Don McLean American Troubadour


 

Uncategorized | Aug 24

Waylon Jennings Goin Down Rockin’


 

A new album from outlaw country legend Waylon Jennings will be released this September, filled with recordings the icon made during the last few years before his death in 2002. Jennings spent hours in a recording studio with his longtime accompanist, Robby Turner and together they laid down twelve tracks using just Waylon’s guitar and vocals and Turner’s bass.  All songs were personally selected by the country star, ones that resonated in a deeply personal way and reflected his state of mind, his passions, and important statements he wanted to make about his life.  The duo planned out the future instrumentation that would be added to the tracks, but Jennings was never able to complete them.  10 years after his passing, Turner returned to the recordings, finishing each song to honor Waylon’s vision of what would turn out to be his very last album.  Bringing in musicians who had long worked with Waylon, such as Reggie Young, Richie Albright and tour mate Tony Joe White, Turner painstakingly created the album that Waylon set out to make.  “Waylon knows he’s surrounded by friends and all that hear this will feel as if they know Waylon in all his authenticity,” explains his widow, country singer Jessi Colter.  With his family’s blessing, Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings will be available on September 25 (Saguaro Road Records).  No one has ever heard these performances before; they are Waylon’s last gift to his fans.

 

Saguaro Road Records’ Senior Vice President, Retail, Mike Jason explains, “I remember when Waylon was revolutionizing country music and when we heard about these recordings, I knew we had to have them. To me, this is classic Waylon music every bit as good as his ‘70s classics but his singing bears a vulnerable and deeply personal touch. Waylon still has many fans, but with these recordings I’m confident that we’ll introduce him to a new generation in the same way that Johnny Cash’s last recordings found him an entirely new audience.”

 

Jennings wrote 11 of the 12 songs that appear on the new album, a testament to the personal nature of the recordings, and they reveal an artist in the midst of a final creative peak.  In addition to his own songs, the album includes Tony Joe White’s “Goin’ Down Rockin’” (on which White himself is a guest). In all, the album will feature eleven songs that have never been released before.

 

One of the all time greatest country music vocalists, Jennings was also the founder of the Outlaw movement, received two Grammy Awards, and multiple Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.  11 of his albums hit #1 on the country charts, with 16 #1 singles.  In all, 54 of Jennings’ albums have charted and more than 100 singles cracked the country and pop charts.  He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

 

Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings Tracklisting:

 

  1. Goin’ Down Rockin’
  2. Belle of The Ball
  1. If My Harley Was Runnin’
  2. The Ways of the World
  3. Wasting Time
  1. I Do Believe
  2. Friends In California
  1. Shakin’ The Blues
  2. Never Say Die
  1. Sad Songs & Waltzes
  2.  She Was no Good for Me
  3.  Wrong Road To Nashville
Uncategorized | Jul 25

Joan Osborne on WFUV


Joan Brings It On Home to FUV

 

If all you know about Joan Osborne is her hit “One of Us,” you’re just scratching the surface of her talent. The lady can sing just about anything, but her real wheelhouse may be the blues and R&B, which is what she tackles  – with relish, you could even say – on her new CD of covers, Bring It On Home.
She recently returned to WFUV for a conversation with John Platt and performance in Studio A, bringing along her killer band. You can hear that session tonight (Thursday) at 9, in advance of her Tarrytown Music Hall gig on Saturday night, and catch some sizzling video of “Game of Love” and other songs here. And if you’re curious what song she would sing in the shower but not in public, check out her answers to the WFUV Pop Quiz here.

Don McLean: American Trobadour on PBS this week – out on DVD and CD this Fall


http://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2012/03/01/the_musician_as_amer.php

 

The musician as American as ‘American Pie’
PBS documentary will follow career of famed singer/songwriter Don McLean

New York native Don McLean has been playing his unique blend of folk, pop and rock for more than 40 years, and has written 300-plus songs — including classics “Vincent” and “American Pie.” The documentary “Don McLean: American Troubadour,” which chronicles his life, will air in Madison this weekend.

With the “Downton Abbey” season finale more than a week past, viewers of the Public Broadcasting Service will be searching for high-brow entertainment to fill the void left by the Crawley family and all its scandals. Singer songwriter Don McLean — most known for writing the complex and timeless “American Pie” in the 1960s — couldn’t be further from the hit show, topically. But the documentary set to air on PBS this month, “Don McLean: American Troubadour” is sure to draw in fans who tuned into McLean’s music in its heyday, as well as a younger audience seeking to learn more about a time as tumultuous as, if not more than, 20th century Yorkshire, England.

