TINA TURNER - The Collected Recordings: Sixties To Nineties (1994)
The Collected Recordings – Sixties to Nineties is a 16 bit digitally remastered three disc compilation album by American pop/rock singer Tina Turner. The 48 track compilation was released in the United States on 15 November 1994 by Capitol Records. The set collects recordings from Turner's - at the time - 30-year-long career, starting with her 1960 debut single with Ike & Tina Turner, "A Fool In Love" and concluding with 1993's "I Don't Wanna Fight" from the soundtrack to the biographical movie What's Love Got to Do with It.
Disc one focuses on Turner's career with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue featuring a selection of their hit singles and best-known cover versions such as "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", "I Idolize You", "River Deep - Mountain High", "Bold Soul Sister", "Nutbush City Limits", Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long", Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher", The Beatles' "Come Together", Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" and The Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Women".
Disc two opens with Turner's first solo hit single "Acid Queen" from the film version of The Who's rock opera Tommy followed by one of the last recordings she made with her former husband, her cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" taken from the Acid Queen album in 1975. The disc continues with two of the songs Turner recorded with the B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation) in the early 1980s that became the starting point of her comeback, "Ball of Confusion" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" - both tracks however remixes dating from 1991, live tracks like Prince's "Let's Pretend We're Married", Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and ZZ Top's "Legs", her subsequent hit duets with Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart, single B-sides such as "When I Was Young" and "Don't Turn Around" coupled with a few rarities like "Johnny and Mary" from the 1982 soundtrack Summer Lovers and the 1983 demo recording "Games".
Disc three comprises fifteen of Turner's greatest hits following her comeback with the 1984 Private Dancer album, among them "Let's Stay Together", "What's Love Got To Do With It", "Typical Male", "What You Get Is What You See" "The Best" and "Steamy Windows".
PAUL RODGERS AND COMPANY - The Hendrix Set (1993)
Paul Rodgers and Company's The Hendrix Set is a five-song EP of Jimi Hendrix Experience covers recorded live at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on July 4, 1993. Joining the Free and Bad Company vocalist are Journey guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Todd Jensen, and drummer Deen Castronovo. Schon played with Jensen and Castronovo in Hardline and with Castronovo in Bad English. The Hendrix Set is fairly enjoyable, but it's surprising that this vanity project no matter how sincere was released. In fact, it never even charted. Then again, Rodgers was honoring his influences at the time, hence the 1993 Muddy Waters tribute Muddy Water Blues. The five songs here are "Purple Haze," "Stone Free," "Little Wing," "Manic Depression," and "Foxy Lady." Rodgers is strict with some vocal interpretations and much looser on others. Schon re-creates Hendrix's guitar tone and riffs faithfully, but he does show off and shred regularly, too. The unsung key to re-creating Hendrix's sound is Castronovo's sharp, tinny drum sound, which closely copies that of Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell. The tempo of "Purple Haze" is a little too slow at times. "Stone Free" is the best track by far. Rodgers' singing is excellent and Schon, Jensen, and Castronovo are solid. The best part occurs when the band turns the song into an uncredited medley by shifting briefly and smoothly into Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" while Rodgers sings part of Cream's "I Feel Free." This practice is repeated on "Little Wing" when Rodgers includes a few lines from Hendrix's "Angel" at the end. Rodgers fans will likely appreciate The Hendrix Set.
PAICE, ASHTON, LORD - Malice In Wonderland (1977) [2019 Reissue]
On May 17th earMUSIC released a re-issue of Malice In Wonderland by Paice Ashton Lord originally released in 1977. Paice Ashton Lord was a short-lived but spectacular moment in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. It was August 1976 when Paice Ashton Lord emerged amidst much fanfare in the music press. It was big news that drummer Ian Paice and organist Jon Lord were forming a new band together after the messy demise of Deep Purple. Having worked together before, Tony Ashton was on top of Jon Lord’s musicians wish list and became the singer, pianist and front man of the band. They put out an advert in the music papers, did castings and in the end Bernie Marsden (Guitar) and Paul Martinez (Bass) completed the band together with additional backing singers and a brass section. One album release, a messed-up TV appearance, a tour and a never finished second album later the story of PAL ended in 1978. Bernie, Jon and then Ian joined Whitesnake, while Paice Ashton Lord faded into history. A history not only worth remembering but being celebrated again with this release. Malice In Wonderland is the only album of the band. Influenced by Jon Lord and Tony Ashton’s previous collaborations it merged rock with big band Swing, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and Funk. The one thing they didn’t want to end up being was laid-back. And they didn’t. Malice in Wonderland is driving and swinging feel good rock at its finest.
ROUGH DIAMOND - Rough Diamond (1977)
After being dismissed from Uriah Heep in June 1976, vocalist David Byron quickly rebounded by co-founding Rough Diamond with drummer Geoff Britton (Wings). Guitarist Clem Clempson and keyboardist Damon Butcher were brought aboard after they toured with The Steve Marriott All-Stars, while bassist Willie Bath earned the final roster spot after a number of auditions. Recorded from December 1976 though January 1977, the album was released in Spring 1977 with a push from Island Records that included radio ads in major markets and club dates which coincided with supporting Peter Frampton on his United States tour. The nine songs are highlighted by Byron's tale surrounding his break with Uriah Heep ("Rock 'N' Roll) and a cool trifecta that snugly flows into nearly 14 minutes that cover a gamut of emotions; love lost and regained ("Hobo"), with an expressive musical interlude penned by Butcher ("The Link") that leads to the powerful finale, "End Of The Line": Talk is cheap, and words can be unkind / But a twisted tongue's your only friend at the end of the line. Byron seemingly opens a book on his life ("Lookin' For You", "Lock & Key", "Seasong", "By The Horn", "Scared") on the remaining cuts, which tears away at the rock star lifestyle made (in)famous from wild, racing demons on the road. The album peaked at No. 103 on the Billboard 200 in 1977.
