 1998.
PRISCILLA COOLIDGE - Gypsy Queen (1970)
Priscilla Coolidge (1941 – 2014) was an American recording artist and sister of singer Rita Coolidge. Coolidge was born in Lafayette, Tennessee. Between 1969 and 1979, she was married to Booker T. Jones, who produced Coolidge's first solo album, 1970's Gypsy Queen. Then the pair collaborated as a duo on three albums: 1971's Booker T. & Priscilla; 1972's Home Grown; and 1973's Chronicles, which included the song "Time", written by her sister Rita, which was allegedly "borrowed" by drummer Jim Gordon (formerly of Eric Clapton's band Derek and the Dominos and Rita's former boyfriend) and became the famous instrumental piano coda at the end of "Layla"). Jones produced Priscilla's final solo album, Flying, in 1979; their marriage ended that year. In 1981 Coolidge married TV journalist/broadcaster/reporter Ed Bradley. Her marriage to Bradley ended in divorce, and she later married Michael Seibert. In 1997, Coolidge was one of the founding members of Walela, a Native American music trio, that also included Coolidge's sister Rita, plus Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield. The trio released studio albums in 1997 (Walela) and 2000 (Unbearable Love), a live album and DVD (Live in Concert) in 2004 and a compilation album (The Best of Walela) in 2007. Walela means hummingbird in Cherokee. Coolidge considered this group important not only in honoring her Cherokee ancestors, but also in bringing their culture to others. Seibert and Coolidge were found dead in their home in Thousand Oaks, California, United States, on October 2, 2014, from what police called a murder–suicide allegedly perpetrated by Seibert.
COMMANDER CODY & HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN - Lost In The Ozone (1971) & Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Trucker's Favorites (1972)
Although renowned for its high-energy rock, the Detroit/Ann Arbor region also formed the focal point for this entertaining country-rock band. The first of several tempestuous line-ups was formed in 1967, comprised of Commander Cody (b. George Frayne IV, 19 July 1944, Boise City, Idaho, USA; piano), John Tichy (b. St. Louis, Missouri, USA; lead guitar), Steve Schwartz (guitar), Stephen Davis aka the West Virginia Creeper (bass) and Ralph Mallory (drums). Only Frayne, Tichy and Bolton remained with the group on their move to San Francisco the following year. The line-up was completed on the Airmen’s 1971 debut album, Lost In The Ozone, by Billy C. Farlowe (b. Decatur, Alabama, USA; vocals/harp), Andy Stein (b. 31 August 1948, New York, USA; fiddle/saxophone), Bill Kirchen (b. 29 January 1948, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; lead guitar), ‘Buffalo’ Bruce Barlow (b. 3 December 1948, Oxnard, California, USA; bass) and Lance Dickerson (b. 15 October 1948, Livonia, Michigan, USA, d. January 2004; drums). This earthy collection covered a wealth of material, including rockabilly, Western swing, country and jump R&B, a pattern sustained on several subsequent releases. Despite achieving a US Top 10 single in 1972 with a cover version of the Johnny Bond country hit ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’, the band’s allure began to fade as their albums failed to capture an undoubted in-concert prowess. Although Live From Deep In The Heart Of Texas (1974) and We’ve Got A Live One Here (1976) redressed the balance, what once seemed so natural became increasingly laboured as individual members grew disillusioned, and their move to Warner Brothers Records was an unmitigated disaster (the band’s tribulations were chronicled in great detail in Geoffrey Stokes’ 1976 book Starmaking Machinery). John Tichy’s departure proved crucial and preceded an almost total desertion in 1976. The following year Cody released his first solo album, Midnight Man, before convening the New Commander Cody Band with Barlow and Black and recording two albums for Arista Records. During the 80s Cody periodically teamed up with Bill Kirchen’s Moonlighters and recorded a couple of low-key albums. Several albums of remixed 70s material were subsequently released on the Relix label, alongside sporadic new recordings. Cody continues to lead the Lost Planet Airmen and from time to time has reunited with the original line-up.
Lost in the Ozone is the debut album by the Country rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. The album contains their hit cover version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" as well as the band's live staples, "Lost in the Ozone" and "Seeds and Stems (Again)."
Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers' Favorites is the second album by the country rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. The album is an ode to truckers and songs about trucking, mixing classics of the genre like "Truck Drivin' Man" and "Looking at the World Through a Windshield" with the band's originals.
BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE - BTO's Greatest (1986) & The All Time Greatest Hits Live (1990)
Bachman–Turner Overdrive, often abbreviated as BTO, is a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that had a series of hit albums and singles in the 1970s, selling over 7 million albums in that decade alone. Their 1970s catalogue included five Top 40 albums and six US Top 40 singles (eleven in Canada). The band has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide, and has fans affectionately known as "gearheads" (derived from the band's gear-shaped logo). Many of their songs, including "Let It Ride", "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", "Takin' Care of Business", "Hey You" and "Roll on Down the Highway", still receive play on classic-rock stations. The original lineup consisted of Randy Bachman (lead guitar, lead vocals), Fred Turner (bass guitar, lead vocals), Tim Bachman (guitar, vocals) and Robbie Bachman (drums). This lineup released two albums in 1973. The second and most commercially successful lineup featured Blair Thornton (lead guitar), in place of Tim Bachman. This lineup released four albums between 1974 and 1977, including two that reached the Top 5 in the U.S. pop charts, as well as the band's only U.S. No. 1 single ("You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet").
BTO's Greatest is a U.S. CD-only compilation album by Bachman–Turner Overdrive. It was released in 1986 by Mercury Records. It was released in Europe also on vinyl.
This Curb collection like many the label offers is a thoroughly dodgy selection assembled in the postmortem of ragged, late-era, live versions of some of the band's biggest hits. While "Takin Care of Business" sounds like the group were bored out of their minds running through it yet one more time, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"sounds like the band-on-quaaludes version." This set should be avoided by anyone who has ever held BTO dear. A Retitled CD Reissue Of 1986 release "Live Live Live".
V.A. - A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute (2018)
A heartfelt and masterful musical salute to the longtime bassist of prog rock legends Yes, Chris Squire! Produced by Squire’s friend and frequent collaborator Billy Sherwood with amazing contributions from Todd Rundgren, Steve Porcaro (Toto), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Sonja Kistina (Curved Air), Patrick Moraz (Yes / The Moody Blues), Steve Stevens, Dweezil Zappa, and more! Includes two bonus tracks: one from the prog supergroup The Prog Collective, and one from the massively popular Pink Floyd tribute album Back Against The Wall. Chris Squire was best known as the bassist and a founder member of the progressive rock band Yes. He was the longest-serving original member, having remained in the band until his death and appearing on every studio album released from 1969 to 2014.
TIM ROSE - The London Sessions (2004)
It is one of life's tragic ironies that Tim Rose should pass away (in September, 2002), little more than a year after he launched what was surely one of the most eagerly anticipated comebacks of the new millennium. Having quietly dominated the Anglo-American singer/songwriter scene of the late 1960s (before a plethora of better-known vapidities arrived to utterly disgrace that particular genre); having gifted rock with "Morning Dew," still one of its all-time anthems, Rose had spent much of the past two decades-plus in near-obscurity, gigging sporadically, recording rarely, and never raising his head above the commercial parapet. Every so often he'd be spotted playing at a London pub (he'd been living in that city since 1978) and the occasional superstar sponsor would discuss returning him to prominence. But it was early 2002 before he finally released a new album, American Son, and less than 12 months more before his final recordings were posthumously released as Snowed In. Then came the very sensibly titled London Sessions: 1979-1998, to let us in on how he warmed up for both. A collection of songs and demos recorded with producer Pierre Tubbs, the album is a somewhat scattershot, but never less than a heartwarming trawl through 20 years of unreleased music. Only three new Rose compositions are included, although "It's All Gone Wrong," "Borocay," and "The Answer" all prove that Rose never lost his taste for great songs, even if he was no longer interested in the fame that accompanied them. Other cuts find him looking back at his past -- a new version of "Hey Joe" improves and improvises around a song he first recorded back in 1967, on his eponymous debut album; a cover of the Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke" allows him to follow up, finally, the version of "I've Just Got to Get a Message to You" he cut in the early 1970s. Of course, the brevity of the album is disorienting. With just 12 tracks, London Sessions can only hint at all Rose recorded during those 20 years. But still it is a remarkable collection, and a welcome one, as well.
Unreleased material by the man behind 'Hey Joe', most of the songs here showcase Rose the ballad singer and demonstrate a more intimate and retrospective aspect to him, closing with two little-heard Rose originals. The 8-page booklet comes with previously unpublished pictures and booklet notes by author Mark Brend.
