Friday, April 24, 2015

Bruce Springsteen To Present Pete Townshend With Award For Charity Work

The Who's Pete Townshend will be honored for his charity work with a Stevie Ray Vaughan Award next month.

The guitarist will be presented the award by Bruce Springsteen at a special benefit concert in New York on May 28. Townshend will also perform live at the event, with Joan Jett, Billy Idol and Foreigner's Mick Jones also set to appear.

Townshend has been a drug addiction recovery activist since the 1980s, particularly supporting the MusiCares MAP Fund.

Meanwhile, Tho Who singer Roger Daltrey recently claimed that Townshend wants the group to record another album. The band released their last studio album 'Endless Wire' in 2006.

Daltrey told Rolling Stone: "He's just talking about it. I've heard a couple of tracks, which are great. There are loads of things we can do in the future, but we can't keep doing this sort of tour. This bit of our career is closed, but maybe two more doors OPEN up. Pete is an incredibly vibrant musician. I could see us playing acoustically in some ways."

The band's current The Who Hits 50 jaunt, which stretches through the year and includes a show at London's Hyde Park on June 26, was thought to be the band's last ever tour. However, now Daltrey has stated that he would be open to more shows.

"If people want to add shows and we still feel great, then it will go for a while longer, but not that much longer. It might last two years," Daltrey said.

The frontman, though, would prefer the band to go out on a high. He added: "We have to be realistic. I want us to stop at the top of our game when we are still really good at what we do. The quality of the music is really what this is all about."

The Who brought their 50th anniversary tour to London's Royal Albert Hall last month as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust Concert gigs. The band performed a two-hour set of tracks and hits spanning their entire career in front of an audience which included artist Peter Blake, who famously created The Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, and former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, whose brother Bill is the band's long-time manager.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gonzo Multimedia Releases Exclusive Cream Triple DVD Set

Gonzo Multimedia has released an exclusive Cream Triple DVD Set featuring producer Tony Palmer's original classic films with Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce & Eric Clapton.

Cream Farewell at the Royal Albert Hall

This was one of those occasions of which it can truly be said that those who were there, will never forget it. Legendary rock trio Cream featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker performed their final gig on November 26th 1968, at the Royal Albert Hall. The show was filmed and recorded that evening and originally released on film and CD. Aside from the band's reunion concert in 2005 it was Cream's only official full concert release on video. It was originally broadcast by the BBC on January 5, 1969. It was not released on video in the US until 1977. The opening acts for the concert were future progressive rock stars Yes who were just starting out and Taste an Irish trio led by Rory Gallagher. Now for the first time the concert is available in its original broadcast version, together now with rare bonus features taken from Palmer's landmark films, All My Loving and his definitive series on the history of American popular music, All You Need Is Love!

Jack Bruce - Rope Ladder to the Moon (Bonus Feature: 2009 Interview between Jack and Pete Brown)

Jack Bruce remains the greatest bass player in the entire history of rock 'n' roll. He became a legend because of his association with Cream, still one of the most extraordinary bands ever to grace the stage. But his own story is even more extraordinary. Born amid the slums of Glasgow known as the Gorbals, his musical talent was quickly recognized and he attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music where he played the cello and keyboards. Then he discovered jazz...and rock 'n' roll. Although Cream did not immediately bring the financial rewards some people imagine, after the group broke up in 1968 he was able to buy a large island off the Scottish coast.

With Cream, Bruce also discovered that he was a talented composer - many of the group's famous hits were written by him - so it was no surprise when in 1970 he released a jazz-orientated LP of his own compositions called “Songs for a Tailor”.

This 55-minute film, made at the same time, takes the bassist  from the Gorbals, via Cream, to his island called Sanda, playing the cello, the sitar and thundering away on the organ of the Albert Hall in London, while featuring many of the tracks from his LP. With his strong socialist principles (his father had been a member of the Communist party) Jack Bruce himself provides the striking commentary. “What kind of a society do we want?” it begins....

Originally shown on the BBC in 1971, this critically acclaimed film has been restored to something approaching its former glory and reminds us yet again what a great musician Jack Bruce was.

Ginger Baker In Africa with Fela Ransome-Kuti (Bonus Feature: The Artist by Baker Gurvitz Army)

Producer Tony Palmer explains, “In November 1971, Ginger Baker wanted to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. He was among the first great musicians to realize the potential of African music. He decided also that it might be an invaluable musical experience if he traveled to Nigeria overland. Unfortunately, this involved crossing the Sahara Desert. Mad? Well, crazy - but that was what was so endearing both about the man and the musician. He bought a Range Rover - one of the first ever models - and it fell to me (because of my relationship with Cream) to film this odyssey. And the music of Nigeria, when he finally got there, was a revelation. This was before the time of the oil boom and a succession of corrupt governments; the music pulsated with reckless freedom, from the African talking-drummers of Oshogbo, to a visit to the eastern city of Calabarwhere Ginger's friend (the then unknown) Fela Ransome-Kuti performed for us with devastating power.

“I remember filming Kuti in a stadium filled with several hundred Africans. Ginger & I, his driver and my cameraman were the only white faces. Scary. But not so scary as our nights in a Calabar hotel (well, 'hotel' is a bit of an exaggeration). The walls of our room, not to mention the seedy mattress on the floor, we recovered black with mosquitoes. I remember Ginger saying that if we survived this, we could survive anything. I'm glad he did, and the film pays tribute to his indomitable spirit and to his extraordinary musicianship.”

For more information:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Moody Blues' Justin Hayward Announces Tour Dates

Justin Hayward, esteemed vocalist, lead guitarist, and composer of the Moody Blues, will embark on a northeast solo tour of North America this August, following a UK run in July.

“We are so looking forward to this tour,” exclaims Hayward. “Julie Ragins [keyboardist/background vocalist], Mike Dawes [acoustic guitar], and I have been overwhelmed by the reception of our live shows during this last year in the USA. To hear every nuance of my acoustic guitars (they are on the road for the first time) and our voices in these venues is a joy. And the USA, like me, is discovering what a fabulous guitar player Mike Dawes is, and I look forward to hearing him play every night too.”

Hayward followed the release of his latest album of new songs Spirits Of The Western Sky (Eagle Rock) with several solo tours. The live DVD, CD, and Blu-ray Spirits…Live - Live At The Buckhead Theatre (Eagle Rock Entertainment) was recorded in Atlanta, GA on August 17, 2013, and reached Number 1 on the Billboard Video Chart. This concert film also premiered nationwide on PBS in March 2015, and will continue to air through the year.

“It is a privilege and honor that PBS is broadcasting my live show as part of their pledge drives,” adds Hayward. “PBS has always meant a lot to me - not only for the quality of its programming but for its news, independence, and integrity…a true great comfort to me while I’m on the road.”

Performing and recording for more than 40 years with The Moody Blues, Hayward wrote such beloved songs as “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “The Voice,” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” His prolific songwriting helped earn the band over 60 million albums sold.

Check out a video of “Nights In White Satin” below

Justin Hayward will perform at the following venues:

August 20 - Salisbury, MA - Blue Ocean Music Hall
August 21 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
August 22 - Hartford, CT - Infinity Hall Hartford
August 25 - Harrisburg, PA - Whitaker Center-Sunoco
August 26 - Bethlehem, PA - ArtsQuest Center
August 27 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere Music Hall
August 29 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
August 30 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rock Legends Cruise III: Adrift Somewhere Between Fort Lauderdale & The Bahamas

