Dawes Take on Mental health and Survival in New Song and Video

Dawes Take on Mental health and Survival in New Song and Video


Big Hassle Media

‘Good Luck With Whatever’ arrives via Rounder Records on Friday, October 2

Good Luck With Whatever marks Dawes’ first release on their new label, Rounder Records, and follows a series of acclaimed self-released albums including 2013’s Stories Don’t End, 2015’s All Your Favorite Bands, 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die, and 2018’s Passwords.

Credit: Clara Balzary

From its first downbeat, Good Luck With Whatever sees Goldsmith grappling with the expectations of adulthood on a remarkable cycle of new songs fueled by many of the same elements that first earned the band worldwide attention and applause – graceful melodies with kinetic riffs and intricate musical interplay. Throughout the album, Dawes once again prove incredibly adept at pushing the emotional limits of the classically structured rock song, a testament to their tightly honed yet imaginative musicianship and the gripping specificity of Goldsmith’s songwriting. A culmination of their entire catalogue and decade-long career all wrapped up in nine glorious tracks, Good Luck with Whatever reclaims the rugged urgency and easy confidence of Dawes’ early work while tapping into the veteran band’s intense musical connection more effectively than ever before.

“In the past, I’ve definitely been more precious about the way I wanted the songs to sound, but that’s never as fun,” Goldsmith says. “The music we make is everyone’s mode of expression, and the other guys all have chops that I don’t have and never will. The fact that we’re able to lean on each other and celebrate each other as individuals just makes us so much more excited about getting to play together in this band.”

Dawes have released a deeply thoughtful and insightful new song and video about mental health and personal survival. “Didn’t Fix Me,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services, is the fourth song from the Los Angeles-based band’s eagerly awaited seventh studio LP, Good Luck With Whatever. Produced by 6x GRAMMY® Award-winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit) at Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A, the album arrives via Rounder Records on Friday, October 2; pre-orders are available now.

Watch “Didn’t Fix Me” below.

 

Dawes is: Taylor Goldsmith (guitars, vocals), Griffin Goldsmith (drums), Wylie Gelber (bass), Lee Pardini (keys).

Tracklist:

Still Feel Like A Kid

Good Luck With Whatever

Between The Zero and The One

None Of My Business

St. Augustine At Night

Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

Didn’t Fix Me

Free As We Want To Be

Me Especially

Pre-order ‘Good Luck With Whatever’

Joe Bonamassa to Livestream Concert From Ryman Auditorium September 20

Joe Bonamassa to Livestream Concert From Ryman Auditorium September 20


Big Hassle Media

Each ticket purchased includes a donation to the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation for Joe’s Fueling Musicians Program to help musicians in need during the pandemic

Joe Bonamassa is set to perform a special live stream pay-per-view concert from the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on September 20th. This concert will feature the songs from his new album, Royal Tea, before the official release on October 23rd. Pre-order the album here. Joe has never performed a full, unreleased album for audiences like this before, giving fans from around the world the opportunity to come together for an unforgettable night of blues-rock music. Along with Royal Tea he’ll perform classic remixes from his 20th anniversary album A New Day Now. The evening will continue with a one hour “After-Party Showcase” featuring several live performances from an array of some of the hottest rising stars in blues-rock music.

The live stream pay per view tickets and packages for “Joe Bonamassa Live in Concert Worldwide” presented by Keeping The Blues Alive are available for purchase.

Photo credit: Robert Sutton

There are a variety of pricing levels available for fans worldwide to be a part of this special “audience.” Tickets to the live stream pay per view event starts at $20. Fans may also purchase a $35 ALL-ACCESS PASS which includes access to the live stream pay per view event on September 20th, the Royal Tea digital album available on October 23rd, and a 1-year all pass for Bonamassa’s on-demand service which includes 17+ concert releases from Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, and Rock Candy Funk Party – available at any time on most devices.

 As part of this unique concert event, fans also have the option to purchase a Commemorative VIP ticket giving them an experience they will never forget. VIP ticket holders will have their photo printed out and placed in a seat at the legendary Ryman Auditorium as part of Joe’s audience for that special night. VIPs will also get a picture of Joe with his “audience” which will be sent to them via email to keep. The VIP ticket holder’s name will also be included in the credits at the end of the live stream pay per view event, as well as being included in the upcoming DVD credits for this performance!

 This one-of-a-kind concert is presented by Bonamassa’s non-profit, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation (KTBA) (more info on KTBA here). Each ticket purchase will include a $1 donation to Joe’s Fueling Musicians Program, which to date has raised over $300,000 and has supported more than 163 musicians in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic (more info on Fueling Musicians here).

 While much of the applause Bonamassa receives should be credited to his sheer talent, some part of his success needs to be attributed to Joe and his business partner for having the foresight and ability to become some of music’s savviest entrepreneurs. Bonamassa now 43, and his partner Roy Weisman have together devised a 360-degree independent business model that has survived and thrived during one of the music industry’s most uncertain eras, particularly considering the challenges created by the current pandemic.

 Joe BonamassaYouTube: /JoeBonamassaTVFacebook: @JoeBonamassaTwitter: @JBONAMASSAInstagram: @joebonamassa

New Single From Nigel Barker – “I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today”

New Single From Nigel Barker – “I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today”


JD Nash

“I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today” is the third single to be released from Barker’s much anticipated forthcoming album, ‘FIVE,’ due out 9th October 2020.

Rapidly making a name for himself as one of the most exciting blues/rock artists in the UK today, Nigel Barker has released his new single, “I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today.” The track, which is out on all major digital platforms dropped on September 11th, and is far from run of the mill. It’s innovative, original and genuinely different.

“I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today” is the third single to be released from Barker’s much anticipated forthcoming album, FIVE,  due out on October 9th, 2020.

Barker’s music is lyric-oriented, with strong melodies and often experimental musical arrangements which keep things interesting.

Nigel had a bad car accident when he was 23 and lost the use of his left hand. For the young guitar player that was devastating. He switched to training as a recording engineer at AIR Studios and eventually went on to become a film editor and then an international award winning film director and writer. His 2003 film The Refuge, won him a Director’s Award at the 2006 Cinequest Film Festival, as well as a Best Screenplay award at the Napa Sonoma Film Festival in California- but he turned his back on film directing, “It was too hard getting money for films and too hard making them. I went back to simple film editing,” he says.

In the meantime the films bought him a Harley Davidson, and after a number of years using the heavy clutch on the bike, his hand came back to life. Nigel explains, “I was excited to be playing again, I went out and bought the guitar I had had when I was eighteen, a Les Paul, and started all over again. Four albums later, I have my own studio and twenty six guitars as well as a dining room that converts into a small film studio.”

Of the new single, Barker says:

Why release “I Curse The Sun For Coming Up Today” as a single? Well if you had managed to combine a blues rock guitar and orchestral strings and horns, with dubstep and a killer harmonica, I think you would want to show it off to the world.

This is the third release from my album FIVE and in this instance I’m not out to make pop music. I’m out to make something that’s a little out of the ordinary and this is a little out of the ordinary.

Nothing is allowed to lapse into being ordinary in this track. The drum kit includes clanging bits of metal. There’s stand up bass, growling cellos and a banjo riff. Banjo? Yeah I squeezed one of them in too. Love it or loathe it, you can’t ignore it.

If your taste is a little off wack sometimes, this three minute tracks is just for you. Nuff said!

Nigel Barker

*Feature image courtesy of New Outlaw

Award-Winning Bluesman Steve Strongman Signs With Linus Entertainment

Award-Winning Bluesman Steve Strongman Signs With Linus Entertainment


Mark Pucci

Strongman has been delighting audiences around the world with his take on the blues for decades.

Award-winning bluesman Steve Strongman has joined forces with Linus Entertainment in a multi-faceted deal that sees the Canadian-based company globally representing his music publishing catalog, and the distribution of his sound recording catalog, as well as future recordings and songwriting.

“Songwriting has always held a special place in my career, Strongman says about the new deal. “It’s always evolving for me, and it’s something that I continue to work at. I’m very excited that I have an opportunity to focus on developing further as a songwriter in this affiliation with Linus Entertainment.”

Strongman has been delighting audiences around the world with his take on the blues for decades, liberally applying swampy swagger and sweetness to shuffles, ballads, and four-on-the-floor chuggers alike. Now seven albums deep, Strongman is already well-known as a solo artist within the blues community.

“I believe Steve has what it takes to be a world-class creative force in the blues scene,” shares Geoff Kulawick, President of Linus Entertainment. “We will be utilizing his strength as a songwriter, introducing him as a producer, collaborator and co-writer to our Stony Plain Records affiliated artists as well as artists on other labels.”

“One thing that we bring to the table are connections,” says Rob Brown, Linus Entertainment’s Manager of Music Publishing. “We see an opportunity for Steve to work with the world’s best blues and roots artists, many who we already happen to be doing business with. We’re eager to see what opening those doors will lead to.”

A new album from Strongman is in the works and will be released alongside his back catalog on the Linus affiliated roots and blues label, Stony Plain Records.

Steve Strongman

Keep B.B. King’s Grave Clean

Keep B.B. King’s Grave Clean


Don Wilcock

Editorial note: Honoring the late, great B.B. King on his birthday with a 2008 interview originally published by ABS back in April of this year

I wonder what B.B. King would think about the situation we’re in right now? In 2008 he said to me, “I used to hear when I was a boy that people shouldn’t cry and sob so when they lose someone. They should do that with the incoming. When a baby’s born, they should cry. Sob for that baby because the person that just died don’t have to go through life again as a lot of us have had to go through.”

B.B. was an orphan at age 10 living on a plantation in Indianola, Mississippi.

You probably won’t believe what I’m about to tell you, but I never thought of it as a situation. I was just alone and lonely, and when a person has one child, you are alone when you lose that parent if you only have one. I was lonely and lonesome, yes. But there was a little we called it a little thicket, a lot of trees, not big trees. Small trees where a lot of animals like squirrels, rabbits and stuff like that, birds, a lot of birds, and after my mom died, I used to go down and sit down.

There’s a little spring down there, a spring that’s still running today. I was down there a few years ago, and I used to sit down and drink the water. I would be sitting on it sometimes, and I would have peanuts and food like that, corn and stuff, and animals I guess trusted me for some reason. They would come up and almost eat out of my hand. And they were my friends. I’ve had a lot of fans and a lot of acquaintances through the years, but I haven’t had a lot of friends. I don’t think it’s because I haven’t been friendly, but it’s just something about me. I don’t know what it is, but that is true. Even squirrels and rabbits and something like that.

B.B. had just released an album called One Kind Favor, the title taken from a line in the Blind Lemon Jefferson song “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” In 2015, B. B. was buried at his museum in Indianola.

“I was down to my hometown all last week,” he told me in 2008, “and I found the gravesite that I’d like to be buried in, and I hope they’ll remember that. Keep my grave clean. I’d love for people that love me or think well of me to be able to come to Indianola, Mississippi and see it. A long time ago I thought about being cremated. Then, I thought about that some more and said, ‘Oh, no. If there’s any such thing about coming back again, I want all my parts with me.

Yeah, I ain’t gonna take that chance. So, bury me. Put it all together. I don’t wanna be missing some of the vital parts. We have a word in this business about pushing up daisies. Well, I wouldn’t mind having that job at all because I think daisies are beautiful flowers, and the pretty daisies I’ve seen while living I’d like to be able to push them up, too. So, I think, though, that I went to this grave site right in my hometown, and I have some relatives buried out there. So, I think I’d like to be there.

Then, they got the museum that’s gonna open in September, and people will be coming to see it. So, those that love me and care about me I would like for them to come out and people keep my grave kept clean, so people can see my name and see where I’m laid out. I’d like to be available. I’d like to be able to go out to where I’ve heard where Blind Lemon is buried and I’ve heard where Robert Johnson is buried, but I’ve never seen ’em. So, I’d like to be available to the people that have kept me all these years. I’d just love to be available for them.

My old friend Robert Lockwood Jr — I don’t know where he’s buried either. So, there’s so many I don’t know. So, I feel a lot of people don’t either. So, I’d like to be somewhere where people that love me could see me and the ones that are inquisitive could find me. That’s what I’d like, and song that Blind Lemon sang, ‘Please See that My Grave Be Kept Clean,’ I believe that kind of hits me pretty good.

Yes, I’ve felt blessed, sir. I have heard it said by Native Americans that the great spirit some people call God and Allah, whatever it’s called, but whomever and whatever that great spirit that have kept me alive, I’m grateful. And my prayers I guess ain’t too good, but don’t only say ’em when I’m in trouble and need something, but I stops now and then and say thank you. Now and then, I say thank you.

I’m gonna tell you something I told my son a few days ago, that’s not a very sad subject to me. I’m 82 now, and I think people have been so good. My bad days I had in the early days. I practically throw ’em in the back of my mind and don’t think about ’em. I only think of the good things and the way things have been.

I believe all people are good. Some just do bad things, but I think God has been good to me, whatever people call it, and you know, I’m I won’t say ready because I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to die. Too crazy about looking at these pretty women, but oh, yeah, I’m old, boy. I made a slip the other night on stage, but I was tellin’ the truth. I said, ‘I think all women are beautiful,’ and I do, and I love all of them, and I do, and I said, ‘but I don’t want to sleep with all of them,’ which is the truth, but I slipped and said, ‘but I’d like to sleep with as many as I can.’ (Laugh) I said that the other night. People laughed. So, I hope they don’t hold it against me, but it’s true. Thank God for Dr. Viagra and Cialis.

Later in our interview he summed up by saying, “Today I’m not alone. I have a lot of children. I have a lot of acquaintances and friends. People seem to care for me. It’s a good feeling.”

I often wonder if B. B. was just being humble, or did he really not realize how many millions of friends and admirers he had. I count myself as one!

BB King

*Feature image Timothy W Willis

Billy Strings Announces Video Stream Access of Sold Out Shows

Billy Strings Announces Video Stream Access of Sold Out Shows


Big Hassle Media

Billy Strings Livestream September 16 & 17 via TourGigs

Billy Strings kicked off his “Meet Me At The Drive-In Tour” this past weekend with three shows in Wilkes-Barre, PA at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The band has just announced a partnership with TourGigs that will give fans access to video stream the sold out Sept 16 and 17 performances from the McHenry Outdoor Theater in McHenry, IL, located just outside of Chicago.

 

 Fans may purchase live video streams for the shows individually:

Sept 16 – https://tourgigs.com/show/billystrings-20200916/

Sept 17 – https://tourgigs.com/show/billystrings-20200917/

 The “Meet Me At The Drive-In Tour” will conclude with two nights at the Expo Gardens on Sept 18 and 19 in Peoria, IL. Tickets are available via billystrings.com.

 All CDC and local guidelines will be followed. The Billy Strings band and crew are working closely with local promoters and government to ensure this event meets or exceeds all recommended standards.

  • Vehicles will be spaced to accommodate social distancing.
  • Patrons may only leave their vehicles to use their tailgating space adjacent to their vehicle, restrooms
  • or to obtain concessions.
  • Masks/Face coverings must be worn by any patrons traveling to and from restrooms, concessions areas.
  • Safe social distancing will be strictly enforced.

 

MEET ME AT THE DRIVE-IN TOUR

September 16 @ McHenry Outdoor Theater | McHenry, IL – SOLD OUT

September 17 @ McHenry Outdoor Theater | McHenry, IL – SOLD OUT

September 18 @ Expo Gardens | Peoria, IL – LIMITED TICKETS LEFT

September 19 @ Expo Gardens | Peoria, IL – SOLD OUT

 

Billy Strings has been hailed as the future of bluegrass, transcending tradition and genre with his high velocity, flat-picking guitar technique, and intense, confessional songwriting. HOME (Rounder Records), Strings’ remarkable second studio album, is undoubtedly the Michigan-born, Nashville-based artist’s bravest excursion thus far, completely rewiring bluegrass with elements of punk, country, folk rock, and genuine psychedelic exploration to fashion something altogether his own.

Strings has infused the aesthetic with his own experiences and inspirations, adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to confront contemporary social truths. With guest appearances from the likes of Jerry Douglas and Molly Tuttle and produced by Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass, Marcus Miller), HOME marks a landmark on Billy Strings’ ongoing creative journey, its fearless songs and freewheeling approach recasting string-based American music in his own inimitable image.

 

New Track From Ella Fitzgerald – “Taking a Chance on Love” from ‘The Lost Berlin Tapes’

New Track From Ella Fitzgerald – “Taking a Chance on Love” from ‘The Lost Berlin Tapes’


Lauren Leadingham

Ella Fitzgerald’s “Taking A Chance On Love” will teleport you back to Berlin 1962

A never-before-heard live recording from the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, has surfaced. The Lost Berlin Tapes will be released on Verve Records on October 2, 2020.

The Lost Berlin Tapes were recorded in stereo at Berlin’s Sportpalast on March 25, 1962 and finds Ella at the top of her game with a trio led by pianist Paul Smith, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass, and Stan Levey on drums. Fitzgerald played Berlin two years prior, where she famously turned forgotten lyrics into absolutely sensational improvisation — ad-libbing lyrics while channeling her best Louis Armstrong.

Listen to the second single of the Berlin Tapes, “Taking a Chance on Love.”

The Lost Berlin Tapes tracklist:

1. Cheek To Cheek
2. He’s My Kind Of Boy
3. Cry Me A River
4. I Won’t Dance
5. Someone To Watch Over Me
6. Jersey Bounce
7. Angel Eyes
8. Clap Hands, Here Come Charlie
9. Taking A Chance On Love
10. C’est Magnifique
11. Good Morning Heartache
12. Hallelujah, I Love Him So
13. Hallelujah, I Love Him So (Reprise)
14. Summertime
15. Mr. Paganini
16. Mack The Knife
17. Wee Baby Blues

Pre-order ‘Ella Fitzgerald: The Lost Berlin Tapes’

*Gif image courtesy of Verve Records

Patricia Wilson Aden Named New President & CEO of The Blues Foundation

Patricia Wilson Aden Named New President & CEO of The Blues Foundation


Cary Baker / Conqueroo

Aden, President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and former Executive Director of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation to succeed Barbara Newman, who will be retiring.

Patricia Wilson Aden, New President & CEO, The Blues Foundation

 

The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Wilson Aden as its next President & CEO. Aden brings more than three decades of non-profit management experience to the Foundation, with a specialization in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources. Her most recent experience as President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and her earlier role as Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation make her uniquely qualified to lead The Blues Foundation and its Blues Hall of Fame. Aden stated, “I am genuinely excited to join The Blues Foundation and the Blues community in celebrating the Blues and the artists who have made it America’s original musical genre.”

Aden will join the Foundation’s staff on October 1, 2020.

 

Barbara Newman, retiring President & CEO, The Blues Foundation

  Aden succeeds Barbara Newman, who will begin her retirement September 30th. Under Newman’s leadership, The Blues Foundation saw marked growth in engagement and reach in all facets of the organization’s operations. She embraced technology to offer greater access to and programming of major Blues Foundation events, including The International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards, forged new industry alliances, and amplified awareness of organizational activities in fulfilling The Blues Foundation’s mission to preserve, celebrate, and expand awareness of the Blues genre.

 Most recently, she led the charge to develop a relief fund to provide financial support for basic living necessities to Blues musicians whose income streams have evaporated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first of April, that fund has raised over $250,000 and assisted close to 250 musicians. Throughout her tenure, she has prioritized strong fiscal management and is leaving The Blues Foundation well-situated to further advance its mission under Aden’s leadership.

Michael Freeman, Chairman of The Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors, added, “On behalf of the global Blues community we wish Barbara Newman the very best for a wonderful retirement and with the greatest appreciation for her tireless dedication to The Blues Foundation as its President & CEO. Thanks to her vision and leadership we are well positioned to welcome Patty Aden as our new President & CEO to continue the forward movement of the organization. We are thrilled to have found such an experienced and well-respected leader and look forward to welcoming her on October 1st.”

Based in Memphis, Tenn., the home of the blues, The Blues Foundation is world-renowned as THE organization with a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. With approximately 4,000 individual members and more than 170 affiliated local blues societies, it represents hundreds of thousands of blues fans and professionals around the world.

In addition to the Blues Music Awards, the Foundation’s other signature honors and events include the Blues Hall of Fame, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards, and the International Blues Challenge. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance and advocacy for blues musicians in need, while Generation Blues scholarships and Blues in the Schools programming expose new generations to blues music.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Blues Foundation has recently established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial support for basic necessities such as housing and utilities to blues musicians negatively impacted by the pandemic. The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, opened more than five years ago, adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide blues community with answers, information, and news.

The Blues Foundation

Neil Young to Release Live Album and Movie with Promise of the Real

Neil Young to Release Live Album and Movie with Promise of the Real

Lauren Leadingham

‘Noise and Flowers’ is due in early 2021

Neil Young and has announced a live double album and a film titled Noise and Flowers, scheduled to arrive early 2021, chronicling his 2019 European summer tour with Promise of the Real. The band has recorded two studio albums with Young, The Monsanto Years (2015) and The Visitor (2017); a soundtrack album, Paradox (2018); and a live album, Earth (2016).

YouTube screenshot of Neil Young + Promise Of The Real – “Peace Trail”

 

The 2019 tour closely followed the death of Young’s longtime manager, Elliot Roberts.

“[Daryl Hannah] and I were on the bus, on our way to New York to catch a plane to Europe, when we got the call. After returning to the funeral for our beloved Elliot, we got on the plane and left for the tour,” writes Young about Roberts in the Neil Young Archives.

He continues, “During the tour, we had a poster of Elliot on a road case, right where he always stood during our shows. Everyone who was with us felt that this tour was amazing for its great vibe. The Real and I delivered for Elliot. [Noise and Flowers] is truly a great collection, dripping with the soul of our band as we played for our fallen leader.”

