Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Made Up Mind

The second studio album from the stellar Tedeschi Trucks Band is in the can and will be released August 20th, 2013. It is titled Made Up Mind. I genuinely love what this 11 piece ensemble delivers so I am eager to hear some initial cuts. I can see from their recent set lists these songs are being played live ūüėČ

All I can tell you now is what the news release states:

The product is an energetic, powerful album that is both timeless and characteristically difficult to classify.

Made Up Mind
Produced by Jim Scott and Derek Trucks

1) Made Up Mind
2) Do I Look Worried
3) Idle Wind
4) Misunderstood
5) Part of Me
6) Whiskey Legs
7) It’s So Heavy
8) All That I Need
9) Sweet and Low
10) The Storm
11) Calling Out To You

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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Brooklyn Babylon

The music of our heart’s road continually leads¬† me back to Brooklyn, New York. It has been said that Brooklyn is “The Music Capital of the World”. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is an 18 piece steampunk big band that hails from Brooklyn and presents us with interesting dimensionality of sound.

Their second CD, Brooklyn Babylon is a collaboration between the Secret Society leader, Argue and graphic novelist, Danijel Zezelj. Zezelj created the visuals that served as the backdrop for the 2011 Brooklyn Academy of Music world première and conceptualized the fictional story it tells.

I love engaging productions that tell significant stories that expand the consciousness. The babel construction forms a unique visual and aural sound-scape as this video attests.

Sly & The Family Stone Deluxe 4CD Box Set ‘Higher!’

On August 27th, Epic/Legacy, a division of Sony Music will release the Sly & The Family Stone 4CD box set, Higher. 

Featuring 17 previously unreleased track this deluxe edition box set offers the chance to experience the songs you know and love but often in alternate versions, including mono singles, demos, instrumental tracks, live concert and television recordings, and more.

Housed in a colorful slipcase with a lavishly-illustrated 104-page book, the box set will feature 77 tracks, 17 of them previously unreleased.

Three major elements are central to the 104-page book. There is the authoritative liner notes essay written by Jeff Kaliss, author of¬†I Want To Take You Higher: The Life And Times Of Sly & The Family Stone, the group’s only authorized biography. The booklet also contains a comprehensive, lavishly-illustrated timeline compiled by Dutch authorities Edwin & Arno Konings. Nearly 100 entries span from March 15, 1943 (‚ÄúSylvester Stewart is born in Denton, Texas. Six months later, the family moves to Vallejo, California‚ÄĚ) to a final update in late-2012. The Koningses have also contributed track-by-track annotations for all 77 cuts in¬†Higher!¬†The notes contain excerpts from¬†Thank You, the Koningses‚Äô own forthcoming biography of Sly & The Family Stone. (Go to¬†www.slystonebook.com).

David Byrne and St. Vincent – Brass Tactics, Free 5 Song EP

I just love David Byrne & St. Vincent and their brass band choreographed ensemble, Love This Giant. We are ticketed to see them on June 20th at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven.

They have put out a 5-song EP called “Brass Tactics”. It’s available on the¬†Love This Giant website for free, and includes a couple of live tracks from the fall tour which we saw at The Beacon Theatre in New York City on 9/26/12.¬† The free EP has a couple of remixes, and a song David and St. Vincent recorded in the studio that didn’t make it onto the album. You can download that¬†here. They also put together a little video of clips and thoughts about the last tour and the new one to come, which you can see¬†there, as well.

You can find everything (including full tour dates and our new summer merch sale) on LTG.com.

Inside Llewyn Davis Update

MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village
MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival the Grand Prix prize (AKA, second place) went to¬†Joel Coen¬†and¬†Ethan Coen‚Äės ‚ÄėInside Llewyn Davis,‚Äô which tells the story of a folk musician in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s.

I have been enthusiastic about this film since I first discovered its existence. I went out and purchased the book The Mayor of MacDougal Street about Dave Van Ronk on which the fim is based. I read it with a passion I rarely feel from authors.

I was in Greenwich Village yesterday on MacDougal Street actually spending time with our son and family walking about as we admired the sights and the scene.

Here is the new poster for the film, scheduled to début on US screens on December 6, 2013.

I am eager to hear the soundtrack when it is released as I believe¬†T-Bone Burnett has the midas touch when it comes to music. T-Bone Burnett let it slip there would be a series of live music shows performed prior to the film’s release. The music of our heart is all ears for when these performances will be¬†announced, trusting some will be in NYC ūüėČ

 

Legends of the Canyon – Directors Cut

Blues from Laurel Canyon
Blues from Laurel Canyon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henry Diltz is a photographer who has captured through his lenses a unique music history of images. As a resident of Laurel Canyon, California you could say he was in the right place at the right time. Laurel Canyon has significant historic importance to the evolution of folk-rock and songwriter music.

He photographed the most enduring images of the 60s folk-rock stars who lived in LA’s Laurel Canyon. Now Henry Diltz has directed a documentary about the period.¬†Legends of the Canyon, The Directors Cut on DVD will be available on June 11, 2013.

Legends of the Canyon delivers the story of how rock music spawned in the garden of the Hollywood Hills, Laurel Canyon. Many of rock music’s legendary artists of the late 1960′ s brought to life the anthems of a generation in the commune-like setting of these hills. Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, America, Buffalo Springfield and many others feature.

Disc 1 is the documentary film. Disc 2 will be packed with extra bonus features including previously unreleased archive footage:
Henry Diltz’s 8mm silent footage of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Joni Mitchell at Big Bear, CSNY at Balboa Stadium, Woodstock (exclusive footage), silent footage of Stephen Stills in the UK, Byrds at the Troubadour LA.
Exclusive Photo Library including Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, The Byrds, Hendrix, Jim Morrison, The Mamas and Papas, Woodstock and more…Extended interviews with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Ron Stone, Van Dyke Parks and Gerry Beckley
Bootleg footage from Oklahoma ‚ÄúStills Tour‚Ä̬†All releases will also feature a 20 Page Booklet

Photography: Henry Diltz

Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon

Harvey Kubernik (Author), Scott Calamar (Editor), Diltz Henry (Photographer), Lou Adler (Afterword), Ray Manzarek(Foreword)

An excellent book I own and recommend highly is Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon. It is a well researched coffee table sized book that is the perfect companion piece to Legends of the Canyon documentary.

Super Session, Variations on a Theme

The original album, Super Session has begat several variations on a theme. Starting with the original, genius sessions in 1968, then moving through time Al Kooper and Columbia Records (Sony) have shown us the extended value(at times) of more collaboration, live recordings, and remastering efforts.

We begin the Super Session catalogue with the original pressing on vinyl for Columbia Records. I bought this record in the summer of 1968. I took it to high school with me often during senior year (68-69). I played it many days in my art class where we had a hi-fi system for music as a back drop. I played it the last day of high school in the gymnasium as the prom committee decorated for our prom, The Magic Carpet Ride (1969). The blues filled the gym as we seniors reflected on the last day of class. We booked the superstar band from Elektra Records, Rhinoceros to play as our prom band. They were awesome.

1) Super Session, Columbia Records CS 9701, released July 22, 1968

Sony released Super Session as a 24-bit remastered CD on April 8, 2003. I bought a copy and I was disappointed with the result. Yes like most reissues there were extra tracks, even editions of the original tracks without horns (which I abhor). But I found it overkill and a wasted effort.

What frosted my cake even more was that Al Kooper remixed Super Session in 5.1 SACD. But Sony closed the SACD division and this recording along with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Child Is The Father To Man sit on a shelf, collecting dust somewhere. Such a pity.

In late 2004 Al Kooper released this statement:

To the best of my knowledge, based on an unnamed source, the new head of SONY/BMG shut down the 5.1 SACD department and let everyone go. A year and a half ago I remixed¬†Super Session¬†and¬†Child Is Father to the Man¬†for them in 5.1¬†SACD. They both came out incredible and so I mastered them with Bob Ludwig. Now it seems they will languish on the shelves under the current administration of SONY/BMG.,……..Typical, in soooo many ways.”¬†[7]

2) The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, Columbia KGP-6, 1969

I was very excited in 1969 when I read in Rolling Stone Magazine that Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield had a live recording coming out based on the Super Sessions. I haunted To-Ve’s Record Shop in Norwalk until that recording hit the wall rack. I loved the feel of that live recording immensely. It also introduced me to a very young Carlos Santana who stepped in to play for Mike Bloomfield when insomnia placed him in the hospital during the Fillmore West gig.

The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al ...
The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cover painting by Norman Rockwell is mesmerizing. Here is a picture of Al, Norman and Mike together.

3) Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12-13-68, Legacy ‎CK 85278, April 8, 2003

The tapes for Super Session Live (East) were lost for 30 years. Fortunately they were recovered and we have the Fillmore East gigs to listen to now. The sound of the Fillmore East is unequalled in the history of live music recordings. The extra juice of this recording is that Johnny Winter was, if you will excuse the expression, white-hot in those days. Mike Bloomfield introduces Johnny Winter to the audience and he rips it up, Texas blues style.

Michael Bloomfield Documentary Film Project

One of the aspects about Facebook that I relish are the connections we make with the passions we enjoy. I was recently asked to “Like” the Michael Bloomfield Documentary Film Project Facebook Page. I loved the invitation and what I have learned about Michael Bloomfield’s legacy ever since ūüėČ

I am thankful that Bob Sarles and the team at Ravin’ Films are focused on delivering this very important documentary. They have produced some of my most favorite music videos that I have in my music library.¬† The film will be available later this year as a DVD in the Mike Bloomfield box set being produced by Al Kooper for Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music.

