music

Introducing Nikki Lane! Gone, Gone, Gone EP Out July 19th

Nikki Lane’s Gone, Gone, Gone EP will be released July 19, 2011 on IAMSOUND. The EP will preview Lane’s full-length album out September 27, 2011 on IAMSOUND.

Nikki’s debut on IAMSOUND, the four-song EP titled Gone, Gone, Gone, features the title track (produced and co-written with Fool’s Gold’s Lewis Pesacov, who also produced the Best Coast album), “Western Bound” and “Down To The Wire,” two songs from an early self-released album titled No Room For Cowboys, and the alternate version of forthcoming album track, “Coming Home To You,” produced by David Cobb (Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson). On Gone, Gone, Gone, Nikki plays the rambler and sometimes drunkard with such an ardent aptitude she'd fit right in alongside those icons in whose songs she was able to find her own voice.

One glorious day some years back, teenage high school dropout Nikki Lane packed a trailer with her worldly possessions. With one hand firmly gripping a steering wheel and the other flipping the bird, she said so long to her home, Greenville, SC, the South and any sort of life it had suggested she should live. Western bound, she was headed to Los Angeles for no other reason than just because. After working various day-to-day jobs in fashion and the like, and living a life without clear direction, five years passed and Nikki started writing music, but soon forsook that path, after just two promising shows, for a job offer in New York.

But like the best country singers, shortly after moving to New York, heartbreak brought Nikki back to music. She started learning Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, John Prine and Merle Haggard tunes, trying her best to strum along and building her confidence along the way. Impressed with her bold vocal chops, classic, heartfelt country ballads, and wildly infectious personality, IAMSOUND found Nikki last year just before she relocated to Nashville to focus on her music career full time.

When not working on her music, Lane stays busy wearing various hats in fashion. She’ll be one of several artists featured in American Eagle's back to school ad campaign, and she owns a vintage boutique called High Class Hillbilly.

Listen to Nikki Lane’s “Gone, Gone, Gone” off of the Gone, Gone, Gone EP here.

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Gone, Gone, Gone EP Tracklisting:

1. Gone, Gone, Gone

2. Western Bound

3. Down To The Wire

4. Coming Home To You


Nikki Lane Tour Dates:

Fri. June 24 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement w/ Grayson Capps

Fri. July 1 – Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm and Brews w/ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Sun. July 3 – Charleston, SC @ Pour House w/ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Candye Kane's 'Sister Vagabond' album rings triumphant in challenging year

Candye Kane has been called a survivor, a superhero and the toughest girl alive. (All are also titles of her self-penned songs.) Her eleventh CD release, Sister Vagabond, will hit the streets on August 16, 2011 on Delta Groove Records. Produced by Kane and her noted guitarist Laura Chavez, Sister Vagabond is a worthy successor to their 2010 collaboration, Superhero, which was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues CD in the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards.

The jump-blues singer, songwriter and mother of two from East Los Angeles is a five-time nominee for Blues Music Awards, has nabbed ten San Diego Music Awards and starred in a sold-out stage play about her life. She’s beat pancreatic cancer in the last two years. She has performed worldwide for presidents and movie stars.

But her path to success was not always glamorous or easy. Raised in what she calls a dysfunctional blue-collar family, Candye became a mother, a pinup cover girl and a punk-rock, hillbilly blues-belter by the time she was just 21 years old. Ten CDs, six record labels, millions of international road miles and countless awards later, Miss Kane has proven to be a true survivor as she scrambled her way to the top of the roots-music heap, creating a world renowned reputation that has spanned two decades.

A colorful mixture of the traditional and the eclectic, Kane cut her musical teeth in the early ’80s onstage with Hollywood musicians and friends Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, Los Lobos, The Blasters, X, Fear and the Circle Jerks, to name just a few. While raising two sons, this role model for the disenfranchised championed large-sized women, fought for the equal rights of sex workers and the GLBT community and inspired music lovers everywhere. Her fans are a mixture of true outsiders: bikers, blues fans, punk rockers, drag queens, fat girls, queers, burlesque dancers, porn fans, sex workers, rockabilly and swing dancers, gray-haired hippies, sex-positive feminists and everyday folk of all ages.

In 1986, then married to Thomas Yearsley of the Paladins, she was touched by the music of Big Maybelle, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and more. Her self-released 1991 Burlesque Swing caught the ear of Texas impresario Clifford Antone, who signed her to a deal with Antone’s Records. Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and Paladin/Hacienda Brother/Stone River Boy Dave Gonzalez co-produced the first album of the deal, Home Cookin’. Picked up by Discovery (later Sire) Records, the Dave Alvin/Derek O’Brien-produced Diva La Grande was followed by Swango in the height of the swing craze.

Rounder/Bullseye Records signed her in 1995, releasing The Toughest Girl Alive, produced by Scott Billington. Four albums followed on the German RUF label, including the Bob Margolin-produced Guitar’d and Feathered. She then pacted with her current label, Delta Groove, releasing Superhero in 2010 and now Sister Vagabond in 2011.

Her full-time, 250-days-a-year touring schedule started in 1992. And today, Kane’s live shows are the stuff of legend. She honors the bold blues women of the past with both feet firmly planted in the present. She belts, growls, shouts, croons and moans from a lifetime of suffering and overcoming obstacles. She uses music as therapy and often writes and chooses material with positive affirmations that leave the audience feeling healed and exhilarated. In a show that is part humor, part revival meeting and party sexuality celebration, she'll deliver a barrelhouse-tongue-in-cheek blues tune or a gospel ballad, encouraging audiences to leave behind religious intolerance. She’ll slay the crowd with her balls out rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” or glorify the virtues of zaftig women with “200 Pounds of Fun.” She often says she is a ”fat black drag queen trapped in a white woman's body” and she dresses the part.

Kane has been included in countless blues and jazz CD anthologies including Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide and Musichound: Blues, The Essential Album Guide and Dan Aykroyd’s 30 Essential Women of the Blues. She appeared on the influential call-to-arms of Southern California roots music, A Town South of Bakersfield on Enigma Records, alongside Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam.

In addition to her musical achievements, Kane has become an activist and philanthropist in recent years. In August 2009, she appeared in Dublin, Ireland for the World Congress for Downs Syndrome with her United by Music charity. The project provides performance opportunities, blues history lessons and songwriting instruction to young people with disabilities, encouraging them to write their own blues songs to help them overcome their daily challenges.

A fighter par excellence, Candye has an authenticity, determination and optimism that keep her shows passionate, honest and irresistible.

“I take things one day at a time and today I am feeling great and very optimistic about my new CD,” Kane says. It’s been awesome to write and co-produce again with my guitarist Laura Chavez. I am grateful for every chance I get to make music live, or in the studio. Most people are given only three months to live after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and three years later, I am still here. So any opportunity I have to create music makes me humbled and grateful.

“People ask me why I want to work so hard and so much, since I tour 250 days a year. Everyone says I should stay home and relax after my health struggle. But music is my life and neuroendocrine cancer is a mostly manageable disease. I will continue to work as much as I can because I know life is fragile anyway. I would be fine if I died onstage doing what I love like Country Dick Montana or Johnny Guitar Watson. I’m not planning on going anytime soon, but when I do exit this plane, I hope it’s making someone else feel inspired by the powerful words in my songs.”

The Motet: Funk Is Dead @ Boulder Theater

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present The Motet:  Funk Is Dead Performing the music of the Grateful Dead at the Boulder Theater on Monday, October 31st. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 17th at 10:00am.

The Motet is extremely excited to announce that for Halloween 2011 they will be paying tribute to the music of one of the most influential rock bands of the last 40 years: THE GRATEFUL DEAD!

How does the Grateful Dead’s sound fit into the energy and vibe of a Motet Halloween show?  They will be taking the challenge of reworking those epic and timeless songs with the energetic afro-funk grooves that you come to expect from The Motet…..hence the title “Funk is Dead!”

In addition to the slamming rhythm section of Dave Watts (drums), Garrett Sayers (bass), Joey Porter (keys), Ryan Jalbert (guitar), Scott Messersmith (percussion) and Dan Schwindt (guitar), they will be bringing in 3 of their great vocalists:  Jans Ingber, Paul Creighton and Kim Dawson.  Also, they will be showcasing a trio of horns (who’s ever played the Grateful Dead with a horn section?!):  Gabe Mervine (trumpet), Matt Pitts (tenor) and Pete Wall (bari)>

The boys are certain that these are going to go down in Motet Halloween history as some of the most exciting and creative shows they have ever put together!! Make sure to get your tickets soon so you don’t find yourself at the concert with your finger in the air looking for a funky miracle!

For more information please visit www.themotet.net

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The Motet Presents Funk Is Dead

Boulder Theater

Monday, October 31st

Doors:  8:00 pm

Show Time:  8:30 pm

Jason Aldean & Ludacris Collaboration Available On iTunes!

Last night at the 2011 CMT Music Awards, top nominee Jason Aldean and rapper Ludacris brought the house down with an unexpected collaboration of Aldean’s current Top 10 hit “Dirt Road Anthem.”  The remix of the song is now available on iTunes for download.  Additionally, the performance video will be available on Mon., June 13.

"Ludacris absolutely killed his verse of the song," said Aldean.  "He name checks Kenny Rogers and talks about drinking cold beer…that's pretty country, if you ask me!   I think Luda said it best last night at the close of the song when he told the crowd 'History has been made.'  It really did feel like one of those one-in-a-lifetime television moments, and the CMT Music Awards was the perfect show for it.  The fans were crazy!"

To watch Aldean and Ludacris’ performance of “Dirt Road Anthem” from last night’s CMT Music Awards, click here.

Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” is currently the No. one song on the iTunes Country Songs chart, and it plowed its way into the Top 10 on the radio charts this week.  The fan-favorite track is the third single off MY KINDA PARTY that has already spawned two smash hits ( “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and "My Kinda Party).  The album hit big out of the gate, setting a record as the highest first week debut by a male artist in 4 years, and the now PLATINUM disc it has remained planted at the top of the chart since its Nov. release. 

Grayson Capps: The Lost Cause Minstrels Out Now

Grayson Capps' fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. That doesn't mean his oft-unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any of their sting. Quite the contrary, Capps' Tao-tinged philosophical musings wrapped inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl are as potent as ever. Look no further than "Highway 42," "No Definitions" and "Rock N Roll" to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It's just that this time his bark and bite is more accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe. And yes, occasionally, even a celebratory mood prevails like the horn-fueled romp "Ol' Slac," an ode the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras, or "Coconut Moonshine," a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Two rare but classic American roots' numbers are born again here, as well: Taj Mahal's country-blues paen "Annie's Lover" and Richard Rabbit Brown's jaunty "Jane's Alley Blues," (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music).

A collection of songs timeless in their pursuit of truth, yet well aware of how hard the truth is to find in these times, The Lost Cause Minstrels is the highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours of the day.

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Upcoming Grayson Capps Tour Dates...

June 10 | The Shed | Destin, FL
June 11 | The Shed | Ocean Springs, MS
June 14 | The Shed | Mobile, AL
June 16 | Myers Park | Gulf Shores, AL
June 17 | DBA | New Orleans, LA
June 18 | The Porch | Lake Charles, LA
June 19 | Callaghan's | Mobile, AL
June 24 | The Basement | Nashville, TN
June 25 | Phoenix Hill Tavern | Louisville, KY
July 16 | Chrome Horse | Silver Hill, AL
July 17 | Callaghan's | Mobile, AL
July 20 | The Grey Eagle | Asheville, NC (*solo acoustic)
July 21 | Duck Pond | Brevard, NC (*solo acoustic)
July 22 | Shenanigan's | Dahlonega, AL (*solo acoustic)
August 4 | Woodwalk Gallery & Events Barn | Egg Harbor, WI (*solo acoustic)
August 6 | Lumberjam Festival | Hayward, WI (*solo acoustic)
August 7 | Farmer's Inn | Kirkland, IL (*solo acoustic)
August 13 | Eddie's Attic | Atlanta, GA (*solo acoustic)
August 19 | Fret's Live Music & Eatery | Pascagoula, MS
September 18 | Pirate's Festival | Orange Beach, AL
September 23 | Purple Fiddle | Thomas, WV
September 24 | PJ Kelly's | Clarksburg, WV
September 30 | Nightown | Easton, MD
October 6 | Hungry Tiger | Manchester, CT
October 8 | Nectar's | Burlington, VT
October 9 | Kortwright Arts | East Meredith, NY
October 16 | Callaghan's | Mobile, AL
October 22 | Bennie's Boom Boom Room | Hattiesburg, MS

Innova Disc Golf Names Zach Deputy Celebrity Ambassador

Zach Deputy has been appointed as one of the first "Celebrity Ambassadors" for Innova Champion Discs, the industry leader of disc golf, one of America’s fastest growing outdoor sports. Zach Deputy, an emerging international musician, recording artist, an avid disc golfer is excited by the opportunity. He looks forward to helping expand the game by turning new people on to it.

