Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Atlantic Rhythm Section Bassist Paul Goddard Passes

The members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section are sad to announce that bassist Paul Goddard, a founding member of the band, died today (April 30) after a brief, sudden illness.

Goddard was 68.

The bass player was frequently singled out for the flawless and tasteful tone of his Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender P bass guitars on ARS's string of hit singles, which began in 1977 and included "So in to You," "Imaginary Lover," "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight," "Do It Or Die" and a remake of the Classics IV's "Spooky."

Rolling Stone magazine voted his bass solo on "Another Man's Woman," from the 1978 ARS live album Are You Ready as one of the top five bass solos of all time.

He had retired from touring in the mid 80s, but returned to the band in 2011. He still loved to play on road, actually more now than when the band was at its peak.

"I knew Paul when he was a guitarist, and maybe that's why his bass playing was so musical," singer Rodney Justo said. "And to go with that musicality was a unique sound that made him so identifiable to fans and other musicians as well.  Yes, at one time he was 'that big fat guy that played bass,' but once he started playing, he wasn't fat. He was a giant."



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Judas Priest Release Title Track From Upcoming 'Redeemer Of Souls’ Album

For U.S. fans of Judas Priest who simply cannot wait for the July 15th release date of their album, Redeemer of Souls, there is some relief on the way. 

Today (April 29th), the title track from the album is available for purchase via iTunes here and other digital service providers.  A clip of the song (plus the single's artwork) is now available to sample at the Judas Priest website.

If you are wondering what to expect from the mighty Priest on their forthcoming album, guitarist Glenn Tipton has set the record straight. "Sometimes in the past we may have come under fire for being too adventurous musically - so we have listened!! From start to finish Redeemer of Souls is 13 songs of pure classic Priest metal!!"

There are only a select number of bands that have accomplished what Judas Priest has throughout their career (as well as having served as a stylistic influence on such a wide variety of bands). Soon the group - singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis - will be offering up more classic Judas Priest metal with the release of Redeemer of Souls.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Paul Simon, Edie Brickell Arrested For Disorderly Conduct

Police in Connecticut say Paul Simon and his wife, Edie Brickell, have been arrested on disorderly conduct charges.

"On Saturday, April 26, 2014, at approximately 8:20 p.m., New Canaan officers responded to a location in New Canaan to investigate a Family Dispute," a police spokesperson said in a statement.

Police say they found probable cause to arrest both Simon and Brickell.

The two were later released and are set to appear at an arraignment in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday afternoon.

Simon's phone number is unlisted, and his agent in Los Angeles did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Simon is a 12-time Grammy winner and a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame — as half of the duo of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist.

Brickell's "What I Am," recorded with her band the New Bohemians, was a hit in 1988.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Paul McCartney Playing Candlestick Park, Site Of Beatles' Final Show

Paul McCartney has announced two new American tour dates, including the last ever show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on August 14.

He has also announced he will play Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium a few days earlier on August 10.

Candlestick Park is the former stadium of American football team the San Francisco 49ers. The venue is where the Beatles played their final full concert on August 29, 1966. However, the venue will soon close and McCartney’s show is being billed as ‘Farewell to Candlestick: The Final Concert.’

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city’s Mayor Ed Lee said: "Sir Paul McCartney is a class act, and I am very grateful that he's coming back to Candlestick to help us give this iconic landmark the goodbye it deserves."

He added: "To add a concert like this, one that's not only just great on a purely entertainment level, but one that is rooted in the city's history and musical history, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event."

The Beatles had not announced prior to their 1966 show that it would be their final concert date.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Eric Clapton's Behind The Sun, Journeyman Albums Now On SACD

High-definition audio fans of Steve Hoffman are in for a double dose of Eric Clapton from the 1980s. The guitarist's 1985 comeback album Behind The Sun and 1989's Journeyman are now available on hybrid SACD from Audio Fidelity.

In the 1980s, the musical climate changed dramatically from the days when Clapton, Led Zeppelin and other guitar-based artists ruled in the 1970s. Behind The Sun is not Clapton's first album of the decade, but he obviously understood it was time to modernize his sound. After signing with Warner Brothers in 1983, Clapton bounced back on the music charts for the first time in five years, and solidified his return in 1985 with the instant success of Behind The Sun, his ninth album.

Backed with a line-up of stellar musicians and producers Lenny Waronker, Rod Templeman and Phil Collins, Clapton for the first time in years now had several songs that reached a wider audience scoring Top 40 hits with "Forever Man" and  "See What Love Can Do." He didn't abandon his old music, he just blended it more effectively and brought the flavor up to date by mastering the more electronic sound of 80s radio.

This album also had a heavy soul flavor with a really well produced version of Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood" and Clapton remained true to the blues with a brilliant eight minute track, "Same Old Blues" which contains some of his most electric playing of the era.

The sessions featured Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and former drummer Jeff Porcaro, as well as Clapton's long-time collaborators, drummer Jamie Oldaker, bassist Nathan East and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes.

Four years later, after 1986's August, Clapton released Journeyman, which reached #16 on the Billboard album charts and became the guitarist's first solo studio album to go double platinum. The album was heralded as a return to form for Clapton, much of it has an electronic sound, mostly influenced by the 1980s rock scene, but it also includes blues songs like “Before You Accuse Me,” “Running on Faith,” and “Hard Times.”

Journeyman boasts an all-star assembly of guests: Dire Straits keyboardist Alan Clark, George Harrison, Chaka Khan, Daryl Hall, Robert Cray, Cecil and Linda Womack, Phil Collins and Gary Burton. Among the highlights are several cuts that feature slide-versus-slowhand guitar dueling with Cray. Harrison is particularly impressive on his little masterpiece “Run So Far,” playing guitar and singing harmony vocals.

A couple of tracks rank among Clapton's best from any decade.The strongest commercial single is “Bad Love,” which won the 1990 Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award, and reached the No. 1 position on the Album Rock Chart. “Pretending” is a firm mid-tempo rocker that also reached the No. 1 position on the Album Rock Chart and and includes one of his most assured vocal performances ever.

The Behind The Sun and Journeyman SACDs were mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Keith Moon & John Entwistle Tribute In Hollywood This Thursday

Tichy/Sutton Productions, the team behind Bonzo Bash (a salute to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham) and Randy Rhoads Remembered, present The Ox & The Loon, their inaugural tribute to the Who's Keith Moon & John Entwistle on Thursday (April 24th) at the House of Blues in Hollywood, CA.   

The star-studded event will feature original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus members of Slayer, Foreigner, Rod Stewart and Poison.

"We wanted to do something different and unique by celebrating the 'other half' of rock bands," says drummer, guitarist and promoter Brian Tichy. "But not just the other half of any rock band, the other half of a rock band that has the most legendary rhythm section of all time! We are beyond psyched to announce the expanded line-up of performers graciously coming aboard to make this a night unlike any before! These amazing artists get together to give it back to the legends who wrote and broke the rules of rock 'n roll!

The lineup for Thursday is as follows:

BASS LORDS
Phil Chen (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Pete Townshend)
Michael Devin (Whitesnake)
James LoMenzo (John Fogerty, Megadeth)
Sean McNabb (Dokken, Sons of Anarchy, Burning Rain)
Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, Dokken, Dio)
Billy Sheehan (Winery Dogs, Mr. Big)
Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Big Noize)
Pancho Tomaselli (WAR, Philm, Tower of Power)
Robert Trujillo (Metallica)
Chris Wyse (The Cult, OWL)

DRUM EMPERORS
Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty & too many to name)
Veronica Bellino (Jeff Beck, DMC, SLAMM)
Dave Lombardo (Philm, Slayer)
Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction, Infectious Grooves)
Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Dream Theater)
Joseph Pusateri (The John Entwistle Band)
Rikki Rockett (Poison)
Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot)
Matt Starr (Ace Frehley)
Brian Tichy (S.U.N.)

VERY SPECIAL GUESTS
Ace Frehley
Michael Devin (Whitesnake)
Tom Gimbel (Foreigner)
Tracii Guns
Stephen LeBlanc (JBLZE)
Oni Logan (Dio Disciples, Lynch Mob)
Dug Pinnick (King's X, KXM)
Jody Porter (Fountains of Wayne)
Joe Retta (Heaven and Earth, Sweet)
Rowan Robertson (Dio, DC4)
Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Journey)
Chas West (Bonham, Lynch Mob)
Brent Woods (Vince Neil)

Winery Dogs drummer Mike Portnoy says, "Keith Moon is hands-down one of my biggest drum heroes...not only the way he played, but the way he perfromed! I had the great pleasure of putting together my own Who Tribute band back in 2006 with Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert & Gary Cherone, and it was more fun than any drummer should ever have! So it's my great pleasure to be able to revisit my hero once again with this very special tribute."

Bassist James LoMenzo, recently on the road with John Fogerty, adds, "In my mind, no rhythm section in the history of rock and roll stirred up more excitement than the 'Ox' and the 'Loon.' Pound for pound and note for note there could not have been a more enigmatic pairing of talents. John Entwistle rewrote the book on what the bass guitar was in the 60s and what it would and has become throughout the past five decades. His style and tone has left an indelible mark on my playing since I discovered it as a young bassist."

For more information, visit The Ox & Loon FB Page.

For DISCOUNT & VIP Tickets, go to http://www.CaliforniaMusicFest.com and enter code UDOL.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Deep Purple Going Forward With Concert In Northern Cyprus

Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan has issued a statement defending the band’s decision to perform a controversial concert in Turkish-held northern Cyprus. There are reports that the event could draw up to 100,000 people. 

The singer said that the group wasn’t taking any sides and that Deep Purple had performed in many troubled regions in their touring history.

“We – DP – have never been on one side or the other when it comes to performing music. I remember – during the Cold War – hearing about visits to London by the Bolshoi Ballet and the top football teams from Moscow, also the Cossack dancers, and many other cultural exchanges between the West and the Soviet Union. The diplomatic and cultural side door was always open for art, entertainment and sport, no matter how frightening and confrontational all the rest of it was,” Gillan said, adding that the group had performed in many countries that had a conflict with someone else, like Israel, Ukraine, China and Lebanon.

He stressed that he loves all the countries he has performed in.

Gillan added that he once came close to banning himself from performing for political reasons, when the group was scheduled to tour in England.

“Tony Blair’s illegal and murderous adventure in Iraq made me angry, and ashamed enough to think about excommunicating Britain; sounds silly but I was very angry,” he said. “However, it went against our historical position, which is: To perform anywhere we are invited, regardless of local difficulties/conflict, wars, earthquakes, riots, typhoons, strikes, rebellions, gun-fire and so on. Therefore we continued to perform in the UK.”

Gillan expressed his wish that this was also true for Cyprus, adding that the group’s visits in Greece and Turkey were fabulous and that he has friends in both countries.

Deep Purple are set to perform in occupied Nicosia on May 24 at Near East University. NEU invited the band to perform as a part of their celebration for their 25 year anniversary.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

U.S. Music Labels Sue Pandora Over Royalties For Golden Oldies

Several major U.S. music companies sued Pandora Media Inc on Thursday, accusing the online streaming service of cheating them out of royalties by playing thousands of pre-1972 recordings without paying royalties.

The music in question, from musicians such as the Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye and Fleetwood Mac, is "some of the most iconic music in the world," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, filed in New York state court in Manhattan, seeks unspecified damages and an immediate halt to Pandora's "massive and continuing unauthorized commercial exploitation" of older songs.

The plaintiffs include Vivendi SA's Capitol Records Inc and UMG Recordings Inc, Sony Corp's Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp and ABKCO Music & Records Inc.

Pandora did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Federal copyright law does not apply to pre-1972 recordings, but the plaintiffs say New York state law provides copyright protection for such recordings.

"Pandora's refusal to pay plaintiffs for its use of those recordings is fundamentally unfair," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit is not the first to seek fees from digital music companies for pre-1972 recordings.

Last year, for instance, a U.S. nonprofit that collects digital royalties for musicians, SoundExchange, filed a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., against satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc that includes claims of underpayment regarding pre-1972 recordings. The lawsuit remains pending.

Royalties represent a major expense for Pandora, currently amounting to approximately half of its annual revenue, and keeping them from increasing is crucial to the company's business.

"If we are required to obtain licenses for pre-1972 sound recordings to avoid liability and are unable to secure such licenses, then we may have to remove pre-1972 sound recordings from our service, which could harm our ability to attract and retain users," the company said in a regulatory filing in February.

In an unrelated case in March, a federal judge in New York declined to alter the rate that Pandora pays to songwriters to license their music, following a nonjury trial that pitted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers against Pandora.

The case is Capitol Records et al v Pandora Media Inc, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 651195/2014.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Who Releasing Live Quadrophenia Set, Launching World Tour, Hoping For New Album

The Who celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia by playing the double record in its entirety all over the world, and now they are issuing a concert film of their performance from that tour at London's Wembley Arena in 2013. 

Quadrophenia: Live in London, out June 10th, contains all 17 tracks on the album as well as a six-song set of some of the band's greatest hits, including "Who Are You" and "Pinball Wizard." The film also comes in Blu-ray, standard DVD and video download formats, as well as a deluxe edition. The group is also releasing a 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the original 1973 release in Blu-ray Pure Audio to coincide with the release.

A limited, five-disc edition of Quadrophenia: Live in London includes the performance on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as a two-CD soundtrack of the show and the 5.1 surround mix of the original album. That edition also includes a sticker, a button and a 32-page book of liner notes and photos, all of which comes in a 10-inch metal box with art inspired by the Quadrophenia movie, specifically the group's "mod" target logo on a scooter headlight.

In other Who news, the band will embark on a tour later this year to celebrate their 50th anniversary, beginning around Christmas in the U.K. before heading to North America in 2015.

"It will be a world tour," the Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend says. "I'm not crazy about going on the road,  but I'm in good shape and once I start doing it -- and I'm still very good at it -- I'll take some pleasure from it."

They have embarked on several "final tours," the first being in 1982, but Townshend says "this is what we should be doing."

"I was ready for the 50th, but it happens when everything else is changing," he says. "I'll be 69 in May and all my friends are getting ill or dying. I knew it would happen. I will be happy if I give people something that makes fans happy. It takes some great planning and I hope it opens up other things that we can avail ourselves of."

There is also a possibility of new music being released.

"I'm trying to [look] through my 20,000 hours of complete and utter disorganized music [to find possible songs]," Townshend adds. "I'll be pulling some songs out of [his long-gestating project] Floss to give to Roger [Daltrey] to see if we've got enough to make an album. It might be a big waste of time, but I'm hoping there will be an album."

Meanwhile, Townshend has a new song, written with composer Nathan Barr, that will premiere on the April 20 episode of FX's The Americans. A remixed version of Townshend's biggest solo hit,  "Let My Love Open the Door," appeared on the season opener of Californication and was released April 13 as part of a soundtrack EP from Showtime and Townshend's publisher, Spirit Music Group.

Daltrey and former Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson just released Going Back Home on Universal Music's Chess Records label.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock'n'Blues Fest Returns With Johnny & Edgar Winter, Vanilla Fudge

Rock and Blues fans are certainly in for a tasty musical treat this summer as the popular Rock'n'Blues Fest tour returns for a third consecutive year with a run of approximately 20 dates beginning in early August.

This year's line-up features the Johnny Winter Band, Edgar Winter Band and Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds (who all shared the RNBF stage together in 2012) along with new Rock'n'Blues Fest additions Vanilla Fudge and Peter Rivera, formerly of Rare Earth.

"I love getting together with the great players on this fantastic concert series," states legendary guitarist Johnny Winter, who followed B.B. King on stage more than five decades ago at the age of 17 and, after receiving a standing ovation playing King's guitar, never looked back.

Johnny first came into prominence in the late-sixties after releasing his first solo album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, which was soon followed by his self-titled release on Columbia Records. The music world took immediate notice, and his popularity escalated even more after his unforgettable performance on day three at Woodstock in August of '69. Twenty years and several successful solo albums later, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. In the late 70's, he collaborated with another blues legend, Muddy Waters, on three separate albums of Waters', including the Grammy-winning Hard Again (1977). Over the years, Johnny has put out approximately two dozen solo albums including his 2011 album, Roots, which he and his band performed a track from on Late Show with David Letterman. On February 23, Winter celebrated his 70th birthday, honored by Legacy with the release of a four-CD box set, True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story.

Edgar Winter, an undeniable fan favorite who has appeared on both Rock'n'Blues Fest tours to date, is ecstatic about sharing the stage, once again, with his brother Johnny and being a part of this year's festivities. "Hey all you Rockers and Recliners! It's musical chairs again and it looks like the Rock'n'Blues Fest is becoming something of a tradition. 'How so,' you ask? Well, HE'S BACK! My brother, the legendary Johnny Winter, is closing the show again this year. We really missed him last time and it's always a special occasion getting to jam with Johnny. I would like to thank all you fans who have followed us throughout all these years. We can't do it without YOU. We just want you to know how much it means to be doing what we most love, and see you out there rockin' and having a good time."

A multi-instrumentalist (keyboards/sax/percussion) whose music encompasses many different genres including rock, blues, jazz and pop, Edgar first entered the national spotlight with his early recording of "Tobacco Road," featured on his 1970 debut album, Entrance. He would soon form the band White Trash and release two hit albums in '71 and '72 titled, Edgar Winter's White Trash and Roadwork. Hot on the heels of the certified gold album, Roadwork, Edgar would put together an entirely new outfit called The Edgar Winter Group that would originally feature guitarist Ronnie Montrose. In 1973, the band's first effort, They Only Come Out at Night, would spawn the hit singles, "Free Ride," and the monster, chart-topping "Frankenstein." The album, itself, would remain on the charts for an incredible 80 consecutive weeks. The pivotal album would eventually reach double-platinum status, selling more than two million copies. With over 20 albums and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied to ride the wave of popular music stardom. His music has been featured in several major national television, radio and advertising campaigns. In addition, his music can be heard in no fewer than fifteen film and television projects.

Next on the bill is the unmistakable Vanilla Fudge, which currently features original members Mark Stein (vocals, organ), Vinny Martell (guitars, vocals) and Carmine Appice (drums, vocals). Formed in 1966, the original band (with bassist Tim Bogert) would have a huge hit the following year with a revival of the Supremes classic, "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Featured on their debut album, the song displayed the key elements of their style and would be a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Known for their psychedelic covers, the album would also feature two Beatles songs along with a rendition of the R&B number, "Take Me For a Little While," which would be a Top 40 hit. Between 1966 and 1969, the band would release five studio albums before disbanding in 1970. In 2005, the original members reconvened for a tour with Riders On The Storm (featuring Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors) and Steppenwolf. A year later, they were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame along with Billy Joel, Joan Jett and the producer of their debut album, George "Shadow" Morton. In March of 2011, during what was announced as their "farewell tour," the band performed their biggest hit, "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Since that time, the band has consistently toured all over the world.

Vinny Martell looks forward to hitting the road this summer. "Hendrix toured with us... Joplin jammed with us... Zeppelin opened for us... We thank all our fans for helping to make Vanilla Fudge a piece of music history. Music has always been, and still is, the timeless language of peace and hope and unity in this turbulent world... Keep rockin' with us in the twenty-first century and come out to this summer's Rock'n'Blues Fest!"

"The last time Vanilla Fudge played with Johnny Winter was when he jumped up on stage with Janis Joplin and jammed with us at the West Palm Beach Pop Festival in Florida," reflects Vanilla Fudge singer Mark Stein. "I'm looking forward to playing with him and brother, Edgar... two rockin' bands! And I know Pete Rivera will be singing some of his great hits from Rare Earth. It should be a great show!"

Any connoisseur of seventies rock will certainly remember Rare Earth. Their funky, good-time, music is still played on classic rock stations across the country and their place in music history is firmly cemented. Peter Rivera is the original drummer and lead vocalist behind all of the hits. Rare Earth has sold over 25 million albums and had Top Ten hits with the songs, "Get Ready," "I Just Want To Celebrate" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." Two other songs, "Born to Wander" and "Hey Big Brother" would enter Top Twenty on the charts. The albums Get Ready (1969) and the two-record set, Rare Earth in Concert (1971), both achieved double platinum status. Peter Rivera has been called the premier rock drummer/vocalist of the seventies and his vocals have been featured on countless radio and television commercials over the years. In addition, his voice has been heard in several movies and television shows including A Knight's Tale, Three Kings, Arthur, Tropic Thunder (trailer), Six Feet Under, Chicago Hope and Beverly Hills 90210 among others. He continues to tour the world with The Classic Rock All-Stars and looks forward to his trek with this year's Rock'n'Blues Fest.

"I'm really looking forward to the rock and blues tour and can't wait to get started," remarks Peter. "I hope we can all rock it out!"

Considered one of the architects of British blues, Kim Simmonds began performing professionally in London in the mid-60's after learning how to play guitar by listening to his brother's blues records as a teenager. As leader and founder of the legendary blues rock band, Savoy Brown, he has 49 album releases currently available and continues to tour all over the world with the band as well as a solo acoustic act. In 1967, the band would help propel the UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the United States, invigorating the style forever. In the process, Savoy Brown became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970's, with their vast influence stretching into modern rock as we know it today. In 2011, the band celebrated its 45th anniversary by releasing a new CD titled, Voodoo Moon. Later in the year, Kim would release his most recent effort, Out Of The Blue, a collection of varied material that placed him in a new setting as both singer and songwriter. Among the most loved, most respected and longest running of its genre, Savoy Brown is one of the magical names in blues rock. Kim Simmonds -- who was on the 2012 Rock'n'Blues Fest bill with the Winter brothers, Rick Derringer and Leslie West -- will be performing the best of the best on this year's tour.

"Once again, I'm touring with the Rock'n'Blues Fest and, once again, I'm excited to do so. I am a fan of all the other artists on the bill so it will be a pleasure for me to participate. I thrive on the atmosphere, playing among my peers and I know the tour will bring out the best in me!"

Come out and experience the very best combination of rock and blues that you might ever have a chance to see!

As Edgar Winter says, "See you this summer and get ready to Rock 'n' Roll!"

www.johnnywinter.net
www.edgarwinter.com
www.vanillafudge.com
www.peterrivera.com
www.savoybrown.com

ROCK'N'BLUES FEST 2014 TOUR*

August 1 - Theatre at Westbury - Westbury, NY
August 2 - Rockland's Harbor Park - Rockland, ME
August 3 - Count Basie Theatre - Red Bank, NJ
August 5 - Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA
August 6 - South Shore Music Circus - Cohasset, MA
August 7 - State Theatre - New Brunswick, NJ
August 8 - Bergen Performing Arts Center - Englewood, NJ
August 13 - King Center for the Performing Arts - Melbourne, FL
August 14 - Florida Theatre - Jacksonville, FL
August 15 - Broward Center for the Performing Arts - Fort Lauderdale, FL
August 16 - Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL
August 21 - City National Civic - San Jose, CA
August 22 - City National Grove of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA
August 23 - The Cannery - Las Vegas, NV
August 24 - Snoqualmie Casino - Seattle, WA

*Additional dates expected to be announced soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Singer Says Reports of AC/DC's Death Greatly Exaggerated


Lead singer Brian Johnson has shot down rumors that the band is retiring with an interview in the Daily Telegraph.

"We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver," he said. "We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it."

 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that founding member, Malcolm Young, 61, was ill and could no longer perform. Australian radio personality Peter Ford also reportedly said, “We may not hear them perform or record ever again,” and their record label had not been answering calls or emails.

 Johnson would not confirm that Young was ill, but did allow that a band member was having health issues. 

"One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it," Johnson said. "He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much." 

However, Choirboys frontman Mark Gable, a close friend of the band, confirmed Young's illness in an interview with ABC Radio. "Malcolm is sick," he said. "From what I understand, and it's even been confirmed in part by his son Ross, that it would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore. It's not just that he is unwell; it's that it is quite serious. It will constitute that he definitely won't be able to perform live. He will probably not be able to record."

It was confirmed that Young was the sick member in question in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. "After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health," the post says. "Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support. In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Freddie Mercury's Life Told In New Comic Book

Queen singer and front man Freddie Mercury is honored in full color in a new tribute comic book from Bluewater Productions.

From his childhood to his untimely death, Queen Tribute: Freddie Mercury covers the rocker's life from beginning to end.

In a statement, writer Mike Lynch said: "Mercury's story is a fascinating one, from his birth in Zanzibar, being forced to flee his homeland at an early age to his rise to Rock royalty in the UK and then onto global conquest. His work has gone on to inspire generations of musicians. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest performers in music history and it was an honor to have worked on this biography."

Mercury died from complications from AIDS in 1991. His journey with the disease is detailed in the issue.

Tribute: Freddie Mercury will be released digitally and in print tomorrow (April 16th).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Steely Dan Announces North American Tour

This summer, Steely Dan fans in North America will be able to buy a thrill.

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen will set off on the 47-city Jamalot Ever After tour July 2 in Portland, Ore., and tour through September.

The duo, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, will be backed by an eight-piece band: drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington, keyboardist Jim Beard, guitarist Jon Herington, trumpeter/keyboardist Michael Leonhart, trombonist Jim Pugh, saxophonist Walt Weiskopf and baritone saxophonist Roger Rosenberg. Three backing vocalists — La Tanya Hall, Carolyn Leonhart-Escoffery and Cindy Mizelle — also will be part of the ensemble.

The Jamalot Ever After tour dates follow:

7/2 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Ore.
7/3 - Les Schwab Amphitheatre, Bend, Ore.
7/5-6 - Marymoor Park, Redmond, Wash.
7/8-9 - The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, Calif.
7/10 - Concord Pavilion, Concord, Calif.
7/12 - The Forum, Los Angeles, Calif.
7/13 -Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, San Diego, Calif.
7/15 - Comerica Theatre, Phoenix, Ariz.
7/16 - Route 66 Casino Legends Theater, Albuquerque, N.M.
7/18 - Global Event Center at WinStar World Casino and Resort, Thackerville, Okla.
7/19 - Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, Mo.
7/21 - Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
7/23 - Brady Theater, Tulsa, Okla.
7/24 - Walmart AMP, Rogers, Ark.
7/26 - UNO Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, La.
7/27 - Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center, Birmingham, Ala.
7/29 - Township Auditorium, Columbia, S.C.
7/31 - Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C.
8/1-2 - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tenn.
8/4 - War Memorial Auditorium, Greensboro, N.C.
8/6 - Musikfest, Bethlehem, Penn.
8/8 - Seneca Niagara Events Center, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
8/9 - City Fest, Erie, Penn.
8/11 - Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, Penn.
8/12 - Taft Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio
8/13 - Palace Theatre, Columbus, Ohio
8/15 - Illinois State Fair, Springfield, Ill.
8/16 - Overture Hall, Madison, Wisc.
8/17 - Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Ind.
8/19 - Fox Cities PAC, Appleton, Wisc.
8/20 - Kresge Auditorium, Interlochen, Mich.
8/22 - Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, Windsor, Ont.
8/23-24 - Sony Centre for Performing Arts, Toronto, Ont.
8/26 - National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ont.
8/27 - Théâtre St-Denis, Montreal, Que.
8/29 - Darling's Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor, Me.
8/30 - Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, Gilford, N.H.
8/31 - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
9/3-4 - Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, N.J.
9/6 - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, Mass.
9/7 - Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, R.I.
9/9-10 - Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, N.J.
9/12 - Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, N.J.
9/13-14 - Paramount Theatre, Huntington, N.Y.
9/16 - Toyota Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Conn.
9/17 - Pier Six Pavilion, Baltimore, Md.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Welcomes Its Class Of 2014

From the New York Times

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its new members at a full-scale arena concert on Thursday night at Barclays Center, with its largest live audience by far. It would have been an ideal setting for the band that didn’t perform: Kiss, the hard-rock arena-spectacular showmen in makeup who, until this year, had been snubbed by the hall since becoming eligible in 1999. After Kiss was accepted, its members, past and present, had squabbled with the Hall of Fame and among themselves over which of its lineups, original or current, would perform; no one did.

The guitarist Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and currently a guest with the E Street Band, praised Kiss for “impact, influence and awesomeness” and called their induction a vindication for both the band and its fans. Paul Stanley, the band’s lead singer, gloated, “Here we are tonight, basically inducted for the same things we were kept out for.” He called for more public participation in choosing the members of the Hall of Fame, insisting that fans did not need to be “spoon-fed” a rock canon.

The other new Hall of Fame members are Nirvana (in their first year of eligibility), Peter Gabriel (already a member with the band Genesis), Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens (whose name now is Yusuf Islam) and Hall & Oates. Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band joined the hall in its “musical excellence” category, for sidemen, and performed with the band’s leader, Bruce Springsteen, who entered the Hall of Fame in 1999.

For its first decades, the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a music-business banquet: a black-tie affair for executives and musicians that gradually reshaped itself for broadcast as a cable-television special. Since 2012 the induction has been a full-scale concert; Barclays holds about 19,000 people; tickets cost $67 to $576.

Fans also have joined the hall’s decision-making process, at least symbolically. An online poll, which drew 1.3 million responses, added votes from fans to those of the musicians, executives, historians and critics who had previously chosen hall members. Kiss and Nirvana led that poll with over 200,000 votes each.

Nirvana was inducted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M., who described the band’s music as “a sweet and beautiful but fed-up fury coupled with howling vulnerability.”

“This is not just pop music,” he added. “This is something much greater than that.”

The surviving members of Nirvana with the guitarist Pat Smear, who still bashed with controlled brutality, brought on female lead singers: Joan Jett rasping “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent) switching between the calm and howling of “Lithium,” Kim Gordon flinging herself around the stage for “Aneurysm,” and Lorde singing “All Apologies.”

More than an hour of the ceremony was devoted to the induction of 10 longtime members of the E Street Band. Springsteen detailed how he had met each one, noting that the keyboardist, David Sancious (now in Mr. Gabriel’s band), was the only member who actually lived on E Street. With a band, Springsteen said, “the narrative you tell together is bigger than the one you could have told on your own.” The guitarist Steven Van Zandt thanked Springsteen for writing songs “at an unnecessarily high level of quality” for so long. Soon afterward the band, with current members and alumni together, charged into, of course, “The E Street Shuffle.”

The surviving members of Nirvana were set to perform with a very different lead singer: Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent.

Gabriel was praised by Chris Martin, Coldplay’s lead singer, for creating a “cathedral of song.” Gabriel’s acceptance speech offered advice to aspiring musicians. He urged, “Think big and let your imagination guide you even if you end up dressing as a flower or a sexually transmitted disease” — as he had with Genesis — and “surround yourself with brilliance.”

He had collaborators: Martin trading verses on “Washing of the Water,” the Senegalese singer-songwriter Youssou N’Dour for “In Your Eyes” and, pointedly, Leo Nocentelli of the definitive New Orleans funk band, the Meters, playing guitar on “Digging in the Dirt.” The Meters have been repeatedly nominated for the Hall of Fame, but have not yet been added to it.

Linda Ronstadt also did not appear; Glenn Frey of the Eagles, inducting her, said she had retired and no longer traveled. He praised her for “always reaching, always stretching,” and added, “She has been a shining example and a true inspiration to every woman who ever stood in front of a microphone and sang her heart out.”

Other voices took up Ronstadt’s hits: Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris cooing “Blue Bayou,” Sheryl Crow vowing “You’re No Good,” Stevie Nicks belting “It’s So Easy,” Carrie Underwood singing “Different Drum” and all of them sharing “When Will I Be Loved?”

Daryl Hall, of Hall & Oates, noted unhappily that they were the first Philadelphia act in the Hall of Fame, citing Todd Rundgren, the Stylistics and Chubby Checker as omissions. In a video-clip interview, Oates described himself as “the most underrated and highly paid backup singer in the history of music.”

Islam, the former Cat Stevens, left pop stardom for a life of abstemiousness and Islamic study. “I never thought I’d be on the same stage as Kiss, to be honest,” he said. He was inducted by Art Garfunkel, who offered some musical analysis and said, offhandedly, “He’s better than Paul Simon.” Mr. Islam, his voice still hearty, sang “Peace Train,” “Wild World” and “Father and Son,” a young man’s idea of an old man’s advice, with the predictive line, “I know I have to go.”

Brian Epstein, who managed the Beatles in the 1960s, and Andrew Loog Oldham, who then managed the Rolling Stones, were inducted as nonperformers. Mr. Epstein died in 1967; Oldham skipped the event, criticizing it as a “television spectacular” rather than a rock and roll party. This year’s ceremony is to be telecast on May 31 on HBO.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Night Ranger's New Studio Album 'High Road' Set For June Release

Night Ranger are set to release their new studio album, High Road, on June 10th in North America via Frontiers Records.  Produced by the band, the album will be available in two formats: A standard CD version and a deluxe version, which includes two bonus tracks and a DVD featuring a background look at the making of the album along with video clips.  

Of the new album, frontman/bassist/songwriter Jack Blades commented, "It's almost summer and a great time to take a trip down the High Road!  Our new record features classic Night Ranger feel-good, high-energy kick-ass rock n' roll.  We can't wait for our fans to hear."

Drummer/singer Kelly Keagy added, "We're so proud of this new record and excited to get back on the road to bring the new music to our fans."

Night Ranger's legendary hits "Sister Christian," "(You Can Still) Rock in America," and "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" are songs that have each significantly impacted popular culture and expanded their ever-growing fanbase since the band's inception thirty years ago.

Over the years, the band's music has made notable contributions to and been featured in many different areas of media and popular culture. Night Ranger's songs can be heard in the Rock Band and Guitar Hero video games; Rock of Ages hit Broadway musical and film; the Oscar-nominated film Boogie Nights; FOX's hit TV Show American Dad; JBL's "Hear The Truth" campaign; and many more!

Night Ranger's current lineup features Jack Blades (bass guitar, vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals), Brad Gillis (lead & rhythm guitars), Joel Hoekstra (lead & rhythm guitars) and Eric Levy (keyboards).

Night Ranger High Road track listing:

1.    High Road
2.    Knock Knock Never Stop
3.    Rollin' On
4.    Don't Live Here Any More
5.    I'm Coming Home
6.    X Generation
7.    Only For You Only
8.    Hang On
9.    St. Bartholomew
10.  Brothers
11.  L.A. No Name
12.  The Mountain Song*

*only available on deluxe edition
 
For more information please visit:
www.nightranger.com
www.frontiers.it

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Aerosmith & Slash Play The Whisky, Announce Summer Tour

Who better to declare “LET ROCK RULE” than Aerosmith?

the band -- Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford -- and special guest Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators will join forces for “LET ROCK RULE,” this summer’s definitive rock & roll experience.

Promoted exclusively by Live Nation, the LET ROCK RULE tour kicks off on Thursday, July 10 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, NY (see full itinerary below). Aerosmtih and Slash -- longtime friends who’ve performed together throughout the years -- will also take over Boston, MA. (Xfinity Center), Los Angeles, CA (The Forum) and San Francisco, CA (Sleep Train Pavilion) among other cities, before wrapping Friday, September 12 in Sydney, NS, Canada (Open Hearth Park).

This summer’s hottest ticket will go on sale to the general public starting on Saturday, April 12 through the Live Nation mobile app and at www.livenation.com. The first round of tour dates are below with additional dates for a second leg to be announced shortly.

“Looking forward to inciting a riot and building the tribal bonfire even higher--it’s a win win with Slash,” said Steven Tyler.

Says Joe Perry: “The writing’s on the wall--Aerosmith and Slash.  We’re gonna let rock rule this summer.  Catch us if you can.”

Says Slash: “Aerosmith is one of my all time favorite bands, and one of the greatest rock ‘n roll bands of all time. It’s  an honor for me to go out & tour with them and  keep the rock ‘n roll banner flying high.”

The excitement all started when Perry took it to the streets with Risk, the famous graffiti artist, last Thursday night for “LET ROCK RULE” and things began ramping up mysteriously when the Aerosmith logo, and the tour announcement date of 4.8.14, was bombed on various buildings in downtown Los Angeles by Perry and risk. Following this, Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer stepped up the momentum and went to downtown Austin with street artist, Chunk, to continue the “LET ROCK RULE” tagging.

JOE PERRY says, "I have always felt that Aerosmith was America's hometown band and what better way than to take matters into our own hands to spread the word.”

Yesterday (April 8), Aerosmith performed a free set to announce the “LET ROCK RULE” tour. With a special guest appearance by Slash, the band played a roof-raising set for the assembled crowd at the Whisky A Go-Go, the historic Los Angeles venue where they performed their first LA gig in 1973. Check out Vintage Rock's review and photos from the Whisky.

Aerosmith’s North American summer dates will follow the band’s overseas dates kicking off May 14 in Istanbul, Turkey and will hit 16 countries including stops in Russia, France, and the U.K. before wrapping July 2 in Kiev, Ukraine.

The North American “LET ROCK RULE” tour dates are as follows:

7/10 - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre - Wantagh, NY
7/13 - McLennan Park - Kitchener, ON, Canada
7/16 - Xfinity Center - Mansfield, MA
7/19 - Rock Fest - Cadott, WI
7/22 - Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH
7/25 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Tinley Park, IL**
7/30 - The Forum - Inglewood, CA**
8/2 - MGM Grand Garden Arena - Las Vegas, NV
8/8 - Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena At Harveys - Stateline, NV
8/13 - Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord, CA
8/16 - The Gorge Amphitheatre - George, WA
8/19 - Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
8/22 - American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
8/25 - The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - The Woodlands, TX
8/28 - Phillips Arena - Atlanta, GA
8/31 - Boardwalk Hall - Atlantic City, NJ
9/3 - Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
9/6 - Jiffy Lube Live - Bristow, VA
9/9 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI
9/12 - Open Hearth Park - Sydney, NS, Canada

 “**” are tour dates going on sale Saturday, April 12

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Andrew Loog Oldham To Skip Rock Hall Induction


Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones' early manager, producer and publicist who is being inducted this year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has announced that he will skip the ceremony.

“I think those people basically hijacked the name 'rock 'n' roll,'” Oldham told an audience during a talk in March at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.  “I won't be there.  I'll tell you why.... It's a television show.  Twenty years ago it was an incredible party in the Waldorf-Astoria where everybody could behave exactly as they could 20 years ago. And then it became a business. I think it's healthier to stay home.”

Oldham, 70, also apparently is unhappy about some facet of the handling of his induction. On Friday, he tweeted,  "Like Brian Epstein i was not consulted as regards this matter & like dear Brian I will not be going." Epstein died in 1967.

A spokeswoman for the Rock Hall said officials have no comment on Oldham's remarks.

Oldham and Beatles manager Brian Epstein are being inducted this year as non-performers, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of 1964’s explosion of the British Invasion on U.S. shores.

Only 19 years old when he discovered and took over management of the Stones, Oldham is being saluted for his role in helping to shape their public image, pushing Jagger into the role of frontman for a group that began as guitarist Brian Jones’ blues band. He also encouraged Jagger and Keith Richards to write their own songs.

After producing the Rolling Stones' first five albums and their initial hit singles from 1963 to 1967, Oldham and the band parted ways, although he recently said he maintains correspondence with Richards from Oldham's home of the last 35 years in Bogota, Colombia.

Since 2005, he has hosted a satellite radio show six days a week that’s part of Little Steven’s Underground Garage channel on Sirius XM.

In an email interview posted recently on Cleveland.com, Oldham went on to say that, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become a televised spectacular. This is not the private, raunchy, no-holds-barred party at the Waldorf Astoria where Ahmet Ertegun spoke his brilliant mind and Phil Spector accepted his induction supported by three bodyguards.

“The [Rock Hall] has adjusted for the times and … I think it may have become an event for performers only and their fans. Rush last year, Nirvana and KISS this year. Now, for the Hall Of Fame to survive, it’s gone 'Simon Cowell' and that, unless you are a Rush or KISS fan, is a shame.”

Other musicians have expressed varying degrees of unhappiness about the Rock Hall’s opening up of the event to TV cameras. Neil Young boycotted the event in 1997 when he was being inducted as a member of Buffalo Springsfield, saying at that time, "This presentation is in direct opposition to what I believe. Although I accept the honor, in the name of Rock and Roll, I decline to take part in this TV presentation and be trotted out like some cheap awards show. There are already too many of these."

Young has subsequently attended the dinner, and in 2011 gave the induction speech when Tom Waits became a member.

Of Epstein, for whom Oldham worked briefly before connecting with the Stones, Oldham told Cleveland.com, “Without Brian Epstein, you and I would not be having this conversation. For he is the one who persevered and got his lads that all-elusive recording contract and those lads, the Beatles, changed the world and made it possible for all of us to find our various places in it.

“I really believe that Brian Epstein was sent to do just that, that Brian Jones was sent to form the Rolling Stones and I was sent to uncover them and start them on their way,” he said. “I am just lucky that I got to stay here longer.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bruce Springsteen Covers Van Halen’s ‘Jump’

Bruce Springsteen continues to embrace his inner metal-head, opening his set at the March Madness Music Festival in Dallas with a cover of Van Halen's "Jump."

Springsteen's first North American show took place in the city's Reunion Park as part of the NCAA basketball tournament.

In classic style, Springsteen took the stage to the sounds of the Harlem Globetrotter's theme, "Sweet Georgia Brown." While dribbling the ball, the 64-year old rocker quipped, "This has something to do with basketball."

Springsteen's longtime guitar tech Kevin Buell also got into the act, donning a referee uniform and mimicking a jump ball with guitarist Nils Lofgren.

The band then launched into the '80s anthem, which was augmented by Springsteen's horn section and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who made Eddie Van Halen's signature solo look astonishingly easy. Charlie Giordano handled Van Halen's synth solo to round out the song.

Sunday night's show marked the first appearance Patti Scialfa has made with the band since September. Guitarist Steven Van Zandt was not at the show, prompting his wife, Maureen, to joke on Twitter, "For all you asking why Stevie VanZandt is not on the Bruce US Tour -- he is replacing Harry Styles from One Direction for a bit."

The band braved the rain and played a 25 song set that  also featured "Hungry Heart," "Badlands," "Spirit in the Night," "Johnny 99," "The River,"No Surrender,"  "The Ghost of Tom Joad,"  "The Land of Hopes and Dreams,"Born to Run,"Glory Days," "Dancing in the Dark" (with a lot of girls taking selfies of themselves on stage with The Boss), "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," "Thunder Road," and a cover of "Shout," breaking in the middle to exclaim "I'm just a prisoner of the everlasting power of rock and roll!"

The E Street Band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this Thursday at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.



Friday, April 4, 2014

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension To Be Featured In Live Webcast From Mumbai

On Saturday April 5th at 8:00 pm IST / 10:30 am EST, visit India.com to watch the live streaming of John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension from the St. Andrews Concert Hall in Mumbai.

As he nears the end of the tour in support of his latest release, The Boston Record, McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension want to share their live performance with their fans all across the globe.

For one night only, or morning as the case may be, music fans can experience together one of the greatest guitarists living today. His fans and own fellow guitarists have hailed him as the "best guitarist alive".

In his career of over five decades, McLaughlin has collaborated with musical legends from Miles Davis to Zakir Hussain to Jimi Hendrix.

His current band, The 4th Dimension, includes Etienne M`Bappe on the bass guitar, Gary Husband on keyboards and drums, and Ranjit Barot on drums and vocals.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jeff Beck & ZZ Top To Embark On National Summer Tour

This August will see long time music legends and mutual admirers, ZZ Top and Jeff Beck on tour together for the first time.  The tour launches in Missoula, MT on August 8 and will run for five weeks with stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit, Boston and NYC . . . (more dates TBA).

