Go See Hear In L.A. Sept. 24-25 (the “Sammy Hagar Weekend” edition)

Just wanted to circle back and offer up some weekend options for music-going.

Sat. 9/24

Top Show(s): Yes, it will be a “Sammy Hagar Weekend,” or at a Sammy Hagar Saturday, hopefully. And I am referring to today’s McCabe’s show by Bob Forrest. Apparently it’s his first show there in 25 years. Forrest is an L.A. rock legend, particularly for those around in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He fronted the great (beyond just its awesome name) Thelonious Monster, whose did the song, “Sammy Hagar Weekend.” Man, I wish I could get my hands on that old Stormy Weather cassette.

Here’s a video of a live rendition circa 1989

Pinning a label on U.K. singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas is difficult except to say she’s terrific. She’ll be playing the Teragram Ballroom. There will be great substance to the Peter Hook & The Light’s Wiltern concert as they will perform Substance, the 1987 compilation of Joy Division‘s and New Order‘s music (up to that point), which they will play sequentially. I don’t remember a compilation being the subject of a “play-an-entire-album” concert but I’m sure it has happened before. Sigur Rós graces the Hollywood Bowl stage for the first time in a decade to share their avant-rock soundscapes.

The Armenian-American world music band Element has a free show at Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion. The final Saturday of the LA County Fair will be a country night featuring Billy Currington and LeAnn Rimes.

The Broad Museum’s Summer Happening series continues into the Fall with performances by JD Samson and SOPHIE as well as by Charles Atlas creating a live video mix to the electro-ethereal music of Julianna Barwick.

Sun. 9/25

Top Show(s): The fantastic power pop outfit Sloan brings their One Chord To Another 20th anniversary tour to Santa Ana’s Constellation Room. I think I had that on cassette too.  Jess Abbott fronts the band Tancred, which serves up some raw ‘90s-style indie rock (I could say something like a punked-up Liz Phair but I haven’t heard enough to start making comparisons. I have heard enough to recommend their show at the Resident.

Take a look and listen to Tancred’s tune “Bed Case.”

Neil Finn and his son Liam play at Largo tonight and on Tuesday the 27th. Tonight’s show is billed was “and special guests” while Tuesday’s is “A Night with the Finns” featuring Sharon and Elroy Finn too plus friends. Either way it will be a night of mighty fine songwriting.

There will also be a family gathering at McCabe’s where the life and music of the great songwriter John Stewart (he penned “Daydream Believer”) will be celebrated by his wife, singer Buffy Ford Stewart, Shana Morrison, Bill Mumy and other friends at McCabe’s. And did you what that And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead will be at the Echo tonight? They will with Creepoid and Culture Abuse also on the bill. The Skirball, meanwhile, welcomes the acclaimed Israeli folk electronic trio A-WA. It’s one of KCRW’s World Music Nights and tonight’s “world” is the world of indie rock with a big bill of heady rock ‘n’ roll featuring Bloc Party, Bob Mould and Ezra Furman.

and yes I know that Bob Mould has done so much great music since Husker Du but this song popped into my head today so I thought I tagged on this video from 1985.

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AMA Honors Isbell, Stapleton, Harris & Crowell

In you didn’t have the good fortune to get to Nashville for the Americana Music Festival, you missed out on many things including the Wednesday night’s Award show.

I just wanted to salute the winners that night:

Album of the Year: Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell, Produced by Dave Cobb
Artist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
Group/Duo of the Year: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Song of the Year: “24 Frames” Jason Isbell; Written by Jason Isbell
Emerging Artist of the Year: Margo Price
Instrumentalist of the Year: Sara Watkins
Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music
Association and the First Amendment Center: Billy Bragg
President’s Award: Woody Guthrie
Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Shawn Colvin
Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: William Bell
Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Bob Weir
Lifetime Achievement Award, WagonMaster: Jim Lauderdale
Give a listen to Isbell performing the Song of the Year with his wife, the equally talented Amanda Shires.