McLean said in an interview with The Badger Herald <http://badgerherald.com/wiki/The_Badger_Herald>  he feels the word troubadour references how he, like a traveling minstrel, managed to blend traditional, romantic folk sounds with modern pop and rock music. When the documentary premieres on Wisconsin Public Television Saturday night at 9 p.m., University of Wisconsin students might be tripping over more than the title’s meaning, though. McLean’s breadth of work, which began more than four decades ago and contains more than 300 songs, has the magnitude to alienate a generation unfamiliar with his early cowpoke-influenced melodies, but then draws them back with to the thickest moments of rock and roll.

What potential viewers should keep in mind is McLean is an American icon. And though to this day he still sings about “the day the music died,” it remains true that to be iconic in music is — nearly always — to be timeless.

“It’s not like doing the same thing over and over when you’re an artist. You interpret the song,” McLean said. “So each night, each audience, each place that you go you might sing a song you are very famous for, but the song has to be worthy to begin with … there’s a dynamic to it that does not exist with a bad piece of music.

“[American Pie] seems to be a song that no one has discarded yet, so it must mean something to people for a lot of different reasons.”

The repertoire of Jim Brown, the documentary’s director and producer, includes TV documentaries on Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, and he has won four Emmys for his work. “Troubadour” reminisces on McLean’s upbringing: how his interest in music far outweighed anything he was doing in school, and why he took up the guitar as a way to pursue a career in what he loved.

When asked why the guitar has become the quintessential instrument in American music, McLean said the electric guitar’s ability to sustain notes has allowed it to serve the same purpose that a horn section once was for an orchestra. In regard to the acoustic guitar — his preferred accompaniment — he proffered yet another observation.

“You can either be extremely competent, like a classical guitarist, or you can be a very poor [acoustic] guitar player like Woody Guthrie was and still play guitar and sing songs,” he said. “You can’t do that with a piano … it’s absolutely unforgiving.”

McLean said this has allowed for his songs like “Vincent (Starry Starry Night),” which is simply his voice and a few chords on acoustic guitar, to record well. “Troubadour” shows a few examples of this, by including footage of 17 live performances mixed in with detailed biographical storytelling and interviews with McLean at his 300-acre home in Maine.

The documentary’s broadcast this weekend comes sandwiched between two notable events in McLean’s life — being recognized by the BBC’s Folk Lifetime Achievement award in February and an international tour that begins in October. This upswing in publicity is uncommon for McLean, since he has gained notoriety over the years for being a “recluse.”

“Maybe it’s the Scot in me, but I’d rather think and do things without people yapping at me,” he said good-humoredly, and added that the lifestyle of a monk would have appealed to him if not for his wife and two children. “But the wonderful thing about being a singer and a songwriter, and a musician and a performer, and all the things I have been the last 40 years, is that I make my own schedule up. … Sometimes you need time to recover from things, or to make plans for the next thing you want to do, so in that sense solitude is extremely important.”

McLean’s music has made him a staple in American pop culture, and has even attracted the attention of rappers Tupac and Drake — the latter of whom released a track on the charts now called “Do it Wrong,” which made use of two McLean song samples that he said were “esoteric” until dug up by Drake. The artist pairing may seem unlikely, but McLean said it is these new perspectives of himself and his music that he hopes viewers will take away from “Troubadour.”

“Enjoy some of my music through the years; get a chance to see what I’m really like, how I live, where this stuff comes from,” he said. “[Get to know] what kind of mind I have.”

Don McLean: American Troubadour will premiere on Wisconsin Public Television on Saturday, March 3 at 9 p.m.

Joan Osborne discusses her new album


Uncategorized | Feb 29

Legends of Folk out April 3rd


  BOB DYLAN, SIMON & GARFUNKEL,

  PETER, PAUL & MARY,

  JOAN BAEZ AND MANY OTHERS

  FEATURED IN ACCLAIMED PBS FILM

  LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE

 

 Rare Live Performances From

 The Epicenter

 Of The ‘60s Folk Movement

 And Exclusive Interviews

 

Available on DVD  April 3rd

Fairfax, VA (February, 2012) — Vintage performances by icons of the ‘60s folk movement have been restored and remastered to pristine quality for the DVD release of LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE, due in stores and major online retailers on April 3rd.  Produced for PBS by Emmy-winning filmmaker Jim Brown, Legends of Folk features the biggest and most influential artists of the era including Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez and many more.   The live footage offers an exciting and historic firsthand view into the music and musicians that forever changed pop culture from the intimate stage of The Village Scene.  Legends of Folk is hosted by Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul & Mary.

 

On LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE, a young Bob Dylan makes one of his earliest performances of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Judy Collins tears through a searing rendition of “My Father,” and Simon and Garfunkel perform their epic “The Sound of Silence.”  The DVD assembles songs by 17 artists in the early days of their careers,

as well as full-length, exclusive interviews with John Cohen, Don McLean, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, Michelle Phillips (Mamas & Papas), John Sebastian and Peter Yarrow.   The DVD also features 2 performances not previously seen on PBS when the film was originally aired.

 

LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE Tracklisting:

 

1.            “If I Had a Hammer”                                    Peter, Paul & Mary

2.            “Blowin’ in the Wind”                        Bob Dylan

3.            “It Ain’t Me Babe”                                    Joan Baez

4.            “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”                        Phil Ochs

5.            “Handsome Johnny”                                    Richie Havens

6.            “I Ain’t Gonna Marry”                        Jim Kweskin Jug Band

7.            “Liza Jane”                                                The New Lost City Ramblers

8.            “You’ve Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley”  Mississippi John Hurt

9.            “The Last Thing on My Mind”            Tom Paxton

10.            “If I Were A Carpenter”                        Tim Hardin

11.            “My Father”                                                Judy Collins

12.            “Do You Believe in Magic”                        The Lovin’ Spoonful

13.            “The Sound of Silence”                        Simon & Garfunkel

14.            “Leaving on a Jet Plane”                        John Denver

15.            “Castles in the Air”                                    Don McLean

16.            “Solitary Man”                                    Neil Diamond

17.            “California Dreamin’”                        The Mamas and the Papas

 

Bonus Songs:

“Deep Blue Sea”                                    Peter Yarrow

“Black Jack Daisy”                                    John Cohen

Uncategorized | Feb 22

Joan Osborne to release ‘Bring it on Home’ March 27th


JOAN OSBORNE

ANNOUNCES FIRST LEG OF

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

INCLUDING

PERFORMANCES ON NPR’S

MOUNTAIN STAGE,

WXPN “FREE AT NOON,”

NATIONAL RADIO SHOW BLUE PLATE SPECIAL,

AND MORE

 

New Album,

BRING IT ON HOME,

Due March 27th

(Saguaro Road)

 

Fairfax, VA (January 23, 2012) — Joan Osborne kicks off her national tour with two New York City Winery performances March 27th and March 28th that will feature her hits and new songs from her brand new album, BRING IT ON HOME, due March 27th on Saguaro Road Records). The first leg of the tour continues through mid- April and includes markets such as Philadelphia, Charlotte, Nashville & Louisville.  Ms. Osborne will hit the road again later in the spring & summer with dates in the Mid-West and on the West Coast.

 

During the first leg of her North American tour, Joan will make special appearances on several national NPR radio shows including the prestigious Mountain Stage, nationally syndicated program Blue Plate Special, leading radio station WXPN’s “Free At Noon” performance hour, and more.

 

BRING IT ON HOME is Osborne’s first album of hand-picked vintage blues and soul songs, a collection that fans have long been asking for and Osborne herself delighted in making.  The recording sessions were electrifying, as the singer/songwriter tapped into her lifelong love of blues and R&B and unleashed her impassioned vocals.  Osborne’s vocal style and artistic taste were such a natural fit for the songs that she recalls an impromptu jam which turned into the album’s lead track, “Shake Your Hips” by Slim Harpo. “I knew the song well from the Stones’ recording, and from hearing other bands and singers do it on the NYC blues club circuit where it’s a staple,” Joan explains.  “Without really discussing it, Jack (Petruzzelli) played the signature guitar lick, the band fell in behind him, I remembered the lyrics and we were off like a racehorse out of the starting gate.  No need to over think this one, it just feels good.” After just two weeks at the Triple A radio format, the track quickly shot up the FMQB chart and is currently at #35.

 

Produced by Joan and her longtime music director/guitarist Jack Petruzzelli, they were joined by Joan’s longtime bandmates as well as guests Barbecue Bob Pomeroy (harmonica), Allen Toussaint (piano on his own “Shoorah! Shoorah!”) and vocalists the Holmes Brothers and Rufus Thomas’ daughter, Vaneese Thomas.  Jimmy Vivino, Conan O’Brien Show Band musical director, assembled all horn arrangements and also played electric piano on “I Don’t Need no Doctor.”

 

Joan Osborne has sold millions of albums and garnered multiple Grammy nominations throughout her critically and commercially acclaimed career.  In addition to her own headlining tours, she has sung lead vocals for The Dead (formerly the Grateful Dead) and was featured in the award-winning film Standing In The Shadows of Motown.

 

For more information, please go to www.joanosborne.com or view video footage for BRING IT ON HOME at

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzInDIN7TDE.

 

The first leg of Joan Osborne’s North American tour includes the following performances, with more dates to be added:

 

March 27            New York, NY                                City Winery
March 28            New York, NY                                City Winery
March 30            Norfolk, CT                                    Infinity Hall
March 31            Londonderry, NH                        Tupelo Music Hall
April 1                  Albany, NY                                    The Egg
April 4                Alexandria, VA                               Birchmere
April 5                Annapolis, MD                               Ramshead
April 6               Philadelphia                                    World Cafe
April 7               Tarrytown, NY                                Music Hall
April 9              Raleigh, NC                                      Lincoln Theater
April 10            Charlotte, NC                                    Visulite Theater
April 12            Knoxville, TN                                    Blue Plate Special
April 13            Nashville, TN                                    3rd & Lindsley

April 14            Louisville, KY                                    Headliners
April 15            Morgantown, WV                        Mountain Stage

Uncategorized | Jan 25

Hank Williams The Legend Begins


TIME LIFE ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF HANK WILLIAMS: THE LEGEND BEGINS ON SEPTEMBER 13 WITH NEWLY DISCOVERED AND METICULOUSLY RESTORED RECORDINGS OF THE AMERICAN MUSIC LEGEND

This Unique Package Includes The Very First Recordings Of Williams At Age 15 Plus Recordings From His First Syndicated Radio Series in Restored Audio and Much More

Fairfax, VA (July 11, 2011) —– Time Life and the Estate of Hank Williams announced today the September 13, 2011 release of newly discovered historic Williams’ recordings that are meticulously restored with state of the art technology.  Hank Williams: The Legend Begins is a 3-CD package that offers one disc entitled “Rare And Unreleased,” which contains the earliest recordings of a 15-year-old Williams and four songs from a home recording in 1940. The other two CDs are from Williams’ first syndicated radio show in 1949, Health And Happiness, that have been restored using the technology that earned so many plaudits for the Grammy nominated project, The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus! This highly developed sound technology delivers Williams’ performances as they were originally heard more than sixty years ago.

 

“Talk about a discovery!,” exclaims Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams. “The first recording of my dad when he was fifteen was given to me decades ago, and then the 1940 home recordings followed a few years later.  My husband Keith and I finally got up the nerve to get with the best sound people in Nashville to see if we could salvage these extraordinary recordings.  It worked! We did it! What a special treat for music lovers around the world to listen to the talent of an evolving genius.  These recordings are a God send and very special to me and Hank’s fans.”

 

“Hank continues to speak to and entertain us across the generations,” says Mike Jason, Senior Vice President of Retail, Time Life.  “These recordings give us a rare and special insight as this American music giant begins his career.”

 

What an incredible experience to hear Hank Williams’ first recordings as a teenager of Fan It and Alexander’s Ragtime Band.  This is the first time they have been heard since 1938 when Williams recorded them.  Williams had started building a local following in Montgomery, Alabama at the time and the songs display an incredible confidence at such a young age.  On these early recordings Williams is joined by his long-time pal and accordionist, Pee Wee Moultrie.

 

A 1940 home recording shows how much Williams’ voice had matured in two years when he rocks out to four classics of American music; Freight Train Blues, New San Antonio Rose, St. Louis Blues, and Greenback Dollar.  The songs ultimately ended up in the possession of Jett Williams, and the tunes show a wide range of musical styles from an ancient Appalachian song to popular charted hits of the era.

 

By 1949, Williams had two major hits under his belt and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  It was at this time he recorded his first syndicated radio series, The Health And Happiness Show.  The program’s name was tied to the sponsor of the show…..Hadacol, a patent medicine that contained 12% alcohol. Forty-nine songs from the show have been restored on Hank Williams: The Legend Begins which gives superior quality to these historic CDs. The shows include songs, like Tramp on the Street, that he never performed elsewhere.

 

Also included on the “Rare and Unreleased” CD is an additional program.  The  March Of Dimes show features several songs and a touching monologue from Williams, in which he talks about the fear of polio that blighted every summer in the early 1950’s; in particular, he expresses his concern that Hank, Jr. might contract the disease. Williams died shortly before the cure was announced that ended the scourge.

###

The Grascals go Mayberry


The GrascalsTHE GRASCALS GO MAYBERRY

Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’

A Tribute To The Music of The Andy Griffith Show

Out Today

 

Nashville, TN (June 7, 2011) — The Grascals pay homage to one of the most beloved and enduring shows in television history with Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’: A Tribute The The Music of The Andy Griffith Show).  In stores today on BluGrascal Records/Time Life Records, Dance finds the Grammy-nominated band rendering tracks like “Boil Them Cabbage Down,” Ol’ Joe Clark,” and the irrepressible “Mayberry’s Finest Theme.”  The group was so caught up in the spirit of the show that they recorded a brand new, original song, “Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish,” based on a favorite line from one of the episodes.

 

The music featured on The Andy Griffith Show held a mirror to the folksy, fun stories and characters of the iconic series.  Thoughtful, sincere and with a dash of humor, their message always rooted itself in doing the right thing and upholding Mayberry’s small-town values. “The Andy Griffith Show had a moral lesson that every human being should live by,” guitarist Terry Eldredge comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to be associated with the best TV show ever made. It was – and still is – awesome family entertainment.”

 

Injecting a new energy into a classic American sound, The Grascals have quickly become one of bluegrass and country music’s rising stars.  Since their debut album in 2004, The Grascals have been nominated for two Grammy Awards, received the SPBGMA’s 2011 Instrumental Group of the Year, SPBGMA’s 2010 Bluegrass Band of the Year, SPBGMA’s 2009 Album of the Year and IBMA’s (2007, 2006) Entertainer of the Year.

 

The Grascals are currently in the midst of a US tour.  Additional information and tour dates can be found at www.grascals.com.

Blind Boys Of Alabama Benefit Concert


BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA

JOIN

BAMA RISING:

A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR ALABAMA TORNADO RECOVERY

TO BE HELD JUNE 14th

AT BIRMINGHAM’S BJCC ARENA

Concert Features Alabama, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride,

Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and More

Blind Boys International Tour Begins June 24th

 

Birmingham, AL (June 6, 2011) — The Blind Boys of Alabama have just been added to the all-star lineup of Bama Rising: A Benefit Concert For Alabama Tornado Recovery, to be held at the Birmingham BJCC Arena on June 14th.  Other acts confirmed for the extraordinary event include: Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Dierks Bentley, Bo Bice, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Taylor Hicks, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, David Nail, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Ashton Shepherd and special guest Jay Barker, a radio personality and former football star at the University of Alabama.

Presented by Verizon, the concert is being led by Grammy-winning country group Alabama with proceeds benefiting the Bama Rising Fund.  Established with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Fund supports long-term, statewide recovery in the wake of the April 2011 tornadoes that devastated Alabama. Visit www.bamarising.org for more details.

Blind Boys of Alabama founding member Jimmy Carter also recently appeared at TBN’s Tornado Relief Praise. Held on Memorial Day evening at Boutwell auditorium in Birmingham, the event drew thousands of gospel music lovers and featured acts like Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans, along with TBN cofounder Jan Crouch, Birmingham mayor William A. Bell and over one hundred pastors.

The Blind Boys released their latest album, Take the High Road, last month to rave reviews.  It is a graceful journey into country music for the longtime gospel group, joined by co-producer Jamey Johnson along with many of Nashville’s greatest vocalists including Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Ann Womack, and Hank Williams Jr.  After wrapping the current leg of their US tour in June, the Blind Boys will launch a world tour that includes performances in London, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Madrid, the Faroe Islands and Austria.

 

The Blind Boys of Alabama perform concerts all over the world each year.  Honored by both the Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy Awards, The Blind Boys have attained the highest levels of recognition in a career that spans over 70 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, The Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material, and now country, by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Tom Waits. Their performances have been experienced by millions on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” the Grammy Awards telecast, “60 Minutes II,” and on their own holiday PBS Special. The Blind Boys’ live shows are roof- raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to almost every continent. In 2007, they released the Grammy-winning album, Down in New Orleans, their first for Saguaro Road Records, which was followed in 2008 by a companion DVD, Live in New Orleans. In 2009, they released Duets, a collection of songs recorded with artists including Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper and Randy Travis.