Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chart Watch - January 30, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • The big debut for the week isn't an album, but a single. U2's Get On Your Boots, the first single from their upcoming album No Line on the Horizon, debuts at 37 on the Hot 100, 21 on Digital Downloads and at number one on AAA radio. It also gets a number 16 debut in Canada.
  • The new Frank Sinatra compilation, Seduction: Sings Love Songs, premiers at 23 on the Albums chart and at the top of the Jazz Albums.
  • Jorma Kaukonen, founding member of both the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, debuts his latest album, River of Time, at number 39 on the Americana chart.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #1 (97) - My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
  • #2 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #3 (2) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
  • #37 (-) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #49 (51) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire

Top 25 Digital Songs
  • #1 (-) - My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
  • #2 (2) - Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
  • #3 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #21 (-) - Get On Your Boots - U2

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums
  • #1 (2) - A Different Me - Keyshia Cole
  • #2 (3) - Intuition - Jamie Foxx
  • #3 (4) - I Am...Sasha Fierce - Beyonce
  • #25 (12) - NOW That's What I Call Motown! - Various Artists (Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, more)
  • #26 (35) - Cadillac Records - Soundtrack

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • #1 (1) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
  • #2 (5) - She Got Her Own - Ne-Yo Featuring Jamie Foxx & Fabolous
  • #3 (4) - Pop Champagne - Jim Jones & Ron Browz featuring Julez Santana
  • #42 (47) - There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums
  • #1 (1) - Fearless - Taylor Swift
  • #2 (2) - Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift
  • #3 (3) - Love on the Inside - Sugarland
  • #14 (13) - Troubadour - George Strait
  • #20 (19) - Long Road Out of Eden - Eagles

Top 25 Country Songs
  • #1 (3) - She Wouldn't Be Gone - Blake Shelton
  • #2 (4) - Don't - Billy Currington
  • #3 (1) - Country Boy - Alan Jackson
  • #6 (7) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #8 (9) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #10 (12) - River of Love - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums
  • #1 (1) - Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood
  • #2 (3) - Enjoy the Ride - Sugarland
  • #3 (2) - 30 #1 Hits - Elvis Presley
  • #9 (7) - 16 Greatest Hits - Johnny Cash


Top 10 Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Twilight - Soundtrack
  • #3 (-) - Noble Beast - Andrew Bird
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Rock N Roll Jesus - Kid Rock
  • #3 (3) - Black Ice - AC/DC
  • #4 (4) - Death Magnetic - Metallica

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Second Chance - Shinedown
  • #2 (2) - Indestructible - Disturbed
  • #3 (6) - Something in Your Mouth - Nickelback
  • #8 (8) - Cyanide - Metallica
  • #12 (9) - Rock N' Roll Train - AC/DC
  • #18 (22) - Big Jack - AC/DC
  • #20 (19) - The Day That Never Comes - Metallica

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #1 (-) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #2 (1) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #3 (2) - Working on a Dream - Bruce Springsteen
  • #17 (16) - Love's a Mystery - Pretenders
  • #20 (17) - Strange Overtones - David Byrne & Brian Eno

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Viva La Vida - Coldplay
  • #2 (1) - The Time of Your Life - David Cook
  • #3 (3) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #15 (16) - It's Growing - James Taylor
  • #16 (15) - What Do I Do With My Heart - Eagles

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
  • #3 (3) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • No Veteran Artists Charting


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #1 (4) - Never - Kristine W
  • #2 (2) - If I Were a Boy - Beyonce
  • #3 (6) - I Stay in Love - Mariah Carey
  • #10 (1) - Fame (The Game) - Donna Summer
  • #13 (5) - Miles Away - Madonna

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #1 (-) - Evening Wear - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • #2 (R) - Pay For It - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • #3 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #6 (3) - Miles Away - Madonna


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums

  • #1 (1) - Rhythm & Romance - Kenny G
  • #2 (5) - Smooth Jazz Number Ones - Various Artists
  • #3 (3) - River: The Joni Letters - Herbie Hancock


Music Association Top 40 Airplay

United Kingdom

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #1 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #2 (2) - Day 'N' Nite - Kid Cudi vs. Crookers
  • #3 (39) - Take Me Back - Tinchy Stryder featuring Taio Cruz
  • #96 (98) - Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi


Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles

  • #1 (1) - Poker Face - Lady Gaga
  • #2 (2) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #3 (4) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - Beyonce
  • #16 (-) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #23 (24) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #25 (19) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #33 (36) - River of Love - George Strait
  • #65 (77) - Big Jack - AC/DC


Top 50 Australian Albums

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • #1 (6) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #2 (4) - Get Shaky - The Ian Carey Project
  • #3 (3) - Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf Featuring Lil Wayne
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

No McCartney World Tour in '09, AC/DC Wins Concert Award, more

Paul McCartney will not be touring in 2009 because he doesn't want to leave his five-year-old daughter Beatrice for a long period.

A source says, "Paul and Beatrice have a real routine going, there's no way he'll disrupt that. Paul has enjoyed touring in the past but right now the priority is definitely Beatrice. He couldn't bear the thought of being away from her for any stretch of time so a full-length tour is out. He much prefers doing one-off shows."

Music site Pollstar gave out their 20th annual Concert Industry Awards on Friday night in Los Angeles with AC/DC receiving Major Tour of the Year and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss getting Most Creative Tour Package.

It's fairly rare that Saturday Night Live's host and musical guest are the same person and we're sure that person hasn't been there because of a newly released album of banjo music, but tonight's edition of the show is hosted by Steve Martin who will also perform music from his new album The Crow. Also look for Martin this week on David Letterman (Monday), Good Morning America and Regis & Kelly (both Tuesday).

Be forewarned! The inside of the jacket for Morrissey's single I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris is a shot of the singer and four band members in a state of total undress with 45's strategically placed. It hits streets on February 9.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Chris Isaak Returning to TV with Talkfest

Chris Isaak is coming back to television. Where his previous program on Showtime was a fictional take on his life, this time it's talk and variety.

The Chris Isaak Hour premiers on the Bio Channel (formerly the Biography Channel) on February 27 and, according to a press release:
It's Biography meets Storytellers. This live performance and interview show will explore the lives of mainstream musical artists by allowing them to tell their life stories through the music they've created, the songs and artists that inspired them and the relationships they forged along their path to success. Hosted by music star, Chris Issak, each episode will bring guest's stories to life as viewers discover the experiences and influences which helped mold them into the person and performer they are today. Chris delivers major music credibility to the show. His intelligent, thoughtful and sometimes irreverent conversation style interviews will put his guests at ease. Inter-cut throughout the interview segments will be exclusive live performances of featured guests shot at an intimate venue.
Initial guests on the show include Glen Campbell, Stevie Nicks, Trisha Yearwood, Smashing Pumpkins, Chicago, Michael Buble and Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens).

Issak said, "On my show artists get to talk and really get to know my guests and the sound is always great. On most TV shows, artists are asked one question at the end of the show and the sound is a bit shaky. I also get to share in the thrill of meeting and performing with great artists like Glen Campbell one week and Michael Buble the next. I'm having a blast."

Coachella Lineup Announced

The talent lineup has finally been announced for the 2009 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to be held April 17 to 19 in Indio, California. As usual, it is turning out to be one of the premier festivals of the year in the U.S.

Headliners this year are Paul McCartney (Friday), the Killers (Saturday) and the Cure (Sunday) with a wide variety of other acts playing each of the three days, including Leonard Cohen, Morrissey, Amy Winehouse, Paul Weller and X.

The following are the main acts on each of the three days along with other veteran artists who will perform. To see the full lineup, go to the Coachella site.
  • Friday, April 17
    • Paul McCartney
    • Morrissey
    • Franz Ferdinand
    • Leonard Cohen
    • Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
    • Beirut
    • The Black Keys
    • Girl Talk
  • Saturday, April 18
    • The Killers
    • Amy Winehouse
    • Thievery Corporation
    • TV on the Radio
    • Band of Horses
    • Fleet Foxes
    • Booker T and the DBTs
  • Sunday, April 19
    • The Cure
    • My Bloody Valentine
    • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    • Throbbing Gristle
    • Lupe Fiasco
    • Paul Weller
    • Paul Bjorn & John
    • X

Landis Now Trying to Stop Thriller, U2 May Buy Classic Studio, more

John Landis is taking his court case with Michael Jackson one more step.

As we previously reported, Landis is suing Jackson for back profits on the original Thriller video and Making of Thriller documentary. Now, he has amended the court papers to prevent Jackson from negotiating with Broadway's Nederland Group to bring the concept of the video to the stage. Landis is asking the court to stop any deals unless he signs off on it.

Landis was the director and helped develop the concept for the Thriller video.

It's being reported that U2 is trying to buy the recently closed Olympic Studios in London. EMI recently said they would sell the building as it was not making money as a recording studio. Not only did U2 record some of No Line on the Horizon at Olympic, but it has also been used by the likes of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

Tom Jones and Robin Gibb are two of the performers on this year's British Comedy Relief charity single. Barry Islands in the Stream is performed by the actors from the popular British show Gavin & Stacey with a wide variety of singers backing them up. The single will be available for download on March 5.

Maybe Julian and Shawn Lennon won't be performing together afterall. Fox News reported on Thursday that the pair woul finally come together at a United Nations show in February; however, Julian has posted on his MySpace page "Sorry to say, but the news today about Sean & I playing together at the UN Awards came directly out of [Fox News'] Roger Friedman's ass!

"Do they ever tell the truth at FOX? He/they didn't even attempt to get in touch with either of our reps or the producers of the UN event to find out whether this story was true or not. So you know what they represent.....J x"

James Brown Battle May Be Finally Ending

A two-year battle over the estate of James Brown may finally be coming to an end on Friday in a Columbia, South Carolina court.

It is expected that a judge will approve a settlement that would divide Brown's remaining assets and turn over the rights to his music and likeness. Half of the assets will go to a charitable trust to help educate his grandchildren and other needy students in South Carolina and Georgia. The other half would be divided between his surviving spouse and some of his adult children.

The fact is that the future rights to his recordings and likeness is probably worth much more than the assets. Over the two years, much of it has been spent in legal wrangling along with unpaid debts, shady accounting and a general mishandling of the money which led to many changes in his trustees.

Lewis Levenson, who represented the adult children, said "Rather than take the delay, rather than pay the cost and rather than risk an all-or-nothing outcome, the parties who were most interested . . . elected the wiser course, which was a settlement."

Part of the settlement finally proclaims Tomi Rae Hynie as Brown's last wife and her son as one of Brown's children. Hynie's lawyer, Robert Rosen, added "To have it over and to basically have the court declare that she's the wife and James is the son will be the most wonderful thing that can happen to her. She's been through two years of real anguish."

Springsteen's Super Bowl Press Conference

It's been over twenty years since Bruce Springsteen has been part of a press conference, but that streak ended Thursday as he participated in Super Bowl Media Day. Springsteen and the E-Street Band took questions from a standing room only crowd, talking about his career, current activities and their plans for the Super Bowl halftime performance.

On the current state of his career:
"Good times. You just have years where things happen, or years where it's quieter. But what's special for me right now is I really believe our band is going through sort of a golden age. We've made three of what I think are some of our best records in a row, which is really one of the reasons we're here. And the band, on the last tour, played the best it's ever played.

"We've been on the road awhile. We're some old soldiers. But the band is still really burning, and I really want people to know about the record. Good year, you know? It's been great."

On why he's playing the Super Bowl now after numerous previous offers:

"Initially, it was sort of a novelty and so it didn't quite feel right. But it was just like, this is the year. ... Bands of our generation, you can sort of be seen on a stage like this or, like, not seen. There's not a lot of middle places. It is a tremendous venue."

On what people should expect from the show:

"We want it to be a 12-minute party. The idea of the show is, you are going to the Meadowlands, you get lost on the way. You are watching your clock, `Damn, the show is starting right now.' You stop at a bar to get some directions, and the bar gets held up while you are there. So that takes another 45 minutes to get out of there.

"You come back and you miss your exit on the turnpike, and you are driving to get back around. And so you make it into the stadium 2 hours and 48 minutes into the show — that's what you are going to see: the last 12 minutes."

In a separate interview with the New York Times' Jon Pearles, Springsteen also addressed the recent Wal-Mart exclusive Greatest Hits set.

“We were in the middle of doing a lot of things, it kind of came down and, really, we didn’t vet it the way we usually do. We just dropped the ball on it.

...given its labor history, it was something that if we’d thought about it a little longer, we’d have done something different. It was a mistake. Our batting average is usually very good, but we missed that one. Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Diamond Gives Money to Ike Victims, Dylan Ad May Be on Super Bowl, more

Neil Diamond has turned over the profits from his latest tour's t-shirt and souvenir sales to the victims of last summer's huricane Ike.

He told CNN, "Hurricane Ike hit southern Texas so fiercely and has been forgotten about by the rest of the country - but these people are still in desperate straits, and are in dire need of our help. I saw what was going on. The mayor of Houston took me around, and he told me about it and introduced me to some people.

"The next day, I drove down to some of the hardest-hit areas, and I just felt that I had to do something, and I felt that maybe my audience would help me out with it."

A Pepsi ad with Bob Dylan and may appear during the Super Bowl. It contains a new song the pair have recorded which they are considering making available on iTunes.

Mickey Dolenz (Monkees), John Densmore (Doors), Lou Adler, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Phillips (Mamas & the Papas) were among the people attending the unveiling of a street sign renaming the street outside of Whiskey-A-Go-Go after its late owner, Elmer Valentine. John Mayall and Johnny Rivers were among those who played a tribute show at the club.

U2 and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss have been added to the list of performers for the Grammy Awards on February 8. It is also being reported that U2 will open the show.

Marie Osmond is returning to television as the host of a talk show revolving around motherhood (she is the single mother of eight). The show will be shot in Las Vegas where she performs with her brother Donny. The pair had a syndicated talker together a number of years ago.

The sons of John Lennon, Julian and Sean, will finally perform together at the UN-Millennium Goal Awards in New York on February 26.

Cheo Hodari Coker, who wrote the screenplay for the recent Notorious BIG bio-pic Notorious, has been hired to adapt the book Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC: The Authorized Biography for the screen.

Manfred Mann's Paul Jones Releasing Star Studded Solo Album

Paul Jones, the lead singer for Manfred Mann during their 60's peak (Do Wah Diddy, Sha La La) is set to release his first solo album since the 60's with Starting All Over Again. The album is due March 10 from Collector's Choice Records, where it is the labels first release ever of newly recorded material after 15 years as a reissue house.

Backing Jones on the project are a wide range of well known and studio musicians. Eric Clapton plays guitar on two tracks (Choose or Cop Out and Starting All Over Again) and is joined by Jake Andrews, guitar; Tony Marsico (Plugz, Cruzados, Neil Young, John Doe, Peter Case), bass; Alvino Bennett (LTD, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Ferry, Dave Mason), drums; Mike Thompson (Eagles, Don Henley), piano and Hammond B3 organ; Ernie Watts (Rolling Stones, Thelonious Monk, Steely Dan), saxophone; Darrell Leonard (Duane Allman, Freddie King, Smokey Robinson), trumpet; Tom Junior Moran (Percy Sledge, Mick Taylor, Phil Seymour), saxophone; Mikael Rickfors (The Hollies), backing vocals; Jake Andrews and several others.

Producing is Carla Olson, who has produced albums or tracks by Joe Louis Walker, Phil Upchurch, Otis Rush, The Ventures, Taj Mahal and a host of others, and who has recorded with Ry Cooder, Don Henley, Eric Johnson, John Fogerty, Mick Taylor and Gene Clark.

The new album features Lover To Cry, penned by Jake Andrews, guitarist on most of the album; If You Love Me (Like You Say) by bluesman Little Johnnie Taylor; Choose or Cop Out, a Jones original featuring Clapton; the title track Starting All Over Again by Stax soul star Johnnie Taylor, also featuring Clapton; I'm Gone, originated by the Swedish band The Creeps; Philosopher's Stone, a Van Morrison song; Need to Know, written by British and Nigerian artist Ola Onabule; Gratefully Blue, an Eric Bibb composition; When He Comes, written by Jones with ex-Hollies member Mikael Rickfors; and an instrumental, Alvino's Entourage. Also included is a bonus track, Big Blue Diamonds, a duet between Jones and Percy Sledge culled from Sledge's 2004 Shining Through the Rain album.

According to Jones, "Not that I knew it but I guess the reason I hadn't cut an album in so long was that I needed to record the right one. And this sure feels like the right one if I do say so myself! When producer Carla Olson approached me about recording we agreed that material was number one. I really wasn't writing a lot so we had to choose with care. After sending songs to each other it was apparent quite early that we were on the same page. We both wanted a variety of styles and tempos but it needed to sound unified as well. Rock, pop, blues. Electric, acoustic. Bare bones, band with horns and backup vocals. It's all there."

Along with cutting three previous solo albums in the 60's, Jones has acted in television (Space: 1999, The Sweeney), film (Privilage, The Committee) and on stage (Royal Shakespere Company). He also sang the part of Juan Peron on the original concept album verision of Evita from 1976.

John Martyn (1948-2009)

U.K. singer/songwriter John Martyn passed away earlier today at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The announcement came with a posting on his website:
With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.
Martyn began his career at the age of 17, playing a mix of American blues, traditional British music and the folk music of Davey Graham. Once established, he moved to London where he became a regular at the club Cousins.

In early-1968, Martyn was the first solo white artist to be signed to the reggae-based Island Records with his first album, London Conversation, being released in February of that year. While his initial effort was very much folk, each subsequent release found him experimenting with new sounds from jazz, blues and rock.

Along with being a singer and songwriter, Martyn also was an innovator, adding new effects to his sound. His most famous, the Echoplex, allowed him to loop layers of his own guitar on top of itself, using it in both live gigs and studio settings.

In the mid-70's, Martyn would battle alcoholism and a crumbling marriage to his occasional singing partner, Beverley Kutner. The problems would take their toll as his recording career began to go downhill and his live performances were marred by inappropriate song choices for the types of crowds.

During the 80's, friend Phil Collins tried to help the singer revive his career with the critically acclaimed albums Glorious Fool and Well Kept Secret, but the public did not take much notices. By 1988, Island had dropped Martyn from their roster.

Since 1990, Martyn had continued to record, mixing in even more eclectic styles such as trip-hop and funk. While he never rebuilt his original sales success, he remained an influential artist to many British musicians.

He was also confined to a wheelchair during his final years after having a leg amputated in 2003 when a cyst burst.

Phil Collins made a statement about Martyn's passing. "John's passing is terribly, terribly sad. I had worked with and known him since the late 1970s and he was a great friend. He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we'll never see the likes of him again.

"I loved him dearly and will miss him very much."

Martyn received an Order of the British Empire at this month's New Year's Honors by Queen Elizabeth and had received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC2 Radio's Folk Awards last February. Island Records celebrated his 60th birthday last September with the release of the box set, Ain't No Saint.

Dylan Licensing Wind, Bon Jovi Getting Sued, more

Bob Dylan is, for the first time in the U.K., allowing one of his songs to be used in an advertising campaign. Blowin' In the Wind will appear in ads for the British Cooperative Group to promote travel, legal and funeral services. Previously, Dylan had appeared himself in an advertisement for Victoria's Secret and had licensed songs in the U.S. to Cadillac and Apple.

Jon Bon Jovi and his partners are being sued by the former sales manager of the Philadelphia Soul, the Arena football team owned by the rocker, for $125,000 he says that he is owed by the team.

Joseph Krause says that the team owes him $83,000 in commissions from the 2008 season and $41,000 for he current season, which has been cancelled by the league due to the economy.

AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) will give Smokey Robinson their AMEE Award in Sound Recording at the March 9 Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards. The AMEE recognizes members of AFTRA who have made a significant contribution to American culture. Past winners include Roberta Flack, Maureen McGovern and Patti Austin.

Little Steven Van Zandt has told Spinner that he wants to bring his syndicated Underground Garage radio show to television.

"Our priority right now is to get a pilot on so we can get a TV show, reflecting the radio show. Shindig, Hullabaloo, kids dancing, bands playing type of show. We've been working on it for years, and we just have never been able to quite get one on yet."

Journey will perform as part of the pre-game festivities at Super Bowl XLIII this coming Sunday.

Meat Loaf is set to appear in an episode of the new British children's show Bookaboo which is designed to get children to read. He will appear in the March 2 edition on CiTV reading the book The Lamb Who Came to Dinner.

Cher marched on Los Angeles city officials on Wednesday as part of a campaign to get Billy the elephant at the LA Zoo moved to a refuge instead of a new enclosure which is currently being built.

The group, which also includes Bob Barker and Lily Tomlin, is being opposed by guitarist Slash who is a big supporter of Billy, his keepers and the design of the new enclosure.

The new Frank Sinatra compilation, Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love, debuts this week at 23 on the album charts on sales of 17,000.

Overall, sales for the week were at 6.43 million units, down 12% from the same week last year.

Allen Toussaint Releasing First Solo Record in Over a Decade

Nonesuch Records has announced that Allen Toussaint's first solo release in over ten years, The Bright Mississippi, will be in stores on April 21.

The album is produced by frequent collaborator Joe Henry and includes music by the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Django Reinhardt, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Toussaint and Henry created a band of highly regarded musicians for the sessions: clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist David Piltch, and percussionist Jay Bellerose; Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman each join Toussaint for a track as well.

Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and has been known for albums with other rock musicians, but the sound of The Bright Mississippi takes him back to his roots.

As Henry explains, “At the close of the day’s Our New Orleans session, Allen sat alone at the piano and played through an arrangement he’d devised of Professor Longhair’s Crescent City standard, Tipitina. It sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before and like everything I’d ever heard. In the weeks that followed I worried over this brief piece of music like it was a rosary, and I wasn’t alone in my devotion to it. The principals of Nonesuch Records were thinking what I was, that a door had been nudged open, and behind it lay a room; and in that room there perhaps resided a particularly gifted and heretofore unsuspected executor of the broad musical amalgam born to New Orleans at the dawn of the 20th century.”

The track list:
  • Egyptian Fantasy
  • A Dear Old Southland
  • St. Jame Infirmary
  • Singin' the Blues
  • Winin' Boy Blues
  • West End Blues
  • Blue Drag
  • Just a Closer Walk With Thee
  • Bright Mississippi
  • Day Dream
  • Long, Long Journey
  • Solitude

Bowie's Official Site Denies Recording, Coachella Reports

Over the past few days, a number of reports have surfaced that David Bowie is recording new material (as stated on his Twitter account) and would be reviving his Ziggy Stardust character at this years Coachella Festival.

A new posting on his site sets the record straight on both rumors:
What's Really Happening...

It's time for the annual Coachella denial. (11.21.2007 NEWS: BOWIE AT COACHELLA 2008...NOT)

The story goes that David Bowie was in talks to perform his Ziggy Stardust album at the festival this year, the rumour really took hold and the 'news' was reported online around the globe and in the English press.

You may have already seen the denial over at, but I'm sure the majority of you saw this tale for what it was anyway: poppycock!

However, we feel duty-bound to deny this particular story here too, lest members be fleeced of their hard-earned.

While we're about it, David Bowie does not have a Twitter account.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lynyrd Skynyrd Keyboardist Passes Away

Billy Powell, keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away earlier today (Wednesday) at his home in Orange Park, Florida at the age of 56.

Per the Associated Press, Powell called 911 at 12:55 A.M. with a trouble breathing but, by the time ambulances arrived, he was already dead. A police lieutenant said that Powell had missed a cardiac appointment earlier in the day.

Powell was one of the original members of the band and, with Gary Rossington and Artimus Pyle, were the only members that survived the 1977 plane crash that killed the rest of the band members.

Billy originally joined the group My Backyard which was made up of high school friends Ronnie Van Zandt, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington. He played with the group throughout their original run and in each of the reunions.

A number of dates are expected to be canceled with no word at this time of when the group's tour will resume.

Aretha's Star Defaced, Alex Harvey Rarity to Be Released, Country Hall Fundraiser

Aretha Franklin's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was recently defaced over her wearing of fur. "Fur Hag!" was scrolled across the star, much like a number of other celebrities including Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen and Sharon Stone. Franklin also was named last year by PETA as a celebrity who regularly wears animal pelts.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band are set to release the 1974 album Hot City which never saw the light of day in its original form. The band shelved the original version of the album as they were unhappy with the work done by producer Shel Talmy. While most of the songs ended up in new versions on their next album, The Impossible Dream, the original versions were never put out until now.

The Country Music Hall of Fame has started a $1.1 million fundraising campaign to help in paying off the costs of four instruments once owned by Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. The instruments were awarded to the museum in a recent court case but the decision requires that the hall pay $750,000 by February 22.

Ricky Skaggs is taking the appeal to the fans. “Like their lifelong partners, these beloved instruments can now rest in peace. This outcome means that we, the public, remain the owners of these treasures, and it reminds us that we are fortunate to have them protected and accessible under the stewardship of one of the finest museums in the country. As owners, we have an obligation to help with these costs, and I believe fans will be honored to have the opportunity.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Capitol Readies I.R.S. Catalog For Digital Release, McCartney Not Getting Married, more

Billboard Magazine is reporting that Capitol Records is getting ready to release the entire I.R.S. Records catalog digitally from February 10 to March 17. The catalog includes over 100 albums by the likes of the Fleshtones, Wall of Voodoo, Concrete Blonde, Oingo Boingo, Stewart Copeland, Robbie Krieger, and others.

Paul McCartney will be on tomorrow's (Thursday) edition of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

McCartney's publicist, Paul Freundlich, has also come out and said that there is no truth to the reports of impending nuptials for the singer and Nancy Shevell. Her divorce, which was reported as being finalized in early December, is also in question as the tabloids who originally reported on the story have not cited a legal source.

Film director Spike Lee told MTV News that he is still looking to make a bio-pic of James Brown starring Wesley Snipes. When it will be made, though, is still up in the air as Snipes faces a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion. Lee says that he will be using the original Brown vocal performances for the film.

Gloria Estefan will be given the BMI Icon award at their 16th annual Latin Awards, March 12 at Breakers Ponce De Leon Ballroom in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donny Osmond let it slip on the Bonnie Hunt Show that he may be a contestant on the upcoming edition of Dancing With the Stars. His sister, Marie, performed on the show last year and came in third.

Osmond taunted, "I can't let my sister upstage me. Besides, who do you think taught her how to dance?"

Landis Sues Jackson Over Thriller Video

Michael Jackson may be looking towards Broadway, but John Landis is looking back to the early 80's and all the money he says Jackson owes him from the original video for the song Thriller.

Landis co-wrote and directed the groundbreaking 14-minute video adaptation and says that the singer has used "fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct" in not paying him the 50% of the net profits that he is due. No figures are being mentioned, but the sum owed is estimated at about $1 million. Also included are profits from the making-of documentary.

Landis' attorney, Martin Feldman, told The Wrap, "I can't understand what they are doing to John Landis' company. It is such a straight ahead thing. It makes no sense at all to me."

Widow of Frank Zappa Loses German Court Case Over Festival

Gail Zappa, the widow of Frank Zappa, has lost a German court case in which she was trying to stop the organizers of the annual Zappanale Festival from using the name and a bronze statue of the late musician.

The Zappanale Festival is held every year in Bad Doberan, Germany by the German Frank Zappa Fan Club, Arf-Society. First held in 1990, the festival was started by a group of fans from the former East Germany who grew up during a time when Zappa's music was considered unacceptable by the government, with one founder even being persecuted by the East German secret police.

The bust of Zappa was commissioned in 2002 and was sculpted by Czech artist Vaclav Cesak. It now resides in the center of Bad Doberan.

The higher court in Dusseldorf ruled last Wednesday that the organizers can continue to use the name and Zappa's image on publicity and memorabilia, citing that Gail Zappa did not prove that she was using the Zappa name in Germany and that she had knowledge of the festival since it began in 1990 (Frank died in 1993).

Thomas Dippel, head of Arf-Society, said "We have always been certain that we have the older rights. We have also patented the name of the festival with the German patent office. Gail Zappa only applied for the patent of her own rights in 2002."

New Releases: January 27, 2009

Sayer Becomes an Aussie, Bowie Not Doing Ziggy, more

Leo Sayer has become an Australian citizen, taking his citizenship oath in front of Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd.

Sayer told reporters, "I'm 60 and I feel like a 20-year-old at the moment in my life here, because everyone is so much encouraging me to keep working and everything. In the old country, England, it would have been, 'Sorry, you're from the 70s and that's it.'"

A spokesman for David Bowie has denied that he will be appearing at the Coachella Festival to perform his classic Ziggy Startdust album, as claimed by some British tabloids.

Bowie did attend the Sundance Film Festival premier of his son, Duncan Jones', film Moon. The movie will receive a general release from Sony Pictures Classics in June and was produced by Sting's wife, Trudy Styler.

Anthrax will be releasing their first new album in six years, Worship Music, in June via Megaforce Records. It will be the studio debut for new singer Dan Nelson.

The Rolling Stones (Best DVD for Shine a Light) and the Cure (Album Artwork for 4:13 Dream) were the only veteran artists who received nominations for this year's NME Awards. Oasis led the pack with seven nods.

k.d. lang was nominated for a GLADD award for her album Watershed in the category of Music Artist. Elton John was also nominated for Billy Elliot: The Musical in the category of New York Theater: Broadway & Off-Broadway.
A $1.45 million dollar mansion in Hendersonville, Tennessee that was built in 1963 for Roy Orbison and was the home of Tammy Wynette in the early 80's burned to the ground on Sunday.

Ironiclly, Roy Orbison had three homes built for him during his life and all of them have burned down, including the first fire which claimed the life of two of his sons.

Newly Found 1977 Show By Thin Lizzy Coming on March 3

A newly discovered live album from Thin Lizzy will be released as Still Dangerous: Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977, on March 3 via VH1 Classic Records.

The album comes from the same period as their classic Live and Dangerous, but contains two songs not heard on the previously released album (Soldier of Fortune and Opium Trail). At the time, the band was made up of Phil Lynott (vocals/bass), Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Robertson (guitar) and Brian Downey (drums). The album is produced by Glyn Johns.

Scott Gorham talked about the tapes. "We pulled all these boxes down, and I didn't even realize how many we had! There were a hell of a lot. One of the engineers was cataloging each reel, and one box came up marked Philadelphia 2. That kinda stuck because I remembered Philadelphia but didn't know what the '2' meant. Then it hit me. What had happened, on that particular leg of the King Biscuit tour, before we actually started the tour proper, we were asked to come out and do the radio show. We were uncomfortable because we wanted to do a few warm-up shows before we went [on the air live] so we struck a deal. We said we'll go in and do this show for you if you only simulcast four songs, and let us come back in a few weeks time and do the whole show. They agreed. This tape is that second show coming back through Philadelphia where we were ready to go out and conquer America."

The track list:
  • Soldier Of Fortune
  • Jailbreak
  • Cowboy Song
  • The Boys Are Back In Town
  • Dancing In The Moonlight
  • Massacre
  • Opium Trail
  • Don't Believe A Word
  • Baby Makes Me Cry
  • Me And The Boys

Monday, January 26, 2009

Janet Cancels More Shows, Halford Trademarks Metal God, more

More touring problems for Janet Jackson. She has had to cancel a series of five shows in Japan, blaming the current downturn in the economy. That's after scrapping the European part of the tour and postponing a number of North American shows due to a bout with vertigo.

They are hoping to announce new dates sometime in March.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest has trademarked the title Metal God for use on computer games, video games and game controllers for computer games. Speculation is that a Guitar Hero/Rock Band type game may be on the way.

AC/DC will be performing the theme for Wrestlemania XXV, set for April 5.

Paul McCartney will perform (with the Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl) at the February 8 Grammy Awards. At this point, McCartney is the only veteran artist on the performers list.

In addition, Paul will perform with Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Paul Horn and Moby for the David Lynch Foundation on April 4 at Radio City Music Hall.

Ronnie Wood has parted ways from his current business manager, his stepson Jamie, who is supporting his mother in their divorce proceedings.

According to a source, "There's been a split in the family and Jamie is standing by his mother. Ronnie is recording an album in the States and Jamie had to be in constant contact with him for work. It proved too much. Jamie was not sacked, nor did Jo demand that he resign but he made the decision for the family."

For those hoping for the Faith No More reunion at Coachella, it's not going to happen. Only Mike Patton from the group will be appearing with beatboxer Rahzel.

It has not been a good week for past saxophone players from the Ray Charles Band. Last Tuesday, saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman passed away and now saxophonist and former band leader Leroy Cooper has died at the age of 80. He passed away on January 15 at his home in Orlando, Florida.

Cooper was with the Charles band in the 60's and 70's with some of his better known solos in the songs In the Heat of the Night and America the Beautiful. He also played with Dr. John, Joe Cocker and Lightnin' Hopkins and is on Lowell Fulson's classic Reconsider Baby. Towards the end of his career, he spent twenty years as the band leader at Walt Disney World.

It's easy to put together a list of the x greatest of something. It's much harder to put together such a list and write a multi-paragraph critique to say why it is great. For fans of Motown, PopMatters' list of their 25 favorite Motown records is great reading.

Thriller Coming to Broadway

The Nederland Organization, who produces shows for Broadway, has announced that they are in the midst of developing a stage adaptation of Michael Jackson's Thriller with full cooperation from the singer.

According to an Nederland statement, "This musical will be the exclusive Michael Jackson authorized version of Thriller and Jackson will participate in every aspect of the creative process."

As the original video was only 14-minutes worth of story and song, obviously there will need to be quite a bit of fleshing (no pun intended) out, which will be done by including a number of songs from both the Off the Wall and Thriller albums.

Jackson's spokesman, Dr. Tohme Tohme said, "The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theater and musical excellence, so let the music begin."

Jimmy Buffett Starts Rolling Out Dates for the Summerzcool Tour

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band are starting to announce dates for this summers trek, now known as the Summerzcool Tour.

The first date for 2009 is February 24 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and February 28 at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.

Only three other dates have been officially announced for Charlotte, North Carolina (April 21), Raleigh, North Carolina (April 23) and Detroit, Michigan (August 13), but additional shows are expected soon for Chicago, Camden, Boston, Las Vegas and New York. Tickets for the three mainland U.S. shows go on sale on Saturday.

Billboard is also reporting that a live acoustic CD is expected later in the year with songs that Buffett normally performs as the final encore at his shows.

1974 Deep Purple Footage to be Released on DVD

A DVD of television performances from 1974 by Deep Purple is slated for release on February 10 via IMV Blueline. The 55-minute performance was taped in Germany and broadcast originally in Argentina.

The sales flyer states hey perform their biggest songs raw and rocking. A unique feature of the material is the time and space allocated to Ritchie Blackmore to stretch out and demonstrate the amazing virtuoso technique. Great versions of Smoke on the Water, Burn, Space Truckin' and more."

The track list:
  • Burn
  • Might Just Take Your Life
  • Mistreated
  • Smoke On The Water
  • You Fool No One
  • The Mule
  • Space Truckin'

Sunday, January 25, 2009

McCartney May Be Ready for the Third Trip to the Alter

London's Sunday Mirror has reported that Paul McCartney is about to announce his engagement to American heiress Nancy Shevell. Shevell's divorce from her husband became official in early December, freeing the way.

The couple have been together for about a year and reports say that McCartney's children have given them their blessing. This was especially important from daughter Stella who had objections to McCartney's last wife, Heather Mills.

A McCartney insiders told the Mirror, "Getting Stella’s seal of approval was very important for Paul. Unlike Heather, Nancy is a multi-millionaire in her own right and therefore could never be portrayed as being interested in Sir Paul for his money. She is calm, measured and mature, whereas Heather is fiery and impulsive."

McCartney also sought approval from the family of his first wife, Linda. Because of his long and ongoing devotion to her memory, it is important to him to include the Eastman family in his family decisions.

If the report is true, this will be McCartney's third marriage and Shevell's second. Shevell is vice president, administration, of New England Motor Freight and the Shevell Group of Companies.

Chart Watch - January 23, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Two new albums finally break onto the Albums chart this week, ending a lengthy stagnant spell. The latest from the NOW series, NOW That's What I Call Motown!, lands at 13 on the Albums and twelve on the R&B Albums charts.
  • Further down the list is the Wal-Mart exclusive Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band Greatest Hits, which premiers at 86. The title track from the upcoming Waiting for a Dream album moves 6 to 2 at AAA Radio. Plus, in Britain, the theme song from The Wrestler just edges onto the singles chart at 93.
  • Paul McCartney and Youth's Electric Arguments (credited as Fireman) moves 166 to 91 after a round of publicity appearances on Howard Stern and The View.
  • Charlie Wilson, lead singer for the Gap Band, returns to the R&B charts at number 47 with his new single There Goes My Baby.
  • Donna Summer returns to the top of the Dance Club Play chart, her 13th chart topper, with Fame (the Game). That's the third straight number one from her current album, Crayons, her longest streak since the late 70's.
  • The British do love their older artists and it shows this week as the top album by a veteran goes to the new Roger Whittaker compilation, The Golden Age of Roger Whittaker: 50 Years of Classics, which starts at number 16.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #1 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #2 (2) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
  • #3 (3) - Heartless - Kanye West
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 25 Digital Songs
  • #1 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #2 (4) - Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
  • #3 (2) - Heartless - Kanye West
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums
  • #1 (-) - Notorious - Soundtrack
  • #2 (1) - A Different Me - Keyshia Cole
  • #3 (2) - Intuition - Jamie Foxx
  • #12 (-) - NOW That's What I Call Motown! - Various Artists (Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, more)
  • #35 (28) - Cadillac Records - Soundtrack

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • #1 (1) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
  • #2 (2) - Live Your Live - T.I. featuring Rhianna
  • #3 (3) - Chopped 'N' Skewered - T-Pain featuring Ludacris
  • #47 (-) - There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums
  • #1 (1) - Fearless - Taylor Swift
  • #2 (2) - Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift
  • #3 (3) - Love on the Inside - Sugarland
  • #13 (13) - Troubadour - George Strait
  • #19 (23) - Long Road Out of Eden - Eagles

Top 25 Country Songs
  • #1 (5) - Country Boy - Alan Jackson
  • #2 (1) - Start a Band - Brad Paisley Duet with Keith Urban
  • #3 (9) - She Wouldn't Be Gone - Blake Shelton
  • #7 (11) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #9 (13) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #12 (14) - River of Love - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums


Top 10 Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Twilight - Soundtrack
  • #3 (5) - David Cook - David Cook
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Rock N Roll Jesus - Kid Rock
  • #3 (4) - Black Ice - AC/DC
  • #4 (3) - Death Magnetic - Metallica

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #1 (1) - Second Chance - Shinedown
  • #2 (2) - Indestructible - Disturbed
  • #3 (6) - Something in Your Mouth - Nickelback
  • #8 (13) - Cyanide - Metallica
  • #9 (8) - Rock N' Roll Train - AC/DC
  • #19 (16) - The Day That Never Comes - Metallica

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #1 (1) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #2 (6) - Working on a Dream - Bruce Springsteen
  • #3 (2) - Rock & Roll - Eric Hutchinson
  • #16 (26) - Love's a Mystery - Pretenders
  • #17 (15) - Strange Overtones - David Byrne & Brian Eno

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #1 (1) - The Time of Your Life - David Cook
  • #2 (2) - Viva La Vida - Coldplay
  • #3 (4) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #15 (15) - What Do I Do With My Heart - Eagles
  • #16 (17) - It's Growing - James Taylor

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
  • #2 (1) - Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
  • #3 (4) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • No Veteran Artists Charting


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #1 (3) - Fame (The Game) - Donna Summer
  • #2 (8) - If I Were a Boy - Beyonce
  • #3 (5) - Ooh Yeah - Moby
  • #5 (2) - Miles Away - Madonna

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #1 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #2 (3) - Water Curses - Animal Collective
  • #3 (2) - Miles Away - Madonna
  • #8 (10) - Give It 2 Me - Madonna


Top 15 Jazz Albums
  • #1 (2) - Jazz Signatures 2 - Various Artists
  • #2 (-) - Bossa Nova Stories - Elaine Elias
  • #3 (-) - Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records - The Blue Note 7
  • #6 (5) - Two Men With the Blues - Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
  • #7 (7) - Speak Low - Boz Scaggs
  • #8 (6) - Still Unforgettable - Natalie Cole
  • #13 (10) - A Swingin' Christmas - Tony Bennett Featuring the Count Basie Big Band

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums


Music Association Top 40 Airplay

United Kingdom

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #1 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #2 (-) - Day 'N' Nite - Kid Cudi vs. Crookers
  • #3 (2) - Broken Strings - James Morrison & Nelly Furtado
  • #93 (-) - The Wrestler - Bruce Springsteen
  • #98 (91) - Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi


Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles

  • #1 (2) - Poker Face - Lady Gaga
  • #2 (1) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #3 (3) - Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
  • #19 (20) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #24 (26) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #36 (42) - River of Love - George Strait
  • #77 (87) - Big Jack - AC/DC


Top 50 Australian Albums

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • #1 (6) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #2 (4) - Get Shaky - The Ian Carey Project
  • #3 (3) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • No Veteran Artists Charting