Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jeff Lynne Releasing Solo Album, Plus New Versions Of ELO Classics

Frontiers Records will celebrate the 40th anniversary of ELO with the October 9th release for a new look at some ELO classics and a new solo album from the group's mastermind Jeff Lynne.

Lynne's new solo album, Long Wave, is billed as a tribute to some of the songs that originally inspired him.

The second release, Mr. Blue Sky–The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra features Lynne revisiting and re-recording--at his home studio in Los Angeles--the greatest hits of Electric Light Orchestra.

We were sent over these details: Lynne's legacy will further be celebrated with releases in 2013 including ELO Live! plus expanded reissues of the ELO's 2001 album Zoom and Lynne's first solo album in 1990, Armchair Theater.

Long Wave celebrates the music of a time when Lynne's lifelong passion for music began, evoking an era back when old standards were just giving way to rock & roll. He somehow makes pre-rock standards like "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered," "Smile" and "Love Is A Many Splendored Many Thing"--along with a few of his favorite gems from the Sixties such as the first single "Mercy, Mercy," "Let It Rock" and "So Sad"--his own with these loving versions. Lynne's deeply felt and musically brilliant one-man-band takes add up to an inspired love letter to music itself--and an exquisite reflection of the way songs grace and change our lives.

"I call this new album Long Wave because all of the songs I sing on it are the ones heard on long wave radio when I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, England," Lynne explains. "These songs take me back to that feeling of freedom in those days and summon up the feeling of first hearing those powerful waves of music coming in on my old crystal set. My dad also had the radio on all the time, so some of these songs have been stuck in my head for 50 years. You can only imagine how great it felt to finally get them out of my head after all these years."

Mr. Blue Sky–The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra is a testament to Lynne's enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as "Evil Woman, "Don't Bring Me Down," "Livin' Thing" and "Mr, Blue Sky," the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, Lynne somehow comes out on top again. It's a fresh chance to hear these extraordinary songs sounding sharper and clearer than the old versions.

"There was a big reason I wanted to re-record these ELO songs," says Lynne. "When I listen to the old versions they don't sound the way I thought they did when I first wrote and recorded them. I wanted to use the experience I've gained producing records ever since and have a completely new try at them. I'm not saying the old versions aren't good; I like them very much. We were doing our best, but experience and technology also play a big a big part, and these new ones sound much more solid and tight."

The album includes a never-before-heard bonus track, "The Point Of No Return," and a very special version of "10538 Overture" that's a nod to ELO's 40th anniversary.

Long Wave:
1. She
2. If I Loved You
3. So Sad
4. Mercy, Mercy
5. Running Scared
6. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
7. Smile
8. At Last
9. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
10. Let It Rock
11. Beyond The Sea

Mr. Blue Sky–The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra:
1. Mr. Blue Sky
2. Evil Woman
3. Strange Magic
4. Don't Bring Me Down
5. Turn To Stone
6. Showdown
7. Telephone Line
8. Livin' Thing
9. Do Ya
10. Can't Get It Out Of My Head
11. 10538 Overture
12. The Point Of No Return

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Survey: Online Music Fans Still Flock To Classic Rock

Despite the staggering variety of music available for listening online, a national survey of more than 1,000 showed that most Americans favor classic rock and pop music.

The Wakefield Research survey, commissioned by Citrix, which also asked about cloud computing literacy and habits, found that if listeners could access an artist's collection via the cloud, most would choose legends such as: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Michael Jackson.

But they haven't completely let go of modern music - Eminem, Maroon 5 and Coldplay also made the Top 10 list.

Top 10 artists mentioned most in the survey include:

1. The Beatles
2. Rolling Stones
3. Michael Jackson
4. Bon Jovi
5. Pink Floyd
6. Bruce Springsteen
7. Eminem
8. Maroon 5
9. Led Zeppelin
10. Coldplay

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rockers Tapped To Play Republican National Convention

Lynyrd Skynyrd's scheduled concert at this week's Republican National Convention – originally planned for Sunday night at Tampa's Liberty Plaza – may have been canceled thanks to Hurricane Isaac. But to the surprise of anyone who assumes rockers wouldn't be caught anywhere near a GOP event, plenty of other musicians will be entertaining the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan crowd in Florida this week.

At press time, the lineup includes Kid Rock, Journey, the Zac Brown Band, 3 Doors Down, Dave Navarro, Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and past American Idol winner Taylor Hicks. The house band for performances at the convention itself will be led by former Saturday Night Live guitarist-bandleader, G.E. Smith.

"The average convention-goer is between 35 and 55," says Robin Bronk, head of the Creative Coalition, an entertainment industry advocacy group that has been hosting nonpartisan charity shows at both RNC and DNC conventions for years. "You want to give them what they want. It's the sweet spot of music that's current yet ties in with great memories. And it has to be a group that's not too overexposed, especially in Washington."

Some of the musicians are clearly motivated by politics. Rock played "Born Free" at a Romney rally early this year (Romney has been using the song as his campaign theme since last year, with Rock's tacit approval), and last Friday, Rock appeared at a Ryan rally in Michigan. Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant, whose band also played at the 2004 GOP convention, makes no bones about his political preferences.

"We have to make a change now, for the next four years," Van Zant says. "I'm not a politician, but we speak for the common man, and all I know is that we've lost a lot of jobs in the last four years." Van Zant calls Ryan's Medicare plan "pretty doggone good. We've got to take some drastic steps in this country. We can't keep spending and spending."

Hicks and 3 Doors Down, both Southern-based acts, will be performing on the main stage at the convention, held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold says it's a "privilege" to play at this year's GOP event.

Although some of the convention plans are in flux thanks to Isaac, Skynyrd were still scheduled to play "Sweet Home Alabama" and the title track from their current Last of a Dyin' Breed album during a salute to Ann Romney. But would they ever do "Whiskey Rock a Roller" for this audience?

"We would," Van Zant says with a laugh. "Rich people know how to party, too."

Other bands, though, have been hired to play private parties affiliated with nonpartisan causes. At past conventions, the Creative Coalition has recruited the Black Eyed Peas and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (for DNC events) and the Charlie Daniels Band and the Max Weinberg 7 (for RNC-connected shows).

This year, the group recruited Journey to play its Florida fundraiser on Thursday. (The B-52's will be performing the same function at next month's Democratic Convention in Charlotte.) Bronk says the concerts shouldn't be seen as an indication of a band's political predilection. "I've never asked," she says. "I guess it doesn't matter to me."

A Journey spokesperson backs up that claim: "It's not an endorsement of any candidate and/or party – it's just another private show," says the spokesperson. "These dates are simply listed as 'Private Event' on the tour grid." What's indisputable is the high price of the evening: a package of six tickets to both shows (Journey and B-52's) starts at a minimum of $45,000.

In other non-Romney-linked concerts during the convention, the Brown band will play a show for the American Petroleum Institute, the trade group for (in its words) "all aspects of America's oil and natural gas industry," and Gavin DeGraw will headline a benefit for Musicians on Call, a charity that brings musicians to play for hospital patients. Navarro and Sorum will be joined by lesser-known members of Jane's Addiction and the Cult for a show Tuesday to benefit the families of wounded or deceased U.S. soldiers.

Kid Rock will be performing at an invite-only show on Thursday, but it's unclear whether Romney is aware of Rock's less Mormon-friendly material.  One reporter asked a Romney spokesperson if the presumptive nominee – who's admitted to big love for the Eagles, the Beach Boys and the Killers, led by fellow Mormon Brandon Flowers – was aware of Kid Rock lyrics. The spokesperson, after some of the more profane lyrics, said, "Let me check on this stuff and I'll get back to you."

One rocker consciously absent from the festivities is noted Obama basher Ted Nugent, whose schedule has prevented him from joining in. But fans might be mollified to know that Nugent's former Damn Yankees bandmate Jack Blades (still of Night Ranger) will play the main stage.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oops! NBC News Reports Death Of Astronaut Neil...Young?

NBC News was one of the first to learn of the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Saturday, but instead announced the death of astronaut Neil Young.

"Astronaut Neil Young, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82," read the NBC News headline shortly after 3 pm EST, which was tweeted out and picked up by thousands of others before it was changed.

As a refresher, Neil Young is a 66-year-old rock star who is very much alive.

Neil Armstrong, an American hero and the first man to walk on the moon, died on Saturday a few weeks after heart surgery.

NBC updated its story and added an editor's note acknowledging the error in the initial headline.

Neil Young is undoubtedly much relieved.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Levon Helm Tribute Planned For October

John Mayer, Gregg Allman, Joe Walsh and other prominent musicians plan to hold a large benefit concert to raise money for the estate of the late Band drummer/vocalist Levon Helm on October 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., Helm’s family announced.

Proceeds from the “Love for Levon” concert will go to help his family retain ownership of his home and his famous studio, a converted barn in Woodstock, N.Y. Some of the money will also be used to continue the Midnight Rambles, performances Helm used to host periodically at the studio, attracting some of the most talented rock and folk musicians in the country, the family said.

“We want to continue to honor his legacy by creating a musical landmark at the barn, one that inspires and celebrates Americana music and its heritage,” Helm’s wife and daughter said in a statement.

Helm died of throat cancer earlier this year at 71. The lineup for the benefit features artists from several genres, reflecting the broad influence Helms had on American pop music. Among others, the list includes Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Lucinda Williams, Don Was, Patty Griffin, Bruce Hornsby and Mavis Staples.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunset Strip Music Festival 2012 Marks Fifth Year

The fifth annual Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF) wrapped on Saturday (August 18) with standing-room-only performances on the closed-off Sunset Strip for more than 15,000 fans by headliners Marilyn Manson, The Offspring, Steve Aoki, Bad Religion and more than 70 artists throughout the day and into the night and early morning hours.

The festival kicked off Thursday, August 16, with an all-star tribute to 2012 SSMF honorees the Doors, with the group’s Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore on hand for the occasion. In the tradition of the festival, the honorees received the Elmer Valentine Award, presented by Sunset Strip alums Mikeal Maglieri of the Whisky A Go-Go and The Rainbow and Nic Adler of The Roxy. DJ Jim Ladd introduced City of West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang, Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman, X’s John Doe and SSMF headliner Marilyn Manson who shared their memories and praise for the Doors.

To close out the celebration, an all-star band with Manzarek and Krieger along with guitarist Billy Morrison, drummer Matt Sorum and bassist Paul Ill were joined by special guest vocalists Franky Perez, Mark McGrath, Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara and Linda Perry, to perform classic Doors songs.

Following the celebration event at the House of Blues, SSMF patrons were treated to the sounds of Quiet Riot (Key Club), Peter Murphy and Ours (The Roxy), Jack Russell’s Great White (Whisky) and Future Villians and Lady Sinatra (Viper Room).

The Doors’ members Manzarek and Krieger kept the good times going the following evening, attending the star-studded Virgin America SSMF party at the Mondrian Los Angeles hotel. Among those in attendance were SSMF headliner Marilyn Manson, Nicole Richie and husband Joel Madden, Joe Manganiello, Malin Akerman, Kellen Lutz, Audrina Patridge and more. Later that night, music continued all over the Strip with performances from X with special guest Ray Manzarek (The Roxy), RZA (Key Club), Hank III (House of Blues), Robby Krieger & Rich Robinson (Viper Room), James Ingram (Whisky) and Mickey Avalon (Viper Room-late). Free entertainment was also provided by Jack Daniel’s with an outdoor stage open to the public.

Saturday’s street festival had its fair share of special surprises. Beginning at 1 p.m., festival attendees were treated to sets from more than 70 bands throughout the day. Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger surprised crowds throughout the festival with multiple performances. Krieger joined Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society for “Roadhouse Blues” in the late afternoon, and both Manzarek and Krieger performed “Love Me Two Times,” “Five To One” and “People Are Strange” during Marilyn Manson’s set. DJ Steve Aoki also brought along surprise guests including Lil’ Jon, will.i.am, Travis Barker and Miss Palmer before crowd surfing an inflatable raft and jumping into a massive 400 pound cake on stage.

“With the support of our amazing sponsors, the City of West Hollywood, artists, music fans and volunteers, the Sunset Strip Music Festival delivered a full day of high-energy performances that celebrated the boulevard’s rich musical past, present and future,” noted SSMF CEO Todd Steadman. “Once again SSMF produced unique moments – from Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger performing the Doors songs with Marilyn Manson to Lil’ Jon and will.i.am joining Steve Aoki on stage – that have defined this signature annual event. We were happy to welcome thousands of fans to the boulevard, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Roll Up! Make Your Reservation For The Magical Mystery Tour

In September 1967, The Beatles loaded a film crew onto a bus along with friends, family and cast and headed west on the A30 out of London to make Magical Mystery Tour, their third film, this time conceived and directed by The Beatles themselves.

"Paul said, 'Look I've got this idea' and we said 'great!' and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top - that's where we started," says Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

In the wake of the extraordinary impact of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album and the One World satellite broadcast of "All You Need Is Love," the Beatles devised, wrote and directed Magical Mystery Tour, a dreamlike story of a coach day trip to the seaside.

The film features a fabulous supporting cast of character actors and performers, (including Ivor Cutler, Victor Spinetti, Jessie Robins, Nat Jackley, Derek Royle, and the inimitable Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band).

Apple Films have fully restored the long out-of-print, classic feature film for October 8th release worldwide (October 9th in North America) on DVD and Blu-ray with a remixed soundtrack (5.1 and stereo) and special features.

A special, boxed deluxe edition will also be available, and, for the first time ever, there will be a limited theatrical release from September 27th.

This new release also feature three new edits of some of the song performances, as well as scenes that were cut out of the original film.

In the meantime, check out the brand new Magical Mystery Tour trailer at www.thebeatles.com.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Elton John Bassist Robert Wayne Birch Dead Of Apparent Suicide

Robert Wayne Birch, a bassist who recorded and toured extensively with Elton John over the past two decades, was found dead near Los Angeles early this morning of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The L.A. County Assistant Coroner Chief said the death is "being investigated as a possible suicide"; TMZ reported that there was no suicide note or any signs of drugs use.

Birch joined Elton John's touring band in the early 1990s. He played bass on John's 1995 LP Made in England, 1997's Big Picture, 2004's Peachtree Road and 2006's The Captain and the Kid.

He also played with B.B. King, Keith Emerson, Corinne Bailey Rae and Steve Archer in recent years. Much of his time was devoted to touring the world with Elton John.

John is currently on a brief break from the road. His tour resumes September 7th in Sarnia, Ontario. A representative from the singer did not respond to a request seeking a comment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

George Harrison: Living in the Material World Earns Six Emmy Nominations

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the 2012 Emmy Awards, and George Harrison: Living in the Material World was honored with a total of six nominations:

  •     Outstanding Nonfiction Special
  •     Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming
  •     Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming (Martin Scorsese)
  •     Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming
  •     Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera)
  •     Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming
The Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be announced on Saturday, September 15.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Definitive 'The Doors Live At The Bowl '68' Comes To Blu-ray

The Doors supplied plenty of post-Independence Day fireworks on July 5, 1968, when the legendary quartet played the Hollywood Bowl, a concert that is considered to be the band’s finest on film.

For the first time, the film from the historic performance has been painstakingly restored using the original camera negatives and the audio has been remixed and mastered from original multitracks by the group’s engineer Bruce Botnick.

This new restoration offers a stunning visual upgrade from earlier versions and will give fans the closest experience to being there live along side Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, who opined, “You can hear it as if you were at the Hollywood Bowl, on stage with us.”

Live At The Bowl '68 will include three previously unreleased tracks from the performance. Technical issues with the recording of “Hello, I Love You,” “The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat),” and “Spanish Caravan” prevented them from being released in the past. Now, through meticulous restoration of the audio, all three will be included, marking the first time the concert has been available in its entirety.

The DVD, Blu-Ray and digital video each feature a 16x9 high-definition digital transfer with both a stereo and 5.1 audio soundtrack as well as over an hour of bonus material.

Included in the additional content are “Echoes From The Bowl,” the Doors’ route to the Hollywood Bowl; “You Had To Be There,” memories of The Doors’ performance at the Bowl; “Reworking The Doors,” an in-depth look at how the film was restored; and three bonus performances: “Wild Child” from The Smothers Brothers Show in 1968, “Light My Fire” from The Jonathan Winters Show in December 1967 and a version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” with specially created visuals.

