Archives Alives: MC5, R.E.M., Stax, New West, Nick Lowe, Led Zep & New Fave: the Beths

Where you were 50 years ago today? Well, if you were alive that is. If you were at the Gladsaxe Teen Club (yes, in Gladsaxe, Denmark) then you saw the first show that John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant played together. They were known at the New Yardbirds then, but later became slightly better known at Led Zeppelin. Nicely timed with this historic anniversary, Atlantic/Swan Song has compiled a Zeppelin-sized boxset of classic concert film The Song Remains The Same. The shows were recorded in July of 1973 and the film came out in 1976. I believe in my hometown is played at the then-still single-screened Colony Theater. (Dan, can you remember? It was long ago and far away).



The super deluxe version includes remastered audio on two CDs and four 180-gram vinyl LPs; Two DVD set of the The Song Remains The Same featuring the full theatrical version of the film plus bonus content including four performance outtakes in the original film (“Celebration Day,” “Over The Hills And Far Away,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” and “The Ocean”); a 28-page book; A replica of the Japanese program from 1977 and a DVD of the entire album in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo, plus photo gallery. The CD and LP versions also are available separately.


Later this month, the Warner Bros. family is celebrating another 50th anniversary – the recording of the landmark MC5 debut, Kick Out The Jams (okay, it was recorded in Oct. 1968, so the Sept. 21 release date will be a few weeks early. MC5 Total Assault: 50th Anniversary Collection will be a limited-edition boxed set that features all three of the band’s albums: Kick Out The Jams, Back In The USA, and High Time. The records will all be pressed on colored vinyl: Kick Out The Jams (red vinyl), Back In The USA (white vinyl) and High Time (blue vinyl). MC5 co-founder and guitarist Wayne Kramer, who just released his memoir The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities, is going out on tour leading MC50, an all-star band that includes Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, and Zen Guerrilla frontman Marcus Durant (Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron on drums and producer/bassist Don Was on bass at select dates).
Craft Recording is honoring the important year of 1968 by delivering Stax ’68: A Memphis Story, a 5-CD boxset filled with every single that was released that year by the fabled Stax Records company. The 120+ track collection contains every A- and B-sides, and featuring work by such soul greats as Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, William Bell, Booker T. & The M.G.’s, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding.  The boxset, due on Sept. 21, also has a 56-page book, complete with in-depth liner notes by Andria Lisle, Robert Gordon, and Steve Greenberg.


On Oct. 19 Craft Recordings is turning the spotlight on R.E.M., specifically the band’s performances on the BBC. R.E.M. at the BBC is a massive, rarities-packed 8-CD/1-DVD box set covering over 20 years of R.E.M. on the Beeb. The recordings scan from a 1984 live broadcast from Nottingham’s Rock City to a 2004 invitation-only 2004 performance at London’s St James’s Church. The DVD couples the first US commercial release of the BBC R.E.M. documentary Accelerating Backwards along with UK TV appearance including the complete 1998 Later….With Jools Holland episode devoted to the group. There will also be more compact versions (a 2-CD and a 2-LP version) entitled The Best of R.E.M. too.


New West Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an extremely cool retrospective featuring 60 songs evenly divided over 3 CDs. One disc holds songs selected by owner of New West Records, George Fontaine, Sr. One disc contains tunes voted on by fans, and the third disc is stocked with songs chosen by past and present New West artist. Kris Kristofferson to John Hiatt, Rickie Lee Jones to Nikki Lane; Rodney Crowell to Vic Chesnutt; Old 97’s to Drive-By Truckers; Ben Lee to Ben Folds; Jerry Lee Lewis to Jason Isbell, Steve Earle to Justin Townes Earle; Buddy Miller to Buddy & Julie Miller. The list is an all-star lineup of Americana music. I have a soft spot for the act opening up the collection (and a George Fontaine, Sr. selection) Todd Thibaud since he was one of the first (if not the first) musician I interviewed. The collection, which is due on Oct. 12, also will be available on 6 red vinyl albums.


Another artist I have a soft spot is Mr. Nick Lowe. When his solo debut came out in 1978, it was called the Jesus of Cool in the UK but Columbia Records re-titled it Pure Pop For Now People in the states. I had a button that proclaimed: “It’s Okay to Like Nick Lowe.” Guys I went to school with didn’t know if Nick Lowe was a politician or a punk rocker. They were wrong on both counts, I guess. Anyway, I bring up this great, great album not to remind myself that it came out 40 years ago, but to share that on Oct. 13 the fine folks at Yep Roc will be releasing Jesus Of Cool on cassette for Cassette Store Day. This limited addition will include the 11 tracks from the UK release plus the 3 songs that were just on the Pure Pop version (“They Call It Rock,” “Roller Show,” and a studio version of “Heart of the City.”


Ska fans should circle Sept 21 on their calendars because that is the date Studio One is reissuing the important 1964 compilation Ska Authentic. This will be the CD debut of the album that features music from The Maytals, Lee Perry, and Tommy McCook’s “Freedom Sounds.”  Bluegrass fans, meanwhile, need to remember Sept. 28 because that’s when Modern Harmonic will be releasing a treasury of Louvin Brothers material entitled Love And Wealth: The Lost Recordings. The 29 songs (and one warm, spoken audio letter) songwriting demos from the late 1950’s that have never been released before.


And it is not that I don’t like new music. Not by a long shot. There are many new and current bands that I can lavish praise on but I will just lavish praise on one right now. If you haven’t heard the New Zealand band The Beths, then you use yourself to check them out. I loved them from the first song I heard of them “Whatever,” and have loved every songs since. They just have a charming synthesis of 60s-ish power pop and late 80s college rock bolstered by crunchy guitars, some bashing drums, and the wonderful way front-woman Elizabeth Stokes balances an off-beat, slightly gawky sense of humor and honest emotions. Their debut album Future Me Hates Me is out now on Carpark, and they commence a big US tour at the end of September. Here is a link to “You Wouldn’t Like Me”

Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert For George Returns To Cinemas

February 25 would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday and in honor of this anniversary, the historic Concert For George will be available again in several different ways.


The actual film of this concert, which took place November 29, 2002 (one year after George Harrison’s passing), will be shown again on the big screen for one day only, although the date varies from theater to theater. For complete cinema information, visit

Now remastered in 5.1 Stereo Surround Sound, the wonderful documentary lets viewers revisit this tribute concert that features many of George’s “dearest friends” (to quote his son Dhani from the film), who also happen to be some of rock’s biggest stars. The lineup includes his Beatles brethren Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton (who organized the concert) and his fellow Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.


Concert For George presents a mixture of concert performances, a bit of backstage activity, and reminiscences about George from the performers. There are times when you might prefer to hear the songs without interruptions; however, the comments do generally offer interesting personal insights or anecdotes, such as Petty revealing that he saw Harrison as the “idea man” in the Wilburys and Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam saying that Harrison felt Monty Python carried on the spirit of the Beatles since the Pythons started the year the Beatles ended.

Yes, the Monty Python guys were there too. Harrison not only was a fan of the comedy troupe but also financed Monty Python’s Life of Brian, jumping in at the last moment (reportedly mortgaging his house) when EMI Entertainment withdrew their financial support.

While it is fun to see the Pythons do a couple skits, the big highlights come in the renditions of the many great Harrison tunes, both Beatles and solo compositions. Clapton takes center-stage on songs like “I Want To You,” “If I Needed Someone,” and “Beware of Darkness,” along with serving up passionate guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (he played lead guitar, of course, on the Beatles original too). Ringo sings “Photograph” (which he co-wrote with George) and “Honey Don’t,” saluting Harrison’s admiration for Carl Perkins. Paul talks about George’s love of ukuleles before playing one on “Something.” Petty performs “Taxman” and then Lynne joins him for “Handle With Care.”



There also is a quite nice segment devoted to Ravi Shankar, who appears both in conversation and performance (which includes Ravi’s daughter, the esteemed musician Anoushka Shankar). “Isn’t It A Pity” gets covered by frequent Beatles sideman Billy Preston. American viewers might scratch their heads when an older gent named Joe Brown comes out to play “Here Comes The Sun,” but his place at the show is well-deserved. A long-time popular performer in Britain, Brown became friends with Harrison when he had the up-and-coming Beatles be his opening band in 1962. Harrison later was best man at Brown’s wedding in 2000. In fact, it is Brown, and not of the superstars in attendance, who closes the concert with a rendition of the old standard (and Harrison favorite) “I’ll See You In My Dreams.”

The documentary does not contain every performance from the concert, and even switches up the order some. For a complete Concert for George experience, you should  turn to the terrific new reissue of the Concert For George album, which Concord Music re-released on Feb. 23. It will come out in a range of versions: a 2-CD set, a 2-CD + 2-DVD, and 2-CD + 2-Blu-ray combo (the later format come with bonus material), as well as streaming platforms and, for the first time, on vinyl as a 4-LP box set. The 180-gram audiophile vinyl features a special, mandala-design etched on Side 8. And if none of these are satisfying, there is the 10-disc Deluxe Box Set (limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide) with the complete sound and film recordings from the concert (on 4 180-gram audiophile LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 Blu-rays), a 12″x12″ hard-bound 60-page book, and even a cutting from the original hand-painted on-stage tapestry used as the backdrop at the 2002 concert!






Posted in Movie, Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Archives Alive: Hendrix, Hayes, Harrison, Berry, Waits & Yung Wu

I wanted to catch up on some of the fine reissues that are coming out in the first part of this year. Yes, there are too many good ones for me to keep track of, but here are some that registered on my radar.

Let’s start with one of the fathers of rock ‘n’ roll, the late, great Chuck Berry. Geffen/UMe have paid tribute to Berry by reissuing, and upgrading, his historic greatest hits compilation, The Great Twenty-Eight, with The Great Twenty-Eight: Super Deluxe Edition. This new vinyl boxset starts with the original 2-LP 28-song compilation and adds on another album, More Great Chuck Berry, which offers 14 more hits, rarities and B-sides not on the original. Additionally, the collection also contains the rare live album, Oh Yeah! Live in Detroit (recorded at the Walled Lake Casino, October 25 & 26, 1963) that has never been on vinyl before, as well as a four holiday-themed EP on “Rudolph-Red” vinyl (the song “Spending Christmas” also is debuting on vinyl). A limited edition version on “Chess Blue” vinyl (500 copies only!) is available exclusively via Order The Great Twenty-Eight: Super Deluxe Edition now at

hot buttered

Get ready for some Hot Buttered Soul! On February 23, Craft Recordings will be releasing three of Isaac Hayes’ finest albums Hot Buttered Soul, Shaft, and Black Moses, on vinyl. Each LP has had its audio remastered by leading engineer Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters from the original analog tapes. Plus, these reissues are presented in a faithfully reproduced packaging, including a replica of the legendary, iconic four-foot cross-shaped fold-out image of Isaac as Black Moses. These releases following last year’s big celebration of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary, which included the impressive deluxe 4-CD box set, Isaac Hayes: The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976).

Craft Records has also excavated from the Stax vaults: The 24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth. Due February 23, this rare but watershed release has been hailed as the first “soul opera.” It was composed, arranged, and produced almost entirely by longtime Isaac Hayes collaborator Dale Warren. Warren put together a band called 24-Caret Black for his project: Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth. While it received good reviews at the time, the band basically split apart following their initial showcase gig. This 180-gram vinyl album was cut at Ardent studios on the original Stax lathe and pressed in Memphis at Memphis Record Pressing.


Rediscover How The West Was Won on March 23! Not the epic 1962 western, but Led Zeppelin’s epic 2003 live album. Recorded at the L.A. Forum and the Long Beach Arena on June 25 and 27, 1972, it captures the band at their prime – at least according to no less of an authority than Jimmy Page. The three-CD collection, which has remastered audio supervised by Mr. Page, features classic Zep performances, such as a 25-plus minute version of “Dazed And Confused” and a 21-minute medley based around “Whole Lotta Love.” The Atlantic/Swan Song release comes in the first ever vinyl (4-LP) and Blu-ray Audio editions (with the Blu-ray containing hi-res 5.1 surround sound). The Super Deluxe Boxed Set will hold a book filled with rare and previously unpublished photos of the band at each of the concert locations, plus memorabilia and ephemera, a high-quality print of the original album cover (the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered), and a high-def download card of all stereo audio content at 96kHz/24 bit. 2018 marks the band’s 50th anniversary, which officially begins in the fall; this release will certainly whet your appetite.

The third and final volume showcasing the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in Jimi Hendrix’s archive will drop March 9. Both Sides of the Sky contains 13 tracks recorded between January 1968 and February 1970, and 10 of them have never been released before! One of the songs is a cover of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy,” which you can give a listen to here: Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter and Lonnie Youngblood all make appearances on this album. This project was co-produced by Eddie Kramer, the recording engineer on every Hendrix album made during his life, along with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott.


Back in November, Columbia Records put out Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981, which explored Bob Dylan’s “Christian music” period. You can explore it more when MVD Entertainment Group reissues the DVD Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan on February 9. The documentary contains a 1980 Dylan performance of “When He Returns” as well as memorable performances and interviews with Aaron Neville, Shirley Caesar, Fairfield Four, Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Sounds of Blackness.

Dead-heads will have a double dose of archival excitement with a pair of upcoming releases. Volume Ten in the GarciaLive series will arrive on February 23. This offering features a 1990 Jerry Garcia Band performance (with Melvin Seals (keyboards), John Kahn (bass), David Kemper (drums), Gloria Jones (backing vocals) and Jacklyn LaBranch (backing vocals) at the Hilo Civic Auditorium. The 18-set stretches from some reggae numbers (Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” and Peter Tosh’s “Stop That Train”) to the R&B standard “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” Los Lobos’ “Evangeline” and a handful of Dylan songs (“Tough Mama,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Forever Young,” “Tears Of Rage,” and “Tangled Up In Blue”


If you had to pick 19 live Grateful Dead performances which ones would you choose? The folks at Rhino had that unenviable task for its The Best of the Grateful Dead Live. What did they select for this 2-CD collection coming out March 23?

Disc One

  1. “St. Stephen” – Fillmore West (2/27/69) from Live/Dead
  2. “Bertha” – Fillmore East (4/27/71) from Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
  3. “Wharf Rat” – Fillmore East (4/26/71) from Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
  4. “Sugar Magnolia” – Olympia Theatre (5/4/72) from Europe ’72
  5. “Jack Straw” – Olympia Theatre (5/3/72) from Europe ’72
  6. “Truckin'” – Lyceum Theatre (5/26/72) from Europe ’72
  7. “Morning Dew” – Lyceum Theatre (5/26/72) from Europe ’72
  8. “Brown Eyed Women” – Tivoli Concert Hall (4/14/72) from Europe ’72
  9. “The Music Never Stopped” – Great American Music Hall (8/13/75), One From The Vault
  10. “Estimated Prophet” – Barton Hall (5/8/77) from Cornell 5/8/77

Disc Two

  1. “Friend Of The Devil” – Radio City Music Hall (10/27/80) from Dead Set
  2. “Feel Like A Stranger” – Warfield Theatre (10/4/80) from Dead Set
  3. “Fire On The Mountain” – Radio City Music Hall (10/31/80) from Dead Set
  4. “Bird Song” – Warfield Theatre (10/14/80) from Reckoning
  5. “Ripple” – Warfield Theatre (10/4/80) from Reckoning
  6. “Eyes Of The World” – Nassau Coliseum (3/29/90) from Wake Up To Find Out
  7. “Touch Of Grey” – Rich Stadium (7/4/89) from Truckin’ Up To Buffalo
  8. “Blow Away” – JFK Stadium (7/7/89) from Crimson, White & Indigo
  9. “So Many Roads” – Soldier Field (7/9/95) from So Many Roads

A counterpart to Rhino’s 2015 The Best Of The Grateful Dead studio set, this live compilation features material from their live albums on Warner Bros. and Arista, plus a few tracks from their many archival live releases. A 2-LP version covering just CD 1 will be released on March 23, with the vinyl version of the second CD getting released at a later date.


In honor of George Harrison’s 75th birthday (Feb. 25), Concord Music is re-releasing Concert For George on Feb. 23. It will be available on streaming platforms and, for the first time, on vinyl. A 4-LP box set will hold the complete sound recordings from the concert, which features performances of George’s songs by Eric Clapton, Dhani Harrison, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar. This is the first time that all songs from the performance have been available on an audio configuration. The 180-gram audiophile vinyl features a special, mandala-design etched on side 8. The release will also be presented as a 2-CD set, as well as newly issued 2-CD + 2-DVD, and 2-CD + 2-Blu-ray combo packages (the later format come with bonus material). The last, but most, version is the 10-disc Deluxe Box Set (limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide) with the complete sound and film recordings from the concert (on 4 180-gram audiophile LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 Blu-rays), a 12″x12″ hard-bound 60-page book, and even a cutting from the original hand-painted on-stage tapestry used as the backdrop at the 2002 concert.

This year, Anti-Records celebrates Tom Waits’ early years by reissuing his first seven albums that he recorded for Elektra/Asylum Records in the 1970s. Kicking things off, quite appropriately, will be Waits’ 1973 debut Closing Time on March 9 (on vinyl and digital with the CD coming on March 23). The other albums that will arrive throughout 2018 will be Heart of Saturday Night (1974), Nighthawks at the Diner (1975), Small Change (1976), Foreign Affairs (1977), Blue Valentine (1978), and Heartattack & Vine (1980). It is a great opportunity to re-experience this tremendously creative time in Waits’ career.


Uncle Walt’s Band is that may not be well-known today but it certainly was influential. Existing for around a decade in the early ’70 through the early ‘80s, the eclectic group was a trio composed of David Ball, Champ Hood and Walter Hyatt. They had a fluid Americana style that was ahead of its time but attracted a lot of admirers in their adopted home of Austin. After disbanding in 1983, all three moved on to successful careers. Sadly, both Hood and Hyatt died far too early. Hyatt tragically died in the 1996 ValuJet crash while Hood succumbed to cancer in 2001. All this is a preface to say that Omnivore is putting out the first-ever Uncle Walt’s Band anthology, Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Enough Could Sing….on March 9. The retrospective feature five previously unreleased tracks, along with a 16-page booklet with many rare photographs, memorabilia, and liner notes penned by Peter Cooper of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Give a look to the CD’s trailer at

 Bar/None Records has a couple of cool projects of the cult variety. First up is The Langley Schools Music Project (due Feb. 23). This release is a definite curio of the “outsider music” realm. It is a mid-70s recording of a 60-voice chorus of school children from rural western Canada singing the songs of David Bowie, Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac, among others. It was pressed on LP for the students, family and friends originally but Bar/None put together a compilation in 2001 that they will re-releasing this year.

Most exciting to me, however, is the reissuing on April 21 of Shore Leave, the only album by Yung Wu, which marks its first appearance on CD and digital downloading (it will also come out on vinyl again). Yung Wu was a Feelies spin-off that was fronted by the band’s percussionist Dave Weckerman. This 1987 release (originally on Coyote Records) also includes fellow Feelies Glenn Mercer and Bill Million on guitars Brenda Sauter on bass and Stan Demeski on drums as well as John Baumgartner (Speed The Plough, the Trypes). It’s certainly a must-have for fans of the Hoboken scene and ‘80s college rock. Here is the band doing a cover of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger,” which is on Shore Leave. Not the finest video but you get the point…


Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.



Posted in Music, RIP | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.


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



Posted in Movie, Music, | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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 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

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.





Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.


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”
Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.


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.”


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.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.”


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


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.


Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment