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The Mynabirds Announce Spring Tour, Album in Stores Now

With this week’s release of her debut album as The Mynabirds, Laura Burhenn has officially turned the page from her role as one half of Georgie James.  Following The Mynabirds’ acclaimed first single “Numbers Don’t Lie,” Laura is giving another taste of What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood (Saddle Creek) with the bouncy, kiss-off anthem “Let The Record Go.”  Download the track HERE and if you haven’t heard “Numbers” yet you can check it out HERE.  For the next week you can also stream the full album HERE on Saddle Creek’s website.  Catch Laura and her band live when they kick off their spring tour on April 30th, which includes dates opening for Josh Ritter.

What We Lose draws from the gospel, old soul, and rock n roll that Burhenn was raised on, and many of the lyrics are inspired by a Zen-like view of the themes of loss and recovery.  With a surprisingly husky voice, considering her small stature, Burhenn adorns her words with a rich and emotive tone.  In the studio, singer-songwriter/producer Richard Swift helped carry out Burhenn’s vision, resulting in an album packed with both subtle detail and immediate charm.

The album also includes some notable guest artists.  Tom Hnatow (These United States) played pedal steel, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) arranged the horns on the album and backing vocals were provided by Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) and engineer/producer AJ Mogis (Monsters of Folk, Cursive, Tilly and The Wall).

Listen to The Mynabirds' "Let the Record Go"

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The Mynabirds – Spring Tour 2010:

* = with Josh Ritter

4/30: Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews

5/1: Omaha, NE, Slowdown

5/7: Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Cultural Center

6/1: Cleveland, OH, Beachland Tavern

6/2: Washington, DC, Black Cat

6/3: Brooklyn, NY, The Bell House

6/6: Chicago, IL, Do Division Festival

6/7: Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle

6/8: Iowa City, IA, The Mill

6/11: Birmingham, AL, WorkPlay Theatre *

6/12: Baton Rouge, LA, Manship Theatre *

6/14: Austin, TX, Antone's *

6/15: Dallas, TX, Granada *

Six Bing Crosby Reissues/New Albums Set For May 18 Debut

Who was the greatest pop singer of all time? Well, opinions certainly do vary on that topic, but one thing is certain: Bing Crosby has to be part of the discussion. Collectors Choice Music feels most blessed and honored to bring you the first in a series of releases direct from the Bing Crosby Archive. Over the next couple of years you will find classic albums, unreleased albums, rare and never-before-heard tracks, new compilations and classic Crosby television and film footage all coming your way EXCLUSIVELY via Collectors Choice, all with meticulous remastering and annotation. And with Bing's TV special now airing on PBS, it seemed like the right time to get started on what promises to be a wondrous ride indeed through the Crosby canon.

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Bing Crosby: Seasons (Deluxe Edition)
Bing's final album, originally released in 1977, has never been available on CD, let alone with 13 bonus tracks! This new deluxe edition features the original twelve tracks plus Bing's very last recordings, made at a BBC session three days before his death, and five poems recorded for fan clubs but never distributed. Includes from the original release 'Seasons; On the Very First Day of the Year; June in January; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; April Showers; June Is Bustin' Out All Over; In the Good Old Summertime; Summer Wind; Autumn in New York; September Song; Sleigh Ride', and 'Yesterday When I Was Young', plus the bonus poems 'Around the Corner; If; The Singers; Lucy Gray (Solitude)', and 'The Slaves Dream', and the BBC recordings 'Feels Good, Feels Right; Nevertheless; The Only Way to Go; Summer Wind; The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful; There's Nothing I Haven't Sung About; As Time Goes By', and 'Once in a While'!

Bing Crosby: Return To Paradise Islands (Deluxe Edition)
Bing's collection of Hawaiian favorites was recorded in 1963 by Frank Sinatra's Reprise label and has never been available on CD or even reissued at all! And for this edition a new stereo mix has been created from the original session tapes that is simply, well, paradisiaical. Bing is accompanied by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra on 'Keep Your Eyes on the Hands; Forevermore; Love and Aloha; Beautiful Kahana; The Hukilau Song; The Old Plantation; Lovely Hula Hands; Frangipani Blossom; Farewell My Kane; Adventures in Paradise; Return to Paradise', and Home in Hawaii'. Six bonus tracks include a brief session outtake of 'Return to Paradise' and five previously unissued Hawaiian tracks recorded in 1961 featuring 'My Little Grass Shack (in Kealakakua, Hawaii); The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai; Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula; Ukulele Lady', and 'King's Serenade'.

Bing Crosby:
On The Sentimental Side (Deluxe Edition - previously unreleased album)
Recorded in 1962 and never released, this collection of popular songs, many dating back to Bing's boyhood, has been long rumored to exist by Crosby fans, and finally appears here with five bonus tracks! The original album is all medleys: 'My Bonnie/The Band Played On; Always/Wishing; Remember/Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet; All Alone/In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree; How Can I Leave Thee/A Bird In a Gilded Cage/The Sidewalks of New York; If I Didn't Care/Blueberry Hill; Beautiful Dreamer/The Last Rose of Summer; Roll On Silver Moon/Now the Day Is Over; Tom Dooley/The Old Gray Mare; Together/What'll I Do; Look For the Silver Lining/Say It With Music', and 'Did You Ever See a Dream Walking/A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody'. The bonus tracks hail from Bing's 1950s CBS radio shows with Buddy Cole; they include 'Because; Love's Old Sweet Song; Smilin' Through; Whither Thou Goest', and a 1960 take of Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral'!

Bing Crosby: Bing On Broadway (new album)
When it came to interpreting show tunes, Bing had few peers. This brand-new collection of rare material features him singing selections from such legendary Broadway musicals as 'South Pacific, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Can-Can, Anything Goes, My Fair Lady' and many others, accompanied by Buddy Cole & His Trio on 17 tracks and John Scott Trotter on two tracks. Includes 'Swanee; Carolina in the Morning; Mandy; How Long Has This Been Going On?; My Heart Stood Still; Crazy Rhythm; Ain't Misbehavin'; Fine and Dandy; But Not for Me; New Sun in the Sky; Taking a Chance on Love; It's Only a Paper Moon; All Through the Night; Come Rain or Come Shine; A Cockeyed Optimist; It's All Right with Me; Hey There; Heart', and 'Get Me to the Church on Time'.

Bing Crosby: El Senor Bing (Deluxe Edition)
Bing loved Spanish music, and for this 1960 collection, recorded for his own Project label, he was accompanied by none other than the Billy May Orchestra— the CD debut of this LP! Includes from the original album 'Ramona/Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy);. Marta/The Rose in Her Hair; Again/Allez-Vous-En (Go Away); In the Still of the Night/I Could Have Danced All Night; Pagan Love Song/Cuban Love Song; Down Argentine Way/What a Difference a Day Made; Heavenly Night (Cielito Lindo)/My Shawl; Malaguena (at the Crossroads)/Andalucia (The Breeze and I); How High the Moon/Old Devil Moon', and 'C'est Magnifique/Taking a Chance on Love'. There are six Spanish-flavored bonus tracks from Bing's 1950s CBS radio sessions with Buddy Cole & His Trio including 'Papa Loves Mambo; Floras Negras; Solamente Una Vez; No Te Importe Saber (Let Me Love You Tonight); La Borrichita', and In 'A Little Spanish Town', plus the markedly different mono mix of the original album. 'Muy sabroso!'

Bing Crosby
: So Rare: Treasures From The Crosby Archive (2 CD set/new album)
Carefully compiled by Crosby archivist Robert S. Bader, this career-spanning collection of rare and unusual recordings from Bing Crosby's personal archive includes his first solo radio performance from 1931, some rare private recordings and unknown outtakes as well as the first album appearances of several rare single tracks–many of which are mixed in stereo for the first time! Includes 'Just One More Chance' and 'I'm Through with Love' from Fifteen Minutes with Bing Crosby; 'Buckin' the Wind' from a Spanish radio promo disc; 'Where the Turf Meets the Surf', Del Mar race track's theme song; Kraft Music Hall performances of 'Over the Rainbow,' 'As Time Goes By', and 'Why Don't You Fall in Love with Me'; 'I'll Be Seeing You' from a 8/31/44 British broadcast; 'You're the Gem State Wonder, Idaho; Santa Claus Is Coming to Town', a 1954 recording for Shriner's Hospital; 'My Old Kentucky Home', recorded for the Kentucky Junior Derby; radio performances of 'What Do You Mean, You Lost Your Dog?; We're in the Money (The Golddigger's Song); I Hear Music; I Can't Get Started; Pledging My Love; Because', and 'The Yellow Rose of Texas; So Rare' from The Ford Road Show; the Columbia singles 'Straight down the Middle' and 'Tomorrow's My Lucky Day'; first-time stereo appearances of the MGM singles 'The Second Time Around' and 'Incurably Romantic'; a 1960 private recording of 'Anthem of the Clams'; a stereo TV outtake of 'Pennies from Heaven'; the Reprise singles 'Far From Home; How Green Was My Valley; Step to the Rear', and 'What Do We Do with This World'; Reprise outtakes of 'Live a Little' and 'Don't Let a Good Thing Get Away'; the unreleased singles 'Take a Longer Look' and 'The Human Race', and 'That's What Life Is All About' live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 17, 1976. 34 tracks, 26 unreleased!