Jeff Jampol, Doors manager and producer of the film, said, “the Doors’ live performances were a shamanistic journey into dark rock and roll psychedelic theater – a swirling mixture of rock ‘n’ roll heat, poetry, danger, drama and unbridled musical virtuosity. Captured at the height of the Doors’ magical powers, in one of the world’s greatest venues, this brand new restoration, edit and mix, corny as it may sound, made me fall in love a hundred times, all over again.”

Geoff Kempin, executive producer for Eagle Rock, added, “The Doors were one of THE most incredible live bands ever – we wanted to apply the top technology so that everyone can fully appreciate the phenomenon of the Doors captured at their height on 5 July 1968.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Best Of British Rock Closes London Olympics

American viewers didn't have a chance to see all of the closing ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics after NBC cut away to air a new sitcom, but England called on the Who for a headline performance, with support from the Spice Girls, Muse, Fatboy Slim and more.

NBC nixed performances by the Who, Ray Davies and Muse for a commercial-free airing of the new show Animal Practice, a decision that sparked no small amount of vitriol online. More's the pity: Many countries would have exhausted their star power after an event like the Olympics opening ceremony, but England showed it had plenty left in reserve when it concluded the games last night in London with "A Symphony of British Music."

The Who provided a spectacular finale to both the night and the games, playing classics like "Baba O'Riley" and "My Generation." The band was granted a multiple-song set, which was a blessing in a ceremony whose historical breadth necessitated sprints through minute-long covers of British classics and rapid-fire cultural references.

Earlier in the evening, the Spice Girls reached out to another generation entirely, reuniting for the first time since 2008. After arriving onstage in taxis, the girl group sang their Number One hits "Wannabe" and "Spice Up Your Life" in a special one-off performance not tied to any future tour.

While the opening ceremony focused on British culture in general, the closing ceremony zeroed in on music as the country's chief contribution to global culture, with appearances by British stars from Annie Lennox and Liam Gallagher to Ed Sheeran and One Direction. The ceremony's artistic director, Kim Gavin, did his best to condense roughly half a century's worth of British musical history into just a couple of hours, zig-zagging through musical history with stops in the 1980s (Madness and the Pet Shop Boys), 1990s (Fatboy Slim), 2000s and beyond (Jessie J and Tinie Tempah).

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who has risen to prominence more recently than most of last night's acts, covered Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" with the help of an all-star backing band that consisted of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Genesis co-founder Mike Rutherford.

To look back on earlier decades of musical history, the ceremony relied on archival performances from John Lennon and Freddie Mercury. A video of Lennon singing his call for global peace, "Imagine," played while the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir sang along. During the song, performers assembled a 3D puzzle-sculpture that formed Lennon's likeness when viewed from above. Later, footage played of Freddie Mercury leading a crowd through the opening to "Day-O" at a 1986 concert in Wembley. Afterward, Queen guitarist Brian May stepped onstage to lead the crowd through a rollicking rendition of "We Will Rock You" with the help of Jessie J.

With one visual spectacle after another, the ceremony often felt more like Broadway than a rock concert. Annie Lennox entered the stage on what can only be described as a gothic-inspired ghost ship while she sang her 1993 hit "Little Bird," and the Pet Shop Boys performed "West End Girls" among a parade of cyclists wearing polygonal neon helmets.

While the ceremony was centered around Britain's musical contributions, it dwelled briefly on other cultural objects of British pride. Models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell strutted across the stage while David Bowie's "Fashion" played over the stadium's speakers, showcasing England as a hub of style.

Additionally, the ceremony's Union Jack-shaped stage was flecked with newsprint that displayed quotations from famous British writers like Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Dickens, while fireworks frequently shot off overhead.

Any overview of British cultural exports would be incomplete without a reference to comedy. After pantomiming a failed attempt at being launched out of a cannon, comedian Eric Idle popped right back up and burst into "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,"which found even the notoriously stone-faced British royalty whistling along.

Near the end of the closing ceremony, Brazil presented a brief musical interlude as the host of the 2016 Olympics. Rio turned to national hero Seu Jorge for a vocal performance accompanied by Brazilian Carnival-style dancing. Rio's quick burst of tropicalia served as a teaser trailer for ceremonies to come.

While the closing ceremony took place, Blur, New Order, the Specials and Bombay Bicycle Club performed in Hyde Park as part of the "Best of British" concert series that had run throughout the Olympics.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Foghat's Roger Earl To Be Inducted Into Blues Hall Of Fame

Foghat's contribution to classic rock is immortalized, as they penned such classic party anthems as "Slow Ride" and "Fool for the City," both of which remain rock radio standards to this day. But the group was never shy about their blues roots and now they are being recognized for it. On Sunday, August 19th at Kenny's Castaways in New York City, Foghat drummer Roger Earl will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Alongside Earl (who has kept Foghat going for over 40 years, while the other members either exited, took multi year breaks or sadly passed on), many other blues contributors will be inducted, including Joe Louis Walker, Steve Holley, and the Uptown Horns, among others.

The event will be hosted by the Michael Packer Blues Band, and tickets are priced at $10 each. The ceremony begins at 3pm, and Kenny's Castaways is located at 157 Bleecker Street, New York City. This legendary club will be closing its doors for good after 45 years in September.

"I’m not quite sure why I am deserving of this award because all I ever have been is a fan of the Blues and American music," explains Earl. "I kind of feel that there are so many others that are much more deserving. Lonesome Dave for one. But I do appreciate it, because hey, I am in good company."

In addition to containing unmistakable blues elements in their songs (and scoring a hit with a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You"), Foghat went one step further back in 1977, when they assembled a "Foghat Blues Tribute Concert" at New York's Palladium, which included performances by such blues legends as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Paul Butterfield, Johnny Winter, Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Eddie “Bluesman”  Kirkland, and Willie Big Eyes Smith among others.

“That event was the highlight of my musical career,” exclaims Earl. “We wanted to literally give something back to the blues. We were playing with these guys and hanging out backstage sharing a drink with them. It was pretty heady stuff.”
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And Foghat (who in addition to Earl, is comprised of singer/guitarist Charlie Huhn, guitarist Bryan Bassett, and bassist Craig MacGregor) remain true to the blues, as their last studio effort, 2010's Last Train Home, paid tribute to the genre, with such covers as Elmore James' “Shake Your Money Maker” and “It Hurts Me Too,” Muddy Waters' “Louisiana Blues,” and original tunes that replicated vintage blues rock sounds (“Born for the Road,” “Last Train Home,” “495 Boogie”). The album also featured Rogers’s long time friend, Eddie ‘Bluesman’ Kirkland, in one of his last recording appearances before his 2011 death.

While many rock bands have expressed their gratitude to the blues over the years, few made such an effort as Foghat to bring attention to the oft-overlooked bluesmen that helped forge rock n' roll. So it is fitting that Roger Earl will be recognized for his efforts at the Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York City later this month.




For more information, visit the NY Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Facebook.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tom Petty Performs At Scammed Groom's Wedding

You'd think that a groom with enough spare cash around to spring for Tom Petty to perform at his wedding would be pretty savvy about scam artists. But no one is immune from thieves, and when Brian Valentine, a senior VP with Amazon.com thought he had in fact booked the artist behind "I Won't Back Down" and "Refugee," it turned out he'd been conned, according to The Smoking Gun.

Fortunately, there's not just one, but two happy endings here.

As Valentine told FBI agents, he and his fiancee Gianna Puerini (also an Amazon employee) got engaged in 2010, at a Tom Petty concert, and decided to wed in 2012. In late 2011, Valentine "decided that he wanted to have Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at his wedding as a gift to his fiancee," FBI agent Eric Petersen explained in a document obtained by The Smoking Gun.
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Research led Valentine to Chad Christopher Lund's website (lundlive.com, no longer active), which claimed he could book Run-DMC, Kansas, Ludacris and Tom Petty, among others. Lund said he talked Petty's representatives down to a mere $330,000 for the gig, and Valentine signed a contract, then wired off half of the fee -- $165,000 -- to Lund's bank account.

After a series of bogus email addresses sent by Lund to Valentine to contact Petty's management failed to pan out, Valentine tracked down Petty's actual manager, who told Valentine in an email that he "had been defrauded." So the groom went after Lund with a private investigator -- and then the FBI. So, happy ending No. 1: Lund was arrested in Illinois on Aug. 2 by the feds on felony charges.

But the real happy ending occurred in July -- when Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers actually did show up at the July 21 Seattle wedding reception. According to the Facebook page of wedding planners True Colors Events, "After over a year and a half of working with an absolutely incredible couple in complete secrecy, it was beyond amazing to surprise the guests of their wedding with these amazing performances."

As The Smoking Gun reported, "The guy and his wife were the nicest people in the world," said one member of the road crew.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival Sells Out

Another Planet Entertainment and Superfly Presents have announced that the 2012 Outside Lands festival has sold out. Tickets are no longer available on line and will not be available on site during the weekend of the festival. Please do not come to the festival unless you have a ticket.

The fifth annual Outside Lands, which will feature Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, Metallica, Stevie Wonder and Jack White among dozens of others, takes place in San Francisco's historic Golden Gate Park August 10 - 12, 2012. A significant portion of every ticket sold directly benefited San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department.

The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival has become a cherished event that the city of San Francisco has embraced as fans from across the country flock to spend a incomparable weekend in one of America's greatest parks.

Each year, festival organizers ensure that every facet of the event highlights the Bay Area and all of the components that make it one of the most desirable places to live and visit. They also like to the say thank you to the city and the local communities surrounding the park by giving back in substantial ways, raising over $4.3 million in the first four years for the San Francisco Recreation And Park Department.

Last year alone, the festival had a $60 million impact on the city as a whole. Outside Lands would like to thank its partners Heineken, PayPal, AT&T, Toyota, eSurance, StubHub, Intel and Sierra Nevada. For a complete list of partners, please our website, sfoutsidelands.com. Festival organizers would also like to thank the fans, the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department and the City and County of San Francisco.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Roger Hodgson Returns This Weekend With Breakfast In America Summer Tour

Fresh on the heels of sold-out performances earlier this year in the U.S., South America, and Europe, Roger Hodgson, co-founder and original singer-songwriter from Supertramp, brings his Breakfast in America tour back to the United States.

Hodgson’s 34 date U.S. tour resumes on August 5 in Park City, Utah - marking his first major national U.S. tour since his departure from Supertramp in 1983.

Many may not know his name but would instantly recognize his voice and the classic hits he wrote and composed such as, “The Logical Song,”  “Breakfast in America,” “Give a Little Bit,”  “Dreamer,” “School,” “Take the Long Way Home,” “It's Raining Again,” and “Fool's Overture,” -  and other fan favorites including “Hide in Your Shell,” “Child of Vision,” “Don't Leave Me Now,”  and “Lord is it Mine.”

Uniting generations at his concerts, Hodgson transports baby boomers back to their youth and gives younger generations a taste of why his heartfelt songs have endured. Audiences are once again experiencing the magic and spirit that Hodgson created with Supertramp, a global success that resulted in sales of over 60 million albums.

For his U.S. Breakfast in America tour, Hodgson will be accompanied by a four piece band and promises an assortment of the classics he wrote and originally recorded with Supertramp, as well as select highlights such as “Only Because of You,” and “Lovers in the Wind” from his five solo album releases.  Hodgson’s latest CD,  “Classics Live,” is available through iTunes, Topspin or from the Roger Hodgson Store.

BREAKFAST IN AMERICA U.S. DATES:

8/5 - Park City, UT - Deer Valley Resort Amphitheater
8/9 - Snoqualmie, WA - Mt. View Plaza, Snoqualmie Casino
8/10 - Portland, OR - Oregon Zoo Amphitheater
8/11- Brooks, CA - Cache Creek Casino
8/12 - Saratoga, CA - Saratoga Mountain Winery
8/16 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
8/17 - Lincoln, RI - Twin River Casino
8/18 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Music Box
8/21 - Lewiston, NY - Art Park
8/23 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Pavilion
8/24 - Blue Ash, OH - Blue Ash Town Square
8/25 - Chautauqua, NY - Chautauqua Institute Amphitheater
9/16 - Newport Beach, CA - Taste of Newport
9/18 - San Diego, CA - Humphreys
10/26 - Rancho Mirage, CA - Agua Caliente
10/27 - Modesto, CA - Gallo PAC, Mary Stuart Rogers
11/1 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre
11/2 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Theatre
11/3 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
11/7 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen PAC
11/8 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo PAC
11/9 - Shippensburg, PA - Shippensburg University
11/13 - Carmel, IN - Center for the Performing Arts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pink Floyd Rumored To Close Olympics

English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran claims he will duet with Pink Floyd at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

NME has reported that Pink Floyd have released a statement saying: "In response to press speculation, Pink Floyd state that the band is NOT performing at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Sheeran had been rumored to be joining The Who at the August 12 ceremony, but has now told Australian radio station Nova that he will in fact be playing with Pink Floyd.

Asked if he was playing, the singer said: "I'm playing the closing ceremony - which I think is kinda cool right? A lot of people think that I'm doing a song with The Who but I'm not - I'm doing a song with Pink Floyd. I'm doing 'Wish You Were Here'."

Sheeran then said that the performance would not feature all the surviving members of Pink Floyd, but said that drummer Nick Mason would definitely be involved. This means that either Roger Waters or Dave Gilmour would not be present for the performance.

The surviving members of Pink Floyd last performed together in 2011 when Gilmour and Mason joined Waters onstage to play "Outside The Wall" during his headline show at London's O2 Arena.

The line-up for the closing ceremony, which will celebrate 50 years of British music, is being kept a closely guarded secret, with only The Who, Kaiser Chiefs, Take That, George Michael and Emeli Sande reportedly confirmed so far.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bonnie Raitt 'Knocked Out' By 'Slipstream,' Comeback Success

Nearly four months after its release, considers Slipstream, her first new album in seven years, a success -- and a surprising one at that.

"I honestly never thought this record was going to sell 200,000 copies (229,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan) in the first couple of months or that I was going to sell out shows on tour," Raitt said. "In this recession, with this much distance between (2005's) Souls Alike and now, I didn't know what kind of audience would still be there for me. I'm absolutely knocked out. I just wasn't expecting this record to get this kind of response, so I'm just really happy the critics like it and the fans like it as much as they do."

Raitt took the break from recording to deal with "just life stuff" after the deaths of her parents and her brother. She produced most of Slipstream -- whose No. 6 debut on the Billboard 200 was her best since 1994's Longing In Their Hearts -- herself, with four tracks helmed by Joe Henry during a session that Raitt says "was done really as an experiment and really ended up jump-starting me to want to finish the record."

"We were only going to do two or three (songs) just to try it out, and we did eight songs in one day," Raitt recalls. "I actually had a couple of Joe Henry songs I wanted to record and was going to call him when he called me, which was fortuitous. I told him, 'You're about a month away from getting me to call you and ask if I can come over and work with you.' I have so much admiration for him; just who he picks to work with and produce makes him cool even if he wasn't such a brilliant singer-songwriter himself."

Of course, those additional songs recorded with Henry could imply a head start towards her next release. But Raitt -- who begins the next leg of her Slipstream tour on Aug. 10 in Vancouver -- says that she's "not even thinking about the next record. I don't have any songs planned. It's a great ride right now. I'm just focused on putting on great shows, the best shows I can." She'll be in North America through October and plans to tour Australia, New Zealand and Europe as well. "It'll probably be two years (of touring), then I'll need a rest," Raitt says.

But she doesn't think fans will be waiting another seven years for a new album this time. "I know I have some leftover tracks from Joe that'll come out," says Raitt, who co-wrote just one of Slipstream's 12 tracks. "I didn't write much in the past decade, either, so I'd like to do more next time if I can find something to write about that's not unraveling my own personal story too much. I feel like I did a lot of that in the 90s, so I'd like to say something different now. And I get so many great songs by writers I love, I feel like whatever I do has to stand up to those, which is a pretty high standard."