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Ron Lyon
It seemed too good to be true. An invite to cover the Rock Legends Cruise III to the Bahamas aboard a ship the size of a high-end Las Vegas hotel, and there wasn’t a catch. They would fly my crew and I out, give us a couple cabins with ocean views, and we would be able to photograph, film and interview pretty much everything and everyone within reason. When I received the box of NAHA Photographer shirts, that nailed it. Flights were booked, accommodations and shuttles arranged, and plots unleashed on how we would do what we’ve been doing all along — putting together the best rock reviews, interviews, photos and video about the Vintage Rock artists people still love. We were taking it to the high seas.
For the Rock Legends Cruise III, billed as “The Best 4 Nights You’ll Wish You Remembered,” NAHA put together a dream roster for any classic rock fan. We’re talking Alice Cooper, the Doobie Brothers, Paul Rodgers, Blue Öyster Cult, Edgar Winter, Don Felder, Dave Mason, 38 Special, Rik Emmett, Uriah Heep, WAR, Marshall Tucker Band, Ten Years After, Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws, Pat Travers Band, Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown, Melvin Seals & JGB, Artimus Pyle Band, Citizens Band Radio, Swamp da Wamp, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Blue Lords and Steve Rodgers.
Our mission was to take video and photos of as many shows, meet and greets, Q&A’s, auctions and special events as possible, get in a few on-camera interviews, and hand out souvenirs. Through it all, we saw a fascinating amalgam of fans who love rock and roll get up close and personal with some of the greatest musicians in the world aboard a cruise liner en route to the Bahamas and back. Not your everyday experience, that’s for sure.
Our arrival into Fort Lauderdale was an hour late and met with a cool, Arctic blast of weather, a polar vortex that would accompany us out to sea for the next couple of days. Not that it would matter as much of the activity would take place inside of various venues inside the ship. The one caveat was that the top outside deck with all the pools and Jacuzzis was a designated venue for live performances, which required a bit of tricky maneuvering and nerves of steel to make it work until the weather improved.
The shuttle ride to port from the Quality Inn got things off to a roaring start thanks to an enthusiastic group, killer classic rock tunes supplied by a veteran female cruiser, and a driver who liked to shake his moneymaker as he adjusted the volume. Before we knew it, we were in the throes of Port Everglades where the glorious 15-deck, 1,100-foot Liberty of the Seas awaited our arrival. In service since 2007 and built to accommodate up to 5,000 passengers and crew members, this would be our base of operations for the next four days.
After checking in our luggage (and praying it would arrive in our cabins safely), it took a couple hours of paper work and administrative shenanigans inside the terminal before we actually made it onto the ship. It almost felt like the DMV, except a joyous spirit permeated the air of the otherwise pallid, hollow facility. We posed for a quick picture, and were led up a flight of stairs, across the gangplank, and suddenly, we were inside the lumbering ship. A few corridors to acquaint our surroundings and a stairway later, we were thrust upon the Royal Promenade, a sort of mini mall if you like. There was the Café Promenade for coffee and morning pastries, the Cupcake Cupboard for 30 different types of exotic cupcakes, and a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop at one end. At the other end, we found the Hoof & Claw Pub and Sorrento’s Pizza, which was more our style. So we grabbed a table and were soon dining on grab-a-slice-or-three of Sorrento’s pizza and Sierra Nevadas. We were on a boat but it didn’t feel like a boat. Once we set sail, it would definitely rock in more ways than one.
Our faces fed and palettes tempered, we settled into our cabins, welcomed our bags, and were suddenly summoned over the ship’s intercom for a required life boat drill. We passed by Alice Cooper’s band, but didn’t see the singer. Perhaps he was exempt from this exercise. They’d probably send his personal helicopter in the event of any kind of emergency. Anyway, after the drill, everyone scrambled up to the pool deck for the Captain’s Party. An hour later, the boat loosened its grip from the Port Everglades berth and we were on our way.
The free beer at the Captain’s Party was a Bud and Coors affair, but I still stuck around for Artimus Pyle and his band to kick things off. Despite the breezy chill, everyone was in a jovial mood, and a few Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes — “Workin' For MCA,” “That Smell,” et al — just helped the medicine go down that much smoother. I headed inside and made a beeline for Studio B on the second deck to try and catch Uriah Heep. The line was long and the show was delayed, so I went to the other end of the boat where the Platinum Theatre was just opening up for Dave Mason, who was also running late.
Mason and his band took the stage at 7:30 and tore through a set that included Traffic songs like “40,000 Headman,” “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” and “Feelin’ Alright” (a big hit for Joe Cocker), solo tracks like “Only You Know And I Know” (which, as Mason pointed out, was also recorded by Delanie & Bonnie), and Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower,” a song Mason has a special attachment to as the guy who played acoustic on the version recorded by the one and only Jimi Hendrix.

By this time, the boat was literally rocking and rolling as the wind-swept sea faced off with the elements. Which isn’t to say everyone inside was bouncing off the walls — it was simply a challenge for Mason to kick in his foot pedal when he wanted to change the tone. It didn’t get any easier for the Doobie Brothers, who followed Mason, but they still delivered a first-rate performance.

They came on at 8:30 with “Jesus Is Just Alright” and the harmonies billowed out over the entranced audience like a security blanket. Everyone moved forward as they fell into “Rockin' Down The Highway,” and the party really started as Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, and John McFee stood just feet away from the edge of the stage, firing away on those power chords, supported by bassist John Cowan, keyboard Guy Allison, saxophonist Marc Russo, and drummers Ed Toth and Tony Pia. “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)” followed by some impromptu blues kept the musicianship at a consistently high standard.
What was most interesting was how deep into the catalog the Doobies went, pulling out plums from the classic The Captain And Me like “Clear as the Driven Snow” and “South City Midnight Lady," along with the brilliant instrumental “Slack Key Soquel Rag” from Stampede. They also played newer songs like “World Gone Crazy” and “Chateau.” The show’s pacing was nonstop — from McFee making the pedal steel sing, to Russo chiming in tastefully on sax (especially nice on “Takin' It To The Streets”), to watching Toth and Pia lock in on a tightly wound, snapping rhythm that Doobie Brothers fans expect thanks to the band’s previous drummers — John Hartman, Michael Hossack, and Keith Knudsen.
They finished up the night with Johnston’s “Listen To The Music” and the crowd was in ecstasy. It was only Thursday, we were just a few miles off the coast of Florida, and the party was well underway. It was only gonna get crazier with more shows and events as the night wore on and the sun came up. Indeed, more performances would follow. Blue Öyster Cult followed the Doobies in the Platinum Theatre, while Molly Hatchet took over Studio B. Rik Emmett’s performance for the deck was cancelled due to weather. For late nighters, Swamp da Wamp and CB Radio played until the wee hours of the morning.
We grabbed a midnight snack at Windjammer Café and called it a day. On Friday, our first full day on the ship, we had loads of activities to cover, and our eyes and ears needed to be sharp. It began with a cool morning Q&A on the upper deck with Dave Mason, Don Felder, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons. Sal Cirrincione from Premiere Networks moderated, asking about influences, career milestones, past associations, new music and the revival of vinyl, something they each seem to appreciate. The thought of the four of them collaborating was brought up by Cirrincione and a few of the faithful gathered, but then everyone realized they’re all guitar players.
After the Q&A, we interviewed Dave Mason and Don Felder, and told Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston we’d catch up with them at their meet and greet. Savoy Brown and the Outlaws played sets as we checked out the first of two auctions featuring autographed albums, guitars and other valuable keepsakes. Artist Marc Lacourciere, known for painting highly detailed portraits of musical artists and instruments, also unveiled a special painting for auction featuring Fender guitars and some of the famous guitarists who play them. All the money was going to charity, so the bidding started high. One guy paid for $29,000 for an Epiphone acoustic guitar with Paul McCartney’s autograph. We later learned he was a dermatologist and his whole office is decorated in valuable rock and roll artifacts.
It was time for a break. Junkman and I adjourned to one of the oversized whirlpools extended off the side of the deck. A few Coronas and a little Blue Öyster Cult on the pool deck ain’t a bad way to spend a late afternoon. Surprisingly, when they played “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” we didn’t hear any cowbell. We’d press them on that issue when we interviewed them on Sunday. Anyway, it was back to work after that as we headed over to check out another Q&A with Sal Cirrincione, Lonnie Jordan of War and Rik Emmett, formerly of Triumph. This turned into an interesting exchange as Jordan regaled the small crowd in the Sphinx Room with Eric Burdon and Jimi Hendrix encounters, and Emmett brought everyone up to speed on his present role as a college professor. Junkman interviewed Emmett afterwards.
We scrambled downstairs to catch Alice Cooper and the room was already humming as the opening “Department Of Youth” swallowed the crowd whole. You would have never known this boat was full of old, stodgy classic rockers because Alice Cooper and his youthful five-piece band provoked the kind of madness you typically see at full throttle metal shows. Which isn’t to say that Cooper doesn’t have more than enough hits of his own that anyone creeping up on 70 doesn’t know. Within the first half-hour, he pulled out “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” for those who never got pastMuscle Of Love.
What separates Alice Cooper from many of his peers is the energy and athleticism that go into each show. There’s no going-through-motions with this crew; it’s an all-hands-on-deck, so to speak, effort. Cooper is the quarterback, and guitarists Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen function as the backline — trading leads, passing measures to one another, spotlighting leads and locking into together when the song calls for it, all without missing the main licks that give those classic songs that extra pizzazz. Monster drummer Glen Sobel made keeping the beat an exercise in dexterity and fortitude, and Chuck Garric towed the low end as he has for the last 11 years for Alice Cooper.
Cooper himself is a timeless incarnation of everything that was cool and right about the 70s, the 80s and beyond. The makeup, the getup and the voice make him an ageless icon that defies the notion of rock and roll taking its toll. As he would explain in a Q&A two days later, he leaves Alice on stage and enjoys a full life playing golf, tending to family and touring in style. But he hasn’t forgotten the ones who didn’t make it, which he made perfectly clear when he rolled out a medley of cover songs by various “dead drunk friends" that included the Doors’ “Break On Through,” the Beatles’ “Revolution,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady and the Who’s “My Generation.”
He can still get away with singing “I’m Eighteen,” but everyone in the house was aching for the ultimate youth anthem, “School’s Out.” Not be outdone, Patrick Simmons from the Doobie Brothers had come out for the previous number, Willie Dixon’s “Back Door Man,” and stuck around for the big finale. With his long locks and articulated chops, he fit right in. The balloons and streamers shot out as the Cooper, Simmons and his band slammed it home with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2.” It was a wild finish that left everyone screaming for more. And that was no problem as more shows with Edgar Winter, Uriah Heep and the Pat Travers Band were about to get underway. For the moonlighters, there was the Blue Lords set, starting at 1:00. We checked out Edgar Winter during his opening song, an extended “Tobacco Road,” but called it a night afterwards. Rest was essential because we were pulling into Nassau in the morning, and there were plans to explore the island as much as possible in the six hours allotted.
The next morning, we grabbed a quick bite at the Windjammer and disembarked. We rented scooters and cruised over and around the island to Love Beach. After a bit of circling around, we found the perfect spot on the beach where we could drink Coronas and dip our toes in the cool, rough surf. I was the only one of the group who actually waded into the cold water. If I’d had a wetsuit, a mask, a snorkel and a little more time, I would have taken a longer swim. Naturally, none of us wanted to leave, but there was much more to see and little time to see it. We zipped back through Nassau and over to the bridge to Paradise Island and the posh Atlantis resort. It would have been nice to see the pools, the waterslide and the dolphins, but we got as far as the lobby, realized the time and scrambled back over to Nassau for some last-minute shopping before re-boarding the Liberty of the Seas. As we boarded, I couldn’t help notice that we were surrounded by other cruise lines, all in port for the day or perhaps overnight. Not everyone got off the boat while we there, and shows with Swamp da Wamp, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Molly Hatchet kept those who stayed behind entertained.
As it turned out, we hadn’t bothered to eat anything ashore, so we were famished. The Windjammer, an efficient, all-purpose buffet, wasn’t going to cut it tonight. It had to be something good, fulfilling and satisfying. Fortunately, the boat catered to all taste buds; there were even specialty restaurants, ranging from the simplicity of Sorrento's, Johnny Rockets and Ben & Jerry's to the Chops Grille steakhouse or Portofino Italian restaurant. If you were willing to pay a little extra (very little) for lobster or a thicker piece of prime rib, these were the places to go.
Where we found ourselves on three different occasions was the Michelangelo Dining Room, where you could order an appetizer like the exotic Seafood Delight cocktail salad festooned with bits of prawn, shrimp and octopus to get your sea legs wiggling. I stuck with the Caesar salad. For the less adventurous, the revolving menu offered generous main courses comprising everything from a decent cut of filet mignon, to chicken and shrimp dishes, to pasta extravaganzas, all served with an assortment of sumptuous veggies. Once our food was heartily ingested and our plates clean, the waiter or waitress presented a dessert tray filled with rich and sweet delights to keep the heart palpitating.
We interviewed Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom of Blue Öyster Cult after they finished doing a photo op with our own Ron Lyon taking the pics (he did the same for the Doobie Brothers, 38 Special, Paul Rodgers, Edgar Winter and Citizen’s Band Radio). The Doobie Brothers were scheduled to play the pool deck, but we managed to get in a quick interview with Patrick Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McFee before they took the stage. Unfortunately, when we showed up at Alice Cooper’s meet and greet, he was unavailable for an interview. Somehow, we squeezed in a few shows, notably partial sets from 38 Special and the Outlaws. Up on the pool deck, 38 Special ran through a brisk set that included “Rockin' Into The Night,” “Caught Up in You” and ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid."
As for the Outlaws, I hadn’t seen them since 1979, and it was a real treat to see them slaying away on “Green Grass And High Tides” just as fiercely and passionately as they had back in the 70s. We still had another day to rock the boat, so after a couple of nightcaps at the Hoof & Claw, everyone turned in. We missed out on Marshall Tucker’s late night jam that went until 3:00 in the morning, but I caught a song or two from the newly revamped Ten Years After on the television feed in our room. They would regrettably be one of the few bands we missed on the cruise.
On Sunday morning, the main event was Sal Cirrincione’s Q&A with Paul Rodgers and Alice Cooper. Cooper shared some truly monumental stories about meeting Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney (the mere mention of any Beatle on the cruise was laced with reverence). In fact, he said he was working on a project that included McCartney, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry called the Hollywood Vampires. Cooper also talked about golf, snakes, his heavy touring schedule and being a grandfather. Rodgers was a little more subdued, but he spoke about working with Queen and receiving an award for five million air plays of “All Right Now.”
We found ourselves following Paul Rodgers to his meet and greet, where we snagged a short interview. He talked up his latest album The Royal Sessions as well as the recent Bad Company remasters. As we left, a fan loaded with memorabilia was negotiating with Rodgers’ management about how many items the singer would sign. There were a few super fans like that, running around on the boat, getting stuff they brought signed. Short glimpses of Savoy Brown and Uriah Heep’s sets kept us aching for more shows, but we opted for 38 Special’s meet and greet where we set up a short interview with guitarists Don Barnes and Danny Chauncey. Veterans of previous music cruises, they talked about the challenges of playing on a boat in rough seas. Then we went to see Edgar Winter and sat down for a fun-filled chat with him. Everyone we spoke to was in great spirits and enjoying the cruise.
Sunday night was all about shows. I checked out a few songs from Don Felder in Studio B. He and his band rolled through a set of mostly Eagles songs, along with “Heavy Metal” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride And Joy.” Felder pulled out his Gibson SG doubleneck and finished up with “Hotel California.” I missed a second performance of Alice Cooper on the pool deck, and dashed through the casino (where I never lost any money because I never played) to the Platinum Theatre for Paul Rodgers’ second and final appearance on the cruise. His son Steve played first and brought the house down. The man himself followed, opening with ‘Rock N’ Roll Fantasy” and “Live For The Music” to get the house shakin’. Longtime guitarist Howard Leese (a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer for his tenure with Heart) was in his element, pulling off those famous Bad Company licks.
Rodgers’ bluesy smooth voice, of course, took center stage, as he flawlessly caressed the melodies of “Running With The Pack,” “Burnin' Sky,” “Mr. Big” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign.” Leese blew through a beautiful solo on “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” a song Rodgers wrote with Jimmy Page for The Firm’s 1985 debut album. The songs of Bad Company — ‘Feel Like Making Love” with Leese on mandolin, “Shooting Star,” “Bad Company,” "Ready For Love” — dominated the set, but we also got Free’s “Wishing Well” and “All Right Now.” For the last show we would see on the Rock Legends Cruise III, you couldn’t have asked for a better finish.
Unfortunately, a 6:00 wake-up call to unboard prevented us from seeing WAR and Edgar Winter, and late night sets from Citizens Band Radio, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Blue Lords (passengers were allowed to stay on the boat until noon). I have to take my hat off to anyone who saw every band on this ship. For most people who need to sleep, eat and reflect, it’s an adventure in determination and will to experience it all. There was a constant flow of shows, meet and greets, photo ops, close encounters, contests, auctions and other events. There are places to eat, drink, shop, work out, sit, climb, gamble, swim and relax all over the Liberty of the Seas. We set out to get in as much as possible, and even without seeing half of what we could have seen, everything exceeded our expectations. I really have to thank NAHA and Jeff Albright for inviting myself, Tom Riehl, Jordan “Junkman” Wolsch and Ron Lyon aboard to bring the experience of the Rock Legends Cruise III to those who were there, those who should have been there, those who wanted to be there, and everyone else who missed out. It was the best 4 nights I’ll never forget.
More coverage of the Rock Legends Cruise III:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Record Store Day 2015: Special Releases & Appearances Set For Saturday, April 18 Event

