I’m an acquired taste in that my kind of music’s not for little kids,’ Texas singersongwriter Delbert McClinton says. ‘It’s adult rock ‘n’ roll. I write from the sensibility of the people I knew growing up, and I grew up with all the heathens, the people who went too far before they changed and tried to make something out of their lives. There are a lot of beautiful colors and sad stories and much-deserved joy in that.’ All those colors and stories, and all that joy, are richly present in McClinton’s New West album Acquired Taste. The collection is the musician’s fourth studio set for the label, and it succeeds his Grammy Award-winning Cost of Living (2005), which was named best contemporary blues recording by the Recording Academy. The album reunites McClinton with the producer who helmed his very first Grammy winner, Don Was. The multi-talented bandleader, bassist, and studio wizard recorded ‘Good Man, Good Woman,’ a collaboration with Bonnie Raitt that captured the best rock performance by a duo or group Grammy for 1991. Was came to the current project on the recommendation of New West president Cameron Strang, who had employed the producer on Kris Kristofferson’s widely praised 2006 album for the label, This Old Road. ‘Don and I had kind of a cosmic connection, because of Bonnie,’ McClinton says. ‘Then he and I got together and recorded a few things that were very, very good. I’ve been ricocheting off of him for about 17 years now.’ Was says, ‘Delbert’s an erudite, urbane sophisticate, wrapped up as a roadhouse singer. There’s nothing contradictory in his character ‘ he’s a real Texan. Neither the intellectual nor the roadhouse singer is a put-on. They come in equal parts. He’s one of a kind, he’s amazing. He defies the categories and slips right through.’
Seth will be touring in support of his fabulous new record ‘Sky Still Blue.’ The record was produced by Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers. ‘Sky Still Blue’ is Seth’s best record to date fusing blues, New Orleans gumbo and a whole lot of soul. Seth captures the essence of Americana on 11 standout tracks.
Wishbone Ash, one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock, returns to North America in September for the second leg of their Blue Horizon Tour. Due to popular demand, the group will feature their best-selling ‘Live Dates’ album in its entirety, in addition to tracks from their new studio album, ‘Blue Horizon.’ After logging more than 10,000 miles touring the South and West Coast this spring, the group will traverse the middle and northeastern portions of the country for the fall tour. Formed in 1969, Wishbone Ash has to its credit 24 original studio recordings, 10 live albums and four live DVDs along with a DVD rockumentary (‘This is Wishbone Ash’). The band is led by founding member Andy Powell on guitar and vocals, trading licks with Finland’s guitar wizard Muddy Manninen. Bassist Bob Skeat, a 17-year veteran of the band and in-demand studio musician, sets the pace with Joe Crabtree, one of the best of Britain’s new breed of drummers whose performance credits include Pendragon and David Cross of King Crimson. Recorded on tour and released in 1973, ‘Live Dates’ is Wishbone Ash’s best-selling album, even outpacing the perennially popular ‘Argus’ (1972), which attained gold status.
Spirit Family Reunion play homegrown American music to stomp, clap, shake and holler with. Ever since they started singing together on the street corners, farmer’s markets and subway stations of New York City, their songs have rung-out in a pure and timeless way. When Spirit Family Reunion gather to sing, there is communion. Strangers and neighbors come to rejoice in the sound, and there is no divide between performer and spectator. In a strange barroom or a grand music hall, at a barn dance or on the sunny street corner, Spirit Family Reunion keep the book open, and that old familiar feeling that was almost lost is again new. ‘Dusty acoustic guitars, wailing fiddles and weeping accordions, with a woozy-yet-skintight rhythm section– and topped off with burr-edged vocals that sound like they’ve been soaked in a Mason jar for generations ‘ it’s the type of music that blurs the line between past and present so thoroughly, and so deftly, that time feels irrelevant.’ – Paste Magazine ‘Best of What’s Next’
Ellis Paul is a critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, and troubadour originally hailing from a potato farming family in northern Maine. He is the recipient of thirteen Boston Music Awards, second only to multi-platinum act, Aerosmith. Over the course of fifteen years, Ellis Paul has built a vast catalog of music, which weds striking poetic imagery and philosophical introspection with hook-laden melodies.
Two of the most celebrated guitarists on one stage! Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, platinum album, Top 10 hits like ‘Cliffs Of Do-ver,’ praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. But the full hand of his talents marks him as well as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, song interpreter, and creator of a rich and diverse musical legacy. His myriad and distinctive musical gifts are vividly evident on Johnson’s aptly titled new album, Up Close, released on his own Vortexan Music label via EMI Distribution. The new 15-track disc finds the noted master craftsman cutting loose, roaming through variations on the rock, blues, pop, country and jazz all found at the core of his sound, pushing the dynamic range of his artistry, and mixing it up with such friends and peers as guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth and guest singers Steve Miller, Jonny Lang and Malford Milligan. In a career that spans three decades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, six-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation. His acclaimed 1993 release, Standards (And Other Songs), earned him the pick of Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year by the readers and critics of Guitar Player magazine. He followed that up with two hard hitting offerings ‘ Is What It Is in 1994 and Between The Lines in 1996 ‘ both of which scored GRAMMY nominations. In 1997, he recorded Give And Take with bassist John Patitucci, drummer Jack DeJohnette, percussionist Don Alias and special guests Michael Brecker and David Sanborn. Their freewheeling covers of Sonny Rollins’ ‘Oleo,’ John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps,’ Cole Porter’s ‘I Love You’ and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Who Knows’ helped Stern earn the Orville W. Gibson Award for Best Jazz Guitarist that year. Stern’s ninth release for Atlantic was a six-string summit with colleagues Bill Frisell and John Scofield that was appropriately titled Play. His Voices (2001) release, his first foray into vocal music, was also another GRAMMY nominee.
The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll formulae recalls elements of the past with an ever-present boundless energy, fit to cement their place in the future. Tash and Chris have been nothing short of a best-kept-secret among New York City concertgoers since the band’s formation in 2008, building a fervent and dynamic fan base leveraged by their ever-substantiated reputation for consistently well-rehearsed and impassioned, explosive live performances. The band’s celebrated sound and spirit draws significant influence from the driving force of British rock pioneers Cream and Led Zeppelin, to billowing and bouncing funk and soul, to the layered harmonies and memorable hooks of The Beatles and The Hollies, to the contemporary psychedelia of My Morning Jacket among many more. Continue reading
Leon Russell is a legendary musician and songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma who has been performing his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years. Leon led the famous Joe Cocker’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert for Bangladesh. Leon has toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John. His songwriting credits include ‘A Song For You’, ‘Delta Lady’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Lady Blue’, ‘Back To The Island’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘This Masquerade’. Leon and Sir Elton John recorded a duet album produced by TBone Burnett, The Union, which was released October 19, 2010. The single, ‘If It Wasn’t For Bad’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Capitol/EMI released a 16-track compilation CD, The Best Of Leon Russell, on April 5, 2011. Leon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and given the Award for Recording Excellence in March 2011 and he was also inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in June 2011.
With a soulful exuberance, Playing for Change stomped to the stage the old expression “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.” The largest band to ever grace the Narrows stage, the 9 musicians of the world challenged us to sing, to laugh, to dance and to make a difference. The African musical influences were dominant and infectious, as band members from Congo, South Africa, Israel, Suriname (via Netherlands), brewed a hot musical stew with bandmates from Japan, Venezuela, New Orleans and … New Jersey! Glorious harmonies were delivered with an almost spiritual physicality that reminded us that music is a universal language that can be a force for good as PFC plays NY, Boston, DC, Atlanta, Philly, and ole Fall River, to connect people, overcome differences, build music and art schools, and generally spread musical joy. Lotta smiles in the packed house showed truly that a PFC show is that force for “One Love! One Heart! Let’s get together and feel allright.”
Red Eye Flight is a Rhode Island-based Americana band whose members have been playing together for nearly a decade. While the individual members had been playing in other projects and other genres for decades before that, Red Eye Flight’s sound really came together in 2006 when Tim Murphy (guitar and vocals) and Derek Escher (guitars, mandolin, vocals) met Ken E Taylor (bass, vocals and more). And it developed when Rand Torman (drums) joined in 2010, and Kelly Cleveland added her vocals and percussion in 2011. At its core, the band’s sound rises up out of strong vocal harmonies set against electric and acoustic instrumentation to create soundscapes that evoke this country, from Western highways to the open ocean. A good-old front-porch jam; a hot dusty Highway 17; a seedy Louisiana poolhall with a bad-news beauty; a breezy hill looking out across the Caribbean to a mystical moment’this is Red Eye Flight’s Americana. Red Eye Flight’s first album, ‘Reposado,’ comes out in May 2014.