Lauderdale also marked his 14th year serving as master of ceremonies for this show, which also offers “in memorium” tributes to Americana titans Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, Ralph Stanley and Guy Clark.
This week also the passing of the preeminent songwriter J.D. Loudermilk. Loudermilk wrote such classics as “Tobacco Road” and “Indian Reservation” and had his songs covered by everyone from David Lee Roth to Solomon Burke, the Flying Burrito Brothers to the Everly Brothers.
Here’s a version of “Tobacco Road” by Eric Burdon and the Animals from a German TV appearance in 1967.

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Go See Hear In L.A. Sept. 20-23 (the St. Paul/Sister Sparrow edition)

This week is shaping up to be a soul-tastic one. So much good stuff that I am only taking you all through Friday night.

Tues. 9/20


Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Top Show(s): The Hollywood Bowl have one of their fantastic lineups that almost seems too good to be true: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Hall & Oates. It’s a trifecta of sublime soul music, all coming from slightly different viewpoints but all coming together to serve up sweet music. St. Paul & The Broken Bones avoid the sophomore slump with potent Sea of Noise. The Alabama rock ‘n’ soul outfit headline the Wiltern. Get there early to see the also highly recommended Seratones. The Greek Theater will be home to Mumford & Sons tonight and tomorrow. Catfish & The Bottlemen open tonight and Raury is tomorrow’s opener.

Youngsters might not remember that Fleetwood Mac started as a blues band. Big Mick returns these roots with his Mick Fleetwood Band. Featuring guitarist Rick Vito (a one-time Mac member), they will perform a mix of originals, Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac tunes (like the wonderful “Oh, Well”) and blues classics at the Ford Amphitheatre. The Balkan Beat Box lays down an eclectic groove at the Troubadour in advance of their upcoming Shout It Out CD

A pair of fine local rockers have hometown dates: Avi Buffalo will be at the Resident with the Kickback, while Groves headlines the Roxy.

Wed. 9/21


Will Hoge



Top Show: Will Hoge is a Nashville who should be better known, even though he has a Grammy nomination. There’s just a real-ness to his music and words. You can hear for yourself at the Mint.

Dinosaur Jr. starts its three night run at the Teragram Ballroom in support of the new Give a Glimpse Of What Yer Not. I have a soft spot for the Massachusetts duo Tall Heights because they shot a video in one of my favorite places: Rockport, MA. They also make quite lovely chamber folk music, which you can get of taste of at the Resident.

Thu. 9/22

Top Show(s): This week’s hot and soulful rock ‘n’ roll continues with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats performing at the Greek. Get there early to enjoy Jamestown Revival. Lera Lynn brings her smoky, twangy noir-ish tunes to the Bootleg.


Lera Lynn

Fresh from opening for Mumford & Sons earlier this week, U.K. rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen have their own show at the Wiltern. SHōTA is the name of a young singer/songwriter from Las Vegas with a Jack Johnson laidback vibe. He is out for the first time with his first EP and is playing Genghis Cohen. A little further south on Fairfax, at Molly Malone’s, L.A.-based country rocker Michael Colton will be showcasing his upcoming EP California Blue with his band. Musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins will perform her indie-folk, art-pop song cycle Girls in Trouble at the Skirball

Fri. 9/23

Top Show: Fountains of Wayne has been a fave since their first album. Now co-founder Chris Collingwood has his first solo project, Look Park. You can find him at McCabe’s tonight. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds will make things funky at The Echo. The duo Twin Shadow will perform Prince’s landmark Purple Rain album in its entirety at Hollywood Forever (no comment about the choice of location). Tom Brosseau will be showcasing his new album, North Dakota Impressions (the 3rd of a trilogy started with 2014’s Grass Punks and 2015’s Perfect Abandon) at the Sanctuary in Santa Monica.


Foy Vance

Singer/songwriter Foy Vance also have a new album, The Wild Swan, that will be sharing at the Troubadour; Trevor Sensor starts the show.

Texas-style rock will fill Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion courtesy of Stonehoney. Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch bring a little bit of Nashville to the Forum tonight and Irvine Meadows tomorrow night. Tonight at Irvine Meadow will be a Jack FM nostalgia fest with Jane’s Addiction, The Cult, Garbage, Violent Femmes, and Everlast with House of Pain. Band of Skulls will be rockin’ the Wiltern, while Royal Canoe surfaces at the Hi Hat; they’ve just released Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit.


Vintage Trouble

Downtown Long Beach is the spot for the Music Tastes Good festival. The 3-day event will certainly have plenty of musical goodness. The Specials, Iron and Wine, Squeeze, Dr. Dog, De la Soul, Twin Peaks, The Melvins, Living Colour, Sylvan Esso, Son Little, Pokey La Farge, Cody Chesnutt, Nick Waterhouse, Eagle Rock Gospel Singers, Foy Vance, Skinny Lister and Vintage Trouble are just some of the performing acts. Check http://mtglb.co for more details.


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A Festive Saturday, This Saturday (Sept. 17, that is)

If you are looking for something special to do this Saturday, there are a number of terrific music festivals taking place in Southern California.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned how the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Did you know that they formed in Long Beach? They are playing their first “hometown” show in over 40 years as they headline the 4th annual Long Beach Folk Festival. LBFF boasts its best-ever lineup with The White Buffalo, Chuck Ragan, JD McPherson, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Willy Tea Taylor, Leo “Bud” Welch and Moonsville Collective among other. And the family-friendly festival has its home at Long Beach’s Rainbow Lagoon.


JD McPherson

We Are L.A. Family Music Festival is a rare event that brings together some of the top family music acts around: Yo Gabba Gabba, OzoKidz, Heidi Swedberg, Rhythm Child, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, the Hollow Trees and Lisa Loeb. However, the evening boasts “more adult” performers Rachel Platten. Kevin Costner & Modern West and The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal. The festival, which is at Carson’s StubHub Center, holds a bunch of activities for kids and parents and will benefit a number of charities.

Things will be a little wilder at the 3rd Annual Horton’s Hayride, boisterious day of rootsy rock ‘n’ roll featuring the Rev. Horton Heat, The Bouncing Souls, Manic Hispanic, Junior Brown, Supersuckers and Eddie Spaghetti and El Vez.


Junior Brown


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Go See Hear In L.A. Sept. 1-6 (The Tobias The Owl/Squirrel Nut Zippers edition)

Maybe it is the Labor Day Weekend. Maybe it is just me. Maybe it is a combination of the two but it seems like a light week this week. But here are the shows I recommend.

Thurs. 9/1

Top Show(s): 20 years ago the Squirrel Nut Zippers were “hot” with the surprise success of their Hot album. Founding members Chris Phillips and Jimbo Mathus have assembled another dandy, swinging band and they have a sold out show at the Teragram. You can catch the impressive Oklahoma troubadour Levi Parham at the Hotel Café’s Second Stage.


Levi Parham

The Grammy Museum’s live tribute to the great B.B. King, which features the likes of Keb’ Mo’, Derek Trucks, Jimmie Vaughan, Slash, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Joe Louis Walker – would be a top show but this Wallis concert is sold out. The eclectic Unknown Mortal Orchestra headline tonight’s Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier with Steady Holiday opening. Night Beats, C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmares are the bill at the Echoplex.

Fri. 9/2

Top Show(s): Wayne “The Train” Hancock is one of the most authentic honky tonkers around these days. He’ll be out at Corona’s Bar 1650 tonight and the Ventura County Fair tomorrow. He also has a new album arriving later this fall. Kelley Mickwee used to be part of the all-female country trio The Trishas, now she’s doing a solo thing and will be at the Mint tonight.


Kelley Mickwee

Sat. 9/3

Top Show: Tobias The Owl is the creation of Seattle singer/songwriter Elijah Dhavvan. Their just released Every Eye Is A Universe holds some really wonderful mix of jangly folk and gently moody indie rock. You can find at the Mint tonight.

The New Blues Festival, happening this weekend at Long Beach’s El Dorado Park, boasts a bill including Bobby Rush, Lee Rocker, Big Lou Johnson, Kingfish and Bobby Cochran. There will be a Ska Festival at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park and a “Rock n Roll Fantasy” at the LA County Fair because the legendary Bad Company will be playing there. Meanwhile, you can find the Killers at the Wiltern.

