Christmas 2021 (03) – Eric Clapton – Happy Xmas (2018)

FrontCover1Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, widely regarded as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.

After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds in 1963, replacing founding guitarist Top Topham. Dissatisfied with the change of the Yardbirds sound from blues rock to a more radio-friendly pop rock sound, Clapton left in 1965 to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. On leaving Mayall in 1966, after one album, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”. After Cream broke up in November 1968, he formed the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, recording one album and performing on one tour before they broke up. Clapton embarked on a solo career in 1970.

EricClapton03

Alongside his solo career, he also performed with Delaney & Bonnie and Derek and the Dominos, with whom he recorded “Layla”, one of his signature songs. He continued to record a number of successful solo albums and songs over the next several decades, including a 1974 cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” (which helped reggae reach a mass market), the country-infused Slowhand album (1977) and the pop rock of 1986’s August. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which appeared on his Unplugged album, and in 1996 he had another top-40 hit with the R&B crossover “Change the World”. In 1998 he released the Grammy award-winning “My Father’s Eyes”. Since 1999, he has recorded a number of traditional blues and blues rock albums and hosted the periodic Crossroads Guitar Festival. His most recent studio album is Happy Xmas (2018).

EricClapton02

Clapton has received 18 Grammy Awards as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to music. He has received four Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream.

In his solo career, Clapton has sold more than 280 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers. (wikipedia)

EricClapton04

Happy Xmas is the first Christmas album by Eric Clapton, his twenty-first solo studio album, released on 12 October 2018. It includes 13 covers of Christmas-themed songs (15 on the European re-release), both well-known and relatively obscure ones, arranged in a predominantly blues style, and one new composition by Clapton and producer Simon Climie.

Tracks 15 and 16 were originally released, for Record Store Day 2018, on a 12″ shaped picture disc, and later included on the European December 2018 re-release of the album.

SingleFrontCover

During the 23-minute television special A Clapton Christmas, which includes excerpts from a longer interview with producer/musician Simon Climie, Clapton says that the original inspiration for the album came from his wife Melia about three years before the album was produced. She had been listening to the Christmas-themed playlists which her husband created every year on his mobile phone for the end-of-year holiday season; one day, she left him a message on his phone: “Why don’t you do a Christmas album?” Clapton was initially reluctant, as many of his favourite artists had done likewise before him, but he was convinced after he started working with pianist and keyboard player Walt Richmond (from The Tractors), who came up with unconventional harmonizations and arrangements for most of the tracks.

“For Love on Christmas Day” was written in early 2018 as “Living in a Dream World”, when Clapton completed a fragmentary tune by Simon Climie and wrote lyrics to it. At the time, the album was supposed to be a regular studio album rather than a Christmas one. Upon deciding to make it such, Clapton changed two lines of lyrics in the last verse – the only ones which actually include the word “Christmas”.

DeluxeBoxSet

“Home for the Holidays” and “It’s Christmas” are taken from American soul singer Anthony Hamilton’s 2014 holiday-themed album, also called Home for the Holidays. Clapton discovered his music on Spotify and called him “the best soul singer on the planet”.[5]

The song “Christmas in My Hometown”, according to Clapton’s comments on a flexi disc included with the deluxe edition of the album, was discovered by him on a Christmas compilation album, which he found by scouring the Internet while looking for unusual Christmas songs to cover; in this case, it was a country album, which included Gene Autry among its featured artists. The original version of this song, recorded by its writer Sonny James in 1954, sounded to Clapton like a pub song and reminded him of a scene he saw on a TV documentary, depicting a group of Romani people singing and having fun in a pub, so he arranged it in that style.

The artwork for the album, consisting of cartoonish, childlike drawings, was created by Clapton himself, who drafted all of it very quickly on some sheets of paper he found in his hotel. The front cover features a Santa character who looks vaguely like Clapton, while the inner spread includes a Santa sleigh pulled by reindeer under a four-pointed Christmas star, as well as a Christmas tree. In his interview with Climie, Clapton jokes that the artwork took him “months and months” of failed attempts, before revealing the truth. He also states that he was inspired by Bob Dylan, who, as an accomplished painter, came up with his own artwork for several of his albums. The “Happy Xmas”/”E.C.” lettering on the front cover, as well as the whole of the tracklist on the back, are also in Clapton’s own handwriting. (wikipedia)

Illustration

Happy Xmas, Eric Clapton’s first Christmas record in a career that’s spanned over four and a half decades, certainly bears its share of seasonal charm, but it’s also of a piece with the warm, amiable music he’s made in the 2010s. Like Old Sock and I Still Do before it, Happy Xmas relies on songs from other songwriters (he wrote only one tune, the slow-burning “For Love on Xmas Day”) and cooks to a cozy groove that’s grounded in the blues but also encompasses soul, reggae, rock, and a bit of vaudeville shuffle (“Xmas in My Hometown”). This homey atmosphere is certainly suited for the season, even if it rarely sounds like a typical holiday record. Chalk that up to Clapton studiously avoiding a reliance on shopworn carols. When he does play an overly familiar tune, he switches it up: he opens up the affair with a blues rendition of “White Christmas,” “Silent Night” is given a reggae bounce, “Away in a Manger” has a soulful underpinning, and he turns “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” into a seduction.

