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Thread started 09/10/18 9:23am


New Musica Releases + News/Tours Info 2018 Parte 4

New Musica Releases, Sales + News/Tours Info 2018 Parte 3

Parte 3 here:


Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #1 posted 09/10/18 9:36am


reDiscover Nina Simone’s ‘Wild Is The Wind’

The great jazz singer-pianist’s sixth album for Philips was named after a much-covered song that also links Johnny Mathis and David Bowie.

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Wild Is The Wind Nina Simone

Peerless vocal stylist Nina Simone had to wait three years from her debut album release, with Little Girl Blue in 1958, to her first US LP chart appearance with Nina At Newport. After charting with another live disc, 1964’s Nina Simone In Concert, her name then appeared on Billboard’s pop album survey twice in 1965, with I Put A Spell On You in June and with Pastel Blues less than four months later.

The first of those albums didn’t make the R&B chart, which Billboard introduced at the beginning of that year, but the second became a top ten item, at No. 8. Its No. 139 peak on the pop side emphasises that Simone’s main audience in those days was in the rhythm and blues market, In hindsight, the real shock is to note that Simone never had another top ten LP on the soul chart.

Nevertheless, four more entries followed on that countdown over a 14-month period, beginning on 10 September 1966, when Wild Is The Wind made the 25-position list at No. 23. Nearly two months before it made the pop chart, the album, her sixth for Philips, debuted on that soul chart just below Bobby Hebb’s Sunny and James Brown‘s Soul Brother No. 1.

Simone’s 11-track LP, produced as usual by New York-born composer and arranger Hal Mooney, featured one of her own compositions, the typically courageous social commentary ‘Four Women.’ The album was named after the song by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington, which had been introduced in an Academy Award-nominated version by Johnny Mathis, in the film of the same name, in 1957. David Bowiewas among the many devotees of the song, as his cover on 1976’s Station To Station proved.

Wild Is The Wind back coverWhen Simone played at Square East in New York in March, she opened with ‘Wild Is The Wind,’ which made a great impression on her audience, as Billboard’s reviewer Claude Hall observed. “It was a pounding production featuring a rising tempo and a rising ending,” he wrote. “Her piano performance was great; her voice was used primarily as an instrument, adding to the total effect.”

Other notable tracks on the Simone release included her interpretation of the traditional ‘Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair’ and another of James Shelton’s ‘Lilac Wine,’ later to become well known to British audiences in particular in a hit recording by Elkie Brooks. It was also recorded by Jeff Buckley on his landmark album of 1994, Grace.

Wild Is The Wind reached No. 12 on the R&B chart and No. 110 in the pop market. Far greater and more widespread acclaim was to come in the ensuing years.

Wild Is The Wind is one of the albums in the 7-LP box set Nina Simone – The Philips Years, which can be bought here.

Billy Idol’s ‘Vital Idol’ Prepares To Be ‘Revitalized’

‘Vital Idol’, initially released in Britain in 1985 and in the United States in 1987, was the first remix record released by a rock superstar.

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Billy Idol Vital Idol Revitalized

Billy Idol’s pioneering 1980s remix collection Vital Idol is getting a modern-day upgrade with Vital Idol: Revitalized, which is set for release on CD and Digital by Capitol/UMe on 28 September. A 2LP 180-g black vinyl in addition to a limited-edition, color variant will follow on November 16.

More than 30 years after his groundbreaking Vital Idol compilation cemented the vibrancy of the dance-rock remix genre in the second half of the 1980s, Billy Idol’s Revitalized collection features 11 brand-new remixes of Idol’s most enduring hits. Lending their hands to the Revitalized proceedings are electronic dance luminaries Moby, The Crystal Method and Paul Oakenfold as well as current innovators including RAC, Tropkillaz, Shiba San, Juan Maclean and CRAY.

Vital Idol, initially released in Britain in 1985 and subsequently issued in the United States in 1987, was the first remix record released by a rock superstar. Besides being certified platinum, Vital Idol was accompanied by a version of ‘Mony Mony’ that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, as well as hitting the Top 10 on the UK Singles chart.

Highlights found within the grooves of Revitalized include The Crystal Method’s percussive, explosive stab at ‘Rebel Yell,’ CRAY’s bass-and-keyboard-blessed ‘White Wedding,’ Tropkillaz’s trop-house framing of ‘Eyes Without A Face,’ St. Francis Hotel’s shimmering stop/start reshaping of ‘Flesh For Fantasy,’ and RAC’s retro-harmonic, fist-pumping ‘Dancing With Myself.’

Meanwhile, the digital version of Revitalized features four additional exclusive remixes, namely the brand new Billy Idol/Steve Stevens Remix of ‘Mony Mony,’ Paul Oakenfold’s Extended Remix of ‘One Breath Away,’ Moby’s “Half Time Version” of his take on ‘(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows’ and ‘Save Me Now’ (Lost Dog Remix), reworked by Billy Idol’s son, Willem Wolfe Broad and Eddie B.

Vital Idol: Revitalized is out on 28 September. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and buy it here.

Billy Idol:Vital Idol: Revitalized:
‘White Wedding’ (CRAY Remix)
‘Dancing With Myself’ (RAC Remix)
‘Eyes Without A Face’ (Tropkillaz Remix)
‘Rebel Yell’ (The Crystal Method Remix)
‘(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows’ (Moby Remix)
‘Flesh For Fantasy’ (St. Francis Hotel Remix)
‘Catch My Fall’ (Juan Maclean Remix)
‘One Breath Away’ (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
‘To Be A Lover’ (DJDS Remix)
‘Don’t Need A Gun’ (Shiba San Remix)
‘Hot In The City’ (Shotgun Mike Remix)
Bonus Tracks (Digital Only)
‘Mony Mony’ (Idol/Stevens Remix)
‘One Breath Away’ (Paul Oakenfold Extended Remix)
‘(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows’ (Moby Remix) (Half Time Version)
‘Save Me Now’ (Lost Dog Remix)

Cher Announces ‘Here We Go Again’ 2019 Tour Dates

The pop icon’s ‘Here We Go Again Tour’ will support her forthcoming Abba covers album and her involvement in the film sequel, ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’.

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Cher Here We Go Again Tour

Cher continues her farewell tour after announcing on Ellen that she’ll be hitting the road for her ‘Here We Go Again Tour’ to support her forthcoming Abba covers album and her involvement in the film sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

The first stop on the tour is Ft Myers, Florida on 17 January, and will continue throughout the US, with two stops in Toronto and Ottawa, and will wrap up on 18 May in St. Paul, Minnesota.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for the ageless pop icon, whose new album is slated for 28 September, followed by an upcoming Broadway musical “The Cher Show’ hitting the stage on 3 December and a series of Las Vegas residencies, a familiar setting for the veteran diva.

During her Friday appearance on Ellen, the singer also performed her rendition of Abba’s ‘SOS’, which will appear on her new album and announced her tour details.

Tickets go on sale Friday, 14 September at, while Citi cardholders will have pre-sale access beginning 12 September at

Visit Cher’s official site for more details and view tour dates below.

Cher ‘Here We Go Again’ Tour Dates
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | Ft. Myers, FL | Germain Arena
Saturday, January 19, 2019 | Fort Lauderdale, FL | BB&T Center
Monday, January 21, 2019 | Orlando, FL | Amway Center
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | Jacksonville, FL | Veterans Memorial Arena
Friday, January 25, 2019 | Atlanta, GA | Infinite Energy Arena
Sunday, January 27, 2019 | Raleigh, NC | PNC Arena
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 | Charlotte, NC | Spectrum Center
Thursday, January 31, 2019 | Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena
Saturday, February 2, 2019 | Biloxi, MS | Mississippi Coast Coliseum
Monday, February 4, 2019 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 | Cleveland, OH | Quicken Loans Arena
Friday, February 8, 2019 | Chicago, IL | United Center
Sunday, February 10, 2019 | Columbus, OH | Nationwide Arena
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | Detroit, MI | Little Caesars Arena
Thursday, February 14, 2019 | Indianapolis, IN | Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Thursday, April 18, 2019 | Pittsburgh, PA | PPG Paints Arena
Saturday, April 20, 2019 | Philadelphia, PA | Wells Fargo Center
Monday, April 22, 2019 | Toronto, ON | Scotiabank Arena
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | Ottawa, ON | Richcraft Live at Canadian Tire Centre
Friday, April 26, 2019 | Buffalo, NY | KeyBank Center
Sunday, April 28, 2019 | Boston, MA | TD Garden
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | Springfield, MA | MassMutual Center
Thursday, May 2, 2019 | Brooklyn, NY | Barclays Center
Friday, May 3, 2019 | Newark, NJ | Prudential Center
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | Grand Rapids, MI | Van Andel Arena
Friday, May 10, 2019 | St. Louis, MO | Enterprise Center
Sunday, May 12, 2019 | Milwaukee, WI | Fiserv Forum
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Omaha, NE | CHI Health Center Omaha
Thursday, May 16, 2019 | Sioux Falls, SD | Denny Sanford Premier Center
Saturday, May 18, 2019 | St. Paul, MN | Xcel Energy Center

Barry White’s 20th Century Catalogue For Box Set, 180g Reissues

His nine original albums for the label will be available as vinyl and CD box sets and individually.

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Barry White box set

Soul giant Barry White will have his nine original albums for 20thCentury Records reissued as remastered 9CD and 9LP, 180-gram vinyl box sets by Mercury/UMe on 26 October. Barry White: The 20th Century Records Albums (1973-1979) will be released worldwide in the box set collections and, on the same day, as individual 180-gram LP packages. The albums have all long been out of print as vinyl discs,and will come with sleeve and label artwork faithfully reproduced from the originals.

I’ve Got So Much To GiveThe new initiative comes 45 years after the release of White’s debut solo album, I’ve Got So Much To Give,and follows the release of two retrospectives in April. That debut set contained the chart-topping ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby’ and was itself an R&B No. 1. Stone Gon’ followed just seven months later, repeating the No. 1 R&B achievement and containing two top ten soul hits.

Can’t Get Enough followed in the summer of 1974, topping both the pop and soul charts and featuring the signature ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe’ and ‘You’re the First, the Last, My Everything.’ Just Another Way To Say I Love You was White’s fourth solo album and kept his run of major singles going with ‘What Am I Gonna Do with You’ and ‘I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To.’

Let The Music PlayEarly in 1976, Let The Music Play included such White trademarks as the title track and ‘You See the Trouble with Me.’ His sixth album Is This Whatcha Wont? came late that year and offered further hits in ‘Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long’ and ‘I’m Qualified to Satisfy You.’ 1977’s Sings For Someone You Love was another R&B No. 1, featuring ‘It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me’ and other singles.

The Man arrived in October 1978 on the renamed 20th Century-Fox Records label, delivering his sixth No. 1 album and the lead single ‘Your Sweetness Is My Weakness’ and Barry’s much-loved cover of Billy Joel’s ‘Just the Way You Are.’ His final 20th Century release was 1979’s I Love To Sing The Songs I Sing, after which his new material appeared on his own Unlimited Gold imprint.

Barry White: The 20th Century Records Albums (1973-1979) is released on 26 October. Scroll down to see the tracklisting and buy it here.

I’ve Got So Much To Give (20th Century T-407; 1973)


1. Standing In The Shadows Of Love

2. Bring Back My Yesterday


1. I’ve Found Someone

2. I’ve Got So Much To Give

3. I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby

Stone Gon’ (20th Century T-423; 1973)


1. Girl It’s True, Yes I’ll Always Love You

2. Honey Please, Can’t Ya See

3. You’re My Baby


1. Hard To Believe That I Found You

2. Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up

Can’t Get Enough (20th Century T-444; 1974)


1. Mellow Mood (Pt. I)

2. You’re The First, The Last, My Everything

3. I Can’t Believe You Love Me


1. Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

2. Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It

3. I Love You More Than Anything (In This World Girl)

4. Mellow Mood (Pt. II)

Just Another Way To Say I Love You (20th Century T-466; 1975)


1. Heavenly, That’s What You Are To Me

2. I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To

3. All Because Of You

4. Love Serenade (Part I)


1. What Am I Gonna Do With You

2. Let Me Live My Life Lovin’ You Babe

3. Love Serenade (Part II)

Let The Music Play (20th Century T-502; 1976)


1. I Don’t Know Where Love Has Gone

2. If You Know, Won’t You Tell Me

3. I’m So Blue And You Are Too


1. Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together

2. You See The Trouble With Me

3. Let The Music Play

Is This Whatcha Wont? (20th Century T-516; 1976)


1. Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long

2. Your Love – So Good I Can Taste It


1. I’m Qualified To Satisfy You

2. I Wanna Lay Down With You Baby

3. Now I’m Gonna Make Love To You

Barry White Sings For Someone You Love (20th Century T-543; 1977)


1. Playing Your Game, Baby

2. It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

3. You’re So Good, You’re Bad


1. I Never Thought I’d Fall In Love With You

2. You Turned My Whole World Around

3. Oh, What A Night For Dancing

4. Of All The Guys In The World

The Man (20th Century T-571; 1978)


1. Look At Her

2. Your Sweetness Is My Weakness

3. Sha La La Means I Love You


1. September When I First Met You

2. It’s Only Love Doing Its Thing

3. Just The Way You Are

4. Early Years

I Love To Sing the Songs I Sing (20th Century T-590; 1979)


1. I Love To Sing The Songs I Sing

2. Girl, What’s Your Name

3. Once Upon A Time (You Were A Friend Of Mine)

4. Oh Me, Oh My (I’m Such A Lucky Guy)


1. I Can’t Leave You Alone

2. Call Me, Baby

3. How Did You Know It Was Me?

The 1975 Announce New Album, Major UK Tour For 2019

The tour is in support of the band’s third album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’.

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1975 UK Tour January 2019
Photo: Rebeka Brylewski

The 1975 have announced the release of their new album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, which is due for release on 30 November.

In support of the new record, the Manchester group will hit the road in January 2019 for shows at some of the UK and Ireland’s biggest venues – including London’s O2 Arena. Support comes from Pale Waves and No Rome. Tickets for all the shows are due to go on sale at 9am on Friday, 21 September and you can see the dates in full below. For more information, visit the band’s website.

So far, ‘Give Yourself A Try’, ‘TooTimeTooTimeTooTime’ and ‘Love It If We Made It’ are the only tracks to have emerged from the 1975’s new album.

Early reports have suggested that The 1975’s new album has songs that range from house to blue-eyed soul, art-rock and the Great American Songbook, and even a song narrated by Apple AI programme Siri, but that has not been confirmed at the time of writing.

As uDiscover Music previously reported, the build-up to the new album has been entertaining. There have been typographic press releases and posters, impressionistic vertical videos and, crucially, a drip feed of songs that tells you almost nothing about what the album in full is going to be like.

Describing the new record, singer Matty Healy previously told the NME: “Our first three albums are the story of a person; it’s always kind of been my story.

“It spanned adolescence to maturity, success and trying to mediate the two, and the third one is where we are now. I haven’t really decided the statement of where we are now yet. It’s sort of difficult to understand the present”.

The 1975 play the following UK shows:

January 9: Belfast, SSE Arena
January 10: Dublin 3Arena
January 12: Glasgow, SSE Hydro
January 14: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
January 16: Brighton, The Centre
January 18: London The O2
January 21: Exeter, Westpoint
January 23: Birmingham, Arena
January 24: Manchester, Arena
January 25: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena.

Gemma Arterton To Play 60s Soul Icon Dusty Springfield In Biopic

The film follows Springfield during a 1968 trip to politically turbulent Memphis, where she recorded her album ‘Dusty In Memphis’ during the height of her career.

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Gemma Arterton Dusty Springfield Biopic

British actress Gemma Arterton is set to star in an upcoming biopic of 60s soul icon Dusty Springfield titled So Much Love, directed by the accomplished playwright and the screenwriter behind the 2015 film Carol, Phyllis Nagy.

The film follows Springfield during a 1968 trip to politically turbulent Memphis, where Springfield recorded her album Dusty In Memphisduring the height of her career.

As the official synopsis describes:

“It will follow her as she navigates her way through the politics of the recording studio and the city and will also explore her encounter with the music of Motown, her stand against apartheid policies during her aborted South African tour and her thorny brushes with men in the music industry.”

Nagy, who was nominated for an Oscar for her screenplay for the dramatic film Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, will be making her directorial debut and will also be writing on the film. So Much Love will be produced by the same team behind Carol, Number 9 Films.

While best known for her hits ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ and ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself’ among others, Springfield’s Dusty In Memphis serves as monument to the unique soulfulness of one of Britain’s finest-ever voices.

Nagy described Springfield as “an innovative, brilliant artist and a complex, contradictory woman”, while Arterton expressed her fondness for the singer and anticipation of the role in a statement:

“I have been an admirer of Dusty Springfield since I was a teenager: her effortless husky voice, the way she conveyed emotion through music, how she helped bring Motown to the UK. Dusty was ahead of her time in many ways and inspired so many future artists. She was generous, witty, mercurial, shy, extroverted and a true English eccentric. I simply cannot wait to play her.”

Arterton has a diverse filmography to her name, playing everything from a Bond Girl in Quantum Of Solace to indie films like Tamara Drewe and the Irish horror film Byzantium.

Filming is slated to start in the UK and US early next year and the film will likely make its premiere in autumn 2019.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #2 posted 09/10/18 10:23am


ALBUM REVIEW: Wet ‘still running’ toward indietronica splendor

In the two years since their debut, Kelly Zutrau and Joe Valle of Wet have been hard at work on their sophomore album, Still Run. Following the departure of founding guitarist Marty Sulkow, Wet still created a collection of songs true to its indietronica roots.

A menagerie of steel guitars, piano and strings blend beautifully with electronic beats and synths to create songs somewhere between electronica and indie rock. Zutrau and Valle did a marvelous job demonstrating their sonic diversity and narratives in a short record that doesn’t feel short at all.

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Zutrau’s vocals helm Still Run. Many of the tracks rarely rely on more than her voice, often with one supporting instrument and a simplistic beat to tie the piece together. Tracks like “This Woman Loves You” and the sultry “Lately” are a statement that the duo has no qualms letting Zutrau’s voice be the dominant presence.

“This Woman Loves You” ties together lyrical references to anthems of allegiance while keeping the instrumentals to a minimum with some slow beats and quiet steel guitars. The message rings out clear: Blind, foolish love of country is dangerous. The vocally demanding “Lately” showcases Zutrau’s ability stay in the higher end of her vocal range while retaining power and vibrancy.

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Still Run shows the the knack of Wet of balancing indie pop with electronica. With such different sounds between the two musical genres, tracks like the deeply melancholy “Softens” and the intricately layered title track prove how versatile Valle and Zutrau have become. Opening with a quiet synth, “Softens” approaches the subject of growing from grief. Wet weaves percussion into some light piano and steel guitar melodies. “Still Run” begins in the opposite way, with a slow piano and acoustic guitar, while the introduce themselves in the first run through the chorus.

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Lyrically, Valle and Zutrau focus a great deal on love and heartbreak. There’s a refreshing maturity there to complement the sound. On “Love Is Not Enough” the duo acknowledges that love isn’t always enough to the world’s ills, or even a relationship. Upbeat indie rocker “You’re Not Wrong” takes a different approach, with the lyrics taking the tone of a confessional. “Out Of Tune” reveals that life seems wrong without the protagonist’s lover, even though the beautiful instrumentation couldn’t be more right.

Image result for wet band album review


Norah Jones, Chaka Khan Confirmed For Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Concerts

Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Rufus Wainwright and Seal are also among the performers at the two-day all-star LA concerts.

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Norah Jones Joni Mitchell 75th

Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Graham Nash and Kris Kristofferson are among the artists that will pay tribute to Joni Mitchell at Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, an all-star two-day concert marking the legendary singer-songwriter’s 75th birthday.

Emmylou Harris, Glen Hansard, Seal, Los Lobos, Diana Krall and Rufus Wainwright will also perform on 6 and 7 November at Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Following the second concert on November 7th – Mitchell’s 75th birthday – the Music Center will hold a birthday soiree for the singer, where funds will benefit the Music Center programs. Tickets for both concerts are now on sale via the Music Center website.

Percussionist and Mitchell’s touring band member Brian Blade and producer Jon Cowherd will serve as co-musical directors for JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration, which was created by the Music Center’s Artistic Advisor Jorn Weisbrodt.

“Joni Mitchell’s songs create sublime paintings of the landscape of human emotions and the mind,” Weisbrodt said in a statement.

“Her view is that of the bird and of the surgeon. There is an unprecedented marriage of intimacy and universality that permeates all of her work. Her art compares to no other, but relates to all of us. A pioneer and builder of her very own tower of song, Joni is a wanderer and a searcher, someone who did not rest but always moved forward, exploring new territory and inviting her audiences to travel on new trails with her. It has been the joy, privilege and honor of my life to develop these evenings for her and consult with her on this voyage. I cannot wait for her and all her friends to experience the magic that everyone on and behind the stage is going to create with her songs,”

Graham Nash, who wrote ‘Our House’ while living with Mitchell, added in a statement, “I am very pleased to take part in these concerts honoring my friend Joni, without doubt one of the greatest writers we have.”

Nearly all of the artists involved in Joni 75 have previously worked with Mitchell or recorded one of her songs. Norah Jones performed Mitchell’s ‘Court and Spark’ for Herbie Hancock’s The Joni Letters, while both Chaka Khan and Seal have appeared on Mitchell albums.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Original Film Soundtrack Set For October Release

The album features other rare live tracks spanning Queen’s entire career, including previously unreleased audio tracks from 1985’s Live Aid.

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Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack Album

The original film soundtrack from Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated Queen biopic is set for release through Virgin EMI (Universal) in the UK and through Hollywood Records in the US on 19 October. The album will also include audio tracks from Live Aid, the historic Wembley concert from July 1985. These Live Aid songs are among the rare gems and unheard versions from the band’s rich catalogue.

Alongside the show-stopping Live Aid performances of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Hammer To Fall’ and ‘We Are The Champions’, the album features other rare live tracks spanning Queen’s entire career, new versions of old favourites, and a choice selection of the band’s finest studio recordings. Among them are some of Queen’s biggest hits, including eleven all-time anthems that reached Number One around the world. The track listing (which you can see below) is being announced on 5 September 2018, which would have been Freddie’s 72nd birthday.

Bohemian Rhapsody is scheduled to have its World Premiere in the UK on 23 October before opening across the world in early November. It stars Rami Malek as Freddie, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, and Lucy Boynton as Freddie’s lifelong companion Mary Austin.

The 22 songs on the soundtrack were produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, with engineering and co-production by long-time Queen studio collaborators Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua J Macrae, and mastering by Adam Ayan and Bob Ludwig.

The key task for the team behind the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack was sourcing the most suitable versions of the band’s songs, especially live performances, to fit the screenplay’s career-spanning narrative. Their brief was not merely to produce a greatest hits playlist package but a soundtrack album to stand on its own merits, underscoring key moments in the screenplay. May, Taylor, and their co-producers worked with the filmmakers to find the best versions of each track to heighten the dramatic power of each scene.

Ensuring that listeners are in no doubt they are listening to a soundtrack album, Brian May came up with the inspired idea that Queen should record their own arrangement of the famous 20th Century Fox Fanfare. Featuring May’s famous multi-layered guitars and Roger Taylor’s distinctive percussion, this revamped track provides a suitably flamboyant opening fanfare to both film and album.

Unlike Queen’s soundtrack to Flash Gordon, no spoken dialogue from Bohemian Rhapsody is included on this new album. And while the film uses only parts from songs and performances, the soundtrack features the full-length versions of some of the band’s best-loved studio and live recordings.

The five tracks from Queen’s 21-minute performance at Live Aid on 13 July 1985 have never been released in audio form before. They only ever featured on video as a special extra on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Queen Rock Montreal which features the Montreal Forum shows of November 1981. The Live Aid audio is exclusive to this new soundtrack album.

Other tracks on the soundtrack have been sourced from different decades and even different continents. ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ comes from the Paris shows in 1979, part of the “Jazz” world tour and has never been released before. ‘Now I’m Here’ was recorded at the band’s 1975 Christmas Eve show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. And the history making duet between Freddie Mercury and Brian May on ‘Love of My Life’ comes from the Rock in Rio festival of January 1985 when 300,000 Brazilians sang along. Previously this track was only available to fans on the video releases of this performance.

For the studio recordings on the album, Queen had the luxury of being able to work with the Bob Ludwig remastered tracks from 2011, widely considered the best and most definitive versions.

The three remaining tracks on the soundtrack will be fresh to Queen fans, old and new. ‘We Will Rock You’ starts out as the studio version, then blends into a live performance with audience participation. This has been created especially for the film. ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ features May’s newly recorded guitar parts and is much closer to how the band plays the track live today.

‘Doing All Right’ was originally recorded by Smile, the predecessor band to Queen that featured Brian and Roger with vocalist Tim Staffell. When Staffell later left, May and Taylor would join forces with Freddie to form Queen. Freddie’s interpretation of the song featured on the first Queen album. To recreate the original Smile version, Taylor and May re-united with Staffell at Abbey Road Studios to re-record ‘Doing All Right’ for the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack. This session which featured Taylor, May and Staffell all singing lead vocals took place almost 50 years after the original Smile recording.

Bohemian Rhapsody, the Original Soundtrack album is released on 19 October. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and buy it here.

Bohemian Rhapsody:
‘20th Century Fox Fanfare’
‘Somebody To Love’
‘Doing All Right… revisited’ (Performed by Smile)
‘Keep Yourself Alive’ (Live At The Rainbow)
‘Killer Queen’
‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ (Live In Paris)
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
‘Now I’m Here’ (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’
‘Love Of My Life’ (Rock In Rio)
‘We Will Rock You’ (Movie Mix)
‘Another One Bites The Dust’
‘I Want To Break Free’
‘Under Pressure’ (Performed by Queen & David Bowie)
‘Who Wants To Live Forever’
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Live Aid)
‘Radio Ga Ga’ (Live Aid)
‘Ay-Oh’ (Live Aid)
‘Hammer To Fall’ (Live Aid)
‘We Are The Champions’ (Live Aid)

ABBA-Themed Restaurant Set To Open In London’s O2 Arena In 2019

Described as “an immersive dining experience”, it will be a recreation of a taverna on the island of Skopelos, mirroring the setting of the first ‘Mamma Mia!’ movie.

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ABBA Themes Restaurant O2 London
Photo: Polar Music

An ABBA-themed restaurant is set to come to London next year. The band’s Björn Ulvaeus will be bringing his Mamma Mia! The Partyexperience to London’s O2 in spring 2019.

According to reports in The Mirror, the restaurant is likely to be “an immersive dining experience” and the restaurant will be a recreation of a taverna on the island of Skopelos, mirroring the setting of the first Mamma Mia! movie.

Mediterranean cuisine will be served whilst hits from ABBA’s extensive back-catalogue are played live during the experience. You can see what it will look like in the video below.

A similar experience has been on offer in Stockholm since 2016 and has sold out shows there for three consecutive years.

Speaking about the new London venture, Ulvaeus said: “We have long admired The O2 and the huge entertainment success it has become…we believe bringing Mamma Mia! The Party to The O2 will add to this already vibrant cultural destination and provide the perfect location for our exciting new show.”

John Langford, Vice President and General Manager of The O2 said hosting the experience was “a real honour.”

Earlier this year, uDiscover Music reported that ABBA would release their first new material for 35 years, shortly after the band gave details of a “virtual ABBA tour” which would see the four-piece tour as “virtual holograms” in 2019.

In a press statement released in April, the band said: “The decision to go ahead with the exciting Abba avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence…We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did.

“And it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

They continued: “It resulted in two new songs, and one of them ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ will be performed in a TV special produced by NBC and the BBC aimed for broadcasting in December. We have may come of age, but the song is new, and it feels good.”

Asked about the direction of ABBA’s new material, Benny Andersson said: “One of the songs is like we would’ve written it [for] today. The other, we could’ve written in 1972.”

“I think so,” Bjorn Ulvaeus agreed. “It certainly sounds ABBA very much. If I were to listen to the British Top 10 today, I’d have no idea what’s going on.”

Blondie box set coming in 2019

Box set a year away • ‘Heart of Glass’ 12-inch coming next month

Blondie will next year issue a comprehensive ‘Complete Studio Recordings’ box set that will gather albums, rarities and some unreleased material.

The Complete Studio Recordings 1975-1982 box set will be available on vinyl and CD and will feature the first six albums (remastered from the analogue tapes), along with two bonus discs of B-sides, rarities and “previously unreleased curiosities from deep in the Blondie vault.”

The good news emerged via a page on Blondie’s website promoting a new 12-inch vinyl single of their 1979 number one ‘Heart of Glass’. However, the bad news is that you will have to wait a year, since this box set is planned for “the fall of 2019”.

Quite why the band/label are issuing a 12-inch vinyl single linked to a box set which is a year away, remains to be seen. The maxi-single features four versions of ‘Heart of Glass’ and two of ‘Once I Had A Love’ and can be ordered via the Blondie website.

You may agree that £20 for a 12-inch single is daylight robbery and it’s depressing to see the CD buying community ignored completely.

‘Heart Of Glass’ is released on 26 October and the box set will be out late next year.

Kate Bush announces new lyric book called ‘How To Be Invisible’

Official Kate Bush book • Contains ‘selected lyrics’

Kate Bush is releasing a book of selected lyrics in December called How To Be Invisible.

The hardcover book is being published by Faber and Faber and measures 14.5 cm by 22.4 cm. It’s 208 pages in total.

With the usual lack of fanfare, this was the announcement via Kate’s website “We’re really pleased to announce the forthcoming release of How To Be Invisible. Kate’s book of selected Lyrics will be out on 6th December 2018 on Faber and Faber.”

It is understood that the book will include a comprehensive introduction from the novelist David Mitchell (he wrote the spoken word sections in the Before The Dawnshows in 2014.

How To Be Invisible, which takes its title from the song on 2005’s Aerial, will be released on 6 December 2018. It appears some kind of limited edition version is in the planning and Faber invite you to get on their mailing list to find out more.

The Charmed Cast Gives Us A Taste Of What Latinx Witches Bring To The Reboot

Sarah Jeffrey, Melonie Diaz, and Madeleine Mantock.
The Power of Three is coming back to TV, and we are so excited that the new reboot of Charmed will star a Latinx cast. And, as Varietyreports, the fictional and real-life ethnicities of the Vera sisters (Sarah Jeffrey, Melonie Diaz, and Madeleine Mantock) will be a huge part of the show, right down to its writing staff. It’s a step forward for Latinx representations, and brujas everywhere are praising the orishas.
“We have a real Latinx witch in our writers’ room,” said executive producer Amy Rardin. The new Charmed is also executive produced by Jennie Snyder Urman, who created Jane the Virgin, another show with a Latinx leading cast.
Latinx cultures have always been part of the greater witchcraft community. These practices are still much active today — even though popular culture rarely de...witchcraft outside of Eurocentrism. Rardin spoke directly to this disparity at the PaleyFest Fall TV Preview: “Every culture has their own witchcraft traditions, and we really wanted to explore not just from a Salem witchcraft but all kinds of different witchcraft that happens all around the world,” she said. From Santería in Afro-Caribbean countries, to curanderx practitioners who work out of botánicas, their practices come from indigenous beliefs and Catholic religious traditions during colonization, and are every bit as valid as Wicca and quartz crystals.

Ellie Mannette, Father of the Modern Steel Drum, Dies at 90


Ellie Mannette crafting a drum at his workshop in Morgantown, W.Va., in 2006. He was among the first to fashion a steel drum that had all the notes of the chromatic scale, so it could play any melody in any key.CreditCreditvia Mannette Musical Instruments

  • Aug. 31, 2018

Ellie Mannette, a Trinidadian musician known in the United States as the father of the modern steel drum, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Morgantown, W.Va. He was 90.

The cause was kidney failure, his daughter Juliette Mannette said.

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As a child in Port of Spain, Trinidad’s capital, Mr. Mannette became fascinated with the bands he saw using trash cans and buckets as drums, hitting them in different ways to create different sounds. For the rest of his life, he sought to elevate and expand the craft of steel-pan music, and to share it with the world.

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He became a master tuner, builder and teacher. His shop, Mannette Instruments in Morgantown, is a major supplier of the instruments in the United States, and he trained students in tuning at West Virginia University for nearly 20 years. Numerous American universities now have steel-pan ensembles of their own, some led by Mr. Mannette’s former apprentices.

Mr. Mannette was among the first to fashion a steel drum that had all the notes of the chromatic scale, so it could play any melody in any key.

“He imagined a sound of this instrument that nobody else had imagined for it,” Shannon Dudley, an ethnomusicologist at the University of Washington, said in a telephone interview. “He strove to create that sound, and it captivated a lot of people.”

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Ellie Mannette: Father of the Modern Steel DrumCreditCreditVideo by SmithsonianFolklife

Mr. Dudley added that steel pans, now seen as a symbol of innovation and resistance, were once disparaged. Earlier percussion instruments had been banned by colonialists in Trinidad, and in the 1940s and ’50s the music was associated with rivalries and fights. But Mr. Mannette, he said, “helped to bring it out of that denigrated status, by making the music more and more compelling.”

Today the steel drum is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.

Kim Johnson, the director of the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, said that Mr. Mannette’s greatest contribution was how he shared his knowledge generously, even before he left the island.

“He was a natural teacher,” Mr. Johnson said in a telephone interview. “His way of making pans became the first globalized way, the first way you’d find all over the country, from people he taught, from bands whose instruments he made, and from people trying to copy him.”

Elliott Anthony Mannette was born on Nov. 5, 1927, in the small beach town of Sans Souci. His father, Sydney, was a carpenter and mason, and his mother, Imelda, was a homemaker. He was one of nine children.

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He gravitated to carnival celebrations and music as a child and joined his first band when he was 11. Before long, he was creating his own instruments out of old oil drums and other discarded items. By 1940, he had formed the Invaders Steel Orchestra with two of his brothers and other musicians.

He designed and tuned the pans for the band, drawing on skills he picked up working in an iron foundry. He fashioned drums out of 55-gallon barrels and made them concave, like a bowl, which gave them a different sound. He tuned the instruments by ear, tapping with a hammer to get the exact note he wanted from the metal.

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In 1951, Trinidad and Tobago sent him to Britain as part of the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra. By 1959, the band had a contract with Columbia Records.

In the 1960s, Mr. Mannette traveled to the United States to help develop the Navy Steel Band, which brought steel-band music to the American public.

In 1967 he made the transition permanent, moving to New York to work with urban youth in music programs. He would not return to Trinidad until 2000, when he received the Chaconia Medal from Trinidad and Tobago, the country’s second-highest state decoration. That same year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

Mr. Mannette was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Mr. Mannette, who lived in Morgantown, is survived by his second wife, Jacqueline Edwards; six children: Kendal, Karen, Earl, Eric, Anthony, Juliette; four stepchildren: Garth, Charlene, Marva and Francine; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His first wife, Joyce Kingston, died many years ago.

Mr. Mannette’s shop will continue to be run by his former students and apprentices, said Chanler Bailey, a builder and tuner there.

Mr. Bailey said Mr. Mannette wanted the steel drum to be seen as more than a novelty, and to be respected as a complex instrument. He was, he said, a perfectionist constantly seeking to improve his work and a demanding instructor.

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“Ellie was a consummate craftsman,” Mr. Bailey said. “It’s been the greatest privilege to be able to work under that man and the standards he set.”

Amie Tsang contributed reporting.

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Reply #3 posted 09/10/18 10:39am


Iosif Kobzon, Known as the ‘Russian Frank Sinatra,’ Dies at 80

Iosif Kobzon performing in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014. In addition to being a popular singer, he had been a member of the Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, since 1997.CreditCreditMaxim Zmeyev/Reuters

  • Sept. 2, 2018

The standard shorthand is to describe Iosif Kobzon as “the Russian Frank Sinatra,” a moniker that encompasses both his career as a popular singer and suggestions that he had connections to the Russian mob.

But what with the hostage-negotiation heroics, the bombing that may or may not have been aimed at him, and the international eyebrow-raising over his political positions, Mr. Kobzon, who died on Aug. 30 at 80, may have outdone even Ol’ Blue Eyes for high drama.

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His death was announced on the website of the Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, of which he had been a member since 1997. The location and cause were not given, but the Russian news agency Tass said Mr. Kobzon had had cancer since 2005.

Mr. Kobzon had a crooning baritone and a taste for patriotic songs, staking out that territory in 1962 with a rendition of “Cuba, My Love,” a paean to Fidel Castro, which he performed in a filmed version dressed as Castro.

Pakhmutova & Kobzon present 'Cuba is my love' (1962)CreditCreditVideo by vania1917

He is said to have recorded 3,000 songs, and even after he announced his retirement from singing in 1997 he continued to perform for official holiday observances and for police and military parades. President Vladimir V. Putin, whom Mr. Kobzon supported, issued a statement at Mr. Kobzon’s death calling him “truly a people’s artist, an outstanding Russian cultural personality, a man of immense inner strength, courage and dignity.”

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Iosif Davidovich Kobzon was born on Sept. 11, 1937, in Chasov Yar, in the coal-mining region of eastern Ukraine, into a Jewish family. He was proud of that heritage, promoting Russian Jewish culture and standing up to anti-Semitism during his careers as a singer and a politician.

He was musical from a young age. “I cannot remember not singing,” he told The New York Times in 2002. His childhood, he said, included once singing in a children’s group for an audience that included Joseph Stalin.

President Vladimir V. Putin presented Mr. Kobzon with a state medal in 2012.CreditAlexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti Kremlin, via Associated Press

While doing his compulsory military service, from 1956 to 1959, Mr. Kobzon joined a song-and-dance group. Once back in civilian life, he began singing professionally, winning several international competitions in the mid-1960s and becoming omnipresent on radio and television during the Leonid Brezhnev era of the Soviet Union, which stretched from 1964 to 1982. More recent generations found his music stodgy, but he still commanded a certain reverence.

Though not everywhere. In 1995 the United States refused to issue him a tourist visa out of concern that he had ties to Russian organized crime, something he denied. He continued to be refused a visa over the years, although he did make one brief trip to the United States in 2000 as part of a parliamentary delegation visiting Harvard.

The possibility of mob ties came up in 1999 when a bomb went off in Moscow’s Intourist Hotel, where Mr. Kobzon had offices. There was speculation that the bombing was an act of terrorism, a warning of some kind to Mr. Kobzon from the mob.

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“I was supposed to be in the building,” Mr. Kobzon acknowledged, “but I have friends in town, and I left to meet them in their hotel.”

More recently, in 2015, Mr. Kobzon came under travel restrictions by the European Union because of his support for pro-Russia factions in the territorial dispute with Ukraine. This year Ukraine issued a decree stripping him of his honors from that country and freezing his assets there.

But many in Russia regarded him not only as a national treasure but also as a hero. He performed for troops and workers in Chernobyl just weeks after the nuclear accident there. And in 2002, when Chechen rebels seized hundreds of hostages in a Moscow theater, he was among a handful of negotiators who entered the building to try negotiating with the rebels.

His efforts helped secure the release of a few hostages, but the incident ended with a special-forces operation that left scores dead.

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He is survived by his third wife, Ninel; a son, Andrey; a daughter, Natalya; and 10 grandchildren.

Mr. Kobzon was remarkable in his ability to remain in favor as his homeland experienced unprecedented changes. He transitioned smoothly into the post-Soviet era, and as Mr. Putin consolidated his power, Mr. Kobzon knew where to place his support. In 2013 he was among a group that nominated Mr. Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize, an award the American president at the time, Barack Obama, had received in 2009.

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“Barack Obama has the title of Nobel Prize winner — the man who initiated and approved such aggressive actions on the part of the United States of America as in Iraq, Afghanistan, some others, and now is preparing for invasion of Syria,” Mr. Kobzon told The Times in 2013. “I think our president, who is trying to stop the bloodshed, who is trying to help to resolve this conflict situation through a political dialogue, through diplomatic language, deserves this title more.”

Mac Miller

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Burt Reynolds

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Bill Daily

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Reply #4 posted 09/11/18 6:41am


Metallica Announce Definitive 30th Anniversary Edition Of ‘…And Justice For All’

The new edition will include a wealth of previously unreleased material and an expanded booklet of never-before-seen Ross Halfin photos.

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Metallica 30th Anniversary Justice

Metallica have revealed they are set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of their breakthrough fourth album …And Justice For All with a definitive reissue which is due for release on 2 November through the band’s own Blackened Recordings.

The re-release of …And Justice For All has been remastered for the most advanced sound quality, as overseen by Greg Fidelman, and will be available in multiple digital and physical configurations. The new reissue will be available physically as a Standard Double 180-g LP, Standard CD, 3 CD Expanded Edition, Cassette, Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set and digitally as a Standard album (available to stream and download), an Expanded Edition (available for download only), and a Digital Deluxe Box Set (available for streaming and download).

The expanded edition will include previously unreleased demos, rough mixes, previously unreleased live tracks, and an expanded booklet of never-before-seen Ross Halfin photos. The one-pressing-only Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set will include the remastered double 180g LP, a ‘One’ picture disc, 3 LPs featuring their iconic performance from Seattle in 1989 remixed by Greg Fidelman, 11 CDs, 4 DVDs, a set of four patches, a Pushead print, a tour laminate, lyric sheets, a download card for all material in the set, and a deluxe 120-page book with never-before-seen photos and never-before-told stories from the people who were there.

…And Justice For All was originally released on 7 September on Elektra Records. Certified 8x Platinum in the United States, the record marked a series of firsts for Metallica: The first full-length Metallica recording to feature bassist Jason Newsted, the first Metallica album to crack the U.S. Top 10 where it peaked at #6, the band’s first video and top 40 single (“One”), their debut performance on the Grammy Awards, and first Grammy win (Best Metal Performance for ‘One’). It also received more widespread critical acclaim than any of its predecessors, with Rolling Stone hailing the album as “a marvel of precisely channeled aggression,” Spin calling it “a gem of a double record,” and ultimately placing in the Village Voice annual Pazz & Jop critics poll of the year’s best reviewed albums.

Visit the band’s website to pre-order the definitive edition of …And Justice For all, along with full package details and track listing.


CYRUS CHESTNUT - Kaleidoscope cover

Album · 2018


1 Golliwog’s Cakewalk 5:02
2 Darn That Dream 5:06
3 Gymnopedie No. 1 6:15
4 Entre cloches 5:44
5 Jimbo’s Lullaby 5:26
6 Father Time 5:29
7 Lord I Want to Be a Christian 4:28
8 Son binocle 4:04
9 Smoke on the Water 4:33
10 Gnossienne No. 1 6:57
11 Gymnopedie No. 3 4:07
12 Turkish Rondo 3:37
13 Prayer for Claudine 5:13


Cyrus Chestnut (p),
Eric Wheeler (b) (except tracks 7 & 13),
Chris Beck (ds) (except tracks 7 & 13)

About this release

HighNote HCD 7317 (US)

Recorded At Sear Sound – Studio C, New York, Ny On April 29, 2018

Hollywood’s Jeff Goldblum Makes Jazz Piano Debut With ‘The Capitol Studio Sessions’

The actor is accompanied by his longtime band the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra and guests including Imelda May.

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Jeff Goldblum album cover

Hollywood icon Jeff Goldblum and his longtime band the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra will release the actor’s debut album as a jazz pianist, The Capitol Studio Sessions, on 9 November.

Goldblum has played piano since he was a child and has explored his love of jazz with shows in Los Angeles and New York in recent years. When not filming, he hosts a weekly jazz variety show at Rockwell Table & Stage In Los Angeles, which showcases both his musical dexterity and improv comedy talent, and has become a favourite event with both locals and A-listers.

The album recreates the atmosphere of those Rockwell shows, with the famed Capitol Studios transformed into a jazz club for the recording, with food and drink served to an invited live audience of Rockwell regulars, friends and family. The Capitol Studio Sessions was produced by the esteemed Larry Klein, widely respected for his work with Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeleine Peyroux and others.

“I love improvising and that feeling of communication and interplay,” says Goldblum. “It’s one of the cornerstones of my acting technique. I see my music in the same way.”

The repertoire for the album includes the 1960s jazz favourites ‘Cantaloupe Island’ and ’I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)’ and Nat ‘King’ Cole’s 1940s original ‘Straighten Up & Fly Right,’ which features guest vocals by Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May.’

Also guesting on the record are American vocalist Haley Reinhart, on a version of the evergreen ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me,’ and US comedian-actress Sarah Silverman, on the 1920s copyright ‘Me And My Shadow.’ The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra are joined by Grammy-nominated trumpeter Till Brönner.

Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra will be in London in November for their first ever UK live shows, which have sold out immediately. They will perform, as part of the ESG London Jazz Festival, at Cadogan Hall on 17 November and Ronnie Scott’s on the 22nd, with shows in between in Paris and Berlin.

The Capitol Studio Sessions is released on 9 November. The tracklist is as follows:

1. Cantaloupe Island

2. Don’t Mess With Mister T (feat. Till Brönner)

3. My Baby Just Cares For Me (feat. Haley Reinhart)

4. Straighten Up And Fly Right (feat. Imelda May & Till Brönner)

5. Jeff Introduces Sarah Silverman (feat. Sarah Silverman)

6. Me And My Shadow (feat. Sarah Silverman & Till Brönner)

7. Nostalgia In Times Square

8. It Never Entered My Mind (feat. Till Brönner)

9. Gee Baby (Aint I Good To You) (feat. Haley Reinhart)

10. I Wish I Knew (How It Could Feel To Be Free)

11. This Bitter Earth (feat. Imelda May & Till Brönner)

12. Come On-A-My House (feat. Imelda May & Till Brönner)

13. Caravan (feat. Till Brönner)

14. Good Nights


Metallica Announce Timely Collaboration With US Watchmakers Nixon

The hard core collection includes six watches plus two Limited Editions.

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Metallica Collaboration Nixon
Photo: Nixon Watches

Metallica have teamed up with quality watchmakers Nixon to launch a new collection. The hard core collection, which includes six watches plus two Limited Editions, was born of long-shared mutual respect for upstarts who buck the system and wind up changing it for good. Nixon x Metallica will be available from 10th September 2018, both in stores and online at the manufacturer’s website. The collection includes six hard rocking models, plus two special limited editions.

Nixon x Metallica includes the following models:

Corporal SS “…And Justice for All” $250 USD

Rugged and functional, in a stainless steel case crafted with unique angles, three-hand movement with large numeral indices, a printed seconds track, plus:

* Custom crown detail and stamped custom dial

* Metallica Sword seconds hand

Sentry Leather Models

A timeless design with the modern Nixon twist of faceted applied hour indices plus:

Sentry Leather “Seek & Destroy” $200 USD

* Bullet indices

* “Flying V” seconds hand

* Embossed bullet crown

* “Seek And Destroy” internal band print

Sentry Leather “Black Album” $250 USD

* Full grain leather

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

* Leather textured dial

Time Teller Models

Nixon’s all-time best-seller with a five-link stainless steel and an unpretentious, versatile appearance that works anywhere anytime, plus:

Time Teller “Ride the Lightning” $125 USD

* “Ride the Lightning” design under crystal

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

Time Teller “Kill ‘Em All” $125 USD

* Metallica Hammer arm

* “Kill ‘Em All” custom dial

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

Time Teller “Pushead” $125 USD

* Nail hour & minutes hand

* Torq screw indices

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

* “Pushead” etched detail

Time Teller “Hardwired” $125 USD

* Glitch Metallica logo

* “Hardwired” custom dial

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

51-30 Model

51-30 “Master of Puppets” $500 USD

The 3-link stainless steel easy-to-read 51 mm design that launched the oversized trend, with:

* Unique multilayer “Cross” dial

* Metallica Barb seconds hand

* Textured center links

* Helmet cross embossed crown

Special Limited Edition

51-30 Tide LTD “Sanitarium” $750 USD

Easy-to-read 51 mm design that launched the oversized trend, with adjustable tide tracker, plus:

* Custom bezel with “Prison Bar” cage

* Tally marks on dial ring

* “Insane / Sane” sub dial

* Embossed tally marks on crown

Founded in 1998 in Encinitas, California, Nixon is a premium watch and accessories brand for the youth lifestyle market. Focused on making the little stuff better, Nixon began with a small line of team-designed, custom-built watches sold exclusively in specialty board sport and fashion retailers. Currently distributed in over 90 countries, Nixon’s product range has grown to include select softgoods, leather goods, custom audio products and more.

David Bowie Cocktail Bar, ‘Ziggy’s’ Set To Open In London

The new bar, which is situated where Bowie threw his legendary ‘Last Supper’ in 1973 will open in the West End next month.

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David Bowie Bar Ziggy's London
Photo: Jimmy King

A David Bowie cocktail bar is set to open in the West End of London next month. Named Ziggy’s, it has been put together in honour of the star’s much-loved persona Ziggy Stardust and it launches on 20 September at the city’s Hotel Café Royal. The venue has particular significance when it comes to Ziggy Stardust. It was there, on 3 July 1973, that Bowie threw a now-legendary ‘Last Supper’ to retire his famous alter-ego.

The party was attended by luminaries including Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand amongst others as the after show party for Bowie’s final Ziggy gig at the Hammersmith Odeon.

Ziggy’s features a number of drinks inspired by the late icon’s 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, and are named after his lyrics.

‘Tigers on Vaseline’ takes its name from the lyrics to ‘Hang On To Yourself’, and is described as a modern twist on the piña colada. ‘Darkness and Disgrace’, meanwhile, is an espresso martini crossed with a rum flip, and takes its name from ‘Lady Stardust’.

Ziggy’s will be decorated with pictures from that famous night, taken by the famed music photographer Mick Rock, and will also include a special David Bowie jukebox.

Fabio Spinetti, the hotel’s bars and beverages manager, said: “Café Royal has always been the place where great minds would come to discuss great ideas. David Bowie played a really important part in Café Royal’s history, with the famous Last Supper taking place here. It only seems fitting to provide a homage to one of our most esteemed patrons.”

The Café Royal The venue has been known as a haunt for the rich and famous for over a hundred years. The likes of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Muhammad Ali and Brigitte Bardot are just a few of its former patrons.

Dinah Washington

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Dinah Washington was one of the greatest female vocalists to have sung jazz and popular music in the 20th century. Her style and delivery have been emulated by many that followed but few have had a voice to match the Divine Miss D. Her life was the stuff of movies, but even Hollywood shied away from trying to capture it on film as it was just too complicate – She sang ‘Mad About The Boy’ and she certainly was, she married 8 times in all. Fortunately her immense talent on record has been well documented and she sounds as good today as she did when she made all those classic albums.

dinah-washingtonBorn in Alabama, Ruth Lee Jones grew up in a staunch Baptist family in Chicago, singing and playing piano in the choir at her local church and quickly becoming adept at gospel’s characteristic off-beat, syncopated rhythms and bent or sliding notes. At the age of fifteen, she performed “I Can’t Face The Music” in a local amateur competition hosted at Chicago’s Regal Theatre, won and was soon performing in Chicago’s nightclubs, such as Dave’s Rhumboogie and the Downbeat Room of the Sherman Hotel.

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She had a voice that was like the pipes of life. She could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would’ve still understood every single syllable of every single word she sang.’ – Quincy Jones

Her breakthrough came in 1942 when she was spotted by Joe Glaser, Louis Armstrong’s manager, while she was singing in the Garrick Bar to supplement her washroom attendant’s income. On Glaser’s recommendation she joined Lionel Hampton’s band in 1943, taking the name Dinah Washington, given to her either by Glaser or Joe Sherman, owner of the Garrick Bar, no one is quite sure.

