taste

Europe '72 | The Wait is Almost Over!

The production stage is coming to end for everyone working on the release...which means Europe '72: The Complete Recordings is about to truly begin for all of you! Dead.net is proud to announce the final disc tally is a whopping 73! Pressing is underway and they're on target to meet their expected ship date. As a special project-ending taste of the box set, they've got this tremendous version of "The Other One" from 4/11/72 in Newcastle, selected by David Lemieux. He considers this to be one of the finest, most dynamic, most powerful jams of the entire tour, high praise for a tour that included mind-blowing and mind-bending jams virtually every night of the tour.

Dead.net is now offering the All-The-Music edition of Europe '72, which includes all of the music recorded on the tour, with each show in its own individual package, complete with its own liner notes by Dead scholars such as David Gans, Blair Jackson, Steve Silberman, Gary Lambert and others, as well as by attendees of some of the shows. You'll get 72 CDs (our last count said over 60 but much to our surprise, the final count is 72) and 70 hours of prime Grateful Dead. You can purchase it now by clicking here.

My Morning Jacket Share Title Track from New Album Circuital

Nearly three years since their last release, My Morning Jacket are now on the cusp of releasing the eagerly awaited new album, Circuital (ATO Records, May 31st).  The band has been gearing it all up by releasing songs from each of their five Terminal 5 shows this past October.  Today, My Morning Jacket are giving us a taste of the new album by sharing the title track and revealing it's enigmatic cover art.

Click HERE to download the song "Circuital" from the band's website.  The site is also now offering pre-orders for the album, and a beautiful limited edition deluxe package that includes an exclusive 30 minute documentary dvd, high quality lithograph portrait taken by Danny Clinch and many other goodies.  Ten deluxe versions will come with a 'Golden Ticket" entitling the bearer to receive an original signed print by the band and Clinch.

Like the album as a whole, "Circuital" was laid down almost entirely live as the honest spirit and human spontaneity are felt throughout the listening experience.  The song Circuital, while a seven minute epic, is but a taste of what to expect – the collection of songs is truly eclectic and entrancing from beginning to end.

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My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:

04/17:  Lexington, KY @ Memorial Coliseum

05/20:  Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival

06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @Wakarusa Festival

06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam

06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre
06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield
06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival
07/17: London  @ Somerset House
08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Ethiopian Superstar Gigi Releases New Album on MOD Technologies

Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibawbaw, one of Ethiopia's best-known singers, is releasing her latest album Mesgana Ethiopia on October 19th through MOD Technologies, the label founded by Grammy-winner Bill Laswell (who has collaborated with countless legends from Mick Jagger to Laurie Anderson to Tony Williams). This release features Gigi singing her original songs mixed with some Ethiopian traditional tunes – all sung in Amaharic – bridging African styles, Reggae, Dub, Avant-Funk,/Jazz, World Beat, Trance, and Ambient music.

Already an international star, Gigi has recorded and toured across the globe with iconic, master musicians including Tabla Beat Science featuring Zakir Hussain and Sultan Khan, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Hamid Drake, Sly & Robbie, Abegasu Shiota, Buckethead, Karsh Kale, DJ Disk and Laswell himself.  Her music has also been featured in films, including 2003’s Beyond Borders, which starred Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen.

Gigi has a powerful voice that can also convey beautiful fragility.  This versatility allows her to be the source and structural framework for her backing band’s African Futurism/One World Music approach. For a taste, click HERE to stream/download "Shemum Mune."

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Mesanga Ethiopia features the following incredibly talented group of musicians:

Bill Laswell: Material founder, legendary bassist, producer, reconstructionist, inventor of Herbie Hancock’s mega-hit “Rockit”, creator of the first and only landmark full album remix-constructions on the music of Bob Marley, Miles Davis & Carlos Santana, cofounder of the Axiom Label w/Chris Blackwell, veteran of over 700 recordings to date.

Abegasu Shiota: Keyboardist, acclaimed producer/arranger of Ethiopian pop culture, has worked with most all of the important artists there.

Hamid Drake: Master drummer, Americas most valuable - Avant-Jazz – World/Beat percussionist.

Aiyb Dieng: From Senegal, Easily the most widely recorded African percussionist.

Dominic Kanza: Post Modern African guitarist, master of many advanced styles.

And Featuring 2 world renown guest musicians –  Steven Bernstein: Trumpet / slide trumpet; and Peter Apfelbaum: Tenor saxophone, flute, percussion.  Both are composers, arrangers and world class band leaders in their own right.