REESE WYNANS AND FRIENDS - Sweet Release (2019)
After 50 years of playing music, legendary keyboard/organ player Reese Wynans steps into the spotlight with his first solo album "Reese Wynans and Friends: Sweet Release". Reese Wynans has played with everybody since the late 60's, from Duane Allman to Boz Scaggs to Jerry Jeff Walker and Carole King, before his famous stint in Stevie Ray Vaughan's band Double Trouble. Since 2015 he has been an integral part of Joe Bonamassa's band, playing to worldwide audiences. On "Sweet Release", Reese is joined by his Double Trouble bandmates Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton, guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Doyle Bramhall II, vocalists Sam Moore and Bonnie Bramlett, and many others, to pay tribute to songs from his recording career with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other favorites, like bluesmen Otis Rush and Tampa Red.
Sweet Release is a glorious collision of stellar musicianship, classic material given fresh mojo, and a glittering roll-call of star guests that confirms the deep respect Wynans commands on the scene.
TUCKY BUZZARD - The Complete Tucky Buzzard (2016)
Tucky Buzzard were a British hard rock band formed in 1969 by three former members of The End. The original lineup was Jimmy Henderson (vocals), Terry Taylor (guitar), David Brown (bass), Paul Francis (drums), and Nick Graham (keyboards). Halfway through recording their debut album, Francis departed from the band and was replaced by Chris Johnson, who recorded the remaining drum parts and was credited on the album sleeve. Tucky Buzzard produced a total of five albums between 1969 and 1973. The band's producer was Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. Terry Taylor has worked on a number of musical compositions with Bill Wyman and has played with him in a number of his bands, Willy and The Poor Boys, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, since he left The Rolling Stones. In 2006 Tucky Buzzard was featured in an article called Top 6 Classic Rock Bands You Never Knew You Didn't Know written by Dave White.
SLADE - Cum On Let's Party! (2002)
First off, don't be fooled by the name. The cover photo might look like a classic lineup show in front of a suitably packed mid-'70s house, and the title has certainly seen daylight before, as a bootleg of Slade's 1975 London show. But this is a wholly different beast. Basically, it's the bulk of the old Keep on Rockin! CD, rounded out with a triptych of oldies, a version of "Run Run Rudolph" that had only ever been sighted on a scarce sampler CD, and finally two new songs ("Take Me Home" and "Some Exercise") that may or may not be worth the price of admission, depending upon just how fanatically you collect latter-day Slade. In other words, it's a mishmash, vaguely entertaining in a "how the mighty have fallen" kind of way but, with the most distinctive 50 percent of the original band (songwriters Noddy Holder and Jim Lea) absent, it really isn't much to write home about.
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THE PRETTY THINGS - Balboa Island (2007) & The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, of Course) (2015)
Balboa Island, released in 2007, is the eleventh studio album by the English rock band The Pretty Things. A problem with bands that have been on the scene for over 40 years (count 'em) is that they can sometimes still write songs with titles like "The Beat Goes On" and "Buried Alive," as if those tropes hadn't lost their edge several decades ago. On the other hand, when a band has played together for four decades its members have often learned one of rock & roll's great lessons: how to create maximum groove with minimal ingredients. So when the Pretty Things lay down a song as thunderous as "Livin' in My Skin," they do so with the ponderous grace and inexorable momentum of an elephant walking to water. They've also been around long enough to have heard some of their source material at the source, which means that they can deliver an ancient Delta blues like "Feel Like Going Home" with a certain arch authority. (And if you want more cowbell, these guys can deliver that with authority as well heck out the raunchy period piece "Mimi.") On the downside, they sometimes abuse their elder-statesmen status to impose eight minutes of two-chord vamp on their hapless listeners ("[Blues For] Robert Johnson"), and the title track, which closes the album, does so with much more of a whimper than a bang.
The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, of Course...) is the twelfth studio album by the English rock band The Pretty Things. It was released in 2015 via Repertoire Records. It is the first album by long-time frontmen Phil May and Dick Taylor with their touring bassist George Woosey and drummer Jack Greenwood, and also their first without longtime keyboardist Jon Povey and drummer Skip Alan since 1965's Get the Picture?. The title is taken from the opening line of Bob Dylan's song "Tombstone Blues".
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