_10572172_642402012533416_7782476102620361544_oWashington quickly began attracting huge acclaim during her time with Hampton who would recall, ‘Dinah alone could stop the show… I had to put her down next to closing, because nobody could follow her. She had a background in gospel, and she put something new into the popular songs I had her sing.’

In 1943, Washington recorded a blues session with a small ensemble drawn from Hampton’s band. Directed by Leonard Feather, they recorded his song “Evil Gal Blues” and made it a hit. After her three years with the Hampton band, Washington’s popularity grew and she began headlining R&B sets.

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Washington recorded the album Slick Chick (On The Mellow Side) (1946) for Mercury Records at sessions in 1946; the bluesy feel of this record was a template for much of her career. As a solo artist in the years that followed, she achieved notable success, notching up an impressive number of hits in the R&B charts, including “Ain’t Misbehavin’” in 1948 and “Am I Asking Too Much”, which topped the R&B chart later that year.

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Over the next four years she was almost never off the R&B charts, with “Baby Get Lost” becoming her second No. 1 record in 1949. Washington went on to gain wider popularity through mainstream success in the Billboard pop chart with her 1950 recording “I Wanna Be Loved”, which reached No. 22. Among the many album highlights of her career was Dinah Jams (1954), recorded with the Clifford Brown/Max Roach.

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During this time she also recorded a variety of sets with small combos as well as big bands. This period included sessions with an impressive array of musicians, such as Ben Webster, Clifford Brown, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Cobb, Max Roach, Wynton Kelly and Joe Zawinul, who would tour and record with Washington from 1959 to 1961.

916261cf0f49beeecfc936a8197f6397By the time she released her version of the Dorsey Brothers track “What A Diff’rence A Day Makes” in 1959, a record that went to No. 8 on the pop charts, Washington was a regarded as a reputable mainstream artist. Washington had not abandoned her first love of jazz and frequently headlined at high-profile jazz festivals; her performance on “All Of Me” in the 1959 movie, Jazz On A Summer’s Day (1959) filmed at the Newport Festival, showed off her credentials perfectly. She performed at renowned jazz venues like Birdland and late in her career, also played with jazz greats Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

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Washington’s life was full but tragically short, and she was known for hard work and hedonism; Bobby Shad of Mercury Records remembers, ‘She thought nothing of being up all night to 8 a.m. and then record at 10 a.m.’ She was also known for being determined, difficult to work with and arrogant; performing to Queen Elizabeth, Washington declared: ‘There is but one Heaven, one Hell, one Queen, and your Elizabeth is an imposter!’

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Her personal life was complicated and turbulent, with numerous relationships including eight marriages and a number of illicit affairs. Having battled with her weight for much of her life, tragically she had a fatal heart attack at the age of thirty-nine, triggered by a combination of diet pills, alcohol and sedatives. We lost one of the greatest singers to have graced this earth.

Words: Richard Havers

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Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #5 posted 09/11/18 7:03am


Michael Nesmith Returns, Following Heart Surgery

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Despite undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery this summer, Michael Nesmith is touring in September to promote his recent live album with the First National Band Redux. A 12-date tour, which began Friday night (September 7) in Houston, Tex., is packed into a roughly two-week schedule with what he calls a “great band, great players.” (Watch several songs below.)

The Houston Chronicle reports that Nesmith got emotional at the Heights Theater and had “tears run down his face during a three-song solo mini-set” during the 90-minute performance.

In June, the final four dates of his duo tour with fellow Monkees member, Micky Dolenz, was abruptly canceled for what was initially described as “minor health issue.” It was subsequently revealed that Nesmith was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Those dates have since been rescheduled for 2019. Tickets for “The Mike and Micky Show” are available here.

Earlier this year, the 75-year-old singer-songwriter staged a reunion of his other groundbreaking group, the First National Band. Calling it the First National Band Redux, Nez played the famous Troubadour in West Hollywood. That performance was released on July 27 by 7a Records, a British label specializing in Monkees-related material. The Chronicle report indicated that two of Nesmith’s sons are performing with him on the tour.

Watch Nesmith perform on September 7, including his own well known song, “Different Drum”

Posted by Michael Nesmith on Friday, September 7, 2018

Nesmith sounded in great spirits in a recent note on his Facebook page: “My health is stabilizing and I have green-lit the rest of the tour that I had to cancel with Micky. Not sure what might happen in the future but looking forward to the dates that will start (in just a few weeks — yikes!) in Houston. Then on to Austin, Dallas and places Northeast!

“Great band, great players — music sounds better than ever. See you on stage.” (See the itinerary below.)

Upon leaving the Monkees in 1970, says a press release for the FNB album, Nesmith started the pioneering country-rock outfit the First National band. The FNB released three albums—Magnetic South, Loose Salute and Nevada Fighter—”that sold very little on their initial release, but have since been heralded as absolute classics that helped shape country rock.”

With the passing of original members John London and Red Rhodes, says the press release, “It was thought the FNB would never perform again. But the internet went into meltdown late last year when Nez announced he was assembling a new posse of musicians to honor this music and take it out on the road again.”

Related: Q&A with Michael Nesmith

Watch three tunes from the Troubadour concert

Michael Nesmith and First National Band Redux 2018 Tour (Tickets are available here and here)

Sep 08 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theater
Sep 09 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater
Sep 11 – Nashville, TN – CMA Theater at the Country Music HoF
Sep 13 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music
Sep 14 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
Sep 15 – Kent, OH – The Kent Stage
Sep 17 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere
Sep 19 – Somerville, MA – Somerville Theatre
Sep 20 – New York, NY – Concert Hall at the NY Society for Ethical Culture
Sep 22 – Phoenixville, PA – Colonial Theatre
Sep 23 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse



It’s been a quick 22 years since Madeleine Peyroux’s breakthrough with Dreamland and ten years since her last album of original songs. Yet, Anthem stands as Peyroux’s greatest work to date. She certainly harnessed plenty of talent for this collaborative effort, involving a team of five writers and 18 participating musicians. This is a challenging album that moves in and out of the confines (if there are any) of jazz into uncharted contemporary territory where few would dare to venture. Peyroux, though, has rather limitless curiosity, always rises to daunting challenges, and delivers in her singular voice, which is undeniably beautiful, not at all powerful, but remarkably effective due to her unique phrasing.

Her team of writers have worked with the best – Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen), Brain MacLeod Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner), David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow) and producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, Herbie Hancock). They are all basically the rhythm section player on the album too. Together they cast a sober, poetic, and provocative point of view on the current state of our times.

The album gestated during the 2016 US elections and ultimately fused political outlooks with personal takes that are at times bleak or compassionate. There’s a dark bitterness threading through many of the songs but hope and resilience emerge too. They were a team huddled in one room, ruminating over a stream of news (fake and real) that sparked personal experiences, and hence more ideas. Let’s face it; we’ve endured many troubling issues and events recently. This team finds very creative ways to express reactions to them

David Baerwald’s mourning over the passing of poet John Ashberry was the catalyst for “All My Heroes” where he tempers admirable qualities (‘light fires in the shadows”) with their vulnerabilities and frailties. “Lullaby,” written by all five, was inspired by the image of a solitary woman in the midst of a wide open sea singing to her child as she’s in a boat facing the unknown against a backdrop of a haunting, mysterious musical score. It’s difficult to imagine anyone but Peyroux pulling this off.

Most of it is not preachy stuff. Many of the messages are delivered through lyrical imagery and metaphors. “Down on Me” is a lament over financial tribulations. “Ghosts of Tomorrow” speaks to unfulfilled dreams. Even tunes like “Party Tyme, “On a Sunday Afternoon” and “Might As Well Dance” seem somewhat light on the surface but there’s plenty of darkness and resignation in the lyrics. On the other hand, “The Brand New Deal” is as hard hitting as a Gil Scott-Heron piece with its ending scathing litany aimed directly at POTUS 45 – “commodification, consumerization, deregulation, privatization, objectification, sexualization, rationalization, overcompensation, disinformation, discrimination, under-education, de facto segregation, homogenization, criminalization, desensitization, mass incarceration.”

The album takes its title from Leonard Cohen’s tune that Peyroux says is becoming her own personal anthem, tying together all the stories and themes on the record. Cohen’s ability to “make you think about things without forcing you into it” became the major thread for the project. Sometimes fewer words are better than an endless string of details. Another key track of the album is Paul Eluard’s poem “Liberté” which came about by a friend requesting that Peyroux contribute a song to the documentary On the Tips of One’s Toes dealing with a family grappling with their son’s fatal illness. It’s well-known poem in France and was recently set to music by French rocker Marc Lavoine. The 21 verse poem was edited, and its stanzas adapted before Peyroux and Klein wrote their original composition. It addresses the entire human experience from childhood to adulthood, illness, death and recovery. Accompanied only by Klein’s acoustic guitar and Warren’s ethereal synth strings, Peyroux delivers it in her mesmerizing style.

Given the many musical passages, not the mention the thoughtful writing, it’s evident that Peyroux and team invested tons of time in the studio. She says, ‘this album was about discovering the original songs as they were being recorded” and to “let the songs choose their own path.” Usually committee decisions don’t work but this is a stunning example of collaboration producing an uncategorizable, enduring work of art.

Elvis Costello Reveals New LP After Cancer Scare

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Eight years after his last full studio solo album, and 10 after his last with the Imposters, Elvis Costello will release a new album—his first for Concord Records. The album, Look Now, coming October 12, was formally revealed on July 27, three weeks to the day after the singer-songwriter revealed that he had “a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy.”

The demands of his recuperation from surgery required him to cancel the six remaining dates of his European tour. But a North American tour this fall will continue as planned.

Costello co-wrote two of the songs on Look Now with Burt Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance on piano on those two ballads, “Don’t Look Now” and “Photographs Can Lie.”

“Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” was written with Carole King. The album was co-produced by Costello and Sebastian Krys – the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015.

“I knew if we could make an album with the scope of ‘Imperial Bedroom’ and some of the beauty and emotion of ‘Painted From Memory’, we would really have something,” said Costello.

Listen to “Suspect My Tears,” released on September 7

Two other songs from Look Now, “Unwanted Number” and “Under Lime” have been released. Listen to them below.

In the meantime, Costello and the Imposters will still launch a 20-city North American tour in November. The run begins Nov. 2 in Bethlehem, Penn., and continues through Dec. 4, when it winds up in Vancouver, B.C. The title of the tour is “Look Now and Then…It’s Elvis Costello & The Imposters.”

The band includes Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass) and Pete Thomas (drums).

Related: The inside story of Costello’s U.S. launch

Costello’s last album under his own name was 2010’s National Ransom, for the Hear Music/Universal label. That was preceded in 2008 by Momofuku, with the Imposters, for the Lost Highway label. In 2013, Costello teamed with the Roots to release Wise Up Ghost for Blue Note Records.

Watch the lyric video for “Unwanted Number” from Look Now

Look Now Track Listing

1. Under Lime
2. Don’t Look Now
3. Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter
4. Stripping Paper
5. Unwanted Number
6. I Let The Sun Go Down
7. Mr. & Mrs. Hush
8. Photographs Can Lie
9. Dishonor The Stars
10. Suspect My Tears
11. Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?
12. He’s Given Me Things

Deluxe Special Edition Tracks
13. Isabelle In Tears
14. Adieu Paris (L’Envie Des Étoiles)
15. The Final Mrs. Curtain
16. You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way

Listen to “Under Lime” from the new album

The title of the new tour bears some similarity to that of Costello’s Las Vegas run of 2017, which was called “Now/Not Now.”

Elvis Costello 2018 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Nov 02 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Nov 03 – Atlantic City, NJ – Mark G Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Nov 04 – Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall
Nov 06 – Asbury Park, NJ – Paramount Theatre
Nov 07 – Verona, NY – Turning Stone Resort Casino
Nov 09 – Wallingford, CT Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre
Nov 10 – Boston, MA – Boch Center Wang Theatre
Nov 11 – Buffalo, NY – Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Nov 13 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
Nov 15 – Minneapolis, MN – Northrop Auditorium
Nov 17 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
Nov 19 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre
Nov 21 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
Nov 23 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar World Casino
Nov 25 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
Nov 27 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Nov 28 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues Anaheim
Nov 29 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Dec 01 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic
Dec 03 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
Dec 04 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre


A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, the debut album by the Afro-Cuban All Stars was the first in a trilogy of special albums recorded by World Circuit in a single two-week session at Havana’s Egrem studios in 1996. This is the re-mastered re-issued version. The other albums, which share many of the same personnel, were Buena Vista Social Club and Introducing Ruben Gonzalez. This recording marks the beginning of what led to a series of albums involving Cuban artists under the Buena Vista Social Club banner, much of it due to the efforts of Ry Cooder, who guests on one track with these All Stars. Among the artists featured on those albums, some of whom appear here (*), were Compay Segundo, Omara Portunondo, Ibrahim Ferrer*, Eliades Ochoa, and Barbarito Torres*.

The All Stars were brought together by musical director Juan de Marcos González (who was previously the leader of the son group Sierra Maestra) as a backing band for his heroes: the legendary soneros (singers) from the 1940s and 1950s – the ‘Golden Age’ of Cuban music. González had long embraced a dream to put together a band combining the ‘old masters’ and the new generation of Cuban musicians. A meeting with World Circuit’s Nick Gold gave him the opportunity he was seeking. With his contemporary arrangements, his choice of musicians and wide ranging repertoire combined with the all-acoustic ensemble’s talents, he found an extraordinary balance between relaxed playing, spontaneous solos, and contagious energy.

The thirteen-piece band comprises four generations of some of Cuba’s finest musicians. The list of lead vocalists is a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Cuba’s best: the octogenarian Pío Leyva and septuagenarians Raúl Planas, Manuel ‘Puntillita’ Licea and Ibrahim Ferrer are joined by younger rising stars, Antonio ‘Maceo’ and Félix Valoy.

To back these legendary singers, González worked hard to assemble top shelf talent. He coaxed the legendary pianist Ruben Gonzalez, out of retirement. He tapped Cuba’s finest bassist, Orlando ‘Cachaito’ López, who learnt his trade as part of the extraordinary bass playing López dynasty which includes his father Orestes López and uncle Israel ‘Cachao’ López. The six-piece horn section (three trumpets, two trombones, sax, flute) is from the Havana’s Tropicana Orchestra. The trumpet solos are by Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal. The album also features guest solos from Ry Cooder on guitar (“Alto Songo”), Orchestra Aragón’s legendary flute player, Richard Egües (“Havana del Este”) and Barbarito Torres on laoud (“Amor Verdadero”). These players were joined by six piece percussion section.

As you listen, you can practically feel the vivacious studio atmosphere where the older players were inspired by the youthful energy surrounding them. The rejuvenated singers relived their glory years. The entire recording was completed in under a week. The next day work started on what became the breakthrough Buena Vista Social Club album.

Listen closely for the different Cuban styles including: danzón, son montuno, guaguancó, mozambique, afro, mambo and guajira. We’ll briefly reference the tracks highlighting the principal players, leaving the composers aside. Amor Verdadero” is a guajira-son arranged following the classical style of the Afro-Cuban Jazz bands from the 1950s such. Manuel “Puntillita” Licea is lead vocalist. “Alto Songo” is a son montuno arranged by de Marcos González. Four generations of singers are represented in Raúl Planas, Pío Leyva, Manuel “Puntillita” Licea and José Antonio “Maceo” Rodriguez. Rubén González delivers a piano solo and Cooder plays slide guitar.

“Habana del Este” is a danzonete-chá in homage to Havana’s region along the east coast from Matanzas. The flute is played by Richard Egües, and de Marcos González plays a tres solo. The title track,”A Toda Cuba le Gusta,” is a son arranged by de Marcos González in a new version blending elements of son, mambo and mozambique. Lead vocalist is Raúl Planas, who sang in the 1950s with Sonora Matancera, Conjunto Rumbavana, Celia Cruz, and others.”Fiesta de la Rumba” is a collage of various traditional Cuban guaguancós with the tres taking the lead. Lead vocalist is Félix Baloy and backing vocals from all the other singers and musicians.

“Los Sitio’ Asere” is a guaguancó-son written about Los Sitio’, a barrio in Havana famous for its nightlife and fiestas in the 1940s and 50s. Lead vocalist is Félix Baloy, who sang with Cuban son bands. Sharing the lead is José Antonio “Maceo” Rodriguez, lead singer in Sierra Maestra since the 1980s.”Pío Mentiroso” is a guaracha re-arranged by de Marcos González, who added new material in the form of two montunos and two mambos, written for three trumpets. Pío Leyva is lead vocalist and Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal plays a trumpet solo.

“Maria Caracoles” is a new version of the well-known 1950s Mozambique. Lead vocals are by Ibrahim Ferrer.”Clasiqueando con Rubén” was composed by de Marcos González as an experiment mixing baroque with tropical dance music, following the principles of Haydn and Bach and arranged to the canons of son. Rubén González leads on piano, with participation from the brass and rhythm section, and a Cuban crescendo with contributions from trombone and congas. “Elube Chango” is a son-afro as a praise song to the Santería gods. It is sung in the Yoruba language by de Marcos González, who also plays tres solos. Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal (trumpet), Demetrio Muñiz (trombone) and Miguel “Angá” Díaz (congas) also deliver solos. The tempo is upbeat, within the rhythm known in Cuba as timba.

Immerse yourself in this joyous music. You’ll likely revisit some of those Buena Vista Social Club albums from twenty years ago too. This is where it all began.

Linda Ronstadt Plans Speaking Engagements

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Singer Linda Ronstadt, who revealed in 2013 that she has Parkinson’s disease and can no longer sing, is easing back into the public eye with a series of speaking engagements. “A Conversation With Linda Ronstadt” has seven dates booked in California and other western states in September and October. She also has dates on the east coast in spring 2019. (See the schedule below.)

According to an article written by Joel Selvin and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, at earlier events in Arizona, the 71-year-old Ronstadt “recollected her career interspersed with snippets of recordings and videos. She even answered questions from the audience.” Selvin added, “Reviews from those events noted, with some surprise, how funny Ronstadt was, as if she has finally made public the brilliant, chatty, outgoing private self her friends have always known.

Ronstadt’s last performance as a singer took place in 2009 and she has spent most of her time since then out of the public eye. The singer, who now lives in San Francisco, now speaks in what Selvin describes as a “whisper.” Although she works out in a gym and with a physical trainer, and takes medication to control the disease, she recognizes that she will never improve to the point that she can sing again.

Related: A look back at Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel album

In an interview published previ...ssic Bands, Ronstadt was asked if she would still be singing if she hadn’t contracted Parkinson’s. “You can’t tell what would have happened if you’d gone on a different path,” she said. “I know I’d be singing because I sang my whole life since I was born. I’d at least be singing in the shower or driving my car or harmonizing with somebody. But I can’t do any of that now. I’m grateful for the fact that I can talk. I don’t know how much longer that’s going to last.”

Ronstadt published Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir in 2013.

Watch Ronstadt on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1983

A Conversation With Linda Ronstadt Dates (Tickets are available here and here.)

Sep 15 – San Rafael, CA – Angelico Concert Hall
Sep 21 – Folsom, CA – Harris Center
Sep 29 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
Oct 04 – Cerritos, CA – Cerritos Center for the Perf. Arts
Oct 06 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Oct 14 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
Oct 25 – Reno, NV – Pioneer Center for the Perf. Arts

May 02 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo PAC
May 04 – New York, NY – The Town Hall


The Music: There is a freaky sense of abandon pinging around Beanpole’s collection of fifteen short tracks; a comically loose, yet supposedly lyrically based concept album on half-food/half human hybrids, illegal family bonds and other whacky outings. The intro track sets the scene with running bass, scratchy guitars and layers of singing before the frantic “Chicken Boy” squawks, but it is “Cousins” which provides the first highlight via accordions, cymbals and a kaleidoscope of sound around incestuous lyrics in the vein of Ween.

The Crash Test Dummies sounding “Farmer Loved an Onion” is another successful tale of misplaced affections while “Pumpkin Pickin’ Time” is a mid-album highlight with dramatic drumming and swelling sounds supported by childlike backing vocals. “Grandma” mixes punkish outer space runs with the boing of a mouth harp while “Children In Your Garden” has screeching guitars and powerful bass.

The album less successfully slips into freaky spoken word outings with minimal accompaniment on the second side with “Judge Wapner” and “Monkey Boy” that are both limp and one note. The frequent musical interludes can be interesting but extraneous while tracks like “Sponge Boy” and “Embryo” are simply annoying missteps.

The Story: Sifting through the marketing hype and deliberately misleading PR spin can be tricky as Sean Lennon released the album on his Chimera Music stating:

Beanpole’s All My Kin is a concept album for post-modern America. It chronicles the epic tale of Chicken Boy and his dangerously interrelated family. Years of isolation have resulted in the birth of a child who is part man and part poultry. Despite obvious adoration for their uniquely feathered offspring, having fallen upon hard times they consider the unthinkable: will Chicken Boy be sacrificed to feed his hungry family

There are zero stakes as there is no linking of concepts around all of the silliness and cartoonish sounds. The record was actually recorded by none other than Les Claypool in the late eighties early/nineties with Primus mate Larry Lelonde and Spent Poets Adam Gates and Derek Greenberg onboard. The group intentionally switched instruments and wrote songs on the fly for an amateur feeling throughout.

The Verdict: Claypool’s music has always been well suited for the absurd and Beanpole’s All of My Kin jumps to the front of the line when it comes to his bizarre releases. While he recently teamed up with Lennon to strike freak rock gold on Monolith of Phobos, All My Kin is much more of an oddity, but one that surprisingly works well early before losing steam over the second half of the record.

If you are a fan of acts like They Might Be Giants, Captain Beefheart, The Meat Puppets or even joke groups like Green Jelly, GWAR or Weird Al you might want to check out Beanpole, also if Lloyd Kaufman and Troma are looking for inspiration regarding a new low budget freak-out flick, All My Kin is the perfect soundtrack.


As you can tell from the big headline Eamon is a multi-media project. We will focus on the music but the accompanying graphic novel and its back story is essential to understanding both the impetus for the project and the musical pieces too. The title of the project and the four-composition orchestral suite is also Shorter’s title character for the graphic novel. “Emanon” is “no name” spelled backward, inspired by a Dizzy Gillespie piece in the late’40s that Shorter heard as teenager.

Shorter, now 84, has long been one of the most foremost composers in jazz but the orchestral approach is a new twist for him. Credit the inspiration to his long-time musical partner Miles Davis. Shorter remembers, “Just before Miles passed he said, ‘Wayne, I want you to write something for me with strings and an orchestra, but make sure you put a window in so I can get out of there.’ He definitely did not say, “Make the strings swing.” Working with an orchestra is like crossing the street and talking to a neighbor you haven’t talked to for 10 years. It’s the thing the world needs now: joining forces.”

The main driving force behind the character is Shorter’s lifelong comic book aficionado. He’s identified with heroes and alternate realms (which you may have gleaned from some of his compositions for Weather Report). Shorter even created his own comic book of blue ink drawings, Other Worlds, at age 15. At the suggestion of Blue Note president, Don Was, Shorter had investigated the well-respected Randy DuBurke’s illustrations in graphic novels on Malcolm X and Deadwood Dick. He could relate to DuBurke’s approach from his earliest childhood memories.

As it turns out, Shorter wanted DuBurke to be able to collaborate by listening to the musical vision that Shorter had already formed. He had four studio tracks: “Pegasus,” “Lotus,” “The Three Marias,” and “Prometheus Unbound.” Shorter’s quartet with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade recorded this music with the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in February 2013, the day after a combined Carnegie Hall performance. With this music as his guide, DuBurke went to work on the sketches. Then, with these sketches in hand, the screenwriter Monica Sly, who helped Shorter and Herbie Hancock write their viral 2016 “Letter to the Next Generation of Artists,” worked with Shorter to develop and structure the graphic novel. The central idea is multiverse theory. So, each of four universes represented by each piece, exists simultaneously, in a way lining up with the in-the-moment improvisational nature of jazz. Each of the four pieces is meant to be rather dark, connoting fears that the novel tried to match.

Shorter’s beautiful soprano sax is at first heard only against dissonant piano chords before the orchestra joins on “Pegasus,” Emanon’s first world, addressing the complacency of people who fear their power and potential, instead living in prescribed boxes. The sweeping, suspenseful nature of this oft dramatic score, like the others that follow, is more like a twentieth century classical piece of Copland or Stravinsky than jazz. Yet, listen closely and you’ll hear a spontaneity that’s unlike most classical written scores. That’s because the Orpheus orchestra is conducted cooperatively by the musicians themselves. This was important to Shorter; that they grasped his vision and spirit for the expansive music.

”Prometheus Unbound” is about fear of the unknown and has the kind of orchestral sound one associates with sci-fi soundtracks as Shorter makes his entrance on soprano mid-piece following Perez’s piano sequence. “Lotus” speaks to the destructive effects of divisive thinking and how these fears could lead to war. The Buddhist symbol of the lotus flower presents an alternative which the character Emanon carries out in the story itself. The quartet has a bit more prominence here amidst the massive orchestral backdrop with Shorter again on soprano and Perez stretching out on piano propelled by Patitucci and Blade.

In “The Three Marias,” the novel has Emanon confronting the fear of knowledge that leads to censorship and curbing of freedoms. The name is from the real-life arrest of three Portuguese women for writing obscene literature. It’s originally heard in electric format on Shorter’s 1985 Atlantisalbum but here Shorter turned to Perez and Patitucci to orchestrate this version. Patitucci says, “I think he asked us in the spirt of a father challenging his sons. The two collaborated while on tour focusing mostly on the strings, sharing their progress with Shorter. Patitucci continues, “And after we’d performed it live, we wound up honing it even more – it was fitting, because that’s Wayne’s own method, endless revision.”

The remaining two discs are The Wayne Shorter Quartet Live in London comprised of all of the preceding pieces except “Pegasus” with “Lost and Orbits Medley,” (“Orbits” dates to Shorter’s Miles Davis Quintet tenure), “She Moves Through the Fair,” a showcase for Blade and Patitucci; and the soprano -punctuated “Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean.” “Pegasus” appeared on Shorter’s previous recording, 2013’s Without a Net, there performed with the Imani Winds. Like Without a Net, the enthusiastic audience response accents the brilliant solos from all four members. Yet, it’s the group interplay that is even more remarkable as they explore layers of melody, inventive harmonics and dazzling shifts in rhythm. Unlike the orchestral settings, Shorter plays both tenor and soprano, depending on the piece. For example, his tenor graces the first piece, “The Three Marias,” on which he played soprano in the orchestral setting. His quartet has been playing together since 2001; hence they are so tuned in; seemingly knowing each other’s every move, even though Shorter is as unpredictable as any. The crescendo that emphatically concludes “Prometheus Unbound,” the final three minutes or so, is a terrific snapshot of how tightly interwoven this unit is.

Emanon is fulfillment of a lifetime vision for Shorter, a chance to not only display his composing skills, but storytelling and art as well as his clear signature tone, (especially on soprano) and imaginative soloing. News just broke that Shorter will be a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors this year and odds are, as a ten-time Grammy winner, he may be adding to that number with this work.

Note that Emanon is a physical-only release that will be available in two versions, a Standard Edition that packages 3x CDs with the graphic novel, and a Deluxe Edition that packages 3x 180g vinyl LPs and 3x CDs with the graphic novel enclosed in a hardcover slipcase.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier

The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier reissue

Craft Recordings will reissue Terry Callier‘s debut album The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier in October.

The Chicago-born jazz-folk guitarist recorded the album for Prestige Records in 1965 but it wasn’t actually released until 1968. This new reissue adds seven bonus tracks (five previously unreleased) and is available as a double LP vinyl package and on CD.

Callier went on to record five more albums in the 1970s before retiring in the early 1980s. His musical career was revived by interest in the mid-nineties from the British soul/jazz scene and he collaborated with artists like Beth Orton.

The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier will be released on 21 September 2018.





The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier 2LP vinyl

Side 1
1. 900 Miles
2. Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be
3. Johnny Be Gay If You Can Be
4. Cotton Eyed Joe

Side 2
1. It’s About Time
2. Promenade in Green
3. Spin, Spin, Spin
4. I’m a Drifter

Side 3
1. Jack O’Diamonds
2. Golden Apples of the Sun
3. Promenade in Green [take 1]*

Side 4
1. Be My Woman [take 1]*
2. 900 Miles [take 1]*
3. It’s About Time [take 2]*
4. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be [take 2]*

The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier CD edition

1. 900 Miles
2. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be
3. Johnny Be Gay If You Can Be
4. Cotton Eyed Joe
5. It’s About Time
6. Promenade in Green
7. Spin, Spin, Spin
8. I’m A Drifter
9. Jack O’Diamonds
10. Golden Apples Of The Sun
11. Promenade in Green (take 1)*
12. Be My Woman (take 1)*
13. 900 Miles (take 1)*
14. It’s About Time (take 2)*
15. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be (take 2)*

Rod Stewart New LP, ‘Blood Red Roses,’ Tour: Listen

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Rod Stewart announced on July 19 the release of his 30th studio album, Blood Red Roses, and the first single, “Didn’t I.” The title, via Republic Records, arrives Sept. 28. On September 6, a second song, “Look in Her Eyes,” was released. Listen to both songs below.

From the announcement, Stewart said: “I always think I make albums for a few friends and this record has that intimacy, I hope. Sincerity and honesty go a long way in life and the same is true in songwriting.”

The collection features newly written Stewart originals, plus three new covers.

Stewart is a 2x inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, and winner of numerous awards including a Grammy and ASCAP songwriting awards. On Oct. 11, 2016, he was knighted at a ceremony at London’s Buckingham Palace, which he described as “deeply mind blowing.” He thanked Her Majesty and promised it to “wear it well.”

Listen to “Look in Her Eyes”

He has reportedly amassed sales of more than 200 million records in his 50-plus year career of classic rock favorites like “Maggie May,” “Stay With Me,” “You Wear It Well,” “Young Turks,” and dozens more.

Related: Our Album Rewind of Stewa...erpiece”

From the announcement: “The new songs fearlessly address life’s thornier issues from first infatuation to our final words to a friend, and all the agonies and ecstasies along the way.”

Listen to the first release, “Didn’t I”

Stewart is on a North American tour with dates well into December. Tickets are available here and here.

Blood Red Roses Track Listing

Look in Her Eyes
Hole in My Heart
Didn’t I
Blood Red Roses
Give Me Love
Rest of My Life
Rollin’ & Tumblin’
Honey Gold
Vegas Shuffle
Cold Old London
Who Designed the Snowflake (Bonus Track)
It Was a Very Good Year (Bonus Track)
I Don’t Want to Get Married (Bonus Track)

Bob Dylan to Open Renovated Historic Venue

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Dylan and his band performing at Desert Trip in Indio, CA on October 7, 2016

After completing Far East and Australia-New Zealand legs of the “Never-Ending Tour,” Bob Dylan resumes on October 4 with a significant U.S tour. It was announced today (September 10) the Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter will headline opening night of The Met Philadelphia on December 3. Bob Dylan & His Band will be the first act to play at the newly renovated historic venue and mark his 50th Philadelphia-area performance.

Originally built in 1908 by opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein, The Met Philadelphia is currently undergoing a $56 million restoration to transform the historic theater into the crown jewel of North Broad Street’s renaissance, which has seen a neighborhood revitalization through several major restoration projects.

Tickets will go on sale to the public this Friday, September 14 at 10 a.m. at, Citi® cardmembers have access to purchase presale tickets on select shows beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 10 a.m.

In March and April, Dylan performed several dozen dates in Europe. The 2018 tour follows a particularly fruitful year for Dylan: 2017 saw the release of his three-disc Triplicate, his latest collection of Great American Songbook covers, and Trouble No More—The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 /1979-1981, a comprehensive collection of music made during Dylan’s so-called Christian era.

On July 27, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings released a new compilation album of Dylan recordings, Live 1962-1966: Rare Performances from the Copyright Collections. Our review

More of the old standards from his recent albums have found their way into his concert setlists of late. On the European dates, many of Dylan’s own classic rock compositions of the ’60s and ’70s, such as “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Simple Twist of Fate” have also been featured. Many of the typically 20-song sets have included “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Ballad of a Thin Man” as encores.

Related: Our review of Dylan’s f...tober 2016

Tickets for the upcoming concerts can be purchased here and here.

Bob Dylan 2018 Tour Dates

Oct 04 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Oct 05 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Music Hall
Oct 07 – Albuquerque, NM – Kiva Auditorium
Oct 09 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel PAC
Oct 10 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Oct 12 – Tulsa, OK – River Spirit Casino Resort
Oct 13 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar World Casino and Resort
Oct 14 – Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre
Oct 16 – Lafayette, LA – Heymann PAC
Oct 17 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre Mobile
Oct 19 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Oct 20 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
Oct 21 – Sarasota, FL – Van Wezel PAC
Oct 23 – Fort Myers, FL – Barbara B. Mann Perf. Arts Hall
Oct 24 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Au-Rene Theater at the Broward
Oct 26 – Orlando, FL – Walt Disney Theater
Oct 27 – Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium
Oct 28 – Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theatre
Oct 30 – Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center Concert Hall
Oct 31 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre
Nov 02 – Asheville, NC – US Cellular Cener
Nov 03 – Durham, NC – Durham PAC
Nov 04 – North Charleston, SC – North Charleston PAC
Nov 06 – Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theatre
Nov 07 – Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium
Nov 09 – Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium
Nov 10 – Roanoke, VA – Berglund Center
Nov 11 – Richmond, KY – EKU Center for the Arts
Nov 13 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
Nov 14 – Rochester, NY – Auditorium Theatre
Nov 15 – Utica, NY – Stanley Center for the Arts
Nov 17 – Atlantic City, NJ – Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Nov 18 – Springfield, MA – Symphony Hall
Nov 20 – Waterbury, CT – Palace Theatre
Dec 03 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia

Victor Manuelle to Receive 2018 La Musa's Icon Award

Amy Sussman/Invision/AP
Victor Manuelle poses for a portrait on March 22, 2018 in New York City.

The event will be hosted by Puerto Rican actor/singer, Ektor Rivera.

Salsa singer Victor Manuelle will be honored by Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (LSHOF) with the Icon Award during the 2018 La Musa Awards.The announcement was made by LSHOF founders Desmond Child and Rudy Pérez on behalf of its Board of Directors.

The special award will recognize Victor Manuelle's career & musical contribution, breaking chart records within the Latin & tropical music space for over two decades. Only Alejandro Sanz and Carlos Vives have been honored with the Icon award in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

"I have received many awards through the years, but being the recipient of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Icon Award has a very special significance for me," said Manuelle in a press statement. "This award not only recognizes the depth and length of my career as a performer and songwriter but also honors all of the creativity that went into writing and producing my music with the world's most brilliant collaborators, musicians and singers."

Manuelle onstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas during the 2016 Latin Grammy Person of the Year concert honoring Marc Anthony.

The 6th annual LA Musa Awards, presented by Spotify, will be directed by Richard Jay-Alexander and will take place at the James L. Knight Center in Miami on Oct. 18 and will be hosted by Puerto Rican actor/singer, Ektor Rivera.

The ceremony will honor this year’s class of Inductees: Gloria Trevi (Mexico), Chucho Valdés (Cuba), Carlos Rubira Infante (Ecuador), Fernando Osorio (Venezuela) and special Honorees.

Raphael to Receive Living Legend Award at 2018 La Musa Awards

GV Cruz/WireImage
Raphael performs 'Mi Gran Noche' at Coliseo Jose M. Agrelot on May 19, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Spanish legend Raphael will be honored by the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (LSHOF), founders Desmond Child and Rudy Pérez have announced on behalf of its Board of Directors. The superstar will be the recipient of La Musa's living legend award during the 2018 La Musa Awards.

The special award will recognize Raphael’s artistic contribution, cultural impact, and lasting legacy for over six decades. Only two other distinguished recipients have been previously honored with the award: Andy García (2013), and Emilio Estefan (2015).

“It is an honor for me to receive the living legend award at Premios La Musa; whose aim is to reward the Latin artists and composers,” Raphael said in a press statement. “This is the home of the greatest Spanish music writers and I have the privilege to know some of them very well.”

The 6th annual La Musa Awards, presented by Spotify and directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, will be held on Oct. 18, 2018 at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Fla. The ceremony will honor this year’s class of Inductees: Gloria Trevi(Mexico), Chucho Valdés (Cuba), Carlos Rubira Infante (Ecuador), Fernando Osorio (Venezuela).

In a joint statement Desmond Child, chairman/CEO and Rudy Pérez, president & co-founder expressed, “Raphael is the consummate artist for all the ages…a true Living Legend. His timeless music and distinctive voice have brought the entire world to Latin music where they have stayed.”

Latin Community Awards 2018 Coming to Washington in October

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
Singer Pablo Montero touches the box containing the ashes of Mexican music superstar Juan Gabriel, as he pays his respects in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on Sept. 5, 2016. The singer's ashes will be on display for two days to give family, friends, and thousands of fans the opportunity to pay tribute and say goodbye.

The Latin Community Awards 2018 will be presented Oct. 12 in Washington.

The awards are an occasion to recognize the local talent of Maryland and Virginia, as well as to showcase talent from all over the world of entertainment and the media. Latin influencers, including talented Venezuelans, will have the doors open for them to shine during the event.

The invited stars are joining forces to promote the gala of the Latin Community Awards as a prestigious prize among the Latin American community in the United States. The celebration will highlight the work of its president, Juan Hernández Villegas, and its logistics director, Jessie Cruz.

Among the musical guests for the evening are Ninel Conde, Pablo Montero, Fernando Allende, Jhosse and Grupo Lora, Mazizo Musical, La Banda Blanca de Honduras, Nory Flores de los Hermanos Flores, Oro Sólido, Richard Yz, Nuby and Elvis Presley Jr. Film stars will also be present, including Riccardo Dalmacci, Guadalupe Hernandez, Julian Gallegos and Fernando Delgado.

Lana Del Rey Teases 'Mariners Apartment Complex,' One of Two New Singles Releasing Next Week

Neil Krug
Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey has announced on Friday (Sept. 7) that she will be releasing two brand new singles next week.

The "Lust for Life" star took to Instagram to make the announcement and shared the title of the first track, "Mariners Apartment Complex," with a cinematic snippet to go along with the track's teaser. The clip, filmed by Del Rey's photographer sister Chuck Grant, features the singer-songwriter's lush, country-inspired vocals against a backdrop of delicate acoustic guitar work.

Del Rey also tagged Jack Antonoff in the post, alluding to the pair having collaborated for the track. Antonoff, guitarist for fun and frontman for Bleachers, has previously served as a co-producer on major albums for Lorde, Taylor Swift and St. Vincent.

The title for the second single has yet to be revealed, but Del Rey called the songs "two end of summer jams," and will most likely reveal the other title sometime next week.

Ashlee Simpson & Evan Ross Release Debut Joint Single, 'I Do': Listen

Taylor Hill/WireImage
Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson attend Refinery29's 29Rooms Opening Night on Sept. 5, 2018 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross released their debut single together on Friday (Sept. 7), the romantic duet "I Do." The couple's new song comes ahead of their upcoming E! reality series, Ashlee and Evan, which premieres on Sunday (Sept. 9).

The 33-year-old "Pieces of Me" singer and mother of two hasn't released new music since 2012's "Bat for a Heart," but the collaboration with her multitalented husband -- son of pop icon Diana Ross -- is the first taste of a full-length duets album slated for release later this year.

The E! series will follow the couple through the making of new music, and each episode will showcase a new song.

Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson arrive at The Art of Elysium celebrating the 10th Anniversary at Red Studios on Jan. 7, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Watch Ashlee and Evan on E! Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. ET, and check out their new single below.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Culture Club Signs With Paul Kemsley for Management (EXCLUSIVE)

Known to fans of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" as PK, he already manages Boy George.

Paul Kemsley, known to viewers of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” as PK, husband of Dorit, is adding management of Culture Club to his existing duties as manager of Boy George. The group, which charted the No. 1 hit “Karma Chameleon” in 1983, had a string of hits in the U.S. including “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “Time (Clock of the Heart),” “Church of the Poison Mind,” “It’s a Miracle” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”

Culture Club has been on a U.S. tour since June, topping a bill that has included the B-52s and Tom Bailey. According to Pollstar, Culture Club has averaged a box office gross of just over $225,000.

The group hits Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre on Oct. 3 and 4 and wraps its tour at Pechanga Resort & Casino on Oct. 6. The band, which includes members Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss, is set to release its first album in 20 years on Oct. 26. Culture Club was previously managed by Peter Katsis.

Kemsley began representing Boy George in 2014, during which the singer has expanded his resume to include a multi-season stint as a coach on “The Voice” Australia. George is also among the regulars to cameo on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Avril Lavigne Announces 'Head Above Water,' First Single in Years Following Her Battle With Lyme Disease

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS
Avril Lavigne attends the 25th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 20, 2018 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

On Thursday, (Sept. 6), iconic '00s singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne announced through her website that she will release her first single in years, "Head Above Water" on Sept. 19. In an emotional letter to fans, the singer revealed that in her five year absence she's been fighting Lyme Disease, but was able to turn her struggle into a powerful body of music.

Lavigne writes that she penned the single from bed, feeling like she was dying. "I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down," she explains. "I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air." The music helped her find strength, and the release is her way of telling the story to fans.

"I have decided to be truthful about my struggle, open and more vulnerable than ever before," she says, before announcing that her foundation will now provide Lyme prevention resources. Soon, she will launch an initiative to educate and help others fighting the disease.

Read the entire letter here, and check out Lavigne's tweet below.


Album of the Month: Jonathan Butler gets "Close To You"

Women Move From Samba’s Sidelines to the Center of the Circle

Over time, the Brazilian samba circle turned into a predominantly male realm. Now female musicians are pushing back.

The women of Samba Que Elas Querem at a rehearsal at a member's home in Rio. From left, Bárbara Fernandes, Mariana Solis, Júlia Ribeiro, Cecília Cruz, Isabella Ciavatta and Sylvia Duffrayer.CreditCreditMaria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times

By Shannon Sims

  • Sept. 8, 2018

Step up to a traditional samba circle in Brazil and you’ll find this: a group of 5 to 15 men, each playing an instrument — a tambourine, a cavaquinho, a drum. Then you’ll typically see women, not playing music, but rather shimmying in the front row of the crowd, dancing to the pounding syncopations.

The samba circle, or roda de samba, is a Unesco-recognized part of Brazil’s cultural heritage. These communal releases of weekday worries crop up across the city regularly. The samba circles are free, they’re rowdy and, increasingly, they’re changing.

With astonishing speed, female musicians in Brazil have in the past couple of years begun breaking into the male realm of samba circles, taking a seat at the table both literally and figuratively. Just a few years ago, the musicians playing in a samba circle jam session used to be almost all male. In 2018, though, a clutch of all-female samba groups have set out to change that, and in doing so, they have generated what could be a sea change for this beloved Brazilian musical genre.

“A lot of times when you’re the only woman playing in a samba circle, you are also subject to a lot of harassing language from the guys around the samba,” said Silvia Duffrayer, a member of the all-female band Samba Que Elas Querem. “So by forming a group made up just of women, we kind of stop that vibe from starting,”

Another part of the movement is spurred by a newfound sense of revolt among female musicians against the lyrics of some of the traditional samba circle anthems, which make light of serious crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault.

Samba Que Elas Querem, an all-women samba group composed of 10 female musicians, plays a show in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.CreditMaria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times

Samba Que Elas Querem, a samba group made up of 10 women, is one of the most popular samba circles in Rio today. Its nighttime shows in Rio’s public plazas draw crowds that fill the square and then jam the side streets as well. The group’s popularity grew overnight, said Cecilia Cruz, who plays cavaco, the stringed instrument present in most samba circles. “I think people were ready and waiting to see women break into the samba circle,” she said.

But they aren’t the only group of women who saw a moment to seize. Moça Prosa is another popular all-female group in Rio, whose samba circles generate crowds that spill out of the corner bars and block traffic. The trend spreads beyond the traditional cradle of samba — Rio de Janeiro — and into other cities as well. In São Paulo, all-female groups like Samba da Elis and Sambadas are creating similar waves, as are Samba Delas in Porto Alegre, and Samba de Saia in Curitiba, to name just a few. All-female groups are growing, though their numbers are minuscule compared to the hundreds of most-male samba groups around the country.

But as Brazilian women and female musicians in particular have called out the traditional samba circle's culture of machismo, the blowback has been very real. In WhatsApp conversations made available to The New York Times, a female musician suggested to a group of primarily male samba musicians that they consider refraining from playing the most offensively sexist songs at the next samba circle. She was excoriated by the group and, shortly thereafter, pushed out of her regular gig leading a Friday night samba circle in Copacabana.

Pagode do Arlindinho is a samba circle that occurs on Thursday nights at Beco do Rato, a classic samba bar in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janieiro.CreditMaria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times

What has changed today is that social media plays a meaningful role in empowering female samba musicians. Women join together in secret Facebook groups or in private WhatsApp message groups to share news: A singer is releasing her first album, a guitarist was pushed out of a samba circle by a man, a new feminist politician is running for office.

The lead singer of Moça Prosa, Fabiola Machado, says the situation boils down to a question of visibility and musical talent. “All we want is for people to hear our music and think, ‘Hey, that sounds good, what’s their name?’” she said.

The visibility of women throughout the history of Brazilian samba is a complex tale. Kelly Adriano de Oliveira, a top scholar on the history of women in samba, points out that samba was always rooted in resistance: the resistance of poor black communities against Brazil’s post-colonial culture. In 2018, that resistance has taken a different form, with women leading the change, pushing against sexist strictures. “This is a big moment in the history of samba,” she says.

But samba circles weren’t always male dominated. In 1930s post-slavery Brazil, Ms. de Oliveira notes, women were the orchestrators of what are now known as samba circles.

Afro-Brazilian religions like Umbanda and Candomblé, which have been historically persecuted for their perceived connection to “black magic,” burnished the cultural role of the powerful female “auntie” — nicknamed a Baiana in reference to the state of Bahia, the geographical center of Afro-Brazilian religions in Brazil. The women inhabiting these leadership roles, which are somewhere between a mother figure and a wise queen, became the de facto hostesses of the very first samba circles.

Doralyce Gonzaga, a local artist and singer, was invited to sing with the Samba Independente dos Bons Costumes samba circle at its weekly show in downtown Rio.CreditMaria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times

Early in the 20th century, Brazilian laws aimed ostensibly at “vagrancy," but drenched in racial antipathy resulted in a crackdown on Afro-Brazilian religious practices. Musicians — especially black men — could be arrested for simply walking around town with a tambourine in their hand. In response, Baianas opened up their backyards for clandestine religious gatherings that included music — the first iteration of the modern samba circle. These women — Tia Ciata, Madrinha Eunice and Clementina de Jesus, to name a few — formed the first generation of women in samba, initiating an art form that over time gave rise to the crowded Samba Que Elas Querem shows. Female musicians today credit that generation for putting women in the center of samba, and the groups exalt them by including the sambas those women composed in their regular repertoires.

But that first generation did not lead to easy entry for women in samba circles. Rather, women were pushed back out of Brazilian samba starting in the 1940s and ’50s as vagrancy rules relaxed and sambas started popping up in public spaces. Women were suddenly deemed too fragile to be out and about in the streets playing music. Before long, women had almost entirely disappeared from the samba circles, being cast back into accessory roles: the muse or the dancer.

Anna Furtado, the director of a documentary film on the history of women in samba called “Bambas,” notes that rather than being welcomed into samba circles to play music, “women were soon designated to cook or dance in short shorts.” The machismo of the time brought with it sexist lyrics, and soon samba circles turned into roughneck, guy’s club-type scenes of men around a table, laugh-singing about domestic violence, while the women danced behind and the crowd sang along.

Although the lyrics of many samba songs focus on universal feelings of heartbreak or good times, and many of those composed by women like Dona Ivone Lara are embraced by the all-female groups, some of the older, most egregiously sexist lyrics of samba can be shocking to modern ears. One classic song laughingly describes a man’s partner as an ugly “little monkey” whom he “punches” and “throws in the sink.” Another portrays a man chastising another man for beating the first man’s wife, lecturing that doing so is “wrong” because he is the only one who can beat his woman. Yet another describes “a real woman” as someone who is willing to starve for a man. The songs became so embedded in the increasingly revered institution of the samba circle that few thought to challenge them.

Nevertheless, with the place of women in samba shrinking in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, a few women managed to break through, usually thanks to an undeniably captivating singing voice. The names of this second generation of female sambistas are known by all Brazilians — Dona Ivone Lara, Beth Carvalho, Clara Nunes, Alcione — and their pioneering efforts over the past generation are widely regarded as paving the way for the all-female samba circles of today.

Fans, relatives and friends sang in tribute to the samba composer and singer Dona Ivone Lara, 97, during her burial in Rio de Janeiro in April.CreditRicardo Moraes/Reuters

Dona Ivone Lara in particular is now credited with composing and singing some of the most iconic samba masterpieces of all time, including “Sonho Meu(“My Dream”), an aching love song about “the purity of samba,” lacking any of the old, sexist lyrics. Female samba musicians today voice their fears that the door these women pushed open for women in samba will close unless a new, third generation of female sambistas are rigorous in holding it open.

Underlining that sense of urgency, Ms. Lara died at age 97 in April.

But on a recent rainy night in Rio, Beth Carvalho, 71, said she hoped her impact would last. Ms. Carvalho is a Grammy Award-winning singer, and is considered to be the “godmother of samba,” thanks to both her iconic compositions and her generosity in bringing young, now-famous samba musicians like Zeca Pagodinho under her wing in the 1980s, helping to start their careers.

Her voice, at once husky and effervescent, accompanies some of the most beloved and popular songs in the samba songbook. For years, she pushed her way into being the girl in the boys’ circle, spending her nights wedging herself into folding chairs at loud tables littered with ashtrays and beer cans, fighting for a chance to sing. “The scene was very full of machismo,” she said of the 1960s, when she got her start. She learned to play the cavaquinho, and she thinks that differentiated her. “Since I could already play, I was armed, and I wasn’t intimidated,” she says with a smile. “In any case, I have samba in my veins. What else could I do?”

Even though she was the only woman, she held her own. Her first album cover features a photo of her with her cavaquinho among male musicians, a design she says was intentional. “I grabbed it as a symbol of ‘let’s end this story of being a muse.’ Let’s be musicians instead.” She smiles sweetly, “It’s my feminist side.”


The Brazilian samba singer Beth Carvalho, 71, at her home in Rio de Janeiro this year.CreditDado Galdieri for The New York Times

Today Ms. Carvalho is not necessarily optimistic about women’s permanence in the samba circle. “Samba is still a circle of men,” she says. “And I am sad to know that women still don’t feel comfortable sitting down in a samba circle. This is terrible. I hope my contribution helped.”

As Brazil’s power structure has turned more conservative recently, with many female politicians being replaced by male lawmakers who have pushed for legislation to limit women’s access to abortion, the country’s feminist movement has gained new strength. Emboldened by this new wave, female musicians have set the macho samba circle in their musical cross hairs. They gather to pay tribute to Dona Ivone Lara and Beth Carvalho, and they have even composed their own versions of samba songs, versions that reimagine samba as a feminist anthem. They’ve also tried to encourage male samba musicians to leave those sexist songs out of their repertoires. “There are so many amazing samba songs,” Ms. Duffrayer said. “Why do we have to sing these that are outdated, offensive, and reflect machismo?”

The Brazilian musician Zeh Gustavo is one of the men leading a push against what he deems the intrusion of political correctness into samba. A fixture of the samba scene in Rio’s port area, Mr. Gustavo says that even though he is empathetic to these women’s point of view, he thinks “these works of music deserve respect,” and shouldn’t be excluded or tampered with. He says it is patently wrong for musicians to either prohibit some samba songs from being sung, or to change the lyrics to something more palatable. “You’re intervening in a process that started before you,” he says with passion over beers one afternoon. “You’re interrupting history.”


The walls inside Bip Bip, a bar that has held weekly samba circles in Copacabana for nearly 50 years, preserve some of Rio's musical history.CreditMaria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times

Ms. Furtado, the documentarian, believes the opposite: “In reality, samba is a living culture, and it must adapt to new realities,” she said.

Mr. Gustavo recently sat in as a guest at one of the new samba circles made up mostly of women. When he started playing one of the more offensive old songs — about beating women (without thinking twice, he claims) — the female musicians one by one stopped playing.

He recalls the scene with a sense of surprise: “I looked around and I was the only one playing it by the end.”

Tito Capobianco, Assertive Opera Director, Is Dead at 87

Tito Capobianco in 1983. An opera director who knew exactly what he wanted, he mounted groundbreaking shows at the New York City Opera.CreditCreditAndy Starnes/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Associated Press

  • Sept. 10, 2018

Tito Capobianco, who created groundbreaking productions at the New York City Opera in the 1960s and ’70s, including a rare staging of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” that made Beverly Sills a star, and went on to became a strong-willed general director at the Pittsburgh Opera, died on Saturday at his home in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. He was 87.

His death was announced by the Pittsburgh Opera. His son Renato said on Facebook that the cause was cancer.

Image result for Tito Capobianco

Mr. Capobianco brought a diverse background to his work in opera: He was an aspiring young baritone in his native Argentina, an actor on stage and screen, and briefly a student of ballet. His best productions combined singing, acting, movement and scenic designs into finely integrated stagings.

In February 1966, Mr. Capobianco directed the North American premiere of the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s “Don Rodrigo,” which inaugurated the City Opera’s residence at the newly opened New York State Theater (today the David H. Koch Theater) at Lincoln Center.

The opera, which starred a little-known 25-year-old tenor named Plácido Domingo, called for a large cast, an enormous chorus, brassy pageantry and psychological drama. A critic for Opera News called the production a “triumph” and said “its unity and discipline made one think of Bayreuth,” the prestigious Wagner festival in Germany.

A “passion for the human voice” drew Mr. Capobianco to opera, he said in a 2015 Opera News interview. He added, “A singer is a problem to be solved.”

Image result for Tito Capobianco

He pushed singers out of their vocal comfort zones to explore how their psyches could bring new dimension to characters, especially familiar roles. And, more than most directors, he coaxed balletic movements from his singers, aided by his wife, a choreographer whose professional name was Elena Denda. She became Mr. Capobianco’s unofficial assistant and, he wrote in his 2017 autobiography, “Tito’s Way,” his “best critic.”

For his landmark production of “Giulio Cesare” in 1966, with the compelling bass-baritone Norman Treigle singing Caesar to Ms. Sills’s Cleopatra, Mr. Capobianco wanted to achieve a “combination of Baroque opera and French ballet harking back to Handel’s time,” as the conductor and City Opera general director Julius Rudel wrote in his 2013 memoir, “First and Lasting Impressions.”

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The New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg, who could be blunt about Mr. Capobianco’s lesser efforts (he called a 1978 staging of “The Merry Widow” “rather cheap-looking”), and who was skeptical of highly conceptualized productions, wrote that the music and staging in this “Cesare” exerted “a spell.”

“Everything was different from opera as normally encountered,” Mr. Schonberg said. “Instead of plot, there was, in effect, a series of tableaux. Instead of acting, there was a curiously stylized type of balletic movement from each of the singers.” By the time the first act was over, he wrote. “waves of love were washing out from the audience to the stage.”

Jeannine Crader and Plácido Domingo in Mr. Capobianco’s 1966 production of “Don Rodrigo.”CreditFred Fehl

Ms. Sills’s brilliant singing, charisma and savvy acting brought her worldwide acclaim.

She and Mr. Capobianco also earned lavish praise for a 1968 City Opera production of Massenet’s “Manon.” “It is exquisite all the way through,” Mr. Schonberg wrote in The Times, “with its Fragonard atmosphere, its unobtrusive realism, its real charm and quality.”

Tito Capobianco was born in La Plata, Argentina, on Aug. 28, 1931. His parents had moved to Argentina from Italy in the late 1920s. His father played trumpet in the local band.

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Tito attended a bilingual Italian and Spanish school and became an apprentice in the chorus of the Teatro Argentino de La Plata. At 16, already six feet tall, he appeared as a cardinal in a production of “Tosca.” He studied law and philosophy as well as singing before his focus turned to directing, starting with productions at the Teatro Argentino.

He took his first trip to explore opportunities in the United States in 1960, joined by his wife. Their marriage lasted until her death in 2011. In addition to his son Renato, Mr. Capobianco is survived by another son, Danilo, and four grandchildren.

In 1961, Mr. Capobianco was appointed artistic director of the Cincinnati Opera Festival. The next year he was named to the same post at the Cincinnati Opera, which he held for three years.

At City Opera, he also mounted productions of Boito’s “Mefistofele,” starring Mr. Treigle as a malevolent devil, in 1969, and Donizetti’s Tudor Trilogy (“Anna Bolena,” “Maria Stuarda” and “Roberto Devereux”), staged for and starring Ms. Sills, in the early 1970s.

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Mr. Capobianco made his Met debut in 1978, with a new production of Massenet’s “Thaïs,” starring Ms. Sills and the baritone Sherrill Milnes. His only other work at the Met was a 1984 production (borrowed from the Lyric Opera of Chicago and restaged for the Met) of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra,” featuring Mr. Milnes in the title role.

He became artistic director of San Diego Opera in 1975 and its general director two years later. His 17-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Opera, all but the last two as general director, began in 1983.

The company’s board had assured him that he could “do whatever I wanted,” he said in a 2000 interview with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adding, “I don’t believe in democracy in the arts.”

His achievements there included founding a program for young artists, moving the company from Heinz Hall to the more commodious stage of the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, and establishing the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, freeing the company from its previous reliance on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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He brought his authoritarian manner to the task of fund-raising. “I was becoming dangerous,” he joked in 2000. When patrons saw him coming, he said, “They’d cross the street.” But budgetary restraints forced him to winnow his annual seasons from six to four productions, and to skewer offerings toward more traditional fare.

Mr. Capobianco also taught acting and interpretation at several institutions, including Indiana University, the Juilliard School and, starting in 1983, the Yale School of Music. In one last go at running a company, he returned to Argentina and was general and artistic director of Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 2004 and 2005.

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Frank Sinatra / Only The Lonely 60th anniversary deluxe edition

2CD or 2LP vinyl • 2018 stereo mix • Two unreleased tracks • Original mono mix

We don’t get too many 60th anniversary editions around these parts, but Universal Music are about to celebrate Frank Sinatra‘s 1958 album, Only The Lonely, with just such an edition.

Only The Lonely was a ‘mood’ album and this collection of torch songs followed in a similar vein to In the Wee Small Hours (1955) and Where Are You? (1957). If features songs like ‘One For My Baby (And One More For The Road’, ‘Angel Eyes’ and ‘Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry’.

The new 60th anniversary edition is reissued across various formats. The two-CD edition features the original 1958 mono mix and a brand new 2018 stereo mix by Larry Walsh. ‘Only The Lonely’ was recorded as both a mono and stereo presentation,” explains Larry Walsh in the sleeve notes for this release. “The mono was the focus as that was the chief format of the day. The stereo was recorded with two microphones suspended high over the studio orchestra. Frank Sinatra’s voice was recorded onto a third track. With the stereo recording being mid-side decoded, the depth of the studio is revealed.”

Four bonus tracks from the mono session recordings are also featured in the double-CD package, including studio takes making their release debuts: ‘Angel Eyes’ (alternate session takes – May 5, 1958) and ‘Lush Life’ (session takes – May 29, 1958).

The 2LP vinyl edition features just the new stereo mix over four sides of vinyl and the same audio is including in a one-CD edition. The new edition’s audio was mastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios.

Only The Lonely 60th anniversary edition will be released on 19 October 2018.

2CD Deluxe

CD 1: Original 1958 Mono Mix + Bonus Tracks

1. Only The Lonely
2. Angel Eyes
3. What’s New?
4. It’s A Lonesome Old Town
5. Willow Weep For Me
6. Good-Bye
7. Blues In The Night
8. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
9. Ebb Tide
10. Spring Is Here
11. Gone With The Wind
12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

Bonus Tracks (Mono)

13. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry (alt take – May 5, 1958)
14. Angel Eyes (alt session takes – May 5, 1958) – previously unreleased

CD 2: New 2018 Stereo Mix + Bonus Tracks

1. Only The Lonely
2. Angel Eyes
3. What’s New?
4. It’s A Lonesome Old Town
5. Willow Weep For Me
6. Good-Bye
7. Blues In The Night
8. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
9. Ebb Tide
10. Spring Is Here
11. Gone With The Wind
12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

Bonus Tracks (Mono)

13. Lush Life (session takes – May 29, 1958) – previously unreleased
14. One For My Baby (test track – June 24, 1958)

1CD and 2LP Vinyl editions (Stereo)

New 2018 Stereo Mix

2LP Vinyl

Side A:

1. Only The Lonely
2. Angel Eyes
3. What’s New?

Side B:

4. It’s A Lonesome Old Town
5. Willow Weep For Me
6. Good-Bye

Side C:

7. Blues In The Night
8. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
9. Ebb Tide

Side D:

10. Spring Is Here
11. Gone With The Wind
12. One For My Baby

Fugees / The Score 2LP coloured vinyl

Incredible album • coloured vinyl • cheap pre-order price (for now)

More coloured vinyl from Sony as they reissue the Fugees’ 1996 album The Score on 2LP coloured vinyl.

The second and last Fugees album was a critical and commercial success, delivering two consecutive number one singles on the UK chart (Killing Me Softly and Ready Or Not).

The album is pressed on coloured vinyl – what is described as a gold/orange mix – and this is double album. You need to jump on the £15 pre-order price since that price lasted only 24 hours with Elvis from the other day.

This is out on 12 October 2018 and is part of a coloured vinyl reissue series from Sony. All of the other titles (bar Elvis) can be seen below.

Side 1
1. Red Intro
2. How Many Mics
3. Ready or Not
4. Zealots – Fugees / The Flamingos
5. The Beast

Side 2
1. Fu-Gee-La
2. Family Business
3. Killing Me Softly With His Song

Side 3
1. The Score
2. The Mask
3. Cowboys

Side 4
1. No Woman, No Cry
2. Manifest/Outro

Elvis / 30 #1 Hits / 2LP gold vinyl

Sony Music will issue a gold-coloured 2LP vinyl edition of the classic Elvis 30 #1 Hitscompilation.

This collection of Elvis chart-toppers was originally issued back in 2002 and contains 30 songs that reached number one somewhere in the world, along with the JXL remix of A Little Less Conversation, which also reached the summit in the UK in 2002.

Not much more to say about this other than you can’t go wrong with the music and £15 is a cracking price for a double coloured vinyl package. This comes with a download code too, and it will be released on 12 October 2018.

Side 1
1. Heartbreak Hotel

2. Don’t Be Cruel

3. Hound Dog

4. Love Me Tender

5. Too Much

6. All Shook Up

7. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear

8. Jailhouse Rock

Side 2
1. Don’t – Elvis Presley & The Jordanaires

2. Hard Headed Woman

3. One Night

4. (Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I

5. A Big Hunk O’ Love

6. Stuck On You

7. It’s Now or Never

Side 3
1. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

2. Wooden Heart

3. Surrender

4. (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame

5. Can’t Help Falling In Love

6. Good Luck Charm

7. She’s Not You

8. Return to Sender

9. (You’re The) Devil in Disguise

Side 4
1. Crying In the Chapel

2. In the Ghetto

3. Suspicious Minds

4. The Wonder of You

5. Burning Love

6. Way Down

7. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley vs. JXL


The Weeknd Celebrates 5th Anniversary Of ‘Kiss Land’ Debut With Reissue

It was the album that launched his career into the stratosphere, and now five years later, The Weeknd’s Kiss Land is getting a limited-edition double LP reissue on green color vinyl.

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Weeknd Kiss Land Vinyl

It was the album that launched his career into the stratosphere, and now five years later, The Weeknd’s Kiss Land is getting a limited-edition double LP reissue on green color vinyl via Urban Legends/UMe.

The R&B star also dropped a limited-edition line of merch in honour the album’s 5th anniversary, boasting the same anime-inspired, Japanophile design.

Despite being his major label debut, Kiss Land is a post-fame album, a collection of dark and seductive slow jams that captures the isolation and hedonism of life on the road and gives rise to a new form of modern R&B.

Fuelled by the success of the singles, ‘Belong to the World’, ‘Love In The Sky’ and the titular track ‘Kiss Land’, the album shot to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 within its first week and established the modern R&B crooner as a star in his own right who had evolved beyond guest appearances.

The album was a commercial and critical smash, with the New York Times describing the appeal of the Weeknd’s distinctive voice as:

“It has an ethereal placelessness that’s made him one of the most striking and distinctive young forces in pop music, even more noteworthy because he’s almost impossible to mimic.”

Kiss Land also saw Abel Tesfaye take more creative control, producing the record almost entirely himself, with additional contributions by DannyBoyStyles, Sebastian Tellier, frequent Action Bronson collaborator, Harry Fraud and Pharrell.

The album was the harbinger of where R&B was headed, pairing falsetto croons with dark synths and drum-laden club anthems like ‘Live For’ featuring Drake.

The Weeknd would go on to release two more studio albums and his recent EP, My Dear Melancholy this past March, as well as collaborate with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Future, Travis Scott, and Kendrick Lamar to name a few, but Kiss Land serves as the starting point of where it all began.

The Weeknd’s Kiss Land starts shipping 15 October. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and pre-order here.

Side A
1. Professional
2. The Town
Side B
1. Adaptation
2. Love In The Sky
3. Belong To The World
Side C
1. Live For
2. Wanderlust
3. Kiss Land
Side D
1. Pretty
2. Tears In The Rain

Chris Stapleton Leads 2018 CMA Awards Nominees

The 2018 CMA nominees were announced with Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert leading the pack.

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Chris Stapleton CMA Awards

Summer’s not even over and award season is already in full swing with the latest nominations announced for this year’s Country Music Awards (CMA).

Nashville stars Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay and Sugarland unveiled the nominations for the 2018 CMA Awards on Good Morning AmericaTuesday (28 August) morning. The country stars announced the first six categories: entertainer of the year, single of the year, female vocalist of the year, male vocalist of the year, vocal duo of the year and new artist of the year – live from Bryan’s restaurant in Nashville. Bryan himself learned of his own nomination on air for entertainer of the year, an accolade he’s received both in 2014 and 2015.

Critical darling Chris Stapleton lead the nominations with five in total including: male vocalist of the year, single of the year, album of the year, song of the year and the entertainer of the year. Following Stapleton are Dan + Shay with four nominations and Keith Urban, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert with three.

The 52nd Annual CMA Awards will be broadcasted live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on 14 November, with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood emceeing the event for the 11th straight year. The awards will air at 8pm EST on ABC.

Explore our Chris Stapleton Artist Page and check out the full list of nominees below.

CMA Nominees

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Single of the Year
‘Broken Halos’, Chris Stapleton
‘Drinkin’ Problem’, Midland
‘Drowns the Whiskey’, Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert
‘Meant to Be’, Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
‘Tequila’, Dan + Shay

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year
Lauren Alaina
Luke Combs
Chris Janson
Brett Young

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Old Dominion

Album of the Year
From A Room: Volume 2, Chris Stapleton
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
Graffiti U, Keith Urban
Life Changes, Thomas Rhett
The Mountain, Dierks Bentley

Song of the Year
‘Body Like A Back Road’, Sam Hunt
‘Broken Halos’, Chris Stapleton
‘Drowns the Whiskey’, Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert
‘Drunk Girl’, Chris Janson
‘Tequila’, Dan + Shay

Musical Event of the Year
‘Burning Man’, Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
‘Dear Hate’, Maren Morris feat. Vince Gill
‘Drowns the Whiskey’, Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert
‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’, David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney
‘Meant to Be’, Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

Music Video of the Year
‘Babe’, Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift
‘Cry Pretty’, Carrie Underwood
‘Drunk Girl’, Chris Janson
‘Marry Me’, Thomas Rhett
‘Tequila’, Dan + Shay

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Dann Huff, Guitar
Mac McAnally, Guitar
Derek Wells, Guitar

Danielle Bradbery Says UK Fans Make Her Feel “Like Taylor Swift” In Exclusive Long Road Interview

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The young Texan singer won NBC’s ‘The Voice’ aged 16 and has been wowing audiences ever since.

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Danielle Bradbery first shot to stardom when, as a member of Blake Shelton’s team, she won NBC’s The Voice at the tender age of 16 in 2013.

Signing with Big Machine Records, the Texas-born singer has proceeded to wow ever-expanding audiences with her mature-beyond-her-years voice and two highly accomplished albums, her self-titled US Top 20 debut from 2013 and ‘017’s well-received I Don’t Believe We’ve Met.

Though a versatile artist with the ability to switch deftly between Americana, pop and R&B, Bradbery is very much a country girl at heart and she revealed a lot more about her roots for uDiscover Music’s Paul Sexton before her slot on the Rhinestone Country Stage on the second day of the inaugural Long Road Festival.

“My Dad always played country music when I was a baby, so I’ve always heard it and been around it”, she admits. “I’m from Texas, so there are a lot of rodeos, so I’ve heard country music visiting them and at heart I’ve always been a country girl. That’s where my head was at when I was doing The Voice, where I picked Blake Shelton. It just all happened the way it was meant to.”

“There is a difference between Texas country and Nashville country too”, she continues. “What’s cool about Texas is that it’s so big the performers can stay there and still make a living, but while I also love Nashville, there is a difference – Texas country is rougher, it’s more like real country.”

Danielle Bradbery, though, has discovered UK country and Americana fans also love what she’s bringing to the table for her chosen genre. Her Long Road appearance is part of her second UK trip of the year and she has further dates lined up in November.

“The more I come back, I notice how amazing the fans are here and how much they love country music”, she says. “It really surprised me the first time I performed here. I wasn’t expecting anyone to know any of my songs except maybe the singles, but [the audiences] knew the words to every song. They make me feel like Taylor Swift over here. It’s a cool feeling.”

Watch Exclusive Megan O’Neill Long Road Interview

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Having been dubbed “the Irish Carrie Underwood”, Megan O’Neill is one of Americana’s fastest-rising stars.

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With the Irish Times having recently described her as “the Irish Carrie Underwood”, Megan O’Neill is one of the rising stars of the country and Americana scene.

O’Neill’s full-length debut album, Ghost Of You, was released to unanimous acclaim in June and she’s been on the road ever since. She played three separate shows at the inaugural Long Road Festival – on three separate festival stages including the intimate, down-home Front Porch – but she also found time to sit down on the hay bales with uDiscover Music’s Kylie Olsson, where she was keen to discuss some of the influential figures who have fired her own muse.

“My Mum’s also a musician, so I was brought up listening to Carole King and Joni Mitchell, so classic singer-songwriters from an early age”, she reveals. “She always emphasised that great lyrics and great story-telling were so important.

“But one of my biggest influences is Ryan Adams”, she says. “I’m obsessed with him, even what he did with Taylor Swift’s album. I just thought that was genius, the way he took the whole thing and made it his own. It opened him up to a younger audience, but it also made me realise how great a songwriter Taylor Swift is too.”

In conversation, Megan O’Neill espouses her love of great singer-songwriters who put their own spin on country and Americana music and – having spent time living in both Nashville and London – she feels the music’s evolution is down to the fact that it’s a much broader church these days.

“Country music is not as specific a genre as it used to be,” she reflects. “It’s now more appealing to the masses. It’s got a bit of pop, a bit of rock and a bit of folk and all these things going on in the genre, so it now appeals to a much younger generation.”



Why Bobbie Gentry Is So Much More Than ‘Ode To Billie Joe’

Bobbie Gentry called all the shots, from producing her own records to staging pioneering live shows. Her legacy lives on.

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Bobbie Gentry live at the BBC with her Martin guitar 1968-web-optimised-1000
Bobbie Gentry at the BBC, 1968

Bobbie Gentry is a pioneering spirit. A woman in control of her music, her image, her business, she released seven albums in just five years. She was comfortable in country, pop, soul and folk. One of the great American storytellers, her terrain was the complex relationship of class, gender, family, sexuality – all bound up in Southern myth. Bobbie’s invention is celebrated in the immense new 8CD box set, The Girl From Chickasaw County, due for release on 21 September.

Born Roberta Lee Streeter, on 27 July 1944, she gave herself the name Gentry, inspired by the title character in the 1952 film Ruby Gentry. In this melodrama, Ruby Gentry was a poor Southern girl and “a tramp who looks like a lady but doesn’t behave like one” – a clear early influence on Bobbie’s nascent songwriting. Bobbie, too, grew up in isolated rural poverty; she had neither electricity nor toys. Though she denied that her songs were autobiographical, she was plainly intimate with every location she sang about, and the difficult moral choices that come with never having enough to live on.

Bobbie loved both philosophy and showbiz; the former she studied at UCLA, and the latter she broke into through stints as a model and performer in Los Angeles nightclubs. Yet, all the while, Bobbie was developing her own vision, something that combined the everyday and the extraordinary.

Leader of the pack

A female singer-songwriter (which was rare enough in itself), she was unique in her narrative palate. From its title alone, ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ – which she included on the very first demo she presented to Capitol Records, in 1967 – sounds like it’ll be a he’s-so-fine celebration of young love. Instead, Bobbie Gentry drew the listener in to an existential experience of grief. Unlike the “death discs” fad (tracks such as The Shangri-Las’ ‘Leader Of The Pack’), ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ skipped over the gory drama of Billie Joe McAllister’s suicide. Instead, Bobbie focused on the silence that the community used to cope with this shocking event. Billie Joe’s death mercilessly exposed the isolation that exists between people, even within families.

Bobbie Gentry in Manchester Square 1969 web optimised 740

Photographed at Manchester Square, London, 1969

The song was also a cracking mystery story. What in hell were the two young lovers lobbing off the Tallahassee Bridge? Pestered to reveal it in interviews, Bobbie steadfastly refused. “It’s not really important what they are throwing off the bridge,” she said. “The important thing is that people don’t really care about what happens to another person.”

Released in 1967, the influence of ‘Billie Joe’ was seismic. The song itself was widely and almost-immediately covered: The Supremes, Nancy Wilson, Tammy Wynette and Lou Donaldson all recorded versions within a year. Jeannie C Riley’s ‘Harper Valley PTA’, from 1968, mined similar themes of gossip and small-town hypocrisy, and seems a direct descendent of Bobbie’s Southern-baked storytelling. The emotive songwriting of Dolly Parton was a cousin to Bobbie’s tales of dreams and destitution, as was the cheerful psychodrama of Cher’s ‘Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves’. The boundaries of what a successful female singer-songwriter could tackle were instantly far wider because of Bobbie’s range and skill.

Bobbie Gentry herself returned to the narratives of her childhood in 1970’s ‘Fancy’, in which an impoverished mother grooms her daughter to be a prostitute. “‘Fancy’ is my strongest statement for women’s lib, if you really listen to it,” she has said. “I agree wholeheartedly with that movement and all the serious issues that [it stands] for – equality, equal pay, day-care centres and abortion rights.” The song also contains one of Bobbie’s finest ever lyrics, as the scared teenager, now made-up and in a dancing dress, watches “a roach crawl across the toe of my high-healed shoe”: an image worthy of another great Southern chronicler, William Faulkner.

“It’s totally my own from inception to performance”

You could argue Bobbie Gentry’s music was country; you could argue she was a folkie. She could howl out swirling psychedelic swamp-rock such as ‘Mississippi Delta’ or burble along gently on the easy-does-it ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ (her only UK No.1). There was soul; there was conceptual fancy; there was avant-garde pop. She even recorded an (unreleased) album of jazz standards. Artists the likes of Dusty Springfield or Joni Mitchell might have straddled two or three of these, but few would sound so comfortable in so many. There seemed a bravery about Bobbie Gentry, a have-a-go spirit especially unusual given the straightjacket for female artists at the time.

Bobbie also challenged the conventions about studio control. “I produce my own records,” she has said. “I originally produced ‘Ode To Billie Joe’, and most of the others, but a woman doesn’t stand much chance in a recording studio. A staff producer’s name was nearly always put on the record.” Musically, the arrangements would reflect her stories; the lurching strings of ‘Ode To Billie Joe’, for instance, mirror the nauseous unhappiness of the narrator. Opportunities for female producers have been depressingly slow to advance (a woman has never won a Grammy for production, and only a handful of women have ever been nominated in that category), but at least Bobbie fought to have her contribution recognised. By Patchwork, her final album, in 1971, she was fully credited as producer.

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Recording at FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, 1969

Though she largely ceased recording after Patchwork, Bobbie Gentry wasn’t done quite yet. Interested in the presentation of her music (and a voracious fashionista too), Bobbie now went all-out with a series of Las Vegas performances, which drew from her grit’n’glamour early nightclub stints a decade earlier. “I write and arrange all the music, design the costumes, do the choreography, the whole thing – I’m completely responsible for it,” she said of her 70s shows. “It’s totally my own from inception to performance.”

Her influence still courses through

Standard in the music industry now, Bobbie’s show, featuring multiple costume changes, character-based song interpretations and tightly-choreographed dancers, was one of the first of its type. She was camp and theatrical, simultaneously celebrating and mocking artificiality (her Elvis impression impressed The King himself, who snuck into a performance one night). She earned megabucks from these shows and, in charge of her own business dealings from the very start, kept the whole lot.

Finally, when she didn’t want to do it all anymore, she just stopped. Her last public appearance was in 1981, and all requests for interviews, appearances and comebacks have been flatly refused since.

As well as her achievements in writing, production and performance, this Renaissance woman also achieved something more nebulous, but perhaps most significant of all. Bobbie Gentry was a persona. She was ultimately unknowable; listening closely to her music only yields more questions, fewer answers. She played with the conventions of both femininity and Americana, and her influence still courses through the shifting plains of the Mississippi Delta.

The Girl From Chickasaw County is due for release on 21 September and can be ordered here.

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New TNT(Telemundo in US) Selena Series Promises to Reveal Singer's Untold Story

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Selena Quintanilla in the press room at the 1994 Grammy Awards in New York City.

'El Secreto de Selena' is scheduled to premiere Sept. 23.

More than 23 years since Tejano legend Selena Quintanilla was killed outside of a Days Inn hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas by fan club president Yolanda Saldívar, a new TNT series promises to provide audiences with a side of the story never previously told.

The 13-episode El Secreto de Selena (Selena’s Secret) series will debut on TNT at 9:00 p.m. (Mexico) on Sunday, Sept. 23, according to a spokesperson at BTF Media, one of the show’s producers. Each episode will be an hour long.

The official trailer for the series, as the show’s title indicates, hints there is more to the story and murder of the famed Tejano singer than meets the eye. In a tweet to announce the show’s debut, TNT eased the series with, “Everybody knows how the story ended. But only a few know what really happened.”

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The trailer for the series opens with dark, ominous music and text that reads, “The mystery…is over?” It then cuts to a shot of a woman lying in a blood-stained shirt as a voiceover comments, “When it is seems that a chapter has ended, ironically, it is the beginning of the story.”

After several clips of tense interactions between Selena, played by Mexican actress Maya Zapata, and Yolanda Saldívar, played by Mexican actress Damayanti Quintanar, there is a brief shot of actress Sofía Lama, who plays María Celeste Arrarás. “Everybody believed that the life of their idol was as they saw it through rose-colored glasses," says Arrarás, as the trailer nears conclusion. Arrarás, a journalist and TV personality who hosts daily variety show Al Rojo Vivo on Telemundo, wrote the 1997 book Selena’s Secret: The Revealing Story Behind Her Tragic Death (in Spanish, El Secreto De Selena: La Reveladora Historia Detrás De Su Trágica Muerte) on which the series is based.

The book has been criticized by the Quintanilla family, particularly Selena’s sister Suzette, who posted a video on Instagram in 2017 saying the “book is based on a whole bunch of lies.”

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The series, which is a co-production between BTF Media, Disney Media Distribution Latin America, Moconoco and LatinWE, comes more than 20 years after the 1997 movie Selena, which starred Jennifer Lopez as Selena and Edward James Olmos as Selena’s father Abraham. Selena, known as the “Queen of Tejano,” was murdered on March 31, 1995 at the age of 23.

Earlier this year, ABC announced a Selena Quintanilla inspired project in collaboration with Campanario Entertainment and SB Projects. No premiere date has been announced.

Gilberto Santa Rosa to Celebrate 40 Years in Music With HBO Latino Special '40… Y Contando'

Courtesy of ProLat Entertainment
Gilberto Santa Rosa

Gilberto Santa Rosa has joined forces with HBO Latino to celebrate 40 years in music with the premiere of his special 40...Y Contando, chronicling the last concert he performed in Puerto Rico.

Gilberto Santa Rosa: 40… Y Contando will premiere Friday at 8 p.m. ET across all the channel’s platforms, including HBO GO, HBO NOW and free On Demand channels.

"I'm extremely honored with this invitation," Gilberto Santa Rosa tells Billboard. "When I started my career it was in an orchestra, I spent 10 years with them and the other 30 years as soloist."

During all these years, El Caballero de la Salsa says he has not finished learning, but the most thing he has enjoyed is having collaborated with many of his idols.

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The concert, taped live at the Coliseo José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a few months after Hurricane Maria, will feature many of his greatest hits, such as “Conciencia,” “Que Alguien Me Diga" and "Déjate Querer,” as well as many musical guests, including Luis Enrique, Victor Manuelle, Vico C, Tito Nieves and Pirulo Y La Tribu, among others.

In addition to the concert, HBO Latino will also air a 15-minute special during which Santa Rosa shares the greatest moments of his career from the biggest salsa landmark in New York City, the Copacabana.

Gilberto Santa Rosa's HBO Latino special will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts Friday. "The best thing about being Latino is that we have the ability to connect with various cultures and interpret art more easily," said Santa Rosa.

Dominican Rapper Jenn Morel Signs With UMLE Via A Joint Venture Between Aftercluv & Universal Music Latino

Courtesy of Universal Music Latin Entertainment
From left: Chris Medina (artist manager), Victor Gonzalez (President – UMLE), Jenn Morel, Luis Estrada (Managing Director – Aftercluv) and Simran Singh (Artist Attorney)

Jenn Morel is making a name for herself in the music industry, recently signing with UMLE through a joint venture between Aftercluv and Universal Music Latino, Billboard has learned.

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The Dominican-born, LA-based singer first started in the biz as a professional dancer in music videos for Drake, Nicki Minaj and Trey Songz. In 2017, she kicked off her singing career with the catchy dembow song “Ponteme,” which made her a hot new artist in Europe, especially in Italy, where she had many sold-out events.

Now, with the mission of taking her music to an international level, Morel has signed with UMLE through a joint venture between Universal Music Latino with Aftercluv, the dance entertainment division of Universal Music Latin America that has artists such as Raymix and Juan Magan.

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Both labels firmly believe in a long-term career for Jenn and will work together to bring music lovers a multicultural project that will progressively develop in two worlds: Latin and Anglo.

“I am very happy to have the full support of UMLE,” she said in a press statement. “I feel safe with the unique vision and structure that this union brings between Aftercluv and Universal Latino and I am super excited for everything that is to come.”

Currently, Jenn is working on a “Ponteme” remix and an EP with new music.

Kelsea Ballerini Is Joining 'The Voice' as Fifth Coach

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM
Kelsea Ballerini attends the 12th Annual ACM Honors at Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 22, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.

Country star Kelsea Ballerini took to Instagram Monday (Sept. 10) to announce that she is joining The Voice as a coach.

In the Instagram post, fans see Ballerini posing for a photo behind the scenes, wearing a sleek and sweet all-black ensemble and standing in front of the show's iconic "V" logo while smiling and throwing up a peace sign for the camera.

The "Peter Pan" singer captioned the post, "Y’all, I have been SO excited to share that I’m joining the @nbcthevoice family this fall as the 5th coach for the first ever 'Comeback Stage.' It’s been such a new, fulfilling challenge and I’ve been beyond inspired by the artists I’ve gotten to meet and work with. I can’t wait for you to fall in love with them."

Yes, Burt Reynolds Had a Hot 100 Hit With an '80s Country Song and It's Actually Pretty Good

Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Burt Reynolds on Saturday Night Live on April 12, 1980.

Not many Oscar-nominated film stars would openly admit to taking the easy way out with their career, but perhaps that's why few actors were as beloved as the late Burt Reynolds. "I wasn't interested in challenging myself as an actor," the star of '70s and '80s blockbusters like Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Runacknowledged in the 2015 memoir But Enough About Me. "I was interested in having a good time."

Unsurprising, then, that for Reynolds' lone turn in the pop spotlight, he didn't bother making a point of playing against type. After an early-career dalliance as an easy-listening country recording artist -- with 1973's Ask Me What I Am, which failed to make an impact on or off the Billboard charts -- he returned to the music world in 1980 with "Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial," for the soundtrack to 1980's Smokey and the Bandit II. While Reynolds hated his experience filming the sequel, it was a financial success, and "Superficial" made a brief cameo on the Billboard Hot 100, spending five weeks on the chart and peaking at No. 88. (It also reached No. 51 on the Country Songs chart.)

The movie may not have been a classic, and neither is the song -- but damn if it doesn't sound like Reynolds is having a good time while recording. "Superficial" is exactly the kind of low-grade country song an unpretentious and hilariously famous Florida boy should have graced the charts with: giddy, sloppy, and only as memorable as a shot of tequila twenty minutes before last call.

The song's thematic bent is pretty much all out there from the title: an ode to why-not romance that presages those SNL last-skit-of-the-night hookup sketches in their self-aware cringe-worthiness. The melody is as sweet and undemanding as the lyric is grungy and pragmatic: "To keep from falling off your barstool's 'bout all that you can do/ I'll make my proposition, 'cause I'm just as drunk as you." Reynolds belts his way through it like a slightly above-average karaoke performance, pitchy and rushed but entirely game, practically cackling his way through the winkingly mean-spirited come-on: "The sun is your worst enemy/ Thank God it's dark tonight!"

Reynolds' career as a country singer didn't exactly take off from "Superficial" -- it's the final item listed on his Discogs page -- and in 2018 you can't even find the song on most non-YouTube streaming services. But like most of Reynolds' movies, it was frivolous, it was fun, it was a hit to some degree, and it didn't ask that you take it any more seriously than it took itself. You could do a whole lot worse on a Saturday night.


Yoko Ono Celebrates "Children Power" on Latest Cut From New LP, 'Warzone' (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

Warzone is quite unlike anything Yolo Ono has released to date, but "Children Power" carries a message of optimism that's been central to her work all along.

Yoko Ono's latest album, Warzone, arrives October 19 via Chimera Music, the label run by Sean Ono Lennon. Warzone fines Ono, revisiting and reimagining 13 songs from her impressive body of song. These tracks span the years 1970-2009 and the veteran artist has says she feels the lyrics are often frighteningly relevant to the world in 2018.

"Children Power", culled from this new collection, speaks to Ono's optimism in the face of uncertain times and dire circumstances. The song's simple but infectious refrain arrives atop a danceable musical setting which further drives home the urgency of Ono's hope for the future. The accompanying video speaks to her undying creative impulse as well. Never one to stand still, Ono is already working on material for a new LP, likely to arrive in 2019.

Speaking specifically about the lyrical content of the song, Ono says, "Very soon, we will be relying on these children to create a world and I'm very happy about that because they seem much more intelligent than us."

Warzone may be pre-ordered here.


Review: Johnny Rotten Mellows (a Bit) With Age

John Lydon in Tabbert Fiiller’s documentary “The Public Image Is Rotten.”CreditCreditAbramorama

By Glenn Kenny

  • Sept. 13, 2018

“Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,” the 1977 debut and ultimate album by the title punk rock band, sounds kind of like a classic rock album today — particularly if you don’t pay too much attention to the words. The crunchy power chords, the pummeling rhythm section — it’s all conventionally head-banging.

A preview of the film.Published OnSept. 5, 2018

But the earliest post-Pistols musical efforts of Johnny Rotten (also known by his real name John Lydon) — the band’s lead vocalist and architect of punk iconography — did not then, and never will, sound like classic rock. “The Public Image Is Rotten,” a documentary directed by Tabbert Fiiller, has some valuable insights into how the spectacular 1979 album variously known as “Metal Box” and “Second Edition” was made by Mr. Lydon’s band Public Image Ltd. But it is mostly a portrait of Mr. Lydon, now 62 and still a witty, mercurial figure fascinated by commercial fame and constantly wrestling with the challenge of making viable art within that framework.

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This documentary doesn’t get too wonky about the process by which the masterpiece “Metal Box,” and subsequent mixed-bag records, was achieved, but it does chronicle juicy clashes between Mr. Lydon and his former colleagues Jah Wobble, Keith Levene and Martin Atkins, all of whom get a say in the proceedings. As do subsequent Public Image enablers, the protean producer and bassist Bill Laswell and the genuine classic rock drummer Ginger Baker — Mr. Lydon’s roster of collaborators over the decades has been eclectic. Even if you’ve scratched your head over Mr. Lydon’s TV ad work and other efforts to maintain a professional life in recent years, this affectionate and frank movie can elicit newfound admiration for a slightly mellowed iconoclast.

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Reply #10 posted 09/13/18 8:13am


The enigmatic R&B singer H.E.R. gives first face-to-face interview without confirming identity

The enigmatic R&B singer H.E.R. gives first face-to-face interview without confirming identity
H.E.R. photographed in her dressing room before performing at Staples Center on June 23. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Inside a North Hollywood rehearsal space, musicians playing the drums, keyboards and harp compete with an industrial-sized floor fan attempting to bring relief from the 90-plus degree heat.

They are losing.

The only sound not being drowned out is the voice of H.E.R., the mysterious young R&B singer-songwriter who is seated on a wooden stool in the middle of the dimly lit room.

She pushes her curly, shoulder-length light brown hair away from her eyes so she can see the band and give them the cue to begin playing her new single, "Every Kind of Way."

"Baby, the sound of you, better than a harmony," she sings, her voice stilling the room, lifting high above the grating hum of the fan.

Since making her debut last fall, the woman who goes by H.E.R. has gotten a great deal of acclaim for slow-burning, vulnerable records anchored by her velvety, rich voice.

And, as was no doubt her intention, there's been just as much attention given to her anonymous persona — H.E.R. is an acronym for Having Everything Revealed.

Rumor assumed that she is, in fact, singer-songwriter Gabi Wilson, who landed a deal with RCA at the age of 14, but H.E.R. has never confirmed that, or ever sat for a face to face interview.

Until today.

"Whether you know who I am or not, you don't really know who I am," she says during a break from a recent rehearsal.

Dressed in black, she's curled up on a sofa inside a lounge in the studio. A handful of tattoos mark her fingers — the word "soulmate"; the name of a cousin who passed away; the outline of a pen — and though she's bubbly and chatty, she's guarded when questions turn to her identity.

When her record label, RCA, sent out an early stream of her first project — simply titled "H.E.R., Vol. 1" — to select music press last fall, there was a catch: The identity of the artist would remain secret.

Publicity stills didn't show her face, there was no biographical information offered, she didn't film music videos and previously the singer only agreed to a few phone interviews.

She is 19, she says now, but beyond that she prefers the focus to be on the music and not herself, understandable given this social media driven era of oversharing. "I'm not going to confirm my identity," she says, laughing.

That enigmatic approach isn't new — the Weeknd, Sia and Dvsn have also chosen anonymity to an extent — but those around H.E.R. say it's about giving her the freedom to create without having to deal with the pressures that come with navigating the music industry, and not a gimmick.

"Coming out in this kind of way has made her freer so that she can just concentrate on making music, and having people judge the music for what it is," said Jeff Robinson, H.E.R.'s longtime manager. "She wanted to touch people without dealing with anything else.

"In today's society too many people are caught up on the superficial," Robinson continued. "'What does she look like? How do they dress? Who are they friends with?' It should be back to being about the music — like it used to be."

The music quickly caught fire. H.E.R.'s debut project hit No. 1 on the iTunes R&B chart, has been streamed more than 12 million times on Soundcloud, and the singer is up to 1.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify without her music being pushed to radio.

Rihanna, Usher and Bryson Tiller are among her famous fans, and she even spawned a copycat act, with a male vocalist putting out a "response" EP under the name of H.I.M. that included a re-creation of the glowing silhouette she used for her cover art.

"She's bringing back real R&B music," said Tiller, who invited H.E.R. on his forthcoming summer tour.

H.E.R., the concept, was birthed in the studio while the singer was in the throes of heartbreak over a toxic relationship, she said during an earlier interview (back when she wouldn't show her face).

The singer set out to record a project that would be about coming of age, and her first EP is a brief, diaristic tracing of a broken relationship with songs that explore yearning, courtship, copulation, friction and conflict over dark soul grooves she wrote and produced in private before fleshing out with collaborators, including executive producer Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper.

This was the best way for me to present myself.

H.E.R. making her live debut at Staples Center on June 23, 2017.
H.E.R. making her live debut at Staples Center on June 23, 2017. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

"She is the truest testament to what special is," Camper said. "These days, words like 'special,' 'rare,' 'classic,' are thrown around loosely, without proper validation. But H.E.R. is all of the above, and more."

Earlier this month she released "H.E.R., Vol. 2," another deeply intimate collection of confessionals.

Co-produced by the singer and Camper, the EP also features production work from Tiara Thomas, Hue "SoundzFire" Strother, David "Swagg R'Celious" Harris, Grades and Mike "Scribz" Riley.

"Everything was a lot more optimistic and a lot more fun. Still very vibey, still very emotional, but just in different ways," she says of the inspiration behind the new music.

Though her performances at the BET Experience and the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards marked her first public appearances, H.E.R. is a seasoned pro. A former child prodigy, she plays several instruments including the piano, drums, guitar and bass, was mentored by Alicia Keys, and has been recording music since she was at least 14.

"People think that she's just this wavy stuff. They have no idea what she can do," Robinson said of the singer's music. "She grew up being that young girl at the studio just watching and learning and picking up things. If you really listen to her music, you'll hear Brandy riffs, Alicia's passion, K. Michelle's sass and Tiara Thomas' street swagger because she's been around all of them. She's caught the perfect storm."

It was a soulful cover of Drake's "Jungle" first released in 2015 that made it easy to link H.E.R. to Wilson when the track appeared on her debut EP, and with the arrival of "Vol. 2," H.E.R. wants to be seen as much as she's been heard.

"This was the best way for me to present myself. A part of it [was] to get away from my past," she acknowledges. "People are obviously going to see my face more, but I'm still H.E.R."

The singer recently authorized director Sean Frank to build a short film, "Every Kind of Way," around her music, and she's eager to film her own visuals and work on a full-length album.

For now, though, she's just taken aback by the attention her music has received.

"Being anonymous, I thought I'd just release the music and see what happens organically," she says. "It hasn't even been a year and everything is happening so fast. It was almost like I was forced to reveal myself — like, 'OK, it's time.'"


By Cedar Pasori
Photography Timothy Saccenti

Published January 4, 2018

In a ceaseless culture of oversharing, it’s rare not to know everything about the lives of popular artists. Such is the case with H.E.R., a mysterious R&B singer who emerged on SoundCloud last year with a head-to-toe silhouette for an EP cover and no biographical information to offer—just seven songs, including a cover of Drake’s “Jungle.” That music, H.E.R. Vol. 1, put her on the map very quickly, earning early support from Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, Pusha T, and others.

Just as quickly, fans and critics began to theorize that H.E.R. was actually the moniker of Gabi Wilson, who had signed to and released music with RCA Records, as Wilson, two years before. Wilson had been building a career in music since she was young, by singing covers on daytime television shows and in talent competitions. Although there’s little doubt at this point that they’re the same person—Genius pointed out that the “Jungle” cover was in fact originally released by Wilson in 2015—there’s been no official confirmation, and both H.E.R. and Wilson still maintain separate, active profiles on Twitter and Instagram.

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Today, H.E.R.’s real identity may not matter to her legions of fans. The release of H.E.R. Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, a song with Daniel Caesar, and a tour with Bryson Tiller have earned her a loyal following, which happens to include Rihanna. Her first solo tour in the U.S. sold out completely, and, according to Spotify, she has 2.5 million monthly listeners, who have streamed songs like “Best Part” and “Losing” over 18 million times each.

Ahead of a solo European tour in March, H.E.R.—who says that she’s currently based in Brooklyn, but “living out of a suitcase,” as she tours and works on a new album—shares a little bit more about herself, including the purpose of her self-imposed anonymity.

CEDAR PASORI: What music were you were exposed to when you were younger?

H.E.R.: I remember being really, really young and watching Prince and Michael Jackson concert DVDs. One of my favorites is Prince’s Rave Un2 The Year 2000. My dad and I used to play Prince, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, The Parliaments, and a lot of older funk bands while cooking breakfast in the morning.

One of the first CDs I ever bought was Alicia Keys’s MTV Unplugged album. That album is the one I would take home and listen to on my Walkman, in my room, before I had an iPod. I learned most of the songs on piano.

PASORI: When did you start writing your own music?

H.E.R.: I’ve been writing since I was five years old. I used to write poetry, and I loved to rhyme. When I was seven or eight years old, I would write songs about music itself, and later the songs became more and more personal, like my diary. When I turned 10, I remember writing a song called “Curious” on guitar. It was about how people like my parents were being nosy and in my business. [laughs]

PASORI: I noticed that you’ve also been playing guitar on tour. When did you learn to play instruments?

H.E.R.: Well, my dad is also a musician, so there were always instruments throughout our house. He was part of a cover band, and they used to rehearse in our living room. We had a piano, guitar, and drums. Whenever they would take a break, I would start trying to play the guitar. I first learned the pentatonic scale, and then my dad taught me how to play the Blues. Guitar made me want to be a real artist and performer.

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PASORI: When did you start performing?

H.E.R.: I’ve been performing since I was really little, first locally in the Bay Area with my dad’s band in Vallejo, California, where I grew up. A lot of people don’t know that I’ve been performing in front of audiences for a long time.

I had to learn the other side of performing, which is creating. Around 13 or 14 years old, I learned the difference between singing live and in the studio, in a recording booth. They are two completely different worlds. Having a foundation in performing made me feel really strong and confident, so that when I did go on my first tour with Bryson [Tiller], I felt like I was going back to my roots.

PASORI: Did your recent tour with Bryson make you feel nostalgic for those days?

H.E.R.: I like to revisit my younger self and really think about the performer I wanted to be when I was little. I feel like I’ve been able to take the little me and incorporate all of that confidence into the music I now make, in addition to the live show. It just makes sense to me.

PASORI: How did you develop H.E.R.—both the name and the persona of yourself as an artist?

H.E.R.: From ages 16 to 18, I was going through what I call the evolution of a woman. I was dating and going through a lot of changes when it comes to love, confidence, and finding myself.

During this time, the studio was my safe haven. I would talk to the producer, Swagg R’Celious, who’s like my big brother. He had a lot to do with the concept of H.E.R. and my growth. We would be in a room with a piano, and I would cry while talking to him and sharing some melodies and chord ideas. I was living in Brooklyn, creating music for a full week and then going back to my life, which would inform the stories I’d take back to the studio. Eventually I had seven songs that completely described exactly what I was going through. That’s H.E.R. Vol. 1—the diary and stories of my four years of evolving as a woman.

You have a diary, and you don’t want anyone to read it, right? As artists, we let everyone read our diary. The anonymity of H.E.R. came from me wanting this to be about the music—wanting people to hear the message without necessarily attaching an age or a face to it. As women, we go through a lot of the same things. We all get hurt. So I just wanted to be that one voice with a message that women and even men can relate to. H.E.R. stands for “Having Everything Revealed.”

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PASORI: In addition to having songs about shared pain and heartbreak, I appreciate how you have songs like “Every Kind of Way,” from Vol. 2, where you explore the feeling of being really in love. Were you in a different place by then?

H.E.R.: I finished “Every Kind of Way” after creating a majority of the songs on Vol. 1. It’s the more optimistic side of me. Love can do that. Love can come out of nowhere and make you think, “Wow, maybe this isn’t so bad.” When I was younger, I felt like I was getting jaded too fast. When I wrote that song, I was fantasizing about a place that I wanted to be in with somebody.

PASORI: Equally, you have songs like “Focus” from Vol. 1that are so descriptive when it comes to the relationship you were in and what you wanted. How was “Focus” made?

H.E.R.: When I listened to the track that DJ Camper created, I just felt the vulnerability in the sounds he chose. The chords sounded like a plea, to me. I started thinking about a situation we’ve all been in — feeling like we’re not given enough attention. You want your boyfriend to put his phone down. You’re thinking, “Just look at me for a second,” or, “Don’t look at her, look at me.” As I was writing it, I was painting that picture of the faucet running, I’m looking at him, and he’s stuck on his phone without a clue.

PASORI: What did you think about Rihanna posting a video of herself on Instagram with “Focus” playing in the background, almost like a music video?

H.E.R.: I was very surprised. I first saw it from someone reposting it. I was just laying in bed, and then I got up and started jumping up and down. She looks so gorgeous in the video. The wind blowing in her hair is just perfect. I didn’t know that she was into my music, but she followed me after that.

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PASORI: So now you’ve been on tour with Bryson Tiller, and one of your most popular songs is a collaboration with Daniel Caesar, “Best Part.” What made you want to work with him?

H.E.R.: I was actually in a session one night, and it ended early. Daniel came with my friend, Tunji, who works at RCA and wanted to introduce us. I was already a fan. We didn’t plan on having a session. We just started playing music for each other and talking. He had his guitar, and I had my guitar, so we started playing. The song came out organically, just bouncing melodies back and forth. We’re both big fans of D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill, and I think “Best Part” has that essence.

PASORI: It seems like you’ve not only put in the time and educated yourself to be an artist, but that you’ve had some great support and dot connectors along the way.

H.E.R.: Yeah, Jeff Robinson, who’s my manager, is also my mentor. He’s really taught me the music business and staying true to myself. Tyrese Gibson has also given me a lot of great advice about just sticking with the path I’m on. Alicia Keys has been a big sister to me, too. Jeff used to manage her, which is how we met.

PASORI: During shows, you wear sunglasses, and you’ve hardly shown your face in press photos, thus far. Do you see a point in time when you are no longer anonymous? Is that something you’re planning for or thinking about?

H.E.R.: I think it’ll happen organically. At this point, people don’t really pay attention to my identity. They’re drawn to the music. That was the point. I’ve reached my goal. It doesn’t really matter. Eventually, they’ll see my face.




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Reply #11 posted 09/14/18 7:48am


Jimi Hendrix ‘Electric Ladyland’ 50th Deluxe Box Due

by Best Classic Bands Staff

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience masterpiece Electric Ladyland, Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced today (September 13) the release of a Deluxe Edition box set on November 9. Available as either a 3-CD/1-Blu-ray set or a 6-LP/1-Blu-ray set, both packages include the original double album, now newly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes.

From the announcement: The collections include Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes, which presents demos and studio outtakes from this period in Hendrix’s career, plus a new 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire original album by Hendrix’s original engineer Eddie Kramer. This marks the first and only time this has been done with a Hendrix studio album, and gives listeners the original stereo mixes in uncompressed 24 bit/96 kz high resolution audio. For the LP set, Grundman prepared an all analog direct to disc vinyl transfer of the album, preserving the authenticity.

Watch the official trailer for the Deluxe Edition

Another exclusive component is Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68, part of Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records official bootleg series. The never-before-released recording captures the band and the mounting excitement that took place just weeks before the release of Electric Ladyland. The Blu-ray also includes the acclaimed, feature length documentary At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland.

The Deluxe Edition also includes a full-color, 48-page book containing Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics, poem and instructions to his record label, as well as never-before-published photos from the recording sessions that were shot by Eddie Kramer.

“I had always dreamed of mixing Electric Ladyland in 5.1 surround sound,” says Kramer, who engineered every Hendrix album made during his life, and produced or co-produced nearly all of his posthumous material. “It always felt to me as the perfect vehicle for the kind of adventuresome stuff that Jimi and I were trying to do in 1968. The visceral thrill when we completed the first surround mix of ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ was palpable. We viewed this song as the surround test and the moment I heard it I flashed back on those moments when Jimi and I were mixing the stereo album, laughing at our attempts to find that ‘elusive’ sound.” The Blu-ray for Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition will contain these 5.1 surround sound mixes – a first for any studio album in the Hendrix canon.

The new cover art – a Linda (McCartney) Eastman photograph of the band and children at the statue of Alice In Wonderland in New York’s Central Park – was Hendrix’s own choice of imagery for the album’s cover image. The shot was relegated to the inside of the original U.S. version on Reprise Records, printed in black and white. The U.K. version of the album released by Track Records didn’t include the photo at all, and instead featured a gatefold photo of 19 naked women, which Hendrix famously abhorred. For the first time ever, the Linda Eastman photo, in full color, will grace the cover of Electric Ladyland, true to Jimi Hendrix’s original vision.

The third album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland was the last Hendrix studio album to have been released during the classic rock icon’s lifetime and reflects his meticulous involvement in every facet of its creation.

Originally released on October 16, 1968, the album is the source of such legendary Hendrix tracks as “All Along The Watchtower,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Crosstown Traffic,” and “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.” The only Hendrix album to have reached #1 on Billboard, it is considered the crowning achievement of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and underscored Hendrix’s abilities as singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

Related: Electric Ladyland is in our story: 14 Best Studio Double Albums of All-Time

Notable for being the first album produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland was largely recorded after Hendrix split from Chas Chandler – the former member of the Animals who found Hendrix in New York and brought him to the U.K., co-managing his career and producing the first two Experience albums. There is also the introduction of outside players, namely Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Dave Mason of Traffic, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane (bass on “Voodoo Chile”), and Hendrix’s own future Band of Gypsys band mate Buddy Miles (drums on “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”). As a result of the growing tension between Hendrix and Experience bassist Noel Redding (who parted ways the following year), Hendrix took it upon himself to play bass on most of the songs, including the cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” the only Jimi Hendrix Experience single to reach Billboard’s Top 20. Widely considered one of the greatest interpretations ever recorded, Dylan professed in 1995 that Hendrix “found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using.” By 1974, Dylan demonstrated the ultimate show of respect when he began using Hendrix’s template to perform his own song.

Watch Eddie Kramer talk about the Deluxe Edition

Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes consists of demos for song ideas Hendrix recorded himself on a Teac reel-to-reel tape machine in early 1968, as well as early sessions at Sound Center and the Record Plant in New York. Previously unreleased versions of “Angel Caterina” and “Little Miss Strange” feature guest appearances from Buddy Miles and Stephen Stills. “Long Hot Summer” features Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell with Al Kooper on piano, and “At Last . . . the Beginning” is an early version of what would become “…And the Gods Made Love.”

The previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68 documents their triumphant Los Angeles concert held a few weeks before Electric Ladyland was released. The recently discovered two-track soundboard recording captures the energy that had the audience in such a frenzy that many concert goers jumped into the reflecting pool that separated the bandstand from the seats. The performance includes selections from all three Experience albums, as well as a cover of Cream’s smash hit “Sunshine of Your Love.” The accompanying book is filled with unpublished photos that follow the band at the Bowl, from afternoon rehearsal, to backstage to the performance itself.

At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland documents the creation of the legendary double album. Some of Jimi’s closest associates are seen on screen discussing their first-hand recollections of Hendrix and the project including Redding, Mitchell, manager Chas Chandler, Miles, Casady, Winwood, Mason and others who participated in the Electric Ladyland sessions.

John Mellencamp Announces Major US Tour For 2019

These shows on ‘The John Mellencamp Show’ will start promptly at 8pm and will not have an opening act.

Published on

John Mellencamp US Tour
Photo: Myrna Suarez

Set to coincide with a highly anticipated new album release, John Mellencamp will embark on a 2019 North American tour of ‘The John Mellencamp Show’ which will feature the rock icon’s classics plus some new material.

Hailed by critics and fans alike as one of music’s most authentic and crowd pleasing concert performers, Mellencamp will begin the tour on 7 February in his home state of Indiana at South Bend’s Morris Performing Arts Center and will span two months ending in Clearwater, Florida at the famed Ruth Eckerd Hall. Produced by AEG Presents, ‘The John Mellencamp Show’ will start promptly at 8pm and will not have an opening act. Every ticket purchased online will receive a physical copy of Mellencamp’s forthcoming album Other People’s Stuff set for release on 16 November by Republic Records.

Tickets for the tour will be available to the general public beginning Friday, 21 September at 10:00am local time. Pre-sale and VIP tickets will be available beginning on Wednesday, 19 September at 10:00am local time. For more information and all ticketing information please visit the artist’s website.

Mellencamp’s live shows have garnered huge critical acclaim with the Hollywood Reporter calling it a “triumphant, career-spanning show” and a “superb performance…still full of fiery defiance” by the Boston Globe. His extensive touring and live shows have solidified the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer’s place at the forefront of American music for the past 40 years.

The John Mellencamp Show plays the following dates:

February 7: South Bend, IN, Morris Performing Arts Center
February 8: Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre
February 10: Cincinnati, ON, Aronoff Center for the Arts
February 12: Fort Wayne, IN, Embassy Theatre
February 14: Rockford, IL, Coronado Performing Arts Center
February 15, Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center
February 17: Grand Rapids, MI, DeVos Performance Hall
February 19: Youngstown, OH, Stambaugh Auditorium
February 20: Baltimore, MD, Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric
February 22: Providence, RI, Providence Performing Arts Center
February 23: New Brunswick, NJ, State Theatre New Jersey
February 25: New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
February 26: New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
March 9: Louisville, KY, Louisville Palace Theatre
March 10: Evansville, IN, Aiken Theatre
March 12: St. Louis, MO, Stifel Theatre
March 14: Kansas City, MO, Arvest Bank Theatre At The Midland
March 16: Tulsa, OK, Brady Theatre
March 17: Memphis, MO, Orpheum Theatre
March 19: Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
March 20: Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
March 22: Charlotte, NC, Ovens Auditorium
March 24: Orlando, FL, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
March 27: Ft. Meyers, FL, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
March 29: Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
March 30: Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ain't It Grandoozy? England's Jade Bird Born to Fly High Across Pond

Photo: Kate Moross / Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

Promising 20-year-old singer-songwriter Jade Bird won't stop touring until she wins over the hearts and minds of Young America — one state at a time. Get to know her before she conquers the world.

Jade Bird was born in the small English town of Hexham 20 years ago but that didn't stop the blissful singer-songwriter from becoming an adopted goddaughter of the Americana family.

Her first EP, released in July 2017, was titled Something American, and the grande dames such as Patti Smith and Loretta Lynn who stirred up the melting pot in this country's serve-yourself musical smorgasbord made an impact in Bird's formative years.

Even her covers are quite eclectic — and more expansive — with songs such as "Running Up That Hill" (Kate Bush), "Where Is My Mind" (Pixies), "New Rules" (Dua Lipa), "I've Been Everywhere" (popularized by Johnny Cash) and "Right Through You" (Alanis Morissette) among her tasty concoctions.

Having been pretty much everywhere, man, in the States after some whirlwind tours, Bird was asked during a Sept. 12 phone interview in Salt Lake City before a gig at Kilby Court, what's the biggest misconception about the U.S. that she has overcome since being able to see for miles and miles?

"I've been pleasantly surprised by a lot," Bird said. "I always say the diversity, and culture is the one thing I love the most about the U.S. How you can travel across one borderline and you end up with this whole new set of people that I find super-interesting and great on tour.

"I didn't really have any … I guess you see the movies and stuff like that and thought everything's gonna be wonderful. But when I wrote [the song] 'Something American,' it was about [how] the grass is always greener, and it was before the political movement. It's super-interesting where you can write something and the times change so quickly."

Now the sweet and soulful Bird will be heard at the inaugural Grandoozy festival in Denver, where the co-creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands are serving up three days (Sept. 14-16) of serious sounds, foodie phenomena, spirits for swigging and outdoor euphoria (yoga on a golf course?).

Though Rolling Stone hailed her as an "Artist You Need To Know" in August, new listeners attending Grandoozy this weekend still deserve a Bird's-eye view. So what do these potential feathered friends need to know before joining the flock?

"They need to know my music because I think I'm maybe pushing something different right now than what's being done," said a self-assured Bird, who learned to play guitar and piano at an early age. "I think that I'm a powerful female, a young singer-songwriter with an energy that's not really been done before. I think that's what people need to know about, you know."

Also get ready early next year for her full-length album debut, recorded in upstate New York with Something American producer Simone Felice (Lumineers) returning, that will include 13 or 14 songs, all "written 100 percent by myself," Bird said proudly.

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Recently released singles such as the feisty "Uh Huh" and poppy "Lottery" will be among them, and perhaps the only thing missing is an album title. An unperturbed Bird said the initial one was rejected by people who said "it was too hard to pronounce."

Yet Bird may be the comprehensible word in the Mile High City, where she previously opened for Son Little and Colter Wall on separate tours in 2017 and 2018, and one of the stops was included in her U.S. video diary seen below. (Denver appears at the 6:10 mark.)

After wrapping up a series of summer shows supporting Brandi Carlile along the West Coast in August, Bird and her touring bandmates ("my best friends") — including her boyfriend Luke Prosser (guitar) and Mystery Jets drummer Kapil Trivedi — will headline mostly throughout America this fall.

Before one Canadian date, though, she'll spend her 21st birthday — Oct. 1 — in Toronto.

How will she celebrate?

"I've been playing a lot of poker on tour, believe it or not," Bird said. "So maybe I'll go to a casino or something and really indulge."

Before that, as summer turns to fall, the 5-foot-3 dynamo with the huge voice plans to hit the jackpot as she partakes in the delectable feast that Grandoozy promises. First, though, Bird was willing to answer a few more questions about the festival, colorful Colorado, getting high and more in this quick-hitting interview.

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What's a "Grandoozy"?

What's a Grandoozy? Aww, this is like … I should have done my research. I don't know. Is it something in particular? (She's told the name was invented for this festival.) It's a pretty sick name. I guess I only associate it with the festival. To be honest, I call nothing else Grandoozy, put it that way.

What does "Rocky Mountain High" mean to you?

(Laughs) Is this a trick question? (It's not, she's assured.) It means good things then, I guess. I'm always up for new places and new locations. … I think it's the funnest part about the job.

Since this festival involves the word "grand" in the overall scheme of things, which grandparent of yours would be the most likely to enjoy Grandoozy and why?

Jade Bird: Oooh, that's a good one. I think both of my grandmas would probably love it but I call my grandma in Wales my Grandma Wales. So Grandma Wales would probably have the most fun at the Grandoozy, I'm sure. I love both my grandmas but Grandma Wales can make sure she's in the festival spirit.

Who's the one artist in the lineup you would pay to see (and why?)

I think Florence + the Machine. Her live show is spectacular. I mean, the album (High as Hope was released in June) is great but, like, when she gets on the stage, from what I've seen — I've never seen her live, but watching on video — it looks like really something else. She's an incredible performer. So that's who I would pay to see.

What's your best memory you have about performing in Denver?

It's a bit tricky because I've been to quite a few cities now and I'm losing my memory a little bit. Denver, Colorado, is just like an incredible place. I remember coming up from the airplane and seeing all the mountains. You just have to when you play live there, you have to really be careful because of the altitude.

Will you keep oxygen handy?

Oh, no. That's a bit dramatic, maybe, for me. But maybe I'll faint, and there we go. But we'll see.

If you had a week to spend in Colorado, where would you go and what would you do?

Uh, Colorado Springs, I think I would probably go there. Weed is legal [in Colorado], isn't it? Yeah, so, you know, I don't usually smoke but why not if it's legal. Don't tell my mother. (laughs)

How different is your set list for a festival than it is during a regular tour?

It's kind of like all bangers, you know what I mean? You kind of go for the ones that are the most upbeat. I tend to leave all the intimate moments out because it's kind of hard to capture that at a festival because you get a lot of new people to hear your music who are just stopping by, so you kind of want to grab their attention. It's mostly like a similar set but you take off all the slow ones, basically, as boring an answer as that is.

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What's the secret to winning over a festival crowd?

I always try to be myself, be it a festival crowd or my own crowd. I think that confidence. Like we do a cover of [the Bangles'] "Walk Like an Egyptian" that tends to be quite a crowd-pleaser at festivals. But it's having the confidence in having so much fun on stage that people want to be part of that. That's really important to look like you're having fun. … I also, in my shows, play "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush because she's a massive inspiration to me. And I really connect with that song over and over again every time when I play it live.

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment to date (in life or music)?

Obviously, it's gonna be writing my next record by myself. I think that's a big one for me. And that's the thing I'm the most proud of at this minute. But also [The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy] Fallon, I was really proud of that performance we did [in April]. We kind of got together a string arrangement when I played "Lottery" on Fallon. That's probably, for me, the biggest, like, surrealist moment.

Jade Bird is scheduled to perform from 3:15 to 4 p.m. MT Friday (Sept. 14) on the Scissors stage at the three-day Grandoozy festival in Denver, where the headliners are Kendrick Lamar (Friday), Florence + the Machine (Saturday) and Stevie Wonder (Sunday). Single-day and three-day tickets are still available.

Antonio Carlos Jobim

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Born Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim in the affluent Rio de Janeiro district of Tijuca, the man known by his compatriots as Tom Jobim, was one of the most brilliant songwriters, arrangers and musicians – on piano and guitar – to emerge from South America during the heady heyday of the 1960s. He achieved worldwide superstar fame thanks to his key piece – ‘The Girl from Ipanema’– and while that luscious bossa nova is an all-time standard that he has replicated on numerous occasions, it doesn’t tell his tale because his music is the most glorious hybrid of Latin, pop and light jazz imaginable. One of the most important songwriters of the 20th century, Jobim’s work has soaked through the mainstream, influencing everyone from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Carlos Santana, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

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His collaborations with Sinatra and the saxophonist Stan Getz are masterful while his own solo albums should be a vital part of any discerning musical collection. Recipient of the posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, where he was honoured by his friend and kindred spirit Sergio Mendes, it’s important to say that his beautiful songs, such as ‘The Girl From Ipanema,’‘Desafinado,’‘Corcovado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars),’‘Wave,’ and ‘Waters Of March’, to mention a few, became standards all over the world and were recorded by the greatest singers and musicians of our time. Tom Jobim’s music is unique — his melodies are haunting and the harmonies extremely sophisticated. He is responsible for introducing Brazilian music to the world. His music resonates across time: you know it even if you didn’t think you did. His version of ‘Brazil’– from the album Stone Flower – was the recent sound bed for ITV’s World Cup coverage and his legacy continues as he is interpreted by younger acts like, Diana Krall, John Legend and countless others.

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Rio native Jobim came from well-connected Portuguese stock – his father being a diplomat, writer and journalist. When his parents separated, Antonio went to live in Ipanema with his mother and learned to love the area that would inform his earliest songs. Playing nightclubs and bars, the young Jobim studied the works of Pixinguinha, a man who had revolutionized Brazilian music in the 1930s by adding samba to classical. The young Jobim was equally fascinated by the French romantic style of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel as well as the great Brazilian guitarist Heitor Villa-Lobos and airy strains of jazz. This fascinating patchwork was interwoven by such themes as nature, the beach and the natural beauty of his country as well as by age-old themes on love and betrayal, loss and an over-riding optimism in the human condition.

Image result for antonio carlos jobim stan getz

His career took flight when he contributed to the soundtrack for Black Orpheus (1958). In the 1960s he came to prominence by teaming up with Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and his then wife Astrud Gilberto. This alliance kick started the bossa nova craze that swept from the USA to Europe. The Getz/Gilberto album achieved astonishing success in 1964, snagging four Grammy Awards including the Album of the Year. No other jazz album would match that feat until Herbie Hancock’s, The Joni Letters in 2008. With Astrud’s enchanting vocals nudging ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and ‘Corcovado’ into global smashes the combo of Getz’s tenor, Jobim’s piano and Joao’s guitar and vocals made this an absolute stand out album. It still is. Really a case of every home should have one!

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What was evident now was that Jobim needed to fly on his own and this he did with a string of brilliant discs starting with The Composer of Desafinado Plays (1963) and the follow-up, The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim (1964). This brace of beauties had an amazing impact on club jazz and airwave appreciation of Brazilian sounds. His third album, Wave, arrived during the psychedelic era of 1967 and provided the perfect antidote of calm and tranquility during that head rush season. Working with producer Creed Taylor in California, Antonio added celeste and harpsichord to his repertoire and revealed himself as a marvelous singer and guitar player. Augmented by strings and with double bassist Ron Carter holding down the pocket bossa nova grooves, Wave is a timeless gem.

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Following his liaisons with Frank Sinatra, Jobim returns to the fold with his immaculate 1970 album, the quite stupendous Stone Flower. This includes the aforementioned ‘Brazil’ penned by the legendary sports commentator and musician Ary Barroso, and the title track whose immaculate jazz mantra groove will be picked up by Santana for their classic disc Caravanserai. With strings arranged by Eumir Deodato, percussionists Airto Moreira and Everaldo Ferreira underpinning Joao Palma’s drum kit, this is a crash course in modern Brazilian music. Do not hesitate to investigate. It’s a glorious album. That same year he will issue Tide, revisiting ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ who is as lovely as ever, and making full use of Deodato’s arrangement skills again. Check out the CD bonus tracks for alternate and master takes of ‘Tema Jazz’. We love this and are sure you will. By the way, that’s Hubert Laws on flute and Garnett Brown on trombone. As crossover jazz goes this is as good as it gets.

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The self-titled Jobim (1973) maintains AC’s high-class catalogue on instrumental delights like ‘Tempo do Mar’ and ‘Matita Pere’. The virtues of easy listening are many and varied, but this is no guilty pleasure, it’s simply fantastic music. Jobim’s work on the soundtracks to The Adventurers (1970) and David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1987) bookend a chunk of his career (he died in New York in 1987.

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There are many compilations available and we would point out The Man from Ipanema box set, a 3-CD tribute that honours his extraordinary sound and finds space for dozens of the finest songs ever written. This beautifully presented package will only leave you wanting more. To discover this master of the Brazilian genre is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, and others. Very few artists have the gift to provide instant gratification: but then Antonio Carlos Jobim is not like any other artist.

Words: Max Bell

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Kiana Ledè's New Video For "Fairplay" Is All About Sweet, Sweet Karma

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If there's one thing that Kiana Ledè believes in, it's karma. And thank goodness, because her new music video for "Fairplay" is a delicious, New Orleans-set revenge story that alsohappens to be fair to "the other woman."
The 20-year-old singer, who previously starred on MTV's Scream: The TV Series, is poised to become one of R&B's next leading ladies, and "Fairplay" — the first single off her soon-to-be-released freshman EP — an anthem of empowerment. As for the song's new video? It's beautiful, lush, and maybe even a little creepy. Ledè goes full-on voodoo queen in the video, which does not bode well for her cheating beau...especially once the voodoo doll shows up.
But hey, "That's just fair play."
Refinery29 spoke with Ledè about the inspiration for her new track, why she wanted to shoot her video in New Orleans, and which women are killing it right now in the music industry.
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What inspired you to write this song?
"I wrote this song when I went through a messy breakup. I got cheated on, and I was in that angry phase that you go through when you have a breakup... It was a blessing in disguise, because that relationship was affecting my growth. I needed that relationship to end so I could grow. A lot of good things were happening to me after that, so I thought, 'Man, that's karma.' I feel like I put my whole heart into that relationship and good things still [came from it], even though he gave up. So what goes around, comes around."
What does the term "fairplay" mean to you?
"It means karma... what goes around comes around, especially for people who fuck with me. Like, if you mess with me, or mess with my heart, something bad will happen to you."
How did you pick the concept of the video?
"There were other options, but at the end of the day... I chose [the directors'] treatment because I love New Orleans, and any way we filmed this video we were going to shoot in New Orleans. I feel like they captured New Orleans as well as it captured me."
I love the way your character is styled in the video. Do you dress this way in real life, or were you trying to embody a specific character?
"It embodies a more extreme version of what I wear every day. I'm a girl from Phoenix who was born in the '90s, so there was a mixture of both those styles. I loved working with the stylist. We went shopping, it was awesome. It was the first time I spent $4,000 on a dress, I loved it."
How did you cast your co-stars?
"I was looking for people who are native to New Orleans and the South. I love New Orleans so much, I wanted to capture it as much as I could. I think people of color should appear in more things, and we need more representation of that. I wanted people of all types to feel welcome."
What is the message in this video?
"I think that, most of the time, in movies and even in real life, the woman [who hooks up] gets the blame... It's almost like the women are pitted against each other. That's portrayed in a lot of stories. I didn't want that in this. In my story, I felt like the woman he cheated with was the victim, too, almost. All the blame was not put on her, it was put on the guy. I don't want women to feel like there's any competition, because there is not. It had to do with my relationship with my man, and nothing to do with the other woman."
What women artists are inspiring you in music?
"SZA, Kehlani, and Rihanna. I love that Rihanna is so true to herself, and so open about her sexuality and so confident. She's a great role model for women of color and young women. SZA and Kehlani have brought R&B back to the forefront of music, and have made it their own. I really, really admire that, because it's my favorite type of music and that everyone can hear it now."
What's a music video that you love right now?
"Little Dicky's 'Pillow Talk' is amazing. The visuals in that are amazing. I love how political he can get while still being fucking hilarious."
Check out the video below:


  • her-tour

H.E.R. Announces ‘I Used To Know HER Tour’

By DJ JusMusic|September 12th, 2018|Categories: News, R&B News|Tags: H.E.R.|0 Comments

H.E.R. is back at it again!

Fresh off her supporting role on Chris Brown’s “Heartbreak On A Full Moon Tour,” the rising R&B star is heading back on the road for her second North American headlining trek.

The21-date “I Used To Know HER Tour” will kick off on November 10 in Atlanta, GA and make stops in major cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, before commencing on December 20 in San Francisco. Bri Steves and Tone Stith will serve as supporting acts.

Pre-sale tickets are available now and will go on sale to the general public starting Friday, Sept. 14.

The tour is named after H.E.R.’s latest EP, I Used To Know Her: The Prelude, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

In related news, H.E.R. and Ella Mai will headline the ‘Best Life’ live music series at the RC Cola Plant in Miami on Saturday, September 15th.

‘I Used To Know HER Tour’ Dates:

Nov. 10 – Atlanta, GA – Coca Cola Roxy
Nov. 11 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
Nov. 13 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
Nov. 14 – Charlotte, NC – Fillmore
Nov. 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Nov. 17 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Nov. 19 – Toronto, ON – Rebel
Nov. 20 – Montreal, QC – MTELUS
Nov. 25 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
Nov. 26 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues
Nov. 29 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
Nov. 30 – Richmond, VA – The National
Dec. 2 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
Dec. 3 – Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
Dec. 4 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
Dec. 6 – Houston, TX – Revention Music Center
Dec. 9 – Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory
Dec. 11 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Dec. 13 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues
Dec. 18 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Dec. 20 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield

First Look: Tori Kelly and Jonathan McReynolds are "Sure"

First Listen: India Arie shines on new single

My debut album is called Bad Together and this is the cover. The next song comes out tonight at midnight. It’s called Joshua Tree and I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING EITHER!


Dead Or Alive / “Youthquake” limited edition purple vinyl pressing

Now back in stock at the SDE shop

Dead Or Alive‘s 1985 album “Youthquake” will be reissued on limited edition purple vinyl next month.

The album was of course the breakthrough for the band and features the UK number one ‘You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)’. ‘Lover Come Back to Me’ and ‘In Too Deep’ were also top 20 hits in Britain.

This new purple vinyl edition is limited to just 350 copies in the UK from a worldwide allocation of 1500. This will be released on 5 October 2018 and at the same time the SDE interview with Pete Burns (his last for anyone) is being made available as a limited run printed ‘keepsake’ booklet edition. You can order both the vinyl and the booklet at the SDE shop (or use the buttons below).

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Dolly Parton, Sia Drop Collab From ‘Dumplin” Soundtrack

Dolly Parton and Sia dropped the first single from the soundtrack to the new Jennifer Aniston film “Dumplin'” Thursday evening.

The track, titled “Here I Am,” is a re-recording of Parton’s 1971 song of the same name. The soundtrack is a collaboration between Parton and songwriter-producer Linda Perry, featuring six new songs and six re-recordings of older Parton songs. At the Music Biz conferen... Nashville, the pair revealed that Miley Cyrus and Miranda Lambert will also be a collaborators, in addition to Sia.

“Dumplin’,” which Netflix acquired the distribution rights to in September, follows Willowdean, also known as Dumplin, the plus-size daughter of a former beauty queen who signs up for her mother’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

Danielle Macdonald (“Patti Cake$”) stars as Dumplin, with Aniston as her mother, Rosie Dickson. Anne Fletcher is directing the musical comedy from a script by Kristin Hahn. The film is based on Julie Murphy’s novel of the same name. Luke Benward, Odeya Rush, Dove Cameron, Bex Taylor-Klaus, and Harold Perrineau also star. Michael Costigan, Mohamed AlRafi, Hahn, and Trish Hofmann produced. AlRafi produced through 50 Degrees Entertainment. Aniston and Danny Nozell executive produced.

The track is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Well I sure am proud to share the first single from the Dumplin' soundtrack with y'all! I re-recorded "Here I Am" with the incredible @Sia and I sure do hope you love it.

Just click to the link to listen to the whole song.


Sheryl Crow / Live at the Capitol Theatre: 2017 Be Myself Tour

Sheryl Crow / Live at the Capitol Theatre 2017 Be Myself Tour

Sheryl Crow will issued Live at the Capitol Theatre in November, an audio-visual combo package that celebrates the final show of her 2017 Be Myself Tour.

Available as a 2CD+blu-ray or 2CD+DVD digi-pak, this release showcases 21 songs from Crow’s back catalogue including hits like ‘All I Wanna Do’, ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and ‘If It Makes You Happy’ as well as songs from the Be Myself album, such as the title track, ‘Halfway There’ and ‘Roller Skate’. A new composition, ‘Atom Bomb’, also features. The show was filmed on 10 November, 2017, at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York.

It’s pleasing to see blu-ray/2CD as an option, especially as it is cheaper than the DVD combo set at the time of writing! I saw Sheryl Crow on this tour and she was in fine form with a very good band.

Live at the Capitol Theatre will be released on 26 October 2018 by Wienerworld.

Tracks (on CDs and DVD/Blu-ray)

CD 1:
1. Everyday Is A Winding Road
2. A Change Would Do You Good
3. All I Wanna Do
4. My Favorite Mistake
5. Be Myself
6. Long Way Back Home
7. Run Baby Run
8. Can’t Cry Anymore
9. The First Cut Is The Deepest
10. Atom Bomb
11. Halfway There

CD 2:
12. There Goes The Neighborhood
13. Leaving Las Vegas
14. Strong Enough
15. Heartbeat Away
16. Roller Skate
17. Best Of Times
18. If It Makes You Happy
19. Soak Up The Sun
20. Midnight Rider
21. I Shall Believe

DVD/Blu-ray Special Features

Includes a vintage Black and White ‘Flashback’ introduction of many legends who have graced the Capitol Theater stage over the years, interspersed with exclusive interview segments with Sheryl recently filmed at her Farm in Nashville, TN.

Fan power! Pre-orders open for the 3CD edition of Yazoo’s ‘Four Pieces’

Yazoo / Three Pieces 3CD edition

Pre-order 3CD version

You spoke, they listened. BMG and Yazoo responded to the minor furore about the lack of a CD edition of the forthcoming Four Pieces release and quickly moved to ensure that this package (which includes remastered albums, remixes and unreleased BBC sessions) would be available on CD.

So Four Pieces becomes Three Pieces for the 3CD set, but fear not, the content is the same. The three remastered CDs come in a hardback ‘mediabook’ format, with a 32 page booklet containing lyrics and photos.

You can pre-order this CD version from the official store, where you’ll also find some CD bundles, as well as the various vinyl editions. Update 31/8: It’s now on Amazon, too.

Four Pieces/Three Pieces is released on 2 November 2018.


The classic debut album including Only You, Don’t Go, Goodbye 70’s and Winter Kills.

1. Don’t Go
2. Too Pieces
3. Bad Connection
4. I Before E Except After C
5. Midnight
6. In My Room
7. Only You
8. Goodbye 70’s
9. Tuesday
10. Winter Kills
11. Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I)


The No 1 UK Album featuring Nobody’s Diary, Ode To Boy, Mr Blue and Walk Away From Love.

1. Nobody’s Diary
2. Softly Over
3. Sweet Thing
4. Mr. Blue
5. Good Times
6. Walk Away From Love
7. Ode To Boy
8. Unmarked
9. Anyone
10. Happy People
11. And On


Classic, extended and rare remixes by Richard X, Todd Terry and Youth, plus the 2017 Orchestral mix of ‘Only You’ and a brand new remix of ‘Winter Kills’ by Minute Taker.

The John Peel and David Jensen BBC Radio One sessions exclusively remastered and available on vinyl for the first time. Includes Don’t Go, Situation, Too Pieces and Winter Kills.

1. Nobody’s Diary – Extended Version
2. Situation – Richard X Remix
3. Don’t Go – Remix
4. Only You – Orchestral Mix
5. Situation – The Aggressive Attitude Mix (Youth)
6. Don’t Go – Tee’s TNT Radio Mix (Toddy Terry)
7. State Farm – Madhouse Mix Edit
8. Winter Kills – Minute Taker Remix*
9. Don’t Go [John Peel BBC Session, June 1982]*
10. Midnight [John Peel BBC Session, June 1982]*
11. In My Room [John Peel BBC Session, June 1982]*
12. Winter Kills [John Peel BBC Session, June 1982]*
13. Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I) [David Jensen BBC Session, September 1982]
14. In My Room [David Jensen BBC Session, Sept 1982]
15. Situation [David Jensen BBC Session, Sept 1982]*
16. Too Pieces [David Jensen BBC Session, Sept 1982]*

*Previously unreleased.

Marin Mazzie, Broadway Musical Star, Is Dead at 57

Marin Mazzie with Daniel Dae Kim in a revival of “The King and I” at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in 2016. It was her last appearance on Broadway.CreditCreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

  • Sept. 13, 2018

Marin Mazzie, a sought-after musical-theater actress whose Broadway work earned her three Tony Award nominations in six years, died on Thursday at her home in Manhattan. She was 57.

Her husband, the actor Jason Danieley, said the cause was ovarian cancer, a disease she had spoken about often since receiving her diagnosis in 2015.

Ms. Mazzie’s impressive Broadway career spanned three decades, beginning with her debut as a replacement player in the original production of “Big River” in 1985. Her breakout role was as Clara in “Passion,” the 1994 musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, for which she was nominated for a Tony as best featured actress in a musical. (The show itself was named best musical.)

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Her next two Broadway appearances also brought her Tony nominations, both for best actress in a musical. One, in 1998, was for her performance as the stifled Mother in “Ragtime.” The other, in 2000, was for a role that was in some ways the polar opposite of Mother: the female lead in the 1999 revival of “Kiss Me, Kate,” the Cole Porter show about a troupe of actors performing a musical version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Ben Brantley, in a glowing review in The New York Times, found Ms. Mazzie’s versatility in the handling of her musical numbers especially noteworthy.

“Her outlandishly entertaining take on that great exercise in animosity, ‘I Hate Men,’ which here includes a vivid simulation of giving birth, goes over the top, for sure,” he wrote. “But it doesn’t go out of control. And when Ms. Mazzie needs to switch to a lyric sincerity, for ‘So in Love’ and ‘I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple,’ her soprano shimmers like polished silver.”

Ms. Mazzie continued to perform after her cancer diagnosis, appearing most recently on Broadway in 2016 in “The King and I” as a replacement for Kelli O’Hara in the role of Anna.

Ms. Mazzie in “Kiss Me, Kate” at the Martin Beck Theater in 1999. Her performance earned her the third of her three Tony Award nominations.CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

She also sang on concert stages and in cabarets all over the country. She and her husband (who is now appearing on Broadway in “Pretty Woman”) often performed together, creating two-handers from the American songbook. They were to unveil a new one, “Heart to Heart,” at the nightclub Feinstein’s/54 Below in Manhattan in mid-June, but had to cancel it because of Ms. Mazzie’s health.

Marin Joy Mazzie (pronounced MARE-in MAY-zee) was born on Oct. 9, 1960, in Rockford, Ill. Her father, John, ran a television station, and he and her mother, Donna, were devotees of musical theater, a passion reflected in their record collection.

“I just glommed onto the cast albums,” Ms. Mazzie told The Associated Press in 1998. “I would play the records in my bedroom and act out all the characters.”

Image result for Marin Mazzie

She began taking singing lessons at 12. Then her family moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., where she attended Western Michigan University, graduating in 1982 with a minor in music and a major in theater. In 2003 she and another alumna of the university, the actress Barbara Marineau, teamed up for a pair of concerts there, proceeds from which were used to create a music theater performance scholarship that is now awarded in their names.

Losing My Mind - Marin MazzieCreditCreditVideo by Mike Hipp

From 1980 to 1982, Ms. Mazzie was also a “Barnie,” working at the Barn, a famed summer theater in Kalamazoo. It was a fast-paced training ground that mounted a new show every couple of weeks, the actors performing in one while rehearsing the next. She earned her Actors Equity card there, and she returned several times in later years as a guest artist.

With the card and the college degree, Ms. Mazzie moved to New York, following a dream that was somewhat underinformed.

“I always wanted to move to New York and be on Broadway even before I had really been here,” Ms. Mazzie said years later. “I didn’t know what either of those things meant, but that’s what I wanted.”

Ms. Mazzie with Zach Braff in the musical “Bullets Over Broadway,” based on the Woody Allen movie, at the St. James Theater in 2014.CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

She soon landed a dinner-theater job in Westchester County, N.Y., in the chorus of “Barnum.” In 1984 she was cast in a touring version of “Doonesbury,” the musical based on Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, which had been tepidly received on Broadway in 1983. That landed her in California, where, at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, Mr. Sondheim was reworking another musical that had failed on Broadway, with Mr. Lapine directing.

“I first met Marin when she was 24 and came in to audition for a production of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ at La Jolla Playhouse,” Mr. Lapine recalled in an email interview on Thursday. “She seemed very young and very unsophisticated. She sang ‘Not a Day Goes By’ with such force and beauty that Sondheim and I hired her on the spot to play Beth.

“Years later she came in to audition for Clara in ‘Passion.’ We were stunned when she walked into the room. Suddenly Marin had matured into this gorgeous, sexy woman. She sang the first song from the show, and again, we hired her on the spot.”

Ms. Mazzie viewed her role in “Merrily” as a turning point.

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“That was a big, big break for me in my career,” she told “Being taught to sing ‘Not a Day Goes By’ by Stephen Sondheim himself? That’s something I will never forget.”

Not A Day Goes By - Marin MazzieCreditCreditVideo by You'reGonnaLoveTomorrow

Back in New York, the connection paid off as Ms. Mazzie became a replacement player in “Into the Woods,” the Sondheim-Lapine hit. She then received a starring role in “Passion” alongside Donna Murphy and Jere Shea.

“Passion” opened with Ms. Mazzie and Mr. Shea naked in bed singing a duet, a scene that left some theatergoers wondering where the body microphones and battery-pack transmitters were. (Answer, according to a Times theater column: The microphones were in the wigs, as was Ms. Mazzie’s pack; Mr. Shea’s pack was in a pillow.)

Ms. Mazzie’s other Broadway credits included the short-lived play “Enron”(2010) and the Woody Allen musical “Bullets Over Broadway” (2014). One of her most rewarding Broadway experiences, she said, came in 2010, when she and her husband took over for Alice Ripley and Brian d’Arcy James as a couple struggling with her manic depression in “Next to Normal,” which had opened the year before.

Ms. Mazzie at the Manhattan nightclub Feinstein’s/54 Below in 2015. She and her husband, the actor Jason Danieley, had to cancel a joint engagement there in June because of her health.CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

Ms. Mazzie also worked extensively Off Broadway and in regional theaters. (She met her future husband when they were both in a 1996 production of Charles L. Mee Jr.’s “The Trojan Women: A Love Story” on the Lower East Side.)

In 2008 she sang with the New York Philharmonic in its production of “Camelot” at Avery Fisher Hall.

“Ms. Mazzie’s singing was luminous,” Anthony Tommasini wrote in his review in The Times, “and she makes a lovely Guenevere. Her portrayal grew stronger as the story turned darker, and the winsome queen, who dearly loves her husband, finds herself hopelessly drawn to the noble Lancelot.”

Image result for Marin Mazzie

She was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame last year.

Besides her husband, whom she married in 1997, Ms. Mazzie is survived by her mother and a brother, Mark.

In May 2015, Ms. Mazzie was in an “Encores!” presentation of the musical “Zorba!” at New York City Center. The day it opened was the day she received her cancer diagnosis. She went on anyway.

“How ironic that I was singing: ‘Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die. Life is how time goes by,’ ” she told The Times that year, quoting a lyric from the show.

In “The King and I” in 2016, Ms. Mazzie played the teacher who comes to Siam to tutor the king’s children. She viewed the appearance as a chance to increase awareness about ovarian cancer and cancer-related gene testing.

“Hopefully I can help somebody,” she told Playbill. “That was really important, and that ties into Anna too. How she goes to this place to help people and educate them.”

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Algerian Singer Rachid Taha Dies at 59

French-Algerian musician Rachid Taha, known for fusing Algerian raï folk music with rock, has died. He was 59.

Taha died of a heart attack at his home in the Lilas suburb of Paris, according to a statement from his family and label Naïve Records.

Image result for Singer Rachid Taha

Born in Algeria, Taha moved to Lyon, France, at the age of 10, where he spent his youth among the working-class immigrant community that surrounded the city. He helped form the punk band Carte de Sejour in the mid-’80s.

Image result for Singer Rachid Taha cd âBarbès

Taha told the New York Times that he bumped into the Clash on the street, after playing a concert at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris, and handed them a demo of Carte de Sejour’s music. The band would go on to release “Rock the Casbah,” which features a similar sound to Taha’s band, just a year later.

Image result for Singer Rachid Taha

He had a worldwide hit with the song “Ya Rayah,” which referenced the immigrant experience.

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Following his stint as frontman for Carte de Sejour, Taha began pursuing a solo career in 1989, releasing his first album, “Barbès,” in 1991 and his own cover of “Rock the Casbah” — titled “Rock El Casbah” — in 2004. Taha dropped his last album, “Zoom,” in 2013. According to AP, he recently finished recording a new album that was set for release in 2019.

Image result for Singer Rachid Taha cd Zoom

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Multi-Disc CD, Vinyl Editions Of ‘The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions’ Set For Release

The five volumes of the ‘Cuban Jam Session’ albums were recorded over a span of almost a decade, from 1956–1964.

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Complete Cuban Jam Sessions

Craft Recordings is set to release The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions as 5LP and 5CD box sets on 9 November. Compiled here in their entirety and original format for the first time, the five volumes of Panart’s Cuban Jam Session albums were recorded over a span of almost a decade, from 1956–1964. Together these albums encapsulate a stylistic and historic panorama of Cuban music, from big band son montuno to Afro-Cuban rumba, mambo, cha-cha-chá and country acoustic guajira music. At the same time, they attest to Cuba’s long relationship with popular American music and jazz.

These sessions collectively feature an impressive line-up of renowned pioneers of descarga (improvised jam session), including pianist Julio Gutiérrez, tres player Niño Rivera, flautist José Fajardo and the legendary master bassist and mambo co-creator, Israel “Cachao” López. Participating musicians include the legendary percussionist Tata Güines, trombone master Generoso Jiménez, pioneering Cuban jazz drummer Guillermo Barreto, Cachao’s brother and co-father of the mambo Orestes López, ground-breaking timbales player/drummer Walfredo de los Reyes, Sr., jazz-influenced pianist Pedro Jústiz “Peruchín,” and Cuban scat singer Francisco Fellove, among many others.

The 5 disc vinyl set includes 35 tracks on 180-g audiophile vinyl in tip-on jackets. It offers a 28-page book featuring black-and-white archival images of the featured artists as well as extensive liner notes and musician bios, in English and Spanish, by award-winning Latin music writer, Cuban music specialist and box set co-producer, Judy Cantor-Navas. The 5CD version comes packaged in mini-jacket replicas of the vinyl jackets and is supplemented by an extensive 96-page CD booklet. The complete collection will also be released digitally, including (for the first time) hi-res 192/24 and 96/24 formats.

The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions reveal the flip side of Cuban music’s Golden Age: the informal gathering that took place away from the colorful stage shows and splendid decadence of Havana’s fabled nightlife. As the original back cover of Cuban Jam Sessions Volume 1states, “It is without reservation of any kind that Panart assures you that that which you are about to hear will be a novel, unusual record. We expect that the buyer will find in it all the color and excitement of authentic Cuban music not limited to the time of the standard recording date, but music as it is felt by the men who know how to play…”

The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions is out on 9 November. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and buy the 5LP or 5CD editions.

The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions: 5CD:
Disc 1:
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Introduction’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Theme On Perfidia’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Theme On Mambo’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Cimarron’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Theme On Cha Cha Cha’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Opus For Dancing’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Theme For Conga’

Disc 2:
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Jam Session (Descarga Caliente)’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Rumba Theme’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Listen To The Rhythm Of The ChaChaCha’
Julio Gutiérrez – ‘Bata Rhythm’

Disc 3:
Niño Rivera – ‘Montuno – Swing’
Niño Rivera – ‘Monuno – Guajiro’
Niño Rivera – ‘Cha Cha Cha Montuno’
Niño Rivera – ‘Guanguanco – Comparsa’

Disc 4:
Cachao – ‘Trombon Criollo’
Cachao – ‘Controversia De Metales’
Cachao – ‘Estudio En Trompeta’
Cachao – ‘Guajeo De Saxos’
Cachao – ‘Oye Mi Tres Montuno’
Cachao – ‘Malanga Amarilla’
Cachao – ‘Cogele El Golpe’
Cachao – ‘Pamparana’
Cachao – ‘Descarga Cuban’
Cachao – ‘Goza Mi Trompeta’
Cachao – ‘A Gozar Timbero’
Cachao – ‘Sorpresa De Flauta’

Disc 5:
José Fajardo – ‘Juaniquita’
José Fajardo – ‘Pa’ Coco Solo’
José Fajardo – ‘Busco Una Chinita’
José Fajardo – ‘Guajirando’
José Fajardo – ‘Goza El Montuno’
José Fajardo – ‘Vamos A Gozar’
José Fajardo – ‘La Flaunta De Jose’
José Fajardo – ‘La Charanga’

The EFG London Jazz Festival opens on 16 November with its signature glittering gala performance, Jazz Voice, where Guy Barker’s 42-piece orchestra teams up with some of today’s most individual vocalists in a spectacular celebration of song, hosted by Jumoké Fashola. This year’s line-up includes Laila Biali, Allan Harris, Deva Mahal, Anthony Strong, Zara McFarlane and Lisa Stansfield, with further names to be announced.

Jazz giants this year include Archie Shepp and Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya and there is a special concert, The Boy’s Doin’ It, in celebration of the life and music of Hugh Masekela. The list of international stars continues with Bill Frisell, Lea DeLaria, Madeleine Peyroux, Dave Douglas, Avishai Cohen, Myra Melford, Bugge Wesseltoft, Kandace Springs, Ethan Iverson, Melody Gardot, Tord Gustavsen, Youn Sun Nah and a rare opportunity to see Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum on piano, with his band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Concerts created for the festival include Windrush: A Celebration, presented by poet/musician Anthony Joseph. featuring Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose and Brother Resistance and Orphy Robinson’s Astral Weeks, featuring Zara McFarlane and Sarah Jane Morris, a reinterpretation of Van Morrison’s seminal album of 50 years ago.

There is much within the festival that reflects the global language of jazz and music that reacts to our changing world: Iraqi/American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra comes to the UK for the first time, exploring the juncture between jazz and the Middle East; Ian Shaw’s concert with the Citizens of the World Choir brings together a group of refugees, asylum seekers and campaigners.

British talent is celebrated: saxophonist and leading force in the new wave of UK jazz, Nubya Garcia, performs a double headliner with drummer Makaya McCraven, a key new figure in the Chicago jazz scene and rising stars, Camilla George and Sarah Tandy, perform together and, for a perfect showcase of the next generation of British jazz, the festival will host the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 Final.

The EFG London Jazz Festival brings together musicians from across the planet, aiming to promote the love of jazz and reach as wide an audience as possible. This inclusivity is reflected in the Festival’s digital marketing with #WeAreJazz, which allows festival-goers to follow news and share memories, promoting diversity and the engagement with jazz by the broadest of audiences.

Now in its 26th year it remains the capital’s largest city-wide festival, with over 2,000 artists in more than 325 performances in concert halls, clubs, at family events, free concerts, films and talks, in over 70 venues across London.


GB - Glasgow, Saint Luke's
GB - Newcastle Upon Tyne, The Cluny
GB - Sheffield, Plug, The
GB - Liverpool, O2 Academy 2 Liverpool
GB - Bristol, Thekla
GB - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
GB - Birmingham, O2 Institute2 Birmingham
GB - London, O2 Forum Kentish Town
GB - Manchester, O2 Ritz Manchester

‘What Color Is Love’ Back On Vinyl For Jazz-Soul Hero Terry Callier

The 1972 album by the revered Chicago artist has been out of print for nearly two decades.

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Terry Callier What Color Is Love

The 1972 album What Color Is Love by the late and hugely revered, socially conscious jazz-soul-folk artist Terry Callier, is now available on vinyl for the first time in nearly two decades. Released today (14 September) on Verve/UMe, it now appears on standard weight black vinyl and housed in a high-quality wrapped jacket.

Occasional Rain Terry CallierThe album, produced and arranged by the storied Charles Stepney, was a staging post for Chicago-born singer-songwriter Callier. He made his album debut on the Prestige label in 1968 with The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier, which had been completed some three years earlier. He then moved to Cadet, the jazz imprint of Chess Records, where 1972 brought the Occasional Rain set before the arrival of What Color Is Love.

If major commercial success eluded Callier during this era, his trademark blend of soul and blues influences, his strident vocals and references to the jazz inspiration of John Coltrane was much acclaimed. During his tenure at Cadet, where Callier’s labelmates included Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson and Ahmad Jamal, he further challenged the traditional genre boundaries with 1974’s I Just Can’t Help Myself.

What Color Is Love wears his Chicago soul roots on its sleeve, with striking string arrangements and driving rhythms on tracks such as ‘Dancing Girl’ and ‘You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman.’ The album continues to be regarded among Callier’s finest, and was afforded new attention when he reemerged from his 1980s retirement from music — during which time he worked as a computer programmer — for a second coming from the late 1990s. This prompted new material of his own and collaborations with Paul Weller, Beth Orton and Massive Attack.

Callier died of cancer, at the age of 67, in 2012, but the new vinyl edition of this key album in his catalogue will further burnish his creative memory.

What Color Is Love is available on black vinyl now. Scroll down for the tracklisting, and buy it here.


1. ‘Dancing Girl’

2. ‘What Color Is Love’

3. ‘You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman’


1. ‘Just As Long As We’re In Love’

2. ‘Ho Tsing Mee (A Song of the Sun)’

3. ‘I’d Rather Be With You’

4. ‘You Don’t Care’

Bob Seger Announces Additional Dates For Final North American Tour

Additional shows are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including dates in Las Vegas, Fresno and more.

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Bob Seger Dates Final Tour
Photo: Stephen Gelber

Bob Seger has announced extra dates for his final North American tour. More dates are being added to Seger’s previously announced dates, giving fans one more opportunity to see Seger and The Silver Bullet Band live.

Seger and company’s Travelin’ Man tour kicks off on 21 November in Grand Rapids and tickets for the new dates in Buffalo, Cleveland, Louisville, Fort Wayne, Peoria, Grand Rapids and rescheduled shows in Dallas and Houston will go on sale on Friday, 28 September. Tickets for new dates in Toledo and Nashville will go on sale Saturday, 29 September.

Additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks, including dates in Las Vegas, Fresno, San Diego, Vancouver, Florida and more. Bob Seger fan club members will have special access to purchase tickets in advance of the scheduled on-sale dates. Tickets can be purchased from the artist’s website.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band play the following dates on the Travelin’ Man Tour:

Nov. 21: Grand Rapids, Van Andel Arena
Nov. 24: Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
Nov. 27: Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo
Nov. 30: St. Louis, MO, Enterprise Center
Dec. 6: Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena
Dec. 8: Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
Dec. 12: St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Arena
Dec. 14: Chicago, IL, Allstate Arena
Dec. 20: Greenville, SC, Bon Secours
Dec. 22: Atlanta, GA, Infinite Energy Arena
Jan. 8: Toledo, OH, Huntington Center
Jan. 11: Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
Jan. 15: Fort Wayne, IN, Allen County Memorial Coliseum
Jan. 17: Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
Jan. 19: Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
Jan. 22: Peoria, IL , Peoria Civic Center
Jan. 29: Billings, MT, Rimrock Auto Arena
Jan. 21: Boise, ID, Ford Center
Feb. 2: Portland, OR, Moda Center
Feb. 9: Seattle, WA, Tacoma Dome
Feb. 15: Phoenix, AZ, Talking Stick Resort
Feb. 17: Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
Feb. 23: Los Angeles, CA, The Forum
Mar. 7: Austin, TX, Frank Erwin
Mar. 9: Dallas, TX, Ford Center at The Star
May 2: Houston, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell.


Little Steven Launches ‘Soulfire Teacher Solidarity Tour 2018’

The initiative recognises the work that educators do across North America and will highlight the TeachRock curriculum.

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TeachRock tour

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul have announced a headline tour, to begin in October, that will introduce TeachRock, a free, multi-media, K-12 interdisciplinary curriculum from Steven Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.

The Soulfire Teacher Solidarity Tour 2018 concerts are free for all types of educators and a guest, and teachers are invited to sign up for the shows here. The initiative is in recognition of the work that educators do across North America, and will highlight the TeachRock curriculum, which meets prevailing standards in English Language Arts, Social Studies/History, the Fine and Performing Arts and includes STEAM and advisory material. Complete details and tickets are available here.

Each show will see Little Steven and the staff of TeachRock hosting professional development workshops, which he will attend and which are also free. They will encourage educators with techniques and content allowing them to use music to inspired their students — even the ones who have never touched a musical instrument.

In many stops on the tour, such workshops will also count towards continuing education hours and license renewal. Attendees will receive a teacher-only edition Teacher Solidarity Tour t-shirt, a certificate of attendance and tickets for that evening’s concert for an educator and a guest.

“This is a little different than the professional development experience you may be used to,” says Little Steven. “This is a rock ‘n’ roll experience.”

The full dates on the Soulfire Teacher Solidarity Tour 2018 are as follows:


18 – Wilkes Barre, PA – Kirby Center

20 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Center

23 – Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Hotel & casino

24 – Pittsburgh, PA – Homestead Music Hall

29 – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center

31 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater


2 – Burnsville, MN – Ames Center

3 – Green Bay, WI – Meyer Theatre

5 – Chicago, IL – Center

7 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater

9 – Detroit, MI – Detroit Music Hall

10 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Theater

12 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom

14 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall

16 – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Rocksino

17 – Morgantown, WV – Metropolitan Theatre

26 – Oklahoma City, OK – Tower Theatre

28 – Omaha, NE – Holland Performing Arts Center

30 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre


1 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot

3 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

5 – Snoqualmie, WA – Snoqualmie Casino

7 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

8 – Stateline, NV – Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

11 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

12 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues

14 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues

16 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren

Lulu / Decade 1967-1976 / signed 5CD

Lulu / Decade 1967-1976 / signed 5CD box

5CD box set • 500 copies with print signed by Lulu

Decade 1967-1976 is a new Lulu box set that showcases ten years of music produced by some stellar talent including Mickie Most, Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler, Giorgio Moroder and David Bowie, to name a few!

This five CD set is packed with an amazing amount of audio. I count seven albums from 1967’s Love Loves To Love Lulu (aka Lulu Sings To Sir With Love) to 1976’s Heaven and Earth and Stars (the latter features both ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ and ‘The Man Who Sold The World’).These long-players were issued on Columbia, Atco and Chelsea Records at the time.

The first CD here offers Love Loves To Love Lulu and ten bonus single A-sides and B-sides, while appended to Lulu’s Album (CD 2) is a 10-track selection called ‘The Eurovision Songs’, which includes all the foreign language variants of ‘Boom Bang-A-Bang’!

The third CD features two albums, New Routes and Melody Fair (which feature Atlantic Records production team: Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin and Jerry Wexler) while the fourth disc rounds up Atco rarities with tracks from an unreleased album, more A-sides and B-sides, alternate versions and German singles.

This deluxe set comes in the form of a five-disc ‘media book’ and has an illustrated booklet with archive photos etc. 500 copies only come with a signed print (see the image above). Just over £30 for this five-disc set with Lulu’s scrawl on it, seems like a great deal!

Vinyl fans have to make do with a ‘Best of 1967-1975’ but the good news is this is pressed on RED vinyl and is only £13 right now. Result!

The SIGNED edition of Decade 1967-1976 is exclusive to Amazon in the UK and is released on 16 November 2018. The RED vinyl ‘best of’ is slated for 2 November.


1. To Sir With Love
2. Morning Dew
3. You And I
4. Rattler
5. Day Tripper
6. Love Loves To Love Love
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Boat That I Row
9. Let’s Pretend
10. Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me
11. Best Of Both Worlds

12. Dreary Days And Nights
13. You And I [mono single version]
14. Me, The Peaceful Heart
15. Lookout
16. Boy
17. Sad Memories
18. I’m A Tiger
19. Without Him
20. This Time (Bistro) [from the film “Hot Millions”]
21. I Keep Forgettin’


1. Show Me
2. The Mighty Quinn
3. My Ain Folk
4. Where Did You Come From
5. Gimme Some Lovin’
6. I Started A Joke
7. Why Did I Choose You?
8. The Boy Next Door
9. A House Is Not A Home
10. Cry Like A Baby

The 1969 UK Eurovision Song shortlist:
11. Are You Ready For Love
12. March!
13. Come September
14. I Can’t Go On Living Without You
15. Boom Bang-A-Bang
16. Bet Yer
The European Versions:
17. Boom Bang-A-Bang [French version]
18. Boom Bang-A-Bang [Italian version]
19. Boom Bang-A-Bang [German version]
20. Boom Bang-A-Bang [Spanish version]


1. Marley Purt Drive
2. In The Morning
3. People In Love
4. After All (I Live My Life)
5. Feelin’ Alright
6. Dirty Old Man
7. Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby)
8. Is That You Love
9. Mr. Bojangles
10. Where’s Eddie
11. Sweep Around Your Own Back Door

12. Good Day Sunshine
13. After The Feeling Is Gone
14. I Don’t Care Anymore
15. (Don’t Go) Please Stay
16. Melody Fair
17. Take Good Care Of Yourself
18. Vine Street
19. Move To My Rhythm
20. To The Other Woman (I’m The Other Woman)
21. Hum A Song (From Your Heart)
22. Sweet Memories
23. Saved

1. Bury Me Down By The River
2. Got To Believe In Love
3. Jokers Wild
4. Come Down In Time
5. Back Home
6. Things Are Getting Better
7. Love Song
8. Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

9. Everybody’s Got To Clap
10. It Takes A Real Man (To Bring Out The Woman In Me)
11. You Ain’t Wrong You Just Ain’t Right
12. Even If I Could Change

13. Hum A Song (From Your Heart) [Session Version]
14. I Don’t Care Anymore [Early Mix]
15. Got To Believe In Love [Early Version]
16. Povera Me (Oh Me Oh My) [Italian version]

17. Warum Tust Du Mir Weh? (Why Do You Hurt Me?)
18. Traurig, Aber Wahr (Sad But True)
19. Ich Brauche Deine Liebe (I Need Your Love)
20. Wach’ Ich Oder Traum’ Ich (Wake Me Or Dream Me)

1. Make Believe World
2. Groovin’
3. Easy Evil
4. I Wish
5. A Boy Like You
6. Hold On To What You’ve Got
7. Could It Be Forever?
8. Funny How Time Slips Away
9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
10. Help Me Help You

11. Heaven And Earth And The Stars
12. Boy Meets Girl
13. Mama’s Little Corner Of The World
14. The Man With The Golden Gun [Main Title]
15. Baby I Don’t Care
16. Take Your Mama For A Ride [Pt. 1]
17. Honey You Can’t Take It Back
18. The Man Who Sold The World
19. Watch That Man
20. Old Fashioned Girl
21. Take Your Mama For A Ride [Pt. 2]

Lulu – Best Of (vinyl)

1. To Sir With Love
2. The Boat That I Row
3. Let’s Pretend
4. Love Loves to Love Love
5. Me, the Peaceful Heart
6. Boy
7. I’m a Tiger
8. Boom Bang-a-bang
9. Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby)
10. Everybody’s Got to Clap
11. The Man With the Golden Gun
12. The Man Who Sold the World
13. Watch That Man
14. Take Your Mama for a Ride

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Reply #15 posted 09/18/18 7:27am


The Cranberries speak on the last days of Dolores O’Riordan and confirm final album

"They had found the right cocktail of whatever it was she needed to be on."

The Cranberries have spoken on some of their final memories of Dolores O’Riordan, after the singer died at the start of the year.

The singer’s body was found at a London hotel in January. A subsequent inquest ruled that she accidentally drowned in t...oxication.

Speaking to The Guardian, bandmates Fergal Lawler and Noel Hogan explained how the singer had confided in them about her mental health battles – after she was diagnosed with bipolar in 2016.

“It was only the last few years that she started talking about psychological problems, because she didn’t know herself”, Lawler explained. “She saw a few different therapists and realised what she had and she started getting treatment for it.”

Despite her battles, Hogan maintains that O’Riordan was on the way to recovery. The band were preparing for an arena tour of China, and O’Riordan was only troubled by a slipped disc in her back.

“She was a lot more herself”, he explained.“Especially last year, when we were rehearsing: you wouldn’t even know, because they had found the right cocktail of whatever it was she needed to be on. There wasn’t even a case of having to ‘work around it’. The hardest thing was her back, because playing live she could not move as freely as she used to.”

“She was really psyched about getting back out and really looking forward to China, because that was a big tour for us.”

They’ve also confirmed that they’re close to finishing a final album featuring O’Riordan’s lyrical efforts and vocals. It will mark the final chapter of the seminal Irish band.

“Lyrically, the new album is very strong. She always said she found it hard to write songs when she was happy”, Hogan explained.

“She always said: put a bit of misery in her life and it was easier. We will do this album and then that will be it. There is no need to continue.”

It is yet to be revealed when the new album will be released.

Dozens of Puerto Rican & Dominican Urban Artists Unite for 'Un Solo Movimiento' Album

Courtesy of Alofoke Music
Santiago Matias

More than 60 artists and producers, from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, have joined forces to give urban fans the ultimate music experience with Un Solo Movimiento.

Produced by Alofoke Music Group, the album reunites artists like Bad Bunny, Mark B, Archangel, Lenny Tavarez, Shadow Blow, The Insuperable, De La Ghetto, Tito El Bambino, Bryant Myers, Messiah, Darell, Zion, Miky Woodz, Magical Casper, Poeta Callejero, J. Quiles and Lary Over, among others. The concept was developed by Santiago Matías García (Alofoke Music).

"For many years I've been witnessing the growth of all these artists. I have supported them since day one," Santiago Matias Garcia told Billboard.


Un Solo Movimiento includes 30 unreleased tracks featuring the fusion of urban genres including reggaeton, trap, dembow, dancehall and R&B.

“For me, it is the opportunity to honor my heritage,” said De La Ghetto, whose parents are Puerto Rican and Dominican.

"It's a project that simply unites the best of both countries," added singer Mark B.

Un Solo Movimiento is now available on all streaming platforms.

Rubén Blades Appointed Scholar-in-Residence at NYU

David Becker/Getty Images
Rubén Blades poses in the press room during The 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 16, 2017 in Las Vegas.

“To have information and not to share it is to waste knowledge,” says the salsa icon and social activist.

Rubén Blades is going back to school. No, the Harvard Law graduate is not picking up another degree – although he could recently be seen having his ID picture taken on New York University’s Greenwich Village campus.

Blades is the first scholar-in-residence at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Over the school year, the salsa icon and social activist will be working with students and faculty on initiatives that promote diversity and advance social change through music, according to an announcement from NYU.

“To have information and not to share it is to waste knowledge,” Blades said through NYU. “It will be a privilege to connect with students who have such passion for the causes they believe in. I hope my experiences can help students and other NYU community members consider the broader implications of inequality in Latin America — and the wider world — to harness energy and ideas for the social good.”

Rubén Blades
Courtesy of NYU
Rubén Blades

In addition to working with NYU faculty on strategies “to train, prepare, and recruit more faculty of color into higher education,” Blades will be “connecting students with artists that reflect the future of Latin music.” Blades will kick off his NYU term Oct. 29 with a public talk about his career, in conversation with Professor Carlos Chirinos, who heads Steinhardt’s Music and Social Change Lab.

The event at NYU’s Skriball Center is free. Reservations can be made starting on Oct. 1 through the Skirball’s web site.

Paramore’s Hayley Williams speaks out on suicide prevention: ‘If you feel darkness, I hope you wait for joy’

"It will come again and it is worth it"

Paramore‘s Hayley Williams has spoken out for Suicide Prevention Day, openly discussing her own mental health battles.

World Suicide Prevention Day was earlier this week, with Williams using the opportunity to urge others to seek help and believe that there will be ‘light beyond the darkness’.

“Really I just wanna say that when my mind was super dark and hopeless, there was a part of me that felt safe being cynical and shut down,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m trying to get healthier now… and it’s a lifestyle shift. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable and I don’t always do it well, but I hope that if you struggle with darkness that you will try and remember to let yourself feel joy when it comes.

“I’m trying too. Sometimes I feel like I probably look less “cool” or I worry that I’m somehow faking it, but! I try hard to call out and recognize joy when i feel it, or even when i see it on my friends”

She added: “Thankful for any chance to feel a genuine smile… not only on my face but deeper than that. If you feel darkness, I hope you’ll wait for joy. It will come again and it is worth it.”

yesterday was #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. really i just wanna say that when my mind was super dark and hopeless, there was a part of me that felt safe being cynical & shut down. im trying to get healthier now... and it’s a lifestyle shift. sometimes it feels uncomfortable...

yesterday was #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. really i just wanna say that when my mind was super dark and hopeless, there was a part of me that felt safe being cynical & shut down. im trying to get healthier now... and it’s a lifestyle shift. sometimes it feels uncomfortable...

and i don’t always do it well... but i hope that if you struggle with darkness that you will try and remember to let yourself feel joy when it comes. im trying too. sometimes i feel like i probably look less “cool” or i worry that i’m somehow faking it.

and i don’t always do it well... but i hope that if you struggle with darkness that you will try and remember to let yourself feel joy when it comes. im trying too. sometimes i feel like i probably look less “cool” or i worry that i’m somehow faking it.

but! i try hard to call out and recognize joy when i feel it, or even when i see it on my friends. thankful for any chance to feel a genuine smile... not only on my face but deeper than that. if you feel darkness, i hope you’ll wait for joy. it will come again and it is worth it.

Williams has often been very vocal about her mental health, writing that ‘getting healthy is a life...of process.’

The singer previously shared a power... the topic, detailing the pressures that come with social acceptance and ‘fitting in’.

Writing on Twitter, she said: “*sheeesh, ppl love to talk shit when you finally getting to a good spot.* learning this now: being unhealthy may garner some empathy from previous apathetic onlookers… but nothing beats getting consciously healthy w/ true love around you. misery’s romance will never compare.”

“AND 1 MORE THING — gettttttting healthy is a lifetime of process,” she added. “kinda tired of folks treating mental health as an either/or situation. sometimes you’re just in the grey for a while, making your way to the light. (pls don’t shit on someone else’s journey to a less-dark place).”

Hayley Williams personal essay mental health

The frontwoman has been open about her struggles with mental health since the release of Paramore’s ‘After Laughter’

Meanwhile, the band also recently announced that they will no longer play ...y Business’, their breakthrough hit, at live shows. The track has been the focus of a heated debate whether the lyrics are ‘anti-feminist’.

“This is a choice that we’ve made because we feel that we should, we feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little while,” said Williams of their decision to axe the track. “This is to every bad decision that led us here, this is to all the embarrassing things we might have said, but we owned up to it and we grew.”

Shakira Announces New Fragrance Dream

Brian Rasic/WireImage
Shakira performs during the 'El Dorado World Tour at The O2 Arena on June 11, 2018 in London, England.

Shakira is not letting her El Dorado world tour stop her from growing her beauty brand. On Monday (Sept. 17), the Colombian singer announced her new fragrance Dream, a perfume that is, in a nutshell, “a dream come true.”

Image result for Shakira Announces New Fragrance Dream

“With this new launch the artist gives a very personal account of how her dream to make music became a reality,” notes the official Shakira Beauty website. “Dream You Only Live Once is a youthful, addictive essence with which to share Shakira’s experience -- and have the courage to turn our hopes and dreams for the future into reality.”

Shakira kicks off the North American leg of her El Dorado World Tour at United Center on Aug. 3, 2018 in Chicago.

Feminine and filled with personality, the perfume, which comes in a light blue bottle and gold top, has notes of citrus, floral, rose, jasmine, woody, musky and vanilla.

Image result for Shakira Announces New Fragrance Dream

Dream is the fourth perfume Shak has released, in addition to Rock, Love Rock and S by Shakira. On Instagram, she also teased fans with the first look of her next fragrance Moonlight, coming in March 2019.

First Listen: Anthony Hamilton and Tarsha are "Ready"

Change - Love 4 Love (2018)

  • change_love_4_love.jpg

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Reply #16 posted 09/18/18 7:38am


Elvis and Ella Fitzgerald Sang It. She Says Her Father Wrote It.

Liz Roman Gallese with her father’s documents relating to his involvement in the song “Blue Moon,” at her home on Friday in Wellesley, Mass.CreditCreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times

  • Sept. 16, 2018

Uncle Chris said, “Go up to the attic.” This was at a brother-in-law’s funeral, in 1992.

He also told the niece he was talking to, Liz Roman Gallese, a documentary filmmaker and the daughter of the man who had just been buried: “You’ll see. They changed the quarter notes to eighth notes, that’s all.”

She did not follow Uncle Chris’s instructions until years later, but when she finally went through her father’s things, she discovered tantalizing clues that appeared to back up one of those improbable family stories: Her father, not Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, had written the endearing, enduring standard “Blue Moon.” Letters she found indicated he dashed it off in late 1930 or early 1931. Her father, Edward W. Roman, was 17 years old then and lived in Troy, N.Y., across the Hudson River from Albany.

“Blue Moon” is one of those heart-rending songs that was recorded by everyone from Mel Tormé to Ella Fitzgerald.

Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Moon (1957)CreditCreditVideo by Overjazz Records

There is a subdued Elvis Presley version.

Elvis Presley - Blue MoonCreditCreditVideo by MusicPresleyElvis

And there is a doo-wop group called the Marcels that rode up the charts with a high-energy take on “Blue Moon” in the early 1960s.

The Marcels-Blue MoonCreditCreditVideo by alu309

The story told in the family when Ms. Gallese, 70, was growing up was that her father had sold the song for $900 to buy a car, or maybe that he had “settled” with the rich and famous Rodgers and Hart for that amount. Either way, there was a car. Ms. Gallese found a snapshot of it that showed her father standing by the passenger-side door. She thinks it was a DeSoto, because the word in the family was that he had one. And the early DeSotos looked like the car in the photo.

Edward Roman in front of the car he bought in early 1937, after receiving a settlement for his song for $1,200; Edward Roman with the ice skates he wore when he skated on Burden’s Pond, which is where he saw the moon reflected blue in the water; Edward Roman and Mary Roman; and Edward Roman.CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Ms. Gallese — after talking to yet another uncle, Uncle Dom — concluded that he did not end up with $900, but $1,200. But she had been convinced about the story long before that.

“My father wrote ‘Blue Moon,’” she announced in her freshman dormitory at Skidmore College in 1965. She was remembering the one and only exchange about “Blue Moon” that she ever had with him, a conversation when she was 9 or 10, or maybe 11.

“You wrote ‘Blue Moon,’ didn’t you?” she asked.

She recalled that he did not say no, but he did not say yes, either. His reply was, “Who told you that?”

She said she “mumbled something about having heard the stories.”

He then told the story his way: He would go speed-skate racing on a frozen pond — he still had the skates when Ms. Gallese was a child, and he often took her and a sister skating with a cousin. That night in 1930 or 1931, he said, “the moon reflected blue on the ice.” She said he formed a circle with his hands, like the moon.

That was it, the end of the story. He said nothing about Rodgers, Hart, a Tin Pan Alley go-between or a lawsuit.

Uncle Dom said that Rodgers and Hart had called Mr. Roman offering to settle for $1,200. As Ms. Gallese pieced the story together, Mr. Roman took the money but did not tell Uncle Chris, who became furious when he heard that “Blue Moon” had rung up $75,000 worth of sheet music sales in the first year after it was published, with Rodgers and Hart listed in the credits.

A contract sent from Jack Mahoney and Associates to Mr. Roman for the right to use “Blue Moon.” Mr. Roman never signed it.CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Ms. Gallese said that her father had sent his version of the song to a Manhattan music broker who offered to represent him. Back came a contract, but her father never signed it. “They continued to write to me at intervals, sending me contracts to fill out and make them my agent,” her father said, according to a 1936 newspaper article about the lawsuit he eventually filed.

The newspaper article, from the long-gone Knickerbocker Press in Albany, said the lawsuit had named Rodgers and Hart, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Robbins Music Corporation and Jack Mahoney, who Ms. Gallese said was the person who had sent the contracts her father never returned.

The article said Mr. Roman figured that he had forfeited his rights by the time the song turned up on the radio, but filed suit after being advised otherwise.

She found the letter from Mahoney, with the contract, proposing to represent Mr. Roman and handle the song. It was dated Jan. 12, 1932, a year and a half before the first MGM copyright on an unpublished song with the “Blue Moon” melody.

She said she assumed that Mahoney sent the song to MGM; that someone there “foisted it” on Rodgers and Hart; and that Jack Robbins, who ran MGM’s music-publishing unit, saw potential in the melody a little later on.

What to make of Ms. Gallese’s story?

“This is news to me,” said Ted Chapin, the chief creative officer of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, who added, after hearing more of Ms. Gallese’s story, that it seemed “a little far-fetched.”

The 1932 letter from Jack Mahoney and Associates to Mr. Roman accepting “Blue Moon.”CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Robert Kimball, who edited “The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart” with Hart’s sister-in-law Dorothy, went a step further, saying, “I don’t believe ‘Blue Moon’ was written by someone other than Rodgers and Hart.”

Mr. Chapin pointed to a section in the 1976 book “Thou Swell, Thou Witty: The Life and Lyrics of Lorenz Hart,” by Ms. Hart. “Larry and Dick,” she wrote, referring to Hart and Rodgers, “never believed in letting a song go to waste,” adding that “no Rodgers and Hart tune ever led as many lives as the one that finally became ‘Blue Moon.’”

She then quoted Rodgers, who died in 1979, as tracing the song’s origins to the months between December 1932 and April 1933 when he and Hart worked at MGM. He said they wrote the song when a producer had the idea for a movie called “Hollywood Party” as a vehicle for Jean Harlow.

“Hollywood Party” was not made, but Rodgers said that Hart kept the melody and wrote new lyrics for another movie, “Manhattan Melodrama.” That second version was dropped too, but Hart churned out yet another set of lyrics that made it in, with the title “The Bad in Ev’ry Man.” (The Hart biographer Gary Marmorstein added a footnote: “The Bad in Ev’ry Man” was the last song that the gangster John Dillinger ever heard. He was strolling out of a theater when he was gunned down by F.B.I. agents. The movie he had just seen was “Manhattan Melodrama.”)

By July 1933, Rodgers and Hart had moved to Paramount, but Robbins, the MGM music publisher, sent them a telegram asking for a more commercial lyric to go with the melody. Rodgers said in “Thou Swell, Thou Witty” that the new lyric was written “sometime in the next three months” and that Robbins “personally suggested changes in the last three lines of the chorus.”

Ms. Gallese said she was well aware that there was a missing link in her story — how the song got from Mahoney to Hollywood. But that is the nature of a mystery.

“And who knows if he sent it to other people first?” she asked.

Big Jay McNeely, 91, Dies; R&B’s ‘King of the Honkers’

Big Jay McNeely at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in 1988. He had a pivotal role in establishing the saxophone — before the electric guitar supplanted it — as the featured instrument among soloists at the dawn of rock ’n’ roll.CreditCreditFrans Schellekens/Redferns, via Getty Images

By Bill Friskics-Warren

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  • Sept. 17, 2018

Big Jay McNeely, whose wailing tenor saxophone and outrageous stage antics helped define the sound and sensibility of early rock ’n’ roll, died on Sunday in Moreno Valley, Calif. He was 91.

His death, at Riverside University Health System Medical Center, was confirmed by his granddaughter Brittney Calhoun, who said the cause was advanced prostate cancer.

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

Hailed as the King of the Honkers, Mr. McNeely was at the forefront of a group of post-bop saxophonists who, in the late 1940s, abandoned the heady reveries of jazz for the more gutbucket pleasures of rhythm and blues. In the process he played a pivotal role in establishing the saxophone — before the electric guitar supplanted it — as the featured instrument among soloists at the dawn of rock ’n’ roll.

Best known for his acrobatics and daring in performance, Mr. McNeely whipped up crowds by reeling off rapid sequences of screaming notes while lying on his back and kicking his legs in the air. Other times he would jump down off the stage and blow his horn while strutting his way through the audience.

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

Among his many admirers were Clarence Clemons, the longtime saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and the young Jimi Hendrix, who after seeing him perform in the late 1950s incorporated some of Mr. McNeely’s showstopping moves into his guitar-slinging persona.

Incidentally, given his typically raucous approach, Mr. McNeely’s signature hit was a smoldering ballad, “There Is Something on Your Mind,” a Top 10 R&B hit in 1959 featuring vocals by the doo-wop singer Little Sonny Warner. The song was widely recorded by others, most notably the New Orleans crooner Bobby Marchan, who had a No. 1 R&B single — and Top 40 pop hit — with it in 1960.

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Mr. McNeely’s breakthrough record, however, had come a decade earlier: “Deacon’s Hop,” a growling, percussive instrumental released on the Savoy label. Based on Lester Young’s tenor saxophone solo on the Count Basie Orchestra’s 1940 recording “Broadway,” “Deacon’s Hop” spent two weeks at the top of Billboard’s Race Records chart, as it was then called, in 1949.

Deacon's Hop — Big Jay McNeely and The Crown VicsCreditCreditVideo by Crown Vics

His popularity notwithstanding, Mr. McNeely’s more flamboyant exploits hardly met with universal approval.

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

At times his theatrics prompted white nightclub owners to summon the police to avert what they feared would be rioting by hysterical teenagers. Some of Mr. McNeely’s fellow African-Americans also disapproved of his over-the-top displays, shunning them as uncouth.

“I played with Nat King Cole up in Oakland one time, and I came on powerhouse, the crowd was screaming,” Mr. McNeely told LA Weekly in 2016. “I ran into him later that night at Bop City, an after-hours spot, and he said, ‘You’ll never work with me again.’

“I thought he was joking. He wasn’t.”

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

The poet Amiri Baraka detected something more disruptive — and culturally more pressing — than mere unruliness in Mr. McNeely’s performances. In his book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America” (1963), he wrote that he heard Mr. McNeely’s blaring riffs as a “black scream,” an expression of individuality and protest in the face of racial oppression.

Cecil James McNeely was born on April 29, 1927, the youngest of three boys, in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. His father, Dillard, was a porter on a floating casino moored off the Santa Monica coast. His mother, Armonia, a Native American, made Indian blankets and quilts that his father sold to supplement the family’s income. Both parents played the piano; Mr. McNeely’s brothers, Dillard Jr. and Robert, also played musical instruments.

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Mr. McNeely started playing in bands in high school, including a trio with the alto saxophonist Sonny Criss and the pianist Hampton Hawes, both of whom would distinguish themselves as jazz musicians.

In the clubs of Los Angeles, Mr. McNeely heard and met bebop luminaries like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, who in the late 1940s appeared often on the West Coast. But his biggest early influence was the tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, particularly his honking 64-bar solo on the vibraphonist Lionel Hampton’s popular 1942 recording of “Flying Home.”

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

“Every time we picked up our horns we were just elaborating on that, trying to make it bigger, wilder, give it more swing, more kick,” Mr. McNeely explained, referring to Jacquet’s solo, in the biography “Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely and the Rise of the Honking Tenor Sax!” (1994), by Jim Dawson. “If you want to know where rhythm and blues began, that’s it, brother.”

After Mr. McNeely’s unhinged appearance in an amateur night at a club in Watts, Johnny Otis, the renowned bandleader and talent scout, persuaded him to join his ensemble.

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

Mr. Otis was then under contract to Savoy Records, whose owner, Herman Lubinsky, christened Mr. McNeely “Big Jay,” not because of his size — he was 5-foot-10 and of average build — but because of his outsize talent.

Mr. Lubinsky also began recording Mr. McNeely under his own name, billing him as Big Jay and His Blue Jays and releasing, along with seven other singles, the career-defining “Deacon’s Hop.” (The saxophone he played on “Deacon’s Hop” is now enshrined at the Museum of Pop Culturein Seattle.)

Mr. McNeely recorded for a number of labels and toured widely, including performances at Birdland and the Apollo Theater in New York, before retiring from the music business in the early 1960s. He took a job as a postal carrier.

Image result for Big Jay McNeely

At the time, rhythm and blues was being eclipsed by smoother sounds from Motown and elsewhere, and the ’60s rock culture would soon prize the electric guitar over the saxophone.

In 1960 Mr. McNeely married Jacqueline Baldain, a soul singer who recorded under the name Jackie Day. The marriage ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. Calhoun, he is survived by a son, Richard; a daughter, Jacquelene Jay McNeely; three other grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

In 1983, after two decades out of the limelight, Mr. McNeely staged a comeback. He toured and recorded into the 21st century. He released the album “Blowin’ Down the House: Big Jay’s Latest and Greatest” just months before his 90th birthday in 2016.

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In 2017, in an interview with Blues Blast magazine, Mr. McNeely reminisced about his heyday in the 1940s and ’50s and the changes in music that came after.

“The saxophone was really big back then,” he said. “It was the big thing. But it wasn’t long before they took the saxophone out and put the guitar in. That’s when they changed what they were calling it from rhythm and blues to rock ’n’ roll.”

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Ira Sabin, Founder of JazzTimes Magazine, Is Dead at 90

Ira Sabin with the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in the 1980s. Mr. Sabin’s passion for jazz was ignited as a teenager when he saw Gillespie perform in Manhattan with Charlie Parker and Max Roach.CreditCreditvia Glenn Sabin

  • Sept. 17, 2018

Ira Sabin, a bebop drummer who in 1970 started what became JazzTimesmagazine, one of the world’s leading jazz publications, as a four-page newspaper to promote new releases at his record store in Washington, died on Wednesday at an assisted living facility in Rockville, Md. He was 90.

His son Glenn said the cause was colorectal cancer.

For Mr. Sabin, JazzTimes reflected the passion he had had for the music since he was a teenager. It was stirred in the early 1940s on a trip to New York City with a neighbor, who dropped him off at the Onyx Club on 52nd Street promising to return soon.

Image result for Ira Sabin

“A man came over and asked me what a young kid was doing at a place like this,” Mr. Sabin recalled in JazzTimes in 1995. “We spoke for a few minutes before he walked over to the bandstand and picked up an alto. He turned out to be Charlie Parker.”

Parker soon joined the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and the drummer Max Roach on the bandstand.

“I can still see the fireworks, hear the explosion of notes and feel the sheer joy and excitement as if it were yesterday,” Mr. Sabin wrote.

That thrill resonated for decades. He brought it to his record store, which, in its original location, was at the hub of Washington’s jazz district, in the Shaw neighborhood.

And he brought it to JazzTimes (originally called Radio Free Jazz), which he built into a strong rival of the long-established DownBeat, publishing leading critics like Leonard Feather, Stanley Dance, Martin Williams and Ira Gitler.

At its peak in the late 1990s, JazzTimes had a circulation of about 115,000.

He also brought the industry together at his nearly annual JazzTimes conventions, gathering representatives of radio stations, record companies, nightclubs, jazz societies, jazz festivals and musician-union locals.

At the inaugural event, at a hotel in Washington in 1979, Gillespie, Frank Foster and other musicians jammed all night.

“That first convention was a remarkable ingathering of the jazz world, and there would be many more,” the jazz critic and historian Dan Morgenstern wrote in JazzTimes in 2000.

Soon after the convention, Mr. Sabin sold his record store to work full time publishing the magazine, which would evolve to a glossy monthly publication.

Mr. Sabin was born on Aug. 10, 1928, in Brooklyn and moved with his parents to Washington when he was 11. His father, Herman, was a businessman, and his mother, Rachael (Davidson) Sabin, was a pharmacist before becoming a homemaker.


The December 2008 issue of JazzTimes. The Sabin family sold the magazine the next year.Creditvia Glenn Sabin

Ira began taking drum lessons at 12 and became proficient enough to be playing professionally by 15. With many musicians in the military during World War II, he found steady employment. When he himself was in the Army during the Korean War, his musical career was not interrupted: He played with a 60-piece band at Fort Meade in Maryland, and with a six-piece combo in Japan.

Following his discharge, Mr. Sabin began producing concerts in Washington and played with his trio at society events, including some at Senator John F. Kennedy’s home in Georgetown.

He went into the record-store business with his brother-in-law in 1962 and bought him out after several months. He renamed the store, at Ninth and U Streets, Sabin’s Discount Records; it became a musicians’ hangout, and in an era before chains like Tower Records started to dominate music retailing, it grew to hold what is believed to have been the largest jazz inventory of any record shop in the United States.

Mr. Sabin’s publishing career started in the late 1960s with a handout for his customers called Sabin’s Happenings; by 1970 it had evolved into Radio Free Jazz. By then, Mr. Sabin had moved his store to a new location in Washington after his original store was looted in race riots in 1968.

He recalled doing virtually everything in the early years of the publication.

“I was the writer, editor, publisher, advertising salesperson, artist, proofreader, distributor, you name it,” he wrote in JazzTimes in 1995. But he had no problem deciding whom to cover. “Whenever I’d hear a player that knocked me out,” he said, “he or should be on our next cover.”

The author and jazz critic Gary Giddins, who wrote regularly for JazzTimes, said Mr. Sabin began his publication at a critical time.

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“He started at the very moment when rock had chased jazz criticism from the press and jazz musicians from the clubs; many writers and musicians alike found new sanctuary in academia,” Mr. Giddins wrote in an email. “And then Ira launched a newsprint magazine that lured the best of the established critics and encouraged a new generation of them.”

Mr. Sabin’s role at the magazine evolved after his sons, Glenn and Jeffrey, joined the publication; he eventually focused on increasing its circulation.

In 2009, with JazzTimes experiencing financial difficulties, the family sold it to Madavor Media, a Boston-based company.

In addition to his sons, Mr. Sabin is survived by his wife, Irma (Leish) Sabin; a daughter, Marla Sabin; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Nate Chinen, the former New York Times jazz critic and a longtime JazzTimes contributor who is now director of editorial content at the Newark jazz station WBGO-FM, said in an email that Mr. Sabin had a broad influence on the jazz world.

“The model he established, all those years ago,” Mr. Chinen said, “was to celebrate musical discovery and support a contemporary scene through jazz journalism that not only fulfills the needs of an album cycle but also delves deeper, reaching toward a form of literary expression.”

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Reply #17 posted 09/20/18 7:09am


Ronstadt finds voice in farewell

Chats to mark final appearances of singer silenced by Parkinson’s

Josh Edelson / The Chronicle

Linda Ronstadt chats with John Boylan, her manager during her celebrated career, during a retrospective of her work at Dominican University in San Rafael.

Ed Caraeff / Getty Images 1968

Linda Ronstadt at a 1968 photo session for her first solo album, “Hand Sown ... Home Grown” in Topanga (Los Angeles County).

Josh Edelson / The Chronicle

Ronstadt speaks at Dominican University in San Rafael, during “A Conversation with Linda,” a big-screen multimedia journey through her long career and eclectic musical style. She said her disability makes it difficult to travel, and it would be one of her last public appearances.

Linda Ronstadt may no longer be able to sing but, boy, can she talk. On the first California date of her retrospective “A Conversation With Linda” show on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Angelico Concert Hall at Dominican University in San Rafael, the 73-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee spent an hour riffing on her panoramic musical journey, recounting everything from her early days playing folk rock with the Stone Poneys to becoming one of the most celebrated female vocalists of her generation despite a career plagued by self-doubt. Ronstadt also announced that the show would mark one of her last public appearances. “It’s hard for me to travel because I’m disabled,” she said, referring to the life-changing Parkinson’s disease diagnosis she received five years ago. “I’m hanging up my traveling shoes for good.”

The idea for the multimedia show started with the book tour Ronstadt made around the release of her 2013 autobiography, “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.”

“I was doing it for free and someone said, ‘I would pay to see you do this,’ ” she said.

Since losing her singing voice to the degenerative brain disease that also afflicts Michael J. Fox, Ronstadt has had to come up with creative ways to maintain her income. Even though she was one of pop music’s biggest commodities in the 1970s and ’80s, she didn’t write the songs that became her biggest hits, such as “Blue Bayou,” “Heart Like a Wheel” and “You’re No Good.”

“I’m a ballad singer,” Ronstadt said of the latter. “We recorded this song as an afterthought.”

Her last concert appearance was her mariachi show in 2009 in San Antonio.

On Saturday, in front of a sold-out crowd that grew up seeing her face on the cover of magazines like Time, Newsweek and Rolling Stone, Ronstadt recounted the highlights of her career with a slideshow featuring personal photos and snippets of recordings and videos pulled from YouTube.

She spoke in quick, monochromatic tones (Parkinson’s has also stripped the vibrancy from her speaking voice), presenting her story in chronological order, beginning with the music she heard growing up on a ranch outside Tucson and everything that came after she got a taste of arena-size success and decided it wasn’t for her.

“They weren’t an artistic musical experience,” Ronstadt said of concerts on basketball courts. “I felt like I was yelling all the time.”

Deciding she would rather focus on more intimate venues, especially those with curtains, she transitioned — against the wishes of her record company — to a wildly eclectic career that touched on country, folk, jazz, bluegrass, Cajun, Mexican canciones, the Great American Songbook, Gilbert and Sullivan on Broadway, and collaborations with Dolly Par-ton, Emmylou Harris, Mick Jagger, Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Joseph Papp and many others.

“You can’t make this s— up, I tell you,” she said.

The story onstage abruptly stopped with the success of her 1989 duet with Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much,” even though Ronstadt’s life has taken some of its most dramatic turns in the intervening years.

A brief question-and-answer session after the slideshow didn’t shed much more light on the second half of her life (she never mentioned Parkinson’s by name), but it did draw one mildly entertaining anecdote about her former beau, California Gov. Jerry Brown.

“He often shows up at my house on Thanksgiving,” she said. “Just as you start carving the turkey he starts talking about something like fracking.”

Ronstadt has two more “Conversation” dates on her schedule (Friday, Sept. 21, at Folsom Lake College in Sacramento County; and Sept. 29 at Mountain Winery in Saratoga) before retreating to her home in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood — possibly forever.

“It’s good to stay home,” she said.

Aidin Vaziri is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop music critic. Email: Twitter: @MusicSF

“A CONVERSATION WITH LINDA”: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21; $45-$95; Harris Center, 10 College Parkway, Folsom (Sacramento County). 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29; $39.50-$99.50; Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga.

The Life And Times Of Jackie DeShannon, A Renowned ’60s Pop Star



Listen To This Eddie is a weekly column that examines the important people and events in the classic rock canon and how they continue to impact the world of popular music.

If you’re familiar with the name Jackie DeShannon, it’s most likely because of her uplifting, 1965 rendition of the Burt Bacharach composed hit “What The World Needs Now Is Love.” Or maybe, it’s the Top 5 single “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” that she wrote and performed in 1969? Perhaps you recognize her name amongst the writing credits for Marianne Faithful’s chart-busting single “Come And Stay With Me?” Or Kim Carnes immortal ’80s classic “Bette Davis Eyes?” Then again, you might know her as the girl who opened for the Beatles on their 1964 tour of the United States.

For all the chart success she sustained throughout the 1960s, DeShannon’s name has been somewhat lost to modern listeners, especially her later offerings, which is frankly a shame. Over the past several years, DeShannon has been on a campaign to make those recordings available to a newer audience by way of several different, refurbished compilation albums, and the latest is Stone Cold Soul: The Complete Capitol Recordings, which collects a series of southern-fried recordings she made at American Studios in Memphis around 1970 and ’71 and is available on March 2 on Real Gone Music.

Image result for Stone Cold Soul: The Complete Capitol Recordings

“It’s so nice to have this material available in the marketplace,” she told me in a recent conversation. “Previously, there’d be one CD with a mixture of “The Weight,” “What The World Needs Now,” and so on and so forth, and rightfully so, people didn’t have any inkling of my background or what I was about.”

DeShannon was born in Hazel, Kentucky on August 21, 1941, but spent much of her youth in the suburbs surrounding Chicago, Illinois. Her given name was Sharon Lee Myers, which she changed numerous times upon entering show business, before settling on her present nom de guerre. Music was an early and important part of her life. “My Dad and his brother used to sing on the porch in Hazel,” she said. Gospel came first, “I grew up in the church basically,” before country, soul, and early rock entered the picture.

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In 1960 she signed with Liberty Records and spent the next several years releasing an array of forgettable singles before tasting success for the first time with the song “Needles And Pins,” which was written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. DeShannon helped shape the song, but failed to received a credit. Larger success soon followed, and in 1964 she was asked to open for the Beatles on their first tour of America. Looking to coast on some of that renown, Liberty issued the album Breakin’ It Up on The Beatles Tour! that same year, which collected some of her best material at the time.

Despite her obvious writing skill, or perhaps because of it — at the time she was racking up numerous hits for artists like The Byrds, The Searchers and Irma Thomas — Liberty didn’t push DeShannon as much as a performer as she would have liked. “Liberty Records, wanted me to feed the kitty in the publishing arena, so as a writer, I was not encouraged to go out because we were writing songs and some of them were hits and they wanted me to stay in that arena, so they never really promoted me as a performing artist.” She would eventually earn induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2010.

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Exacerbating the issue was her affinity for multiple styles of different music. “I remember certain critics were confused because they would say to me, ‘You seem to be in all directions,'” she recalled. “Well, all directions are more than popular today. You can do anything. I was a precursor, but they couldn’t get a handle on it. It was very, very difficult to explain how I could [cover The Band’s] ‘The Weight’ or [Stone Cold Soul’s opening track] ‘You Don’t Miss The Water’ and still do “What The World Needs Now.’ Nope, can’t be done.”

It didn’t help her cause that she was an outspoken woman an industry dominated by men. “Back in my day it was an uphill battle and women just didn’t have the leverage; I didn’t have the leverage to fulfill my vision of who I was,” she said. “Occasionally I did some things, but for instance, I wanted to record the first Bob Dylan album of someone else singing his songs. I came to Liberty about that and they said, ‘Oh no, no, he’s not gonna make it, he’s not commercial.’ But that’s only a tip of the iceberg.”

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“So many times, I could not go in the studio without the record company’s approval of the producer,” she noted of some of the more misogynistic impediments to her career. “Some producers were great and took my vision to where it should go, and others did not, and it was really, really sad. It was the record company’s attitude that, being a woman, you couldn’t possibly make a record and have input that was that strong. You had to have a gentleman in the studio with you so that you don’t turn into a ‘Bad Girl.’ Now, it’s so nice to see all these wonderful woman with their great talents have complete control over all their music.”

She also faced much of the same inappropriate behavior that spurred the #MeTooMovement. “It wasn’t something you spoke about,” she said. “You just tried to get out of wherever you were or do it gracefully. You didn’t talk about it, you didn’t goad anybody because you would get the blame.”

Numerous unsavory experiences with record company executives aside, DeShannon has worked and forged friendships with some of the biggest and most important names in pop and rock history, including Elvis Presley, with whom she was friendly throughout the early 1960s, Van Morrison — a cover of his song “And It Stoned Me” appears on Stone Cold Soul — Randy Newman, The Everly Brothers, Eddie Cochran, and a then-unknown studio guitarist named Jimmy Page, with whom she became romantically linked.

Image result for Jackie DeShannon george harrison

“I was in London recording some songs in the big EMI Studio which is now Abbey Road and I asked, ‘Who is the best acoustic guitar player?'” she recalled. “And the engineers said the best guitarist, we feel, is Jimmy Page. When he did come to the session, I played him different things and they’d come back at me like Segovia had written them. I was like, ‘Did I write these? This can’t be me!’ We hung out quite a bit and usually when you hang out together, you end up writing together, so we wrote some things.” Those things included the songs “Dream Boy,” “Don’t Turn Your Back On Me” and “Keep Moving.” DeShannon also spurred Page on to release his only solo single “She Just Satisfies” in 1965.

As the years wore on, DeShannon grew increasingly aggravated with her situation as Liberty and later with Imperial Records, and in 1970 jumped over to Capitol, with the promise that she could finally record the material that she’d been craving to lay down for years. The fruit of that labor has now been fully collected on Stone Cold Soul. “With the Capitol album, there’s an opportunity to listen to many different sides of Jackie DeShannon and you’ll hear all of them mixed into one pot,” DeShannon said.

The vast number of flavors in this particular concoction are admittedly gratifying. It includes country tracks like “West Virginia Mine,” rockers like “Down By The Riverside,” quaint folk songs like “Salinas,” and soulful burners like “Live Till You Die.” The best offering however is probably the song “Now That The Desert Is Blooming,” a tender acoustic ballad bookended by a melancholy whistle intro and outro, and a superb, smokey vocal take. “It’s a small photograph or picture of America in that time,” she says of the album’s many different sonic textures.

Eventually, a chance meeting with Atlantic Records mega-producer Jerry Wexler, the man who helped shepherd the careers of Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, enticed her away from Capitol and together with another legendary board-operator Tom Down released two albums Jackie in 1972, and Your Baby Is A Lady two years later, before moving on to Columbia Records. In subsequent years she put out a bevy of new albums, the most recent being 2011’s When You Walk In The Room.

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While she still continues to write songs, including a recent offering titled “For Africa, In Africa,” DeShannon says that the effort it takes to break through in the present moment is difficult to overcome. “One needs, today, a machine,” she says. “There’s so much of everything and people have access to so much information. Since I don’t have that and I’m not going on the road, it’s hard to get that exposure.”

Through all the ups and downs, highs and lows, DeShannon remains extremely proud of the music she produced throughout her life, and is incredibly effusive about all the musicians that she collaborated with throughout her career. “It’s the honesty I appreciate,” she says. “Win, lose or draw, you have it. I think that’s what these songs, and these particular contributions from the musicians, there it is. It’s as honest as you can get. I hope you find some emotion in there that strikes a chord with you.”


1. You Don't Miss Your Water (Til Your Well Runs Dry)
2. Stone Cold Soul
3. West Virginia Mine (Original Version)
4. Child of Mine
5. Live Till You Die
6. Makes You Beautiful
7. Seven Years from Yesterday
8. They Got You Boy
9. Isn't It a Pity
10. Sweet Inspiration
11. Johnny Joe from California
12. Now That the Desert Is Blooming
13. Sleepin' with Love
14. Gabriel's Mother's Highway
15. And It Stoned Me
16. Show Me
17. Keep Me Warm
18. Lay, Baby, Lay
19. Down by the Riverside
20. International
21. Sunny Days
22. Salinas
23. Bad Water
24. Ease Your Pain
25. West Virginia Mine (Version 2)

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Reply #18 posted 09/20/18 7:24am


Watch Trailer For New Amy Winehouse ‘Back To Black’ Documentary

The release contains a bonus feature of Amy’s previously unseen performance on Grammy night 2008.

Published on

September 19, 2018
Photo: Mischa Richter

A brand new documentary about the making of Amy Winehouse’s seminal Back To Black album will be released by Eagle Vision on DVD, Blu-ray and digital on 2 November.

The film about the record’s creation features all of the key players involved and is accompanied by a bonus feature, in all formats, comprising a recently-unearthed private performance from February 2008. This took place on the night that the album was feted at the Grammys with no fewer than five awards, and it features Winehouse and her band playing songs from Back To Black and choice covers. This material has never been seen before.

In the opening stages of the documentary, Winehouse says with her trademark understatement: “I wrote an album that I’m really proud of about a bad situation that I got through… that’s pretty much where it begins and ends for me.”

The compelling film sheds light on the creative process behind the making of the classic 2006 release, which has gone on to sell 19 million copies worldwide. It includes interviews with Winehouse, producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, members of the Daptone Horns and other contributors to its unforgettable sound.

The documentary concentrates not on the “circus of madness,” as the media frenzy around Winehouse’s private life at the time is described, but on the passion she had for music and her low-key but focused passion for music and her own song craft.

The accompanying An Intimate Evening in London include footage from the private show that Amy hosted for a small, invited audience of friends and record company executives in February 2008, at Riverside Studios in west London. The footage has been archived for the past decade and will, for the first time, give audiences the chance to see her artistry and presence as a live performer in this unique setting.

The Amy Winehouse: Back To Black Documentary is released on 2 November and can be bought here.


KISS Announce Final ‘End Of The Road’ Tour

The legendary rockers announced the news on US TV’s ‘America’s Got Talent’.

Published on

September 20, 2018
Photo: Hab Haddad

After an epic and storied 45 year career that launched an era of rock n roll legends, KISS announced exclusively on last night’s edition of US TV network NBC’s America’s Got Talent that they are hanging up their 9-inch tall touring boots – after embarking on their final End Of The Road global tour.

The news was delivered in trademark larger-than-life KISS style with a blistering performance of ‘Detroit Rock City’, proving why the band are known as one of the most iconic live bands in history. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide have toured to nearly every city on the planet and played every venue imaginable. Having played for Kings & Queens, for U.S. veterans, and for millions of devoted KISS Army fans, they will play their final shows as part of the multi-year End Of The Road world tour. Dates have yet to be announced but the band’s website will have all the updates in the weeks to come.

“All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years,” KISS said in a statement. This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us and a last chance for those who haven’t. KISS Army, we’re saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet and we’ll go out the same way we came in… Unapologetic and Unstoppable.”

KISS frontman Paul Stanley added: “This is gonna be our last tour. It will be the most explosive, biggest show we’ve ever done. People who love us, come see us. If you’ve never seen us, this is the time. This will be the show.”

Gene Simmons also recently told Sweden’s Expressen newspaper that KISS’s next tour will last three years. Calling it the band’s “most spectacular tour ever,” the bassist/vocalist added that the trek will make stops on “all continents.”


Pillowy and instantly classic, “In It For The Race” is the lustrous, urbane brand-new single from New York City’s wonderful Diane Birch. You can buy the track right now along with more of her music from her Bandcamp page. Additionally you can buy vinyl, CD and cassette versions of her Nous LP from her webstore.




My first-ever Live EP comes out next Wednesday, September 19th 2018!!!

I’m gonna be counting down to it with updates and fun add-ons so keep checking back in I’m so thankful to Talking Animals Music & Folktale Winery & Vineyards for helping me create this live moment that I feel captures my crazy and my heart all in 1 go and I cannot wait to share it with all of you!1f48b.png💋 <Click here to listen to a preview> #newmusicsoon#thirstythursday

I’m so excited to tell you that I’m heading out on the road this fall in Europe 1f30d.png🌍 I’m gonna be supporting the gorgeous Morgan James this November! Tickets are on sale now — I can’t wait for this new music adventure!! 1f3b6.png🎶270c.png✌️1f48b.png💋#tourlife#BlueAndWhiteTour #ontheroadagain

Chic / The Chic Organisation 1977-79

September 20, 2018 by Paul Sinclairtags: 1970s, bernard edwards, chic, half-speed-mastered, Nile Rodgers, sister sledge


Half-speed mastered 6LP vinyl box • 5CD edition • Bonus 12-inch single

Rhino/Atlantic are issuing The Chic Organisation 1977-1979 a new 6LP vinyl and five-CD box set that features CHIC‘s first three albums, Sister Sledge’s We Are Family and a bonus disc of seven-inch edits and 12-inch remixes.