The tracklist for Noise and Flowers is to be announced.

‘Music, Money, Madness… Jimi Hendrix in Maui’ Documentary and ‘Live in Maui’ Album Due November 20

‘Music, Money, Madness… Jimi Hendrix in Maui’ Documentary and ‘Live in Maui’ Album Due November 20

Bob Merlis

Film about Hendrix’s legendary 1970 Maui performances includes previously unseen footage/audio available as Blu-ray With 2CD Or 3LP

Experience Hendrix L.L.C. in partnership with Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are releasing the brand new feature length documentary Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui, as well as the accompanying album Live In Maui on November 20. The film chronicles the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s storied visit to Maui and how they became ensnared with the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge movie produced by their controversial manager Michael Jeffery.

The Blu-ray will include the full documentary as well as bonus features featuring all of the existing 16mm color film shot of the two performances that afternoon mixed in both stereo and  5.1 surround sound. Included in the package will be Live In Maui – both of the aforementioned sets spread across 2 CDs or 3 vinyl LPs, newly restored and mixed by longtime Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, and mastered by Bernie Grundman.

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” from this historic concert is available now on streaming services; those who pre-order the package will receive a digital download of the track. In addition, there will be various Maui merchandise designs and music bundles available exclusively at the authentic Hendrix store.

 

Credit: Bob Merlis

 

View the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” on July 30, 1970, and pre-order Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix Live In Maui documentary/Live In Maui album.

By the middle of 1970, Jimi Hendrix was working on a follow up album to Electric Ladyland with his bandmates Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Billy Cox (bass), headlining festivals and arenas across the U.S. and building Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Completing this state-of-the-art recording facility was proving to be a costly endeavor, so his manager Michael Jeffery procured a $500,000 advance from Warner Bros. to fund the remaining construction required to complete the studio. At those same meetings, Jeffery convinced Warner Bros. executives to finance a film called Rainbow Bridge that was to be shot in Maui, in exchange for rights to its soundtrack album consisting of new Jimi Hendrix studio recordings.

Inspired by Easy Rider and directed by Warhol acolyte Chuck Wein, Jeffery’s film centered around the idea of a “rainbow bridge” between the unenlightened and enlightened worlds. It was envisioned to feature everything from surfing and yoga to meditation and Tai-Chi and filmed without the aid of a script or professional actors. It proved to be a rambling assemblage of hippie excess and Jeffery grew concerned that his investment was being squandered. The Experience were already booked to perform a concert in Honolulu at the H.I.C. Arena on August 1, 1970. Chuck Wein, desperate to feature Hendrix in some capacity within the film, devised a plan to film a free ‘color/sound vibratory experiment’ on the lower slope of the dormant Haleakala volcano. Word of mouth about a free Jimi Hendrix concert led a few hundred curious Maui locals to the Baldwin cattle ranch in Olinda where a makeshift stage was constructed and the audience was arranged by their astrological signs.  The performance was a success – the trio was at the height of its powers and played two sets flawlessly against a stunning natural backdrop.

In the aftermath of his performance on Maui, Hendrix would return to New York and his work at Electric Lady Studios. He had no further involvement in Rainbow Bridge. He left for Europe at the end of August to headline the massive Isle Of Wight festival and begin a European tour. Tragically, he would die in London on September 18, 1970.

Credit: Daniel Teheney/Authentic Hendrix LLC

 

The Cry Of Love, the first album of posthumous Jimi Hendrix recordings, was issued in 1971 to wide commercial and critical acclaim. Jeffery readied Rainbow Bridge and its accompanying soundtrack to be the next release. Despite its Hendrix association, the film was a commercial flop. Rainbow Bridge confused moviegoers, many of whom were under the impression they were going to see a concert film. A scant 17 minutes of haphazardly edited Hendrix concert footage was used in the final cut, and it proved to be the film’s saving grace. Due to technical problems inherent in the original recording of the Maui performances, Mitch Mitchell had to overdub his drum tracks at Electric Lady Studios in 1971 just so those performances could be featured.

Eddie Kramer recalls, “Mitch did a tremendous amount of work on the overdubs. If he didn’t get it in one take, he certainly did in the second one and I was so blown away by his ability to duplicate the parts he had already played! He was determined to fix what suffered on the recordings due to the 50 mile an hour winds because they were playing on the side of a bloody volcano! After Jimi died it took a while before I was able to go back to the closet with all the tapes. Mitch was a trooper with a can do British attitude. It’s all very well to overdub drums, but to do it so you can’t tell, that’s the magic. He knew the material extremely well and it’s a tribute to his sensitivity as a great musician and an equal and willing partner of Jimi’s.”

The posthumously released Rainbow Bridge soundtrack album, prepared by Mitch Mitchell, Eddie Kramer and John Jansen, was first rate and featured classics such as “Dolly Dagger” and “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).” The album, however, did not include audio from the Maui concert, which may have also added to consumer confusion.

Directed by John McDermott  and produced by Janie Hendrix, George Scott and McDermott, Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui incorporates never before released original footage and new interviews with firsthand participants and key players such as Billy Cox, Eddie Kramer, Warner Bros. executives and several Rainbow Bridge cast members, as well as its director Chuck Wein. Their fascinating account tells the definitive story about one of the most controversial independent films ever made.

The documentary sets the proverbial stage for Live In Maui – the two full Jimi Hendrix Experience sets, including breathtaking renditions of crowd favorites like “Foxey Lady,” “Purple Haze” and Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” as well as then-unreleased songs like “Dolly Dagger” and “Freedom” that showcased the new direction Hendrix was moving toward.

“Jimi loved adventure and there was certainly no shortage of it during his time in Hawaii, a place he also loved,” said Janie Hendrix. “The back story of Rainbow Bridge and these recordings paint a picture of Jimi’s uncanny ability to turn the bizarre into something amazing! We’re excited about this release because it gives the world a closer look at Jimi’s genius.”

Watch the trailer for Music, Money, Madness… Jimi Hendrix in Maui below.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Live In Maui CD tracklist

DISC ONE

FIRST SHOW:

Chuck Wein Introduction

Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)

In From The Storm

Foxey Lady

Hear My Train A-Comin’

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Fire

Purple Haze

Spanish Castle Magic

Lover Man

Message to Love

 

DISC TWO

SECOND SHOW:

Dolly Dagger

Villanova Junction

Ezy Ryder

Red House

Freedom

Jam Back at the House

Straight Ahead

Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)/Midnight Lightning

Stone Free

Toots and the Maytals’ Toots Hibbert, Roots Reggae Trailblazer, Dies Aged 77

Toots and the Maytals’ Toots Hibbert, Roots Reggae Trailblazer, Dies Aged 77


Lauren Leadingham

We will never forget Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert (December 8, 1942 – September 11, 2020)

Toots Hibbert, founder of the Maytals and father of Jamaican ska/reggae, has sadly passed away at the age of 77 — just weeks after releasing his latest album, Got to Be Tough. Hibbert had recently been in a medically-induced coma after being admitted to a hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica. According to family, he died on Friday night, cause undisclosed.

It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel "Toots" Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica… pic.twitter.com/zOb6yRpJ7n

— Toots & The Maytals (@tootsmaytals) September 12, 2020

The youngest of seven children, born on December, 8, 1942 in May Pen, singing was in Hibbert’s blood from an early age as he grew up singing in church. In 1962, he formed the Maytals as a vocal trio with Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathias in Kingston. His soulful vocal style would immediately establish him “The Otis Redding of Reggae.”

Getty Images

The Maytals had a trifecta of hit singles with “Bam Bam,” “Fever,” and “Sweet and Dandy.” In 1967, Hibbert was arrested for marijuana possession, serving nine months behind bars. This holdup prompted what would become one of the Maytals’ most crowd-pleasing songs, “54-46 Was My Number,” which references his prison number.

Hibbert literally coined the word “Reggae” as a musical term in 1968 with the Maytals’ “Do the Reggay.” He has been sampled or covered by KRS-One, Keith Richards, the Clash, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, Sublime, The Specials, etc.

Toots achieved the most soulful treatment of the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” And in the same year the last legislation was enacted during the civil rights era, he sang, “I know, oh yes, I know, yeah / I’m going to live to see everyone free, free, free, free” in  “I Shall Be Free.” Always a man of well-timed hopefulness at a time of social upheaval, from the ’60s to present day, the influence and import of his music will continue to sustain through times of civil rights struggles.

Rest in power, Toots. We will never forget you.

 

Listen: Tom Petty’s “Confusion Wheel” from Upcoming ‘Wildflowers & All the Rest’

Listen: Tom Petty’s “Confusion Wheel” from Upcoming ‘Wildflowers & All the Rest’


Lauren Leadingham

Petty wrote “Confusion Wheel” during the 1994 ‘Wildflowers’ sessions

“Confusion Wheel,” the first song available from Tom Petty’s long-awaited Wildflowers & All The Rest box set, hit streaming services yesterday. The expanded collection of previously unheard tracks, solo demos, and live performances is slated for an October 16 release via Warner Records. Written in 1994, “Confusion Wheel” navigates emotional turmoil and uncertainty, as if he earmarked the song for 2020. But Tom also signifies hope and new life:

One of these days my old friend

You and I will walk through that door

One of these days we’ll drive away

Drive away singing a brand-new song

We’ll wake up singing a brand-new song

Wildflowers & All The Rest will be released in multiple formats. Wildflowers & All The Rest—Deluxe Edition features 15 recordings made by Tom in his home studio as he was writing the album. The Deluxe Edition culminates with 14 live performances of songs from Wildflowers, recorded on tours from 1995 to 2017. Wildflowers & All The Rest—Super Deluxe is a Direct to Consumer Limited Edition set featuring Finding Wildflowers—16 studio recordings of alternate takes of Wildflowers songs as Tom, band members and Rick Rubin honed in on the final album.

Watch the visualizer featuring artwork by Blaze Ben Brooks below.

Pre-order Wildflowers & All the Rest

 

Shemekia Copeland Releases New Album ‘Uncivil War’ on October 23

Shemekia Copeland Releases New Album ‘Uncivil War’ on October 23


Press Release

The soulful and uncompromising Uncivil War tackles the problems of contemporary American life head on, with nuance, understanding, and a demand for change.

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the October 23, 2020 release of Uncivil War, the riveting new album by recently-named 2020 Living Blues Female Artist Of The Year and multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland. Uncivil War builds on the musically and lyrically adventurous territory she’s been exploring for over a decade, blending blues, R&B and Americana into a sound that is now hers alone.

The soulful and uncompromising Uncivil War tackles the problems of contemporary American life head on, with nuance, understanding, and a demand for change. It also brings Copeland’s fiercely independent, sultry R&B fire to songs more personal than political.

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. Among the most striking songs on the album are the true, torn-from-history story of the last slave ship to reach America, “Clotilda’s On Fire,” and the topical title track, a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (“Apple Pie And A .45”), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, “Walk Until I Ride”), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute “Dirty Saint”), bad love (Junior Parker’s “In The Dark”) as well as good (“Love Song,” by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include Americana superstar Jason Isbell, legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals.

Of the new album Copeland says:

I’m trying to put the ‘united’ back in the United States. Like many people, I miss the days when we treated each other better. For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.

When Shemekia first broke on the scene with her jaw-dropping Alligator Records debut CD Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. With each subsequent release — Uncivil War is her ninth album — Copeland’s music has evolved. She continues to broaden her musical vision, melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds, and singing about the world around her, shining light in dark places with confidence and well-timed humor. Her recordings have won her worldwide acclaim and dozens of awards. Her previous album, America’s Child, featuring a duet with John Prine and accompaniment from Mary Gauthier and Rhiannon Giddens (among others), was named by MOJO magazine as the #1 blues release of 2018. In addition to her three Grammy nominations, Copeland has won a total of 12 Blues Music Awards and more than 20 Living Blues Awards over the course of her career.

Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world, and has appeared in films, on national television, NPR, and in magazine and newspapers. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Dr. John, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” In 2012, she performed with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Gary Clark, Jr. and others at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. She has performed on PBS’s Austin City Limits and was recently the subject of a six-minute feature on the PBS News Hour. Currently, Copeland can be heard hosting her own popular daily blues radio show on SiriusXM’s Bluesville.

Pre-Order Uncivil War
Shemekia Copeland

*Feature image photo © Marilyn Stringer

Dave Specter and Billy Branch Sing “The Ballad of George Floyd”

Dave Specter and Billy Branch Sing “The Ballad of George Floyd”


Lauren Leadingham

“If it hadn’t been for music, the civil rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings.” – Rep. John Lewis

Chicago-based musician/producer Dave Specter has written a new song titled “The Ballad of George Floyd,” sung as a duo with Billy Branch (heir apparent to the Chicago blues harmonica throne). Also joining the track are Brother John Kattke on organ, and Danny Shaffer on acoustic guitar. The single has been released digitally by Delmark, with a 12″ 45rpm special edition single to follow in the fall.

Specter wrote these haunting lyrics of sorrow concerning centuries of injustice and bigotry, mere days after the murder of George Floyd. He reminds us that the knee is the new noose, and that it’s past time we bring about a change. “Blind men in power pouring gasoline on a burning fire.” The words, harp, and organ themselves burn together slowly but fiercely. The names of Garner, Rice, McDonald, Arbery, and Brown are recited in the song to also remind that they didn’t die in vain. Say their names.

Of the powerful new single, Specter shares:

I wrote the song a few days after George Floyd was murdered, and the lyrics pretty much wrote themselves. George Floyd didn’t die in vain. He helped spark a worldwide movement for justice and change. I’m proud to collaborate with the great Chicago bluesman Billy Branch on this tune. We share the same vision and are inspired by the words of John Lewis: “If it hadn’t been for music, the civil rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings.”

Order the latest ‘Blues From The Inside Out’

*Feature image credit: Peter Hurley

Nora Jean Wallace Deals Straight Chicago Blues on New CD ‘Blueswoman’

Nora Jean Wallace Deals Straight Chicago Blues on New CD ‘Blueswoman’


Mark Pucci

Singer Nora Jean Wallace Deals Straight Chicago Blues on New ‘Blueswoman’ CD Coming October 30 from Severn Records.

Severn Records announces an October 30 release date for Blueswoman, the new CD from Blues Music Award-nominated singer Nora Jean Wallace. The new album was produced by Severn label head David Earl (who also plays guitar on four tracks) and recorded at Severn Studios in Annapolis, MD. Backing Wallace’s powerhouse vocals are Severn’s A-list team of musicians, including Johnny Moeller – guitars; Steve Gomes – bass; Kevin Anker – organ; Steve Guyger – harmonica; Stanley Banks – keyboards; and Robb Stupka – drums. Multi-Blues Music Award-winner Kim Wilson is a special guest on harmonica on one track.

Nora Jean Wallace (formally Bruso) returns after 16 years since her 2004 BMA-nominated and critically-acclaimed release, Going Back to Mississippi. Blueswoman shows why Nora was born to sing the blues. A staple of the Chicago Blues scene, Nora Jean pours her heart into eight originals including the Koko Taylor inspired title track, “I’m a Blues Woman,” and “Rag and Bucket” written with co-writer, Stanley Banks. The Syl Johnson classic, “I Can’t Stop,” and George Jackson’s “Evidence” are great canvases for Nora’s powerful gift. No wonder The Chicago Sun-Times called her performance at the Chicago Blues Festival “show-stopping,” and the legendary Koko Taylor is quoted as saying, “Nora Jean sounds just like I did when I was her age!” This is a must for all fans of real-deal blues.

During a very low period in my career, a friend reminded me that the Bible says your gifts will make room for you. When I gave serious thought to that which I already knew, I never looked back. Slowly but surely my gifts indeed have made, and continue to make, room for me and this project is living proof of that.

I left the blues scene to take care of my mom who was sick at the time (she has since passed). From the cotton fields of Mississippi to the bright and steamy windows of Chicago blues, she always supported me. I think a part of her felt guilty because I had to leave what I loved doing the most to take care of her. And although she’s gone, she’s still with me. I thank God for all she instilled me. She always told me to put God first, never quit and everything else will fall in place.

Here I am in 2020 embarking on a renewed career in blues. The gifts that have made room for me have come in the form of creative people who’ve helped me pave a new path in the blues. I believe God had a hand in it all and has placed people in my life to make me better, stronger and more determined to do what I love best…sing the blues. – Nora Jean Wallace

Wallace is a Chicago Blues singer with deep Delta roots. Like so many blues greats that hail from the Delta of Mississippi, Nora was born and raised in Greenwood, a town in the heart of this blues-rich region. From birth her father, Bobby Lee Wallace, a professional blues singer and sharecropper, and her Uncle, Henry “Son” Wallace, a blues singer and guitar player, infused the blues in her soul. Also contributing to her musical education was her mother, Ida Lee Wallace, a gospel singer, and her grandmother, Mary, who ran a juke house. As a child, Nora would sneak down to her grandmother’s place on Friday and Saturday nights and listen to her relatives sing blues classics. It was during these years that Nora developed a love for the music of Howlin’ Wolf that has continued to the present day.

Nora’s singing career in Chicago began in 1976 when her Aunt Rose heard her sing at home and brought her to several clubs she was promoting. It was at the Majestic on the West Side of Chicago that Nora sat in with Scottie and the Oasis. She was invited to join the band and spent several years with them before Scottie’s unfortunate passing. During this time many local Chicago musicians, most notably Mary Lane and Joe Barr, encouraged Nora and taught her the finer points of her craft.

Nora’s big break came in 1985 when Jimmy Dawkins saw her perform at a local Chicago club and invited her to join his band. For the next seven years Nora toured and recorded with Jimmy and his band and appeared on two of his CDs, Feel the Blues (JSP, 1985 & 2002 with a bonus NJB track) and Can’t Shake These Blues (Earwig, 1991). She also released a single, “Untrue Lover” (Leric, 1982) and her first solo release in 2002, Nora Jean Bruso Sings the Blues (Red Hurricane).

While touring Europe, Canada, and the United States, Nora refined her performing skills and developed an international fan base. She appeared on many major festivals including the King Biscuit Blues Festival, AK, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Pocono Blues Festival.

Nora has lived a life full of passion and pain, triumph and despair, and with it has come a wisdom out of which art is born. Living involves pain but offers redemption as well. That is what the blues is all about.

Seems like this day would never come, but through it all Severn Records has been steadfast in making sure this project would be a success. With their support, I’ve been able to once again share my voice with fans and the blues community that I’ve grown to love. Big, big shout out to Stanley Banks who put pen to paper to write some incredible songs for this project as well as share his talent. – Nora Jean Wallace

Nora Jean Wallace Facebook

*Feature image photo credit: Donna Grass DGPhotoDesigns courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

Louis Armstrong House Museum Names Regina Bain as New Executive Director

Louis Armstrong House Museum Names Regina Bain as New Executive Director


Press Release

September 17 Virtual Gala will honor Armstrong’s legacy of social justice
Regina Bain

The Louis Armstrong House Museum, the National Historic Landmark dedicated to the cultural, historical and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong, announces Regina Bain as its new Executive Director. Bain is an artist, leader, facilitator and program designer with close to two decades of experience working in nonprofit organizations.

Regina is currently the co-chair of Culture @3’s anti-racism subcommittee, and serves on the national advisory council of Urban Bush Women (UBW), a dance company that galvanizes artists, activists and audiences through performances, artists development and community involvement. She produces The Drama Podcast, leads the Yale Black Alumni Association and serves on the Yale Board of Governors.

Previously, Regina served as Associate Vice President of the Posse Foundation, a national leadership and college access program which helps to send teams of students or “Posses” to top colleges and universities. She was deputy to the COO, helping to onboard and provide oversight for Executive Directors in Posse’s 10 site offices. As the organization developed, she helped to establish the offices in Atlanta, New Orleans and Miami and double Posse’s STEM initiative. She also helmed Posse’s Training and Evaluation department which works with human resources to onboard all new staff, provide skill training and professional development, and design curriculum. Regina’s efforts helped to increase Posse’s national student graduation rates for four consecutive years.

Ms. Bain earned her BA in African-American Studies and Theater from Yale University and her MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

“Globally famous Louis Armstrong chose to live in Corona, Queens, because he craved its sense of community and its diversity,” says Queens College President Frank H. Wu.“A musician and international ambassador like no other, he left us an enduring and vital legacy that we are honored to uphold. In Regina Bain, the new director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, we have found a leader who possesses the depth and breadth of skill — spanning arts management, community engagement, administration and mentorship — needed to make Armstrong’s legacy even more accessible at a time when it is most needed. It is my pleasure to extend to Ms. Bain a warm Queens College welcome.”

“As a member of the Search Committee I asked myself what is the most important criteria for selecting our new director,” Board Chair of the Louis Armstrong House Museum Jerry Chazen says. “I ultimately realized it was ‘is this the person Louis Armstrong would have picked to run this organization?’ Regina was the one who best fit that bill. Her desire to interpret Louis’s legacy as an artist and humanitarian will pave the way for new generations to discover his genius and contributions to our history.”

The announcement comes at the time when the Louis Armstrong House Museum is focusing more than ever on how to engage with the community through its unique family-friendly blend of arts and education – a vision that Bain will help grow and steer. This vision includes putting into motion several long-in-the-works initiatives, including the restoration of the House Museum this fall and launching the virtual “Armstrong Now!” program. Bain will also help develop new programs and activities focusing on community engagement, as well as ensuring that the House Museum continues to be a sustainable and accessible environment amid COVID-19.

I am so proud to join this community dedicated to celebrating the legacy of Louis Armstrong. The House Museum is a crown jewel in American culture. Mr. Armstrong’s archives is among the most significant Black archival collections, and one of the most substantial of any jazz musician.

