Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Releases From Legendary Artists Little Richard and Dr. John

Since the passing of American music icon, Little Richard, Omnivore Recordings has done an exceptional job reissuing his Reprise Records releases throughout the seventies and eighties. One such record, recorded back in 1972, was never released, until 2005. The album "Southern Child" was completed, then shelved, in favor of Little Richard's album "The Second Coming." The tracks that were recorded for this album were eventually released as part of the "Complete Reprise Recordings" box set back in 2005. Now, for the first time, Little Richard's 1972 album "Southern Child" will be released on yellow colored vinyl on November 27th and on CD on December 4th. The CD also arrives with bonus tracks from the recording session for the song "In The Name."

The album was a turn in style than what fans of Little Richard may have been used to at the time. He stepped out of his rock and roll shoes and put on his cowboy boots for this release, which seemed like a much welcomed change that Little Richard was more passionate about releasing. Songs like the country blues of "Burning Up With Love" and the gospel praise of "Southern Child" finds Little Richard revisiting his roots. The twang of "In The Name" sounds as if it came from the Buck Owens catalog, but finds Little Richard expanding his repertoire, as you hear him attempting different takes of this song with some of the bonus tracks. The album closes with the eight-minute funk jam "Puppy Dog Song," which definitely sounds more in tune to what Little Richard was used to creating back in the early seventies. One of the bonus tracks is the fun, classic sounding rockabilly swing of "Sneak The Freak." To find out more about this new reissue of Little Richard's "Southern Child" album, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Another new release from a legendary icon who recently left us is a new album from Dr. John titled "Gumbo Blues." Back in 1973, Dr. John took over the singles charts with his hits "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such A Night." He looked to continue to build upon that success with the albums "Desitively Bonnaroo" and  "Anytime, Anywhere." The later became a an inspiration for fellow New Orleans' blues artists to aspire to. Now, they pay homage to Dr. John with the newly released compilation titled "Gumbo Blues," which takes his vocals from 1974 and adds a new blend of blues music.

The album kicks off with the swinging blues of "In The Night," which features the guitar boogie of Joe Louis Walker mixed with the iconic vocals of Dr. John to make a perfect recipe for fun. Fellow guitar player Mike Dawes adds his signature fingerstyle of playing to "Shoo Ra" and Rafa Nasta gets funky on "Woman Is The Root Of All Evil," which adds a youthful energy to the song. American blues guitarist/singer Eli Cook lends his talents to the classic blues sound of "Cat And Mouse Game," before the album finishes with the energetic romp of "She's Just A Square" highlighted by King Solomon Hicks' performance, along with the bluesy ballad "Danger Zone," featuring Finnish guitarist/singer Erja Lyytinen. To find out more about the new Dr. John release "Gumbo Blues," please visit cleorecs.com.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Check Out New Live Album From The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band and The Ataris

Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has established himself as one of the premier American guitarists since his debut 30 years ago. His debut album topped the Billboard Blues chart and has three platinum-selling albums. Back in 2010 Shepherd released his first live album "Live In Chicago" and on November 27th, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band are releasing their first live video "Straight To You Live." It arrives in a number of different formants, including Blu-ray + CD, DVD + CD and as a limited edition double red transparent vinyl set. The recording is taken from the German TV show, Rockpalast and was recorded/filmed nearly one year on November 25, 2019, right before the pandemic cancelled the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band's European Tour.

The thirteen songs set gets off to a blazing start with the electrfying "Woman Like You" and the band's cover of Neil Young's "Mr. Soul." The filming is perfect, putting right on stage next to the performers, whether its following Shepherd's every move on guitar or spotlighting Noah Hunt's amazing vocals, this film tries to include it all. The classic blues romp of "Talk To Me Baby" is pure fun, with Kenny leading the way with his vocals, before delivering the slow burn of "Heat Of The Sun," in which the band just jams for over twelve minutes and is a must see on the video of the show. Another must see is the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band's nine-minute performance of one of the their earliest tracks "Shame, Shame, "Shame," which highlights Noah's strong, explosive voice, along with keyboardist Joe Krown and drummer Chris "Whipper" Layton. They close out the show with a rocking version of "I'm A King Bee," which highlights the full force of the band, led by Shepherd's stellar guitar solo, along with the ten-minute tribute to Jimi Hendrix in the form of the great "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," which could just not be performed any better than what the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band gave to this performance. To find out more about the band's new live release "Straight To You Live," please visit kennywayneshepherd.net.

The Indiana rock band, The Ataris also recently released their new live album simply titled "Live In Chicago 2019." It arrived on CD and on special, limited edition clear vinyl just last month and finds the band performing some of the most well-known songs. It is the band's first new release in three years and finds them delivering a high-powered set of the band's punk anthems like "In This Diary," "The Saddest Song" and "Boxcar." The Ataris' frontman and founding member Kris Roe performs a couple solo tracks ("Car Song" and "Sam Dimas"), before the rest of the band join him for their iconic rendition of Don Henley's "Boys Of Summer," which is even better live. The show closes with the youthful ballad "You're Boyfriend Sucks" and the final punk-rock attack of "So Long, Astoria. To find out more about The Ataris and their latest release "Live In Chicago 2019, please visit cleorecs.com.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

New Releases From Metal Blade Records Artists Fates Warning, Surma and Deluge

Earlier this month, progressive metal pioneers Fates Warning released their thirteenth studio album "Long Day Good Night." It is the longest album of the band's 35 year career and runs through like a roller-coaster ride through various moods and melodies. Fates Warning slowly builds the foundation of the album with the eight-minute "The Destination Onward," which finally explodes with energy and passion. Screaming guitars and vocals continue to excite your sense of hearing with the band's iconic hard rock approach of "Shuttered World" and "Scars." They also take you on the adventure of "The Way Home," that slowly rises to a boil before the heavy metal floodgates open to let the music come pouring out. Fates Warning showcase their hard rock edge with the pounding rhythm of "Begin Again," before finishing up their new album with aggressive thrash metal assault of "Glass Houses," along with the nearly twelve-minute epic progressive metal piece "The Longest Shadow Of The Day," which is one of the band's best musical pieces of their career. To find out more about Fates Warning and their latest release "Long Day Good Night," please visit fateswarning.com.

The female fronted, symphonic metal band, Surma recently unleashed their debut album "The Light Within" through Metal Blade Records. The band began writing this new release back in 2019 and spent much of the year in the studio recording these thirteen epic pieces of music. The mild, atmospheric opening of "Rendition," lets loose to the sonic blast of "Reveal The Light Within." The band keeps up the intensity with "Like The River Flows," as vocalist Viktorie Surmova rises above the music with her stunning voice, as displayed in the melodic ballad "Desire." Singer/guitarist Heri Joensen of TYR, performs an emotional duet with Viktorie during the sweeping symphonic melody of "Emptiness (Is No More," before the band flex their metal muscle once more with the pounding rhythm of "Cages Of Rage." Surma close out their new album with the sonic blast of "Lost To Time" and the quiet, classic touch of "Deconstruction." To find out more about Surma and their latest release "The Light Within," please visit facebook.com/surmaband.