Formatted with musical synergy in mind, stops along the touring route will offer fans a full Jeff Beck set, followed by a full ZZ Top set, with a finale that joins the English fret master with the Texas rockers for a collaboration each night of the tour.

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, speaking on behalf of band mates Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, noted that Beck has long been a source of musical inspiration from the time when Beck played in the Yardbirds, the seminal hard blues-based Britrock band. Gibbons commented, “Ever since experiencing ‘Jeff’s Boogie,’ the prospect of performance with Jeff Beck on the deck brings us into focus with the curator of crunch.”

Likewise, Beck has been an enduring fan of ZZ Top, from even before their ascendance in popularity in the 70s and 80s. He remarked, “Ever since Eliminator I thought it would be great to play with ZZ Top,” and went on to declare Billy Gibbons, “The Professor of Grunge.”

This tour is not the first live collaboration between the two camps. Gibbons joined Jeff Beck and his band on stage at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where they performed The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Foxey Lady” and ZZ Top’s hit “Rough Boy” together. The following year Jeff Beck joined ZZ Top in Lucca, Italy for an extended rendition of the band’s signature piece “La Grange.” This, however, marks the first time Jeff Beck and ZZ Top will have done any sort of extensive touring together.

ZZ Top, formed in the Houston area of Texas in 1969, became a huge national touring act in the 70s and darlings of MTV in the 80s, going on to sell tens of millions of records. Their unique hybrid of dirty blues, hard rock, incorporating new sounds and technology, earned them induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones doing the honors.

Jeff Beck, a native of London and two-time Rock And Roll Hall of Famer (with The Yardbirds in 1992, and on his own in 2009), helped set the template in the 60s for the solo-heavy, feedback-laden, rock guitar hero archetype. He formed the Jeff Beck Group by the end of that decade with then-unknown vocalist Rod Stewart, eventually going solo, with forays into fusion and beyond in the mid-70s. Beck, like ZZ Top, has continually incorporated new sounds and technologies into his work throughout his half-century long career.  Lately, Beck has been working on a new studio album, his first since the 2010 release of the critically acclaimed Emotion & Commotion, which earned him two Grammy Awards and the highest charting debut in his career.

Jeff Beck with ZZ Top Tour Itinerary:

August 8 - Ogren Park - Missoula, MT
August 9 - Chateau Ste. Michelle - Woodinville, WA
August 10 - Cuthbert Amphitheatre - Eugene, OR
August 12 - The Mountain Winery - Saratoga, CA
August 13 - Greek Amphitheatre - Los Angeles, CA
August 15 - Ironstone Amphitheatre - Murphys, CA
August 16 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV
August 20 - Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre - Englewood, CO
August 22 - Zoo Amphitheatre - Oklahoma City, OK
August 23 - Starlight Theater - Kansas City, MO
August 24 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Maryland Heights, MO
August 27 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI
August 28 - Ravinia - Highland Park, IL
August 31 - MGM Grand Theater @ Foxwoods - Mashantucket, CT
September 2 - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion - Boston, MA
September 3 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD
September 4 - Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY
September 6 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Alpharetta, GA
September 7 - St. Augustine Amphitheater - St. Augustine, FL
September 12 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - The Woodlands, TX

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Linda Ronstadt Not Attending Rock Hall Ceremony

Count Linda Ronstadt out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

The singer says that complications from Parkinsons Disease will keep her away from the event:

"I've been ill. It's very hard for me to travel...I can't travel very easily. I have to save traveling for things I really have to do. I have to spend a certain amount of time visiting my family and I have to spend a little bit of time doing things that are professional, but I just can't travel casually. It's too hard."

On top of that, Ronstadt says that the honor, while nice, does not mean a great deal to her:

"I haven't given it one thought, I have to say. It wasn't anything I ever thought about....I never thought of myself as a rock 'n' roll singer. I sang it. It's just one of the things I sang. I sang a lot of different stuff...I don't have anything against it. You just don't do things for those reasons. If you're working for prizes, you're in trouble. There's nothing wrong with it. I don't mind it. I just don't, it's not anything I ever gave a thought to, never gave it a thought."

Ronstadt is being inducted along with KISS, Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood will come together to salute Ronstadt upon her induction.

Glenn Frey, Questlove, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Michael Stipe and Tom Morello will be among the performers and presenters on hand to welcome in the other 2014 inductees. The ceremony will be filmed and air on HBO during May.

Ronstadt, meanwhile, is releasing a Duets collection on April 8 that includes recordings from throughout her career with James Taylor, the Eagles' Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Frank Sinatra and others.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Audio Fidelity Release The Butterfield Blues Band 'East-West' Album On Hybrid SACD

Much to the excitement of blues aficionados worldwide, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity has released The Butterfield Blues Band's legendary East-West album on Hybrid SACD today (April 1, 2014). 

The Butterfield Blues Band had already shown on their first album that they had a definite command of the Chicago blues idiom. On East-West they open up and branch out without losing the edge and drive of their first recording. East-West represented a watershed for pop music...more maturity, better musicianship, more exploration, more successful blending of other genres.

East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues, above any other extended piece of the mid-Sixties, a rock band finally achieved a version of the musical freedom that free jazz had found a few years earlier. It can also be heard as part of what sparked the West Coast's rock revolution, in which song structures with extended improvisation became commonplace.

In 1966 when this album debuted, it was nothing less than astonishing. A mixed-race band? A white guy singing blues? A Jewish kid and a southern farmboy sounding like Robert Johnson on guitars? The album was recorded at the famed Chess Studios in Chicago. It peaked at #65 on the Billboard pop albums chart.

East-West features traditional blues covers and the guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. The edge this band had was it had people from Chicago, the home of urban blues, who had grown up and played with all the greats.

East-West combines the emotion and power of the blues along with the swing and instrumental dexterity of a great jazz band. The two centerpieces of the album, the instrumentals "Work Song" written by jazz great Nat Adderly, and the title cut "East-West" are recognized by many as the first recorded versions of jazz-rock fusion put to vinyl.

TRACKS
1. Walkin' Blues
2. Get Out of My Life Woman
3. I Got A Mind to Give Up Living
4. All These Blues
5. Work Song
6. Mary, Mary
7. Two Trains Running
8. Never Say No
9. East-West

Producer Mark Abramson, Paul Rothchild
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio

To purchase The Butterfield Blues Band East-West Hybrid SACD: http://www.audiofidelity.net/content/butterfield-blues-band-east-west