MAVIS STAPLES - If All I Was Was Black (2017) & We Get By (2019)
The year 2017 has been full of political unrest and growing racial division in the United States, but for good or ill, Mavis Staples has seen days like these before. As a teenager, she was a member of the Staple Singers, who in their days as a gospel group were close friends and allies with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the strle for civil rights was at its peak. They also experienced more than their share of violence and hostility as an African-American family band touring in the Deep South in the late '50s and early '60s. Mavis Staples was too strong to let hatred and narrow-mindedness break her when she was a twenty-something, and at the age of 78, she still isn't about to back down. Released in 2017, If All I Was Was Black finds Staples once again collaborating with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, who produced the sessions and wrote the bulk of the songs, and while the lyrics tend not to focus on the specifics of the chaos that's marked the time it was made, it's definitely an album intended to speak to troubled times. As a woman of deep spiritual beliefs, Staples is the ideal vehicle for these songs, which often deal with hatred, inequality, and indifference while making clear that love and understanding have the capacity to heal America's wounded spirit. Staples' vocal style here is informed by equal parts vintage gospel and classic soul, and together they fill these messages with strength, compassion, and a much-needed sense of hope. The lyrics sometimes reflect Tweedy's usual tropes as a writer, but Staples gives them a musical and emotional force that sets them apart. Her voice is in splendid shape for a septuagenarian, still supple and able to navigate the twists of the melodies while sailing confidently over the arrangements that fuse indie rock with the feel of '70s soul. And if this set of songs is a bit short on specific answers to our problems, well, "We Shall Overcome" never explained how that would happen either. What's most special about If All I Was Was Black is the way Staples and her collaborators confront the challenges of a distraught world while filling the listener with the belief that all is not lost, that we can get past bad times and build a better future if we try. Quite simply, this is an album America needs.
Mavis Staples returns with a brand new studio album produced and written by Ben Harper. Backed by Mavis’ critically acclaimed live band, We Get By features 10 songs of longing, strength, and spirituality, presented with simplicity, grit and sublime beauty. Highlights include the buoyant, “Anytime”, the cathartic, “Change”, and the title track, an uplifting duet with Ben Harper.
One of the most resonant songs Mavis Staples has been handed since her 2000s resurgence is "Love and Trust." Staples values the Ben Harper composition enough to have put it at the top of the set list for Live in London, and emphasized it even more by sharing the performance on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019, ahead of the parent release. With Live in London only three months old, Staples returns with another studio LP, this one written and produced by Harper. The musician duets with Staples on the reassuring title song which sounds built to be played as the back end of a medley leading with "The Weight" his role doubtlessly inspired by Pops Staples. For the remainder, Harper leaves Staples and her familiar core band to it, with Jeff Turmes' fluid, lightly bobbing bass lines emphasized a little more than they were on the 2010-2017 sessions. Harper's custom lyrics, all new, are consistent with the themes that have coursed throughout the Staples discography steadfast faith, consolation and encouragement, perseverance and progressive action. The churning "Brothers and Sisters" and gently rocking "One More Change" are particularly powerful. Harper doesn't hold back on the grim stuff, either. "Heavy on My Mind" begins with Staples in somber form, joined only by wisps from Rick Holmstrom's guitar: "We did everything we could to slow this world down/Now my love is in the ground." Staples then alludes to inhumane forms of confinement, all relevant in 2019, in similarly deep despair. Whether the songs are designed to motivate, mourn, or comfort, they're all sustenance. The everlasting potency of Staples' voice is a marvel.
THEM - Now-And 'Them' (1968) & Time Out! Time In For Them (1969)
The average '60s rock fan should be aware of this vital fact about Now & Them right away: This is not the version of the band that is most familiar, with Van Morrison on lead vocals. In fact, Morrison does not appear at all on this album, the first of the obscure LPs recorded by a reorganized Them after Morrison's departure for a solo career. For that simple reason, it cannot be compared to Them's previous recordings, either in quality or in style. Getting beyond that, it's not a bad record, though not a particularly good one, and pretty lacking in consistent direction. Perhaps because this was recorded in Hollywood (where Them was based at the time), it has a surprisingly American sound in many places. Yet their new sound, whatever it was, didn't coalesce, and the record seemed almost the work of several bands rather than one. There was fairly hard-nosed British R&B in the cover of John Mayall's "I'm Your Witch Doctor," American-styled blue-eyed soul on the cover of Timi Yuro's "What's the Matter Baby," bubblegummy psych-pop on "Truth Machine," echoes of the Monkees and the Association on "You're Just What I Was Looking for Today," a muted "Gloria" rewrite on "Dirty Old Man (At the Age of Sixteen)" (whose Strawberry Alarm Clock-like harmonies dilute the original arrangement, cut by the group slightly earlier on a non-LP single), disposable jazz-blues on "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out," Standells-styled garage rock on "Walking in the Queen's Garden," and an inferior cover of "I Happen to Love You" (done better by both the Myddle Class and the Electric Prunes). The big problem, however, was that the group simply did not have a lead singer miles within Van Morrison, nor did they write original material miles within what Morrison penned for the earlier Them records. For all that, it does contain one nice, lengthy, haunting raga rock piece, "Square Room," undoubtedly the most original work on the record, and the album's highlight. The 2003 CD reissue adds mono single mixes of "Walking in the Queen's Garden" and "I Happen to Love You" as bonus tracks.
Them's second post-Van Morrison album, even more than their first such effort (Now & Them), grew further away from their mid-'60s style, to the point where there were few audible links to how Them sounded in the British Invasion era. And like Now & Them, it was an intermittently worthwhile but somewhat characterless record, reflecting late-'60s trends in album-oriented rock without adding much to them or innovating paths of their own. It was even more Los Angeles-psychedelia-influenced than their prior LP, taking the lead of Now & Them's strongest cut ("Square Room") to explore sitar-laden raga-rock on several songs. "Time Out for Time In" adds a nice waltz overlay to the raga-rock sound, but "Black Widow Spider" and "Just on Conception" frankly live up to the stereotypes of "oh wow!" hippie-trippy word soups from the era. So does "The Moth," but at least there some Roger McGuinn-like vocals and dreamy orchestration add spice. Other songs are competently done but nonstandout heavy soul rock, with "She Put a Hex on You" sounding right off the cutting room floor of a 1968 psychedelic dance rock club movie scene; you can just see the bandana-swathed babe from central casting gyrating as the strobe lights flash. "Waltz of the Flies," the best song, is indeed a beguiling psychedelic waltz, and Jim Armstrong's guitar work throughout is far more instrumentally accomplished than what you'll hear on many similar albums. Yet the record's not in the same league as either the Van Morrison-era Them or the better psychedelic/raga-rock endeavors of the late '60s. The 2003 Rev-Ola CD reissue adds eight bonus cuts (all taken from 45s) of value to anyone interested in the post-Van Morrison Them, including the non-LP single "Corinna"/"Dark Are the Shadows," the rare original single version of the punky "Dirty Old Man" (which is superior to the one on Now and Them), and the rare original 45 version of "Square Room" (which isn't as good as, and is much shorter than, the one on Now and Them).
URIAH HEEP - Totally Driven (2015)
Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969. It has had the same lineup since 2013: lead and rhythm guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, drummer Russell Gilbrook and bassist Davey Rimmer. Of the current lineup, Box is the only remaining original member. Throughout many lineup changes, the band has included many notable musicians, such as vocalists David Byron, John Lawton, John Sloman, Peter Goalby and Steff Fontaine, bassists Gary Thain, Trevor Bolder, John Wetton, Bob Daisley and John Jowitt, drummers Nigel Olsson, Lee Kerslake and Chris Slade, and keyboardists Ken Hensley and John Sinclair. Over the course of their 50-year career, Uriah Heep have released twenty-five studio albums, two albums composed of re-recorded material, eighteen live albums and thirty-nine compilation albums. Twelve of the band's studio albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975) while of the fifteen Billboard 200 Uriah Heep albums Demons and Wizards was the most successful (#23, 1972).
Legendary band Uriah Heep was formed in 1969 and still actively tours the world today. This release re-brands a previously released obscure re-records anthology as 'Totally Driven'. The album features 27 re-records made in 2001 including the HITS Lady in Black, July Morning and Easy Livin'. Totally Driven is housed in a 6 panel digi-pack with new custom artwork. This album features the band's longest running line-up of Mick Box, Lee Kerslake, Phil Lanzon, Bernie Shaw and the late Trevor Bolder. This release is the first on the band's own Uriah Heep Records.
LITTLE FEAT - 40 Feat: The Hot Tomato Anthology (2011)
Though they had all the trappings of a Southern-fried blues band, Little Feat were hardly conventional. Led by songwriter/guitarist Lowell George, Little Feat were a wildly eclectic band, bringing together strains of blues, R&B, country, and rock & roll. The bandmembers were exceptionally gifted technically and their polished professionalism sat well with the slick sounds coming out of Southern California during the '70s. However, Little Feat were hardly slick -- they had a surreal sensibility, as evidenced by George's idiosyncratic songwriting, which helped the band earn a cult following among critics and musicians. Though the band earned some success on album-oriented radio, the group was derailed after George's death in 1979. Little Feat re-formed in the late '80s, and while they were playing as well as ever, they lacked the skewed sensibility that made them cult favorites. Nevertheless, their albums and tours were successful, especially among American blues-rock fans.
However, Little Feat weren't conceived as a straight-ahead blues-rock group. Their founding members, Lowell George (vocals, guitar, slide guitar) and Roy Estrada (bass), were veterans of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. George had a long musical career before joining the Mothers. As a child, he and his brother Hampton performed a harmonica duet on television's Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. During high school, he learned how to play flute, which led to him appearing as an oboist and baritone saxophonist on several Frank Sinatra recording sessions. He formed the folk-rock group the Factory with drummer Richie Hayward in 1965. Before disbanding, the Factory made some recordings for Uni Records, but the tapes sat unreleased until the 1990s. Following the group's demise, George joined the Mothers of Invention, where he met Estrada. Zappa convinced George to form his own band after hearing "Willin'," but the guitarist was reluctant to begin a band until he participated in a brief Standells reunion.
LITTLE FEAT - Highwire Act Live in St. Louis 2003 (2003)
Essentially, this double-disc set is the soundtrack to the DVD of the same name. Sonically, it is sublime; the subtleties of a live performance are all left in. The interplay between guitarists Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere is exceptional, as are the drop-dead-on-a-dime fills of keyboardist Bill Payne. The track selection leans a little more to the classic side of Little Feat's vast catalog, with many tracks from the 1970s in the set, including "Time Loves a Hero," "Skin It Back," "Old Folks Boogie," "Oh Atlanta," "Spanish Moon," "Dixie Chicken," "Tripe Face Boogie," "Fat Man in the Bathtub," "Willin'," and "Feats Don't Fail Me Now." The latter material is served well, too, particularly "I'd Be Lyin'," by new lead vocalist (though she has been with the band for a decade) Shaun Murphy, and Bill Payne's "Cadillac Hotel." And while it's fair to say that this is the band's best live outing since Waiting for Columbus, it in no way gets to the emotional and performance heights that classic slab did, even if the band does play "better" now. This set will not likely win the band any new fans, but if you're one of those who stuck it out after the passing of Lowell George, this collection might just be the thing you're looking for.
ELTON JOHN - 5 Classic Albums (1970-1973) 
Universal Music is proud to release a limited edition Elton John box set, Classic Album Selection (1970-73), comprising five classic Elton John albums recorded between 1970 and 1973. It contains five of Elton John s quintessential and most acclaimed albums from 1970-1973; Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, Honky Chateau and Don t Shoot Me I m Only The Piano Player. These albums (now including selected bonus tracks) provided the backbone of Elton s early career and were the source of a series of breakthrough hits which would propel him to become one of the most successful British artists of all time. Elton John was Elton s second album, released in 1970 and confirming the special relationship between Elton and Bernie Taupin. It was also the first to feature the team of producer Gus Dudgeon and arranger Paul Buckmaster and contained the songs Border Song and Your Song , the latter becoming Elton s first UK hit, reaching No. 7 in the charts. It set the US charts alight, the album eventually hitting No. 4. Tumbleweed Connection with its American Old West themes in songs such as Country Comfort and Ballad of a Well-Known Gun maintained the momentum in Elton s career and even featured Dusty Springfield on some backing vocals. It included Elton s wonderful rendition of Lesley Duncan s Love Song . Madman Across The Water followed in quick succession in 1972 and introduced guitarist Davey Johnstone from Magna Carta as another key member of Elton s band alongside bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson. A wonderfully considered work including the song Tiny Dancer , it is blessed with lush melodramatic arrangements which perfectly complement Elton John and Bernie Taupin s flourishing song writing partnership. In May of that year, Elton formally changed his name by deed poll from Reginald Kenneth Dwight to Elton Hercules John. Honky Chateau, 1972, a reference to the French recording studios in Chateau d Herouville, was Elton s sixth consecutive album produced by Gus Dudgeon. It returned Elton to the UK charts where the hits Rocket Man (a UK No. 2) and Honky Cat fully established Elton s critical and popular appeal on both sides of the Atlantic achieved as result of the combination of his flamboyant showmanship, romantic sensibilities and song writing craft that was able to embrace a multiplicity of styles . Don t Shoot Me I m Only The Piano Player, released in early 1973, came in the wake of one of Elton s signature hits, Crocodile Rock ; also included on the album is the contrasting ballad Daniel (both Top Five entries). Don t Shoot Me... was soon to be the No. 1 one album in both Britain and America (where it was the first of six consecutive No. 1 albums, in Britain it was the first of four consecutive No. I s). Although his albums continued to be released by DJM in the UK for the next few years, this was the year in which Elton John launched Rocket Records at a village railway station in the English countryside. At the same time, in 1973 there was no doubting that Elton John had become a global superstar. Elton remains committed to his music and to touring, becoming more, rather than less, busy as time passes. In 2011 Elton returned to The Coliseum, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas with the first season of his all-new show, The Million Dollar Piano. In 2012 he returned to the recording studio with producer T Bone Burnett and lyricist Bernie Taupin, to record a new album, The Diving Board. He has just completed a string of North American concerts and is now touring in Europe.