After a five year absence, France's premier black metal band, Deluge return with a new studio album titled "Ego Templo." Their new ten track release is more accessible and showcase more depth to their music, than their 2015 debut album "Ether." Deluge display the full force of their music with the screams of "Opprobre," before speeding the tempo up to create the chaotic heavy metal frenzy of "Abysses." They quiet down for the atmospheric undertone of "Fratres," then simply explode with the passion and aggression of "Gloire Au Silence." Deluge wrap up their new album with the heavy pounding of "Baine" and highly addictive, progressive metal piece "Vers." To find out more about Deluge and their latest release "Ego Templo," please visit facebook.com/delugebandofficial.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

New Metal Music From Serpents Oath, The Deviant, Sarvekas, March In Arms and The Advent Equation

Belgium's extreme metal trio, Serpents Oath are preparing to release their debut album "Nihil" on December 4th through Soulseller Records. The new twelve track release begins with the dark souls of "Vox Mortis" whispering their call, before being blown away by the shear force of "Speaking In Tongues" and "Leviathan Speaks." The extreme black metal onslaught is broken up by atmospheric interludes, which prepares you for the growling doom metal of "Malediction" and the powerful blast of "Into The Abyss." Serpents Oath wrap up their new album with the pounding attack of "The Swords Of Night And Day," along with the final musical interlude, the mystical sounds of "Beyond The Gate." To find out more about Serpents Oath and their latest release "Nihil," please visit facebook.com/serpentsoath.

Also arriving December 4th from Soulseller Records is the latest full-length album from the Norwegian death metal band The Deviant. Their new album titled "Rotting Dreams Of Carrion" features eight tracks, which is all they need to grab your attention. A short opening instrumental ("Atomic Dreams") gives way to the intense delivery of "Atomic Revolt" and the raw guitar buzz of "Son Of Dawn." The band's musicianship takes centerstage on the tempo changes of the doom/extreme metal epic "Torment Inferno," as you discover another dimension to their hardcore sound. The Deviant close out their new album with the extreme speed of "Martyrdom" the final pounding assault of "Enter The Storm." To find out more about The Deviant and their latest release "Rotting Dreams Of Carrion," please visit facebook.com/officialthedeviant.

The two-piece Finnish black metal duo, Sarvekas also have a new release arriving December 4th from Soulseller Records. Their new album titled "Of Atavistic Fury & Visions" features five songs of pure rage, beginning with the chaotic attack of "Dark Spiritual Devotion." The duo mix in a slower tempo, along with the dark screams of "Hexenpyre," before finishing their new, short release with the extreme force of "The Sacred Hour Of The Hunt" and the black metal march of "Surtr's Breath." To find out more about Sarvekas and their latest release "Of Atavistic Fury & Visions," please visit facebook.com/sarvekas.

Another early December release is the arrival of the sophomore album from March In Arms. Their new release titled "Pulse Of The Daring" was actually recorded back in 2018, then after months of mixing and mastering, the shutdown of the pandemic delayed the release until December 4th. March In Arms kick off their new album with the aggressive heavy metal raid of "1914" and the classic guitar riffs of "Alter Of The Gun." Their sound become more modernized with the undeniable hard rock approach of "Welcome The Blitz" and the pounding "Pulse Of The Daring." The band's energy explodes during "No Years Resolution," before wrapping up their new album with the high-powered, thrash metal fueled "Thunderbolt" and more progressive feel of the closer "Not For Nothing." To find out more about March In Arms and their latest release "Pulse Of The Daring," please visit facebook.com/marchinarms.

Finally, we finish with the new self-released album "Remnants Of Oblivion" from the progressive metal quartet, The Advent Equation. It has been eight years since the band's last studio release, at which time they have perfected their craft of creating aggressive, yet melodic soundscapes to discover. They start off their new eight-song release with the instrumental attack of "Ignition," before fleshing out their progressive sound on the more dimensional tone of "Patterns Of Spiraling Reality." They keep the energy flowing with a hardcore metal approach to "Remnants Of Oblivion" and the extreme metal delivery of "Balance Through extinction. The Advent Equation close out their new album with the eleven-minute, two-part epic sounds of "The Creation." To find out more about The Advent Equation and their latest release "Remnants Of Oblivion," please visit facebook.com/theadventequation.

Friday, November 20, 2020

New Music From Dark Tranquility, Hatebreed, Amahiru and Marathon Will Certainly Grab Your Attention

Grammy-nominated heavy metal band, Dark Tranquility are returning with a new studio album "Moment" arriving November 20th. It has been four years since the band's last release "Atoma," which hit number two on the album chart of their home country of Sweden, as Dark Tranquility look to capitalize on that success with this new twelve-track release. The album kicks off with the high-powered stellar musicianship of "Phantom Days" and the aggressive rhythm attack of "Identical To None." Dark Tranquility incorporate a more progressive, melodic tone to "The Dark Unbroken," which showcases the band's songwriting growth during their time between albums. The album is filled with a great selection of singles for modern metal radio, like the epic sounding "Standstill" and the sonic blast of "A Drawn Out Exit," which will turn you into an instant fan of the band. Dark Tranquility close out their new album with the quick-hitting death metal assault of "Failstate" and the gentler, dark side of "In Truth Divided." To find out more about Dark Tranquility and their latest release "Moment," please visit darktranquillity.com.

One of the elite metalcore bands to come from the nineties is the Connecticut-based band, Hatebreed led by original members Jamie Jasta and Chris Beattie. Their new studio album "Weight Of The False Self" is the first new music from the band in four years and is filled will classic, hardcore metal guitar riffs, pounding drum breaks and screaming vocals. Hatebreed blast down the door with the chugging guitars of "Instinctive (Slaughterhouse)," as Jasta's iconic vocals lead the metal march. They keep the energy flowing with the high-powered, aggressive rhythm of "Let Them All Rot" and the strong  reinforcement of "Weight Of The False Self," which still proves that Hatebreed is at the top of the hardcore metal genre. The deep bass groove of "A Stroke Of Red" and the punk-like fury of "Dig Your Way Out" will have your jaw on the floor and your ears bleeding from the band's shear force. Hatebreed wrap up their new album with the reckless attack of "The Herd Will Scatter" and the chaotic build-up of "Invoking Dominance." To find out more about Hatebreed and their latest release "Weight Of The False Self," please visit hatebreed.com.

