Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

Eric Clapton / Give Me Strength The '74/'75 Recordings Box Set

Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings is a 5CD+ Blu-ray Audio box set that celebrates the period between April 1974 and June 1975 when Eric Clapton produced the studio albums 461 Ocean Boulevard and There’s One In Every Crowd, as well as the live double set E.C. Was Here.

All three of those albums are included in this box set are remastered, expanded form, and all include previously unreleased session outtakes or unheard live performances.

461 Ocean Boulevard includes four previously released outtakes (including a couple of versions of Getting Acquainted), whilst amongst the bonus offerings on There’s One In Every Crowd are two unreleased session tracks Burial and Fools Like Me, and both sides of the Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door single.

E.C. Was Here is not only remastered, but REMIXED, and expanded across two CDs, with numerous unissued extras such as versions of Layla, Crossroads and Little Wing.

The fifth CD is taken up with Clapton’s sessions with blues guitarist and singer Freddie King. Originally recorded for King’s Burglar album, four tracks are featured here, including a previously unreleased 22-minute version of Gambling Woman Blues

Rare and out-of-print 5-CD/1 blu-ray audio disc box set featuring:

  • A 60-page hardbound book with extensive liner notes and packed with rare photos and behind-the-scene images.
  • Rare, unreleased outtakes from 461 Ocean Boulevard and There’s One In Every Crowd.
  • E.C. Was Here remixed and expanded features live tracks from Long Beach Arena (including unreleased versions of CrossroadsI Shot The SheriffLayla and Little Wing), the Hammersmith Odeon, Nassau Coliseum and Providence Civic Center.
  • The Freddie King Criteria Studio Sessions featuring the previously unreleased versions of ‘Boogie Funk‘ and the full unreleased 22 minute version of ‘Gambling Woman Blues.’
  • A blu-ray disc featuring a new 5.1 Surround Sound mix of 461 Ocean Boulevard and original quadrophonic mixes of 461 Ocean Boulevard and There’s One In Every Crowd.
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Bluegrass/Americana duo Mandolin Orange perform “Golden Embers” Live at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in Boone, North Carolina

Watch the performance of “Golden Embers” by the North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange, from their forthcoming album Tides of a Teardrop, due out February 1st on Yep Roc Records.

Andrew Marlin says, “Golden Embers” is a song I wrote to my Dad about my Mom’s passing. I love how the arrangement begins very stripped down to hit home the intimacy of the subject and then explodes with weight as the band comes in later.”

Band Members
Andrew Marlin & Emily Frantz

Cherry Glazerr return with the mature 'Daddi' from their new album

Cherry Glazerr‘s last album Apocalipstick was an absolute blast of a record, that saw the Clementine Creevy-led act exploding into a more well-rounded sound. They’ve now announced the follow up: it’s called Stuffed & Ready and comes out on February 1st through Secretly Canadian. Speaking about the development between records, Creevy says: “With Apocalipstick, I was an over-confident teenager trying to solve the world’s problems. With Stuffed & Ready, I’m a much more weary and perhaps a more cynical woman who believes you need to figure your own self out first.”

That weariness is certainly audible in lead single ‘Daddi’, where a relatively restrained Cherry Glazerr weave through an bruised blue, electronics-imbued verse, Creevy asking all sorts of worrying and untoward questions. This turmoil comes rocketing to a head in the chorus, where the band gives us their trademark guitar detonation, but this time the message is clear and confronting: “don’t hold my hand/ don’t be my man.” It’s a coercive sign of what’s to come on Stuffed & Ready.

‘Daddi’ also comes with an animated video, created with Danny Cole, the creative director for Portugal. The Man.

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Last time we heard from singer songwriter Billie Marten was back in September when she released the delightfully morbid track ‘Mice’. She returns with ‘Blue Sea, Red Sea’, which sees her feeling equally dejected and out of sorts  but fortunately this is the zone from which she writes her most poignant songs. Speaking of ‘Blue Sea, Red Sea’, she says:

I get S.A.D disorder real bad so my head was a bit blue. I decided to sit and write the happiest, simplest pop song I could. I was really missing my family at the time and felt like I needed to fall into a clear blue sea or something. I liked the idea of the Jewish pilgrimage to the Dead Sea, where salt strips your skin clean and everything is new again.”

This combination of forcing herself to write a happy song when in a low mood has created an interesting result; like sun shining through rain to create a rainbow, ‘Blue Sea, Red Sea’ manages to capture a broad spectrum of feelings and colours. Billie Marten’s imagery and thoughts flip from the beautiful to the hollow on a moment’s notice: “snow is falling heavy/ wish my mother would come and get me.” These varied emotions ping pong around the flutteringly gorgeous track, until she reaches the carefree “la la la” chorus that carries away in a stream of weary satisfaction.

For nearly ten years Restorations have been writing heavy-hitting, guttural rock with gargantuan riffs filtered through a thick, noisy wall of sound. They fearlessly examine the human condition through the lens of seasoned Philly punks.

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Band Members 
Dave Klyman – Guitar and Keys
Ben Pierce – Guitar and Keys
Jon Loudon – Vocals and Guitar
Dan Zimmerman – Bass
Jeff Meyers – Drums
released November 6th, 2018

Recorded on October 15th, 2018 in Chicago, IL.

The classic “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” album that was released in August of 1974. It was highly praised..and rightly so!

Feats Don’t Fail Me Now was the fourth, and some say, the best album of Little Feat’s career. Although trying to pick the band’s finest LP would be akin to picking one’s favourite finger. Each Little Feat record from the Lowell George period could be deemed just as important as the one which preceded it or followed afterwards. 1973’s Dixie Chicken may be their most critically celebrated and best remembered (it was the band’s highest charting effort), although no self-respecting fan could do without owning at least the group’s first six studio albums, along with the superb double live LP Waiting For Columbus.

Whether Feats Don’t Fail Me Now is their finest effort or not, now more than forty years after the fact, is irrelevant. What it is however, is a damn fine collection of intelligent tunes, crafted to perfection by Paul Barrére (guitar), Sam Clayton (percussion), Kenny Gradney (bass), Richie Hayward (drums), Bill Payne (keyboards), and of course Lowell George himself on guitar and vocals. Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt also lend a hand on backing vocals, along with Tower Of Power providing horns.

From the sultry, humorous opener of “Rock And Roll Doctor,” to the intricately sprawling “Medley: Cold Cold Cold/Tripe Face Boogie,” which brings the LP to a satisfying finish, practically everything on here is first rate.

The country-funk of “Oh Atlanta” rolls along just nicely, thanks to some stellar slide guitar reminiscent of Mick Taylor on “Silver Train,” while the funky “Skin It Back” is in a class all by itself. Somehow Little Feat managed to tap into the American music well far deeper than many of their contemporaries. The rhythm section stays on the offbeat throughout the bluesy slide-fest of “Down The Road” (not to be confused with the Stephen Stills song of the same name), before Lowell lends his smooth as silk vocals to “Spanish Moon,” the one song which, despite its sheer excellence, inexplicably failed to register on the public radar.

The title track is about as much fun as one can have without frolicking through the hay with the local farmer’s daughter, before the band unleash their considerable jazz-rock-fusion skills via the “The Fan,” where each member crams as much as they can within the space of four minutes. Complex off-beats: . Tricky slide guitar:  Keyboard solo: . Basically this track has it all when it comes to both arrangement and musical dexterity.

What Little Feat proved was that critical acclaim doesn’t necessarily translate into successful sales figures. And if they were frustrated then, imagine how they’d be feeling now, today, when sophisticated music is about as underground as it gets, usurped by the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Ed Sheeran.

To say that Feats Don’t Fail Me Now is one of those albums which has improved with age would be an insult to anyone who bought it back in the day. As always the illustration art by Neon Park is delightfully absurd, depicting Marilyn Monroe and George Washington. Priceless, as is the music itself.

“The Fan’

This epitomizes the “cracked mosaic” song construction Payne and George excelled at; they co-wrote it. The music ignites its fractured beats; the lyrics are both mesmerizing and off-putting. What did George see when he looked out from the stage, went back to his hotel where the girls gathered? The ‘tude here recalls the Mothers’ sneering Suzy Creamcheese. But the band soars deep into a richly textured soundscape, with solos as startling as lightning bolts.

“Spanish Moon”

Produced by George’s old pal Van Dyke Parks, this marks an interesting sidepath the band never quite followed farther down a sort of Sly Stone-meets-the-Meters funk with swaggering horns and keyboard squiggles over a muscular bass line, virtually modal as it elides chords. It’s dark and catchy and textured. And it makes you wonder what Allen Toussaint’s horn charts for parts of this album—those were the tapes George left on a train—might’ve sounded like.

“Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”

Road tunes have been a rock staple ever since it melded blues and country, and this ranks high among them. Once more George lifts lyrics from old roots tunes and builds a sardonic apocalypse around them. The psychological feel of roadburn, reflected in how the hammer-down section pauses for breath at the glorious sunrise, is intense, almost ecstatic; the ensemble vocals evoke gospel quartets. Running on the road can be a voyage of discovery as well as escape, with moments of epiphany and even transcendence possible around each bend. Spurred by the limber rhythm section and the razor-sharp interplay between Payne’s piano and George’s slide, this cut reaches for emotional revelation.

“Medley: Cold Cold Cold/Tripe Face Boogie”

An artist’s obsessions can suck for those around him but yield great things. Determined to capture Little Feat’s high-energy stage show in the studio, George pulled together two tunes from ‘Dixie Chicken’, and the group tore into the challenge with a ferocious vengeance. The pacing is exquisite as they nimbly frame Payne’s gripping keyboard breakdown and transition to George’s frenetic but taut solo, building tension to its patented dog-whistle finale—an almost impossible feat without his rig.

‘Feats Don’t Fail Me Now’ remains this band’s outstanding studio achievement. A few of the songs, like this one, were remakes: the obsessive George famously kept redoing songs until they were perfect… but they never were. Which is why some appeared multiple times in Little Feat’s relatively short discography. This album was as close as he’d come to perfection for these tunes.

The band was at a musical peak, but George began undermining it—and himself. Like Zappa, he saw himself as an auteur; by this point, the others, writing as many of the tunes and wanting more input, started to see an out-of-control control freak. Payne, who was George’s songwriting and musical equal, retreated when he asked to co-produce and was snarled at. But the music they made was so extraordinary it still bonded them.

Bill Payne: keyboards and vocals
Richie Hayward: drums and background vocals
Lowell George: guitars, vocals and production
Ken Gradney: bass (do not be decieved or take lightly this bit of musicianship that one describes simply as bass)
Sam Clayton: percussion and vocals
Paul Barrere: guitars, vocals
Gordon Dewitty: clavinet on Spanish Moon
Background Vocals: Emmy Lou Harris, Fran Tate, Bonie Raitt

Feats Don’t Fail Me Now is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1974.

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Camp Cope’s newest album How To Socialise & Make Friends released on March 2nd 2018. The follow up to their 2016 self-titled debut kicks off with the instantly remarkable bass line of “The Opener,” an explosive diatribe against the sexist double standards of the music industry at large. What follows the lead single are a collection of songs that anchor on the cycles of life, loss and growth through resilience and those moments of finding and being yourself. The second album from the Australian trio hums with rage and retribution, executed with biting specificity and vast emotional range by singer Georgia Maq.

Throughout the nine songs on How To Socialise & Make Friends it becomes clear that if their debut was the flame, this is Camp Cope rising from the ashes, stronger and more focused than ever. Camp Cope wrote How to Socialise before the #MeToo movement really took off. But reckonings don’t just fall out of the sky, and not since the alt-rock boom of the ’90s has music felt more ripe for a revolution. Camp Cope’s windswept punk feels both retro and right now, like Courtney Barnett covering Tigers Jaw covering Ani DiFranco. Their sound is jangly but unpolished, folky but not crunchy. Maq’s voice, decorated with Australian diphthongs, ably meanders from shouty to soft, conjuring an inexplicable mashup of Joe Strummer and Joni Mitchell.

‘Sagan-Indiana’ track taken from ‘How To Socialise & Make Friends’ LP/CD/Digital via Poison City Records.

Blue Rose Code is Edinburgh-born songwriter Ross Wilson. At the edge of contemporary alt-folk, Wilson’s music evokes a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records.

A new EP double A-side single ‘Red Kites/I Will Lay You Down’, featuring three new songs and a stunning live performance of rarely played live, fan-favourite, ‘Where The Westlin’ Winds Do Carry Me’ from the TWOL launch 2017.