The health, economic and racial pandemics afflicting America have had a profound effect on the House, but like Louis Armstrong, we see opportunity within challenges. With the opening of the new Louis Armstrong Center in Spring 2021, the House Museum is poised to grow exponentially. The expanded campus will become a new, international destination celebrating Armstrong’s preeminent place in our culture and living out his values of artistic excellence, global ambassadorship, youth leadership and service to community. – Regina Bain

The museum will honor Armstrong’s legacy of social justice during its virtual gala webcast held on September 17th. This is the same day that, in 1957, Armstrong during an interview called out President Eisenhower who was slow to intervene when Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus used the National Guard to bar nine students from entering Little Rock’s Central High School because they were Black.

Louis Armstrong remains an icon to this day, with the museum becoming a destination for fans new and longtime, including Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (who visited the museum last fall) and Paul McCartney, who just performed at a benefit playing Louis’ trumpet – which is kept safe at the Museum.

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Philly Music Fest Announces Virtual Livestream 2020 Festival

Philly Music Fest Announces Virtual Livestream 2020 Festival


Mixtape Media

Philly Music Fest benefits the musicians living and making music in Philadelphia and local music education programs that are educating the next generation about the importance of music.

Philly Music Fest will hold an all-virtual LIVEstream music festival on September 24 and September 25, with performers actually performing LIVE ON STAGE and featuring nationally acclaimed bands – Japanese BreakfastMt. JoyLanghorne SlimThe Districts and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The annual festival—which usually takes place over four nights at three independent Philadelphia music venues, selling out all four nights the last two years—will still exclusively feature local musicians. Proceeds will be donated to Philadelphia-based music education programs and seed another round of Philly Music Fest grants for local musicians struggling due to COVID-19.

Unlike other virtual music festivals that feature performances pre-recorded in living rooms and bedrooms, all of Philly Music Fest’s headlining and direct support sets will be performed live and the performances will be on a stage. Bands will perform at the Ardmore Music Hall, which is outfitted with a cutting-edge, four-camera HD audio and streaming video capability, powered by Nugs.net. In order to allow venue staff to sanitize the stage and replace microphones, stands, and cords, the festival will feature pre-recorded sets from emerging artists and messages from the charities that Philly Music Fest has supported in the past, which will be shown in-between the live sets.

Normally featuring two dozen local bands, the 2020 edition of Philly Music Fest is a shorter lineup, featuring Japanese Breakfast, The DistrictsMt. Joy, Arnetta Johnson and SUNNYLanghorne SlimClap Your Hands Say Yeah and emerging artists, Arthur Thomas and the Funkitorium and Zeek Burse. These artists represent the diversity of the Philadelphia music scene, drawing from rock, folk, hip hop, indie, jazz and funk.

“One of the most beautiful things about Philly Music Fest is the community coming together to celebrate our local music scene, while simultaneously raising money for the next generation of musicians in our city—we think of it as a cycle,” said Founder and Producer Greg Seltzer. “A streamed festival is far from perfect, but it will still showcase the live talent of our city’s many musicians while raising money for kids’ music charities and supporting local musicians.”

Philly Music Fest’s livestream will broadcast live on WXPN, and the video of the performances will be available at NPR Music Live Sessions. The livestream can also be accessed through the Philly Music Fest website and Ardmore Music Hall’s website.

“XPN has supported Philly Music Fest since it started,” said Bruce Warren of WXPN. “This year, in particular, the lineup is outstanding. Between air play support on XPN and with the support of our local music website, The Key, our commitment to showcasing incredible local music and working more closely with Greg allows us together to expand on showcasing Philly to a larger audience, and supporting musicians and organizations in our community.”

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Philly Music Fest will donate all festival proceeds, which in 2020, will come from in-stream donations by viewers. Last year, it donated $40,000 to music education programs such as Rock to the Future, Girls Rock Philly, Settlement Music School, Musicopia, Live Connections, and Play on Philly. Earlier in 2020, Philly Music Fest established a Micro-Grant Program and deployed more than 330 micro-grants to artists struggling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last few years, musicians have flocked to Philadelphia in search of affordable real estate and studio time, talented session musicians, and a network of small venues. The COVID-19 shutdown has left huge numbers of these musicians struggling to pay rent and buy groceries. While Philly Music Fest typically only donates to music education programs, which are in dire need of funding given the stress on virtual learning, this year, a portion of the proceeds will also be used to seed another round of micro-grants.

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Watch Trailer for 2020 Documentary about Billie Holiday

Watch Trailer for 2020 Documentary about Billie Holiday


Lauren Leadingham

She sang the truth; she paid the price.

A new in-depth documentary about the life of Billie Holiday will be released in theaters on November 13th. Verve/UMe will also release the official soundtrack for the film that day. Billie dives into her unbelievable career in jazz, as well as the indelible imprint she left on the American conscience with her 1939 protest anthem, “Strange Fruit.”

Archival photographs have been restored and colorized; interviews originally conducted in the ’60s by Linda Lipnack Kuehl for an unfinished Holiday biography will finally be heard. Talking about Holiday on the tapes are Tony Bennett, Charles Mingus, Sylvia Syms, Count Basie, and more. The tapes also feature high school friends, lawyers, pimps, and the federal agents who framed her for narcotic possession (ultimately killing her).

Billie director James Erskine made this statement: “We had the images and footage, of course, and we pulled together her surviving audio interviews, but what was essential to me was to make sure there was enough room in the film to sit back and admire her power, her genius, and also to ensure the audience grasped that Billie’s story was told through the songs she sang. Taking the narrative of Billie, blending it with a coherent music structure and then tracing out her life and her changing image was the essence of the film.” Erskine wanted the film to elucidate Holiday’s enigma, so he made sure her immortal presence was felt from beginning to end.

Watch the official Greenwich Entertainment trailer for Billie below.

New Alastair Greene Album Produced By Tab Benoit Out 10/23

New Alastair Greene Album Produced By Tab Benoit Out 10/23


Press Release

The 11 songs cover a lot of ground, tying together Greene’s diverse influences into his deeply rooted playing, singing, and songwriting.

Whiskey Bayou Records proudly presents The New World Blues by Alastair Greene, produced by Whiskey Bayou co-founder Tab Benoit, out 10/23/20. Benoit’s label partner, Rueben Williams, also manager to Greene and Benoit, enthuses, “On The New World Blues, Alastair makes it clear why he is a ‘guitar player’s guitar player’ and this recording will surely leave the Alastair Greene stamp on the Blues Rock World.”

Greene traveled to Houma, Louisiana to record with Grammy nominated Benoit, who produced, played drums and sang harmonies on this record, and bass player Corey Duplechin. “This is definitely the most stripped down blues-based album I’ve ever made. The vast majority of this record is live in the studio with very few overdubs and many were first or second takes,” says Greene.

The diverse, thoughtfully penned songs are all Greene originals, with a few co-written with Benoit. “When I started writing the majority of these songs in early 2019, I had no idea they would take on a whole new and more poignant meaning as time went on” says Greene, “The New World Blues is a reflection of current times and has equal parts light and dark.” With Alastair Greene, even the darkest lyrics are woven with a thread of hope.

The 11 songs cover a lot of ground, tying together Greene’s diverse influences into his deeply rooted playing, singing, and songwriting. Some tracks give a nod to rock icons like Gary Moore and Peter Green, others find a funky blues groove. Some are driven by Greene’s tasty slide guitar, while others capture the feel of the Cajun environment, paired with a rock-solid Louisiana rhythm section.

Greene’s rock credentials include eight years of international touring on guitar and vocals with the Alan Parsons Project, and major dates with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. As a blues player he is a longtime regular and host at the Memphis-based Blues Foundation events, performances and showcases, has been a featured performer at the Big Blues Bender and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, and traversed the globe over the past year touring with Sugaray Rayford’s band, which was nominated for a 2020 Blues Music Award. The Alastair Greene Band, which has drawn comparisons to Gov’t Mule, ZZ Top and Cream, just celebrated their 20th anniversary with a two-disc live album.

Pre-Order The New World Blues Alastair Greene

*Feature image courtesy of BratGirlMedia

George Benson Announces Electrifying New Live Album

George Benson Announces Electrifying New Live Album


Jon Bleicher Publicity

The electrifying new album captures his intimate 2019 performance at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

On November 13th, GRAMMY-winning jazz icon George Benson will release Weekend In London, an electrifying new live album capturing his 2019 performance at London’s intimate 250-seat Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Only a handful of lucky fans were present as the lights went down that magical night in 2019. But now, Kevin Shirley’s dynamic production is your invitation to slide onto Ronnie Scott’s red velvet banquette and catch the sparks as Benson’s honeyed vocal and fluid licks drive the finest live outfit in modern jazz.

We captured a lot of the atmosphere on ‘Weekend In London.’ It was very crowded, like it always is at Ronnie Scott’s, no matter who’s there. We were almost touching as we were playing, people all up on the bandstand. But I’m always happy to be in those surroundings. A lot of big Benson fans were there – and some of the screaming ladies. It was a fantastic night. – Kevin Shirley

The 2019 show that became Weekend In London was another fabled night to go down in the club’s folklore. This hard-bitten jazzman might prefer spontaneity to setlists, but this latest live album nods to many of his countless career peaks, whether he’s opening with the deathless groove of 1980’s US #4 smash “Give Me The Night,” revisiting fan favorites like “Love X Love” and “In Your Eyes,” or breathing fresh mojo into classic covers like Dave Bartholomew’s “I Hear You Knocking” and Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto.” “We don’t plan the show out in advance,” explains Benson. “But we know there’s things we gotta play, and if you leave too many out, you’re in for a troubled night. We know what people have come to hear. So I’ve got half the battle won.”

For jazz fans, of course, part of the appeal lies in the improvisation – and Weekend In London furthers Benson’s reputation as the best in the business. “Basically, the whole show is improvised except the melody itself and the ensemble playing,” he explains. “We play the arrangements, to remind the audience what song they’re listening to, but then we can go crazy and do all the improvisation.”

As an all-time icon and Grammy-winning giant of jazz, we have grown used to seeing George Benson on the stages that befit his sky-high status. During a six-decade career marked by awards, acclaim and Billboard-topping output, the Pittsburgh, Hill District-born veteran has earned his place in both the history books and the biggest venues around the world. So it’s a rare treat – and a whole different thrill – to find this megastar going nose-to-nose with the breathless 250-capacity crowd at London’s most prestigious bolthole. “I like that kind of intimacy,” says Benson. “I can feel the love when it’s up close and personal.”

If Benson sounds utterly at home on Ronnie Scott’s cramped stage, that’s because it’s how he started out, all those years ago, before fame came calling. From the age of seven, the kid with the golden voice known as Little Georgie Benson was a regular fixture at the street corners, drug stores, jazz joints and R&B houses of his native Pittsburgh. Yet the young man swiftly rose up the rankings, taking requests from punters to cutting his first sides with RCA, still aged just ten. As Benson’s ageless career has crossed over the decades, he’s walked a perfect tightrope, still commanding a fierce respect among the most discerning jazz audiences, while firing off hit singles that are loved the world over. His most recent release, Walking To New Orleans – his first on Mascot Label Group – masterfully reinterprets the hits of Chuck Berry and Fats Domino.

It’s been a long and winding road from the juke-joints of Pittsburgh to the beating heart of the London jazz scene, and George Benson has been great company every step of the way. Now, on ‘Weekend In London,’ the same club that hosted that young hotshot back in the early-’70s welcomes back the older, wiser legend to burn down the house. Perhaps the compère says it best: “You don’t get stars this big in rooms this small very often, ladies and gentlemen. Please be prepared to be dazzled – Mr. George Benson…!”

Cruise Control is one of my favorite instrumentals because it was completely off the cuff. I kept getting ideas as we got into the song and one of the ideas was to inject vocal inserts at different places during the improvisational part of the performance. – George Benson

George Benson

Exclusive Premiere Track – “Alaska” by CAI•OLA

Exclusive Premiere Track – “Alaska” by CAI•OLA


Mixtape Media

“I chose to name the song ‘Alaska,’ not only because of its mention in the second verse lyrics, but also as a nod to the origin of the album title ‘Into the Wild’ (Christopher McCandless’ story).”

Jordan Caiola (CAI•OLA) is a songwriter/musician/producer based out of Philadelphia. He founded the indie rock band Mo Lowda & The Humble in 2010 and due to its intense touring schedule, the band became his main priority along with side project NightSeason (founded 2016)- an indie/electro-pop producer duo.  Though he always felt writing folk songs was his true “wheelhouse,” it wasn’t until the nationwide lockdown in early 2020 that he finally put aside the time to record a collection of those songs for his first solo album, Only Real When Shared.

The album (due out October 2nd, 2020) was recorded entirely during quarantine with producer/engineer/drummer Shane Woods, with whom Caiola previously co-produced all of the Mo Lowda records as well as Arson Daily’s 2020 LP, Late Reflections. Caiola’s debut album highlights every aspect of his vocal spectrum and strips down instrumental elements to direct focus towards the lyrical content much more than on previous efforts.

Jangly acoustic guitars, lo-fi drums, and lush harmonies makeup the bulk of this record, with sit-ins from multiple additional musicians sprinkled throughout. Caiola has been releasing a new single every two weeks since July 24th, which will continue up until the full album comes out October 2nd, 2020 on Workaround Records.

 

Of “Alaska,” Caiola shares with American Blues Scene:

“Alaska” spawned from the droning, repetitive drop-D fingerpicking that is heard throughout. I started playing those chords and the lyrics and song structure just poured out within the next hour. Songs don’t always happen that quickly for me, but the ones that do end up being my favorites and feel the most natural. This tune is no exception. I originally demoed it at my apartment without a plan for any added instrumentation or percussion. 

I really liked the way the layered vocals sat over the simplistic bed of the acoustic guitar. However, once we had the drums set up to record on some other songs, Shane Woods (drummer, engineer, co-producer on 9 of the 10 songs) started playing that sort of half-time brush beat over it and we fell in love with it. I believe he did it in one take and then added the bass followed by Jeff Lucci filling in all those textural pads and chords on his Fender Rhodes. That ‘drop’ is perhaps my favorite moment on the whole album.  It feels to me like diving into warm water; I’m so satisfied with how we executed those sounds to create that. I think those elements brought this song to another level without taking away from the barebones approach to the vocals and still left the spotlight on the lyrical content.  

Lyrically, the song involves an interaction with a woman on the road that sort of stuck with me a bit.  It ultimately did not work out and never quite seemed like it ever could, logistically. But what it did was alter my overall mindset, I think.  At the time, I was very stuck in my ways of being single, independent, and closed off emotionally. I think this particular moment/time period pushed me a bit and allowed me to realize that I was ready for something a bit deeper and was capable of being a little more open-minded towards potential relationships that could come my way. 

While the two verses and choruses are more specific in their imagery and recapping of the experience, the bridge ties this idea together stating “Blow my mind / I haven’t felt this burning for some time now.  I’ve been cold / Selfishly aware of all my downfalls. The you come along to shake me out of nightmares / To talk me back to sleep in peace.” This is the sort of “snap out of it” moment that I think this experience achieved for me.  A chance to step back, reevaluate, open up to myself and others, and ultimately pivot. I chose to name the song “Alaska,” not only because of its mention in the second verse lyrics, but also as a nod to the origin of the album title ‘Into the Wild’ (Christopher McCandless’ story).

 

Monostereo Vinyl · CAIOLA “ALASKA”Caiola Music

*Feature image by Kirby Sybert

Roots Artist Charley Crockett Shares Video For “Lily My Dear.”

Roots Artist Charley Crockett Shares Video For “Lily My Dear.”


Doug Hall

The “Lily My Dear” live video features Crockett portraying the song’s character, a man singing about the pains of his broken relationship.

Charley Crockett has released a new video for “Lily My Dear,” a song from his latest album Welcome To Hard Times – a genre-bending mix of classic country and rhythm & blues, drawing on heritage sounds and aptly-named for these troubled times.

The “Lily My Dear” live video features Crockett portraying the song’s character, a man singing about the pains of his broken relationship. The vintage-style live performance was created at Sam’s Town Point in Austin, TX. It was filmed & edited by Kevin Hamm, with live audio by David Wilson. Crockett performs vocals live to the original track in the style of classic country TV performances with legends including George Jones.

I was sitting in front of a little club in El Campo, TX last year messin’ around on my banjo, Dolores. I had this lick I was pickin’ and a melody came to me. I kept playing it round and round and my friends were with me so we all just started throwing lyrics at the wall to see what would stick. I kept the ones that I like the best. It’s an old story. The best ones always are. When you write something that feels like it’s 150 years old it’s a good feeling. The banjo will give one to me every now and again if I respect it. It’s one of my favorite tunes. – Charley Crockett

Crockett is no stranger to hard times. In early January 2019, while at a routine doctor’s checkup, he was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a congenital heart condition, as well as Aortic Valve disease, and he had to immediately undergo life saving heart surgery. Crockett also grew up in poverty, and spent time living homeless and busking making his way from New Orleans to the subway platforms of New York City. He lost his sister to addiction and he, himself is a twice convicted felon.

In spite of these challenges Crockett has remained steadfast and persistent in his music career and without the support of a major record label deal, has established himself as a breakthrough independent artist and the architect of his own success. He’s released eight albums in five years, two in the last twelve months. He has generated over 36 million total streams across his song catalogue and has growing a loyal grass roots live following, with sold out shows across America and Europe, the Grand Ole Opry and Newport Folk Festival, with much more to come.

Charley Crockett

*Feature image photo credit: evolvemediatx courtesy of the artist.

Farm Aid Will Host 35th Anniversary Virtual Festival September 26th

Farm Aid Will Host 35th Anniversary Virtual Festival September 26th


Press Release

This year, more viewers will have unprecedented access to Farm Aid’s annual festival than ever before as FarmAid.org, Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com will offer a multi-platform experience, streaming the event at no cost to viewers.

Farm Aid has announced that the organization will mark its 35th anniversary with a virtual at-home festival experience. Farm Aid 2020 On the Road, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT, will include performances from more than 20 artists. The 3-hour event will be streamed at FarmAid.org, on Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com.

Farm Aid 2020 On the Road artists include Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson and The Boys, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, as well as Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jon Batiste, Kelsey Waldon, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Particle Kid, The Record Company, Valerie June, and The War And Treaty, with other artists to be added.

“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” said Farm Aid President and founder Willie Nelson. “Farm Aid 2020 is going to give the whole country a chance to learn about the important work of farmers and how they’re contributing to our well-being, beyond bringing us good food.”

Farm Aid’s 35th anniversary comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, suffering and upheaval in our country. The COVID-19 pandemic, economic stress and the racial justice movement are urgent concerns that all of us share. The impacts of COVID-19 have revealed the fragility and injustice in our food system. As a result of the compounding challenges family farmers face, thousands are at risk of going under. There is now even more urgency and a critical need for a national response to keep family farmers on the land.

“Since we started in 1985, Farm Aid has kept its finger on the pulse of farm country and deployed funds and resources to help farm families confront the challenges they face,” said Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “It’s clear that this is a critical moment for farmers and ranchers. We risk losing their important contributions to our communities and our families if we do not adequately respond as a country.”

The virtual festival also will showcase stories from farmers from across the country who were invited to share why they farm, how they manage to stay resilient, and their vision of the future of agriculture.

This year, more viewers will have unprecedented access to Farm Aid’s annual festival than ever before as FarmAid.org, Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com will offer a multi-platform experience, streaming the event at no cost to viewers. Additional viewing options will be announced later. To find AXS TV in your area, visit www.axs.tv/subscribe/.

Farm Aid will again offer exclusive trips and artist-signed memorabilia, including a number of “from the vault” guitars and prints from previous Farm Aid festivals, for auction. The online silent auction will launch the morning of the festival, Sat., Sept. 26, and close on Friday, Oct. 9, with proceeds to benefit the organization.

The goal of the virtual festival is to raise critical funds for and awareness of the organization and its mission, which it typically does through ticket sales to the annual in-person music and food festival. Farm Aid accepts donations year-round at www.farmaid.org/donate.

For event updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@FarmAid), Facebook (facebook.com/farmaid) and Instagram (instagram.com/farmaid), and visit farmaid.org/festival. Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtags #FarmAid2020 and #OnTheRoad to join the conversation on social media around this year’s virtual festival.

Sponsors include ButcherBox, Horizon Organic, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Patagonia Workwear and Lundberg Family Farms. Farm Aid welcomes the participation of the business community. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Glenda Yoder at [email protected].

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised nearly $60 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

Farm Aid

*Feature image photo credit Marc Hauser courtesy of Farm Aid

27th Annual Living Blues Awards Winners Announced

27th Annual Living Blues Awards Winners Announced


JD Nash

Each year the Living Blues Awards are given in several categories in two polls; Critics’ Poll, and the Readers’ Poll.

It was 1993 when Living Blues Magazine first presented their Living Blues Awards. Founded in 1970 by future Blues Hall of Fame inductees Jim O’Neal and Amy van Singel. Living Blues is America’s oldest blues music publication and touted as the The Magazine of the African American Blues Tradition. Living Blues grew from a quarterly publication to a bi-monthly when O’Neal and van Singel sold their publication rights to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in 1983.

Each year the Living Blues Awards are given in several categories in two polls; Critics’ Poll, and the Readers’ Poll. Although categories may be duplicated in the various polls, the results obviously can differ.