Next, former DragonForce bassist Frederic Leclercq has teamed up with Mary's Blood guitarist Saki to form the new extreme metal band, Amahiru. They are preparing to unleash their self-titled debut album on November 27th through earMusic. Right from the opening chords of "Innocent," you know you're in for a sonic adventure that will grab hold and not let go. Singer Archie Wilson's vocals are the perfect fit for the high-powered attack of "Hours" and "Way Out." The band's amazing musical prowess comes alive during the exciting instrumental "Ninja No Tamashii." The big hard rock edge of "Bringing Me Down" and the melodic, emotion-fueled instrumental "Waves" have the perfect sound to introduce new fans to the world of Amahiru. They close the album with the hardcore metal fury of "Samurai" and thunderous delivery of "Zombi." To find out more about Amahiru and their new release, please visit facebook.com/AmahiruOfficial.

Let's finish with the debut album from the progressive rock band, Marathon, which is led by Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly. The band was formed in 2019, but ended up recording their album during the pandemic lockdown from March to July of this year. The band finally reconvened in person to record and film a live version of the album for a bonus DVD that will included with the release of the album. The release is bookended with two musical suites, led by the amazing musicians in this band. The solo that closes out "Amelia: Whistling At The Sea" and the musical interlude of "Twenty-Fifty One: Arrival" carries a classic progressive rock sound, you'd swear this is from one of Marillion's albums from the eighties. The gentle flow of "When I Fall" showcases a different, earthy sound to Marathon's music, before they take you on the tempo changing adventure of "Puppets." To find out more about Mark Kelly's Marathon, please visit marathonsounds.com.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Newly Remixed & Expanded Version of Pink Floyd's "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" Live Album Has Arrived

In 1986, the legendary Pink Floyd would enter the studio without two of its founding members (Roger Waters and Richard Wright) to record their first set of new music since the underappreciated album, "The Final Cut" in 1983. This began a new era for the band, lead by guitarist/singer David Gilmour and the only remaining original band member, drummer Nick Mason. The album "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" was released in 1987 to mostly positive reviews and was hailed as a "return to form" for the band. But, bigger than the release of a new studio album from Pink Floyd was the world tour that followed. A five night performance at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY was the basis for a new live album and home video titled "Delicate Sound Of Thunder." This was Pink Floyd's first ever official live release and featured only a portion of the band's live show, as the original CD, cassette and vinyl release featured different line-up of the live show. The album reached #11 on the Billboard Album charts and has gone on to sell triple-platinum status (over 1,500,000 copies) in the U.S. alone.

A new remix of the "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" album was released with the new Pink Floyd "The Later Years 1987-2019" box set, last year (review: www.jpsmusicblog.com). The sound of the live recording was cleaned-up and remixed by Pink Floyd's long-time engineer Andy Jackson, along with support from David Gilmour and Damon Iddins. On November 20th, Legacy Recordings will unveil a stand-alone version of this new remix on CD, Blu-ray, DVD and on vinyl. The new two CD set will include eight songs that were omitted from the original release, while nine songs will be included on this new triple-vinyl set, which also includes a 24-page, full-color photo booklet.

The separation of the instruments on this new vinyl release is simply amazing. This new remix allows for the music to breathe on its own, as the opening notes of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" warm up your speakers for over two hours of stunning music. The vinyl is dead quiet and allows what little crowd noise is included to be heard uninterrupted. Songs like "Sorrow," "The Dogs Of War" and "One Of These Days" will remind you of how great and powerful this band was live, even during their later years together. My favorite version of "On The Turning Away" also appears as beautiful as ever with Gilmour's vocals starting the song off with a delicate touch, while the rest of the band follow his lead, which erupts into an amazing guitar solo. This new restored version also includes classic tracks like "The Great Gig In The Sky," "Welcome To The Machine" and "Us And Them" into their rightful place alongside other songs from "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here."

After making it through all two-and-a-half hours of music, you feel as if you were part of something bigger, something historic, which during these times, may feel very emotional, as concerts were something to behold and not take for granted. So, as you watch the film or listen to the show, you will no doubt believe that Pink Floyd was and is one of the best live bands of all time. To find out more about this new restored, re-edited, remixed version of Pink Floyd's "Delicate Sound Of Thunder," please visit delicatesoundofthunder.pinkfloyd.com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Live In Maui" Performance

Back in 1971, a small film about the unique counterculture of the late-sixties on the island of Maui was released. The film was directed by Chuck Wein, (who was an associate to Andy Warhol and discovered the fashion model Edie Sedwick) and was produced by Michael Jeffrey, who was managing Jimi Hendrix at the time. Hendrix needed money to build his famous Electric Ladyland studios and Jeffrey needed music for a soundtrack to his film "Rainbow Bridge." Hendrix was brought out to Maui, along with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox to perform a concert at the side of a volcano, which was to become the pinnacle piece to the movie. The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed two sets, over 100 minutes of music, but due to technical difficulties only 17 minutes of footage was included in the film. Hendrix was also supposed to create a unique soundtrack to the movie, but unfortunately passed away less than two months after this show was performed and no new music was ever made.

When the film was released, it received negative reviews and was a commercial disaster. The soundtrack included mostly studio work that Jimi Hendrix was working on for his next album, but none of the music from the concert was used. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that landmark show, Experience Hendrix in partnership with Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Entertainment) is releasing a new 2CD/Blu-ray and triple-vinyl/Blu-ray release titled "Live In Maui." It includes both sets from the Jimi Hendrix Experience's show on July 30, 1970. Bootlegs of this show (being one of Jimi Hendrix's last live performances) have been circulating for years, but believe me, this is the best it ever sounded. Jimi Hendrix's longtime engineer, Eddie Kramer newly mixed the music from the show, which was mastered by the great Bernie Grundman.

The show was plagued by recording malfunctions and wind whipping through the microphones, which actually caused drummer Mitch Mitchell to re-record many of his drum parts in the studio, in order to enhance the performance. This new set will leave you stunned that that music that was recorded outside during 20 mph winds can sound that good. Kramer and Grundman did a masterful job cleaning and remixing these two performances that Billy Cox said was one of the best performances by this trio. Hendrix was on fire and as you can see in some of the film footage of the show, he tried to portray that energy onto the audience. Both the first show and the second show were recorded fully, but only the first half of each performance was filmed and as mentioned before only 17 minutes of that footage was used in the film.

Speaking of film, the accompanying Blu-ray features a full-length, 90-minute documentary titled "Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui." This film catches up with nearly everyone that was involved with the distasterous film "Rainbow Bridge." From the film's director, to the people from Maui that were in the film, to Eddie Kramer, photographer Brian Byrnes and even Jimi Hendrix's close friend Colette Harron, along with his bandmates Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell. The documentary tries to find the silver-lining into what what could have gone right and what did go right for the film. Obviously, the music and the concert is the shinning star of this new release. The documentary also includes unseen footage that was shot for the film, but was never used, as well as live footage of the band's performance at the Honolulu Arena the following night. Considering the age of the footage and the complications that the film crew endured, I was very impressed with quality of the concert film and how clean the recording sounds. To find out more about the new Jimi Hendrix Experience release "Live In Maui," please visit jimihendrix.com.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Up The Irons With The New "Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast" Release From Iron Maiden

On November 20th, Iron Maiden will release their latest live extravaganza "Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City." It was recorded in September 2019 during the band's three sold out shows at the Palacio de los Deportes and highlights the band's current world tour which is now planned to conclude in July 2021. This three year tour followed the band from Europe to the U.S. then to Canada, then South America and eventually back to Europe. The new live release will arrive in a handful of different options including a limited edition deluxe 2CD book format release, along with an exclusive Mexican flag triple colored vinyl set.

The "Legacy Of The Beast" show was a bombardment of some of the band's most well-known hits like "Aces High," "The Trooper" and "Revelations." The difference from the band's normal "greatest hits" show is that this one is supposed to tell a story of a military person, who find redemption before being dying and facing the beast in hell. Right from the opening guitar riffs of "Aces High," they are right up front in the mix, along with singer Bruce Dickenson's vocals. The drums and bass are set back, but sound like they get a more prominent place in the song "The Clansman." The audience almost seems non-existent (at least compared to what you'd expect from Mexico City), unless Bruce calls on them to respond. Iron Maiden also dive into their more progressive metal side with the epic musical pieces "For The Greater Good Of God" and "Sign Of The Cross," which have not been performed in many year prior to this tour.

A number of classics, which fans have heard many times before on live releases, close out this new release, but still showcases the band in top form. The energy just explodes as they perform the classics "Number Of The Beast" and "Iron Maiden." The visuals that accompanied this entire show was also stunning and I hope that a Blu-ray/DVD is in the plans for a future release of a show from this tour, because attending one of the shows on this tour was a treat to the creativity that Iron Maiden continues to delivery with every show. The addition of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" back into their shows displays the love that fans have for this song, along with the iconic Iron Maiden closer "Run To The Hills." After more than twenty years together, this current and most stable line-up of Iron Maiden can still out perform any band out there and sound as great as ever. Long live Iron Maiden! To find out more about their new live album "Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City," please visit ironmaiden.com.

Monday, November 16, 2020

New Live Albums From Def Leppard And Bob Marley Arrive On Limited Edition Color Vinyl

Back in May of this year, Def Leppard released a new box set "London To Vegas" (review: www.jpsmusicblog.com). It featured the band performing their classic album "Hysteria" in its entirely at the O2 Arena in London and a hits filled (and deep cuts) set from their residency in Las Vegas. Now, the shows are available separately on CD and for the first time, "Hits Vegas - Live At Planet Hollywood" will be released on limited edition transparent blue vinyl on December 11. The "Hysteria" show from the O2 Arena was already released back in May on crystal clear vinyl and includes only the complete "Hysteria" album performed live. The new two CD set "Hysteria At The O2" includes the "Hysteria" set on the first disc and also includes the five songs, hits filled encore on the second disc.

The "Hits Vegas - Live At Planet Hollywood" was also highlighted back in May with a two-sided vinyl picture disc titled "Acoustic In Vegas." It featured the band's four-song acoustic set from their hits-packed Las Vegas residency and will now be included with the entire show as a triple translucent blue vinyl set. All of the band's well-known hits and some fan-favorite deep cuts are included in this show. A must have on CD or vinyl for any Def Leppard fan. To find out more about these new releases, please visit defleppard.com.

Also recently released on vinyl for the very first time is a new live Bob Marley release titled "Uprising Live." This release arrives from Eagle Rock Entertainment in association with the Bob Marley Estate to celebrate the 75th birthday of Bob Marley, which was celebrated on February 6th. This triple vinyl set arrived on November 13th and features Bob Marley's show from June 13, 1980 to celebrate his most recent album "Uprising." This eighteen-song set includes many of his well-known classics like "Positive Vibration," "I Shot The Sheriff," "Jamming" and "No Woman No Cry." The sound on this is not perfect, and may have never intended to become an official release, but has a certain feel to the recording that puts you in the crowd at the venue. The sound of the music is right up front, while Bob's vocals, along with the I-Three's backing vocals are a tad set back in this live recording. Bob's vocals are very clear and you can feel his energy in songs like "Exodus" and "Could You Be Loved," but the jewel of the show is an intimate acoustic performance of his newly released single "Redemption Song." Bob Marley's words ring loud and clear now as they did back in 1980. He works the crowd up into a frenzy with "Get Up, Stand Up," before closing his show with another new track from the "Uprising" album "Coming In From The Cold" and the energetic message of "Lively Up Yourself," which proves that Bob Marley was a true Shaman for delivering positive vibrations. To find out more about this new vinyl-only release of Bob Marley's "Uprising Live," please visit thesoundofvinyl.com.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

New Releases From International Rock Artists Heartwind and Il Rovescio della Medaglia

Arriving November 20th is the sophomore release from the Swedish melodic rock band, Heartwind. Their new album titled "Strangers" features ten new tracks that encompasses the sound of their late-seventies/early-eighties heroes like Def Leppard and Whitesnake. They kick things off with the addictive rock chorus of "Stranger In The Night," which would have ruled the airwaves and rocked arenas throughout the seventies. Singer Nina Soderquist takes over the lead vocals on "Line Of Fire," as her powerful vocals would give even the hard rock legend, Lita Ford a run for her money. Heartwind have also perfected the power ballad with the flowing emotions of "Angels Cry Again," before the hard rock attack of "One Love" and "I'm Alive" find the band returning to their intense melodic metal form. The band wrap up their new release with fellow lead singer Stefan Nykvist leading them through the high-powered, sonic blast of "Catcher In The Rye" and the progressive metal closer "Searching Is Over Now." To find out more about Heartwind and their latest release "Strangers," please visit facebook.com/Heartwindtheband.

Also arriving November 20th is a new live album from the legendary Italian symphonic rock band, Il Rovescio della Medaglia. The title of their new release is "Contaminazione 2.0," which is completely dedicated to their 1973 album "Contaminazione." The thirteen tracks of the original release are newly resurrected in this perfect live setting, which was recorded in September 2018 to celebrate the album's 45th anniversary. The beautiful 97-second instrumental opener "Absent For This Consumed World" leads into the gentle, Italian sung beginning of "Ora Non Ricordo Plu," which then explodes with progressive rock thunder. Il Rovescio della Medaglia then moves into a more classical direction (but still keep the symphonic rock element) with "Il Suono Del Silenzio" and slightly operatic with "La Mia Musica." This bands stellar musicianship shines on "Contaminazione 1760," before this new release closes with three bonus tracks, the subtle touch of "Il Nulla," the hard rock assault of "La Creazione" and the powerful progressive rock piece "L'Ammonimento." A limited number of colored vinyl additions of this release will be available. To find out more about Il Rovescio della Medaglia and their new live album "Contaminazione 2.0," please visit facebook.com/ilrovesciodellamedaglia.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Step Into The World Of Jazz With New Music From Deborah Silver and Frank Kohl

Jazz artist Deborah Silver returns with hear latest release of standards titled "Glitter & Grits." It was originally released back in August and finds Deborah teaming up with producer Ray Benson and his band of musicians, Asleep At The Wheel, to help Deborah put her own stamp on these well-known classics. The new thirteen-track release begins with the up-tempo swing of "I Got Rhythm" and the sultry delivery of "That Old Black Magic," which finds Deborah taking the reigns and letting her vocals soar. Ray Benson steps in for the duet on the country/jazz romp "Ballin' The Jack," before the tempo slows down for the sweet luscious ballad "It's Almost Like Being In Love." You can't help but get wrapped up in Deborah's sweet-sounding vocals in the playful pace of "Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive" and the loving slow sway of "Embraceable You." Deborah Silver closes out her new album with the elegant touch of "Fly Me To The Moon" and the fun, country crooning of "Deep In The Heart Of Texas," featuring the harmonica work of Mickey Raphael. To find out more about Deborah Silver and her latest release "Glitter & Grits," please visit deborahsilvermusic.com.