JOAN BAEZ - Gracias a la Vida (1974) & Diamonds & Rust (1975)
Gracias a la Vida, or Here's to Life: Joan Baez sings in Spanish is a 1974 studio album released by American singer-songwriter Joan Baez. It was performed mainly in the Spanish language (just one song in Catalan language). Baez stated at the time that she released the album as a "message of hope to the Chileans suffering under Augusto Pinochet", in the wake of the death of Salvador Allende. (Baez is known for her criticism of US foreign policy in Latin America, and has toured and worked on behalf of improving human rights in the region). Songs include selections by Chilean composers Victor Jara (who was tortured and killed in the aftermath of the 1973 coup d'état) and Violeta Parra, who composed the title song. A more upbeat version of "Dida" appears on Baez's Diamonds & Rust, released the following year. Countries represented in the track listing range from Mexico and Cuba to Chile and Spain. The album was moderately successful in the US but extremely so in Latin America. The album has a dedication: "This record is dedicated to my father who gave me my Latin name and whatever optimism about life I may claim to have."
Diamonds & Rust is a 1975 album by American singer-songwriter Joan Baez. Baez on this album covered songs written or played by Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, The Allman Brothers, and Jackson Browne. Diamonds & Rust, however, also contains a number of her own compositions, including the title track, a distinctive song written about Bob Dylan, which has been covered by various other artists. On her cover of Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate", one verse features Baez attempting an impersonation of the song's composer. An alternate recording of "Dida" had appeared on the previous year's Gracias a la Vida. The Diamonds & Rust recording of the song was more uptempo and featured duet vocals by Joni Mitchell.
THE ROLLING STONES - Bridges To Bremen (2019)
The never-released, full-length show captures the rock band performing in the German city on September 2nd, 1998 and includes a mix of the Stones’ greatest hits as well as tracks from their then-new LP Bridges to Babylon. The trek also featured the Rolling Stones letting fans vote for songs on the band’s setlists through the band’s website for the first time; at the Bremen gig, fans chose “Memory Motel.” The album’s recordings have been restored from the original masters, and the audio remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings. The show, to a relatively intimate (for the Stones) audience of 40,000 was also beamed to a multi-million audience via a TV special seen across Europe and beyond. It featured an epic 155-minute set featuring countless classics from their catalogue as well as the then-new tracks from the current album ‘Flip The Switch,’ ‘Anybody Seen My Baby,’ ‘Saint Of Me’ and ‘Out Of Control.’ The release of Bridges To Bremen follows the 19 April appearance of the new best-of compilation Honk, which gathers 36 essential tracks from 1971’s Sticky Fingers to 2016’s Blue & Lonesome. The deluxe edition adds ten live tracks recorded around the world on the band’s recent tours.
THE MOON - Without Earth (1968) & The Moon (1969) 
Moon was a short-lived, late-'60s psych-pop supergroup, notable for featuring ex-Beach Boy David Marks on lead guitar. Twenty-year-old Marks had already enjoyed quite a career. At 14, circa 1962, he joined the Beach Boys as a rhythm guitarist (the Wilsons were his neighbors in Hawthorne, CA) when Al Jardine left their lineup to attend dental school. Marks appeared on the first four Beach Boys albums and several hit singles, including "Surfin' U.S.A." and "Surfer Girl." When Jardine returned, Marks, just 16, became the leader of Dave & the Marksmen, who had localized hits with "Cruisin'," "I Wanna Cry," and "I Could Make You Mine." Marks then formed the Band Without a Name, who recorded two singles for Tower and Sidewalk and were the house band at two Sunset Strip clubs, circa 1965-1966. After leaving this group, Marks formed Moon with organ/pianist/vocalist Matthew Moore, who penned most of the band's songs. Moore's previous group, Matthew Moore Plus Four, had recorded for GNP Crescendo, and he had also recorded solo material for White Whale and Capitol. The other Moon members were bassist David P. Jackson (ex-Hearts & Flowers, who had two LPs on Capitol in the late '60s) and drummer Larry Brown (ex-Davie Allan & the Arrows and a veteran of countless film soundtracks and those Sidewalk/Tower releases that were produced by Mike Curb). The members of Moon literally moved into Continental Recorders in Hollywood, where they recorded two albums 1968's Moon Without Earth and 1969's Moon for Imperial. Today, Marks admits these were produced under the influence of LSD, and sound "like a cross between the Bee Gees, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix." The group's membership also included bassist Andy Bennett, with session drummer Jim Keltner occasionally filling in.
DELANEY BRAMLETT - Some Things Coming (1972) & Mobius Strip (1973) 
Although his popularity was often eclipsed by the artists he mentored, Delaney Bramlett was an accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter whose style influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale, and Duane Allman. A native of Pontotoc, MS, he served time in the U.S. Navy before moving to Los Angeles in 1959. He soon became a member of the Shindogs, the resident band on the TV show Shindig. Such a job allowed Bramlett to rub shoulders with other notable musicians, and in 1967 he met Bonnie Lynn O'Farrell, a member of Ike & Tina Turner's backup group the Ikettes. The two were married within five days; they also formed a duo named Delaney & Bonnie. Delaney & Bonnie cut an album for Stax Records in Memphis, backed by Booker T. & the MG's, but the record was not released at first. They then expanded the group (welcoming such musicians as Leon Russell into the fold) and adopted the modified name Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. This new lineup recorded Accept No Substitute in 1969, and although its sales were lukewarm, the album still endeared Delaney Bramlett's music to a number of rock icons. Eric Clapton took particular interest and invited Delaney & Bonnie & Friends to tour alongside Blind Faith in mid-1969; he then left his band and joined Bramlett's loose collective, along with such notables as George Harrison and Dave Mason. This resulted in the release of On Tour with Eric Clapton, a live album recorded during a performance at London's Fairfield Halls. Afterwards, members of the Friends proceeded to work on solo albums by Clapton and Harrison, as well as Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Delaney & Bonnie made several more albums before divorcing, although none of them fared as well as On Tour. Delaney Bramlett then released his debut solo effort, Something's Coming, in 1972, followed by Mobius Strip (1973), Giving Birth to a Song (1975), and Delaney Bramlett and Friends Class Reunion (1977). His studio work tapered off after the late '70s, although he returned to his craft two decades later with a handful of releases, the last of which A New Kind of Blues was issued in 2008. That year proved to be a fateful one, however, as Bramlett suffered from complications of gall bladder surgery and died on December 27th.
