artist

Yoko Ono Heats Up Dancefloors Once Again With Her Latest Summer Smash "Talking to the Universe"

Following the overwhelming success of her eighth #1 BILLBOARD HOT DANCE CLUB PLAY charting remix single “MOVE ON FAST”, YOKO ONO heats up dancefloors once again with her latest summer smash "TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE”.

Since bursting onto BILLBOARD’S HOT DANCE CLUB PLAY SINGLES CHART as the Hot Shot Debut at #36* (with a bullet) (Issue date: 07/16/2011), "TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE" has proved to be a fiery confection and one of Yoko’s most feverish and dynamic reinventions. Throughout its eight week stint on the chart, the single has quickly gained momentum claiming "the #25* spot (with a bullet)" as that week’s Power Pick (Issue date: 07/23/2011) before leaping into the "Top 20 at #17* (with a bullet)" (Issue date: 07/30/2011). It’s currently at #3* (with a bullet) (Issue date: 09/3/2011) nestled among contemporary pop and electronic music stalwarts BEYONCE, KYLIE MINOGUE, BRITNEY SPEARS, RIHANNA and DEPECHE MODE.

Originally taken from the 1995 YOKO ONO / IMA collaborative album RISING, the lean, funk-fueled rocker finds ONO tuning in to the universe as our as our celestial medium and ambassador to the cosmos urging listeners to purge all the preconceived notions, pretenses and fears that confine us in order to bask in a freer state of being. It’s an inspiring message of self actualization and empowerment that has become hallmark themes throughout her vast career.

ONO has long been credited with igniting the punk-rock fire years before its official explosion and her work continues to be relevant and generation-inspiring decades later.  Meticulously reinventing her material for 21st-century dancefloors has given the vanguard artist a greater platform and visibility of which many contemporaries and present-day contenders can be envious.

"TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE" marks  the latest chapter in ONO's staggering body of remixed works which, to date, has yielded  eight #1 BILLBOARD CLUB PLAY chart hits ("MOVE ON FAST", "WOULDNIT' (I'M A STAR)", "GIVE ME SOMETHING", "I'M NOT GETTING ENOUGH", "GIVE PEACE A CHANCE", "NO NO NO", "EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN" and the timeless "WALKING ON THIN ICE") and two critically-acclaimed remix anthologies:  YES, I'M A WITCH and its companion release OPEN YOUR BOX, an incredibly impressive feat for an artist who has spent her life on the cutting edge of music, art and pop culture.

“TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE” is available as three separate digital green releases (no materials used or abused) on MIND TRAIN / TWISTED Records issued July 5th, August 2nd and September 6th, respectively, on  iTunes.

Gregory Alan Isakov at Fox Theatre | 10.21.11

97.3 KBCO and Boulder Weekly are proud to present Gregory Alan Isakov at the Fox Theatre on Friday, October 21st, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 19th for $15.00 in advance & $17.00 day of show.

Zach Deputy Celebrates Another Day

On his upcoming release Another Day, soul-singer and guitarist Zach Deputy-- with the help of Grammy-winning producer Scott Jacoby-- taps into the spirit of Al Green, Taj Mahal and Stevie Wonder, creating a soulful rhythm and blues album rich with ballads and mid-tempo songs. The record will appeal to fans of contemporary artists like Jack Johnson and Amos Lee, while retaining a classic sound and feel. Full of hope and anticipation of the promise of another day, a new day, it is a pivotal point in the career of a touring musician heretofore known as a master of live looping and a staple in the grass-roots club and festival circuit.

An appropriately titled album, Another Day is truly an album in the classic sense— a collection of songs that come from the same time and place, inspired by the same muse. Reflective and introspective, it provides a glimpse at the soul of an artist and the depth of a songwriter. As a boy, the music of Zach Deputy's Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage was cooked up in the South Carolina heat. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B / soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Zach honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound-- what he calls "Island-infused, Drum 'n' Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul" that has made him a hot up-and-coming artist. However, this is the one-man-band sweaty dance party side of the coin. That same gumbo of influences has the humid, sultry, quieter side, too. This is the side of the slow dances... the bodies pressed close together and the quiet voices whispering in each other’s' ears. Another Day is a warm, mellow album, one that is perfect for after hour soirees... and if Zach Deputy is about sunshine,Another Day is about sunsets.

