Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose (2013)

FrontCover1Black Star Riders is a hard rock band formed in December 2012. The band began when members of the most recent line-up of Thin Lizzy decided to record new material, but chose not to release it under the Thin Lizzy name. While Thin Lizzy continues on an occasional basis, Black Star Riders is a full-time band, described as “the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story”. The band’s first album, All Hell Breaks Loose, was released on May 21, 2013, and the follow-up album, The Killer Instinct was released on February 20, 2015. The band’s third album, Heavy Fire, was released on February 3, 2017, and reached number six on the UK Albums Chart.

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Black Star Riders is fronted by Ricky Warwick, and originally featured lead guitarist Scott Gorham and bass guitarist Marco Mendoza. Mendoza was replaced by Robbie Crane in 2014. Drummer and founding member Jimmy DeGrasso left the band in March 2017,[6] and was replaced a few weeks later by Chad Szeliga. Another founding member, lead guitarist Damon Johnson, left the band at the end of 2018 to be replaced by Christian Martucci. Gorham and Szeliga left the band in September 2021, the latter being replaced by Zak St John. Gorham was not replaced, leaving the band as a quartet. Martucci left in June 2022, and a permanent replacement has not yet been announced.

On September 20, 2021, the band announced a new worldwide multi-record album deal with Earache Records and that they would be entering the studio in October 2021 to begin recording a new album.

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On June 6, 2022, the band announced their new album Wrong Side of Paradise, as well as a 10th anniversary UK tour. Scott Gorham and Jimmy DeGrasso are rejoining the band for the UK tour dates as part of the 10th anniversary commemorations.

In May 2010, Thin Lizzy lead guitarist Scott Gorham announced the latest incarnation of the group, which had toured sporadically with various line-ups since 1996, after the death of band leader Phil Lynott in 1986. This marked the return of the original drummer Brian Downey and longtime keyboard player Darren Wharton, joining Gorham, bass guitarist Marco Mendoza, and vocalist and occasional guitarist Ricky Warwick. The other lead guitarist role was initially filled by Vivian Campbell, then by Richard Fortus, before Damon Johnson joined the band in August 2011. As the band toured throughout 2011 and 2012, they composed new material for possible release as a Thin Lizzy studio album,[11] and demos were recorded in June 2012.

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In October 2012, it was announced that the new material would not be recorded under the Thin Lizzy name, and that a new band name would be used for the new songs. According to Gorham, this was “out of respect to Phil Lynott and the legacy he created”, though he confirmed that the new material would feature the classic Thin Lizzy sound.[ He later confirmed that the decision was taken by himself and Downey, with the support of the other members of the band, and that the Thin Lizzy estate (controlled by Lynott’s widow Caroline) had also been uncomfortable about new Thin Lizzy studio recordings. Warwick has acknowledged that a significant portion of Thin Lizzy fans were also against the idea of Thin Lizzy studio recordings without Lynott. He later confirmed that he had been troubled by the idea of using the Thin Lizzy name, and that as a fan, had the band recorded an album under the Thin Lizzy name with another singer, he would have been against it.

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As the new material was being written, it became clear that Downey and Wharton would not be involved when the final recordings were made. Downey required a break from the heavy touring schedule, and Wharton wanted to return to his own band Dare, and to work on a film project.[14] Warwick confirmed, “Brian and Darren just don’t want to be on the road 150 days a year, and that’s completely understandable. But we do.”[14]

Gorham has stated that Thin Lizzy will still perform as a band in the future: “Thin Lizzy isn’t gonna die,” he said. With reference to the much-publicised Lizzy “farewell” tour in late 2012, Warwick confirmed, “All that ‘farewell’ meant is that we’re not going to do 150 Lizzy shows a year… those were just the last shows for a while.” Thin Lizzy completed a short tour of Australia in March 2013, with Downey and Wharton as part of the line-up.

Damon Johnson has revealed that Gorham was against any name for the new band that was related to Thin Lizzy, “because this band has to stand on its own”. Warwick named the band after a gang of outlaws in the 1993 western film Tombstone, and the new name was announced on December 20, 2012.

Damon Johnson and Scott Gorham at
The Warfield Theater in San Francisco, April 19, 2018:

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The band initially consisted of Gorham and Johnson on lead guitar, Mendoza on bass guitar, with Warwick acting as vocalist and occasional guitarist. The band brought in Jimmy DeGrasso on drums, but no keyboard player was recruited, with Gorham stating, “I don’t think we are actually going to have keyboards in Black Star Riders. You never know what’s going to happen down the road but that is the set-up right now with that.”[1]

All the founding members are American with the exception of Warwick, who is from Northern Ireland. Each had previously achieved success with other acts – Gorham with all incarnations of Thin Lizzy since 1974 and with 21 Guns; Warwick with The Almighty; Johnson with Brother Cane and Alice Cooper; Mendoza with Blue Murder, fronted by another ex-Thin Lizzy member, John Sykes; and DeGrasso with several acts including Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, White Lion and Alice Cooper. Gorham is the only member of Black Star Riders to have been a member of Thin Lizzy while Phil Lynott led the band and thus the only one to have appeared on a Thin Lizzy studio album. (wikipedia)

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All Hell Breaks Loose is the debut studio album by hard rock band Black Star Riders, released in May 2013. Black Star Riders evolved from the touring version of Thin Lizzy, assembled by guitarist Scott Gorham after the death of Thin Lizzy’s leader Phil Lynott.

Black Star Riders formed in December 2012, when members of the most recent line-up of Thin Lizzy decided to record new material, but chose not to release it under the Thin Lizzy name. In May 2010, Gorham announced the latest incarnation of the group, which had toured sporadically with various line-ups since 1996, after Lynott’s death in 1986. As the band toured throughout 2011 and 2012, they composed new material for possible release as a Thin Lizzy studio album, and demos were recorded in June 2012.


In October 2012, it was announced that the new material would not be recorded under the Thin Lizzy name, and that a new band name would be used for the new songs. According to Gorham, this was “out of respect to Phil Lynott and the legacy he created”, though he confirmed that the new material would feature the classic Thin Lizzy sound.[3] He later confirmed that the decision was taken by himself and Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey, with the support of the other members of the band, and that the Thin Lizzy estate (controlled by Lynott’s widow Caroline) had also been uncomfortable about new Thin Lizzy studio recordings. Vocalist Ricky Warwick acknowledged that a portion of Thin Lizzy fans were also against the idea of Thin Lizzy studio recordings without Lynott.


With a line-up consisting of Gorham, Warwick, other Thin Lizzy touring members Damon Johnson (lead guitar) and Marco Mendoza (bass guitar), and experienced drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, Black Star Riders recorded their debut album during January 2013 with producer Kevin Shirley. Fifteen songs were recorded, composed mostly by Johnson with Warwick providing the lyrics, with input from Gorham, Mendoza and Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton. Twelve tracks were ultimately used for the album, including one bonus track for a special edition CD. This special edition CD also includes a DVD outlining the process of making the album.[5] Recording was completed on 20 January, and the photography for the album and promotional material was also completed at that time, with American music photographer Robert John. Shirley mixed the album in February 2013.

Warwick confirmed that the recording process was very simple, with very few overdubs (mostly harmony guitars and backing vocals), minimal use of Pro Tools and no use of Auto-Tune. The lead vocals were recorded along with the band using a ‘live-in-the-studio’ method.


Regarding the title of the album, Warwick revealed: “I was watching a documentary about World War II bombers and saw the name painted on the side of one of the aircraft. The name just resonated with me and it seem to encapsulate the turmoil that we, as a society, are currently experiencing. The past few years have been such a wild ride and now with the release of the album, it sounded like a bad-ass album title that summed up what Black Star Riders is all about.” The cover art features a painting of a girl by Gil Elvgren. (wikipedia)


Thin Lizzy guitarist and songwriter Scott Gorham spent years debating whether to record new studio material under the band’s storied name. Ultimately, he decided not to out of respect for Phil Lynott’s memory. Gorham, vocalist Ricky Warwick (the Almighty), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth), bassist Marco Mendoza (Ted Nugent, Whitesnake), and partner/guitarist Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper), are the Black Star Riders — named for an outlaw gang in the film Tombstone. All but the drummer have played in the re-formed Thin Lizzy, too. Their debut, All Hell Breaks Loose, features a classic hard rock attack, solid songwriting, and great production by Kevin Shirley. The trademark twin guitar sound of TL is ever present, as is their aggressive attack, melodic sensibility, and deep groove consciousness — Gorham was one of the architects of that sound. Other elements also here are the riff heroics of early Whitesnake, the bluesy dynamics of early Bad Company, and the meaty boogie of early UFO. All of it is contained in solid, narrative songwriting. This is riff-based hard rock with deft hooks and tight musical turns played by raucous guitars, enormous, natural-sounding drums, and a rhythm section which makes it crunch, swagger, and strut.


It’s sung by a frontman who can convey the weight convincingly. The single “Kingdom of the Lost” melds Lizzy’s Black Rose-era Celtic flavor with the punk aesthetic of the Pogues (complete with pennywhistle intro). “Bound for Glory” could be a Lizzy anthem with twin guitars ablaze; it’s Warwick’s over-the-top tale of desperation to break out and break in. The chorus in “Kissin’ the Ground” is infectious, while “Hoodoo Voodoo” is full of nasty chugging guitars and contains a knotty bridge. “Bloodshot,” “Valley of the Stones,” and set closer “Blues Ain’t So Bad” (not a blues), are on the heavier end of the spectrum — that last one carries more than a hint of Robin Trower’s influence. “Hey Judas” weds the gorgeous lyric and twin-guitar sound to a bludgeoning riff and a soulful chorus. The Black Star Riders are deeply entrenched in mid-’70s to early-’80s hard rock, but how could they not be? Most of these cats made that music to begin with. The surprise is that here they fire on all cylinders consistently. While other acts work diligently to re-create the sounds on All Hell Breaks Loose, the Black Star Riders offer them naturally with creativity, heft, and inspiration (by Thom Jurek)


Jimmy DeGrasso (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar, vocals)
Damon Johnson (guitar, vocals)
Marco Mendoza (bass, vocals)
Ricky Warwick (vocals)
Patrick D’Arcy (bodhran, irish whistle, uillean pipes)
Lenny Castro – Kevin Shirley


01. All Hell Breaks Loose (Gorham/Johnson/Mendoza/Warwick/Wharton) 4.14
02. Bound For Glory (Johnson/Warwick) 4.07
03. Kingdom Of The Lost (Johnson/Warwick) 4.37
04. Bloodshot (Gorham/Johnson/Warwick) 4.02
05. Kissin’ The Ground (Frederiksen/Johnson/Warwick) 3.06
06. Hey Judas (Gorham/Johnson/Warwick) 4.10
07. Hoodoo Voodoo (Johnson/Warwick) 4.14
08. Vaslley Of The Stones (Gorham/Johnson/Warwick) 4.14
09. Someday Salvation (Johnson/Warwick) 3.03
10. Before The War (Johnson/Warwick) 3.38
11. Blues Ain’t So Bad (Gorham/Johnson/Mendoza/Warwick/Wharton) 6.14
12. Right To Be Wrong ((Johnson/Warwick/Gorham) 3.35




The official website:

Steely Dan – Everything Must Go (2003)

FrontCover1Steely Dan is an American rock band founded by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals) in 1972. Blending elements of jazz, traditional pop, R&B, and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Throughout their career, the duo recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, and in 1974 retired from live performances to become a studio-only band. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”.

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After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured steadily and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 listed Steely Dan at #82 as one of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Becker died on September 3, 2017, leaving Fagen as the only official member. (by wikipedia)

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Everything Must Go is the ninth studio album by American rock group Steely Dan. It was released on June 10, 2003, by Reprise Records, and was the band’s second album following their 20-year studio hiatus spanning 1980 through 2000, when they released Two Against Nature. Everything Must Go is the band’s most recent studio album and their last with founding member Walter Becker before his death in 2017.

“Godwhacker” developed from a blasphemous lyric Fagen wrote a few days after his mother died of Alzheimer’s. “It’s about an elite squad of assassins whose sole assignment is to find a way into heaven and take out God”, he later explained. “If the deity actually existed, what sane person wouldn’t consider this to be justifiable homicide?” (wikipedia)

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When Steely Dan released Two Against Nature in 2000, their first album in 20 years, it was an unexpected gift, since all odds seemed against Donald Fagen and Walter Becker reteaming for nothing more than the occasional project, let alone a full album. As it turned out, the duo was able to pick up where they left off, with Two Against Nature seamlessly fitting next to Gaucho and earning the band surprise success, including a Grammy for Album of the Year, but the bigger surprise is that the reunion wasn’t a one-off — they released another record, Everything Must Go, a mere three years later. Given the (relatively) short turnaround time between the two records, it comes as little surprise that Everything Must Go is a companion piece to Two Against Nature, and sounds very much like that album’s laid-back, catchy jazz-funk, only with an elastic, loose feel — loose enough to have Walter Becker take the first lead vocal in Steely Dan history, in fact, which sums up the Dan’s attitude in a nutshell.

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This time, they’re comfortable and confident enough to let anything happen, and while that doesn’t really affect the sound of the record, it does affect the feel. Though it as expertly produced as always, there’s less emphasis on production and a focus on the feel, often breathing as much as a live performance, another new wrinkle for Steely Dan. Sometimes, it also sounds as if Becker and Fagen have written the songs quickly; there’s nothing that betrays their high standards of craft, but, on a whole, the songs are neither as hooky nor as resonant as the ones unveiled on its predecessor. While it might have been nice to have a song as immediate as, say, “Cousin Dupree,” there are no bad songs here and many cuts grow as nicely as those on Two Against Nature. But the real selling point of Everything Must Go is that relaxed, comfortable, live feel. It signals that Steely Dan has indeed entered a new phase, one less fussy and a bit funkier (albeit lite funk). If they can keep turning out a record this solid every three years, we’d all be better off. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Walter Becker (bass, leadguitar on 01. – 04., 06., vocals on 05., percussion on 09.)
Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, perciussio on 06. + 09.)
Ted Baker (piano  on 01. – 03., 06., 08. + 09, wurlitzer on 08.)
Keith Carlock (drums)
Bill Charlap (piano on 04. + 07.) (7)
Gordon Gottlieb (percussion n 02., 03., 05., 08. + 08.)
Jon Herington (guitar)
Ken Hitchcock (clarinet on 07.)
Tony Kadleck (trumpet on 01.)
Michael Leonhart (trumpet on 02., 05., 07. + 08.)
Hugh McCracken (guitar)
Chris Potter (saxophone on 08.)
Jim Pugh (trombone on 01. + 07.)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone on 01. + 07.)
Walt Weiskopf (saxophone on 01., 02., 05., 07. + 09.)
background vocals:
Tawatha Agee – Ada Dyer – Michael Harvey – Carolyn Leonhart – Cindy Mizelle – Catherine Russell – Brenda White-King


01. The Last Mall 3.38
02. Things I Miss The Most 4.01
03. Blues Beach 4.30
04. Godwhacker 4.59
05. Slang Of Ages 4.16
06. Green Book 5.56
07. Pixeleen 4.02
08. Lunch With Gina 4.28
09. Everything Must Go 6.44

All songs written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen




More from Steely Dan:

The official website:

Amy Winehouse – Frank (Deluxe Edition) (2003 – 2008)

FrontCover1Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was a British singer and songwriter. She is known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues and jazz.

A member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra during her youth, Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 Management in 2002 and soon recorded a number of songs before signing a publishing deal with EMI. She also formed a working relationship with producer Salaam Remi through these record publishers. Winehouse’s debut album, Frank, was released in 2003. Many of the album’s songs were influenced by jazz and, apart from two covers, were co-written by Winehouse. Frank was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The song “Stronger Than Me” won her the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.

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Winehouse released her follow-up album, Back to Black, in 2006, which went on to become an international success and one of the best-selling albums in UK history.[1] At the 2007 Brit Awards it was nominated for British Album of the Year, and she received the award for British Female Solo Artist. The song “Rehab” won her a second Ivor Novello Award. At the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, she won five awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night and becoming the first British woman to win five Grammys, including three of the General Field “Big Four” Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Rehab”), as well as Best Pop Vocal Album.

Winehouse was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction. She died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011, at the age of 27. After her death, Back to Black temporarily became the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century. VH1 ranked Winehouse 26th on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.

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Frank is the debut studio album by English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse. It was released on 20 October 2003 by Island Records. Production for the album took place during 2002 to 2003 and was handled by Winehouse, Salaam Remi, Commissioner Gordon, Jimmy Hogarth and Matt Rowe. Its title alludes to the nature and tone of Winehouse’s lyrics on the album, as well as one of her influences, Frank Sinatra.

Upon its release, Frank received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned Winehouse several accolades, including an Ivor Novello Award. The album has sold over one million copies in the United Kingdom and has been certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

After playing around with her brother’s guitar, Winehouse bought her own when she was 15 and began writing music a year later. Soon after, she began working for a living, including, at one time, as an entertainment journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band. In July 2000, she became the featured female vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra; her influences were to include Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, the latter whom she was already listening to at home.


Winehouse’s best friend, soul singer Tyler James, sent her demo tape to an artists and repertoire (A&R) executive. Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 Management in 2002 and was paid £250 a week against future earnings. While being developed by the management company, she was kept as a recording industry secret, although she was a regular jazz standards singer at the Cobden Club. Her soon-to-be A&R representative at Island Records, Darcus Beese, heard of her by accident when the manager of The Lewinson Brothers showed him some productions of his clients, which featured Winehouse as key vocalist. When he asked who the singer was, the manager told him he was not allowed to say. Having decided that he wanted to sign her, it took several months of asking around for Beese to eventually discover who the singer was. However, Winehouse had already recorded a number of songs and signed a publishing deal with EMI by this time. She formed a working relationship with producer Salaam Remi through these record publishers.

Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield, and the Island head shared his enthusiasm in signing her. Winehouse was signed to Island, as rival interest in Winehouse had started to build to include representatives of EMI and Virgin starting to make moves. Beese told HitQuarters that he felt the reason behind the excitement, over an artist who was an atypical pop star for the time, was due to a backlash against reality TV music shows, which included audiences starved for fresh, genuine young talent.

In a 2004 interview with The Observer, Winehouse expressed dissatisfaction with the album, stating:


Some things on this album make me go to a little place that’s fucking bitter. I’ve never heard the album from start to finish. I don’t have it in my house. Well, the marketing was fucked, the promotion was terrible. Everything was a shambles. It’s frustrating, because you work with so many idiots—but they’re nice idiots. So you can’t be like, “You’re an idiot.” They know that they’re idiots.

In the liner notes for Winehouse’s 2011 album Lioness: Hidden Treasures, producer Salaam Remi wrote about the track “Half Time”, an outtake from the recording sessions for Frank, and revealed that Frank’s title refers partly to Frank Sinatra, an early influence on Winehouse.

Frank was first released in the United Kingdom on 20 October 2003 through Island Records. In 2004, the album was released to European countries, including Poland and Germany, as well as being released in Canada through Universal Music Group. In 2007 the album was released once again to Australia in March and the United States in November, with the latter being released via Universal Republic Records.

In 2008, the album was re-released as a deluxe edition, including an 18-track bonus disc of rare tracks, remixes, B-sides and live performances. It was first released in Germany on 9 May 2008, followed by its release in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2008 through Island Records. Over May, June and July the album was released in Australia, Canada, United States and Japan.


Following the release of the critically acclaimed documentary film about Winehouse, Amy (2015), Frank was reissued on vinyl on 31 July 2015 by Republic Records.

Frank received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 78, based on 11 reviews. AllMusic’s John Bush called Winehouse “an excellent vocalist possessing both power and subtlety”.[26] Nate Chinen of The New York Times complimented her original lyrics and called the music a “glossy admixture of breezy funk, dub and jazz-inflected soul”.[36] The A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin commended its loose, organic songcraft and wrote that it “features languid, wide-open neo-soul grooves and jazzy vamping”. Beccy Lindon of The Guardian described Winehouse’s sound as “somewhere between Nina Simone and Erykah Badu … at once innocent and sleazy”. Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Willman found its musical style reminiscent of Sade. MusicOMH’s John Murphy said that her lyrics are “commendably feisty and, as the album title suggests, frank”. Dan Cairns of The Times called Frank “a staggeringly assured, sit-up-and-listen debut, both commercial and eclectic, accessible and uncompromising”. Robert Christgau, writing for MSN Music, was less enthusiastic and graded the album a “dud”, indicating “a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought.”


Winehouse was nominated for British Female Solo Artist and British Urban Act at the 2004 BRIT Awards, while Frank was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize that same year.The album earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello Award. In retrospective reviews for both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, critic Douglas Wolk was ambivalent towards Winehouse’s themes and felt that they are relevant to her public image at the time, writing in the former review, “in the light of her subsequent career, Frank comes off as the first chapter in the Romantic myth of the poet who feels too deeply and ends up killing herself for her audience’s entertainment”. By contrast, PopMatters writer Mike Joseph felt that the album shows that Winehouse’s success is “based on pure talent rather than good producers or gimmicks”. The Washington Post’s Bill Friskics-Warren noted most of its content as “sultry ballads and shambling neo-soul jams”, while writing that it “more than confirms what the fuss over Winehouse – then just 19 and with a lot fewer tattoos – was originally all about… her attitude and command were already there. And then some”. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2019, the album was ranked 57th on The Guardian’s 100 Best Albums of the 21st Century list.

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Frank entered the UK Albums Chart at number 60 before climbing to number 13 in late January 2004. Following Winehouse’s death on 23 July 2011, the album re-entered the UK chart at number five, before reaching a new peak position of number three the following week, with 19,811 copies sold. The album was certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 19 December 2008, and had sold over one million copies as of September 2014.

Front + backcover (Deluxe Edition):
Front+BackCover (Deluxe Edition)

Frank debuted at number 61 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, selling 22,000 copies in its opening week. In the wake of Winehouse’s death, the album sold 8,000 copies to re-enter the chart at number 57 on the issue dated 6 August 2011. The following week, it rose to a new peak of number 33 with sales of 12,000 copies. The album had sold 315,000 copies in the US by July 2011.

Elsewhere, the album charted inside the top five in Austria and Poland, and the top 10 in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Portugal. In late 2011, Frank was certified double platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for sales in excess of two million copies across Europe. (wikipedia)

And Amy Winehouse was accompanied by 21st Century Jazz.

But I find CD 2 (with demos and live recording) much better than that Her voice comes out much stronger on it.


John Adams (keyboards)
Robert Aaron (flute, saxophone)
Teodross Avery (saxophone)
Ian Barter (guitar)
Rudy Bird (percussion)
Errol Campbell (drums, percussion)
Wilburn “Squiddley” Cole (drums)
Commissioner Gordon (drums, effects, percussion, programming)
Delroy “Chris” Cooper (bass)
Tanya Darby (trumpet)
Vincent Henry (flute, saxophone)
Jimmy Hogarth (bass, drums, guitar, mixing, percussion, programming)
Stafford Hunter (trombone)
Timothy Hutton (horn)
Donovan Jackson (keyboards)
Gregory Jackson (bass)
Bruce Purse (horn,trumpet, flugelhorn)
Salaam Remi (drum programming, drums, bass, organ, percussion)
Matt Rowe (trumpet, background vocals)
Jeremy Shaw (guitar)
Stefan Skarbek (trumpet, background vocals)
Martin Slattery (organ, horn, wurlitzer)
Earl “Chinna” Smith (guitar)
Luke Smith (bass, keyboards)
Lenny Underwood (keyboards)
Richard Wilkinson (drums)
Troy Wilson (drums)
Amy Winehouse (vocals, guitar)
background vocals:
Jeni Fujita – Felix Howard



CD 1:
01. Intro / Stronger Than Me (Winehouse/Remi) 3.54
02. You Sent Me Flying / Cherry (Winehouse/Howard/Remi) 6.51
03. Know You Now (Winehouse/Williams/Smith/Cooper/Campbell/Jackson) 3.03
04. Fuck Me Pumps (Winehouse/Remi) 3.21
05. I Heard Love Is Blind (Winehouse/Remi) 2.10
06. Moody’s Mood For Love/ Teo Licks (McHugh/Fields/Moody/Winehouse) 3.29
07. (There Is) No Greater Love (Jones/Symes) 2.09
08. In My Bed (Winehouse/Remi) 5.17
09. Take The Box (Winehouse/Smith) 3.20
10. October Song (Winehouse/Rowe/Skarbek) 3.25
11. What Is It About Men (WinehouseHoward/WatsonL.Smith/Williams/E.Smith/  Wilbur/Cole/Cooper/Jackson) 3.30
12. Help Yourself (Winehouse/Hogarth) 5.01
13. Amy Amy Amy / Outro / Brother (hidden track) / Mr Magic (Through the Smoke) (hidden track) (Winehouse/Rowe/Skarbek/Remi/Avery/Jackson/Campbell/Williams/MacDonald/ Salter) 13.17.

CD 2:
01. Take the Box (original demo) (Winehouse/L.Smith) 3.24
02.You Sent Me Flying (original demo) (Winehouse/Howard) 5.38
03. I Heard Love Is Blind (original demo) (Winehouse) 2.12
04. Someone To Watch Over Me (original demo) (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 4.28
05. What It Is (original demo) (Winehouse) 4.44
06. Teach Me Tonight (live at the Hootenanny, London 2004) (Cahn/de Paul) 3.22
07. ‘Round Midnight (sinle B-side) (Hanighen/Monk/Williams) 3.48
08. Fool’s Gold (single B-side) (Winehouse/Remi) 3.39
09. Stronger Than Me (Later With Jools Holland, London 2003) (Winehouse/Remi) 3.52
10. I Heard Love Is Blind (live at The Concorde, Brighton) (Winehouse) 2.28
11. Take The Box (live at The Concorde, Brighton) (Winehouse/L.Smith) 3.323
12. In My Bed (live at The Concorde, Brighton) (Winehouse/Remi) 5.36
13. Mr Magic (Through The Smoke) (live, Janice Long Session, Miami 2008) (Winehouse/ MacDonald/Salter) 4.04
14. (There Is) No Greater Love (live, Janice Long Session, Miami 2008) (Jones/Symes) 2.37
15. Fuck Me Pumps (MJ Cole Mix) (Winehouse/Remi) 5.53
16. Take The Box (Seiji’s Buggin’ Mix) (Winehouse/L.Smith) 7.47
17. Stronger Than Me (Harmonic 33 Mix) (Winehouse/Remi) 3.42
18. In My Bed (CJ Mix) (Winehouse/Remi) 4.35



The official website of the Amy Winehouse Foundation:

Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone – Last Acoustic (2003)

FrontCover1Unfortunately I found hardly informations about this absolut great guitar duo from Italy.

Both guitar player can play the classical guitar, and both musicians have a great faible for Jazz, and they were impressed and influenced by musicians like Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de lucia, Larry Coryell, Bireli Lagrene),  Maurizio Colonna, Frank Gambale and Sylvian Luc.

I guess this was their first and last album … but it´s an album with high-class acoustic guitar music … played by so much underrated musicians. What a shame !

It´s time to discover Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone !

Listen and enjoy his brilliant, this superb album !


Marino Risi (guitar)
Antonello Sassone (guitar)


01. Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo) 3.23
02. Frevo Rasgado (Gismonti) 4.02
03. Camaiore (Gambale/Colonna) 3.18
04. Fantasia Suite (Meola) 4.26
05. Roxanne (Summer) 5.03
06. Suite (9.51)
06.1. Mediterranean Sundance (Meola)0.44
06.2. Rio Ancho de Lucia) 0.52
06.3. Could`ve Been Love (Polak) 0.57
06.4. Africa (Mariono) 1.03
06.5. Bullfighter`s Dreams (Liebert) 2.14
06.6. Bridges And Rain (Hughes) 1.23
06.7. Erotomania (Portnoy/Petrucci/Myung/Moore) 1.41
06.8. The Silent Man (Petrucci) 0.17
07. Villa Borghese (Gambale/Colonna) 4.35
08. Pacific Palisades (Gambale/Colonna) 4.32
09. Isn’t She Lovely (Wonder) 4.37
10. Cinema Paradiso – Love Theme (Morricone) 4.43
11. La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano (Morricone) 5.38



Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone

Maybe some readers of the blog can read and understand  this:

Recente uscita in CD per Antonello Sassone e Marino Risi, due bravissimi chitarristi che in questo CD si cimentano alla chitarra acustica e classica (ambedue in versione elettrificata), riportandoci alle atmosfere dei grandi guitar duo e guitar trio degli ultimi anni.

Su tutti mi vengono in mente i vari supertrio (Di Meola, Mclaughlin, Delucia, Coryell, Lagrene) il Guitar Duo tra Maurizio Colonna e Frank Gambale, il Guitar Duo fra Bireli Lagrene e Sylvian Luc (e con il ?nostro? Giuseppe Continenza)

La coppia chitarrista appare ben affiatata e l?utilizzo di diversi strumenti – Maton (steel) per Antonello Sassone e Godin (nylon) per Marino Risi ?conferisce ai vari brani eseguiti un ottimo equilibrio sonoro.

In rapida successione i due eseguono con ottima padronanza dei rispettivi strumenti brani resi famosi proprio dalle esperienze discografiche e live dei chitarristi pi?famosi quali Frevo Rasgado (De Lucia ? Mclaughlin), Mediterranean sundance (Di meola ? De lucia), Camaiore (Colonna ? gambale), isn?t she loving (Lagrene ? Luc). In aggiunta spiccano alcune ri-elaborazioni per chitarra di Roxanne dei Police, dei temi dei file ?Cinema Paradiso? e ?la leggenda del pianista sull?oceano?.

Un ottimo disco il cui ascolto procede di brano in brano senza annoiare e mantenendo sempre una ottima immediatezza e freschezza sia nelle composizioni sia nelle improvvisazioni. L?affiatamento e l?empatia fra i due chitarristi sono davvero notevoli cos?come la qualit?delle composizioni ed il livello tecnico, in particolare di Antonello Sassone, che riesce a spaziare dalla tecnica ?tutta plettro? di Al di Meola/Mclaughlin alle pi?recenti tecniche acustico-percussive inventate da Michael Hedges. Ottimo anche il contributo (ed il ?tocco?) di Marino Risi, in particolare per quanto riguarda il supporto agli arrangiamenti cos?come alla strutturazione armonica dei brani.

Abbiamo chiesto ad Antonello Sassone di raccontarci questa esperienza tra l?altro assolutamente singolare nel panorama chitarristico italiano.

Antonello, perch?la scelta di un CD solo Acustico?
La scelta dell?acustico proviene appunto dalla collaborazione con il mio collega M? Marino Risi, con il quale condividevo gi?da tempo un repertorio basato sull?incontro fra il classico e l?acustico. Essendo lui prettamente classico e io decisamente elettrico abbiamo in passato raggiunto una specie di compromesso che con gli anni ci ha portato ad esibirci nei locali e teatri della nostra zona, fino poi a spingerci anche pi?lontano

Come si ?formato il sodalizio con Marino Risi e cosa vi ha portati all?idea di registrare un CD in duo?
Il sodalizio fra noi due nasce chiaramente da un amicizia molto solida nata ai tempi della scuola? Qui avrei molto da dire, ma ?meglio non soffermarci troppo?basti pensare che le nostre ore di educazione fisica o di laboratorio le passavamo suonando nella nostra classe di nascosto e senza farci sentire?

Quali sono state le principali difficolt?nella registrazione/realizzazione di un cd di questo tipo?
Non abbiamo mai pensato di registrare un cd per proporlo a case discografiche o cose del genere. La nostra registrazione ?dipesa esclusivamente dalla volont?della nostra etichetta discografica (Azzurra Music) la quale ci ha contattato dopo che ci eravamo esibiti in un locale di Roma. Diciamo subito che per quanto concerne la registrazione, un certo tipo di pressione c??stata eccome. Praticamente il tempo utile per registrare ?stato pochissimo e le difficolt?molte visto che il genere lo prevede

Come sono nati gli arrangiamenti dei brani e quale impostazione avete utilizzato in studio per la registrazione dei brani?
L?acustico ?un genere un po? delicato; bisogna far attenzione a molte cose compreso il fatto che i pezzi erano suonati in duo e non con una band.

infine quali chitarre avete usato?
Riguardo gli arrangiamenti non abbiamo avuto particolari problemi in quanto li avevamo metabolizzati gi?da tempo,mentre le chitarre usate sono la godin nylon per M? Marino Risi e una maton steel per meRiguardo gli arrangiamenti non abbiamo avuto particolari problemi in quanto li avevamo metabolizzati gi?da tempo,mentre le chitarre usate sono la godin nylon per M? Marino Risi e una maton steel per me. Aggiungo che abbiamo da poco finito di registrare il secondo cd che vedr?la collaborazione del chitarrista Milan Polak con il quale abbiamo instaurato uno splendido rapporto. Ecco credo che la forza venga proprio da l? quando in un musicista trovi un certo tipo di intesa caratteriale allora hai gi?raggiunto il 99% dell?obbiettivo prefisso. Vi assicuro una splendida persona, un grande musicista.Essendo Milan Polak per noi una figura mitizzata che sei abituato a vedere solo su un poster,un giornale, un sito,devo dire che ?stata dura lavorare con lui, ma il tutto ?stato emozionante e gratificante.

Grazie di tutto Franco e complimenti per questo splendido sito e per quello che ogni giorno metti a disposizione dei musicisti.
Alla prossima…Antonello Sassone

Flora Purim – Speak No Evil (2003)

FrontCover1Speak no evil is a 2003 album by the Brazilian singer Flora Purim. The name of the album is a tribute to a 1965 album and song by Wayne Shorter.

The album is a fusion of jazz, samba, and other Latin rhythms, featuring Airto Moreira, Oscar Castro Neves, and her daughter, Diana Booker.

The album reached number fifteen on the jazz album chart at Billboard magazine. (by wikipedia)

Two realities are abundantly clear from listening to this Brazilian songstress legend’s latest mix of standards and originals — she swings magnificently with great jazz company (including her husband, percussion legend Airto Moreira) and she’s far more emotionally effective singing in her native Portuguese than in her heavily accented English. Her phrasing is solid on classics like “You Go To My Head” and the samba flavored “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” but her thick accent keeps the ears distracted somewhat from the message her heart seeks to convey. Fortunately, on these and other English language tunes by Don Grusin, Wayne Shorter and the vastly underrated L.A. keyboardist/songwriter Bill Cantos, she’s surrounded by bandmates that propel her to great heights.


On the opener “This Magic,” that includes Moreira’s jamming with flutist Gary Meek and members of The Yellowjackets. The same crowd turns “Speak No Evil” into a similarly wild trad-jazz affair. But compare her strained vocals on those tracks with her effortless vocal magic on Brazilian classics like “Tamanco no Samba” and “O Sonho” and the distinction between mere very good and close to perfection is clear. Another gem is the samba-lite tune written by Airto and Yutaka Yokokura, “Primeira Estrela,” which rolls along on the strength of Purim’s vocal harmonies with Yutaka and Oscar Castro Neves’ beautiful acoustic guitar. To truly speak no musical evil, Purim should concentrate on mas Portugues. (by Jonathan Widran)


Oscar Castro-Neves (guitar, keyboards on 04.)
Trey Henry (bass)
Gary Meek (flute, saxophone, clarinet)
Airto Moreira (drums, percussion, vocals on 07.)
Flora Purim (vocals)
Diana Booker (vocals on 07.)
Jimmy Branly (drums on 01, percussion on 03.)
Gary Brown (bass on 05., 07. + 10.)
Bill Cantos (keyboards on 06. + 09.)
Russell Ferrante (keyboards on 01. + 03.)
Jimmy Haslip (bass on 01. + 03.)
Christian Jacob (keyboards on 02. + 08.)
Michito Sanchez (percussion on 01. + 03.)
Marcos Silva (keyboards on 05. + 10.)
Yutaka Yokokura (keyboards on 07.)

01. This Magic (Grusin/Booker) 5.06
02. You Go To My Head (Gillespie/Coots) 3.55
03. Speak No Evil (All for One) (Rubin/Shorter) 5.13
04. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Porter) 2.52
05. Tamanco No Samba (Divo/Menezes) 5.05
06. Don’t Say A Word (Cantos) 6.29
07. Primeira Estrela (Moreira/Yokokura) 5.02
08. It Ain’t Necessarily So (I.Gershwin(G.Gershwin 5.22
09. I Feel You (Cantos) 4.38
10. O Sonho (Moon Dreams) (Gismonti) 6.40



Motorpsycho + Jaga Jazzist Horns – In The Fishtank (2003)

LPFrontCover1In the Fishtank 10 is a 2003 EP by Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist Horns, recorded in 2002 during their European tour and released via the Konkurrent label in 2003. Motorpsycho did a handful gigs together with the horn section of Jaga Jazzist and used to opportunity to record their addition to the Fishtank series.

The style differs heavily from both Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist records, consisting of mainly jazz fusion. The first three tracks can be described as rather soothing, with track 2 (a reworking of the song from Angels and Daemons at Play) as highlight. “Theme de Yoyo”, a cover of the Art Ensemble of Chicago song, steps (partly) into free jazz and “Tristano” is built around a hypnotic bassline (which is a recurring trademark of Motorpsycho) and clocks in at nearly 21 minutes, making it the second-longest studio track the band has recorded (the longest being the title track off of Little Lucid Moments).

Although this release clocks in at over 46 minutes, it is still regarded as an EP due to the number of songs, the usage of a re-worked older song and a cover tune. (by wikipedia)


As stated in the liner notes, IN THE FISHTANK “offers a space for expression and experimentation.” And true to that mission statement, this EP features long jazzy jams from the Motorpsycho crew, with help from the horn section of Jaga Jazzist. “Bombay Brassiere” shines and shimmer, the horns adding a certain brightness. “Pills, Powders and Passion Plays” is much more introspective, with “sensitive guy” lyrics. The rock-influenced “Theme de Yoyo” takes its lyrics much less seriously, and is humorous in an odd way (with moments of instrumental chaos). The final track, “Tristano,” wanders about on its own merry way, and you can either go with it or not. The important thing is that you’ve been invited. (by scoundrel)

The horn section of Jaga Jazzist

You could argue that with Konkurrent’s In the Fishtank series, getting a great record is beside the point. The ten Fishtank albums released so far– featuring bands like June of 44, Low + Dirty Three, Tortoise + The Ex, and Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk– all follow the same template: the label grabs bands that are touring through Holland, sticks them in a studio for a couple of days (most don’t even rehearse) and persuades them to cut records that are more experimental, offbeat and, critically, more casual than they would ever make in their normal studio time. Although strict jazz and improv artists toss out live records and unrehearsed meet-ups as a matter of course– Some Guys That Showed Up at the Velvet Lounge, Vol. 3 or what have you– it’s rarer for avant-rock, post-rock and jazz-informed bands to just scribble out an album and release it: LPs are events, and even EPs are policy statements.

It’s telling that even with bands as adventurous as Norway’s Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist, it’s hard to imagine any of their albums coming out as loose or random as this thrown-together EP. Jaga Jazzist– represented here by their horn section– is the jazz/fusion/techno nonet known for their densely pancaked instrumentals and gymnastic arrangements. Motorpsycho is a long-running psych-rock band, extremely popular in their home country, whose work jumps from classic rock jams and pastoral acoustics to hypercatchy psychedelia. (Their latest record, It’s a Love Cult, serves as a great introduction.)

In other words: This is a unbelieveable album … a hell of a record … and now it´s up to you to discover this album !


The Jaga Jazzist horns have tagged along on a few Motorpsycho tours and done session work on their records, but In the Fishtank is their first real two-way collaboration. On the Mingus-referencing “Doffen Ah Um”, a typically knotty Jazzist instrumental rubs against Motorpsycho’s rock drums and grungy rhythm guitar; the soft psych-folk song “Pills, Powders and Passion Play” gets an extended instrumental break, highlighted by Mathias Eick’s muted trumpet. (by Chris Dalen)



Håkon Gebhardt (drums, percussion)
Hans Magnus Ryan (guitar, bass)
Bent Sæther (bass, guitar, piano, solina string ensemble, percussion, vocals)
Baard Slagsvold (piano, clavinette, nord electro, vocals)

Jaga Jazzist Horns:
Mathias Eick (trumpet, marimba, percussion, vocals)
Lars Horntveth (saxophone, clarinet, marimba, vibraphone, percussion, vocals)
Jørgen Munkeby (flute, saxophone, clarinet, marimba, percussion, vocals)


01. Bombay Brassiere (Horntveth) 5.57
02. Pills, Powders And Passion Plays (Sæther) 7.06
03. Doffen Ah Um (Munkeby/Sæther) 4.57
04. Theme de Yoyo (Bass/Bowie/Favors/Jarman/Mitchell/Moye) 7.28
05. Tristano (Ryan) 20.54



Motorpsycho was founded in October 1989 in Trondheim, the main city of Trøndelag in the central part of Norway. The first line-up was Bent Sæther (vocals, bass), Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan (guitar, vocals) and Kjell Runar “Killer” Jenssen (drums). They came up with their band name while watching a Russ Meyer triple-feature in London. Two of the film titles (“Mudhoney” and “Faster Pussycat”) were already taken by other bands, the name “Motorpsycho” was still available. Their first album was “Lobotomizer” in 1991, after which Killer quit and Håkon Gebhardt took over on drums, forming the nucleus of Motorpsycho for 14 years until Gebhardt left Motorpsycho March 2005 persuing other projects.


The Moody Blues – December (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgDecember is the sixteenth and final album by the Moody Blues. The Christmas themed album released in 2003 is their first album since The Magnificent Moodies to feature covers in addition to original material. It is also their first album following Ray Thomas’ retirement from the band. (by wikipedia)

One must give the Moody Blues credit for tenacity and a single-pointed focus. For 37 years they’ve put forth a startlingly consistent series of themes: optimism, a kind of blind-faith spirituality that the universe is in good hands and that people are by and large decent and kind, and love songs that can be a bit twee, but nonetheless connect when one is in the emotional space to hear them. Their music has always been intimate and pretentious in the best sense of the words. December is the Moodies’ first Christmas album. The classic lineup has been whittled down to three: John Lodge, Justin Hayward, and Graeme Edge; Ray Thomas decided to call it quitsin 2002.


The band is augmented by unofficial member and producer Danilo Madonia in the studio. This is the most curious of Christmas recordings. December is an album about the spirit of Christmas but, with its lack of carols (though it does feature Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” near the end), it sounds more like another chapter in the Moody Blues’ legend, and that’s exactly what it is. Like many Moody Blues records since the 1980s, the original songs are nostalgic, pointing listeners back to memories of an idyllic past when things were simpler, and toward the hope that social and spiritual renewal are just around the corner. The set features a number of Hayward and Lodge originals, obscure and traditional Anglo folk songs, a transposed piece by Bach, and a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” — alas, if only that were true. If you’re a fan or a detractor, you already know what the album sounds like.

MoodyBlues01Unpredictability left the band’s vocabulary in the 1970s, but that doesn’t mean that this collection is without merit. For starters, it is one of the most original Christmas albums you’ll hear all year. There is no new age drivel here; its topics and themes are indeed Christian, but weigh on the side of those that are universally held: brotherhood, compassion, hope, goodwill, and generosity. In addition, it’s beautifully orchestrated and produced. Its sound is pristine, and Hayward and Lodge with their trademark elegance sound as if they mean every word they write and sing. And it’s easy to believe that. It most certainly is sentimental and lush, and has nothing whatsoever to do with rock & roll, but that hardly matters. As the latest Moody Blues album, it likely lives up to fans’ expectations; as a holiday recording, it’s unlike anything else out there. (by Thom Jurek)


Graeme Edge (drums, percussion)
Justin Hayward (vocals, guitar)
John Lodge (vocals, bass)
Danilo Madonia (keyboards, sequencing)
Norda Mullen (flute)


01. Don’t Need A Reindeer (Hayward) 4.00
02. December Snow (Hayward) 5.11
03. In The Quiet Of Christmas Morning (Bach/Hayward/Lodge) 2.51
04. On This Christmas Day (Lodge) 3.40
05. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Lennon/Ono) 2.37
06. A Winter’s Tale (Batt/Rice) 4.28
07. The Spirit Of Christmas (Lodge) 4.53
08. Yes I Believe (Hayward) 4.21
09. When A Child Is Born (Zacar/Jay) 3.34
10. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.09
11. In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst/Rossetti) 3.22




Simon & Garfunkel / The Everly Brothers – Atlanta (2003)

GARFUNKEL SIMONIn 1968, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang about two old friends at 70 ”sharing a park bench silently.” Simon and Garfunkel, now both 62, opened a sold-out three-night stand at Madison Square Garden last night, singing ”Old Friends.” They are on a reunion tour — doing their first shows together since 1993 — that’s likely to sell more than $50 million worth of tickets.

That’s not bad for an act that hasn’t bothered with new material in a generation. The best they could do was have Mr. Garfunkel join in on songs from Mr. Simon’s solo career since they broke up in in the mid-1970’s.

The songs Mr. Simon wrote for Simon and Garfunkel in his 20’s were acutely conscious of time passing. Songs like ”Hazy Shade of Winter,” ”Leaves That Are Green” and ”Old Friends,” and one the duo performed from Mr. Simon’s solo career, ”Slip Slidin’ Away,” see the present disappearing into a past that can never be recaptured. ”Preserve your memories,” the duo sang, ”they’re all that’s left you.” It was a theme the concert embodied far too well.

In the 1960’s, Simon and Garfunkel offered thoughtful, lapidary music that recognized turbulent times in songs like ”The Sound of Silence.” But Simon and Garfunkel were at their least graceful making grand statements, and they increasingly turned inward, following Mr. Simon’s more whimsical lyrics and expanding musical vocabulary.
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They were comforting without seeming escapist; Mr. Simon’s lyrics were too smart, his music too intricate.


What Simon and Garfunkel are selling now, at up to $250 a ticket, isn’t harmony. Mr. Simon, both songwriter and guitarist, and Mr. Garfunkel, whose job was to add airy upper harmonies and sing an occasional Simon song by himself, have been famously estranged through the years.

On stage, Mr. Simon said they started singing together at 13 and started arguing at 14. And since they first broke up in the 1970’s, they have found it increasingly difficult to recreate the precise vocal blend preserved on Simon and Garfunkel albums. A live album, like the one they made from a 1981 reunion, would need a lot of doctoring.

Mr. Garfunkel briefly put an arm around Mr. Simon as they began ”Old Friends,” and S&G03while he made a point of calling Mr. Simon’s songwriting a gift, he still seems to have trouble believing he’s the second banana. When he had a foreground part in a song, he sustained it to the point of dragging the tempo; ”I Am a Rock” and ”The Boxer” were nearly transformed from folk-rockers to dirges. When Mr. Garfunkel had a high note in the background, he often pushed it, perhaps because he now has to strain to reach it.

Mr. Simon’s voice has, like his songwriting, grown more supple and conversational through the years. But Mr. Garfunkel’s voice has frayed; it buzzes like a drafty old house. When the duo traded verses on formerly solo Simon songs like ”El Condor Pasa,” ”American Tune,” and on Mr. Garfunkel’s old showpiece, ”Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the contrasts were glaring.

Although nostalgia was thick in the arena from an audience filled with baby boomers, Simon and Garfunkel didn’t try to replicate their younger selves. Sometimes, as in ”Scarborough Fair,” they simplified the music, using a cello to replace what had been vocal counterpoint; sometimes Mr. Simon sang improvisational variants of his old melodies.

S&G04‘The Sound of Silence,” which was released during the 1960’s in an acoustic guitar version but became a hit after as a folk-rock remake, segued between both versions. The band also added touches of Mr. Simon’s more recent delvings into world music. ”The 59th Street Bridge Song” included a slide version of a didgeridoo, an Australian wooden trumpet.

Singing the old songs together, Simon and Garfunkel don’t follow some of the rudiments of vocal harmony groups, like breathing in the same place or watching each others’ faces.

It’s something that might not have occurred to a spectator if Simon and Garfunkel weren’t touring with the duo they learned their harmonies from, the Everly Brothers.

Don Everly, 66, and Phil Everly, 64, haven’t always gotten along, either. But when, in mid-concert, they sang their hits like ”Wake Up Little Susie” and ”All I Have to Do Is Dream,” their brotherly unanimity was virtually untouched by time. (by Jon Pareles)

Recorded live at the Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA, December 20, 2003
Soundboard Recording


Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
Warren Bernhard (piano)
Jamey Haddad (percussion)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Pino Palladino (bass)
Larry Saltzman: Guitar;
Rob Schwimmer (keyboards, theremin)
Mark Stewart (guitar, cello)
The Everly Brothers (on 10. – 13.)
Don Everly (guitar, vocals)
Phil Everly (guitar, vocals)

The Everly Brothers


Simon & Garfunkel:
01. Old Friends 3.36
02. A Hazy Shade Of Winter
03. I Am A Rock
04. America
05. At The Zoo
06. Baby Driver
07. Kathy’s Song
08. History of S&G
09. Hey Schoolgirl

The Everly Brothers:
10. Wake Up Little Suzie (The Everly Brother
11. All I Have To Do Is Dream
12. Let It Be Me
13. Bye Bye Love (with S&G) 3.14

Simon & Garfunkel:
14. Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 4.05
15. Homeward Bound 6.07
16. The Sound Of Silence 5.10
17. Mrs Robinson 5.51
18. Slip Sliding Away 5.08
19. El Conda Pasa (Traditional) 3.53
20. Keep The Customer Satisfied 3.32
21. The Only Living Boy In New York 4.32
22. American Tune 5.06
23. My Little Town 4.35
24. Bridge Over Troubled Water 8.57
25. Cecilia 4.40
26. The Boxer 8.21
27. The Leaves That Are Green 2.52
28. Feelin Groovy 7.12
29. Mrs. Robinson 3.27

All songs written by Paul Simon except as indicated




Howe-Wooten-Chambers – Extraction (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgExtraction is a collaborative studio album by guitarist Greg Howe, drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Victor Wooten, released on October 7, 2003 by Tone Center Records.[2] According to Howe, the album went through a very difficult recording process which spanned two years, resulting in disagreements between the three musicians and Shrapnel founder Mike Varney, as well as several delays in the release date.

“A Delicacy” is a re-recording of an instrumental released on Now Hear This, a 1991 album by Howe II (an earlier band formed by Howe). “Proto Cosmos” is a jazz fusion composition by pianist Alan Pasqua that appeared on The New Tony Williams Lifetime’s 1975 album Believe It.

Todd S. Jenkins at All About Jazz gave Extraction a mixed review, describing it as “just about evenly divided between well-crafted, thoughtful compositions and dead-end chops demonstrations.” Praise was given to each musician for their technical craft and musical contributions, but criticism was directed at some of the songs for being “pretty much inconsequential filler, the kind of aimless noodling that almost put fusion in its grave a decade ago.” Furthermore, he remarked that Howe “tries to say too much at times” and Wooten “tends to fall into the 16th-note babble pattern.” Jenkins concluded by saying “Extraction does have its moments, but it’s not the most wisely considered entry in anyone’s catalog here.” (by wikipedia)

Dennis Chambers

Greg Howe’s first record, critically acclaimed by the guitar cognoscenti, was voted by readers of Guitar Player Magazine as one of the best two records of that year. Throughout the decade Greg has developed his style further and has amassed a legion of fans which have led him to gigs as a guitarist for Michael Jackson, Enrique Englesias, N’Sync and Justin Timberlake. Greg’s solo albums have always been laden with musical integrity and have inspired many. “Extraction” brings him together with bassist Victor Wooten who has carved out a brilliant career as a solo artist, music educator and as a member of the critically acclaimed Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Dennis Chambers is known for his work with Steely Dan, Parliament, Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, and Santana. Each musician on this CD is arguably the best at what they do and they are three of the most three of the most respected players in the circle of musician’s musicians. (

Victor Wooten

Although he’s primarily known as a heavy metal shredder, guitarist Greg Howe can pretty much adapt to any style thrown his way — including jazz fusion. And this is precisely the style that is featured throughout 2003’s Extraction, which saw Howe joined by such top-notch instrumentalists as Victor Wooten on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums (as well as David Cook on keys). Longtime fans of Howe who are hoping for at least a glimpse of his hard rock roots are out of luck here, as the tunes often recall the carefree fusion days of the 1970s, when such artists as Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, and Al di Meola were consistently giving a clinic with chops-heavy tunes.

Greg Howe

As far as modern-day fusion goes, Extraction is pretty darn consistent from front to back, as evidenced by such uptempo ditties as “Extraction” and “Crack It Way Open,” as well as more tranquil moments like “Tease” and “Ease Up.” Howe, Wooten, and Chambers have certainly succeeded in summoning up a heavy ’70s vibe throughout Extraction, and as a result, the album wouldn’t sound out of place played between School Days and Where Have I Known You Before. (by Greg Prato)


Dennis Chambers (drums)
David Cook (keyboards)
Greg Howe (guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards)
Victor Wooten (bass)


01. Extraction (Howe) 6.14
02. Tease (Howe) 6.07
03. Crack It Way Open (Howe) 6.00
04. Contigo (Howe) 6.30
05. Proto Cosmos (Pasqua) 4.16
06. A Delicacy (Howe) 2.25
07. Lucky 7 (Howe) 6.02
08. Ease Up (Howe) 6.21
09. Bird’s Eye View (Howe) 6.19




Ann Vriend – Soul Unravelling (2003)

FrontCover1Ann Vriend is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Vriend has played festivals and venues around the world.

Vriend released a popular demo in 2000 which received immediate radio play on stations across western Canada and earned her a spot at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. A year later she won a songwriting contest which took her to Nashville, Tennessee and helped fund her debut album, Soul Unravelling (2003), which was well received by critics and sold well for an independent release. The album is now in its fifth pressing.

Vriend’s second album, Modes of Transport, was released two years later. “Feelin’ Fine”, the album’s first single, was put on heavy rotation by a local adult contemporary/jazz radio station. A third album, When We Were Spies, was released on March 11, 2008. Produced by Juno-nominated Douglas Romanow, it contains fuller production, drawing on modern pop sounds. A single, “St. Paul”, received heavy rotation in her hometown of Edmonton and hit the Top 30 on radio stations in Toronto and Cologne (Germany). Vriend’s first music video, for “(If We Are Not) Spies”, was released in mid-2008.

Ann Vriend01Love & Other Messes, Vriend’s first studio album in almost three years, was released in early 2011. The album features a seven piece band, including vocalists Coco Love Alcorn and Chloe Albert, and includes a duet with Matt Epp. The recording, produced by Vriend herself, was influenced by Nashville, Muscle Shoals, classic R&B and Motown sounds. Vriend released a video for “Graffiti on my Heart”. Love & Other Messes was number 1 on the CKUA album charts for two weeks and received a 3.5 star review in the Toronto Star.

In 2011, Vriend provided vocals for a topical single called “William and Kate”.

Vriend has toured Canada, Australia and Europe extensively, both solo and backed by a band. Live recordings from 2008 and 2009 shows, along with new songs recorded live “off-the-floor”, were released in late 2009 as Closer Encounters. She released videos for “A Dollar and a Suitcase” and “On Your Street”, the two new songs on the album, in 2010.

Vriend is also the curator and host of the Bluebird North performance series in Edmonton. She also performs with the popular 1980s cover band Valiant Thieves.

In August 2010, Vriend appeared on the Australian music and comedy show Spicks and Specks. She has also been featured on a regional news program in the Netherlands and has performed on network television in Canada and Australia.

Vriend’s literary writing style reveals the influence of 1970s singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, and Cat Stevens. Her distinctive voice has been compared to the clear and vulnerable Nashville sound of Dolly Parton, the playfulness of Cyndi Lauper, and the raw power of Aretha Franklin and Etta James. (by wikipedia)

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“Soul Unravelling” is the debut CD from Ann Vriend. A prolific writer and tremendous music fan, Ann has been putting words to music since her childhood days spent noodling on the piano in her parents’ basement. “The Weather”, “The Only Living Girl in New York”, and the local hit, “Waterfront” will likely be popular requests for the rest of her life.

Meticulous and thought provoking, infectious and imaginative, Ann Vriend is serious about the craft of writing pop music. She approaches it with the flair of an artist and the love of a fan. Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, and Nikka Costa are a few of the major influences on this songwriter whose work seems much older than she.

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Here is a test for you all. Play an Ann Vriend song for some friends. Note how often a new listener will start to sing along before the song is over. There is a timelessness to Ann’s music that creates a familiarity. In a short time it seems as though you have known these songs for years.

Some remarkable mile stones have already been marked for an artist with such a fresh career: performances at prestigious venues such as the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, New York City’s Bitter End, Fez and Arlene Grocery, demos recorded at Sony NY, command performances for major labels, and a first place winner of a songwriting contest, which took Ann to Nashville. (Chris Martin)


Thom Bennett (drums)
Moni Mathew (bass)
Doug Oran (organ)
Ann Vriend (vocals, piano)
Alan Wallace (guitar)
background vocals:
Angela Roy – Lorna Wildgoose


01.  The Knot Song Part I 0:05
02. The Knot Song Part II 5:10
03. Reverberation 3:15
04. Waterfront 4:21
05. The Only Living Girl In New York 4:32
06. Crazy Things 4:38
07. Still Live #7 5:16
08. The Weather 3:47
09. Brand New House 4:14
10. On Being Perfect 3:01
11.Words From The Thightrope Walker/You Will Not Fall 3:54
12. Sometime In May 5.21
13. All Good Things 6.15

All songs written by Ann Vriend


* (temporally offline)