Monthly Archives: December 2013

Jack White’s Deserved Tribute

Jack White has expent much positive energy throughout his eccentric-genius career by affirming tribute to overlooked music traditions. It’s only equitable that some of the survivors from those past music eras return the favor with a loving tribute of their own to Jack White.

Cleopatra Records issued a definitive Jack White tribute recording this past November with Rockin’ Legends Pay Tribute To Jack White.

The recording features the following artists and selections: Wanda Jackson (“Cold, Cold Night), Big Jay McNeely and Nik Turner (“I’m Shakin'”), Gary U.S. Bonds (“Salute Your Solution”), Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers (“Steady As She Goes”), Joe Clay and Cranston Clements (“Trash Tongue Talker”), Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding (“Another Way to Die”), Knox, Walter Lure and W.S. “Fluke” Holland (“Seven Nation Army”), Johnny Powers (“Fly Farm Blues”), Bobby Vee (“We’re Going to Be Friends”), Rosie Flores (“Blunderbuss”), the Dirt Daubers (“Fell in Love With a Girl”), Rejected Youth Nation feat. Cyril Neville (“You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)”), the Denver Broncos U.K. (“Top Yourself”) and Los Straightjackets (“Icky Thump”)

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Jack Bruce – Silver Rails

Jack Bruce is working on his first studio album in nine years. It is now in the writing and recording stage. Jack’s new album, Silver Rails is due to be released at the beginning of March 2014.

Silver Rails is being recorded at Abbey Road Studios featuring contributions from drummer Cindy Blackman Santana and keyboardist John Medeski. Bruce, Blackman Santana and Medeski, along with Vernon Reid of Living Colour recorded a jazz fusion album under the name Spectrum Road in June 2012. I wrote about this recording/touring nucleus in 2102 here.

Electric Lady Studios – Greenwich Village

Have you ever been (have you ever been) to Electric Ladyland?
The magic carpet waits for you so don’t you be late

The answer to that question is finally a resounding Yes!

My wife and I were walking in Greenwich Village yesterday when we stumbled upon this music landmark. We were on West 8th Street conducting a walking tour coming from MacDougal Street after cutting across Washington Square Park.

We happened upon electric lady studios at 52 West 8th Street, the futuristic recording studio that was built for Jimi Hendrix. I noticed the lettering and the brown curtains as I excitedly pointed to my wife my discovery. We watched as an electric lady studios employee lifted up the locked grate and unlocked the front door. Try as I might I couldn’t get a view over the shoulder of the employee as he quickly closed and locked the door behind him.

This encouraged me to visualize as much information as I could regarding electric lady studios. I definitely felt the spirit of Jimi Hendrix yesterday 🙂

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS

I especially love Patti Smith’s memories of Jimi Hendrix and electric lady studios where she has recorded four of her studio albums, Horses, Gone Again, Twelve, and Banga.

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS

“I put on my straw hat and walked downtown, but when I got there, I couldn’t bring myself to go in,” recalls Patti Smith in her

Electric Ladyland
Electric Ladyland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

award-winning memoir, Just Kids. “By chance, Jimi Hendrix came up the stairs and found me sitting there like some hick wallflower and grinned.

“He spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio.  He dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in Woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play.  It didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language.  Eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio.

‘The language of peace. You dig?’ I did.”

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS
©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS

Humble Pie, Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore, The Complete Recordings

Cover of "Rockin the Fillmore"
Cover of Rockin the Fillmore

There have been some electrifying live rock performances in the history of recorded music.  The early 70’s produced the best rock music recordings ever done! A favorite live show of mine from WNEW-FM progressive radio listening days and The Fillmore East was Humble Pie‘s, Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore (1971).

Omnivore Recordings has released all four sets recorded that weekend in a four CD box set “Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore-Complete Recordings”.

 “My God, it just took my breath away,” Jerry Shirley said of hearing the new mixes by engineer Ashley Shepherd. “You feel like you’re sitting in the Fillmore East, five or six rows back. In the quiet bits, you could hear a pin drop, and in the loud bits, you can almost feel the room shaking. And all four shows caught Steve at the absolute zenith of his powers. It’s  astonishing. I’m only sorry that he, Greg, and Dee aren’t around to enjoy it with the rest of us.”

“It was amazing to hear the new mixes of these shows after all these years,” says Peter Frampton. “This really was that version of Humble Pie at the peak of its powers—playing in a venue with a wonderful vibe.”

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Croz

Sitting about this day, listening to and thinking about influential artists. The music of our heart turns to the insightful voice of David Crosby. Very soon now, January 28th to be precise, David Crosby will release his first solo album in 20 years, Croz on Blue Castle Records. It is available as a pre-order on Audio CD and Vinyl on Amazon.

The first track has been jettisoned, “What’s Broken” is up on SoundCloud. 

Written by Crosby’s musician/producer son James Raymond, it channels the jazz haze and beatific/melancholic gleam of the best of his dad’s inimitable work, interweaving allusions to a personality type, “dodging kindness like golden arrows”, who seems somehow rather familiar. A collaborating Mark Knopfler plays guitar gorgeously and Crosby sings like a dream.

David Crosby will be touring in January and February 2014 in support of Croz. 

He was lost, and is found.

Christmas is a special time  when we receive blessings from the angels that are all around us. A beautiful reunion story of brotherhood, compassion and support comes to us from Oakland, California.

Brotherhood

Thanks to the efforts of San Francisco news reporter Stanley Roberts, who came across Marcus Malone earlier this month while reporting on illegal dumpsites for his segment ‘People Behaving Badly’ for the station KRON4.

Marcus Malone, original conguero of The Santana Blues Band from 1967 to 1969 has been living in desolation in Oakland. He has been making do with a parked trailer and harvesting the streets. The vagrant revealed to Stanley Roberts that he was a composer and part-time landscaper who used to play with Carlos Santana’s original band.

Stanley Roberts investigated what he was told and he learned Marcus Malone was indeed telling the truth. He got in touch with Santana Management and arranged for a reunion between Marcus Malone and Carlos Santana.

The parable of the Prodigal Son comes full circle.

“But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.” – Luke 15:32

The reconnection of Marcus Malone with Carlos Santana takes on a special tone in the music of our heart. It turns out that Gregg Rolie has written a song “The Magnificent Marcus Malone”. Carlos Santana has a vision of Marcus Malone getting back in touch with his musical self by making arrangements for Marcus to get an apartment, play some LP congas he will be giving him soon and to have Marcus Malone join Gregg and Carlos on the Santana IV reunion track Gregg has written. I think that is so outasight!

I love the video sequence where Carlos turns Marcus’s hand over and rubs his palm to determine how able Marcus will be to play again. That was one beautiful expression as was the picture Marcus kept in his trailer of the Santana Blues Band that Carlos and he reminisced about.

Marcus Malone co-wrote “Soul Sacrifice” which is a fiery song for Santana all these many years. You can hear Marcus Malone perform  on Santana, Live At The Fillmore 1968.

  • Carlos Santana – Guitar, Vocals
  • Gregg Rolie – Organ, Piano, Vocals
  • David Brown – Bass
  • Bob Livingston – Drums
  • Marcus Malone – Congas

Santana Blues Band

I love where this story is going. Thank you Stanley Roberts and Carlos Santana for redeeming Marcus Malone from the streets. There will be more to follow I am sure 🙂