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Buck Owens pre-Capitol 1950s recordings reissued on RockBeat

Buck Owens is synonymous with the Bakersfield sound of country music that also gave rise to the Maddox brothers and Rose, Tommy Collins, Ferlin Husky and in later years Merle Haggard.

Owens’ earliest recordings for independent labels in Southern California — ahead of his lucrative career on Capitol Records in the ’60s and ’70s — have been collected on Buck Owens — Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection, scheduled for release on September 27 on RockBeat Records through e0ne Entertainment. The suggested retail price is $14.98.

The 24-song reissue opens with selections from his first known session in 1953 in Hollywood, which produced two singles (“Down on the Corner of Love” b/w “It Don’t Show on Me” and “The House Down the Block” b/w “Right After the Dance”) on Claude Caviness’ Pico Rivera-based Pep Records. It closes with a 1956 Bakersfield session that produced singles on Chesterfield Records and an album on La Brea Records. Included are previously unreleased alternate takes including an overdubbed version of “Hot Dog.”

Liner notes for Bound for Bakersfield were written by Rich Kienzle, a music historian with special expertise in West Coast country. RockBeat VP or A&R James Austin and Jim Shaw of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos compiled the collection.

According to Kienzle’s notes, “Buck Owens was 21 when he rolled into Bakersfield from Phoenix in May, 1951, a part-time musician and laborer who had his eye on a musical career. It would take some time. There were lessons to be learned and dues to be paid. But in the final analysis, the Buck of legend, of the raw honky-tonk vocals, catchy commercial tunes, twangy Fender Telecasters and churning, aggressive ‘freight train’ rhythms was forged in Bakersfield's honky tonks and recording studios there and in L.A. from 1951 to 1957.”

Owens is best known for his later Capitol Records hits like “Tiger by the Tail,” “Foolin’ Around” and “Act Naturally.” But his ’50s pre-Capitol recordings find him working in a honky tonk milieu (except for the rockabilly tracks such as the 1957 single “Hot Dog”). One can hear early flashes of the distinctive sound he'd perfect at Capitol, the sound that made him famous.

With his indie singles earning him both regional recognition and buzz from A&R departments at both Capitol and Columbia Records, Owens passed on New York’s Columbia (whose producer told Owens to “hold on” until he could come to the West Coast) in favor of Hollywood-based Capitol Records, which made him an offer on the spot. Owens was known to Capitol from his work on sessions by one of the originators of the Bakersfield sound, Tommy Collins. Buck’s own first Capitol session in 1957 aimed for a pop-rock audience, trying, as he later said, “to make the biggest hillbilly in Bakersfield into somethin’ he wasn’t.” In 1959, he was recorded as his true, honky-tonking self, with great success.

Kienzle notes, “Buck Owens was always known for his spot-on instincts. Clearly, his expectation that he’d have no recording career beyond Pep and the odd demo or two was a rare miscalculation. These raw, primal performances, blended with hundreds of hours onstage at the Blackboard (club in Bakersfield), were essentially part of a long rehearsal for the fame that came soon enough.”

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Track List:

1.            Blue Love (with Studio Chatter) (1953)
2.            Down on the Corner of Love (Alternate Take) (1953)
3.            Down on the Corner of Love (1953)
4.            It Don’t Show On Me (Alternate Take) (1953)
5.            It Don’t Show on Me (1953)
6.            The House Down the Block (Alternate take) (1953)
7.            The House Down the Block (1953)
8.            Right After the Dance (Alternate Take) (1953)
9.            Right After the Dance (1953)
10.         Hot Dog (1955)
11.         Hot Dog (Overdubbed Single) (1955)
12.         Rhythm & Booze
13.         There Goes My Love (Alternate Take) (1956)
14.         There Goes My Love (1956)
15.         Sweethearts in Heaven (Alternate Take) (1956)
16.         Sweethearts in Heaven (1956)
17.         Honeysuckle (1956)
18.         Country Girl (Leavin’ Dirty Tracks) (1956)
19.         You’re Fer Me (1956)
20.         Blue Love (1956)
21.         Please Don’t Take Her From Me (1956)
22.         Three Dimension Love (1956)
23.         Why Don’t My Mommy Wanna Stay with Daddy & Me? (1956)
24.         I’m Gonna Blow (1956)

B.B. King at the Boulder Theater - Jan. 22nd

Since the 1950’s, there has been only one King of the Blues – Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King.  Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940’s, he has released over 50 albums many of them considered blues classics, like 1965’s definitive live blues album “Live At The Regal,” and 1976’s collaboration with Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Together For The First Time.” In 2008, B.B. King released his Grammy winning “One Kind Favor” featuring one of his personal favorites, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” with Lemon Jefferson.

B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.  His singing is richly melodic, both vocally and in the “singing” that comes from his guitar.  In B.B.’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bene, Mississippi outside the Mississippi delta town of Indianola.  He used to play on the corner of Church and Second Street for dimes and would play in as many as four towns on a Saturday night.  With his guitar and $2.50, he hitchhiked north to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1947 to pursue his musical career.  Memphis was the city where every important musician of the South gravitated and which supported a large, competitive musical community where virtually every black musical style was heard.

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B.B. King at the Boulder Theater | January 22nd, 2011

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale – 10.02.2010 @ 10:00 am.

Individual tickets are $77.50 GA / $96.50 Reserved / $124.50 Gold Circle.

Freda Payne Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald

Freda Payne, celebrated R&B and jazz vocalist, who shot to fame with her #1 Hit, “Band of Gold,” and “Bring the Boys Home,” pays tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, as no one else can! Payne, the star of such Broadway shows as Jelly’s Last Jam, Sophisticated Ladies and Blues in the Night, “conjures the spirit of Ella” with her renditions of “A-Tisket, a-Tasket,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” and “Mack the Knife,” as well as many other Fitzgerald classics.

The Iridium Jazz Club is pleased to present soul, jazz and R&B diva Ms. Freda Payne in a very special Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald Thursday through Sunday, March 25 through March 28th.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
SETS AT 8:00 & 10:00PM

The Five Corners Quintet's 'Hot Corner'

Hot Corner- for the Grateful Web

In 2005, The Five Corners Quintet from Helsinki took the international dancefloor jazz scene by a storm. "Chasin' the Jazz Gone By", their debut for Ricky-Tick Records, a label that was initially conceived of as a vehicle for releasing the very first TFCQ vinyl single, proved out to be both an artistic and a commercial success story. For once and for all, the album proved that it is possible to look back while moving forward. The touch of producer-composer Tuomas Kallio was true to the golden era of modern jazz, and his vision in updating form rather than feeling resulted in music that is truly "postmodern jazz", if there ever was some.

Three years, some 50,000 sold records, and 100+ international gigs later, The Five Corners Quintet are set to return with their sophomore effort. The album, out on Milan Records in April is entitled "Hot Corner", and everything about it indicates that the scene-leading Finnish ensemble has upped the ante. Rather, theirs will be the task of taking 2000 Century dancefloor jazz into another level.

Some things remain, of course. The sports axiom about not changing a winning team reigns true here, with a guest appearance by jazz vocalist par excellance, Mr. Mark Murphy, who also lent his golden voice to three tracks on the debut. This time around, however, it should come as no big suprise that a bunch of Finns manage to lure a living jazz legend to take part in their production, for TFCQ face high expectations when it comes to their return in recorded form.

The enormously successful live band consisting of Teppo Mäkynen (drums/bandleader), Timo Lassy (sax), Jukka Eskola (trumpet), Mikael Jakobsson (piano), and Antti Lötjönen (double bass), also remains. On "Hot Corner", however, the band takes a larger role in comparison to the first album. Tuomas Kallio is the "commander-in-chief" once again, but there's a stronger sense of community also in the studio.

The new sound of TFCQ could be described as leaning towards the "Hot" of the album title more than the cool of their previously recorded work. Here, the impact of the live band is evident. Kallio's compositions also move away from standard jazz into fresh new territories, where even the occasional flirt with genres such as rockabilly is to be expected. The EP preceding the album release already showed marks of the band "rocking" rather than "swinging", and those directions are further explored on the upcoming album. 

One thing is certain: The Five Corners Quintet have a knack at searching and finding new directions instead of following paths trampled by others. Of this, their new album "Hot Corner" is an ample piece of evidence.

Railroad Earth's Amen Corner Hits Streets June 10

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

After a long wait and plenty of anticipation, Railroad Earth prepares to release their new studio album Amen Corner, which will be in stores nationwide on June 10, 2008 (SCI Fidelity Records).  Written and recorded at lead singer/songwriter Todd Sheaffer's 300 year-old farmhouse in New Jersey's rural countryside, Amen Corner is, literally and figuratively, the rustic sound of a band happy to be at home. 

"Normally," Sheaffer explains, "you come home after six weeks on the road and jump into the studio, all frazzled because you don't have much left in the tank.  This time I feel like we've invited our friends into our living room and that's basically how we recorded it.  We wanted for years to try working this way and I'm so happy we were finally able to do it."

Combine that with the fact that Sheaffer, bassist Johnny Grubb and drummer/percussionist Carey Harmon all became fathers in the months leading up to the recording sessions and you have a recipe for change.

"The changes in our lives brought about a peacefulness that is reflected in the music," says Sheaffer. "We consciously tried to take the approach of 'less is more' in how we arranged the songs."

That "less is more" attitude is also evident in the band's and record label's decision to make the album as "green" as possible.  After considerable research, SCI Fidelity selected Printing Responsibly of Rockaway, NJ to print all promotional materials related to the album.  All posters and postcards announcing the album release are printed on FSC Certified paper using soy based inks, as will tour materials which will be produced later this year.

"SCI Fidelity and Railroad Earth have devoted considerable time and energy, educating ourselves on environmental issues and the green movement," said Matt Hogan, Director of Marketing at SCI Fidelity.  "The Forecast page on the album web site is devoted entirely to various green-related issues, environmental action and sustainability causes."

"FSC certification is about much more than recycled paper", stated Steven VanPraagh, owner of Printing Responsibly.  "It's about knowing where the fiber in the paper comes from, and that any trees that are cut are replanted.  It's about people all over the world working in the timber and paper industries being as responsible as possible; replenishing and sustaining our renewable resources.  It's about environmental, economic, social and personal responsibility.  And in this case, it happens to be about great music too."

Amen Corner is a collection of crisp and crafted roots, bluegrass, and acoustic sides that resonates in all the right places. The tunes breathe both on and between the notes. They hit you immediately, but then linger like a good buzz.  Look for Amen Corner in stores nationwide on June 10, 2008.

The band tours this summer in support of Amen Corner.  Current confirmed tour dates include:

June 04 The Orange Peel Asheville NC
June 05 Variety Playhouse Atlanta GA
June 06 Riverbend Festival Chattanooga TN
June 07 Bama Jam Enterprise AL
June 10 Vintage Vinyl St. Louis MO 6pm In-Store Performance
June 10 Blueberry Hill St. Louis MO
June 11 The Crossroads Kansas City KS
June 13-14 Ogden Theatre Denver CO CD Release Party!
June 16 The Paladium Salt Lake City UT
June 17 The Big Easy Concert House Boise ID
June 19 McDonald Theatre Eugene OR
June 20 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
June 21 The Showbox Seattle WA
June 28 Community Theatre at Mayo Center for Performing Arts Morristown NJ
July 01 Summerfest 2008 Milwaukee WI
July 03 ROTHBURY Rothbury MI
July 04-05 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy CA
July 13 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
July 25 Floydfest Floyd VA
July 27 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Hillsdale NY
August 01 Dunegrass Festival Empire MI
August 02 Silver Maple Music Festival Comstock Park MI
August 13-14 YarmonyGrass Copper Mountain CO
September 04 9:30 Club Washington DC
September 05 The Fillmore at the Theatre of Living Arts Philadelphia PA
September 06 The Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza New York NY
September 13 Barrymore Theatre Madison WI
September 14 Miramar Theater Milwaukee WI
September 16 The Cabooze Minneapolis MN
September 17 The Englert Theater Iowa City IA
September 19-20 Fox Theater Boulder CO
September 22 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ
September 23 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA
September 26-27 The Fillmore San Francisco CA

Railroad Earth To Release Amen Corner June 10, 2008

photo by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Anticipation has been building for a new release and for the first time in 4 years, Railroad Earth found themselves back in the studio recording all new material.  It's definitely a home-grown project, much like the band itself.  Railroad Earth's new studio release, Amen Corner, was written and recorded at Lone Croft: an empty, 300 year-old house in New Jersey's rural countryside. What happened inside the building was the experience of a lifetime for the band's members, resulting in an early creative pinnacle of a gifted young band, and an album that is an instant Americana classic. Amen Corner is a collection of crisp and crafted roots, bluegrass, and acoustic sides that resonates in all the right places. The tunes breathe both on and between the notes. They hit you immediately, but then linger like a good buzz.  Look for Amen Corner to hit in June 10, 2008 on SCI Fidelity Records.

Railroad Earth is currently on tour.  Current confirmed tour dates include:

April 11 Warsaw at the Polish National Home Brooklyn NY
April 17 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
April 18 Pearl Street Northampton MA
April 19 Bearsville Theater Bearsville NY
April 24 Higher Ground South Burlington VT
April 25 East Hartford Community Cultural Center East Hartford CT
April 26 IMAC Theater Huntington NY
May 02 The German House Rochester NY
May 03 Oberlin College Oberlin OH
May 24 DelFest Cumberland MD
May 25 Hookahville Thornville OH
June 01 2008 Crawfish Festival Augusta NJ
June 05 Variety Playhouse Atlanta GA
June 06 Riverbend Festival Chattanooga TN
June 07 Bama Jam Enterprise AL
June 10 Vintage Vinyl St. Louis MO 6pm In-Store Performance
June 10 Blueberry Hill St. Louis MO
June 13-14 Ogden Theatre Denver CO CD Release Party!
June 19 McDonald Theatre Eugene OR
June 20 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
June 21 The Showbox Seattle WA
July 01 Summerfest 2008 Milwaukee WI
July 03 ROTHBURY Rothbury MI
July 04-05 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy CA
July 13 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
July 25 Floydfest Floyd VA
August 01 Dunegrass Festival Empire MI
August 02 Silver Maple Music Festival Comstock Park MI
August 13-14 YarmonyGrass Bond CO