Best described as soulful rhythm and blues, Another Day features 11 original tracks produced with Grammy award winning Scott Jacoby over just 5 days in Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn, NY. To handle the ever-present Latin, Caribbean and African elements in Zach Deputy's backbeat and place them in the contemporary soul / pop format of the songs, Jacoby tapped Graham Hawthorne (Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, David Byrne) for the drum kit. Bassist Al Carty came into the studio after having played four church gigs that day. Despite the list of artists he has recorded or toured with (Lou Reed, De La Soul, Carrie Underwood, Gavin DeGraw), the church gigs alone proved that Jacoby was on the mark with this choice for the low end. Zach Deputy is, after all, a soul singer whose music is underpinned by Gospel as much as by any other musical idiom. Equally at home in the Gospel tradition, pianist / organist Will Buthod (Jay-Z, Fat Joe, Alicia Keys, The Harlem Gospel Choir) completed the studio trio that fleshed out Zach's vision for the recording-- a vision made real by Jacoby's pitch perfect choice of accompanists. These four accomplished professionals met for the first time on the first day of recording and worked as if they were old friends with a common purpose.

Another Day will hit the streets on September 27th following four shows in two days at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. The event will kick off a full-scale national tour with dates booked throughout the country. For ticketing and performance information check out www.zachdeputy.com.

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ON TOUR:

8/5/2011              Camp Creek Festival - Oxford, Maine
8/6/2011              Naukabout Festival -  East Falmouth, Cape Cod,  Massachusetts
8/9/2011              Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series - Lake Placid, New York
8/10/2011            The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, New York
8/11/2011            Southpaw - Brooklyn, New York
8/12/2011            Ocean Mist- South Kingstown, Rhode Island
8/13/2011            The Royal Family Affair at Stratton Mountain - West Wardsboro, Vermont
8/13/2011            Club Helsinki - Hudson, New York
8/16/2011            Divan Orange - Montreal, Quebec
8/17/2011            Kirkland Arts Center - Clinton, New York
8/18/2011            Bella Terra Festival at Gardner's Field -  Stephentown, New York
8/19/2011            Trenton Social Courtyard - Trenton, New Jersey
8/20/2011            Camp Barefoot - Bartow, West Virginia
8/21/2011            Great Bay Music Festival- Dover, New Hampshire
8/24/2011            The Otter House- Fredericksburg, Virginia
8/25/2011            The Jewish Mother- Virginia Beach, Virginia
8/26/2011            Outer Banks Brewing Station - Kill Devil Hills; North Carolina
8/27/2011            Blarney Stone's Pub and Music Hall- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
8/29/2011            Big Bamboo Cafe - Hilton Head, South Carolina
9/8/2011              8 x 10 - Baltimore, Maryland
9/9/2011              Appalachian Brewing Company - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
9/13/2011            Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) - New York, New York
9/14/2011            Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) - New York, New York
9/15/2011            The Met Cafe at Hope Artiste Village - Pawtucket, Rhode Island
9/16/2011            Wormtown Music Festival-Camp Kee Wanee - Greenfield, Massachusetts
9/17/2011            Wormtown Music Festival-Camp Kee Wanee - Greenfield,  Massachusetts
9/21/2011            Bayou Bill's - Valdosta, Georgia
9/22/2011            Blackwater Music Festival at Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park - Live Oak, Florida
9/23/2011            Skipper's Smokehouse - Tampa, Florida
9/24/2011            Culture Room - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9/25/2011            Beachside Tavern - New Smyrna Beach, Florida
9/28/2011            Handlebar - Pensacola, Florida
9/29/2011           New Earth Music Hall - Athens, Georgia
9/30/2011           Matilda's Art Gallery and Music Venue - Alpharetta, Georgia
10/1/2011           The Emerald Lounge - Asheville, North Carolina
10/6/2011           Gnat's Landing - Statesboro, Georgia
10/11/2011         Woodlands Tavern - Columbus, Ohio
10/12/2011         The Castle Theatre - Bloomington, Illinois
10/13/2011         Red Sky Lounge - Mankato, Minnesota
10/14/2011         Cabooze - Minneapolis, Minnesota
10/15/2011         The Aquarium - Fargo, North Dakota
10/18/2011         The Zebra Cocktail Lounge - Bozeman, Montana
10/19/2011         Top Hat Lounge - Missoula, Montana
10/20/2011         Tractor Tavern - Seattle, Washington
10/21/2011         Berbati's Pan -  Portland, Oregon
10/22/2011         Humboldt Brews - Arcata, California
10/25/2011         Lost on Main - Chico, California
10/26/2011         The Mint - Los Angeles, California
10/27/2011         Winstons - San Diego, California
10/28/2011         Marilyn's on K - Sacramento, California
10/29/2011         The Independent - San Francisco, California
10/30/2011         The Underground - Reno, Nevada
12/30/2011         TheBond-Fire Art and Music Festival - Groveland, Florida

British Singer-Songwriter Lee MacDougall Set for 2nd U.S. Tour This Year

Capitalizing on the success of his debut tour of the U.S. earlier this year, which included a performance at the SxSW Festival in Austin in March, British singer-songwriter-guitarist Lee MacDougall, returns for his second tour of the U.S. beginning in August. Dubbed the All The Right Places tour, the schedule kicks off in New York City on August 4 and will cover multiple cities over a two-month period.

Since his initial appearances in the U.S., MacDougall has successfully toured in Germany, Austria and Italy as well as playing in his hometown of London, where, in addition to an intimate club date, he opened for headliner Bon Jovi at the massive Hard Rock Calling Festival in London's Hyde Park on June 25th. He will also be supporting Atlantic Records recording artist Rumer on her UK tour in November.

MacDougall has become known for mesmerizing audiences with emotionally-driven melodies and resonating vocals. Louisville's Backseat Sandbar says of MacDougall:  "He has the type of voice that can fill every crevice of a room and every fiber in your body.  Its clear perfection can play your heart strings as easily as his fingers strum his guitar."

Earlier this year, MacDougall released an self-produced 11-song CD called IF WALLS COULD TALK that is available from his website (www.leemacdougallmusic.com) and at his live shows. The CD includes the standout tracks "The Star Hotel," "She" and "Joanna," among others. Additionally, noted producer Jim Lowe (who has worked with the Stereophonics, Taylor Swift and the Charlatans) produced several tracks with him, including the version of "She" that is part of a three-song EP he released via iTunes last year. An acoustic rendition of the song produced by Lee appears on IF WALLS COULD TALK.

With the expansion of his live repertoire, MacDougall is releasing a new self-produced CD (recorded in his bedroom) called FOR A FEW TALES MORE to coincide with the upcoming U.S. dates. This 10-song release includes a number of new songs, among them the affecting "Smile" and "Hindsight," which have become highlights of his live performances.

Originally from the fishing town of Grimsby in the north of England, MacDougall emerged from the open mic night circuit in London that has spawned new acoustic English artists in the last two years. His ability to couple a strong lyrical narrative with a memorable melody has enabled him to establish an international fan base that expanded when his music was embraced by the community of fans of the Twilight films.

But it is the strength of his songwriting that has earned him recognition on both sides of the Atlantic and support slots with artists such as Train, Starsailor, Paolo Nutini, The Feeling, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. The Independent Music Scene wrote:  "This is an artist that allows his voice to be heard clearly without masking the pure talent of the song. The music is great for having a lonely listen, to a couple's dance, to a drive through the country side with nothing to care about. The songwriting is straight forward without being simplistic."

Following his U.S. tour dates, he will make a return visit to Germany, Austria, Italy and England.  The U.K. leg will include shows supporting Rumer on her multi-city tour.

Dates on Lee MacDougall's All the Right Places summer tour are as follows:

August 4-The Bitter End, New York City

5-World Café Live, Philadelphia
7-VFW, Jacksonville, FL

9-Athens, GA

11-5 Spot, Atlanta (benefit for Alabama tornado victims)

12-The Nick, Birmingham, AL

13-3rd & Lindsley, Nashville

15-Buccaneer Lounge, Memphis

18-Southgate House, Cincinnati

19-Uncle Slayton's, Louisville

20-Cicero's, St. Louis

24-Continental Club, Houston

26-Cedar Creek Courtyard, Austin

27-Poor David's Pub, Dallas

29-The Blue Door, Oklahoma City

31-Joe Momma's, Tulsa

September 7-Humphrey's, San Diego

8-Hotel Café, Los Angeles

12-Elbo Room, San Francisco

14-El Corazon, Seattle

16-Poppy Café, Vancouver

18-Denver

20-Record Bar, Kansas City

22-Mario's Keller Bar, Minneapolis

23-House Café, DeKalb, IL

24-Double Door, Chicago

27-Radio Bean, Burlington, VT

29-Market, Boston

30-Listening Room, Boston (industry event)

October 1-The Bitter End, New York Cit


Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys @ Boulder Theater | 7/10

For over 6 decades he has become one of the most influential artists of all time. In 2002 Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death” that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou”. Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys are still touring a 100 plus dates per year, and enjoying his time at home with his lovely wife “Jimmi” of nearly 50 years. Dr. Ralph Stanley is not only an American treasure but and international Icon.

Sierra Hull: Boundaries—age, genre or otherwise—don’t hamper an artist like Sierra. She’s already earned considerable respect in the bluegrass world, the IBMA’s voting members having nominated her for no fewer than five awards over three years—there’s a good chance she’ll be the first woman to win the mandolin category. Matt Glaser—head of Berklee’s American Roots Music Program—put it this way: “She has no limitations as a musician.” Daybreak is certainly a noteworthy arrival; you can’t help but feel it’s also just the beginning.

More Info / Buy Tickets

The Grownup Noise Announce Summer Tour

Four years and five national tours since the release of their last album, The Grownup Noise’s latest record, This Time With Feeling, has definitely proven itself to be worth the wait. Carefully blending elements of pop, folk and rock, the band bridges the gap between indie and Americana. The record was mixed in North Carolina by studio master Scott Solter (Spoon, Okkervil River). Fusing tranquil lyrics and harmonies with an assortment of orchestrated flourishes including cellos, pianos and accordions, all five members of The Grownup Noise are multi-instrumentalists.

The album opens with “Strawmen,” a lush arrangement that evokes feelings of peace and clarity. The playful “Six Foot Solemn Oath” immediately launches into a duet lead by intertwining piano and strings. “Carnival” lifts the tempo with a powerful folk-rock hook and lyrics that tell the tale of a magical love. Sorrowful lead single “The Artist Type” boasts an irresistible melody, expertly uniting gentle string arrangements and booming piano.

Check out “The Artist Type” MP3 HERE.

The Grownup Noise will kick off a national summer tour in support of This Time With Feeling. Described by the Portland Press Herald as combining “smart lyrics with keen vocals” and adding that “its songs are doses of melodic sunshine,” the Boston-based quintet offer a kinetic, emotional warmth. Catch them live in your city!

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The Grownup Noise Tour Dates

8/3: Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery
8/4: Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge
8/5: Columbus, OH @ Kafe Kerouac
8/6: Louisville, KY @ Uncle Slayton's
8/7: Dayton, OH @ South Park Tavern
8/8: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
8/9: Nashville, TN @ Five Spot
8/11: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
8/16: Santa Cruz, CA - Daytime show
8/18: San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
8/19: Sacramento, CA @ Distillery
8/23: Portland, OR @ Solar Panel Company - Daytime show
8/23: Portland, OR @ Knife Shop
8/24: Seattle, WA @ Hi-Dive

Tom Russell Joined By Calexico, Lucinda Williams, Van Dyke Parks On Cinematic 'Mesabi'

The Mesabi iron range juts into Minnesota, a desolate deposit of minerals and the birthplace of Bob Dylan. American composer and storyteller Tom Russell says that Bob Dylan inspired him to become an artist, and his new 'Mesabi' pays moving tribute with compelling tales that connect the iron range to the border town of Juarez, Mexico and the myth of Hollywood celebrity with cinematic, global revelry. 'Mesabi,' out Sept 6 on Shout! Factory, is a vast, interwoven collection of tales set to twangy rock, country and Mexican folk and features Calexico, Van Dyke Parks and Lucinda Williams.

Co-produced by Russell and keyboardist Barry Walsh, and recorded in several different studios in Tucson, Texas, Nashville and Los Angeles, 'Mesabi' is the 26th album from an artist whose songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.

'Mesabi' is thematically ambitious, drawing inspiration from American icons like Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and the perilous town of Juarez, Mexico, close to where Tom lives. Says Tom, "The puzzle is that [Juarez is] the most dangerous city in the world and El Paso, just over the bridge, is the safest city in the United States."

Along with the release of 'Mesabi,' 2011 has much in store for Tom. Filmmaker Monte Hellman ('Two-Lane Blacktop') demanded that Tom's new songs be included in his new film 'Road To Nowhere;' a book of 60 of Tom's paintings will be released this fall on Bang Tail Press; a documentary about Tom's life, 'Don't Look Down,' will be released soon; and he will be touring the US in September and October.

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'MESABI' TRACK LISTING:

1. Mesabi
2. When the Legends Die
3. Farewell Never Never Land
4. The Lonesome Death Of Ukulele Ike
5. Sterling Hayden
6. Furious Love (For Liz)
7. A Land Called "Way Out There"
8. Roll The Credits, Johnny
9. Heart Within A Heart
10. And God Created Border Towns
11. Goodnight, Juarez
12. Jai Alai
13. Love Abides

Bonus Tracks:
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
The Road To Nowhere

Tour dates and more info here.

TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES “2PAC 40TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION”

Afeni Shakur and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation announce details for the 2PAC 40th Birthday Celebration Concert, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA, June 16, 2011. Hosted by comedian/actor Mike Epps, this star-studded event will feature a headlining appearance by GRAMMY® award-winning artist Erykah Badu, as well as performances by legendary soul artists Roy Ayers and Eric Roberson, and hip-hop heavyweights Too $hort, Bun B, and 8 Ball and MJG. Proceeds from the event benefit the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.

“I am deeply honored to have been invited by Afeni Shakur to celebrate her son’s remarkable life,” says Badu. “I don’t take this distinction for granted.”

Since 2009, presenters, Mike Epps and Afeni Shakur have drawn thousands of 2Pac fans from around the globe to Atlanta for an annual day of music, art and culture in recognition of the icon’s lasting impact and influence. The event aims to not only revive Tupac’s spirit through art, but offer a prophetic representation of the late artist at age 40 – complete  with a musical soundtrack that spans the soulful jazz sounds of Roy Ayers and to West Coast rap contemporaries such as Too $hort.

“With this event, we help keep Tupac’s legacy alive,” says Epps, “not only by bringing together the fans that know and love his music, but also by supporting his organization, and the causes he worked so hard for during his lifetime.”

Past celebrations have included performances by Rick Ross, Wacka Flocka, Lil’ Scrappy, M1 of Dead Prez and more. At last year’s concert, Dekalb County officials presented Afeni Shakur and Mike Epps with a proclamation officially naming June 16th as “Tupac Day.”

This June 16 will mark the 40th birthday of Tupac Shakur, a man whose impact on culture worldwide through his art, activism and passion is felt to this day. This year, fans, family, artists and performers alike will gather at the Atlanta Symphony Hall to both celebrate the life and further the cause of this remarkable individual.

Tickets are priced at $45-150.00, and are available exclusively at www.16thofjune.com.

'Definitive Chick Corea' Reissue on Concord

Since his earliest recordings in the 1960s, pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea has consistently taken the creative process to a level that transcends conventional musical doctrines. After spending his formative years with artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea helped redefine the boundaries of jazz as a founding member of the acclaimed Return To Forever, one of the most innovative and daring jazz fusion collectives of the last half-century. In more recent decades, as the leader of numerous projects that have explored various aspects of the musical landscape, he continues to be an influential force in modern jazz.

In celebration of Corea’s 70th birthday this summer, Concord Music Group provides a look back at three decades’ worth of brilliant recordings in The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord. The sweeping two-disc collection — the latest in CMG’s ongoing Definitive series — begins with some of Corea’s best sessions with Stretch in the early 1980s and follows him through the end of the century to his work on Concord up to 2009. The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord is set for release on June 7, 2011, just days ahead of the artist’s 70th birthday on June 12.

The collection is being released simultaneously with Forever, a new two-disc electric/acoustic set that Corea recorded live with Return To Forever bandmates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White — along with, on disc two, a few high-profile guests (Chaka Khan, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Bill Connors) — during a world tour in 2009. A previously unreleased version of Corea’s well-known “La Fiesta,” captured during this tour, is the closing track on The Definitive Chick Corea.

Even a quick glance at the range of material in this collection — 21 tracks in all — provides an impressive perspective on the breadth and depth of Corea’s imagination, according to veteran music journalist Don Heckman, who wrote the liner notes for the set.
“Start with the all-star collectives of the early ’80s that find him in the company of such jazz stalwarts as Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, and Gary Peacock, to name only a few,” says Heckman. “Add the musical encounters with old friend and frequent collaborator Gary Burton, the first Origin tracks and a glimpse of Chick’s insightful approach to standards. And, in the 2000s, more unusual musical encounters, this time with Bobby McFerrin, Béla Fleck, Hiromi, John McLaughlin, and again Burton, as well as the Elektric and Akoustic Bands.”
As to the divine nature of the creative process, Heckman recalls a quote from Corea himself about the higher channel that every artist eventually dials into: “Your tastes can change from day to day,” says Corea. “But the whole point of being an artist, with my groups, has always been spirituality, art as spirit. That’s our message, and translated into human rights terms, it’s freedom of expression. Freedom of thought, which is actually broader than freedom of religion . . . Freedom to think as you will. Which means freedom to pray, practice your own religion, play what music you want, say what opinions you have, communicate as you want. And that’s our premise.”
The music within The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord exemplifies Corea’s unwillingness to be restricted by artificial boundaries, says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R and co-producer — in collaboration with Corea — of this collection. “One of the many amazing things about Chick is just how restlessly creative he is — not only as an instrumentalist, but also as a composer,” says Phillips. “He’s a true artist who’s not driven by fickle trends, or some conventional norm about the way a jazz tune should be written or played. He’s driven purely by his own boundless creativity, and he has demonstrated that throughout his career. That’s what shines through on these tracks and that’s why each one is timeless.”
Heckman sums up the release as “a three-decade, double-disc album of selected musical scenes from a richly creative life. An album guaranteed to appeal to Chick’s dedicated fans, as well as the lucky listeners who will be experiencing the pleasures of first discovery.”
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TRACK LIST:

Disc 1

Tap Step
Quartet No. 1
Folk Song
Duende
Windows
Armando’s Rhumba
Bud Powell
Dreamless
Wigwam
Spain
It Could Happen To You
Disc 2
Blue Monk
Bessie’s Blues
Johnny’s Landing
North Africa
The Fool on the Hill
Señorita
Crystal Silence
The Disguise
La Fiesta [previously unreleased]
Fingerprints

Paul Brady's 'Hooba Dooba' Streets 5/24

The career of Paul Brady — whose 12th solo album, the exuberantly titled Hooba Dooba, gets its U.S. release on May 24, 2011 via Proper American — is not that of your usual singer/songwriter. And the new record is the most wildly eclectic this man for all seasons has yet recorded. “I’m a marketing department’s nightmare,” he jokes, before discussing the confusion that has surrounded him for so long.

“I don’t really fit any of the recognized models for artists,” he acknowledges. “That has to do with my musical background, the variety of my tastes and the fact that I’ve jumped from place to place in my career. But at the same time, I’ve never found a compelling reason to narrow my perspective on the music I love by making a record that is only a small bit of what I am. I love big, romantic ballads, screamin’ blues songs, folk songs, country tunes. All these things have been hard to put into one box and say what it is, and I suppose I’ve suffered from that to a degree. But that’s what I am, and my fans are into me because of that — they’re the kind of people who resist marketing strategies, who like to discover things themselves. They respond to the sound of a voice, which says something to them on a subliminal level emotionally, rather than falling for some image.”
In 1963, five years after picking up his first guitar at age 11 and playing along with Shadows and Ventures records, the young Irishman snagged his first paying gig tinkling the ivories in a Donegal hotel, marking the beginning of 48 uninterrupted years of making music — all kinds of music. Like so many of his contemporaries on that side of the pond, he spent a chunk of the ’60s cranking up the volume in R&B bands before making a radical shift into Irish folk music, working with the Johnstons and Planxty, in collaboration with Andy Irvine and on his own, interpreting traditional songs. In the late ’70s, now married and with two kids on the way, he dedicated himself to writing his own material, inspired in part by the music of Gerry Rafferty, another folk artist who’d remade himself as an eloquent singer/songwriter. Hard Station, Brady’s 1981 solo debut album, containing the first fruit of his labors, returned him to the realm of rock and pop, and he scored his first big cover a year later when Hard Station’s “Night Hunting Time” wound up on Santana’s million-selling Shango, to its author’s surprise and delight.
Brady spent the next two decades leading a double life as a recording artist making a sustained effort to get on the radar and a much-covered songwriter, a number of his songs made famous by singers far better known than himself. These included such high-profile covers as Bonnie Raitt’s memorable, multiple-Grammy-winning rendition of “Luck of the Draw” (1991) and Brooks & Dunn’s chart-topping country single “The Long Goodbye” (2001). Around the turn of the century, the multitalented veteran once again reinvented himself, this time as a self-contained, truly independent artist. Since this latest metamorphosis, he’s been touring constantly in small-group settings on both sides of the Atlantic and making records whenever he felt inspired to do so. Which brings us back full circle to Hooba Dooba, its multiple facets glinting like an uncut diamond nestled in a field of shamrocks.
Brady describes “The Winners’ Ball,” propelled by a springy, soulful groove, as “a tongue-and-cheek look at the excesses of the modern end of music,” while “Rainbow” is a lush, widescreen ballad that begs for a country cover, though Brady insists that it’s closer to Memphis than Nashville. “The Price of Fame” builds to a string-laden crescendo in the grand manner of vintage Elton John, and the following “One More Today” sounds like some just-discovered Tin Pan Alley standard.
The album’s most dramatic segue takes the listener from the earthy, rollicking “Follow That Star” to the heart-wrenching “Mother and Son.” “I do like slapping people in the face, figuratively, with an emotional change,” Brady explains. “‘Follow That Star’ comes out of a genre that I have always loved, raw, acoustic blues — anything from Lead Belly to Mississippi John Hurt to ’60s British blues of Winwood, Beck and Clapton. ‘Mother and Son’ is a song about my relationship with my mother. It’s a song that I was trying to write for many years, but only managed to finish it after she passed on.”
The album also contains his first-ever recording of “Luck of the Draw,” the only song here not of recent vintage — apart, that is, from its lone non-original, a sublime, irresistible rendering of “You Won’t See Me” from Rubber Soul. “I wrote ‘Luck of the Draw’ when I was making the Trick or Treat album in L.A. back in 1990, and that’s when Bonnie Raitt picked up on it. I’d always wanted to record it because I had a very different take from the way Bonnie did it, but I decided to leave it alone for a respectable amount of time after hers was current. That was a long time ago, obviously, and it seemed like the right time to do it.” Good move — Brady’s take is so unlike Raitt’s familiar one as to be virtually unrecognizable, providing the song with an edgy, vital second life.
When asked why he decided to title the album Hooba Dooba, Brady replies, “It’s a phrase I’ve used many times in situations when something takes me by surprise that’s pleasurable. In this case, I was in the art department with the designer who was working on the cover looking through various ideas, and when he showed me the image that eventually became the cover, I looked at it and went, “Hooba dooba.” He said, ‘Is that the album title?’ and when I told him no, he said, ‘Well it should be.’ And I decided he was right. Nothing more profound than that.”
Given Brady’s back story, it’s hard to say whether Hooba Dooba — which features guests Jerry Douglas on lap steel and Sarah Siskind on backing vocals — will clear up the confusion about just who this multifaceted guy is or add to it, but one thing’s for sure: this record is a dead-honest picture of a one-of-a-kind artist who has always been absolutely true to himself.

“I’ve been in this business over 40 years, and I’m a survivor,” says Brady with unconcealed pride. “I’ve been through plenty of ups and downs, and I know what the business is. I have a broad enough base in terms of my activities to have survived for this long and to still be enjoying what I’m doing. Anything above and beyond that is icing on the cake.” He pauses for a moment, his face lighting up in a smile. “And the cake is okay.”