Thursday, August 24, 2017

Paul Weller delves into world music on new track

Following the recent release of his internationally acclaimed album A Kind Revolution, Paul Weller has recorded a brand new track entitled "Mother Ethiopia," which consists of three parts.

Click here to pre-order Mother Ethiopia.

"Mother Ethiopia" sees Weller exploring new musical avenues and this release takes a very different sonic direction from the sound of his latest album.

"Part 1" enlists the help of modern soul band, Stone Foundation - Weller has been a fan of theirs for some time, producing and appearing on their latest album Street Rituals, which was also released earlier this year.

Alongside the collaboration with Stone Foundation, there are two alternate versions of "Mother Ethiopia" - one with Bongo Bob, and the other a vocal version featuring London-based Ethiopian 3-piece Krar Collective with the lead vocals (in Amharic) by Krar's Genet Assefa.

The track is available to download/stream now, with a limited edition 12" vinyl available Sept. 29. Listen to Part 3 here.

Mother Ethiopia track-listing:

1. Mother Ethiopia Part 1 (Paul Weller Vs. Stone Foundation)
2. Mother Ethiopia Part 2 (feat. Bongo Bob)
3. Mother Ethiopia Part 3 (No Tribe No Colour) [feat. Krar Collective]

As previously announced, a limited edition 7" single of "Woo Sé Mama" from A Kind Revolution will be released on Aug. 25. The single B-side is a cover of Eddie Floyd's "I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)," which was recorded live at Black Barn Studios during rehearsals for a recent radio session. Watch the video of a live version of "Woo Sé Mama," which was shot at Paul's recent sold out show at Watford Colosseum, here.

Tour dates:

Oct 1 Huntington, NY The Paramount
Oct 2 NYC Irving Plaza
Oct 3 NYC Irving Plaza
Oct 4 Philadelphia, PA Theatre Of Living Arts
Oct 6 Boston, MA House Of Blues
Oct 7 Washington DC Lincoln Theatre
Oct 8 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Oct 10 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
Oct 11 Detroit, MI St. Andrew's Hall
Oct 12 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
Oct 13 Minneapolis, MN Pantages Theatre
Oct 16 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Oct 17 Vancouver BC Commodore Ballroom
Oct 18 Seattle, WA The Neptune Theatre
Oct 20 Sacramento, CA Ace Of Spades
Oct 21 Berkeley, CA The UC Theatre
Oct 22 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Oct 24 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues
Oct 25 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
Oct 27 Los Angeles CA The Wiltern Theatre

Blake Shelton live EP available on streaming services Friday

Taken from Blake Shelton's pop-up show during CMA Music Festival in Nashville earlier this summer, his new six-song Live EP will be available to stream on Aug. 25.

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards Top Country Artist recently notched his 24th No. 1 single with “Every Time I Heart That Song” reaching the top of the airplay charts in July.

The last album, If I'm Honest, spawned two additional smash hits and was the best-selling album in U.S. the week of release, ending 2016 as the best-selling country release of the year. Shelton is currently preparing for his 13th season as a coach on NBC’s The Voice.

Track listing:

1. All About Tonight (Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip)
2. Honey Bee (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip)
3. Ol’ Red (James Bohan, Don Goodman, Mark Sherrill)
4. Home (Michael Bublé, Alan Chang, Amy Foster-Gillies)
5. Boys ‘Round Here (Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Craig Wiseman)
6. A Guy With A Girl (Ashley Gorley, Bryan Simpson)

Beck album, tour news

Beck’s 13th album Colors has been confirmed for an Oct. 13 release on Capitol Records. 

The piano-driven “Dear Life” is available instantly with pre-orders placed at and is the subject of a lyric video directed by Jimmy Turrell, Laura Gorun and Brook Linder and featuring animation by Drew Tyndell and Rhiannon Tyndell - live now at

Colors is Beck’s first full length offering of new material since 2014’s Morning Phase took Album of the Year top honors at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, as well as Best Rock Album and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) category.

In addition to the newly unveiled “Dear Life,” Colors includes both Beck singles that preceded it: a new mix of “Dreams,” his second #1 single at AAA radio (the first being Morning Phase’s “Blue Moon”), and “Wow.” 

Colors is also available for pre-order at in a limited edition deluxe vinyl format featuring two 180g 45rpm red vinyl LPs in a special die-cut gatefold package, with a customizable color transparency cover and 24-page booklet. Digitally, Colors can be pre-ordered through Apple Music, pre-saved via Spotify, and more.

Track listing:

7th Heaven
I’m So Free
Dear Life
No Distraction
Up All Night
Square One
Fix Me

Colors was produced by Greg Kurstin and Beck, with the exception of “Wow" produced by Beck and Cole M.G.N., and “Fix Me" produced by Beck. The album was mixed by Serban Ghenea, except “Dreams” and "Up All Night,” which were mixed by Greg Kurstin and Beck.

Beck is finishing up a headlining concert tour. Following an August 27 headline engagement at MusicFest NW in Portland OR, Beck will join U2 as special guest on The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Beck will support U2 on a series of stadium dates next month. 

Tour Dates:

8/25/17 – Redmond WA – Marymoor Park
8/27/17 – Portland, OR – Musicfest NW
9/03/17- Detroit, MI – Ford Field *
9/05/17 – Buffalo, NY – New Era Field *
9/08/17 – Minneapolis, MN – US Bank Stadium *
9/09/17 – Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Stir Cove
9/10/17 – Indianapolis, IN – Lucas Oil Stadium *
9/12/17 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium *
9/14/17 – New Orleans, LA – Mercedez-Benz Superdome*
9/16/17 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America’s Center *
9/19/17 – Glendale, AZ – University of Phoenix Stadium*
9/22/17 – San Diego, CA – Qualcomm Stadium *
* Special Guest on U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Peter Case archival release due from Omnivore + live dates

I always look forward to a new Peter Case release - even more so when it's something from the vaults. Read on below for details from the press release... 

Peter Case has genre-tripped through punk with the Nerves (“Hangin’ on the Telephone”), new wave/power pop with the Plimsouls (“A Million Miles Away”) and Americana with his Grammy-nominated, self-titled solo debut. It is a career that is still going strong over 40 years later on the strength of his exceptional songwriting.

On the Way Downtown: Recorded Live on FolkScene, due out Oct. 27 on Omnivore Recordings, is a snapshot from nearly 20 years ago when Case sat still long enough for the airwaves to catch up to him.

This new album captures material from two live radio performances on the highly influential KPFK-FM Los Angeles syndicated radio program in 1998 and 2000. The first half features material from his then, newly released Full Service, No Waiting. 

The latter half contains material from 2000’s Flying Saucer Blues, as well as songs from his earlier releases. Plus, some choice covers appear as well. Both intimate acoustic sets have remained unheard since their original broadcasts. The 2000 set features Peter with violinist extraordinaire David Perales.

In the liner notes, written by Case himself: “It felt like such an honor to play Howard and Roz Larman’s FolkScene. All the great people were on it, a Who’s Who of folk music. I’d loved the program for years. I listened in every week. Roz spun the coolest records, Howard deftly handled the interviews, and a key member of the team was Peter Cutler, their sound engineer. He tuned in great sound for each session. Live six-piece band with an hour soundcheck? No problem for Cutler.”

“I'm so happy these sessions are available now for all of us to hear. Thanks Allen Larman and thanks Omnivore. Now if I just knew why that photo of downtown L.A. from the early ’50s is on the back cover everything would be fine!”

Case continues to receive accolades for his recorded work (including 2015’s HWY 62) and still packs venues when he plays live.

Track Listing:

1. Spell of Wheels

2. On the Way Downtown
3. Let Me Fall

4. Green Blanket (Part 1)
5. Honey Child

6. Crooked Mile

7. Still Playin’
8. See Through Eyes
9. Until the Next Time
10. Something Happens
11. Pay Day

12. Blue Distance
13. Walking Home Late
14. Icewater

15. Beyond the Blues

16. Coulda Shoulda Woulda
17. Paradise Etc.

18. Leaving Home

Tour dates:

Thurs., Sept. 14 SAN DIEGO, CA Grassroots Oasis
Fri., Sept 15 HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA Don the Beachcomber
Sat., Sept 16 SANTA BARBARA, CA Lobero Theater
Thurs., Oct 12 HARRISBURG, PA Note Bistro & Wine
Fri., Oct 13 BALTIMORE, MD Club 603
Sat., Oct 14 NEW YORK, NY Rockwood Music Hall
Sun., Oct 15 BOSTON, MA Atwood’s Tavern
Tues., Oct 17 FALL RIVER, MA Narrows Center for the Arts
Thurs., Oct 19 COLUMBUS, OH Natalie’s
Fri., Oct 20 LIVONIA, MI Trinity House Theatre
Sat., Oct 21 CHICAGO, IL FitzGerald’s
Sun., Oct 22 MADISON, WI Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
Tues., Oct 24 CEDAR RAPIDS, IA CSPS Hall
Thurs., Oct 26 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Lee’s Liquor Lounge
Fri., Oct 27 CHAMPAIGN, IL Sandwich Life
Sat., Oct 28 ANN ARBOR, MI Johnny’s Speakeasy
Sun., Oct 29 BUFFALO, NY 9th Ward at Babeville
Thurs., Nov 9 LITTLE ROCK, AR White Water Tavern
Fri., Nov 10 TULSA, OK Woody Guthrie Center
Sat., Nov 11 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Blue Door
Tues., Nov 14 HOUSTON, TX Mucky Duck
Thurs., Nov 16 FORT WORTH, TX Fort Worth Live
Fri., Nov 17 AUSTIN, TX Cactus Cafe

Hear a track from Peter Case's On The Way Downtown:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Long-awaited new music from Bruce Cockburn due next month

Fans of folk/rock from the Great White North take note of the press release below:

Bruce Cockburn has announced the Sept. 15 release of his first full-length album in seven years, Bone On Bone (True North Records). It coincides with his induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and the launch of his longest touring schedule in decades.

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Bone On Bone, Cockburn’s 33rd album, arrives with 11 new songs and there’s a prevalent urgency and anxious tone to much of the album, which Cockburn attributes to living in America during the Trump era. But, more than anything, Bone on Bone amounts to the deepest expression of Cockburn’s spiritual concerns to date. The 12-time Juno winner and Canadian Music Hall of Famer’s “Forty Years in the Wilderness” ranks alongside “Pacing the Cage” or “All the Diamonds” as one of Cockburn’s most starkly beautiful folk songs. “There have been so many times in my life when an invitation has come from somewhere… the cosmos… the divine… to step out of the familiar into something new. I’ve found it’s best to listen for, and follow these promptings.”

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” is one of several songs that feature a number of singers from the church Cockburn frequents, for the sake of convenience referred to in the album credits as the San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus.” “Among other songs, they contribute call-and-response vocals to the stirring “Stab at Matter.” Other guests on the album include singer-songwriters Ruby Amanfu, Mary Gauthier, and Brandon Robert Young, along with bassist Roberto Occhipinti, and Julie Wolf, who plays accordion on “3 Al Purdys” and sings with the folks from Lighthouse, together with LA songwriter Tamara Silvera.

Produced by Colin Linden, Cockburn’s longtime collaborator, the album is built around the musicianship of Cockburn on guitar and the core accompaniment of bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig. Also very much part of the sound is the accordion playing of Cockburn’s nephew John Aaron Cockburnand the solos of noted fluegelhorn player Ron Miles (check out his stunning work on the cascading “Mon Chemin,” for example).

Cockburn, who won the inaugural People’s Voice Award at the Folk Alliance International conferencein February and will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September, continues to find inspiration in the world around him and channel those ideas into songs. “My job is to try and trap the spirits of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal,” he once noted. More than forty years after embarking on his singer-songwriting career, Cockburn keeps kicking at the darkness so that it might bleed daylight.

Track Listing:

1. States I’m In
2. Stab At Matter
3. Forty Years In The Wilderness
4. Café Society
5. 3 Al Purdys
6. Looking And Waiting
7. Bone On Bone
8. Mon Chemin
9. False River
10. Jesus Train
11. Twelve Gates To The City

Dolly Parton sings for the kids on 'I Believe In You'

There's a children's album coming soon from Dolly Parton.

I Believe In You will be released digitally via Dolly Records/RCA Nashville on Sept. 29, with the physical album following Oct. 13. All the songs were written by Parton.

“My first album was released 50 years ago and it's been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I'm coming out with my first children's album in all of those 50 years. I'm proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library,” Dolly said. “It's been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We've seen 100million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”

Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one-million children by providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month. In North America, every child’s first book is the classic Little Engine that Could.

Track Listing:

I Believe in You
Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
Together Forever
I Am a Rainbow
I’m Here
A Friend Like You
You Can Do It
You Gotta Be
Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
Chemo Hero
Brave Little Soldier

Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 were produced by Tom McBryde and executive produced by Paul T. Couch. Tracks 2, 11, 12, and 13 were produced by Tom Rutledge and Richard Dennison and executive produced by Dolly Parton.

Dustin Lynch gets in the 'Mood'

Dustin Lynch has revealed the official track list for his third album, Current Mood (out 9/8 via Broken Bow).

After partnering with iHeartRadio to unveil the complete details worldwide across all iHeartCountry station sites today (8/22), Lynch admitted he’s actually been posting the info to his social media following for weeks.

Earlier this month, he began posting photos of himself wearing T-shirts covered in what turned out to be song titles, lyrics, and the album’s sequence – hiding the truth about his genre-bending, three-year obsession of a project in plain sight.

Track listing:

1. “I’d Be Jealous Too” (‪Dustin Lynch, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite) – Producer: Ross Copperman
2. “Seein’ Red” (Tully Kennedy, Kurt Allison, Steve Bogard, Jason Sever) – Producer: Mickey Jack Cones
3. “Small Town Boy” (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Kyle Fishman) – Producer: Zach Crowell
4. “Why We Call Each Other” (‪Dustin Lynch, Lee Miller, Ross Copperman) – Producer: Ross Copperman
5. “Here We Come” (‪Dustin Lynch, Zach Crowell, Jon Nite) – Producer: Zach Crowell
6. “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” (Dustin Christensen, Chris Gelbuda) – Producer: Ross Copperman
7. “Back On It” (Brent Anderson, Will Weatherly, Smith Ahnquist) – Producers: Brent Anderson & Will Weatherly
8. “I Wish You Were Beer” (Jon Nite, Josh Osborne, Justin Ebach) – Producer: Ross Copperman
9. “State Lines” (‪Dustin Lynch, Kyle Fishman, Andy Albert) – Producer: Mickey Jack Cones
10. “Party Song” (Brett Tyler, ‪Craig Wiseman, Morgan Wallen) – Producer: Mickey Jack Cones
11. “New Girl” (‪Dustin Lynch, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley) – Producer: Zach Crowell
12. “Why Not Tonight” (‪Dustin Lynch, ‪Jimmy Robbins, Jon Nite) – Producer: Ross Copperman
13. “Sun Don’t Go Down On That” (‪Dustin Lynch, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite) – Producer: Ross Copperman

This fall, Lynch will embark on a headlining run, beginning in November with openers Ryan Hurd, LANCO, and Michael Ray on select dates.

Initial tour dates:

11/3 - Fayetteville, NC – Crown Coliseum *+
11/4 - Atlanta, GA – Coca Cola Roxy Theatre *+
11/10 - Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom +
11/11 - San Antonio, TX – Cowboys Dancehall +
11/12 - Houston, TX – House of Blues +
12/2 - New York, NY – PlayStation Theater ^
12/3 - Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore ^
12/7 - Stockton, CA – Bob Hope Theatre ^
12/8 - Los Angeles, CA – The Novo ^
12/10 - Las Vegas, NV – The Cosmopolitan ^
12/17 - Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live ^
*Michael Ray
^Ryan Hurd

Weezer live in a 'Pacific Daydream'; tour dates imminent

Weezer will release their 11th album, Pacific Daydream, on Crush Music/Atlantic Records on Oct. 27. Produced by frequent collaborator Butch Walker, it is the follow up to the critically acclaimed album Weezer (The White Album),which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album. 

Following the release of 2016's Weezer (The White Album), the band began working on what they called "The Black Album," but as they worked, they found the songs they were writing felt more like reveries from a beach at the end of the world. Instead of forcing a different direction, they began an entirely new album; Pacific Daydream was born. Frontman Rivers Cuomo brings this decision back to a Chinese proverb he says inspired the design behind the entire record:

"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man."

A track listing for Pacific Daydream is still forthcoming, however the album's current single, "Feels Like Summer," released in March, is currently at #2 and closing in on #1 at Alternative radio, with nearly 20 million plays across streaming services and YouTube. The song is Weezer's biggest radio hit in a decade, and should be the band's fourth #1 at Alternative radio.

A pre-order for Pacific Daydream is available HERE. In the meantime, Weezer continue to dominate 2017's festival season, playing lauded sets across the U.S. and Canada. Tour dates are below.

Tour dates:

8/26/17 Monterrey, Mexico @ Hellow Music Festival
9/2/17 Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot
9/9/17 Kansas City, KS @ 96.5 The Buzz's Beach Ball
9/10/17 St. Louis, MO @ LouFest
9/15/17 Del Mar, CA @ KAABOO
9/16/17 Atlanta, GA @ Music Midtown
9/17/17 New York, NY @ The Meadows Music and Arts Festival
10/5/17 Reno, NV @ Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
10/6/17 Napa, CA @ Silverado Resort and Spa
10/7/17 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/15/17 Berlin, Germany @ Columbiahalle (with The Orwells)
10/16/17 Cologne, Germany @ Ewerk (with The Orwells)
10/18/17 Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique (with The Orwells)
10/19/17 Paris, France @ Olympia (with The Orwells)
10/21/17 Tilburg, Netherlands @ 013 (with The Orwells)
10/23/17 Leeds, United Kingdom @ O2 Academy (with The Orwells)
10/24/17 Glasgow, United Kingdom @ O2 Academy (with The Orwells)
10/25/17 Manchester, United Kingdom @ O2 Apollo (with The Orwells)
10/27/17 Birmingham, United Kingdom @ O2 Academy (with The Orwells)
10/28/17 London, United Kingdom @ Wembley Arena (with Ash, The Orwells)

Weezer are: Brian Bell (guitar/vocals) * Rivers Cuomo (vocals/guitar) * Scott Shriner (bass/vocals) * Pat Wilson (drums)

Morrissey news

Morrissey's first new album in three years, Low in High School, will be released on Nov. 17 on CD, colored vinyl, limited edition cassette and digitally via BMG. The company is will distribute his new label, Etienne Records. The collection was recorded in France and Italy (at Ennio Morricone’s Forum Studios). Joe Chiccarelli returned to produce.

