career

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)

Will Hoge Reveals More Details About NUMBER SEVEN!

Nashville singer/songwriter Will Hoge is primed to release his 7th studio album, NUMBER SEVEN, on Sept. 27 on Ryko.  Throughout his career, Hoge has survived and thrived through endless miles in vans and buses, landing a mainstream record deal early in his career and triumphantly overcoming a life-altering accident two years back.  If, as mentioned in Rolling Stone and elsewhere, Nashville has finally landed on the national rock and roll map, Hoge has been there all along.

Now, Hoge comes forth with NUMBER SEVEN, an album that poignantly captures his penchant for lonesome blues as well as country influences that have always been present in his music.  “Gone” would sound comfortably at home on contemporary country radio, while “No Man’s Land” is a twanging exposition of the gulf between men and women.  At the same time, Hoge’s poetic side is represented by two thought-provoking songs.  “American Dream,” a profile of a homeless man living amidst a devastated economy, gets right to the core of this tragic situation by stating “I’d give it all right back to just be looked at like a man.”  A similar claim to dignity suffuses the epic “Illegal Line,” which humanizes the oft-demagogued issue of immigration.

“People complain that there’s nothing from current musicians that has any sort of weight or political commentary,” says Hoge. “And I think rock and roll is a little lesser for that at this point.  So, I really wanted to go there on this album and talk about some things that aren’t necessarily being talked about by other artists right now.  I’m really proud of this album. Everything I’ve been through in the last couple of years has caused me to slow down and be more thoughtful about what sort of music I’m putting out. The process of creating music has changed too.  For the first time, I feel like this album really encompasses everything about me as an artist.  I’m just ready for everyone to hear it!”

The album’s grand finale, and first single, “When I Get My Wings”, looks to that other musical city in Tennessee for inspiration and lets Hoge uncork on a full-throated Otis Redding-style vocal with a heavenly host of Memphis-inspired horns.

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NUMBER SEVEN track list:

1.    Fools Gonna Fly

2.    Too Old To Die Young

3.    Goddamn California

4.    American Dream

5.    Gone

6.    The Illegal Line

7.    Silver Chain

8.    Nothing To Lose

9.    No Man’s Land

10.  Trying To Be A Man

11.  When I Get My Wings

NUMBER SEVEN follows up Hoge’s 2009 release, THE WRECKAGE, which was hailed as “triumphant” by the BBC; “welcome and worth the wait” by USA Today and described by American Songwriter as follows: the “eleven tightly crafted songs retain the artist’s self-assured, Southern swagger.”  The long-time road warrior is planning a rigorous touring schedule with upcoming headlining dates this fall.  Details and ticket information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Lady Antebellum Takes "Just A Kiss" to #1!

Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum celebrate their career fifth No. one song this week as the lead single “Just A Kiss” tops the Billboard Country Singles chart. The track simultaneously earns PLATINUM certification and spends a third week at No. one on the Billboard Canada Country chart. “Just A Kiss” is setting the pace for the multi-platinum group's upcoming third album OWN THE NIGHT due out Sept. 13.

“Seeing country radio and the fans embrace the first single off our new album like this has been amazing and also a little relieving,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley. “There are definitely some nerves and anxiousness involved when you are introducing new music, and this reaction has been beyond what we hoped for.  It just makes us even more excited for Sept. 13 to get here."

“Just A Kiss” resonated with fans immediately, debuting at No. seven on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart to become the highest debut by a country group in the chart’s 52-year history. OWN THE NIGHT follows the band’s GRAMMY winning second disc NEED YOU NOW. Since its release in Jan. 2010, the album has sold over five million copies across the globe, spawned three multi-week No. one hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey,” “Our Kind of Love”), taken home five GRAMMY Awards (a career total of six) and scored over a dozen other award show trophies.

For updates on OWN THE NIGHT, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.

Little Bird From Kasey Chambers Out Today!

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the release of Little Bird from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers.  The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling Little Bird the best recording of her career.

Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio Little Bird features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments.  Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.

“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go,” says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. "When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there."

The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, Number One hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.

Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of Little Bird, Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities.  “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote “Not Pretty Enough” and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it,” says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much.  This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”

Kasey excitedly rates Little Bird as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life.”

Tony Bennett's 'Best of the Improv Recordings' coming on Concord

In the decade between the end of World War II and the advent of rock ’n’ roll, Tony Bennett emerged as one of the premier pop singers of his generation — the heir apparent to figures like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and other iconic balladeers whose versatile and engaging vocal styles had already translated to huge successes in the 1930s and 1940s.

Despite his popularity in the postwar era, though, Bennett had grown restless by the 1970s. The time had come for him to explore something new, preferably on his own terms, and in an environment of his own making. After more than 15 years on Columbia and a short stint at MGM Records, Bennett struck out on his own and launched Improv Records, a label that lasted only a couple years but generated several fine recordings during the mid-1970s.

Concord Records gathers 16 tracks from his brief period on Improv into a single collection, Tony Bennett: The Best of the Improv Recordings. The compilation, which is culled from the four-CD boxed set, Tony Bennett: The Complete Improv Recordings, is set for release on July 12, just three weeks prior to Bennett’s 85th birthday.

