What’s Old Is New: Dr. John, The Faces & Texas Tornadoes

I wanted to share some music news that crossed my radar that you might not have heard yet.

The Faces stand as a band that epitomizes rock ‘n’ roll. They had the songs, they had the swagger, they had the Ooh La La. Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan were only together for five years but they did a lot during those years. On Aug. 28, Rhino will offer up You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything, a boxset of the legendary band’s four studio albums. Not only is each album bulked up with bonus tracks of previously unreleased material, there’s an extra fifth disc packed with rarities. Here’s a video (with not great audio) of my fave Faces tune…

Dr. John’s Atco/Atlantic singles spanning the years 1968-1974 have been gathered together by Omnivore Recordings. The 22-track compilation, due out Sept. 18, presents a colorful portrait of Mac Rebennack’s musical transformation into Dr. John, The Night Tripper. And yes, his signature hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” is part of this set.



Real Gone Music has another fine collection of archival releases coming in September. The jewel might be A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada – a 2-CD, 39-track set that holds the prime cuts by the Texas Tornadoes. If you aren’t familiar with that name, the group was comprised of Flaco Jimenez, Doug Sahm, Freedy Fender and Augie Meyers. Here’s a vintage video:

The label also has put together Jimenez’s complete Arista Recordings, which amounts to his self-titled 1994 effort (featuring guests like Raul Malo and Radney Foster) and 1996’s Buena Suerte Señorita. Real Gone also has collected Wilson Pickett’s 4 RCA records done between 1964-72 into a 2-CD set, which also has 4 tracks never before on CD.

Lovers of Southern country soul should be aware of two October releases. On October 16, Big Legal Mess Records will put out The Life And Music of Denny Lile. This CD/DVD spotlights a lost figure in the ‘70s Southern music scene. Denny Lile’s little-heard 1972 Hear The Bang album has been equated to Neil Young’s Harvest. Find out more over at our friends at Blurt – http://bit.ly/1eK4EgV

Donnie Fritts has a new CD coming out in October. Maybe best known for the tune “Breakfast in Bed,” Fritts will deliver Oh My Goodness on Oct. 9. The disc, co-produced by the Civil Wars’ John Paul White and the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner, features John Prine, Brittany Howard, Jason Isbell, Spooner Oldham and Amanda Shires among its guest contributors. There’s also a Fritts documentary in the works.

Here’s a tease:

The documentary Another Glorious Decade examines Van Morrison’s life and work from the late ‘70s through the late ‘80s. A Period of Transition, the title of his 1978 album, could be the subtitle here, as Morrison spent these years exploring spirituality and music. Due Sept. 18, it includes rare archive, live and studio footage as well as new interviews with many Morrison associates and collaborators.

There’s a pledgemusic.com campaign happening for another documentary, Born In Chicago, which examines Chicago’s extraordinary blues music scene. The film contains performances and interviews with folks like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jack White, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and the list of luminaries goes on and on. Get more details at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/bic

Now I don’t know much at all about Raging Fire, a popular Nashville rock band during the 1980’s. They never broke through beyond their regional success but they had a sound that made me think of a cross between Jason & The Scorchers and early Lone Justice. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album, A Family Thing, they are making their whole catalog available on digital platforms while putting out a compilation on CD too. The Nashville Scene put up a track on their site: http://bit.ly/1Tqt12I

And we are sending out our good thoughts to Billy Zoom. X’s guitarist is in a battle with bladder cancer. A GoFundMe drive has been set up to help raise money for this fight. You can get the details at: http://www.gofundme.com/yx66a4


About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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