Monthly Archives: January 2016

The History of Rock and Roll, Volume 1, 1920-1963 by Ed Ward – Flatiron Books

One of the first music journalists I encountered on a regular basis in Rolling Stone magazine was Ed Ward. I loved his insightful record reviews. He had a significant influence on my album purchases in 1970, which was a foundation year in rock music.

I found his reviews articulate and representative. He avoided the critic egotist personality in his writing. I can pretty much say Ed Ward was a what he wrote, I actually heard kinda guy.


Ed Ward will be publishing a definitive work with Flatiron Press, The History of Rock and Roll, Volume 1, 1920-1963 sometime in the Fall of 2016. I’ve added his book to my “must have music journalist list”.

I’m looking forward to your labor of love Ed 😉



Coming Thru To You, The Live Recordings 1970 – 2004 Box Set – Arthur Lee & Love

Coming Through To You by Arthur Lee and Love is a 4CD boxset collection of rare live recordings from 1970-2004 released by RockBeat Records and produced by David Skye, with the blessing and participation of Diane Lee.

The cover artwork is designed by illustrator William Stout, internationally renowned as one of the first rock-n-roll bootleg cover artists.

Johnny Winter – Down and Dirty

Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty, the definitive, feature-length documentary by acclaimed Lemmy co-director and producer, Greg Olliver, will be available worldwide on March 4, 2016, on DVD and iTunes. The package will feature never-before-seen photos and bonus footage, including extended interviews and his final studio performance, a solo resonator version of the Son House classic, ‘Death Letter.’

Produced independently through Secret Weapon Films in NYC, director Greg Olliver was welcomed into the Johnny Winter family during the final two years of Johnny s life, capturing the making of his Grammy-winning Step Back (Best Blues Album, 2015), and traveling the world from Beaumont to Hong Kong. Winter continued to perform over 200 sold out shows a year until his death on tour in Switzerland in 2014.

The film also features Clive Davis, Edgar Winter, James Cotton, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Luther Nallie, Joe Perry, Tommy Shannon, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and more.

Santana IV Drops April 15th, 2016!

Santana IV



Track listing

1. Yambu
2. Shake It
3. Anywhere You Want To Go
4. Fillmore East
5. Love Makes The World Go Round
6. Freedom In Your Mind
7. Choo Choo
8. All Aboard
9. Sueños
10. Caminando
11. Blues Magic
12. Echizo
13. Leave Me Alone
14. You And I
15. Come As You Are
16. Forgiveness

Sanatana.Com, Santana IV Press Release

SANTANA IV Reunites Legendary Band Lineup

First Single “Anywhere You Want To Go” to be released February 5, 2016

April 15, 2016 marks the release date of Santana IV, the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the revered early ‘70s lineup of guitar icon Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album signifies the first time in 45 years – since 1971’s multi-platinum classic Santana III – that the quintet has recorded together.

Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band that burst with the same unparalleled energy and superlative musicianship that made Santana a pioneering force in world music and a household name across the globe. Joining the core Santana IV band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts.

The origins for the reunion go back several years, when Schon suggested that he and Carlos Santana record together. Santana liked the idea but went one better, proposing that they recruit Rolie, Shrieve and Carabello for what would be called Santana IV. After initial writing sessions and rehearsals took place in 2013, the group recorded throughout 2014 and 2015, amassing 16 spellbinding tracks that combined all their signature elements – Afro-Latin rhythms, soaring vocals, electrifying blues-psychedelic guitar solos, and irrepressibly jubilant percussion work – with widescreen hooks and melodies that will lodge themselves in the thicket of listeners’ senses and stay there.

“It was magical,” Santana says. “We didn’t have to try to force the vibe – it was immense. From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.”

The band’s signature sound arrives forcefully on the album opener “Yambu,” a righteously gritty and soulful stomper teeming with swirling B3 organ hooks and walloping guitar crunch.

The first single, “Anywhere You Want to Go,” is destined to storm the pantheon of Santana classics. Written by Gregg Rolie, it’s a sexy, body-shaking winner and an unmistakable tip of the hat to the inescapable cha-cha/Latin jazz charms of “Oye Como Va.”

Special guest, Ronald Isley’s, vocals highlight the feverishly impassioned Latin-rock workout “Love Makes the World Go Round” and the hard-edged and funky “Freedom in Your Mind.”

Guitar fans expecting fireworks from Santana and Schon will cherish Santana IV from front to back. “All Aboard” is a no-holds-barred guitar jam of the highest order, as is the slinky, soulful metal cruncher “Caminando,” which explodes with tectonic axe force. And on the unabashedly British blues-tinged “Shake It,” the two go toe to toe on not one but two extended solo runs that will have lovers of unhinged fretboard work rejoicing.

“Carlos and I feel more connected than ever,” says Schon. “We get super-aggressive when we play, but also melodic and poetic. We have an incredible dialog with each other on our guitars.”

Santana’s recurring themes of love and tolerance are common threads throughout Santana IV, most dramatically on the epic tone poem album closer “Forgiveness,” a languid and breathtakingly gorgeous atmospheric groover.

Music fans familiar with the “roaring lion” artwork on Santana’s 1969 debut album will instantly greet Heather Griffin’s graphic for Santana IV as a gloriously realized update of that iconic image. “I really think the music goes along with the cover, and vice versa,” says Santana. “It all fits together beautifully.”

Few bands can pick up a musical dialog after 45 years apart, but on Santana IV each band member reaches a new level of virtuosity and communal intuition on a collection of songs that easily stands side-by-side with the group’s treasured early work.

“When you can go back and break new ground with joy and determination – and  some whoop-ass energy – it gets you going,” says Santana. “I think we achieved something very rare. This music was screaming to come out of us. It wasn’t about nostalgia. It was about passion.”

Santana IV will be released on April 15, 2016, on Santana IV Records and is distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED Distribution. It is available for pre-order on Amazon now. The album will be CD, Double 180 Gram Vinyl with Download Card and Digital configurations.

As a special offer for fans attending select shows on Santana’s upcoming Luminosity tour, a CD copy of SANTANA IV is included with every pair of tickets. This offer will be redeemed via a promo code at

Pre-Order on Amazon:
Amazon CD


Thirty Tigers is a music marketing, management, distribution, and publishing company based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Thirty Tigers Distribution has served as a label infrastructure for a vast client base including The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chase Rice, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Bingham, The Eli Young Band, Trampled By Turtles, and many others in their 13 years of working with Sony/RED Distribution. For more information, visit


I expect a limited U.S. tour to be announced. No details on dates, venues, tickets yet….

Stay tuned as more publicity information emerges…

Big Ears Festival – Knoxville, Tennessee, 3/31-4/2/16

Having traveled to and experienced first hand the rich music landscape of Tennessee last year (Memphis and Nashville) I find it just and fitting that Knoxville is the host community for the innovative Big Ears Festival, 2016.

The Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts.

I think the 2016 festival is quite eclectic. I especially like that Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson are performing together. For those with avant-garde tastes you have Anthony Braxton in attendance as both the Anthony Braxton Trio and the Anthony Braxton Tentet+1.

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music, composer John Luther Adams will serve as Composer-in-Residence for the 2016 edition of the internationally acclaimed Big Ears Festival, taking place in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia – The Monks of Norcia

CBS Sunday Morning featured a segment on this morning’s show, “Chanting monks become best selling recording artists“.

I became intrigued on several levels  by what I heard and felt. I learned that Father Cassian Folsom hailed from Connecticut with a passion for music and reviving the Monastery of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy.  Being a practicing Catholic with a sense of religious music devotion I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the story and its message.

Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia – The Monks of Norcia is a superlative recording. In my quest to write and share the wisdom of spirituality and the healing power of music, Marian chant strikes just the right religious chord in the  music of our heart.

The chanting and prayer put me at such peace. I hope you will allow the light of this recording into each of your respective hearts.

Julian Lage Trio – Arclight

I received this e-mail from Julian Lage tonight. In a word, “awesome sauce.”


Hello All and Happy 2016!

It is with great joy that today we are able to announce the upcoming release of Arclight (Due on March 11th), the debut recording of my trio. This record features two of my dearest friends and cohorts, Scott Colley on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums, percussion, and vibraphone. Arclight was produced by one of my favorite people and all around badass, singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jesse Harris.

We recorded this album over the course of three days last spring with the intent of documenting a collection of original music as well as a few covers from the pre-bebop era. These covers were songs I fell in love with from the American Songbook that may have been a little left of center from the jazz norm of the 1920s and 30s. In a weird way, it feels like we share so many things in common today with the kind of music being played during the last turn of the 20th century: this kind of convergence of folk traditions with modern explorations, all arranged in relatively short pieces of music. Almost like miniature orchestral events. Additionally, being the guitar nerd that I am, no instrument makes more sense for celebrating these qualities than the electric guitar: a telecaster through an old tweed amp.

We are beyond excited to share this music with you and can not wait bring this project to a town near you soon! – Julian Lage

Nocturne,” one of the tracks off his forthcoming album, Arclight, on Mack Avenue Records.

The Julian Lage Trio will be performing at The Fairfield Theatre Company, Stage One on Friday May 6, 2016.

Barnes & Noble Vinyl Initiative

While shopping yesterday in the Barnes & Noble store in Westport, Connecticut, I noticed their associated marketing effort with the vinyl LP resurgence. This is a return volley to Amazon’s Vinyl Store.

The Barnes & Noble entertainment department featured a wall of vinyl along with a centerpiece display. This produces a dramatic effect versus the slapped together vinyl island I typically see in the middle of the Milford, CT store.

I also learned (posthumously) that Barnes & Noble held Vinyl Day twice in 2015. Once on July 25th and again on November 21st, the week before Record Store Day.


Definitive Album Reviews by Uncut Magazine
Especially published a free sample issue for Barnes & Noble customers on Vinyl Day, Uncut Magazine (my favorite music magazine) presented a list of Definitive Album Reviews of amazing musical content ranging from bestselling favorites like the Beatles to exciting new releases from New Order.

The issue features an exclusive interview with Sir Paul McCartney that you are going to want to read.

Uncut Magazine’s Definitive Album Reviews is a must-read for great vinyl gifting ideas. You might find extra issues still on display in your local Barnes & Noble as I did yesterday 🙂


Shop Barnes & Noble and for vinyl, turntables, and more at

I look forward to learning more about Barnes & Noble Vinyl Day(s) 2016.