New York City guitarist Frank Kohl has been refining the art of jazz guitar since the release of his first album, almost four decades ago. His musical career has brought across the country to Seattle and back again and now Frank has finally released a solo guitar album titled "Solitude." It features a mixture of original compositions and covers, including the wonderful finger-picking of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad" and the beautiful melodic touch of Oscar Peterson's "City Lights." Many of Frank's original tracks evoke that same emotion, like the run of scales on "Solitude" and the bluesy feel of "A Call For Peace," which is certain to grab your attention. The passion and elegance of Frank's performance comes shining through on "Still Missing You" and "In Your Arms," as the music finds its way into your soul. He finishes his new album with bright, hopeful chords of "Wide Open" and a touching tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim with "Once I Loved." To find out more about Frank Kohl and his latest release "Solitude," please visit frankkohl.com.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

New Compilations From The Legendary Brian Eno and Prog Music Artist Tim Morse

Arriving November 13th digitally is a new compilation from English musician/producer Brian Eno. The project titled "Film Music 1976-2020" features a highlight reel of some of Brian Eno's music that was produced for some classic films like "Dune," "Heat" and "Trainspotting." This set will arrive on CD and on vinyl in early January. Eno may be best known for his work with ambient music (a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere). Eno has also collaborated with pop artists like David Bowie, David Byrne, U2 and Coldplay and was also a founding member of the English glam rock band, Roxy Music.

The songs that make up this new compilation are the very definition of ambient music, as subtle shifts in tone allows the music to develop an emotional connection to the listener. The gentle flow of "Blood Red" from the film "Francis Bacon's Arena" and the rhythmic delivery of "Under" from "Cold World" showcase the diversity in Eno's musical approach. Fans of Brian Eno's music may find familiarity with "Prophecy Theme" from "Dune" or "Late Evening In Jersey" from "Heat." The great thing about Eno's music is that you do not need the visual element to feel the emotion in the music, like the enlightenment of  "Deep Blue Day" from "Trainspotting." The oldest track in this set is "Final Sunset" from the 1976 film "Sebastian." The music simply glides along with hints of chimes to give a little depth to the music. The compilation closes with the bright sounds of "An Ending (Ascent)," which was originally written for the Apollo moon landing documentary "For All Mankind," but was also featured in the movies "Traffic," "28 Days Later" and in "Beatriz At Dinner." To find out more about "Film Music 1976-2020," this first ever collection of Brian Eno's soundtrack music, please visit brian-eno.net.

Another new recently released compilation comes from progressive music artist Tim Morse. His new album titled "The Archaeology Project: The Music Of Tim Morse 2005-2020" includes fourteen tracks that reflect on Tim's last fifteen years of recording music. Tim felt nostalgic going back and remastering his music and wanted to show the growth in his songwriting. The album begins with a short guitar interlude that sets you up for the fifteen-minute epic piece "Apocalyptic Visions." The music flows from a gentle ambient beginning, to a hard rock attack, back and forth, until the closing guitar frenzy finishes off the song with a powerful punch. Songs like "Adrift" and "Afterword" showcases Morse's gentler side, while "200 Yards" is a perfectly wrapped, concise progressive piece that has all the elements for a single release, along with the uplifting pop aspects of "My Ally." Tim closes out his new compilation with a cover of the classic Pink Floyd epic "Dogs," which Tim mentions is "something I've wanted to do for years." To find out more about Tim Morse and his latest release "The Archaeology Project: The Music Of Tim Morse 2005-2020," please visit timmorse.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Elton John Opens The Vault For His New "Jewel Box"

Let's get one thing straight, there is and only ever will be one Elton John and anything new that comes from this musical legend is cause for celebration. Elton John's latest release does not include any new music and is titled "Elton: Jewel Box." It features 148 songs (60 previously unreleased) spread across 8 CDs and over half of those songs are making their digital debut on November 13th. Now, these songs are broken down into three categories. The first set is titled "Deep Cuts Curated By Elton," which includes released songs from throughout Elton John's career that have meant something personal to the artist and may not have seen the singles charts. The second set is called "Rarities and B-side Highlights," this is where hardcore fans will want to start because of the all the demos and studio outtakes that have never officially seen the light of day, until now. The third set is named "And This Is Me..." and it is sort of a soundtrack to Elton autobiography simply titled "Me." All the song in this third set have been mentioned by their titled in his book. Now, all of these sets appear together on CD in the "Elton: Jewel Box" set, but are broken off into three individual releases on vinyl.

The first set "Deep Cuts Curated By Elton" appears on the first two CDs of the box set or as a separate four-LP box set. All of the songs sound stunning, especially on vinyl throughout this set. The music was mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Sean Magee at Abby Roads Studios and it jumps right out of your speakers. Fans will be familiar with many of the tracks in this first set, but may have forgotten how great these "lesser" know deep tracks are. Many of these great songs range from the early rock days of "Where To Now St. Peter?" and the blues of "Mellow" to the eighties pop of "Too Low For Zero" and the scarce solo piano piece "The Bridge." Hearing songs like "Stone's Throw From Hurtin'" and "Crystal" may remind you that Elton's career during the eighties was about more than just pumping out hit singles, unlike his full album masterpieces of the seventies. Three songs from this set also feature the late, great Leon Russell, which Elton recorded the great album "The Union" with back in 2010. Do yourself and rediscover this this classic with the tracks "Monkey Suit," "Gone To Shiloh" (which also includes Neil Young on vocals), along with "Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)."

As I said before, fans will want to dive right into the set titled "Rarities and B-side Highlights" which includes a treasure trove of delights. The first part centers around Elton John earliest recordings including his first song "Come Back Baby" from 1965 and Elton's first collaboration with Bernie Taupin in the form of "Scarecrow" from 1967. Many of these early demos are still rough recordings, but have been cleaned up as much as possible to provide the best sound of these vault gems. Many of the songs included in the second part (1968) of this rarities set was for Elton John's planned debut album "Regimental Sgt. Zippo," but sadly were overlooked like the high energy progressive rock approach of "New Oxford Street" and the psychedelic pop of "Sitting Doing Nothing." This set also includes early versions of some well-known classics like "Burn Down The Mission," "Madman Across The Water" and "Holiday Inn."

The "B-sides Highlights" stretches across two CDs, but only includes five of the twenty-six tracks on only one side of the vinyl set. Many of these B-sides will have their digital debuts and sound better than every before, thanks to the amazing remastering by Sean Magee. The final section of this new set "And This Is Me..." tells Elton John's story through sixteen songs, beginning with Elton's first song on his debut album "Empty Sky" and finishes with his Grammy-award winning collaboration with Taron Egerton on "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again." To find out more about this great new set of musical gems from Elton John in "Elton: Jewel Box," please visit eltonjohn.com.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

More Blues From The Legendary Junior Wells, Along With Duke Robillard and Steve Strongman

A new release titled "Blues Brothers" brings together the music and vocals of the late Junior Wells with many of today's great blues artists. You will instantly recognize classics like "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Worried Life Blues," but with a little added juice from iconic artists like Pat Travers, Mike Zito and James Montgomery. Rising guitarist Tyler Bryant spices up "Messin' With The Kid" with his southern blues swagger and legendary blues guitarist Harvey Mandel lends a hand to "When The Cat's Gone The Mice Will Play," as Junior Wells' harp solo steals the show. Joe Louis Walker pulls double-duty with two tracks on this new release, first he steps into Buddy Guy's shoes with the guitar boogie of ""Snatch It Back And Hold It," then again on the slow, burning ballad of "Hoodoo Man Blues." Fellow legendary blues artist Guitar Shorty makes his presence known on the swift moving "Two-Headed Woman," along with Popa Chubby performing a duet with the iconic, timeless blues legend Junior Wells. To find out more about the release of "Blues Brothers," please visit cleorecs.com.

More great blues music arrives from Grammy-nominated artist Duke Robillard in the form of his latest release "Blues Bash!" It features ten tracks that carry that classic fifties/sixties-style, boogie-woogie vibe, beginning with the swinging tempo of the opener "Do You Mean It" featuring guest vocalist Chris Cote. Duke slinks back to the classic blues romp of "No Time," before the energy picks up again with the nostalgic, jukebox vibe of "What Can I Do." Duke Robillard lets his guitar do the talking, taking the lead on the instrumental blues of "Rock Alley," before guest singer Michelle Wilson interrupts this boys club with her sweet, strong vocals on "You Played On My Piano." Duke Robillard wraps up his new album with the New Orleans' flavored "Ain't Gonna Do It" and the smooth, ten-minute blues jam "Just Chillin'." To find out more about Duke Robillard and his latest release "Blues Bash!," please visit dukerobillard.com.

Fellow bluesman Steve Strongman is preparing to reissue his 2019 album "Tired Of Talkin'," through his new record label, Stony Plain Records. After only being released in Canada, now Steve Strongman's latest piece of music will be heard around the world. Strongman has shared the stage with legendary acts like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter, and he has taken that experience into the studio with the nostalgic vibe of "Paid My Dues" and "Tell Me Like It Is." Steve incorporates some funk into his style with the rhythm of "Just Ain't Right," then switches to the acoustic country strumming of "That Kind Of Fight," which showcases Strongman's musical diversity. The pure blues shines on "Highway Man," before he closes out his latest album with his stellar cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." To find out more about Steve Strongman and his latest release "Tired Of Talkin'," please visit stevestrongman.com.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Check Out These New Sounds From Damia Timoner, Todd Mosby and Julian Gerstin

Spanish-born guitarist Damia Timoner recently released his ZOHO Roots label debut album titled "Jerry's Smilin', A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead." This new ten-song release find Timoner reinterpreting some classic, well-known Grateful Dead tunes, along with some deep cuts. The slow pace of the opener "Brown-Eyed Women," almost makes this track unrecognizable, while "Ramble On Rose" is a beautiful ballad performed with a delicate touch. I love that Damia allows some of his Spanish background to find its way into these tracks, like the finger-picking "Cassidy" and the nine-minute suite of "Lady With A Fan/Terrapin Station." He also knows how to bring out the blues with the dark, quieter tone of "Loser," before finishing with the lighter-sounding blues of "Operator" and the triumphant message of "Touch Of Grey." To find out more about Damian Timoner and his latest release "Jerry's Smilin', A Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead," please visit facebook.com/damiatimonermusic.

Also newly released is the latest album from guitarist Todd Mosby titled "Aerial Views." Mosby has invited a slew of guests to perform on his new studio effort, like Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates) and Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) just to name a few. His new twelve-track release beings with the gentle, swaying acoustic jazz of "Gliding" and the slightly more up-tempo rhythm of "Across America." The delicate, graceful touch of "Aether" is a wonderful relaxing piece of music that allows you to fully amerce yourself in every note. The jazz vibe returns with the shuffle of "Earth & Sky" and the emotional touch of Charlie Bisharat on violin during "Sailing Sylphs." Todd's guitar playing takes center stage once again on the more rhythmic flow of "Between The Clouds" and the beautiful solo piece "To The Sky." He wraps up his new album with a nod his North Indian raag with "Solo Flight" and the swinging jazz of "Shinning Lights." To find out more about Todd Mosby and his latest release "Aerial Views," please visit toddmosby.band.

Percussionist Julian Gerstin has turned to the ocean to create his latest release "Littoral Zone." This new seventeen-track album finds Gerstin incorporating sounds from all over the world, as he creates some truly unique musical pieces, like the rhythmic opener "Voluta Musica." The music on this new release are partly improvised on the spot and partly composed, as you can feel the island energy flow through "Purpura" and hear the music come together perfectly like a puzzle in "Corculum Cardissa." Gertin will constantly keep you guessing as to what instrument is being used to make these rhythms, like with "Credpidula Fornicata" and "Telescopium Telescopium." Julian Gerstin closes out his latest dedication to crustaceans with jazzy feel of "Hexaplex Radix" and the slow build-up of "Littoral Zone." To find out more about Julian Gerstin and his latest release "Littoral Zone," please visit juliangerstin.com.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

New Music From Howlin' Rain, Occult Stereo, Darro and Troy Richardson with Fernando Perdomo

California rock/jamband Howlin' Rain return with volume two of their "Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts" concert series. Volume one was released last September and now volume two snuck out at the end of October. It features only six tracks, beginning with the opening tune-in short instrumental "Firefly Drone," before the band lets lose on the guitar-boogie southern rocker "Rainbow Trout." Howlin Rain's musicianship takes over on the fourteen-minute jam, which is outstanding, as the music simply floats along for a moment, before the band turn their blues jam into overdrive finishing the song with a guitar frenzy. Speaking of the blues, Howlin' Rain slow the tempo down for the sweet slide guitar of "Coliseum," before finishing things up with the raw, emotions of the guitar-driven "Alligator Bride." To find out more about Howlin' Rain and their latest release "Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts, Vol. 2," please visit howlinrain.com.

Next up is the debut release from Occult Stereo, which is the brainchild of Alex Eilpooulos of the band, Impuritan. Alex states that this new album titled "Plasma" is part-solo and part-collaborative effort, made up of jams that were eventually arranged and assembled by Alex earlier this year in San Francisco. The new six-song album begins with the raw, steady rhythm of "Liber Xoas," which switches half-way through to a gentler acoustic number, which feels more like two different songs that were brought together to try and play nice. The dark, underlining tone of "Freedom Eyes" gives ways to a hard-edged blues jam that simply rocks. The quiet flow of "Candian Bees" is a nice relaxing piece that flows into the experimental, psychedelic jam of "A Sane Web." Occult Stereo close out the album with the atmospheric melody of "Cassini Hearts," which finishes with a chaotic collaboration of instruments. To find out more about Occult Stereo and its latest release "Plasma," please visit occultstereo.com.

Also arriving soon is a new collaborative effort from Troy Richardson and Fernando Perdomo. They currently have a couple tracks recorded for a future album together. The country blues rocker "Irregardlessly" is filled to the brim with energy and passion, as the band just find the perfect chemistry for this power packed tune. The second track "Mobridge, South Dakota" is little slower with a blues-based rhythm that gets highlighted by some sweet slide guitar. Look for a full-length release or EP from these two to arrive soon.

Last, but not least is a new release from singer, songwriter, guitarist Darro titled "Songs Of Recovery." The album came to fruition because of a brain tumor that he was diagnosed with upon his arrival back into the U.S. after finishing grad school abroad. The new eight track release begins with a spoken word introduction/instruction, which leads into the punk-like alternative rocker "You're Not Insane" and the addictive pop/rock melody of "Paralyzed." The energy continues to flow through the intense "Better Not Peak My Head" and the wonderful guitar melody of "Wired Shut." Darro wraps up his latest release with the youthful pop tones of "Undefined." To find out more about Darro and his latest release "Songs Of Recovery," please visit darrochea.com.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Legends Of Punk (Adolescents) & Goth Rock (Rosetta Stone) Return With New Albums

SoCal punk legends Adolescents are back with a brand new studio album titled "Russian Spider Dump." This is the first recording of new material since the passing of founding member Steve Soto and it features a mix of covers and obscure gems that make up this fifteen-track compilation. The band nail these songs perfectly, like the classic punk style of The Dickies "Just Say Yes" and hardcore edginess of The Dragons' "Dirty Bomb." The political statements of "God Bless America" and "Class War" are presented loud and clear on this compilation with these much needed, new recordings by the Adolescents. The idea of re-creating these cover songs began with the band playing around with the Spirit song "I Got A Line On You," which features some of the final recordings of Steve Soto on guitar. The album wraps up with raw, nostalgic punk energy of Electric Frankenstein's "Not With You" and the final sonic blast of Muletrain's "Back Door," which the Adolescents pull off perfectly. To find out more about the Adolescents and their latest release "Russian Spider Dump," please visit facebook.com/officialtheadolescents.

Another new release that recently snuck by the radar is the new album "Cryptology" from the gothic rock band, Rosetta Stone. After a nineteen year hiatus, "gothic mastermind" Porl King returned last year with critically praised "Seems Like Forever." His songwriting reflects the world we live in today, with tracks like "Shock" (about a global pandemic) and "Soon" (about climate change), which hits the mark both lyrically and musically. Rosetta Stone's classic new wave/goth style is still present in the tracks "I Put It To You" and "Smoke & Mirrors," as Porl King makes his music feel timeless. The album closes with dark, dance beats of "Always, Always," which seems primed for an extended remix. To find out more about Rosetta Stone and their latest release "Cryptology," please visit facebook.com/RosettaStoneOfficial.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

George Benson Spends The "Weekend In London" & John Redmon Is "Honoring Louis Armstrong"

Grammy-winning jazz great George Benson is preparing to release a new live album titled "Weekend In London" on November 13th through Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. It was recorded during a performance in 2019 at Ronnie Scott's 250-seat jazz club. George Benson is a platinum-selling artist, whose career dates back to the late-fifties. His new fourteen track live album features many of his classic well-known songs like "Give Me The Night," "Turn Your Love Around" and "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You." Not only does Benson perform some amazing jazz numbers, but he can also deliver the blues with "I Hear You Knocking" and delivers a Latin flair to "The Ghetto." His voice simply soars on the R&B ballad "Moody's Mood," as George Benson's music has a timeless quality to it. He wraps up his new live album with the seven-minute funk/jazz fusion of "Affirmation" and the closing instrumental "Cruise Control," which Benson states is "one of my favorite instrumentals because it was completely off the cuff." To find out more about George Benson and his new live album "Weekend In London," please visit georgebenson.com.

Fellow jazz artist John Redmon teamed up with The Thomas J. Dawson, Jr. Orchestra to pay tribute to the late, great Louis Armstrong with a new album titled simply "Honoring Louis Armstrong." It features ten tracks, beginning with a spoken word "Overture" about imagining a better world, as the lovely classical melody plays in the background. Then big band swing kicks in with "Blessed Assurance" with John Redmon displaying his Armstrong impression, singing in the style of the jazz great. The duet between Redmon and Linda Purl is simply magical during "Summertime," while "When The Saints Go Marching In" is pure fun, filled with positive energy. Vocalist Charles Bule is simply stunning singing "Smile," while John Redmon turns the magic on once again with "What A Wonderful World." Look for this new amazing tribute to Louis Armstrong to arrive in January 2021. To find out more about "Honoring Louis Armstrong" from John Redmon & The Thomas J. Dawson, Jr. Orchestra, please visit honoringlouisarmstrong.com.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Fall In Love With The Blues With New Releases From John Lee Hooker and Jimmie Vaughan

Arriving November 6th from Eagle Rock Entertainment is a new live John Lee Hooker double vinyl and digital video release titled "Live At Montreux 1983 & 1990." These two recordings showcase the resurgence in John Lee Hooker's popularity, as he steals the spotlight at both festivals with his concisely perfected nine-song sets that features the boogie blues of Hooker's guitar playing, along with his stellar backing band, the Coast To Coast Blues Band. As soon as John Lee Hooker walks out onto the stage with a drink in his hand in 1983 and sat down, he commanded all eyes on him. The video zooms right in on his fingers simply strumming those guitar strings, laying down the rhythm of the song, while his stoic face lays out the blues.

John Lee Hooker's appearance in 1983 finds him performing most of his well-known tracks like "Boom Boom" and "Crawlin' King Snake." The live setting quickens the pace of "Hi-Heeled Sneakers" and coincidentally turns "Worried Life Blues" into a slow burning numbers that ends too quickly. The energy onstage explodes during the encore jam session of "Boogie Chillin'," which gets Hooker and the audience up on their feet. The energy of this closing number shows the affect that John Lee Hooker's music can have in a live setting.

When John Lee Hooker returns to Montreux in 1990, he is celebrating his recently Grammy Award winning album "The Healer." He also adds some horns to his Coast To Coast Blues Band, to give his music another dimension. John Lee Hooker comes out on to the stage as the coolest cat you'll ever see and slows everything down for the slow, steady pace of "Mabel." He wastes no time diving into tracks from his new album like "In the Mood" and "Baby Lee." Even though some of the tracks repeat from both shows, they are presented differently, like "Crawlin' King Snake" includes backing female vocals by Vala Cupp. The 1990 shows features a slow set of blues numbers, before Hooker and his band reach his iconic song "Boom Boom," which blows the roof off the place. The video is what you'd expect for a recording from the eighties and nineties, with the main focus on the centerstage star, John Lee Hooker. To find out more about this new release from John Lee Hooker "Live At Montreux 1983 & 1990," please visit johnleehooker.com.

Another bluesman with a new release is the great Jimmie Vaughan with "The Pleasure's All Mine." It combines two of Jimmie Vaughan's most respected albums "Blues, Ballads And Favorites" and "More Blues, Ballads And Favorites" as a double CD set and for the first time as a triple vinyl release. The 31-track album kicks off with the title-track, a cover of Billy Emerson's "The Pleasure Is All Mine" and the steady blues romp of "Come Love." This release reminds us of how great a guitarist Jimmie Vaughan is with stellar instrumentals like "Comin' & Goin'" and "Greenbacks." Vaughan also demonstrates his classic boogie-swagger with songs like "Just A Little Bit" and "I Ain't Gonna Do It No More," while also taking well-known classics like Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away" and Jimmy Reed's "I'm A Love You" and making them all his own. This new release also includes the bonus track "Bad Bad Whiskey" that was featured on the CD reissue. This new release not only celebrates the tenth anniversary of the original album's release, but also leads up to Vaughan's 70th birthday in March 2021. To find out more about the newly released "The Pleasure Is All Mine" from the great bluesman Jimmie Vaughan, please visit jimmievaughan.com.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Rich Shea Sings About "Love & Despiration" & While Jules Shear's New Album Gets "Slower"

Southern California singer, songwriter. guitarist Rick Shea recently released his new album "Love & Desperation" back in October. Shea began recording this new album in the spring of 2019, then once the pandemic hit, the recording took a digital turn with his collaborators. The new twelve-track release begins with the upbeat, energetic country swing of "Blues Stop Knockin' At My Door," before putting the brakes on for the slow, honky-tonk flow of "Blues At Midnight." Rick's descriptive songwriting shines with the slinky blues melody of "(Down At The Bar At) Gypsy Sally's," while the country two-step rhythm of "Big Rain Is Comin' Mama" is a perfect theme for this year's season of storms. Emotions come pouring out of the gentle ballad "A Tender Hearted Love," before the energy picks back up with the Latin-flair/polka vibe of "Juanita (Why Are You So Mean)." Rick Shea wraps up his new album with the acoustic strumming, deep southern sound of "Nashville Blues" and the quick-moving, swift guitar picking of "Texas Lawyer." To find out more about Rick Shea and his latest release "Love & Desperation," please visit rickshea.com.

Fellow singer/songwriter Jules Shear is releasing his first album of new material in over three years. His new album titled "Slower" will be released on November 13th, through Funzalo Records. It features ten tracks that examines how great his songwriting is. Jules has written hit singles for Cyndi Lauper, The Bangles and Alison Moyet, but on this new album his strips everything away and leaves it up to his words to evoke feelings. The new release begins with the gentle sway of "Sugar All Day," which includes a guest appearance from John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful) on harp solo. The mellow tone of the album continues through "Between Hell And Hello" and "It Came Down From Heaven," which almost feel like they were recorded on the first take, keeping the full emotions in the vocals. Just in time for the season, you get the nice harmonies of  "Feels Like Fall" which floats like leaves falling from trees. Jules Shear finishes his new album with the self-conscious examination of "One Pretty Please" and the gentle touch of the album closer "Call It Love." To find out more about Jules Shear and his latest release "Slower," please visit julesshearshow.com.

Monday, November 2, 2020

New Music From DarWin, The Trio of Robin Trower, Maxi Priest & Livingstone Brown and The Fuzztones

Arriving November 6th is the return of the progressive rock band, DarWin with their follow-up album "DarWin 2: A Frozen War." The band is made up of some of some of the most amazing musicians in rock like, Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who), Matt Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Elton John), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs), Greg Howe (Michael Jackson) plus others who have join DarWin on this latest rock adventure. The new five track release begins with short, seven-minute piece that weaves its way around hard rock riffs and folk melodies, in order to showcase the stellar musicianship on this album. DarWin and the band get the energy flowing with the high-powered attack of "Future History," which continues to flow into the more melodic tone of "Eternal Life." DarWin closes out his new album with the pop/rock duet of "Another Year," which only leave you wanting more from this artist. There is a double LP release of "DarWin 2: A Frozen War," which includes the original album, plus reinterpretations of the songs done unplugged and orchestral. To find out more about DarWin and his latest release "DarWin 2: A Frozen War," please visit darwin.is.

Guitarist Robin Trower, vocalist Maxi Priest and musician/songwriter Livingstone Brown have teamed up for the release of their new album "United State Of Mind." These three iconic artists came together to blend their talents along these nine new tracks that showcase each of their strengths. The album begins with the bluesy feel of the title song "United State Of Mind," led by some sweet guitar licks from Robin Trower. The R&B flow of "We Are Just People" matches Priest's vocal style perfectly, as you easily get lost into song's seventies-funk groove. The talents and experience of Livingstone Brown shine on the addictive melody of "Good Day," which plays sweetly next to Trower's guitar work. The slow sway of "Bring It All Back To You" allows Maxi Priest to pull you in with his emotional vocals, before this trio closes out their new album with the burning reggae/blues of "Sunrise Revolution" and the enlightening "Where Our Love Came From." To find out more about this new album from Robin Trower, Maxi Priest and Livingstone Brown, please visit maxipriest.com.

New York's iconic garage rock band, the Fuzztones are celebrating their 40th anniversary a new album "NYC," as a homage to their home town of New York City. This new fifteen track release is pure straight-up rock and roll with no filler, beginning with their raw cover of Frank Sinatra's "New York New York." The Fuzztones deliver a sixties-style rock vibe to "Flip Your Wig," which "New King Of Kick" has a punk attitude attached to is guitar-fuzz sound. Speaking of punk, the Fuzztones also cover The Ramones's classic "53rd & 3rd" and The Fugs's "Skin Flowers" with passion and purpose. They perfectly add their special touch to "High Tension Wire," delivering a modern raw rocking version of the song, while "Babylon" is a pure buzzsaw of guitars and harmonies. The Fuzztones wrap up their New York City tribute with the sixties-sounding, garage rock romp of "Let Me Dream" and the their iconic cover of Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot." To find out more about the Fuzztones and their latest release "NYC," please visit cleorecs.com.