Performing Artist Jill King To Release New Album RAIN ON FIRE

Songstress Jill King releases on April 6 a new studio album, RAIN ON FIRE (Foundher Records), which the artist describes as life-changing for its renewal of her passion for music and for life and as a gift for listeners who might need a similar lift upward.

The new CD is a collection of heartfelt and thought-provoking love songs and ballads written and co-written by King that mesh blues, pop, R&B, country and jazz into her solid folk-rock sound, elevated by her stunning vocals and the slide and steel guitar vibe of Australian Michael Flanders, who produced the album with King.

It includes “Beautiful World,” “California” and “I’ll Keep Loving You” — three songs that reflect King’s life journey through joy and sorrow — as well as “Mark on Me,” which features a spoken-word intro and outro by Steven Johnson, the grandson of blues legend Robert Johnson, and the sensual “Undertow,” which was featured in the February 26 episode of the Web soap “Venice The Series.”

King and Flanders were joined in the studio by an array of respected musicians and friends including Congress House Studios’ Mark Hallman on bass, drums, loops, percussion, B3 and piano as well as Brady Blade (drums, percussion), Victor Broden (bass), Jason Millhouse (fat guitars), Bruce Holloway (guitar), Phil Madeira (piano, accordion, B3), Savannah Jo Lack (violin, string arrangement & performance), Rob Mackay (strings, tenor ukulele), Denise Locke (keyboards), Alex Torrez and Ben Flanders (percussion), and Thom Flora, Doug Stokes and Nels Andrews (background vocals) and a gospel choir made up of Marsha Hancock, Alana Griffith, Christina Taddonio.

A special-edition version of the CD includes a fascinating book by King that intricately details the impetus behind each of the songs, an essay on the making of the album and documentary photography by Nashville-based artist Whitney Jones.

King will put together a band for extensive touring behind the album that includes shows through August across the Southeast and California and Texas.

Born and raised in deep-South Arab, Ala., King was singing solos in church at 3 and was playing guitar and writing songs by age 10, when she made her first record at a local studio. Being surrounded by heaven-and-hell ideologies and later her brother’s death from cancer have influenced her life, her songwriting and her sound: a mix of genres, moods and messages.

Former MMJ Guitarist Johnny Quaid is The Ravenna Colt

After conceiving the project over a decade ago, former My Morning Jacket guitarist Johnny Quaid is finally releasing the dreamlike, southern-flavored debut effort by The Ravenna Colt. The album, titled, Slight Spell, is now available through Removador Recordings and Solutions, the label Quaid recently co-founded with MMJ frontman Yim Yames.

After six years as a part of MMJ, Louisville, KY native Quaid parted amicably with the band in 2004 and headed off to California.  Eventually Quaid headed back east and reacquainting himself with his roots.  Fittingly, the music he has written as The Ravenna Colt reflects his style in Americana with a hint of cosmic breeze that emanates from California.

Opening track “South of Ohio,’ points to this when Quaid wonders “I lost my drawl in California / was there ever one at all?”  He reveals himself to be an individual who meditates on the deep connection he has with his hometown as well as one interested in venturing outward for new experiences.

The Ravenna Colt currently includes Phil Carlson, J. Brent Stuart and Daniel T. Mohler as members, but the group has always been a shape-shifting entity with the only constant force being Quaid at the helm.  This collective-like quality translates to the music as well, which has beautifully amorphous feel.  The songs on Slight Spell have definitive cores, but ones that seem capable of adapting to various musicians and arrangements. Quaid has the soul of a troubadour.  One can picture him with nothing but an acoustic guitar strapped to his back, traveling from town to town to share his music and his adventures.

SNL's Christine Ohlman's new CD with Marshall Crenshaw

Christine Ohlman, a.k.a. “The Beehive Queen,” whose “day job” is that of the flashy, gritty long-time featured vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, has completed her first new album in five years, The Deep End, to be released by the Horizon Music Group through Selct-O-Hits on April 6, 2010.

Having won the respect of many fellow artists over the years, Ohlman recruited a stellar group of them to contribute to the new CD, including Marshall Crenshaw, Dion DiMucci and Ian Hunter as duet partners, as well as an all-star list of accompanists: G.E. Smith, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel from the Del-Lords, NRBQ veteran Big Al Anderson, Catherine Russell, the Asbury Juke Horns (Chris Anderson and Neal Pawley) and more.