This release is announced on the eve of the 40th anniversary of US chart-topping single ‘Le Freak’, which was released on 21 September 1978.

The three CHIC albums in this box set are CHIC (1978), C’est Chic (1978) and Risqué (1978). The Sister Sledge album We Are Family was of course entirely written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, which is why it forms part of this set.

These have been newly remastered at half-speed from the original Atlantic stereo tapes by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. As executive producer, Nile Rodgers personally oversaw the remastering process with the approval of Bernard Edwards’ estate.

The Chic Organisation 1977-1979 is being issued as both CD and vinyl box setsbut the latter gets an exclusive 12-inch single – an exact reproduction of CHIC’s first single, a 12-inch promo for ‘Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yosah, Yosah)’ that Buddah Records released in 1977 prior to the band signing to Atlantic. Apparently, this was an especially important inclusion to Rodgers as he and Edwards always felt the bass and bottom end on this master was superior to the Atlantic issue.

Nile Rodgers said, “My life has been everything I ever hoped it could be as a result of the incredible music Bernard and I made together. This has been recognized both critically and commercially as some of the finest of all time and that’s everything we hoped for as two young musicians who knew no limits and who’s partnership was effortless. Having the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records, one of the greatest labels of all time, what a dream! It was important to me that we make these the best sounding editions ever as a tribute to ‘Nard. I’m quite certain that Miles Showell and I and the team at Abbey Road succeeded. Forty years later this all feels so fresh.”

Both box sets contain newly written definitive essays by Toure and Paul Morley while the vinyl edition includes an exclusive essay by musical historian Ashley Kahn. The Paul Morley essay is actually edited for the CD box so there’s another exclusive for you, the ‘full length’ essay in the vinyl box!

The Chic Organisation 1977 to 1979 is released on 23 November 2018.


Chic (1977)
1. “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)”
2. “São Paulo”
3. “You Can Get By”
4. “Everybody Dance”
5. “Est-ce Que C’est Chic?”
6. “Falling in Love with You”
7. “Strike Up the Band”

C’est Chic (1978)
1. “Chic Cheer”
2. “Le Freak”
3. “Savoir Faire”
4. “Happy Man”
5. “I Want Your Love”
6. “At Last I Am Free”
7. “Sometimes You Win”
8. “(Funny) Bone”

Sister Sledge – We Are Family (1979)
1. “He’s The Greatest Dancer”
2. “Lost In Music”
3. “Somebody Loves Me”
4. “Thinking Of You”
5. “We Are Family”
6. “Easier To Love”
7. “You’re A Friend To Me”
8. “One More Time”

Risqué (1978)
1. “Good Times”
2. “A Warm Summer Night”
3. “My Feet Keep Dancing”
4. “My Forbidden Lover”
5. “Can’t Stand to Love You”
6. “Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song)”
7. “What About Me?”

Original ’77-’79 Remixes and Edits
1. “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (7″ Edit)
2. “Everybody Dance” (12″ Mix)
3. “You Can Get By” (7″ Edit)
4. “Everybody Dance” (7″ edit)
5. “Le Freak” (7″ Edit)
6. “I Want Your Love” (7″ Edit)
7. “Good Times” (7″ Edit)
8. “My Forbidden Lover” (7″ Edit)
9. “My Forbidden Lover” (12″ Mix)
10. “My Feet Keep Dancing” (7″ Edit)

Vinyl Boxed Set Exclusive: Buddah Records 12″ Promotional Single
1. “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)”
2. “São Paulo”


Expected Sep 25, 2018




Moroccan Lounge
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Gibson Music Hall
Appleton, WI, United States
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Funk n Waffles
Elektric Voodoo
Rochester, NY, United States
Funk n Waffles
Elektric Voodoo
Syracuse, NY, United States
Rockwood Music Hall
New York, NY, United States
Nashua, NH, United States
Federal Taphouse & Kitchen
Providence, RI, United States
Dawson Street Pub
Philadelphia, PA, United States
The Troubadour
London, United Kingdom
The Troubadour
London, United Kingdom
The Troubadour
London, United Kingdom
The Troubadour
London, United Kingdom

[Edited 9/20/18 8:42am]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #19 posted 09/20/18 7:39am


Mark Knopfler Announces Ninth Solo Studio Album ‘Down The Road Wherever’

The follow-up to 2015’s ‘Tracker’ features many of the musicians Knopfler has worked with in recent years, and a guest appearance by Imelda May.

Published on

Mark Knopfler will return with his ninth solo studio album, Down The Road Wherever, on 16 November. The follow-up to 2015’s Tracker, it will be released on his own British Grove label via Universal/Virgin EMI and features 14 new Knopfler compositions recorded at his west London studio, also called British Grove. Contributors to the album include Irish star Imelda May.

“’Down The Road Wherever’ is a line from ‘One Song At A Time,’” says Knopfler, referring to the album title and one of its tracks. “I remember my pal Chet Atkins once saying that he picked his way out of poverty one song at a time, and it just stuck in my mind. You get to an age where you’ve written quite a few songs.

“But Down The Road Wherever seems to be appropriate for me, just because it’s what I’ve always done. I’ve always tried to make a record and also to keep my own geography happening in the songs.”

Mark KnopflerWith Knopfler’s ever-present eye for compelling narratives and striking characters, the new songs cover such subjects as his early days in the south-east London area of Deptford, when Dire Straits were a fledgling band; a man out of time reflecting on his circumstances in his local “greasy spoon” café; and a stray Liverpool Football Club fan who finds himself in Newcastle (where Mark himself grew up) on ‘Just A Boy Away From Home.’ That’s the only track on which Knopfler is not the sole writer, as it features the melody of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ also well-known as Liverpool FC’s own anthem.

The team that Knopfler assembled around him for the recording sessions includes many of the musicians who have been with him in the studio and on the road for years. Among them are keyboardist Guy Fletcher, who has worked with him since Dire Straits days and co-produced Down The Road Wherever with Mark; Jim Cox, also on keyboards; Nigel Hitchcock on saxophone, Tom Walsh on trumpet, John McCusker (fiddle), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute), Glenn Worf (bass), drummer Ian ‘Ianto’ Thomas and Danny Cummings on percussion.

There are also appearances by Richard Bennett and the widely-travelled Robbie McIntosh on guitar and Trevor Mires on trombone. Along with May, the album has backing vocals by Lance Ellington, Kris Drever, Beverley Skeete and Katie Kissoon.

Down The Road Wherever will be available on digital DL, CD, double vinyl (with one bonus track), deluxe CD with two bonus tracks, and as a lavish box set including the album on both vinyl and deluxe CD. The box will also contain a 12” vinyl EP with four bonus tracks, a 12” print of the artwork and a 12” guitar tablature of a selected song.

“I think the business of making a record, from having written a song and then bringing it to musicians, it can be quite a bendy route,” says Knopfler. “It’s not just motorways all the way…and you can end up in the occasional cul-de-sac, then you have to do a 16-point turn to try to get your truck back out on the main road, as unobtrusively as you can. That’s part of the fun of it.”

Down The Road Wherever is released on 16 November. Scroll down to read the tracklisting, and buy it here.

Standard CD

1. Trapper Man

2. Back On The Dance Floor

3. Nobody’s Child

4. Just A Boy Away From Home

5. When You Leave

6. Good On You Son

7. My Bacon Roll

8. Nobody Does That

9. Drovers’ Road

10. One Song At A Time

11. Floating Away

12. Slow Learner

13. Heavy Up

14. Matchstick Man


Std album plus 2 bonus tracks

1. Trapper Man

2. Back On The Dance Floor

3. Nobody’s Child

4. Just A Boy Away From Home

5. When You Leave

6. Good On You Son

7. My Bacon Roll

8. Nobody Does That

9. Drovers’ Road

10. One Song At A Time

11. Floating Away

12. Slow Learner

13. Heavy Up

14. Rear View Mirror

15. Every Heart In The Room

16. Matchstick Man

Double Vinyl 00602547169822

2 x heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

Side A

1. Trapper Man

2. Back On The Dance Floor

3. Nobody’s Child

Side B

1. Nobody Does That

2. Good On You Son

3. Floating Away

Side C

1. One Song At A Time

2. Heavy Up

3. Slow Learner

Side D

1. Just A Boy Away From Home

2. My Bacon Roll

3. When You Leave

4. Matchstick Man


Double Vinyl + Deluxe CD – tracklistings as above

Additional 12” vinyl EP

Side A

1. Drovers’ Road

2. Don’t Suck Me In

Side B

1. Sky And Water

2. Pale Imitation

Explore our Mark Knopfler Artist Page.

‘KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection’ Vinyl Box Set Due For October Release

‘Gene Simmons’, ‘Paul Stanley’, ‘Ace Frehley’ and ‘Peter Criss’ all enjoyed critical fanfare, chart success and platinum sales.

Published on

Kiss 40th Anniversary Box Set

Casablanca/UMe are set to release a limited edition vinyl box set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the solo albums the four founding members of KISS released in 1978.

Set for issue on 19 October, KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection, includes Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Crissthe albums the four founding members released concurrently to much fanfare, chart success and platinum sales. The box set will be released as a limited edition, 180-g 4LP set and each heavyweight album features a unique color to match its associated cover art; Gene Simmons appears in red vinyl, Paul Stanley sports purple vinyl, Ace Frehley contains blue vinyl, and Peter Criss is in green vinyl.

All four albums are housed together in a deluxe black-matte slipcase that features glossy black images of the four artists’ faces surrounding a silver-foil print of the infamous KISS logo. Also included in this set are four 12-by-12-inch posters that are replicas of the ones that came with the albums upon their initial 1978 release, plus an exclusive turntable slipmat that shows all four of artist Eraldo Carugati’s iconic, painted album-cover face images all connected together.

All four of these solo albums served to showcase the wide range of talents of each KISS band member. Gene Simmons, co-produced by Simmons and Sean Delaney, features the band’s bassist and co-lead vocalist switching over mainly to acoustic and electric guitar duties for songs that highlight his penchant for Beatlesque melodies, funk, and hard rock. Highlights include a remake of ‘See You In Your Dreams’ (initially found on KISS’ 1976 benchmark album, Rock And Roll Over) and a cover of the 1940 Disney classic from Pinocchio, ‘When You Wish Upon A Star.’ Guest musicians include Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Bob Seger, Cher, Donna Summer, and Katey Sagal.

Meanwhile, Paul Stanley was co-produced by Stanley and Jeff Glixman and it showcases all-original material from the KISS lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, in addition to lead and acoustic guitar work from long-time KISS axe associate Bob Kulick. The super-catchy track ‘Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)’ reached No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Ace Frehley, produced by Eddie Kramer and Frehley, finds the lead guitarist doing what he does best. Frehley’s foot-stomping cover of ‘New York Groove,’ originally a 1975 hit by the British glam band Hello, peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Guest musicians include Anton Fig on drums (a sometimes KISS session musician who later became a member of Frehley’s Comet) and bassist Will Lee, both of whom went on to become core members of both of David Letterman’s late-night talk-show house bands led by keyboardist Paul Shaffer.

Finally, Peter Criss was produced by Vini Poncia, a onetime Ringo Starr co-writer who later produced a pair of key KISS albums, 1979’s Dynasty and 1980’s Unmasked. Most of the songs on Peter Criss had been written back in 1971 for the drummer/vocalist’s aptly named pre-KISS band, Lips. The album also boasts a rousing cover of Bobby Lewis’s No. 1 1961 hit single, ‘Tossin’ And Turnin’,’ a song that KISS often wound up playing live during their 1979 Dynasty Tour.

The KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection vinyl box set is out on 19 October and can be bought here.

Hear Mick Jagger Spar With Buddy Guy On New Rolling Stones Tribute

The Stones’ old friend Guy features Jagger on a remake of ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)’ from the new ‘Chicago Plays The Stones’ album.

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Chicago Plays The Stones

Reported by uDiscover as long ago as last May, the new, multi-artist Rolling Stones tribute album Chicago Plays The Stones was released yesterday (14). Among its delights are contributions by Keith Richards — who shares guitar features with Jimmy Burns on the latter’s update of ‘Beast Of Burden’ — and Mick Jagger, who you can hear on harmonica and call-and-response vocals with the Stones’ old friend Buddy Guy, as he remakes ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)’ from 1973’s Goats Head Soup album.

The Stones first met Guy in 1964 when the American bluesman was recording ‘My Time After Awhile’ at Chess Studios in Chicago. As Guy is quoted by Rolling Stone: “Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon walked straight in my studio while I was singing with a bunch of white guys, who lined up against the wall, I got pissed off: ‘Who in the hell are these guys?’ I had never seen a white man with hair that long and high-heeled boots before.”

That inauspicious start prefaced a notable friendship, confirmed when the Stones invited Guy to open for them as they toured Europe in 1970, just as they had championed his fellow blues giant B.B. King. Further live guest appearances followed for Guy, who duetted with Jagger on the 2006 version of ‘Champagne & Reefer’ featured in Martin Scorsese’s concert film Shine A Light and the accompanying album in 2008. ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)’ marks the pair’s first studio pairing.

Among other local blues musicians featured on Chicago Plays The Blues are Ronnie Baker Brooks, who covers ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’; Billy Branch, who reads ‘Sympathy For The Devil’; and Carlos Johnson, who tackles the more recent Stones song ‘Out Of Control.’

The album is a collaboration between Grammy-nominated producer Larry Skoller’s Raisin’ Music Records and Chicago Blues Experience, which is due to open in the city in 2019. Artists featured on the album will play selected US dates in October and November.

Deutsche Grammophon And Decca Celebrate J.S Bach’s Legacy With ‘Bach 333’

The 222 CD Complete Edition is the result of two years’ curation, the cooperation of 32 labels and a team of scholars at the Leipzig Bach Archive.

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Deutsche Grammophon Decca Bach 33

Deutsche Grammophon and Decca have announced the release of the largest and most complete box set ever devoted to the work of a single composer with Bach 333 – a 222 CD box set – which is released worldwide on 26 October in two language versions, English and German. The flagship Edition is accompanied by a 2CD entry level product, Peaceful Bach, and a suite of 13 digital products including all aimed at achieving the widest possible awareness and engagement.

The 222 CD Complete Edition is the result of two years of curation and scholarship and has been developed with the cooperation of 32 labels and a team of scholars at the Leipzig Bach Archive, with an introductory DVD documentary and written welcome by its President Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with editorial consultant Nicholas Kenyon presiding over work-by-work musical commentary.

The set marks 333 years since the birth of J.S. Bach. References to the number three reflect the important doctrine of God’s Tri-unity which lies at the core of Bach’s Lutheran faith. Nicholas Kenyon says: “333 is important, because one of the key Bach numbers is 3 representing the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The symbolism of three, and three times three, is everywhere in the collection of organ works Clavier-Übung III (1739). We often sense these underlying features in the composer’s work; while I don’t think he ever let them dominate his thinking, it was clearly a way in which he was expressing the harmony of the universe as he saw it.” The set is thus known as Bach 333.

Across 16,926 minutes of music over 5,533 tracks, Bach 333 presents every known note from the great master and opens up his world – and his impact on our world – in a uniquely immersive way: through audio, visual, printed and online materials. The set, the largest ever devoted to a single composer and exceeding in size even the massively-successful ‘Mozart 225’ Edition of two years ago, presents the composer’s complete oeuvre from 750 hand-picked performers and ensembles across 32 labels including Sony, Warner, BIS, SDG, Denon and Harmonia Mundi.

Two handsomely illustrated hardback books are included. The first book, entitled LIFE, presents a lavishly illustrated biography by leading Bach scholar Dorothea Schröder plus thirteen essays of the latest thinking from leading scholars from the Leipzig Bach Archive. The second book, MUSIC presents a new essay by doyen of Bach scholarship Christoph Wolff followed by work-by-work commentary by Nicholas Kenyon. Also included are complete sung texts and English translations, facsimile reproductions of key scores and a guide to further online resources including the Archive’s ground-breaking Bach Digital initiative.

Meanwhile, the set also conforms to the very latest research from the Leipzig Bach Archive and their new BWV3 catalogue due to be published in 2019-20. The composer’s life is further explored on DVD in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s 90-minute BBC film Bach: A Passionate Life. The colour-coded layout of Bach 333 presents the works chronologically within one of four genres – Vocal Music, Keyboard Music, Orchestral Music and Instrumental Music. The consumer can navigate with ease across the enormous and rich array of content.

Best-in-class historically-informed performances include a handpicked set of the complete Cantatas led by outstanding contributions from Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki, plus strong showings from Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt, Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Sigiswald Kuijken and more; other leading names featured across the Edition include Reinhard Goebel, Christopher Hogwood, Paul McCreesh, Franz Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Christophe Coin, Christophe Rousset and Rinaldo Alessandrini.

The set also presents over 50 CDs of alternative recordings including modern piano performances of all the key works from András Schiff, Murray Perahia, Angela Hewitt, Martha Argerich, Alfred Brendel and many more. 90 years of evolving Bach performance traditions in vocal and instrumental practice can be heard in legendary performances from a plethora of artists from Alfred Deller to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Adolf Busch to Claudio Abbado, Willem Mengelberg to Karl Richter, Edwin Fischer to Glenn Gould, Albert Schweitzer to Marie-Claire Alain, Wanda Landowska to Zuzana Růžičková, Pablo Casals to Pierre Fournier, Arthur Grumiaux to Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Highlights among 10 hours of entirely new recordings include a new recording of the Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin by period specialist Giuliano Carmignola, as well as 7 premieres of works never recorded before – 6 alternative Chorale versions and Beethoven’s only completed arrangement of a Bach work.

16 CDs entitled Bach Interactive and Bach after Bach form the basis of a major offering to enrich our experience and understanding of Bach’s unique impact on composers and composition ever since; from Mozart and Beethoven to today’s masters such as Arvo Pärt and György Kurtág. Included are albums devoted to Bach à la Jazz (Stéphane Grappelli, Stan Getz, Jacques Loussier, Bill Evans and more) and New Colours of Bach – remixers, composers and artists of our own time.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, President, Leipzig Archive says: “This superb array of recordings is to be welcomed and valued on different levels simultaneously. First, it displays the colossal range and sheer variety of Bach’s output; then the challenges of performing it and how these have evolved – exemplified by the multiplicity of recorded interpretations assembled here for the first time. Listening to any of these CDs will surely induce in you a heightened sense of consciousness – of the role of music which Bach enriched and extended so brilliantly.”

“Bach is regularly singled by composers across all traditions from jazz, pop, world and classical for his unique importance,” says Paul Moseley, Universal Music Group’s Director of Bach 333. “We have set out to do him, his life, his world, full justice, taking in current and past performance practice, fresh scholarship and the latest media, to produce something that will educate, entertain and deepen our relationship with probably the most influential composer of all time.”

The 222 CD edition of Bach 333 is out on 26 October and can be bought here.

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Reply #20 posted 09/20/18 7:53am



Alone in the Studio in 1983, Prince Is Revealed

“Piano & a Microphone 1983” contains nine songs Prince recorded on a cassette at his home studio the year before “Purple Rain” arrived.CreditCreditAllen Beaulieu/The Prince Estate

  • Sept. 19, 2018

Even when he played alone, Prince thought like a full band. That’s clear from the opening notes of “Piano & a Microphone 1983,” the first album released by the Prince estate with material from his immense archive, the Vault.

He starts “17 Days” as a funk-gospel vamp, immediately propulsive, attacking its two chords differently with each repetition and syncopating them against his stamping foot. It’s like a band warming up both itself and the crowd, awaiting the star’s big entrance. Prince takes his time, teasing with some vocal beat-boxing before launching into the verse. When he does, he’s every bit the lonely, forlorn ex-lover of his lyrics, moaning smoothly even as his hands (and foot) keep driving the beat. He’s the frontman, rhythm section and instrumental soloists, all at once.

Prince - "17 Days" CreditCreditVideo by Various Artists - Topic

“Piano & a Microphone 1983” contains nine songs that were recorded on a cassette at his home studio the year before “Purple Rain” would multiply the size of his audience. It’s just Prince on his own (with an engineer) for about 35 minutes, brainstorming while tape ran, segueing from song to song until it was time to turn over the cassette. While the session is informal — he sniffles now and then, and at times something rattles in the piano — the performance is not sloppy for a moment. The one-take, real-time vocals are exquisite.

Prince probably never expected these recordings to be made public. The album feels like eavesdropping, as Prince the songwriter delves into nuances and Prince the pianist cuts loose. He’s exploring and playing around, not constructing taut commercial tracks. Yet the album also turns out to be a compendium, or at least a thumbnail, of Prince’s boundless musicality and of his lifelong themes: romance, solitude, sensuality, salvation, sin, yearning and ecstasy. He shifts musical styles and vocal personae at whim — melancholy, playful, devout, flirtatious — yet it’s all Prince.

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The album includes familiar songs (a brief excerpt from “Purple Rain”), B-sides (“17 Days,” which was the B-side of the single “When Doves Cry” in its band version), album tracks (“Strange Relationship,” “International Lover”), covers (Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” the gospel standard “Mary Don’t You Weep”), and previously unreleased songs and sketches (“Wednesday,” “Cold Coffee & Cocaine” and “Why the Butterflies.”)

“Piano & a Microphone 1983” is the first release from Prince’s storied archive of music.Credit

Nearly all of the lyrics are, in some way, about longing. Prince sings about post-breakup loneliness in “17 Days,” offers a slow-motion come-on in “International Lover” and depicts a love-hate seesaw in “Strange Relationship.” He performs “International Lover,” which had already been released on “1999,” as a suspenseful, impulsive constellation of sounds and silences, chords and clusters and single notes answering his falsetto vocal; the lyrics jettison the airplane metaphors of the studio version for single entendres.

Prince plays “Strange Relationship,” which he would rework for eventual release on “Sign ‘o’ the Times” in 1987, as a jazzy rhythm workshop, a two-minute experiment in percussive chords and vocals that devolve into grunts. He even reshapes “Mary Don’t You Weep” — a spiritual that, as he must have known, Aretha Franklin turned into a catharsis on her gospel album “Amazing Grace” — from a profession of faith into a bluesy warning that “Your man ain’t coming home.”

The major new find on “Piano & a Microphone 1983,” though it’s less than two minutes long, is “Wednesday,” a song that at one point was intended for the “Purple Rain” movie and album. Its limpid piano accompaniment points toward Joni Mitchell and jazz ballads as Prince sings, in an utterly guileless falsetto, about being alone and nearly suicidal: “If you’re not back by Wednesday/There’s no telling what I might do.”

“Piano & a Microphone 1983” wasn’t recorded as a finished artistic statement. It was a studio worktape, and its two final tracks may well be songs at the moment of conception. “Cold Coffee & Cocaine” is comedy; Prince puts on a scratchy, tough-guy voice and starts a choppy, bluesy piano vamp. “That’s the last night I spend at your house,” he complains, and without stopping the piano, he asks himself, “What rhymes with house?” He comes up with “mouse”; they can’t all be masterpieces. But the piano part has a life of its own.

“Why the Butterflies” is even more embryonic. Prince sets himself a tempo with finger snaps and foot taps, and he tries stray chords around the keyboard before settling on one dissonant, repeated cluster. At the eeriest edge of his falsetto, he croons an open-ended question — “Mama, what’s this strange dream?” — and pursues it, maintaining that minimal piano pulse as he intoning new questions with new drama: ”Mama, where is father?”

It’s the sound of a search guided by rhythm and instinct, patiently and diligently courting inspiration. For Prince, it was just another night in the studio, an unfinished rough draft he saw no reason to release. Now that he’s gone, it’s a glimpse of a notoriously private artist doing his mysterious work.

“Piano & a Microphone 1983”
(Warner Bros.)

José James Tips His Hat To Bill Withers On ‘Lean On Me’

The Blue Note vocal stylist will release a collection of Withers’ celebrated songs on 28 September 2018.

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Jose James Lean On Me

Jazz vocal stylist José James will release Lean On Me, his new tribute album to the great soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers, on 28 September on Blue Note. The set features 12 of Withers’ most enduring songs, revisited in honour of his 80th birthday year.

The album was recorded in Studio B at the famed Capitol Studios and produced by Blue Note president Don Was. The band, and list of collaborators for the record, comprise an A-list of talent including Pino Palladino on bass, Kris Bowers on keyboard, Brad Allen Williams (guitar), and Nate Smith(drums). Featured as special guests are vocalist Lalah Hathaway, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and trumpeter Takuya Kuroda. Watch the trailer for the album here:

“Bill wrote the songs you love your whole life,” says James. “I didn’t want to put hip-hop beats under his music or deconstruct it with ten-minute bebop solos. There was only one right move here: show up with a killer band, run the tape, capture the vibe. We just played the songs.”

The album is previewed by the track ‘Use Me,’ a new version of Withers’ much-covered R&B No. 2 hit of 1972, which has previously been recorded by Isaac Hayes, Al Jarreau, Grace Jones and in a 1993 duet by Mick Jagger and Lenny Kravitz, among others.

Over recent years, James has been adding ever more Withers songs to his live set until he had a huge medley that felt “like the best kind of church — people crying, dancing, singing and shouting. It was powerful,” he says. Lean on Me was began as a touring project late last year, but James always intended to turn it into an album.

“I reached out to Don [Was] to ask, ‘Do you think these songs would be cool?’ Don’s like, ‘I dunno. Let’s ask Bill.’ I felt like: ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’” But Withers gave the project his blessing over dinner at the famed Hollywood restaurant Musso & Frank’s.

“Meeting Bill Withers was one of the personal highlights of my life,” says James. “He’s a total genius and one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I learned more in that one hour with him than I learned at music school or a decade’s worth of live shows.

“We all adore him and any songwriter worth their salt knows that Bill is up there with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Carole King, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John, Billy Joel – he’s in the pantheon of greats.

“Plus he’s an amazing singer and developed a sophisticated sound that blends funk, singer-songwriter, blues, R&B and gospel. I showed him my list of his songs and he absolutely loved it. I think he’s happy that his music still has a place in the lives and hearts of people worldwide and that we all want to celebrate his life and talent.

“You have to believe every word of it,” says James of the material on Lean On Me. “With Bill, there’s no space to not be genuine. You need to be comfortable with your emotional self, your masculine and feminine side, and hang it all out there.”

Lean On Me is released on 28 September and can be bought here.

Kelly Clarkson Talk Show Picked Up by NBC Stations

Kelly Clarkson is venturing into the daytime-talk arena.

NBC Owned Television Station Group has picked up “The Kelly Clarkson Show” from NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution. Clarkson will host. She and Brandon Blackstock will serve as executive producers.

The pickup for the show for fall of 2019 by NBC’s stations gives it a presence in markets covering nearly 30% of all U.S. households — including WNBC New York, KNBC Los Angeles, WMAQ Chicago, WCAU Philadelphia, KXAS Dallas-Fort Worth, KNTV San Francisco, WRC Washington DC, WTVJ Miami, KNSD San Diego and WVIT Hartford. It will also air on NBC-owned WBTS in Boston.

Clarkson, who is also a coach on NBC reality show “The Voice,” teased the news Tuesday night on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”Clarkson made reference to her upcoming talk show. Fallon then said. “This is a big announcement. It’s not been announced yet, but you’re getting your own talk show.” Clarkson responded with, “Well, it’s been leaked.” Clarkson later added, “It’s daytime, we’re gonna be on right before ‘Ellen.'” She said that her touring band will be her house band on the show.

“We are very excited to have Kelly Clarkson on our air next fall,” said Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, in a statement Wednesday. “She’s genuine, warm, fun and interacts with her fans in a meaningful way. Throughout her career people of all ages and backgrounds have related to her openness, honesty and curiosity. She will be the perfect companion to ‘Ellen,’ providing an afternoon of great television.”

“The incomparable Kelly Clarkson takes everything she touches to another level and we couldn’t be happier to bring her talent, humor, generosity and compassion to daytime next year,” said Paul Telegdy, president, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment. “With Kelly’s cross-generational appeal and extraordinary ability to understand and connect with viewers, ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ will have something for everyone.”


R.I.P. Johnny Dawson of Motown's The Elgins

For a more complete biography of The Elgins, visit

Thanks to SoulTracker Colton for letting us know

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Aretha Franklin Exhibit Set To Open In Detroit Museum

‘Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul’ arrives at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on 25 September.

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Aretha Franklin Exhibition Detroit Museum

An exhibit dedicated to the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin will open this week at a Detroit museum. Approved by the late singer’s estate, ‘Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul’ arrives at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History this Tuesday, 25 September and will exhibit until 21 January 2019.

“This is an opportunity for people to come back and engage, reminisce and reflect,” Wright museum board member Kelly Major Green told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s the beginning of a much longer expression of who Aretha is.”

The exhibit will feature wardrobe, shoes, video displays and photos from throughout Franklin’s career, including a copy of the first-ever recording Franklin released, a 1956 vinyl of ‘Never Grow Old’ by “Aretha Franklin, Daughter of Rev. C.L. Franklin.”

The Charles H. Wright Museum previously hosted Franklin’s public viewing following the Queen of Soul’s death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The “red, lace-trimmed ruffled suit and crimson satin pumps” that Franklin wore at the public viewing will display in the ‘Think’ exhibit.

The new exhibition came together quickly in the weeks following Franklin’s death. “The family had reached out to us for the visitation,” Green said. “We began to talk about how we could be in service to them. It was important to the family that we be able to move quickly.”

Over the exhibit’s four-month tenure at the museum, curators will rotate items in and out of display to “reflect the same ever-changing dynamics that marked the singer’s own life,” the Detroit Free Presswrites.

“The Aretha mojo lives,” said Green. “People are still swept up in this. It’s a beautiful tribute. We want to learn and see some things that are more intimate and touching about her. This personalizes her in a little different way.”

The Aretha Franklin estate is also planning a long-term exhibit dedicated to the Queen of Soul housed at an as yet unannounced location in 2020.

The Monkees Made a Christmas Album With Rivers Cuomo and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck

‘Christmas Party’ also features contributions from XTC’s Andy Partridge, Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 and Michael Chabon


The Monkees will release a Christmas album next month featuring songs written by Rivers Cuomo, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and author Michael Chabon.

Rhino Entertainment

Two years after their shockingly great 50th anniversary album, Good Times! — which gave them their highest showing on the Billboard album chart since 1968 — the Monkees have returned to the studio to cut Christmas Party, their first holiday album. Set for release October 12th, the album is produced by Fountain of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, with new vocals by surviving Monkees Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork along with vintage recordings of the late Davy Jones.

Christmas Party features new songs written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo (“What Would Santa Do”) and Andy Partridge of XTC (“Unwrap You At Christmas”). Novelist Michael Chabon and Schlesinger collaborated on “House of Broken Gingerbread,” while R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 wrote the title track and play on a cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ.” Nesmith didn’t write any songs for the album, but he does sing lead on “The Christmas Song” and “Snowfall.” Other tracks on the album include “Wonderful Christmastime,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Merry Christmas, Baby.”

“Silver Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka” contain vocals by Jones (seemingly drawn from his 1976 LP Christmas Jones) that have been paired with newly recorded music. The rest of the songs were recorded in their entirety this year.

It’s unclear how many songs Tork sings on. The guitarist has kept a low profile this year, opting not to tour with Nesmith and Dolenz on their The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show tour, and has been completely absent from the concert circuit on his own.

Nesmith and Dolenz were forced to call off their tour with four shows remaining when Nesmith suffered a severe heart ailment, but he’s fully recovered after undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery and is currently on the road with the First National Band. The Mike and Micky Show will resume in March to play the dates they had to call off earlier this year.

Christmas Party Track List

  1. “Unwrap You At Christmas”
  2. “What Would Santa Do”
  3. “Mele Kalikimaka”
  4. “House Of Broken Gingerbread”
  5. “The Christmas Song”
  6. “Christmas Party”
  7. “Jesus Christ”
  8. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”
  9. “Silver Bells”
  10. “Wonderful Christmastime”
  11. “Snowfall”
  12. “Angels We Have Heard On High”
  13. “Merry Christmas, Baby”

Beatles Reissue Producer Giles Martin: “Paul And Ringo Have To Be Happy”

The son of original Beatles producer George describes the process of remixing ‘The White Album’ for its 50th anniversary reissue.

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Giles Martin photo Alex Lake
Photo: Alex Lake

Giles Martin has spoken to uDiscover Music about the great pleasure of mixing The Beatles’ catalogue and working with his “bosses,” surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The son of the group’s original producer George Martin has been discussing the multi-format, 50th anniversary reissue of 1968’s The BEATLES, widely known as ‘The White Album,’ on 9 November via Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.

The release comes some 17 months after Martin’s work on the similar reissue of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Suggesting that the decision to embark on a Beatles remix project is not taken until relatively close to the anniversary time, he tells us: “This one’s been slightly more organised, but I always underestimate the amount of work that one has to do on it.”

The Super Deluxe version of The BEATLES includes six CDs, a DVD and a hardbound book, with a total of 107 tracks, comprising the original 30-track album, the famous Esher Demos and countless early session versions. “You forget, with this album particularly,” he says. “Because it’s such a big album, 30 tracks and then all the extras, then the Esher Demos, you suddenly realise ‘Oh my God, we’ve done 150 mixes.”

White Album Super Deluxe

Explaining the production process, Martin says of his colleagues: “Mike Heatley and Kevin Howlett go and listen to everything and they make notes. But then I go and listen to everything and make notes. Their list is much bigger than mine because I’m much meaner than they are.

“But also there has to be a story to be told. The whole thing with a mix project like this is that (a) I want the tracks to sound good and make you feel a certain way but also (b) I want it to be a window into the world that I’m so privileged to be in, where I can get a tape from the vaults and listen to it and enjoy it.

“I want people to feel what it’s like to be in the creative process, and there’s a beauty in the flawed quality of the performance that ends in the masterpiece that is ‘The White Album.’”

CDs four, five and six in the Super Deluxe package comprise some 50 session performances, including unheard early versions of many tracks and others that weren’t on the album, notably ‘Lady Madonna,’ ‘Across The Universe’ and various light-hearted jams.

“With the outtakes,” says Martin, “it’s pretty much what’s on tape. The only time I would ever get rid of something is that sometimes you would get weird feedback going over something or tape noise, but in general I’ve kept things as dirty as possible.

“With the extras, I would just sit on my own and do them, and I work quite quickly as well. I sent them to [Abbey Road engineer] Alex Wharton to get them mastered and he goes ‘These sound amazing, what have you done?’. I said ‘Very little, I’ve panned them, a bit of EQ, a bit of compression maybe, not much, and the job’s a good ‘un.’

“I remember [producer-artist] Ethan Johns saying to me, [his father] Glyn’s advice to him was ‘When the hairs stand up on your arm, stop doing what you’re doing.’ It would be so easy to start going into them, but that’s not the point of it. We have the record, and the record we mixed meticulously, and in fact the Esher Demos we mixed properly. But the outtakes should be the outtakes, and I want people to feel what I feel when I put them on the tape machine.”

Martin also described McCartney and Starr’s input into the reissue process. “’The White Album,’ especially, sounds pretty contemporary,” he notes. “Paul said this to me when he came to listen to it at Abbey Road. We sat and listened to bits and pieces together and he said ‘It’s funny, it sounds like a comtemporary record.’

“I went out to L.A. to see Ringo,” Martin goes on. “We listened to stuff together and he makes his notes. They’re my bosses, they have to be happy, that’s the first box to tick. It’s their record, their stuff that I’m playing around with.”

The BEATLES ‘(White Album’) is released on 9 November. Pre-order it here.

Blondie Announce Four-Day Cuba Concert And Cultural Experience

The band will perform two sets at Havana’s iconic Teatro Mella venue, and will be joined by Cuban artists Alain Perez, David Torrens and Afro-Cuban progressive rock act Sintesis.

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Blondie In Havana Cuba

Blondie have announced a four-day “cultural exchange” to Havana, Cuba and invited their fans along to join them from 14-18 March 2019.

‘Blondie In Havana’ is being billed as a “historic cultural exchange” that will include two headlining concerts, a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the band, visits to local musicians and cultural institutions and performances by local Cuban artists.

The band will perform two sets at Havana’s iconic Teatro Mella venue, and will be joined by Cuban artists Alain Perez, David Torrens and Afro-Cuban progressive rock act Sintesis.

US tourists have only recently been able to travel to Cuba and the organizer Dreamcatcher Events is offering specific cultural activities that are rarely afforded to visitors. The full program will also include exclusive visits to private Cuban art studios and galleries as well as photography and architecture tours.

The band shared their excitement for their upcoming trip in a statement saying, “We’ve never been to Cuba, though we’ve always hoped to get there some day,” said guitarist Chris Stein. “We’ve been talking about it for ages, and now it’s finally happening. Havana is such an incredible scene, such an incredible city. I’ve always been fascinated by their music and their wildly creative culture. It’s going to be an amazing trip, and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Drummer Clem Burke added, “Blondie has always had a love for music from that part of the world”, he said. “All the way back to ‘Rapture’ and ‘The Tide Is High,’ we’ve always experimented with Caribbean sounds and polyrhythm. So as soon as going to Cuba became a possibility, we started putting something together. I think there will be a really special energy. To be with some of our closest friends and fans in a whole different environment, a whole new plane. We’re really looking forward to it.”

Registration begins this Friday, 28 September. Full details are available via the event site. Explore our Blondie Artist Page.

Beastie Boys Announce Events To Promote New Memoir ‘Beastie Boys Book’

Officially released on 30 October, the long-awaited memoir is described as “a panoramic experience that tells the story of the Beastie Boys.

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New Memoir Beastie Boys Book

The Beastie Boys’ Mike Diamond (aka Mike D) and Adam Horowitz (aka Ad-Rock) have announced details of a series of events to promote their new memoir, Beastie Boys Book.

As uDiscover Music previously reported, the group’s surviving members, Mike D and Ad-Rock, have been working on the memoir since 2013, with the book originally slated to be released in 2015. Mike D addressed the delay, saying, “Like many things we embark on, there are many false starts and, honestly, directions we went in that we realised were not the directions we should be going in.”

In 2013, Random House imprint publisher Spiegel & Grau announced that Mike D and Ad-Rock were “interested in challenging the form and making the book a multidimensional experience. There is a kaleidoscopic frame of reference, and it asks a reader to keep up”.

Officially released on 30 October, the long-awaited Beastie Boys Bookis described as “a panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself—by band members AD-ROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.”

“With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.”

Mike D and Ad-Rock will be making appearances to sign copies of the book at the following dates:

29 October: New York City, Town Hall
30 October: New York, Brooklyn, Kings Theatre
3 November: Los Angeles, Montalban Theatre
4 November: Los Angeles, Montalban Theatre
5 November: San Francisco, Nourse Theatre
3o November: London, UK, EartH.

General ticket sale begins Friday, September 28 at 10am local time, except for the New York Town Hall event, for which the ticket sale begins at 12pm local.

For tickets and more information, visit the band’s website.

Metallica’s ‘Worldwired’ Tour Heads Outdoors In Europe & The UK

Special guests Ghost and Bokassa will provide support on all dates.

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Metallica WorldWired Outdoors UK Europe
Photo: Ross Halfin

Metallica have confirmed that their WorldWired Tour will its return to the UK and Europe, this time for a staggering 1 May to 25 August 2019 run of outdoor gigs at stadiums, parks and even one at a castle.

The new dates are Metallica’s first in the UK and Europe since the September 2017 to May 2018 indoor run that broke attendance records in 29 venues across the continent. Kicking off on 1 May 2019 at Lisbon’s Estadio Restelo, the 25 newly announced WorldWired shows across 20 countries include a good dozen cities not visited on those 2017-2018 legs of the tour—including Milan, Zürich, Dublin, Brussels (for the first time since 1988), Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, Bucharest and Gothenburg, and first ever appearances in Trondheim Norway, Hämeenlinna Finland and Tartu Estonia. Special guests Ghost and Bokassa will provide support on all dates.

With this kind of itinerary, it’s natural that the Wherever I May Roam Black Ticket will be returning: one ticket allowing floor access to any Metallica show on the 2019 UK/Europe tour. From A(msterdam) to Z(urich) and all points between, Black Ticket holders need only choose the show(s) and make an online reservation no less than 48 hours before the gig. A limited number of 750 of these Black Tickets will be available for 598 Euro. As with most of Metallica’s WorldWired shows, every ticket purchased includes a choice of standard physical or standard digital copy of the band’s 10th and current album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

And once again, all tickets will include a free MP3 download of the show(s) attended, mixed and mastered by the team behind Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. The free full-show downloads can be obtained by scanning or entering the bar code from that show’s ticket stub at this page on the band’s website.

Fan Club pre-sales begin tomorrow, Tuesday, September 25. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, September 28 at 10:00 AM local time.

The 2019 Europe and UK leg of Metallica’s WorldWired tour includes the following dates:

May 1, 2019: Lisbon, Portugal, Estádio do Restelo
May 3, 2019: Madrid, Spain, Valdebebas
May 5, 2019; Barcelona, Spain, Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
May 8, 2019: Milan, Italy, San Siro Hippodrome
May 10, 2019: Zürich, Switzerland, Letzigrund
May 12, 2019: Paris, France, Stade De France
June 8, 2019: Dublin, Ireland, Slane Castle
June 11, 2019: Amsterdam, NL, Johan Cruijff Arena
June 13, 2019: Köln, Germany, RheinEnergieStadion
June 16, 2019: Brussels, Belgium, Koning Boudewijnstadion
June 18, 2019: Manchester, UK, Etihad Stadium
June 20, 2019: London, UK, Twickenham Stadium
July 6, 2019: Berlin, Germany, Olympiastadion
July 9, 2019: Göteborg, Sweden, Ullevi
July 11, 2019: Copenhagen, Denmark, Telia Parken
July 13, 2019: Trondheim, Norway, Granåsen
July 16, 2019: Hämeenlinna, Finland, Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto
July 18, 2019: Tartu, Estonia, Raadi Airport
July 21, 2019: Moscow, Russia, Luzhniki Stadium
Aug. 14, 2019: Bucharest, Romania, Arena Națională
Aug. 16, 2019: Vienna, Austria, Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Aug. 18, 2019: Prague, CZA, Airport Letnany
Aug. 21, 2019: Warsaw, Poland, PGE Narodowy
Aug. 23, 2019: Munich, Germany, Olympiastadion
Aug. 25, 2018: Mannheim, Germany, Maimarktgelände

Chas Hodges Dies Aged 74

The Chas & Dave singer and pianist died in his sleep after suffering organ failure.

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Chas Hodges Dies Aged 74
Photo: Chas & Dave/Twitter

Chas Hodges, best known for his partnership with Dave Peacock in the pop-rock band Chas & Dave, has died at the age of 74.

Hodges’ death was announced on the duo’s Twitter account in a statement that read: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our very own Chas Hodges. Despite receiving successful treatment for oesophageal cancer recently, Chas suffered organ failure and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning.”

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Hodges was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in February, but was determined to return to the stage and had started performing again. The duo most recently supported Eric Clapton at his British Summertime show in London’s Hyde Park in July.

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Chas & Dave formed in 1975, and enjoyed a run of hits in the late seventies and early eighties with songs like ‘Gertcha’, ‘The Sideboard Song’, ‘Rabbit’, ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You’ and ‘Snooker Loopy’.

Image result for Chas Hodges

Hodges’ musical career kicked off in the 1960s working alongside legendary producer Joe Meek, while as a musician he backed Jerry Lee Lewis & Gene Vincent. He performed on sessions with Ritchie Blackmore, and joined Albert Lee’s band Heads Hands & Feet before a short-lived stint with The Rockers, who featured The Move’s Roy Wood, Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, and Status Quo drummer John Coghlan. Hodges also appeared as a special guest alongside the Beatles on their final British tour in 1966, as a member of Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers.

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Tributes to Chas Hodges have already begun to pour in. The comedian Rob Beckett tweeted he was saddened by the death of Hodges, who, with Dave Peacock, “wrote the soundtrack to my childhood”. The Welsh music critic Simon Price tweeted: “I don’t know if I’ve ever had as much shameless fun at a gig as last time I saw Chas and Dave.” Comedy writer and author Adam Kay tweeted: “Sad news. The very least we could do in Chas’ memory is make ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You’ the new national anthem. Belting tune.”

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Netflix Docuseries to Investigate Bob Marley Shooting, Sam Cooke Murder

‘ReMastered’ also examines unsolved murder of Jam Master Jay, Johnny Cash’s visit to Nixon’s White House and Robert Johnson’s handshake deal with devil

Bob MarleyVarious

A Netflix docuseries will investigate music's unsolved mysteries, including the Bob Marley assassination attempt and the Sam Cooke murder.

Ian Dickson/REX/Shutterstock

An upcoming Netflix docuseries will investigate some of music’s biggest unsolved mysteries, including the 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley and the murders of Sam Cooke and Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay.

The eight-episode ReMastered will arrive on the streaming service on October 12th with “Who Shot the Sheriff?,” a look at the role Jamaican politicians and the CIA played in the attempted assassination of Marley, who suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and chest in the incident.

The following month, Harlan County U.S.A. documentarian Barbara Kopple co-directs an examination into Johnny Cash’s tumultuous White House meeting with Richard Nixon in “Tricky Dick and the Man in Black.”

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Netflix will stream one new episode of ReMastered every month through May 2019, with the December 2018 episode focusing on “Who Killed Jam Master Jay?,” the Run-DMC DJ who was killed in a Queens, New York studio in 2002; despite six witnesses, the murder remains unsolved.

Subsequent months bring an investigation into the murder of three members of the Irish group the Miami Showband during “the Troubles” in Ireland in 1975, the death of Chilean singer Victor Jara at the hands of the Pinochet regime and, in February, a look into the mysterious shooting death of Sam Cooke.

ReMastered‘s first season concludes with “Devil at the Crossroads,” about blues legend Robert Johnson and his apocryphal handshake deal with the Devil, and “Lion’s Share,” about one man’s journey to South Africa to find the true writers behind the hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

ReMastered was created by Emmy award-winners Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist and lists Irving Azoff and Stu Schreiberg among its executive producers.

A Christian Singer Is Bigger Than Drake and Ariana Grande This Week

Lauren Daigle’s chart-topping debut highlights the deep endurance of Christian music in America

Lauren Daigle's new album debuted at Number Three on the charts, ahead of major rappers and pop stars.

Jeremy Cowart

Paul McCartney easily took the top spot on the Billboard 200 this week when his new album Egypt Station blew past 153,000 equivalent album units — a forceful 147,000 of which were traditional album sales. Eminem’s Kamikaze, now two weeks old, slotted in at Number Two with 136,000 units.

But just under those two, and well ahead of records by Drake, Ariana Grande, Mac Miller, Post Malone, Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj, is a somewhat unexpected record called Look Up Child by 27-year-old Christian singer Lauren Daigle, selling 115,000 units, 103,000 of which are traditional album sales. Granted, the aforementioned musicians’ records are a few weeks old while Daigle’s is brand new. The might of Look Up Child‘s release rivals that of other top artists in the past, though: Arcade Fire, for instance, sold 100,000 copies in the first week of its album Everything Now last year, which took it to Number One on the Billboard 200, and Camila Cabello’s album Camila came in at 110,000 units upon debut, which also was enough to bring it to Number One that week.

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Look Up Child — which sets the record for biggest Christian music album of 2018, biggest traditional sales frame for any Christian album in nine years and biggest sales week for a Christian female artist in over 20 years — owes part of its big splash to concert/album and merchandise/album bundle sales, but it also sold well in traditional retail stores, according to Nielsen figures. Daigle, whose first album went platinum after its 2015 release, tells Rolling Stone she is “overjoyed” to see the new album debuting high on the charts this week, adding that it’s been her dream to share her music with such a broad audience. “I’m inspired to see music continue to cross-pollinate through genres,” she says. “I’m incredibly grateful for how well people have connected with Look Up Child.”

The album’s success highlights something broader, however: the deep persistence of Christian music in the U.S. audience — an aspect of music consumption that has been largely skipped over by headlines proclaiming rap as the sole driver of modern music in America. While rap and R&B have indeed risen to become the leading genre of music consumption, Christian music remains a sizable minority mass. Solid numbers are hard to come by, but at its annual conference in 2015, the Gospel Music Association reported that 68 percent of Americans had listened to Christian or gospel music within the last 30 days.


Christian radio stations — which sprung up soon after Christian rock’s inception in the late Sixties and have proliferated quietly but steadily ever since — dominate the broadcast landscape, matching country music stations and news stations in size. And as Kelefa Sanneh recently noted in the New Yorker, half of the 20 most popular rock songs of 2017 were by “bands whose members have espoused the Christian faith,” even if their music was not overtly marketed as Christian. “Faith no longer seems so alien to popular music — ours is an era where plenty of artists, not just religious ones, aim to send inspirational messages,” Sanneh observes.

But the case of Look Up Child is still exceptional, accentuating the degree to which American music fans rally around Christian music, even as other leading genres of the past few decades fizzle out.

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BEHOLD Tour Dates

Date Venue City
November 29th Berglund Center – Berglund Performing Arts Theatre Roanoke, VA
November 30th Harrison Opera House Norfolk, VA
December 1st McAlister Auditorium Greenville, SC
December 2nd North Charleston Performing Arts Center North Charleston, SC
December 6th Moran Theater Jacksonville, FL
December 7th Bob Carr Theater Orlando, FL
December 8th Coca Cola Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA
December 9th Old National Events Plaza Evansville, IN
December 13th Hammons Hall For the Peforming Arts Springfield, MO
December 14th Heymann Performing Arts Center Lafayette, LA
December 15th Aztec Theatre San Antonio, TX
December 16th ACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

Paul Simon Closes Out Farewell Tour With Euphoric Hometown Show

Simon did everything possible to make his final concert a joyful affair, but by the end he was fighting back tears as he sang “Homeward Bound”

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Two songs into his set at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on the final stop of his Homeward Bound Farewell Tour, Paul Simon put down his guitar and put on a black baseball glove. “This is like two miles from where I played high school baseball,” he said. “It’s little dark out, but you know what? I’m going to play a quick game of catch.” He then lobbed the ball into the New York crowd and urged whoever caught it to throw it back. It took three attempts, but he eventually found a fan capable of hurtling it right into his glove with a satisfying smack. The crowd cheered with delight at the moment of impact and Simon let out a smile big enough to be seen from about 1,000 feet back.

It was a typically joyous moment on what could have otherwise been a pretty melancholy affair. After all, everyone there was watching one of New York’s greatest songwriters play the last stop of his last tour. But instead of turning it into an evening of sad reflection about the cruel passage of time, Simon – just a few weeks away from his 77th birthday – turned it into a party in the park where complete strangers could groove together to “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” harmonize on the “lie la lie” chorus of “The Boxer” and jump up and down while screaming out every word to “You Can Call Me Al.” At almost no point in the night did Simon even hint at the fact that it was the end of his last tour, even if his eyes looked a little misty near the end of “Homeward Bound.”

Like every show on this tour, it began with a rearranged rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “America.” It’s a durable song that has managed to work in everything from David Bowie’s set at the post-9/11 Concert For New York City to a 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign commercial. And now in the Trump era, the “empty and aching” kid on the bus seemed to be speaking for many Americans. The president’s name was never uttered, but after a haunting “American Tune” near the end of the night Simon said, “Strange times, huh? Don’t…Give…Up.”

