Emmylou Harris with Spyboy feat. Buddy Miller – Live In Germany 2000 (2011)

Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and has won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. (wikipedia)

Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers’ works, a singer-songwriter, and a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists.

12-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, gained admiration as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Few in pop or country music have achieved such honesty or revealed such maturity in their writing.

In this 2000 concert, Emmylou Harris combined tasteful choices from her early repertoire with newer work, often her own compositions, backed by the band she called Spyboy, which featured the hard-working guitarist and singer Buddy Miller.

Harris came as an emissary to commercial country from the 1960’s folk and rock toward which Nashville mavericks were already leaning. With her dark, natural, hippie-ish beauty, her ethereally powerful soprano, and her fascination with the grittier roots of country music, Harris broke molds established for both women and new artists in Nashville country. With the Hot Band, she brought virtuoso rock-influenced chops to country picking and helped introduce a new audience of young, college-radio fans not only to her own take on country, and to the rock-friendly work of songwriters like Rodney Crowell, but also to the virtues of great artists like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, the Louvin Brothers, and Dolly Parton.

She sings some of those early album favorites here: Crowell’s “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Gram Parsons and Chris Hillmans’ “Wheels,” and Parsons and Bob Buchanan’s beautiful “Hickory Wind.” Combined with classic songs like the Louvins “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” which gave her a top-five country hit, Harris quickly established herself as a new kind of country artist, with both radio-single and album-oriented appeal. She had number-one country hits with the chestnuts “Together Again” and “Sweet Dreams,” and her second album on Reprise, “Elite Hotel,” reached number one on the country album charts while also finding its way into many college record collections. Later albums in the vein, including “Luxury Liner” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” established Harris as a crossover star.

In 1980, she made further innovations, releasing a bluegrass album, “Roses in the Snow,” which was distinguished by placing her characteristic solo and harmony singing in bluegrass arrangements and bringing new listeners to country’s acoustic forms. For the rest of her career, Harris would remain an important exponent of older and more traditional styles in country music.

Yet this 2000 concert finds her in what was then yet another new mode. In the early 1990’s her commercial radio success had diminished, in part, and ironically, because of the rise of “new traditionalist” artists whom she’d played a strong part in influencing. Harris became a trademark of country authenticity, appearing on albums by Steve Earle and other innovators with deep respect for bluegrass and classic country. In 1995 she released the album “Wrecking Ball,” launching Spyboy as a touring band with Buddy Miller and moving fairly assertively away from traditional country, with songs like “Deeper Well,” featured here. The 2000 follow-up “Red Dirt Girl,” widely acclaimed, featured Harris’s own songs, many of them also heard here.

“Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few left as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of “cosmic American music” passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young – not surprisingly an occasional collaborator – no other mainstream star established a similarly large body of work as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even more than four decades into her career, Harris’ latter-day music remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her earliest recordings.” (William Hoghland)

Recorded live in Baden-Baden, Germany on October 31, 2000.

Personnel:
Brian Blade (drums)
Tony Hall (bass, vocals)
Emmylou Harris (guitar, vocals)
Buddy Miller (guitar, vocals)

Tracklist:
01. The Pearl (Harris) 5.22
02. I Don’t Wanna Talk About It Now (Cunniff/Harris/Johnson) 4.46
03. I Ain’t Living Long Like This (Crowell) 4.19
04. Raise The Dead (Harris) 3.27
05. Red Dirt Girl (Harris) 4.50
06. Love Hurts (Bryant) 3.00
07. Hour Of Gold (Harris) 5.00
08. Deeper Well (Harris/Lanois/Olney) 6.22
09. Michaelangelo (Harris) 4.50
10. Boy From Tupelo (Harris) 3.34
11. Wheels (Hillman/Parsons) 3.11
12. Born To Run (Kennerley) 4.45
13. Hickory Wind (Buchanan/Parsons) 4.55

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Savoy Brown – Live From The House Of Blues (2000)

FrontCover1Part of the late-’60s blues-rock movement, Britain’s Savoy Brown never achieved as much success in their homeland as they did in America, where they promoted their albums with nonstop touring. The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality led to myriad personnel changes; the original lineup included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, guitarist Martin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. This lineup appeared on the band’s 1967 debut, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers. Seeking a different approach, Simmonds dissolved the group and brought in guitarist Dave Peverett, bassist Rivers Jobe, drummer Roger Earl, and singer Chris Youlden, who gave them a distinctive frontman with his vocal abilities, bowler hat, and monocle.

With perhaps its strongest lineup, Savoy Brown quickly made a name for itself, recording originals like “Train to Nowhere.” However, Youlden left the band in 1970 following Raw Sienna, and shortly thereafter, Peverett, Earl, and new bassist Tony Stevens departed to form Foghat, continuing the pattern of consistent membership turnover. Simmonds collected yet another lineup and began a hectic tour of America, showcasing the group’s now-refined bluesy boogie rock style, which dominated the rest of their albums. The group briefly broke up in 1973, but re-formed the following year.

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s Simmonds remained undeterred by a revolving-door membership and continued to tour and record. Their first album for the Blind Pig label, Strange Dreams, was released in 2003, followed by Steel in 2007. Subsequent LPs include the compilation Too Much of a Good Thing, Voodoo Moon, Goin’ to the Delta, and 2015’s The Devil to Pay. In 2017, the band returned with the full-length Witchy Feelin’, which hit number one on the Billboard Blues Albums chart. Buoyed by that success, Simmonds and Savoy Brown returned with the group’s 40th career album, City Night, in 2019. /by Steve Huey)

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And here´s a pretty good live bootleg (excellent broadcast quality) from The House Of The Blues.

Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown were on tour to promote their “The Blues Keep Holding Me On” from 1999.

20 years after … this show is still another highlight in the history of Savoy Brown bootlegs … old songs, new songs… high class Blues-Rock !

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Personnel:
Dave Olson (drums)
Nathaniel Peterson (bass, vocals)
Kim Simmonds (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Simmonds) 7.37
02. A Hard Way To Go (Youlden) 7.32
03. Little Red Rooster (Dixon) 11.23
04. I’m Tired (Youlden) 6.56
05. Stay While The Night Is Young (Youlden/Simmonds) 10.20
06. Mississippi Steamboat (ubknown) 7.42
07. Headline News (Traditional) 10.53
08. When You’ve Got A Good Friend (Johnson) 8.24
09. Shake For Me (Dixon) 9.50
10. Bad Shape (Simmonds) 7.11
11. Wang Dang Doodle (Doxon) 11.32
12. Little Wheel ( 10:41

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Dave Olson

Allman Brothers Band – Peakin’ At The Beacon (2000)

FrontCover1Peakin’ at the Beacon is a live album by the rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded at the Beacon Theatre in New York City in March, 2000, and released later that year.

Peakin’ at the Beacon was the first Allman Brothers Band album to include Derek Trucks on guitar and Oteil Burbridge on bass, and the last to include founding member Dickey Betts. (by wikipedia)

When Gregg Allman was asked why Dickey Betts was kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band in the spring of 2000, he is reported to have suggested the answer lay in the tapes from the group’s two-week stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York. That makes it surprising that the Allmans would turn to those tapes to assemble their first new album release in five and a half years, Peakin’ at the Beacon. Happily, however, there is no evidence of Betts’ alleged shortcomings on the disc, though it must be admitted that, since he is one of two lead guitarists (the other being Derek Trucks, making his recorded debut with the band), it isn’t always easy to tell who is playing. There is plenty of guitar work, and it is up to the Allmans’ usual standard.

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Following the instrumental opener, Gregg Allman sings lead on seven straight songs, all of which come from the band’s first three studio albums. Betts finally appears as a vocalist on the ninth track, the 1990 folk-country tune “Seven Turns.” Finally, there is a 27-and-a-half-minute version of the 1975 Betts instrumental “High Falls,” a typical extended workout complete with jazzy interludes and a lengthy percussion section. The Allmans may not have been due for another live album (two of their last three releases being concert recordings), but the series of Beacon shows has become an annual event, and the disc serves as a souvenir from the March 2000 shows. Fans who attended those shows, or who just want to be reassured that the Allmans sound much the same as ever, may enjoy the album; less devoted listeners probably shouldn’t bother. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Gregg Allman (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals)
Oteil Burbridge (bass)
Jaimoe (drums, percussion)
Marc Quiñones (percussion, vocals)
Butch Trucks (drums, percussion)
Derek Trucks (guitar)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Don’t Want You No More (Davis/Hardin) 3.06
02. It’s Not My Cross To Bear (Allman) 5.13
03. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Allman) 5.46
04. Every Hungry Woman (Allman) 5.57
05. Please Call Home (Allman) 4.31
06. Stand Back (Allman/Oakley) 5.45
07. Black Hearted Woman (Allman) 6.30
08. Leave My Blues At Home (Allman) 5.07
09. Seven Turns (Betts) 4.49
10. High Falls (Betts) 27.28

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More from The Allman Brothers Band:
More

St. Germain – Tourist (2000)

FrontCover1St Germain is the stage name of Ludovic Navarre), born 10 April 1969 in Boulogne-Billancourt, a French musician. His style has been described as being a combination of house and nu jazz music.

Navarre’s album Boulevard was released in July 1995 and has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. His United States debut, Tourist, was released in 2000 and sold 300,000 copies in the USA and 4 million copies worldwide. Bob Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Miles Davis and Kool and the Gang are among Ludovic’s early influences. He composed his first work under the name of Sub System with friend Guy Rabiller. He has released EPs under a number of aliases, among them Deepside, LN’S, Modus Vivendi, Nuages and Soofle.

St Germain is not associated with the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Café compilation series, though his song “Deep in It” is featured on its “Volume 1”.

His song “Rose Rouge” was featured in the official movie trailer for Joss Whedon’s 2013 Much Ado About Nothing.

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His eponymous album, released on 9 October 2015, was recorded with the participation of African musicians, the album features traditional Malian instruments such as kora, balafon and n’goni, that mingle with electric guitars, pianos, saxophones and electronic loops. The first single, “Real Blues”, sets the voice of Lightnin’ Hopkins to the beat of wild, fiery drums and percussion.

The original single sleeve is decorated with a 3D mask conceived by Urban Art creator Gregos, known for his smiling and frowning faces stuck on walls throughout Paris and Europe.

St Germain was included in the line-up for Coachella 2016.

Tourist is the third studio album by French producer Ludovic Navarre, released under his stage name St Germain. The album’s musical style is described by AllMusic as “a synthesis of electronics with jazz soloing”.

As of 2018, Tourist has sold over four million copies worldwide.

Tourist formed the soundtrack of the 2001 French film Chaos. (by wikipedia)

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Since the advent of acid jazz in the mid-’80s, the many electronic-jazz hybrids to come down the pipe have steadily grown more mature, closer to a balanced fusion that borrows the spontaneity and emphasis on group interaction of classic jazz while still emphasizing the groove and elastic sound of electronic music. For his second album, French producer Ludovic Navarre expanded the possibilities of his template for jazzy house by recruiting a sextet of musicians to solo over his earthy productions. The opener “Rose Rouge” is an immediate highlight, as an understated Marlena Shaw vocal sample (“I want you to get together/put your hands together one time”), trance-state piano lines, and a ride-on-the-rhythm drum program frames solos by trumpeter Pascal Ohse and baritone Claudio de Qeiroz.

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For “Montego Bay Spleen,” Navarre pairs an angular guitar solo by Ernest Ranglin with a deep-groove dub track, complete with phased effects and echoey percussion. “Land Of…” moves from a Hammond- and horn-led soul-jazz stomp into Caribbean territory, marked by more hints of dub and the expressive Latin percussion of Carneiro. Occasionally, Navarre’s programming (sampled or otherwise) grows a bit repetitious — even for dance fans, to say nothing of the jazzbo crowd attracted by the album’s Blue Note tag. Though it is just another step on the way to a perfect blend of jazz and electronic, Tourist is an excellent one (by John Bush)

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Personnel:
Edmundo Carneiro (percussion)
Alexandre Destrez (keyboards)
Idrissa Diop (talking drum)
Edouard Labor (saxophone, flute)
Pascal Ohsé (trumpet)
Claudio De Queiroz (saxophone)
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Ernest Ranglin (guitar on 02.)

Produced and arranged by Ludovic Navarre

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Rose Rouge 7.02
02. Montego Bay Spleen 5.42
03. So Flute 8.29
04. Land Of … 7.50
05. Latin Note 5.57
06. Sure Thing 6.22
07. Pont des Arts 7.25
08. La Goutte d’Or 6.17
09. What You Think About … 4.48

Music composed by Ludovic Navarre

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Micky Moody & Friends – Live And Rocking (2008)

FrontCover1.jpgMichael Joseph “Micky” Moody (born 30 August 1950) is an English guitarist, and a former member of the rock bands Juicy Lucy and Whitesnake. He was also a founder-member of Snafu. Together with his former Whitesnake colleague Bernie Marsden he founded the Moody Marsden Band, and later, The Snakes, having previously collaborated with unofficial 5th Status Quo member Bob Young in Young & Moody. Along with Marsden and ex-Whitesnake bassist, Neil Murray, he formed Company of Snakes and M3 Classic Whitesnake with which they mainly performed early Whitesnake songs. More recently, he has toured and recorded with Snakecharmer.Besides this, Moody has also toured with Roger Chapman, Frankie Miller and Chris Farlowe. He has also performed live alongside the likes of Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee, Mick Taylor, Bruce Dickinson, Sam Brown, Gary Brooker, Suggs, Dennis Locorriere, Paul Jones, P. P. Arnold, James Hunter, Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord, Newton Faulkner, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper, Mark King, Alfie Boe, Sandi Thom, Brian Auger, Paul Weller, Eric Bibb, Meat Loaf, Boy George, Elkie Brooks, Nona Hendryx, Mud Morganfield and one of his early guitar heroes, Duane Eddy.

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Since 2000 he has released several solo albums: I Eat Them For Breakfast (2000), Don’t Blame Me (2006), Acoustic Journeyman (2007) and Electric Journeyman (2009). A versatile guitarist, Moody has been an active session musician and his own website lists over 100 albums to which he has contributed musically. 2006 saw the release of the autobiographical Playing With Trumpets – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Apprenticeship, a memoir about his early days on the music scene. His library music has been featured on such TV programmes as Waking the Dead, Bo’ Selecta!, America’s Next Top Model, How to Look Good Naked, Top Gear, Horizon, Jersey Shore, Mad Men, Wife Swap and Paul Hollywood’s Bread. (by wikipedia)

Hell is a village in the Lånke area of the municipality of Stjørdal in Trøndelag county, Norway. It is located in the western part of the municipality, about 3 kilometres (2 mi) south of the town of Stjørdalshalsen.

Hell currently has a grocery store, gas station, a fast food shop, and a retirement home. Until late 1995, the European route E6 highway was aligned through Hell and across the Hell bridge to Sandfærhus (nearby is the Trondheim Airport, Værnes). The new road now goes around the village.

A blues festival takes place every year at Hell Station in September, “Blues in Hell”. The original festival (Hell Blues Festival) started in 1992, then changed its name to Hell Music Festival in 2006 to open their doors for music other than blues. The Hell Music Festival in 2007 failed to attract many concert-goers, however, and the festival declared bankruptcy the same year. In 2008 a new festival was started, entitled “Blues in Hell”, going back to the original concept. (by wikipedia).

Micky Moody played many times at this great Blues Festival …

… And here´s a chance to listen to Micky Moody and Friends, recorded live at the Hell Blues Festival, Norway in 2000 … another great Blues-Rock concert !!!

Enjoy !

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards)
John Lingwood (drums)
Bernie Marsden (guitar, vocals)
Micky Moody (guiar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Neil Murray (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Medley 4.38
01.1. Hideaway (King/Thompson)
01.2. Bab You Want Me To Do (Reed)
01.3. The Stumble (King/Thompson)
02. Mixed Up Blues (Moody) 4.29
03. Come On In My Kitchen (Johnson) 5.16
04. A Mind To Get Even (Moody) 7.56
05. Key To The Highway (Segar/Broonzy) 7.04
06. Spoonful (Dixon) 6.36
07. My Happy Day (Watkins) 2.35
08. 2000 Miles To Hell (Moody/Marsden) 11.08
09. Rock & Roll Shoes (Willis) 5.11
10. Nadine (Berry) 5.04

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Sam Lay Blues Band – Rush Hour Blues (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgSam Lay (born March 20, 1935, Birmingham, Alabama) is an American drummer and vocalist who has been performing since the late 1950s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Lay began his career in 1957, as the drummer for the Original Thunderbirds. He soon after became the drummer for the harmonica player Little Walter.

In the early 1960s, Lay began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians, including Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Eddie Taylor, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Magic Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters. The recordings Lay made during this time, along with Waters’s album Fathers and Sons, recorded in 1969, are considered to be among the definitive works of Waters and Wolf.[citation needed]

In the mid-1960s, Lay joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded and toured extensively with them. Bob Dylan used Lay as his drummer when he introduced electric rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Lay also recorded with Dylan, notably on the album Highway 61 Revisited (Lay drummed on the track “Highway 61”; the drummer on most of the other tracks was Bobby Gregg)

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Lay’s drumming can be heard on over 40 recordings for Chess Records, with many notable blues performers. He toured the major blues festivals in the US and Europe with the Chess Records All-Stars.

In the late 1980s Lay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, in Memphis. He has also been inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame, in Los Angeles, and the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland. He was nominated eight times for the coveted W. C. Handy Award for Best Instrumentalist, including a nomination in 2005.

Lay made two albums with his own band, released by Appaloosa Records and Evidence Records, and two recordings for Alligator Records with the Siegel-Schwall Band. His own album, Sam Lay in Bluesland, released in 1969 by Blue Thumb Records, was produced by Michael Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites.

He was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award for his performances on the CD Howlin’ SamLay02.jpgWolf Tribute. He was honored by the Recording Academy in January 2002 with a Legends and Heroes Award for his significant musical contributions. He was prominently featured in the PBS television documentary History of the Blues, broadcast in seven episodes, produced by the Academy Award–winning director Martin Scorsese. Lay shot many home movies of fellow blues performers in small Chicago venues in the late 1950s and 1960s,[5] parts of which were included in History of the Blues and the WTTW television production Record Row, by the filmmaker Michael MacAlpin.

In 2009, Lay worked alongside Johnnie Marshall. In 2014, a video documentary detailing his life, Sam Lay in Bluesland, was created.

Lay was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, in 2015. (by wikipedia)

Sam Lay deserves to have a red carpet unrolled before him when he walks away from his drum kit; he’s one of the outstanding drummers of the modern blues era. Rush Hour Blues, recorded in Nashville in 1996 under the direction of ace guitarist Fred James, is Lay’s latest effort. He sings here in a forthright manner over the rhythmic background provided by his masterful drums, Celia Ann Price’s organ and piano, James’s second guitar, and a string bass plucked by James’s sidekick Bob Kommersmith. While his singing isn’t as strong and steady as in the past, it retains all of its emotional authenticity. The album’s songs mostly concern women, nothing new there. Remakes of venerable Chicago blues numbers are more interesting than the new compositions. On Muddy Waters’s “Blow Wind Blow,” Lay and company expertly balance relaxation and exhilaration. They also inject new life into two more covers, Howlin’ Wolf’s “Baby How Long” and Big Boy Crudup’s “Second Man.” In sum, Rush Hour Blues is worth hearing. (by Frank-John Hadley)