Micheal Bloomfield was an exceptional blues cat. I play Super Session just so Michael Bloomfield can happily sting me with his guitar lead on “Albert Shuffle” as well as the other tracks he plays on. The Super Session recording may be 45 years old but it’s truly alive every time I spin it.

When I read the documentary description it gets my juices flowing. B.B. King felt Michael Bloomfield was like a son to him. I can only imagine the reciprocal feelings from Michael. Michael Bloomfield convinced Bill Graham to book B.B. King at the Fillmore West and it became the cross the chasm for the King of the Blues.

Documentary Description

A biographical documentary about the life and music of the late, great blues guitarist Michael Bloomfield. This film features never before seen on camera interviews with artists including Carlos Santana, BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop, Bob Weir, Al Kooper, John Hammond, Barry Goldberg, Sam Lay, Yank Rachel, Mark Naftalin, Nick Gravenites music promoters Bill Graham and Chet Helms and many others.

If you want to know more about Michael Bloomfield I urge you to get a copy of the book, Michael Bloomfield, If You Love These Blues, An Oral History by Jan Mark Wolkin and Bill Keenom. I’ve read it twice. It is an extended series of interviews with family, friends and colleagues. It forms the basis of the documentary.

Boom Box Set and more from The Clash on September 9th

We never let go of that teenage angst, it lives deep inside the male psyche ūüėČ ¬†The Clash embody raw tension with the best of them. The Clash has been hard at work remastering their recordings and packaging up two forthcoming compilations for their fans.

First there will be a box set designed by¬†Paul Simonon to replicate an 80’s boom box. I made a steady habit out of carrying my large Sony AM/FM radio all over the place 1969-1971. It was a predecessor to the boom box craze that hit in the 80’s.

Here is a picture of what comes with The Clash Sound System when you preorder it directly from The Clash Store (Live Nation). You will save $40 versus buying from amazon. Secondly, you are entitled to some exclusive extras. If you are an autograph collector like me you will receive extra with your $169 order (plus shipping/tax)…

  • 3 Exclusive Screen Savers for immediate digital download.
  • Exclusive Canvas Patch: Re-creation of an early Clash SEW ON CANVAS SCREENPRINT approx 18cm x 12 cm – 7 x 5 inches. Printed with Joe’s signature. Paul, Mick and Topper will autograph each piece of canvas. (CLSBN001)

As part of the 12 vinyl CDs you will get,

The Clash Hits Back which features 33 of the band’s iconic tracks, across a 2-CD set. The tracklisting is sequenced from the band’s legendary Brixton Fairdeal show in 1982 and contains the best studio recordings of the full set, plus 8 additional iconic tracks. It comes with the original setlist, handwritten by Joe Strummer which he would tape to the back of his Telecaster before each gig.

“Every show was different. Joe would spend a lot of time composing the running order, considering dynamics, emotional impact and the key the songs were in. This record is based on Joe’s setlist from The Casbah Club UK Tour, Brixton Fairdeal, 10th July 1982”. -Mick, Paul & Topper.

No time like the present to start saving those pennies ūüėČ

Collaboration: Pat Metheny and John Zorn

The latest Pat Metheny collaboration with John Zorn, ¬†Tap: The Book of Angels Vol. 20 is available for purchase and digital¬†download. The recording¬†is available both on Pat Metheny’ s Nonesuch label and John Zorn’s Tadzik label. I chose the Tzadik iTunes download based on cover design and format (AAC = MP4 vs. MP3).

Ever curious, courageous and endlessly creative, virtuoso guitarist and musical mastermind Pat Metheny takes on John Zorn‚Äôs Masada songbook to create some of the most soulful and adventurous sounds yet heard in the Book of Angels series. Turn up the volume and revel in the breadth of imagination in these remarkable arrangements featuring Pat on a huge arsenal of instruments, and the powerful Antonio Sanchez on drums. Pat Metheny continues to surprise and experiment with new musical frontiers well into the 21st century. Released in coordination with Nonesuch, this is a match made in Heaven‚ÄĒessential!

Personnel:
Willow Metheny:¬†Vocals (Pat Metheny’s daughter)
Pat Metheny: Orchestra Bells, Orchestrionic Marimba, Keyboards, Piano, Bass, Tiples, Sitar Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Acoustic And Electric Guitars, Bandoneon, Percussion, Electronics, Flugelhorn
Antonio Sanchez: Drums

(Album description and personnel listing courtesy of Tzadik)

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

The back cover image