The Cherries Are Speaking—the sixth album released by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Dan Knishkowy as Adeline Hotel—begins and ends with lyrics from his previous two records, respectively. “Holy visions” surfaced first on the mournful acoustic ballad “Ordinary Things,” a rare, stripped-down moment on his folk-rock opus Solid Love from last May. “Good timing,” in turn, is the eponymous lyric from the critically acclaimed follow up, released in March of this year—and one of its only lyrics, too, since the record is largely a suite of layered acoustic guitars.

The original context for these phrases hint at the fresh musical and lyrical ground Knishkowy covers on The Cherries Are Speaking, an interconnected series of miniature baroque pop songs and, quietly, his most ambitious work to date. In the skeleton of its arrangements, the album expounds upon “Ordinary Things”’ minimalism, eschewing the intricate guitar counterpoint of his previous work in favor of piano lines inspired by the breezy melodies of Ethiopian jazz. The playing is often supported by just bass and drums, before pastoral wind and string orchestrations creep in—a breathtaking leap forward for Knishkowy as an arranger—informed at turns by Judee Sill’s neo-classicism and the mystic woodwinds of ‘80s Van Morrison.

On Cherries, Knishkowy creates full mise en scènes within verses, folding autobiographical moments of meditative self-evaluation into imagery from Italo Calvino’s 1957 novel The Baron in the Trees—most importantly, the titular anthropomorphic cherries. The book centres around a boy who makes the decision to live in the trees and engage in a selective relationship with the world around him. Knishkowy found resonances between the character’s self-imposed, imperfect notion of “freedom” and his own unsettled definition of the concept.

“The fundamental question of Cherries is what it means to be apart from the world, but still a part of it,” Knishkowy explains.

The Groundhog’s-Day-like experience of life in relative isolation feels built into the form of the album, too, with each song beginning like another morning breaking in a week without days. If there was a certain pandemic-era irony to the phrase “good timing” before, Cherries instead explores a more sincere reading. The recurrence of the titular line on “We Go Outside,” brings a break in musical tone, like a breath of fresh air after too many neurotic hours in the apartment (“It was all I could stand of myself / we go outside” followed by “we go outside / good timing”).

The Cherries Are Speaking’s recapitulations of and daring shifts away from Knishkowy’s previous work feed into its musical and thematic depth, which speaks far beyond the real-world context of its writing. The album is a bold but unforced gesture from an artist whose creative lifeblood is the sense of constantly pushing forward, creating new links in a daisy chain of a discography which seems to compound upon itself in significance with each new entry.

Dan Knishkowy – piano, vocals, mellotron
Andrew Stocker – bass
Caitlin Pasko – vocals
David Lackner – saxophones, flute, clarinet
Eric D. Johnson – vocals
Macie Stewart – violin
Sean Mullins – drums & percussion
Vivian McConell- vocals

Words & music by Dan Knishkowy

Released October 22nd, 2021

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John Murry’s third album is starlit and wondrous, like being wrapped in the softest black velvet. It’s an album of startling imagery and insinuating melodies, of cold moonlight and searing heat. It’s a record that penetrates to the very heart of you, searing with its burning honesty, its unsparing intimacy and its twisted beauty.

Murry’s previous two albums had been responses to specific traumas: the centrepiece of his debut, ‘The Graceless Age’ – the astonishing ‘Little Colored Balloons’ – told of his near death from a heroin overdose; its follow-up, ‘A Short of History of Decay’, was recorded in the wake of Murry’s marriage failing. ‘The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes’, coming six years after Murry left the US for Ireland, is the result of a period of stability, though in Murry’s case it’s all relative (“I think a lot of what we call contentment is delusional,” he observes).

The result is a record that shares its predecessors’ lyrical ingenuity, but this time the sadness is shot through with humour, albeit a spectacularly black humour. “Of course I’d die for you,” opens the title track. “You’d watch me, wouldn’t you?” ‘I Refuse To Believe You Could Love Me’ has Murry venturing into the realm of unexplained disappearances – an English aristocrat and an Australian politician: “Lord Lucan, he could not tread water / Prime Minister Holt? He never came up for air.

The humour combines with seriousness, too. The album’s lead single, ‘Oscar Wilde (Came Here to Make Fun of You)’ is allusive and elusive, with Murry singing: “Tell me: what immortal hand or eye / Is gonna give a damn enough to cry / When every day is like huffing lighter fluid / Take me to Reading Gaol with Oscar Wilde / I’ll get used to it. / Lock me up in Clerkenwell prison / I’ll blow a hole right through it.” The playfulness is reflected in the video, directed by the actor Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones/Peaky Blinders/The Wire).

“We had been talking about various ideas for videos for a while,” Gillen says, “And I had this idea of John floating around my house – or did that happen in real life? – anyways I liked the idea of a John puppet floating around upside down and mentioned this to him, His ex had made this puppet with an uncanny likeness and I used whatever technology I had to hand – a phone camera, a stabilising gimbal and a two-euro macro lens to try and make something that looked nice for the puppet part. I mean, it’s not all in focus, but there a bit too much of that these days. I was asked for the puppet back, but I’d already lost it somewhere.”

The seriousness comes from the song’s opening: “I bought fertiliser and brake fluid / Who in the hell am I supposed to trust? / Sympathy ends in gas chambers / Oklahoma City shoulda been enough.” It’s one of the many moments on the record where violence – emotional or physical – rears up, but there’s a point to that: “All of the violence in the songs, it’s not to glorify it. Oklahoma City really should have been enough. These things are going on and on in the United States.”

There’s a reason for the volatility in Murry’s writing. “Violence has been a big part of my life,” he says. “It has been inflicted on me in ways that I was unable to control as a teenager, and as a child. I grew up in a place that was violent. I grew up in Mississippi. I grew up in a way that forced me, in order to survive in a culture like that, to posture. You don’t realise until later that that becomes a part of the way you see the world. The world becomes this intrusive thing and you’re protecting yourself against it. I also realised early on that if you don’t fight you’re just going to have to fight more.”

Key to this was his relationship with his adoptive family (“They didn’t adopt me; they bought me. I had a very abusive childhood”), relatives of the writer William Faulkner, which led to the final verse of ‘Di Kreutser Sonata’: “I will prune this family tree / Cause there’s nothing left but greed / Blood money and property / Love doesn’t mean a thing / When your last name is Murry / And / Should been swindle.”

“I think I’m probably telling the truth there,” Murry says. “The part about swindle, that actually would have been my last name [had he stayed with his birth family]. The second half of that song I just kind of made up while I was in there. Some of the lines I was amazed they came. I know I would censor that now. I would change it. I don’t know that I feel good about that, but I don’t feel bad about i t either. I don’t know that I really like that line, because I don’t know that it’s all that good. It’s a weird way to end the verse. But it’s there and it’s OK. Sometimes it’s OK to let these things rest and to accept you’re imperfect.”

With such lyrical vulnerability, the need for trust when they recorded at Rockfield Studio near Monmouth in Wales early in 2020 was total, and Murry found that bond with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Aldous Harding, This Is the Kit). “Trust matters a great deal,” he says. “All my mad ideas, John would facilitate those fully, and get the value of them.”

John works instinctively and openly in the studio, and his songs are uncomfortably honest and revealing at times,” Parish says. “I think he encourages co-conspirators. He’s quick to identify & enlist whatever skills are in the room at any one time. I hope that I gave him the freedom to pursue outlandish ideas, and the confidence to know that someone was keeping track of them and would know how to fit the puzzle pieces together.

John is a unique character, as you’ll know If you’ve spent five minutes with him. He is interested and distracted by everything, which makes him both a fascinating and frustrating person to work with. On many occasions the hardest part of my job was to identify the moment when all that was to be said about an idea had been said and it was now time to play the damn thing. John can keep a pretty riveting stream of consciousness going for as long as you’ve got.”

Together they brought out what was needed on ‘The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes’: the simple pleasures of playing guitar figures, of working with sympathetic people, of playing music that has the same ragged looseness of Murry’s inspirations and fellow Mississipians RL Burnside and Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound, Oblivians). No one would mistake it for a blues or garage punk record, but there’s that same organic sense to its rumbling guitars and contained wildness, nurtured by Parish.

One of the record’s delights is a stark and subdued version of Duran Duran’s ‘Ordinary World’, and it’s not surprising, perhaps, that a song about someone looking for the ordinary world in order to learn to survive might resonate with Murry. Has he found his own ordinary world? “In a sense I have,” he says. By which he means he has accepted his place in life is to make music, and what is important is the making of it, rather than what results might be. “I realise now I can come back from things like trauma and the decisions I have made. Ordinary for me has become just a matter of accepting who I am relative to what I do. I’ve pulled out each and every one of my ribs at night when I sleep. I don’t need God to do it.

“That song was about Simon Le Bon being in a grocery store. I didn’t know that until later. He realised that he was no longer famous in that way. He was shopping and realising, ‘I need to do this stuff on my own and figure out how to do it.’ Everything seemed surreal to him. I think in a similar way, I’ve been through the things I’m going to go through, so at this point I feel like I’ve moved through creating records that are about trauma. I’ve worked through those things.”

So, living in the ordinary world, does John Murry think he will ever be happy? “In everyday life, contentment is a goal. But William Faulkner said happiness is for vegetables. Is it? That would be incredibly bleak, and I don’t think it’s true. But is it not egoistic for us to seek contentment when we live in a world where we know there are children who are being paid to kill other people by American private corporations? I do think that as the world becomes a place that we look out into and see as being disrupted and as disrupting more and more of our lives, that we retreat into this idea of ‘find your bliss’. And I’m not sure how close that is to contentment or happiness. That’s the ordinary world.”

‘The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes’ is not an album for an ordinary world, because it’s not an ordinary album. It’s an album to dive deep into and submerge yourself in, and to emerge from aware that this world is a remarkable place, and that John Murry is a remarkable artist.

‘The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes’ is released June 26 on Submarine Cat Records

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“Think I’m Going Weird: Artefacts From The British Psychedelic Scene” 5CD box set (Grapefruit UK)

Grapefruit’s landmark 100th release.

A definitive overview of the British psychedelic scene, an epic five-CD/book set that includes more than 50 minutes of previously unreleased music from the halcyon period 1966-68.

Including the major acts of the era (The Who, Traffic, Small Faces, The Move, Procol Harum, Incredible String Band, Family, Crazy World of Arthur Brown etc), ‘Think I’m Going Weird: Original Artefacts From The British Psychedelic Scene 1966-68’ features many bands who also played London’s underground dungeons during the Summer Of Love.

Featuring studio demos from the likes of Tintern Abbey, The Soft Machine, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, Genesis, Mandrake Paddle Steamer, Dantalian’s Chariot and others plus numerous cult 45s (July, Caleb, Vamp, Blossom Toes, Sweet Feeling, etc) and fascinating album cuts from such scene stalwarts as Tomorrow, Fairport Convention, Kaleidoscope, The Deviants and Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera.

Perhaps most enticingly of all, the collection includes a number of hitherto-unknown recordings by bands who are only now gaining their first public exposure including Eyes Of Blond, Tinsel Arcade, Crystal Ship (whose contribution features lyrics from Pete Brown) and the semi-mythical 117, such a legendary name from the era’s handbills and posters that they even had a UK psych fanzine named after them in the ‘90s.

A dazzling feat of licensing and research, ‘Think I’m Going Weird…’ comes in a 60-page A5 book format with 25,000-word track-by-track annotation with some extraordinary and rare photos and memorabilia.

For anyone even remotely interested in British psychedelia, it’s simply an essential purchase.

BBC Sessions 1982-1984 (rsd 21)

It’s been 31 years since the last Sisters of Mercy album. 31 Years. 1990. The Band have had stellar careers, toured everywhere, split up, reformed, split again, did another mega tour, did rehab in that time. Sometimes’s twice. Yet still no new material from the figureheads of the early 80’s goth rock/metal scene in all that time yet they never split up. Andrew Eldritch, once described as the “Godfather of Goth” has always hated being associated with the Goth movement despite being its leading proponent. He once said that all he had to do was “wear black socks to be the demon overlord”. He won’t be the first artist to publicly state they are not what the public assumes they are. Labels stick no matter how much you protest.

Two of the sessions were with admired radio broadcaster John Peel. includes early versions of the singles ‘Walk Away’ and ‘No Time To Cry’ that would end up on their debut ‘First and Last And Always’. includes covers of the Stooges ‘1969’, Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ & Hot Chocolate’s ‘Emma’. this title charts their earliest days as an indie band in 1982 to the time they signed to Warner Records in 1984. it will all be available on smoky vinyl.

  1. john peel session 1982:
  2. 1969, 2. alice, 3. good things, 4. floor show
  3. david “kid” jensen session 1983:
  4. heartland, 2. jolene, 3. valentine, 4. burn
  5. john peel session 1984:
  6. walk away, 2. poison door, 3. no time to cry, 4. emma

Formed in 1980 in Leeds by Eldritch on drums with Gary Marx on guitar they released one single before adding bass player Craig Adams and the only other constant in the whole Sisters Of Mercy saga through the years, replacing Eldritch on drums, Doktor Avalanche. Avalanche was a drum machine and despite several changes in actual hardware, it had remained faithful to the band ever since. The band’s reputation began to grow and their singles started to make an impact in the right music papers and by 1982 their reputation was such that they recorded their first John Peel show session.

This new compilation of those sessions, from 82 and 84 sandwiched around a David “Kid”Jensen set from 1983 collects them all together in one tidy set. Their major-label debut came a year later in 1985 for WEA so this as with the majority of Peel sessions set is a band in the raw. The basis of the finished product without the edges polished and smoothed as much as possible to fit the corporate machines.

A favourite cover from the bands live set, The Stooges “1969”, opens with Edritch doing his best to out-Iggy Iggy which of course can’t be done. “Alice”, “Good Things” follow before the killer track of that first set “Floorshow” with a beat to die for. It’s all raw and the production could be better – what Peel session couldn’t let’s be honest but given the quick turnaround perhaps they could be forgiven – yet the early signs were looking good.

Six months later and the difference is marked. The 70’s US garage rock-meets-Joy Division sound had been polished somewhat. Eldritch’s deep baritone voice comes into its own, gone are the screams that peppered some of the first set. Less is more and no more noticeable on “Heartland”, a sign of the band maturing but then comes a version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” which just has to be a piss-take. Just no. “Valentine” slow, moody groove returns things to a more sane footing.

While Eldritch’s vocals are as distinctive of the Sisters Of Mercy sound it’s also the guitars of Marx and Ben Gunn together with Adams’ bass rumbles that while they may not be worthy of axe welding hero worship they are mesmerising but by the final set Gunn had been replaced by Wayne Hussey and the final piece in the Sisters Of Mercy jigsaw was in place.

Hussey brought with him a different dynamic to the guitar sound of the band, if anything a more hard rock feel. There is a sense in the 84 Peel set of a band more confident in the material, more assured in its direction, possible due to Hussey’s additional contributions to the song writing, While the aforementioned “Jolene” might have been possibly the worst cover of the song ever in total contrast the same cannot be said for their cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Emma”. Listen to the guitar underlying backing providing sonic angst to Edritches emotionally desperate vocal.

With the early days over, next came the superb debut major-label album “The First and Last And Always”, an acrimonious split, legal battles over the name and a new version of the band. Two more albums followed “Floodland” – Eldritch playing everything with Patrician Morrison on bass and a cameo from Jim Steinman and “Visions Thing” which veered more toward a more rock sound than the goth they were known for. An ill-fated US tour with Public Enemy preceded the major falling out with Sisters Of Mercys label East West which put paid to any new material with Eldritch effectively on strike claiming record label “incompetence”.

And that was that. Despite playing live over various tours down the years, new material has only been heard in a live setting so this new release even if it’s old material but not widely available, collecting the early sessions is a welcome addition. While the packaging may be basic, a suitably gothic black gatefold cover, no booklet with just the essential details it can sit proudly as an archive to the early days of the Godfathers of Goth.

The Sisters Of Mercy – BBC Sessions 1982-1984 (BBC/Warners 2021)

The Sisters of Mercy - BBC Sessions 1982-1984 (BBC/Warners 2021) Review
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Mike Bloomfield “The Gospel Truth” 2CD set of rarities, hits and unreleased live tracks (Sunset Blvd)

New 2 CD set, a combination of rarities, hits & previously unreleased live recordings.

Michael Bloomfield was one of America’s first great white blues guitarists, earning his reputation on the strength of his work in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. His expressive, fluid solo lines and prodigious technique graced many other projects — most notably Bob Dylan’s earliest electric forays — and he also pursued a solo career, with variable results.

Uncomfortable with the reverential treatment afforded a guitar hero, Bloomfield tended to shy away from the spotlight after spending just a few years in it; he maintained a lower-visibility career during the ’70s due to his distaste for fame and his worsening drug problems, which claimed his life in 1981.

During the late ’70s, Bloomfield recorded for several smaller labels (including Takoma), usually in acoustic settings, authentic and personal. Disc 2 features a previously unreleased 1971 concert from the archives.

[CD1: Best Of Acoustic & Electric Sessions]
1. Michigan Water Blues
2. Frankie And Johnny
3. Hitch-Hike On The Possum Trot Line
4. Pleading Blues
5. Papa-Mama-Rompah-Stompah
6. Effinonna Rag
7. The Gospel Truth
8. You Took My Money
9. Lights Out
10. Junker’s Blues
11. It’ll Be Me
12. Snowblind
13. Peepin’ An A Mornin’ Blues
14. At The Cross
15. Hilo Waltz
16. Guitar King
17. My Children, My Children (I Call You)
18. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

[CD2: In Concert]
1. If You See My Baby
2. Poor Kelly
3. Statesboro Blues
4. You Won’t See Me
5. She’s Mine
6. Come Back Baby
7. Driftin’ and Driftin’

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Prog legends Emerson, Land & Palmer will release a new 10 LP/seven disc live box set in October.

Prog legends Emerson Lake & Palmer were one of the early supergroups (formed from the roots of The Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster in 1970) and cemented their legacy in the first half of the 70s. Often overblown, they stripped away much of the blues, soul and psychedelia from rock music, playing classical music like an insane robot. Immensely popular and rightfully so . ELP split at the end of the decade and reformed a number of times.

There is quite a live legacy, as the number of official live albums show. And while the 4 multi-disc box sets in the Official Bootleg series filled many a gap, the quality was often ropey at best. This album is just wonderful from the moment you open it up. Out of the box comes a booklet and five live albums in card sleeves, all gatefold, two of them double sets. That’s the weekend’s listening sorted then.

Out Of This World: Live (1970-1997)” will be released through BMG Records on October 29 as part of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

The new set pulls together five of the biggest and most important shows ELP played across their 50 illustrious years, including their performances at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 and their headline show at the 1974 California Jam. You can view the new artwork and full track lisitng below.

“I could not think of a better way to celebrate this anniversary period for ELP. The box set is one of my proudest moments,” says only surviving member Carl Palmer. “I know Keith and Greg would agree with me! “Out Of This World” is something I will remember for a long time to come. For me, this shows ELP at their very best throughout years of touring and recording. The box set represents the lifeline of our music in our time.” 

Each album has been reimagined with impressive new artwork, reflecting various aspects of the band and their epic, ground-breaking music. The LP box contains 5 x deluxe gatefold double LPs with high quality, fully-restored audio mastering.

Most of the LPs are previously unreleased on vinyl; Phoenix 1997 has never been released. The CDs have been out of print for many years and never released to this standard of artwork and audio. Each set comes complete with a 32-page, glossy photobook, featuring many intimate, rare and unseen images of the band from legendary photographers including Lynn Goldsmith and Neil Preston. Liner notes are provided by Prog Magazine Editor Jerry Ewing.

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The Box Set:

Isle of White Festival 1970 The first set is the band’s debut performance at the August 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival (the DVD now long out of print).

The first set is the band’s debut performance at the August 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival (the DVD now long out of print). Opening track “The Barbarian” (from their eponymous debut) showcases the classical leanings, as much as the band’s technical craft. It’s fast and aggressive. As with much of their music, it is Keith Emerson’s keyboards take the lead. There’s a jazz metal element to Carl Palmer’s drumming too. The second track “Take A Pebble” is a gentler track, featuring vocalist and guitarist/bassist Greg Lake.

The audience response is muted, largely due to the fact that while the names were known, the band and music weren’t, it was a learning experience for everyone. Next up is a 35 minute run-through of Mussorgsky’s “Picture’s At An Exhibition” (which was the basis of a live album in it’s own right a year or two later). It’s a track that has everything; from folky whimsical sections to, at the heavier end, imagine a robot having an epileptic fit while playing rock’n’roll. Marvellous. A take on “Rondo” (The Nice) and a cover of “Nutrocker” close the set. “Rondo” is take from The Nice’s debut a few years earlier, which is often considered the first bone fide progressive rock album. And the disc here is completed by a band interview.

Isle Of Wight Festival, Newport, UK, 29 August 1970
1. The Barbarian
2. Take A Pebble
3. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade Part 1 / The Gnome / Promenade Part 2 / The Sage / The Old Castle / Blues Variation                
4. Pictures At An Exhibition (Continued): Promenade Part 3 / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Curse Of Baba Yaga / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
5. Rondo
6. Nutrocker
7. Interview

California Jam 1974 The second set is the band’s performance at the 1974 Opening track “Toccata” is pretty much a drum solo, then the gentler “Still You Turn Me On“, featuring some nice acoustic guitar from Lake. “Lucky Man” follows suit, and clearly a loved track from the audience cheer. There’s the usual Emerson piano improvisation before the highlight of 2 segments of “Karn Evil 9” (the full track comes form the Brain Salad Surgery album, a staple of any decent record collection).

California Jam, Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, California, USA, 6 April 1974
1. Toccata
2. Still … You Turn Me On
3. Lucky Man
4. Piano Improvisations (Including ‘Fugue’ And ‘Little Rock Getaway’)
5. Take A Pebble
6. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
7. Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression
8. Pictures At An Exhibition: The Great Gates Of Kiev

Works Live 1977 The 3rd set is the double disc Works Live. Although previously released, it has been long out of print. It is the full and expanded show from which the original live set In Concert was taken. This concert is with an orchestra and is stunning

The 3rd set is the double disc “Works Live”. Although previously released, it has been long out of print. It is the full and expanded show from which the original live set “In Concert” was taken. There’s a selection of the usual and classic Emerson Lake & Palmer, coupled with tracks from the two “Works” sets. “C’Est La Vie” is the band although it is effectively a Greg Lake solo track, and the “Peter Gunn Theme” is always good. “Tiger In A Spotlight” gets the head nodding, and Keith Emerson’s take on Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” is excellent too. The sound and mix are good. A highlight is the cover of “Fanfare For The Common Man” (an unlikely hit single for the band). And several tracks feature a 70 piece orchestral.

‘Works Live’, Stade Olympique De Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 26 August 1977
1. Introductory Fanfare
2. Peter Gunn
3. Tiger In A Spotlight
4. C’est La Vie
5. Watching Over You
6. Maple Leaf Rag
7. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits
8. Fanfare For The Common Man
9. Knife-Edge
10. Show Me The Way To Go Home
11. Abaddon’s Bolero
12. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade Part 1 / The Gnome / Promenade Part 2 / The Hut Of Baba Yaga /
The Curse Of Baba Yaga / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
13.Closer To Believing
14. Piano Concerto, Third Movement: Toccata Con Fuoco
15. Tank

Royal Albert Hall 1992 Set 4 is a nicely packaged gig at the Royal Albert Hall, 1992. Newer tracks “Black Moon”, “Paper Blood” and “Romeo & Juliet” sit nicely next to “Tarkus”, “Pirates” and “Fanfare For The Common Man“. Set 4 is a nicely packaged gig at the Royal Albert Hall, 1992, when the band had reformed for an excellent studio album or two. This show I had wanted to go to but it soon sold out. The band are solid, tight and it’s well recorded.

The Royal Albert Hall, London, UK October 1992
1. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
2. Tarkus: Eruption / Stones Of Years / Iconoclast
3. Knife-Edge
4. Paper Blood
5. Romeo And Juliet
6. Creole Dance
7. Still … You Turn Me On
8. Lucky Man
9. Black Moon
10. Pirates
11. Fanfare For The Common Man / America / Rondo

Union Hall Phoenix 1997 (unreleased) The final set here is the 2CD Phoenix Arizona 1997, which showed that ELP still had a solid fanbase. The production is solid and modern,

The final set here is the 2CD Phoenix Arizona 1997, which showed that ELP still had a solid fanbase. The production is solid and modern, although as a general rule the tracks weren’t as long. “Honky Tonk Train Blues” gets a blast, “Take A Pebble” is the longest track on disc one at 8 minutes, and Emerson Lake & Powell’s Touch And Go gets a run out. Disc two is more classic ELP with “Tarkus” running to 12 minutes and “Pictures At An Exhibition” to 24. This is the kind of music prog rock fans live for. And a gem and highlight is the closing track, a medley of “21st Century Schizoid Man” (King Crimson) and “Rondo” (the Nice). This is music you can drink wine and chill out or rock out to, with ease.

Union Hall, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 23 September, 1997
1. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
2. Hoedown
3. Touch And Go
4. From The Beginning
5. Knife-Edge
6. Bitches Crystal
7. Creole Dance
8. Honky Tonk Train Blues
9. Take A Pebble
10. Lucky Man
11.Tarkus: Eruption / Stones Of Years / Iconoclast / Mass 
12. Pictures At An Exhibition: The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
13. Fanfare For The Common Man (including drum solo) / Blue Rondo A La Turk
14. 21st Century Schizoid Man / America

Emerson Lake And Palmer were both classic and classical prog rock and this set is to be really enjoyed. Overblown, self-indulgent and marvellous all the way.

Much of this material has been officially released previously, some in a different format and all long out of print. The packaging is top-notch and there’s a colourful booklet with it too. Well worth your money, and a few hours listening too. A little bit more previously unreleased recorded to the same quality would have been the icing on the cake.

Derek & The Dominos - Live At The Fillmore

The Derek And the Dominos “In Concert” album and its subsequent incarnations is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. The different versions, culled from different shows, make it extremely complicated. Add to this the fact that no one in the audience had yet heard their debut album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs“, because it had not been released at the time of the Fillmore shows, and the story becomes even more tangled. This Derek & The Dominos “Live” album was to support the “Layla” album but it was a little surprising that the only songs were from side three of the Layla album. The other songs were from Eric’s solo album and Blind Faith.
Eric Clapton often said that the best rhythm section he ever played with was Jim Gordon on drums and Carl Radle on bass. They were astonishing but the addition of Bobby Whitlock on keyboards was instrumental in adding a new dimension to this amazing trio.
Clapton’s playing at the time was magnificent, Gordon’s drumming was outstanding and his solo, which was the norm in the 1970s, was masterful on the song “Let It Rain.” Radle and Whitlock could do no wrong and both sounded fantastic.

The Derek And The Dominos live recordings are from the Fillmore East in New York City on October 23rd and 24th, 1970, and capture the band in all their, at times, rampant glory and at others that laid back Southern soulfulness that Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon brought to the band.

Derek And The Dominos “In Concert” was originally released in 1973, nearly two and a half years after the band’s studio album originally had nine songs and running for an hour and a half. The original nine-song double-LP “In Concert” was the first “new” Eric Clapton release in well over a year, It was also, other than Eric Clapton’s “Rainbow Concert” which actually took place in the same month that this set was issued, and was issued eight months later — the only new Clapton material that anyone would see for over a year, as the guitarist struggled through personal turmoil that included heroin addiction. No one who wasn’t personally close to him knew that at the time — this and the “Rainbow Concert “album were issued to keep his name before the public.

At the time, a lot of fans and critics were disappointed by this set.

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Comprised of live performances, “In Concert” never seemed as compelling: for starters, Allman hadn’t been present for either of the shows that was recorded (and, in fact, only appeared at a tiny handful of Dominos performances), which made this a somewhat different band. And what we did get was a much more relaxed and often more soulful, involving body of music, starting with the opening track, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad” and continuing with “Got to Get Better in a Little While”; there was also some disappointment in the sound quality, however, and with the song selection. Despite the fact that they were touring to support the album that carried its name, the group seldom ever performed their most recognizable song, “Layla”; and their repertory was filled out with material from past Clapton projects rather than more material off the Layla album; in effect, the Dominos had become the first Eric Clapton Band, which made this a little less than a live account of this band’s work. It was the hardcore fans who fully embraced this record, mostly for its transcendent moments and the beautiful interplay of the musicians, especially on their own repertory.

The concert album was reissued as “Live At The Fillmore” released not until February 22nd, 1994 with a significantly different running order, and with the addition of four more tracks. In reality, six of the nine tracks released as “In Concert“, and three of its five previously unreleased performances, are different recordings of songs that featured on “In Concert“.  As a trio backing Eric Claptonthe Dominos leave the guitarist considerable room to solo on extended numbers, five of which run over ten minutes each. Clapton doesn’t show consistent invention, but his playing is always directed, and he plays more blues than you can hear on any other Clapton live recording.

In 2011, on the 40th anniversary super deluxe edition of “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”, the running order was back to the original “In Concert” edition plus the extra four tracks, while utilizing different versions of “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Let it Rain,” and “Tell The Truth” from “Live At The Fillmore”.

For whatever reason, the running order of these concerts were substantially changed. There were two performances on each date and for the late show on October 23rd the concert ran as follows: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Key to the Highway,” “Tell the Truth,” “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Blues Power,” “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Little Wing,” and “Let It Rain,”’ with “Crossroads” as an encore.

For the following night’s second show the set was: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Tell the Truth,” “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Blues Power,” “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” “Key to the Highway,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” “Roll It Over,” and “Let It Rain.” For the encore, there was no “Crossroads” but instead the band played “Little Wing.”

Of the 13 tracks on that 40th-anniversary reissue of “Layla“, there were three tracks recorded on the first night: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Little Wing,” and “Crossroads.” There is no “Layla” on the album because Duane Allman was not there to add his signature slide guitar parts.

The songs not on the band’s studio album but played in concert included “Got To Get Better In A Little While,” from their unreleased second album, which shows perfectly what a tight outfit they were on stage. “Let it Rain,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” and “Blues Power” all come from Eric’s self-titled solo album. Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett wrote the first two songs, while the other is by Clapton and Leon Russell. “Presence of the Lord” was from the Blind Faith album. And then there’s “Crossroads,” a very different, more laid back approach than the more frenetic version by Cream, but one that is full of latent energy. 

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Hooveriii is back with two brand new jams and a fresh 7″ release.. “We wanted something to balance out how heavy ‘Water for the Frogs’ was. The single is light, fun and a good exercise in song writing. Both “Lazy Susan” and “Rules” serve as a sort of sonic court jester to warm you up for what we have coming next.

Having originally been born as a solo drum machine project by Bert Hoover, Hooveriii (pronounced “Hoover Three”) has now evolved into it’s true final form – a six member band adept at creating their own brand of psychedelic space rock. And after almost a decade in, the band release their sophomore album and debut for The Reverberation Appreciation Society, “Water For The Frogs”. Influenced by Iggy’s The Idiot, Bowie’s Berlin records, and Soft Machine, the LP sees the band creating their own version of prog rock, circa 2021.

In 2019, Hooveriii took their live show to Europe for the first time. Bert Hoover shares, “seeing all the old cities and beautiful landscapes while becoming closer as a band had a huge impact on this album. A lot of our favourite music came from the Krautrock scene in Germany from the late 60’s-70’s, and when we had a day off in Furth, Germany, we spent most of it writing the record,” he continues, “we were able to rehearse in an old German bunker that has been converted to rehearsal space. It definitely had a strange energy that helped give this album light.”

Released through The Reverberation Appreciation Society

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Image  —  Posted: October 23, 2021 in MUSIC


Andrew Bird and Lucius were among a slew of high-profile acts who contributed to the recently released track-by-track covers album I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico, and now they have shared an intimate live recording of their take on “Venus in Furs”

“Venus in Furs” wouldn’t be complete without John Cale’s iconic viola solo, so it makes sense that Bird — who’s a bit of a violin legend in his own right would put his own spin on the track, using loop pedals to fill out the live performance as he then plucks the four-stringed instrument like a banjo alongside Lucius’ flawless vocal harmonies. Though nobody could compete with Lou Reed and company, this is one cover that rivals its original.

“Venus In Furs” got another recent at-home cover from Toyah as part of her “Sunday Lunch” YouTube series with husband Robert Fripp

I’ll Be Your Mirror” also includes Kurt Vile & The Violators’ rendition of “Run Run Run,” Iggy Pop and Matt Sweetney’s version of “European Son,” Courtney Barnett’s take on “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” The National’s Matt Berninger covering “I’m Waiting for the Man,” and Sharon Van Etten’s “Femme Fatale” with Angel Olsen.

Also in VU news, The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film By Todd Haynes – Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack, a 2CD and digital soundtrack that features both well-known and rare Velvet Underground tracks, was also released on October 15th, 2021 via Republic Records/UMe.

Curated by the documentary’s director, Todd Haynes, and music supervisor Randall Poster, the album is the official soundtrack for the critically acclaimed Apple Original documentary, The Velvet Underground, which was released in theatre’s and premiere globally Friday, October 15th on Apple TV+.

Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack also features tracks by artists who influenced The Velvet Underground including a live version of “Road Runner” by Bo Diddley; “The Wind,” a doo-wop classic by The Diablos featuring Nolan Strong; and the previously unpublished La Monte Young composition, “17 XII 63 NYC The Fire Is A Mirror (excerpt),” performed by The Theatre of Eternal Music.

Andrew Bird & Lucius perform The Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs” live Listen to “I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute To The Velvet Underground & Nico”