Record Store Day, the annual celebration of grooved acetate discs returns this Saturday, April 18 to independent record stores around the world. Obsessive record collectors and vinyl aficionados will be queuing around street corners in the hope of getting their hands on a coveted item.

As in recent years, the plats du jour are a veritable feast for the music lover, covering all the best that the spectrum has to give, but we can tell you that offerings for the 2015 event, slated for Saturday, April 18th, are weighted towards the indie labels—254 titles from the indies of the full 400 RSD releases!

Foo Fighters, featuring this year’s Ambassador, Dave Grohl, will release their Songs From The Laundry Room on 10” vinyl (RCA), a handful of nascent Foos’ demos created at Barrett Jones’ Laundry Room Studios in Seattle.

Metallica follow suit, re-releasing their first demo, No Life Til Leather as a cassette-only release on Blackened, furthering their ongoing relationship with Record Store Day.

And Mumford & Sons offer a special RSD vinyl single, “Believe” on Glassnote, the first release of new music from their upcoming full length record.

As for spotlighted live recordings,  Justin Townes Earle gives us his Live At Grimey’s, from Nashville’s notable indie record outpost, set for release on 10” vinyl through Vagrant; St. Paul; Phish give us New Year's Eve 1995 Live at Madison Square Garden in 6 X 12” vinyl box set on Jemp/ADA; and Jethro Tull release Live at Carnegie Hall on 12" thanks to Rhino. Another one from Rhino is a special RSD Exclusive Release from the Doors, compiled from tracks suggested by record store owners and the individual tracks were selected by Bruce Botnick and includes rare mono mixes and live tracks.

Rhino also continues its now beloved SIDE BY SIDE series with 7” singles from diverse pairings like Gram Parsons/Lemonheads, David Bowie/Tom Verlaine, Grandmaster Flash/Stiff Little Fingers, Dionne Warwick/The Stranglers, R.E.M./Syd Barrett and another MYSTERY RELEASE! 

Grouplove gives us unreleased covers (one with Portugal The Man) and their cover of The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" on 10” vinyl (Atlantic).

Record Store Day teams up with Sun Records and Tito’s Handmade Vodka for an extraordinary second volume of their Sun Records Curated By Record Store Day collection, with tracks chosen by participating indie record stores. The comp will be released on 12” vinyl through ORG.

Concord presents Miles Davis The Prestige 10'' LP Collection Vol. 2, a brilliant, career-spanning 5 10” LP set from the jazz master. that follows Vol. 1, released last year for Black Friday.

Fans of Jeff Beck won’t be disappointed, as Sundazed Music will release three 7” EPs: "Love is Blue" b/w "I've Been Drinking"; "Hi Ho Silver Lining" b/w "Beck's Bolero"; and "Tallyman" b/w "Rock My Plimsoul."

Record lovers can expect some fantastic—and diverse--titles from Sony this year, including Legacy pieces like Cassandra Wilson covering Billie Holiday on “You Go To My Head” b/w ”The Mood That I’m In,” (with Lady Day’s originals on the flip side) and the stars of Cameron Crowe’s SINGLES, Citizen Dick with their appropriately titled “Touch Me I’m Dick” 7”.

For the first time on vinyl, Opal releases a double 12” set of the legendary ‘lost’ Brian Eno album My Squelchy Life. Heavily bootlegged and entered the lexicon of Eno myth, the album was originally slated for release on Warner Bros in September 1991 and pulled from the schedules at the last moment. For this exclusive Record Store Day edition it is presented in a deluxe gatefold edition including an additional track from the same recording session, “Rapid Eye”, that has never been released.