 Sun. 9/4

Local country rocker Michael Colton brings his band to the Trip in Santa Monica.

Mon. 9/5

Go enjoy a Labor Day BBQ

Tues. 9/6


Reuben Bidez

Top Show(s): You can discover Reuben Bidez at the Hotel Café. The Nashville singer/songwriter’s impressive new album Turning To Wine comes out 9/30. The Texas alt. country outfit Vandoliers will be rockin’ up the Viper Room; there new album Ameri-Kinda is well worthy of a listen too.

And, not surprisingly, Weezer’s appearance at the Grammy Museum is all sold out.

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August Desk Clearing: Shovels & Rope, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, NRBQ and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Another busy month in the music world. What with Sir Paul re-signing with Capitol. R.E.M. announcing a big reissue of Out Of Time to celebrate the CD’s 25th anniversary. News that Bob Weir will release his first new solo album in a decade (Blue Mountain comes out September 30 on Columbia/Legacy Recordings) and that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have a new album (Skeleton Tree) and a new film (One More Time With Feeling) due the beginning of September. And sorry for the lack of visuals this time – just so much to get to.

Yep Roc has compiled the Sawyer Sessions: Season 2. This digital release features live performances from Josh Rouse, Jackie Greene, The Stray Birds, Chris Stamey, Jonah Tolchin and The Old Ceremony, and its proceeds will be donated to Equality NC, an organization that fights for equal rights and justice for North Carolina’s LGBTQ community.

Sharon Van Etten has a new single “Not Myself” that she did in memory of the victims of Orlando and to support the work of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. It is available via all digital service providers, including Bandcamp, (https://sharonvanetten.bandcamp.com/track/not-myself/)

 September Songs:

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club returns with their first album in a few years on 9/2. Their self-released The Commandments According to SCAC delivers some spirited dark-hued Americana.  Nathan Bowles forges in an interesting acoustic Americana sound, frequently through banjo-led instrumentals on his new outing Whole & Coven (Paradise of Bachelors, 9/2).  Angel Olsen offers My Woman, her third full-length album, on September 2nd via Jagjaguwar

“Music From the Showtime Series Roadies” goes from a digital release to a physical one on Sept. 2. The soundtrack set includes live takes from Lindsey Buckingham’s “Big Love,” Lucius’ “Born Again Teen,” “Longest Days” by John Mellencamp, “Feeling Ok” by Best Coast, “They Are All In Love” by Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock’s “Sayonara Judge,” “Willin’” by Jackson Browne & Lucius, “A Little Crazy” by Nicole Atkins and Gary Clark Jr.’s “The Healing” – plus a studio recording of My Morning Jacket’s “The First Time” and a live soundcheck recording ofAll We Ever Knew” by The Head And The Heart.

The Coal Porters are another English band with Americana elements, which makes sense since US expat Sid Griffin (of Long Ryders fame) is a co-founder. Their new alt-bluegrass-y effort No. 6 arrives Sept 9 on Prima Records. Here is the latest from Power Pop royalty Teenage Fanclub; it has a 9/9 due date. It’s also the day you can hear Daniel Lanois’ lovely set of instrumentals entitled Goodbye to Language. And the wonderfully gifted vocalist Aoife O’Donovan will put out To Release Man In A Neon Coat: Live From Cambridge on Yep Roc Records; the digital version appears Sept. 9 and a limited edition CD on Oct. 1.

Elise Davis makes a strong impression with her smoldering tunes (of the early Neko Case variety) on The Token coming Sept. 9 on Make The Kill Records & Thirty Tigers. Another up-and-coming female singer to keep an eye on is Renée Wahl, who will release Sworn Secrets on Sept. 30; it is the first of a two-part EP series she is putting out. And not to forget Heidi Lynne Gluck. Gluck, who has played with folks like Juliana Hatfield, Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos and Lily & Madeline, recently released her solo debut Pony Show on Lotuspool Records.

September 16 is the date for Dawes’ much awaited follow up to All Your Favorite Bands. We’re All Gonna Die, out on their own HUB Records, looks like they are deepening their sound around their entertaining observational lyrics. The Handsome Family attracted some long-overdue attention when their song “Far From Any Road” was used as True Detective’s theme song (season 1); their new full-length Unseen appears Sept. 16. On North by South (Compass Records, 9/16), bluegrass star Claire Lynch salutes some of her favorite Canadian songwriters.

On Sept. 23 you can check into the Sunset Motel, the latest from veteran Texas country rockers Reckless Kelly. That day too, Modernist bluegrassers Greensky Bluegrass delivers its sixth studio album Shouted, Written Down & Quoted (Big Blue Zoo Records/Thirty Tigers). Thirty Tigers will also behind Tightrope Walker, the first CD since 2011 from Rachael Yamagata. Jake Shimabukuro show off his amazing ukulele mastery on Nashville Sessions.

 L.A.-based singer/songwriter Kayla Cohen, who goes by the name Itasca, has a brooding, beguiling sound. Her album Open To Chance arrives 9/30 on Paradise of Bachelors. Also that day, Cody Diekhoff, who goes by Chicago Farmer, will release his 7th album Midwest Side Stories packed with raw-edged folk-ish tunes. Colorado-based singer/songwriter Gabrielle Louise, who just goes by her own name, has her acoustic-based album What Happened Was coming out 9/30. It is also the day for Brazilian star Luísa Maita’s new album Fio da Memória (Thread of Memory), an irresistible album that mixes tempos and styles into a cool mix, as well as Mandolin Orange’s vibrant Blindfaller (Yep Roc).

October Come She Will…With New Music

Expect a set of rousting Americana when Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance deliver Jamestown Revival’s sophomore effort The Education of A Wandering Man on Oct. 7 (Republic Records). It’s also the day when Shovels & Rope presents their potent Little Seeds – they just keep getting better and better. Their debut Utah was quite the breakout album for them. The first CD in a decade from Glen Phillips, of Toad the Wet Sprocket fame, gets unveiled Swallowed By The New 10/7. It is also the day when Merge puts out the latest offering from Hiss Golden Messenger Heart Like a Levee is a marvelous take on Americana. On this busy day, The Plastic Ants bring forth Imperial Phase. This band comes from Cincinnati and make adventurous chamber pop so it is not surprising that its members include the Afghan Whig’s John Curley and Joe Klug from Wussy.

Blues fan will remember that Texas guitar wizard Eric Johnson has done an all-acoustic album, E J. Chicago-based, Isle Of Man-bred bluesman Davy Knowles has his latest work Three Miles From Avalon, which includes his take on Willie Dixon’s “What In The World,” arriving 10/14. Oct. 14 is also the day for Blues Highways, the new CD from award-winning Canadian bluesman Colin James where he salutes some of his idols, like Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Freddie King, Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy, Peter Green and Robert Johnson.

On Oct. 14, ATO releases a CD with a rather different temperament. Quirky country troubadour (and recent L.A. transplant) Jonny Fritz has a done a new album Sweet Creep that was produced by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. I wanted to share a couple of the song titles: “Chilidog Morning,” “Chihuahua Rescue” and “Fifteen Passenger Van.” Johnnyswim, meanwhile, surfaces that day with their long-awaited second full-length Georgia Pond. 10/14 is also when Conor Oberst returns with Ruminations, (Nonesuch Records) is his seventh solo album and first since 2014’s Upside Down Mountain.

The Flat Five are something of a Chicago “supergroup” as they feature Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough and Alex Hall. They will be finally releasing their debut disc It’s A World of Love and Hope on Oct. 14 via Bloodshot.

The award-winning folk British duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker will release their debut album for Rough Trade, Overnight, on October 14th, which is also the date for Full Closure and No Details, the North American debut from Australia’s Gabriella Cohen. She is an intriguing stripped down indie rock vibe wrapped with straight-faced humor. (for a countrywoman comparison think Courtney Barnett with a third of the words).

Keep an ear open for a couple of up-and-coming honky tonkers Troy Cartwright and Zach Schmidt; they both have albums coming out in October.

Further down the road

You can call Lampchop’s new album FLOTUS or For Love Often Turns Us Still. Whatever you call it, this Merge release (due Nov. 4) find lead Lampchop Kurt Wagner exploring new musical territory, but what else would you expect? Drag City is prepping the first album in over a decade from Papa M (aka David Pajo. Highway Songs is set for Nov. 11. The Whigs (not the Afghan variety) share a concert recording Live in Little Five that New West will release on Nov. 11.

History Lessons

The Grammy Museum unveils what should be a terrific exhibit on Sept. 16. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk contains a slew of Ramones memorabilia and looks at that important place and time in rock history.

If you are a fan of ‘90s college rock and/or Americana then you should check out Scarred But Smarter: Life N Times Of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, a documentary that looks at the long-time Georgia band that has never escaped cult status. It comes out on DVD and digital formats on September 23rd.

and if you love old-time music. I mean real “old time” music that make note of the Sept. 30 release from Archeophone Records: Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism and the Phonograph, 1890-1900. This 3-CD (and one book) compilation presents a treasury of early recordings. We’re talking music from cylinder recordings. The 102 tracks include an 1894 recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” by the African-American singing group, the Standard Quartette as well as field recordings from the 1897 Methodist camp meeting at Ocean Grove, New Jersey that features the first and only recording by the fabled blind hymn-writer Fanny Crosby.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band turns 50 this year and they will celebrate with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Friends – Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years (due Sept. 30 on NGDB Records via Warner Music Nashville). A live recording, in the Circle Be Unbroken mode, finds the band playing with John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas and Jackson Browne. Meanwhile, Dirt Band founder John McEuen will have his own CD Made In Brooklyn also coming out that day.

1966 is also the year Otis Redding released his classic record The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul. Rhino is celebrating this occasion with a deluxe reissue featuring newly remastered stereo and mono mixes of the album. The CD (due 10/7) includes such bonus track gems as studios outtakes “Trick Or Treat” and “Loving By The Pound” and a blistering live recording of “Try A Little Tenderness” taken from the 1967 Stax/Volt Revue’s European tour.

Also marking their 50th anniversary is NRBQ and Omnivore Recordings has constructed the first ever box-set for this legendary roots rock outfit. High Noon – A 50 Year Retrospective (due Nov. 11) is a 5-CD set holds hit songs, rarities, concert favorites, covers and a number of previously unissued tracks.

Other exciting projects arriving this year from Omnivore is the 30th anniversary reissue of Peter Case‘s self-titled solo debut (Sept. 16), which has seven bonus tracks (two from a 1986 promotional EP and five previously unissued tracks). Maybe it is time for me to get rid of my cassette version. Game Theory‘s the Big Shot Chronicles also came out in 1986 and Omnivore’s expanded version (due 9/23) includes 13 bonus tracks, 9 of which haven’t been released before (like live versions of “Sweet Jane,” “Re-make/Re-model” and a demo of “Jesus Christ.” Speaking of Big Star, on Oct. 14, the label unveils Complete Third, which gather together everything – every demo, rough mix, outtake, alt take and final master – known to exist for that revered album.

Coming in October from Real Gone Music is Mahalia Jackson Sings—The Great Television Performances (a new-to-CD 16-track collection of the rather rare recordings by the gospel’s great), John Hammond’s half-acoustic/half-electric 1967 album Mirrors (featuring guest shots by Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Mike Bloomfield and Charlie Musselwhite), Sandy Bull’s standout 1963 debut Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo and a 35-song Eddie Money retrospective.

On Sept. 9, Rhino presents a 3-CD set that collects Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris’s Trio recordings – the two Trio albums plus a 20-track disc packed with unreleased and alternative tracks. The label will also issue a single disc My Dear Companion, drawn from The Trio Collection.

Modern Harmonic just released 29 Demos from cult heroine Margo Guryan. It is the vinyl version of the 2001 CD collection 25 Demos and this version has 4 additional tracks on this double colored vinyl (one red, one blue).

On Nov. 18, Parlophone will releases a deluxe version of Jethro Tull’s sophomore outing Stand Up, which contains their smash hit “Living In The Past.” The reissue includes the previously unreleased “Bouree,” some BBC session tracks, a 1969 live recording of a Swedish concert where they opened for Jimi Hendrix and a DVD with some concert footage and remixed songs.

The Faint has collected 16 of their finest songs on CAPSULE: 1999-2016 that lands on Sept. 30 via Saddle Creek. Meanwhile, The Fray’s Best Of compilation, Through The Years (Nov. 4, Epic Records) boasts three new tunes “Singing Low,” “Corners” and, their new single, “ Changing Tides.”


American Laundromat Records has organized the quite terrific Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith. This 15-track salute (due 10/14) contains folks like Tanya Donelly, Julien Baker, Amanda Palmer, J Mascis, Juliana Hatfield, William Fitzsimmons, Escondido, Sun Kil Moon, Waxahatchee and Lou Barlow doing Smith songs.

Oct. 14 also is when Memphis International will release Feel Like Going Home: The Songs of Charlie Rich that has Jim Lauderdale, Shooter Jennings, Keith Sykes and Will Kimbrough among its contributors.

Highway Prayers is a tribute to the Texas troubadour Adam Carroll. Due Oct. 28 on Eight 30 Records, it should be a fine offering as it features such faves as James McMurtry, Hayes Carll,  Slaid Cleaves, The Band of Heathens, Matt the Electrician,  Danny Barnes,  Terri Hendrix, Mando Saenz, Tim Easton and Aaron Lee Tasjan (whose excellent New West debut Silver Tears also arrives that day).

Solo Outings

The Infamous Stringdusters fiddle man Jeremy Garrett will be releasing a new solo album on Sept. 27. The title The RV Sessions 2 gives you a hint of its origins. As he did with last year’s The RV Sessions, Garrett recorded this genre-hopping set of instrumentals while on the road in an RV traveling with his family.

Dangerous Things, the first solo album by Augustana’s frontman Dan Layus, arrives October 21 on Plated Records/ADA. Nina Diaz, who has drawn attention as the frontwoman for the indie punk band Girl In A Coma, will reveal a wider, but no less potent, musical palette on her debut solo outing The Beat Is Dead due October 28 via Cosmica Artists.


… to Mike Nesmith, who will receive receive the Ernie Kovacs Award at 29th Dallas VideoFest on Oct. 1. This award salutes the career and talents of television’s greatest visionaries. Nesmith and Kovcas are a pair who populate my personal pop culture pantheon. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Monkees’ TV show and next year Nesmith will put out an autobiographical book, Infinite Tuesday.

On Oct. 9, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame welcomes in four new inductees: Townes Van Zandt, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Bob Morrison and Aaron Barker. The first two names should be familiar. Morrison, meanwhile, was ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1978, 1980-82 and NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 1980, while Brooks penned a number of hits for George Strait, among others.

And in closing, an interesting story from up north. Bob Egan is retiring from the long-running roots band Blue Rodeo to take a job with the Kitchener Public Library. Egan, who also played in Wilco for a spell, has been Blue Rodeo’s pedal steel man for nearly 18 years.


thanks for bearing with me and have a good September.





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So yesterday – August 24 – marked the 34th anniversary of R.E.M.’s Chronic Town. Their first EP, their first I.R.S. release. Where it (basically) all began. I don’t think I have the cassette that I bought back then. Or even the cassette that I copied it on to…


But the R.E.M-iniscing continues as today, the band announced that they commemorating the 25th anniversary of Out of Time in a big way. On November 18, Concord Bicycle will release three different versions of the album. A 2-CD set features a remastered version of the original record paired with 19 demos, including demos of each album track plus some rarities (like Bill Berry singing an early version of “Radio Song” and “Losing My Religion” with different lyrics. There will be a 3-LP version of Out of Time and the deluxe 4-disc collection that contains their 15-song 1991 Mountain Stage live set and a Blu-ray holding the entire album, all of its music videos and the 1991 EPK “Time Piece.”

It is a quite a treasury of music that brings back many a memory…

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