Friday, August 30, 2019

Neil Young with Crazy Horse news

Neil Young with Crazy Horse have completed a new studio album titled Colorado, which is set for release on Oct. 25 via Reprise Records. This is the first new music since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill.

It was recorded mostly live in the studio in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and produced by Young and John Hanlon. The album will be available on high resolution digital audio through NYA, and on a three-sided, double vinyl album set with a bonus 7” vinyl single as well as CD and digitally at all streaming and digital outlets.

The bonus single contains two non-album tracks, “Rainbow Of Colors,” recorded live by Neil Young solo and was the first-ever public performance, and “Truth Kills,” a studio track by Young with Crazy Horse.

Pre-order now and receive and instant download of the album track “Milky Way.”
Click here to purchase and stream.

Track listing:

Think Of Me
She Showed Me Love
Olden Days
Help Me Lose My Mind
Green Is Blue
Shut It Down
Milky Way
Rainbow Of Colors (studio version)
I Do

Bonus 7” Single:
Rainbow Of Colors (solo, live in Portland, OR May 17, 2019)
Truth Kills (Neil Young with Crazy Horse – studio)

In other Neil Young news, a book co-authored by Young and Phil Baker titled, To Feel the Music: A Songwriters Mission To Save High Quality Audio, will be published in September by BenBella Books. This is a memoir about Young’s single most passionate pursuit: Bringing high-quality audio back to music lovers, who have been forced to settle for compressed, digital files that rob songs of their original warmth. Click here for further information.


Neil Young – guitars, vocals, piano, vibes, harmonica
Nils Lofgren – guitars, vocals, pump organ
Ralph Molina – drums, vocals
Billy Talbot – bass, vocals

Thursday, August 29, 2019

More new episodes of Dan Rather's The Big Interview this fall

courtesy AXS TV
I really enjoy this series, so I'm looking forward to catching several of the new episodes...

AXS-TV's popular sit-down series The Big Interview returns for the second-half of its seventh season, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 8pE/5pP. The series’ fall cycle features 12 all-new 60-minute episodes, as host Dan Rather joins a roster of entertainers for candid conversations providing a unique glimpse into their personal lives, defining moments, and incredible careers.

It kicks off with an in-depth discussion with Brian Johnson, AC/DC frontman and host of AXS TV’s globetrotting music series Brian Johnson: A Life On The Road. The episode finds Johnson talking about dealing with writer’s block while working on AC/DC’s landmark “Back In Black” album in the Bahamas. Feeling completely out of ideas, Johnson sat down for breakfast with legendary producer Mutt Lange. As the pair spoke, a tropical storm rolled in—jolting Johnson’s creativity and planting the seeds for what would become one of AC/DC’s most enduring hits: “Hells Bells.” “Mutt went, ‘Oh, it’s rolling thunder!’ And I went, ‘Rolling thunder, pouring rain, coming on like a hurricane. There’s white lightning flashing,’” Johnson explains. “I mean I literally was giving a weather report.” Though they didn’t know it then, the song would go down as a signature piece for the band, helping secure their place as masters of rock. He continues, “When great things are happening so quickly, you never realize, do you? It’s so fabulous. It just looks so easy. When you try to do it again, it never works!” Watch a clip here.

Elsewhere are appearances by power pop icons Cheap Trick (Oct. 8); legendary chart-toppers Chicago (Oct. 15); beloved heavy metal mainstay Bret Michaels (Oct. 22); the ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ Alice Cooper (Oct. 29); Country music superstars Little Big Town (Nov. 5); celebrated sportscaster Bob Costas (Nov. 12); influential Talking Heads singer David Byrne (Nov. 19); folk rock heroes America (Nov. 26); Emmy-winning actor Bryan Cranston (Dec. 3); prog rock pioneer Yes’ Jon Anderson (Dec. 10); and Country music legends Alabama (Dec. 17).

“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with these entertainment icons each week,” Rather said. “It is a rare treat to be able to delve into a side of these artists that the public doesn’t often get to see, as they tell their stories and share their thoughts in their own words. I am humbled that the series has been so warmly received by AXS TV’s audience, and I look forward to showing our viewers what we’ve been working on in this upcoming fall cycle."

BROADCAST SCHEDULE (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET)

October 1 – Brian Johnson
October 8 – Cheap Trick
October 15 – Chicago
October 22 – Bret Michaels
October 29 – Alice Cooper
November 5 – Little Big Town
November 12 – Bob Costas
November 19 – David Byrne
November 26 – America
December 3 – Bryan Cranston
December 10 – Yes’ Jon Anderson
December 17 – Alabama

Pink Floyd catalog news
'Pink Floyd: The Later Years,' a 16-disc set (5xCDs, 6xBlu-Rays, 5xDVDs) covering the material created by David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright from 1987 onwards, is due Nov. 29 (Pink Floyd Records).

This period generated record sales of over 40 million worldwide and included three studio albums: ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason’, ‘The Division Bell’ and ‘The Endless River’ as well as two live albums: ‘Delicate Sound Of Thunder’ and ‘Pulse’.

Additional production was done by David Gilmour and Andy Jackson on over 13 hours of unreleased audio and audiovisual material, including the sought-after 1989 Venice and 1990 Knebworth concerts.


Get a first look at Wish You Were Here Live at Knebworth 1990:

The deluxe multi-media box set presents an expanded view of the Pink Floyd story from 1987 to the present and kicks off with ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.’ Presented for the first time in 5.1, the album has been updated and remixed by Gilmour and Jackson. Returning to some of the late Richard Wright’s keyboard parts and recording new drum tracks with Nick Mason, producers David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin have restored the creative balance between the three Pink Floyd members.

Throughout 1987-88, the band’s live shows became the largest-grossing concert tour ever to that date and produced the critically acclaimed, Grammy Award nominated, ‘Delicate Sound Of Thunder’.

Filmed at the Nassau Coliseum in New York State, the concert has been upgraded and re-edited from the original 35 mm film negatives by Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Benny Trickett and the sound remixed to 5.1. It also includes Terminal Frost and Welcome To The Machine, two tracks that were not included on the original concert film release. For the first time the concert is available in 5.1 on Blu-ray and DVD.

Two of the most sought-after additions to ‘Pink Floyd The Later Years’ are the 1989 Venice Concert, performed on a floating stage in front of St Mark’s Square, and the 1990 Silver Clef Winners performance at Knebworth.

Both concerts, previously unreleased, are now available on both DVD and Blu-ray (145 mins). The Knebworth concert saw Pink Floyd topping the all-star bill (that included Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Genesis, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Tears For Fears), in aid of the Nordoff Robbins charity, profits from which went towards setting up the BRIT School.

David Gilmour and Andy Jackson have remixed the audio from this concert and all 7 tracks performed on the day (with guest musicians including sax player Candy Dulfer, the original The Great Gig In The Sky vocalist Clare Torry, keyboard player Michael Kamen and Sam Brown with her mother, Vicki, on vocals), are released here as well as for the first time ever on CD.

1994 album ‘The Division Bell’ sold over 12 million copies, having debuted at No 1 in the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. It stayed at the top of the US charts for 4 weeks, and also went to No 1 in six other countries. The resulting tour was captured and recorded for the concert release ‘Pulse’. This release contains the entire ‘Pulse’ live concert film, re-edited and upgraded from the original masters, from the Earl’s Court gigs, and available for the first time on Blu-ray. Also uncovered for the first time is footage of the band in rehearsals on Oct. 20, 1994 performing A Great Day For Freedom and Lost For Words.

Two decades later, Pink Floyd released ‘The Endless River’, comprising mostly instrumental and ambient music based on material recorded during ‘The Division Bell’ sessions.

Featuring David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, additional material was recorded in 2013 and 2014, with one song, Louder than Words, with lyrics by author & novelist Polly Samson (the primary lyricist for ‘The Division Bell’ album).

‘The Endless River’ became the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon UK and debuted at number one in several countries. The vinyl edition was the fastest-selling UK vinyl release since 1997. Included here for the first time is the never previously seen specially commissioned full 52-minute ‘The Endless River’ film by Ian Emes, famed for his work with Pink Floyd, including his animations for One Of These Days, Speak To Me, Time and On The Run.

Rounding off the package are hours of unreleased bonus materials including music videos, documentary footage, bonus live tracks, upgraded tour screen films and documentaries. It includes the first ever release, on Blu-ray, DVD and 7” vinyl, of the last live performance of Pink Floyd with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright together in 2007. The special performance of Arnold Layne took place at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert at The Barbican on 10 May 2007. The full set boasts previously unreleased or remixed audio, plus restored, remastered and re-edited audio-visuals including unreleased concert footage and promo clips.

With the help of Nick Mason and the Pink Floyd archive, the box set comes with reproductions of tour artwork, posters, programmes, tour laminates, lyric book and much more including two 7” vinyl singles, (the live version of Arnold Layne performed at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert in 2007 and Lost For Words from the ‘Pulse’ tour rehearsals at Earl’s Court), in new picture sleeves and etched image B-sides.

Also included is a brand new 60-page hardback book of photos, designed by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis and Peter Curzon of StormStudios, including many previously unseen images. The 5 CDs are encased in their own 40-page hardback book with an extensive guide to all content, tracklists and credits.

Further, there will also be a 2-LP / 1-CD ‘Highlights’ package. It comes in a gatefold sleeve (for both 1-CD and 2-LP), and each will contain a 24-page booklet containing previously unseen and rare photos.

English rock band The Sherlocks set new album for October

The Sherlocks, the British alternative rock band formed by two pairs of brothers (vocalist/guitarist Kiaran Crook and drummer Brandon Crook; bassist Andy Davidson and guitarist Josh Davidson), have released “Waiting.” The new single marks the third song to be released from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Under Your Sky, that’s due Oct. 4 via BMG.

Click here to listen to “Waiting.” Under Your Sky is available for pre-order now (here). 

“Waiting” follows the new album’s lead single “NYC (Sing It Loud)”—which features actor Thomas Turgoose (“Game Of Thrones”) in the official music video—and second single “Magic Man.”

The Sherlocks formed in 2010 and began releasing a series of singles and EPs leading up to their 2017 debut album, Live For The Moment (BMG). Singles from that album like “Chasing Shadows,” which has over three million Spotify streams, and “Will You Be There,” which has logged over two million Spotify streams, have become fan favorites. Click here to watch a stripped-down Paste performance session from late 2017 which features these songs.

Lead single “NYC (Sing It Loud)” received its exclusive first play courtesy of Annie Mac at Radio 1 and includes lyrics about “getting lost in the city for a day” with someone left behind.

“It was the first proper American tour we’d done and I was blown away by the place,” says frontman Kiaran Crook. “The other side was wishing certain people could be there to see it with me. When you know people are at home and you’re having such a good time, you think, ‘If you could see what I’m seeing.’ Even though I’m in New York, I’m still thinking about people at home who I wish could see New York who have never been and may never go.”

For Under your Sky, produced by The Coral’s James Skelly, the band spent four weeks working at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios. 

“The first album was us four in a room,” Kiaran adds. “We wanted to make it really raw like the Arctic Monkeys’ first album or Kings Of Leon’s. We wanted to capture the live sound and polish it up a bit. With this one we’ve taken it a step further and made it slightly smoother and put more keyboards in. Rather than having the guitars thrashing all the time we’ve tried being a bit sweeter with it. It sounds more contemporary; I can hear it on Radio 1.”

The band has become deeply embedded in the festival circuit. In the U.K. last weekend, they played energetic sets at Reading and Leeds Festival as well as a set at Victorious Festival, performing songs from both their albums. They’ve also recently announced that they’ll be headlining Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester, England in October.

The band is expected to announce U.S. tour dates soon.

Track listing:

“I Want It All”
“NYC (Sing It Loud)”
“Magic Man”
“Time To Go”
“Give It All Up”
“One Day”
“Now & Then”
“Step Inside”
“Under Your Sky”

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New Politics, Plain White T’s and The Mowgli’s team up for winter tour

This oughta be an interesting show. I've review all three acts in concert before and interviewed one (PWTs)...

Alternative rock band, New Politics, has announced The 3 DIMENSIONAL TOUR with Plain White T’s and The Mowgli’s. The tour will be begin in November and run into November. See full tour dates below.

“Louis, Soren and I are looking forward to sharing the stage with these talented bands, providing fans with the ultimate music experience,” said David Boyd, lead singer of New Politics. “We are hard at work putting together an incredible, high energy show, filled with the official live debut of songs off our new album along with the hits that everyone knows and loves.”

A BANDSINTOWN presale started today; fans can enter by following the bands on Bandsintown, followed by the public on sale this Friday, August 23, at 10 a.m. local time. Tickets can be found at, and

In April, New Politics released the single “Comeback Kid”, to celebrate 10 years as a band. The song received rave reviews with features in Billboard/Rolling Stone/iHeart Radio andcontinues to be in top 40 rotation at Alternative Radio.

New Politics recently finished recording their highly anticipated fifth album, with an expected release this Fall.

Consisting of Danish-born, David Boyd [lead vocals, guitar], Søren Hansen[bass, guitar, keys, vocals], and NY native Louis Vecchio[drums] - New Politicsexploded onto the scene with their smash hit "Harlem," earning over 31 millionSpotifystreams and reaching the top 5 at Alternative Radio.

New Politics has since released four studio albums featuring a slew of hit singles, including "Everywhere I Go", “One Of Us” and "Tonight You're Perfect," securing commercial spots for Bud Light, Microsoft and Doritos, to name a few, along with major placements on ESPN,America’s Got Talent, and featured in multiple trailers for the second-highest-grossing animated movie of all time, Frozen. The band has also performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and CONAN. 

“Comeback Kid” Is everywhere at

Tour dates:

November 12 – Chicago, IL – Metro
November 13 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
November 16 – Denver, CO – The Oriental Theater*
November 17 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
November 19 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore+
November 20 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mayan
November 21 – Pomona, CA – The Glass House
November 30 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
December 1 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
December 3 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
December 4 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
December 6 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Heaven)
December 7 – Nashville, TN – The Cowan
December 8 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom+
December 10 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live!
December 11 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
December 13 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
December 14 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony
December 15 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
December 17 – Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
December 18 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
December 20 – Sioux City, IA – Anthem At Hard Rock Casino
*No Politics
+ No The Mowgli

OMD career box set coming in October; on tour now with the B-52's

As a big fan since the '80s, I can't wait to hear this box set, which is right up my alley. Read all the details below...

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) continue their 40th anniversary celebrations with the announcement of a digital career box set, 2CD download and a brand new 3LP greatest hits collection - out October 4th. The special digital career box set will be comprised of 98 songs. Pre-order here.

The 3LP greatest hits package, spanning the band’s 40-year career, will include all the singles from “Electricity” to”What Have We Done” as well as the exclusive brand new single, “Don’t Go.” Listen here.

Written and produced by both Paul and Andy, and recorded at Bleepworks in London, the new song “Don’t Go”melds together the plaintive melancholia of McCluskey's lyrical refrain and the soaring synth melody from Paul Humphreys, combining to create the classic style of OMD.

Souvenir: Digital Box Set – Available for streaming and download
Souvenir: The Singles Collection 1979 – 2019’ Available for download only
Souvenir: 3 LP
Pre-Order OMD – Souvenir Now and get the brand new single, “Don’t Go.”

OMD have sold an astonishing 25 million singles and 15 million albums over their career, establishing them as electronic synthesizer pioneers and one of the UK’s most-beloved pop groups. Their 13 albums include recently reissued Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (1980), Organisation (1980), Architecture & Morality (1981) and Dazzle Ships (1983).

The digital audio includes all the band’s singles from “Electricity” to “What Have We Done,” as well as a brand new single “Don’t Go,” exclusive to this release. The set also includes a previously unreleased live show from the Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, 22 previously unreleased demos from the archive which have been selected and mixed by Paul Humphreys, rare and unreleased live material from the BBC and an entire live show from the Mermaid Theatre in 2011.

Today’s announcement comes as part of another exciting installment of the band’s anniversary celebrations which first saw the reissue of their first four classic albums on 180g vinyl, mastered at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road and housed in their original iconic die cut sleeves designed by the legendary Peter Saville.

The band, Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Martin Cooper and Stuart Kershaw, is currently on tour in the U.S. with The B-52’s and Berlin. The band will also embark on a huge world tour later this year, beginning in October in Portugal, stretching through to February 2020, finishing in Paris.

U.S. Tour Dates:


WED 21 Majestic Theatre San Antonio, TX, US Tickets
THU 22 Bass Concert Hall, University of Texas Austin, TX Tickets
SAT 24 Smart Financial Centre Sugar Land, TX Tickets
SUN 25 Saenger Theatre New Orleans, LA Tickets
WED 28 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL Tickets
THU 29
Au-Rene Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts FT Lauderdale, FL Tickets
FRI 30 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Tickets
SAT 31 The Fillmore Charlotte Charlotte, NC Tickets
TUE 3 Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN Tickets
WED 4 Bogart's Cincinnati, OH, US Tickets
FRI 6 White Oak Amphitheatre at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Greensboro, NC Tickets
SAT 7 Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park Atlanta, GA Tickets
SUN 8 Rose Music Center at The Heights Huber Heights, OH Tickets
WED 11 Frederik Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids, MI Tickets
FRI 13 Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (soon to be Meridian Hall) Toronto, ON, Canada Tickets
SAT 14 Meadow Brook Amphitheatre Rochester Hills, MI Tickets
TUE 17 The Anthem Washington, DC, US Tickets
THU 19 Mann Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA Tickets
FRI 20 Grand Theater at Foxwoods Mashantucket, CT Tickets
TUE 24 Summer Stage, Central Park New York, NY Tickets

An interview with Melissa Etheridge

photo courtesy of Concord Records
When Melissa Etheridge began the creative process to what would become 15th studio album The Medicine Show, she took a different tack than usual. Utilizing bassist David Santos’ home studio outside Nashville, the veteran singer/guitarist crafted the sonic terrain first.

“I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the music to sound and feel like,” said Etheridge, calling from Pennsylvania amid a summer tour including several shows with Pat Benatar.

“I was able to get the rhythms going. A lot of them started on drums. I’m not an accomplished drummer, but I started laying the rhythms down, the feeling that I wanted, and went from there. I think it made for a strong backbone to put all the songs on.”

Part of the impetus for that mindset came from a revelatory solo tour supporting 2014’s underrated This is M.E. release, where she looped and layered various rhythms and instruments together onstage.

“That had a huge effect on me as an artist,” Etheridge admitted. “Going out there by myself, standing up in front of people and building the songs from the rhythms to the guitar - that’s when I started really soloing myself and discovering my own sounds. It was a real learning experience for me, that tour. When I went into the studio, I had more confidence. I felt like I could build this record up in very much the same way.”

During previous recordings, Etheridge typically left guitar solos to session musicians. Not this time. After John Shanks (who produced 2010’s Fearless Love and was involved in Breakdown, Lucky and Your Little Secret) returned to the fold, she stressed, “I really need to play lead guitars on this. He patiently guided me on how to make that happen in a studio setting. He’s a very accomplished studio guitarist and I really learned a lot from him.”
Their comfort level from past music experiences together also helped.

“John is like my brother. I’ve worked with him since my very first tour. He knows me. I can absolutely say anything to him.”

Another goal Etheridge had with The Medicine Show was to return to the spirit of the 1990s, a period when she reached the pinnacle of success, thanks to the multi-platinum efforts Yes I Am and Your Little Secret, plus pop and rock radio hits such as “Come to My Window,” “I’m the Only One,” “If I Wanted To” and “I Want to Come Over.”

Etheridge sought out “something that is just straightforward me: my songwriting and music. I wanted it to sound similar to rock ‘n’ roll of the ‘90s and bring that into what I was making with today’s technology.”

photo courtesy of Concord Records
Among The Medicine Show standouts are “Shaking,” a chunky rocker about fear; “I Know You,” a sweeping relationship ballad; and the earthy “Wild and Lonely,” a passionate love song directed at Etheridge’s television producer/writer wife Linda Wallem (“Nurse Jackie,” “Cybill”).

The latter tune contains an exciting buildup, a trademark gritty Etheridge wail and nearly verges on Neil Young & Crazy Horse territory at the end.

“Thank you so much,” she said of the comparison. “Neil Young is definitely an inspiration on how to be a lead singer and play the guitar.”

Then there’s the throwback R&B groove in “This Human Chain.” It was inspired by a news story Etheridge read where people in another country came together and formed a human chain in the ocean to save a drowning man caught in a riptide. She had no qualms about including such an outlier.

“I told John, ‘let’s bunk this up.’ He wanted to go even more retro. I said, ‘let’s keep it in today.’ It has this retro taste with today’s feel.”

Traditionally, Etheridge writes lyrics that are layered, with the meanings becoming more evident after successive listens. Does she prefer not to have everything laid out so easily?

“More that, if you want to just listen the songs once or twice, you can carry away a meaning. But if you do want to listen a few times, you can really dig in and find pleasant little surprises in the lyrics and music. You can really go deeper and deeper into it.”

Topical tracks like “Here Comes the Pain” (about opiate addiction) and “The Last Hello” (sung from the perspective of school shootings like Stoneman-Douglas High in Parkland, Florida) definitely fit into that idea.

As Etheridge was first starting out as a musician, she was inspired by songwriters known to pen tunes on a deeper level.

“You know who I really loved? Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. These are artists that really craft a song.”

Physical versions of The Medicine Show have this cover tagline: An unrivaled true story of redemption and a ’74 Fender - a reference to Etheridge’s overall vision.

“My wife said, ‘what does this album mean to you?’ I said, ‘redemption.’ That’s what I’m looking for. The ’74 Starcaster Fender is like a magic guitar for me. It’s me finding my own voice through an electric guitar now.”

The weathered painting style of the cover (adorned with marijuana leaves; a prominent subject in some lyrics and Etheridge’s own life) makes a strong case for fans to purchase a physical copy. How does she feel about continuing to find album artwork and sequencing tracks in the streaming age?

“You know, I’m grateful that people can listen to music everywhere and anywhere at the drop of a hat. They don’t have to go find that record and put it on. I can just be part of people’s lives anywhere they are and that’s great.

“Also, for the 1% or whatever that actually still buys vinyl and physical product, I really enjoy putting the time into making an album’s worth of music, to creating album art and to making a physical product. There are still people who enjoy that.”

Since last year marked the 25th anniversary of Yes I Am, Etheridge did a special tour and played all the songs. She rediscovered the benefit in playing “Resist” because it “was a really rocking song,” as well as “Talking to My Angel.”

“It’s funny - all the songs on that album still stand up. I can play them anytime in any set and they are always welcome.”

The artist attributes the mammoth success of Yes I Am to the fact that “the early and mid-‘90s were just a magical time for music. People were really open to songwriters. The acoustic guitar didn’t scare people away. It was a beautiful time. We were waking up to the beautiful variety of humanity that we have. I think that album came at the right time.”

A testament to those songs’ popularity was recently exemplified in Netflix’s new drama series revival of “Tales of the City,” loosely based on author Armistead Mauphin’s novels about LGBT people in San Francisco. In one episode, Laura Linney’s straitlaced heterosexual character Mary Ann Singleton warbles through “Come to My Window” at karaoke in a bar.

“Bless her heart! [Linney] is not known as a singer. That’s not an easy song to sing,” said Etheridge. “I had great admiration for her and really appreciate being part of that culture and recognized. I was incredibly honored.”

Catch Melissa on tour throughout the year. For the latest concert dates, go to her Facebook page or

Friday, August 16, 2019

Reissues of '90s titles from a-ha set for October

During the Nineties, a-ha took a seven-year break after the 1993 release of their fifth album, Memorial Beach. Each of the members, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy pursued their own interests and arts until they were invited to perform on the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo. a-ha performed two songs and were suddenly back and in perfect time for the millennium when they released their international hit album Minor Earth | Major Sky in 2000. They then did a well-received world tour before taking flight once again with 2002’s Lifelines.

This fall, Rhino Records plans to re-released these two millennium comeback albums in newly remastered versions with bonus tracks, unreleased demos, outtakes and some live takes. Both sets feature brand-new liner notes by Kieron Tyler.

MINOR EARTH | MAJOR SKY (DELUXE EDITION) presents the remastered original album with bonus tracks and a second CD with 16 more demos, outtakes and live tracks. LIFELINES (DELUXE EDITION) contains the remastered original album with bonus tracks and a second 19-track CD of early versions, demos and songs that did not make it to the final album. Both sets will be released on Oct. 18.

The original albums will also be reissued in remastered versions as 2-LP vinyl sets. Two unreleased demos are available now digitally: an early version of “The Sun Never Shone That Day” (from MINOR EARTH | MAJOR SKY DELUXE EDITION) and a demo of “Forever Not Yours” (from LIFELINES DELUXE EDITION).

After their performance at the Oslo Nobel Peace Prize concert, Magne and Pål began recording demos in early 1999 in New York for what might become a new album. “They weren’t super planned,” says Pål of the sessions. “It came about because we wan­ted to do it. When we connect, we make a-ha music, no matter the circumstances.” In fact, a-ha were picking up where they had left off. The album was recorded in New York’s Alabaster Room, as well as in Lydlab and Rainbow studios in Oslo, and in Boogiepark in Hamburg, Germany.Minor Earth | Major Sky was produced by German producers Boogieman and Roland Spremberg, and co-produced by a-ha and Kjetil Bjerkestrand with a defining finish by British engineer/producer Niven Garland.

On its release, Minor Earth | Major Sky went No. 1, gaining platinum success in Norway and in Germany. Gold discs came in Austria, Spain and Switzerland. The tracks “Minor Earth | Major Sky” and “Velvet” followed “Summer Moved On” as singles, the latter hitting No. 1 in Norway and top 10 in Germany.

The deluxe version of Minor Earth | Major Sky is more than just another reissue of a hit album, with demos, early versions and alternate mixes. Disc two amounts to an entirely new take on the album. There are early versions of the title track “Minor Earth | Major Sky,” “Velvet,” “Summer Moved On” and “The Sun Never Shone That Day” as well as other takes that did not make it on the final cut. Four live performances in Oslo are taken from their 2001 tour. 

Lifelines, their 2002 follow up album, saw Magne Furuholmen working with visual arts as well as music, Pål Waaktaar-Savoy’s Band Savoy had released their fourth album Reasons to Stay Indoors (2001), and Morten Harket had developed a successful solo career and had become a songwriter on his own.

"Morten had made a move to suggest we should write together,” reveals Magne. “That was the beginning of a new kind of partnership.” For Lifelines each band member contributed his personal compositions to the album, which finally was produced by six different producers including Stephen Hague, Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley and Martin Landquist. Anneli Drecker added vocals. Lifelines went Number 1 in Germany.

On the second disc of this Deluxe Edition reissue are “The Breakers,” “Sole Survivor” and “To Show It Is To Blow It.” None made it to the finished album. “The Breakers”was later re-recorded by Pål’s band Savoy. Some songs are represented as demos or early mixes and enable the fan to track the growing of an idea into a hit, for example on “Lifelines,” “Dragonfly” and others.

This fall, a-ha will take their fans into their early years with their already nearly sold-out Hunting High and Low Tour 2019. Starting in Dublin on Oct. 29, the three of them will perform their 1985 breakthrough album Hunting High And Low and some of their biggest hits in the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland and Russia until November. In February 2020, they will continue to Dubai, then travel to South-Africa, Australia and Japan for the second leg of the tour.

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll film expanded for new home video releases

Shout! Factory will release Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll (Collector’s Edition) on DVD, and for the first time ever, on Blu-ray on Nov. 19.

The life and music of Berry are celebrated in this feature film. In 1986, Keith Richards invited a roster of musicians to honor Berry for an evening of music to commemorate Berry’s 60th birthday, including performances by Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, and Julian Lennon, along with archival footage of a duet by Chuck and John Lennon.

It was directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray, Against All Odds) and producer Stephanie Bennett, author of the new book Johnny B. Bad: Chuck Berry and the Making of Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll. 

Special features include:

Introduction by director Taylor Hackford
54 minutes of rehearsal footage
The Reluctant Movie Star making-of documentary
Witnesses to History documentary Parts 1 & 2
"Chuckisms" - a collection of classic Chuck Berry remarks
"The Burnt Scrapbook" - Chuck Berry reminisces over his musical memories with The Band’s Robbie Robertson

More Bruce Springsteen news: 'Western Stars' becomes a film

Warner Bros. Pictures will release a cinematic film version of Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, Western Stars, worldwide, on the big screen. Longtime collaborator Thom Zimny directs together with Springsteen in his directorial debut.

“Western Stars,” which will make its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, is slated for release this fall. However, fans can get an exclusive first look ahead of New Line Cinema’s “Blinded by the Light,” opening in theatres nationwide today. Springsteen’s first studio album in five years, Western Stars the documentary film evokes the American West—both the mythic and the hardscrabble—weaving archival footage and Springsteen’s personal narration with song to tell the story of Western Stars.

“Western Stars” offers fans the world over their only opportunity to see Springsteen perform all 13 songs on the album, backed up by a band and a full orchestra, under the cathedral ceiling of his historic nearly 100-year-old barn.

Emmerich stated, “Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers. With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead. As one of his many fans for over 40 years, I couldn’t be happier to be a rider on this train with Bruce and Thom.”

Western Stars, Springsteen’s 19th studio album, has achieved global success. It has been #1 on the iTunes charts on every continent, including such countries as the U.S., the UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, India, South Africa, and all of Scandinavia, among other countries. 

Springsteen and Zimny, who together helmed “Western Stars,” have collaborated on several projects over the years, including the documentary “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” and the Netflix filmed version of the Tony Award-winning “Springsteen on Broadway,” which Zimny directed.

“Western Stars” is written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, with Special Guest Patti Scialfa. Thom Zimny, Jon Landau, Barbara Carr and George Travis produced the film, with Springsteen serving as executive producer. The original score is by Springsteen.

Out now: 'Blinded By The Light' film and soundtrack

Blinded By The Light was released in theaters today and the soundtrack is available now via Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings on digital and CD formats. There's also a double LP version coming Aug. 30 and an exclusive orange vinyl edition out that day from Barnes & Noble.

As a major Bruce Springsteen fan, I've been looking forward to this film since I first heard about it months ago. The Boss seldom grants permission for his work to be used elsewhere, so the fact that a dozen classic tracks are included in the soundtrack is a rare treat.

Inspired by Sarfraz Manzoor's book Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N' Roll and Springsteen's tunes and directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), the movie plot revolves around Pakistani teen Javed (Viveik Kalra) growing up in England circa 1987. His turbulent life amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times is transformed when introduced to the music of Springsteen by a friend who hands him some cassettes by The Boss.

The track listing encompasses well-known hits and favorites like "Born To Run," "Dancing In The Dark," "Hungry Heart," "Because The Night" (famously covered by Patti Smith), "Badlands," "Cover Me," "Thunder Road" (recorded at The Roxy Theater, West Hollywood, Calif., October 18, 1975 - from "Live 1975-85"), "Prove It All Night" and "Blinded By The Light."

For diehard Springsteen fans, there's also a few previously unreleased songs worth noting: a live performance of "The River" (from No Nukes '79 - Madison Square Garden, NYC - September 21, 1979) and an acoustic solo performance of "The Promised Land" (Concert for Valor - The National Mall, Washington DC, November 11, 2014). The latter has a slower arrangement than the recorded version from "Darkness on the Edge of Town," but is still powerful, while utilizing only acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Still, the one selection many people will probably want to hear first is the official studio recording of "I'll Stand By You." It leaked online in 2017 and was originally written for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but never used. "Blinded by the Light" features the song over the closing credits.

A stately piano-led ballad with subtle orchestration, "I'll Stand By You" was created by much of the same team behind Springsteen's latest studio album "Western Stars." Patti Scialfa sings alongside her husband and another E Street Band mate, Soozie Tyrell. Mrs. Springsteen also handled the heavenly vocal harmony arrangement. With lyrics like "We'll fight together until victory is won" and "together we'll find courage/we'll find faith," the song serves as a pledge of solidarity.

Elsewhere, the soundtrack has two memorable pop hits from the era: "It's a Sin" by the Pet Shop Boys and "The Sun Always Shines On T.V." by A-ha, film dialogue snippets and some Middle Eastern music.

All told, the soundtrack is a fine Springsteen primer for the uninitiated and younger listeners to serve as a gateway for further exploration.