Monday, May 31, 2010

Ronnie James Dio Memorial Draws Fans and Fellow Musicians

Cover of the Memorial
The memorial for Ronnie James Dio was held on Sunday afternoon at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn.  Despite the protests from the Westboro Baptist Church, the ceremony was attended by fans and fellow musicians with many both speaking and performing.  A video screen was used outside of the building for those who could not gain admittance to the hall that seats 1,200. 

David Feinstein, who was Dio's cousin and a bandmate in Elf, said "He touched all of us with his music and his message and his magic.  I know that Ronnie truly loved all of you. He had a great appreciation for your loyalty. I'm talking about all you out there, all the fans."

Many who spoke talked about Ronnie's involvement with the Children of the Night, an organization run by his wife, Wendy, which rehabilitates former teenage prostitutes.  One of the most touching and important moments came when son Dan Padavona urged the crowd to take be vigilant about their health.  "I beg you not to make the same mistake my dad made.  For dad, the show always had to go on. He ignored the warning signs for years, and all along the cancer was growing and mutating from something that was probably easily defeatable into a monster which even Dio couldn't slay."

Among the songs performed at the memorial were This is Your Life (Scott Warren of Heaven and Hell), Heaven and Hell (John Payne of Asia), Man on the Silver Moon (Joey Belladonna of Anthrax), Catch the Rainbow (Glenn Hughes), Hallelujah (Geoff Tate of Queensryche) and In My Life (Paul Shortino of Quiet Riot).

Although not the best video, here is Glen Hughes' performance:

Joe Walsh Says "There Goes the Neighborhood"

There Goes the NeighborhoodBack in 1981, Joe Walsh released the album There Goes the Neighborhood.  Little did he know that he would be saying that for real when he had to take out a restraining order against one of his elderly neighbors.

California court records show that Walsh filed for the order against Nassar Adhoot, a man in his 70's, after he threatened to kill Walsh.  TMZ reports that the man trespassed on Walsh's property in early May and struck is personal assistant with a block of wood, telling the assistant "You tell Joe Walsh I'm going to kill him. I'm going to shoot him."

There have been no reports on why the man was upset with Walsh.  The request for the restraining order covers Walsh, his wife and all of his staff.

Ali "Ollie" Woodson of the Temptations Dead at 58

Right Here All AlongAlie "Ollie" Woodson, who sang with the Temptations from 1984 to 1987 and again from 1989 to 1997, died on Sunday at the age of 58.  He had been battling leukemia since 2008. 

Woodson was originally hired as a musician and later was promoted to a singer in Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters, touring extensively with the group.  He and Pinkney had a special bond with Ollie calling him his Father in the music business.

Truly For YouIn 1984, he was brought in to replace Bernard Edwards as a member of the Temptations and was responsible for keeping the group relevant in changing musical times.  He co-wrote, co-produced and sang lead on their number 2 R&B hit Treat Her Like a Lady and stayed with the group for three years before striking out on his own.

In 1988, he returned to the group where he remained until 1996 when he left to battle throat cancer.  He joined one last time in 2002 for a Japanese tour when permanent member Bo Henderson was not able to travel with the group.

As a solo artist, he recorded the album Right Here All Along (2001) and toured with his group Ollie Woodson and the Emperors of Soul.  He also worked with another version of the Temptations, the Temptations Revue with Dennis Edwards, from 2006 to 2008.

Chart Watch Canada: Chart Date May 27, 2010

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Canadian music charts.  Chart highlights:
  • The Rolling Stones debut at number 3 on the Canadian Album chart with the re-released Deluxe Edition of Exile on Main Street giving them the biggest selling album of the week by a veteran artist.  AC/DC's Iron Man 2 Soundtrack drops 3 to 6. 
  • The only new album by a veteran artist to chart this week is Triumph's Greatest Hits Remixed.  It starts at 58 on the Album and 8 on the Hard Rock Album charts.
  • Johnny Cash retakes the top selling Country Album by a veteran artist as American VI: Ain't No Grave moves from 17 to 15 while Willie Nelson's Country Music drops from 12 to 19.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.  (N) indicates a new release.  (R) indicates a record that is re-charting.  There can be ties in chart positions.

Exile on Main StreetTop 100 Canadian Albums
  • #1 (N) - Glee: The Music: Showstoppers - Glee Cast
  • #2 (N) - Un Pied a Terre - William DeSlauriers
  • #3 (N) - Exile on Main Street - Rolling Stones
  • #4 (1) - My World 2.0 - Justin Bieber
  • #5 (N) - Brothers - Black Keys
  • #6 (3) - Iron Man 2 Soundtrack - AC/DC
  • #44 (58) - Histoire D'Amour Avec Le Quebec - Gilbert Becaud
  • #45 (50) - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of - ABBA
  • #46 (34) - Live at the Troubadour - Carole King & James Taylor
  • #53 (18) - Hang Cool Teddy Bear - Meat Loaf
  • #57 (49) - Recollection - k.d. lang
  • #58 (N) - Greatest Hits Remixed - Triumph
  • #67 (55) - Soldier of Love - Sade
  • #72 (51) - Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
  • #82 (73) - Legend: Best of - Bob Marley & the Wailers
Top 100 Canadian Singles (Airplay)
  • #1 (2) - Break Your Heart - Taio Cruise Featuring Ludacris
  • #2 (1) - Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
  • #3 (3) - Hey, Soul Sister - Train
  • #4 (9) - Alejandro - Lady Gaga
  • #5 (4) - Your Love is My Drug - Ke$ha
  • #38 (37) - I Gotta Get to You - George Strait
  • #50 (59) - I Keep on Loving You - Reba McEntire
  • #53 (61) - Let Me Hear You Scream - Ozzy Osbourne
The Digital Downloads, R&B, Country and Hard Rock charts are after the cut.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Slim Bryant, Last Known Surviving Musician to Have Played With Jimmie Rodgers, Passes Away at 101

Hoyt 'Slim' Bryant & His WildcatsThomas Hoyt "Slim" Bryant had quite a life.  He recorded with Jimmie Rodgers, was on the first television program to air in Pittsburgh, PA and wrote songs that were recorded by everyone from Lead Belly to Nirvana.  Slim Bryant passed away on Friday at St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon, PA at the age of 101.

Bryant was born into a musical family, his father playing fiddle and his mother a "parlor" guitar player, but it wasn't until after high school that Slim started to really study music.  He tried to pick up guitar from watching some of the great country and jazz stars of the day but eventually started studying under Perry Bechtel.

Slim's first love, early on, was songwriting, taking after his mother who regularly wrote poetry.  His early compositions included Mother, The Queen of My Heart, which was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers, and In the Pines which has gone on to be performed by everyone from Lead Belly to Duane Eddy to Nirvana (who called it Where Did You Sleep Last Night).

In 1931, Bryant joined The Georgia Wildcats and toured around the east playing on big radio stations like WSM in Nashville, WLW in Cincinnati and KDKA in Pittsburgh.  A chance request from Jimmie Rodgers for the services of another band member led to Slim joining in on a recording session in Camden, NJ, one of the last that Rodgers would have before dieing of tuberculosis.  It was at that session that Rodgers recorded Mother, Queen of My Heart and used Bryant extensively for guitar work on all the tracks.

The Georgia Wildcats got back together soon after and continued to play around the east until, in 1937, they were signed to Decca leading to five recording sessions in New York.  Three years later, the group took up residence in Pittsburgh where they played on KDKA's local farm show every morning from six to seven, a job that would last until 1957.

In the late 40's, Slim wrote a new song based on a rhyme from his childhood called Eeny Meeny Dixie Deeny that became a regional hit though it never broke nationally.  The group played on the first show broadcast on Pittsburgh's new TV station, WDTV, which eventually led to them hosting Duquesne Showtime once per month where they would have nationally knows guests, along with shows in other timeslots.  They also appeared nationally five times on ABC's Jubilee U.S.A.

As the 50's closed, the Wildcats went their separate ways and Slim and his wife opened a card store in Dormont, PA.  Slim kept busy for the rest of his life teaching guitar and, in 2007 at the age of 98, he rerecorded 31 of his songs for a new CD.

Aerosmith's U.S. Tour Dates

Draw the LineThe reinvigorated Aerosmith takes to the road in late July for the Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock tour.  Starting July 23 in Oakland, CA, the tour takes them through 19 cities, finishing up in early September.

Joe Perry told England's Classic Rock magazine that the group is raring to go.  "The atmosphere in the room is just incredible. Everyone in the band is at the top of their game, including Steven [Tyler], whose singing is awesome. He also looks great."

The itinerary:
  • 07/23 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
  • 07/26 - Paso Robles, CA - California Mid-State Fair
  • 07/29 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 07/31 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
  • 08/03 - Dallas, TX - Amphitheatre
  • 08/05 - Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • 08/07 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
  • 08/09 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - BankAtlantic Center
  • 08/12 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • 08/14 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park
  • 08/17 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
  • 08/19 - Omaha, NE - Qwest Center
  • 08/22 - Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
  • 08/24 - Holmdel, NJ - PNJ Bank Arts Center
  • 08/26 - Syracuse, NY - New York State Fair
  • 08/28 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
  • 08/31 - Detroit, MI - The Palace at Auburn Hills
  • 08/02 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
  • 08/04 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena

Set List: Bon Jovi Opens the New Meadowlands Stadium

The Circle / When We Were Beautiful (CD + DVD)Bon Jovi took to the stage of the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Wednesday night becoming the first artist to play in the facility.  55,000 joined along for the 2-1/2 hour show that took full advantage of the stadium's new giant screens and sound system.

The set list:

Main Set:
  • Blood On Blood
  • We Weren’t Born To Follow
  • You Give Love A Bad Name
  • Whole Lotta Leavin’
  • Born To Be My Baby
  • Lost Highway
  • Raise Your Hands
  • Runaway
  • When We Were Beautiful
  • Superman Tonight
  • We Got It Going On
  • Bad Medicine/Roadhouse Blues
  • It’s My Life
  • Love’s The Only Rule
  • Lay Your Hands On Me
  • Hallelujah
  • I’ll Be There For You
  • Something For The Pain
  • Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
  • Have A Nice Day
  • Work For The Working Man
  • Who Says You Can’t Go Home
  • Keep The Faith
  • Dry County
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive
  • Living On A Prayer

Bon Jovi performs You Give Love a Bad Name at New Meadowlands Stadium

The Time Reform for Album and Tour

The TimeLet Jay and Silent Bob know the news!  The Time, purveyors of Jungle Love and The Walk, have reformed for a new album and short tour.

The group was originally formed by Prince in 1981 with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Monte Moir and Jellybean Johnson of a Minneapolis group called Flyte Time.  He added guitarist Jesse Johnson, vocalist Morris Day and Jerome Benton as a backup singer, dancer and comic foil for the band.  They released four albums or, should we say, they put their name on four albums that were essentially Prince playing the instruments and Day on vocals.

The arrangement led to great amounts of infighting between the members of the group and Prince and original members started breaking off into their own careers.  Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis went on to a huge career as producers and Jesse Johnson recorded critically acclaimed solo albums.  The original group came back together in 1990 to record Pandemonium and to be involved with Prince's movie Graffiti Bridge, but they soon broke apart again due to the internal pressures.

Since 1995, The Time has been touring in some form or another, but rarely with the original six members.  Two years ago they all came together to play a series of shows at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, but their latest activities are the first to reform them for an extended time.

The new album is currently being finished up and, according to Jesse Johnson, will see release in the Fall. asked the guitarist if he was excited about the new material and hitting the stage with the group.  "Not really.  I mean [the gigs are] cool but I'm more excited about the new Time record that we've been completing over the last couple of months. It's hard to get excited about playing songs that we've already played before, but I'm excited about the new stuff."

The itinerary for their short tour:

05/28 & 29 - Las Vegas, NV - Hilton
06/10 - Chicago, IL - Arie Crown Theater
06/11 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theater
06/12 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall

Preview: Spot the Difference - Squeeze

Artist: Squeeze
Title: Spot the Difference

Release Date: August 3, 2010
Label: Anchor & Home Music
Format(s): CD, Digital

For years, artists have rerecorded their catalog due to everything from loss of their rights to the original masters to getting a big wad of money thrown at them.  We're not sure what the reason is for the new Squeeze album Spot the Difference, but they want you to think that it's an integrity thing.

The group has gone back in the studio and rerecorded some of their most popular tracks, doing everything that they can to recreate them like the original, thus the title of the album, Spot the Difference.  They have also said in a statement, "The quality of these ‘new’ tracks cements the band’s legacy, not only serving as a reminder of how great those songs were but how compelling they sound today."

Just how serious were they abut their recreations?  They brought Paul Carrack in to rerecord his vocals on Tempted.  In addition, there will be two yet un-named bonus tracks included with the digital version of the album.

Track List:
  • Goodbye Girl
  • Slap & Tickle
  • Take Me I’m Yours
  • Some Fantastic Place
  • Up The Junction
  • Labelled With Love
  • Another Nail In My Heart
  • Cool For Cats
  • Is That Love
  • Pulling Mussels From A Shell
  • Tempted
  • Loving You Tonight
  • Hourglass
  • Black Coffee In Bed

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chart Watch America: Chart of June 5, 2010

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights
  • The Rolling Stones return to the charts with the new edition of Exile on Main Street which debuts at number 2.  That's the highest they've been on the Album chart since 40 Licks went to number 2 in 2002.  For a studio album, you have to go back to 1994 and Voodoo Lounge which also peaked at 2. 
  • The Stones also debut at 27 with the Target exclusive Exile on Main Street: Rarities Edition.
  • The Statler Brothers had previously placed thirteen albums on the Top 200 chart prior this week with their last being 1986's Four for the Show.  This week, they place two new albums on the chart with Gospel Music Volumes 1 and 2 starting at 113 and 116.  Those chart placements are also the second and third highest of their career, behind only 1981's Years Ago which peaked at number 103. 

    On the Country Album chart, the two volumes start at 16 and 17, their highest placements since 1987's Maple Street Memories which reached number 9.
  • In the week after the death of metal great Ronnie James Dio, his band Dio's album Holy Diver returns to the Album chart at 149.
  • Johnny Winter's Live at the Fillmore East 10/3/70, from the first batch of live albums released by Collector's Choice, tops the Blues Album chart in its first week of release.  Also new is Magic Slim and the Teardrop's Raising the Bar at number 8.
  • The first single from Ozzy Osbourne's upcoming album, Scream, has reached the Rock Song top ten.  Let Me Hear You Scram is at 7.
  • Bill Kerchen, part of Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen in the 70's, debuts at number 39 on the Americana chart with Word to the Wise.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) is a new entry. (R) is a re-entry. Grayed charts were not available for update at time of publication.


Exile on Main StreetTop 200 Albums
  • #1 (N) - Glee: The Music, Volume 3: Showstoppers - Glee Cast
  • #2 (R) - Exile on Main Street - Rolling Stones
  • #3 (N) - Brothers - Black Keys
  • #4 (1) - My World 2.0 - Justin Bieber
  • #5 (N) - Distant Relatives - Nas & Damien Marley
  • #9 (4) - Iron Man 2 Soundtrack - AC/DC
  • #11 (6) - Live at the Troubadour - Carole King and James Taylor
  • #27 (N) - Exile on Main Street: Rarities Edition - Rolling Stones (Target Exclusive)
  • #46 (52) - Encores - Jimmy Buffett
  • #48 (41) - Soldier of Love - Sade
  • #77 (N) - Philly Soul: The Sound of Philadelphia: 1967 - 1980 - Various Artists
  • #86 (27) - Hang Cool Teddy Bear - Meat Loaf
  • #94 (85) - Valleys of Neptune - Jimi Hendrix
  • #108 (108) - Legend: The Best of - Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • #113 (N) - The Gospel Music, Volume 1 - Statler Brothers
  • #115 (111) - Number Ones - Michael Jackson
  • #116 (N) - The Gospel Music, Volume 2 - Statler Brothers
  • #119 (113) - Greatest Hits - Journey
  • #130 (82) - Country Music - Willie Nelson
  • #141 (144) - Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • #149 (R) - Holy Diver - Dio
  • #161 (157) - Keep On Loving You - Reba McEntire
  • #162 (46) - Love is Strange - Jackson Browne and David Lindley
  • #169 (183) - Somewhere Down the Road - Amy Grant
  • #172 (173) - Back in Black - AC/DC
  • #174 (172) - Essential - Michael Jackson
  • #175 (170) - This is It - Michael Jackson
  • #178 (141) - The Circle - Bon Jovi
  • #186 (188) - Greatest Hits - Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
  • #189 (150) - Emotion & Commotion - Jeff Beck
  • #191 (195) - Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
  • #192 (194) - Nothing But the Best - Frank Sinatra
  • #194 (185) - Gold: Greatest Hits - ABBA

    TwangTop 100 Singles
    • #1 (1) - OMG - Usher Featuring
    • #2 (3) - Airplanes - B.o.B Featuring Eminem and Haley Williams
    • #3 (2) - California Gurls - Katy Perry Featuring Snoop Dogg
    • #4 (5) - Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz Featuring Ludacris
    • #5 (4) - Nothin' On You - B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
    • #70 (78) - I Gotta Get to You - George Strait 
    • #90 (94) - I Keep on Loving You - Reba McEntire
    The Digital, Radio Airplay, R&B, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Dance, Jazz and Americana charts are after the cut.

    Set List: Grand Ole Opry's 85th Anniversary Show

    The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 85th anniversary on Tuesday night at its original home, the Ryman Auditorium (the current Opry remains shut down while flood repairs are performed) with a smoking set from four of the genres great guitarists, Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Brad Paisley.

    The first half of the Tuesday night show featured three other Opry veterans, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jeannie Seely and Bill Anderson, but it was the second half of the show that lit the place up.  Each of the artists did their own three song sets that mixed hits with some guitar pyrotechnics.  The four artists then came back for a two-song group playoff.

    The set list for the second half of the show:
    • 1620 - Steve Wariner
    • Guitar Talk - Steve Wariner
    • Blue Angel - Steve Wariner
    • Toy Heart - Ricky Skaggs
    • The Bluegrass Stomp - Ricky Skaggs
    • You Can't Shake Jesus - Ricky Skaggs
    • One More Last Chance - Vince Gill
    • Whenever You Come Around - Vince Gill
    • Liza Jane - Vince Gill
    • Water - Brad Paisley
    • Waitin' on a Woman - Brad Paisley
    • Mud on the Tires - Brad Paisley
    • Workin' Man Blues - Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill & Brad Paisley
    • Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill & Brad Paisley

    Is It Possible We've Never Really HEARD Robert Johnson?

    The Complete RecordingsDuring his short life and even shorter recording career, bluesman Robert Johnson recorded 29 songs, but that small discography didn't stop him from going on to being arguably the most influential artist ever in blues and rock.

    The songs were originally issued on Vocalion 78's from 1938 to 1940 and wouldn't be heard by the public again until a two volume retrospective from Columbia Records in the 60's.  The ultimate retrospective of Johnson was released in 1990 with Columbia's The Complete Recordings which had all 29 original recordings and twelve outtakes.

    Now, according to an article in the Guardian, musicologists have determined that we've been listening to the records at the wrong speed, a whole 20% faster than they were originally recorded.  The theory is based on the fact that OKeh/Vocalion were well known for changing the speed on their releases to obtain a desired feel (or possibly because of equipment in disrepair). 

    Guardian writer Jon Wilde describes the experience.
    As we speak, I'm listening to a slowed-down version of Come on in My Kitchen. The original version is so familiar to me it's practically cemented in my DNA. Once accustomed to this slower version, acclimatised to the lower-pitched vocal and less hectic guitar, I find it even more beautifully haunting than the rendition I've known and loved for more than 30 years. In the new version Johnson sounds more natural, exactly like he ought to sound.
    It's unknown whether the sped up mastering was an accident or an intentional act by the record company.  The Columbia albums are not to be blamed as they used the original 78's as they were released and the original recordings are long gone.  The Guardian article links to a site that is supposedly selling an album of the slowed tracks; however, at the time of this article the site was unavailable due to exceeding its bandwidth allocation.  The real question is, will Columbia remaster the recordings at the theoretical natural speed? 

    Country's Judy Lynn Passes Away

    The Judy Lynn Show Plays AgainJudy Lynn, the country singer who had a 1962 top ten country hit with Footsteps of a Fool, passed away on Wednesday at her home in Jeffersonville, IN from congestive heart failure.  She was 74.

    Judy Lynn Kelly got her first break in the early-50's when she was hired to replace an ailing Jean Shepard on a Grand Ole Opry Tour.  For the rest of the decade, she spent her time touring with T. Texas Tyler, hosting radio shows in Fargo and Minot, ND and being chosen as 1955's Miss Idaho.

    Lynn recorded many sides in the 50's that were released on Coral, Amaret, Sparton and Josie Records but it wasn't until 1962, while she was recording for United Artists, that she finally broke onto the country top 40 with Footsteps of a Fool.  

    Judy only charted two more times in her career, both in 1963, with My Secret (Country #29) and My Father's Voice (Country #16).  She continued to work in the music business and tour until 1980 when she retired to become an ordained minister. 

    She is survived by a daughter, 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. 

    Gibson Guitars Announces Their 50 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

    Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi HendrixThe people at Gibson Guitars asked their website readers to name the people they felt were the greatest guitarists of all time.  The people at Gibson then added their own votes in and came up with a top 50 that they have been revealing all week on their website.

    As these lists normally go, Jimi Hendrix came out on top and they actually did a pretty respectable job of pulling out most of the greats (although they are a little light on blues and folk, i.e. B.B. King, Leo Kottke, John Fahey).  It's obvious that the people at Gibson were a major factor in shaping the list as the reader's vote included nine guitarists in their top twenty that didn't make the overall list, including Warren Haynes (#4),  Rik Emmett of Triumph (#7), Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush (#8), Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains (#11), Dickey Betts (#13), Derek Trucks (#15), Jerry Garcia (#16), Joe Satriani (#19) and Joe Bonamassa (#20).

    We were going to originally just list the top five and the rankings of the veteran artists that fell lower on the list, but there were only four that weren't veterans, so here's the whole thing.  You can go to the Gibson site to see their write-up on each guitarist:
    • 01. Jimi Hendrix
    • 02. Jimmy Page
    • 03. Keith Richard
    • 04. Eric Clapton
    • 05. Chuck Berry
    • 06. Jeff Beck
    • 07. Eddie Van Halen
    • 08. Chet Atkins
    • 09. Robert Johnson
    • 10. Pete Townshend
    • 11. George Harrison
    • 12. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    • 13. Jack White
    • 14. Prince
    • 15. Steve Cropper
    • 16. Mike Bloomfield
    • 17. B.B. King
    • 18. Wes Montgomery
    • 19. Mick Ronson
    • 20. Django Reinhardt
    • 21. Johnny Marr
    • 22. Les Paul
    • 23. The Edge
    • 24. Ron Asheton
    • 25. Angus Young
    • 26. Neil Young
    • 27. Danny Gatton
    • 28. Ed O'Brien & Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)
    • 29. Duane Allman
    • 30. Roy Buchannan
    • 31. Bo Diddley
    • 32. Ry Cooder
    • 33. Scotty Moore
    • 34. Slash
    • 35. Buddy Guy
    • 36. Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
    • 36. Charlie Christian
    • 38. Lou Reed
    • 39. Frank Zappa
    • 40. Steve Jones (Sex Pistols)
    • 41. David Gilmour
    • 42. Richard Thompson
    • 42. John Frusciante (ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    • 42. Rory Gallagher
    • 42. Clarence White
    • 42. Hubert Sumlin
    • 47. Andrea Segovia
    • 47. Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
    • 49. Kurt Cobain
    • 49. Ritchie Blackmore

    Prine, Helm, Martin and More at 51st Newport Folk Festival

    The Newport Folk Festival has announced its schedule of performers for the 51st annual show, set for July 30, 31 and August 1.

    The festival was started in 1959 by George Wein (founder of the Newport Jazz Festival) with the help of Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, Pete Seeger and Albert Grossman.  Over the years, it has launched the careers of many newcomers and provided a sometimes not overly friendly stage for established stars taking their careers in a new direction (see 1965's Dylan goes electric).

    The festival has also branched out from its original routes in folk and blues to include a number of different styles of music from the bluegrass of Steve Martin to the traditional jazz of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the R&B of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

    The festival kicks off Friday night with An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo featuring Martin, Tim O'Brien and Sarah Jarosz.  The more traditional multi-stage event takes over for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon shows.

    Here are the acts that have been announced for the festival (veteran acts in bold):

    Friday, July 30 (International Tennis Hall of Fame)
    • Steve Martin performing with the Steep Canyon Rangers
    • Tim O’Brien
    • Sarah Jarosz
    Saturday, July 31 (Fort Adams State Park)
    • John Prine
    • Andrew Bird
    • Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket
    • Calexico
    • Brandi Carlile
    • Doc Watson & David Holt
    • Sam Bush
    • Blitzen Trapper
    • The Low Anthem
    • Dawes
    • A.A. Bondy
    • Nneka
    • Horse Feathers
    • Sarah Jarosz
    • O’Death
    • Liz Longley
    Sunday, August 1 (Fort Adams State Park)
    • The Levon Helm Band’s Ramble on the Road w/ Special Guests
    • The Swell Season
    • The Avett Brothers
    • Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
    • The Preservation Hall Jazz Band w/ Special Guests
    • Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
    • The Felice Brothers
    • The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile
    • Richie Havens
    • Tao Seeger Band
    • Justin Townes Earle
    • Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three
    • Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore
    • Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Ozzy: Real or Wax?

    ScreamOzzy Osbourne seems to be having a great time at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York City as he does the old Candid Camera routine of scaring people and making them scream (get it?  Scream.  That's his upcoming album).

    In all honesty, there are a few very funny moments here.

    Roger Waters Tells BBC Live 8 May Have Been the End for Pink Floyd

    Roger Waters - The Wall (Live in Berlin)In an interview with the BBC, Roger Waters expressed his feelings on the end of Pink Floyd, who last played together at the 2005 Live 8 show.

    "It was an extraordinarily moving experience for me and if that's the way we draw a line under Pink Floyd, so be it."

    The group had been asked to do a later show in New York, but David Gilmour had no interest. "I think Live 8 was probably itaand Live 8 was so beautiful, and Rick [keyboardist Richard Wright] obviously was still with us then.  If that's the way we draw a line under Pink Floyd, so be it.  I won't be unhappy about that."

    "However, if the others wanted to do something at some point, I'm always open to suggestions. So far, there haven't been any."

    Waters is about to hit the road performing Floyd's The Wall in the U.S. and Europe.

    Preview: Midnight Flyer - Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere

    Midnight FlyerArtist: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere
    Title: Midnight Flyer 
    Release Date: June 15, 2010
    Label: Stax/Concord
    Format(s): CD, Digital

    Two true veterans of music, Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MGs & session man) and Felix Cavaliere (Rascals) come together for the second time on June 15 with their new album Midnight Flyer.  The album follows up their critically acclaimed 2008 release Nudge It Up a Notch.

    The album was co-produced and co-written by Cropper, Cavaliere and Tom Hambridge and mixed by the legendary David Z.

    From the album press release:
    “Felix and I come from pretty much the same musical school — but from different geographical locations,” says Cropper. “He’s a Jersey boy at heart, and I grew up in Memphis , but when soul meets soul, what can you say? There are no borders. There are no boundaries.”

    But geography does play a role in the making of great songs, says Cavaliere. “Steve has that Southern vernacular, which is something I really like,” he says. “It’s almost like another language to those of us from the East Coast. It has a certain folky quality to it. Some of those idioms are part of the hit songs that Steve has written and recorded over the years, and they’re part of this record as well.”

    The result is a range of styles and shades, from heartfelt ballads like When You’re With Me to the soul-charged I Can’t Stand It, a churning vocal duet featuring Cavaliere and his daughter Aria. Sexy Lady harkens back to the soul stylings of the ’70s, while the funky instrumental Do It Like This digs into a tight groove and makes plenty of room for Cropper’s tasty riff work to close out the set.

    “The main thing we both take away from this record is how much fun we had making it,” says Cavaliere. “We may have used a lot of new technology that didn’t even exist when Steve and I were recording back in the day, but the songs themselves are still the most important part of the process, and we just had a blast writing and recording them. I think that spirit comes through on the record.”

    Cropper notes a timelessness about Cavaliere that serves as a metaphor for the music itself. “Felix is ageless,” he says. “Sure, you can look at him and see that he’s gotten older since those early days, just like we all have. But if you close your eyes, he sounds as young and energetic as he did when he was making records back in the ’60s . . . Working together on records like this reminds us of the kinds of things that go into the making of a good song. We’re still doing that, and we’re still having fun doing it.”
    Track List:
    • You Give Me All I Need
    • Midnight Flyer
    • Now
    • When You're With Me
    • I Can't Stand It
    • Chance With Me
    • Move The House
    • Sexy Lady
    • Early Morning Riser
    • All Night Long
    • I Can't Stand The Rain
    • Do It Like This

    So, the Name Black Country is Taken? Well Go With Black Country Communion

    The new group made up of Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple), Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian has unveiled its official name while, at the same time, debuting its new website. The group who originally took on the name of Black Country, only to find that another band was already using it, have decided to go with variation on the theme, calling themselves Black Country Communion (or BC Communion or even BCC for short).

    At this point, the BCC website is a bit lite on content, but they're just getting started.  You can get a bio of each of the band members and a note from producer Kevin Shirley.

    The groups debut album is in the can and word is it should be out by September, but there is no official release date.  As far as sound, producer Shirley writes "The music – well Classic Rock was my brief to them. Ignore trends, forget American Idol and all their bastardized pop offspring, bypass Heavy Metal and formulaic style and write rock music you like and that’s easy to like. For the car, and for a stadium of people who enjoyed good Classic Rock."

    We posted this back in March but here it is again, the band's song One Last Soul.

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    This Month's Peter Gabriel Scratch My Back Video - Gabriel's Mirrorball/Elbow's Mercy Street

    Scratch My BackThis months Scratch My Back documentary and single release is Peter Gabriel performing Elbow's Mirrorball and Elbow doing Gabriel's Mercy Street.  As with each month's video, this is fifteen minute documentary on the making of the tracks and why the artists chose them to cover.

    Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back project has Gabriel recording an album of covers of other people's material and those artists, in return, record one of Gabriel's songs.  The Scratch My Back album by Gabriel has already been released with the I'll Scratch Yours "reply" album coming in the future.

    Songwriters Hall of Fame Giving Their Towering Song Honor to Bridge Over Troubled Water

    Bridge Over Troubled WaterThe Songwriters Hall of Fame has announced that they will be giving their 2010 Towering Song Award to Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Simon will accept at the Hall's annual Awards Gala on Thursday, June 17 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

    The Towering Song Award is given each year to the creators of a song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years.  Previous winners include Unchained Melody, What the World Needs Now, Fly Me to the Moon and You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
    Bridge Over Troubled Water was written by Paul Simon in 1969 and recorded in 1970 with Art Garfunkel. Bridge Over Troubled Water, which is one of the most enduring songs from the past four decades, won the GRAMMY Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1971. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970 and stayed at the top of the charts for six weeks. Special Citation of Achievement was presented by BMI to Paul Simon in recognition of the great national popularity as measured by over 5 million broadcast performances attained by Bridge Over Troubled Water. Following these prestigious awards, Aretha Franklin performed a gospel-inspired cover which landed number one on the U.S. R&B chart and number six on the pop chart. Elvis Presley, another legendary artist, also recorded Simon’s song and released it on his 1970 album That’s the Way It Is to also include a documentary of Presley creating the album. Presley’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water was included in the Golden Globe-winning documentary Elvis on Tour. Other artists to cover Simon’s song include Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Shirley Bassey, and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. It has been recorded over 300 times. Performances of this song have been by David Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, Clay Aiken, Johnny Cash, Josh Groban and many more.
    Being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame that night are Leonard Cohen, Jackie DeShannon, David Foster, Johnny Mandel, Earth Wind & Fire (Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn, Al McKay), Bob Marley, Laura Nyro, Sunny Sklar, Jess Stone and Tom Adair and Matt Dennis.

    Video: What Good Am I? by Tom Jones From Later With Jools Holland

    What Good Am I? is from Tom Jones' upcoming album Praise and Blame.

    Springsteen Concert to Have Theater Showings Before DVD Release

    London Calling: Live in Hyde Park (2 DVD)The upcoming Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band DVD, London Calling: Live in Hyde Park, will receive a one-night only showing in many theaters around the U.S. and Britain prior to its June 22 release.

    The theatrical film will be a cut-down 90-minute version of the show that the group did last year at Hyde Park's Hard Rock Calling Festival in London.  Proceeds from the showings will go to the theater if it is a non-profit venue and to the Danny Fund/Melanoma Research Alliance in all other cases.  At this time, it is unknown which songs from the show made the cut into the film.

    The following is the initial schedule of dates and venues:

    Thursday, 6/10/10
    • Pickford Film Center - Bellingham, WA
    • Ambler Theatre - Ambler, PA
    • Catamount Arts Center - St. Johnsbury, VT
    Friday, 6/11/10
    • Little Theatre - Rochester, NY
    • Theatre N – Wilmington, DE
    • Beach Theater – St. Pete’s Beach, FL
    Saturday, 6/12/10
    • Little Theatre - Rochester, NY
    • Jane Pickens Theatre - Newport, RI
    • Cinema Paradiso - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • Theatre N – Wilmington, DE
    • Mos Art - Lake Park, FL
    • Lake Worth Playhouse - Lake Worth, FL
    • Atlas - Washington, DC
    Tuesday, 6/15/10
    • Jane Pickens Theatre - Newport, RI
    Wednesday, 6/16/10
    • Little Theatre - Rochester, NY
    • Michael D. Palm Theatre - Telluride, CO
    • Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit, MI
    • Curzon Soho - London, UK
    • HMV Curzon Wimbledon - London, UK
    Thursday, 6/17/10
    • Robinson Film Center - Shreveport, LA
    • Circle Cinema - Tulsa, OK
    • Cedar Lee Theatre (Cleveland Cinemas) - Cleveland Heights, OH
    • Apollo Theatre - Oberlin, OH
    • Bryn Mawr Film Institute - Bryn Mawr, PA
    • City Winery – NY, NY
    • Atlas - Washington, DC
    • Proctors Theatre - Schenectady, NY
    • County Theatre - Doylestown, PA
    Friday, 6/18/10
    • Indian Lake Theater, Inc. - Indian Lake, NY
    • City Winery – NY, NY
    • Beach Theater – St. Pete’s Beach, FL
    • Cinema Paradiso - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • Mos Art - Lake Park, FL
    • Lake Worth Playhouse - Lake Worth, FL
    • Murdock Theatre - Wichita, KA
    Saturday, 6/19/10
    • City Winery – NY, NY
    • Cinema Paradiso - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • Indian Lake Theater, Inc. - Indian Lake, NY
    • Mos Art - Lake Park, FL
    • Lake Worth Playhouse - Lake Worth, FL
    • Proctors Theatre - Schenectady, NY
    • Murdock Theatre - Wichita, KA
    • Frontier CafĂ© - Brunswick, ME
    Sunday, 6/20/10
    • Parrish Art Museum - Southampton, NY
    • Murdock Theatre - Wichita, KA
    Tuesday, 6/22/10
    • Michael D. Palm Theatre - Telluride, CO
    Friday, 7/2/10
    • Athens Theatre - Deland, FL
    More dates may be added.

    Veteran Artists Take the American Idol Stage

    The Essential Daryl Hall & John OatesWe could go the whole editorial route here talking about how one of the finest, most distinctive voices in American Idol history lost on Wednesday night (don't worry, Crystal Bowersox should have one hell of a career) but, instead, will give a rundown of the many performances on the stage by veteran artists.

    The night opened with one of those relatively horrible group sings with minimal choreography to Alice Cooper's Schools Out.  All was saved when Cooper came out and sang the second half (even though the sound mixing left quite a bit to be desired).

    As the night went on we got one or more of the contestants singing with Michael McDonald, Hall and Oates, Chicago, Janet Jackson and Joe Cocker.  The two biggest surprises of the night came with the two surviving Bee Gees, Robin and Barry Gibb, taking the stage for the second half of How Deep is Your Love and Bret Michaels singing for the first time since his multiple hospitalizations, taking on Every Rose Has Its Thorn.

    Other performers included Carrie Underwood, Chris Allen, Alanis Morissette, Christina Aguilera and seven of the eight previous winners (less David Cook).

    Here are the veteran artists who performed:

    • School's Out - Alice Cooper and Twelve Finalists
    • How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees (Robin and Barry Gibb), Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly
    • Takin' It To the Streets - Michael McDonald and Michael Lynch
    • I Can't Go For That/Maneater/You Make My Dreams Come True - Hall and Oates and Top Six Men
    • Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Bret Michaels and Casey James
    • Saturday in the Park/If You Leave Me Now/25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago and Lee Dewyze
    • Nothing/Nasty - Janet Jackson and Top Six Women
    • With a Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker with Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox

    Preview: Centerfield: 25th Anniversary Edition - John Fogerty

    Centerfield 25th Anniversary EditionArtist: John Fogerty
    Title: Centerfield: 25th Anniversary Edition 
    Release Date: June 29, 2010
    Label: Geffen/UMe
    Format(s): CD

    John Fogerty's third post-Creedence Clearwater Revival project, the album Centerfield, will be re-released in a deluxe edition on June 29 by Geffen/UMe.

    Originally released in 1985, Centerfield continued to mine the territory of the Blue Ridge Rangers album with Fogerty producing and playing all of the instruments and followed a nine-year hiatus where the singer was waging legal battles with his old record company, Fantasy.  Even after the release of Centerfield, the legal problems would continue as the executives at Fantasy once again sued over the first single, Old Man Down the Road, saying that it sounded too much like the CCR song Run Through the Jungle.  Fogerty prevailed when the court said it was fine for an artist to sound like themselves.  The album even contained two songs hitting back at Fantasy head Saul Zaentz, Mr. Greed and Zanz Kant Danz.  The latter appears under the revised name of Vanz Kant Danz which started on later pressings after threats of yet another lawsuit.

    The album also contains two bonus tracks, covers of the Rockin' Sydney's My Toot Toot and the 50's doo wop song I Confess.

    Track List: 
    • The Old Man Down The Road
    • Rock And Roll Girls
    • Big Train (From Memphis)
    • I Saw It On T.V.
    • Mr. Greed
    • Searchlight
    • Centerfield
    • I Can’t Help Myself
    • Vanz Kant Danz
    • My Toot Toot (Bonus Track)
    • I Confess (Bonus Track)

    Annie Lennox to Work in Double Role for Scottish Government

    The Annie Lennox Collection (CD/DVD)The Scottish parliament announced on Thursday that Annie Lennox would be working with the government in two different roles.

    Lennox will be special envoy to the Scottish Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and will report on the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa with a particular focus on Malawi.  Annie will also be a speaker at this year's Festival of Politics to talk about her SING Campaign which is involved with fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa. 

    Lennox commented “I’m absolutely delighted to be officially made a special envoy for CPA Scotland Branch with regard to the issue of HIV AIDS. In this way I hope to contribute to the long standing Scottish tradition of standing up for human rights and justice, with special regard to women and children in the developing world. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this possible.”

    In a published statement, presiding officer Alex Ferguson MSP said:
    "We are very pleased to announce Annie’s new role as a special envoy for CPA Scotland Branch and to welcome her back to the Scottish Parliament's Festival of Politics as she discusses her SING Campaign - one year on. 

    We were delighted last year when Annie expressed a strong interest in taking on a role with the Scottish Parliament.  We are pleased that this has now been achieved under the auspices of the CPA Scotland Branch. 

    In 2009 Annie shared her personal experience of witnessing the effects of HIV/AIDS in Africa and the action we can all take in fighting the pandemic. This year we look forward to an update from Annie on the positive developments the SING Campaign continues to have on people living with HIV." 

    Video: Max Weinberg Big Band

    Max Weinberg may or may not be out of a job with Conan O'Brien and he definitely doesn't have any E-Street Band work to do for the news nine months or so, but he's sure keeping busy.  For the month of June, he'll be taking his 15-piece big band on the road for twelve dates running coast-to-coast.

    For those interested in attending one of the concerts, here's the dates:
    • 06/11 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
    • 06/13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun (Wolf Den)
    • 06/14 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
    • 06/15 - Cambridge, MA - Regatta Bar
    • 06/16 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Mauch Chuck Opera House
    • 06/17 - Easton, MD - Avalon
    • 06/21 - Evanston, IL - Space
    • 06/22 - Madison, WI - Majestic
    • 06/23 - Minneapolis, MN - Dakota
    • 06/25 - Newport Beach, CA - Hyatt
    • 06/27 - San Francisco, CA - Yoshi's
    • 06/28 - Petaluma, CA - Mystic

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Kenny Rogers & Suzanne Vega Receive American Eagle Awards

    Close-Up Vol. 1, Love SongsThe National Music Council of the United States presented its American Eagle Award to Kenny Rogers, Suzanne Vega, music mentor/consultant Ann Ruckert, Executive Director of the Music Educators National Conference John Mahlmann and the Musical Instrument Museum.

    The National Music Council was founded in 1940 as a clearinghouse for opinion and decisions on strengthening the importance of music in our life and cultures.  It has, since that time, fostered numerous groups including the American String Teachers Association and the National Association of Music Therapy.  Today, it is very active in keeping the arts as part of education in American schools.

    The American Eagle Award was created in 1982 "to honor individuals and institutions who have made comprehensive contributions to musical life in America."  Winners have included Odetta, Dave Brubeck, Lena Horn, Phil Ramone, the Oak Ridge Boys, Roy Clark, Richie Havens, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones.

    The awards were presented at the group's annual awards luncheon on Tuesday afternoon with Rogers and Vega both in attendance.  Rogers received his award for the charity work he has done throughout his career and for mentoring young artists and songwriters.  Vega was awarded for her comprehensive contributions to musical life in America.

    Bon Jovi's David Bryan Wins at New York's Drama Desk Awards

    Memphis, the new musical set in a 1950's Memphis dance club, has taken home four Drama Desk awards saluting the best in New York Theater.  Two of those awards, Outstanding Music and Outstanding Orchestrations, went to Bon Jovi's David Bryan (orchestrations was shared with Daryl Walters).  The show also took Best Musical and Best Actress (Montego Glover).

    The musical is set in the world of underground clubs in 1950's Memphis where a white DJ name Harry Calhoun falls in love with both Rock and Roll and a black singer named Felicia Farrell.  His musical expertise and her talent combine to push her career to new heights but the general public may not be ready the music or their relationship.

    In addition, the Best Direction of a Musical went to Michael Mayer for his work on American Idiot based on almost-veteran group Green Day's album of the same name.

    Here's the cast's appearance on The View, introduced by Whoppi Goldberg with David Bryan.

    Robin Gibb...Not a Big Fan of Airport Security

    With the Frankfurt Neue Philharmonic Orchestra: LiveAccording to a number of sources, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees turned the air blue at London's Heathrow Airport after being told he had been selected for an extra search.

    The singer was scheduled to board a plane from London to Los Angeles when he was randomly selected for a pat-down search.  According to a witness who talked to The Sun newspaper, "He went absolutely crazy and was swearing his head off at the check-in team.

    "It wasn't their fault - people are selected at random by the computer for extra checks. But he wasn't having any of it. He was told by security to calm down or he would not be able to fly. He told them to eff off.

    "When it became clear to him he could not board without the extra checks he stormed out. He was spitting feathers and everyone in the lounge was horrified."

    Read more:

    Surfdog Records Announces New Series of Live Releases by Brian Setzer

    Surfdog Records, the home of Brian Setzer, the Stray Cats, Dave Stewart, the Butthole Surfers, Dan Hicks and many more has announced that they have received permission from Setzer to start issuing some of the live recordings they have in their archives of Brian's shows in his various working configurations.

    This will all start on July 13 with the release of Don't Mess With a Big Band featuring a recording from the Brian Setzer Orchestra's 2009 tour of Japan.

    In a message on both the labels and Setzer's websites, the company laid out the background for the series:
    Surfdog has made a lot of live recordings from Brian's shows over the years. As we've listened we realized we've captured some insanely great music and wickedly sick guitar playing!! We went to Brian and asked if we can start making some of these available, 'cuz (after hearing what we've got) we're sure other people will wanna hear them too!

    Lots of these tours and shows have been put out there into the market without our consent as terrible-quality bootlegs. With Surfdog's releases, while we want to purposely keep all of them in their true, pure, unfixed, un-overdubbed form, we have gone to great effort to ensure top-level audio and great packaging so that fans actually get a top-quality experience.

    Because we have released live material before at various stages of Brian's career, many of the songs will have been previously released from other concerts ("The Ultimate Collection," "Red Hot & Live," etc.). So look at the track listing and know what you're getting!

    Our goal is NOT to just sell you more stuff. Instead, we just want you to have the opportunity to enjoy some of this magic we've captured.

    The first release will be "Don't Mess With A Big Band"; a kick-ass recording of The Brian Setzer Orchestra's 2009 tour of Japan. Brian is in rare form and his display of guitar playing is truly jaw-dropping!

    O'Jays Founding Member Walter Williams Reveals He's Had MS For 27 Years

    The Essential O'JaysWalter Williams, one of the founding members of the O'Jays, has revealed that he has been suffering with Multiple Sclerosis for the last 27 years.

    In an interview with Reuters, Williams said that his feet, legs and torso were getting numb while out on tour in 1983.  He was 39 at the time.  "I knew nothing about MS so when I was diagnosed I just freaked out. The doctor told me to get my life in order as I probably only had 20 years to live.  At first I did the pity party thing and felt sorry for myself, but then I got angry and decided to fight it. I started exercising more to make my body strong and started to eat right and keep a great attitude. I slipped a lot but I got through it."

    Today, Williams continues to fight the disease using some of the revolutionary drugs that have been developed since his initial diagnosis.

    Williams, Eddie Levert, William Powell, Bill Isles and Bobby Massey formed the O'Jays in 1958 while all were attending McKinley High School in Canton, OH.  Their first break came in 1963 on Imperial Records when they just slipped onto the R&B charts with the single Lonely Drifter.  Two years later, they made the R&B top forty with both Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette) and Let it All Out.

    The group moved to Bell Records in 1967 where they finally reached the top ten with I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today), but it was an early-70's change to Philadelphia International that made the group superstars.  Not only did they have 15 top ten R&B hits for the label, but they crossed over onto the pop charts with Back Stabbers, Love Train, For the Love of Money, I Love Music and Use Ta Be My Girl all going to the top ten.  The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

    When asked why he announced his ailment now, after all these years, Williams said "I have done well with MS and I want other sufferers to know that they too can lead a normal life."

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Faces to Play Festival with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall on Vocals

    Tribute to BobbyLast October, the Faces had a reunion show at Royal Albert Hall that was missing one thing, the voice of Rod Stewart.  In his place, the group used a number of guest vocalists and most critics agreed that the best of the lot was Simply Red's Mick Hucknall.

    On Friday, August 13, the group, with Hucknall on vocals, will play the innaugural Vintage at Goodwood Festival in Chichester, West Sussex, England.  Original members Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan will be joined by Hucknall and bassist Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) in place of the late Ronnie Laine.

    Wood told Britain's NME "We got together to receive a PRS Lifetime Achievement award last year and very simply the magic was still there. Playing with the boys again just felt right so we thought well why not? It’s exciting to be on this path again and I hope that the Faces fans are excited as we are. I'm just really looking forward to seeing them this summer. Bring it on!"

    Also playing at the three day festival are the Buzzcocks, Wanda Jackson, Sande Shaw, the Swingle Singers, the Wailers, Martha and the Vandeallas, Roy Wood's Rock 'n' Roll Orchestra, Alvin Stardust, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The Pretty Things with Arthur Brown Performing SF Sorrow and many more.

    Watts Up?

    Stones in ExileThe last couple of days were interesting for Rolling Stones fans.  Early in the day, a report in Australia's Herald Sun stated that Charlie Watts would not be touring with the band when they go out on the road again.

    A tour promoter told the paper that the Stones were going to be putting on a world tour with a pass through Australia in 2012.  "The Stones are coming - and they want crazy money" saying that a quoted figure of $14.4 million for six shows wasn't "even in the ballpark."

    The paper also states that "the Stones camp" have said that drummer Steve Jordan will be playing with the band as Watts no longer wants to do world tours.  Watts has a young family and, while he would still be a part of the group when they record, he doesn't want to be away from home for months-at-a-time.

    Later in the day, the Stones issued a statement denying any part of the Watts rumors.  A spokesman told Britain's NME "Contrary to a fabricated and ill-informed report that appeared yesterday on a small music website in Australia, we would like to make it clear that drummer Charlie Watts has not left The Rolling Stones.

    "Charlie is currently being interviewed by the media promoting their latest project - the release of the album Exile on Main Street and the forthcoming film Stones In Exile, released on DVD next month."

    Set List: Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - LG Arena, Birmingham, England

    Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood opened up the European leg of their tour last Tuesday night at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England.

    The touring band includes Chris Stainton (keyboards), Steve Gadd (drums), Willie Weeks (bass), Sharon White (backing vocals) and Michelle John (backing vocals).

    Set List:

    Main Set
    • Had To Cry Today
    • Low Down
    • After Midnight / Presence Of The Lord
    • Shape I'm In
    • Glad / Well Alright
    • Tuff Luck
    • Pearly Queen
    • Forever Man
    • Midland Maniac
    • Going Down
    • Georgia (Eric on electric with solo break)
    • Drifting Blues (Eric on acoustic, Steve also played on this number)
    • How Long (acoustic)
    • Layla (acoustic)
    • Can't Find My Way Home (acoustic)
    • Split Decision
    • Voodoo Chile
    • Cocaine
    • Dear Mr. Fantasy

    Preview: No Better Than This - John Mellencamp

    Artist: John Mellencamp Title: No Better Than This

    Release Date: August 3, 2010
    Label: Rounder
    Format(s): CD, Digital

    John Mellencamp is set to release his new studio album, No Better Than This, just over two months after his 4-CD career compilation.  The new work is produced by T-Bone Burnett and was recorded during last year's summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.  Mellencamp and Burnett fit in the sessions during a short break in the tour, using only a 55-year-old Ampex tape recorder and one microphone.

    The tracks were recorded in three different historically significant locations, Savannah's First African Baptist Church which dates back to the time of the Revolutionary War and was used by many slaves, Mephis' Sun Studios where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins recorded, and in room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas where bluesman Robert Johnson made his first recordings.

    Mellencamp remarked, “It was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had making a record in my life. It was about making music, organic music made by real musicians, that’s heartfelt and written from the best place it can come from.”

    Track List: 
    • Save Some Time To Dream
    • The West End
    • Right Behind Me
    • A Graceful Fall
    • No Better Than This
    • Thinking About You
    • Coming Down The Road
    • No One Cares About Me
    • Love At First Sight
    • Don't Forget About Me
    • Each Day of Sorrow
    • Easter Eve
    • Clumsy Ol' World

    Guide to Veteran Country Artists at CMA Fest

    Let Your Love Flow: The Best of the Bellamy Brothers
    The Bellamy Brothers
    Play June 13 at the
    Riverfront Park Stage
    The CMA Music Festival, Nashville's annual gathering of the country elite and their fans, is a go for the weekend of June 10 to 13 despite everything the city has recently been through.  Shows are being held most days at numerous locations including LP Field and Riverfront Park Stage.

    To see the full schedule, go to the CMA Music Festival website.

    The following are the veteran artists who will be performing:

    Thursday, June 10
    • Oak Ridge Boys (9:45 AM - Riverfront Park Stage - Opening the festival with the National Anthem)
    • Judds (10:00 - 10:45 AM - Riverfront Park Stage)
    • Classic Country Show with Jim Ed Brown, Jeannie Seely, Gene Watson (3:30 PM - Chevy Music Stage)
    Friday, June 11
    • Patty Loveless (11:45 AM - Riverfront Park Stage)
    • Patty Loveless (4:00 PM - Sports Zone)
    • Grand Ole Opry Show - Charley Pride, Roy Clark, more (7:00 PM - Ryman Auditorium)
    • Reba McEntire (10:00 PM - LP Field)
    Saturday, June 12
    • Vince Gill (9:00 AM - Fan Club Party - Location TBA)
    • Mel Tillis (12:30 PM - Riverfront Park Stage)
    • Grand Ole Opry Fanfare Matinee - Pam Tillis, more (3:00 PM - Ryman Auditorium)
    • Grand Ole Opry Show - Charley Pride, Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, more (7:00 PM - Ryman Auditorium)
    Sunday, June 13
    • Pam Tillis (12:15 PM - Riverfront Park Stage)
    • Bellamy Brothers (1:00 PM - Riverfront Park Stage)
    • Restless Heart (2:30 PM - Riverfront Park Stage)

    John Fogerty Going Into the Hall of Fame....The BASEBALL Hall of Fame

    John Fogerty will be honored at this year's Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY when his 1985 hit Centerfield will be honored.  It is the first time a song or a musician has been part of the ceremonies for baseball's highest honor.

    The song has not only become an every night tradition at most ballparks in the United States, but it has also been used in Cooperstown to open the induction ceremony for over a decade.  This year, Fogerty will be on hand to play the song live and he is donating his custom-made baseball bat guitar to the hall for their permanent collection.

    Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said "For decades, fans at our annual Induction Ceremony have sung along with Centerfield as Hall of Famers take to the stage in a pastoral setting over the central New York landscape. Because of the lasting contributions to baseball and Americana made by John Fogerty, we are thrilled to pay homage to him and the song, as we celebrate the silver anniversary with his live performance in Cooperstown. The song captures the spirit and energy of those of us who have dreamed of being a baseball star and playing center field, like Robin Yount, Duke Snider or Willie Mays."

    Fogerty is amazed at the lasting impact the song has made.  "Over the past 25 years Centerfield has come to mean so much to so many.  More then I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve been told by fans all over the world that it’s always a major part of their baseball memories from hearing it at their little league games to major stadiums. To have written a song like Centerfield that appeals to all generations and can be shared by everyone, I’m happy that baseball fans have embraced it as their anthem for a sport that I’ve always loved and is part of the fabric of our country. I’m overwhelmed and truly humbled to be a part of the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame and to have been asked to share the same stage at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with some of the greatest players to have ever lived."

    This years ceremony will be on July 25 when outfielder Andre Dawson, manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey will be inducted.

    U2 Cancels Glastonbury Headline Slot, Postpones U.S. Tour, Bono Faced Possible Paralysis Without Surgery

    BonoU2's Bono has been discharged from the Munich hospital where he underwent back surgery after injuring himself rehearsing for the upcoming leg of the U2360 tour.   It will be a minimum of eight weeks before he will be able to resume normal activities.

    This has caused the band to cancel both their headlining spot at the Glastonbury Festival and the leg of their U.S. tour that runs from Salt Lake City on June 3 through Meadowland's Stadium in New Jersey on July 19.  Those dates are now being rescheduled for sometime in 2011.

    Group manager Paul McGuinness said "Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we're all devastated. For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow. He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience. Which is of course nonsense. His concerns about more than a million ticket buyers whose plans have been turned upside down, we all share, but the most important thing right now is that Bono make a full recovery. We're working as fast as we can with Live Nation to reschedule these dates."

    We also now have some indication of what happened to the singer via the U2 site.
    Dr Muller Wohlfahrt confirmed, "Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich's LMU University Hospital on Friday."

    Professor Tonn, who carried out the operation, added, "Bono was referred to me by Dr Muller Wohlfahrt late last week with a sudden onset disease. He was already in severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg. The ligament surrounding the disc had an 8mm tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal. This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."

    Dr Muller Wohlfahrt continued, "We are treating Bono as we would treat any of our athletes and while the surgery has gone very well, the coming weeks are crucial for a return to full health. In the next days, he will start a light rehabilitation program, with increasing intensity over the next 8 weeks. In our experience, this is the minimum time."
    Bono released a statement to specifically address the Glastonbury cancellation, saying "I'm heartbroken. We really wanted to be there to do something really special - we even wrote a song especially for the Festival."

    Michael Evans, the promoter for the festival, added "It was obvious from our telephone conversation that U2 are hugely disappointed. Clearly, they were looking forward to playing the Pyramid Stage as much as we were looking forward to watching them. At this point, we have no comment to make about possible replacements for U2's Friday night slot. Instead, we would simply like to send Bono our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery."

    New Releases By Veteran Artists for May 24, 25 & 27, 2010

    In Person & On StageInterpretations: The British Rock Songbook
    PerformanceThe Three Kings of the Blues
    Back to LoveAbove the Ground (W/Dvd)

    The full list of new releases is after the cut.