Yep Roc Records is also set to release “Follow Your Money”/”Motion Pictures” a Limited Edition Record Store Day Exclusive on 7” vinyl. Recorded in Melbourne, Australia, this release features the collaboration between Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift. The two met at an Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell concert in 2013 and have been making music as a duo ever since, drawn together musically by a penchant for songs of desire and desolation. “Follow Your Money,” is a brand new track and “Motion Pictures” is a cover by Neil Young.

And speaking of Neil Young, Blitzen Trapper will release a live recording of their set covering Young’s classic album, Harvest live at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR.

Motown release Marvin Gaye’s classic “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”-- A special double A-sided 7-inch single celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of his biggest hits.

Those are just a handful of special Record Store Day special releases. To round out the day, several record stores are sponsoring artist meet-and-greets and live performances.

Record Store Day 2015 Ambassador Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters will appear at Record Connection in Niles, Ohio. Meanwhile, Rough Trade in Brooklyn will play host to some noteworthy artists: Kim Gordon will be popping in for a meet, greet and signing of her acclaimed new book, Girl In A Band, Amanda Palmer confirmed a Dresden Dolls reunion. The Buzzcocks will also stop in for a signing of their latest, an RSD special release, “The Way,” a 7” from last year’s album release of the same name b/w the previously unissued on vinyl “Generation Suicide” and the newest Daptone signing, Saun & Starr, who provided backing vox on Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings latest RSD special, will play a set at the store, as well.

Merge Records celebrates RSD at Bull City Records in their hometown of Durham, NC with a full day’s agenda of said label’s much-loved artists, including performances by indie darlins’/supergroup, Ex Hex, label co-founder/Superchunk/Portastatic mainman, Mac McCaughan and William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews, etc…).

Just down the street and around the block at Raleigh’s Schoolkids, Dom Flemons, founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops, will be playing a set in support of his special Record Store Day release, What Got Over (10” vinyl) and All Time Low will pop in for a signing of their #1 UK debut, Future Hearts.

Grimey’s in Nashville presents Big Day performances from Those Darlins and The Lees of Memory, both of whom have special RSD releases, along with not-to-be-missed sets from Turbo Fruits, Halestorm, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, and Jonathan Jackson + Enation, from TV’s Nashville.

Dawes pops in for a set at Portland, OR’s beloved Music Millennium, as does Dead Moon and head west on Burnside to Everyday Music for DJ sets from Laura Viers and Tucker Martine, Steve Turner from Mudhoney and an evening rock set by The Dandy Warhols followed by the Dandys doing a DJ set, as well.

Amoeba Hollywood will see no shortage of DJ sets either with a boast-worthy lineup including Rick Ross (Delicious Vinyl), TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, Dub Club DJ Boss Harmony and more! Live performances at Amoeba will include Mike Watt + The Secondmen (plus a signing), EV Kain (who will do the same) and Art/Caricature installation by members of the aforementioned TVOTR and a full playbacks of the Sun Records Curated by RSD LP and Fool’s Gold Flying Lessons’ LP. Radiohead’s Philip Selway will do a set up the coast at Amoeba San Francisco, along with DJ sets from Boombostic, Kells Bells, DJ Primo, OkieOran, Beerzbub and Russell Quan.

The amazing Damien Rice performs at Denver’s longstanding outpost, Twist and Shout, Jason Isbell does his thing at Horizon Records in Greenville, SC, and the legendary Todd Rundgren graces Little Rock’s Arkansas Record and CD Exchange.

Asylum Records in Mesa, AZ hosts a special set by GWAR and metal trailblazers Morbid Angel check in to meet n’ greet fans at Austin’s Waterloo Records.

And last, but not least, Good Records in Dallas will see performances from the ubiquitous OKGO, as well as from Steve Earle, who is set to release a 10” on New West, an RSD exclusive, Terraplane, inspired by Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues” and featuring both Earle’s and Johnson’s version of the song. Revered songwriter, Chris Stapleton will also rock the store in support of his RSD release, In Stereo, (Limited Run/Regional Focus) on 10”.

For more information on Record Store Day 2015 events, visit: