RIP Grant Hart

Just heard the sad news about the passing of Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart. He was 56 years old; he apparently had been battling liver cancer.

His death comes just about a week after the big announcement of a huge Hüsker Dü boxset that the Numero Group is scheduled to put out on November 10. Savage Young Dü compiles a ton (okay, 69 songs) from their early days. It features remastered from board tapes, demos, and session masters, 47 of which have never before been released.

I’ve always liked Hart’s first solo album, Intolerance, that I found as a used cassette years ago, and “2541” is a song that still surfaces in my head every now and again. Here is a version Hart did solo at an in-store in Winston-Salem’s Earshot Records 2011.

 

 

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Ronno Doco: New Mick Ronson Documentary!

If you are a rock fan of a certain age, or a fan of rock music from a certain era (that era being the Seventies), the name Mick Ronson will make your eyes light up. He was that blond guitar god flashing out those memorable riffs during David Bowie‘s Spider From Mars period. He co-produced Lou Reed‘s Transformer album with Bowie and when Ian Hunter went solo he had Ronson as his guitarist. Ronson played guitar on John Mellencamp‘s “Jack & Diane,” produced Morrissey‘s Your Arsenal album and was part of Dylan‘s fabled Rolling Thunder Revue band. And that is only the tip of the iceberg (David Cassidy and Pure Prairie League are among his credits too).

I mention all of this because new documentary Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story is coming to select cinemas in September before its home video release (via MVD Entertainment Group) on Oct. 27. The film, an Emperor Media Ltd production, was made by noted music documentarian Jon Brewer, who also was part of Bowie’s management team back in the day. Bowie, in fact, contributed narration for this film before he passed away.

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Here is Ronson performing “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” (the title track to his 1974 solo debut) with Ian Hunter’s band in 1980.

 

 

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Have A Merry Jerry Birthday

August 1 marks what would have been Jerry Garcia‘s 75th birthday. And not surprisingly there are a number of events happening today, and this month, that salute him.

Tonight, Fathom Films presents the 7th annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies, which will be screening the Grateful Dead‘s July 12, 1989 concert at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium. This compete, never-before-seen performance features a rare first set where each of the band’s four lead vocalists sing at least one song. The second set finds Bruce Hornsby sitting in (“Sugaree,” and “Man Smart [Woman Smarter]”) as well as one of the only video recorded versions of “Black Muddy River.” Get more details at https://www.fathomevents.com/events/grateful-dead-meet-up-2017?utm_source=fathom&utm_medium=press+releases&utm_campaign=grateful+dead+meet-up+at+the+movies+2017https://www.fathomevents.com/events/grateful-dead-meet-up-2017?utm_source=fathom&utm_medium=press+releases&utm_campaign=grateful+dead+meet-up+at+the+movies+2017

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Rhino announced today that, in November, a six-disc box-set of the Dead’s July 12-13 RFK shows will be coming out (pre-orders are available now on dead.net). Hornsby also stuck around for the second night and joined the Dead for “Tennessee Jed” and “Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.” July 13’s concert also offers an early performance of Brent Mydland‘s “I Will Take You Home,” which later appeared on Built To Last. The two previously unreleased shows come from the band’s master 24-track analog recordings that have been mixed and mastered. The July 13 concert features the group doing

Special concerts will have happening across the country throughout the week, with the 15th Annual Jerry Day occurring Aug. 6 at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in San Francisco’s McLaren Park; the show’s bill includes Melvin Seals and the JGB, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel and Midnight North.

From Aug. 1-9 it will be Jerry Week on SiriusXM’s The Grateful Dead Channel, featuring archival interviews, rare concerts and other special goodies like a re-airing of the 2017 Red Rocks 75th Birthday Concert and the 2016 Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration. If you have AXS TV, you can view the latter concert on Aug. 5 at 9pm EST. Pandora, meanwhile, has created its own Jerry Garcia channel, showcasing music from throughout his career. You can access the channel at http://pdora.co/jerry75/.

And you can also chill out at home and enjoy some Cherry Garcia while listening to Round Records/ATO Records’ recently released GarciaLive Volume Nine: August 11, 1974 – Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders 2-CD set.

 

 

 

 

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New Live Replacements CD Coming And I “Can’t Hardly Wait!”

The Replacements have been on my mind that last week. I’m not sure why. The other night I was listening to some of their music on-line, and then I receive word that Rhino is releasing a new live CD of the Replacements performing at Maxwell’s in February, 1986.

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Coming out Oct. 6 as a double CD and double LP, the succinctly entitled For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 will have 29 tracks that cover the bands’ career up until them, like “I Will Dare,” “Bastards of Young,” “Left of the Dial,” “Waitress in the Sky,” and “Answering Machine.” The band, always good for doing some fun covers, performed “Fox on the Run” and “Nowhere Man” that night. See full set list below.

For Sale is the first live Replacements recording to come out officially on CD or LP. But what about  The Sh*t Hits The Fans? That notorious live album was only available on cassette.

The Maxwell’s show, which took place shortly after the band’s infamous SNL appearance, features the original lineup of Paul Westerberg, Chris Mars, and both Stinson brothers (Tommy and Bob). It was recorded by a 24-track mobile studio and the tapes have been in the Warner Brothers vaults since then (and have been given a proper mix for this release). For Sale also include new liner notes by Bob Mehr, author of the New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements, as well as never-before-seen photos from the Maxwell’s show by noted music writer and photographer Caryn Rose.

Disc One

  1. “Hayday”
  2. “Color Me Impressed”
  3. “Dose Of Thunder”
  4. “Fox On The Run”
  5. “Hold My Life”
  6.  “I Will Dare”
  7. “Favorite Thing”
  8. “Unsatisfied”
  9. “Can’t Hardly Wait”
  10. “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”
  11. “Takin’ A Ride”
  12. “Bastards Of Young”
  13. “Kiss Me On The Bus”
  14. “Black Diamond”

 

Disc Two

  1. “Johnny’s Gonna Die”
  2. “Otto”
  3. “I’m In Trouble”
  4. “Left Of The Dial”
  5. “God Damn Job”
  6. “Answering Machine”
  7. “Waitress In The Sky”
  8. “Take Me Down To The Hospital”
  9. “Gary’s Got A Boner”
  10. “If Only You Were Lonely”
  11. “Baby Strange”
  12. “Hitchin’ A Ride”
  13. “Nowhere Man”
  14. “Go”
  15. “F*ck School”
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What’s Old Is New: Green, Raspberries, Ramones, Wilson, Garcia & Nyro

Brian Wilson turned 75 earlier this week, and to salute this milestone, Rhino announced the upcoming release of the first ever retrospective covering Wilson’s solo career. Due Sept. 22, Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology contains 18 tracks, ranging from such well-known Wilson compositions as “Heroes and Villains,” “Love and Mercy” and “Surf’s Up” to two new previously unreleased tunes: “Some Sweet Day” (which he wrote with Andy Paley in the early 1990s for an unfinished recording project) and “Run James Run” (a new song Wilson wrote and recorded just for this collection). This year Wilson also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, with a tour that is currently scheduled to last through October.

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2017 would have also been Jerry Garcia’s 75th birthday. On July 28, Round Records/ATO Records will put out GarciaLive Volume Nine: August 11, 1974 – Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders. Recorded at Berkeley’s fabled Keystone club, the double CD captures the band (which included Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann) performing a nine-song set that offers renditions of “(I’m A) Road Runner,” “Mystery Train,” The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “The Harder They Come.”

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To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Doors’ first #1 single “Light My Fire,” Rhino is releasing a limited edition (7,500 copies) single that replicates the Japanese 45. “Light My Fire,” obviously is the A-side, with the album version of “Crystal Ships” on the flipside. A little Doors’ trivia, “Light My Fire” was the first song that Robbie Krieger ever wrote. Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention’s Absolutely Free was another important 1967 release. Zappa Records/UMe is putting out a special expanded vinyl-exclusive edition (due Sept. 29) with the second LP featuring vintage remixes and radio ads on one side one and a laser etching of Zappa’s visage from the album cover on the other.

1967 also was the year that Laura Nyro released her first album, More Than a New Discovery. This Verve Folkways album preceded her breakout Columbia debut Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. In July, Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records are presenting A Little Magic, A Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection, which contains Discovery’s restores the original album sequence and mono mix. The 2-CD set holds the album’s future hits as “Wedding Bells Blues,” “Stoney End” and “And When I Die,” along with some bonus material too. Nyro is a criminally overlooked singer/songwriter who deserves a rediscovery (no pun intended).  Here is her version of “And When I Die.” When I was a kid, I had the Blood, Sweat & Tears’ album with this tune on it, but you got to hear her version (and realize that she wrote this when she was a teenager!)

Real Gone Music’s July selections also include Dusty Springfield’s The Complete Philadelphia Sessions – A Brand New Me (Expanded Edition), which collects all of the material she recorded in 1969-70 in mainly with Gamble-Huff Productions for Atlantic Records. The label is also releasing a compilation of tracks from Loma Records, which was Warner Brothers’ Soul and R&B label from 1964-68. The Complete Loma Singles: Vol. 1 is the first of four 2- CD collections Real Gone has planned.

Arthur Alexander is a legendary songwriter, best known for penning tunes like “Soldier of Love,” “You Better Move On,” and “Anna” that others took to the charts. Alexander, however, didn’t achieve great success with his own albums. In fact, he only put out three full length albums. Happily, Omnivore has resurrected Alexander’s second album – this 1972 self-titled record that he did in Muscle Shoals for Warner Brothers. The 12-song album holds his version of “Burning Love,” which Elvis Presley later turned into a smash hit. The reissue, with contains the original liner notes penned by Barry Hansen (aka Dr. Demento), has been bolstered with six bonus tracks (including a couple of previously unreleased songs). Here’s Omnivore’s introductory video for this CD.

Studio One, Yep Roc and Discogs have teamed up to get back into circulation the 1971 debut album from the influential (although not particularly well-known) reggae star Freddie McKay. Picture on the Wall: Deluxe Edition holds 24 tracks – many have never been on CD – combining the album’s original tracks with alternate versions, rarities, and extended mixes.

45 years ago, the Raspberries put out their first two albums, the self-titled debut and Fresh, which featured some of the finest power pop tunes ever (and as a native Clevelander, I have no biases, of course). Songs like “I Wanna Be With You,” “Let’s Pretend,” “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye,” and “Go All The Way” also number among the 28 tracks on the upcoming double-disc Pop Art Live. This live recording of the band’s 2004 hometown reunion show feature the original four members performing together for the first time in over 30 years. Pop Art Live is due Aug. 18 on Omnivore Recordings. Here is them doing “Go All The Way” from that concert. Eric Carmen is in fine form.

 

It is only the 44th anniversary of the Who’s Quadrophenia album but Pete Townshend is doing a short but sweet tour of it in September. He’ll be performing it outside of Boston at Tanglewood, at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and L.A.’s Greek Theatre. The shows will feature Billy Idol and opera singer Alfie Boe as well as orchestral accompaniment. A portion of the proceeds from the L.A. concert will support the charity Teen Cancer America.

The Ramones’ sophomore outing Leave Home is turning 40, and Rhino has put together a super deluxe version that has been overseen by its original engineer/mixer Ed Stasium. This 3-CD set has one disc filled with the original album (with two Stasium mixes), one disc with 18 rare tracks and one disc is a previously unreleased recording of the band’s April 2, 1977 show at CBGB’s.

In the early ‘80s, the acclaimed documentarian Robert Mugge filmed Al Green who was then performing gospel music after denouncing pop and soul as the music of the Devil. The resulting film, the highly praised Gospel According To Al Green, offers a fascinating look at the mercurial musician. MVDB will release this DVD on July 7, with additional material including a new 17-minute video that Mugge has made about this documentary.  Here’s the trailer for the film.

PIAS have brought back into circulation a couple more “recent” titles – the first two albums from the Australian band The Triffids. Treeless Plain and In The Pines offer a great look at this band that are a key player in the wonderful Australian/New Zealand indie rock scene of the ‘80s. Both reissues are bulked up with bonus material.

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Last Day (June 1) To Order Dream Syndicate’s Live At Raji’s 2-LP

Today, June 1, is the last day to place your order for Run Out Groove‘s Live At Raji’s by the Dream Syndicate. This is version offers the complete show on vinyl for the first time, including the vinyl debut for the tracks “See That My Grave is Kept Clean,”  “When You Smile,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Tell Me When It’s Over.”

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One of the leading bands in the ’80s so-called Paisley Underground scene, Dream Syndicate whipped up wild, wordy psychedelic storms that melded Crazy Horse with the Velvet Underground, if you want to pick touchstones. The L.A. band made a dingy basement Hollywood club Raji’s its home base. This recording captured them in all of their live glory from a show they did on on January 31, 1988, around the time they released Ghost Stories.

This double LP will come out on 180g, multi-color vinyl with brand new artwork, never before seen photos and liner notes. Run Out Groove is a relatively new, fan-fueled label that is releasing limited edition vinyl mined from the Warner Brothers vaults. Learn more at http://www.runoutgroovevinyl.com.

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It has been a great time for Dream Syndicate fans because the band has recently signed with Anti- Records so there should be new music coming from the band at some point in the future. The latest Dream Syndicate incarnation features original guitarist/singer/songwriter Steve Wynn and drummer Dennis Duck along with longtime Syndicate bassist Mark Walton and new guitarist Jason Victor, who has been playing in Wynn’s band of late.

This Dream Syndicate developments ties with earlier news that now-released compilation of solo work from Russ Tolman (True West) as well as new material being worked by SoCal cowpunk pioneers The Long Ryders.

 

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Congrats To This Year’s American Music Award Nominees

Yesterday, the Americana Music Association announced its nominees for the 16th annual Honors & Awards Show. It might sound like a cliche but each category is packed with greatness. Sturgill Simpson notched the most nominations with three: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “All Around You.” The only other multi-nominees are Rodney Crowell, Drive-By Truckers and Lori McKenna, which again shows just how much amazing Americana music was made in the last year.

The Americana Honors and Awards Show will take place on September 13 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium during this year’s Americanafest (Sept. 12-17). You can find out more at www.americanamusic.org

Here is the complete list of nominees, with the recipients of the special honors to be announced later.

Album of the Year:

American Band, Drive-By Truckers, Produced by David Barbe

Close Ties, Rodney Crowell, Produced by Kim Buie and Jordan Lehning

Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens, Produced David Bither, Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell

The Navigator, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Produced by Paul Butler

A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson, Produced by Sturgill Simpson

Artist of the Year:

Jason Isbell

John Prine

Lori McKenna

Margo Price

Sturgill Simpson

Duo/Group of the Year:

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry

Drive-By Truckers

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives

The Lumineers

Emerging Artist of the Year:

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Amanda Shires

Brent Cobb

Sam Outlaw

Song of the Year:

“All Around You,” Sturgill Simpson, Written by Sturgill Simpson

“It Ain’t Over Yet,” Rodney Crowell (feat. Rosanne Cash & John Paul White), Written by Rodney Crowell

“To Be Without You,” Ryan Adams, Written by Ryan Adams

“Wreck You,” Lori McKenna, Written by Lori McKenna and Felix McTeigue

Instrumentalist of the Year:

Spencer Cullum, Jr.

Jen Gunderman

Courtney Hartman

Charlie Sexton

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