Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Aussie music treasure Paul Kelly returns with new project

Following the recent releases of his groundbreaking song cycles, Spring and Fall and Conversations With Ghosts (the latter only in Australia), Paul Kelly has another innovative chapter for his long-standing career.

Earlier this year, he assembled his touring band and a group of singers to record a set of new songs as well as one old classic. The tracks were performed live in the studio by Clairy Browne, Vika and Linda Bull, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru and himself.

Dubbed The Merri Soul Sessions, the music is being made available via PledgeMusic as a very “limited edition” series of four 7” vinyl singles (double A-side). The U.S. will see the release of an album on Jan. 27, 2015, containing all of the singles and three more songs.

Each vinyl single can be bought individually or combined in a limited-edition box set. Only 1,000 of the 7” box sets will be manufactured. They will also be available as digital downloads. More details are available via PledgeMusic:

The first single/focus track is “Keep on Coming Back for More,” featuring Clairy Browne; the B-side (on the vinyl and digital commercial version) is “What You Want,” featuring Vika Bull. The full schedule of dates is below.

Kelly explains the evolution of the Sessions:

“In recent years doing band shows with Vika and Linda, Vika had been singing “Sweet Guy,” an old song of mine, and bringing the house down each time. I was keen to record her version and thought, naturally, that if we were going into the studio we should try and get some other songs on tape as well. I had a song in mind for Linda. I wrote a couple of songs with Dan Sultan that had a soul kind of feeling. And a couple of recent songs of mine, as yet unrecorded, came back into view. They seemed to fit well with the others. Having half a dozen songs now that were talking to each other helped me write a couple more. This is how it goes. One thing leads to another. You never quite know what’s happening ’til you’re in the middle of it.

“I started to imagine a soul revue type record performed live in the studio with a variety of singers and the one band. “I’d fallen in love with Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes’ “Love Letter,” the sound of it as well as the song, so invited Clairy and the producer of that record, Steve Schram, to get involved. I’d seen Kira Puru perform “One Eye Open” live on YouTube and thought she might be the one to nail “I Don’t Know What I’d Do,” a song left off Spring and Fall because I couldn’t sing it myself yet. It needed a torch singer who could balance light and dark. Plus, I loved the way she sang with a big glass of red wine never out of her hand. She, Clairy and Steve, thankfully, all said yes. Meanwhile Vika and Linda had started singing live the two songs Dan and I had written. The stew was simmering on the stove.

“From Feb. 17-March 1 this year we camped in Soundpark Studios in Australia and recorded a song a day, with Sundays off. Our general routine was to rehearse with the band in the morning, getting the song into some kind of shape sonically and piecing out a rough arrangement. The singers would come in later and take it home. We finished all the songs we had in mind a day early so I had time to write a gospel song "Hasn’t It Rained" as an album closer.”

The band comprises Peter Luscombe, drums and percussion; Bill McDonald, bass; Ash Naylor, guitar, electric mainly; Cam Bruce, piano and organ; Vika and Linda, harmonies when they aren’t singing lead; and Kelly on rhythm guitar. Paul’s nephew (and burgeoning singer-songwriter in his own right) Dan Kelly guests on one song, "Keep On Coming Back For More.”

Paul Kelly Presents — The Merri Soul Sessions, the full album, will be available through regular retail channels from January 27th. Prior to that, fans will have the special opportunity to pre-order and receive the special collector’s editions detailed below.

• A five-minute film by Andy Doherty featuring live footage with an insight into the sessions can be viewed here:

Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions
Schedule of releases

• 7-inch vinyl box set (limited edition available exclusively via PledgeMusic —

Fans who purchase the special collectors’ box have received or will receive each 7” single automatically over the July-January release schedule. Only 1,000 box sets will be manufactured. Purchasers will also be entitled to a free digital download of the full album released January 27, 2015.

• 7-inch vinyl singles (available in retail outlets, iTunes and via PledgeMusic).
7-inch features two tracks from the forthcoming album and a digital download of the single.

7" Single number 1: July 2014
Keep on Coming Back for More, featuring Clairy Browne
What You Want, featuring Vika Bull

7" Single number 2: September 2014
I Don’t Know What I’d Do, featuring Kira Puru
Thank You, featuring Paul Kelly

7" Single number 3: November 2014
Smells Like Rain, featuring Linda Bull
Don’t Let a Good Thing Go, featuring Dan Sultan

7" Single number 4: January 2015
Sweet Guy, featuring Vika Bull
Down on the Jetty, featuring Vika and Linda Bull

• 12-inch Vinyl Deluxe Edition (available exclusively via PledgeMusic). For those seeking something a little extra, the Deluxe Edition will be released in on January 27.

This will feature special packaging and exclusive extras along with a heavyweight 12-inch vinyl record and a digital download of the full album. Contains 11 tracks, including 3 never before released. Stay tuned to the website for more information.

Additional Video Link:
“Keep Comin’ Back for More” (Clairy Browne) - 

For more information about Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions, go to:

Peter Hook & the Light concert review: Pomona, Calif.

photo by Mark McNulty, from a previous show
Hardcore New Order enthusiasts have bemoaned the loss of bassist Peter Hook since his bitter exit in 2007.

Yet they can take solace in the fact he’s been keeping the legacy alive in recent years by performing the band’s early deep cuts in concert – something that can’t be heard much nowadays from Bernard Sumner and company.

Hook possesses a naturally lower vocal register and punctuates the end of many song verses with a mighty roar. During a concert appearance in Pomona, Calif. on Monday night, that added ferociousness worked best on material from Movement, New Order’s 1981 debut LP.

Hook is a co-founder of the seminal Manchester, UK alt-rock band and its equally influential late 1970s predecessor, Joy Division. He is currently on a North American tour with his own group, The Light.

A majority of the shows have seen them perform the ‘80s efforts Low Life and Brotherhood. The Glass House gig revolved around Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies – two titles the guys did on the road last year and hadn’t done live in five months (the Roxy, sandwiched between Southern California dates, was another exception and focused on Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures and Closer).

The rare Inland Empire performance at the Glass House, located in the Pomona Arts Colony, ran just over two hours long and concluded a few minutes past midnight. Hook basically let the music do the talking throughout. He only spoke during a randy dedication to a friend before “Age of Consent” and to quip about the sequencer “working when you don’t need it” after “586.”

Among the members of The Light are Hook’s son Jack Bates (bass), plus three ex-members of his late ‘90s/early 2000s group Monaco: David Potts (guitar), Andy Poole (keyboards) and Paul Kehoe (drums). All proved to be exceptional live. 

Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies were mostly performed in their original order, but non-album singles and B-sides were also included. Hook and the Light drew a large crowd of diehard fans to the venue.

A few drunk ones obviously didn’t exactly understand the concert concept though. One guy kept yelling for songs from later albums in the New Order catalog.

Clad in a white Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Pride t-shirt, Hook and his band opened the 25-song set in ominous fashion with “In a Lonely Place.” As Kehoe played slow tribal drums, Hook glanced at his lyrics notebook on a stand and did the first of several melodica bits.

The driving pace of “Ceremony” (a minor U.S. dance hit) was a pure adrenaline rush that had the crowd dancing right along. Glacial synthesizer swaths enveloped the upbeat “Procession” and kept many people’s feet moving.

Some pop-minded bliss came in the form on “Dreams Never End.” The first of two tracks which Hook sang on the original Movement album, it was an early standout.  The bass-driven “ICB” gave father and son a chance to prominently display their bass talents side by side (the young musician did a commendable job on his dad’s iconic bass lines). A fierce take on “Denial” closed Set 1.

After a few minutes, they returned to begin Set 2 with “Cries and Whispers,” where Hook and Bates played with a light touch. The skittering synth and chunky guitar work on “Everything’s Gone Green” was dynamic as ever.

Longtime fan favorite “Age of Consent” found The Light at the peak of its powers and it drove the crowd into another frenzy. Hook had no trouble with the high vocal parts. The same held true on a peppy “The Village,” propelled by percolating sounds.  Hook played so intensely on Set 2 closer “Leave Me Alone” that he broke a string.

“The Beach,” an alternate instrumental version of New Order’s big hit “Blue Monday” played until the band came back to encore with the regal and romantic “Thieves Like Us” and a fun, pogo-inducing  “Temptation” (kudos go to Hook again for admirably nailing the high vocal parts on both with assists from Potts).

Finally, Hook was alone for the start of “Monday” as two of his bandmates eventually joined in again. Well done, Hooky.

Remaining U.S. tour dates:

11/26 House Of Blues, San Diego, CA (Low Life and Brotherhood)
11/28 The Republik, Honolulu, HA
(Low Life and Brotherhood)

For more information on the Live at Manchester Cathedral album and more, go to:

Monday, November 24, 2014

1960s British Invasion tour to play selected US dates

Pop culture was changed forever in 1964-65 by the arrival of the British Invasion pop artists on American shores. Some 50 years later, a quorum of iconic singers of the legendary 1960s music revolution will tour the U.S., from Feb. 22 until March 8, 2015.
Slated to appear together on one stage are Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon), Denny Laine (of the Moody Blues and Wings), Chad & Jeremy,
 Billy J. Kramer, Mike Pender’s Searchers,
 and Terry Sylvester (of the Hollies). Asher will serve as master of ceremonies.
The British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour” commemorates the Beatles’ momentous arrival on these shores. It was the start of the British Invasion, and in the wake of massive mop-top pop hysteria, all of the participants in this incredible concert experience dominated the music world and scored more than 40 worldwide Top 40 hits. Their sound and look changed popular culture forever, and now they are back to celebrate and honor some of the greatest songs of the 20th century.
The artists are ably supported by a four-piece backing band faithfully recreating the classic sound of the vintage recordings, and a full multimedia video package highlighted by rarely seen footage and incredible archival ephemera. The experience is completed by unique clips of the era’s other fab combos, shown pre-show and during intermission, making this a fully themed evening of entertainment.

According to co-promoter Andrew Sandoval, “For a fan, this tour is the finest representation possible of the artists and music that touched so many of our lives from the explosive British Invasion. Each show is like a brilliant trip back in time.”
Tour dates:
Feb. 22 ANNAPOLIS, MD Rams Head Onstage
Feb 25 RAHWAY, NJ Union County Performing Arts Center  
Feb. 26 BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre  
Feb. 27 LANCASTER, PA American Music
Feb. 28 TARRYTOWN, NY The Tarrytown Music
March 1 ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere  
March 4 KENT, OH The Kent Stage
March 6 MILWAUKEE, WI Pabst Theater
March 7 CHICAGO, IL City Winery
March 8 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Pantages Theater
The artists:
Peter Asher is a legendary music producer (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt) and manager, but his first path in song was as one half of the chart-topping duo Peter & Gordon. Asher brings a rare insight into the music as the host of the evening, and his performance of his many 1960s hits marks a truly rare outing for one of the key figures in popular music. None other than Paul McCartney, who shared a close association with Peter throughout the 1960s, penned several of Peter & Gordon’s hits.
Denny Laine, another McCartney mainstay, broke out of Birmingham with a Top 10 hit, “Go Now,” as a member of the Moody Blues. He went on to find further success as a songwriter (“Say You Don’t Mind” for Colin Blunstone of the Zombies), and in the ’70s became McCartney’s right hand man in Wings, scoring 24 Top 40 hits, including six #1 singles. Wings became one of the biggest selling groups of all time.
Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde were another successful duo of the era, bringing a modern twist to classic two-part vocal harmony. They hold the distinction of being one of the few British outfits to take up residence in the United States at the height of their popularity. This allowed them to appear individually and collectively on such television programs as Batman, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Patty Duke Show, My Three Sons, Laredo and The Dating Game, passing into pop culture fame. Their esteemed songwriting embraces traditional folk, sunshine pop and visionary psychedelia; their blend is timeless.
Billy J. Kramer was Brian Epstein’s legendary protégé and in fact the first true British Invader (since his first visit to America pre-dates that of the Beatles). This Liverpudlian’s recordings were produced by George Martin and several were penned by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. Few others can claim to be as close to the epicenter of the first wave of British music to conquer America.
Mike Pender was the voice of the Searchers, one of the most influential bands to come out of Liverpool in the early 1960s. Pender also played the trademark jangly Rickenbacker twelve-string riffs on such quintessential hits as “Needles and Pins,” which gave way to the West Coast folk-rock revolution closely identified with the Byrds. Along the way the Searchers popularized the songs of such writers as Jackie DeShannon, P.F. Sloan, Jack Nitzsche and Tony Hatch.
Terry Sylvester was a member of two legendary Liverpool bands — the Escorts and the Swinging Blue Jeans — before replacing Graham Nash in the Hollies. Sylvester’s time in the Hollies coincided with their greatest U.S. chart success and he remained a member of the group through the 1970s. He brings an incredibly cheeky and cheerful energy to the concert stage, as well as authentic beat group credibility.
Among the songs audiences might expect to hear:
Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon)
“A World Without Love”
 “Nobody I Know”
 “I Don’t Want To See You Again” “I Go To Pieces”
“True Love Ways”
 “Lady Godiva”
 “Knight in Rusty Armour”
Chad & Jeremy
“Yesterday’s Gone”
 “A Summer Song” “Willow Weep For Me” “If I Loved You” “Before And After”
“I Don’t Wanna Lose You Baby” “Distant Shores”
Mike Pender’s Searchers
“Needles and Pins” 
“Sugar and Spice”
“Don’t Throw Your Love Away” “Someday We’re Gonna Love Again” “When You Walk in the Room” “Love Potion Number Nine”
 “What Have They Done to the Rain” “Bumble Bee”
Terry Sylvester of the Hollies & Swinging Blue Jeans
“Sorry Suzanne” 
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” “You’re No Good”
“Hippy Hippy Shake”
Billy J. Kramer
“Little Children”
 “Bad to Me”
“I’ll Keep You Satisfied”
 “From a Window”
 “Do You Want To Know a Secret”
Denny Laine of The Moody Blues
“Go Now”
 “Say You Don’t Mind”

Justin Townes Earle has quick followup album set for early '15

Following the success of his critically-acclaimed-fifth-studio-album, Single Mothers this past September, Justin Townes Earle has the companion album, Absent Fathers
set for Jan. 13, 2015.

A complete track list can be found below.

Comprised of 10 tracks, it was recorded alongside Single Mothers as a double album, but as Justin began to sequence it, he felt each half needed to make its own statement and they took on their own identities.

The Americana musician recently wrapped up a run of US headlining dates, is currently on the road in Australia and New Zealand and is planning to be return for a second US run, including a headlining date at The Ryman in his hometown of Nashville. A full list of dates can be found below.

While down under, Justin recorded a cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit, “Dreams” live on FBi Radio. Check out Justin’s take on the classic song here:
Track List

1. Farther From Me
2. Why
3. Least I Got The Blues
4. Call Ya Momma
5. Day and Night
6. Round the Bend
7. When the One You Love Loses Faith
8. Slow Monday
9. Someone Will Pay
10.Looking For A Place To Land

Tour dates:

11/07 Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
11/08 Memphis, TN @ 1884 at Minglewood
11/09 Jackson, MS @ Duling Hall
11/10 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
11/11 Austin, TX @ Emo's
11/13 New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
11/14 Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
11/15 Jacksonville, FL @ Colonial Quarters
11/16 Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall
11/17 Charlotte, NC @ Mcglohon Theater
11/19 Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theatre
11/20 Nashville, TN @ The Ryman
11/21 Atlanta, GA @ Variety
11/22 Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
11/23 Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre
12/09 Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird
12/10 Evanston, IL @ The Space
12/11 Grand Rapids, MI @ St. Cecilia Music Center

Fall Out Boy album due in January

Fall Out Boy announced their sixth studio album American Beauty/American Pyscho will be released on Jan. 20, 2015 on Island/DCD2 Records.

The title track will be available digitally worldwide Dec. 8.

Fans will also be able to pre-order the album – and receive an instant download of the title track and UK single “American Beauty/American Psycho” as well as the album’s hit single “Centuries” and an additional track to be named – beginning Dec. 15 on iTunes. Further tracks from the album will also be made available for download ahead of the full album release.

It is the follow-up album to the band’s gold-certified, fifth studio album Save Rock and Roll, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on iTunes in 27 countries upon its 2012 release.

First single “Centuries,” has become a multi-format radio hit, quickly charting in the top five at modern rock and onto the Top 40 chart. The track debuted at #1 on the iTunes Alternative Chart and the song and music video have amassed more than 40 million plays throughout all streaming services.

Fall Out Boy has also written the song “Immortals,” featured in the Disney hit movie Big Hero 6, which topped the box office upon its Nov. 7 release and has already surpassed $120 million at the domestic U.S. box office and topped $4 billion globally.

The band recently wrapped their Momumentour summer trek.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Camper Van Beethoven co-founder to release solo effort

Victor Krummenacher, the San Francisco-based co-founder of indie rockers Camper Van Beethoven, has taken time away from the still very active band (two albums and tours in the last year and a half) in order to record a solo album titled Hard To See Trouble Coming.
Set for release Jan. 6 via Veritas Records, the collection of ten original songs highlights his love of the blues, country rock and folk traditions.
Co-Produced by Victor and renowned pedal steel player/long-time collaborator Bruce Kaplan (of American Music Club), Hard To See Trouble Coming showcases Krummenacher in the role of pensive lead singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist venturing beyond the bass and for the first time in his long and distinguished solo career, playing guitar—Fender Strat, Martin D18 & Jazzmaster—throughout.
The songs are a vivid distillation of decades of artistry—from the freewheeling CVB punk aesthetic to a Graham Parsons-like exploration of “cosmic country.” Joining Krummenacher (bass, guitars, vocals) and Kaphan (steel guitars, keyboards, mandolin, percussion) are Paul Olguin (bass), John Hanes (drums), Loralee Christenson (vocals), Rich Kuhns (accordion), Chris G. Miller (guitar), James Sasser (vocals), Jonathan Segel (mandolin) and Katy Sloan (violin). Krummenacher will tour with a full band in 2015.

The title of Krummenacher’s ninth solo effort effectively captures the initial spirit of the project as it was taken from an old radio interview with The Band’s Levon Helm. When asked how he reacted to the suicide of keyboardist Richard Manuel, Helm replied “It’s hard to see trouble coming.”
A dark jumping off point for what would become a series of highly personal, moody musical ruminations written throughout 2013 and recorded in a succinct and inspired two sessions. Hard To See Trouble Coming touches on such heady subjects as love gone wrong, burnt out friends, enduring love, drunkenness, paranoia, dogs, spaceships, Jacqui McShee, Tennessee Williams and the genius of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks.

Says Krummenacher: “Astral Weeks is the kind of work that makes us as musicians realize we’re in a specific headspace being transformed through the experience. I felt that way making Hard To See Trouble Coming. For me, it was realizing that the world is overwhelming me but I can’t escape it. The album is all about feeling ready for change and transformation. It’s an honest statement of what it’s like for me having just been through a hard emotional time and wondering how much more I’ll have to go through – and will it be okay in the end?”

Track listing:

1) Hard To See Trouble Coming
2) If I Could Only Close My Eyes
3) An Angel Who Sings Just Like Jacqui McShee
4) Chemtrails
5) All Of This Is Mine
6) If You Won’t Break My Heart, I Don’t Stand A Chance
7) Tennessee & Pancho
8) An Act Of Kindness
9) The Love Of My Dreams
10) The Kildalton Cross

NAMM '15 news

More than 100 educational sessions will be part of the next NAMM Show, held Jan. 22-25, 2015. Members attending the show have access to a lineup of educational sessioons designed to capitalize on growth opportunities and take on some of the industry’s thorniest challenges. Make time for the proven ideas shared at NAMM's Retail Boot Camp before the show opens and NAMM U Breakfast Sessions, the NAMM Idea Center, and The H.O.T. Zone, throughout the show.

"Our objective with NAMM U is to provide relevant and high value education for our members," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO. "This January, between special guest Steve Wozniak, the opening Breakfast of Champions, and dozens of Idea Center and H.O.T. Zone sessions, I believe we will achieve our goal and provide real value for our members who come to the show."

Get to Anaheim a day early for Retail Boot Camp on Wed., Jan. 21, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Anaheim Hilton’s California Ballroom. This year’s Boot Camp delves into strategies to create lifelong customers, bolster profitability, and stay ahead of the peaks and valleys in the retail landscape — covering front- and back-end operations. Every retail owner, manager and employee will benefit from this free, one-day training, custom-designed for music retail businesses.

This year, Breakfast Sessions reach new heights as members hear from business icons, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who will chat with NAMM CEO Joe Lamond on Saturday morning. Breakfast is served in the Hilton’s California Ballroom at 8 a.m. each morning, followed by sessions from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

More than 45 NAMM Idea Center sessions feature industry leaders tackling specific opportunities relevant to music retailers. From Instagram to Amazon, and rock camp to school band, Idea Center sessions demystify online marketing avenues, and explore proven ways to take lesson programs from break-even to breakthrough.

Discover the 10 commandments of selling on eBay, and tactics to turn aging inventory into cash. Successful music retailers share their proven strategies for hiring a stellar staff, and creating a fresh, sales-friendly store design. Located on the show floor in Hall B (booth 5501), the Idea Center packs essential advice into inspiring 30-minute sessions throughout the show.

Designed with the audio and entertainment technology professional in mind, 75 H.O.T. Zone sessions deliver innovative ideas. For the first time, mornings kick off with opening sessions from industry luminaries. Composer and drummer for the Police Stewart Copeland, TEC Award Hall of Famer John Meyer of Meyer Sound, and Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick of “Pensado’s Place” are just a few of the notable speakers. Located on level 2 of the Anaheim Convention Center, The H.O.T. Zone provides four days of fresh insights and technical revelations from production and engineering icons.

Check out the complete lineup of enrichment sessions for music professionals at the 2015 NAMM Show. Register for badges to experience more than 5,000 music product, instrument and technology brands, special events, and live entertainment.

More info:

The Bangles, Colbie Caillat to be honored at NAMM '15

The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) will honor The Bangles as part of the 2015 She Rocks Awards.

Recognizing women who stand out as role models in the music industry, the live awards event takes place on Jan. 23, 2015 at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel during the NAMM Show.

Formed over 30 years ago by Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson in a Brentwood, California garage, the Bangles were the first all-female band to chart at Billboard's #1 for four weeks in a row. The band has been synonymous with hits like “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade of Winter,” “Eternal Flame,” and more.

Reunited in 1999, the Bangles will be featured in a special tribute during the event as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first major label release, All Over the Place. “The She Rocks Awards shines a light on unique women working in every facet of the music industry,” commented guitarist Vicki Peterson. “We’re really honored to be a part of this year’s event.”

In addition,
Colbie Caillat will be honored with a Video of the Year award for her song “Try."

Caillat has sold over six million albums and ten million singles worldwide. Her breakthrough hit "Bubbly" remains one of the best-selling digital tracks in history and her multi-platinum debut COCO hit #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart upon release, while her sophomore set Breakthrough landed at #1.

From 2011's All of You, "Brighter Than The Sun" went platinum and enjoyed over twenty film and television placements. She's also played sold out venues everywhere alongside iconic artists from John Mayer to Sheryl Crow. Beyond music, she's an avowed spokesperson and supporter for ASPCA, the Surfrider Foundation, Save The Music, Farm Sanctuary, and The Humane Society of the United States. 

Most recently, Caillat released her fourth studio album Gypsy Heart, which features her hit single "Try." Co-written by legendary producer and singer-songwriter, Babyface, "Try" has become one of the biggest performing songs featured as iTunes "Single Of The Week." What's more, the companion video for the song has become an online phenomenon, quickly amassing 30 million views. 

“The first time I watched Colbie Caillat’s video for ‘Try,’ I was moved to tears. It is such a special video, and very empowering both visually and lyrically. I am delighted and proud to honor her with a She Rocks Award,” commented Laura B. Whitmore, founder of the Women’s International Music Network.

The 2015 She Rocks Awards will be co-hosted by platinum-selling guitarist and solo artist Orianthi and the Women’s International Music Network founder and writer/editor Whitmore. Now in its third year, the She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show.

Previous award recipients include Sheila E, Dinah Gretsch, Janie L. Hendrix, Mary Peavey and more. The event brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, educators, fans and media to celebrate women in music.

The WiMN will honor saxophonist, singer and songwriter Mindi Abair as a 2015 She Rocks Award winner. Her latest album Wild Heart debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz and Contemporary Jazz chart. Abair was a featured saxophonist on the Late Show with David Letterman and American Idol, and has toured with Aerosmith. 

Other 2015 She Rocks Awards honorees are industry leaders Gayle Beacock, Debbie Cavalier, Amani Duncan, Katie Kailus, Paula Salvatore and Craigie Zildjian. Americana band Shel will open the show.

She Rocks Awards will take place on Jan. 23, 2015 from 6-8:30pm in the Pacific Ballroom at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel. Tickets on sale now. A NAMM badge is not required to attend the She Rocks Awards.

For information regarding She Rocks Awards sponsorship opportunities, contact

Erasure holiday album gets deluxe treatment

photo: Joe Dilworth
Erasure have announced the deluxe digital edition of their 2013 album, Snow Globe, a collection of original compositions and seasonal classics.

Out Dec. 2, the Snow Globe: Nutcracker Edition features the original album alongside 16 bonus tracks and videos for both singles: “Make It Wonderful” and Erasure’s take on the traditional Latin carol, “Gaudete.”

The package features three previously unreleased tracks, including Knocking Ghost’s remix of “Loving Man. Listen here.

In addition, an acoustic version of the single “Make It Wonderful” is available to stream and share here.

Produced by Erasure, Gareth Jones and Richard X, Snow Globe is unlike the bells and whistles, glitter and tinsel sets that crowd the market come Christmas-time; it’s possessed of something more in the wistfully, strangely subdued celebratory mold of recent seasonal albums by Tracey Thorn and Kate Bush.

Watch the videos for “Gaudete” here and “Make It Wonderful” here.

Erasure, currently on tour through the U.K. and Europe, recently released their sixteenth studio album, The Violet Flame. This jaunt follows their acclaimed U.S. tour (full details below). Tickets are on sale now:

Fans currently have a chance to create their own remix of the track “Sacred." The winner of the competition will have their remix included in the official release of “Sacred,” in addition to snagging a copy of limited edition vinyl of The Violet Flame. Entries will be accepted through the end of December 2014, and a winner will be chosen in January 2015.  For more details, click here:
Snow Globe: Nutcracker Edition Track listing:

Bells Of Love (Isabelle’s Of Love)
Make It Wonderful
Sleep Quietly
Silent Night
Loving Man
The Christmas Song
Bleak Midwinter
Blood On The Snow
There’ll Be No Tomorrow
Midnight clear
White Christmas
Silver Bells 

Bonus Tracks
Gaudete – Acappella
Stop The Cavalry – Acoustic
Silent Night – Instrumental
She Won’t Be Home – Redux
Make It Wonderful – Acoustic
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Redux
White Christmas – Instrumental
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
Gaudete – Dave Aude Extended Club Mix
Make It Wonderful – Noel Sanger vs Koishii and Hush Remix
Loving Man – Knocking Ghost Remix – previously unavailable
Gaudete – IKON Remix  - previously unavailable
Sleep Quietly – Maps Remix
Make It Wonderful – Bright Light Bright Light Remix
Gaudete – The Storks Remix
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus – Remix – previously unavailable

Make It Wonderful 

The Violet Flame tour dates:

23 Nov – Brighton, Dome, UK - w/ Nights – SOLD OUT
24 Nov – Cardiff, St. David's Hall, UK - w/ Nights – SOLD OUT
25 Nov – Preston, Guildhall, UK - w/ Nights
28 Nov- Newcastle, O2 Academy, UK - w/ Nights – SOLD OUT
29 Nov – Wolverhampton, Civic, UK – w/ Shelter – SOLD OUT
30 Nov – Manchester, Apollo, UK - w/ Shelter – SOLD OUT
4 Dec – Cologne, Palladium, GERMANY - w/ Shelter
5 Dec- Dresden, Schlachthof, GERMANY - w/ Shelter
7 Dec – Hamburg, CCH1, GERMANY - w/ Shelter
9 Dec – Berlin, Columbiahalle, GERMANY - w/ Shelter
10 Dec – Aarhus, Musikhus, DENMARK - w/ Shelter
11 Dec – Copenhagen, TAP 1, DENMARK - w/ Shelter
14 Dec – London, Forum, UK – w/ Iris Gold – SOLD OUT
15 Dec – London, Forum, UK – w/ Parralox
30 Dec - New York, NY Terminal 5, USA
31 Dec - New York, NY Terminal 5, USA

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Elbow live EP on the way

British alt-pop band elbow will soon release World Café Live - a five-track EP (digital + CD available Nov. 25; limited edition vinyl available Dec. 9). It was recorded for WXPN at World Café Live in Philadelphia on May 14, during elbow’s 2014 North American tour.

Four of the EP’s five tracks are live semi acoustic versions of the songs featured on The Take Off And Landing Of Everything, elbow’s sixth studio album, released earlier this year. 
Take Off debuted at #1 on the official UK album chart and #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart in the States. The album was followed by a sold-out tour.

The EP also includes fan favorite “Scattered Black and Whites,” a song from the band’s 2001 debut album Asleep in the Back.
Vocalist Guy Garvey recalled this song in a 2009 interview: "It's still considered the best song we've ever written by lots of fans, and I can't say I disagree. It's memories, snapshots of childhood mixed together in the same way I used to mix together black and white photographs on the floor, to mix up my memories and find inspiration."

In other band news, elbow, along with Coldplay's Chris Martin, One Direction and Ed Sheeran are among the artists on the Band Aid 30 charity single, “Do They Know It's Christmas?” Organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the song, released on Nov. 17, will raise money for the victims of Ebola. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peter Hook to perform New Order, Joy Division material in SoCal

I've been looking forward to these shows since the initial announcement last spring. I happened to catch their September 2011 show at the El Rey Theater in LA after my interview with Hook (find it elsewhere on this blog) and was mesmerized. 
Starting this weekend, Peter Hook & The Light return to Southern California to perform complete albums from the New Order and Joy Division catalogs in concert (sets and shows are below).

This month marks the
first time the band is performing New Order’s third and fourth albums, Low-Life and Brotherhood in the United States.

The latest jaunt is the The Light’s fourth of North America following two very well received Joy Division album tours of Unknown Pleasures and Closer and their tour of New Order’s Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies last year.

SoCal concerts will include the singles and B-sides from New Order’s most prolific period. From August 1983 up to 1987, taking the audience from “Confusion” to “True Faith,” with both Low Life and Brotherhood performed in full alongside all the other tracks from that fans consider New Order’s greatest period including “Thieves Like Us,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “The Perfect Kiss” and more.

The Light will also be supporting themselves at the concerts performing a selection of Joy Division material prior to the album performances.

By the time “Blue Monday” and “Temptation” were released during this Eighties period, New Order had grown in confidence and attained increasing success in the UK and internationally. Praised for their creativity, boundary pushing and consistent touring, the albums saw the group finding their niche and signature sound, fusing their rock, indie style with new emerging electronic equipment and bringing melody and emotion to their techno experiments. Both the singles and the albums for this period stand out as some of the finest work ever produced by the band.

Marking the high period of New Order artistically, the critical plaudits heaped upon Power, Corruption & Lies was followed by similar notices for Low-Life and Brotherhood, considered as a trio, the band’s greatest albums which were achieved through a period of intense hard work which brought significant results and advancements.

Having raised their profile with “Blue Monday,” still the biggest ever selling 12” in history, the band continued to define their status with their diffident attitude to promotion, Peter Saville’s iconic design and their disregard of mid Eighties video culture and the MTV generation.

With FAC 51 The Hacienda Club open in Manchester, the band decamped to New York in 1983 to work with Arthur Baker, who co-wrote and produced the first two singles from the period “Confusion" and "Thieves Like Us."

Arthur famously dance floor tested "Confusion" prior to release in ‘The Fun House’, one of New York's most famous underground clubs where the video was later filmed. The subsequent single became many fans’ favorite record, the effortless, timeless shimmering beauty of “Thieves Like Us”.

Releasing Low Life in 1985 alongside epic single “The Perfect Kiss”, whose 9 minute 12 inch mix, full of peaks and troughs is considered one of the best of the decade, the romantic club sounds of Low Life and its playful sense of humour has made many regard it as New Order’s most complete single album.

Aside from the singles, the album contains many great records that have entered the canon, including “This Time Of Night,” “Sunrise,” “Elegia," “Sooner Than You Think,” and the album’s closer “Face Up,” an energetic club track.

With the band now signed to Quincy Jones’ Qwest label in the States, they began to tour internationally to ever increasing capacities. Their transatlantic success underlined by the appearance of songs “Elegia,” “Thieves Like Us” and “Shellshock” on John Hughes “Pretty In Pink” film soundtrack in 1986, as well as the uniquely stylised videos which accompanied the singles.

Coupling the release of “State Of The Nation” to Brotherhood in September 1986, the first single was superseded by the band’s biggest international hit since 1983, the musical landmark “Bizarre Love Triangle” which broke the band fully through to North American, international and even Australian audiences.

Brotherhood itself took a unique approach, splitting the rock side of the band to the first side of the album, with tracks “Paradise”, “As It Is When It Was” and “Way Of Life,” whereas the flips side was electronic, taking in the two singles and also “Every Second Counts,” a finely tuned electronic ballad regarded as the counterpoint to “Leave Me Alone.”

Hook & The Light’s current concerts run up to 1987, when New Order enjoyed their biggest international hit “True Faith.” Some seven years after the demise of Joy Division and a decade on from first forming, the band had come full circle to hit heights never thought possible.

Southern California tour dates:

11/22 Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (
Low Life and Brotherhood)
11/24 The Glass House, Pomona, CA (Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies)
11/25 The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA (Unknown Pleasures and Closer – with special guests) - Sold out
11/26 House Of Blues, San Diego, CA
(Low Life and Brotherhood

Purchase tickets:

More information: 

Old 97's 1994 debut CD gets revisited

Another fine reissue from Omnivore Recordings is available now...
The Old 97's arrived on the alt-country scene in 1994 with their independently released debut, Hitchhike To Rhome. With subsequent albums on Bloodshot, Elektra, New West, and ATO Records, the quartet became one of the Americana genre’s most enduring bands.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, Omnivore has reissued Hitchhike with an expanded release on 2-CD, digital, and — for the first time — on double LP.
When band member and set co-producer Ken Bethea was revisiting the original tapes for this reissue, he discovered a treasure trove of eight extra tracks cut at the album sessions — many of which the band hadn’t even remembered recording. It seemed the perfect time to bring those previously unissued songs to light and add the tracks from their first four-song demo cassette to round out the early picture of the 97’s.
The 2-CD version of Hitchhike To Rhome contains the original album, coupled with a second disc of those 12 rare and unreleased tracks, many mixed from the original multi-tracks for the first time by longtime Old 97’s engineer Rip Rowan. The double LP (limited edition first pressing on translucent orange vinyl) features the LP on three sides with six of the recently unearthed tracks on Side 4. The download card included gives the buyer the complete 2-CD program.
Both formats include rare photos, memorabilia and notes from Bethea. The entire album has been remixed from original session tapes by Rip Rowan. 

From the Too Far To Care reissue complete with demos (also available separately on vinyl as They Made A Monster), to the band’s sessions with the great Waylon Jennings, Omnivore continues to add to the Old 97’s legacy with this integral, early part of their history and catalog.
CD Track list:

Disc One
St. Ignatius
Drowning In The Days
Miss Molly
Dancing With Tears
4 Leaf Clover
Wish The Worst
Old 97’s Theme
Hands Off
Mama Tried
If My Heart Was A Car
Desperate Times
Ken’s Polka Thing
Tupelo County Jail
Disc Two
St. Ignatius (demo cassette version)
Drowning In The Days (demo cassette version)
Making Love With You (demo cassette version)

Stoned (demo cassette version)
Dancing With Tears (demo)*
Ivy (demo)*

Eyes For You*

Crying Drunk*


Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*
Alright By Me*

Desperate Times*

LP Track list:

Side One
St. Ignatius
Drowning In The Days
Miss Molly
Dancing With Tears
Side Two
4 Leaf Clover
Wish The Worst
Old 97’s Theme
Tupelo County Jail
Hands Off
Side Three
Mama Tried

If My Heart Was A Car
Desperate Times
Ken’s Polka Thing
Tupelo County Jail
Side Four
Crying Drunk*

Dancing With Tears (demo)
Ivy (demo)*


Eyes For You*
Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*
* Previously unissued
View the trailer: