Friday, April 18, 2014

Preview: Now: Chicago XXXVI - Chicago

Artist: Chicago
Title: Now: Chicago XXXVI
Release Date: July 4, 2014
Label: Rhino
Format(s): CD, CD/MP3 DD, CD/High Quality DD

Chicago are back on July 4 with their 36th official album, Now: Chicago XXXVI.

The preview of each of the songs on the album (below) shows a band that remains true to their original sound, producing one of the most cohesive albums of their last couple of decades. Perhaps it is the atmosphere of their new recording technique.

Trumpet player and original band member Lee Loughnane created a new recording system, dubbed "The Rig", which allowed the band to record their parts whenever they were available and wherever they were. Now was recorded mostly in hotel rooms while the band was on tour in places like Nashville, Cleveland, Toledo and other cities.

The album also took the unique approach of having the writer of each of the songs become its "supervising producer" with Hank Linderman overseeing the whole project as "coordinating producer".

The album is being released in a number of formats including CD, CD with code for an MP3 download, CD with a code for a high quality download (FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC) and a deluxe package with the CD, T-Shirt, Poster, Coffee Mug and a high quality download.

Here is a short electronic press kit (EPK) for the album and a one-minute preview of each of the album's songs.

Track List:
  • Now
  • More Will Be Revealed
  • America
  • Crazy Happy
  • Free At Last
  • Love Lives On
  • Something's Coming, I Know
  • Watching All the Colos
  • Nice Girl
  • Naked in the Garden of Allah
  • Another Trippy Day


Passings: Shane Gibson, Korn Touring Guitarist (1979 - 2014)

Shane Gibson, touring guitarist for Korn from 2007 to 2010, died on Tuesday from complications of a blood clotting disease at the age of 35.

Gibson was a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he formed his own band, Cofield, and played with the Japanese metal band Teiousekkai.

After graduating, he recorded the CD Mr. Stork before moving to Los Angeles where he started as a roadie for KISS while also doing studio work for advertisements, TV and movies.

His big break came when film composer Richard Gibbs introduced him to Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis who hired Gibson to play a few dates with the band while James "Munky" Shaffer was working on other projects. Shane became a permanent part of the touring band in 2008 and also toured with Davis when he did solo shows. He stayed with the band until 2010.

Gibson went on to form the band StOrk with session drummer Thomas Lang. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2011 and the followup, Broken Pieces, is scheduled for release on April 29.

The band's official website carried a salute to Gibson:
It is with deepest sadness and regret that we must confirm that stOrk founding member and lead guitarist Shane Paul Gibson passed away at 5:45 AM on April 15th, 2014 in the UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama as a result of complications from a blood clotting disorder. He was 35 years old.

Shane was one of the best guitar players the world has ever known and his virtuosity was matched only by his wit and generosity of spirit. He will be missed beyond measure. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all those who loved him as much as we did.

Korn has also published a salute:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Shane Gibson's friends, fans and family following the passing of our dear friend. Shane Gibson was Korn's touring guitarist from 2007 to 2010 and a member of Jonathan Davis' solo band, The SFA’s.
He will be greatly missed.

"I've never had the pleasure of meeting Shane, but I'm honored he was able to fill my spot after I left KoRn. He was an amazing guitarist. Hopefully we can jam together in the next life. RIP brother." - Brian 'Head' Welch

"Shane Gibson, you were an amazing guitar player and an amazing person. Your kindness and talent will be missed. I'm very fortunate to have known you." - James 'Munky' Shaffer
Gibson was also part of the comedy/heavy metal group SchwarZenatoR with JP Von Hitchburg and Jonathan Weed.


The Go-Gos to Mount Summer Tour With Scandal, the Motels, Cutting Crew and Naked Eyes

It's the 80's all over again this summer with the Replay America tour.

The Go-Go's lead the lineup of 80's artists who will be hitting the road over the summer. The group, who put off a retirement a few years back to become perennials on the summer tour circuit, are still traveling with four of the five original group members.

Joining them this summer will be Patty Smyth and Scandal (Goodbye to YouThe Warrior), Martha Davis and the Motels (Only the Lonely, Suddenly Last Summer), Cutting Crew ((I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight) and Naked Eyes Featuring Pete Byrne (Always Something There to Remind Me, Promises, Promises).

So far, only two shows has been announced, July 8 at Wolf Trap and July 19 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, CA, but more dates are expected to be announced soon.


Passings: Little Joe Cook of Little Joe & the Thrillers (1922 - 2014)

Little Joe Cook, the falsetto lead on the 1957 release Peanuts by Little Joe and the Thrillers, has died at the age of 91.

Born in Philadelphia, Cook's mother was a locally popular blues singer while his grandmother was a Baptist preacher, influencing Joe with the two things that would sustain him through his life.

At the age of 12, Cook and three of his cousins had formed the gospel group The Evening Stars who were given their own radio show. The quartet recorded for the first time in 1949 for Apex and released a number of songs before Joe decided he wanted to transition to the R&B market.

Cook joined up with Farrie Hall, Richard Frazier, Donald Burnett and Henry Pascal to form the doo-wop group the Thrillers. In 1956, they signed with OKeh records and had a regional hit in the Philadelphia area with the dance song Do the Slop.

The next year, they released their second single, Peanuts, using Cook's strong falsetto in the lead. It rose to number 22 nationally and won the group an appearance on American Bandstand. While the record had a mediocre showing upon its initial release, it has gone on to be popular on oldies radio and is said to have influenced others who used falsetto as part of their style including Frankie Valli and Lou Christie.

Little Joe and the Thrillers continued to release new music through OKeh until 1961 when they moved to 20th Century Records. A year later, the group broke up.

Cook went on to perform solo, touring with a number of blues greats, along with forming the group The Sherrys with two of his daughters and two of their friends, one of which became Tammi Terrell. Their record Pop Pop Pie-Pie reached number 25 on the R&B and 35 on the R&B chart.

While he never again had chart success, Cook continued to perform for the rest of his life as a solo artist, moving to Boston in the late-60's and being a regular at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge from 1980 to 2007 when two strokes and arthritis forced him to retire. .


Prince Continues Consolidation, Returns to Warner Brothers to Regain Ownership of Catalog

Prince recently started NPG Music Publishing and reacquired the rights to his extensive catalog of songs. On Thursday, he continued his quest to bring his life's work under one roof by returning to Warner Brothers Records and regaining the rights to his album catalog.

Prince recorded for Warner Brothers from his 1978 debut, For You, through 1996's Chaos and Disorder. When he left in a contract dispute (his first post-Warner's album was called Emancipation), the label retained ownership of such classics as 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Sign "O" the Times.

Plans for the new partnership include a 30th anniversary edition of the classic soundtrack to Purple Rain along with other reissue projects.  It also appears that his new music will also be released through Warner.

The artist said in a statement "A brand-new studio album is on the way and both Warner Bros Records and Eye [sic] are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship."

Cameron Strong, chairman of Warner Brothers Records, said "Everyone at Warner Bros Records is delighted to be working with Prince once again: he is one of the world's biggest stars and a truly unique talent. We are also very excited about the release of new and re-mastered music from one of his greatest masterpieces."


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