LED ZEPPELIN - Remasters (1990)
Led Zeppelin Remasters is a three-LP (or two-cassette or two-CD) compilation album of digitally remastered material by English rock band Led Zeppelin. Containing songs from eight of the band's nine studio albums, it was initially released in the UK and Japan by Atlantic Records on 15 October 1990. The album is essentially a scaled-down version of the four-CD Led Zeppelin Boxed Set.
This compilation set came about as a result of the initially rushed conversion of Led Zeppelin's album to the compact disc format in the late 1980s. Led Zeppelin were among the first rock bands to be re-issued on CD, but such was the haste to capitalise on the new format that the new CDs were derived not from re-equalised master tapes, but from sound-generation tapes that had been equalised for the original vinyl platters. For this 1990 reissue, Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer Jimmy Page himself supervised the mastering process, which was based on Led Zeppelin's archive of master tapes.
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR - The First 4... (1969/71)
Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed, and are still musically active with a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans. The band formed at the University of Manchester, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969. When they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (released in early 1970 and their only album to chart in the UK), and after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One (December 1970), stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, Banton, Evans and saxophonist David Jackson. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971. After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972. They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and frequently touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band finally united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since then, the band has continued as a trio of Hammill, Banton, and Evans, who record and tour regularly in between Hammill's concurrent solo career. The group's albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers (a trait they shared with King Crimson, whose guitarist Robert Fripp guested on two of their albums), and guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton's classically influenced organ, and, until his departure, Jackson's multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, and members have contributed to his solo albums, the band arranges all its material collectively. Hammill's lyrics covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature. His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career, described as "a male Nico". Though the group have generally been commercially unsuccessful, they have inspired several musicians across various genres.
The Aerosol Grey Machine is the debut studio album by English progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. It was released in 1969 by record label Mercury. The album was originally intended as a solo album by the band's lead singer and main songwriter, Peter Hammill. When the band signed with Charisma Records, a deal was worked out whereby The Aerosol Grey Machine would be released under the Van der Graaf Generator name, in return for Mercury Records releasing Hammill from his earlier contract with it.
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other is the second album by the British progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, released in February 1970 on Charisma Records. It was the group's first album to be released in the UK and the only one to chart in the top 50 in that country. The songs on the album were mostly composed by group leader Peter Hammill but arranged and rehearsed by the whole band. The lyrics covered a variety of themes including relationships with friends, witchcraft and apocalyptic catastrophes, while the music ranged from ballads such as "Refugees" to unusual and aggressive playing on "White Hammer" and "After the Flood". As well as a brief commercial success, the album was well received by critics and continues to be praised.
H to He, Who Am the Only One is the third album by the British progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. It was released in 1970 on Charisma Records. The band recorded the album in several stages throughout mid 1970 in Trident Studios with producer John Anthony. The songs mentioned a killer shark in "Killer", lost love in "Lost" and science fiction material in "Pioneers Over c". Bassist Nic Potter left the group in August partway through recording, with organist Hugh Banton covering on bass guitar in the studio and playing bass pedals in concert. King Crimson's Robert Fripp made a guest appearance on guitar, and the cover was the first of several by the band to feature the artwork of Paul Whitehead. The album did not chart in the UK, and contemporary reviews were mixed, but it has since been regarded as a good example of progressive rock albums by critics. "Killer" has been singled out for praise as a fan favourite.
Pawn Hearts is the fourth album by English progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, released in October 1971 on Charisma Records. The original album features just three tracks, including the side-long suite "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers". The album was not commercially successful in the UK, but reached number one in Italy. It has since seen retrospective critical praise and was reissued on CD in 2005 with extra material. The songs for the album were worked out while on tour in 1971, with further development and arranging at manager Tony Stratton-Smith's house in Crowborough, Sussex over a two-month period. The original plan had been to release more material, making up a double album, but Charisma vetoed the idea. A non-album single, "Theme One" was included on some releases in the US and Canada. The album's strong commercial showing in Italy resulted in a number of lucrative promotional tours there, but the resulting pressure led to the band's split in August 1972.
V.A. - Ruf Records: 25 Years Anniversary (2019)
Pop the champagne: Ruf Records is 25. A lot has changed in rock ‘n’ roll since 1994. We’ve seen a thousand bands rise and fall. We’ve watched a hundred rock scenes blow up and burn out. All the while, Ruf has steadily evolved, from its roots as one man’s vision, to the most respected blues/rock label around, with a roll-call of talent to top any independent on the planet. And if that sounds like a bold statement, you’re holding the proof in your hands… Of course, Thomas Ruf didn’t expect any of those accolades back in 1994. Back then, Ruf’s charismatic founder and leader created the label simply to give the legendary Chicago bandleader Luther Allison a platform to release some of the best albums of his career. Tragically, Luther himself was lost to cancer in 1997, but Ruf Records never missed a beat, continuing to develop some of the brightest talent in America, Britain, Europe and beyond, while always retaining its fearsomely independent spirit. Walter Trout, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Mike Zito, Jeff Healey, Savoy Brown, Dana Fuchs, Bernard Allison, Samantha Fish and many more. To anyone with even a passing interest in quality blues, the Ruf roster since 1994 reads like a hall of fame, taking in legends, supergroups and bright young talents. As such, when it came to compiling this special 25th anniversary release, the songs selected by Thomas across these CD and DVD Sampler are all killer, no filler. - rufrecords
DEEP PURPLE - Introducing: Deep Purple (2009)
2009 compilation from the classic British Rockers. Deep Purple is one of the most influential and impressive bands in Hard Rock history. For more than 40 years, the band has been producing Hard Rock hymns and Rock classics. Classically inspired, progressive music has made the band a living legend. This live recording at the Royal Albert Hall features old classics and new compositions showing how Deep Purple is still reinventing themselves. A collection for all the fans who want to listen to Deep Purple still featuring Jon Lord behind the Hammond Organ going through classics and rarities.