Here are the winners of the 27th Annual Living Blues Awards for 2020:

Critics’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)
Bobby Rush

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)
Shemekia Copeland

Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Mavis Staples

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)
Jimmy Johnson

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)
Billy Branch

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)
Marcia Ball

Most Outstanding Musician (Bass)
Benny Turner

Most Outstanding Musician (Drums)
Cedric Burnside

Most Outstanding Musician (Horns)
The Texas Horns: Kaz Kazanoff, John Mills, and Al Gomez

Most Outstanding Musician (Other)
Rhiannon Giddens – Banjo

Best Live Performer
Bobby Rush

Comeback Artist of the Year
Mary Lane

Artist Deserving More Attention
Crystal Thomas

Best Blues Albums of 2019

Album of the Year
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Kingfish
(Alligator)

New Recordings / Contemporary Blues
Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues
Roots and Branches: The Songs of Little Walter
(Alligator)

New Recordings / Southern Soul
Annika Chambers
Kiss My Sass
(VizzTone)

New Recordings / Best Debut
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Kingfish
(Alligator)

New Recordings / Traditional & Acoustic
Jontavious Willis
Spectacular Class
(Kind of Blue Music)

Historical / Pre-war
Various Artists
“It’s the Best Stuff Yet!”
(Frog Records)

Historical / Postwar
Various Artists
Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records—The Definitive Collection
(Earwig Records)

Blues Book of the Year
Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
By Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow
Chicago Review Press

Producer of the Year: New Recording
Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell
Songs of Our Native Daughters
(Smithsonian Folkways)

Producer of the Year: Historical Recording
Michael Frank
Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records—The Definitive Collection
(Earwig Records)

Readers’ Poll

Blues Artist of the Year (Male)
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Blues Artist of the Year (Female)
Mavis Staples

Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)
Keb’ Mo’

Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)
Charlie Musselwhite

Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)
Marcia Ball

Best Live Performer
Buddy Guy

Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Buddy Guy

Best Blues Album of 2019 (New Release)
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Kingfish
(Alligator)

Best Blues Album of 2019 (Historical Recording)
Muddy Waters
The Complete Plantation Recordings: The Historic 1941–42 Library of Congress Field Recordings
(Analogue Productions)

Best Blues Book of 2019
Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
By Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow
Chicago Review Press

Congratulations to the all of this year’s winners!

Living Blues

CD Release For Charlie Parker, ‘The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection,’ out 11/6

CD Release For Charlie Parker, ‘The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection,’ out 11/6


Craft Recordings

Celebrating the centennial of Charlie “Bird” Parker with The Savoy10-inch LP Collection from Craft Recordings

Craft Recordings is proud to announce the release of the compact disc edition of The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection. The collection, which spotlights Charlie Parker’s groundbreaking bebop sessions for the legendary jazz label (spanning 1944 to 1948), is already available on vinyl and digital formats. The CD edition features 28 tracks from the four legendary Savoy 10-inch LPs, presented with newly restored and remastered audio and a deluxe 20-page booklet containing vintage photos, rare ephemera and liner notes from GRAMMY® Award-winning journalist and author Neil Tesser. These historic recordings, reissued as the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Parker’s birth, feature such jazz greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Bud Powell and Max Roach. The compact disc edition of The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection, set for a November 6th release date, is available to pre-order today.

When saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker and his contemporaries introduced bebop in the ’40s, they were ushering in a bold new style that would influence modern music for decades to come. Nowadays, as Neal Tesser argues in the box set’s liner notes, it’s easy to forget that bebop was considered avant-garde. “Bebop undergirds such a vast swath of American music that its revolutionary nature recedes into the background. It is now so familiar and comfortable, such an ever-present part of the family history, that non-historians can hardly envision it ever being ‘revolutionary.’” However, when listeners heard this new sound for the first time, it was unlike anything they had experienced before. Up until this point, the general public enjoyed swing-era big bands performing standards from the Great American Songbook, led by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. It’s also worth noting that—to those who were not entrenched in the jazz scene—this new style of music seemingly came out of nowhere. Though bebop evolved in the early part of the decade—cultivated in New York’s late-night jazz clubs—it didn’t appear on record until the mid-’40s, following a two-year strike by the Musicians’ Union, which banned commercial recordings for labels, due to royalty disputes.

The 28 tracks that make up The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection are some of the world’s earliest bebop recordings, including takes from a November 1945 date that is often referred to as “The Greatest Jazz Session Ever,” featuring Davis, Roach and Curley Russell appearing as “Charlie Parker’s Reboppers.” The tracks were compiled by Savoy and released over the next several years as the four LPs reissued in this box set: New Sounds In Modern Music, Volume 1 (1950), New Sounds In Modern Music, Volume 2 (1951), as well as Volumes 3 and 4 (both released in 1952). Nearly all of the compositions heard in this collection are originals by Parker, with a few contributions by Davis, and an original tune from guitarist Lloyd “Tiny” Grimes—who led Parker in the session for “Tiny’s Tempo.” Highlights include the upbeat “Now’s the Time,” the bluesy “Parker’s Mood” and “Constellation,” which Tessler notes “seems to anticipate the free-jazz energy solos of the 1960s.” Also notable is “Ko-Ko,” featuring an impressive improvisation from the saxophonist, as well as one of Bird’s most recognizable tunes, “Billie’s Bounce,” which was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame in 2002. Though multiple styles of bop would become mainstream by the end of the ’50s, these recordings mark the beginning of a new era and a radical shift in musical trends. It was a sound that, Tesser declares, was “at once liberating but also threatening. Charlie Parker and his fellow instigators…sparked a cultural earthquake that upended the music landscape for decades.”

Though his life and career were all too brief, Charlie “Bird” Parker (1920–1955) was ahead of his time, altering the course of music in his wake, and paving the way for hard bop, free jazz, fusion and beyond. Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Parker was a pioneering composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz and influenced subsequent generations of musicians, writers and artists. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the saxophonist’s birth, and to celebrate his legacy, a variety of special events, performances, as well as music and art releases—collectively celebrated as “Bird 100”—are taking place throughout 2020. Many of the events planned to celebrate Parker have taken new forms.

 

Craft Recordings

*Feature image Photo Credit: William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

William Elliott Whitmore Premieres First Single/Video for “My Mind Can Be Cruel To Me”

William Elliott Whitmore Premieres First Single/Video for “My Mind Can Be Cruel To Me”


Bloodshot Records

William Elliott Whitmore announces new album, ‘I’m With You,’ out on October 16

William Elliott Whitmore will release his eight full-length album I’m With You on October 16. On his first release of original material since 2015’s Radium Death (ANTI-), Whitmore widens the horizon of his True North folksongs and twangy punked-up country, aided by his world-weary voice, country-baked banjo and hard-strummed guitar. The video for the first single “My Mind Can Be Cruel to Me” premiered today.

Whitmore says of the song:

The song “My Mind is Cruel to Me” is about perception. Our memories and thoughts can be torturous at times. Mark Twain called it the “devil’s race track”, when a line of thought and worry goes around and around in a circle inside our brains. Is the mind a separate entity from the body? At what point does it feel as though our brains are actually betraying us?

Human beings are a complicated animal, and with that comes complicated emotions, fears, and habits. This video is meant to show that. Are the other band members real or not? It’s hard to remember, but I swear they were breathing and talking when we filmed it. The bass player, my friend Wolfina, kept messing up takes. I’m pretty sure I’m recalling that correctly. The guitar player, Patsy Decline, was trying to mimic the pedal steel part on her semi-hollow body electric. She did a great job I thought, really captured the spirit. I’ll never forget the time we had, it’s good to be around friends.

Watch the official video for “My Mind Can Be Cruel To Me” below.

 

I’m With You track listing:
Put It to Use
Solar Flare
My Mind Can Be Cruel to Me
MK Ultra Blues
History
Everything We Need
Save Ourselves
I’m Here
Black Iowa Dirt

Pre-order ‘I’m With You’

*Feature image: Chris Casella

 

 

 

Ivan Neville, Dumpstaphunk Mark Hurricane Katrina Anniversary w/ Powerful Single

Ivan Neville, Dumpstaphunk Mark Hurricane Katrina Anniversary w/ Powerful Single


Jon Bleicher Publicity

New album coming this Fall 2020

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ funk ensemble Dumpstaphunk released “Where Do We Go From Here,” the first single and title-track off their forthcoming album. The song is available on all digital platforms worldwide.

“Many of us from this region who endured the aftermath of Katrina were asking ourselves this question 15 years ago, not knowing what the future would hold.  Today we stand at another crossroads both in terms of the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, the political turmoil surrounding a meaningful social justice movement within a controversial election year, and generally the current climate of our existence.  We as human beings are posed with the question once again – Where do we go from here?

“Myself, Nick [Daniels] and Tony [Hall] were kids during the 60’s-70’s, so we saw a lot growing up,” says the group’s founding member Ivan Neville. “We see the same stuff still going on – the systemic racism, the racial profiling, all the social injustice. We’re at a crossroads right now in this country, and something’s got to change.  At the same time, lyrically speaking, Dumpstaphunk is putting out a conscious message of optimism in confronting the challenges of the unknown.”

Over the past 17 years, Dumpstaphunk has earned its reputation as the most well-regarded, next-generation New Orleans live powerhouses, the type of band whose live shows attract sit-ins from legends like Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, Trombone Shorty and many more. Dumpstaphunk’s founding members Ivan Neville (vocals/keyboards) Ian Neville (guitar) Tony Hall (bass/guitar/vocals) and Nick Daniels (bass/vocals) along with newest members Alex Wasily (trombone) and Deven Trusclair (drums), have built upon the Neville family’s iconic NOLA legacy as they’ve transformed into the city’s pre-eminent 21st-century funk-fusion export. Modernizing and reinvigorating the Neville family groove has been one of the driving forces of Dumpstaphunk since the band spontaneously formed during New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2003.

“Obviously, the New Orleans history is just embedded in us, but we manage to incorporate all the other stuff we’ve listened to over the years,” says Ivan. “We’re representing a legacy, but we’re reimagining a lot of it too.”

“Where Do We Go From Here” will be featured on the band’s upcoming fourth studio album, slated for release this Fall 2020 via Mascot Label Group / The Funk Garage.

“We hope people can hear the new songs and are inclined to dance while being inspired to think at the same time,” Ivan continues, referring to the band’s delicate balance between topic material and dance-floor rockers. Or, as Ian describes the tone of the album, “subtle but pertinent.”

Dumpstaphunk

B.B. Kings’s Bluesville On SiriusXM Joins Forces With The Blues Foundation

B.B. Kings’s Bluesville On SiriusXM Joins Forces With The Blues Foundation


Cary Baker / Conqueroo

Labor Day weekend programming kicks off with the 40th (Virtual) Blues Music Awards (2020)

SiriusXM and The Blues Foundation announced today their new collaboration to broaden the content and reach of B.B. King’s Bluesville (ch. 74). The channel will be powered by The Blues Foundation, which will directly expand the featured programming to include exclusive performances, artist interviews and archival content that only The Blues Foundation can provide.

To kick off this collaboration, B.B. King’s Bluesville will exclusively air the 2020 Virtual Blues Music Awards (held earlier this year), featuring SiriusXM host Shemekia Copeland as the ceremony’s host, beginning Friday, September 4 at 3 p.m. ET.  (See full rebroadcast schedule below.) The special programming will include exclusive at-home performances from BMA nominees, including Tommy Castro, Walter Trout, Thornetta Davies, Southern Avenue, Sue Foley, Billy Branch, Victor Wainwright, Samantha Fish, Kingfish, and more, along with presentations by Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Fantastic Negrito, Keb’ Mo’, Warren Haynes, William Bell, and Beth Hart. To complement the performances and award announcements, there are also appearances from special guests such as Bonnie Raitt, Bettye LaVette, Robert Cray, Elvin Bishop, Steve Cropper, Steve Miller, Dion, and SiriusXM host Little Steven Van Zandt, along with flashback performance moments by great bluesmen and women such as, Koko Taylor, Honeyboy Edwards, Irma Thomas, Luther Allison, and Taj Mahal.

Based in Memphis, Tenn., the home of the blues, The Blues Foundation is world-renowned as THE organization with a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. With approximately 4,000 individual members and over 170 affiliated local blues societies, it represents hundreds of thousands of blues fans and professionals around the world. In addition to the Blues Music Awards, the Foundation’s other signature honors and events include the Blues Hall of Fame, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards, and the International Blues Challenge. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance and advocacy for blues musicians in need while Generation Blues scholarships and Blues in the Schools programming expose new generations to blues music. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Blues Foundation has recently established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial support for basic necessities such as housing and utilities to blues musicians negatively impacted by the pandemic. The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, opened more than five years ago, adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide blues community with answers, information, and news.

Support The Blues Foundation by becoming a member or by making a charitable donation at blues.org. The Blues Foundation is a 501c3 organization and all donations may be tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. 

B.B. King’s Bluesville, powered by The Blues Foundation, on SiriusXM, is devoted to all blues music, from traditional to contemporary, rockin’ blues to soul, from B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Etta James,Robert Cray, Joe Bonamassa, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Minnie, Ruth Brown, Johnny Winter, and many others.

SiriusXM subscribers can listen to B.B. King’s Bluesville (ch. 74) and other channels on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices, including smart TVs, devices with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. The SiriusXM app also offers additional features such as SiriusXM video, Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora that listeners can curate themselves, and an On Demand library with more than 10,000 hours of archived shows, exclusive music performances, interviews and audio documentaries. SiriusXM has special offers for new subscribers including three months of a SiriusXM Essential Streaming subscription for Free. To see Offer Details and to subscribe, visit www.siriusxm.com/BBKing3.

Rebroadcast Schedule of the 40th (Virtual) Blues Music Awards on B.B. King’s Bluesville, (ch. 74):

Friday 9/04/20 at  9 p.m. ET
Saturday 9/05/20 at 3 a.m. ET
Saturday 9/05/20 at 6 p.m. ET
Sunday 9/06/20 at 6 a.m. ET
Sunday 9/06/20 at 3 p.m. ET
Monday 9/07/20 at 12 p.m. ET  

Madisyn Whajne Readies Invigorating, Bittersweet Debut With “Summer Love”

Madisyn Whajne Readies Invigorating, Bittersweet Debut With “Summer Love”


Chart Room Media

Ascendant singer-songwriter Madisyn Whajne navigates love, trust, reunion and rejection on debut album out November 13

Toronto-based singer songwriter Madisyn Whajne has announced the release of her debut full length album, Save Our Hearts, on November 13. To celebrate, the first video from the album has been released today. Pre-Order Save Our Hearts.


Recorded live to tape at Montreal’s famed Hotel2Tango Studio with engineers Howard Bilerman (Arcade FireThe Barr Brothers) and Shae Brossard (BahamasThe Dears), the album is imbued with a visceral sense of loneliness and longing, a burning desire for connection and companionship that propels it endlessly forward in pursuit of something perpetually out of reach. While Whajne rarely tackles her tumultuous journey in explicit narrative terms, her story is written between the lines here as she navigates love and trust, reunion and rejection, faith and fate.

Backed by her band and longtime friends—producer Jay McBride on bass, James Gray on guitar, and her husband, Bobby Bulat, on drums—Whajne walks a delicate tightrope between indie rock charm and punk bravado on the album, balancing hope and despair in equal measure as gritty guitars and muscular percussion mix with dreamy production and intoxicating hooks. The result is a captivating collection that hints at everything from Alvvays and Snail Mail to Rilo Kiley and Real Estate, an invigorating, bittersweet debut that insists on resilience and survival in the face of pain and heartbreak.

“We didn’t over practice and recorded everything live off the floor to tape,” explains Whajne. “I wanted to capture the energy you can only get when first learning a song, there’s an excitement you can hear in the take, in pushing yourself to be fully present in the moment like that.”

That excitement courses through the veins of Save Our Hearts, which opens with the breezy, washed out “Summer Love.” Like much of the album, it’s an uptempo track laced with melancholy and regret, a warm, nostalgic meditation on the ache of waiting for a love that that never comes. Sometimes Whajne tries to lure that love closer, as on the addictive “Killing Desire” or the sultry “One Shot.” Other times, she pushes it away, convincing herself it wasn’t meant to be on the ragged “Fire” or simply sitting with the sadness on the hypnotic “Never Give In.” Yet even in the depths of her sadness, Whajne always manages to find a silver lining, proclaiming on the lilting “Sweet Talk” that no matter what happens, “my heart keeps beating.”

Whajne has spent most of her life searching: for her purpose, for her family, for herself. Taken from her parents before the age of two as part of the infamous Sixties Scoop, in which the Canadian government forcibly rehomed tens of thousands of native children, the indigenous artist grew up without ever knowing her real name, to say nothing of her heritage. As a result, Whajne’s life has been shaped by a hunger for truth and understanding, a hunger that lies at the core of her extraordinary debut, Save Our Hearts.

Watch “Summer Love” below.

Texas Hill Country Blues and Roots Music All-Star Johnny Nicholas Explores His “Mistaken Identity”

Texas Hill Country Blues and Roots Music All-Star Johnny Nicholas Explores His “Mistaken Identity”


JD Nash

Although Nicholas’ career as an artist is well documented, his connection with South Louisiana music and culture is not as well- known.

Texas Hill Country blues and roots music MVP Johnny Nicholas announces the release of his new album, Mistaken Identity, via the Louisiana-based Valcour Records label. The digital version is set for release on August 28, with CD and vinyl formats following on October 2. The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Valcour Records co-founder Joel Savoy.

A listen to Mistaken Identity reveals a plethora of roots music sounds showcasing Nicholas’ varied influences, ranging from blues (“She Stole My Mojo”) and Tex-Mex (“Guadalupe’s Prayer”), to  Honky-Tonk Country (“Spark to a Flame”) and Rockabilly (“Tight Pants”). The album’s title track is a paean to New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, awash in second-line rhythms and Crescent City images.

“Full Circle” could have been the title for this record, but Mistaken Identity is appropriate enough considering that Johnny and his music have defied being pigeonholed in one specific genre throughout his amazing life and musical journey. All but one of  the songs on this album are originals that draw upon his many influences and experiences that have molded and defined him as a true Blues and Roots music artist.

Most of the tracks on the new album, including the vocals, were recorded “live” with very few overdubs. It’s jam-packed with great musicianship, story-telling and melodies that were recorded in Savoy’s studio. American music traditions filtered down through the experiences of a true troubadour and skillfully blended into a melting pot – or gumbo pot if you will – that will leave your musical taste buds wanting more.

It all started out with the blues for me. Once that bug bit me, I was infected with a love of what is now called Americana or roots music. No matter what you call it, it all began with the blues and all of its musical manifestations.

This album is a homecoming, bringing me back to the place where I cut my teeth and grew up musically on the prairies and bayou country of Southwest Louisiana in the ‘70s. Link Davis Jr (son of the legendary “Pappa” Link Davis) brought me to Basile and introduced me to Nathan Abshire, who lived behind the Bear Cat Lounge on Highway 190 (chronicled in the aptly titled track, “Highway 190”).

Back then, the Basile routine went something like this: play music every night with Link, Nathan and oftentimes Dewey Balfa (who worked at a furniture store nearby), pull some mattresses down off the wall in a room behind the bar and sleep, get up and walk back to Mr. Nathan and his wife Ola’s tiny house behind the club to drink coffee and visit, return to the Bearcat where Jeanette Comeaux would be fixing rice and ‘something’, post up with Nathan out front and start drinking and playing music informally with anyone who stopped by and then get ready for the evening’s show to start. Next day, same as the last and on and on—Honky-Tonk Heaven!

Although Nicholas’ career as an artist is well documented, his connection with South Louisiana music and culture and the influence it had on his storied musical career is not as well- known.

After finishing school, Johnny hit the road hitch-hiking and hopping freight trains in search of the artists and music he loved. His pilgrimages led him to experiences and relationships with many legends of the blues, western swing, honky-tonk music and the melting pot for it all: South Louisiana and Southeast Texas. For many years, he led the vanguard in the burgeoning blues scene that developed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and over the years was a mainstay at the legendary Ann Arbor Blues Festival.

Fast forward past his tenure as a front man with Western Swing icons Asleep At The Wheel, eight solo albums, raising a family, touring all over the world as a solo act and with the likes of Big Walter Horton, Roosevelt Sykes, Robert Junior Lockwood, Snooky Pryor and Johnny Shines, while helping his wife Brenda run the celebrated Hill Top Cafe, an old gas station and roadhouse in the Texas Hill Country, and Johnny winds up full-circle back in Eunice, Louisiana, bringing his Texas band to Joel Savoy’s tiny but magical little studio outside of Eunice – just a few miles down the road from where it all began in Basile.

Mistaken Identity Track Listing and Credits

1. She Stole My Mojo

2. Mule and The Devil

3. Spark To A Flame

4. Mistaken Identity

5. Guadalupe’s Prayer

6. Wanna Be Your Baby

7. Tight Pants

8. She Didn’t Think Of Me That Way

9. Highway 190

10. River Runs Deep

All songs written by John Nicholas, Dynaflow Music BMI, Administered by BMG, except River Runs Deep, written by Stephen Bruton, Brutunes Music BMI, Administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp)

Personnel:

Johnny Nicholas – Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Resonator Guitar, Piano, Harmonica, Mandocello

Scrappy Jud Newcomb – Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Mandolin and Vocals

Chris Maresh – Electric and Upright Bass, Vocals

John Chipman – Drums and Percussion, Kurdish Frame Drum and Vocals

With:

Max Baca-Bajo Sexto

Josh Baca- Accordion

Chris Stafford- Organ

Eric Adcock- Clavinet

Kelli Jones- Vocals and Tambourine

Sabra Guzman- Vocals

Kelley Mickwee- Vocals

Alice Spencer- Vocals

Walt Wilkins- Vocals

Bill Small- Vocals

Johnny Nicholas

*Feature image Audrey Billups courtesy of Mark Pucci Media