Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Renaissance Featuring Annie Haslam Sets Symphonic Journey Tour

Progressive rock band Renaissance, featuring original lead singer Annie Haslam, are embarking this month on their Symphonic Journey tour, backed by a 10-piece chamber orchestra.

Four dates on the tour, which runs October 26 through November 3, mark the first time in 40 years that Renaissance will perform live with an orchestra and will be filmed for an upcoming DVD release, fresh off the success of their 2015 Live at The Union Chapel DVD.

“It’s so exciting to be backed by an orchestra again,” says Haslam, who’s been fronting Renaissance, the pioneering prog rockers (think Genesis, King Crimson and Yes, but with a classical twist) since the beginning 48 years ago. Haslam’s legendary five-octave voice is the hallmark of the band’s sound, a unique combination of progressive rock with symphonic influences.

Haslam, who’s performed with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic, says, “Although it’s not easy to pull off, we’ve curated our own group of 10 orchestral players for four special concerts – and I can’t wait to look over my shoulder and see strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion as we launch into our big numbers.” Fans can look forward to the band’s orchestral classics like "Mother Russia," "Carpet Of The Sun," and "A Song For All Seasons."

The Symphonic Journey tour opens with four special orchestral shows:

October 26 - Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT
October 27 - Keswick Theater - Glenside, PA
October 28 - Town Hall - New York City, NY
October 29 - The Egg - Albany, NY

One of these concerts will be filmed and recorded for a new live DVD.

Renaissance will also play dates without the chamber orchestra at Boston’s City Winery (November 1); Annapolis MD’s Rams Head On Stage (November 2) and Oakmont PA’s The Oaks Theater (November 3).

In recent years, Renaissance has been active, touring extensively through North America, Canada, Japan, South Korea, England, Holland, Belgium, Israel, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil. With Haslam as lead vocalist, the band is comprised of her longtime musical associate Rave Tesar on piano, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on guitars, Frank Pagano on drums and percussion, and Leo Traversa on bass.

For more information, go to http://www.renaissancetouring.com.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cheap Trick to Headline Rock Your Speech Concert For Autism Society Of America

The Autism Society of America is pleased to announce its partnership with Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson’s Rock Your Speech in producing the Rock Your Speech Concert on December 2, 2017, at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

Headlined by Rock Hall of Fame members Cheap Trick with a full set of their power pop classics, the event will feature many of the band's fellow rock artists and colleagues. Joining the lineup are alt-rockers The Dandy Warhols, super group The Empty Hearts (Wally Palmar of The Romantics, Elliot Easton of The Cars, Andy Babiuk of The Chesterfield Kings and Clem Burke of Blondie), Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Redd Kross, and Tom Petersson's Rock Your Speech Band, with confirmed celebrity appearances by the legendary Ed Asner, Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton, and more.

The evening highlights the innovative work of Rock Your Speech, which creates music and video content that helps kids on the autism spectrum develop speech and language skills. Social, communication, and language development difficulties are a primary challenge for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Funds raised at the concert will support Autism Society of America’s services to help individuals with autism maximize their quality of life. Autism Society of America earmarked an additional fund whereby a portion of the concert’s proceeds will be granted to Rock Your Speech in order to provide assistance in the development of an interactive video modeling program. Rock Your Speech co-founders Alison and Tom Petersson seek to make music therapy tools readily accessible to kids in need of speech and language therapies.

More than 3.5 million Americans have Autism Spectrum Disorder, with more than 1 in 68 births resulting in an autism diagnosis.

Join us as we help children find their voices through music.
#rocknrollwithapurpose

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 20, 10amPST/1pmEST via Ticketmaster.com

For more information visit:
www.rockyourspeechconcert.com

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

TONIGHT! The Pretenders Make Debut Appearance On Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) Season 43 rocks on with a hit-filled hour starring the great Pretenders in their first-ever appearance on the ACL stage. The band will present an 11-song hit parade in a brand-new installment premiering tonight (Saturday, October 14) at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT. 

The program airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. The show's official hashtag is #acltv.

The ACL show was filmed while The Pretenders were touring in support of their latest album, Alone, who was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. The digital deluxe edition of Alone is available now on all DSPs, featuring 15 live bonus tracks recorded during the year of touring in support of the album (six of which come from the ACL show). The CD version of the deluxe edition with the bonus material will be released December 1.