EricClapton01

These clever interpretations are nestled alongside nice holiday chestnuts, turning this into a comforting Christmas listen — so comforting that it makes the presence of “Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)” all the more bizarre. Situated in the middle of the album, “Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)” is a lite-EDM tribute to the late DJ and producer, a track that is perhaps more dexterous than Clapton’s ’90s electronica experiment T.D.F. yet feels wholly tacky as a tribute to Avicii. Worse still, in terms of the confines of Happy Xmas, “Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)” doesn’t fit the vibe and it carries only trace elements of the titular holiday standard, so it stops the party cold halfway through. Cut this track out and Happy Xmas delivers some cheery Christmas vibes. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Sorry, but this is the most superfluous Eric Clapton album of all time

BackCover1

Personnel:
Toby Baker (keyboards)
Doyle Bramhall II (guitar)
Tim Carmon (organ)
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Simon Climie (keyboards, guitar, percussion, programming)
Nathan East (bass)
Tim Gill (cello)
Peter Lale (viola)
Perry Montague-Mason (violin)
Dirk Powell (accordion, fiddle)
Walt Richmond (keyboards)
Mary Scully (bass)
Emlyn Singleton (violin)
Ringo Starr (drums)
Paul Waller (drum programming)
+
Metro Voices (choir)
+
background vocals:
Melia Clapton – Sophie Clapton – Sharon White Booklet03+04Tracklist:
01. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.59
02. Away In A Manger (Once in Royal David’s City) (Traditional/Kirkpatrick) 4.44
03. For Love On Christmas Day (Clapton/Climie/Morgan) 3.36
04. Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday (Bell/Jones) 3.38
05. Christmas Tears (Wilson/Thompson) 4.23
06. Home For The Holidays (Hamilton/Wooten) 4.00
07. Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii) (Pierpont) 5.58
08. Christmas In My Hometown (James) 2.52
09. It’s Christmas (Hamilton/Wooten/Davis) 4.44
10. Sentimental Moments (Holländer/Freed) 4.07
11. Lonesome Christmas (Glenn/Fulson 3.51
12. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr/Young) 4.03
13. Merry Christmas Baby (Baxter/Moore) 4.12
14. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Blane/Martin) 3.32
+
15. A Little Bit Of Christmas Love (Gordon) 2.44
16. You Always Hurt The One You Love (Roberts/Fisher) 3.58

CD1

*
**

SingleSticker

More from Eric Clapton:
More

Fabrizio Paterlini – Winter Stories (2018)

FrontCover1Fabrizio Paterlini (born 22 February 1973 in Mantua, Lombardy) is an Italian contemporary music composer and pianist. Paterlini is the owner of his own label, Fabrizio Paterlini Records.

According to Astrologers, Fabrizio zodiac sign is Pisces On August 29, 2011, he released his new album Morning Sketches. Paterlini provides his albums as “name-your-price” downloads on his website. Fabrizio Ranked on the list of most popular Composer. Also ranked in the elit list of famous celebrity born in Italy. The 1990s saw Paterlini extensively cutting his teeth as a gigging musician by performing rock classics, pop and jazz in local bands. While playing with these outfits he began to compose music, at this stage principally material of a progressive rock persuasion. As the decade and century drew to a close Paterlini reached an important decision, being to concentrate exclusively on the piano – the instrument that, in his own words, “best expresses his inner world.” Yet it was not until 2006 that he began composing music for solo piano.

Paterlini began playing piano at six years old. Formal study in his chosen artistic endeavour came with five years at Campiani’s Academy, Mantua’s Academy of Arts, from where he graduated in Music Theory. (famousbirthdays.io)

Fabrizio Paterlini02

This album takes the listener on an emphatic and emotional journey through the cold season with all its melancholic facets. On Winter Stories, one will therefore encounter songs that are also carried purely by the piano. The sonatas have also been designed to capture a wide range of sensations. Paterlini lives out his feelings on the piano, which can be heard very clearly in individual pieces. The tempo ranges from quiet and slow to serene and fast. Highly romantic moments, what the Italian brings to you here on the piano.

Fabrizio Paterlini03

With fragile and delicate piano playing, the pianist reaches a level of emotionality that is unique in the genre of modern classical music and that always captivates you with this harmony. Pieces like “Silent Ocean”, “All my joy, all my pain” or the heartrending song “Snow” sound elegant and charmingly romantic. In these piano sonatas, the listener literally notices that for the artist, the piano is and remains the pure expression of feeling and thought. In “My Misty Mornings”, Paterlini flies over the keyboard with great speed, dynamics and joy of playing, manifesting the impression of a true virtuoso of modern classical music. Without becoming long-winded and monotonous, the pianist succeeds in creating an almost cinematic listening pleasure with his interpretation. (André Schönauer)

BackCover

Personnel:
Fabrizio Paterlini (piano)

Fabrizio Paterlini04

Tracklist:
01. Dawn 3.11
02. My Misty Mornings 3.22
03. Silent Ocean 2.29
04. All My Joy, All My Pain 2.52
05. I Can See You 2.49
06. Snow 2.38
07. Blue(sy) Sunday (Bonus Track) 2.24
08. Rainy Days (Bonus Track) 2.39

Music: Fabrizio Paterlini

Fabrizio Paterlini01

*
**

More from Fabrizio Paterlini :
FrontCover1.jpg

John Prine – Austin City Limits (2018)

FrontCover1John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday working people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday April 7 at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 73. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone.

Prine, who left behind an extraordinary body of folk-country classics, was hospitalized last month after the sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and was placed in intensive care for 13 days. Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona, announced on March 17th that she had tested positive for the virus after they had returned from a European tour.

As a songwriter, Prine was admired by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and others, known for his ability to mine seemingly ordinary experiences – he wrote many of his classics as a mailman in Maywood, Illinois – for revelatory songs that covered the full spectrum of the human experience. There’s “Hello in There,” about the devastating loneliness of an elderly couple; “Sam Stone,” a portrait of a drug-addicted Vietnam soldier suffering from PTSD; and “Paradise,” an ode to his parents’ strip-mined hometown of Paradise, Kentucky, which became an environmental anthem. Prine tackled these subjects with empathy and humor, with an eye for “the in-between spaces,” the moments people don’t talk about, he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism,” Dylan said in 2009. “Midwestern mind-trips to the nth degree.” (Rolling Stone)

John Prine01

Forty years ago, John Prine made his Austin City Limits debut in the venerable music series’ third season. Prine has since returned to the ACL stage several times and will do so again this weekend, performing a mix of classic material and new songs from his most recent (and last) album, The Tree of Forgiveness.

An emotional highlight of the singer-songwriter’s 2018 LP is “Summer’s End,” a bittersweet tune that comes to terms not with the change of seasons, but with grief, loss and alienation. Those themes are beautifully brought to life… need only Prine’s sage vocal delivery to convey their gravitas with compassion and warmth. (Stephen L Betts, rollingstone.com)

Thanks to indykid for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

Recorded live at The Moody Theater, Austin, Texas; June 5, 2018
Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Kenneth Blevins (drums)
David Jacques (bass, vocals)
Fats Kaplin (fiddle, pedal steel-guitar, mandolin, guitar, vocals)
John Prine (vocals, guitar)
Jason Wilber (guitar, vocals)
+
Tyler Childers (vocals, guitar on 08., 09. + 12.)

ConcertPoster

Tracklist:
01. Intro/Knockin’ On Your Screen Door (Prine/McLaughlin) 4.49
02. Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone) (Prine) 3.53
03. Summer’s End (Prine/McLaughlin) 4.06
04. Caravan Of Fools (Prine/McLaughlin/Auerbach) 4.06
05. Lonesome Friends Of Science (Prine) 4.51
06. Boundless Love (Prine/McLaughlin/Auerbach) 3.51
07. Illegal Smile (Prine) 4.19
08. Please Don’t Bury Me (Prine) 4.00
09. Lady May (Prine) 3:07
10. Lake Marie (Prine) 7.27
11. When I Get To Heaven (Prine) 4.02
12. Paradise (Prine) 5.36

John Prine02

*
**

John Prine03
John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020)

That Cello Guy – Love On Christmas (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgCremaine Booker (alias “That Cello Guy”) is a cellist from Dallas, TX. He has made appearances with the Sewanee Symphony, Roy “Futureman” Wooten’s Black Mozart Ensemble, Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and Jackson Symphony. He was the recipient of the Holy Cross BachFest Scholarship, Nashville Symphony Orchestra League Thor Johnson Scholarship Finalist, and was invited to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Cremaine has performed masterclasses with teachers such as Julia Tanner, Eric Kutz, Peter Sheppard, and Yo-Yo Ma. Cremaine completed his undergraduate studies at the Middle Tennessee State University.

ThatCelloGuy’ was taking the internet by storm with his stunning multi-screen cello arrangements with Tina Guo, from China, is an internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated virtuoso acoustic/electric cellist, recording artist, and composer.

Despite having never met, these two talented musicians have been brought together by the internet and the music community to create a brilliant collaboration video of Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto.

So he become an internet star … and here´s very special C’hristmas album …  a real nice one !

ThatCelloGuy01.jpg

Personnel:
Cremaine Booker (cello)
+
a bunch of other musicians

ThatCelloGuy02

Tracklist:
01. Intro 0.43
02. I’ll Be Home for Christmas 3.13
03. All Is Well (feat. Roz Malone) 3.55
04. Ave Maria 3.18
05. Christmas Time Is Here (feat. Roz Malone) 4.20
06. O Come, O Come Emmanuel 3.56
07. White Christmas 3.31
08. We Three Kings 4.34
09. Love On Christmas 3.34

ThatCelloGuy03

*
**

Single

And here´s another Christmas tune by (O Holy Night is one of my all time favorite Christmas Songs! Enjoy my single of the great song!)

Don Airey – One Of A Kind (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgDonald Smith Airey (born 21 June 1948) is an English keyboardist who has been the keyboardist in the rock band Deep Purple since 2002, after the retirement of Jon Lord. He has had a long and productive career, playing with such acts as Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Saxon, Wishbone Ash, Steve Vai, Colosseum II, Ten, Sinner, Michael Schenker, Rainbow, Empire, Thin Lizzy, Brian May, Divlje jagode and Living Loud. He has also worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber. (by wikipedia)

Don Airey can be considered rock royalty and in a quiet sort of way, and in down time from his Purple “day job”, finds the time to release consistently excellent solo albums. This is the successor to 2014′s excellent ‘Keyed Up’.

Like that album it’s as much a showcase for Airey’s fellow musicians most of whom are retained for this excursion. Vocalist Carl Sentance moonlighting from Nazareth and acquitting himself well away from McAfferty’s long shadow. And erstwhile Snakecharmer guitar slinger Simon McBride also features. McBride shines on the Gary Moore-esque ‘Remember To Call’ and makes a particularly good fist of ‘Still Got The Blues’ but more of that later.

Don Airey01

The tunes reflect Airey’s musical inclinations, and a career playing with such alumni as Ritchie Blackmore and Ozzy. There’s an uptempo Purple vibe on this offering, demonstrated on pieces like ‘Respect’ and ‘Stay The Night’. But there’s also some experimentation, such as the almost metal ‘Victim Of Pain’ and the frenetic ‘Lost Boys’. Together with a track like ‘Children Of the Sun’ Airey shows what Purple might be like if they fused with Judas Priest.

Standouts include the grind of ‘All Out Of Line’ and the deftly orchestrated title track. ‘Everytime I See Your Face’ might hint at ‘The Long & Winding Road’ but is nevertheless a good vehicle for Sentance’s softer underbelly. ‘Need You So Bad’ is another big ballad but spiced with McBride’s muscular riffage and Airey’s fluent keyboard work whilst ‘Running Free’ would make a radio-friendly single.

But if you are also partial to a bit of hairy Hammond (and some spicy synth) ‘One Of A Kind’ should tick your box. The album is padded out with a handful of bonus tracks (including Purple and Rainbow covers) recorded in Germany in 2017. This is where McBride gets to pay tribute to one of his great influences, the great Gary Moore with whom Airey also collaborated.

Don Airey02

On balance, perhaps not quite as diverse as ‘Keyed Up’ but in that respect certainly an album to excite latter-day Purple fans and surely one that will precipitate an outing if Don plays dates in his own right in the future. (by David Randall)

And the second CD is a bonus disc (recorded live at the Fabrik, Hamburg, 2017), including 4 classic Rock tunes

BackCover1.jpgPersonnel:
Don Airey (keyboards)
Laurence Cottle (bass)
Jon Finnigan (drums, percussion)
Simon McBride (guitar)
Carl Sentance (vocals)
+
Steve Bentley-Klein (strings)

Booklet04A.jpg

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Respect (Sentance/Airey/McBride) 4.38
02. All Out Of Line (Sentance/Airey/McBride) 4.32
03. One Of A Kind (Sentance/Airey/McBride) 5.11
04. Every Time I See Your Face (Sentance/Airey) 3.21
05. Victim Of Pain (Sentance/Airey/McBride) 5.23
06. Running Free (Sentance/Airey) 4.50
07. Lost Boys (Sentance/Airey) 4.51
08. Want You So Bad (Sentance/Airey/McBride) 4.47
09. Children Of The Sun (Sentance/Airey) 4.02
10. Remember To Call (Airey/McBride) 3.42
11. Stay The Night (Sentance/Airey/Finnigan) 4.19

CD 2:
01. Pictures Of Home (Gillan/Paice/Lord/Blackmore/Glover) 5.51
02. Since You’ve Been Gone (Ballard) 3.41
03. I Surrender (Ballard) 4.13
04. Still Got The Blues (Moore) 6.36

CDs

*
**

Inlet02A

Jon Hassell – Listening To Pictures (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgNow in his ninth decade, trumpeter, composer, and sonic conceptualist Jon Hassell remains a restless musical explorer. While he hasn’t released an album under his own name since 2009’s Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street on ECM, he’s been working to further the Fourth World concept articulated fully on 1980’s Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics and 1981’s Dream Theory in Malaya. Hassell utilized the aesthetics of American minimalism and married them to strands of electric modal jazz, the various global musics he studied, and electronics. He not only employed these on his own records, but in collaborations with everyone from kd lang and 808 State to Ry Cooder, Björk, David Sylvian, and even Tears for Fears.

Listening to Pictures is subtitled “Pentimento, Vol. 1.” The first word in the term refers to an Italian visual art technique that signifies the reappearance of earlier altered and covered-over images inside a primary work. On these eight tracks, Hassell uses his own performance fragments and samples, then overdubs and samples them ad nauseum onto other manipulated sounds and rhythms, ultimately creating new forms. His primary collaborators here are guitarist Rick Cox, drummer John Von Seggern, and electric violinist Hugh Marsh (all of whom also play “electronics”), as well as guests such as sound sculptor/guitarist Eivind Aarset, drummer Ralph Cumbers (aka Bass Clef), and longtime collaborator, violinist Kheir Eddine M’Kachiche. Opener “Dreaming” finds Hassell’s blurry trumpet hovering over a series of barely discernible piano vamps to offer a noirish, yet gentle rounded melody in tones that never develop past their introductory stage, and don’t need to.

Jon Hassell01.jpg

“Picnic” employs a Roland 808, quivering, quaking drum machines, elliptical sonic frequencies, and washed-out keyboards to affect a reverie that exists in the space between light and darkness. “Al Kongo Udu” and “Pastorale Vassant” both move rhythmically from syncopated ambient jungle to broken beat fractures with sampled African drums rubbing up against rickety synthetic ones. “Manga Scene” blends Hassell’s watery, muted modal trumpet to glitchy beats and ominous, dissonant backdrops.

CDBooklet03A

The robotic-sounding intro to “Her First Rain” is interspersed with post-bop piano, dubwise bass and drums, squiggles, and loops before the set closes with “Ndeya” (also the name of his new label) and weaves together the tenets of an elusive, seductive Fourth World past with “Pentimento” the present; it’s a “now” that Hassell explains as “…letting your inner ears scan up and down the sonic spectrum, asking what kind of ‘shapes’ you’re seeing, then noticing how that picture morphs as the music moves through Time.” In truth, the listener cannot help but remain in the eternal twilight moments Listening to Pictures introduces. It is a music of sense and memory perceptions, a sonic projection equal to but different from the sources that inspired it. When all are assembled, they constitute a deep, mysterious, and occasionally disruptive journey into shade, texture, nuance, and seductive persuasion. (by Thom Jurek)

CDBackCover1

Personnel:
Rick Cox (guitar, synthesizer, electronics)
Jon Hassell (trumpet, keyboards)
Hugh Marsh (violin, electronics)
John von Seggern (bass, drums, electronics)
+
Eivind Aarset (guitar, sampler on 08.)
Ralph Cumbers (drum programmin on 02.)
Peter Freeman (bass, electronics on  02., 03. + 07.)
Christoph Harbonnier (basss on 03.)
Christian Jacob (bass on 03.)
Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche (violin, sampler on 08.)
Michel Redolfi (electronics on 03.)

CDBooklet01A.jpg

Tracklist:

01. Dreaming 6.09
02. Picnic 5.58
03. Slipstream 2.54
04. Al-Kongo Udu 5.12
05. Pastorale Vassant 3.59
06. Manga Scene 5.44
07. Her First Rain 1.38
08. Ndeya 7:07

Music composed by Jon Hassell

LabelA1

 

*
**

Reviews.jpg

The Magpie Salute – High Water I (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Magpie Salute is an American rock band formed in 2016 by former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. The band also includes former Black Crowes members Marc Ford and Sven Pipien as well as Rich Robinson band members Matt Slocum and Joe Magistro.

The name The Magpie Salute comes from a superstition based in the UK… There are many variations, but the version I’m drawn to is the belief that if you see a Magpie, you would do well to salute it ‘to ward off negativity, or to have a good day.’ The way you salute the Magpie, based on some traditions is to say ‘Good Mornin’ Captain.’ The reason we salute is to show we’re unarmed, or what I like to say is ‘we come in peace.’ The Magpie falls within the Crowe umbrella of species, figuratively and literally. Magpies can be black and white which represents the light and the dark. I figured all of these things touch on many aspects of my life and this experience.

Rich Robinson announced the formation of the Magpie Salute in October 2016. In addition to Robinson, the group features former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien, as well as keyboardists Matt Slocum, drummer Joe Magistro, and vocalists Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen from Robinson’s solo band.

The Magpie Salute01.jpg

This announcement came on the heels of a series of shows Robinson performed earlier in 2016 in Woodstock, New York where he was joined by Ford, Pipien and former Black Crowes keyboard player Eddie Harsch. Harsch was slated to tour as a member of the band until his sudden death in November 2016, and his appearance on their self-titled debut marks his last recording.

They performed their first concerts in January 2017 at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. They were originally only scheduled to perform three concerts, but added a fourth show due to demand. They performed songs from the Black Crowes as well as Robinson and Ford’s solo careers. The band then played a series of gigs in Europe in June and July 2017 before kicking off a 60 date US tour that included stops in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Morrison, Colorado (Red Rocks Amphitheater) and two nights at the Irving Plaza in New York. All attendees of the November 15 or 16 Irving Plaza shows received a limited edition live album featuring performances from throughout 2017.

The Magpie Salute02.jpg

The Magpie Salute released their debut studio album High Water 1 on August 10, 2018. The album debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, and #33 on the Top Album Sales chart. The band kicked off their 2018 tour, on July 1, at The Village at Copper Mountain in Colorado. The album was recorded at Dark Horse Recording Studio just outside of Nashville in Franklin, TN.

On June 15, 2019, it was officially announced via social media that the band’s second studio album High Water II would be released October 11, 2019.

High Water I is the debut studio album by American rock band The Magpie Salute, released August 10, 2018 on Eagle Records. Produced by leader and guitarist Rich Robinson, it served as the follow up to their self-titled live album released one year prior. It debuted at #33 on the Billboard 200. (by wikipedia)

The Magpie Salute03.jpg

After the acrimonious split with his brother and Black Crowes band-mates, Rich Robinson has made a point of keeping the spirit of Black Crowes alive. Starting with a series of gigs that included ex-Crowes Marc Ford and Sven Pipien, Robinson has solidified that project into a band called The Magpie Salute, has toured extensively, and has now released the band’s debut album ‘High Water I’. Completing the line-up are John Hogg, Matt Slocum and Joe Magistro.

The comparisons will be inevitable, so let me start by stating the obvious: Black Crowes fans will love much of this album. Robinson has often claimed that his role as co-composer in the Black Crowes was under-played, and it would seem, on a cursory listen to ‘High Water I’ that he may have a point. This notwithstanding, the album variously offers some allied but different gratifications as well.

Booklet01A.jpg

Opener “Mary the Gypsy” is an immediate statement that Robinson has no intention of abandoning his significant pop-rock legacy. Riff-based and driving, the song has a nice, loose feel and accesses Robinson’s past in the best possible way. Title track “High Water” is (together with closing track “Open Up”), the best moment on the album. The verse is a stellar exposition of Zeppelin-like melody progression that is hypnotic and entrancing. It develops from a psychedelic acoustic ramble with a droning vocal hum, to a rousing vocal interplay accentuated by just the right amount of emotion.

FrontCoverWithStickerA.jpg“Send Me an Omen” is good old Blues Rock done the right way – heavy, laden with excellent harmonies and an abrasive lead vocal, it even has a couple of progressive time signatures. Think Joe Bonamassa meets Jellyfish. Acoustic pulchritude begins “For the Wind”, but by the first chorus, it has become strident electric blues that would impress even Rich’s estranged brother. Variation and swaggering dynamics fulfill the promise of this song. “Sister Moon” is a piano-based melding of blues and melodic pop delivered with a smoother vocal and delightful harmonies. The song has a great hook and leaves the listener wishing it had not ended so soon.

“Color Blind” is lyrically rich with a strong anti-racist message (if delivered somewhat literally), but offers little that is remarkable in its musical composition. The same may be said of “Walk on Water” which is a Tom Petty/Dylan-esque variation in sound for the band. Similarly, “Hand In Hand” brings the band to country-blues territory without too much fanfare. “You Found Me” unashamedly exposes the band’s country proclivities and is, if nothing else, a well-written country ballad with an excellent lead vocal. “Take It All”, on the other hand, delivers an angular and jarring guitar progression that is reminiscent of Jimmy Page in an aggressive mood. It features a very strong lead vocal performance over a nice, dirty mix. Excellent.

Booklet02A.jpg

The band returns to more familiar electric blues-rock on “Can You See”. Heavy and slow, with a melodic progression that harkens back to the Crowes, this is almost-perfect power-blues. An unusual sonic effect in the middle-eight reminds us that this band is far from a clone and that more innovation awaits. The closing track “Open Up” is – as mentioned earlier- a personal favorite of mine. Based on a sinister, slow guitar riff, with surprise pauses and ascendant vocal harmonies, the song is magnificent. The vocals and instrumentation interact to provide a gratification that only the very best in blues-rock can deliver. This song augurs very well for the future of this band. If they do more like it, the future is bright indeed. (by Nick Matzukis)

Booklet04A.jpg

Personnel:
Marc Ford (guitar, vocals)
John Hogg (vocals)
Joe Magistro (drums, percussion)
Sven Pipien (bass, vocals)
Rich Robinson (guitars, vocals)
Matt Slocum (keyboards, vocals)
+
Byron House (bass)
Dan Wistrom (pedal steel guitar)

Tray1.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Mary The Gypsy (Robinson) 3.08
02. High Water (Hogg/Robinson) 5.45
03. Send Me An Omen (Hogg/Robinson) 3.54
04. For The Wind (Hogg/Robinson) 5.03
05. Sister Moon (Hogg/Ford) 3.47
06. Color Blind (Hogg/Robinson) 3.45
07. Take It All (Hogg/Ford) 3.25
08. Walk On Water (Hogg/Ford) 4.08
09. Hand In Hand (Hogg/Robinson) 3.23
10. You Found Me (Robinson) 4.49
11. Can’t You See (Robinson) 3.11
12. Open Up (Hogg/Robinson) 3.57

CD1.jpg

*
**

And here are some live pics I shot during their Europe-Tour 2017:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maria Muldaur – Don’t You Feel My Leg (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgThis album is a tribute to popular vocalist and songwriter Blue Lu Barker, who made her mark in the late 30s and early 40s, and whom Billie Holiday once cited as her biggest influence. Featuring a stellar band of NOLA musicians including New Orleans A-listers David Torkanowsky on piano (Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Solomon Burke), Roland Guerin on bass (Allen Toussaint, Steve Earle, Chris Thomas King), and Herlin Riley on drums (Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson), among others, DON’T YOU FEEL MY LEG brings Muldaur full circle from the 1973 album sessions that spawned Muldaur’s million-selling hit, “Midnight At The Oasis,” and which also featured a sassy take of Barker’s “Don’t You Feel My Leg,” a cult favorite that remains Muldaur’s most requested song to this day at her performances.

“Because of my friendship with Blue Lu and Danny, and my longtime association with that song, I was invited to New Orleans in 2016 to put on a concert paying tribute to Blue Lu in New Orleans. I started doing some in-depth research of all their past recordings, and to my surprise and delight I discovered that they had written and recorded dozens of songs equally naughty, bawdy, witty, and clever as ‘Don’t You Feel My Leg’. Besides the wonderfully funny, suggestive lyrics, I was really struck and quite charmed by Blue Lu’s delivery of these tunes… droll, sly, full of sass and attitude, yet understated…a bit girlish and coy. Her cool nonchalance and crisp ladylike diction in contrast to the naughty, risqué lyrics made them smolder with innuendo all the more. These were songs by hipsters, for hipsters,” says Muldaur.

BookletFrontCover

Muldaur adds, “as we sit here in 2018, you might well ask why a vintage gal like me feels it is important to present these vintage tunes at this point in time. Well for one thing, in an era when so many aspects of sexuality are dealt with and discussed with such deadly seriousness, I find the lighthearted playful expressions of sexuality in these songs a pleasant and welcome respite from the fraught discourse prevailing today…and for another…these are all basically hip, fun happy songs, and I think we could all use a big dose of HAPPY right about now.” (broadwayworld.com)

BackCover.jpg

Personnel:
Christopher Adkins (guitar)
Roland Guerin (bass)
Maria Muldaur (vocals)
Herlin Riley (drums, vocals)
Piano – Dave Torkanowsky
+
Duke Heitger (trumpet on 01., 04., 05., 09. + 12.)
Tom Fischer (saxophone, calinet on 01., 04., 05., 09. + 12.)
Charlie Halloran (trombone on 01., 04., 05., 09. + 12.)
Kevin Louis (trumpet on 02., 03., 05. 08., 10. – 12.)
Roderick Paulin (saxophone, clarinet on 02., 03., 05. –  08, 10. – 12.),
Rick Trolsen (trombone on 02., 03., 05. – 08., 10. – 12.)

Booklet05+06.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Georgia Grind (Allen/Williams) 4.50
02. Leave My Man Alone (White) 3.43
03. Loan Me Your Husband (Barker) 4.12
04. Scat Skunk (Barker) 3.48
05. Now You’re Down In The Alley (Barker) 3.39
06. Here’s A Little Girl From Jacksonville (Barker) 4.24
07. Nix On Those Lush Heads (Barker/Glen) 3.42
08. Bow Legged Daddy (Barker) 2.55
09. Trombone Man Blues (Black/Barker/Gayle) 3.28
10. A Little Bird Told Me (Brooks) 2.20
11. Handy Andy (Razaf) 4.27
12. Don’t You Feel My Leg (L.Barker/D.Barker/Mayo) 3.59
+
13. Never Brag About Your Man (Razaf) 3.47

CD1.jpg

*
**

Booklet08A.jpg

 

Willie Nelson- My Way (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgA Country singer can´t sing Frank Sinatra …no ! But if a Country is Willie Nelson … yes !

My Way is the sixty-eighth solo studio album by Willie Nelson. It was released on September 14, 2018, by Legacy Recordings. The album is a tribute to Frank Sinatra, who was a close friend of Nelson’s. The album received the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, marking Nelson’s 13th career Grammy win.

Nelson first teased the album on April 27, 2018, while promoting his album Last Man Standing in an article published by Variety, saying that the Great American Songbook “is a deep well, because good songs never die. If it was good a hundred years ago, it’s still good today.”

The album was formally announced on July 19, 2018. It is a collection of songs closely associated with Frank Sinatra, whom Nelson first heard at 10 years old when Sinatra joined the radio program Your Hit Parade. Nelson and Sinatra were close friends and mutual admirers of each other’s work. In the 1980s, the pair performed on the same bill at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and appeared together in a public service announcement for the Space Foundation.

The album’s first single, “Summer Wind”, was released on the same day, along with its accompanying music video.

On August 24, 2018, “I’ll Be Around” was released as the album’s second single, with its music video premiering the same day.

The third single from the album, “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)”, was released on September 10, 2018, along with its music video. (by wikipedia)

WillieNelson02.jpg

Ever since 1978’s Stardust, standards albums have been part of Willie Nelson’s arsenal, but 2018’s My Way presents a twist on this shopworn tradition: it’s designed as a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Album-long tributes to Sinatra aren’t uncommon — Bob Dylan devoted much of the 2010s to recording a series of tributes to him — but My Way stands apart from the pack by capturing both the rakish charm of the Chairman of the Board and Nelson’s sly elegance. Nelson balances standards from the Great American Songbook (“A Foggy Day,” “Blue Moon,” “Night and Day,” “Young at Heart”) with songs written with Sinatra in mind (“Fly Me to the Moon,” “Summer Wind,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “My Way”), which brings My Way closer to the essence of Frank Sinatra than Dylan’s stylized saloon records. This is light and breezy, music that suggests the swinging heyday of Sinatra without ever quite sounding like a dusty old Capitol LP, not even the horns are sighing and blaring. Chalk that up to Nelson, who sounds limber if a bit scraggly, both in his voice and on his guitar. There’s a wry, insouciant charm to his performances: he knows how to ratchet up the drama in “It Was Very Good Year,” realizes “My Way” is irresistible hokum, and slides into the calming melody of “Summer Wind.” Unlike Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, Nelson’s limitations aren’t a hindrance, and the arrangements aren’t excessively polite, which means My Way is an appealingly light record: it’s performed with more affection than reverence. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

WillieNelson03

It’s about the band here, also. That driving, fat bass by David Piltch, who gives these straight-forward arrangements a strong foundation. The sparse, but so distinctive piano phrases by Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett’s long time band member), who did the arrangements in a delightfully direct, fresh way. The tiny whiny harmonica occoupying the upper range. Some subtle guitars by Dean Parks and the master himself. Precise horns and a topping of strings if needed. All the schmalz is gone here, remains all the the fresh wind and this very unique Willie Nelson way of blowing the dust off these old songs. (Alexander Ziemann)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Jay Bellerose (drums)
Jeff Coffin (saxophone)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar)
Barry Green (trombone)
Mike Haynes (trumpet)
Chris McDonald (trombone)
Doug Moffet (saxophone)
Willie Nelson (guitar, vocals)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Steve Patrick (trumpet)
David Piltch (bass)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Denis Solee (saxophone)
+
Norah Jones (vocals on 09.)
+
strings:
Monisa Angell – Janet Darnall – David Davidson – Conni Ellisor – Alicia Enstrom –
Anthony La Marchina – Betsy Lamb -Carole Rabinowitz – Sari Reist – Kristin Wilkinson – Karen Winkelmann

strings arranged by Kristin Wilkinson

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Fly Me To “he Moon (Howard) 2:44
02. Summer Wind (Meier/Mercer) 3:23
03. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (Arlen/Mercer) 3:59
04. A Foggy Day (G.Gershwin(I.Gershwin) 2:57
05. It Was A Very Good Year (Drake) 3:56
06. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 2:37
07. I’ll Be Around (Wilder) 2:59
08. Night And Day (Porter) 2:48
09. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter) 2:27
10. Young At Heart (Richards/Leigh) 2:46
11. My Way (Anka/François/Revaux) 4:49

CD1.jpg

*
**

Tray1

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Nobody Sings Dylan Like Gill ‘n’ Dave (2019)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on the Oscars this year, you know they’re amazing. You may not know they are also amazing interpreters of a certain Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter. They were featured often on my 40-volume Dylan cover collection “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan,” but when I heard that the Dave Rawlings Machine had covered “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” at a San Francisco concert last year – opening the show with the first half of the song, and closing it with the second half – I decided it was time to give them their own NSD collection. A year later, here it is.

As always, thanks to the tapers – they are the true heroes of the ROIO world – and to Gill and Dave for daring to test their mettle on these incomparable songs. As you might remember, in the summer of 2015 Gill ‘n’ Dave did a 50th anniversary tribute at the Newport Folk Festival to the historic show at which Dylan first plugged in. Surprisingly, it has never turned up on any of the download sites I frequent, though there is a barely listenable/watchable version on YouTube. If you have a better version to offer, please do; if you don’t want to bother with the nuts and bolts of uploading, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

A few of these songs are featured on other NSD sets, but these are different versions. Finally, please allow me to dedicate this collection to my friend and fellow Dylan fan Erik, who first introduced me to Gill ‘n’ Dave’s music in 1996 by giving me a copy of “Revival” and telling me I’d love it. I did, and I still do. (jeffs98119 at dime)

Various dates and venues. Mix of audience and soundboard recordings
between 1996 and 2018

WelchRawlings01.jpg
Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch (Oscar 2019)

Personnel:
Dave Rawlings Machine (on 01., 03., 05., 07., 11. + 13.)
The Esquires (on 02. + 09.)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (on 04., 06., 08., 10. + 12.)

BackCover1.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts (1) (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 7.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 7.31
03. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Oct 4, 2007, Tangier Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA) 5.00
04. I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine (Aug 21, 1996, Acoustic Coffee House, Nederland, CO) 3.42
05. As I Went Out One Morning (Sep 24, 2014, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA) 5.32
06. Billy (Nov 18, 1998, Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO) 6.13
07. Oh, Sister (Mar 8, 2018, McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR) 5.10
08. Goin’ to Acapulco (Oct 13, 2004, McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR) 5.53
09. Quinn The Eskimo (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 3.29
10. Odds And Ends (Aug 2004, WXPN Studios/World Café session, Philadelphia, PA) 2.58
11. Queen Jane Approximately (Jun 20, 2014, Town Park, Telluride, CO) 10.28
12. Mr Tambourine Man (Oct 3, 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA) 6.07
13. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts 2 (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 5.05

All songs written by Bob Dylan

WelchRawlings02.jpg

*
**