So far, there's only one U.S. concert date: Hollywood Bowl, Nov. 10 with Billy Idol opening. On sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. There is an 8 ticket limit for this event and 4 ticket limit for all presales. Garden and Terrace Levels sold in multiples of 2.

A limited amount of tickets and vinyl records have been held for Morrissey fans for an early pre-sale for the Hollywood Bowl until Wednesday 10pm PST.

Pre-sale password: LowinHighSchool

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Who's 'Tommy – Live At The Royal Albert Hall' out this fall

On Oct. 13, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Tommy – Live At The Royal Albert Hall by The Who on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and 3LP. This concert film captures a live performance by The Who of Tommy in its entirety and boasts over two hours and twenty minutes of content. The show includes plenty of all-time classics.

In April 2017, The Who took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall to do a rare performance of their rock opera Tommy live in its entirety. Previous Who live shows had always dropped two, three or four tracks from the album, but for this show, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, the band would perform every track.

With specially created animations on a huge screen above the stage and creative use of lighting, the concert told the story of the “deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure played a mean pinball.” In addition, at the end of Tommy, the sell-out crowd was treated to a short set of Who favorites.

Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette, plus full screen animations of both “The Acid Queen” and “Pinball Wizard” with the live performance audio.

Track Listing:

1) Introduction
2) Overture
3) It’s A Boy
4) 1921
5) Amazing Journey
6) Sparks
7) Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
8) Christmas
9) Cousin Kevin
10) The Acid Queen
11) Do You Think It’s Alright?
12) Fiddle About
13) Pinball Wizard
14) There’s A Doctor
15) Go To The Mirror!
16) Tommy Can You Hear Me?
17) Smash The Mirror
18) Underture
19) I’m Free
20) Miracle Cure
21) Sensation
22) Sally Simpson
23) Welcome
24) Tommy’s Holiday Camp
25) We’re Not Gonna Take It
26) I Can’t Explain
27) Join Together
28) I Can See For Miles
29) Who Are You
30) Love, Reign O’er Me
31) Baba O’Reilly
32) Won’t Get Fooled Again

Pre-order links:


Available digitally today: Brandy Clark live

Critically-acclaimed country recording artist Brandy Clark played Los Angeles’ renowned Hotel Café last year and later that summer, she had a successful second album, Big Day In A Small Town, which garnered her two Grammy nominations.

Now, Clark is releasing that Hotel Café performance for her first ever concert album, Live From Los Angeles, which Lewis calls “smart to the core.” Live From Los Angeles is available now at digital retailers.

Clark released an exclusive limited-run of Live From Los Angeles vinyl albums in April in honor of Record Store Day and earlier this summer, released an outtake from her Big Day In A Small Town sessions; instant crowd-favorite “You’re Drunk.”

Clark has established herself as one of country music’s greatest storytellers. 2016 marked several successful acoustic tours and the release of Big Day in a Small Town, which was produced by Jay Joyce.

Big Day in a Small Town followed Clark's critically acclaimed debut album, 12 Stories.

In stores today: Everything Everything

British alt-rock band Everything Everything release their fourth studio album, A Fever Dream today. Produced by James Ford (Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode), it features “Can’t Do” (watch the video HERE) and their most recent single, “Desire.” Check out that clip HERE. A Fever Dream is the follow up to Everything Everything’s critically acclaimed 2015 album, Get To Heaven.

Guitarist Alex Robertshaw says, “Our records have been many styles rubbing up against each other, and for the first time I wanted to make a record that was cohesive sonically.”

Midway through touring with Get To Heaven, Robertshaw found himself listening increasingly to the kind of electronic music he had loved as a teenager — early Warp Records releases, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, relishing “the atmosphere and the attitude” of them. “I wanted to go back to that thing that first made me excited about music,” he says. “We’ve spent a lot of time going into that R’n’B and hip hop world — for an indie band it was a bit of an untouchable thing, and it was really fun to do and I think we captured it at its best with Kemosabe and Arc. But once you start doing that you kind of separate yourself.”

In talking about the new album’s sound, singer Jonathan Higgs explains “It’s kind of a mixture of the sounds of our adolescence I suppose - the electronic stuff mixed with American heavy bands of the early-mid 90s. As a result, there’s also a lot of adolescent riffy guitar-playing on the album. Guitar music is really where we came from, all of us. Then we grew up a bit and it went out of fashion, but really that’s what excites us hugely. And because we always had a plan on not being like that early on it feels really good to do it now.”

While bassist Jeremy Pritchard and drummer Michael Spearman joined later in the studio under the watchful eye of producer James Ford, the album began with Higgs and Robertshaw, Everything Everything’s principal songwriters. This has been their most collaborative record to date, seeing the pair working together on every track, with Higgs’s more dramatic pop sensibilities tempered by what he simply describes as Robertshaw’s “cool”.

In many ways A Fever Dream is the logical thematic successor to Get To Heaven’s exploration of rolling news culture — a portrait of a world grown relentless and unfathomable, whatever your nationality or political persuasion.

“I really didn’t want to be too explicit about world events,” Higgs says. “Everyone’s pretty aware of what is going on. But I wanted to make a record about how this has all affected us, not just me and you, but everyone around us. I think people come to us for a sense of recognition. They want to hear someone else say what they’re feeling. And that’s what I’ve always gone to music for, and I hope that’s what we put out - the ‘Do you feel like me?’ message, rather than anything more concrete. It doesn’t interest me to be preachy, it just turns everybody off, including me.”

One track, “Ivory Tower,” is a particularly striking reflection of the times — a spewing-forth of what Robertshaw politely terms “a lot of hugely unacceptable language” in a portrait of an increasingly faceless and impersonal world. “’Ivory Tower’ deals with very extreme stuff,” says Higgs. “It’s a reaction to the nasty side of everything we’ve had lately, like all the stuff on immigration. But I’m not looking at it objectively I’m going right in there and saying lots of awful things that everyone’s saying at each other - so I’m having a go at the liberal elite and I’m having a go at the small-minded racists, all this stuff at the same time. And it’s just this rage, this really fast, violent song. And it’s a way to get all that horrible shit out of us. And when you hear it on the record it does just sound like someone kicking down your door. But I’m not setting out my stall — it’s a photograph of now, a snapshot of how it feels to be alive at the moment.”

Expanding on A Fever Dream, Higgs says: “You shouldn’t be sitting down the first time you hear it.”

Currently in the midst of a sold out UK tour, Everything Everything recently announced a run of North American tour dates, kicking off in October. Tickets are on sale now via

Tour Dates:

10/09 – Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco, CA - TICKETS
10/11 – Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA - TICKETS
10/13 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY - TICKETS
10/14 – Black Cat – Washington, D.C - TICKETS
10/15 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA - TICKETS

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lee Ann Womack news

Lee Ann Womack will make her debut for ATO Records on Oct. 27 with the release of 'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,' an album that mixes the country, soul, gospel and blues of her native East Texas.

Produced by Womack's husband and fellow Texan Frank Liddell (fresh off a 2017 ACM Album of the Year win for Miranda Lambert's 'The Weight of These Wings'), it features songs mostly co-written by Womack.

Listen to new song "All The Trouble," co-written by Womack and her band mates Adam Wright and Waylon Payne here:

'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' features fourteen new songs, recorded with Womack's core band including bassist Glenn Worf, songwriters and guitarists Wright, Payne and Ethan Ballinger, and drummer Jerry Roe. The album was mostly recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios in Houston, TX.

Formerly known as Gold Star and open since 1941, SugarHill is one of the oldest continuously run studios in the country and home to seminal early recordings by many artists who had a formative influence on Womack, including George Jones, Willie Nelson and Lightnin' Hopkins. Among the album's three cover songs, Womack recorded a haunting version of George Jones' "Take the Devil Out of Me" standing on the same gold star linoleum floor where he cut the 1959 original.

"I wanted to get out of Nashville, and tap the deep music and vibe of East Texas," says Womack. "I wanted to make sure this record had a lot of soul in it, because real country music has soul. I wanted to remind people of that."

'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' follows Womack's acclaimed 2014 album 'The Way I'm Livin'.' 

Track Listing:

1. All The Trouble
2. The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone
3. He Called Me Baby
4. Hollywood
5. End of the End of the World
6. Bottom of the Barrel
7. Shine On Rainy Day
8. Mama Lost Her Smile
9. Wicked
10. Long Black Veil
11. Someone Else's Heartache
12. Sunday
13. Talking Behind Your Back
14. Take The Devil Out Of Me

Tour Dates:

Aug. 25 - Ford Center - Evansville, IN*
Aug. 26 - State Farm Center - Champaign, IL*
Aug. 27 - Plaza Theatre - Glasgow, KY
Sept. 8 - The Family Arena - St. Charles, MO*
Sept. 9 - U.S. Cellular Center - Cedar Rapids, IA
Sept. 10 - St. Croix Casino - Turtle Lake, WI
Sept. 14 - AmericanaFest - Nashville, TN
Sept. 22 - Charleston Civic Center - Charleston, WV*
Sept. 23 - Erie Insurance Center - Erie, PA*
Sept. 28 - Trans-Pecos Festival - Marfa, TX
Oct. 7 - Museum of Appalachia - Clinton, TN
Oct. 20 - Music In The Mill - Hickory, NC
Oct. 27 - Resch Center - Green Bay, WI
Oct. 28 - Target Center - Minneapolis, MN*
Oct. 29 - Bridge View Center - Ottumwa, IA
Nov. 3 - Lafayette Cajundome - Lafayette, LA*
Nov. 4 - Bell County Expo - Belton, TX*
Jan. 5 - The MusicFest at Steamboat - Steamboat, CO
Jan. 23 - Kent State Universtiy at Tuscarawas - New Philadelphia, PA
Feb. 4 - Cayamo Cruise - New Orleans, LA
Feb. 16 - Arizona Musicfest - Scottsdale, AZ
* denotes show w/Alan Jackson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Upcoming Steve Miller compilations include rarities

Steve Miller has produced and overseen two new, career-spanning Steve Miller Band Ultimate Hits collections, to be released Sept. 15 by Capitol/UMe.

Ultimate Hits is available now for preorder in a 1CD and digital edition featuring 22 essential Steve Miller Band tracks, including three previously unreleased rarities, and in an expanded 2CD and digital deluxe edition with 40 tracks, including the acclaimed band’s top hits, live tracks, and eight previously unreleased recordings from the studio and the stage. On Oct. 27, both editions will be released on 180-gram vinyl in 2LP and 4LP deluxe packages, which are also available now for preorder.

Both Ultimate Hits editions feature Steve Miller Band’s biggest worldwide chart-toppers. The 1CD and digital edition adds two previously unreleased live recordings, “Living In The USA” and “Space Cowboy,” as well as a never-before-released Steve Miller solo recording of “Seasons.”

The 2CD and digital deluxe edition also features those rarities, plus five more previously unreleased studio and live recordings, including a demo for “Take The Money And Run.” Ultimate Hits’ stunning cover art was designed and photographed by StormStudios in collaboration with Miller.

Preorder Steve Miller Band Ultimate Hits:
1CD; Digital; 2LP Vinyl -
2CD; Digital; 4LP Vinyl (Deluxe Edition) -

It was recently announced that Steve Miller has brought his entire catalogue of recorded music to Capitol, where he originally began his recording career in 1967. Miller has opened his vault/warehouse of music, footage, photos, memorabilia, artwork, handwritten notes, journals, and more to Capitol/UMe to include in his upcoming releases. Steve Miller Band’s newUltimate Hits collections, produced by Miller, launch the initiative.

"Selecting material to include in these two collections and revisiting the creation of these recordings I’m reminded of how I learned to make multi-track recordings from Les Paul and play lead guitar from T Bone Walker. I’ve been blessed to work with so many wonderful musicians and engineers and friends over the years. Mostly I want to thank you our fans who come out to our shows and listen to our records. I hope you enjoy this as much I did putting this together for you." -- Steve Miller

Track listing:


1. Harmony Of The Spheres 2
2. Steve Miller at age five talking to his Godfather Les Paul
3. Take The Money And Run
4. Rock’n Me
5. The Stake
6. Threshold
7. Jet Airliner
8. The Joker
9. Abracadabra
10. Jungle Love
11. Swingtown
12. Dance, Dance, Dance
13. Serenade From The Stars
14. Space Intro
15. Fly Like An Eagle
16. Wild Mountain Honey
17. Living In The USA (Live – Previously Unreleased)
18. Space Cowboy (Live – Previously Unreleased)
19. Seasons (Previously Unreleased)
20. I Want To Make The World Turn Around
21. Winter Time
22. The Window


CD 1

1. Steve Miller at age five talking to his Godfather Les Paul
2. Gangster Of Love (Live – Previously Unreleased)
3. The Joker
4. Baby’s Callin’ Me Home (Previously Unreleased)
5. My Dark Hour
6. Little Girl
7. Living In The USA (Live – Previously Unreleased)
8. Space Cowboy (Live – Previously Unreleased)
9. Seasons (Previously Unreleased)
10. Journey From Eden
11. Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma
12. Going To Mexico
13. Kow Kow Calculator (Live – Previously Unreleased)
14. Come On In My Kitchen (Live)
15. Sugar Babe (Live)
16. The Lovin’ Cup (Live)
17. Dance, Dance, Dance
18. Take The Money And Run
19. Rock’n Me
20. Space Intro
21. Fly Like An Eagle

CD 2

1. Wild Mountain Honey
2. The Window
3. Take The Money And Run (Demo) (Previously Unreleased)
4. In The Midnight Hour (Previously Unreleased)
5. Jungle Love
6. Threshold
7. Jet Airliner
8. The Stake
9. Swingtown
10. Serenade From The Stars
11. True Fine Love
12. Heart Like A Wheel
13. Abracadabra
14. I Want To Make The World Turn Around
15. Italian X Rays
16. Don’t Cha Know
17. Cry Cry Cry
18. Stranger Blues
19. Behind The Barn

Whitney Rose's 'Rule 62' arrives in October

There are many useful rules to live by, but for Whitney Rose, there’s one that stands alone as a guiding principle for life as she knows it: Rule 62.

The origin of the rule is best summed up by the poignant, pronoun-adjusted excerpt from Alcoholics Anonymous’ Tradition Four cited above, a treatise on how to find harmony between ambition and self-awareness, and how to learn one’s lessons with humor and humility.

This truism, officially worded as “Don’t Take Yourself Too Damn Seriously,” is the origin of both the title and ethos of Whitney Rose’s forthcoming album, Rule 62.

The album is due out on Oct. 6 via Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers.

Rewind to January 2017. Six months ago, Rose was primed to release South Texas Suite, a countrypolitan valentine to Austin, Texas. Days before the EP hit the streets and Rose kicked off a four-month worldwide tour, the burgeoning songwriting force (and “country hair” disciple) packed her boots for Nashville, where she entered BlackBird Studio A to reconvene with the Mavericks’ Raul Malo.

In one short week, Rose, Malo and co-producer Niko Bolas channeled the tumult, turbulence and tension outside of the studio into Rose’s sophomore worldwide release, which includes nine self-penned songs. 

“Can’t Stop Shakin’” was recorded January 20, 2017. With Malo on harmonies and rhythm guitars, Kenny Vaughn on lead guitar, and saxophones and organ in the mix, “Can’t Stop Shakin’” was originally written as an anti-anxiety treatment in Memphis soul dance party form.

Against an ominous political backdrop, the song now reverberates with an undercurrent of uncertainty and anger that reframes the self-calming shimmy as an act of protest. “’Can't Stop Shakin’ started out as something I would sing to calm myself down.” Rose says. “We recorded that song on Inauguration day and you could physically feel the divide between the public and the unrest in the air. I was in the studio that week every day for twelve hours on average, so realized my contribution was going to have to take place within the walls of Blackbird. So the song that started as a personal anthem got a rewrite that day.”

Rule 62’s “breakup” theme can be felt in songs like “Arizona” and “Time to Cry.” 

“For reasons unbeknownst to me at the time, I started writing all these “breakup” songs that were mostly angry. I wasn’t sure where all these feelings were coming from until one day it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was penning these songs to society,” she observes. 

This is Rose’s second release of 2017, and sees the songwriter’s increased output matched by increased distinction. With so much touring now under the tires, it’s no surprise that Rose’s best work yet often explores her journeywoman’s experience.

“Meet Me in Wyoming” and “Trucker’s Funeral” are emblematic of Rose’s clever study of the musician-as-trucker analogy. “Trucker’s Funeral” is in fact a true story: “I had a meeting at Bank of America here in Austin last year and when the meeting was over the teller told me about going to his grandfather’s funeral here in Texas,” Rose recounts. “He found out he had a full second family on the West Coast. His grandfather was a trucker and always on the road, so neither family had any idea. As he was telling me this story, I was jotting down lyrics on my banking papers because it was just too intriguing an experience not be made into a song.” 

Rule 62 boasts the first-class musicianship and studio instincts of collaborator and producer Raul Malo. The comfort and familiarity between the two made for a seamless return to the studio, this time with the added ear of Niko Bolas as co-producer.

“Niko brought a lot to the table in the studio (when he wasn't sitting at his table at Waffle House). It allowed Raul to step down from the producer role from time to time and be a part of the band. That man can play and sing. One of my favorite parts of the album is the guitar solo on ‘You Never Cross My Mind’ — that's all Raul,” Rose observes appreciatively.

Other musicians in the studio included Paul Deakin (The Mavericks) on drums, Jay Weaver (Dolly Parton) on bass; Jen Gunderman (Sheryl Crow) on piano; Chris Scruggs (Marty Stuart) on steel; Aaron Till (Asleep at the Wheel) on the fiddle; and Kenny Vaughn (Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams) on lead guitar. 

Track listing:

1. I Don’t Want Half (I Just Want Out) (3:06)
2. Arizona (3:58)
3. Better to My Baby (3:13)
4. You Never Cross My Mind (4:02)
5. You Don’t Scare Me (4:14)
6. Can’t Stop Shakin’ (4:22)
7. Tied to the Wheel (4:41)
8. Trucker’s Funeral (5:04)
9. Wake Me in Wyoming (3:29)
10. You’re a Mess (3:48)
11. Time to Cry (3:56)

Hear the track "Can't Stop Shakin'":

Jake Bugg's 'Hearts That Strain' due out soon

Jake Bugg releases his new album Hearts That Strain on Sept. 1 via Island Records. It is available for pre-order. The first single is “How Soon The Dawn,” a collaboration with Dan Auerbach. Watch the video HERE.

The album was produced by David Ferguson, who shared this year’s Best Country Album Grammy for Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth. Also in the studio was guitarist Matt Sweeney, who collaborated on Jake’s 2013 album, Shangri La. Guest vocalist on “Waiting” is Noah Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray and sister of Miley.

Auerbach (who Jake supported on tour) also played on “I Can Burn Alone” and “In The Event Of My Demise.” Elsewhere, veteran keyboardist Bobby Wood and drummer Gene Chrisman contribute. They've played on thousands of sessions (Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield).

“They’re old guys but they’re amazing,” Jake says. “It was ten to five and then that’s it. They'd pack up and we’d done two or three tunes. It was a mad vibe being from England and meeting these absolute legends and then cutting some tracks with them.”

Jake (now 23) was 18 years old when he became the youngest male artist in UK chart history to debut at #1 with his first album, Jake Bugg, released on Island U.S. in April 2013.

“Lightning Bolt,” Jake’s first U.S. single received major exposure via Gator­ade TV spots.

Shangri La followed in November 2013, produced by Rick Rubin at Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California. Jake toured non-stop in support of the album, including a 13-city headlining North American tour, every date sold-out in advance. June 2016 brought Jake’s third album, On My One, self-produced with Jacknife Lee joining for a handful of tracks. In addition, Jake’s “Lighting Bolt” was used this year on TV spots for the Mini Cooper Countryman.

Track listing:

1. How Soon The Dawn
2. Southern Rain
3. In The Event Of My Demise
4. This Time
5. Waiting
6. Man On The Stage
7. Hearts That Strain
8. I Can Burn Alone
9. Indigo Blue
10. Bigger Lover
11. Every Colour In The World

Trash Can Sinatras to head out on rare acoustic tour

This is very exciting news. I reviewed the band last year in Orange County, Calif. (see review elsewhere on this blog) and have covered them many times in the past. Read more from the press release below...

Frank Reader, Paul Livingston and John Douglas from the Trashcan Sinatras will be touring the U.S. as a three-piece acoustic lineup. The bandmates celebrate their 30th anniversary, having formed in Irvine, Scotland in 1987.

"I've been in the band for 30 years now," says Livingston. "That's a long time to be in any relationship. It's a good time to take stock, see how far we've come, and think about where we're headed." The All Night with The Trashcan Sinatras acoustic tour begins in September. Initial tour dates below.

The shows will consist of two unique sets (excluding the NYC date) and fans can expect to hear some covers, too. Although the band often delves into its back catalog for obscurities, particularly during acoustic tours, many songs have never been played live.

Others may never be played again. "We will be playing some songs live that we have never attempted before, so in some ways, it's a tightrope walk for us. But, these songs are what we have done with our lives, so I accept the challenge and will try to not look down," says Douglas.

Performing acoustically will transport many of those 100 songs back to their origins. "Most of our songs are written with acoustic guitars and voices in quiet, solitary rooms, so it will be nervy but exciting to bring that sound out of the backroom and into the light," says Douglas. According to Livingston, "touring with no rhythm section means you have to take your cues more from the vocal. You can bend time and create space for the emotion of the song to come through."

With six full-length albums to their credit, starting with debut Cake in 1990, through last year's Wild Pendulum, the band has written and released just north of 100 songs. Over the course of the tour, they plan to play each one of those songs. "Now that we've reached a century of songs," says Reader, "it feels like a good time to meet up with them all again, like a high school reunion." He adds, "Those songs whose love and friendship we've nourished over the years will no doubt turn up most nights and show us why we've remained so close over the years, but it'll be most interesting to see how those with whom we've lost touch have aged." He expects that some songs will "turn up drunk and disheveled," while others "may now be dashing and distinguished, more so than we all would have guessed. I can't wait to meet them all again and find out."

Watch the music video for "All Night"
Listen to "Ain't That Something" and "Best Days On Earth

Tour Dates:

Sept 27 Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java
Sept 28 Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
Sept 30 Highland Lakes, NJ @ Seckler Stage
Oct 1 New York, NY @ Joe's Pub
Oct 3 Somerville, MA @ Once Ballroom
Oct 4 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
Oct 6 Cleveland, OH @ Winchester Music Tavern
Oct 8 Ferndale, MI @ Magic Bag
Oct 9 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Oct 11 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall
Oct 12 St Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Oct 14 Kansas City, MO @ Gospel Lounge
Oct 16 Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Oct 17 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro
Oct 19 Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey
Oct 20 Portland, OR @ Dante's
Oct 23 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Oct 24 Los Angeles, CA @ Largo
Oct 29 Austin, TX @ 3Ten
Oct 31 Nashville, TN @ Blue Bar
Nov 1 Atlanta, GA @ Smith's Olde Bar
Nov 2 Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse

1977 Box set to spotlight early Jam

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Jam's first two LPs, In The City and This Is The Modern World, UMe/Polydor will release 1977, a five-disc box set featuring both albums re-mastered as well as unreleased demos and live recordings on Oct. 20.

The collection includes a 144-page book, new liner notes, period photos and a wealth of cuttings, reviews and memorabilia from 1977. Five LP-style CD wallets with printed inner bags – In The City will feature the U.S. version of the LP inner sleeve, also using a Martyn Goddard out-take photo. This Is The Modern World will feature an alternative Gered Mankowitz cover image. It also includes five postcards. All are housed in a ‘rigid, lift-off lid’ box.

Track listing:

Disc 1 - In The City (original album remastered)

1. Art School
2. I’ve Changed My Address
3. Slow Down
4. I Got By In Time
5. Away From The Numbers
6. Batman Theme
7. In The City
8. Sounds From The Street
9. Non-Stop Dancing
10. Time For Truth
11. Takin’ My Love
12. Bricks & Mortar
+ single & B-side extras
13. All Around The World
14. Carnaby Street

Disc 2 - The Polydor Demos: February 1977

1. Art School (demo) #
2. In The City (demo)
3. I Got By In Time (demo) #
4. I've Changed My Address (demo) #
5. Time For Truth (demo)
6. Sounds From The Street (demo)
7. Non Stop Dancing (demo) #
8. Bricks And Mortar (demo) #
9. Takin' My Love (demo)
10. So Sad About Us (demo)
11. Slowdown (demo) #
# previously unreleased

Disc 3 - This Is The Modern World (original album remastered)

1. The Modern World
2. London Traffic
3. Standards
4. Life From A Window
5. The Combine
6. Don’t Tell Them You’re Sane
7. In The Street Today
8. London Girl
9. I Need You (For Someone)
10. Here Comes The Weekend
11. Tonight At Noon
12. In The Midnight Hour

Disc 4 - Live 1977 + John Peel Sessions

1. In The City
2. Art School
3. I’ve Changed My Address
4. The Modern World

Recorded 26.4.1977 - Transmitted 2.5.1977

5. All Around The World
6. London Girl
7. Bricks & Mortar
8. Carnaby Street

Recorded 19.7.1977 - Transmitted 25.7.1977

Live at the ‘Nashville’ – September 10th 1977 (previously unreleased)

9. Carnaby Street
10. The Modern World
11. Time For Truth
12. So Sad About Us
13. London Girl
14. In the Street Today
15. All Around The World
16. London Traffic
17. Sweet Soul Music
18. Bricks & Mortar
19. In The City
20. Art School
21. In The Midnight Hour
22. Sounds From The Street
23. Slowdown

Disc 5 - DVD

1. In The City (Polydor promo - May 1977)
2. Art School (Polydor promo - May 1977)
3. In The City (Top Of The Pops - Date: 19/05/1977)
4. All Around The World (Top Of The Pops - Date: 18/08/1977)
5. All Around The World (‘Marc’ - Granada TV)
6. The Modern World (Top Of The Pops Top Of The Pops - Date: 03/11/1977)
7. Bricks and Mortar (‘So It Goes’ - Granada TV Nov. 20th 1977)
8. Carnaby Street (‘So It Goes’ - Granada TV Nov. 20th 1977)
9. In The City (‘So It Goes’ - Granada TV Nov. 20th 1977)
10. Slowdown (‘So It Goes’ - Granada TV Nov. 20th 1977)
11. All Around The World (‘So It Goes’ - Granada TV Nov. 20th 1977)

Concert review: Jake Owen, Honey County, Dan Krikorian in Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo: Miguel Vasconcellos/OC Fair
Jake Owen is a master at creating a party atmosphere in concert.

Country music’s Prince of Surf ‘n’ Sand Vibes learned from the best: his first big tour was spent as an opener for Kenny Chesney in 2006. Owen proved to be the perfect choice to close out the 2017 Summer Concert Series Sunday at the OC Fair (this season’s slate also offered up top-notch country talent like The Band Perry, Kenny Rogers and Justin Moore).

Before the show began, a bunch of excited female fans were overheard raving about Owen’s headlining spot last spring at Coastal Country Jam in Huntington Beach. Several males in attendance here wore American flag attire - some with profane slogans. A pink flamingo curtain covered all the onstage gear and the crew laid carpeting for the headliner, who performs barefoot.

The 80-minute, 17-song set in Costa Mesa kicked off with – appropriately enough – “Beachin’”, the first of half a dozen country chart toppers. Owen, casually clad in pink shorts and t-shirt, happily traversed the two-tiered, faux palm tree-lined stage as the three-man horn section added a bright sheen.

A breezy “Good Company,” the latest single off 2016’s “American Love” that was partially recorded in Pomona, describes living it up on the weekends with friends. It got a rousing response. Owen looked out into the packed Pacific Amphitheatre crowd and marveled at a crutch being hoisted in time to the tunes, then said, “I appreciated playing fairs. It’s not every day you get to see a big (stuffed) Papa Smurf.”

“If He Ain’t Gonna Love You,” a R&B-fueled Chris Stapleton co-write, sizzled, especially with some tasty slide guitar, a swelling organ buildup and excellent brass accompaniment.

Having too much fun can be detrimental though. A truncated cover of Johnny Cash hit “Ring of Fire” started with Owen sounding like he was imitating the Man in Black and one musician played a keytar as if it was new wave. Later, the singer delivered sensual ballad “Alone with You” a bit too nonchalantly. The same attitude gave short shrift to “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” which would’ve benefitted from more dramatic heft (the swelling organ and sax work were great though).
Owen’s take on Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon” was just average (unfortunately OC didn’t get Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” done live last week and to fine effect for Owen’s Facebook followers). Turning serious, the singer explained the low-key ballad “LAX,” one of his favorites from “American Love” and co-written by a friend who passed away (Andrew Dorff) has lyrics “no one seems to get unless you’re from here.”

Late set highlights “Anywhere with You” and “The One That Got Away” and first encore “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” - with an odd nod to "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" TV theme - all rocked with abandon to massive singalongs. Owen capped the evening with more recent No. 1 hit, “American Country Love Song.” 

Honey County opened the proceedings with a pleasant, if unremarkable half hour performance. The ladies’ glossy pop take on country music boasted plenty of group harmonies, especially during “High on the Radio.” Guitarist Katie Stump, an OC native, took over lead vocals on a feisty cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.”

Earlier on Sunday, I caught Dan Krikorian’s last performance of the afternoon inside the fair’s Baja Blues Restaurant. Playing with a full band, the Costa Mesa singer/songwriter’s 45-minute pop/rock set definitely made a strong impression. Highlights included the appealingly upbeat “New York City Day” and well-crafted “Maggie” (both from “Windsor Blue,” one of my favorite local releases of ’11), an exquisite “Words,” the Ben Harper-ish "Something Good" - where his family and friends danced around - and the beautifully soulful “Need You Bad.” 

A version of my review originally appeared at