All songs recorded live in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall 25/09/1999 & 26/09/1999.
EAGLES - Their Greatest Hits (1976) & Greatest Hits Volume 2 (1982)
Their Greatest Hits is the first compilation album by the Eagles, released in 1976. The album contains a selection of songs from the Eagles' first four albums released in the period from the Eagles' formation in 1971 up to 1975. It was the best-selling album of the 20th century in the United States, and it stayed the best-selling album in the U.S. for some years until it was surpassed by Michael Jackson's Thriller after the artist's death in 2009. In August 2018, it regained the title of the U.S.'s biggest-selling album, with a 38× Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2017, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant.
Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2 is the second compilation album by the Eagles. It features many of their biggest hits not on Their Greatest Hits, including "Hotel California," their signature song. The album was released in 1982, after the band's breakup. That same year, Don Henley and Glenn Frey both released their debut solo albums. The compilation features eight combined tracks from Hotel California and The Long Run. Also included is "After the Thrill Is Gone," an album track from One of These Nights. (That song, with its title that summed up the state of the band at the time, was strategically placed as the last track on Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2.) "Seven Bridges Road," the single from 1980's Eagles Live, rounds out the album, which has sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. since its release.
BOB DYLAN - The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings (2019)
The 14-disc box set captures the power of Dylan fronting his loudest and hottest band, if little of the "revue" element that made the tour unique. Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975-76 is a paradox in the well-stuffed annals of his concert career: It is at once his best-documented and most elusive trek. The legendary aura that surrounds the Revue is being burnished anew by two retrospectives focusing on the more celebrated ’75 leg of the tour: Columbia Legacy’s bulging 14-disc boxed set of live performances and rehearsals, out this week, and Martin Scorsese’s feature documentary, airing on Netflix beginning June 11. (The film will be considered by Variety at a later date.) The voluminous back story and history of Rolling Thunder must necessarily be recounted here, since what the tour was, and was not, plays into one’s ultimate appreciation of, or disappointment with, the present archive-scouring box.
SAVOY BROWN - City Nights (2019)
Over 50 years of rocking the blues - Savoy Brown, with leader Kim Simmonds at the helm, return with ‘City Night’ their 40th album released on Friday 7th June 2019 via Quarto Valley Records. On the back of a number one Billboard blues hit in 2017, expectations are high for this new band offering. The album features Kim Simmonds on vocals and searing lead guitar and he is complemented with the most consistent line-up in the band’s history, going strong for more than 10 years now with Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. ‘City Night’ is comprised of 12 high energy blues rock songs to surely please the worldwide fan base. “Walking On Hot Stones”, “Payback Time” and “Don’t Hang Me Out To Dry” will catch the attention of radio DJ’s looking for the fresh new sound Savoy Brown brings to roots music. Savoy Brown was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds in 1965 in London, England. Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through the band’s newest effort, their fortieth album. Energetic blues has been the calling card of the band from the beginning. “Blues rock” became the catch-all phrase in the late 1960s to describe the band’s music along with that of contemporaries such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. In fact, in the 2013 drama film Jimi Hendrix: All Is By My Side, a Savoy Brown song co-written by Simmonds was included in the soundtrack.
SANTANA - Africa Speaks (2019)
Africa Speaks is the twenty-fifth studio album (thirty ninth album overall) by the band Santana, released on Concord Records on June 7, 2019. The album was produced during a 10-day recording session by Rick Rubin at Rubin's Shangri La Studios in Malibu, during which they recorded 49 songs. Rubin and Carlos Santana used an eight-piece band (which included Santana’s wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, on drums). Africa Speaks is inspired by music from the continent of Africa, and has been called a "unique fusion of rock, Latin and jazz". Many of the album's tracks were recorded in one take. The album features vocals from Spanish singer Buika. In January 2019, Carlos Santana spoke with Rolling Stone about his new music, explaining how he said to Rubin, "'I know you've worked with everybody like Johnny Cash and the Chili Peppers and Metallica,' And he goes, 'Well, what are you interested in doing?' I said, 'Nothing but African music.' So can you believe it? We record 49 songs in 10 days. He was very gracious, because it was like a hurricane to record six, seven songs in a day. Rick said, 'With Clive Davis, you had a bunch of guest stars and singers. Who do you want in here?' I said, 'I only want two women: Laura Mvula and Buika.' And he said, 'OK.' So we called them and they said yes."
Santana is set to headline in August 2019 at both Woodstock 50 and Bethel Woods' half-centennial celebration in Bethel, NY. Prior and before, the band is touring in support of the new album, from April to November 2019.
DR. JOHN - The ATCO Albums Collection (2017)
Grammy-winning American singer Dr John has died at the age of 77 after suffering a heart attack.
This fine set on Atco combines his first seven solo albums, recorded for Atco between 1968 and 1974. All are presented in replica card sleeves, some in gatefold, so it’s quite a package. By then, Dr John had already built up quite a following with live and session work, working with New Orleans musicians both in New Orleans and Los Angeles. His debut (billed as Dr John The Night Tripper), Gris Gris, was released in 1968 and although failed to chart it did receive rave reviews at the time. The sound is at times quite off the wall, the r’n’b having quite a regional sound, the Voodoo and Psychedelia in equal measure. Occasionally quite experimental, there’s also a nod to the more earthy r’n’b played by Eric Burden and War four years later. It does take a listen or two before you get into it, but it is worth it. Some great sounds (and a decent melody or two too). 1969’s Babylon (fantastic solid gatefold sleeve) lyrically drew on the zeitgeist, the assassination of Martin Luthor King, the Vietnam War, so it’s quite heavy. There’s a little less Voodoo and more powerful soul to the r’n’b. There’s still a touch of rock’n’roll, The 8 minute Twighlight Zone is a moving moody epic, the music soul searching, moving from slow r’n’b to voodoo jangle and back again. Psychedelia indeed. Remedies (1970) is an album overlooked by controversy and drugs, there was a lot going on at the time in and outside the music, and the 17 minute Angola Anthem is a song / story related to Dr John by a friend who spent 40 years in Angola (the prison, not the country), a “Horrible place to be”. Some nice blues in the r’n’b, it’s a moody meaningful journey. 1971’s The Sun Moon And Herbs was a dark swampy affair that was cut from the intended triple album to a single LP. Opening with some decent piano (think Billy Joel on a downer). This was Dr John’s first album to make the Billboard Top 200. The album features a stripped down band (Dr John handling vocals, guitar, piano, organ, vibes), there’s the Memphis Horns who add a solid touch, and guests on the album include Graham Bond and Eric Clapton. Dr John’s Gumbo (1972) is a tribute to the music of New Orleans, so a couple of self penned numbers pepper covers of period / regional music. And fine it is too, a little more uplifting than some of his earlier work. If you don’t know Iko Iko, you will recognise the melody. Mess Around is more uptempo, another well-known number. Peaking at ’24, 1973’s In The Right Place was Dr John’s biggest selling solo album. Largely a collaboration with Allen Toussaint, the album is more accessible, with shorter songs that don’t skimp on talent or melody. Punchy and perfect. Dr John’s final Atco album was 1974’s Destively Bonneroo. Again it sold well and is another solid listen, more commercial than his earlier work.
PETER GREEN - The Anthology (2008)
Some Peter Green fans might be put off by this four-CD collection, owing to the fact that they are likely to already own a significant chunk of what's here (especially the Fleetwood Mac material). (And in fairness, there apparently isn't a lot of or any unreleased material to draw on from Green's classic period with the band). But this reviewer had to spring for this four-and-a-half hour showcase of his work, and for one major reason vitality. Green's virtuosity is a given, and his taste and his insights into blues and what can be done with it while still leaving it as blues are well known to anyone who's heard his work. But what the makers have done here is to truly assemble his finest, most energetic and inspired work across over 35 years and well over four hours' listening time, into a collection that's greater than the sum of its parts in that regard, this set rivals the Eric Clapton Crossroads retrospective, except that doing this set took a bit more courage, as Green hasn't gotten nearly the publicity for his musicianship that Clapton has for his across the last four decades. The first two discs and the first half of the third contain a track list that, distilled slightly more, could be a strong contender for a "best of Fleetwood Mac" in their pre-pop incarnation, 23 tracks that, thanks to some ambitious cross-licensing, combine the group's Blue Horizon and Reprise catalog material into a comprehensive whole, and the makers have even included one cut off of Green's post-Mac End of the Game solo album. Green's earlier work with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers is represented, if not quite so thoroughly, and his two distinct periods working with Pete Bardens, under his own name and earlier as part of Peter B's Looners, is offered, along with material done with Duster Bennett and Otis Spann. The quality of the playing (and singing) speaks for itself, but the producers have also assembled the material in not quite strict chronological order "Soul Dressing" with Peter B's Looners is right in the middle of a disc that includes work with Mayall, Duster Bennett, Otis Spann, and early Fleetwood Mac so that there's a lot of variety in the listening. The sounds range from Mississippi Delta and electric Chicago blues to prog rock-ish and psychedelic pieces, and into R&B-based material, acoustic tracks placed just right in the middle of electric sides, and all manner of variation. The fourth disc covers the highlights of Green's solo career, and while the tendency of some would be to dismiss it or, at least, regard it as more of an appendix to his classic years, it turns out to be as vital as the rest of the set whatever personal demons Green had to overcome to get to the point represented here, it will be plain to anyone that he brought as much energy and finely tuned musical insights to his post-1971 career as he did to his work with his early bands. In other words, for anyone who truly loves the blues, Green's solo work with the Splinter Group (and some other contexts), represented on Disc Four, is every bit as worthwhile as his early stuff. And that and the killer sound, and the excellent annotation more than makes up for any repetition that might be entailed in buying this set. For longtime fans it's still essential, and for anyone who's ever wondered what the big deal was about Peter Green, or the "other" Fleetwood Mac, or even British blues, it's a great place to start, and might just be a revelation.
RORY GALLAGHER - Blues (2019)
Celebrating what would have been 50 years since he begun his solo career, Blues collects together rare and unreleased recordings of Rory playing his favourite blues material from his vaults. This is the first collection to be put together by the estate since Universal reissued his solo catalogue in a massive campaign last year. Ranging from never heard before tracks to special guest sessions, alongside lost radio sessions, this album uncovers Rory’s love of the blues throughout his solo career from 1971 right through to 1994. Formats include a 16 track edition pressed on single CD / 2LP version and a deluxe 36-track three-CD set. The deluxe is comprised of 90 percent unreleased material and features performances with the likes of Muddy Waters, Albert King, Jack Bruce, Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber. It also comes with an extensive booklet comprising previously unseen pictures plus an essay by award winning writer Jas Obrecht.
This 3CD set from the vaults of the Gallagher estate’s tape archive encompasses it all and whilst it misses so much it really does capture the essence of the man split as it is into three sets – ‘Electric’ (CD1); ‘Acoustic’ (CD2) and ‘Live’ (CD3). Best for fans though is that this is essentially Rory playing his favourite material and all of it is either rare and/or unreleased.
JJ CALE - Stay Around (2019)
News of JJ Cale’s passing in 2013 pretty much came and went without much fanfare in the popular press. Which is understandable for a man who deliberately sought to live under the radar. Despite his influence and respected stature, Cale eschewed publicity and avoided the limelight. Cale’s sound has always been a low key, infectious groove and his influence on 20th Century music is easy to underestimate. But his influence was massive. It could be heard most notably in Eric Clapton, who made no secret of celebrating and paying tribute to Cale. What’s more, Clapton used his fame to graciously bring Cale to a wider audience he may not have enjoyed otherwise. Other fans include Beck and Neil Young, to name a few. The varied list of artists who have covered JJ Cale’s songs is truly impressive. Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, Bryan Ferry to Captain Beefheart. Today’s Dan Auerbach and John Mayer owe him a huge debt. Yet, there’s nothing like the genuine article. Cale created a signature sound and he made no bones about sticking to it. He always approached music on his own terms and you either went there or you didn’t. For my money, I went there. Time and time again. There’s nothing else like it. From the first note, you know who it is. JJ Cale was an original.
JJ Cale’s “Stay Around” is a posthumous collection of 15 previously unreleased tracks that is as authentic as any of the original and compilation albums he’s released over his long career.
V.A. - The Strat Pack: Live In Concert (2005)
In 1954, Leo Fender gave the electric guitar a new sound and look that fully set it apart from its acoustic counterpart with the invention of the Fender Stratocaster, a solid-body electric axe with a revolutionary three-way pickup system and a modern, streamlined design that was like nothing else on the market at the time. Early rock 'n' rollers such as Buddy Holly and Dick Dale quickly embraced the Stratocaster, and since then it has become the guitar of choice for legendary players such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, and dozens of others. The Strat Pack: Live in Concert documents a special concert held at London's Wembley Arena in the fall of 2004, in which a stellar lineup of great rock guitarists came out to say "Happy 50th Birthday" to the Stratocaster. Performers include Joe Walsh, Ron Wood, David Gilmour, Brian May, Albert Lee, Hank Marvin, and many more.
The concert was edited and mixed into full surround sound in David Gilmour's home studio, the Astoria houseboat, by David himself and Andy Jackson. It is a whopping two and a half hours long - the main aspect that has been edited out is David Jensen's onstage introduction of the artistes, along with a few tracks from some of the lesser performers on the bill. The show features a broad range of different guitarists. There are obvious omissions from the line-up - no Eric Clapton, no Jeff Beck (a last minute cancellation) - but that's a small quibble. The performances throughout are strong enough that all thoughts of what might have been are banished.
LIVIN' BLUES - The First 4...
This Dutch blues band was formed in the Hague around 1967, becoming a regular outfit from 1969. The early line-up included Bjorn Toll (vocals), John Lagrand (harmonica), Ted Oberg (guitar), Ruud Fransen (bass) and Niek Dijkhuys (drums) but although the name remained changes soon took place, bringing in a new singer, Nicko Christiansen, and new bass and drums, Peter Kleinjan and Beer Klaasse, the latter pair being swiftly replaced by Gerard Strutbaum and Cesar Zuiderwijk, while keyboard player Henk Smitskamp was added. Other changes followed through the 70s, by which time the band’s repertoire was more inclined towards rock. Musicians involved included bass players Ruud van Buuren, Jan van der Voort, Jaap van Eijk and André Reynen, drummers John Lejeune, Herman van Boeyen, Cor van Beek, Michel Driessen, Kenny Lamb and Arjen Kamminga; the latter pair played in the band simultaneously for a spell. Smitskamp sometimes played bass, singer Johnny Frederiksz came in, as did organist Paul Vin and guitarist Ron Meyes.
Although best known in the Netherlands, Livin’ Blues also gained a following elsewhere in Europe, especially in Poland. At the start of the 80s, the band included Oberg, Christiansen, Evert Willemstein (bass) and Boris Wassenbergh (drums). Spin-off bands formed by ex-members of the Livin’ Blues included Nitehawk and the J&T Band, while most members also played with other Dutch blues and rock bands. The band recorded from 1968, cutting a few singles with its first album coming in 1969. The band appears to have drifted from the limelight after the early 80s but interest in its recorded work remained high into the new millennium.
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set (1992) & 2nd Set (1995)
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set is the thirteenth album by the rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded live in December 1991 and March 1992, and released in 1992. An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set was the second live Allman Brothers Band album, and the third overall, to feature Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on bass. Haynes and Woody had joined the group when it reformed in 1989. A good live album, but not quite the worthy successor to the Fillmore shows in their various forms -- the band is in form throughout this more than one-hour distillation of shows in Boston and New York from their 1992 tour, covering old and new repertory, but there are no surprises. The song lineup wastes some opportunities, however, and there isn't any serious new ground covered, which may be par for the course for a band in its 22nd year. On the up side, the crispness of the recording helps one fully appreciate the power and articulation of the playing by everyone, but especially Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes.
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set is a live album by the American rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded in 1992 and 1994, and released in 1995. The recording of "Jessica" included on this album won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards in 1996. The Allman Brothers Band's fifth live release in 25 years, cut during 1994 in Raleigh, NC, and at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey, is a high-water mark in their Epic Records catalog. If anything, they're even better here than they were on the earlier Evening with the Allman Brothers Band, the old material getting fresh new approaches -- the band was on for both nights, and presented sets, including an acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Jessica" (which won a Grammy Award), that soared and flowed, especially Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes' guitars. What's more, the clarity of the recording and the volume at which it was recorded make this a most rewarding 70 minutes of live music on a purely technical level you can practically hear the action on the guitars during the acoustic set. It won't replace Live at Fillmore East or the live portions of Eat a Peach, but it deserves a place on the shelf not very far from them.
V.A. - Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To Roky Erickson (1990)
Roky Erickson, psych rock pioneer and founding member of The 13th Floor Elevators, has died at 71 - RIP.
Roky Erickson often seems to be better known in rock circles for his well publicized psychological maladies and his less-than-gentle treatment at the hands of Texas' judicial system than for his music and that's a shame. While Roky's habit of informing anyone who asks that he's a Martian or is in contact with Satan makes for good fanzine copy, the best reason to be interested in Erickson is his songwriting there's a graceful, vivid surrealism to his lyrical style that's endured far better than most of the noodlers who came out of the psychedelic rock movement, and his later bursts of horror film fancy conjure up a troubling tension that's laughed at only by the shallow or ignorant. When Erickson's legal problems came to a head in the late 1980s, longtime fan and Sire Records executive Bill Bentley assembled Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson to raise money for Erickson, as well as drawing attention to the unique beauty of his music. Like most multi-artist tribute albums, the results are a bit uneven; some of these artists seem to have appeared out of convenience rather than any great love of Roky's music, and a few of the interpretations are simple miscalculations (Thin White Rope's Guy Kyser really goes overboard on his version of "Burn the Flames"). But there are a several moments of very real beauty and power here, especially from the artists who share Erickson's Texas heritage Doug Sahm and ZZ Top rock out on their contributions, the Butthole Surfers' version of "Earthquake" is one of their finest moments on wax, and T-Bone Burnett's take on "Nothing in Return" is a heart-ting gem. The 13th Floor Elevators' first two albums are still the best place to sample Erickson's music (and the latter-day All That May Do My Rhyme is a fine album, for which Erickson actually receives royalties hint, hint), but Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye is a sincere if inconsistent tribute to his work, and shows how well his songs can translate to the styles of other artists.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND - The Traveler (2019)
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band released Lay It On Down in 2017, which was voted Blues Rock Review’s top album of the year. Two years later, Kenny and the gang are back with The Traveler and they aren’t slowing down. Joined by Noah Hunt (vocals), Chris Layton (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass), and Jimmy McGorman and Joe Krown (keys), The Traveler is another top notch album from start to finish. The album features two covers. Noah handles vocals for Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul,” which again, features a horn section and Joe Walsh’s “Turn To Stone,” which closes the album out. “Turn To Stone” is the track where Kenny really stretches his wings on the guitar.
The Traveler is an all-killer no-filler album. It features all sorts of influences, but everything is done well. The Traveler has blues elements, but is a very song-oriented album. We all know Shepherd can shred, but the guitar is always serving the song. When listening to The Traveler it’s easy to tell Kenny and the Band weren’t trying to fit into any particular box, just make a great record and that’s what they’ve accomplished. The Traveler is another can’t miss album from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band.
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