Don't The Air Taste Sweet?: Marc Cohn's New Zest for Life

Marc Cohn - pboto by Bill Bernstein- for the Grateful Web

These days, Marc Cohn has something to sing about. That may not sound so remarkable since you would naturally expect a singer/songwriter to have something to say. But this 1991 Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist had been facing a severe dry spell. Many writers (no matter if they write songs or books) often face the terror of the blank page. But this fallow period when nothing seemed to gel even when Cohn tried to force the muse had lasted for months, stretching ultimately into a year and then another. Then thinking that if he engaged with his audience, new material might come, Cohn mounted a month-long intensive tour.

On a warm August night in 2005 in Denver, fate stepped in. Marc Cohn was shot in the head during a failed carjacking and the worry over lack of creative output in his life seemed trivial. People go blind with a shot to the temple as he had; some suffer brain damage; others die. Cohn walked out of the ER the next day and went back home to New York. As he recovered, he watched the awful devastation that happened in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit.

Experiencing something that Cohn had and being able to walk away from it, relatively unscathed, and then to watch other people suffering so much is bound to raise questions about meaning. Then something wonderful happened. Among the many get well wishes Cohn received, one started a cascade of creative flow.

"I got an email from old songwriting partner who is now an elementary school teacher," Cohn said in a recent phone interview. "He wrote me: Maybe life was curious to see what you would do with the gift of being left alive." The floodgates of creativity opened and washed fresh new ideas into Cohn that were bursting to take form.

"I had been trying so hard to will my writing to come back that it was an incredible release and catharsis to have it come back without me expecting it to," he said. "Although I have to say that there were a lot of friends after I got shot who would say to me, 'I guess you've got a lot to write about.' It's funny. That never occurred to me initially, not in a conscious level. But I do think from the moment this happened, I was already writing."

Michael Silverstone, his former songwriting partner, launched the first song written for Cohn's new album, Join the Parade.  "Live Out the String," which Cohn co-credits with Silverstone, was number six in the ten song lineup on the CD. It's a song of thankfulness and awe, done to a rocking beat.

"That was the beginning of the writing coming back," Cohn said. Though he admits that he knew intellectually that he was grateful to be alive and that there was some deeper meaning behind his experience, he says, "Good songs aren't about intellectual ideas."

He also remembered a line that Rick Bragg had written about "dancing back from the grave." This is also a very unique characteristic of New Orleans funerals. While the mourners pace through the streets in a slow march, they come back from the cemetery dancing, glad their loved ones have gone to Glory. "It applied not only to me but to New Orleans," Cohn said, meaning that the city was dancing back from the grave as he was. "And this just seemed to be happening over and over and over, after years of me not getting a sign from anywhere.  Now, you could argue because I was in a very vulnerable sort of scary space I was open to all of these things, and I think that was probably true. I think there's great poetry flying around all the time. But I wasn't open to it until these two events [Silverstone and Bragg's words] and all of a sudden I couldn't stop the ideas from coming. These came so quickly and so forcefully that I couldn't even stop them. I had another record in a few months."

None of the songs on this album are maudlin. They are all uplifting and hopeful. The quirky love song that begins the CD, "Listening to Levon," sets the tone. It's about this young man who gets distracted kissing his girlfriend because he's listening to The Band on the radio. It's about not quite being present because of the music. "To me that was an interesting opener because it was chronologically the beginning of my story, "Cohn said, "being a young boy falling in love with women and with music at the same time. And then the record obviously ends quite a bit later." The rest of the songs are very much about being present and experiencing the joy of music and life.

"Dance Back from the Grave," "Join The Parade," and "My Sanctuary," are most obviously about New Orleans, but they are also about Cohn. These and others like "Live Out the String" and "Life Goes On" speak to us all about life with a big L and being very present in the moment because when you are, there is always gratitude and relationships (with people, with nature, with the Divine) become very important. There is a connection in the moment. And, for Marc Cohn, his moment of connection has produced a gift for all of us, a hymn to living life with joy.

The miracle of this burst of creativity and the production of this album is all the more remarkable because the muse is now mute. "And then it stopped again," Cohn said. "Basically, I was given these ten songs. I think I wrote a few more than are actually on the record. I haven't written for months, just a couple of ideas here and there."

This may only be temporary. Cohn does admit that he self-edits more than he did when he was younger and will discard ideas before they ever make it to a guitar or piano. Maybe his long dry spell was because he was waiting for a good idea. Then again, maybe Silverstone was right. Maybe he was given life to encourage us all to join the parade of life.

Currently, Marc Cohn is touring all over the country in support of Join the Parade. Later this summer, he plans a very special trip to New Orleans that isn't concert related. "I'm hoping that my son and I will go and do a little work down there, maybe building some homes."

It sounds like Marc Cohn is joining the parade wholeheartedly. As he sings in "Live Out the String," "Don't the air taste sweet?"