NICKY HOPKINS – Session Man

Posted: November 10, 2018 in MUSIC
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If there were a Top Ten of Rock Sidemen/Session men, Nicky Hopkins would be near the top of the list. Compelled out of health issues to work as a sideman early in his career, he became one of the premier keyboard players in the business. For over thirty years, he was the invisible piano virtuoso behind a legion of Rock bands, As the most in-demand player when a band needed his keyboard artistry to embellish their work. Hopkins worked with the creme de la creme of Rock groups (and their members): the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, the Jeff Beck Group, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, the Steve Miller Band, the Jerry Garcia Band, and individually, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. He also worked with Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart, Joe Walsh Gene Clark, Badfinger, and Joe Cocker among others.

Just a few of his mind-blowing contributions: “Salt of the Earth,” “We Love You,” “She’s A Rainbow,” “Stray Cat Blues,” “Street Fighting Man,’ “Gimme Shelter,” “Angie,’ “No Expectations,” “Cool, Calm. Collected,” 2,000 Light Years From Home,” “Child of the Moon,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” (organ), Jigsaw Puzzle, “Sympathy For the Devil,” You Got the Silver,” Monkey Man,” “Honky Tonk Women” ‘Live With Me,” “Stop Breaking Down,” “Shine A Light,” “Sway,” “Ventilator Blues,” ‘All Down the Line,””Tumbling Dice,” “Happy,” “Soul Survivor,” “Dancing Wih Mr. D.” “Fingerprint File,” and “Time Waits For No One,” all with the Rolling Stones. Then there was “Morning Dew,” with the Jeff Beck Group; “Revolution,” (single version) with the Beatles; “Wooden Ships,” and “Eskimo Blue Day,” with the Jefferson Airplane, ” Kow Kow,” and “Baby’s House,’ with the Steve Miller Band, “Barabajagal,” with Donovan, “Just For Love,” and “What About Me,” with Quicksilver Messenger Service; “Photograph,” with Ringo Starr; “Jealous Guy,” with John Lennon; “You Are So Beautiful,” with Joe Cocker; and “You’re In My Heart,” with Rod Stewart. The list goes on: Hopkins was a colossal talent. He never received proper royalties, he never received the recognition he deserved, but what he does have is the utmost admiration of everyone who was ever touched by his brilliant piano work.

This Backing tracks the song “Angie” with Piano player Nicky Hopkins Drums Charlie Watts Bass Bill Wyman. The track Angie was released on the Goat Heads Soup LP. This particular version with no vocal or guitar tracks features Nicky Hopkins on keyboards along with Charlie on the drums and Bill playing bass. “Angie” is about the end of a relationship, a romance gone badly, a lost love Elisa Edelman. It was written and composed primarily by Keith Richards. Urban legend has Mick Jagger writing the song for David Bowie’ s wife but the truth is Keith wrote the song for Anita Pallenberg. Keith had just ended a relationship with Anita. Nicky Hopkins was a long time friend & musical collaborator of the Stones plays a brilliant keyboard track which stands out in the song and along with Jagger’s vocals make’s this a magical song !

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Cable Ties are frenetic lead lines tethered to a hypnotic rhythm section. They take the 3 minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point. Suddenly the garage rock gives way as primitive boogie, kraut and post-punk take things way out to the horizon. Formed in Melbourne in mid 2015, CABLE TIESJenny McKechnie (vocals/guitar), Nick Brown (bass), Shauna Boyle (drums) – have developed a dedicated, cult-like following with just two self-released 7″ singles in their arsenal. A testament to their scorching live show, Who The Hell says this three-piece “could confidently pick you up within the first few bars of a song and hurl you across the room,” with Raven Sings the Blues noting that they’re “tearing into an X-Ray Spex brand of post-punk that’s packed with gnashed teeth and crushed gravel.

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Mid 2016 Cable Ties stepped into an icy warehouse in the dead of winter with Paul Maybury (The Pink Tiles, Rocket Science) to record the eight tracks that would eventually form their debut album. The record captures CABLE TIES in lockstep at the end of their first year of gigging – stretching their songs past breaking point, searching for that joyous rush. McKechnie’s captivating vocals tackle creeps, capitalist propaganda and music industry “tastemakers”. The result is 44 minutes of tense, smouldering punk rock that sits you down, shuts you up, and forces you to listen. Welding punk ferocity to the endless chug of kraut and boogie to produce a formidable rock ‘n’ roll trio.


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