Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul Lift The Curtain On ‘SOULFIRE LIVE!’

We saw Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul for free at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 1st of this year. It was a fantastic evening and they played many of the songs featured on the new ‘SOULFIRE LIVE!’ recording.

This spectacular live collection was recorded last year in North America and Europe during the legendary rock ‘n’ roller’s first world tour in nearly two decades. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s SOULFIRE LIVE! is available now via Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records and UMe. The 3CD collection includes 24-tracks released digitally in April alongside an exclusive third disc highlighted by superstar guest performances recorded throughout the trek, including Bruce SpringsteenRichie SamboraPeter Wolf, and Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape).

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The video “Can I Get A Witness,” featuring Richie Sambora was recorded last year at the famed Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. It captures Little Steven and his 15-piece band, the Disciples of Soul’s, spirited and sweat-soaked shows which will be on full display on the Blu-Ray coming later this year.

Fans can pre-order ahead of the release later this year, SOULFIRE LIVE! as a unique 7LP vinyl box set and on Blu-Ray video exclusively at Little Steven’s just-launched new Webstore.

The vinyl box set will incorporate an exclusive bonus LP capturing Little Steven’s extraordinary surprise set at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club recorded November 2017 during his band’s sold out European tour. The intimate lunchtime gig saw Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul paying tribute to The Beatles with rocking renditions of “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Good Morning, Good Morning,” “Got To Get You Into My Life,” and “All You Need Is Love,” alongside iconic songs famously performed by the nascent Fab Four, including “Boys” (originally by The Shirelles), “Slow Down” (by Larry Williams) and “Soldier Of Love” (first recorded by Arthur Alexander).

“Playing in the same venue where The Beatles started their careers was a childhood dream of mine come true,” says Little Steven. “This was a band that set me on course for a life of music. For my rock ‘n’ roll religion, The Cavern is the first sacred site. It was an honor – no, make that an epiphany – to perform there.”

The SOULFIRE LIVE! Blu-ray video edition will include Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s complete Cavern Club concert alongside video performances of each song on the 3CD/vinyl set, exclusive interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. In addition, the Blu-ray edition will feature a special documentary about the Cavern Club performance that sees Little Steven honored with a brick in the club’s hallowed Wall of Fame before leading his band through swift rehearsals of Beatles songs mere minutes ahead of their performance.

The exclusive SOULFIRE LIVE! Disc 3 showcases special guest appearances from some of Little Steven’s closest friends, collaborators, and favorite artists. Among the highlights are versions of Moby Grape’s “Can’t Be So Bad” performed with the legendary San Francisco band’s founding member, Jerry Miller; the Motown classic, “Can I Get A Witness,” performed with New Jersey’s own Richie Sambora; The J. Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame” with vocals from the one and only Peter Wolf; and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and Little Steven’s own “I Don’t Want To Go Home,” both joined by Bruce Springsteen.

As if that weren’t enough, Disc 3 also includes the Disciples of Soul’s electrifying takes on a number of Little Steven’s all-time favorite rock ‘n’ roll songs, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Even The Losers,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” The Allman Brothers Band’s “It’s Not My Cross To Bear,” The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” and The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight).”

SOULFIRE LIVE! was produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt; the album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul will rev up again this fall to celebrate SOULFIRE LIVE! with the final leg of their Teacher Appreciation Tour, set to get underway this October. The tour will once again benefit TeachRock, Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s national initiative to bring music curriculum into middle and high schools across the country. At each stop of the tour, teachers will get in free to the concert and TeachRock will host workshops before the show to educate teachers on how to implement music education into their classrooms.  For complete details and ticket availability, please visit littlesteven.com. For more information about TeachRock and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, please visit rockandrollforever.org

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LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL: SOULFIRE TOUR 2018

OCTOBER
18 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – Kirby Center
20 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Theater
23 – Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock
24 – Munhall, PA –Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
29 – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center
31 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater

NOVEMBER
2 – Burnsville, MN – Ames Center
5- Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
7 – Tulsa, OK – Club Brady
9 – Detroit, MI @ Detroit Music Hall
10 – Peoria, IL – Monarch
12 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
14 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
16 – Cleveland, OH – Hard Rock
17 – Morgantown, WV – Metropolitan Theatre

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Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue

The complete, definitive and never-before-published catalog of Hipgnosis, Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art finally does justice to the work of the most important design collective in music history, which, according to Roddy Bogawa, director of the documentary Taken by Storm (2011), ‘designed half your record collection’.

Founded in 1967 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Peter Christopherson, Hipgnosis gained legendary status in graphic design, transforming the look of album art forever and winning five Grammy nominations for package design.

Their revolutionary cover art moved away from the conventional group shots favoured by record companies of the day, resulting in the ground-breaking, often surreal designs which define the albums of many of the biggest names in the history of popular music: 10cc, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Syd Barrett, Throbbing Gristle, T. Rex, Wings, Yes and XTC, to name but a few.

Arranged chronologically, Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art features stunning reproductions of every single Hipgnosis cover – 372 in total – coupled with detailed information by Po and Storm Thorgerson on the artworks and the compelling stories behind their creation. Additional contributions by Peter Gabriel, Marcus Bradbury, and Pentagram’s Harry Pearce provide engrossing insights into the way these incredible artworks came into being; place the covers in a context, and reflect on their enduring impact on album design.

50 Years Today, Blood, Sweat and Tears – Child is the Father to the Man

Today, February 21st, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the release date of the classical Columbia Records recording, Child is the Father to the Man by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

It has always been one of my top listens. I love the flow of the album, beginning with the “Overture”, then continuing with original songs by Al Kooper and Steve Katz. The album always calls me in refreshing, haunting fashion.

I have a framed LP album cover signed by Al Kooper and Steve Katz. I recommend both of their music biographies. Al Kooper’s Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards and Steve Katz’s Blood, Sweat and My Rock ‘N’ Roll Years. Each musician provides a unique perspective on the first B, S, & T recording session and what that time was like for them.

 

Child is Father to the Man is a pastiche that borrows styles from Greenwich Village contemporary folk to San Francisco acid rock and mixes them into a new American musical form. The songs, “Without Her” by Harry Nilsson and “Morning Glory” by Tim Buckley evidence those trends.

My personal favorite track changes from time to time. Right now it’s “Just One Smile” by Randy Newman a very early song in his repertoire.

Do yourself a favor, wake up to your mind and give a listen to one of rock’s real masterpieces, Child is Father to the Man on this 50th anniversary celebration day. The recording is still fresh and vibrant all these decades later.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

  • Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Bobby Colomby – drums, percussion; backing vocals (tracks 4, 10)
  • Jim Fielder – bass guitar, fretless bass guitar
  • Dick Halligan – trombone
  • Steve Katz – guitars; lead vocals (tracks 3, 8); backing vocals (tracks 3); lute (track 6)
  • Al Kooper – organ, piano; lead vocals (tracks 2, 4-7, 9-12); ondioline (track 8)
  • Fred Lipsius – piano, alto saxophone
  • Jerry Weiss – trumpet, flugelhorn; backing vocals (track 4)

Santana Rynearson Stadium

I am usually leery of artist “bootleg” or non-official recordings. They typically lack the production results I want.  My music collection is  99% official commercial music releases.

My niece gave me a wonderful Christmas gift surprise this year. The vinyl recording, “Santana Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti MI, 25-05-75”. I had never seen or heard of this live recording. I was happily stunned 🙂

Klondike Records has done Santana and the listener justice. This recording is based on a King Biscuit Flower Hour radio broadcast. It is Digital Remastered and pressed onto 180 Grade vinyl. It sounds great on my Audio Technica turntable.

Santana was the headline act that day with Special Guest Stars, Peter Frampton’s Camel, and Lynard Skynard.

 

 

Cats Under The Stars, 40th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue

I was on the line reviewing Jerry Garcia’s recordings when I uncovered a real gem, Cats Under The Stars, Jerry Garcia Band (April 1978).  I realized I was familiar with the cover art by Stanley Mouse but not the music selections. So I gave it a listen.

This recording was Jerry Garcia’s fourth solo studio record and the first to be presented as the Jerry Garcia Band which included Garcia, John Kahn, Ron Tutt, Maria Muldaur, and Garcia’s Grateful Dead bandmates, Keith & Donna Godchaux.

The 2017 vinyl reissue features re-mastered audio by Fred Kevorkian with lacquers cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios and pressed to 180gram marbled gold vinyl by Quality Record Pressings. The Marbled Gold vinyl is pressed in a limited edition of 5,000 pieces with individually numbered foil-stamped jackets.