“These tracks capture the moment in Tony Bennett’s career when he had complete artistic freedom,” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R at Concord Music Group. “As the head of his own label, he was the person who was calling all the shots and running the show. He was free to record what he wanted to record — music that was really important to him and resonated with him . . . I think the results are nothing short of stellar.”

Will Friedwald, who wrote the liner notes for the collection, admits that Improv was short-lived and not a commercial success, releasing about ten albums before shutting its doors after only two years. However, the period was an artistic high mark in Bennett’s overall career.

“Tony Bennett’s own recordings for his label would fall roughly into three categories,” says Friedwald. “Orchestral sessions with his regular musical director at the time, Torrie Zito; quartet sessions with the Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet; and most famously, duet sessions with pianist Bill Evans.” Each of these categories is well represented in this collection.

Despite the label’s less than stellar commercial performance during its short existence, says Friedwald, “the Improv sessions would result in some of the most amazing music of Bennett’s career.”

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TRACK LIST:

This Can’t Be Love
Make Someone Happy
Isn’t It Romantic?
Life Is Beautiful
Blue Moon
Thou Swell
You Don’t Know What Love Is
My Romance
The Lady Is a Tramp
You Must Believe in Spring
Reflections
I Could Write a Book
Maybe September
As Time Goes By
While We’re Young [live]
I Left My Heart in San Francisco [live]

Legendary Benny Golson at Trumpets Sunday 5/15/11

Benny Golson will perform two sets with special guest Vitali Imereli on Violin, Matt King on Piano, Eliot Zigmund on Drums and Rick Crane on Bass.

Benny Golson has not played around NY for at least 10 years. This exclusive engagement in the area is therefore particularly significant.

The legendary saxophonist had taken Vitali under his wing after hearing him play in a festival in Israel. Convinced, as he is that Vitali is the greastest jazz violinist who ever lived , he has encouraged him to pursue his international career with more ambition and determination.

When Benny suggested they do something together, Vitali asked his old friend Enrico Granafei to set something up at Trumpets.

Vitali met Harmonica/Guitar player Enrico Granafei at the Pori Jazz festival in Finland where both artists were performing, and since then they have been working together quite often.

Multitalented and internationally famous jazz legend, - a composer, arranger, lyricist, producer - and tenor saxophonist of world note, Benny Golson was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1929.

Raised with an impeccable musical pedigree, Golson has played in the bands of world famous Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey.

Few jazz musicians can claim to be true innovators and even fewer can boast of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term "jazz". Benny Golson has made major contributions to the world of jazz with such jazz standards as:

Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates

Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?

Benny Golson is the only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire. These jazz standards have found their way into countless recordings internationally over the years and are still being recorded.

He has recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies in the United States and Europe under his own name and innumerable ones with other major artists. A prodigious writer, Golson has written well over 300 compositions.

Born In Kutaisi, Georgia, Vitali Imereli bega playing violin aa a talented five year- old at a music school, later completing his education in 1979 at the National Music Academy in Tblisi. During tht period 1079-85,Vitali acted as teacher at the Tblisi College of Music. From 1978 1881, he participated in a variety of jazz festivals in several locations from Georgia through Russia and Europe in general.

In 1992 Vitali moved to Finland. Performances then ranged from Sweden to Germany and various parts of Finland with TV appearances andradio programs following.

Vitali has played at the internationally renowned Pori jazz festival every year since 1991, as well as other important festivals in Finland. May 1996 saw the release of his new album “ Tribute to Stephane Grappelli”

Vitali also performed with the Rosenberg Trio at the North Sea Jazz festival, and with many other important musicians like Jack Hana, Art Blakey, Michael Urbaniak, Ulf Johansson, Bob Gulloti , Gypsy kids, Daniel Walsh, Carlos Del Puerto, Didier Lockwood, Enrico Granafei, Stanley Jordan,Benny Golson etc

“Vitali Imereli masters the Grappelli sound to the extent that even the Maestro himself couldn’t tell who was playing. This Gerorgian born violinist masters the modern style as well”

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Legendary Benny Golson at Trumpets!

An exceptional concert will take place at Trumpets on Sunday  May 15.

Tickets are $40 in pre-sale and  $45 at the door. Two sets at 8:00 & 10:00 pm

Trumpets Jazz Club , 6 Depot Square, Montclair, NJ 07042. Phone 973-744-2600

http://www.trumpetsjazz.com/

Sugar Hill Records To Release Little Bird From Kasey Chambers

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the July 12th release of Little Bird from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers.  The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling Little Bird the best recording of her career.

Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio Little Bird features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments.  Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.

“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go,” says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. "When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there."

The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, Number One hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.

Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of Little Bird, Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities.  “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote “Not Pretty Enough” and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it,” says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much.  This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”

Kasey excitedly rates Little Bird as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life.”

Marcus Eaton West Coast Spring Tour

When singer-songwriter Marcus Eaton was asked to play and co-write on forthcoming album with Rock And Roll Hall of Famer, David Crosby, it was not a big surprise. Thanks to a strange turn of luck, Crosby has been a long-time influence and fan of the powerhouse performer from Boise, ID. Just one of many auspicious experiences dotting Eaton's career things are looking bright for the young performer who is taking his trio on the road for a short national tour this spring.

Known for a clear and inviting voice coupled with dazzling guitar work, Eaton and his band will be making stops in a number of key cities in support of his latest independent release As if You Had Wings (Feb, 2011) available exclusively on his website and at shows. One of five albums bearing Eaton's name, the latest release has received rave reviews with its radio-ready format and brilliant pop-friendly appeal. The band, also featuring bassist Ben Burleigh and powerhouse drummer Kevin Rogers will be playing a number of opening slots with Tim Reynolds TR3 along with a number of headlining slots booked along the way.

In just a few short years, the band who has been likened to such vaunted trios as Cream, Rush and the Police has received lavish praise from music authorities across the board including Crosby, who has courted a 2-year collaborative relationship with Eaton in the making of his latest album, yet to be released . Throughout his career, Eaton has performed at venues vast and intimate including four consecutive years alongside Dave Matthews at the 20,000-capacity Gorge Amphitheatre side stage and on a local level, his CD release party at The Knitting Factory in Boise crammed the concert hall well beyond its official 999-seat capacity.

Eaton and his band will be making rounds all along the West Coast and Mountain States this spring including stops in Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake, Tacoma and Portland and is not to be missed. For more information about Marcus Eaton, or to find out details about his latest tour check out marcuseaton.com

National Jazz Museum in Harlem March 7 - March 13, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem

March 7 - March 13, 2011

Schedule

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a celebration
Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

His Eye Is On The Sparrow is rightfully acclaimed as one of the greatest autobiographies by an American female singer; with the able assistance of noted journalist andbiographer Charles Samuels, Ethel Water's life and career journey is captured there in all of its joy, sorrow, bitterness, forgiveness, and spirit of perseverance no matter what she faced.

Tonight we celebrate the book and remember the bright star that was Ethel Waters.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

FILM SHOW: Sing Me A Swing Song: Great Jazz Vocalists – Ethel Waters

Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Maysles Cinema - 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th Street
DONATION SUGGESTED| For more information: 212-348-8300

Vocalist and actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was a key figure in the development of African American culture between the two world wars. She broke barrier after barrier, becoming the first black woman heard on the radio, the first black singer to perform on television, the first African American to perform in an integrated cast on Broadway, and the first black woman to perform in a lead dramatic role on Broadway. As a singer Waters introduced over 50 songs that became hits, including standards of the magnitude of "St. Louis Blues" and "Stormy Weather." Her jazzy yet controlled vocal style influenced a generation of vocalists, black and white, and her career, encompassing stage, song, and screen, flowered several times in comebacks after tumbling to lowpoints.

See Ethel Waters perform on film andearn about the rise and fall and rise again of a great American artist of song, and hear recordings that document the sound and style that made Ethel Waters such an influence.

Tower of Power Celebrate 40TH Anniversary

TOWER OF POWER CELEBRATE ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ALBUM, DVD AND REUNION.   New Collection Features TOP alumni like Lenny Pickett and Chester Thompson; Special Guests Include Soul Legend Sam Moore.

It’s spring! As we celebrate the start of the baseball season, the end of the basketball season and the release of Tower of Power’s 40th Anniversary album, the operative phrase in everyone’s ears is “We Came To Play.” But then, Tower of Power has “come to play,” every single time they take to the stage over the last 42 years.  The horn driven soul and funk machine has toured consistently playing to so(u)ld out crowds around the world.  And after 40 years, four of the original musicians still play with the band.

Similar to sports teams, however, Tower of Power has had numerous players take free agency with other musical prospects. So the 40th Anniversary show gave the band an opportunity to stage their version of “Old Timer’s Day,” bringing 20 former members to work with the ongoing ten player line-up.

“When we were young and we’d lose somebody, it seemed like the end of the world,” TOP founder Emilio Castillo told Gary Graff.  “But it started happening at such an early age in our career, and we always overcame it and always got great people to come in.”

Captured live at the Legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 2008, this extraordinary show welcomed such former members as Greg Adams, TOP’s trumpeter and arranger for 20 years and subsequently one of the architects of the “smooth Jazz” sound; Chester Thompson, who moved on to play keys for Santana and Elton John; and chart topping “smooth jazz” sax player and first call session guy Richard Elliott.

At a show recorded on the band’s actual anniversary, former TOP member Lenny Pickett, long time sax player for the Saturday Night Live band, joined in. He’s in the bonus footage and is interviewed.   Legendary vocalist Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave, added to the funkified festivities with “I Thank You,” and Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful.”  The DVD is dedicated to Steve “Skip” Mesquite, long time alto player for TOP, who made the show and passed on shortly afterward.

The CD and DVD package is a slam dunk of soulful funk, with such great Tower of Power hits as “What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” the ever timely “Only So Much Oil In The Ground,” and “This Time It’s Real.” After 40 years, this band can clearly still hit it out of the ballpark.

“It was probably the most special night of our entire career,” said Castillo. “Getting together and playing again with those guys we’d spent so much time with on the road. It was magic.”