Danny Kirwan – Midnight In San Juan (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgDanny Kirwan, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, dies aged 68

Kirwan joined in 1968 as a teenager, and played on five albums before being fired during a struggle with alcoholism

Danny Kirwan, who played guitar in Fleetwood Mac from 1968 to 1972, has died aged 68.

“Danny was a huge force in our early years,” said Mick Fleetwood from the band in a tribute on Facebook. “Danny’s true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over 50 years. Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!”

At 18, Kirwan joined the band in their blues-rock era shortly after the release of second album Mr Wonderful. He became the band’s third guitarist alongside Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, and performed on their next five albums.

DannyKirwan03It was a period of flux for the band – Green left in 1970, followed in 1971 by Spencer, who joined the Children of God cult, while Christine McVie joined the band in 1969. Kirwan developed an alcohol problem, and was eventually fired from the band in 1972, ushering in an even more unstable period before the arrival of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, which led to their period of greatest success.

After leaving the band, Kirwan went solo and released four albums in the 70s, featuring self-penned originals and idiosyncratic covers such as his reggae take on the Beatles’ Let It Be. His studio band once included Kirby Gregory from the bogus version of Fleetwood Mac, who briefly formed amid a battle over the rights to the band name in 1974.

DannyKirwan01But Kirwan became homeless, and in 1993 Fleetwood used the Missing Persons Bureau to trace him. Kirwan said he had been living a hermitic existence in a Brixton basement flat for years, followed by four years at a St Mungo’s shelter in central London, living off social security and small royalty payments. “I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch but I’m not too bad,” he told the Independent at the time. “I get by and I suppose I am homeless, but then I’ve never really had a home since our early days on tour. I couldn’t handle it all mentally and I had to get out. I can’t settle.”

No cause of death has been given. (by Ben Beaumont-Thomas)

And here´s his second solo album:

Midnight in San Juan is the second solo album by British blues rock musician Danny Kirwan, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1968–72. Released in 1976, this was his second of three solo albums with the DJM Records label.Midnight in San Juan is the second solo album by British blues rock musician Danny Kirwan, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1968–72. Released in 1976, this was his second of three solo albums with the DJM Records label.
This album was released in the USA and Canada in May 1977 under the title Danny Kirwan, with a different sleeve (front and back) and a biography / review written by Michael Hogan. The recorded material is identical to the UK release. It was released for the first time on CD, only in Japan, in February 2006.

Apart from the self-penned tracks, Kirwan includes a reggae-style cover of The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, which was a single in the United States. The other single from this album was “Misty River”. Another cover version was “Look Around You”, written by Dave Walker, himself an ex-Fleetwood Mac member.
Kirwan’s backing band on the album was made up of members of Stretch; an earlier incarnation of Stretch had briefly toured as a bogus version of Fleetwood Mac in 1974. (by wikipedia)

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On his follow-up to 1975’s Second Chapter, his first solo disc after being such an important element of Fleetwood Mac, Danny Kirwan gives fans another taste of Bare Trees with the lovely song “Castaway,” which ends the album, and the instrumental “Rolling Hills,” which could be a sequel to the sublime “Sunny Side of Heaven,” a treat both when Fleetwood Mac performed it live and when it appeared on Bare Trees. Kirwan’s personality shines on those tracks, and this album is chock-full of quality material — there isn’t a bad track on it musically. Where followers of this artist might have a problem is that it seems to be a conscious effort to go off in the commercial direction taken by the folk band America, of all people. Both tracks which open side one and two, “I Can Tell” and “Misty River” respectively, would have perfectly fit in America’s “Sister Golden Hair,” “Don’t Cross the River,” and “Ventura Highway” set list.

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This is decidedly different music from the slick pop of 1979’s Hello There Big Boy, which retained only pianist John Cook from these sessions. That episode had him sounding more like his ex-Fleetwood Mac mate Bob Welch, no surprise since Welch actually charted in 1977 with his Bare Trees track “Sentimental Lady.” “Life Machine” on this disc actually sounds like a Bob Welch track, and it is too bad the two artists didn’t join forces at this point in time. The strange one here is a reggae version of “Let It Be,” which, in its brashness, becomes a nice turning point for the disc, showing real personality. Too many artists cover the Beatles note for note while Kirwan gives the world ten new originals and a creative reworking of a classic hit by “the Fab Four.” This album was titled Danny Kirwan in North America, while the British release took its name from the other instrumental track, a synthesized journey called “Midnight in San Juan.” “Angel’s Delight” and “Windy Autumn Day” sound like Fleetwood Mac meets the band America, a very saleable commodity if you think about it, the Beatles-style ending to “Windy Autumn Day” driving the point home. Dick James Records really should have gotten more solidly behind this artist — there’s no doubt the talent for Top 40 success here was enormous. (by Joe Viglione)

This is a very quiete, calm and sympathic album … recorded by a tragic looser.

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Personnel:
John Cook (piano)
Steve Emery (bass)
Danny Kirwan (guitar, vocals)
Jeff Rich (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can Tell (Kirwan) – 3:02
02. Life Machine (Kirwan) – 2:26
03. Midnight In San Juan” – 2:38
04. Let It Be (Lennon/McCartney) – 2:28
05. Angel’s Delight – 2:47
06. Windy Autumn Day” – 2:38
07. Misty River” – 3:59
08. Rolling Hills – 2:25
09. I Can’t Let You Go – 2:42
10. Look Around You (Walker) – 3:09
11. Castaway  – 3:47

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Danny Kirwan May 13, 1950 – June 8, 2018

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan has died. His death was reported by Mick Fleetwood via Facebook.In a tribute headed “Danny Kirwan May 13, 1950 – June 8, 2018”, Fleetwood wrote, “Today was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England.

Danny was a huge force in our early years. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years.

“Danny’s true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac that has now endured for over fifty years.

“Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed! (Mick Fleetwood)

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Nils Lofgren – Back It Up! – Live (An Authorised Bootleg) (1976)

FrontCover2Back It Up!! is a promotional “live” album from Nils Lofgren initially released 1975. The title of the original vinyl LP was Back It Up!! – Nils Lofgren Live – An Authorized Bootleg. Although the recording was officially released by A&M Records, the artwork was designed to give the appearance of a live bootleg recording, similar to Decca Records’ original vinyl release of the Who’s Live at Leeds in 1970, which was a legitimate live album designed to look like a bootleg. Back It Up!! was not officially available to the public until it was issued on CD in 2007, 32 years after its original release.

The songs were recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, on October 31, 1975, and primarily features material from Lofgren’s first solo album which had been released earlier in the year. At the time of the recording, Lofgren had recently signed with A&M and had just begun a solo career following the dissolution of his previous group, Grin. Despite its limited release, songs from Back It Up!! were featured on FM radio broadcasts during the 1970s and had been generally praised by the musical press as worthy of a proper release.

The CD re-release includes the same seven songs from the original vinyl release in 1975. An additional song, “Rock and Roll Crook”, was also performed at the concert (following “Goin’ Back”), but was not included on the 1975 vinyl release or the CD reissue. Currently, all of the songs from Back It Up!!, along with “Rock and Roll Crook”, are available as a digital download from the Wolfgang’s Vault website. (by wikipedia)

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Finally available on wide release 32 years after it was a limited-edition, and much coveted, vinyl release sent to 1,000 radio stations and critics (each one with a sticker hand-glued to the cover), this 44-minute live radio station concert is half as long and more than twice as exciting as Nils Lofgren’s official live concert souvenir, 1977’s disappointing and bloated Night After Night. Al Kooper, who was then doing pre-production on Lofgren’s second solo effort, sits in on keyboards and the stripped-down band also featuring Nils’ brother Tommy on second guitar and a bassist and drummer keeps the sound lean and mean. There are only seven tracks, with five grabbed from Lofgren’s then recently released debut, along with two tunes from Grin, the band he recorded four albums with that also included his brother. In retrospect, the sound is a little dry and the 2007 CD reissue doesn’t remix it or add any additional tracks (there may not have been any), but this is nevertheless a classic album, arguably Lofgren’s finest, whose belated presence on CD is most welcome.

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The singer and guitarist also plays decent piano on a stunning version of the Goffin & King nugget “Goin’ Back,” rearranged substantially from the Byrds’ more popular cover. The only real rockers are the opening title track and the closing “Beggar’s Day”; the latter tune, dedicated to Crazy Horse’s Danny Whitten (Lofgren was a member of that band for a brief period), is a highlight of Lofgren’s catalog. The rest display his pop roots that are often obscured on later discs where he flirted with R&B, disco, and hard rock to various degrees of success. Any Nils collection is unthinkable without this, so its appearance, even three decades after its original release, should be greeted with enthusiasm by anyone even vaguely interested in Lofgren’s career. (by Hal Horowitz)

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CD front + back cover

Personnel:
Scotty Ball (bass)
Nils Lofgren (guitar, piano, vocals)
Tom Lofgren (guitar, background vocals)
Michael Zak (drums)
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Al Kooper (pianoYear Of Rec)

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Tracklist:
01. Take You To The Movies Tonight (N.Lofgren) 1.01
02. Back It Up (N.Lofgren) 5.58
03. Keith Don’t Go (Ode to the Glimmer Twin) (N.Lofgren) 6.26
04. I Don’t Want To Know (N.Lofgren) 3.48
05. Nils talks to the audience 0.30
06. The Sun Hasn’t Set On This Boy (N.Lofgren) 3.13
07. Goin’ Back (Goffin/King) 6.03
08. Band intro 0.42
09. Like Rain (N.Lofgren) 5.49
10. Nils thanks crew 0.30
11. Beggar’s Day (N.Lofgren) 7.52
12. Soft Fun (N.Lofgren) 2.45

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Various Artists – Concert Of The Century (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGI guess this was a very special night at the Carnegie Hall, New York. This concert should celebrate the 85th anniversary of this legendary concert hall.

My uncle bought this double LP as a Christmas present for my father back when it first came out. It was recorded in celebration of the 85th anniversary of Carnegie Hall. That concert night featured Leonard Bernstein and members of the NYP, Isaac Stern, Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, and of course, Dieskau and Horowitz! Bach’s double violin concerto in D minor is unpolished with Stern and Menuhin and the entire cast singing Handel’s “Hallelujah” from the Massiah at the end is a bit much and over the top.

Still, it was indeed a historical night and Dieskau and Horowitz’ performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe made it so. A must have for anyone who loves this piece or wishes to fall in love with it. (Peter Chordas)

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The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Joerg)

The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Pete)

All lovers of Lieder seem to have a certain passion and veneration for Fischer-Dieskau’s interpretation of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. It is appearant that this singer’s understanding of the music, his vocal capacity, his beautiful phrasing, clear diction, and his general (outstanding) musicianship enable him to communicate these Lieder in a way nobody else has done before (save maybe Hotter) or since.
In this live-recording he is supported by no other than Vladimir Horowitz! And the inspiration between these two artists works wonders. Horowitz’ playing in crucial moments of the cycle fx “Ich Grolle Nicht” adds a spiritual dimension to the interpretation that you do not get from Moore, Brendel or Demus. We are dealing with the best interpretation of this cycle ever conveyed to disc. (Tommy Nielsen)

And … listen to “Pater Noster” … unbelieveable music … I call this music … spiritual music, even I don´t believe in god !

What a night !

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Personnel:
Leonard Bernstein (harpsichord on 05.)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (vocals on 04. + 07.)
Vladimir Horowitz (piano on 02. – 04. + 07.)
Yehudi Menuhin (violin on 05. + 07.)
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello on 02., 03. + 07.)
Isaac Stern (violin on 02., 05. + 07.)

Members Of The New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein (on 01., 05. + 07.)
The Oratorio Society Orchestra conducted by Lyndon Woodside (o6. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Leonore – Overture No3/Ouvertüre Nr3/Ouverture Nº3 Op.72a (Beethoven) 14.34
02. Piano Trio In A Minor/Klaviertrio, A-moll/Trio Pour Piano En La Mineur – Op.50, I – Pezzo Elegiaco (Tchaikovsky) 18.18
03. Sonata For Cello & Piano In G Minor/Sonate Für Violoncello & Klavier G-moll/Sonate Pour Violoncelle & Piano En Sol Mineur – Op.19, III Andante (Rachmaninoff) 5.47
04. Dichterliebe, Op.48 (Schumann/Heine) 29.30
05. Concerto In D Minor For Two Violins/Konzert Für Zwei Violinen, D-moll/Concerto Pour Deux Violons En Ré-mineur BWV 1043 (Bach) 15.29
06. Pater Noster (Tchaikovsky) 3.53
07. The Messiah/Hallelujah Chorus (Händel) 4.04

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Harry Chapin – Greatest Stories Live (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGGreatest Stories Live is the first live album by the American singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, recorded over three nights at three California venues, and released in 1976. Certain elements had to be re-recorded in the studio due to technical problems with the live recordings. The original LP release featured three new studio tracks, two of which (“She Is Always Seventeen” and “Love Is Just Another Word”) were excluded from the CD release. “A Better Place to Be” was released as a single, and did manage to crack the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The album is popular for its extended cut of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas”, infamous for Chapin’s recounting of his brothers’ remarks after hearing the original ending: “Harry…it sucks.” The quote became so popular with Harry Chapin fans that concert shirts were sold with the quotation on it. (by wikipedia)

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Recorded in November 1975, Greatest Stories Live showcases the legendary live performance styles of acoustic troubadour and noted activist Harry Chapin. Recorded over three nights on-stage in California, the double-LP set features all the hits as well as a few notable album cuts that put the musician’s musical and personal skills out on the line for all to see. There are the obvious inclusions of touching hits, like “W*O*L*D,” “Taxi,” and of course the father-son anthem “Cats in the Cradle.” “Mr. Tanner” and the heartfelt “I Wanna Learn a Love Song” also come across great in the live environment, a setting that was clearly the singer/songwriter’s forte. Chapin has a fantastic rapport with the audience throughout the set, and it comes through with incredible results on his humorous banter before and during the rousing and set-highlighting “30,000 Pounds of Bananas,” a great track about Scranton, PA, and a runaway fruit truck. Sure it may sound a little hokey, but Chapin is a true showman and the fun he has on-stage transfers directly into the joy of listening to the record. A fine musician and individual, Chapin’s Greatest Stories Live comes close to living up to its name and is a fitting document of a man whose boundless joy and insight shined through in his music. (by Peter J. D’Angelo)

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Personnel:
Ed Bednarski (carinet)
Ron Bacchiocchi (snthesizer, percussion, clavinet)
Harry Chapin (uhtar, vocals)
Stephen Chapin (ynthesizer, piano, vocals)
Tom Chapin (guitar, banjo, vocals)
Howie Fields (drums)
Paul Leka -(piano, clavinet)
Michael Masters (cello)
Tim Moore (piano)
Ronald Palmer (guitar, vocals)
Don Payne (bass)
Tim Scott (cello)
Ken Smith (percussion)
Bob Springer (percussion)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
John Tropea (guitar)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
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ackground vocals:
Christine Faith – Cheryl Ferrio – David Kondziela – Mark Mundy – Kathy Ramos – Frank Simms – George Simms – Betsy Wager – Sue White 

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Tracklist:
01. Dreams Go By (H.Chapin) 4.54
02. W·O·L·D (H.Chapin) 5.01
03. Saturday Morning (T.Chapin) 3.05
04. I Wanna Learn A Love Song (H.Chapin) 5.04
05. Mr. Tanner (H.Chapin) 5.17
06. A Better Place To Be (Chapin) 9.58
07. Let Time Go Lightly (S.Chapin) 4.56
08. Cat´s In The Craddle (H.Chapin) 4.04
09. Taxi (H.Chapin) 6.52
10. Circle (H.Chapin) 7.21
11. 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (H.Chapin) 11.27
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12. The Shortest Story (Studio track) (H.Chapin) 2.25

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Harry Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981)

Linda Ronstadt – Hasten Down The Wind (1976)

FrontCover1Hasten Down the Wind is the Grammy Award-winning seventh studio album by singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt. Released in 1976, it became her third straight million-selling album. Ronstadt was the first female artist in history to accomplish this feat. The album earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Female in 1977, her second of 11 Grammys. It represented a slight departure from 1974’s Heart Like a Wheel and 1975’s Prisoner in Disguise in that she chose to showcase new songwriters over the traditional country rock sound she had been producing up to that point. A more serious and poignant album than its predecessors, it won critical acclaim.

Hasten Down the Wind is the Grammy Award-winning seventh studio album by singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt. Released in 1976, it became her third straight million-selling album. Ronstadt was the first female artist in history to accomplish this feat. The album earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Female in 1977, her second of 11 Grammys. It represented a slight departure from 1974’s Heart Like a Wheel and 1975’s Prisoner in Disguise in that she chose to showcase new songwriters over the traditional country rock sound she had been producing up to that point. A more serious and poignant album than its predecessors, it won critical acclaim.

The album showcased songs from artists such as Warren Zevon (“Hasten Down the Wind”) and Karla Bonoff (“Someone to Lay Down Beside Me”), both of whom would soon be making a name for themselves in the singer-songwriter world. The album included a cover of a cover: “The Tattler” by Washington Phillips, which Ry Cooder had re-arranged for his 1974 album Paradise and Lunch. A reworking of the late Patsy Cline’s classic “Crazy” was a Top 10 Country hit for Ronstadt in early 1977.

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Her third album to go platinum, Hasten Down the Wind spent several weeks in the top three of the Billboard album charts. It was also the second of four number 1 Country albums for her. (by wikipedia)

This is Linda Ronstadt’s tenth album (including the three made with her first group, the Stone Poneys). While it is certainly not in a league with her masterpiece, Heart like a Wheel (and I’m beginning to believe its perfection occurs but once in an artist’s career), Hasten down the Wind is nonetheless representative of Ronstadt redivivus, of Ronstadt, the sensitive, introspective stirring we have admired all these years.

Aside from the inclusion of two innocuous songs — “Lo Siento Mi Vida” and Karla Bonoff’s “If He’s Ever Near” — the album’s problems are fairly well exemplified by the totally wrongheaded interpretation of the Warren Zevon-penned title song, which delineates the chilling tale of a lover’s indecisiveness. In the original version, stinging, venomous guitar lines plus ethereal guitar solos accentuated Zevon’s weary vocal. Here, strings and Andrew Gold’s impersonal piano accompaniment take the song all the way out of the danger zone, and Ronstadt’s carefully articulated, stodgy vocal belies her misunderstanding. When she is joined on the chorus by Don Henley (of the Eagles) the impact of the song’s touching and mystifying lyric is completely blunted by the beauty of the harmonizing.

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The album’s only other major mistake is John and Johanna Hall’s “Give One Heart,” one of the worst songs — reggae or otherwise — I’ve heard. Orleans couldn’t salvage it, nor can Ronstadt. No amount of sweetening can rescue lyrics as inane as “That’s the paradox of I love you” or “If your baby loves you right/You can have skyrockets any old night.” A rock & roll bridge has been punched up, which only makes things worse by forcing a scream from Ronstadt as she tries to move up the scale. Worse still, one verse of an immaculately beautiful reggae song, “Rivers of Babylon,” is ruined by being used as a prelude to “Give One Heart.”

Otherwise the album is in good shape. And in a few instances it’s as good as anything Ronstadt has done.

I’ve always appreciated Ronstadt’s good-natured approach to her remakes of rock ‘n’ roll oldies. The version of “That’ll Be the Day” included here neither alters my feelings for nor threatens the Buddy Holly original. Her reading could be tougher, but the music behind it — particularly the solo sparring between guitarists Andrew Gold and Waddy Wachtel — has enough bite to overcome the vocal shortcomings.

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Ry Cooder’s “The Tattler” is one of the album’s two gems. Swirling electric piano figures and a barely audible mandolin establish an irresistibly exotic ambiance. Ronstadt’s interpretation is extraordinarily subtle, sly and witty. She sounds at peace with herself as she sings of foolish lovers who don’t take the time to discover love’s true meaning. She doesn’t battle the instruments; she doesn’t strain for high notes. She simply allows the beauty of this well-structured song to speak for itself.

Ultimately, there is the Ronstadt-Gold song, “Try Me Again.” As in “Love Has No Pride” and “Long Long Time,” something precious is at stake here. The song’s theme summons from Ronstadt myriad emotions; midway through the first verse, she is befuddled — not yet wanting to admit what is going on in her life:

Lately I ain’t been feelin’ right
And I don’t know the cure, no
Still I can’t keep from wonderin’
If I still figure in your life

Realization and abject resignation in the second verse turn into frustration by the third (“When you say you tried/And you know you lied/My hands are tied”), which elicits the final, desperate plea of the title.

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Near the end of the song, Gold hammers out angry piano chords beneath Dan Dugmore’s sorrowful steel guitar lines, then comes back with a powerful guitar solo that is the instrumental topping for the quintessential Ronstadt performance.

Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” an inspired choice, follows. After the tumult of “Try Me Again,” “Crazy” is rather a boozy coda; a “what the hell, you gotta give love a try” barroom ballad that is lighthearted and loose enough for Ronstadt to falter on the last line without destroying the mood.

This isn’t Heart like a Wheel. But it is, despite its flaws, a fine album that begs closer inspection than, I fear, many of us are willing to give to Linda Ronstadt’s art. Like the best moments of the preceding nine, though, the best moments of Hasten down the Wind will be with us a long, long time. (by David McGee, Rolling Stone, 1976)

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Personnel:
Michael Botts (drums)
Dan Dugmore (guitar, steel-guitar)
Kenny Edwards (bass, mandolin, background vocals)
Andrew Gold (keyboards, clavinet, guitar, clavichord, background vocals)
Russ Kunkel (drums)
Linda Ronstadt (vocals)
Wendy Waldman (guitar, background vocals)
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Peter Asher (guitar, percussion, background vocals)
David Campbell (viola)
Richard Feves (bass)
Don Henley (drums, vocals)
Dennis Karmazyn (cello)
Clarence McDonald (keyboards)
Paul Polivnick (viola)
Charles Veal (violin)
Ken Yerke (violin, viola)
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vocals/background vocals:
Herb Pedersen – Bill Thedford – Ron Hickland – Gerry Garrett – Sherlie Matthews – Clydie King – Gerald Garrett – Jim Gilstrap – Pat Henderson – Ron Hicklin – Becky Louis – Karla Bonoff

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Tracklist:
01. Lose Again (Bonoff) 3.37
02. The Tattler (Cooder/Titelman/Phillips) 3:56
03. If He’s Ever Near (Bonoff) 3:15
04. That’ll Be The Day (Allison/Holly/Petty) 2:32
05. Lo Siento Mi Vida (I’m Sorry My Love) (L.Ronstadt/Edwards/G.Ronstadt) 3:54
06. Hasten Down The Wind (Zevon) 2:40
07. Rivers Of Babylon (Dowe/McNaughton) 0:52
08. Give One Heart /John Hall/Johanna Hall) 4:07
09. Try Me Again (L. Ronstadt/Gold) 3:59
10. Crazy (W.Nelson) 3:58
11. Down So Low (T.Nelson) 4:08
12. Someone To Lay Down Beside Me (Bonoff) 3.58

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Don Nix – Gone Too Long (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGDon Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being “obscure”[by whom?], he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He was instrumental in the creation of the distinctive “Memphis soul” developed at Stax Records.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix came from a musical family (his brother, Larry Nix, became a mastering engineer for Stax and for the Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis). Don Nix began his career playing saxophone for the Mar-Keys, which also featured Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and others. The hit instrumental single “Last Night” (composed by the band as a whole) was the first of many successful hits to Nix’s credit. Without Nix, the Mar-Keys evolved into Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

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The Mar-Keys in the studio, from left, Charlies “Packy” Axton, Wayne Jackson, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Don Nix, Terry Johnson, Steve Cropper and Jerry Lee “Smoochie” Smith. (Phillip Rauls photo)

As a producer, Nix worked with other artists and producers, such as Leon Russell of Shelter Records; Gary Lewis and the Playboys in Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars; George Harrison, of the Beatles; and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. One notable achievement was his collaboration with Harrison, Russell, and many others in the production of the “Concert for Bangladesh”, a star-studded benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

DonNix01Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, and musician and in other roles for artists including Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddie King, Albert King, Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Jeff Beck, Brian May, Eric Clapton, and many others. He wrote and produced albums for solo artists and for groups, such as Don Nix and the Alabama State Troupers, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers.

The song “Going Down”, originally released by the band Moloch on their eponymous album in 1969, has become a rock-and-roll standard, having been covered by Freddie King, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Marc Ford, Chicken Shack, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov’t Mule, Sam Kinison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Joe Bonamassa, Sturgill Simpson, and others. Nix released a version of the song as a single for Elektra Records in 1972. The song “Black Cat Moan” was covered on the 1973 album Beck, Bogert & Appice. The Rolling Stones performed “Goin’ Down” with John Mayer and Gary Clark, Jr. live on Pay-Per-View television on December 15, 2012, as part of the Stones’ 50th Anniversary Tour.

He did the first time performance in Japan, Tokyo and Kobe, in March 2013 with his friends Terry Wall and Joel Williams.

In 2014, “Alabama State Troupers Road Show” was released as a CD. A celebration event was held in Stax Museum in Memphis (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another solo album by Don Nix … a brilliant nix between Rock, Blues, Gospel and S misuc ..Soul music … he was one of the most underrated musicians in the history of this music !!!

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George Harrison & Don Nix

Personnel:
Don Nix (vocals, saxophone)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians (with spiritual guidance from George Harrison)

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Tracklist:
01. Goin’ Thru Another Change (Nix) 3.02
02. Feel A Whole Lot Better (Clark) 3.55
03. Gone Too Long (Nix) 3.16
04. Backstreet Girl (Jagger/Richards) 4.01
05. Rollin’ In My Dreams (Nix) 2.50
06. Yazoo City Jail (Nix) 3.37
07. Harpoon Arkansas Turnaround (Nix) 2.28
08. Forgotten Town (Nix) 3.14
09. A Demain (Until Tomorrow) (Denimal/Nix) 4.53

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Don Nix talks …

Harry Chapin – On The Road To Kingdom Come (1976)

LPFrontCover1On the Road to Kingdom Come is the sixth studio album by the American singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, released in 1976. Longer versions of the songs “Corey’s Coming” and “If My Mary Were Here” appeared on Chapin’s 1979 live album Legends of the Lost and Found. “The Mayor Of Candor Lied” was later covered by Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph.(by wikipedia)

On the Road to Kingdom Come sounded more like a rock album than anything Harry Chapin had done to date. In the hands of sympathetic producer/arranger Stephen Chapin, Harry’s songs are infused with clever and often humorous bits of musical commentary — horns, electric guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, and various sound effects pop up at opportune times throughout — that makes much of the material instantly ingratiating.

While the record failed to capture commercial interest (singer/songwriters were out, disco was in), song for song this is one of his strongest efforts. As a musical storyteller, Chapin has few peers; HarryChapin1976_1both the potent tale of a duplicitous potentate on “The Mayor of Candor Lied” and the heartwarming “Corey’s Coming” are masterfully conceived. Harry’s humorous side, which somehow got stifled in the studio, here comes out of the closet for the title track and “Laugh Man,” though both have their barbs. The album also included two of his prettiest songs, “Caroline” (co-written with wife Sandy Chapin) and “If My Mary Were Here.”

A track dedicated to the recently fallen Phil Ochs, “The Parade’s Still Passing By,” is also featured. Compared to some of his earlier work, which was often dry and dour, these songs are vigorous and saturated in sound.

Some might charge that the record’s resemblance to Elton John’s contemporary work renders it lightweight, but Chapin’s wit was sharpening with age and his romantic visions remained keen. For the faithful, getting On the Road to Kingdom Come is a good idea. (by Dave Connolly)

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Personnel:
Harry Chapin (guitar, vocals)
Stephen Chapin (keyboards, vocals)
Ron Evanuik (cello)
Howie Fields (drums, percussion)
Doug Walker (guitar, vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
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Buzz Brauner (recorder)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
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background vocals:
Carolyn Dennis – Donna Fein – Muffy Hendrix – Sharon Hendrix

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Tracklist:
01. On The Road To Kingdom Come 5.26
02. The Parade’s Still Passing By 3.26
03. The Mayor Of Candor Lied 8.27
04. Laugh Man (Chapin) 3.36
05. Corey’s Coming 5.41
06. If My Mary Were Here 3.32
07. Fall In Love With Him 3.54
08. Caroline 3.41
09. Roll Down The River 4.28

All songs was written by Hary Chapin, except “Caroline” wich was written by Harry Chapin + Sandra Chapin

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More Harry Chapin:

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