Monday, September 30, 2013

Carbon Leaf news

Carbon Leaf has just released Constellation Prize, their second new album of 2013. 

This year kicked off with the release of Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle, a 12-song collection of Celtic-inspired, original tunes.

It debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top New Artist Album Chart and #2 on the iTunes Rock Chart back in February.

Richmond, VA quintet's 11th album Constellation Prize is the companion piece to Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle and explores American roots and folk, with 10 tracks ranging in tone from bluegrass and Appalachia, to country, rock and some more languid, extended jams.

The band’s autonomous spirit forges on in recording and producing independently from their own studio. Releasing their music directly to fans has rekindled their creative output and inspired them to release more music and with greater frequency. Since 2010, the band has released five independent albums. 

Songs are often punctuated by diverse instruments including mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, penny whistle, banjo, cello, peddle steel, accordion, acoustic and electric guitars, bodhrán and bagpipes.

Carbon Leaf debuted as an independent college band in 1993, eventually leading to a recording contract with Vanguard Records in 2004, resulting in three albums during their six years with the label.

Along the way, Carbon Leaf scored hit singles at AAA and Hot AC Radio with “Life Less Ordinary” and “The Boxer.” The band placed first in the International Songwriting Competition for “The War Was In Color” and was the first independent band to ever win an American Music Award for the “The Boxer” in 2002. In 2010, Carbon Leaf wrote six songs for the Curious George 2 soundtrack (Universal Pictures).


OCT 3 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom

OCT 4 Chicago, IL @ City Winery

OCT 5 Bloomington, IL @ Castle Theatre

OCT 7 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall

OCT 8 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center

OCT 9 Ames, IA @ Maintenance Shop

OCT 10 Overland Park, KS @ Kanza Hall

OCT 11 Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater

OCT 14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

OCT 15 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

OCT 16 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory

OCT 17 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile

OCT 18 Seattle, WA @ Triple Door

OCT 19 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir

OCT 20 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

OCT 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Café

OCT 22 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic

OCT 24 Austin, TX @ The Parish

OCT 25 Dallas, TX @ The Kessler Theater

OCT 26 Conroe, TX @ Doesy Doe’s Music Café

OCT 27 Birmingham, AL @ WorkPlay Theatre

OCT 29 Nashville, TN @ High Watt

NOV 8 Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre

NOV 9 Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live

NOV 10 Bay Shore, NY @ Boulton Center for Performing Arts

NOV 14 Uncasville, CT @ The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino

NOV 15 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground

NOV 16 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

NOV 21 Winston-Salem, NC @ Ziggy’s

NOV 22 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

NOV 23 Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theater

DEC 12 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall

DEC 13 Londonderry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall

DEC 14 Londonderry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall

DEC19 Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere

DEC 20 Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere

DEC 21 Richmond, VA @ The National


Constellation Prize Track Listing

1. Circus
2. Love Rain Down
3. Alcatraz
4. All Of My Love
5. Two Aging Truckers
6. Ragtime Carnival
7. Sparklers
8. Pierce My Heart
9. Wolfin’ Down Your Heart
10. Tombstone vs. Ashes


Barry Privett - vocals
Terry Clark - guitars, vocals
Carter Gravatt -guitars, mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Jon Markel - bass, vocals Jason Neal - drums, vocals

Dropkick Murphys; limited edition LP set

Boston celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys release a limited edition LP collection of studio albums, from 1998’s Do Or Die to 2013’s Signed and Sealed in Blood, on Nov. 3. The box set will be available for purchase at or .

The collection (limited to 2,000 pressings) will include all of Dropkick Murphys’ studio albums, plus The Singles Collection Volume 1 and 2 - available for the first time on a special double LP for this box set only.

Do Or Die, The Gang’s All Here, Sing Loud, Sing Proud, Blackout, The Warrior’s Code, The Meanest Of Times, Going Out In Style, Signed and Sealed in Blood (2x LP), Singles Collection, Vol. 1 (2x LP), Singles Collection, Vol. 2 (2x LP) are packaged in a hardbound box and pressed on colored vinyl with exclusive colors available through the official Dropkick Murphys store and Epitaph Records.

In addition, all box sets will include a Dropkick Murphys 36” x 60” "Pirate" flag.

Ellen Foley resurfaces after long musical absence

Female rocker Ellen Foley is best known as the powerhouse voice behind Meat Loaf’s multi-platinum 1977 legendary duet, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," but after a 30-year hiatus from the music industry, she is releasing a new album titled, About Time.

This is her first solo album since the 1983's Another Breath and it will be released via Urban Noise, on Nov. 5, in collaboration with Sands Foley Entertainment.

With production from Eric Ambel of the roots rock band The Del-Lords, About Time finds Foley's powerhouse vocals melding with the edgy, guitar-driven compositions that are nostalgic yet fresh—certifying her reign as a veteran in power pop world while pronouncing her readmission on classic rock grounds.

"It's important for me to release a new record at this point in time, " says Foley. I feel really powerful vocally, and the songs Paul Foglino has written fit so well. They have a real integrity that increases my legitimacy as an artist. In terms of making records now vs. 30 years ago, I have to say it's intimidating. The digital, the social network is something I need to dive into head first. And be surrounded with people who understand it all. Which, thankfully, I do, she adds."

Foley's dossier includes a string of credits, from music to film and theatre. She received several gold records and awards for her three solo albums recorded on Epic Records (Night Out, Spirit of St. Louis, Another Breath), which were produced by high profile rock legends such as Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson, and Mick Jones and Joe Strummer of The Clash.
She was the inspiration for The Clash's "Should I Stay, or Should I Go,"  and has sung backup for Joe Jackson (“Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Steppin’ Out” and “Sunday Papers”). Foley also taught at the School of Rock, the foundation for Jack Black’s 2003 film of the same title.

During her so-called "hiatus," she raised two sons (now 23 and 19), and found success on the big screen and the stage with featured roles in the films "Hair," "Tootsie," "Fatal Attraction," "Married to the Mob," and "Cocktail" - and leading roles on Broadway in "Me and My Girl," " Into The Woods."
The singer/actress also played a public defender in the TV series "Night Court," and was a host on the VH-1 series, "Top 21 Countdown." She stars in the upcoming indie film, "Lies I Told My Little Sister," which will be released in 2014.

Keith Urban, Little Big Town concert review: Hollywood

My review originally appeared at
Photos by Armando Brown

Two of country music's leading lights put on powerful performances Friday night during their first appearances at the Hollywood Bowl.

Without introduction or lighting cues, Keith Urban casually strolled onstage to play an instrumental and was gradually joined by his band. Then his two-hour performance began with an energetic “Long Hot Summer” and infectious, extended “Sweet Thing,” complete with fiery fretwork, while “Cop Car,” among the more intriguing new tunes on his recent chart-topping album, Fuse, boasted soaring vocals.

The set list was evenly divided among the Aussie musician and American Idol judge's catalog. Highlights included sturdy country rockers “Even the Stars Fall 4 U,” “Good Thing” and “Kiss a Girl” (initial opening act Dustin Lynch, grinning ear to ear, assisted on that one). 

Second-billed Little Big Town added supple harmonies to “You Gonna Fly,” while the mid-tempo “Stupid Boy” featured a sizzling solo from the headliner and tender ballad “Without You” came dedicated to Urban's wife, Nicole Kidman.

Dashing to a B-stage halfway through the packed venue for an impressive version of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and his own sprightly “Days Go By,” Urban also gave a nod to the city with Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights.”

Like a game of “spot the reference,” he tossed in bits of Blake Shelton’s “Boys ’Round Here” and David Bowie’s “Fame,” and even yodeled (!) on his return trip to the main stage, before circling back to an epic “Better Life.” After that, “A Little Bit of Everything,” driven by drum machines and ukulele, was illuminated by a disco ball, provoking more fans to dance.

When one concertgoer’s handmade sign caught the singer’s eye, she and her husband, egged on by Urban, chatted for what seemed like an eternity about it. Additionally, the star spent considerable time reading off several other placards around the place. A constant focus on Urban’s band (having them take lead vocals during snippets of tracks from Adele, fun. and Bruno Mars) affected the pacing, but those were minor annoyances.

Come encore time, Urban played piano for the plaintive “Tonight I Wanna Cry” (a real treat) and ventured back into the crowd for the whimsical “You Look Good in My Shirt.”

Little Big Town’s excellent fifth album, Tornado, has been racking up well-deserved plaudits since its release a year ago. Those tunes and others from the Alabama quartet were a revelation in concert, especially their stellar harmonies.

After some Black Keys intro music, swirling red lights flashed and the singers appeared on a ramp behind the drums, huddled around a single valve mike. Their astounding 50-minute performance kicked off with a feisty “Little White Church” and possessed a Southern Sunday revival vibe.

A fun “On Fire Tonight” (very appropriate) was the first of seven “Tornado” selections. Guitarist Phillip Sweet’s soulful side was spotlighted during the smooth “Bring It on Home” and multi-instrumentalist Kimberly Schlapman’s honeyed pipes added more resonance to “Sober” live; the banjo-led “Pavement Ends” and upbeat “Front Porch Thing” were totally rousing.

Guitarist Jimi Westbrook and his wife Karen Fairchild took the lead during some captivating drama on “Your Side of the Bed” and eventually came together at center stage. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” was a perfect fit, and a smoldering, bluesy take on the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira” brought to mind a mix of Leon Russell and the Civil Wars.

Later, Fairchild – her long, dark hair blown from behind for effect – showed more grit amid “Tornado.” Most of the audience stood for slinky smash hit “Pontoon” and Westbrook proved his vocal mettle during the swampy closer, “Boondocks.”

First up at the Bowl this evening was Dustin Lynch. The white-Stetson-wearing singer’s self-titled debut came out in 2012 and entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s country album chart. In Hollywood, he offered a satisfying half-hour set despite a muddled mix that tended to engulf his vocals. The raucous vibe of “Name on It” and double-entendre lyrics of recent Top 40 country hit “She Cranks My Tractor” were reminiscent of Jason Aldean.

Each song went down well with early arrivals, as did an upbeat cover of David Lee Murphy’s 1995 chart topper “Dust on the Bottle.” Lots of ladies happily danced around, and Lynch immediately segued into an odd snatch of Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body.” Yet, like early influences Garth Brooks and Clint Black, the Tennessee vocalist fared best at ballads like the contemplative “Hurricane” and appealing platinum single “Cowboys and Angels,” inspired by his grandparents.

Set list: Keith Urban at the Hollywood Bowl

Main set: Instrumental > Long Hot Summer > Sweet Thing > I Told You So > Cop Car > Stupid Boy > Even the Stars Fall 4 You > You Gonna Fly (with Little Big Town) > Without You > Good Thing > Kiss a Girl (with Dustin Lynch) / Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who cover) / Days Go By > Rumor Has It (Adele cover) / Once in a Lifetime / Hollywood Nights (Bob Seger cover) / Better Life / Boys 'Round Here (Blake Shelton cover) / Some Nights (snippet of fun. cover) / You'll Think of Me / Little Bit of Everything / Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me / Somebody Like You

Encore: But for the Grace of God (snippet) / Tonight I Wanna Cry / Locked Out of Heaven (snippet of Bruno Mars cover) / You Look Good in My Shirt

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chvrches concert dates in America

Chvrches released their debut album The Bones of What You Believe this week on Glassnote Records. The album is currently top 10 at iTunes. First single "The Mother We Share," is the #1 most played song of the year on Sirius's XMU.
Tour dates
11/17 -- Oakland, CA -- Fox Theater
11/18 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Wiltern
11/19 -- San Diego, CA -- House of Blues 
11/22 -- Austin, TX -- Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater
11/23 -- Dallas, TX -- South Side Ballroom 
11/24 -- Houston, TX -- House of Blues 
11/26 -- Atlanta, GA -- Variety Playhouse
11/27 -- Norfolk, VA-- The Norva
11/29 -- Richmond, VA -- The National
11/30 -- Asheville, NC -- The Orange Peel
12/1 -- Nashville, TN -- Exit/In
Chvrches is Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry.

Luke Bryan continues 'Farm Tour'

ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is gearing up to launch his fifth “Farm Tour 2013” next week with eight shows. 
October 2    Statesboro, Georgia                Perry’s Field
October 3    Athens, Georgia                      Wild Winds Farms 
October 4    Columbia, South Carolina       Culler Farms                           SOLD OUT 
October 5    Macon, Georgia                       Midway at Central City Park   SOLD OUT 
October 9    Villa Rica, Georgia                   V-Plex 
October 10   Auburn, Alabama                    Ingram Farms
October 11   Tallahassee, Florida               Tallahassee Automobile Museum 
October 12   Valdosta, Georgia                   Valdosta Wake Compound 
(dates and cities subject to change)
The October 4-5 dates have already sold-out. In 2012, the “Farm Tour” played for 100,000 fans, doubling the previous year’s attendance record. Eight scholarships were given to students from a farming family within the communities the tour played last year and the “Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship” will continue in 2013.
The idea for the “Farm Tour” concerts came from Bryan as a way to give back to local farming communities by celebrating and lifting up the American farmer.
For additional “Farm Tour” 2013 information, including where to get tickets locally, see

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sammy Hagar's 'Friends' album out now

On the eve of his fourth decade in rock & roll, Grammy Award-winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar has teamed with an array of rock and country artist friends and bandmates, past and present, for his first-ever rock collaborations album, “Sammy Hagar and Friends.”

The release sees Hagar joining forces with Kid Rock, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Toby Keith, Taj Mahal, Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), Michael Anthony (ex-Van Halen, Chickenfoot), Neal Schon (Journey), Chad Smith & Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot), Bill Church & Denny Carmassi (Montrose), The Wabos and more on 10 new songs and covers. “Sammy Hagar and Friends” is co-produced by Hagar.

From new original songs including “Not Going Down” (a song specifically written for Hagar by Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons), “Knockdown Dragout,” “Bad On Fords and Chevrolets,” “All We Need Is An Island,” and “Father Sun,” to covers of Bob Seger’s, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” and Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” – Hagar's album delves into rock, country, pop and blues. 

In addition to the 10-track standard edition album, fans will also have an opportunity to purchase a Deluxe edition of "Sammy Hagar and Friends," packaged in a high-gloss Digipak. The Deluxe CD/DVD package includes an exclusive bonus audio track, "Space Station #5,” recorded live at the Ronnie Montrose Tribute Concert held on April 29, 2012 in San Francisco, as well as the "Making of” album documentary which includes bonus video of the first single "Knockdown Dragout,” and more.


Winding Down
Not Going Down
Personal Jesus
Father Sun
Knockdown Dragout
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Bad On Fords and Chevrolets
All We Need Is An Island
Going Down (Live In Studio-Take 1)

Deluxe version 

Space Station #5 (Live From Ronnie Montrose Tribute Concert) (Bonus Track)
DVD:Knockdown Dragout (videoclip) – “Making of the Album” documentary

Rosanne Cash returns with new material

The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash’s first album in more than four years, will be released on Jan. 14, 2014 by Blue Note Records.

Cash wrote the album’s 11 original songs with her longtime collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger and guitarist. See below for track listing.

In 2010, Cash put out a bestselling memoir, Composed. With The River & The Thread, she turns her attention to various American lives and locations. The album richly evokes the Southern landscape – physical, musical, emotional – and examines the indelible impressions it has made on our own collective culture and on Cash.

The River & The Thread
is sweeping in its breadth, capturing a unique, multi-generational cast of characters – from a Civil War soldier off to fight in Virginia to a New Deal-era farmer in Arkansas to a contemporary Mobile, AL couple.

While Cash and Leventhal found inspiration in the many musical styles associated with the South – swampy Delta blues, gospel, Appalachian folk, country and rock, to name a few – this is a completely contemporary collection. Cash’s voice and Leventhal’s guitar work are at the heart of the album, and they bring in additional instrumentation to suit the tone of each particular song – from the delicate orchestral passages of “Night School,” (which nods to Stephen Foster, who also had a deep affection for the South) to the ghostly keyboards of album closer “Money Road.”

The River & The Thread follows 2009’s The List, which was named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association and nominated for two Grammy Awards.

“If I never make another album I will be content, because I made this one,” says Cash of The River & The Thread, which is a marked departure from her earlier works.

She was joined in the studio by a cast of friends and fellow musicians who also have a deep affection for and/or roots in the South, including Rodney Crowell (who also co-wrote one song), Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, John Prine, Derek Trucks, John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Tony Joe White and Gabe Witcher (The Punch Brothers.)

On Dec. 5, Cash will begin a three-day residency at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Events will include a concert, a round robin with Leventhal, Crowell, Cory Chisel and Amy Helm and a conversation with Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate. For additional details, visit

“We were dreaming of the Tallahatchie Bridge, and we found it,” says Cash. It’s an inevitable, essential destination on this journey through the Southern spirit, a journey that begins with the artist’s assertion in the opening track that “a river runs through me.”

Track Listing

1. A Feather's Not A Bird
2. The Sunken Lands
3. Etta's Tune
4. Modern Blue
5. Tell Heaven
6. The Long Way Home
7. World Of Strange Design
8. Night School
9. 50,000 Watts
10. When The Master Calls The Roll
11. Money Road

Initial details, registration for NAMM 2014

The global music industry is busy designing new products, dreaming up events and crafting creative marketing themes in preparation for the NAMM Show’s return to the Anaheim Convention Center, Jan. 23-26, 2014.

Manufacturers, retailers and other professionals in the music product, instrument, pro-light and audio world depend on the NAMM Show to amplify business, and set the stage for success at the start of each new year.
"The NAMM Show has been called the ‘World’s Show’ by our membership and our team is honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of putting it on," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM.

"NAMM’s 2014 event will feature exhibitors from around the globe debuting amazing new products, educational tracks aimed to support our members' growth and more music, concerts, parties and networking opportunities than ever before. It is without a doubt the biggest industry ‘family reunion’ of the year. I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to miss it."
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) brings back all features from last year’s show, including in-hotel badge pick-up, fewer ID checks and increased opportunities for professional development, while adding even more spots for networking, and great live entertainment on The Grand Plaza Stage for 2014. The NAMM Show’s open lobby will include a greater array of services and facilities for Members, such as the Member Center, the NAMM Foundation kiosk, and a special exhibit from the Museum of Making Music.
New for 2014, on Wednesday night the industry is welcomed on arrival to Anaheim with a block party held in the Grand Plaza. Featuring live entertainment and a selection of the city’s best food trucks, the gathering is an ideal opportunity for the industry to connect and unwind together after a long day of set-up and travel.
Entertainment – Members applauded the increase in live music with the addition of the new Grand Plaza Stage. For 2014, NAMM promises to up the ante with Grand Plaza entertainment that will keep the momentum of the day going strong with, what else? More music!

The Venue Stage, located in the courtyard between The Venue (in the arena) and the Hilton will feature live music, but also product demonstrations throughout the show, and hands-on music making events including ukulele and drum circles. Submit bands and performers for the NAMM stages now.
Networking – Greeting old friends, making new ones, and conducting vibrant business is central to the NAMM Show, and the 2014 show will provide ample opportunities. Hotel lobby entertainment schedules are being designed to accommodate enterprising, business-friendly meetings that encourage camaraderie among the industry as the day turns to night.
TEC Awards  -- Todd Rundgren will be honored with the Les Paul Award at the 29th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in professional audio technology and production and will be presented Friday, Jan. 24 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton Pacific Ballroom during NAMM.

The Les Paul Award, named for the revolutionary inventor and esteemed musician, is presented annually to honor individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio and music technology.

Russ Paul, son of Les Paul, will make the presentation on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation, sponsor of the award. Instituted in 1991, the honor has been granted to such luminaries as Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Peter Gabriel.

The TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio will also induct two new members to its Hall of Fame. Audio engineer and sound researcher John Meyer co-founded and is CEO of Berkeley’s Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. He will be recognized for bringing groundbreaking developments to the design and manufacture of the loudspeaker and for his cutting-edge contributions to sound reinforcement in the performing arts.

Legendary session musician Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew played drums on more than 5,000 records, TV jingles and film scores. Career highlights include hits for Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys and dozens more.

The TEC Awards ceremony is expected to attract more than 1,000 global manufacturers of audio equipment and software, as well as top music producers, engineers, sound mixers and musical artists. The awards ceremony is now produced as part of the NAMM Foundation. It will be held on the second night of The NAMM Show. 

For tickets, visit

Registration opens for NAMM Member exhibitors and retailers Oct. 2. Exhibit space is still available for the 2014 event. The earlier a company commits, the more location options will be available. NAMM member hotel bookings open Oct. 2 with non-member housing opening Nov. 13. Find more info for making the most of the 2014 NAMM Show at

Modern Dwight Yoakam retrospective out soon

Sounds like a great assortment. I look forward to checking it out...

New West Records will release the Dwight Yoakam compilation, 21st Century Hits: Best of 2000-12, on Oct. 1.

The album chronicles for the first time the key singles, hits and beloved songs Yoakam recorded while on New West Records, Warner Brothers and Koch between 2000-12. The collection picks up where the multiple Grammy Award winner's last greatest hits compilation left off and will bring the listener right up to his latest album, 2012's 3 Pears.

It will be available digitally, on CD and as a deluxe CD+DVD combo featuring five music videos: "Close Up The Honky Tonks, "Intentional Heartache," Blame The Vain," "Back Of Your Hand" and "Late Great Golden State." The bonus DVD will also contain hi-res 24/96 audio playback of the album.

The 14-track LP is compiled of essential singles from five albums including Tomorrow's Sound Today, Population Me, Blame The Vain, Dwight Sings Buck and 3 Pears as well as the smash hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" as featured in the film "The Break-Up," and the never before commercially released duet with Michelle Branch, "Long Goodbye." Also included is the Willie Nelson duet "If Teardrops Were Diamonds" and the rollicking "A Heart Like Mine" produced by Beck.

Opening the album is "The Sad Side Of Town," a torchy Buck Owens-Yoakam co-write delivered with aching restraint. Yoakam's homage to former mentor Owens, Dwight Sings Buck, is represented here with three tracks including Yoakam's take on The Baron of Bakersfield's perennial favorite, "Act Naturally."

His 2005 New West debut, Blame The Vain, which saw Yoakam taking the reins for his first-ever self- produced album, is highlighted here with four tracks including the rocking, uproarious "Intentional Heartache," the twangy, boot-stomping "I Wanna Love Again" and the Hammond organ-laced country-rock title track.

Few entertainers have attained the iconic status of Yoakam. In his illustrious three-decade career he has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, has amassed 12 gold albums and nine platinum or multi-platinum albums and is a 21-time nominated Grammy award winner. 21st Century Hits shines the spotlight on this country pioneer's second act, which showcases him embracing rock, Americana, pop and soul with aplomb and the same fiery passion first displayed on his trail blazing 1986 debut.


1. The Sad Side Of Town (Tomorrow's Sounds Today)
2. Late Great Golden State (Population Me)
3. The Back Of Your Hand (Population Me)
4. If Teardrops Were Diamonds (with Willie Nelson) (Population Me)
5. Long Goodbye (with Michelle Branch) (Previously Unreleased)
6. Intentional Heartache (Blame The Vain)
7. Blame The Vain (Blame The Vain)
8. I Wanna Love Again (Blame The Vain)
9. Just Passin' Time (Blame The Vain)
10. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (The Break-Up Soundtrack)
11. Close Up The Honky Tonks (Dwight Sings Buck)
12. My Heart Skips A Beat (Dwight Sings Buck)
13. Act Naturally (Dwight Sings Buck)
14. A Heart Like Mine (3 Pears)

Bonus DVD
1. Close Up The Honky Tonks
2. Intentional Heartache
3. Blame The Vain
4. Back of Your Hand
5. Late Great Golden State
* Bonus DVD also contains hi-res 24/96 audio playback of the album

Counting Crows live album gets official release

Counting Crows have announced a Nov. 12 release of Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow.

The live album, recorded on their 2012 North American tour, will be available at all digital retailers as well as both CD and LP format.

It is a deluxe package and will include 13 postcards of posters from their 2012-13 tour dates.

A digital version of the album was included as a larger promotional package during the band’s summer tour, but this release marks the first official nationwide availability of the record. The band is currently in the studio working on new material.

Their most recent album, Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation), features 15 unique cover versions. 


1 - Girl From the North Country
2 - Round Here
3 - Untitled (Love Song)
4 - Four Days
5 - Hospital
6 - Carriage
7 - Start Again
8 - I Wish I Was A Girl
9 - Sundays
10 - Mercury
11 - Friend of the Devil
12 - Rain King
13 - Le Ballet d'Or
14 - Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes To Hollywood)
15 - You Ain't Goin Nowhere

Jake Bugg sets new album date; on tour now

Critically acclaimed 19-year old British singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, the youngest male artist in UK chart history to debut at #1 with his first album, has completed work on his second album, Shangri-La which is set to arrive Jan. 14 on Island Records in the U.S., with an EP available Nov. 18.
The video for “What Doesn’t Kill You,” a new track, just premiered on VEVO, and will be at iTunes on Sept. 30.
Bugg is currently in the midst of a sold out U.S.tour that will include performances on TBS’s Conan with Conan O’Brien on Oct. 1, and upcoming Front and Center special on PBS this fall. The tour winds down with two separate performances at the Austin City Limits Festival in Texas in October. He will return to the U.S. with a headline tour kicking off Jan. 8 in Philadelphia (see dates below).
Eponymous debut album Jake Bugg was released last April in the U.S. on Island Records. Many people have been hearing his music on the television spot for Gatorade, featuring “Lightning Bolt,” the opening song on the Jake Bugg album.
Check out the clip at: (Preview)


26 Seattle, WA Neptune Theatre
27 Vancouver, B.C. The Venue
28 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
29 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore

1 Los Angeles, CA The Fonda Theatre
2 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
4 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Festival
5 Dallas, TX The Kessler
11 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Festival
13 Mexico City, D.F. Corona Capital Festival

8 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
10 New York, NY Terminal 5
11 Boston, MA House of Blues
12 Montreal, QC Metropolis
14 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
15 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre
17 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
18 Chicago, IL Riviera Theater
20 Seattle,WA Paramount Theater
21 Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theatre
22 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
23 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
24 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern

Monday, September 23, 2013

REO Speedwagon readies live home video

photo by Randee St. Nicholas
REO Speedwagon has announced the release of Live at Moondance Jam. Recorded at the classic rock festival in Walker, Minn. in high-definition, it finds the veteran rockers blasting  through 13 of their best-loved songs.

Available in both Blu-ray and a deluxe edition (containing a CD and DVD in a glossy digipak) formats, Live At Moondance Jam will be released on Nov. 19.

Broadcast on Palladia, Direct TV and VH1 Classic in early 2013, Live at Moondance Jam features the hits "Keep on Loving You," "Take It on the Run," and "Can’t Fight This Feeling," along with the first ever live versions of "In Your Letter," "Golden Country," and "Like You Do.”

The packages also feature “Don't Let Him Go,” “Keep Pushin',” “Time for Me to Fly, “Back on the Road Again,” “Roll with the Changes, “Ridin' the Storm Out,” and “157 Riverside Avenue.”

Additionally, both the CD+DVD and Blu-ray packages contain a bonus interview with REO vocalist Kevin Cronin. 

"I can't really explain it, but we feel like our band is actually still getting better,” said REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin. “This Moondance show captures the essence of this exciting new chapter in the continuing story of REO. I can look you in the eye and say that this performance is us playing our best, totally live, and having an absolute blast."

Cronin and bandmates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (lead guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums) are currently headlining tour dates and festival shows through the spring of 2014.

On the band’s last tour, the Midwest Rock N' Roll Express, STYX and REO Speedwagon’s Rock to the Rescue charity organization not only raised thousands of dollars for local charities at each tour stop, but also raised $108,000 which will go directly to the Boston One Fund, helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Recently, REO’s Kevin Cronin unveiled the band’s “Great Chicago Fire Hydrant” as part of a citywide Chicago public art installation project which will feature oversized replicas of Chicago's iconic fire hydrants. There will be 101 fire hydrants to represent each firehouse, and later in December, these will be auctioned, with proceeds benefitting 100 Club Chicago. 

Finally, a re-recording of “Roll with the Changes” is currently featured in the movie Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher.

Cher concert tour news

courtesy Warner Bros/Rosenberg Media

Cher will kick off her “Dressed To Kill” North American Tour beginning in Phoenix on March 22, 2014 (see full list below).

For detailed ticket information and tour updates please go to

Her “Farewell Tour,” later dubbed “The Never Can Say Goodbye Tour,” was one of the most successful tours ever by a solo artist and played for a record-breaking 325 dates and seen by over 5.5 million people from 2002-05.

American Express Cardmembers can purchase their tickets to select cities before the general public beginning Monday, Sept. 30, 10am through Thursday, Oct. 3, 10pm.

For all online tickets purchased (presale and general public), ticketholders will receive a free copy of Cher’s new album Closer To The Truth, out now via Warner Bros Records.

After a Monday appearance on the Today Show Concert Series, this week Cher will also celebrate the album’s release on David Letterman (Sept. 24), then Live! with Kelly & Michael (Oct. 1). Cher will mentor with Blake Shelton on NBC’s The Voice, airing in October.


Sat, March 22 Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center
*Mon, March 24 Houston, TX Toyota Center
*Wed, March 26 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Fri, March 28 Little Rock, AR Verizon Arena
Sat, March 29 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Mon, March 31 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Wed, April 2 Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center
*Fri, April 4 Washington DC Verizon Center
Sat, April 5 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
Mon, April 7 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Wed, April 9 Boston, MA TD Garden
Fri, April 11 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Sat, April 12 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Wed, April 23 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
Fri, April 25 Montreal, QC Bell Center
Sat, April 26 Ottawa, ON Canada Tire Centre
*Mon, April 28 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Wed, April 30 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Fri, May 2 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Mon, May 5 Charlotte, NC Times Warner Cable Arena
Wed, May 7 Raleigh, NC PNC Arena
*Fri, May 9 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
*Sat, May 10 East Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
*Mon, May 12 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
Wed, May 14 Jacksonville, FL Veterans Memorial Arena
Fri, May 16 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Sat, May 17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
Sun, May 25 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand
Wed, May 28 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Fri, May 30 Lincoln, NE Pinnacle Bank Arena
Sat, May 31 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Mon, June 2 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
Wed, June 4 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Fri, June 6 Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Bradley Center
Sat, June 7 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
Mon, June 9 Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
Wed, June 11 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Fri, June 20 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Sat, June 21 Saskatoon, SK Credit Union Centre
Mon, June 23 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Wed, June 25 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Fri, June 27 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
*Sat, June 28 Seattle, WA Key Arena
Mon, June 30 Portland, OR Moda Center
*Wed, July 2 San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose
Sat, July 5 Ontario, CA Citizens Business Bank Arena
*Mon, July 7 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
*Wed, July 9 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Fri, July 11 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center

*American Express® Cardmembers can purchase tickets before the general public.*

Flashback Jack concert review, with Blondie, Rick Springfield, The Fixx, Psych Furs, others in Anaheim, Calif.

On Saturday, Flashback Jack – the latest edition of the annual concert put on by 93.1 FM/Los Angeles –was a more memorable, enjoyable experience than usual thanks to some minor changes.

For starters, the JACK FM event was moved from its past home at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine to the comfier confines of Honda Center in Anaheim (my backside didn’t ache for a change afterward).

A majority of the acts enjoyed their biggest success during the early-to-mid 1980s and were far more compatible stylistically. Token rap act Sugarhill Gang was the exception.

DJ Richard Blade served as the emcee. The longtime fixture on sister station KROQ currently does the Flashback Lunch on JACK as well as First Wave Rewind on Sirius XM satellite radio.

Before Dramarama launched the afternoon pre-show festivities on the outdoor stage, Blade informed everyone that singer John Easdale (pictured above) had just celebrated a birthday and had the crowd serenade him.

The SoCal band’s powerful, well-rounded 45-minute set featured ‘80s and ‘90s modern rock radio hits “Last Cigarette,” “Haven’t Got a Clue” and signature song “Anything Anything (I’ll Give You)” as well as fan faves and deep album cuts like the haunting “Steve & Edie,” “Scenario,” “Some Crazy Dame,” “I’ve Got Spies,” plus a harrowing “Prayer.”

Mark “Mr. E Boy” Englert was a wild man on electric guitar while Easdale’s vocal delivery provided the right amount of alienation and paranoia.

Inside the arena, Berlin opened the proceedings with a sexually charged mix of synth pop and modern electronic dance sounds from the just released Animal album (its first full length in 11 years).

Exuberant vocalist Terri Nunn (pictured below) and the three-man group created quite a stir for early arrivals. Before “With the Lights On” – the first of four solid new songs played - she noted that Berlin’s first ever gig was right down the freeway at Cal State University Fullerton in 1979.

Some of Berlin’s best known tunes, like a pulsating “The Metro” and explicit “Sex (I’m A)” wisely utilized a backing panel to project the original music videos and flash key lyrics.

Other highlights included Eighties modern rock staples “Masquerade,” “No More Words” and a gorgeous Nunn vocal on pop chart topper “Take My Breath Away” from the film “Top Gun.”

Despite admitting that another upbeat new one - “Nice to Meet You” - was inspired by “a fear of people,” she ventured into the audience during it and later praised Grace Slick as a life changer before an aggressive, industrial dance cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.”

In 2012, English art rock band The Fixx put out Beautiful Friction, its first new studio album in nine years and easily among the best by a heritage act.

Like others on Saturday’s bill, The Fixx was no stranger to Jack FM shows (I caught them do a great turn in Irvine for the 2010 edition). Unlike fellow groups though, this group boasted the entire “classic” lineup.  

The Fixx took the title to one of the several “Friction” selections played (“Take a Risk”) to heart by frontloading the set with them.

Starting with a soaring “Anyone Else” (I could play it endlessly without getting tired), the quintet did the dreamy title track and hypnotic “Just Before Dawn,” while the needling “Risk” was a fine spotlight for guitarist Jamie West-Oram.

Concertgoers perked up when they finally delved into the hit singles and intense vocalist Cy Curnin (left) handled “Are We Ourselves,” “Red Skies at Night,” “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Stand or Fall” with finesse. 

Psychedelic Furs live can be a hit or miss affair depending on the state of Richard Butler’s raspy voice (“Heaven” can be excruciating when he’s having an off night).

Here, it heartening to see him in good form following spinal surgery late last year; he roamed all over the stage, did trademark circling and scarecrow moves alongside his bassist brother Tim.

Butler let the music do the talking as usual, but graciously thanked fans. Standouts during their set included the ebullient “Heartbreak Beat” and “Heartbeat” (both elevated by Mars Williams’ peppy sax work), a rousing “Mr. Jones” and the elegant new wave of “Love My Way” and “Pretty in Pink.”

A middling sound mix throughout the night affected Adam Ant’s set the most. Already loud, thanks to his dual drummers, it was often hard to make out the separation of instruments and vocals. Still, the British post-punk artist, clad in full pirate regalia, did an admirable job. Kudos go to his young electric guitarist too.

The set started with “Dog Eat Dog” and featured several early career numbers:  “Car Trouble,” “Kings of the Wild Frontier,” “Antmusic.”

He slipped in “Vince Taylor” (a memorable moment from Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunnar’s Daughter the first new effort in 18 years) and also included major hit “Goody Two Shoes.”

If you sing along to those, not to mention “Prince Charming” and “Stand and Deliver,” you get a new appreciation for the difficulty of seeing them done live - there's hardly any breaks.

One set that I was really looking forward to was Rick Springfield. He definitely rocked hard, but the set was uneven and marred by aforementioned sound problems.

Yet three songs culled from last year’s impressive Songs for the End of the World fared very well: “Wide Awake” was a pile driving kick starter; “Our Ship’s Sinking,” a winning dose of power pop (see it here: and “I Hate Myself” contained a fun gang chant. 

The latter didn't get much support when Springfield held out a microphone for people to repeat the title. It was odd to hear Springfield wish himself an early Happy Birthday before a snatch of The Beatles’ “When I’m 64” led into a stunning take on Wings’ “Jet."

Cool archival video clips played behind the jovial singer during a long medley that incorporated such minor hits as “Celebrate Youth,” “Rock ‘Til You Drop,” “State of the Heart,” “What Kind of Fool Am I” and “Love is Alright Tonight.”

Springfield ventured into the crowd, did plenty of his famous flower bouquet smashing and even brought a grade school age boy to help on electric guitar at one point.

The final stretch, comprising “Human Touch,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Love Somebody” and “Jessie’s Girl” had much of the crowd standing and singing along. Fortunately, there was very little lag time before the stages rotated for the different acts.

De-facto headliner Blondie appeared onstage sans introduction and began “One Way or Another.”

Despite a few songs’ tempos being slower than the originals, vocalist Deborah Harry acquitted herself well on new wave classics like “Hangin’ on the Telephone,” “Heart of Glass” and “Dreaming.”

Paying homage to fellow New Yorkers Beastie Boys, they tacked a bit of “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” onto “Heart of Glass.”

Ace drummer Clem Burke (also once the timekeeper for Dramarama) particularly excelled on “Atomic.”

I was fascinated by current lead guitarist Tommy Kessler, who joined the touring band in 2010 (his credits include Blue Man Group and Broadways’ “Rock of Ages”).

Even the handful of new songs previewed from the forthcoming 2014 album Ghosts of Download were enticing (I look forward to hearing the Beth Ditto duet “Sugar on the Side”).

Surprisingly, the group’s set didn’t extend much longer than the rest of the Flashback Jack lineup. I was hoping for a much longer performance.

All told, Flashback Jack was one of the best concerts the station has ever put on. Hope next year's event follows a similar vein.

Photos by Ida Miller