Innova, recognizing that Zach Deputy represents both an active, popular spokesperson for their company and the sport, is equally excited for him to join the Innova family. "Zach, in so many ways, is the embodiment of this sport. His passion and enthusiasm for the game represents everything that is good about disc golf. It is a game everyone can enjoy and we are in a time when recreation is extremely important." Deputy, for his part, agrees with this characterization but warns people who think of him as merely a celebrity face: "I’m no Ken Climo, but I’ll beat your grandma!"

For the past three years, Zach Deputy has been touring North America and playing disc golf regularly across the continent. As a touring musician, Zach had only random opportunities to get some exercise and outdoor fun between all the travel and performances. Disc golf was presented to Zach by his Tour Manager (an avid disc golfer and course designer) as a great option. Soon Zach, Brian (Tour Manager) and Jeremy (Production Manager) were spending every spare hour at the links and at shops buying newer, better, specialized discs. The affordability and ease of play made disc golf an ideal fit for Zach and his crew.

In November of 2011, Deputy hosted the disc golf tournament at the Bear Creek Music Festival (Live Oak, FL). The registration proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti. In March of 2011, Deputy hosted his own music and disc golf event at the same location. He has recently been invited to host Disc Jam 2011, a music and disc golf event in Sturbridge, MA, this June. The convergence of Deputy's love of performing music and playing disc golf is perfectly presented in Disc Jam 2011. The event represented a bit of regional saturation from a business standpoint, but given the disc golf aspect of the event, Deputy and his management were able to justify participation. "I am really psyched to play music, of course", says Deputy, "but I see this as more of a disc golf event. I look forward to hosting another tournament, turning others on to the game, and using disc golf to enhance the concert goer’s experience." Through Zach Deputy's involvement, Disc Jam 2011 is now officially sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).

Since its origins in the early 60's, following the success of Wham-O's Frisbee, the PDGA was established in 1975, and is now the governing body for the sport. Disc golf has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more the past 3 decades, with nearly 3,000 courses in the United States and well over 3,000 globally. Disc golf is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Central and Western Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Regardless of which reality has fueled the other, Innova (established in 1983) has emerged as the clear leader in disc golf equipment and accessories during this time of dramatic growth. The Celebrity Ambassador position is a new one for Innova, and includes other notable public figures and entertainers, including the likes of hydrofoil world record holder Billy Rossini, Eric Friedman (Creed) and the Nashville-based band Framing Hanley. For Innova, Zach Deputy's audience represents a key segment of the population who ought to be playing the sport. Innova Team Manager Jonathan Poole said recently, "Zach is special. Positive energy just pours out of him and touches you immediately. The world needs more of that. His personality shines through on the golf course, just as it does on stage.  Zach is a perfect fit for disc golf and for our company, and we are honored to lend him our support."

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Now On Tour:

6/9 The Upper Deck - Salisbury Beach, MA
6/10 Rock On! Concert Cruise - Boston, MA
6/11 Rocks Off - Skyport Marina, New York, NY
6/16 Stanhope House - Stanhope, NJ
6/17 The Waterhole  - Saranac Lake, NY
6/18 Water Street - Rochester, NY
6/19 Disc Jam - Sturbridge, MA
6/23 Music Farm - Charleston, SC  
6/24 Matilda's Art Gallery & Music - Alpharetta, GA
6/25 Freebird Live - Jacksonville, FL
6/30 High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA (2 sets)
7/1 High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA
7/2 Rothbury Festival - Rothbury, MI
7/3 Rothbury Festival - Rothbury, MI
7/5 Caspar Inn - Caspar, CA
7/6 Humboldt Brews - Arcata, CA
7/7 Aubergine After Dark - Sebastapol, CA
7/8 Don Quixote's - Felton, CA
7/9 El Portal Community Hall -  El Portal, CA
7/13 Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO
7/16 All Good Music Festival - Masontown, WV  
7/22 Evolve Fairgrounds - Antigonish, NS
7/30 Harmony Park - Geneva, MN
8/2 Magic Stick Lounge - Detroit, MI
8/3 El Mocambo - Toronto, ON
8/4 Elmdale House Tavern - Ottawa, ON
8/5 Camp Creek Festival -  Oxford, ME
8/6 Naukabout Festival - Cape Cod, MA
8/9 Songs at Mirror Lake - Lake Placid, NY
8/10 The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY
8/12 Ocean Mist - South Kingstown, RI
8/13 The Royal Family Affair - Bondville, VT  
8/13 Club Helsinki - Hudson, NY
8/16 Divan Orange - Montreal, QC
8/17 Kirkland Arts Center - Clinton, NY
8/18 Bella Terra Festival - Stephentown, NY
8/19 Phan Phest 6 - Morrisville, PA
8/20 Camp Barefoot - Bartow, WV
8/21 Great Bay Music Festival -  Dover, NH
8/26 Outer Banks Brew CO -  Kill Devil Hills, NC
8/29 Big Bamboo Cafe - Hilton Head, SC

The Mahavishnu Project presents THE COMPLETE "VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND"

THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT: Gregg Bendian, drums / Glenn Alexander, guitar / Neil Alexander, keyboards / Jim Cammack, bass / Chern Hwei, electric violin / Melissa Stylianou, voice / Pete Furlan, saxophones / Jon Weber, violin / Will Hakim, viola / Leigh Stuart, cello

The Mahavishnu Project is the only jazz repertory ensemble of its kind to receive the endorsement of guitarist/composer John McLaughlin and ALL of the original members of The Mahavishu Orchestra. In fact, keyboardist Jan Hammer hired MahaProj to be his band for the night at MoogFest 2006 in NYC- his only US appearance in over 15 years.

The Mahavishnu Project typically presents "complete album evenings" such as "The Complete Birds of Fire" or "The Complete Inner Mounting Flame." Of late the band is presenting a 35th anniversary concert of Mahavishnu's "Visions of the Emerald Beyond", known to fans and historians alike as the pinnacle of the 1970's jazz fusion movement - boldly combining elements of jazz, rock, classical, Indian music and free-form sonic exploration. In 2008, The Mahavishnu Project released "Return to the Emerald Beyond" on Cuneiform Records. It is a reverent re-imagining of the entire original Emerald Beyond music from start to finish and includes encores from "Birds of Fire" and "Inner Mounting Flame."

“Just a little note of appreciation for what you are bringing back to life. This musical period was the beginning of finding my own way in music, and to hear you guys playing those tunes in such an unbelievable way is quite amazing. Great job!! Keep up the good work.”

-John McLaughlin

JESSE GRESS with members of the Mahavishnu Project will be performing the music of Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer.

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Friday, June 10, 2011 

Doors: 8:00 pm

Show: 9:00 pm

Tickets: $20 General Admission

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]

Grateful Dead's Shakedown Street and Blues for Allah Get Deluxe 180-Gram Pure Virgin Vinyl Treatment

In a move sure to delight audiophiles and collectors of classic pop music albums, the Audio Fidelity label will reissue of two classic Grateful Dead albums on 180-gram pure virgin vinyl, in limited numbered edition gatefold packages on June 7th, according to label president Marshall Blonstein.The band's 1975 BLUES FOR ALLAH and 1978's SHAKEDOWN STREET will be available from both online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets as the latest offerings in Audio Fidelity's continuing program of audiophile reissues.

Audio Fidelity, which Blonstein founded in 2002 after leaving the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that he started in 1986, has become synonymous with high-quality album reissues geared toward the audiophile market. Since 2009, Audio Fidelity has reissued some of the best-known and most significant pop and rock titles in both 24Karat Gold CD and 180-gram virgin vinyl editions.Continuing the policy Blonstein established at DCC, all Audio Fidelity titles are produced from original sources and feature the original artwork. Among the imprint's growing catalog are key recordings by Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, the Doors, Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

The two Grateful Dead reissues occupy special places in the fabled San Francisco band's history. BLUES FOR ALLAH, originally released in September of 1975, was the third of only four albums issued on the group's Grateful Dead Records imprint. While the LP's best remembered cuts, "Franklin's Tower" and "The Music Never Stopped," remained in the band's concert set list for some 20 years, the title track-the first part of an ambitious suite-was performed only a few times in 1975 before being retired from the band's repertoire. BLUES FOR ALLAH reached No. 12 on Billboard's album chart; from the LP, "The Music Never Stopped" was the Dead's highest charting single since "Uncle John's Band."

First issued in November 1978 on Arista Records, SHAKEDOWN STREET was the Dead's tenth album, its eighth to go Gold. Produced by Little Feat founder Lowell George, it was an eclectic collection that featured updated versions of venerable live Dead favorites ("Good Lovin,'" "All New Minglewood Blues") and also introduced songs that would become staples of the band's concerts for years to come, most notably "I Need a Miracle" and "Fire on the Mountain." The lighthearted SHAKEDOWN STREET cover illustration was done by renowned underground-comics artist Gilbert Shelton, famous for The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Wonder Wart-hog strips. The album remained on the Billboard chart for close to six months, peaking at No. 41.

The Grateful Dead vinyl reissues represent Audio Fidelity's expanded vinyl release schedule, which has recently included titles such as Cheap Trick's IN COLOR, Laura Nyro's FIRST SONGS, Harry Nilsson's A LITTLE TOUCH OF SCHMILSSON IN THE NIGHT and Kate Bush's HOUNDS OF LOVE. While the label often issues a title in both Gold-CD and virgin-vinyl formats, Blonstein admits some of the impetus for producing the latter comes from the renewed interest in vinyl LP's. According to the R.I.A.A., vinyl sales surged 26% in 2010 over the previous year.

Blonstein is bullish on the public's appetite for audiophile reissues of classic albums, and Audio Fidelity's capacity to satisfy it. "The traditional music retail stores as we once knew them are gone," he continues. "At the same time, there's a strong traditional 'unique' retail base of retailers that has found a way to do more than survive; they're thriving. When CDs first came out, they were unique. It was a new format. Vinyl and cassettes starting declining rapidly in sales. The uniqueness and the improved sound quality made the CD an almost instant success, but it lacked the emotional connection consumers experienced with vinyl. The resurgence of vinyl shows us that connection is being made again ... the consumer likes to hold a vinyl LP, to study the artwork. It's now become a very hip format again, and when you see consumers shopping for vinyl at stores, you see them spending more time looking to buy music in general. It's obvious that there is an audience for top-quality remastered CD and vinyl pressings."

Marshall Blonstein's professional career comprises a virtual history of the modern music and entertainment business. The Los Angeles native started in the business in 1965 as a promotion executive at Epic and ABC Records. As a principal of Ode Records, he helped make Carole King's Tapestry one of the best-selling albums of all time and built two of the longest running cult-film franchises in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke. Blonstein subsequently served as president of Island Records, working with artists such as Bob Marley and Steve Winwood, and, in 1986, founded DCC Compact Classics to take advantage of the technical advances offered in the digital medium. DCC quickly grew into the premiere audiophile imprint, issuing sets by Elvis Presley, the Eagles, the Doors, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Upon leaving DCC in 2002, Blonstein created Audio Fidelity, which has assumed a similarly prestigious perch among imprints serving the audiophile and music-collecting communities. In addition to its audiophile catalog, Audio Fidelity, based in Camarillo, California, also releases compilation CDs, a variety of reissues and DVDs, such as Soupy Sales, Elvis Presley, Tim Allen and Hugh Hefner's legendary series Playboy After Dark.

Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs and More Join Moody Bluegrass Two

Following 2004’s critically and commercially acclaimed tribute to the legendary Moody Blues, the GRAMMY nominated Moody Bluegrass, along with the highly successful Moody Bluegrass Live, Nashville’s finest have come together again to honor the Moody Blues with Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love available nationwide on June 21, 2011.

“We have had so many cover versions of our songs over the years, but none have stood out like Moody Bluegrass. Nashville's most outstanding musicians have once again brought a new dimension to our songs, “ said Ray Thomas, co-founder of the Moody Blues.

Producer David Harvey returns for this second volume, which perfectly blends the brilliant songwriting of the Moody Blues with the bluegrass sounds of mandolins, banjos and even clogging. The collection of bluegrass covers includes Moody Blues members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge, as well as band co-founders Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas and a wide assortment of Music City’s finest including Vince Gill, Sam Bush and Ricky Skaggs.

The record spans the entire Moody Blues catalogue, and includes fan favorites such as "Tuesday Afternoon" and "I Know You're Out There." Moody Bluegrass Two translates the Moody Blues’ original songs seamlessly and much like the first bluegrass tribute, the beauty of the original Moody Blues music shines.

Moody Bluegrass Two also features the talents of Tim O'Brien, Harley Allen, Peter Rowan, Jan Harvey, Ronnie Bowman, Emma Harvey, Larry Cordle, John Cowan, Jon Randall, David Harvey, Tim May, Andy Hall and Andy Todd.

For more information visit www.moodybluegrass.com.