The ACL performance finds Influential punk new-wave veterans the Pretenders in fighting form as they kick off an electrifying hour with a new classic, "Alone," a swagger-fueled gem that fits right into the band's canon, the title track from their first album in almost a decade. Iconic bandleader Chrissie Hynde informs the crowd, "You don't have to be polite, because we don't plan to be." The defiant front woman commands the stage, showcasing her still-radiant voice in a career-spanning performance featuring fan-favorites including "Back On The Chain Gang," "My City Was Gone," "Mystery Achievement," and "Middle of the Road."

The Pretenders' trademark tough and tender lyrics resonate as they did when the band arrived on the London scene in 1978. Hynde fondly introduces original member Martin Chambers as "the world's greatest rock drummer," as he plays the stirring intro of "Message Of Love." The band caps the powerhouse set with their signature hit "Brass In Pocket," as Hynde pulls a spellbound fan onstage to join her on the timeless tune.

"One thing that hasn't changed in almost 40 years," says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, "Chrissie Hynde is still a badass! There's no doubt about who's in charge, and musically her voice still rings as clear and strong as ever. Whether you're an old fan or a newbie, this is a show for the ages."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bruce Springsteen Broadway Residency Opens

Thursday, October 12 marked the opening night of Springsteen on Broadway,  a two-hour musical memoir, where Bruce Springsteen combined excerpts from his best-selling 2016 autobiography Born to Run with 15 songs from his back catalog — tunes which many devout ticket holders knew by heart and felt compelled to sing and clap along. However, the Boss briefly paused "Dancing in the Dark" to tell the audience with a laugh, "I'll handle this myself." 

The audience applauded loudly after a section paying tribute on the late E Street Band member Clarence Clemons, as well as a brief reflection on the political scene and the recent resurgence of torch-bearing racial hatred ("I believe that what we're seeing now is just a bad chapter in the ongoing battle for the soul of the nation," he said). His curtain call was met with the “Bruce!” chants reminiscent of his arena shows, as well as a lengthy standing ovation (though there was no encore number, despite widespread hope for one).

The production sees Springsteen playing guitar, piano and harmonica, and singing duets with his wife, Patti Scialfa. It first grew out of an acoustic concert at the White House in the final weeks of the Obama administration, and virtually sold out its four-month run at the Walter Kerr Theatre almost instantly, grossing a massive $2,332,108 in its first week of previews. Given that the show is playing only five performances per week, in a theater with a seating capacity of 939, its hefty average ticket price of $497 means that on a seat-by-seat basis, Springsteen on Broadway is even outselling Hamilton — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster is running in a 1,321-seat house, with an average ticket last week of $272.

The show's opening night brought out such luminaries as Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Edward Norton, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Iovine, Nathan Lane, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Steven Van Zandt. The evening was capped with an intimate party at New York City’s Polo Bar.

Springsteen on Broadway runs through February 3. Theater pundits are now busy speculating if and how the production will figure in this season’s Tony Awards next June. An early report emerged in The New York Post that the Tony Nominating Committee saw the show in previews and was sufficiently impressed to start buzz circulating about a possible special award.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Eagles' 'Hotel California' 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Out In November

The Eagles' Hotel California was a critical and commercial phenomenon when it was released in December 1976. The album topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks in the U.S., won two Grammy Awards, sold more than 32 million copies around the world, and featured two Billboard #1 hit singles. 40 years later, it still ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time. 

This fall, the milestone album will add to its legendary lore with Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, a new double CD and Blu-ray Audio that includes remastered sound, 10 previously unreleased live recordings, as well as hi-res stereo and 5.1 mixes.

Presented in an 11 x 11 hardbound book, the set also features rare and unseen photos from the era, a replica tour book, and an 11 x 22 poster. The collection will be available on November 24. A double CD Expanded Edition and  single CD will also be available, along with digital download and streaming versions.

Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition opens with a remastered version of the original album, featuring two Billboard #1 singles - "New Kid In Town" and the title track - plus the smash hit "Life In the Fast Lane." The album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, and won for "Record of the Year" and "Best Arrangement For Voices."

The set also marks the debut of 10 live tracks that were recorded during the band's three-night stand at the Los Angeles Forum in October 1976. The concert recordings - which were recorded about a month before the album came out - feature one of the first ever live performances of "Hotel California" and "New Kid In Town" along with other Eagles classics including  "Already Gone," "Take It To the Limit," and "Witchy Woman."

The Blu-ray Audio disc that accompanies Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition features the 5.1 Surround Sound mix originally released on DVD-A in 2001 along with a hi-resolution, 192 KHz/24-Bit stereo mix.

The Eagles made their triumphant return to the stage this summer at the Classic East/West festivals, earning raves from critics and fans alike. More live dates are planned for this fall, with the band being joined on stage once again by country superstar Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, son of Eagles founder, Glenn Frey.