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I had never heard of Sam Lay until driving home late one night and there he was at the far left end of the dial. It was an instrumental number called “midnight Drag”. That song prompted me to take a chance on this album and I was surprised at how good this album is. The style is Chicago blues, with an emphasis on the shuffle. Sam is one of the few singing blues drummers around, and he has been playing since the 50’s. He really works the shuffle well, and is backed by very tight band. The lead guitar work of Larry Burton is outstanding, and the keyboards played by Celia Ann Price are equally good. There is a good variety of tunes, from the classic chicago style opening number to the raucous “Rush Hour Blues”, and ending with the jazzier instrumental “midnight drag”. If you enjoy the blues this is one quality album worth getting. (an amazon customer)

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Personnel:
Larry Burton (guitar)
Fred James (guitar)
Bob Kommersmith (bass)
Sam Lay (drums, vocals)
Celia Ann Price (keyboards)
Greg “Fingers” Taylor (harmonica)
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Tracklist:
01.Baby How Long (Burnette) 3.32
02. Second Man (Cruddup) 5.55
03. I’ll Be The Judge Of That (Bradford/Fleming) 2.58
04. I Like Women (James/Brandon) 3.43
05. Blow Wind Blow (Morgenfield) 3.54
06. I Got Two Woman (Burton) 4.09
07. Somebody Gotta Do It (Smith/Whiting) 3.13
08. Mama And Papa Hopkins (Hopkins/McCormick) 5.50
09. Rush Hour Blues (Bradford/Fleming) 3.26
10. I’m Gonna Shoot Her (Reed) 4.25
11. Pure Grain Alcohol (Curry) 2.45
12. Midnight Drag (Jackson) 3.41

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Madonna – Music (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgMusic is the eighth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on September 18, 2000 by Maverick and Warner Bros. Records. Following the success of her previous album Ray of Light (1998), she intended to embark on a tour. However, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record new music before going on the road. Her collaboration with producers Mirwais Ahmadzaï and William Orbit resulted a more experimental direction for the album. Music has an overall dance-pop and electronica vibe, with influences from rock, country and folk. The album was mostly recorded at Sarm West and East Studios in London, England. Elaborating a country theme for the album, Madonna reinvented her image as a cowgirl.

Music was generally acclaimed by most critics and earned five Grammy Award nominations, ultimately winning one for Best Recording Package given to art director Kevin Reagan. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number 452 on the magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The record was also a commercial success, debuting at number one in over 23 countries across the world and selling four million copies in its first ten days of release. In the United States, Music debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 420,000 units, making it her first album to top the chart in more than a decade since Like a Prayer (1989). It was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for three million units shipped in the United States and has sold over 11 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums during the 2000s century.

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The album was promoted with her concerts at Brixton Academy and Roseland Ballroom, as well as several television performances such as the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards and the 43rd Grammy Awards. It was also supported by the Drowned World Tour, which grossed over US$75 million, making it the highest-grossing tour by a solo act of 2001 (the fourth overall). Three singles were released from the album. The lead single, “Music”, topped the record charts in 25 countries worldwide and became Madonna’s 12th number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed with another Hot 100 top-five hit “Don’t Tell Me” and “What It Feels Like for a Girl” which attained the top-ten position in several countries worldwide. “Impressive Instant” was released as promotional single, peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.

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For the artwork for Music, Madonna wore a blue shirt, jeans, red boots and a blue cowboy hat. In it, she faces the camera, while in the background a car and a gas station are seen. The country was a constant theme throughout the design, as the album’s title, which was a logo that simulated a buckle, showing the silhouette of a cowboy while riding a horse and a yellow background; the bright colors give a sharp contrast compared to the photograph. Photo sessions were conducted by Jean Baptiste Mondino, who had worked previously with the singer on photoshoots and music videos.[25] According to Fouz-Hernández, the artwork is “a complete celebration to the field” western United States. He also added that it “is camp, notably Madonna’s combination of Western clothing with expensive shoes and bright red high heels. In particular, there is a clear evocation of Judy Garland – a major gay icon – in the artwork”. The art direction and design for the album were done by Kevin Reagan.

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The pictures were shot in Los Angeles, California, in April 2000. In an interview with CNN’s Style with Elsa Klensch, Mondino said that he was the one who had the idea of the western themes for the album, and also stated: “[Madonna] wasn’t sure at first, but I told her that if she didn’t like it I won’t charge her. But she loved the final result!”. Madonna also decided to use her new country style during her public appearances for Music’s promotion; including jeans, shirts and cowboy hats. On her next tour in 2001, Madonna included a segment based entirely on this ambient. Meanwhile, Fouz-Hernández explained that “in this appearance Madonna may be parodying and criticizing Country, which symbolizes among other things, the supremacy of the white man, the ambition of the European pioneers and the American Dream. However, we do not realize that while recognizing the importance that the country has in American popular culture, and joins a long list of artists who have done this previously. Despite this, the cowgirl image of Madonna has become one of her most recognized reinventions. (by wikipedia)

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Filled with vocoders, stylish neo-electro beats, dalliances with trip-hop, and, occasionally, eerie synthesized atmospherics, Music blows by in a kaleidoscopic rush of color, technique, style, and substance. It has so many layers that it’s easily as self-aware and earnest as Ray of Light, where her studiousness complemented a record heavy on spirituality and reflection. Here, she mines that territory occasionally, especially as the record winds toward its conclusion, but she applies her new tricks toward celebrations of music itself. That’s not only true of the full-throttle dance numbers but also for ballads like “I Deserve It” and “Nobody’s Perfect,” where the sentiments are couched in electronic effects and lolling, rolling beats. Ultimately, that results in the least introspective or revealing record Madonna has made since Like a Prayer, yet that doesn’t mean she doesn’t invest herself in the record. Working with a stable of producers, she has created an album that is her most explicitly musical and restlessly creative since, well, Like a Prayer.

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She may have sacrificed some cohesion for that willful creativity but it’s hard to begrudge her that, since so much of the album works. If, apart from the haunting closer “Gone,” the Orbit collaborations fail to equal Ray of Light or “Beautiful Stranger,” they’re still sleekly admirable, and they’re offset by the terrific Guy Sigsworth/Mark “Spike” Stent midtempo cut “What It Feels Like for a Girl” and Madonna’s thriving partnership with Mirwais. This team is responsible for the heart of the record, with such stunners as the intricate, sensual, folk-psych “Don’t Tell Me,” the eerily seductive “Paradise (Not for Me),” and the thumping title track, which sounds funkier, denser, sexier with each spin. Whenever she works with Mirwais, Music truly comes alive with the spark and style. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Okay, that´s really not my kind of music … but I can recommend her version if the Don McLean song “American Pie” … one of the finest ballads in the history of Rock … Even her video-clip is a good one.

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Personnel:
Mirwais Ahmadzaï (keyboards, programming)
Madonna (vocals)
Guy Sigsworth (guitar, keyboards, programming)
Sean Spuehler (programming)
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Mirwais Ahmadzaï (guitar on 04. + 07.)
William Ørbit (keyboards, guitar on 03. 05. + 10., background vocals on 03. + 05.)
Steve Sidelnyk (drums on 03., 05. +  10.)
Paul Stacey (guitar on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Music (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 3.45
02. Impressive Instant (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 3.37
03. Runaway Lover (Madonna/Orbit) 4.47
04. I Deserve It (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 4.23
05. Amazing (Madonna/Orbit) 3.43
06. Nobody’s Perfect (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 4.59
07. Don’t Tell Me (Madonna/Ahmadzaï/Henry) 4.40
08. What It Feels Like For A Girl (Madonna/Sigsworth/Torn) 4.44
09. Paradise (Not For Me) (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 6.33
10. Gone (Madonna/LeGassick/Young) 3.29
11. American Pie (McLean) 4.36
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12. American Pie (A Long Long Time Remix) (McLean) 6.08

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A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

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Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now, do you believe in rock ‘n’ roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lenin read a book on Marx
A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the Devil’s only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die”

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Paul Winter feat. Arto Tuncboyaciyan – Journey With The Sun (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgFor 20 years, new age wind player Paul Winter has headlined world-class audiovisual musical extravaganzas celebrating the summer and winter solstices at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Most of the contemplative nature of this worldbeat meets new age recording reflects the ambience of the early morning summer celebration, while two songs — the intensely percussive, Middle Eastern-flavored “Caravan at Dawn” and the mystical “Yabu” — come from the 1999 winter show that featured Mickey Hart playing RAMU, or Random Access Music Universe (i.e., an incredible array of electronic sounds). The unique spiritual power of the album derives from vocalist Arto Tuncboyacian, an Armenian whose African-sounding guttural vocals utter phrases in “vocables” from his own personal dialect; this is exotic scat singing at its most creative!

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The mystical “Broken Arm” shows the more heartfelt side of his vocals, and the interesting mood swings continue throughout. The joyous jig-like “Mountain Wedding” features the Uilleann pipes of Davy Spillane, and these pipes are used to more haunting effect on “Pas de Deux.” “Singing to the Mountain” is a wistful, folksy tribute to Tuncboyacian’s late brother, who was killed in a plane crash in Turkey.  (by Jonathan Widran)

Arto Tuncboyaciyan is yet another Paul Winter “find.” While Arto has been around as a performer for a number of years, his previous albums, recorded and produced in Armenia and Greece, have not seen wide distribution in the U.S; for all intents and purposes, this can be considered his domestic debut album. He has sessioned with, among others, Oregon, Al DiMeola and Chet Baker, as a percussionist, so he is not a totally unknown quantity. But it is his earlier Athens-produced albums “Onno” and “Tears of Dignity” which provided initial evidence of his remarkable vocal abilities.

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The brief title above could well have been called “This Journey is a melismatic trip.” It shows off Arto’s considerable vocal and instrumental skills and his intensity of song, with a near-Eastern flavor that at times is Sufi-like. Of the thirteen tracks on the album, Arto’s voice is featured on seven of them, and it is virtually impossible to pick a favorite. So I’ll pick three, instead: “Caravan at Dawn”(the opening track), “Singing to the Mountain,” and “Oror Bubrik” (the closing track), at some risk of not bringing mention to four other excellent tracks. “Caravan at Dawn” is a riot of vocal and instrumental color, very “Eastern” in its setting and with fine keyboard and percussion support by Jordan Rudess (of Dream Theater) on synthesizer and Mickey Hart on RAMU, his self-invented computerized Random Access Musical Universe, looking (and played) much like some modern-art steel pan. “Singing to the Mountain” features a long introduction by Arto on the sazabo, sounding much like some cross-fertilization of a banjo with a ukelele, and Arto is as good on the sazabo as is Bela Fleck on the banjo. “Oror Bubrik”, the closing track, is as good an album fade-out as “Dawnwalker Reprise” was on Winter’s “Celtic Solstice” album, which is about as fine a statement of praise that I can muster. The richness of the vocal and instrumental textures must be experienced, and Arto’s way with this “closer” is nigh perfect.

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But Journey With The Sun is also a “best hits” album of two years’ worth of recent Paul Winter Solstice Concerts (both Summer and Winter) at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, so the album also has the contributions of “regulars” such as Eugene Friesen, Paul Halley and Dorothy Papadakos, and “frequent Consorters” such as Davy Spillane, Jerry O’Sullivan, Niamh Parsons, Jim Beard, and of course the redoubtable Jordan Rudess. Winter and Halley once again demonstrate their stranglehold on “cathedral blues” with “Cave of the Winds,” where Winter wails as well as he ever has in his opening soliloquy and Halley trips off on one of his best-ever organ improvisations. Davy Spillane once again serves notice that he is more than just the best improvisational Uilleann piper on the planet; he is the Johnny Hodges of the pipes. Mickey Hart shows off the remarkable capabilities of RAMU in a cute, upbeat track called “Yabu.” There are keyboards (piano, pipe organ, synthesizer) galore, with Halley and Rudess laying down some truly astounding synthesizer tracks. Eugene Friesen is still the best improvisational cellist around, with a nice Friesen/Spillane duet (a fascinating sonic juxtaposition) in “Pas de Deux.” There’s a nice Celtic ballad sung by Ms. Parsons. And two great stomps in “Mountain Wedding” and “Land of the Pipers” to serve notice that not all is tinged with melismatic melancholy. (by Bob Zeidler)

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Personnel:
Jim Beard (keyboards on 12.)
Damian Draghici (pan pipes on  03. + 04.)
Eugene Friesen (cello)
Vardan Grigoryan (zurna on 01.)
Paul Halley (keyboards)
Mickey Hart (electronic drums on  01. + 09.)
Zan McLeod (guitar on  04. + 12.)
Jerry O’Sullivan (uilleann pipes on 12.)
Dorothy Papadakos (organ on 12.)
Niamh Parsons (vocals on 10. + 13.)
Jordan Rudess (keyboards on  01.,  04. + 09.)
Davy Spillane (uilleann pipes, low whistle)
Arto Tuncboyaciyan (vocals, percussion, sazabo)
Eliot Wadopian (bass on  04. + 12.)
Paul Winter (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Caravan At Dawn (Winter/Tuncboyaciyan/Hart/Rudess) 6.25
02. First Oasis (Spillane/Winter/Friesen/Tuncboyaciyan/Halley) 4.14
03. Broken Arm (Tuncboyaciyan) 6.09
04. Mountain Wedding (Winter) 4.44
05. Cave Of The Winds (Winter) 5.49
06. Pas De Deux (Friesen/Spillane) 2.45
07. Singing To The Mountain (Tuncboyaciyan) 4.50
08. Middle Oasis (Winter/Friesen/Spillane/Tuncboyaciyan/Halle) 5.24
09. Yabu (Hart/Winter) 5.02
10. Green Grass, It Grows Bonny (Traditional) 5.03
11. Last Oasis (Spillane/Friesen/Winter/Tuncboyaciyan) 4.04
12. Land Of The Pipers (Traditional) 5.19
13. Oror Bubrik (Tuncboyaciyan) 6:12

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Charlie Mariano & Enrique Sinesi – Tango para Charlie (2000)

FrontCover1More than one is (obviously) two. Might be Four in One, as it so often is in jazz (Think Coltrane Think Rollins). Might take five. (Think Armstrong Think Miles). Might even be eighteen (Think if you still can Ellington). But two is the closest we can get. The closest by far. Two can feel what the other wants. Two is the abstraction of more than one. Two is the most open more than one.
Jazz being the art of communication, two might be the closest we can get to a definition of its essence. In the proliferation of duo recordings that filled the seventies and trickled on into the present, there have been few incorporating the guitar, and often these were guitar duets. Right now, only Joe Pass comes to my mind as a guitarist working with other instruments in a duo setting (J. J. Johnson’s trombone, Ella Fitzgerald’s voice, Jimmy Rowles’ piano). But Pass is a good case in point: a strong solo guitarist who is able to provide both a cushiony accompaniment and a free solo commentary even to a partner whose instrument limits his ability to accompany.
Which brings us (at last!) to this recording. Enrique “Quique” Sinesi, who joins alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano on these recordings, is a strong solo guitarist with a very distinctive musicality. His professional life was determined by the music of his Argentine homeland, he began in Tango Nuevo groups with bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi and Pablo Ziegler, the former pianist in Astor Piazzola’s bands. His playing stays deeply influenced by this music, but he has always remained open toward jazz.

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In 1998 he performed before Jim Hall, who since then considers Sinesi one of his favorite guitarists.
On “Tango para Charlie” this solo wizard encounters the sublime melodic magic of one of the great saxophonists in jazz. The wonder of Mariano has always been his stylistic openness, his ability to go from Kenton to Karnataka, from Pierce to Pork Pie without compromising his personal voice, his “jazz” style. So when Sinesi boards his 7-string Spanish guitar and sets up a tango groove employing the meanest bass string on any side of the ocean, Mariano counters with cool and jazzy melodic lines that abstract the groove toward that openness of the “two”. With his supple scarcity Mariano opens up the closure that is inherent in the solo/accompaniment that a guitar can provide. There is no closure here. With every sound these two musicians make here, with every beat they share, they come closer together, moving like one and yet keeping the openness of the two. An abstraction of more than one.
There is no closure in these two. They provide a dialogue that is more. Than one. The more than two. Of music. (by Stephan Richter)

Pablo Ziegler

Personnel:
Charlie Mariano (saxophone, flute)
Quique Sinesi (guitar, charango)

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Tracklist:
01. Berliner Tanguismos Part I (Sinesi) 5.16
02. Berliner Tanguismos Part II (Quique Sinesi) 2.47
03. Berliner Tanguismos Part III (Sinesi) 5.35
04. Berliner Tanguismos Part IV (Sinesi) 4.24
05. The Lady (Mariano) 7.14
06. Faluseando (Sinesi) 2.22
07. Zephyr (Mariano) 6.29
08. Tarde de Lluvia en Köln (Sinesi) 5.40
09. Alta Paz (Sinesi) 4.30
10. If Only (Mariano) 4.09
11. Tango para Charlie (Sinesi) 6.52
12. Gone (Mariano) 1.59

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Mighty Blue Kings – The Christmas Album (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Mighty Blue Kings is a Chicago jump blues band, formed in 1995.

Ross Bon was part of the Chicago music scene beginning in 1992 as a harmonica player and vocalist. He recorded with artists such as Willie “Big” Smith, Buddy Scott, Pinetop Perkins, Junior Wells, Dave Specter, James Cotton and Kim Wilson.

In 1995, he joined with guitarist Gareth Best, bassist Jimmy Sutton, drummer Bob Carter, pianist Donny Nichilo and saxophonists Samuel Burckhardt and Jerry DeVivo to form the Mighty Blue Kings. They made their debut performance opening for the late Junior Wells at Buddy Guy’s legends in Chicago; and followed up with a weekly residence at Chicago jazz club The Green Mill. Later, the band toured the US.

The band’s lineup for their 1997 release, Come One, Come All, consisted of Bon, Best, DeVivo on drums, bassist Brett Simons, keyboardist Simon Sweet and saxophonists Jonathan Doyle and Mark Colby.

The band released two studio albums, Meet Me In Uptown (1995), and Come One, Come All (R-Jay Records). Together, they sold over 100,000 copies, with the latter having debuted in the top ten on Billboard’s Blues Album chart. They subsequently released three additional albums, Live From Chicago, (reaching #14 on Billboard’s Blues Album charts), the holiday record, The Christmas Album and Alive In The City.

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The Mighty Blue Kings disbanded around 2001. In early 2010 Ross Bon formed a new band under the name, Ross Bon & The Mighty Blue Kings. (bby wikipedia)

This album was released at Christmas, 2000 (just around the time the lounge music scene was about dead in popularity). It focuses more on the blues than the lounge. What you get is a respectable Christmas CD that’s very good to listen to.

My favorite tracks on this album include “Christmas Time”, “Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday”, and “All I Ask For Christmas”. However, the standout track is their version of “White Christmas”. Irving Berlin never liked rock bands to perform his signature song (just ask Elvis). But if he heard this version (think a softer Otis Redding version), Berlin might have changed his mind. (by christmasyuleblog.blogspot)

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Personnel:
Gareth Best (guitar)
Samuel Burckhardt (saxophone)
Ross Bon (vocals, harmonica)
Bob Carter (drums)
Mark Colby (saxophone)
Jonathan Doyle (saxophone)
Donny Nichilo (piano)
Brett Simons (bass)
Jimmy Sutton (bass)
Simon Sweet (keyboards)
Jerry DeVivo (saxophone, drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Christmas Time (Mendelson/Guaraldi) 2.32
02. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 3.43
03. Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday (Jones/Bell) 3.41
04. Just To Be With You (Kalfin) 4.55
05. Good Morning Blues (Leadbelly) 3.21
06. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.24
07. All I Ask For Christmas (Bon) 2.55
08. Ole Santa (Otis) – 4:39
09. They Say It’s Christmas (Setzer) 3.18
10. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Berlin) 3.46
11. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 3.18

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