Welcome Back, Long Ryders, a True-West-ern & an Individual

A couple of old favorites have new, or upcoming, releases, that I wanted to share.

The Long Ryders were one of the first of the 80s alt.country rock outfit. The SoCal-bred band last year unveiled a comprehensive 4-CD retrospective, Final Wild Songs, on Cherry Red Records. This month, they have released their new song in 30 years, “Bear In The Woods.”

You can give a listen here:

The band, featuring its classic lineup (guitarist Sid Griffin, guitarist Stephen McCarthy, drummer Greg Sowders and bassist Tom Stevens, will be performing this weekend at the Stagecoach Festival, with tune-up gigs at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room (4/28) and L.A.’s Roxy (4/29). Hopefully, there will be more new music to come.

True West was part California Paisley Underground scene that overlapped some with the country rockers. Russ Tolman helped to co-found the band before to do a string of solo albums from the mid-80s through 2000, collaborating with the likes of Steve Wynn, Johnette Napolitano and Howe Gelb. On May 26, you can find a retrospective of his solo career on Lost Records’ Compass & Map. This 20-song set offers a fine look at Tolman’s spiky observational songwriting and fiery music that deserves more recognition. “Hollywood Holiday” is one track found on this collection.

Heading over to the East Coast, we turn to Glenn Morrow. If you are a fan of the Hoboken music scene, you know his name from bands like the Individuals, “a” and Rage To Live. Morrow also is the band behind the great Bar/None Records. After something of a musical hiatus, he is back with Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help. A self-titled album is due out June 23, but a listen to “Comfort Zone” gives you a sense of the smart tunes you’ll be hearing on it. Helping out Morrow on Cry For Help are guitarist Ric Sherman, bassist Mike Rosenberg and drummer Ron Metz (who has laid down the beat for bands like the Schramms and Human Switchboard).

Fans of this ’80s college rock universe should also note that Matthew Sweet has a big new album on the way. And by “big,” I mean a 17-track double CD. Look for Tomorrow Forever June 16 on his own Honeycomb Hideout label.







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Archives Alive Anniversary Edition: UPDATED: Monterey Pop, Grateful Dead, Sgt. Peppers, Stills & Collins

1967 was a huge year in rock music. It basically started with the Doors’ debut album and ended with Magical Mystery Tour. It is hard to keep up with all the anniversaries, but here are some recent new items.

The UPDATED part: I won’t make you scroll all the way down to where this update would logically go, but I found out today that the Grammy Museum is opening an exhibit on the Monterey Pop Festival on May 11. Entitled “Monterey International Pop Festival: Music, Love, and Flowers, 1967,” it has been organized in collaboration with Lou Adler, who co-founded the festival. Running through the fall, the show will display a bunch of groovy artifacts from Adler’s private collection as well as from the Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation. On display will be items relating to such festival performers as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and Ravi Shankar, along with photographs from acclaimed photographers as Henry Diltz, Tom O’Neil, Elaine Mayes, and Ed Caraeff. If you go in the exhibit’s opening days, you can also catch the Jim Marshall photo exhibit, which closes May 14 (see more below).

Monterey Pop took place in June 16-18. This year, the 50th anniversary will be marked with a new Monterey Pop Festival taking place over the same three days. The 2017 edition will feature another awesome, eclectic bill. Eric Burdon & the Animals, Booker T. Stax Revue and Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band represent acts from the original lineup (Otis Redding and the Grateful Dead in the case of the latter two band).


Other noted performers scheduled to appear include Gary Clark Jr., Jim James, Father John Misty, Jack Johnson, Dr. Dog, Norah Jones, North Mississippi Allstars, The Head and the Heart, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jackie Greene, Jamtown (featuring Cisco Adler, Donovan Frankenreiter and G. Love), Kurt Vile & the Violators, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Leon Bridges, Nicki Bluhm and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Regina Spektor and Sara Watkins. I would assume there will be some more to come.

There will also a new CD commemorating the anniversary. Iconic Performances From The Monterey International Pop Festival holds 13 historic tracks from the concert. Put together by the Monterey International Pop Foundation, the album (due June 9) also includes a new essay by NME journalist (and festival attendee) Keith Altham, 16-page booklet, a reproduction of the original festival artist pass, and a gold-foil package to mark the 50th anniversary of the festival.


Track Listing

  • Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth”
  • Paul Butterfield – “Driftin Blue
  • The Grateful Dead – “Out In the Cold, Rain and Snow”
  • Simon and Garfunkel – “Sounds of Silence”
  • Laura Nyro – “Poverty Train”
  • The Electric Flag – “Wine”
  • Jefferson Airplane – “White Rabbit”
  • Big Brother and the Holding Company (feat. Janis Joplin) – “Ball and Chain”
  • The Who – “Substitute”
  • Hugh Masekela – “Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song)”
  • Otis Redding – “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”
  • Jimi Hendrix – “Like a Rolling Stone”
  • The Mamas & The Papas – “California Dreamin'”

At the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles through May 14, you can view the photography exhibit Jim Marshall’s 1967, which takes a look at San Francisco’s Summer of Love through the lens of the fabled photographer.

On May 2, the Museum also will host a special evening with Giles Martin, who has done a new mix of the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition. The landmark album (produced by Giles’ late father) turns 50 on June 1.


1967 also was the year that Stephen Stills and Judy Collins “hooked up.” Their 2-year relationship resulted into the Stills’ famous song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” The two have “reunited” to do their first real album together (Stills worked before with Collins but only as a sideman) that should be released this summer. This summer, they will embark on a tour too; their L.A. date is Sept. 1 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Still’s busy 2017 also includes more shows with his current blues-based band The Ride that features other heavy hitters Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg (FYI: Goldberg appears on the Monterey Pop CD as a member of the Electric Flag), and working on his long-in-the-works autobiography (which Stills notes he is doing on his own, stating “dammit, I’m writing it myself. Why would I use a ghostwriter? Do you want a 300-page People interview?”)

In slightly younger news, On April 20, the Grateful Dead Movie will get a special one-night-only 40th anniversary screening courtesy of Rhino Entertainment and Fathom Events. To get info on participating cinemas, you can visit https://www.fathomevents.com/events/the-grateful-dead-movie-40th-anniversary?utm_source=fathom&utm_medium=press+releases&utm_campaign=grateful+dead+movie/.

I saw it at the old Colony Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. I think my brother and I were among the handful of film-goers at our matinee screening. I suspect more folks will be attending these screenings.

Meanwhile, the new, nearly 4-hour Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip, will be released in L.A. and N.Y.C. on May 26 and be available on Amazon Prime Video beginning June 2. Rhino will be putting out an accompanying soundtrack CD. Well, two CDs. One is a 2-disc set while there will be a 3-disc version that’s an Amazon exclusive. And later this summer, you can look for a monster 6-LP limited edition version.


Track Listing

  • Disc One
  • “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Live/Dead, Live At The Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 2/27/1969)
  • “St. Stephen” (Live/Dead, Live At The Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 2/27/1969)
  • “Uncle John’s Band” (Workingman’s Dead, 1970)
  • “Dark Star” (Live At The Fillmore East, New York, NY, 2/14/1970)*
  • “Easy Wind” (Workingman’s Dead, 1970)
  • “Candyman” (American Beauty, 1970)
  • “China Cat Sunflower”> (Live At Chateau d’Herouville, Herovuville, France, 6/21/1971)*
  • “I Know You Rider” (Live At Chateau d’Herouville, Herovuville, France, 6/21/1971)*
  • “Morning Dew” (Europe ’72, Live At The Lyceum Theatre, London, England, 5/26/1972)
  • Disc Two
  • “He’s Gone” (Sunshine Daydream, Live At Veneta, OR, 8/27/1972)
  • “The Music Never Stopped” (Live At The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA, 8/13/1975)*
  • “Scarlet Begonias”> ( Cornell 5/8/77, Live At Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977)
  • “Fire On The Mountain” (Cornell 5/8/77, Live At Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977)
  • “Althea” (Go To Nassau, Live At Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, 5/16/1980)
  • “Touch Of Grey” (In The Dark, 1987)
  • “Dear Mr. Fantasy”> (Live At Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 7/2/1989)*
  • “Hey Jude” (Live At Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 7/2/1989)*
  • “Ripple”> (American Beauty, 1970)
  • “Brokedown Palace” (American Beauty, 1970)
  • Disc Three – Amazon Exclusive (CD and LP)
  • “Playing In The Band” (Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings, Live At Beat-Club, West Germany, 4/21/1972)
  • “Eyes Of The World” (Dick’s Picks, Vol. 31, Live At Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ, 1974)
  • “St. Stephen”> (Cornell 5/8/77, Live At Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977)
  • “Not Fade Away”> (Cornell 5/8/77, Live At Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977)
  • “St. Stephen” (Cornell 5/8/77, Live At Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 5/8/1977)
  • “Dark Hollow” (Reckoning, 1981)
  • “Stella Blue” (Live At Zoo Amphitheater, Oklahoma City, OK, 7/5/1981)*
  • “Days Between” (Live At Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, 10/18/1994)*
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Mining The Archives: Nesmith, Campbell, Garcia, Hendrix…

Always a good day when I can spread some good news about Michael Nesmith. On April 18, his Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff (Crown Archetype) will come out and to coincide with its publication, Rhino will release a companion CD, Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs on April 14. The 14-song set starts off with “The New Recruit,” a 1965 tune he recorded under the name Michael Blessing. There are a batch of Monkees songs too as well as tracks from his band First National Band and his solo career.


Besides being a big fan of the show The Monkees, I also remembering enjoying Glen Campbell‘s TV show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. Capitol Nashville/UMe will return us to that era when they put out a trio of Campbell’s most famous Sixties album on vinyl on March 24. Gentle on My Mind, Wichita Lineman and Galveston came out between 1967-1969 and each were headlined by their respective hit title track. Here’s a clip of him doing “Galveston” from that show in 1969.

1969 was also the year B.J. Thomas had a big crossover hit with “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” In the ‘80s he recorded with Columbia and charted a number of times, including his Ray Charles duet “Rock and Roll Shoes.” Real Gone Music has collected his Columbia singles (along with some sides released by Priority and Cleveland International) on New Looks from an Old Lover, which comes out April 7. Also that day, Real Gone releases David Allan Coe: The Complete Hits, a 2-CD collection of that notorious outlaw country singer’s top tunes.

Jimi Hendrix fans should be aware of an awesome recent release on Dagger Records: Live At George’s Club 20. This CD captures Hendrix in his pre-Jimi days when he played guitar and did lead vocals in Curtis Knight’s band. The recordings were done at George’s Club 20 in Hackensack, NJ on December 26, 1965 and January 22, 1966. The live set includes tunes like “Land of 1000 Dances,” “What I Say,” “Mercy Mercy” and “Ain’t That Peculiar.” A double vinyl version will come out April 21 on Record Store Day


On March 10, Volume Eight in the GarciaLive Series will be released on Round Records/ATO Records. It will be a double CD of the Jerry Garcia Band‘s November 23rd, 1991 concert at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. It presents a cool portrait of this incarnation of Garcia’s band, which was his longest running lineup of players: Melvin Seals (keyboards), John Kahn (bass), David Kemper (drums), Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch (backing vocals) and . The show features renditions of JGB favorites (“Cats Under The Stars” and “That Lucky Old Sun”) classic covers (“Tangled In Blue” and “The Night They Drive Old Dixie Down”) and even the Manhattans’ ’80 R&B hit, “Shining Star,” which the Garcia Band frequently played in the early ‘90s.

College rock fans of the mid ‘80s and early ‘90s vintage know of the Sneetches (or at least should). This San Fran band had a fun, jangly, Anglo-y sound that you can get a fine sense of on the upcoming retrospective Form Of Play, a 22-track collection (with 5 previously unreleased songs) that Omnivore is putting out on April 29.

Sticking in the ‘90s, is an upcoming 4-song limited edition 7” release from that dog. Totally Crushed Outtakes (3/31 on Hello Records) holds rare material from this LA band featuring Rachel and Petra Haden, Anna Waronker and Tony Maxwell. One track, “Silently,” has Beck playing banjo. Another is entitled “Punk Rock Lobster” and here is link to another tune “Ms Wrong.”



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November Desk Clearing: Tift Merritt, Chuck Prophet, Wild Reeds And Morphine

The Grammy Museum has added 25 important songs to its Hall of Fame. The new tunes are:

Arlo Guthrie – “The City of New Orleans”
The Beach Boys – “I Get Around”
Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
Blind Willie McTell – “Statesboro Blues”
Bonnie Raitt – “I Can’t Make Your Love Me”
Cab Calloway And His Orchestra – “(Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin’ Jive”
David Bowie – “Changes”
Deep Purple – “Smoke of the Water”
Dion – “The Wanderer”
Elvis Presley – “Jailhouse Rock”
The Everly Brothers – “Wake Up Little Susie”
Jackson 5 – “ABC”
Lalo Schifrin – “Mission-Impossible”
Lesley Gore – “You Don’t Own Me”
Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra – “When the Saints Go Marching In”
Merle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee
Mills Brothers – “You Always Hurt the One You Love”
Mississippi John Hurt – “Stack O’Lee Blues”
N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton
Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Prince – Sign ‘O’ the Times
R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
Rod Stewart – “Maggie May”
Sly & The Family Stone – “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”
Sonny & Cher – “I Got You Babe

UMe continues its big Frank Zappa vinyl reissue with a handful of his most famous records Cruising With Ruben & The Jets (1968), Joe’s Garage (1979), Lumpy Gravy (1967), Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970) and We’re Only In It For The Money (1968) on Dec. 9. For those keeping score, Weasel was the last Mothers of Invention album and Lumpy was his first solo outing. Ruben & The Jets was a nod to the doo wop era and Money was one of Frank’s wickedest satire while the rock opera Joe’s Garage features his “hit” “Catholic Girls.”



In honor of Capitol Records’ 75th anniversary, UMe has put together A Capitol Christmas, which mines holiday classics from Capitol’s vast catalog. Available now digitally, on CD and as a double LP housed in a gatefold package, the 24-track album brings together beloved Christmas songs from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby and many more.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s first album so a special deluxe edition of the band’s self-titled debut will come out on Jan. 20. Besides having the original album’s songs newly remastered, there will also be a bonus disc of the complete unreleased concert from July 29, 1966 and select cuts from July 30, 1966 performed at the P.N.E. Garden Auditorium in British Columbia. Also out that day will be a small batch (10,000 copies) of 12-inch picture discs of The Grateful Dead. Deadheads should make note too that 2017 will also see a limited-edition series of 7-inch singles starting March 1 with the band’s first single “Stealin'” b/w “Don’t Ease Me In.”

Trainspotting not only was a breakout, buzzed about film in 1996 but it also had a killer soundtrack. In honor of the movie’s 20th anniversary, Rhino has reissued the soundtrack on vinyl and CD. The 14-track set contains tunes like Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life,” Brian Eno’s “Deep Blue Day,” New Order’s “Temptation,” Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” Elastica’s “2:1,” Pulp’s “Mile End,” Blur’s “Sing” and Damon Albarn’s “Closet Romantic.” Director Danny Boyle’s new Trainspotting film gets released in February.

Damon Albarn and New Order are also part of the new documentary 808. Due 12/9 on Apple Music, this film tells the story of the highly influential Roland TR-808 drum machine. There was even a band named 808 State after the drum machine. Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, The Beastie Boys, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) and Rick Rubin also are in the movie.


Peter, Paul & Mary

One of the bands whose albums I remember seeing around my house growing up (and this does age me) is Peter, Paul and Mary. A new documentary 50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary (due 12/9 on MVD) will spotlight this seminal folk trio and feature some rare footage, such as an early ‘60s appearance on BBC TV.

MVD will also release on Dec. 9 Journey of Dreams, about the group Morphine and its leader Mark Sandman who died tragically young while performing on stage in 1999. This DVD documentary looks at the Boston band that created some distinct music that twisted blues and jazz into the ‘90s indie rock world. at the band and Along with archival footage and interviews with survivor bandmates saxophonist Dana Colley and drummers Billy Conway and Jerome Dupree, the doc also includes appearances by Henry Rollins, Joe Strummer and Steve Berlin.


Sam Phillips


We just finished waiting the Gilmore Girls’ Netflix 4-part TV movie event, which offers a great opportunity to bring up the criminally underappreciated singer/songwriter Sam Phillips who did the show’s score. She also has just released Human Contact Is Never Easy, an 8-song EP with 4 new tunes, 2 live tracks and two cuts from her last album, 2013’a Push Any Buttons.

The Revelers have a fun EP coming out Dec. 16. The Revelers play Swamp Pop Classics Volume Two contains their versions of Gary U.S Bonds’ “Trip to the Moon,” Arthur Alexander’s “If It’s Really Got To Be This Way,” Spooner Oldham’s “Lonely Women” and Warren Storm’s “Nobody Would Know.”

A really cool CD for the whole family (really) is Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute To David Bowie. I mentioned it briefly in an earlier post but after listening to it, I can thoroughly recommend it. This Bowie homage holds a wonderfully eclectic cast of contributors. For instance, Kindie star Justin Roberts’ wistful take on “Kooks” is followed by Antibalas’ funky “Let’s Dance.” Then kids musician Gustafer Yellowgold gets well-paired with “Space Oddity” and Ted Leo brings a rock edge to “Heroes.” Proceeds from this Spare The Rock Records release will benefit It Gets Better Project, an organization that works with LGBT youths.

In other news from the kids entertainment world (sort of), Steve Burns, the original host of Blues Clues has partnered in project with Flaming Lips guitarist Steven Drozd that they are calling as STEVENSTEVEN and their will release their debut all-ages album, Foreverywhere, in February.

On Dec. 2 Third Man Records will be an album of unreleased Leon Redbone recordings. Long Way From Home holds 18 tracks recorded in 1972; eight tunes are from a University of Buffalo’s coffee house performance and the other 10 come from a session for the university’s radio station WBFO. The label also is reissuing his 1975 Warner Brothers On the Track that is stocked with Redbone’s distinctive rendition of classic American tunes from early 20th century.

Nonesuch Records is the three-CD box set The Randy Newman Songbook on December 16. On top of covering the legendary songwriter’s five-decade career, it also holds five bonus tracks (“Feels Like Home,” “A Wedding in Cherokee County,” “Family Album: Homage to Alfred, Emil and Lionel Newman,” “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country” and “I’m Dreaming”).


The Feelies


The fabulous Feelies, one of my longtime favorites, are celebrating its 40th anniversary by recording their first studio album in over 6 years. In Between is set to be released on Feb. 24 by Bar/None.

Son Volt’s new album Notes of Blue finds Jay Farrar exploring blues music in his own unique way. The Feb. 17 release (on Thirty Tigers) stands as one of the most anticipated Americana release in early 2017. Another is the much-anticipated album from Tift Merritt. Stitch of the World (due from Yep Roc on 1/27) is her first since solo effort since 2012’s Traveling Alone. The label has several significant releases slated to start the year. On Feb. 10, they will also put out Chuck Prophet’s latest offering of gritty “California noir” music, evocatively titled CD Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins. Wesley Stace’s new album, Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding comes out on Feb. 24. Not only does it contain a fine collection of wittily written songs but Stace is backed by the Jayhawks. Meanwhile, Yep Roc is releasing Northern Passages from the long-running Canadian alt-country outfit The Sadies on Feb. 10.


Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

A couple other albums I am looking for forward to in 2017. Soul rockers Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears will put out their 4th CD Backlash, out Feb. 10 on INgrooves. Feb. 10 is also the day you can find a new album from Sallie Ford; Soul Sick (Vanguard) is a powerful set of songs that Ford describes as a “confessional” album. Nashville-based guitar maven Will Kimbrough has teamed with the talented soulful singer Brigette DeMeyer for a CD called Mockingbird Soul that has a Jan. 27 release date. The Charleston band Susto caught by attention this summer with their hilarious single “Chillin’ On The Beach With My Best Friend Jesus Christ.” That song isn’t on their upcoming album & I’m Fine Today (due 1/13 via Missing Piece/Caroline) but the CD does hold a potent set of Southern-bred rock (“Hard Drugs” is a current fave).

The cool SoCal Americana group The Wild Reeds has signed with the Dualtone so expect their next full-length arriving in 2017, while Compass Records will unveil Laws of Gravity from the adventurous bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters on Jan. 13.

Singer/songwriter Radney Foster will be taking to a different type of stage in January as he has been cast in the musical, Troubadour, by playwright Janece Shaffer (The Geller Girls, Broke) with original music by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Kristian Bush that is getting its world premiere at the Atlanta’s Tony Award® winning Alliance Theatre. The play will open Jan. 18 and run through Feb. 12.

Filmmaker Glenn Aveni is doing a documentary on the landmark 1982 US Festival, which boasted an all-star lineup featuring Ramones, B-52’s, Talking Heads, The Police, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersThe Grateful DeadJimmy Buffet, Jackson Browne and Fleetwood Mac. He has a Kickstarter campaign – http://kck.st/2fjAz8u – to help pay for all the music clearances he needs.

Jeff Antebi, the founder of Waxploitation, has produced an interesting book of adult “children’s stories” written by musicians like by Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Justin Vernon, Laura Marling, Devendra Banhart, Alison Mosshart and Kathleen Hanna and featuring illustrations by such artists as Anthony Lister, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, James Jean, Ronzo and Kai & Sunny. Proceeds from Stories for Ways & Means will benefit Room to Read and Pencils for Promise, two non-profits working to build schools in some of the poorest regions of the world so kids can learn to read and write. Learn more at SFWAM.org

Lastly, I want to leave with a song from the late, great Sharon Jones, who passed away earlier this month.

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Go See Hear In L.A. Nov. 18-22 (the Leon Russell/Mose Allison edition)

While I ponder how Thanksgiving is a week away, here are some shows to check out before then..


Fri. 11/18


John Mayall

Top Shows: Blue rock pioneer and hall of famer John Mayall will be at the Rose in Pasadena. The 80-something hall of famer has a new album Talk About That slated for an early 2017 release. Sarah Simmons, who just released a new CD Freedom, showcases her powerful, soulful vocals at at Hotel Café’s Second Stage.
McCabe’s welcomes Mary Fahl, co-founder of mid-1990s folk-rock/adult alternative group, October Project. Moon Hooch brings its horn-blasted genre-busted music to the Echoplex, while the UK pop rock duo Slow Child will be at the Echo. Jon Brion makes an early appearance at Largo since the last Friday of the month is Black Friday. You can spend a merry night at the City National Grove of Anaheim with the Aquabats.


Sat. 11/19

Top Show(s): The popular electro pop trio LANY delivers their catchy, catchy songs at the Fonda tonight and tomorrow.  That cool couple from the Bay Area, Chuck Prophet and Stephanie Finch visit McCabe’s for a night of stimulating music. Prophet, who was in Green On Red back in the day, has a new CD coming out on Yep Roc Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins in Feb. Here is a song from it (I love the album cover and the tune too).



Dirtwire, featuring David Satori (Beats Antique) and Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila, BOLO), play their electro-Americana hybrid at the Mint. Master bluesman Guitar Shorty returns to town with a gig at the Arcadia Blues Club. Singer/songwriter decker comes up from Arizona to play the Resident in support of his new EP Snake River Blues while Nashville-based tunesmith Tony Lucca plays the Troubadour tonight.


Sun. 11/20

Top Show(s): Austin legend Bill Carter comes to McCabe’s ahead of his next album Innocent Victims and Evil Companions, due 2/26/16.

Santa Ana’s Observatory offers a night spotlighting some fine vocalizing. Lucius, who recently backed up Roger Waters on tour, shares the vintage twang harmonizers Cactus Blossoms.


Cactus Blossoms


Midwest rockers The Orwells helps up brave the new world with a show at the Resident.


Mon. 11/21

The Troubadour hosts a pair of troubadours: NoCal’s Matt Simons and the Irish singer Gavin James.

 Tues. 11/22

Sweden’s El Perro Del Mar has a concert at the Echo where she’ll undoubtedly play music from her recently released KoKoro, which ranks as her most ambitious album yet. Yes men – Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman – perform as ARW at the Orpheum. It’s the first time they’ve played together since 1990.


Sadly, I am closing with another in memoriam. Actually two of them: Leon Russell and Mose Allison. A pair of piano-men who just seem like two cool cats. Their music both had blues roots but Russell took his into the rock and country worlds while Allison favored jazzy vibes. Both leave a treasury of great tunes.

While “Tight Rope” might be my favorite Russell song, I liked this vintage clip of him doing the always fabulous “A Song For You”



Allison, who is the father to the talented singer/songwriter Amy Allison, had a wonderful way with words. Again, there are a lot of excellent example to use, but went with “Your Mind’s On Vacation”



have a good Thanksgiving everyone.

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Go See Hear In L.A. Nov. 12-15 (and a remembrance of Leonard Cohen)

Still looking for weekend music? Let me share some shows, once over lightly.

Sat. 11/12

Top Show(s): The 50th Anniversary of the Sunset Strip Demonstration will be commemorated at the Echoplex with performances from Love Revisited, the Pandoras and more. You remember of course that the club Pandora’s Box was a key part of the Riots. Erin McKeown and Anna Tivel form a strong double bill of smart songwriters at McCabe’s. Shooter Jennings has just reissued his dystopian concept album Black Ribbons this week. Will he be playing some of it at the Troubadour? You got to go and find out.


Shooter Jennings


The haunting soundscapes of Psychic Twin will fill the El Rey, with STRFKR also performing. Soulful singer/songwriter Amos Lee continues his two-night stand at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Adam Torres put out his winsome folk-ish album Pearls To Swine in Sept.; he’ll be at the Resident with Thor & Friends and the Broad Stage hosts the Canadian roots group The Slocan Ramblers. The Teragram welcomes Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band, while Justin Trosper (formerly of Unwound!) plays the Smell.

Sun. 11/13

Top Show(s): Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano celebrates the release of the crowd-funded DVD The Naked Show, as well as breaking in her new band, The Division Men, at the Hotel Café. Johnny A, who has played in recent Yardbirds incarnations, shows off his guitar prowess at McCabe’s. It would be worth seeing Car Seat Headrest at the Teragram but the show is sold out. Brett Harris headlines the latest Wild Honey benefit; get more details at https://www.facebook.com/events/304341136606194/

Sweet Spirit, Tickle Torture (featuring Velvet Negroni) join Har Mar Superstar at the Echoplex. You don’t need to take the Ventura Highway to see America – the group will be at the Saban tonight.

Mon. 11/14

Temple of the Dog – the Seattle supergroup featuring Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam‘s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron – are out on their first-ever tour, so it’s no surprise that this show is sold out.

Tues. 11/15


Sturgill Simpson

Top Show(s): Sturgill Simpson plays tonight and tomorrow at the Wiltern. I wouldn’t be surprised if both of these shows are sold out. If you aren’t familiar with the excellent songwriter William Fitzsimmons you will have your chance to tonight as he brings his band to the Troubadour. And don’t miss Laura Burhenn who is opening the show.

To celebrate their new EP, The Active Set will shake some action with their New Wave-y tunes at the Satellite. The legendary rock drummer Kenny Aronoff has a sit-down at the Grammy Museum. His book, Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll! The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business, is coming out soon. Smokey Brights brighten up the Hotel Café with the Classic Rock-inspired sound.

I just wanted to end with a note on Leonard Cohen. A lot of great things have been said of this great artist. The small thought on Cohen that I wanted to add was how I always associate him with the great Robert Altman movie McCabe and Mrs. Miller – and vice versa. Altman use of Cohen’s music in this 1972 film was truly inspired. The songs served as another character. Even though they had nothing to do with the Western’s turn-of-the-century setting, the songs wonderfully enhanced the movie’s mood and emotions.

Here is the opening of the film:

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October Desk Clearing (part one?): Buck Owens To Frank Zappa

I wanted to share some of the music news that surfaced on my radar during October. Well, at least some of it. It got to the point that I needed just to wrap it up and ship it out. So, here you go…October saw Chuck Berry turn 90 and announce that he will be putting out his first album in nearly 40 years – Chuck – that Dualtone will release in 2017.


It has been a little over a decade since the Rolling Stones’ last studio album but that has been the longest stretch in their career. On Dec. 2, they will return with a new album Blue & Lonesome, which finds them covering old blues tunes by the likes of Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon. Neil Young, meanwhile, seems to be crankin’ out an album every six months. His next one, Peace Trail (Dec. 2, Reprise) reportedly favors acoustic numbers and features a rhythm section of drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell.


John Cale’s 1992 live album Fragments of a Rainy Season is getting reissued courtesy of Double Six/Domino on vinyl, CD and as a digital download. It captures Cale on his 1992 solo tour and the song list covers a range of his song catalogue including “Paris 1919,” “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” “Chinese Envoy” and his memorable version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” There are also several previously unreleased outtakes, such as “Waiting For The Man.” Here is a new (and rather creepy) video Cale does for “Hallalujah”


October saw the opening of Paisley Park to the public. Visitors now can explore Prince’s music complex and see his recording and mixing studios, rehearsal rooms, a huge soundstage and concert hall – plus his private office which has not only one but three beds. NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records also announced that they will be putting out the first posthumous Prince releases. First is Prince 4Ever (Nov. 22), which will hold over three dozen of Prince’s biggest songs plus the previously unissued “Moonbeam Levels” (that was originally recorded in 1982). Next year will bring a deluxe reissue of Purple Rain, featuring a number of never-before-released material.


Duane Allman’s long out-of-print retrospective An Anthology came out at the end of October on Mercury/UMe. The 1972 double LP showcases Allman’s guitar genius over the course of a career-spanning 19 tracks, from his session work (like Wilson Pickett’s “Hey Jude” cover) to his classic songs (“Layla” and a live version of “Statesboro Blues). November 20, by the way, would have Allman’s 70th birthday.


UMe in conjunction with MCA Nashville, also reissued in October Steve Earle’s breakout debut Guitar Town in honor of its 30th anniversary. The two-disc set pairs a remastered version of the original album with a previously unreleased 19-song live concert performed at Chicago’s Park West in 1986 as part of the Guitar Town tour at the Park West in Chicago in 1986. Besides the 2-CD set, both Guitar Town and the live recording are out separately on vinyl. Here is Earle’s video for “Guitar Town.”

Earlier this year, Heal My Soul, an album of previously unreleased Jeff Healey recordings, came out and on Dec. 9 there will be another album (Holding On) that contains five rare studio tracks and 1999 live recording from Oslo, Norway that further reveals the majestic playing of late guitarist.


Getting its first proper US release on Nov. 18 (via MVD) is Man Of The World, a documentary that the BBC made a few years back on the legendary UK blues guitarist Peter Green. Green, who was Eric Clapton’s replacement in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, founded Fleetwood Mac, although he chose to not to attach his name to the band’s name (he apparently didn’t want the attention that would come with his name in the band’s name). If you know Fleetwood Mac’s early (pre-Lindsey Buckingham) music, then you know Green’s songs like “Albatross,” “Oh Well” and “Black Magic Woman” (yes, he wrote that song; it isn’ a Carlos Santana tune). The documentary also recalls the emotional troubles that not only Green had but also the other two Mac guitarists from that era: Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan.



Those you who like the latter day version of Fleetwood Mac will be interested in knowing that Rhino is putting out deluxe versions of Stevie Nicks’ first two solo albums, Bella Donna and The Wild Heart, on Nov. 4. Bella Donna will be a 3-disc set with one disc containing demos, alternative versions and soundtrack selections (“Blue Lamp” from Heavy Metal and “Sleeping Angel” from Fast Times At Ridgemont High) and another disc with 1981 concert recordings. The Wild Heart has a bonus disc that the B-side “Garbo,” “Violet And Blue” from the Against All Odds soundtrack and previously unreleased studio recordings.


There will be a pair of vinyl boxsets covering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40-year career. Coming out first (Nov. 25) will be The Complete Studio Albums Volume 2 (1994-2014), which starts with Wildflowers and ends with Hypnotic Eye. Volume 1 (1976-1991), which curiously will be released second (Dec. 9) goes from their self-titled debut through Into the Great Wideout.


Hart Valley Drifters


You might not know the band The Hart Valley Drifters, but this early ‘60s group featured Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and David Nelson, who later co-founded the New Riders of the Purple Sage. On Nov. 11, a recording that they did in 1962 on Stanford University’s KZSU radio station will be released. Beyond its future famous band members, the Hart Valley Drifters’ Folk Time is a very entertaining set of old-timey and bluegrass tunes.


Coming out Dec. 9 is London Fog 1966, a live recording that captures the Doors before they made it to the Whisky a Go Go and before they released their first album. This previously little known recording was made a young woman Nettie Peña who borrowed a ¼” reel-to-reel recorder that belonged to the LA United School District (her dad was a LAUSD teacher). The 7-song set holds a handful of covers – Big Joe Williams’ “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, Wilson Pickett’s “Don’t Fight It,” Little Richards’ “Lucille” and Muddy Waters’ “Rock Me” and “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” – plus two originals (“Strange Days” and “You Make It Real.” This collector’s edition boxed set (Rhino/Bright Midnight Archives) includes both a CD and vinyl versions as well as a bunch of replica memorabilia.


A Frank Zappa Chicago concert recording will be released on Nov. 4. Chicago ’78 features a complete show of Zappa and the Mothers of Invention performing at Chicago’s Uptown Theatre in September of 1978. Because of technology limitations at that time, it was recorded on three different sources and all of the tapes were remastered for this released.  Here is a weird vintage Zappa clip of “Cosmic Debris” that just might be from 1972 and might be from the Petit Wazoo tour.

Zappa Records/Ume will also be releasing two other titles on Nov. 4. Meat Light is a three-disc set that has the original 1969 vinyl mix of Zappa’s classic Uncle Meat album, Zappa’s never-before-released original sequence and a bunch of unreleased rare alternate mixes, live performances, and studio session outtakes. Little Dots, which stands as a “sequel” to Imaginary Diseases that came out around a decade ago, contains more material from Zappa’s “Petit Wazoo” tour he did with a horn-oriented ensemble in 1972.  Zappa fans should also note that the Sony Pictures Classics’ feature documentary, Eat That Question, is out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital with all-new bonus features.


Omnivore Recordings is heading up to Bakersfield for two new compilations. Arriving Dec. 9 is Buck OwensThe Complete Capitol Singles, a 2-disc set that delivers 56 A- and B-side tunes. It holds hits like “Act Naturally,” “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail,” “My Heart Skips A Beat,” “Together Again” and “Cryin’ Time,” along with some singles he did with Rose Maddox. Dec. 16 is the date for Guitar Pickin’ Man, an 18-song collection spotlighting Don Rich, the guitar whiz who lead of Owens’ Buckeroos band until his untimely death in 1972 from a motorcycle accident.

The DecemberistsThe Crane Wife’s will get a big deluxe reissue to celebrate its 10th anniversary. A limited edition vinyl boxset (due Dec. 9 on Capitol Records/Ume) will have 5 LPs. The original album will fill two LPs and the other three records are packed with b-sides, bonus tracks, unreleased outtakes, alternate versions and Meloy’s solo acoustic demos. There will also a Blu-Ray of a two-hour concert filmed live for NPR in 2006 at Washington, D.C.’s famed 9:30 Club.


The beginning of November brings some other interesting releases. Hip-hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest will put out their first album since 1998 on Nov. 11 via Epic Records. The recording was done before before founding member Phife Dawg‘s death this past March. Another NYC music pioneer James Chance has re-formed his band The Contortions (as opposed to his other band James White and the Blacks) for the new CD The Flesh Is Week. Joining Chance is longtime Contortions lead guitarist Tomás Doncker, who also co-produced. It will come out on Doncker’s True Groove Records and offers new tunes plus the band takes on songs like Gil Scott Heron’s “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life”.

11/11 also is the release date for another slice of experimental rock. Body/Head – featuring ex-Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon and Northampton Wools guitarist Bill Nace – share their sophomore CD No Waves (Matador Records), which is a live recording done in 2014. Canada’s kings of Americana Blue Rodeo delivers their 14th album 1000 Arms on the 11th. I like both this song and its video.



I have a couple tips for non-CD gift buying. Two fine music-related books just were published. Pickers and Poets: The Ruthlessly Poetic Singer-Songwriters of Texas (Texas A&M University Press) offers essays on the state that might be home to more great troubadours than any other. Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Hayes Carll, Rodney Crowell, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Robert Earl Keen are some of singer-songwriters profiled.

The Guitarist is the focus of the new book Play It Loud, An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. Les Paul, Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Peter Townshend, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Ted Nugent, Billie Joe Armstrong, Jack White, Dan Auerbach and Patti Smith are among those helping to tell the history of the electric guitar.







There is a curious new salute to David Bowie. Let All The Children Boogie is a 20-track tribute geared for young rock fans. This benefit  benefit for the  an LGBTQ youth charity organization It Gets Better mixes acts from the family music world (Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players: “Kooks,” Sonia de los Santos & Elena Moon Park: “The Man Who Sold the World,” Gustafer Yellowgold & the Pop Ups: “Space Oddity,” Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower featuring Simi Stone: “Changes” and Uncle Rock with Tracy Bonham: “Lady Stardust” with “adult” music acts (Antibalas: “Let’s Dance,” Rhett Miller: “Ziggy Stardust” and Ted Leo: “Heroes”) and some who have straddled both worlds (Walter Martin: “Breaking Glass” and Sally Timms & Jon Langford: “The Prettiest Star”). It does sound like one of the great albums that spans the generations. You can hear Leo’s Heroes over at Paste.com https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/10/premiere-ted-leos-cover-of-bowies-heroes-from-fort.html

Hopefully I will get to part two but I did want to mention one more thing. A couple posts ago, I mentioned the upcoming release of the “lost” album by Terry Dolan that was recorded in 1972. Well, there’s another “lost” album from 1972 coming out. In the early ’70s Jemima James worked at fabled Long View Studios in western Massachusetts. While there, she recorded some of her songs but nothing ever happened to them until now. Jemima James At Long View Farm is a lovely album that Team Love Records is putting out. James, who is the mother of singer/songwriter Willy Mason, will also have a CD of newly recorded tunes as well.


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