“America” went right into “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “The Boy in the Bubble” and “Dazzling Blue” from his 2011 overlooked triumph So Beautiful or So What. It set the stage for an evening where he toggled between his greatest hits and album cuts only familiar to the true devotees. “Most of these songs that I’m going to play tonight I think you’ll be familiar with, maybe a few you’ll be less so,” he said early on. “But the rhythm tunes are all written with the idea you’ll get up and dance.”

They certainly did dance, especially when he kicked into the opening chords of “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” and everyone had the unique chance to sing about “Rosie the Queen of Corona” in Corona. His wife Edie Brickell even came out to deliver the famous whistle solo with impressive skill. The mood then quieted down when the chamber ensemble yMusic came to the front of the stage to accompany Simon on “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War,” a fantastically obscure Hearts and Bones song that he’s resurrected on his new album In the Blue Light. That album was a commercial dud in 1983, but time has been very kind to it.

Jake Edwards Photography

“I have a strange relationship to this next song,” Simon said. “I wrote it a long time ago and when I finished it I said to myself, ‘Hmm, that’s better than I usually do.’ Then I gave it away and I didn’t sing it for a long time, though occasionally I’d try it on tours, though I never actually felt like it was mine since the original versions are so unique. But this being the final tour, I’m going to be playing my lost child.”

He was talking about “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and when he says “gave it away” he means that he let Art Garfunkel sing lead on it. That was the only time he came close to acknowledging his estranged singing partner the entire evening, though his image did briefly appear a few times during a photo montage paired with “Homeward Bound.” Garfunkel booked his own show in Rochester, Minnesota this very night, completely ruling out the slim possibility they were going to come together for the encores. But even though living up to the Garfunkel original is a very difficult task, Paul’s stripped-down arrangement was still quite lovely and one of the high points of the evening, especially when a Spirit Airlines jet flew right over the crowd en route to Laguardia right as he began the climactic “sail on silver girl” verse.

As the clock began ticking to the end of the night, the magnitude of the event began sinking in even though Simon was doing his best not to acknowledge it. Joyful songs like “Late in the Evening” and “Kodachrome” were infused with an unusual sense of sorrow, and the crowd came to a stunned hush during a devastating “The Sounds of Silence” that wrapped up the night. He wrote that song 55 years ago in the bathroom of his childhood home and it became Simon & Garfunkel’s breakthrough hit in 1965. And now the whole saga of his life was coming full circle as he sang it for possibly the last time. He didn’t need to explain any of this to the crowd. We could all feel it.

We’ll never know what the show meant to Paul Simon, but hopefully it doesn’t mean that he’s now completely retired. Hopefully it means he’s going to keep recording new music and playing the occasional show. Hopefully it means we have years and years of new Paul Simon music in front of us. But if that’s not the case and he’s truly done, he couldn’t have possibly scripted a better ending than this one.

He put down his guitar when “The Sounds of Silence” ended and looked out at the sea of people in the audience, soaking in their love one last time. He then raised his arms in triumph and stepped up to the mic to deliver just seven words before walking off: “It means more than you can know.”

Jake Edwards Photography

Paul Simon Setlist

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
The Boy in the Bubble
Dazzling Blue
That Was Your Mother Rewrite
Mother and Child Reunion
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (with Edie Brickell)
Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War
Can’t Run But
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Spirit Voices
The Obvious Child
Questions for the Angels
The Cool, Cool River
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
You Can Call Me Al

Late in the Evening
Still Crazy After All These Years

Encore 2:
Homeward Bound
The Boxer
American Tune
The Sound of Silence

Janis Joplin, Big Brother: ‘Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills’

by Best Classic Bands Staff

The legendary Cheap Thrills album from Big Brother & the Holding Company that introduced Janis Joplin to the world is finally being released as the band intended with a 50th anniversary edition including 25 previously unreleased performances. Equally noteworthy: the November 30 release will be issued under its originally intended title, Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills. The announcement was made on September 18 by Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

The expanded title, notes the announcement, “restores the band’s vision and intent in an essential new collection of 30 rare performances including 29 studio outtakes from the mythic 1968 sessions that resulted in Cheap Thrills, the breakout album that introduced Janis Joplin to the world.” The album’s original title had been nixed by the label as too controversial a half century ago. The upcoming Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills includes a previously unreleased live performance of “Ball and Chain,” recorded live at Winterland Ballroom on April 12, 1968.

The new release will be available on 2-CDs (30 tracks) and 2-LPs (16 tracks).

Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills includes liner notes penned especially for this commemorative release by the Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick as well as Big Brother & the Holding Company drummer David Getz. “Then I heard that voice,” writes Slick. “Good Lord–spontaneous explosions of every emotion–no holds barred…. Janis had no trouble sliding from the apron clad fifties into the no bra sixties. We all took every advantage of the new freedoms, and it was reflected in the music…. This album, because of its worldwide success, made it possible for everybody to hear the phenomenon that was previously limited to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The original (and iconic) Cheap Thrills album cover

The original Cheap Thrills has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.

Related: Cheap Thrills is included in our feature, 1968: The Year in 50 Classic Rock Albums

From the announcement: Originally released on August 12, 1968, Cheap Thrills was an out-of-the-box smash, a #1 album for eight weeks that–building on the heat she’d generated at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival–established Joplin as rock’s foremost primordial psychedelic soul singer, a musical archetype whose influence has never waned.

The album features an iconic cover by artist R. Crumb.

Of the 30 tracks showcased on the 2-CD edition of Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills, only five have been previously released: “Summertime (Take 2)” (on a 1993 Joplin compilation); “Roadblock (Take 1)” (on the 1999 Cheap Thrills reissue); “It’s A Deal (Take 1)” and “Easy Once You Know How (Take 1)” (both on the 1999 “Rare Pearls” disc in the Box of Pearls set); and “Magic Of Love (Take 1)” (from the Columbia/Legacy Record Store Day release, Move Over!).

The original Cheap Thrills featured dubbed-in crowd noise to create the sonic illusion of a live album, though only “Ball and Chain” was actually recorded in concert. An alternate live version of the song–recorded at The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on April 12, 1968–is included on Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills. The album was the culmination of several years of hard work for the psychedelic quintet, consisting of Joplin on lead vocals, Sam Andrew and James Gurley on guitar, Peter Albin on bass and Getz on drums. In 1967, a year after recruiting Joplin, they released their self-titled debut album while continuing to build a devoted fan base in their native San Francisco and the Bay Area.

A performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 earned Big Brother national recognition. CBS Records President Clive Davis attended the group’s performance and signed Big Brother & The Holding Company to Columbia Records. Produced by John Simon, Cheap Thrills included originals (“I Need a Man to Love,” “Combination of the Two”) as well as covers of jazz and blues favorites (George and Ira Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain,” and, notably, “Piece of My Heart,” penned by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, that became one of Janis’ signature songs (and her top charting single during her lifetime).

Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills 2-CD Track List

Disc One
1. Combination Of The Two (Take 3)
2. I Need A Man To Love (Take 4)
3. Summertime (Take 2) *
4. Piece Of My Heart (Take 6)
5. Harry (Take 10)
6. Turtle Blues (Take 4)
7. Oh, Sweet Mary
8. Ball And Chain (live, The Winterland Ballroom, April 12, 1968)
9. Roadblock (Take 1) *
10. Catch Me Daddy (Take 1)
11. It’s A Deal (Take 1) *
12. Easy Once You Know How (Take 1) *
13. How Many Times Blues Jam
14. Farewell Song (Take 7)

Disc Two
1. Flower In The Sun (Take 3)
2. Oh Sweet Mary
3. Summertime (Take 1)
4. Piece of My Heart (Take 4)
5. Catch Me Daddy (Take 9)
6. Catch Me Daddy (Take 10)
7. I Need A Man To Love (Take 3)
8. Harry (Take 9)
9. Farewell Song (Take 4)
10. Misery’n (Takes 2 & 3)
11. Misery’n (Take 4)
12. Magic Of Love (Take 1) *
13. Turtle Blues (Take 9)
14. Turtle Blues (last verse Takes 1-3)
15. Piece Of My Heart (Take 3)
16. Farewell Song (Take 5)

All tracks previously unreleased except*

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Frances Bean Cobain Reveals Another Original Song on Instagram

Anna Gaca // September 24, 2018

Frances Bean Cobain has unveiled another clip of an original song via Instagram video. It’s the third original song snippet we’ve heard from the first daughter of grunge, who previously shared a clip of a song on the anniversary of dad Kurt Cobain’s death and a snippet of another (since deleted), as well as a couple of cover song clips. Cobain hasn’t revealed titles for any of her original compositions, but she did include her own winking mini-review in the caption, writing, “‘What she lacks in technical precision, she makes up for with charisma’ 👌 🌸💐🌺.”

Over the summer, Irish outlet The Business Times reported that Cobain had signed a two-album deal with Columbia Records, but she has yet to officially confirm or announce any project. She did spend some time in Ireland this summer, attending a recent exhibition of Kurt Cobain memorabilia. In the past, the younger Cobain has said that her Instagram posts aren’t intended as official releases, but that she’s interested in pursuing her music further.

Watch Frances Bean Cobain debut her latest new song and find the lyrics (published on her Instagram Story) below.

So you tried to let me in
That’s nice
How’s that going?

It’s hard to be alive

It’s in my spine
Pain is in my spine

It’s in my spine

The Band Perry on Being Stuck in Label Limbo and Why They Left Country and Went Indie

In a revealing Q&A after a long silence, Kimberly Perry says it "was worth putting the skids on" their Nashvillian career trajectory to maintain their integrity.

The Band Perry have gone from dying young to feeling young again. For the sibling trio, it’s not so much about “going pop” as going independent — something they felt they needed to do after buying their way out of their country contract, but also after a brief spell of working with pop labels and big-name producers felt like a creative dead end, too. The five-song EP they released Friday, “Coordinates,” their first collected work to be released in five and a half years, does find them in a very different spot on the map — it’s both electronically focused and intimate, and it feels a hundred miles away from the cash-grab crossover a lot of skeptics were convinced was their end game.

But what will the audiences that so recently filled arenas think of the switch? In the first hours that “Coordinates” was up for streaming Friday, the reaction was fascinatingly split almost right down the middle. Sample tweets: “A good song is a good song — less fuss over classification, just turn the volume up!” “Everybody knows the Band Perry, right? Y’all, they snapped.” “The Band Perry’s new electronic EP is very confusing to me but I think I like it?” “How can you go from ‘If I Die Young’ to this dreadful EP? They don’t seem to know their own identity anymore.” “Can we talk about the Band Perry’s complete genre switch that they are ROCKING?” “The Band Perry going full-on electronic is the strangest yet best thing to happen this year.” And, in a nod to the chorus of their biggest hit, “The Band Perry just buried their country music career in satin with a bed of roses and then sunk it in the river at dawn.”

Variety caught up with Kimberly, Reid and Neil to talk about their belief that a core of fans will come along for the ride. They also explained how they reconnected with executive producer Rick Rubin, six years after their ex-label Big Machine rejected a would-be sophomore album he’d produced for them.

For the last couple of years, trying to figure out what is going on with the Band Perry has been one of the great mysteries of our time…

KIMBERLY: Yes. It’s like The Band Perry and Bigfoot — do they exist?

You announced a while back that you were going pop, but this EP feels like it’s moving on even from what you were doing with those pop singles, to something different.

KIMBERLY: We love the idea of genre fluidity. if I could take back one thing, it was during the transition when “Stay in the Dark” came out, when I said, “This is our first pop song, and our first pop album, with ‘Bad Imagination.’” In that moment, I felt a need to define things, because I had always been standing inside of one country music construct. And so I think I felt a need to over-define that and almost plant the flag in the sand. But in retrospect, getting on the other side of it, I realized, man, it’s really hard to quantify sounds and music, especially when you pull from a lot of different influences and experiences. It’s really just about making music that you love. To be honest with you, in these songs, I’d say there are country elements as well as pop elements… but also Kanye elements and “Yeezus” elements. There are machine sounds in there. It really feels like it transcends [genre]. … At this more learned place, I would say that music is for everybody. We have so much that divides us every day as humans, and music should be this fluid thing that brings us all together.

There was a period when you guys had signed with Interscope on the pop side, and Universal’s Nashville division believed they could still work the Band Perry on the country side. Now you’re out of that deal and independent, and you have different management as well – Philymack in place of Red Light. What was involved with these transitions?

REID: Labels move too slow. One thing that we were realizing, again, is that for us it’s all about being able to let people know right where we are in this moment. And the way it’s all put together, record companies just take too long to release music.

KIMBERLY: We definitely needed folks to believe us when we said, “Hey, this is about the future. It’s not just about the past.” You can be proud of your past but also be obsessed with where you’re headed. And not everybody really agreed with us, if I’m being honest, or bought in in the same way, because I think there was this great temptation to work with the band because of what we had done already.

A label is generally reticent to do anything that can be construed as alienating the audience that came with the act to the dance, and may only relate to them as something that is fixed in time and space and genre, yet there are also fans who are invested in an artist and open to going along for the ride…

KIMBERLY: Totally. And I’ve been a fan of other artists in both those categories so I understand that sentiment. One thing we can all agree on is that the Band Perry has never been your down-the-middle, poster-child, predictable country artist. Fans who’ve dipped into what we do and loved it and followed it know that. Honestly, that perspective is what made us special in country. … And so the fans — either fans of ours or fans of our songs on the radio or just fans of the genre — I think that they know very clearly what we bring. And I hope that even if some of them don’t love the sounds of this new era, they’ll at least appreciate the perspective that we’ve maintained, which is the thing that we’ve loved the most about that genre — its honesty and transparency. And we have worked really hard and fought really hard to maintain not only what we brought there, but also to keep that with us as we move forward. And that was worth putting the skids on. Because we did not want to undo what we had gotten to bring to that genre.

Can you give an example of a moment when this crystallized for you?

KIMBERLY: A big turning point for us was a song off of “Pioneer” called “Chainsaw.” I’m intensely respectful of the writers of that song, but that was not a song that needed to come from The Band Perry’s voice. That was one of those compromises we made. There was this backroom discussion where some people on our team said, “Hey, bro country is big; we need you to compete with bro country.” And I just remember the three of us going, “Whoa. But the Band Perry, that’s not what we do, even inside the construct of this wonderful genre. What we bring is like a feeling – it’s like ‘If I Die Young,’ and with ‘Better Dig Two,’ we have a tinge of darkness. We bring something very specific — why are we softening our voice, even at country, to compete with something that we don’t do?” And we ended up making that compromise because we were sort of given a non-decision there, if you will. And so that was really the moment when we said, ”All right. We’ve got to keep our voice, because everything that we’ve built is being broken down again.”

You had three sort of crossover singles prior to this EP, one with Big Machine, and two with Interscope, which, honestly, don’t sound nearly as interesting as the music you’re making now. It sounded like you were going for the big hit single, just in a different format.

KIMBERLY: The “Live Forevers” of the world, even “Stay in the Dark,” while we liked those songs, there were a host of other influences around them, whether it was producers, co-songwriters or, quite honestly, labels. Everybody sort of had a voice as to what those needed to sound like and where they needed to live in the world. And that was the other thing that kind of led us to going, “We’ve got to make sure that what we’re putting out is Kimberly, Reid and Neil.”

We had some very cool conversations last fall with producers that we respected. One of them was No ID. We went over to his studio in L.A. and he had these rooms with stacks of guitar amps and all these keyboards, some of which we had since our earliest days as a band. We talked to him a lot about gear and why he chose to do things in that way, which is interesting. Then the next night we headed over to Mike Dean’s, who we have mad respect for. His studio had a full wall of modular synthesizers, and there were a billion cables, and it just felt like we were in this weird spaceship sound-making machine. Those guys were so gracious to let us come in and educate ourselves and listen and ask the questions.

You made an unreleased album with Rick Rubin for Big Machine, in between your freshman and sophomore releases and he executive-produced your new music. How did you reconnect?

KIMBERLY: To get perspective on the volumes of songs, Reid and Neil and I will get in the car and just drive. It just so happened that one Saturday last fall, we were on Pacific Coast Highway doing that, asking ourselves, “Do we love these [songs]? Are these ours? How can they be better?” And Shangri-La — Rick’s studio, which originally belonged to the Band and is a very spiritual place — it’s right off the highway there. This light bulb went off. Like, “We’ve got to talk to Rick.” Because he’s always been a compass for us. He lives his life as a minimalist, and he also produces and curates music with artists with that sense of minimalism, and making the most impact. So we called him up and were back at Shangri-La the next week and played him about 10 songs. We said, “Hey, Rick, you know who we are. Listen to these songs and help us figure out where to focus. Because different sides of them represent who we are.” And so he pointed to one song of the batch, out of 20, and was like, “I think you can beat this song, but this is the sound.” And he said, “You guys need to get everybody out of your ethos other than the three of you, and you need to go focus on this sound that you’ve stumbled on, and you need to just go drag it out of the ground and write this body of work with this as your guide.” It’s been such a wonderful coming back to Rick, because all we care about is being truthful and being perceived in the way that we actually are, accurately. And he’s been a really good challenger of that.

The Band Perry

What happened back in 2012?

KIMBERLY: It was time to make a sophomore project. And to be honest, you’re scared. You hear all these stories about the sophomore slump. We called Rick and he had us out to Shangri-La where we played him everything we were working on for the second project. He said, “First of all, I would love to make this project with you. Second of all, you don’t have to be afraid. Don’t think about the radio. Don’t think about what you’ve done already. It’s your responsibility as artists to be yourself.”

So we spent two or three months at Shangri-La, and we’d go home to Nashville and check in with everybody. We’d go, “Hey guys. This is what we’re making. Is everybody comfortable with this? Are you hearing singles?” So we finished five songs with Rick and brought them to a meeting with our label at the time, and everybody was just in love — I mean, obsessively in love. There was a party on the bus because we had been told we had our first and second singles in that batch, and they really empowered us to go back and finish. They were like, “Go have fun with the back half of this. Enjoy it! We’ve got what we need.” We were ecstatic. And then a month after, we came back to Nashville for an 11 p.m. listening session in the label conference room. We noticed that every time a song would end, nobody would say anything. It was a very awkward silence. We got through 10 tracks, and the meeting was very abruptly ended. They asked us “what the hell” they were listening to. [We said], “It’s the Rick Rubin project that you loved a month ago!” And I will say that if I can look back in our history at the moment when everything changed, it was that night and that moment.

REID: The things that we had learned from Rick were like oil and water when we brought it back home.

KIMBERLY: So it got shelved immediately, and then we just went into survival mode. It was time to turn in the album and they were like, “We need a single immediately.” So we [decided] to bring the songs we wrote at Shangri-LA and find another producer for them.

REID: We actually have those Rick Rubin songs with us. When we bought our way out of the label, we put in the contract that we get to take those with us. Right now we’re very much wanting to release music that is very present to where we are. But we do have those and would love to release them at some point.

Was this EP as severely DIY as has been suggested?

REID: The four of us — Kimberly, Neil, [co-writer/co-producer] Owen (Thomas) and myself were the [only] ones in the studio. We got a bunch of analog gear, some old synths and drum machines, and just holed up over the past several months.

NEIL: One of the things we wanted from the very beginning was to use analog gear, which gave the electronic instruments the feeling of realness that we that we still wanted to maintain.

KIMBERLY: One thread that we’ve really seen persist is our penchant for language. We love poetry. We grew up on Southern Gothic literature [so] we love those little ingredients of darkness. And so the mood of our songwriting really hasn’t changed much. One thing that I’m proud of is that, even with all of the crazy sounds — like bringing in a Moog, some 808s and drum programming — is that the song remains. That’s been some continuous advice from Rick as we challenge different parts of the song to make them better: does this one hold up on guitar and piano? Us being an indie rock band as kids and then serving our time in country, the songs have always been the most important thing. … Our biggest priority as artists has always been to make music that we love. If that means there’s a banjo on it, let’s put a banjo on it. If we don’t want to put a banjo on it, can we be in a situation where we don’t have to do that?

John Taylor, co-president of Philymack management, says, “If they wanted to stay in the country music scene and continue to make records to sell tickets in that market, they could have easily continued to do that. But it creatively left a void in them. And that’s inspiring to me — like wow, these guys are willing to leave money on the table and are willing to pay money to kind of leave it all behind to go do what they really want to do artistically.” (He says the group paid to get out of its Big Machine contract and get their original Rubin masters back. Big Machine declined comment.) “We don’t hear about that all the time in this world of building brands and partnerships, that they were like, ‘The art really, really, really, r matters to us. So that that lit us up… It’s easy to look at it from the surface and be like, well, here’s these guys walking away from their country fan base. We’re pretty confident a good chunk of this country fan base who aren’t passive country music listeners are along for the ride.”

As for expectations, Taylor says, “We are not strangers to the reinvention thing over here at Philymack. It takes some time,” he adds, and they are looking at gradually reintroducing the band before going for the big radio adds. “There is no exact parallel here, but if you look at some of the teen-pop to now legitimate radio pop acts that we’ve had at Philymack, the first thing I’d point to is probably Nick (Jonas). It was a similar situation, and through a year of telling the story the right way and sticking to his guns and making the music he wanted to make with the collaborators he wanted to collaborate with, he went from ‘Oh, that’s the guy from the Jonas Borthers to being Nick Jonas with a number one radio hit. We have a little bit of a story to tell and we have to shift perceptions, and that’s where you can see the parallels: the world views you as this, and you would like to be viewed as this because this is who you really are. In no way was it ‘Hey guys, go ahead rip the Band-Aid off. Kiss everything you once knew goodbye to reinvent and start over.’ It’s more that they’ve slowly been coming out of their shells.”


How old is Tiffany Darwish, when is her new album Pieces of Me released and what are her biggest songs?

The former teen superstar is returning with her new album Pieces of Me

TIFFANY was catapulted to superstardom when her iconic single I Think We're Alone Now reached number one in the charts.

She soon set a record as the youngest female artist to top the US Billboard charts with her debut album and after a period out of the spotlight, she's returning with her new album Pieces of Me. Here's the lowdown.

The former 80s icon is returning with a new album
The former 80s icon is returning with a new album

How old is Tiffany Darwish?

Tiffany Renee Darwish was born October 2, 1971, in Norwalk, California, and is currently 46.

The former teen superstar was catapulted to superstardom with the release of her now iconic single I Think We're Alone Now.

She has since sold over 15 million albums to date and set a record as the youngest female artist to top the US Billboard charts with her debut album.

Tiffany married make-up artist Bulmaro Garcia in 1992 but they divorced in 2003.

Their only son, Elijah Garcia, was born September 17, 1992, when she was just 21 years old.

She since married British businessman Ben George in 2004 but exclusively revealed to The Sun in May 2018 that the couple had mutually agreed to separate.

She made a cameo on the Sandcastles in the Sand episode of hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother and became the first celebrity eliminated from the Australian version of I'm A Celebrity in January 2018.

Pieces of Me is Tiffany's new album
Pieces of Me is Tiffany's new album

When is her new album Pieces of Me released?

The 80s icon is returning with her new album Pieces of Me, which is set to be released tomorrow, September 21, 2018.

It was preceded by her new single Worlds Away, which was unveiled on August 31.

The album is available to pre-order on CD and Vinyl now HERE.

Tiffany says: “It’s not what people will think a Tiffany album should sound like.

"This is the music that’s been in my heart for a very long time. It’s time to fulfil my dreams and step into these shoes.”

The album was recorded across numerous locations, including Nashville, LA and London.

Tiffany has also announced that she's touring until February 2019.

Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, 69, Percussion Group’s Founder, Dies

Madeleine Yayodele Nelson performing in 2017 in Brooklyn. She saw her music as an extension of her background in education.CreditCreditSolwazi Afi Olusola

  • Sept. 24, 2018

Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, the founder and lifelong leader of Women of the Calabash, a percussion ensemble devoted to music from across the African diaspora, died on Sept. 6 in Manhattan. She was 69.

The cause was a heart attack, her son, Ayodele, said. She had returned earlier that week from a trip to upstate New York with past and present members of Women of the Calabash.

Ms. Nelson had spent most of her 20s as an educator, not a professional musician, when she formed the group in 1978 as a quartet. But she had recently learned how to build and play the shekere, a West African and Afro-Latin percussion instrument consisting of a gourd, or calabash,wrapped in shells. She immediately fell in love with it.

Image result for Madeleine Yayodele Nelson

All four band members played the shekere while singing and dancing in coordinated steps, drawing on traditional music from across sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and South and North America, and mixing in their own interpretations of reggae and pop songs. In addition to expanding performance opportunities for New York’s female percussionists, Ms. Nelson hoped the group would spread awareness of African cultural practices.

“Being an educator anyway, it occurred to me that if we played this instrument we could have the opportunity to not only perform but to educate,” she said in a 2011 interview on the public-access television show “Sistah Talk.” “We do a lot of teaching from the stage. And so we get a chance to share information from various African cultures.”

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Women of the Calabash on "Sistah Talk" in 2011.CreditCreditVideo by Kelseyproductions1

Women of the Calabash often performed at clubs, theaters and schools, sometimes using other African instruments, such as the mbira and hand drums. Reviewing a 1984 concert at the Kitchen, Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the group played “songs that reveled in four-part vocal harmonies, anchored by the deep contralto of Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, and in the women’s virtuosity on calabashes.”

The ensemble toured Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, and Ms. Nelson was fond of pointing out that it had performed in front of four presidents: Barack Obama, at a fund-raiser; Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, who was then in exile in Africa; Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso; and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and Africa’s first elected female head of state.

Women of the Calabash placed a priority on live performance, but the group did release one full-length recording, “The Kwanzaa Album,” on the Bermuda Reefs label in 1998. The group’s members changed over the years, and it fluctuated between a trio and a quartet, but it remained active until Ms. Nelson’s death.

Women of the Calabash performing in Central Park in 2011. From left, Caren Calder, Ms. Nelson and Joan E. Ashley.CreditKarim Nelson

Throughout her career, a handful of prominent musicians invited Ms. Nelson to perform and record with them. Paul Simon featured her on his hit 1990 album, “The Rhythm of the Saints.” The saxophonist Billy Harper featured her on his album “Somalia,” released in 1995.

Ms. Nelson was hired to create shekeres for the Broadway and London productions of “Fela!,” the 2009 musical based on the life of the Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti.

She was also a member of various other percussion ensembles, including Alakande! Spread Joy!, led by Joan E. Ashley, a longtime member of Women of the Calabash.

Image result for Madeleine Yayodele Nelson

Madeleine Alberta Nelson was born on Sept. 16, 1948, in Pittsburgh, to Alberta (Hall) Nelson, a teacher who sued for the right to work in the public school system shortly after it was desegregated, and Frank Arnold Nelson Jr., a postal worker who later became the director of a respite-care facility.

After the birth of her son, Ayodele — whose name means “joy arrives” in Yoruba — Ms. Nelson took the name Yayodele, meaning “mother of Ayodele.” In addition to her son, she is survived by two sisters, Judith Nelson Dilday and Melana Nelson-Amaker, and a brother, Herbert Albert Nelson.

While attending Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvania, Ms. Nelson bought a $10 guitar and taught herself to play from a book of Buffy Sainte-Marie songs — in part, she said, to ward off the loneliness of being one of the few African-American students on campus.

Image result for Madeleine Yayodele Nelson

She graduated with a degree in education and moved back to Pittsburgh to teach in the public schools. She moved to New York in the early 1970s and became a teacher there, but quit after one year out of frustration with the school system.

Ms. Nelson was working as a hairdresser on the set of “The Education of Sonny Carson,” a film about a man caught up in gang warfare, when she met some West African percussionists who were performing in the movie. One of them taught her how to make her own shekere, and her passion for the instrument was born.

“Not only did I like the way the shekere felt, I liked the effect it had on people,” she said in a 2014 interview for the website of Westbeth Artists Housing, where she had lived since 1982.

Ms. Nelson’s music was always an extension of her background in education.

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“If I’m going to play mbira from Zimbabwe, I’m going to tell you that it’s the national instrument from Zimbabwe,” she said. “I’m going to tell you that the Shona have played it for over a thousand years, and that they play songs they pass down through the generations. And then I play it. And the next time you see that instrument, you’ll know something about it.”

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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"Can I Get a Witness?": An Interview with Macy Gray

Photo: Sekou Luke Studio

Celebrating her tenth album, Macy Gray delivers a set of radiant gems onRuby, bringing guests like Gary Clark, Jr. and Meghan Trainor along for her Mack Avenue debut.


Artistry Music / Mack Avenue

21 September 2018

When Macy Gray smiles, she powers the room with megawatt electricity. When she laughs, she personifies joy. She does both when discussing Ruby (2018), her tenth studio album. However, it's what happens when Macy Gray sings that makes Ruby a radiant gem among the 25 million albums she has sold worldwide.

"Ruby is a state of mind," she notes about the album title, which adorns a striking cover photo of Gray bathed in a ruby red glow. "It's a mood. The color red is excitement and passion. It's how you feel when everything's kind of crazy and then you got to go handle it. It's like that moment when you got to make a decision."

New fans, as well as longtime listeners who first fell in love with Gray through her Grammy-winning performance of "I Try" (1999), will find a bounty of treasures on Ruby. Featuring guests like Gary Clark, Jr., and Meghan Trainor, the album showcases Gray's singular voice in several different settings. The woozy horns on "Tell Me" evoke a dimly-lit speakeasy while "Just Like Jenny" and the choir-driven "Buddha" seem telegraphed from a mountaintop. Elsewhere, she explores the complexity of relationships ("But He Loves Me") and brings R-rated merriment to Patty Cake ("Shinanigins"). On the album's rousing closer, Gray turns a question — "Can I get a witness?" — into an urgent, boldfaced declaration.

Gray's debut for Artistry Music / Mack Avenue has already gathered some momentum on the charts. Earlier this summer, "Sugar Daddy" spent nine weeks on the Adult R&B chart, peaking at #21. The accompanying video, directed by Christian Lamb, stars Gray opposite Evan Ross in a loving homage to Diana Ross' Oscar-nominated performance in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). It's just one of many Ruby tracks that seem ready-made for the screen, from the haunting atmosphere of "Cold World" to the smoking embers that fuel "When It Ends".

"I've been reaching for the stars," Gray sings on "Over You", arguably the album's most compulsively listenable tune. If the strength of Rubyis any indication, she's reaching for the stars and riding their trail. During a recent visit to mid-town Manhattan, Gray met PopMatters for some South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine at Spoonfed NYC and shared the recipe behind Ruby's irresistible ear candy.

Before we discuss Ruby, I just have to say that your last album Stripped (2016) was stunning. It's no surprise that you sounded so comfortable in a jazz setting.

Thank you. It was really natural. I'm actually an undercover jazz singer, but I make pop records! My first two bands were jazz bands. You know how when you go to college, you go through your jazz phase? "I listen to jazz, I don't listen to that (other) crap." It always stuck with me. If I could make a living doing jazz, and make a ton of money, I'd probably do jazz.

Of the ten albums you've released, there's no doubt that Ruby is among the best. It's so cohesive, yet it features three different producers, Tommy Brown, Tommy Parker (Thomas Lumpkins), and Johan Carlsson. How did you bring the three of them together for Ruby?

It was from heaven. It was crazy because you can go to this producer and go to that producer and then your album sounds like 50 different things. It all kind of came together on its own, really.

It started with Ariana Grande's record. I got asked to do that feature on her song, "Leave Me Lonely" on her last album. Tommy Brown was producing that record, so I had to go over to his house to do the vocals. He's partners with Tommy Parker, so the three of us worked together a lot. I'm pretty sure the first song we did was "White Man". Then there were a couple of songs that I did just with Tommy Parker. He said, "I want to do Nina Simone 2020." That was the vision. I don't think that's what we ended up doing.

Johan came through my ex-manager. Johan's wife met my ex-manager's girlfriend. She said, "My husband's a record producer" and my ex-manager's girlfriend said, "My boo is a manager." "Who does he manage?" "Macy Gray." Johan said he wanted to meet me. I went over to his studio, and I played him some of the songs that I'd done with Tommy Brown and Tommy Parker. Johan and I did five or six songs together. He's a super-cool guy. He's amazing.

Johan produced the opening track "Buddha", which features a solo by Gary Clark, Jr. on guitar. How was Gary invited to play on that song?

I love him so much. I actually met him at AFROPUNK in Brooklyn. We were like, "Let's work together", but when people say that, they just say it. Nobody calls nobody! [laughs] Gary actually meant it! My manager sent "Buddha" to him. Before I looked up, Gary went into the studio on his own and cut the solo two days later.

"Buddha" makes me crave an entire Macy Gray-Gary Clark, Jr. album.

Wouldn't that be sick? That's a really good idea.

"Cold World" is definitely one of the album's most compelling tracks. It's interesting how you address "misfortune" as an external force — "Who are you misfortune?" — but then at the very end of the song, you say "misfortune is the look in my eye". What do you relate to in that song?

Tommy Parker wrote that with his sister. I wish I could take credit for that. It's like that battle that we all have with ourselves where we're trying to figure it out. You have all of this stuff going on inside. You think you're fooling everybody, but people check you out, and they see where you're coming from. People know a lot more about you than they let on. Do you know what I mean?

I do. What's also interesting is that the song doesn't resolve anything, necessarily. It lingers with a question mark in the air.

Yeah, "Cold World" is amazing. What was your take on what it meant?

Photo: Sekou Luke Studio

To me, it's like having an internal dialogue with yourself: "Is it the other person or is it really me that has the issue?" Maybe the thing that you're critical of in the other person is something that you really see in yourself.

Exactly. That is so cool. I like your interpretation. I'm going to ask Tommy what he meant. It's probably something way out. [laughs]

I think "Over You" is the quintessential Ruby track. That's the song that makes you want to get in the car, open the sunroof, and just blast it through the windows. I'd be curious to know how that track evolved from the initial idea to what we hear on the record.

That was the first song I did with Johan. It started out with a song on piano. He had the chords picked out. He played it on the piano. He didn't have any lyrics, but he was playing it, and he goes [sings] "…over you", and that's all he had. Me and Tommy (Parker) wrote the rest of it. Then Johan started adding horns and, before I knew it, it was massive.

At the time, I wasn't even signed, so I couldn't make him any promises. Johan put all this energy and all this work into something, and we didn't even have any guarantee that we'd be able to put it out. He just wanted to do this song. It's good to be around people like that, who just love it genuinely. To them, it's about something bigger than getting it on SoundCloud and how many streams you get. That's so fresh and rare.

His focus really comes through in making "Over You" a special track, and then your voice adds such a scintillating element to the whole production. You co-wrote and co-produced "When It Ends". It sounds like you are really feeling something on that song, especially when you sing, "You'll say my name when you tell about the best you ever had."

"When It Ends" is one of my favorite songs on the album. I put that on repeat all the time. It has a vibe. It makes you sit back and take it all in. It grabs you.

Yes, I love the swirl of voices singing around you.

Oh! That's the best part. You know where it came from? Us not knowing what we wanted to do! We had different singers come in, and they'd riff on top of it. We kept it all. The whole song was like this accident. Even that little breakdown with the bass solo (Alex Kyhn), we had almost finished the song, and it sounded like we were playing the chorus too much, so we muted the vocals. All you could hear was that bass.

"When It Ends" is such a smoldering track. What kind of mood did you want to create on that song?

I was in this Minnie Riperton mode. I thought, I got to do a song like Minnie Riperton, but I don't have a "Lovin' You"-type song. Tommy Parker was playing some chords, and then I wrote the hook that night. It actually took me awhile. I had written the idea for the hook, but I didn't know what to make it about because there's a couple of songs called "Say My Name". I didn't want to make it about sex because that's been done. Then something really personal broke my heart. I wrote the song in five minutes after that happened.

Earlier you mentioned how one of Tommy Parker's original ideas behind the album was Nina Simone 2020. When I heard "White Man", I actually thought of Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddamn" because both songs are uptempo and very tuneful, yet they have these searing lyrics. In your own way, you and Nina Simone are each calling out the cancer of racism that infects this country. As an artist, what kind of dynamics have you observed in the music industry that stem from racism?

The industry's accused of racism, but it's really just the way America is. Usher could have sung all of Justin Timberlake's songs, but they'll sell more records if Justin sings them. That goes back to Elvis Presley, and it still works. When you hear those Ariana Grande songs, SZA could have done them, but you're going to sell more records if Ariana sings them. That's just the way it is.

There's racism and misogyny, of course, but all the record business cares about is selling records. [laughs] As soon as Latin music hit, then every label went out and found their new Ricky Martin. That's the one thing that the record business owns — if you have a broken leg and your record sells, they're going to go find five artists who have broken legs. Period.

Photo: Sekou Luke Studio

When I listened to "Just Like Jenny", I was really struck by the line "I wanna travel alone, I wanna come back home". What's the sentiment behind that song?

"Jenny" is Forrest Gump's Jenny. The movie starts out, and she says "Dear God make me a bird so I can fly far away". The song is about the desire we all have to be free, to see what's up in the sky, to see what it's like to have wings. Everybody wants to fly away.

It sucks to go through life, and nothing is guaranteed. You get up, and you go out every day. You take a shot, and you go for it, but there's no guarantee that it's going to pay off. There's no guarantee that you're going to get anything out of it or that you're even going to come out of it alive. You don't know if you're going to make it home. Just getting up, the stakes are high.

There's another lyric that I keep revisiting. It's in the second verse on "Witness" where you say, "No place for the cynical. You'll fit right in if you're criminal". What was the impulse to write that?

That's like the state of America. Something might not be cool, but if you criticize it, you're a troll, when really you might be telling the truth. If you're honest and say what you're thinking, people say they appreciate it, but then they think you're cynical or judgmental. They judge you for being judgmental! "You'll fit right in if you're criminal"— that's more acceptable, actually.

Earlier this summer, you premiered "Sugar Daddy". In addition to co-writing the song, Meghan Trainor also plays and sings on it. Of course, she's known as an artist in her own right, but what's her greatest strength as a collaborator?

She's cute. She's really young. She's open. She came in and said, "I have an idea" and then she started singing "Sugar Daddy". She'd written it when she was a kid. I think she said she was 16. She had the idea for it, and then we finished it. That's her playing the piano.

Meghan's an amazing songwriter. She has a really good ear for good hooks [snaps fingers] and sweet melodies. She could be Carole King. She has that thing about her.

The video for "Sugar Daddy" was inspired by Lady Sings the Blues(1972), specifically the scene where Diana Ross (as Billie Holiday) sings "The Man I Love" and meets Billy Dee Williams (as Louis McKay). Tell me about acting opposite Evan Ross in the video.

He's a rock star. He's awesome. He's actually a friend of mine. I've known him for a while. He's a sweetheart. He's super-proud of his mom. This is a dude who loves his mother. There's no bigger fan of Diana Ross than Evan, I promise! It was cool because he wanted the video to pay proper tribute to his mother. That was his biggest concern.

Evan's a very good actor. He's been at it his whole life. I love him on the screen. He did one of my favorite movies, ATL (2006). He's one of those guys that can do it in his sleep. When he turns 60, he's still going to be doing movies. He's a lifer.

You've acted in so many films over the years and worked with directors like Lee Daniels (The Paperboy), Tyler Perry (For Colored Girls), and Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). Describe your experience on movie sets versus recording studios.

It's a different environment. There are so many people on a movie set. It's so collaborative. It's one of those atmospheres where you have to bring your A game. You gotta be great. If you miss a beat, or if the lighting guy drops the lights, it's messed up. Nobody wants to be the one to screw it up. It's high pressure. With records, I could not get anything done for two nights, and nobody would care, but there's a time crunch for movies. There's all this money being spent. Everything is so important.

Thinking back on your recording career, it's been two decades since the release of your first album On How Life Is (1999). Over the years, how have you adjusted to handling fame?

It's taken time. I think when it first happened, I definitely didn't know how to handle it. [laughs] I was having a lot of fun. It's just like anything else. It's a craft that you have to learn. People think you get famous, and you just go buy some nice clothes, do some cool stuff, and make a lot of money, but there's actually a mastery to having a career. Every artist has to learn the process of it, the things that don't work and the things that do work.

You just have to watch and learn. I once got invited to a dinner. I went to the dinner, and I didn't sit at the table next to the person who invited me. He never invited me again. How would I know that? I was just hanging out with my girls. We were having fun. I don't even remember seeing him that night, but he took it so personally. When you go to an event, things like that matter to people and it does affect your opportunities.

I remember a couple of years after your debut, you sang background on Stevie Nicks' "Bombay Sapphires" off Trouble in Shangri-La (2001). I'd love to know how that came together.

I'm a massive Stevie Nicks fan. I love her. I think "Dreams" is the best song ever written and she wrote that. I had dinner with her one night. She said, "Why don't you come sing on my record?" I went in the next day, and I cut it. It was fun. She's just raw. You just give her the mic, and she goes for it. She's there. She's all-in. Nothing else matters.

A few years ago, we lost Natalie Cole, who sang "Finally Made Me Happy" with you on Big (2007). What place did Natalie occupy in your musical development?

She's just legend. When I was coming up, she had all of her big songs like "This Will Be". She's a staple. I think everyone will remember her. They're always going to play her songs. She won't be forgotten.

I'd like to end by going back to "Buddha". There's a line in that song where you say "I pray every night that my dreams come true". What dreams have yet to come true for you?

For me, at this point, it's satisfaction. I don't really have that yet, just being finally okay with who I am and what I have. You spend your whole life trying to get this thing, then you get it, and you wonder if what you're looking for is what you really need.

Macy Gray and Christian John Wikane

Photo: Sekou Luke Studio

Is Slash Living the Dream?

2018 tour publicity photo

What's the point of being the greatest guitarist in a world that doesn't care about guitarists anymore? Considering Slash's Living the Dream.



21 September 2018

Look. Slash is my favorite guitarist. I was there when Guns N' Roses filmed their video for "Paradise City" at Giants Stadium in New Jersey in 1988. My cover band plays three songs off Appetite for Destruction. For God's sake, I owned a Slash Signature Gibson Les Paul until a windblown tent unceremoniously decapitated it at an outdoor gig. I'm genetically predisposed to love Slash's new album, Living the Dream—technically, released under the unwieldy moniker "Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators". On some level, I do. I must. The essential question is—does it rock? Reader, it does.

And yet: according to the top definitions on Urban Dictionary, "living the dream" is ironic, "usually given when someone at work asks how you are and it is quite obvious that you have a crappy job and are just as broke as the next person". What could Slash have to be sardonic about? Does he need a day job to support weekend gigs in an elementary school parking lot, where my Slash Les Paul lost its headstock? Of course, he's living the dream: we learned this month that his guitar collection—221 instruments—is collectively valued at $1.92 million. (Perspective: I made $50 at the gig that cost me that guitar.) How do we know? That's the rub: because of the documents released as...settlement, for which he will pay $6.6 million, plus $139,000 per month in spousal and child support.

So: Is he living the dream? Slash isn't sure. "Well, you know, the album title is actually meant to be a sarcastic statement about the world we're living in at the moment," he explained in an interview with Blabbermouth. "I never wax political on records, but it was just something that came to mind—this tongue-in-cheek thing directed at social-political events across the globe."

And yet, Slash continues, "If you do take it in the literal sense, then, yeah, making records and touring and getting up on stage every day and playing music with these guys, that is the essence of living the dream." And leaving out Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page or previous generation players like Van Halen, who, aside from maybe Vernon Reid of Living Colour, even comes close to Slash as the greatest living guitarist of his era? He is living the dream! But unfortunately, the dream itself just isn't what it used to be. Last year the Washington Post chronicled "the slow, secret death of...g electric", observing that Gibson's $100 million debt is ultimately attributable to the decline of the guitar hero. Even the rock bubble ushered in by the Guitar Hero video games burst close to a decade ago. Being a tyrannosaurus rex surely rules, but what about being the last tyrannosaurus rex?

And so, quarantining my own fanboying, it's impossible to listen to the album and not notice the similarities between many of the riffs, arrangements, and certainly lyrics of these 12 new songs—averaging a hard and fast three and a half to four minutes, and, again, which indeed rock—and previous songs. Does "The Call of the Wild", the opening track—if anyone in the streaming age even cares about something as antiquated as an "opening track"—and which should not be confused with other songs of the same name by Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, or Saxon (or, I guess, the Jack London novel, although that's not likely), sound too much like "Rocket Queen"? Or, even if you don't hear it, there's no way to describe it without resorting to platitudes: it's an "up-tempo rocker" with a "staccato, bluesy guitar intro", "catchy, harmonized chorus", and "searing solo". If you're not already into these things, this album won't convert you.

Does "Read Between the Lines", which shares its title with at least 11 songs, sound like Extreme's "Rest in Peace", which was always an acknowledged take on Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile"? "Slow Grind" is not slow; unlike Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind", is not very grinding; and features the lyrics "Never waste my time / Cause I ain't got time to waste", echoing Van Halen's previous lyric-challenged refrain from "Right Now", "Only time will tell / If we stand the test of time." "My Antidote", like all the tracks, has what can only be called a "blistering" guitar solo, but it leans heavily on "You Could Be Mine".

The album includes the longer, moodier, mid-tempo "Lost Inside the Girl" and the acoustic-inflected "The One You Loved Is Gone", but as the songs accumulate, so do the patterns: guitar into, stripped down verse, soaring chorus, halftime bridge, raucous solo, repeat verse and/or chorus. Interview to the contrary, there is nothing remotely political on the album, just the accumulation of clichés with all-iambic song titles like "Serve You Right", "Mind Your Manners"," "Driving Rain", and "The Great Pretender". Yes, Bon Jovi made a whole career of rhyming clichés ("I'd die for you / I'd cry for you / I'd do anything / I'd lie for you / You know it's true"), but that was 1986, and he damned well meant every one of them. This raises the question: is Slash's heart really in this album? How you feel, then, about listening to all these songs in succession may mirror how you'd feel about eating pizza—good pizza!—for several days of consecutive meals.

And then there is Myles Kennedy, Slash's singer, co-songwriter, and right-hand man. If you put pictures of rock's greatest vocalists—Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Bon Scott, and yes, Axl Rose—into that machine from the 1985 movie Weird Science, Myles Kennedy is who would emerge instead of Kelly LeBrock. It's why it was easy for Kennedy to replace vocalist Scott Stapp so the remaining members of Creed could form Alter Bridge; it's what compelled Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham to collaborate with him in the Robert Plant role temporarily; it's what lets him continue to perform Guns N' Roses songs with Slash on tour. If you remember the 2001 movie Rockstar, Myles Kennedy concluded the film as the replacement's replacement: the singer who replaces Mark Wahlberg, who previously replaced the first singer in the fictitious rock band based on Judas Priest.

Kennedy can indeed wail, but he's a gleaming simulacrum. And this plasticity makes him too smooth against Slash's authentic grit. As opposed to Axl Rose's outsized, belligerent paranoia or the passionate unpredictability of the late Scott Weiland, who sang with Slash after Guns N' Roses in Velvet Revolver, Kennedy comes across as a sweet, healthy guy, surely great for sharing a tour bus but more like call of the mild on the record. Cheese pizza.

For the record: Living the Dream rocks! But, I fear, aside from me and some other middle-aged guys, who is it for? Tied into the album, Slash announced yet another guitar, the Brazilian Dream Slash Signature Model, the "guitar of Slash's dreams". It's hot and gorgeous and indeed dreamy and retails for a cool $13,000.

Whether Slash is treating the phrase sarcastically or not, in 2018 Slash's dream is simply not for everyone. But, man, does he play the hell out of that guitar.

Lost Memphis Music Legend Van Duren Getting His Due With New Documentary (premiere)

Photo: Seth Tiven

Obscure even by Big Star standards Van Duren's legacy is one of heartbreak and setback. But as a new film and soundtrack reveal, there's plenty to celebrate about an artist who sounds fresh, vital more than 40 years after cutting his debut.

Memphis is one of the great music cities of the world. In addition to the household names and superstars synonymous with the place are a host of acts who have crawled from the cracks of cult status to become some of the most revered musical artists of the last 30 years. (Big Star et al.)

Van Duren is one of those artists whose name isn't on the lips of kids picking up guitars in Ohio but soon will be thanks to a new documentary film titled Waiting: The Van Duren Story. The illustrious Omnivore Recordings will issue the soundtrack in early 2019, and early indicators are that this will be one of the most-discussed cult recordings in recent memory.

Van Duren's biography itself stirs the imagination: Managed and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham (Rolling Stones), he joined up with Chris Bell and Jody Stephens in their post-Big Star outfit Baker Street Regulars. He wrote and recorded an album, Are You Serious? that found him being lauded as a new McCartney.

Then? Some would say that his trail went as cold as Lake Michigan in December. There were signs of life, however. He tracked a second album that, although shelved, did creep off the shelves in 1999. He recorded with the band Good Question and scored a regional hit with a song called "Jane" that almost landed the outfit a recording contract.

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After more than 40 years two Australians (Greg Cary and Wade Jackson) came across Duren's lost album and embraced with the same fervor that some reserved for Bell or Big Star. Their interest was unshakable, and so they set out on a simple quest: Find Van Duren and get the rest of the story.

Through the powers of Facebook, the pair found their idol and set about making a film about their idol despite having no prior experience. Their journey, it turns out, was a sometimes perilous one: Rock stars, Scientologists, a trip to the United States and encounters with a range of musicians who seemed doomed to obscurity despite prodigious talents. Discovering that Duren didn't own his own music, the filmmakers deepened their passions and became determined to fight for those rights and to have the musician's story told.

The music reminds us of Duren's unshakable artistry and the possibilities of what might have been if fate was less fickle. Of course, the time is now ripe for fate to right those past wrongs as both Waiting: The Van Duren Story and its soundtrack wow a new generation of music fans with their poignant tales and raw artistry.

Listeners can hear Duren's own artistry via the track "Grow Yourself Up". It arrives at the intersection of the beautifully heartsick (and Laura Nyro-influenced) Todd Rundgren in his early days and the hazy, sun-tinted sounds emerging from American south in years after Beatlemania inspired a generation to seek out strange new sonic worlds. The production is unfettered by the trappings of the time as the song (and Duren himself) sings with a purity of spirit music lovers will instantly recognize as something singular, authentic.

James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt Team Again on 2019 Tour

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Regular touring partners James Taylorand His All-Star Band and Bonnie Raitt and her band have announced the first dates of their 2019 tour.

Taylor and Raitt’s ongoing tour has played to sold-out crowds across the U.S., U.K. and Italy. The Minneapolis Star Tribune called the tour “an unforgettable evening.” Tickets for the first shows to be announced will go on-sale to the public October 12 at 10 a.m. local time.

Tickets are available here and here. Additional tour dates in the following markets will be announced on October 9th: Cincinnati, OH, Austin, TX, Lincoln, NE, Sioux Falls SD, Moline, IL, Toledo, OH, Lexington, KY, Allentown, PA, Providence RI.

Watch the pair perform a favorite together in 2017

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt 2019 Tour
2/7 Thompson Boiling Arena, Knoxville, TN
2/8 Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
2/10 Bay Center, Pensacola, FL
2/11 Raising Cane’s River Center, Baton Rouge, LA
2/15 Verizon Arena, Little Rock, AR
2/16 BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo, MS
2/18 BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

Related: Taylor is one of many legends with Vegas residencies scheduled for 2019

From the announcement: “As a recording and touring artist, James Taylor has touched people with his warm baritone voice and distinctive style of guitar-playing for more than 40 years, while setting a precedent to which countless young musicians have aspired. Over the course of his celebrated songwriting and performing career, Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums, earning gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards for classics ranging from Sweet Baby James in 1970 to October Road in 2002. In 2015, Taylor released Before This World, his first new studio album in thirteen years, which earned him his first ever #1 album. He has won multiple Grammy awards and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2012, Taylor was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony. In November 2015, Taylor was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In December 2016 Taylor received the Kennedy Center Honors, which are presented annually to individuals who have enriched American culture by distinguished achievement in the performing arts.”

Raitt, the announcement said, “is more than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter, she has become an institution in American music. Born to a musical family, the ten-time Grammy winner, who Rolling Stone named as both one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and one of the ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,’ was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. After 20 years as a cult favorite, she broke through to the top in the early 90s with her GRAMMY-award winning albums, Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw, which featured hits such as, ‘Something To Talk About’ and ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me.’ 2017 proved to be an exciting year with tour dates in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada and across the U.S. (including 17 dates in the support slot for Taylor) building on the success of 2016’s trek which saw Raitt perform over 75 tour dates worldwide following the release of her twentieth album Dig In Deep (Redwing Records). As a follow-up to 2012’s triumphant Slipstream-the Grammy-winning, Top 10-charting first release on her independent label-Dig In Deep illustrates the delicate balance of consistency and risk-taking that has defined Raitt’s remarkable career for more than forty-five years-a career where she is as known for her lifelong commitment to social activism as she is for her music regularly incorporating on-tour fundraising for charity and benefit concerts into her schedule.”

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James Taylor, Smokey, Billy Idol: Vegas Residencies

by Best Classic Bands Staff

A trio of popular music’s biggest names have announced 2019 residencies, separately, in Las Vegas. More artists are finding the tourist destination a way to let the fans come to them.

James Taylor will do a 12-show run with his All-Star Band at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Smokey Robinson is doing four shows in as many nights at the Wynn Las Vegas. Billy Idol is doing a 10-show residency at the Palms Casino Resort, with dates in January and October. Classic rock band ZZ Top also play Vegas this winter. (See all of the dates and ticket info below.)

Aerosmith also announced a big residency, Deuces Are Wild, in spring and summer 2019.

Robinson’s song, “Shop Around,” which he recorded with the Miracles, became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart. In the years following, he continued to pen hits for the group including “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “More Love,” “Tears of a Clown” (co-written with Stevie Wonder), and “I Second That Emotion.”

Robinson also wrote and produced hits for other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” “Don’t Mess with Bill,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and “My Guy” are just a few of his songwriting triumphs during those years.

He has received numerous awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, and Kennedy Center Honors. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Related: Our review of Idol’s memoir, Dancing with Myself

ZZ Top, Venetian Theatre at the Venetian Las Vegas (Tickets are available here and here)

Jan 18-19, 23, 25-26, 30
Feb 01-01

Billy Idol, Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Resort (Tickets are available here and here)

Jan 18-19, 23, 25-26
Oct 4-5, 9, 11-12

Smokey Robinson, Wynn Las Vegas (Tickets are available here and here)

Feb 27-28
Mar 01-02

James Taylor & His All-Star Band, The Colosseum, Caesars Palace (Tickets are available here and here)

Apr 17, 19-20, 24, 26-27
May 1, 3-4, 8, 10-11

John Fogerty Promises 50th Anniversary Tour

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Photo of John Fogerty via his Facebook page

John Fogerty revealed on September 27 that he has no intention of slowing down and will mark the 50th anniversary of his career with a celebration on the road via an expanded 2019 world tour.

In January of ’69, shortly after completing his military service, Creedence Clearwater Revival released their second album, Bayou Country. Fogerty’s composition, “Proud Mary,” a reflective song he penned as soon as he was discharged, rose to #2 on the U.S. singles chart.

In August, with the release of Green River, two more singles, “Green River” and “Bad Moon Rising,” also reached #2 and helped the album reach #1. Just three months after the release of its predecessor, CCR put out a third studio album, Willy and the Poor Boys, in November 1969. Its single, the toe-tappin’ “Down on the Corner,” was another hit, reaching #3. The album also yielded the classic rock favorite, “Fortunate Son,” a protest song/anti-war anthem.

How could one band be so prolific in such a short period of time? Of the three albums’ 26 songs, no less than 22 were written by Fogerty. These LPs also include such CCR classics as “Lodi” and “Born on the Bayou,” plus their legendary covers of “The Midnight Special,” “Cotton Fields” and “The Night Time is the Right Time.”

Related: Our review of CCR’s 1969 Archive Box

Says Fogerty: “I can’t believe 50 years. It has been quite a ride… I bought a notebook in 1967 and wrote down some song titles. The first entry in my notebook is Proud Mary. To think that she is 50 years old and how my song has had such an impact is hard to put into words. I know when I wrote those songs it was my dream to become the best musician I could be. Not to let anything get in my way, not even the Vietnam war. I am thrilled to celebrate this time and my songs including the iconic Woodstock festival.”

Watch Ed Sullivan introduce “the Creedence Clearwater”

Fogerty begins a brief residency at the Wynn Las Vegas on October 10. Later that month, he plays Bluesfest in London, with a handful of scattered U.S. dates in November. Click here for tickets. Details on the 50th anniversary tour are coming soon.

Van Morrison to Release 40th Album Dec. 7

by Best Classic Bands Staff

A new 14-track album by Van Morrison, The Prophet Speaks, will be released Dec. 7 by Caroline International, according to an announcement from the label. The Prophet Speaks again finds Van working with the multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco (the artist co-credited on You’re Driving Me Crazy) and his band (including Dan Wilson on guitar, Michael Ode on drums and Troy Roberts on tenor saxophone).

Says the announcement, “This fourteen-track album follows a recent run of hugely acclaimed albums (Roll With The Punches, Versatile and You’re Driving Me Crazy), each of which has delved deep into the musical styles that have continued to inspire Van throughout his life—vocal jazz and R&B. Here, Van takes on a series of unarguable classics by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke (among others) and makes them unmistakably his own. Alongside these reinterpretations, The Prophet Speaks features six phenomenal new Van Morrison compositions.”

Related: We revisit Van’s early masterpiece, Astral Weeks

“It was important for me to get back to recording new music as well as doing some of the blues material that has inspired me from the beginning,” Morrison is quoted as saying in the announcement. “Writing songs and making music is what I do, and working with great musicians makes it all the more enjoyable.”

Track Listing (songwriters in parentheses)
Gonna Send You Back To Where I Got You From (Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Leona Blackman)
Dimples (John Lee Hooker, James Bracken)
Got to Go Where The Love Is (Van Morrison)
Laughin’ and Clownin’ (Sam Cooke)
5 am Greenwich Mean Time (Van Morrison)
Gotta Get You Off My Mind (Solomon Burke, Delores Burke, Josephine Burke Moore)
Teardrops (J.D. Harris)
I Love The Life I Live (Willie Dixon)
Worried Blues / Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (J.D. Harris)
Ain’t Gonna Moan No More (Van Morrison)
Love Is A Five Letter Word (Gene Barge)
Love Is Hard Work (Van Morrison)
Spirit Will Provide (Van Morrison)
The Prophet Speaks (Van Morrison)

Van Morrison Tour Dates (Tickets here and here)
Oct 2-4 Europa Hotel, Belfast (with Joey DeFrancesco)
Oct 12 St. Davids Hall, Cardiff
Oct 16-17 Princess Theatre, Torquay
Oct 22 Hippodrome, Bristol
Oct 26 Bluesfest at The O2, London
Oct 28 Bluesfest at 3Arena, Dublin
Nov 14 Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA
Nov 15 Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA
Jan 25 The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Jan 26 The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Jan 30 The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Feb 01 The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Feb 02 The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
Feb 05 Wiltern Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Otis Rush, Chicago Blues Guitar Master, Dead

by Best Classic Bands Staff

Otis Rush, performing with Eric Clapton, in 1986

Otis Rush, the masterful blues guitarist, and a huge influence on the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, died today (September 29) of complications from a stroke that he suffered in 2003. His death, at 83 – some reports have him at 84 – was announced by his wife, Masaki Rush, on his website. Upon hearing the news, guitarist Joe Bonamassa praised Rush: “Rest in Peace to one of the greatest ever and one of the last of the true masters. Otis Rush, we all owe you a debt of gratitude.”

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Known as a key architect of the Chicago “West Side Sound,” the left-handed Rush exemplified the modernized minor key urban blues style with his slashing, amplified jazz-influenced guitar playing, high-strained passionate vocals and backing by a full horn section. Rush’s first recording in 1956 on Cobra Records, “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” reached #6 on the Billboard R&B chart and catapulted him to international acclaim. He went on to record a catalog of music that contains many songs that are now considered blues classics.

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From his website: Rush was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1935 and began playing the guitar at the age of eight. Moving to Chicago in 1949, he was introduced to the more urban sounds of the blues. He made the decision to become a performer after he saw Muddy Waters for the first time and his impact on the local scene was immediate. His sophisticated approach to the blues won the admiration of his peers, who sought to emulate his playing. The list of artists he influenced is long. Stevie Ray Vaughan named his band Double Trouble after a Rush composition.

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From 1956 to 1958, he wrote and recorded for Cobra the minor key masterpiece, “Double Trouble,” as well as “My Love Will Never Die,” “Three Times a Fool” and “Keep on Loving Me Baby.” From there he moved to the Chess and Duke labels.

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After many years out of the limelight, he returned in 1994 with the acclaimed album Ain’t Enough Comin’ In for Mercury Records. In 1998, he finally earned his first Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Any Place I’m Goin’.

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Rush was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1994.

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Marty Balin, a Founder of Jefferson Airplane, Dies at 76

Marty Balin, left, with other members of Jefferson Airplane in 1968. From left: Mr. Balin, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady.CreditCreditAssociated Press

  • Sept. 29, 2018

Marty Balin, a founder, lead singer and songwriter of the groundbreaking San Francisco psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane and a key member of that band’s 1970s successor, Jefferson Starship, died on Thursday in Tampa, Fla. He was 76.

His death was announced on Friday by his wife, Susan Joy Balin. A representative, Ryan Romenesko, said Mr. Balin, who lived in Tampa, had died en route to a hospital. No cause of death was given.

Mr. Balin was a prime mover in the flowering of psychedelic rock in mid-1960s San Francisco, not only as a founding member of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, but also as an original owner of the Matrix, a club that opened that year and nurtured bands and artists like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Santana and Steppenwolf.

Mr. Balin’s voice could offer the intimate solace of ballads like Jefferson Airplane’s “Today,” the siren wails of a frantic acid-rocker like the group’s “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” or the soul-pop entreaties of Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles.”

Jefferson Airplane would earn its place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with music that was the epitome of 1960s psychedelia: a molten, improvisatory mixture of folk, rock, blues, jazz, R&B, ragas and more, sometimes adopting pop-song structures and sometimes exploding them. The songs were about love, freedom, altered perception, rebellion and possibilities that could be transcendent or apocalyptic.

The Airplane was a staple at the Fillmore in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City, and it performed at 1960s milestones, including Monterey Pop in 1967 and both the Woodstock and Altamont festivals in 1969. At Altamont, Mr. Balin tried to break up a brawl between an audience member and the Hells Angels security force, only to get knocked unconscious.

In Jefferson Airplane’s prime, Mr. Balin was one of four lead singers alongside Grace Slick, Paul Kantner and the band’s lead guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen. That lineup could generate fervent harmonies and incendiary vocal duels in songs like “Volunteers” or “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds.”

But it also led to increasing friction within the band; Ms. Slick was often singled out for attention, and she sang lead on “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” the 1967 hits that made the band national headliners.

Mr. Balin performing with Ms. Slick in 1970 on “The Dick Cavett Show.”CreditABC Photo Archives/ABC, via Getty Images

“I always let everybody else take the credit,” Mr. Balin told High Times magazine in 2000. “Grace was the most beautiful girl in rock at the time, so they gave her credit for everything.”

In the documentary film “Monterey Pop,” when Mr. Balin sings his ballad “Today,” the camera instead shows Ms. Slick, who was mouthing the words with him. Mr. Balin quit Jefferson Airplane in 1971.

Yet he never entirely left behind his Jefferson Airplane bandmates. Jefferson Starship, a band formed by Mr. Kantner with Ms. Slick, featured Mr. Balin as a guest in 1974 and reached its commercial peak when he became a full member in 1975; he wrote and sang Jefferson Starship’s biggest hit, “Miracles.” (Jefferson Starship evolved into the hit-making 1980s band Starship without Mr. Balin.)

Soon after leaving Jefferson Starship, an exhausted Mr. Balin turned down an offer to become lead singer of a new San Francisco band: Journey. Instead, he went on to a solo career in the 1980s, beginning with the 1981 album “Balin.”

In 1987, he joined Mr. Kantner and Jefferson Airplane’s bassist, Jack Casady, to make an album as the KBC Band. He also reunited with Ms. Slick, Mr. Kantner, Mr. Kaukonen and Mr. Casady to tour and record as Jefferson Airplane in 1989.

“We went out and did 36 shows, and I thought we were dynamite,” he told High Times. “At the end, we finished, and everyone said, ‘This was great,’ then split apart. Everybody went home. Nobody calls anybody, nobody says anything. Same old band.”

Mr. Balin sang with a new iteration of Jefferson Starship, which did not include Ms. Slick, from 1993 to 2003, and he occasionally worked with that band’s shifting lineup in later years. But he also continued to record and perform regularly with his own band, and late in 2015 — 50 years after Jefferson Airplane began — he released “Good Memories,” new versions of songs from the Airplane catalog.

Marty Balin was born Martyn Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati on Jan. 30, 1942, the son of Joe and Jean Buchwald. His father was a pressman for a printing company. The family moved to California when Martyn was 4 years old and eventually settled in San Francisco.

He was drawn to the arts, including acting, sculpture, dancing and singing, and made his first professional recordings in 1962: four pop songs on two singles for the small Challenge Records label, which renamed him Marty Balin.

In 1963-1964, he was a member of the Town Criers, a folk-revival group. But the sound of the Beatles gave him ambitions toward folk-rock, and he gathered band members: first Mr. Kantner and eventually a lineup that included Mr. Kaukonen, Mr. Casady, Skip Spence on drums and Signe Anderson on vocals.

Mr. Balin speaking at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles in 2015.CreditRebecca Sapp/WireImage, via Getty Images

With financial help from his father and other partners, Mr. Balin opened the Matrix in 1965, designing the stage to accommodate a six-member band. Jefferson Airplane was the first band to play there, and it went on to perform frequently at the club, both on its own and as a backup band for visiting bluesmen. It was the first psychedelic San Francisco band to sign to a major label, RCA, and it released its debut album, “Jefferson Airplane Takes Off,” in 1966.

Grace Slick replaced Ms. Anderson, and Spencer Dryden took over the drums from Skip Spence before the release of the second Jefferson Airplane album, “Surrealistic Pillow,” in 1967, the year of the Summer of Love. “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” — two songs Ms. Slick brought to the band — became Top 10 hits. (Mr. Kantner and Ms. Anderson died in 2016, Mr. Dryden in 2005 and Mr. Spence in 1999.)

For Mr. Balin, Jefferson Airplane was focused on live performance, not commercial formula. “We got to a place where the music was playing us, we weren’t playing it,” he told Relix magazine in 1993. “That’s where you want to get to. And from the first note you hit, no matter where you are, even in the biggest hall in the world, from the first note of the first song, you know at that moment you are there or you’re not.”

Mr. Balin stayed with Jefferson Airplane through three more studio albums that have endured as psychedelic touchstones: “After Bathing at Baxter’s,” “Crown of Creation” and “Volunteers,” for which he and Mr. Kantner wrote the title track. Yet the escalating tension within the band, along with his sorrow at the death of a friend, Janis Joplin, in 1970, led to his departure from Jefferson Airplane in 1971.

Mr. Kantner invited Mr. Balin to complete a song that became “Caroline” on Jefferson Starship’s 1974 album, “Dragon Fly,” with Mr. Balin on lead vocals. He joined the band as a full member in 1975 and was its frontman for pop successes including “Miracles,” “Count on Me,” “Runaway” and “With Your Love” before leaving in 1978.

His first solo album, “Balin,” included two Top 40 hits, “Hearts,” and “Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love),” which were both written by a friend, Jesse Barish. And as Mr. Balin continued to move in and out of Jefferson Airplane’s and Jefferson Starship’s projects, he continued to record solo projects, most recently the album “The Greatest Love” in 2016.

While touring in 2016, he experienced chest pain and received open-heart surgery at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Afterward, he sued the hospital over care during his recovery, when he lost a thumb and a vocal cord was paralyzed. But in 2018 he said that he had recovered enough to continue writing songs and making music.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Balin is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Edwards and Delaney Balin, and two stepdaughters, Rebekah Geier and Moriah Geier.

In 2016, the year the Jefferson Airplane received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Balin told Relix magazine that he was happy leading his own acoustic band.

“People want to hear me sing, and now that’s what I’m doing; I’m just singing,” he said. “The whole night is me — and if you dig it, cool. Let’s get to the music, man. That’s what I’m doing — just flying along.”

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Janelle Monae Joins Harriet Tubman Biopic and ‘UglyDolls’ Voice Cast (EXCLUSIVE)

Janelle Monae is joining the cast of Focus Features’ “Harriet,” a new biopic chronicling the life of Harriet Tubman, starring Cynthia Erivo as the heroic abolitionist.

Monae is also starring in the STX animated movie “UglyDolls” and is expected to perform original songs for the film.

Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Zackary Momoh, Deborah Ayorinde, and Vondie Curtis-Hall round out the cast of “Harriet.”

Kasi Lemmons will direct a screenplay she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard. Debra Martin Chase, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and Howard will produce. “Harriet” is set to begin filming this month in Virginia.

Tubman was born into slavery, escaped in 1849, and made more than a dozen missions to rescue about 70 slaves through the Underground Railroad. She served as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War and campaigned for women’s suffrage.

UglyDolls” is an animated family adventure based on the beloved toy brand. In the adorably different town of Uglyville, the free-spirited Moxy and her UglyDolls pals confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love.

Monae will soon be seen on screen in Robert Zemeckis’ “Welcome to Marwen,” co-starring Steve Carell, Merritt Wever, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Eiza Gonzalez, and Gwendoline Christie. Her previous acting credits include “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.”

She recently released her critically-acclaimed third solo album, “Dirty Computer.”

Monae is repped by WME, manager Mikael Moore for Wondaland Management, and attorney Ziffren Brittenham.

David Bowie / Glastonbury 2000

Full performance issued for the first time • 2CD+DVD • 3LP vinyl

David Bowie‘s stunning performance at the Glastonbury Festival at the beginning of the new millennium is to be issued on audio and video formats for the first time. Glastonbury 2000 is due at the end of November.

Bowie performed on the Sunday night headline slot on 25 June 2000 at the famous festival and this new release includes the entire 21 song set which was full of ‘hits’ and, in Bowie’s words, “a couple quirks”. Even better, only 30 minutes was ever shown on TV, so the 2CD+DVD set is a must, with video of the full performance. The DVD is confirmed at NTSC, region free.

The audio is newly mastered and is also available on 3LP vinyl and as a 2CD set (without the DVD). Also this set features new artwork from Jonathan Barnbrook and notes from Caitlin Moran.

Glastonbury 2000 will be released via Parlophone on 30 November 2018.


CD 1
Introduction (Greensleeves)
Wild Is The Wind
China Girl
Life On Mars?
Absolute Beginners
Ashes To Ashes
Rebel Rebel
Little Wonder
Golden Years

CD 2
All The Young Dudes
The Man Who Sold The World
Station To Station
Hallo Spaceboy
Under Pressure
Ziggy Stardust
Let’s Dance
I’m Afraid Of Americans

Introduction (Greensleeves)
Wild Is The Wind
China Girl
Life On Mars?
Absolute Beginners
Ashes To Ashes
Rebel Rebel
Little Wonder
Golden Years
All The Young Dudes
The Man Who Sold The World
Station To Station
Hallo Spaceboy
Under Pressure
Ziggy Stardust
Let’s Dance
I’m Afraid Of Americans

3 x LP

Side 1
Introduction (Greensleeves)
Wild Is The Wind
China Girl

Side 2
Life On Mars?
Absolute Beginners

Side 3
Ashes To Ashes
Rebel Rebel
Little Wonder
Golden Years

Side 4
All The Young Dudes
The Man Who Sold The World
Station To Station

Side 5
Hallo Spaceboy
Under Pressure
Ziggy Stardust

Side 6
Let’s Dance
I’m Afraid Of Americans


CD 1
Introduction (Greensleeves)
Wild Is The Wind
China Girl


Life On Mars?
Absolute Beginners
Ashes To Ashes
Rebel Rebel
Little Wonder
Golden Years

CD 2
All The Young Dudes
The Man Who Sold The World
Station To Station
Hallo Spaceboy
Under Pressure
Ziggy Stardust
Let’s Dance
I’m Afraid Of Americans

Fleetwood Mac / 50 Years: Don’t Stop

Career-spanning compilation • 3CD or 5LP vinyl

You can’t move for 50th anniversaries right now and so Fleetwood Mac will celebrate a half century of music in November with 50 Years: Don’t Stop a 50-song collection that explores the group’s entire career, from its early days playing the blues, to the superstardom and rock/pop of the late 1970s, 1980s and beyond.

The 50 tracks span from 1968 to 2013 and that means music from every incarnation of the band with musicians such as Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, Jeremey Spencer, John McVie, Danny Kirwan, Christine McVie, Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Billy Burnette, Rick Vito, Dave Mason, and Bekka Bramlett.

The CD edition is a three-CD package, while to fit everything on vinyl means that is a five-record set. There’s 20-track single CD version that ends up being more of a traditional ‘greatest hits’. David Wild has written sleeve notes for this new release.

50 Years: Don’t Stop is released on 16 November 2018.

3CD Edition (same track listing for 5LP vinyl)

Disc One

  1. “Shake Your Moneymaker”
  2. “Black Magic Woman”
  3. “Need Your Love So Bad”
  4. “Albatross”
  5. “Man Of The World”
  6. “Oh Well – Pt. I”
  7. “Rattlesnake Shake”
  8. “The Green Manalishi (With The Two
    Prong Crown)”
  9. “Tell Me All The Things You Do”
  10. “Station Man – Single Version
  11. “Sands Of Time” – Single Version
  12. “Spare Me A Little Of Your Love”
  13. “Sentimental Lady” – Single Version
  14. “Did You Ever Love Me”
  15. “Emerald Eyes”
  16. “Hypnotized”
  17. “Heroes Are Hard To Find” – Single

Disc Two

  1. “Monday Morning”
  2. “Over My Head” – Single Version
  3. “Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)” – Single Version
  4. “Say You Love Me” – Single Version
  5. “Landslide”
  6. “Go Your Own Way”
  7. “Dreams”
  8. “Second Hand News”
  9. “Don’t Stop”
  10. “The Chain”
  11. “You Make Loving Fun”
  12. “Tusk”
  13. “Sara” – Single Version
  14. “Think About Me” – Single Version
  15. “Fireflies” – Single Version
  16. “Never Going Back Again” – Live

Disc Three

  1. “Hold Me”
  2. “Gypsy”
  3. “Love In Store”
  4. “Oh Diane”
  5. “Big Love”
  6. “Seven Wonders”
  7. “Little Lies”
  8. “Everywhere”
  9. “As Long As You Follow”
  10. “Save Me” – Single Version
  11. “Love Shines”
  12. “Paper Doll”
  13. “I Do” – Edit
  14. “Silver Springs” – Live-Edit
  15. “Peacekeeper”
  16. “Say You Will”
  17. “Sad Angel”

Single-CD edition

1. “Don’t Stop”
2. “Go Your Own Way”
3. “Dreams”
4. “The Chain”
5. “Landslide”
6. “Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)” – Single Version
7. “Everywhere”
8. “Little Lies”
9. “Never Going Back Again” – Live
10. “Tusk”
11. “Sara” – Single Version
12. “Gypsy”
13. “Hold Me”
14. “Big Love”
15. “Seven Wonders”
16. “Save Me”
17. “Peacekeeper”
18. “Albatross”
19. “Man Of The World”
20. “Oh Well – Pt. I”

Sara Bareilles on ‘Waitress,’ ‘Superstar’ and Why New York ‘Changed My Life 180 Degrees’

Sara Bareilles is going to write New York City a love song — figuratively speaking, at least. “When people say, ‘You seem so East Coast,’ I was always like” — she lowers her voice to a whisper — “‘Thank you.’” It appears that while you can take the girl out of California, you can also take the California out of the girl. Bareilles seemed like a West Villager trapped in a Eureka-to-Los Angeles gal’s body well before she made the move East six years ago. “I’m not dissing California at all,” she insists. “I loved growing up in a rural area with acres of redwood forest and lots of animals and going to school in L.A. But I have really responded to the temperament of New Yorkers. I like the directness. I like the no-bulls—. I like the rough-around-the-edges. I’m into it.”

The irony is that we are having this NYC-glorifying conversation in Los Angeles, barely a mile from her old stomping grounds of UCLA, and not much farther from the Westside haunts where she wrote and recorded “Love Song,” the breakout hit that earned Bareilles, now 38, her first two Grammy nominations, in 2009. She hung around town the day after this year’s Emmys, where she cheerfully fell short of a supporting actress award for her role as Mary Magdalene in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” As she half kids, she’s well on her way to losing out on the full EGOT, needing only a thwarted Oscar nomination to complete her catalog of near misses.

But when we think of Bareilles and awards shows now, we conjure one that transpires at Radio City Music Hall. A few years ago, she did the second-most-ultimate New York thing anyone can do, which is write the score for a Broadway musical, “Waitress,” now two and a half years into its run and touring nationally to boot, drawing a happy mixture of tourists who’ve never heard of her and fans brought in by ads blasting the not actually in the show “Love Song” and “Brave.” (“When you listen to the score, though, I don’t think it’s a far stretch to my records,” she says. “I only have about five tricks up my sleeve.”) To top that, this year she made the most quintessential New Yorker move possible: co-hosting the Tonys (with fellow L.A.-to-Great White Way émigré Josh Groban).

Her Manhattan idyll, which was originally going to be a brief walkabout, is going on six years now. “Where I was in my life here in L.A. was very comfortable — not unhappy, not unsatisfied, just comfortable, and slightly uninspired,” she says. “I was going to the same places every day and seeing the same people. The grooves were worn really deep for me, and I was not encountering new information. So I thought, OK, I’ll go on this little adventure, and I stayed in random people’s apartments and walked across the city at all hours of the night and dressed up, and I was encountering myself in a new way. When I got to the end of that first month, I really liked the person I met within myself.”

The writer in her pauses. “That sounds really cheesy, but it coincided with some meetings that had to do with ‘Waitress’ and with my book” — her 2015 memoir “Sounds Like Me” — “coming to fruition. It was like a neon sign. It was so inviting to go toward it.” A month turned into a year, which turned into “realizing I didn’t have a desire to return to L.A.,” she says, though she kept her house and belongings there. “I didn’t feel like my story in New York was done. I stuck.”

The city cleaved back. She quickly felt more accepted by the theater community than she had even by the music community, as “a newcomer coming into this beautiful legacy, where there was a lot of room for people to be brats about it.” (See the recent Paul Simon biography for proof that things can get gorier for pop interlopers on Broadway.) Still, she says, agreeing to score “Waitress” was sheer naiveté on her part. “I had no idea what I was signing up for — just not even a clue. And I love musical theater and don’t think of myself as being someone who’s unfamiliar with the theater, but when it came to how involved and how painstaking and how long that process would be … ” She sighs. It’s a happy sigh. “It was the greatest. It’s changed my life 180 degrees.”

“Waitress” is touring around the country in places like L.A.’s Pantages Theatre and opening in London in January; against all investor odds, it’s stayed put at the Brooks Atkinson. The show is at that wonderful place deep into a run where the stunt casting is starting: Welcome, Al Roker! (For the month of October, he’s diner owner Joe.) The first of her own two runs in the lead role (the second of which was early this year) won her the 2017 Audience Choice Award for favorite replacement, which she keeps next to her piano. (Eff you, EGOT.) But her current replacement as replacement is no stunt: “I remember saying to people that my wish for the show is that we get a beautiful fatted calf of a first year, and that we don’t limp across the finish line. And then we got to year two. Now we have our first person of color in the role of Jenna, and that’s a really proud moment for me. I’m just such a fan of Nicolette [Robinson].”

Bareilles won last year’s Audience Choice Award for favorite replacement when she took the role from Jessie Mueller.

She’s also taken to acting in musicals Off Broadway — to the extent that the Hollywood Bowl and 9.4 million NBC viewers count as “Off Broadway.” Preceding her pair of “Waitress” runs, in 2016 she did a two-night stand at the Bowl assuming the title role in a live-to-film staging of “The Little Mermaid.” Then, this April, there was “Jesus Christ Superstar,” fulfilling some unlikely life goals set when she was a childhood Alan Menken and Lloyd Webber-Rice freak serenading the redwoods. The biblical maxim about perfect love casting out all fear went only so far when she was doing “Superstar” live, sans net. “I was shaking in my sandals,” Bareilles says. “But as a cast, we were so protected and so encouraged to just play and connect with each other, and they were so smart to create the format where we had a live audience with us in the armory. We felt so safe. But I was nervous. John Legend, oddly, was just cool as a fucking cucumber. So I’m thinking to myself, if Jesus isn’t stressing, I should just relax.”

She’s gone from Jesus to a contemporary guru: producer T Bone Burnett, with whom she just wrapped up her first album of non-“Waitress” material in five years; it’s in the mixing phase and set for release early next year, possibly to be preceded by a single this fall. “That’s been kind of a bucket-list moment for me. I’ve been a fan of his my entire life,” Bareilles says. “We did a lot of live recordings with the [studio] band playing and singing at the same time, which is new for me. The recordings aren’t perfect, but they have soul, and that’s what I was really craving, is to make something that was just honest and imperfect and a truthful representation of where I feel like I am. And T Bone, he’s the dude for that.”

Thematically, she adds, “I think there’s a lot to say right now about the world, so I didn’t shy away from that. One of the things I’ve been struggling with is realizing that the world is chaotic, and we have to just exist in spite of it, because it feels especially chaotic in the last, ohhh, couple years. So I wanted to address political themes. But the thing that moves me the most is to talk about emotional architecture and what it feels like to be alive amid all this.”

They recorded in L.A., but New York is likely to infuse the record. “The thing I always love about New York is the humanity of the city,” says Eureka’s favorite daughter, who believes she found her truest soul in Manhattan, land of eureka moments. “It’s not polite in any way. This is a city that’s growling and dirty and congested, and that’s the harsh part, but I think it breeds compassion. I’ve never been in a place where people were more willing to help each other. It’s a terrifying world sometimes, but we’re all in it together, down to the trains and the sidewalks. And if I make a snap judgment about someone walking down the street, I’m 100% of the time totally surprised. I get my ass handed to me on a daily basis in New York, and that’s good for me.”

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Reply #28 posted 10/02/18 12:19pm


  • john-legend-xmas-album

John Legend Announces First Christmas Album and Accompanying Tour

By Singersroom|October 1st, 2018|Categories: News, R&B News|Tags: john legend|0 Comments

Multi-platinum recording artist John Legend has announced his first Christmas album entitled A Legendary Christmas.

Set for release on October 26 via Columbia Records, the 14-song set, executive produced by Raphael Saadiq, shows a warmer and more seasonal side of the Grammy winner.

A Legendary Christmas Track List

What Christmas Means to Me (feat. Stevie Wonder on harmonica)
Silver Bells
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (feat. Esperanza Spalding)
No Place Like Home
Bring Me Love
Merry Christmas Baby / Give Love on Christmas Day
Christmas Time Is Here
Waiting for Christmas
Purple Snowflakes
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
Please Come Home for Christmas
Wrap Me Up in Your Love
By Christmas Eve
Merry Merry Christmas

To accompany the album, John will embark on the 25-date A Legendary Christmas Tour, which kicks off November 15 in Clearwater, FL and will hit cities like Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and more before commencing on December 30 in San Diego.

Tickets for the A Legendary Christmas Tour go on sale to the general public Friday, October 5, with a special pre-sale opportunity for fans today only. To purchase pre-sale tickets and for more information on the tour, please visit:


Date City Venue
11/15/2018 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/17/2018 Miami Beach, FL The Fillmore at The Jackie Gleason Theater
11/20/2018 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
11/23/2018 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Resort Spa and Casino
11/24/2018 Mashantucket, CT Grand Theater at Foxwoods
11/25/2018 Boston, MA Boch Center
11/27/2018 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
11/28/2018 Oxon Hill, MD MGM National Harbor
12/03/2018 New York, NY Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
12/04/2018 Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Opera House
12/06/2018 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
12/07/2018 Verona, NY Event Center at Turning Stone Resort Casino
12/09/2018 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre
12/10/2018 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
12/12/2018 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theater
12/13/2018 Chicago, IL Civic Opera House
12/15/2018 Denver, CO Bellco Theatre
12/16/2018 Salt Lake City, UT Abravanel Hall
12/18/2018 Seattle, WA WaMu Theater
12/19/2018 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
12/21/2018 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
12/23/2018 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theater
12/29/2018 Costa Mesa, CA Segerstrom Center for the Arts
12/30/2018 San Diego, CA

San Diego Civic Theatre

  • gladys-ledisi-winans-aretha-tribute

Gladys Knight & Ledisi To Pay Tribute To Aretha Franklin at American Music Awards

By Singersroom|September 29th, 2018|Categories: News, R&B News|Tags: CeCe Winans, Gladys Knight, Ledisi|0 Comments

Music legend Gladys Knight, along with soul veterans Ledisi and CeCe Winans, were tapped to tribute the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the American Music Awards next month (Oct 2018). The October 9th tribute at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will focus on Franklin’s gospel roots and her 1972 album Amazing Grace.

“When I heard some of the initial ideas for the tribute, I knew without a doubt that this tribute will go down as one of the best in American music,” a statement from Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and the executor of her estate, reads.

Franklin was one of Gladys’ good friends; she previously paid tribute to Aretha on the eve of her funeral in Detroit, Michigan, singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” during a gig in a local park, which is to be named after Franklin.

Last month she recalled the close relationship she shared with her fellow soul legend.

“We were both little girls, and I say little girls even though, you know, we have, like, three or four years between us, but we had that same road to go and over the years I saw her grow and hopefully she saw me grow,” Knight told Entertainment Tonight. “We were both blessed enough to be working all the time, so if we were anywhere near where we were going to be playing, she would just show up. I would show up (to see her).”

Meanwhile, record executive Clive Davis, who signed Franklin to Arista Records in 1980, is reportedly planning a tribute show titled Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

  • elle-varner-loving-u-blind-video

Video: Elle Varner – Loving U Blind

By Singersroom|September 30th, 2018|Categories: R&B Music Videos, R&B Videos|Tags: Elle Varner, featured|0 Comments

Grammy-Award winning R&B artist Elle Varner entices us with a new music video for “Loving U Blind,” her latest studio single. In the visual, the singer and songwriter is captured on stage in a restaurant with an acoustic guitar as she delivers heartfelt and vulnerable vocals.

Earlier this year (February 2018), Varner gifted fans with the modern throwback “Casanova,” and with this new release, she plans to continue her latest musical journey with a new project this fall.

Image result for Elle Varner

Elle unveiled her first studio album titled Perfectly Imperfect in 2012, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The album also produced hit singles “Only Wanna Give It to You” featuring J. Cole and “Refill,” with both reaching the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, respectively. Elle won her first Grammy in 2017 for her work with Chance the Rapper on his hit album Coloring Book.


James Wright (2)

Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter, James “Big Jim” Wright dies

Big Jim

Condolences to the family, friends and fans of Grammy Award winning producer, composer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and singer, James “Big Jim” Wright. Big Jim was found dead in his Rockford, Illinois home. Big Jim was 52 years old. No details on his passing are available at this time.

Big Jim most notably was a writing and producing partner to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. He also has many writing and co-writing credits on several hits songs by Janet Jackson. Wright had also served as bandleader and music director for “Mariah #1 to Infinity,” but he’s also worked as a producer and arranger on a number of Carey’s albums.

Image result for songwriter, James âBig Jimâ

The multi-talented musician has written, produced or played on albums from dozens of pop music’s top artists, including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Sounds of Blackness and Celine Dion.

Big Jim’s nephew DJ Shad is doing a special musical tribute on his internet radio station. 103.7 Da Beat is Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Mr. “Big” Jim Wright on Thursday October 11th from 7-9PM CST. People can listen at The 103.7 Da Beat App is available for all devices, Tune In by searching DBEA 103.7 Da Beat Rockford, Any Alexa Enabled Device by Saying, “Alexa Play D B E A One Oh Three Seven Da Beat Rockford or any Roku Device or TV by Searching for the 103.7 Da Beat Channel. If anyone would like to leave a comment to be played during the show, please leave it on the station’s voicemail 815-496-0793 before Friday October 5th or they can send a mp3 or wav file to

Katherine Hoover, Flutist and Composer, Is Dead at 80

Katherine Hoover in the 1970s. In addition to being a flutist, she was a composer who wrote not only for her instrument but also for strings, piano, woodwinds, full orchestra and voice.CreditCreditJane Hamborsky

  • Sept. 26, 2018

Katherine Hoover, a composer and flutist who wrote not only for her instrument but also for strings, piano, woodwinds, full orchestra and voice, died on Friday in Manhattan. She was 80.

Her son, Norman Schwab, said the cause was a stroke.

Ms. Hoover began writing music in earnest in the early 1970s, a time when few women were having success in the male-dominated world of classical composing, and she was still creating new works into this decade.

She wrote pieces for a solo instrument and piano, like “Ritual” (1989), for clarinet. She wrote a bassoon quartet (1976) and a saxophone quartet (1980). She wrote “Medieval Suite” (1984), a five-movement orchestral work that she said was inspired by “A Distant Mirror,” Barbara W. Tuchman’s book about the 14th century.

Her best-known work, though, was probably “Kokopeli” (1990), a piece for flute that was inspired, as were a number of her other compositions, by American Indian music and culture.

“Kokopeli, the flute player, was a great mahu, or legendary hero of the Hopi, and of other Native Americans living in the Southwestern area of the United States,” she wrote in a program note. “He is said to have led the migrations through the mountains and deserts, the sound of his flute echoing through the great canyons and cliffs. In this piece I have tried to capture some of this sense of spaciousness, and of the Hopi’s deep kinship with this land.”

KokopeliCreditCreditVideo by Katherine Hoover

Ms. Hoover, who also played professionally, won the National Flute Association’s lifetime achievement award in 2016.

The flutist Nina Perlove once wrote of the alluring power of Ms. Hoover’s works:

“Katherine is a storyteller, and the stories she recounts are ancient whisperings that resonate with a primal sense of mythological archetypes.”

The flutist Zara Lawler, in an email interview, spoke of the pleasures of playing Ms. Hoover’s compositions.

“Katherine was a rare composer in that her music is challenging and satisfying for musicians to play, and yet at the same time beautiful and meaningful for audiences to hear,” Ms. Lawler wrote. “Her music leaves you lots of room to express yourself, and yet any performance of her music is indelibly hers.”

Katherine Lacy Hoover was born on Dec. 2, 1937, in Elkin, W.Va. Her father, Samuel, was a chemist, and her mother, Katherine (Lacy) Hoover, was an artist and editor.

Ms. Hoover grew up in the Philadelphia area and received a bachelor’s degree in music theory and a performance certificate in flute in 1959 from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. She was already encountering the obstacles that at the time faced any woman who aspired to be a composer.

Ms. Hoover in 2017. “Her music is challenging and satisfying for musicians to play,” a fellow flutist said, “and yet at the same time beautiful and meaningful for audiences to hear.”CreditErica Freudenstein

“For boys, and even more so for girls, in music school there was a sense of ‘What are you doing, writing? Who do you think you are, Beethoven?’ ” she said in an interview with Ms. Lawler for a 2013 issue of the New York Flute Club’s newsletter. “It was really not a good attitude. ‘All the good music has been written’ was basically it.

“And I was the only female in class, with six guys, all grad students,” she continued. “I was an undergrad, and I just sat there, and they never bothered to look at my work, and that’s the way it was.”

In the 1960s Ms. Hoover focused on performing and taught flute in the pre-college division at the Juilliard School and elsewhere. In 1969 she began teaching at the Manhattan School of Music, while also resuming her studies and earning a master’s degree in music theory there in 1974.

It was during this time that she began composing in a serious way — though finding time to do so was difficult.

“When I started to write, I had a young child,” she said in the interview with Ms. Lawler. “And the only time I had to write, once I decided I really, really wanted to do this, was in the morning after I took him to preschool. I had a couple of hours and that was it.”

The dozens of works she eventually produced have been performed by some 60 groups, among them the Santa Fe Symphony, the Colorado Quartet, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Sylvan Wind Quintet and the New York Virtuoso Singers. In 1994 she conducted the Harrisburg Symphony in the premiere of her orchestral tone poem “Night Skies.” Prominent flutists like Carol Wincenc, Julius Baker and Eugenia Zukerman have also performed her pieces.

“She wasn’t one to talk of her legacy, but she was certainly proud of all that she had accomplished,” her son said by email. In addition to her composing and performances, he noted another accomplishment: She started her own publishing company, Papagena Press, to disseminate her work.

“It meant she didn’t have to go hat in hand to the big houses to get a new work in front of people,” he said.

Ms. Hoover’s first marriage, to John Schwab, ended in divorce in the 1970s. In addition to her son, she is survived by her husband, Richard Goodwin, whom she married in 1985, and three grandchildren.

Ms. Lawler remembered Ms. Hoover as a woman who was both creative and practical.

“She gives you inspiration, and also a screwdriver to fix your flute,” she said. “I keep a tiny screwdriver from her in my flute case!”

From the time she was a teenager, Ms. Hoover enjoyed writing poetry, but she mostly kept it to herself until late in life. In 2015, with the encouragement of friends and family members, she published a book of her poems, “This Way About.”

One poem in the collection is called “Music, My Love.” It concludes this way:

Music, my love,

you have taken my hand

in sorrow and led me

from darkness.

You have taught me grace

and forgiveness.

Music, my love,

you whisper to me

of paradise.

Jerry González, Innovator of Latin Jazz, Is Dead at 69

The trumpeter and bandleader Jerry González in the 2000 documentary “Calle 54.”CreditCreditJordi Socias/Miramax Films

  • Oct. 1, 2018

Jerry González, a trumpeter and percussionist who was a central figure in Latin jazz, especially through the Fort Apache Band, which he formed almost 40 years ago with his bass-playing brother, Andy González, died on Monday in Madrid. He was 69.

The cause was smoke inhalation suffered during a fire in his home, his sister, Eileen González-Altomari, said. A product of New York City, he moved to Spain in 2000.

Mr. González spent time as a sideman for stars like the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and the pianist Eddie Palmieri, but his greatest skill was weaving together musical styles and influences from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Africa and more to create his own music.

Image result for Jerry González tito puente

His explorations ranged far and wide. His 1989 album with Fort Apache, “Rumba Para Monk,” infused the compositions of Thelonious Monk with Afro-Cuban flavor. His album “Ya Yo Me Curé” (1979) includes a jazz riff on the theme from “I Love Lucy.” In Spain he began playing a lot of flamenco, fronting a band called Los Pirates del Flamenco.

He was, in short, an innovator who, along with his brother, the drummer Steve Berrios and a few others, melded different strains of music into new sounds.

“More than almost anybody else,” Todd Barkan, a jazz presenter who produced several of Mr. González’s albums, said in a telephone interview, “they combined straight-ahead jazz and Latin music in an organic and progressive way that really pointed the way toward a lot of musical language to come.”

Image result for Jerry González tito puente

Gerald Antonio González was born on June 5, 1949, in Manhattan into a family of Puerto Rican heritage and grew up in the Bronx. His father, Geraldo, was a vocalist who had his own band in the 1950s and ’60s. His mother, Julia (Toyos) González, was a homemaker who also did secretarial work at New York University and, for a time, for the F.B.I.

Ms. González-Altomari said her father filled the house with music when his children were young. “He was the one who bought Jerry and Andy their first instruments,” she said in a telephone interview.

Jerry González recalled those early influences in a 1991 interview with The Boston Globe.

“We listened to everything — Machito, Tito Rodríguez, Cortijo y su Combo, Tito Puente,” he said. “So when I started,” he added, “I didn’t even think about what I was going to do. It was Latin jazz. That’s what was in my head.”

He began playing the trumpet in junior high school. His sister said that the congas came into his repertory by accident: He broke his leg and couldn’t get to school for a time, so he began hanging out with street-corner musicians and learning from them.

He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, an experience that helped transform him from merely a kid who could play pretty well into someone with a real understanding of musical forms.

Jerry González, on fluegelhorn, and his brother Andy, on bass, performing with Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Symphony Space in New York in 2011.CreditWillie Davis for The New York Times

“It opened my head to classical music,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky. I was a street musician. I knew they existed, but I had never studied them.”

After graduating in 1967, Mr. González attended the New York College of Music, but he was soon working professionally. He joined Gillespie’s band at 21 and stayed with it for a year. He then spent time under Mr. Palmieri.

“Playing with Palmieri, you had to know Cuban music,” he told The Globe. “That band for me was like going to school.”

He would later play with Puente, the great Latin jazz percussionist and bandleader, as well as the pianist McCoy Tyner, the bassist Jaco Pastorius and others. His musicianship gave him unusual versatility.

Image result for His 1989 album with Fort Apache

“As an instrumentalist he was that rare artist who played with equal dexterity conga drums, trumpet and fluegelhorn,” Raul Fernandez, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Irvine, who curated the Smithsonian Institution exhibition “Latin Jazz: La Combinación Perfecta” in 2002, said by email. “He moved easily between playing trumpet in harmonically complex Latin jazz tunes and performing superbly on the congas.”

As Joe Conzo Sr., archivist for Tito Puente, put it in a telephone interview: “To play with Tito you had to be good, so Jerry was good. Tito didn’t just take any conga player or trumpet player. And Tito let him play both.”

But Mr. González and his brother were also carving their own musical trails. In Andy González’s basement in the Bronx in the mid-1970s, veteran Cuban musicians and younger New York-bred Puerto Rican players were jamming, eventually recording two albums as the Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino — the New York Folkloric and Experimental Group. Jerry González was also playing congas in the salsa ensemble Conjunto Libre.

Image result for His 1989 album with Fort Apache

Jerry Gonzalez & Fort Apache BandCreditCreditVideo by Getxo Jazz

Then, about 1980, the Fort Apache Band was formed (taking its name from a Bronx police precinct house). It has varied in size over the years, but whatever the lineup, it has always been adventurous.

“Where much of Latin jazz features a jazz musician soloing over a Latin rhythm section, the Fort Apache band has instead brought a jazz flexibility to the Latin rhythm section,” a 1995 article about the band in The New York Times said. “A tune may start out swinging, with the feel of the drummer Art Blakey, then move into a Cuban guaguancó, then take on a shuffle feel, then return to swing.”

Mr. González elaborated on the approach.

Image result for Jerry González tito puente

“This is New York music,” he told The Times. “We play music influenced by everything we’ve experienced here. We play Mongo Santamaria, John Coltrane and James Brown all at the same time.”

Mr. González’s first marriage, to Betty Luciano, ended in divorce. In addition to his sister, his brother Andy and another brother, Arthur, he is survived by his second wife, Andrea Zapata-Girau, whom he married five years ago; their daughter, Julia; a son from his first marriage, Agueybana Zemi; two daughters from his first marriage, Xiomara González and Marisol González; and several grandchildren.

Mr. Barkan said that as good as Mr. González was on the instruments he played, what made him something more was his ability to absorb and synthesize.

“That’s the mark of a lot of great musicians,” he said. “It’s as much about them being great listeners as it is about them being great players.”

Image result for Jerry González tito puente

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Reply #29 posted 10/02/18 12:40pm


eek eek eek eek cool cool cool cool Hooray.

Tina Dico rarely does anything wrong. Her new album "Fastland" is no exception.


It is striking that the work is very concentrated and dense. Only ten songs are on it, one of which is not a real song, but only a one-minute interlude.

The album starts very darkly with "Not Even Close", the dark voice color and the slightly dark mood are Dico typical. The Danish singer, who founded a family with her Icelandic colleague and producer Helgi Jonsson, inevitably draws the listener into the album.


The various songs, which have already been released in advance, set the direction - especially "Fancy". "Basically, Fancy is about materialism and our penchant for luxury," the 40-year-old says.

That Tina Dico, who incidentally occurs in her home under her birth name Tina Dickow, before the writing of the new album under a veritable blockade suffered, you do not notice "Fastland". On the contrary, it sounds more like the euphoria and self-image of an artist who was allowed to play a very special concert in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie at the end of 2017.

The hidden pearl turns out to be "Parked Car", which starts atmospherically and ends with a chorus in a wonderful finale.

The album title "Fastland" is the Danish word for "mainland" and comes from the already mentioned "Not Even Close": "I used to be fastland. Now I'm a movement. "And indeed, Tina Dico is a constant when it comes to strong singer / songwriter music. Their eleventh album also hits the bullseye anyway.

So it ends in an ode to the music with the wonderful line: "There's a song for every age you've been through."


Not Even Close
3:37 2
Devil's Door
3:16 3
Parked Car
4:05 4
3:32 5
4:24 6
Night Out
3:57 7
Adams House
3:32 8
People Are Strange
4:09 9
Change Yourself
1:00 10
Something You Can Keep

Artist: Tina Dico
Album name: Fastland
Released: 9.28.2018
Label: BMG Rights Management GmbH



If you've never heard her older stuff watch this. She's got soul:

Review: Marsha Ambrosius Writes Songs That Linger on ‘Nyla’

Singer follows radio hit ‘Old Times’ with first album since 2014

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 12:10PM EDT


Marsha Ambrosius, an R&B singer’s R&B singer, is responsible for co-writing one of pop’s most intoxicating odes to infatuation. That would be Michael Jackson’s “Butterflies,” perhaps the star’s finest post-Bad single, where his inimitable vocal quavers slam home all the tingly, head-over-heels couplets.

So it’s no surprise that Ambrosius excels in this mode on her new album Nyla, her third as a soloist and fifth if you’re counting her work in the neo-soul duo Floetry. She fills the album’s first half with odes to attraction. There’s “Botta Fulla Liquor,” a fizzy, forceful record that could upend the right club on the right night. (“I can’t help myself whenever I’m around you.”) There’s “I Got It Bad,” a glorious, polyrhythmic number in the vein of D’Angelo’s “Spanish Joint.” (“I want to kiss your face.”) And there’s “Let Out,” a candid, yearning ballad with great horn charts. (“My place or yours?”)

This stretch culminates with “Old Times,” an overwhelmingly bereft single about the one downside of falling in love: Now part of Ambrosius’ happiness is out of her control. The eerie backing vocals and a few of her brief twirls are reminiscent of Jackson, but mostly Ambrosius sings with jagged force, worrying about her absent lover, fretting over distant police lights, not wanting to watch the news. For an artist with this much vocal ability — see “I’m Moving On” — it’s harsh to hear her use her voice like a blunt instrument. And it works; it raises the stakes.

The album takes a somber turn after this; loss is at the core of “Never Be the Same” and “I’m Moving On.” But the overwhelming feeling of “Old Times” remains. Once again, Ambrosius pens a love song that lingers




[Edited 10/2/18 15:28pm]

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