Ernie Ball Music Man – St. Vincent Guitar Signature Model

I get such a kick out of St. Vincent. She is an eclectic, innovative artist. I have seen her live twice at The Beacon Theatre (9/26/12) and The Shubert Theatre (6/20/13 performing with David Byrne and the Brass Band ensemble on the Love This Giant tour.

Ernie Ball Music Man and St. Vincent have collaborated on a signature guitar.

It’s totally rad like Annie Clark and I love that about her artistry.

Photo by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Los Lobos Tandem Release September

I have wondered what was going on with the next Los Lobos studio album. Now I know. The album is called “Gates of Gold”  and will be released on September 25th. You may sample all the tracks on the music player on the 429 Records Los Lobos Web page previously mentioned.

The “Gates of Gold” track listing is as follows:

  1. Made to Break Your Heart
  2. When We Were Free
  3. Mis-Treater Boogie Blues
  4. There I Go
  5. Too Small Heart
  6. Poquito Para Aqui
  7. Gates of Gold
  8. La Tumba Sera El Final
  9. Song of the Sun
  10. I Believed You So
  11. Magdalena

The Gates of Gold recording will be complemented by a new book Los Lobos, Dream In Blue authored by their old friend, Chris Morris, published by The University of Texas Press.

Los Lobos discusses the tandem product release at The Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield, CT.

I look forward to next month’s new Los Lobos content with great anticipation ;) Peace, Ese

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real – The Monsanto Years

Pleasantly surprised by this album. Next PonoMusic download!

Protest Monsanto and what they are doing to people and those that farm the Earth.

“You eat every day and live once” – Michael White

Support Farm Aid 2015, 30 Years Strong!

The PonoPromise

One of the benefits of participating in the PONO Music Gentle Revolution is the PonoPromise. It is a very important commitment to us who purchase on PonoMusic.Com and as stakeholders.

From: Neil Young, CEO PonoMusic

To: The Pono Community

Subject: Free Album Resolution Upgrades

Because we love and appreciate our Pono community of music lovers so much, all music purchased at PonoMusic.com will now be upgraded for FREE when a label offers a higher resolution upgrade of the same recording.

That is the PonoPromise!

People have had to deal with changing and eroding quality formats over the years, starting with vinyl, then eight tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s and now streaming services. Music lovers have been forced to buy or “rent” their music over and over and over again. We here at Pono, think that sucks…. But with Pono, those days are over.

Now, when you buy your favorite music at PonoMusic.com, the PonoPromise means you will never have to purchase it again, ever! If and when a higher resolution album you have already purchased becomes available, it is yours for FREE!

Read How It Works ———> https://www.ponomusic.com/ccrz__CCPage?oId=a201500000BtJ9CAAV&pageKey=product&type=Update

The PonoPromise is in keeping with the Pono mission; making the best sound and the highest resolution available, always. To hear your favorite music the way it is intended to be heard, use the industry leading PonoPlayer, available at Amazon and other retailers. We are offering the PonoPromise to you, our community. You have supported us through purchasing your PonoPlayers and high resolution music at the only hi-res music ecosystem in existence – PonoMusic.com. You are engaged in the Pono community and you are helping us to raise the bar. So through the PonoPromise we say thank you.

Thank you for supporting the Pono mission to preserve music quality in its highest form.

Neil Young and the PonoMusic team

Long Train Runnin’ Doobie Brothers, Just Keep On Pushing Straight Ahead

I caught The Doobie Brothers on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the other night. They were reunited once more with Michael McDonald and performed an extended “Long Train Runnin” which included “Takin It to the Streets”.

They were also joined on keyboards by Bill Payne, co-founder of Little Feat (upper right hand corner). Bill Payne has recorded on several Doobie Brothers albums. Its unfortunate he wasn’t mentioned on the broadcast. I have seen Bill Payne perform four times with Little Feat live and twice with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. He’s a versatile keyboardist and articulate lyricist.

All in all, it’s great to reconnect with The Doobie Brothers. I bought the Pono edition of The Captain and Me which sounds fantastic for a 42 year old album! I have also been savoring the Southbound  “duets” guest star recording done in Nashville.

Screenshot 2015-08-22 21.29.08

My Latest Zen :)

Thanks to WFUV-FM 90.7, THE music discovery Internet radio station, I have a new zen, Villagers.  Villagers is an Irish indie folk band that crafts atmospheric arrangements to often disquieting lyrics, formed by Conor O’Brien in 2008 in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland.

 

Our Musical Journey to Tennessee: Part 1 – Memphis, Home of the Blues, Birthplace to Rock ‘N’ Roll

July was an action packed music month for us. The month started with our vacation trip to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. Stay tuned for other music posts about more music events we experienced in July.

I brought along an essential music book to read on the plane, Mystery Train (Sixth Edition) by authoritative music journalist, Greil Marcus. The synergy of this book fit perfect with the music mission. The first chapter was about Harmonica Frank, 1951 (the year of my birth), Sam Phillips and Sun Studio. The book set the stage for the first leg of the music journey, Memphis. There was also a chapter about Elvis Presley but more about the King of Rock and Roll in Memphis later in this saga. :)

The path of American music discovery

A major goal in the music of our heart has been to visit the four homes (birthplaces) of American music, blues, country, jazz and rock n roll. We had previously visited the birthplace of jazz, New Orléans, Louisiana where we saw Preservation Hall on St. Peters Street.

We journeyed first to Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock n roll. We stayed at the Hampton Inn at 175 Peabody Place a half block away from Beale Street.

The music on Beale Street spirited us out of the  hotel and around the block like a pied piper. We saw two blocks of motorcycles lining the pedestrian thoroughfare.

Bikes on Beale

“I’m walking in Memphis, Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale” Marc Cohn ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Beale Street is a majestic street. We took note of B.B. Kings Blues Club at the top of Beale. We decided to have dinner and catch a show there the next night. We had to pay our respects to the King of the Blues.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Memphis Minnie, B. B. King, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon and other blues and jazz legends played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. As a young man, B. B. King was billed as “the Beale Street Blues Boy”.

We had a fantastic dinner at the Flying Fish the first night. It was rated 4.5 stars. The fish was deeeelicious as my great-nephew Blake loves to say :)

The next day we signed up for a day tour of Memphis at the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. We had a wonderful tour guide. Our first stop was Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. I kept hearing the song, “Graceland” by Paul Simon in my head as we drove to the tourist attraction.

Graceland was a sight to behold. What knocked me out the most about Elvis’s estate was The Jungle Room and the sheer amount of awards he received in his lifetime for music and movies. Truly we were witnessing the King of Rock N Roll’s palace. What an honor it was to see it all.

The next stop on the Memphis tour was Sun Studio. A momentous place where Sam Phillips recorded, Howlin Wolf, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. We didn’t take the studio tour as the place was mobbed. We looked around, took some pictures, bought some souvenirs and got back on the shuttle. Finally got to witness the birthplace of rock n roll.

(RoadTripSports.com photo by Kendall Webb)

I preordered the book that Peter Guralnick has been writing about Sam Phillips for 25 years. My goal is to learn more about Sam Phillips from his close friend.  Peter Guralnick is the definitive Memphis music historian. I can’t wait to get back to Memphis and continue the music discovery.

sphillips

Nashville Skyline  will be Part 2, stay tuned….

Prince joins Tidal and its more than HitNRun!

I am a Tidal HiFi subscriber who is stoked to discover that Prince will be joining Tidal as an exclusive artist. The synergy between Jay-Z, Tidal and Prince represents creativity in the ultimate.

Here’s Jay-Z’s sentiment on the Prince deal.

Both Prince and Tidal share the belief that all creatives should have the opportunity to speak directly to those that love and support them. This partnership with Prince represents Tidal’s philosophy in its truest form, a 1 to 1 connection and direct delivery of artistry to the world.”

HitNRun is named after Prince’s recent string of concert dates where he and 3rd Eye Girl would play surprise shows in select cities.

“After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at Tidal recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry,” Prince said in a statement. “Secondly, Tidal have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion We’ve grown accustomed 2 and We’re Extremely grateful 4 their generous support. ”

Prince’s increase in freedom of expression has been rewarding to experience. I admired when Prince previously teamed with Tidal to premiere his Freddie Gray-inspired protest song “Baltimore” as well as livestream a benefit concert, performed in the Maryland city.