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  • Brothers Brothers Quick View

    $24.99
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    Brothers

    W/ CD version of the album included.


    The maturation of the Black Keys as record makers and performers has been both subtle and startling. With their 2008 Nonesuch release Attack & Release, the fifth album of their eight-year career which doubled the sales of their previous album and Nonesuch debut Magic Potion, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney illustrated the durability of their few-frills sound, a mysterious and heavy brew of '70s-vintage rock, classic R&B and timeless, downhearted blues. Producer and pal Danger Mouse, their first outside collaborator, didn't try to reinvent their sound but further isolated its essence with the help of a few carefully chosen guest players and some retro-modern electronic gear. It didn't need to get slicker to get better, or, as the Boston Globe put it, Attack & Release proves that cleaning up the boys still won't stop them from tracking mud all over the house.


    Danger Mouse returned to co-produce Tighten Up on Brothers, but for the most part, the duo was on its own, spending ten days at the legendary Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama and coming up with the an even more intensely focused, deeply soulful set that includes a cover of Jerry Butler's Never Gonna Give You Up. The performances are inventive and impassioned: Auerbach extends his vocal range to falsetto on lead-off track Everlasting Light and The Only One; Howlin' For You opens with a Gary Glitter-style drum riff and the chorus practically invites singing along. The tunes offer a surprising amount of lyrical candor and more than a little dark humor; the grooves alternate between ballsy swagger and bluesy rumination. The album reflects where Auerbach and Carney have been lately, most recently collaborating with a who's who of New York City MC's, including RZA, Q Tip, Mos Def and Raekwon on the 2009 BlakRocBlack Keys fan Damon Dash. They've also pursued projects on their own, Auerbach with his solo Keep It Hid album and tour, Carney with his band Drummer and its debut disc, Feels Good Together. Their maturation didn't happen just in the studio, though. Carney admits, Dan and I grew up a lot as individuals and musicians prior to making this album. Our relationship was tested in many ways but at the end of the day, we're brothers, and I think these songs reflect that. super-session organized by hip-hop impresario and


    Brothers was primarily cut in Muscle Shoals, a setting that turned out to have more in common with the Akron, Ohio factories where the Black Keys used to record. The place was desolate, the town depressed, so once again the duo slipped into a world all its own. They did additional recording at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound System in Akron and The Bunker in Brooklyn. The album was mixed by engineer Tchad Blake, a veteran of sessions with Los Lobos, Pearl Jam and Peter Gabriel. Says Carney, The way he approaches mixing is the same way we approach making music. Respecting the past while being in the present..

    1. Everlasting Light
    2. Next Girl
    3. Tighten Up
    4. Howlin' For You
    5. She's Long Gone
    6. Black Mud
    7. The Only One
    8. Too Afraid To Love
    9. Ten Cent Pistol
    10. Sinister Kid
    11. The Go Getter
    12. I'm Not The One
    13. Unknown Brother
    14. Never Gonna Give You Up
    15. These Days
    The Black Keys
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • El Camino El Camino Quick View

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    El Camino

    Reviewing The Black Keys' 2010 Top Ten breakthrough album Brothers, Rolling Stone called the duo a two-man combo with a big-band mind. That description seems downright prophetic now. With the hard-rocking El Camino, The Black Keys' fourth Nonesuch release, guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney conjure up an exhilarating, stadium-sized sound in collaboration with producer and friend Danger Mouse. El Camino boasts a no-nonsense brilliance: The pace is fast, the mood is upbeat, the choruses unfailingly addictive made for shouting along, preferably in a large, sweaty crowd.


    A band already at the top of its game has gotten even better. And The Black Keys have done pretty damn well so far this year, with three 2011 Grammy awards for Brothers under their belt, an MTV Video Music Award for Tighten Up, more than 850,000 copies of Brothers sold in the U.S., and upwards of a million units worldwide, plus innumerable licensing placements in film, TV, and commercials. El Camino features one stand-out track after another, such as first single Lonely Boy, Gold on the Ceiling, and the surprising, acoustic-guitar-driven, tempo-shifting Little Black Submarines.


    This record is more straight ahead rock and roll raw, driving, and back to basics, says Auerbach. As Carney has put it, The Black Keys respect the past while being in the present, and that formula has made them sound like nothing less than the future of rock and roll. While the largely self-produced Brothers, recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, had a more soul and blues-oriented sound, El Camino often recalls the blitzkrieg-paced British-style rock of the 1960s and 70s, post-Beatles and pre-punk: artists like T-Rex, The Sweet, and Gary Glitter, along with the heavier swing of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.


    The references are there, but the sound is very much contemporary and utterly their own, equally informed by The Black Keys' passion for hip hop and R&B and bolstered by the atmospheric production approach of Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton), who was behind the boards for 2008's Attack & Release and collaborated with them on the funky Tighten Up for Brothers. As Auerbach notes, Brian understands all the different kinds of music we're into. He's got really great ideas about melody and song structure. For him it's all about the song. Also rejoining them is consistently innovative mixing engineer Tchad Blake, who Auerbach calls a genius with audio, a complete wizard.


    El Camino arrives just in time to serve as the ideal holiday gift for The Black Keys' rapidly growing fan base. It came together quickly in an unfettered burst of creativity by the hard-charging pair. They recorded these 11 tracks between tour dates for Brothers at Auerbach's new Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, where he and Carney have now relocated after years of working in their native Akron, Ohio. The duo plans to embark on a six week European Tour at the start of the New Year, with U.S. dates to follow shortly thereafter-including several arenas.


    In a time of global austerity, The Black Keys work simply and efficiently, with a minimum of tools and a wealth of ideas, to produce the richest, fattest, coolest music around. Upon the release of Brothers last year, Britain's Uncut magazine called them one of the best rock'n'roll bands on the planet, and El Camino, confirms that.

    1. Lonely Boy
    2. Dead And Gone
    3. Gold On The Ceiling
    4. Little Black Submarines
    5. Money Maker
    6. Run Right Back
    7. Sister
    8. Hell Of A Season
    9. Stop Stop
    10. Nova Baby
    11. Mind Eraser
    The Black Keys
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
  • Essential Tremors Essential Tremors Quick View

    $19.99
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    Essential Tremors

    No stranger to the south, lead vocalist, guitarist and pianist J. Roddy Walston was brought up in the southern church hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee before relocating to Baltimore where he made the acquaintance of lead guitarist and vocalist Billy Gordon, bassist and vocalist Logan Davis and drummer Steve Colmus, now collectively known as The Business.


    Essential Tremors, the band's third release, is the most far-ranging and eclectic album in the band's history. Their blend of classic rock & roll emphasized by rapturous hooks, riffs and rhythms, coupled with Motown flavor and funky charm brings out a pure Bacchanalian splendor. J. Roddy's arresting voice and thumping piano playing travels directly from your eardrums to your bone marrow as he keens, croons and intones words and music that are at turns lunatic and mystic. Their relentless touring and trademark spirited live performances has helped J. Roddy Walston & The Business grow from a grass roots movement into a band with a loyal and expansive following.


    Joined by born and bred Valdostan Mark Neill, the Grammy-winning producer and engineer of Black Keys' Brothers and Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids, Delta Spirit), J. Roddy and co. manifested eleven immersive and relentless tracks that now comprise their third album Essential Tremors. From the explosive raw power of "Heavy Bells" to the hymnal reverberations of "Sweat Shock" to the contemplative, soulful call of "Boys Can Never Tell", Essential Tremors demonstrates the band's growth into becoming one of the forerunners in rock 'n roll today.

    1. Heavy Bells
    2. Marigold
    3. Take It As It Comes
    4. Black Light
    5. Sweat Shock
    6. Nobody Knows
    7. Hard Times
    8. Boys Can Never Tell
    9. Same Days
    10. Tear Jerk
    11. Midnight Cry
    J Roddy Walston And The Business
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Deadworld Reborn (Picture Disc) Deadworld Reborn (Picture Disc) Quick View

    $21.99
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    Deadworld Reborn (Picture Disc)

    Limited to 1,000 Hand Numbered Pieces

    Limited Edition Picture Disc


    Mr. Dibbs has become one of the most respected and innovative turntablist/dj style producers in the
    game. Last year Mr. Dibbs died for approximately 53 seconds, one short month after the quiet release of
    Deadworld.


    Held up in the hospital for a few weeks, Dibbs was an inadvertent resident of an impromptu hip hop
    retirement home. Battling leukemia on the floor above him was his longtime friend Marcus "Skandal da
    Ruckus Man" Mitchell. An epic MC and producer, of equally epic bodily proportions, Skandal's heart
    was big, but his production skills and lyrical largesse were even bigger.


    Mr. Dibbs was found... in the strong lifeline we've all come to know and love as Skandal. Skandal lost
    his life in October last year, but even thru his passing he made Dibbs feel important enough to be reborn.
    'Deadword Reborn' was digitally released last november with all procceds going to Skandal's daughter.


    Now for the first time ever 'Deadworld Reborn' is available in physical form as a 12" picture disc vinyl.
    Limited to 1,000 hand numbered pieces and featuring a long list of artists and producers including
    Brother Ali, The Black Keys, Grayskul, Murs, JEL, Skandal Da Ruckus Man himself, along with
    many more.


    "What I could not see at the time was being reborn into the world of the living through someone else's
    full-circle leaving." -Dibbs

    A Side:
    1. Dead Side
    2. Inter...


    B Side:
    3. World Side
    4. Good Knight
    5. Where Pigs Fly

    Mr. Dibbs
    $21.99
    Picture Disc Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Turn Blue Turn Blue Quick View

    $19.99
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    Turn Blue

    The Black Keys' 2014 album, Turn Blue, was released on Nonesuch Records.
    Produced by Danger Mouse, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, Turn Blue features 11
    tracks including the first single, "Fever."


    Turn Blue was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood during the summer of 2013 with
    additional recording done at the Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI and Auerbach's Easy Eye
    Sound in Nashville in early 2014. Of the new album, the band says Turn Blue could refer to:


    A: Suffocation

    B: Sadness

    C: Numbness from extreme cold

    D: A Cleveland late night TV host from the 1960s named Ghoulardi

    E: All of the above


    Moreover, Carney comments, "We are always trying to push ourselves when we make a
    record-not repeat our previous work but not abandon it either. On this record, we let the songs
    breathe and explored moods, textures and sounds. We're excited for the world to hear Turn
    Blue."


    This is the eighth full-length album from the duo and follows 2011's critically and commercially
    acclaimed El Camino, which is now certified RIAA Platinum. Internationally, El Camino is Gold
    in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Holland; Platinum in Ireland, France and the U.K.; and double
    Platinum in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The record also resulted in three awards at the
    55th annual Grammy Awards-Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album.
    The band now has a total of six Grammy Awards including three in 2010 for their breakout,
    RIAA Platinum album, Brothers.

    1. Weight of Love

    2. In Time
    3. Turn Blue

    4. Fever
    5. Year in Review
    6. Bullet in the Brain
    7. It's Up to You Now
    8. Waiting on Words

    9. 10 Lovers
    10. In Our Prime
    11. Gotta Get Away
    The Black Keys
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Paradise Paradise Quick View

    $19.99
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    Paradise

    Recorded at Black Keys guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach's East Eye Sound Studios in Nashville, Paradise, the Wood Brothers' Honey Jar Records-issued fifth studio long-player and follow-up to 2013's The Muse, is their first outing to be written by all three members of the trio, Oliver Wood, Chris Wood, and Jano Rix. It's also the first set of recordings from the group to feature bassist Chris Wood swapping out his upright for an electric four-string, but plugging in has done little to dampen the trio's penchant for crafting experimental yet always emotionally resonant slabs of funk-tinged folk and jazz-inflected Americana blues.
    1. Singin' To Strangers
    2. American Heartache
    3. Never and Always
    4. Snake Eyes
    5. Two Places
    6. Heartbreak Lullaby
    7. Without Desire
    8. Raindrop
    9. Touch of Your Hand
    10. River of Sin
    The Wood Brothers
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Highway Queen Highway Queen Quick View

    $20.99
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    Highway Queen

    Nikki Lane's remarkably dazzling third album,
    Highway Queen, sees the
    young Nashville rebel emerge as one of country and
    rock's most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane
    and fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Tyler, and
    recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee,
    Highway Queen is an emotional tour-de-force.
    Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and
    vintage Sixties country-pop swagger, Lane's new music
    will resonate as easily with Black Keys and Lana
    Del Rey fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty.


    Highway Queen starts with the whiskey-soaked
    restlessness of "700,000 Rednecks," a rowdy call to
    action, and ends on the profoundly raw "Forever
    Lasts Forever," where Lane belts freely, mourning
    a failed marriage - the "lighter shade of skin" left
    behind from her wedding ring. Lane's journey to
    heartbreak takes exquisite turns. "Companion" is
    pure Everly Brothers' dreaminess ("I would spend a
    lifetime/ Playing catch you if I can"). Elsewhere, she
    goes on a Vegas bender on the rollicking "Jackpot,"
    fights last-call blues ("Foolish Heart") and tosses
    off brazen one-liners at a backroom piano ("Big
    Mouth").


    Lane, a Greenville, South Carolina native, is a unique
    songwriter who didn't take the traditional country
    artist path. Her backwoods roots are undercut by
    her chosen career as a fashion entrepreneur (she's
    the owner of vintage clothing boutique High Class
    Hillbilly) who has lived - and been heartbroken
    in - Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. So it's no
    surprise that her music seamlessly crosses musical
    genres with lyrics steeped in the doomed perseverance
    only a true dark horse romantic knows.


    Lane's rapid rise in music is thanks to the fervent critical
    acclaim of her debut record Walk of Shame
    and 2014's Dan Auerbach-produced All Or
    Nothin'. With Highway Queen, 2017 is poised
    to be Lane's major mainstream breakthrough. So as
    she sings on the title track: place your bets, if you
    ain't folding.

    1. 700,000 Rednecks
    2. Highway Queen
    3. Lay You Down
    4. Jackpot
    5. Companion
    6. Big Mouth
    7. Foolish Heart
    8. Send The Sun
    9. Muddy Waters
    10. Forever Lasts Forever
    Nikki Lane
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The World Is Real (Awaiting Repress) The World Is Real (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $18.99
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    The World Is Real (Awaiting Repress)

    LAKE's comprehensive pop vision has always been anchored in an honest mournfulness, a sensitivity to nature, and the vulnerability of life. These mark
    LAKE's more down tempo, contemplative grooves, which are given their fullest voice yet on The World Is Real, LAKE's fourth album for K and sixth overall.
    It follows 2008's Oh, the Places We'll Go, 2009's Let's Build A Roof, and 2011's Giving & Receiving, and was similarly recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio at K headquarters in their hometown of Olympia, Washington.


    The songwriting partnership of Ashley Eriksson and Eli Moore is the locus of LAKE's creative engine, but the additional members are as integral and
    longstanding. They are the diversely talented Andrew Dorsett, Markly Morisson, and Lindsay Schief. The creative sound that surrounds LAKE is storied in collaboration, sonic adventure and an allegiance to exploring the limits of crafting pop songs. They have toured, recorded and allied with some of the most pioneering figures in contemporary independent music: R. Stevie Moore, Chris Cohen, Karl Blau, and Phil Elverum's Mt. Eerie, for example.


    Lead track Do You Recall? offers wide and subtle nods to working-class 80's classics like Mellencamp's Jack & Diane, or Hornsby's The Way It Is. Featuring drum machine and nostalgic guitar riffs, the lead and group vocals float through droning synths like wind to a bounded world.


    Dog in the Desert one of the album's centerpieces, was initially inspired by the text-works of conceptual artist, Richard Long, and his "art made by walking in landscapes" (richardlong.org). Eriksson's voice, and the dark plodding instrumentation of the song, take Long's images and shape them into a meditation on abandonment, loss and reconciliation with nature.


    Tellingly, the earthbound bass groove on Dog in the Desert is a quotation of Steely Dan's Black Cow. It is not the only song to directly live sample Fagen and Becker: Perfect Fit mashes up the chordal rhythms of Peg to excellent effect.
    It's clear that LAKE enjoys to boldly tread and rework the classics in this way, most notably in Mark Morrison's first personal LAKE offering Takin' My Time, a direct reference to the Isley Brothers song "Caravan of Love." This smooth R&B pop seducer - a wild crowd favorite at LAKE's local Olympia outings - is a bit of an aside from The World Is Real's more meditative core.


    Other highlights on The World Is Real: Bury the House takes its 60's styled psychedelic setting for a playful, self-deprecating riff on LAKE's own new age-y ideals: Bury the house / under the garden / make an attempt to go outside. Composure and "I Wish For You" have the pop attributes of Pet Sounds and Smile era Beach Boys - faintly forlorn, but still warm and sweet. And the community oriented compassion exhibited by LAKE's members is beautifully summarized in the opening lines of album closer Reconcile: How do we exist under the sun
    but not in bliss? / What could have been? / Act on it.


    Lovers of hybrid pop will hear the bright whirring electronic keys that notably set McCartney II apart from the rest of Paul's catalog, as well as the bittersweet organ and keyboard influence of Yo La Tengo, and the minimalist funk of Talking Heads on
    this record. However, precise comparison is difficult: The World is Real avoids easy genre comparisons. An album full of the articulation of discontent and loss, LAKE captures these emotions in tandem with the pop music joys they have so expertly reigned in for many years.

    1. Do You Recall?
    2. Bury The House
    3. Combat Culture
    4. Composure
    5. Go Back
    6. Dog In The Desert
    7. Perfect Fit
    8. Takin' My Time
    9. I Wish For You
    10. In The Stubborn Eyes Of A Demon
    11. Reconcile
    Lake
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Melophobia Melophobia Quick View

    $16.99
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    Melophobia

    Cage The Elephant's highly anticipated forthcoming third studio album, entitled 'Melophobia', is released via RCA Records. The album was recorded in Nashville, TN and reunites the band with producer Jay Joyce who produced the group's prior two releases.


    This album has tested us as individuals and as a collective. We're five people fighting for our own ideologies of good music - we clash stylistically and sometimes even personally, said drummer Jared Champion. The studio is the place where we push all of those individual creative emotions together and smash them to the dispersion point until they explode like a Timebomb. With the explosion arrives something beautiful and in the end, when you listen back and goose bumps prick your skin like the first few drops of a summer rainfall on searing concrete, you know that you and your band of brothers have created something substantial. Conquering our melophobia is what drives us.


    The new album is the follow up to 2011's acclaimed sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and has sold over 250,000 copies to date. Rolling Stone, New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly praised the release as one of the best rock albums of the year. The album also spawned the hit single Shake Me Down which spent six weeks at #1 at Alternative radio. Their acclaimed self-titled debut album was released in 2009 and has sold over 550,000 copies to date. The album remained on the Billboard 200 Chart for an astounding 73 consecutive weeks and produced three Top 5 singles at Alternative Radio, including the massive hit Ain't No Rest For The Wicked. In additional to numerous Sold Out headline runs, Cage The Elephant has toured with Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Stone Temple Pilots, Foals, Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, and many more.


    - BWWMusicWorld

    1. Spiderhead
    2. Come A Little Closer
    3. Telescope
    4. It's Just Forever (featuring Alison Mosshart)
    5. Take It Or Leave It
    6. Halo
    7. Black Widow
    8. Hypocrite
    9. Teeth
    10. Cigarette Daydreams
    Cage The Elephant
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Seventh Swamphony Seventh Swamphony Quick View

    $19.99
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    Seventh Swamphony

    Seventh Swamphony is the seventh studio album by the Finnish melodic death metal band Kalmah and is their first album with new keyboardist Veli-Matti Kananen. The album was recorded at Tico-Tico Studios in Kemi, Finland, and was mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren.


    Few would deny that in the late 1990s and very early 2000s, Finnish death metal began shifting it's direction across the board. Although Amorphis themselves never lost any stride, the whole 'depression metal' thing just kinda faded away, to be replaced by something far more aggressive and energetic. Bands such as Children of Bodom, Norther, and Insomnium broke through with a sound that although was still firmly rooted in the brutality of death metal, were not too shy to throw in the occasional thrash and black metal influence to in turn create something new and exciting. With the exception of perhaps the aforementioned Insomnium, Kalmah had always been perhaps the most flat-out extreme and agro, and has steadily upped the ante with every succeeding release.


    Right from the get-go, this disc opens up with a synth-hit-infused blasting skank-beat that flows easily into the pit-worthy yet SUPER-catchy chorus. This kind of sets the tone for this whole disc, and you get eight incredibly intense-yet-focus fistpumping/headbanging perfect examples of memorably melodic death metal that oozes every ounce of brutality that it can out of the riffage contained herein. A theme that is echoed in practically every song they've ever done is their effortless use of solemn, slightly-folksy lead guitar melodies on top of the high-energy thrashy rhythms underneath. Songs such as Deadfall and Wolves On The Throne are amazing and true-to-form for this band; heavy on melody and light on respite. The former song also features a glimpse of the ivory-tickling prowess of new keyboardist Veli-Matti Kananen, who in both his melody lines and also in his soloing has an almost youthful whimsy as he jams up and down the board. Once you notice it for the first time, you tend to notice that this may be one of the most keyboard-heavy albums the band has ever done, but that is because this may be the first time since 2002 that the band's keyboardist has had anything meaningful to add to the table in terms of songwriting. Maybe that's a bit drastic, but that's sure what it sounds like here, and that isn't to say that the omnipresent keys drown out the massive wall of guitar and bass. Antti Kokko is still one of underground metal's unknown guitar heroes with how deftly he weaves his melody lines through these tracks, and never mind how ridiculous his solos are. Need a point of reference? He's a straight-faced, serious, no-B.S. version of Alexi Laiho. And his brother Pekka Kokko's voice has never sounded better either, easily crossing from the higher-pitched, black metal-version of Mille Petrozza he always used to do on the older records with the flat-out demonic growl he's wielded since the masterful The Black Waltz album. He even manages to weave in a bit of clean singing for the first time that I can remember hearing on a Kalmah record, and speaking of which...


    ...remember how in the first paragraph we kind of stated that the melancholic Finnish death metal of yesteryear has been kind of hard to find as of late? Well, Kalmah decided to dish out their own version in fourth track Hollo. After listening to it maybe 10 times now, I've realized that I just need to stop the internal dialogue on whether or not it's a good direction for the band and instead just focus on how amazing the song itself is. For most of the track it really is one of the best pieces of old school Amorphis-worship that I've ever heard, before doing a Viking metal shift about halfway through, complete with calling horns and battle-ready gang vocals. Apart from this tune, the most that Kalmah otherwise deviates from what they know works is the almost-punky opening of Windlake Tale.


    A lot of people unfairly write this band off as Bodom clones, and it's really unfortunate when they put out such amazingly dark and heavy records like this that really set them apart. If anything, I feel that this record will continue to appease Kalmah's core fanbase who've stuck it out since the beginning, but with it's perfect mixjob (except for some questionable leveling of the opening melody of Wolves on the Throne) where everything comes through crisp and clear (or as crisp and clear as a band as loud and agro as this likes to get), it can be an easy-to-get-into album for those still uninitiated.


    Raise a horn of mead to the swamplords...they did it again!


    - ArnoldHablewitz (The Metal Archives)

    1. Seventh Swamphony
    2. Deadfall
    3. Pikemaster
    4. Hollo
    5. Windlake Tale
    6. Wolves On a Throne
    7. Black Marten's Trace
    8. The Trapper
    Kalmah
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Gratitude Gratitude Quick View

    $44.99
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    Gratitude

    180 Gram Translucent Blue Colored Vinyl With Gatefold Cover


    Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso


    Manufactured At R.T.I.


    During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born - one that was steeped in African and African-American styles - particularly jazz and R&B but appealed to a broader cross-section of the listening public. As founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White not only embraced but also helped bring about this evolution of pop, which bridged the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America. It certainly was successful, as EWF combined high-caliber musicianship, wide-ranging musical genre eclecticism, and '70s multicultural spiritualism. "I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before," Maurice explains. "Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music which somehow ended up becoming pop. We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners' spiritual content."Maurice was born December 19, 1941, in Memphis, TN. He was immersed in a rich musical culture that spanned the boundaries between jazz, gospel, R&B, blues and early rock. All of these styles played a role in the development of Maurice's musical identity. At age six, he began singing in his church's gospel choir but soon his interest turned to percussion. He began working gigs as a drummer while still in high school. His first professional performance was with Booker T. Jones, who eventually achieved stardom as Booker T and the MGs.After graduating high school, Maurice moved to the Windy City to continue his musical education at the prestigious Chicago Conservatory Of Music. He continued picking up drumming jobs on the side, which eventually lead to a steady spot as a studio percussionist with the legendary Chicago label, Chess Records. At Chess, Maurice had the privilege of playing with such greats as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Willie Dixon, Sonny Stitt and Ramsey Lewis, whose trio he joined in 1967. He spent nearly three years as part of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. "Ramsey helped shape my musical vision beyond just the music," Maurice explains. "I learned about performance and staging." Maurice also learned about the African thumb piano, or Kalimba, an instrument whose sound would become central to much of his work over the years.In 1969, Maurice left the Ramsey Lewis Trio and joined two friends in Chicago, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, as a songwriting team composing songs and commercials in the Chicago area. The three friends got a recording contract with Capitol and called themselves the "Salty Peppers," and had a marginal hit in the Mid-western area called "La La Time." That band featured Maurice on vocals, percussion and Kalimba along with keyboardists/vocalists Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead.


    After relocating to Los Angeles and signing a new contract with Warner Bros., Maurice simultaneously made what may have been the smartest move of his young career. He changed the band's name to Earth, Wind & Fire (after the three elements in his astrological chart). The new name also captured Maurice's spiritual approach to music - one that transcended categories and appealed to multiple artistic principals, including composition, musicianship, production, and performance. In addition to White, Flemons and Whitehead, Maurice recruited Michael Beal on guitar, Leslie Drayton, Chester Washington and Alex Thomas on horns, Sherry Scott on vocals, percussionist Phillard Williams and his younger brother Verdine on bass.


    Earth, Wind & Fire recorded two albums for Warner Brothers: the self-titled 1970 album Earth, Wind And Fire and the 1971 album The Need Of Love. A single from this album, "I Think About Lovin' You," provided EWF with their first Top 40 R&B hit. Also in 1971, the group performed the soundtrack to the Melvin Van Peebles film 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song'.


    In 1972, White dissolved the line-up (except he and brother Verdine White) and added Jessica Cleaves (vocals - formerly of the R&B group The Friends of Distinction), Ronnie Laws (flute, saxophone), Roland Bautista (guitar), Larry Dunn (keyboard), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Philip Bailey (vocals, formerly of Friends & Love). Maurice became disillusioned with Warner Brothers, which had signed the group primarily as a jazz act. Maurice, in contrast, was more interested in combining elements of jazz, rock, and soul into an evolving form of fusion, a truly universal sound.


    A performance at New York's Rockefeller Center introduced EWF to Clive Davis, then President of Columbia Records. Davis loved what he saw and bought their contract from Warner Bros. With Columbia Records, debuting with the 1972 album Last Days And Time, the group slowly began to build a reputation for innovative recordings and exciting, live shows, complete with feats of magic (floating pianos, spinning drum kits, vanishing artists) engineered by Doug Henning and his then-unknown assistant David Copperfield. Their first gold album, Head To The Sky, peaked at number 27 pop in the summer of 1973, yielding a smooth tangy cover of "Evil" and the title track single. The first platinum EWF album, Open Our Eyes, whose title track was a remake of the classic originally recorded by Savoy Records group the Gospel Clefs, included "Mighty Mighty" (number four R&B) and "Kalimba Story" (number six R&B).


    Maurice once again shared a label roster with Ramsey Lewis, whose Columbia debut Sun Goddess, was issued in December 1974. The radio-aired title track was released as a single under the name Ramsey Lewis and Earth, Wind & Fire. It went to number 20 R&B in early 1975. The Sun Goddess album went gold, hitting number 12 pop in early 1975. Maurice had also played on Lewis' other high-charting album, Wade In The Water; the title track single peaked at number three R&B in the summer of 1966.


    The inspiration for "Shining Star" (one of EW&F's most beloved singles) was gleaned from thoughts Maurice had during a walk under the star-filled skies that surrounded the mountains around Caribou Ranch, CO a popular recording site and retreat during the '70s. The track was originally included in the 'That's The Way Of The World' movie that starred Harvey Keitel and was produced by Sig Shore (Superfly). "Shining Star" glittered at number one R&B for two weeks and hit number one pop in early 1975. It was included on their 1975 multi-platinum album That's The Way Of The World that held the number one pop spot for three weeks in Spring 1975 and earned them their first Grammy Award. The title track single made it to number five R&B in summer of 1975. It also yielded the classic ballad "Reasons," an extremely popular radio-aired album track.


    The multi-platinum album Gratitude held the number one pop album spot for three weeks in late 1975. On the album was "Singasong" (gold, number one R&B for two weeks, number five pop), the Skip Scarborough ballad "Can't Hide Love" (number 11 R&B), and the popular radio-aired album tracks "Celebrate," "Gratitude," and the live version of "Reasons." In 1976, Maurice decided he wanted to record a spiritual album. The multi-platinum album Spirit parked at number two pop for two weeks in fall of 1976 and boasted the gold, number one R&B single "Getaway" and "Saturday Nite." Spirit is remembered as one of EWF's best albums and sadly for also being the last project of Producer Charles Stepney. He died May 17, 1976, in Chicago, IL, at the age of 45. Charles was a former Chess Records arranger/producer/session musician/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and Maurice's main collaborator on his EWF projects. The multi-platinum album All 'N All peaked at number three pop in late 1977, won three Grammy's, and had arrangements by Chicago soul mainstay Tom Tom Washington and Eumir Deodato. The singles were "Serpentine Fire" (number one R&B for seven weeks) and "Fantasy." The group's horn section, the legendary Phenix Horns (Don Myrick on saxophone, Louis Satterfield on trombone, Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris on trumpets) became an integral part of the Earth, Wind & Fire sound.


    During this time, Maurice produced several artists such as The Emotions (1976's Flowers and 1977's Rejoice which included the number one R&B/pop hit "Best Of My Love") and Deniece Williams (1976's This Is Niecy which included the Top Ten R&B hit "Free"). In the late seventies, in association with Columbia Records, Maurice also launched a record label, ARC.


    The multi-platinum greatest-hits set The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. I included a cover of the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" went to number one R&B and number nine pop in Summer 1978. The group performed the song in the 1978 Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Another single, "September," made it to number one R&B, number eight pop in early 1978. On the flip side was the enchanting popular radio-aired album track "Love's Holiday" from All 'N All.


    Their live performances were stellar as well. Sellout crowds were spellbound by the band's bombastic performances. Their performances blasted a cosmic wave of peace, love and other happy vibrations to audiences using a combination of eye-popping costumes, lights, pyrotechnics and plain old good music. Sometimes they even threw in magic illusions. Earth, Wind & Fire's message was one of universal harmony, in both musical and cultural senses. "We live in a negative society," Maurice told Newsweek. "Most people can't see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine."


    The multi-platinum album I Am hit number three pop in Summer 1979 on the strength of the million-selling single "Boogie Wonderland" with The Emotions (number two R&B for four weeks, number six pop) and the phenomenal gold ballad "After The Love Has Gone," written by David Foster, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin that stayed at number two R&B/pop for two weeks. Their Faces album peaked at number ten pop in late 1980 and was boosted to gold by the singles "Let Me Talk" (number eight R&B), "You" (number ten R&B), and "And Love Goes On."


    The million-selling funked-up "Let's Groove," co-written by The Emotions' Wanda Vaughn and her husband Wayne Vaughn, was the track that re-energized EWF's career, parking at number one R&B for eight weeks and number three pop, causing their Raise! album to go platinum (hitting number five pop in late 1981). Their next gold album Powerlight made it to number 12 pop in spring 1983 and included the Top Ten R&B single and Grammy-nominated "Fall In Love With Me." Their 1983 Electric Universe album stalled at number 40 pop, breaking the band's string of gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums.


    In 1983, Maurice decided he and the band needed a break. During this hiatus, Maurice recorded his self-titled solo album Maurice White and produced various artists including Neal Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Holliday. Reuniting with the band in 1987, EWF released the album Touch The World and scored yet another number one R&B single, "System of Survival" and embarked on a corresponding nine-month world tour. This was followed by the 1988 release The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. II.


    In 1990 the group released the album Heritage. Two years later, Earth, Wind & Fire released The Eternal Dance; a 55-track boxed set retrospective of the band's entire history. The appearance of such a project after a prolonged period of relative inactivity signaled to many listeners that the band was calling it quits but that did not turn out to be case. In 1993, EWF released the album, Millennium that included the Grammy-nominated "Sunday Morning" and "Spend The Night."


    Earth, Wind & Fire kept recording and in 1996 released Avatar and Greatest Hits Live; followed by 1997's In The Name Of Love; 2002's That's The Way Of The World: Alive In '75; Live In Rio which was recorded during their 1979 "I Am World Tour;" 2003's The Promise, which included the Grammy-nominated "Hold Me" and 2005's Illumination, which included the Grammy-nominated "Show Me The Way."


    In 2000, the nine-piece '70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2001, Eagle Rock Entertainment released the documentary 'Earth, Wind & Fire: Shining Stars', which contains rarely seen historic video footage along with in-depth interviews with the band members.


    Even though Maurice is no longer a part of the touring group, he remains the band's heart and soul from behind the scenes as composer and producer. Maurice reflects, "I wanted to create a library of music that would stand the test of time. 'Cosmic Consciousness' is the key component of our work. Expanding awareness and uplifting spirits is so important in this day. People are looking for more. I hope our music can give them some encouragement and peace."

    LP 1
    1. Introduction

    2. Africano/ Power Medley

    3. Yearnin' Learnin'

    4. Devotion

    5. Sun Goddess
    6. Reasons

    7. Sing A Message To You


    LP 2
    1. Shining Star

    2. New World Symphony
    3. Sunshine

    4. Singasong

    5. Gratitude

    6. Celebrate

    7. Can't Hide Love

    Earth, Wind & Fire
    $44.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Buy Now
  • Greatest Hits (Awaiting Repress) Greatest Hits (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $42.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Greatest Hits (Awaiting Repress)

    180 Gram Translucent Gold Colored Vinyl With Gatefold Cover


    During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born - one that was steeped in African and African-American styles - particularly jazz and R&B but appealed to a broader cross-section of the listening public. As founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White not only embraced but also helped bring about this evolution of pop, which bridged the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America. It certainly was successful, as EWF combined high-caliber musicianship, wide-ranging musical genre eclecticism, and '70s multicultural spiritualism. "I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before," Maurice explains. "Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music which somehow ended up becoming pop. We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners' spiritual content."Maurice was born December 19, 1941, in Memphis, TN. He was immersed in a rich musical culture that spanned the boundaries between jazz, gospel, R&B, blues and early rock. All of these styles played a role in the development of Maurice's musical identity. At age six, he began singing in his church's gospel choir but soon his interest turned to percussion. He began working gigs as a drummer while still in high school. His first professional performance was with Booker T. Jones, who eventually achieved stardom as Booker T and the MGs.After graduating high school, Maurice moved to the Windy City to continue his musical education at the prestigious Chicago Conservatory Of Music. He continued picking up drumming jobs on the side, which eventually lead to a steady spot as a studio percussionist with the legendary Chicago label, Chess Records. At Chess, Maurice had the privilege of playing with such greats as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Willie Dixon, Sonny Stitt and Ramsey Lewis, whose trio he joined in 1967. He spent nearly three years as part of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. "Ramsey helped shape my musical vision beyond just the music," Maurice explains. "I learned about performance and staging." Maurice also learned about the African thumb piano, or Kalimba, an instrument whose sound would become central to much of his work over the years.In 1969, Maurice left the Ramsey Lewis Trio and joined two friends in Chicago, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, as a songwriting team composing songs and commercials in the Chicago area. The three friends got a recording contract with Capitol and called themselves the "Salty Peppers," and had a marginal hit in the Midwestern area called "La La Time." That band featured Maurice on vocals, percussion and Kalimba along with keyboardists/vocalists Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead.


    After relocating to Los Angeles and signing a new contract with Warner Bros., Maurice simultaneously made what may have been the smartest move of his young career. He changed the band's name to Earth, Wind & Fire (after the three elements in his astrological chart). The new name also captured Maurice's spiritual approach to music - one that transcended categories and appealed to multiple artistic principals, including composition, musicianship, production, and performance. In addition to White, Flemons and Whitehead, Maurice recruited Michael Beal on guitar, Leslie Drayton, Chester Washington and Alex Thomas on horns, Sherry Scott on vocals, percussionist Phillard Williams and his younger brother Verdine on bass.


    Earth, Wind & Fire recorded two albums for Warner Brothers: the self-titled 1970 album Earth, Wind And Fire and the 1971 album The Need Of Love. A single from this album, "I Think About Lovin' You," provided EWF with their first Top 40 R&B hit. Also in 1971, the group performed the soundtrack to the Melvin Van Peebles film 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song'.


    In 1972, White dissolved the line-up (except he and brother Verdine White) and added Jessica Cleaves (vocals - formerly of the R&B group The Friends of Distinction), Ronnie Laws (flute, saxophone), Roland Bautista (guitar), Larry Dunn (keyboard), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Philip Bailey (vocals, formerly of Friends & Love). Maurice became disillusioned with Warner Brothers, which had signed the group primarily as a jazz act. Maurice, in contrast, was more interested in combining elements of jazz, rock, and soul into an evolving form of fusion, a truly universal sound.


    A performance at New York's Rockefeller Center introduced EWF to Clive Davis, then President of Columbia Records. Davis loved what he saw and bought their contract from Warner Bros. With Columbia Records, debuting with the 1972 album Last Days And Time, the group slowly began to build a reputation for innovative recordings and exciting, live shows, complete with feats of magic (floating pianos, spinning drum kits, vanishing artists) engineered by Doug Henning and his then-unknown assistant David Copperfield. Their first gold album, Head To The Sky, peaked at number 27 pop in the summer of 1973, yielding a smooth tangy cover of "Evil" and the title track single. The first platinum EWF album, Open Our Eyes, whose title track was a remake of the classic originally recorded by Savoy Records group the Gospel Clefs, included "Mighty Mighty" (number four R&B) and "Kalimba Story" (number six R&B).


    Maurice once again shared a label roster with Ramsey Lewis, whose Columbia debut Sun Goddess, was issued in December 1974. The radio-aired title track was released as a single under the name Ramsey Lewis and Earth, Wind & Fire. It went to number 20 R&B in early 1975. The Sun Goddess album went gold, hitting number 12 pop in early 1975. Maurice had also played on Lewis' other high-charting album, Wade In The Water; the title track single peaked at number three R&B in the summer of 1966.


    The inspiration for "Shining Star" (one of EW&F's most beloved singles) was gleaned from thoughts Maurice had during a walk under the star-filled skies that surrounded the mountains around Caribou Ranch, CO a popular recording site and retreat during the '70s. The track was originally included in the 'That's The Way Of The World' movie that starred Harvey Keitel and was produced by Sig Shore (Superfly). "Shining Star" glittered at number one R&B for two weeks and hit number one pop in early 1975. It was included on their 1975 multi-platinum album That's The Way Of The World that held the number one pop spot for three weeks in Spring 1975 and earned them their first Grammy Award. The title track single made it to number five R&B in summer of 1975. It also yielded the classic ballad "Reasons," an extremely popular radio-aired album track.


    The multi-platinum album Gratitude held the number one pop album spot for three weeks in late 1975. On the album was "Singasong" (gold, number one R&B for two weeks, number five pop), the Skip Scarborough ballad "Can't Hide Love" (number 11 R&B), and the popular radio-aired album tracks "Celebrate," "Gratitude," and the live version of "Reasons." In 1976, Maurice decided he wanted to record a spiritual album. The multi-platinum album Spirit parked at number two pop for two weeks in fall of 1976 and boasted the gold, number one R&B single "Getaway" and "Saturday Nite." Spirit is remembered as one of EWF's best albums and sadly for also being the last project of Producer Charles Stepney. He died May 17, 1976, in Chicago, IL, at the age of 45. Charles was a former Chess Records arranger/producer/session musician/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and Maurice's main collaborator on his EWF projects. The multi-platinum album All 'N All peaked at number three pop in late 1977, won three Grammy's, and had arrangements by Chicago soul mainstay Tom Tom Washington and Eumir Deodato. The singles were "Serpentine Fire" (number one R&B for seven weeks) and "Fantasy." The group's horn section, the legendary Phenix Horns (Don Myrick on saxophone, Louis Satterfield on trombone, Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris on trumpets) became an integral part of the Earth, Wind & Fire sound.


    During this time, Maurice produced several artists such as The Emotions (1976's Flowers and 1977's Rejoice which included the number one R&B/pop hit "Best Of My Love") and Deniece Williams (1976's This Is Niecy which included the Top Ten R&B hit "Free"). In the late seventies, in association with Columbia Records, Maurice also launched a record label, ARC.


    The multi-platinum greatest-hits set The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. I included a cover of the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" went to number one R&B and number nine pop in Summer 1978. The group performed the song in the 1978 Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Another single, "September," made it to number one R&B, number eight pop in early 1978. On the flip side was the enchanting popular radio-aired album track "Love's Holiday" from All 'N All.


    Their live performances were stellar as well. Sellout crowds were spellbound by the band's bombastic performances. Their performances blasted a cosmic wave of peace, love and other happy vibrations to audiences using a combination of eye-popping costumes, lights, pyrotechnics and plain old good music. Sometimes they even threw in magic illusions. Earth, Wind & Fire's message was one of universal harmony, in both musical and cultural senses. "We live in a negative society," Maurice told Newsweek. "Most people can't see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine."


    The multi-platinum album I Am hit number three pop in Summer 1979 on the strength of the million-selling single "Boogie Wonderland" with The Emotions (number two R&B for four weeks, number six pop) and the phenomenal gold ballad "After The Love Has Gone," written by David Foster, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin that stayed at number two R&B/pop for two weeks. Their Faces album peaked at number ten pop in late 1980 and was boosted to gold by the singles "Let Me Talk" (number eight R&B), "You" (number ten R&B), and "And Love Goes On."


    The million-selling funked-up "Let's Groove," co-written by The Emotions' Wanda Vaughn and her husband Wayne Vaughn, was the track that re-energized EWF's career, parking at number one R&B for eight weeks and number three pop, causing their Raise! album to go platinum (hitting number five pop in late 1981). Their next gold album Powerlight made it to number 12 pop in spring 1983 and included the Top Ten R&B single and Grammy-nominated "Fall In Love With Me." Their 1983 Electric Universe album stalled at number 40 pop, breaking the band's string of gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums.


    In 1983, Maurice decided he and the band needed a break. During this hiatus, Maurice recorded his self-titled solo album Maurice White and produced various artists including Neal Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Holliday. Reuniting with the band in 1987, EWF released the album Touch The World and scored yet another number one R&B single, "System of Survival" and embarked on a corresponding nine-month world tour. This was followed by the 1988 release The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. II.


    In 1990 the group released the album Heritage. Two years later, Earth, Wind & Fire released The Eternal Dance; a 55-track boxed set retrospective of the band's entire history. The appearance of such a project after a prolonged period of relative inactivity signaled to many listeners that the band was calling it quits but that did not turn out to be case. In 1993, EWF released the album, Millennium that included the Grammy-nominated "Sunday Morning" and "Spend The Night."


    Earth, Wind & Fire kept recording and in 1996 released Avatar and Greatest Hits Live; followed by 1997's In The Name Of Love; 2002's That's The Way Of The World: Alive In '75; Live In Rio which was recorded during their 1979 "I Am World Tour;" 2003's The Promise, which included the Grammy-nominated "Hold Me" and 2005's Illumination, which included the Grammy-nominated "Show Me The Way."


    In 2000, the nine-piece '70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2001, Eagle Rock Entertainment released the documentary 'Earth, Wind & Fire: Shining Stars', which contains rarely seen historic video footage along with in-depth interviews with the band members.


    Even though Maurice is no longer a part of the touring group, he remains the band's heart and soul from behind the scenes as composer and producer. Maurice reflects, "I wanted to create a library of music that would stand the test of time. 'Cosmic Consciousness' is the key component of our work. Expanding awareness and uplifting spirits is so important in this day. People are looking for more. I hope our music can give them some encouragement and peace."

    LP 1
    1. Shining Star

    2. That's The Way Of The World
    3. September

    4. Can't Hide Love

    5. Got To Get You Into My Life
    6. Sing A Song

    7. Gratitude

    8. Serpentine Fire

    9. Fantasy


    LP 2
    1. Kalimba Story
    2. Mighty Mighty

    3. Reasons

    4. Saturday Nite

    5. Let's Groove

    6. Boogie Wonderland ( with The Emotions)
    7. After The Love Has Gone

    8. Getaway

    Earth, Wind & Fire
    $42.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Broken People Broken People Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Broken People

    American music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.


    The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.


    With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.


    North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.


    "To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.


    Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.


    She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.


    "I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.


    "The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.


    "The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.


    "We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."


    "We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.


    As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.


    Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.


    "Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."


    "It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."


    "Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."


    "We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.


    And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.

    1. Broken People
    2. Brother, What Happened?
    3. Got It Goin' On
    4. Why Don't You Stay
    5. Take Me Home
    6. Shine On!
    7. It Ain't Easy
    8. I Need A Man
    9. Devil's Teeth
    10. Train
    11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)
    Muddy Magnolias
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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    Dreamland

    Natalie Bergman has had her picture taken on countless occasions -- hundreds of studio portraits and live shots and backstage festival snaps. But the simple, gorgeous black & white photo of Bergman on the cover of Wild Belle's Dreamland that she describes as just me and this sort of abyss That one was lensed by the person who best knows how to capture her essence on celluloid: Her older brother and bandmate, Elliot Bergman. Besides being Wild Belle's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Elliot has an equally impressive flair for visual arts, from painting and sculpture to bronzemaking and photography. An avid collector of vintage cameras, Elliot brought along a recently acquired Polaroid Land Camera to a show Wild Belle played in Denver this summer: The duo grabbed a quick moment at their hotel to take the portraits of each other that grace the front and back of their new record. The pictures Elliot takes of me are always really beautiful and it's because he knows me better than anyone else on this Earth, says Natalie. Adds Elliot: I like that it's a photo of Natalie just being Natalie. And the stark contrast of her in the foreground with the dark background really fit with these collages she has been doing. Natalie is in the light but the shadows are pretty heavy and you can't really tell where she is or what's back there.


    Recorded at studios in their native Chicago, Natalie's new home of Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Dreamland -- Wild Belle's bold, evolutionary new album -- derives from an era in the singer's life when she was struggling to get control of what she describes as the anger and deep sorrow that plagued her at the end of her most recent romantic relationship. For a woman whose music has always been inspired by her desire to translate her complicated feelings into immediately relatable songs, there was certainly plenty of grist for the mill. Dreamland tracks such as Losing You and It Was You (Baby Come Back) offer glimpses of the darkness that Natalie battled during the early months writing for the duo's sophomore full-length. But there are also genuine moments of lightness and ecstatic triumph, like Giving Up On You -- an irresistibly kinetic, punk number Wild Belle recorded with TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek producing.


    I was very heated when we were making this record. My body, my heart and my soul were filled with a flame, which sounds very dramatic but it's the truth, says Natalie. I had a healing moment when I moved to LA earlier this year, because I was far away from my ex and I felt like I was getting rid of a lot of baggage. That was the redemptive, triumphant time for my lyrics. On 'Giving Up On You,' I sing: 'Now I smile so bright, you can see me from outer space, look at me shine. Baby it's about time, I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.' All the songs I wrote near the end of making the album have that sentiment: 'Now look at where I am, after all the turmoil that was inside of me, I'm here and I'm happy and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.'


    The follow-up to 2013's Isles, Dreamland expands the band's ambitions in every way. It's deeper, it's more fun, it's more haunting, it's got more grooves, Elliot says. There's sorrow and pain but there's also hope and joy -- all those things can coexist in the songs because they coexist in life. He continues: Dreamland, that's not some kind of idealized notion of where we live and I hope people hear that as a question: What is the Dreamland What is our dream here The album doesn't get overtly political, but we're dealing with a lot of the things that are dark about what's happening now. 'Throw Down Your Guns' is about a relationship but is also kind of about the messed up situation that we're in right now. The chorus, 'Throw down your guns / In the name of love, I put my hands up,' to me can be heard in a number of ways, including as a prayer for peace or a cry out against violence.


    Importantly, the album also shares its name with one of the first songs Natalie remembers Elliot introducing her to: Bunny Wailer's 1970 reggae classic, Dreamland. One year for Christmas, he gave her a compilation of female artists who recorded at Jamaica's legendary Studio One, and it included Della Humphrey's version of the song. Natalie listened to it over and over and over again. I was so in love with it, she says. From there, I started my exploration of rocksteady and ska and lovers rock and anything that had to do with Jamaican music from the Fifties onward.


    The duo started writing music together several years ago, after Elliot took a sixteen year-old Natalie on tour to play percussion with his acclaimed Afrobeat ensemble, NOMO. I can present a song to Elliot and he has this foresight -- he can see things further than I see them, and he helps me realize things, she says. I'd been writing very simple melodic love songs since I was fifteen years old. I definitely have a pop sensibility in my style, and that's a great platform for Elliot to work from, because it's fun for him to have a cool little pop song and combine it with more eccentric sounds and make it into a weird, unique percussive jam. Sometimes he'll bring the jam to me and because we've got this routine together, we can write a song together wherever we are.


    Work on the album began in early 2014, in Chicago. The song that opens Dreamland -- Mississippi River -- was also the first one to come together in the studio. It was sparked by a moment of musical serendipity: The record starts with this pulsing ARP drone, says Elliot, which is a very expensive esoteric nerdy synthesizer that's complicated to program. Natalie and I had this weird, symbiotic thing where I was playing three chords off the ARP and she started playing different three chords on this out-of-tune autoharp she brought over. They were both completely in the wrong key, and yet perfectly in tune with each other. That was like the new bar for the record. It was like, 'Yeah, we're going to put synthesizers and saxophone and kalimbas on these songs, and we're going to have lavish string arrangements if we want to. We were getting comfortable with all of the materials that we love, and being like, 'I love this, so let's do it.


    They tracked several songs at home in Chicago last year, and then at the start of 2015, Natalie packed all of her belongings into the Wild Belle van and drove from Chicago to Venice, California. She rented a house where Elliot joined her a couple weeks later. When I had my place in Venice, Elliot would wake up earlier than I would and start making dope beats, says Natalie. One day he made this ridiculous song, 'The One That Got Away,' and the beat and underlying track were so exciting that it didn't take very long to write. Our friends came over and were jumping on the tabletops, dancing, getting naked because they loved the song so much.


    Playing the new songs at Lollapalooza for the first time with an eight-piece band, says Elliot, I had a feeling onstage that I'd never had before with Wild Belle, where you're part of a sound that's much bigger than you could make on your own. It's this charged-up badass feeling. It's about a groove and rhythmic energy and force and momentum and making a big, dark, deep sound -- something that moves people and makes you want to dance and makes you want to shout. It's tapping into a deeper musicality that I've always been looking for.

    1. Mississippi River
    2. Losing You
    3. Dreamland
    4. Coyotes
    5. Cannonball
    6. Giving Up On You
    7. It Was You
    8. Throw Down Your Guns
    9. The One That Got Away
    10. Our Love Will Survive
    11. Rock & Roll Angel
    Wild Belle
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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