Friday, July 18, 2014

The Week in Music: Little Big Town, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Interpol, Bruce Hornsby, Sloan, The Strypes, Rocco Deluca, Game Theory

Since I was away from the computer for several days, here's part 1 of my roundup of notable music news you might have missed this past week… 

Grammy Award-winning country group Little Big Town will release their sixth studio album, Pain Killer, on Oct. 21 through Capitol Records Nashville.

The album, produced by Jay Joyce, features current single “Day Drinking,” the band's highest chart debut to date, and was written by LBT’s Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet and songwriters Troy Verges and Barry Dean. The foursome co-wrote eight of the 13 tracks on the album.

"Sometimes you don't know what's going to happen in the studio. You just have to dive in head first and work hard to do something unique," said Fairchild. "We're always striving and pushing ourselves to go somewhere new. Pain Killer is a new place for sure."

Little Big Town, who have been together for 15 years, release Pain Killer on the heels of their highly successful, platinum-selling album Tornado almost exactly two years later. 

Tornado was one of only 10 country albums to achieve platinum certification in 2013 and features back-to-back #1 hit singles “Pontoon” and “Tornado.” The 2x platinum-selling “Pontoon” took home the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and the CMA Award for Single of the Year.

Track Listing:

1. Quit Breaking Up With Me
(Busbee, Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally)
2. Day Drinking
(Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Troy Verges, Barry Dean)
3. Tumble and Fall
(Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
4. Pain Killer
(Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Blair Daley, Hillary Lindsey)
5. Girl Crush
(Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
6. Faster Gun
(Jeremy Spillman, Ryan Tyndell, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet)
7. Good People
(Jay Joyce, Natalie Hemby, Jeremy Spillman)
8. Stay All Night
(Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Brent Cobb, Jason Saenz)
9. Save Your Sin
(Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
10. Live Forever
(Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Jeremy Spillman, Ryan Tyndell)
11. Things You Don’t Think About
(Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman)
12. Turn The Lights On
(Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Natalie Hemby,
Jay Joyce, Jeremy Spillman)
13. Silver and Gold
(Jedd Hughes, Jay Joyce, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild) 

Jackson Browne announces fall tour dates in the U.S and U.K to support his new studio album, Standing In The Breach, scheduled for release on October 6 (international) and 7 (U.S.). The fall shows with Jackson and his band run from September to November.

The new studio album can be pre-ordered with each purchased concert ticket, and is also available for pre-order now thru Amazon and digitally thru iTunes. Advance concert tickets are on sale now. Details are available at

Accompanying Jackson on the road this fall are longtime band mates Val McCallum (guitar), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Jeff Young (keyboards) and Bob Glaub (bass), with the addition of acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz (guitar, lap steel, pedal steel).

"This is my ideal band, with some of my favorite players, all of whom appear on the new CD, and whose combined gifts provide the musical foundation and emotional underpinnings of my new songs," says Browne. "The interplay between Val McCallum and Greg Leisz on this album - the effortlessness of their chemistry is a gift really, that just dropped into my lap. I feel fortunate to have them out on the road for this tour."


Solo Acoustic
July 19 - Paramount Theatre - Cedar Rapids, IA
July 21 - Orpheum - Wichita, KS

Full Band Shows
August 4 - PNC Bank Arts Ctr (with John Fogerty) - Holmdel, NJ
August 5 - Nikon At Jones Beach (with John Fogerty) - Wantagh, NY

Solo Acoustic
August 9 - State Theatre Center for the Arts - Easton, PA
August 11 - Artpark - Lewistown, NY
August 13 - The Landmark Theatre - Syracuse, NY
August 14 - The Palace Theatre - Albany, NY
August 16 - Boston Opera House - Boston, MA
August 17 - Merrill Auditorium - Portland, ME
August 19 - Capitol Center - Concord, NH
August 20 - Providence PAC - Providence, RI
August 22 - Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre - Wallingford, CT
August 23 - Hippodrome Theatre - Baltimore, MD


Full Band
September 14 - Kennedy Center - Washington, DC
September 27 - Newport Folk Fest Presents Way Over Yonder - Santa Monica, CA
October 4 - Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center - York, PA
October 7 - Beacon Theatre - New York, NY
October 10 - Academy of Music - Philadelphia, PA
October 12 - Benedum Center - Pittsburgh, PA
October 14 - Chicago Theatre - Chicago, IL
October 15 - E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall - Akron, OH
October 17 - Palace Theatre - Columbus, OH
October 18 - Murat Theatre - Indianapolis, IN


Full Band
November 17 - Symphony Hall - Birmingham, UK
November 18 - Bridgewater Hall - Manchester, UK
November 20 - The Sage - Gateshead, UK
November 21 - Royal Concert Hall - Glasgow, UK
November 24 - Royal Albert Hall - London, UK

Even before the world lost musician Scott Miller last year, the work he did with his band Game Theory had been unavailable for decades. Omnivore Recordings will remedy the lack of Game Theory recordings as it launches a series of expanded reissues featuring the Davis, California band’s classic catalog.

Blaze of Glory, originally released in 1982, was the first Game Theory album; previously the band used the name Alternate Learning. The LP laid the cornerstone for the layered power pop for which Game Theory would become known, while foreshadowing Southern California’s neo-psychedelic Paisley Underground sound (Scott Miller and Dream Syndicate nucleus Steve Wynn were roommates at UC Davis in the late 1970s).

Unavailable in its original form since its initial release (Blaze of Glory was later re-recorded/remixed for an out-of-print 1993 CD compilation that now commands top dollar in collector circles), the new Omnivore CD, out Sept. 2, contains the original album’s 12 songs, supplemented with 15 bonus tracks — four from Alternate Learning and 11 previously unissued tracks from Scott Miller’s archive.

The vinyl LP also sees its first reissue in more than three decades. The first pressing on translucent pink vinyl (followed by black vinyl in subsequent pressings) contains a download card for the entire 27-song program.

The package was mastered from the original tapes and featuring a 24-page booklet in the CD (eight pages in the LP) with rare photos, an essay from Game Theory tour manager (and set co-producer) Dan Vallor, and remembrances from band members and colleagues, including Wynn.

Game Theory bass player Fred Juhos, says in the liner notes, “The first record foreshadows Scott’s other recordings admirably. Within it, I hear some of Scott’s freshest material. It’s innocent and contains no hint of the jaded cynicism found in his later work.”

According to Vallor, “Scott had mixed feelings about his early work. At times he was convinced it was best not revisited, and at other times he appreciated that it could stand on its own. His uncertainty was borne of rigorous standards he set for himself as a writer and as a musician. But his work from the very start shows an unrelenting creative energy rarely matched by his contemporaries. For many of us, each record remains amongst the best releases of the year they first appeared, and Blaze of Glory remains the wonderfully uncynical pop gem Scott mischievously packaged in a trash bag when it first appeared on vinyl in 1982.”

“With Game Theory and his later band, The Loud Family,” Vallor continues, “Scott created some of the most inventive and sublime pop music of the ’80s and ’90s. While he never saw the kind of commercial success some of his friends, peers, and even fans attained, his commitment to his art was unwavering.”

Reissues of highly sought-after Game Theory titles like Real Nighttime and Lolita Nation are on the horizon.

But the story begins with Blaze of Glory.

On Sept. 9, Sloan will release their 11th studio album Commonwealth via Yep Roc Records. The 15-song collection finds the Toronto-based rock quartet's Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott all contributing original compositions to each record. 

Designated by the four playing card suits, the essentially solo sides allow for all four members’ work to be heard. As if the four-sided concept weren’t challenge enough, Commonwealth finishes with "Forty Eight Portraits," an 18-minute pop suite that fills the entirety of Scott’s closing Spade side. 

Song cycles and concept-driven albums are nothing new to Sloan. Over the course of 10 albums and more than 30 singles – not to mention multiple EPs, hits and rarities collections, live albums and official bootlegs released, like all the band’s work, on their own independent label, Murderecords – the band has tackled countless creative conceits.

Commonwealth follows 2011’s
acclaimed The Double Cross.

Track listing

Diamond Side (Jay):
1) We've Come This Far
2) You've Got A Lot On Your Mind
3) Three Sisters
4) Cleopatra
5) Neither Here Nor There

Heart Side (Chris):
6) Carried Away
7) So Far So Good
8) Get Out
9) Misty's Beside Herself
10) You Don't Need Excuses To Be Good

Shamrock Side (Patrick):
11) 13 (Under A Bad Sign)
12) Take It Easy
13) What's Inside
14) Keep Swinging (Downtown)

Spade Side (Andrew):
15) Forty-Eight Portraits

Three-time Grammy Award winner Lucinda Williams has announced the Sept. 30 release of her first-ever double studio album, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. It will be released on Williams’ new independent label Highway 20 Records, via Thirty Tigers.

Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone features 20 new songs, with 18 written solely by Williams. Opening track “Compassion” was originally a poem by her father, the poet Miller Williams, in which she wrote the music and additional lyrics.

This is a personal milestone for the Americana artist as it marks the first time she has composed music for one of her father’s poems, and it is from that song that the album title was taken. The only cover is the JJ Cale penned “Magnolia.”

Williams explores new dynamics and incorporates improvisational elements into some of her songs. There are extended performances by guests that include guitarists Bill Frisell and Tony Joe White, Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Elvis Costello’s famed rhythm section of Pete Thomas (drums) and Davey Faragaher (bass) and Wallflowers guitarist Stuart Mathis. Jakob Dylan adds harmony vocals on “It’s Gonna Rain,” while Williams’ longtime rhythm section of Butch Norton (drums) and David Sutton (bass) make significant contributions.

Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone was produced by Williams, Tom Overby and Greg Leisz.

Irish garage rock band The Strypes return with their second EP, 4 Track Mind, available digitally on Aug. 19. This is their first release for Photo Finish/Republic Records. The EP will feature four tracks previously not available in the U.S., including “Hard to Say No,” “So They Say,” “Still Gonna Drive You Home,” which was produced by Paul Weller and a U.S. exclusive cover of The Ramones' "Rockaway Beach." Supporting the EP, the band will do some shows next month.

Since arriving on the scene last spring with their acclaimed debut album, Snapshot, the band has performed on the Letterman and Conan shows. The Strypes are currently recording their sophomore LP due out in 2015. 

Tour dates

8/19 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
8/20 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
8/22 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair

Rocco Deluca is gearing up for his Aug. 19 self-titled release via 429 Records – the fourth CD overall. Produced by Daniel Lanois, DeLuca builds upon the brooding and haunting mood of his last solo album, 2011’s Drugs ‘N’ Hymns.

Currently residing in Silver Lake, Calif., Rocco hosted a number of recording sessions in his home studio the “Effie House” with notable local musicians, “local folks and family,” including drummer Oliver Charles (Ben Harper), guitarist and vocalist Christian Letts (Edward Sharpe), bassist Seth-Ford Young (Edward Sharpe), violinist Odessa Jorgensen, bassist Gus Siefert (The Black Keys, Beck), vocalist Soko and drummers Josh Collazo (Edward Sharpe) and Jonathan Wright.

Deluca accompanies his voice, as usual, with a National guitar and lap steel. Rocco will tour next month (see dates below).

Says DeLuca, “When Daniel hears music he believes in, he simply calls it ‘soul music.’ He follows his heart and instincts. He’s such a raw human being and is very direct and truthful and he brings honor and dignity to all he does, whether he’s playing the pedal steel or mixing. He’s a master at recognizing the most important things in the mix and I trust him to find the most important sentiment, even when it’s the voice of the slide guitar which best tells the song’s story.”

Track listing:

1) Colors of the Cold
2) Free
3) Feather and Knife
4) Congregate
5) Everything Hurts
6) The World
7) Through Fire
8) Thief and the Moon
9) Two Bushes
10) Will Strike
11) Simple Thing

Tour dates:

8/22 Austin, TX Lambert’s
8/23 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
8/24 Dallas, TX House of Blues Cambridge Room
8/28 Nashville, TN The High Watt
8/29 Atlanta, GA Eddie’s Attic
8/30 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle Small Room
9/2 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade
9/4 Boston, MA Café 939
9/5 Washington, DC Gypsy Sally’s
9/7 Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel
9/9 Montreal, QC Divan Orange
9/10 Toronto, ON The Rivoli
9/11 Detroit, MI Magic Bag
9/13 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
9/16 Denver, CO Soiled Dove
9/20 Portland, OR Doug Fir
9/21 Seattle, WA The Crocodile
9/24 San Francisco, CA The Chapel
9/25 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour

Young British sensation Jake Bugg will issue his U.S. EP Aug. 5 on Island Records. Lightning Bolt, reprising his popular track that continues to receive exposure via Gator­ade’s TV spots.

The EP will contain “Lightning Bolt,” his first U.S. single and opening cut of his self-titled debut album, as well as “Simple As This,” featured in the hit movie Fault In Their Stars, “Feel What's Good,” which is the previously unreleased Rick Rubin produced track that is featured in the new movie The Giver, and “There's A Beast And We All Feed It,” the new UK single.

Bugg recently wrapped up a month of touring that included festival dates at Firefly, Bonnaroo, and Summerfest, plus a round of sold-out headlining shows. Jake’s next major tour will be in support of the Black Keys on their upcoming fall schedule in October and November.

At 18, Bugg became the youngest male artist in UK chart history to debut at #1 with his eponymous debut. In November 2013, Island released second album Shangri-La, produced by Rick Rubin at Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California.

Tour dates (with the Black Keys)

24 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
25 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
27 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
28 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
30 Vancouver, BC Pacific Coliseum
31 Portland, OR Moda Center

1 Seattle, WA KeyArena
3 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
4 Sacramento, CA Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento
6 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
9 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University
10 Phoenix, AZ US Airways
12 Salt Lake City, UT Maverik Center
13 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
15 Houston, TX Toyota Center
16 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center

Veteran pianist/singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby has long been fascinated with old-time American roots forms – hymns, blues, country, bluegrass, old folk, shaped-note religious songs and the like.

His new two-disc set, Bruce Hornsby – Solo Concerts - the first for Vanguard Records - will be available Aug. 25 and allows him to explore that fusion of styles, along with classical music, jazz and pop.

The album’s 21 tracks are culled from solo concerts performed by Hornsby in the U.S. from 2012-13, bringing together disparate “information” from musical languages often thought to be opposed: Americana roots music, folk-pop, film scores and modern classical, what Hornsby calls an “unholy alliance.” 

There are solo renditions of his radio hits, songs like “Mandolin Rain” and “The Valley Road” as well as forays into the kind of old-timey music he performed at the start of his career – playing accordion in a band that featured fiddles, banjos and dulcimers.

Hornsby also explores modern classical music with the dissonance and expressive chromatics of 20th century 12-tone experimental composers like Austrians Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, as well as American modernists like Elliot Carter, the Hungarian György Ligeti or the French mystic Olivier Messiaen. 

On this live set, he champions what he calls “two-handed independence,” a phrase to describe a piano performance where one hand doesn’t just accompany a melody played by the other, but rather, as in boogie-woogie, simultaneously achieves a parallel compositional and musical life and vitality of its own. 

The album starts with “Song E (Hymn in E-Flat),” from a Spike Lee score Hornsby composed several years ago, then segues into “Preacher in the Ring,” a boogie tune, “an old pattern I was shown by a longtime cohort, so I wrote the song based on that pattern, which illustrates that two-handed independence.” 

“I think I’ve found a middle ground,” Hornsby says, “where you’re reaching and broadening your language but still connecting with someone perhaps used to hearing — for an entire lifetime — only those seven white notes and those simple chords.” 

Bruce Hornsby is currently on tour with Pat Metheny through early August.

Tour dates:

July 21 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden*
July 22 Eagle, ID – Eagle Park Pavilion*
July 24 Jackson, WY – Center for the Arts*
July 25 Lyons, CO – RockyGrass Festival**
July 26 Kansas City, MO – CrossroadsKC*
July 29 Milwaukee, WI – Potawatomi Casino*
July 30 Grand Rapids, MI – Meijer Gardens*
August 1 Chautauqua, NY – Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater*
August 2 Katonah, NY – Caramor Center for Music and the Arts*
August 3 Nantucket, MA – Nantucket Music Festival***
August 6 Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap*
August 7 Kennett Square, PA – Longwood Gardens*
August 8 Newark, NJ – NJPAC – Prudential Hall*
August 13 Steamboat Springs, CO – Strings Music Pavilion***
September 20 Spartanburg, SC - Zimmerli Amphitheatre At Barnet Park***
September 23 Lebanon, NH – Lebanon Opera House***
September 24 Boston, MA – The Wilbur Theatre***
September 26 New York, NY – Rose Theater***
September 27 Princeton, NJ - McCarter Theatre Center***
*with Pat Metheny Unity Group
** Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder
***solo performances 

Interpol have confirmed a North American fall tour in support of their upcoming album El Pintor, (Sept. 9, Matador). The NYC alt-rockers just released their new single "All The Rage Back Home," hitting #1 on Billboard's "Trending 140" Twitter chart.

Watch "All The Rage Back Home" co-directed by Paul Banks and Sophia Peer: and see the band perform "Anywhere," another new song from El Pintor, live in Brixton earlier this year: 

North American Fall Tour 

7/30 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
8/01 - Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
8/20 - Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theatre
8/21 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Pool at The Cosmopolitan
8/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
9/15 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
9/16 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount
9/17 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
9/20 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
9/24 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
9/26 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
9/27 - Denver, CO @ Ogden
9/29 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada
9/30 - Tulsa, OK @ Cains
10/02 - Dallas, TX @ Southside
10/03 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
10/03-10/05 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/07 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
10/09 - Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
10/10-10/12 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
11/06 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
11/07 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
11/08 - Miami, FL @ Fillmore
11/10 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
11/11 - Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
11/14 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/15 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Pabst Theatre
11/17 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
11/18 - Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
11/20 - Montreal, QB @ Metropolis
11/21 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
11/22 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/24 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/29 - Washington, D.C @ 9:30 Club

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