Mavis!

Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There” in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.

Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, Mavis! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

FEATURING

The Staple Singers
Jeff Tweedy
Chuck D
Julian Bond
Bonnie Raitt
Bob Dylan
Levon Helm
Marty Stuart
Al Bell
Prince
Steve Cropper
Sharon Jones

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Harry Chapin’s Mr. Tanner

Harry Chapin wrote a song, “Mr. Tanner” about a Midwest cleaner who dreamed of being a professional singer. We learned to identify with someone pursuing the desire of becoming famous beyond a meager existence. Only to have those dreams dashed by a NY Times critic’s review. The sweetest solace is the last verse.

Music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

As it turns out Connecticut and Mr. Tanner have quite the bond. The song was recorded in   Bridgeport at Paul Leka‘s Connecticut Recording studio in 1973. On Saturday night , 11/12 at the Quick Center on the Fairfield University campus three related events intersected with Harry Chapin’s “Mr. Tanner”.

  1. The real Mr. Tanner and the inspiration for the song, Martin Turbidy is discovered  living in Weston, CT.  He is invited to attend The Chapin Family concert as their special guest.
  2. He joined The Chapin Family on stage to sing, “Mr. Tanner” which validated the real person featured in the song from 1974 performing the song live.

3. There will be a children’s book, Mr. Tanner, based on Harry Chapin’s song with a                        happy ending :). The author, Bryan Langdo and book company representative, Rod                  Broder  of Ripple Grove Press were in attendance in the lobby, promoting the future                book with preliminary copies on  display  and  taking pre-orders.

The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Ever since we visited Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee last year I have a newfound respect for Elvis Presley. He is the man who changed the course of popular music as the biggest selling solo artist in music history (having sold an astonishing one billion records worldwide!).

Elvis Presley (1958), Credit: Elvis Presley Enterprises

A new Elvis Presley Album, The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be released October 21 On Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. The new album features powerful Elvis vocal performances with brand-new orchestral accompaniment.

Following on from the 2015 release of the chart-topping Sony Music Legacy Recordings album “If I Can Dream,” which sold in excess of a million units in the United Kingdom and Europe and a scheduled follow-up album titled “The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” comes the announcement of the world exclusive live concert experience featuring Elvis Presley on the big screen and backed by a full symphony orchestra for a ten date arena tour in Europe in May 2017.(with a very special personal appearance by Priscilla Presley) The European dates will follow hot on the heels of six arena concerts in the United Kingdom in November 2016, which are all set to be sold out.

elvis

TRACK LISTING

A Big Hunk O’ Love
I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby
Suspicious Minds
Don’t
I Just Can’t Help Believin’
Just Pretend
Love Letters
Amazing Grace
Starting Today
Kentucky Rain
Memories
Let It Be Me
Always On My Mind
The Wonder Of You
BONUS TRACK:
Just Pretend [duet with Helene Fischer]

the ann wilson thing! #1

the ann wilson thing ep #1

tracks:
1.) for what it’s worth
2.) fool no more
3.) ain’t no way
4.) danger zone

ann wilson, lead-singer of the renowned rock group, heart, returns with her first ever solo ep, entitled the ann wilson thing! – #1.

the project features covers of such legendary artists as aretha franklin, ray charles and buffalo springfield. wilson also co-wrote an all-new original track for the ep, “fool no more”, which she describes as “a heavy blues song about bad love and the fleeting of time.”

in 2007, she released her first solo full length lp through rounder records, hope & glory, which saw her covering some of rock and roll’s greatest heroes. this new ep sees the celebrated rock & roll hall of fame inductee exploring new creative and vocal territories by using her amazing gift in passionate interpretations of blues, soul and more.

Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live in Concert

Hopefully you saw the 2015 Grammy Awards because Annie Lennox had the best performance of the evening. She collaborated with Hozier on the medley, “Take Me To Church/I Put A Spell On You”. She rocked the house.

For New York City area viewers, Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live in Concert, featuring Great American Songbook classics from her Grammy-nominated album Nostalgia, will air on Channel THIRTEEN’s Great Performances on April 3, at 10 p.m. on PBS. Check the PBS listings in your area for when else this show will be aired.

Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live in Concert, the singer’s unique interpretations bring a new intimacy to these timeless classics. On the 60-minute concert, taped in January Lennox will do songs from her Nostalgia album like “Summertime,” “Strange Fruit,” “I Cover the Waterfront” and “God Bless the Child.”

Exciting Santana News!

stewsan

Rod Stewart and Santana Live In Concert

Last year Santana conducted an East Coast tour with The Allman Brothers. We saw that event twice, once in New Jersey at the PAC and next in Hartford. It was a very satisfying gig with Carlos Santana jamming with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

This year Santana is teaming up with Rod Stewart for a series of shows called The Voice, The Guitar, The Songs which will cover the U.S. and Canada markets.

I like the two superstars on one card. Rod Stewart is the first rock headline vocalist I ever saw at The Fillmore East way back in 1969. Rod Stewart appeared as the lead singer for The Jeff Beck Group. I loved the contrast of Rod Stewart ever the dandy set against two excellent guitarists, Jeff Beck and Ron Wood.

I have been eager to see Rod Stewart perform live with a stellar guitarist. I trust Rod Stewart will collaborate with Carlos Santana.

Cover Art, Release Date for Corazon

I love the art and graphic design that accents Santana’s recordings.  I wrote about Santana Art and Artists in 2012. The vibrant electric colors are strikingly evident on the forthcoming Corazon recording.

The concept for Corazon was conceived and designed by Boa Mistura, an art collective based in Madrid, Spain that works primarily on public art pieces, developing projects in South Africa, Norway, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. For more information visit Boa Mistura’s Web site.

The Corazon album release date is May 6th on the RCA/SONY LATIN IBERIA Label.

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The Diving Board – Elton John

Elton John commences his US and European Tour with a concert this Friday, November 8th in Bridgeport, Ct. at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.

As I prepare the music of our heart to more fully appreciate one of our greatest music legends I turn first to his latest recording, The Diving BoardThe album was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and produced in Los Angeles by producer T-Bone Burnett.

This video features Elton John giving a track-by-track breakdown. It is insightful and will add to your listening pleasure of The Diving Board

Leslie West’s Still Climbing Drops At My Door

I received my Leslie West Still Climbing Audio CD and Poster today. Very cool of Leslie West and Mascot Label Group to ship early to pre order customers. I love that I have the four days to hear this rocking album before it officially drops for all to buy and hear on Tuesday October 29th.

The color scheme for the trifold CD cover is soothing with its brown and orange space planets theme. It always helps to get liner notes to dig into each recording more thoroughly.

Still Climbing Track Listing and Interpretation

1.  Dyin’ Since The Day I Was Born (Leslie A. Weinstein & Jon Tiven)

Leslie West is joined by special guest Mark Tremonti on guitar

This song cooks and I love the way it builds, its an energy rocker that hooks you good.

2. Busted Disgusted Or Dead (Leslie A. Weinstein & Jon Tiven)

Leslie West kicks it abetted by Johnny Winter‘s 2nd half of guitar solo

The silkiness cross-thatched with the grittiness meshed totally works. The track produces an effective layered sound. Johnny Winter pushes out a slide guitar passage that grabs you and doesn’t let go. I have such total respect for two rock and roll survivors carrying on the tradition in tight formation.

3. Fade Into You (Nashville TV Show) – (Matt Jenkins, Shane McNally and Trevor Rosen)

I find myself watching this show some evenings.  I like the original music written and performed. I’m glad Leslie West covered it and helps share this music with his fans.

4. Not Over You At All (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

The first of four husband and wife collaborations. I love the support and sharing that takes place here.

I was subsequently sad to learn that Arno Hecht (Uptown Horns) who plays sax on this track daughter Ava died recently. Leslie opens his heart to her , stating Arno’s daughter would be very proud of him. He then states this is his favorite song.

5. Tales of Woe – (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

We learn how Leslie West and his wife Jennifer cope with the loss of Leslie’s leg due to diabetes. His road back is an encouraging one for all of us to be proud of for them both.

6. Feeling Good (Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse)

Featuring Dee Snider (Who I loved on The Apprentice)

An old chestnut takes on new life between Leslie and Dee’s respective energies and mutual appreciation.

7. Hatfield or McCoy (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein, Joseph M. Piazza)

8. When A Man Loves A Woman (Calvin Lewis & Andrew Right)

Featuring Johnny Lang

I have seen Johnny Lang live twice. He posses that true conviction when he plays. I love how he sucks you in. Well played gentlemen.

9. Long Red (Leslie A. Weinstein, Felix Pappalardi, John Elis Ventura, Norman Landsberg)

Featuring Larry West Weinstein, Leslie’s brother who played with him in The Vagrants

Long my favorite Mountain song, I couldn’t wait to hear the updated version on Still Climbing. Leslie West did not disappoint. I found myself rocking and drumming harder than ever.

10. Don’t Ever Let Me Go (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

Featuring Dylan Rose

11. Reverend Jones Time, an Over The Rainbow Instrumental

Leslie West – Guitar, Bass – Rev Jones

But just don’t take my word about this new recording. Watch Leslie West explain track by track what he accomplished with others with Still Climbing.

Graham Nash on the Howard Stern Show

It was a total buzz to catch Graham Nash on the Howard Stern Show this morning. It is electrifying when Howard is on his interview game, especially if he is enamored with a musician. The intimate sense that comes across the satellite is magnetic and captivating.

Copyright Howard Stern Show 2013

Graham Nash was in the studio promoting his new book, Wild TalesThe connection between Graham and Howard was crisp. I liked how open, nonchalant, and free ranging Graham Nash was about his life.

I learned a lot this morning about Graham Nash and his circle of famous musician friends. Many of whom I have come admire and respect these many decades. I can’t wait to hear the audio book of Wild Tales that Graham Nash narrates.

Be sure to visit HowardStern.com to learn Song by Song with Graham Nash and why Graham Nash is a Zelig.

Late For The Sky – Jackson Browne

Late For The Sky by Jackson Browne is one of those special albums you can play and soon become lost within for hours on end. The songs are brilliantly written and executed. The perfection of this recording rests with the soul’s “pathos” yearning to be heard and understood.

I discover more about the nature of my existence every time the lyrics reverberate strongly against the music of our heart.

Side One

  1. “Late for the Sky”
  2. “Fountain of Sorrow”
  3. “Farther On”
  4. “The Late Show”

Side Two

  1. “The Road and the Sky”
  2. “For a Dancer”
  3. “Walking Slow”
  4. “Before the Deluge”