JGB Cats

“Cats Under the Stars is my favorite one. That’s the one that I’m happiest with, from every point of view in which I operate on that record.” – Jerry Garcia (1981 interview with David Gans and Blair Jackson)

Side A

1. Reuben and Cerise

2. Love In The Afternoon

3. Palm Sunday

4. Cats Under The Stars

Side B

5. Rhapsody In Red

6. Rain

7. Down Home

8. Gomorrah

 

Why Vinyl Matters By Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

I discovered a journalism project that validates the joy vinyl music provides our listening experiences.

The coffee table book, Why Vinyl Matters is part history, part future forecasting, part nostalgia and all celebration. A collection of more than 25 interviews, all illustrated with photos, sidebars, quotes, album covers, outtakes and much more. This is the book for anyone who has ever gone to the store and bought music on vinyl.

The author of this enlightening research is Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike. Dr. Bickerdike is a media and music academic, specializing in fandom, the cult of dead celebrity, pop culture, and music. She is the head of music journalism at The British and Irish Modern Music Institute.

I’m adding this “must own” vinyl book to my Birthday wish list 😉

Vinyl

Why Vinyl Matters is not just about waxing (HA!) nostalgic about the format; it is about the special and unique way that records bring us together in unexpected and magical ways.”—Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

 

 

Albumism

Albumism is one of several new music Web sites to catch my attention. I discovered them, as a result, of a Follow on Twitter.

albumism

Albumism™ is an editorially independent music website dedicated to honoring the album as a vital art form, while connecting with the global community of passionate music fans to celebrate our love affairs with albums past, present and future.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, they offer feature articles, tributes, reviews, interviews, news, playlists, streams, and videos, among other forms of content, and always welcome comments, contributions and ideas from our fellow music enthusiasts.

If you are an album fan you are sure to be impressed with their passion and dedication to the album art form and the music it provides our souls.

My favorite article thus far is, “100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made“. There is a lot to listen to and appreciate on this Web page. I have been listening to many of these albums on Apple Music and Sonos this past week. Add to your knowledge by looking, clicking and listening to these truly fine works.

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Vinyl Edje

It took awhile but I finally added a turntable with speakers to my home office listening experience. The records I own have been calling me to play them again or for the very first time (I’m referring to past Record Store Day purchases that have all remained sealed for years).

Vinyl Edje is Born
AUDIO-TECHNICA
AT-LP120-USB Turntable + Audioengine A2 Speakers

We visited New York City on Fathers Day to make a professional turntable purchase at The Turntable Lab (TTL).  They are located in the East Village on 84 East 10th Street. My son and I are solid fans of this unique seller that primarily markets to the DJ crowd. I have purchased Record Store Day hard to find recordings from their online store, which I’ll be spinning. Browse their Web site to get a perspective on the packaged turntable solutions they feature as well as their unique product mix. They also move plenty of turntables through Amazon.Com.

TTL is rated one of the world’s best record shops by The Vinyl Factory where my browser has been happily stuck of late. I intend to share what I have learned from The Vinyl Factory in a future post.

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Picture courtesy of The Vinyl Factory

You may have seen the recent Web article that SONY/Japan is adding dedicated record pressing production SONY’s vinyl Japanese products. What took people by surprise is SONY’s return to vinyl pressing after 28 years of shuttered plants. I respect the manufacturing analysis SONY reached that primarily pressing for themselves and next phase subcontracting production for other record companies can be a sustainable business. I’d prefer to see SONY open 1-2 U.S. plants as all the NA facilities can’t meet the manufacturing volume for output. That’s a great problem for the music industry to have. The hundred-year-old vinyl LP record averages $30 at retail for a single 180-200 grade vinyl recording. At that price, I am forced to be selective about the limited amount of vinyl I can purchase per year. Vinyl collecting continues to grow at a steady rate and will reach the $1 billion annual sales target by the end of 2018 (if not before).

It feels great to hold a record jacket in my hands and be in concert with the artwork, design and extensive liner notes you can find included with some recordings.  I purchased Alice Coltrane’s record the day I bought my Audio Technica turntable. I wrote about WORLD SPIRITUALITY CLASSICS 1: THE ECSTATIC MUSIC OF ALICE COLTRANE TURIYASANGITANANDA in March. It’s next on my playlist and certain to add a warm spiritual healing to our home. Another reason I acquired the limited vinyl edition is to read Ashley Kahn’s liner notes. Ashley is a subject matter authority on John and Alice Coltrane. I have several of his books in my music library. He was a consultant to LuakaBop for this historic recording.