Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chuck Berry Gets A Statue In St. Louis

Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, spry and smiling at 84 years-old, gave a wave of approval dedicating an eight-foot bronze statue of himself on Friday before a cheering crowd of about 500 people.

The statue was erected in the Delmar Loop entertainment district of St. Louis despite opponents who objected to the monument, citing Berry's legal troubles during his long career.

"I won't keep you long," Berry, wearing his trademark boating cap, told a crowd that gathered despite heat surpassing 90 degrees. "I don't know how to speak, I just sing a little bit. I'm going to say thank you again, and I love you all."

Berry's rapid fire lyrics and revolutionary guitar riffs landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and earned the lifelong St. Louis resident a Presidential medal of honor.

He is listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the five top all-time rock acts along the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.

Berry, who first played in 1941, still performs every month at Blueberry Hill, across the street from the statue.

Among those sending greetings to Berry was Elvis Costello, who said he was glad to see a Berry statue "in St. Louis where it belongs" and from fellow rock pioneer Little Richard who called Berry "the greatest entertainer in the world."

Berry was joined at the podium by his wife, children and grandchildren who joined his fans in singing "Johnny B. Goode," his signature 1957 hit, as the rock icon made his way through the crowd at the end of the ceremony.

A plaza near the statue features illuminated walls with laser-engraved musical notes of "Johnny B. Goode". Concrete strips in the sidewalk are etched with the lyrics of Berry songs.

Opposition to the statue came earlier this summer when a former city council member gathered 100 signatures aimed at delaying the installation. The opposition centered on felony convictions in Berry's early career, including a 1962 conviction for transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes.

Berry spent three years in prison, where he penned several songs, including "No Particular Place to Go."

Berry collapsed during a show in Chicago last New Year's Day but recovered in time to play his next show in St. Louis and showed no signs of ill effects at the dedication ceremony.

His next Blueberry Hill show is scheduled for August 17.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toto, Survivor Vocalists Unite For New Album

"Hold the Line," "White Sister," "English Eyes," "Goodbye Elenore," "Rosanna," "Is This Love," "Burning Heart," "The Search Is Over," "High on You," "I Can't Hold Back"... These songs from Toto and Survivor are true musical evergreens and are still played on radio stations all over the world.

Each band has sold sold millions of records, respectively and have created a legendary melodic rock sound. The soaring vocals that kept these melodies in so many fan's minds come from two amazing singers: Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Jimi Jamison (Survivor). For the first time in their career, Bobby and Jimi have joined forces together for a "duets" album, which will see the light of day on Frontiers Records on October 14th in Europe and October 18th in North America.

"We always talked of doing something like this, musically we like the same stuff and we've been in the same kind of bands and when the opportunity arose we jumped on it" said Jimi Jamison. "I've always wanted to do a CD with Jimi because he is one of my best friends, we work well together and we have fun together" added Bobby Kimball.

The album features Kimball and Jamison's signature vocal styles in a familiar musical environment created for them by such esteemed songwriters as Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Jim Peterik (Survivor), Randy Goodrum (Steve Perry, Toto), John Waite, Erik Martensson (W.E.T.) and Robert Sall (Work of Art), among others, and directed by the expert hands of German producer Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner, Kiske Somerville).

While not exactly a "supergroup," the Kimball-Jamison alliance is not just a one-off studio project, as the main motivation behind this album is an ongoing collaboration between the two singers who have been singing live together with the "Legends of Rock" and the "Voices of Classic Rock" -- both ensembles featuring singers and musicians from very popular classic rock groups.

Enjoy the album EPK at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-mJZ7mmYE0.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Cars Release 'Free,' New Video & Single

"Free", the Cars' new video and single from their 2011 reunion album Move Like This is now available for your eyes and ears.

The video for "Free" was shot this spring live in concert during the band's triumphant US tour. "Free" follows music videos for "Sad Song" and "Blue Tip".

You can view "Free" on YouTube at http://youtu.be/ix-9WhpEN_c.

The Cars make their Lollapalooza debut Sunday, August 9th. The entire concert will be streamed live on YouTube.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Faces Dedicate Hurtwood Park Gig To Amy Winehouse

According to the New Musical Express, Faces are dedicating their gig at Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Surrey to the late singer Amy Winehouse.

The reformed rockers were set to pay tribute to the 27-year-old after she passed away at her London flat earlier on Saturday, July 23.

In a posting on guitarist Ronnie Wood's Twitter page, Twitter.com/ronniewoodshow, the band said Winehouse's death was a "sad loss of a talented friend."

"RIP Amy Winehouse. The Faces will be dedicating their gig at Hurtwood to Amy tonight," the post said.

Faces reunited in 2009 with Simply Red man Mick Hucknall standing in for original singer Rod Stewart on vocals.

Founding members Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan are also taking part in the reunion, with special guest Glen Matlock on bass.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast News, Hucknall suggested that Stewart may well rejoin the band at some point in the future, and reiterated that he's standing in for the 66-year-old rather than replacing him permanently.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cheap Trick Unharmed After Stage Collapses

Cheap Trick got a scare Sunday night at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest.

The stage gave way while the band was playing, after severe weather moved into the area.

No one was seriously hurt.

"The stage blew down and collapsed," a statement on the band's website said. "Everyone is shaken up but band and crew are all fine."

Manager Dave Frey confirmed that the band was unharmed.

"One of our drivers will spend the night in the hospital and though we're not sure how, Cheap Trick are grateful and happy to say that everyone, including all the concert goers, are okay," Frey said.

A picture on the band's website showed a tangle of metal girders under a darkly overcast sky.

The website for the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest said there were "no serious injuries." It also said that severe weather had forced the closure of all venue stages for the night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Martin Scorsese's George Harrison Documentary To Air This Fall

While there's still speculation about Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joining forces again for a special one-off at next year's London Summer Olympics, Beatles fans can at least rejoice knowing the Martin Scorsese-directed documentary based on the life of George Harrison is a guarantee for the fall.

According to an announcement on GeorgeHarrison.com , George Harrison: Living in the Material World, which will trace the late Beatle's life using rare photographs, video footage and even "unreleased Beatles footage," and is complemented with a coffee table book by Harrison's widow Olivia -- will air on HBO in North America over two nights (Oct. 5-6), with a British DVD release date of Oct. 10.

"Spending time with Olivia, interviewing so many of George's closest friends, reviewing all of that footage, some of it never seen before, and listening to all of that magnificent music -- it was a joy, and an experience I'll always treasure," Scorsese said in a statement published on the site.

A poster of the film is shown with a younger Harrison up to his neck in water. Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and the musician's widow Olivia Harrison produced the film, which largely features previously unreleased material, including interviews with McCartney, Starr, producer George Martin, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and Phil Spector, among others.

Harrison -- who died in 2001 at the age of 58 -- has seen several of his albums reissued in recent years.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beatles Reunion At 2012 London Olympics?

Imagine this for a second: You decide to go to the 2012 London Olympics, and not only do you get to see an amazing international sporting event, but you get to see the closest possible thing to a Beatles reunion, too. That's what organizers of the London event are reportedly hoping for, anyway.

The remaining living members of the Fab Four -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- have reportedly been approached to sing at the games next summer, according to British press. As for the late John Lennon and George Harrison, they could be represented by someone from their families.

According to a source who spoke with the Sun, "He [McCartney] has been speaking to organizers and has said he'd love to be involved with the games in some way. The organizers want The Beatles legend to appear alongside other big British acts. And they want Ringo on stage as well to make it extra special. There's also the possibility that George Harrison and John Lennon could be represented by their kids. The Beatles are loved all over the world so it's a no-brainer that they should be represented at the Olympics."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hear Taster From New Chickenfoot Album

Want to hear something from the new Chickenfoot album? Well, you can right now.

Click here to get a snippet from the eagerly anticipated new album.

Out in late September, this is to be titled Chickenfoot III – even though it’s only their second album.

Find out more at www.chickenfoot.us.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Leslie West To Release New Album

Legendary guitarist and Mountain founder Leslie West will release the new solo album, Unusual Suspects, on Monday, September 19th.

The album follows recent news that West underwent life-saving surgery on June 17th, when his leg was amputated above the knee. While an ordeal such as this would surely deter other artists, West insisted on honoring the Unusual Suspects album release date in September.

Released by Provogue Records, Unusual Suspects features West performing alongside an all-star hand-picked line-up of the world's finest guitar players, including Slash, blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Label Society front man and ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Toto's Steve Lukather.

Unusual Suspects is West's first album since 2006's Blue Me.

"These guys don't just show up to play on everybody's albums," says West on his special guests and the album's title. "They're all stars in their own right, and fantastic players - everyone with their own sound and style, about as far from the usual suspects as it gets."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lynyrd Skynyrd Hope To Enter Studio In November

Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd are "just getting started" on a new album, their follow-up to 2009's God & Guns, according to frontman Johnny Van Zant.

"We're getting about to the end of the writing part," Van Zant said, predicting the recording would run from November through January.

Van Zant hoped for a smoother and less dramatic recording process than God & Guns, which was several years in the making and marked by the deaths of bass player Ean Evans and keyboardist Billy Powell within three months of each other in early 2009.

"To pull that one off took all of our energy and our spirits and our beliefs and everything, so we're hoping with this one we just have their spirits with us," he said.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, now down to just one member -- guitarist Gary Rossington -- from their pre-1977 plane crash lineup, will be on the road through the summer. But Van Zant is not expecting the band to road test any new songs.