Working in a swampy, guitar-driven style of contemporary rock/R&B, Ohlman and The Deep End co-producer Andy York (John Mellencamp) crafted 15 songs of life and love tempered by loss. It is Ohlman’s first album of new work since 2004; her recording hiatus followed the deaths of both long-time producer and mate Doc Cavalier and guitarist and founding member of Ohlman’s Rebel Montez band, Eric Fletcher. (The band presently includes Michael Colbath, bass; Cliff Goodwin, guitar; and Larry Donahue, drums.)

Christine is a musicologist of note of whom SNL bandleader Lenny Pickett, quoted in the New York Times, once said, “She knows the really good, obscure stuff.” The covers on The Deep End were lovingly chosen from her fabled record collection. She duets with Dion on the obscure Southern soul gem “Cry Baby Cry” and with Crenshaw on a Motown classic, Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells’ “What’s the Matter With You Baby.” A third duet with Ian Hunter on Ohlman’s own “There Ain’t No Cure” celebrates her love of the music and language of the Delta behind a punked-out, soul-searing groove. It’s one of a group of eleven new originals that includes “The Gone of You” (a song of loss and longing so central to The Deep End’s theme that it appears twice: in a full-band version and in York’s evocative, loop-driven demo, dubbed “After Hours” both for Ohlman’s late-night vocal and its darkest-before-the-dawn sensibility); the Muscle Shoals-tinged ballad “Like Honey”; flat-out barnburners “Bring It With You When You Come” and “Born To Be Together”; and Ohlman’s post-Katrina lament “The Cradle Did Rock,” which will appear later this year alongside tracks by Irma Thomas, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint as a bonus cut to the reissue of Get You A Healin’, a CD benefitting the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.  The late Eric Fletcher is memorialized in the album’s third cover, a pristine reading of Link Wray’s “Walkin’ Down the Street Called Love.”

Ohlman and her previous recordings have impressed critics. The late Brownsville Station leader, bluesman and musicologist Cub Koda, writing in Stereo Review, believed, “Musical treasures like this don’t come along very often. Ohlman is the number one secret weapon in America’s gal-singin’ sweepstakes.” Charles M. Young in Playboy observed, “The first thing you notice is her tough, rousing, sexy voice.” Elmore magazine noted: “Few singers today are truly versed like Ohlman in all things soul. Tough and raw around the edges, she belts with a voice steeped in the heritage of this musical tradition.” All Music’s Hal Horowitz raved: “Ohlman never sings a tune halfway . . .she’s the leader of the pack.” And of the new album, critic/broadcaster Dave Marsh said, “There are so many ‘wow’ moments.”

In addition to her years on Saturday Night Live, Ohlman has an impressive resume. She sings on the theme song for 30 Rock; performed at Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary bash at Madison Square Garden with George Harrison and Chrissie Hynde; performed at President Obama’s Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.; led Big Brother & the Holding Company in a Central Park tribute to Janis Joplin; worked on a musical with Cy Coleman, who compared her sense of timing to that of Peggy Lee; and frequently duets with blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Eddie Kirkland. She also edited Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham’s autobiography 2Stoned (Oldham described Ohlman’s Wicked Time as “a deep swamp theme to a movie Burt Reynolds wished he’d made’)  and worked with Bonnie Raitt and Ry Cooder at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards — all while continuing to torch clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard with Rebel Montez. She counts among her friends Willie Nile, Syd Straw, Charlie Musselwhite, Hal Willner, David Johansen, Paul Thorn and Marshall Chess.

A Connecticut native and resident, Ohlman played with G.E. Smith in the Scratch Band in the 1970s, leading to her long association with Saturday Night Live. Her stint in fabled Studio 8H of Rockefeller Center includes the Sinead O’Connor and Ashley Simpson meltdowns (she was present for both) and the current season’s hilarious “Swine Fever” commercial parody, featuring a magnificently beehived Ohlman in full Dolly Parton regalia. She fondly recalls waltzing around 8-H with the late Chris Farley to Paul McCartney’s impromptu rehearsal performance of “Hey Jude.” With her long-time mate, the late Doc Cavalier producing, Ohlman released four records with Rebel Montez: The Hard Way (1995), the live Radio Queen (1997), Wicked Time (1999) and Strip (2003). In 2008 with current business partners Alex DeFelice and Vic Steffens at Horizon Music Group, she released a career compilation called Re-Hive. Yet she has remained under the radar — a best-kept secret. Until now.

Reflecting on The Deep End’s central theme of love both lost and found, Ohlman says, “Rosanne Cash and I were talking and she asked me if I’d written sad songs. It wasn’t until then that I realized I hadn’t. Ultimately, this album is about love and the courage to fall into it. Loss just informs you; it opens emotional doors that couldn’t possibly have opened before, no matter how much you thought you knew about it. I wrote about love — the newness of it, the glory of it, the loss of it, the sadness that can come from it, the wonder of it . . . the sweet bitterness of it.”