Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mick Jagger's SuperHeavy Supergroup To Drop Album In September

Universal Music will release the album from SuperHeavy, a group featuring Mick Jagger, Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart, singer Joss Stone, composer A.R. Rahman and reggae artist Damian Marley. No exact release date is set, but Universal Republic will handle the United States and A&M will handle the rest of the world.

An official release said the album will be unveiled in September; the first single is titled "Miracle Worker" and the five stars will be recording a video for the track. Jagger and Stewart co-produced the album.

Recording in various studios around the world -- France, Cyprus, Miami, India -- the majority of the tracks laid down over three weeks in Los Angeles earlier this year. The quintet wrote 22 songs in their first six days together. The term "SuperHeavy" was inspired by Muhammad Ali.

Jagger and Stewart had worked together on the 2004 soundtrack to the film Alfie, and Stewart produced Stone's last album. Both wanted to bring in a Jamaican musician and Damian Marley entered the picture with his rhythm section, bassist and composer Shiah Coore and drummer Courtney Diedrick. They met Rahman while recording in Los Angeles.

According to the band's bio, SuperHeavy came together after Jagger and Stewart wondered what a band of musicians from different genres would sound like. The Rolling Stones singer had his doubts it would come together.

One of the first on the album is Jagger singing in Urdu. He takes lead on Rahman's song "Satyameva Jayate," which translates to "the truth alone triumphs."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Roger Daltrey Left 'Seriously Ill' From Touring

Who singer Roger Daltrey has admitted that touring at the age of 67 is taking its toll on the Who singer's health. "Almost hospitalized" and left "seriously ill" due to previous tours, Daltrey has had to come to terms with the limitations age has imposed upon his body.

Daltrey -- who experienced a cancer scare earlier this year that resulted in an operation to remove a pre-cancerous growth on one of his vocal chords -- told Rolling Stone, "I was having terrible trouble hearing what I was singing and it did get to me.

"In fact, I've been suffering for quite a few of the previous tours. I never understood that if you sweat as much as I used to every night, you drain your body of salts."

It's not just his own health the frontman is concerned about. "Pete [Townshend] is having terrible hearing problems at the moment," he said.

Daltrey added, "There's nobody I'd rather be on stage with than Pete. But equally, I don't want to be on stage with him destroying the last bit of his hearing. That would be completely foolish. He's a composer."

As for the future of the Who -- despite health issues -- the singer isn't ready to entertain thoughts of retirement. "We're in the last bits of our career," he said. "I feel that we owe it to the public that supported us all these years to go down with us. I had a real scare with my voice a couple of years ago, but now I'm singing better than ever. And it made me just want to use it till the day I can't."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

INFINITI Summer Concert Series In The OC Opens With Max Weinberg 7

he INFINITI Summer Concert Series, presented by ROLEX South Coast Plaza Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, presents the Max Weinberg 7 with special guest Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) as the opening concert on June 24th.

One of the longest running music series in California, and recognized for bringing revered musicians to Southern California every year, the INFINITI Summer Concert Series runs through September 30.

Along Weinberg (making a return to the stage after last season), Kevin Eubanks of The Tonight Show will also perform later in the series, bringing two prominent band leaders in late night television to the audience.

The INFINITI Summer Concert Series performance schedule is as follows:

- June 24 - Max Weinberg 7 featuring special guest Bill Champlin
- July 1 - Jeff Lorber Fusion with Eric Marienthal & special guest Paul Jackson Jr.
- July 8 - Kevin Eubanks
- July 15 - Euge Groove
- July 22 - Mindi Abair with Jeff Golub and Special Guest David Pack
- July 29 - Hiroshima
- Aug. 5 - 'Soul Of Summer' starring Jonathan Butler with Maysa and Eric Darius
- Aug. 12 - Andre Delano with Special guest Tom Braxton
- Aug. 19 - Steve Tyrell
- Aug. 26 - 'Sax Pack' - Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Shilts with Nick Colionne
- Sept. 2 – Herb Alpert and Lani Hall
- Sept. 9 - 'Summer Jam' starring Richard Elliott and Norman Brown
- Sept. 16 - Christopher Cross
- Sept. 23 - 'Jazz Attack' Gerald Albright, Peter White, Rick Braun
- Sept. 30 - The Manhattan Transfer

Tickets can be purchased by going to or calling the box office at (949) 729-6400.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Allman Brothers Band To Play NYC's Beacon Theatre For 'Tune In To Hep C' Public Awareness Campaign

Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) today announced that Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman will work together with the company and the American Liver Foundation on Tune In to Hep C, a public health campaign to help raise awareness of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. To help turn up the volume around hepatitis C a benefit concert featuring The Allman Brothers Band will be held in New York on July 27, the eve of World Hepatitis Day.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Allman's liver transplant, which he received after his liver had become damaged from chronic hepatitis C infection. Allman has returned to performing and recording music, and now wants to help raise awareness of hepatitis C.

"I'm excited to be working with Merck and the American Liver Foundation because there are many people who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, but aren't taking action. I want to tell them, don't wait. Doing nothing is not an option; they need to talk with their doctor," said Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. "I made the decision to take action and talk to my doctor, so that I could get back to making the music I love. I want others to take that action too, and if I can help make that happen, I've done my job."

Nearly 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C virus infection, a potentially serious disease that can damage the liver over time and lead to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer. Many people infected with chronic hepatitis C do not know that they have the virus – approximately 60 to 80 percent of people infected with chronic hepatitis C virus do not have symptoms.

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) joined the Tune In to Hep C campaign to help elevate awareness of this important public health issue. ALF is a national organization advocating for those living with liver disease and their families, and provides education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.

"We are thrilled to work with Merck and Gregg Allman to help educate and empower patients with chronic hepatitis C – this has been a focus of the American Liver Foundation for 35 years," said Newton Guerin, acting CEO and chief operating officer, ALF. "People don't often talk openly about their hepatitis C, which contributes to misinformation and isolation for those infected with the virus. Gregg's willingness to share his story will open the door for meaningful dialogue that can help reduce stigma and the lack of understanding surrounding chronic hepatitis C."

Merck recently announced the Hope Against Hepatitis C initiative, in which the company restated its long-standing commitment to supporting the hepatitis C community through a variety of public-private partnerships that will involve public education, patient support programs and collaborative research efforts. Working with Gregg Allman and the ALF is an example of this ongoing commitment.

"When a person like Gregg Allman comes forward to speak about his personal experience, it is extremely powerful, and we are grateful to him for his commitment to helping motivate other people with chronic hepatitis C to take action," said Mark Timney, president, Global Human Health - U.S. Market, Merck.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bruce Springsteen's Statement On Clarence Clemons

Bruce Springsteen has released this statement about Clarence Clemons' death:

Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

E-Street Sax 'Big' Man Clarence Clemons Passes

Clarence Clemons -- Bruce Springsteen's "Big Man" on the sax -- has taken his final bow.

The musician, who died Saturday at age 69 in Florida after suffering a stroke on June 12, was a near-charter member of Mr. Springsteen's band, and played and toured with The Boss for four decades.

Hulking well over six feet tall, Clemons fully justified his moniker, especially in comparison to the much shorter Springsteen, and his looping tenor sax sound was a distinctive feature of nearly all the E Street Band's songs. Standards like "Born To Run," Jungleland," and "Badlands" featured him prominently.

Clemons was the oldest original E Streeter, and Springsteen would introduce him last, usually by saying, "The biggest man you ever seen…"

The son of a Norwalk, Va., fish seller and grandson of a Baptist preacher, Clemons grew up helping his dad deliver fish while practicing his saxophone in the back room of the store. He played in the high school jazz band and attended Maryland State College on a football scholarship. A potential career with the Cleveland Browns ended due to injuries in a car crash.

In the 1960s, Clemons worked as a counselor in a group home for emotionally disturbed children in Newark, N.J., and spent his free time playing with rock bands on the Jersey shore.

The story of how Clemons came to join the E Street Band was part of the group's mythology, told over and again. In 1971, Clemons was playing with a cover band in Asbury Park. After the show, he walked through a storm to a nearby club where Mr. Springsteen was playing.

"When I opened the door it blew off the hinges and flew down the street," Clemons wrote in a 2009 memoir, Big Man. He proceeded to sit in with Springsteen's band, starting with the song "Spirit in the Night."

The story took on a different tinge in the song "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," where Clemon's arrival heralds the start of the band's success: "When the change was made uptown/And the Big Man joined the band/From the coastline to the city/All the little pretties raise their hands."

The song appeared on Springsteen's break-out "Born to Run" album in 1975. On the cover the singer playfully leans on Clemons' ample shoulder.

"Sometimes you can't tell where Clarence ends and his sax begins," Springsteen said in Peter Gambaccini's 1985 Springsteen biography.

Between tours with Springsteen, Clemons organized his own band, the Red Bank Rockers. He toured with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, and the Jerry Garcia Band. He was in demand as a sideman for talents as diverse as Aretha Franklin and Janis Ian.

Most recently, he appeared on Lady Gaga's latest album including a solo on the hit "Edge of Glory." The album prompted some critics to speculate that a rock music saxophone revival lay around the corner.

A documentary about a trip Clemons took to China premiered at a New Jersey arts festival in April. In the film, Who Do I Think I Am? Mr. Clemons plays his saxophone at the Great Wall.

Clemons underwent health reverses in recent years, including a minor heart attack and several joint replacements. But he managed to remain the stalwart center of the E Street Band on tour despite suffering from pain.

"I call the stage 'the healing floor,' he told the Allentown Morning Call in 2009, amid a seemingly endless Springsteen tour. "I walk out there and nothing hurts, nothing bothers me for the three hours."

Friday, June 17, 2011

U2, Bon Jovi, Elton John Top Music's Rich List

NME is reporting that U2 have topped the list of the highest earning musicians over the last 12 months, with Bon Jovi and Elton John coming in second and third respectively.

The list, which is put together by Forbes magazine, compiles and ranks the top 25 highest earning musicians in the world over the last 12 months.

U2, who also topped the list in 2010, earned over $195 million (£121 million). This was largely due to the continued success of their '360' world tour, which has so far grossed over $700 million (£434 million) in its two years on the road.

Bon Jovi were second with earnings of $125 million (£78 million), also principally due to their ongoing world tour. Elton John came in third, having gathered over $100 million (£62 million) in the past year.

Lady Gaga came in fourth with earnings of $90 million (£56 million), while crooner Michael Buble rounded off the Top Five, having pocketed $70 million (£43 million) in the last 12 months.

Paul McCartney, the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber all featured in the Top Ten, with Usher, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry narrowly missing out.

The top ten highest earning musicians according to Forbes were:

1. U2: $195 million (£121 million)
2. Bon Jovi: $125 million (£78 million)
3. Elton John: $100 million (£62 million)
4. Lady Gaga: $90 million (£56 million)
5. Michael Buble: $70 million (£43 million)
6. Paul McCartney: $67 million (£41 million)
7. The Black Eyed Peas: $61 million (£38 million)
8. The Eagles: $60 million (£37 million)
9. Justin Bieber: $53 million (£33 million)
10. Dave Matthews Band: $51 million (£31 million)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sly Stone Pleads Not Guilty To Cocaine Charge

Sly Stone, the reclusive funk legend whose career was crippled by rampant drug abuse, pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine rocks on Wednesday, June 15.

The 68-year-old frontman for Sly and the Family Stone was arrested April 1 when Los Angeles police pulled over a live-in van for a minor traffic violation.

Cocaine rocks were found in the clothing of both Stone, who was a passenger, and the driver, according to the singer's defense attorneys. Both men were arrested.

"A lot of musicians hang out with people who have drugs. How are they supposed to know?" said Peter Knecht, one of his attorneys. He insisted the cocaine did not belong to Stone.

Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, is next scheduled to appear in court in the Los Angeles suburb of Van Nuys for a pretrial conference on July 19. His arraignment was originally scheduled for last Friday, but he was hospitalized for heart problems.

Stone, a veteran of the San Francisco power scene, revolutionized soul music with tunes such as "Don't Call me Nigger, Whitey" and "I Want to Take You Higher" that both fed on and fueled the political and social turmoil of the time.

His career, however, was marred by decades of run-ins with the law. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, he was plagued by drug and gun possession charges.

"You can't punish a guy for what he did 40 years ago, 30 years ago," said Knecht.

Stone made his first major public appearance in almost 13 years at the Grammy Awards in 2006 when he was the object of an all-star tribute. Sporting a blond Mohawk and a shiny white jacket, he sauntered out on stage during a performance of "I Want to Take You Higher," but left before the song was over.

Stone just finished recording a new album that will be released on August 16, according to Tim Yasui, general manager for Cleopatra Records. It would mark his first album in almost 30 years.

Monday, June 13, 2011

E Street Band's Clarence Clemons Suffers Stroke

Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's iconic E Street Band, has suffered a stroke at his home in Florida, according to multiple reports.

Showbiz411, who was the first to report on Clemons' stroke, said the musician is "said to be seriously ill," while Rolling Stone confirmed the stroke occurred but said it did not have information on its severity.

Known as the "Big Man," Clemons has been with the E Street Band for nearly four decades and helped define the band's sound on such classics as "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road." The 69-year-old underwent two knee replacements and back surgery in the last year; in an interview with Rolling Stone in February, he described his last tour with the band as "pure hell" due to pain.

Most recently, Clemons collaborated with Lady Gaga on her Born This Way album, playing sax on the singles "The Edge of Glory" and "Hair" and performing with the pop star on the May 25 American Idol season finale.

While Clemons hasn't played with the E Street Band since December, he was scheduled to perform the National Anthem at the NBA Finals Game Two last week. However, the appearance was nixed at the last minute due to a hand injury; Clemons watched in the stands instead.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Buffalo Springfield To Launch 30-Date Tour This Fall

Rolling Stone is reporting that Buffalo Springfield will wrap up their seven-date reunion tour with a headlining slot at Bonnaroo tonight (June 11), and then, according to the group's singer and guitarist Richie Furay, fans who missed out on seeing them this time around will have plenty of chances later in the year.

"The plan is to do 30 dates this fall," he said. "The anchors will be Los Angeles and New York. What the other cities are, I can't tell you right now – but we're almost certainly doing Red Rocks."

The plan is to play mostly large theaters, as opposed to arenas and amphitheaters.

"We want to keep it a little more intimate," he says. "Rather than going out and playing a huge something . . . There have been people from Florida, Chicago and Texas saying to me, 'Hey, you gonna come my way?' I have to say that with 30 shows, we're gonna hit those cities."

Furay became a born-again Christian in the mid-1970s, and since 1983 he's worked as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Church in Broomfield, Colorado.

"The church has been very supportive of this tour," he says. "I have an assistant pastor that's doing some of the Sundays and we have a guest speaker come in too. Everybody's taken care of."

The four-day Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee, has one of the most diverse lineups of any festival. In addition to Buffalo Springfield, other artists playing the four-day festival, which ends on Sunday (June 12), include Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widespread Panic, Lil Wayne and Robert Plant.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Video For Paul McCartney's Blue Sway Premieres!

Paul McCartney has recruited award-winning surf filmmaker Jack McCoy to create a music video for his previously unreleased track “Blue Sway.”

Written nearly 20 years ago, McCartney’s never-before released song, “Blue Sway,” will be available for the first time on the bonus audio disc of the special edition of McCartney II. The music video created by McCoy will also be featured on the bonus DVD included in the set. McCartney II will be released on June 14th by MPL and Concord Music Group.

Jack McCoy has been capturing the surfing vision in a truly unique way. Using a high powered underwater jet ski, the filmmaker found that he was able to travel behind a wave, creating underwater images that have never been seen before.

“About two and a half years ago I was introduced to this high speed scooter and immediately started to develop it into a tool that would allow me to capture the underwater world I’ve been watching myself for years. Now I’m free to not only track the action, but get to places underwater quicker and show things I’ve never been able to film in the past.”

Being able to travel up to approximately 10 miles underwater, McCoy’s HD camera is mounted to the top of the scooter and is designed to be able to tilt up or down, as well as spin 360 degrees, to allow him to film extraordinary angles.

Over the past couple of years, McCoy set out to capture footage for his surf film, A Deeper Shade of Blue, which opens this June at the Maui Film Festival. During the editing process, McCoy put one of his surfing sequences to a song off McCartney’s The Fireman album. A mutual friend, Chris Thomas, saw the footage while visiting McCoy in Australia, and when he returned to the UK he gave McCartney a copy of the sequence.

“Paul was pretty stoked with what I'd created. He immediately thought my images might be suitable to go with his unreleased song 'Blue Sway' and asked if I would like to have a listen. When I heard it, I started dancing around the room because I could imagine editing my shots to the song,” said McCoy.

McCoy spent the next six weeks creating the music video, while also working full days on making A Deeper Shade of Blue. McCoy compiled and edited footage that he filmed off Tahiti's Teahupoo reef to create what became the “Blue Sway” video. The final result was exquisite.

“When I saw Jack McCoy’s underwater surfing footage put to the soundtrack of 'Blue Sway,' I was blown away,” said McCartney.

“Blue Sway” won 'Best Music Video' at NYC BE FILM Short Festival this past May, and the video will be featured as part of Surfrider Foundation’s summer PSA campaign. Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

Check out the Blue Sway clip here: