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Blues Of Desperation'
Blues of DesperationGRAMMY-nominated blues-rock guitar icon Joe Bonamassa announces his 20160solo album, Blues of Desperation (J&R Adventures). Like his previous solo disc, 2014's Top 10 Billboard hit Different Shades of Blue, this record features all-original material, and it sees the maverick superstar guitarist, singer and songwriter tossing away the rule book as he continues to reinvent and redefine the blues-rock genre like no other artist working today.
I want people to hear my evolution as a blues-rock musician, says Bonamassa, somebody who isn't resting on accomplishments and who is always pushing forward and thinking about how music can evolve and stay relevant.
The writing sessions for Blues of Desperation took Bonamassa back to Nashville, where he'd composed Different Shades of Blue, to work with some of Music City's top tunesmiths, people like James House, Tom Hambridge, Jeffrey Steele, Jerry Flowers and Gary Nicholson.
These are some of the best guys in the business, Bonamassa raves. Lyrically, you'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness but there are also some poignant moments about getting away from the stressful, crazy demands of life and losing yourself with your special someone. I think anybody will be able to relate.
Bonamassa and his longtime producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Journey) convened at Nashville's Grand Victor Sound Studios (formerly known as RCA Studio A), and during an intense, five-day period they recorded 11 galvanizing songs with a crack group of musicians including drummers Anton Fig and Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, horn players Lee Thornburg, Paulie Cerra and Mark Douthit, and background singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins.
Of his decade-long collaboration with Shirley, Bonamassa says, I can explain our relationship with one word - 'trust.' I completely trust in Kevin and his musical promptings. He pushes my musical ability by challenging me to not just rest on my laurels or settle for 'good.' He expects more out of the other musicians as well and will not hold back when he sees us falling back into our usual routine.
Which sometimes calls for unorthodox measures, says Shirley, who admits that his idea of augmenting Bonamassa's usual recording band with second drummer Morrow was engineered to ruffle Joe's feathers.
I wanted him to work a little harder, like in his early years, he says, so I brought in an additional drummer, just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons. Of the results, Shirley raves, Recording 'Blues of Desperation' is one of the most exciting recording projects I've done. What a joyful noise we made!
Blues of Desperation is Bonamassa's most powerfully diverse and boldly realized album yet, with the material ranging from the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of This Train (Joe's guitar is set to rude throughout) to the elegant yet emotionally shattering ballad What I've Known for a Very Long Time to the soul-nourishing, acoustic-based Americana of The Valley Runs Low, on which Bonamassa's voice rises up majestically to meet Barnes, McRae and Tippins in gospel-like rapture. And then there's the bleary, tequila-soaked Drive, dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy.
Throughout the record, Bonamassa's epic guitar playing conjures up stirring benedictions and explosive exorcisms of sound. No Good Place For the Lonely features some of the guitarist's most cauterizing licks yet, and the walloping title track is a white-knuckled, six-string thrill ride guaranteed to jolt the senses. Guitar fans everywhere (like those who recently voted Bonamassa Best Blues Guitarist in Guitar World magazine by an overwhelming margin) will consider Blues of Desperation a treasure trove of axe riches.
There are some long solos on this record and even some mini-jams in the middle of a track where the band would just jive and crank it out, he says. [During those jams], we do a tip of the hat to Beck and Clapton from the '70s. I think guitar nerds and music fans like myself will love it.
Packed with unparalleled musicianship and teeming with the most enthralling collection of songs in Bonamassa's career, Blues of Desperation is guaranteed to knock out critics and fans alike. By exceeding his own vertiginously high artistic goals, Bonamassa is bound to shatter all other expectations with this record and reach new audiences - no mean feat when you continue his astonishing track record of hits now includes 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums (more than any other artist in history). 2014's Different Shades of Blue debuted at #8 on Billboard's Top 200 Chart, making it his highest charting album, his first top 10 and accounting for his biggest sales week ever. In 2014, the guitarist received his first-ever Grammy nomination (for Best Blues Album) for the album Seesaw, his second collaboration with blues singing star Beth Hart, and was named 2014's Billboard Blues Artist of the Year.1. This Train
2. Mountain Climbing
4. No Good Place For The Lonely
5. Blues Of Desperation
6. The Valley Runs Low
7. You Left Me Nothin' But The Bill And The Blues
8. Distant Lonesome Train
9. How Deep This River Runs
10. Livin' Easy
11. What I've Known For A Very Long Time$34.99180 Gram Audiopbhile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Robert Pete Williams with Big Joe Williams (Pure Pleasure)REAL blues ... He took the pain in his soul and the dirt on his hands and made songs out of them ... Robert Pete Williams ... the most avant-garde blues performer ever recorded. No punk rock band has ever matched the jagged, acerbic fury of the riffs Williams played 35 years ago. No rapper has approached his ability to evoke the torment of life in prison or bend language to cast an eerie spell over a chance encounter with a seductive woman. His blues was extremely original, sometimes even hard to understand. No other performer has captured the emotional effect of a desperate situation like he did. He had never been recorded when he was discovered in Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana, convicted of murder.
Robert Pete probably has the most unique blues style of all bluesmen. Neither his guitar work nor his singing can be categorized into any established regional style such as East Coast, Mississippi Delta or Texas Blues. His music and lyrics are spontaneous and original. No major influence of other bluesmen can be found in his idiosyncratic, intensely personal performances. Blues scholar Pete Welding described his music as tough, mean, and, above all, impassioned like the man himself.
- Robert Pete Williams (guitar, vocal)
- Big Joe Williams (kazoo)
Recording: March 1972 in Copenhagen, Denmark
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Doctor Blues
2. Got On His Mind
3. Meet Him Over In Paradise
4. Goodbye Baby
5. It's Gotta Be Jelly 'Cause Jam Don't Shake Thataway
6. Texas Blues
7. Talkin' Blues
8. Greyhound Bus$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AbandonedBoston's most devoted and steadfast hardcore band, Defeater knows what it takes to remain credible in a scene where fans demand both unapologetic, in-your-face power and intense emotional honesty. For Defeater and their die-hard fans, this honesty is key, and with their Epitaph debut Abandoned, Derek Archambault (vocals) and fellow band members have created their masterpiece. Carrying on the narrative thread they have built across four previous albums, Abandoned is the band's most powerful and uncompromising album to date, powered by a renewed sense of artistic ambition and a plot twist no one could have expected. Defeater has never sounded more bleak and intense. The seething black-hole hardcore songs that served as finales "Cowardice" and "Bled Out" on Travels and Letters Home just barely touch the full-throated primal desperation on display in the first track here, and the momentary respite halfway through on "Borrowed And Blue" only makes the utter collapse that follows more punishing. This is the first album where the entire band was involved from the ground up, says Archambault, and that let Defeater push itself to a new level of discipline and depth.1. Contrition
3. December 1943
4. Spared In Hell
6. Borrowed & Blue
9. Pillar Of Salt
11. Vice & Regret$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cheap ThrillsRanked 338/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Quintessential 1968 Record a Potent Mix of Psychedelia, Blues, Folk, and Rock: Janis Joplin Delivers Cathartic Vocal Performance on Major-Label Debut That Includes Powerhouse Piece of My Heart
Mobile Fidelity 45RPM Vinyl Pressing Touts Superb Spaciousness, Punchiness, Dynamics, and Texture: Cheap Thrills Sounds As Close to Live as Music Gets and Features Robert Crumb Artwork
In many facets, Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills is the quintessential album to spring from the outcome of the Summer of Love. Best known as Janis Joplin's major-label debut, the 1968 set arrived when the countercultural movement was in full swing and before co-optation, drugs, and violence signaled the fall of the era. Ranked #338 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it puts a female singer in the prominent position traditionally given to a male and showcases a band pouring a potent cocktail of fiery psychedelic, blues, and folk sounds that informed the unfettered creativity of the San Francisco scene. Produced by John Simon, Cheap Thrills also features one of the most iconic and elaborate album covers in history. Now, thanks to Mobile Fidelity, the instantly identifiable effort also possesses sonics equivalent to its visual and musical status.
Cut at 45RPM and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl at RTI, the iconic audiophile label's analog reissue intensifies the quintet's storied sophomore effort. Due to the wider grooves, this pressing benefits from increased spaciousness, punchiness, energy, pacing, and dynamics. Joplin's hurricane-force singing reverberates with texture, grittiness, and volume. An arresting array of instrumental colors and tones comes on with clearer separation and depth. While previous pressings find the band and Joplin's voice in competition with one another for room, both emerge as distinct entities. Always noted for its rawness, Cheap Thrills sounds as close to live as it gets, an unadulterated portrait of nervy rock n' roll delivered with exuberant enthusiasm and all-out determination. This is music at is most visceral.
Having drawn national attention for their legendary performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, Big Brother and Joplin faced huge expectations to deliver a studio set that would convey their onstage vibrancy and potency. Cheap Thrills does this and more, becoming one of 1968's most commercially successful releases that remained on the charts the week Joplin announced her separation from the ensemble. Contrary to popular belief, only one of the album's songs, Ball and Chain, was recorded live. Everything else owes to the unhinged, spirit-elevating performances and true collaboration between vocalist and band that manifests itself throughout the record's 37-minute-plus running time. Merging biker-babe ruggedness with wounded-bird poignancy, Joplin's expressive belting, mega-watt moaning, and sensitive crooning take center stage. Yet her bandmates match every step with explosive rhythms, heavy guitar-driven blues, and assertive solos that take inspiration from free-form jazz.
Indeed, Cheap Thrills still exhilarates not only due to Joplin's almighty singing but because of boundary-shredding arrangements that reflect the period's anything-is-possible mindset. More so than any other musicians Joplin encountered, the members of Big Brother pushed limits on convention via soirees into acid-dipped psychedelia and its orbiting sonic galaxies. Together, they aim and achieve an aural mythos that makes a permanent connection between artist and audience by way of eliminating traditional divisions. Such communal power is evident on the mind-bending version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball and Chain and insistent, sinewy I Need a Man to Love. It's also obvious during quieter moments, whether the tripped-out, twisted, and curvaceous contours of George and Ira Gershwin's Summertime or restrained, throwback acoustic blues of Turtle Blues.
Yes, Joplin presents - and rallies against - loneliness and desperation in a cathartic language few had heard before or since. What's even more significant is the fearlessness, toughness, synergy, and sexual danger pulsing through every song, including the take-on-all-comers challenge Piece of My Heart, which the collective attacks with career-making ferocity. Like Robert Crumb's daring pop-art illustrations that grace the cover, they simultaneously lure and dare the listener to enter a space where outsiders run free and where outlaws are heard above the mainstream din.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Combination of the Two
2. I Need a Man to Love
4. Piece of My Heart
5. Turtle Blues
6. Oh, Sweet Mary
7. Ball and Chain$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Gill LandryGill's self titled third album is his first on the ATO label, but he is not new to the family. He's played guitar, banjo, pedal steal, and been a contributing songwriter in Old Crow Medicine Show since 2004. Although Gill's music is influenced by some of the same sources as Old Crow, from Dylan to old delta blues songsters, his music is very much his own. As one reviewer put it, Landry's too sharp a storyteller, too tuned-in a craftsman, too real, to find himself on the wrong side of suspicion. Like Tom Waits, John Prine, Steve Earle... Landry is down-to-business believable. His songs carry their own persona, and though they may be creepy and otherworldly at times and nasty and grubby at others, they're familiar while remaining at arm's length.
Gill produced and recorded the album, mostly from a ramshackle, shanty-ass apartment on the south side of Nashville, but was aided by a constellation of talents gathered on his nonstop travels. From Laura Marling, who duets on Take This Body, an urgent plea that images the desperate love that courses through our impermanence, to trumpeter Nick Etwell of Mumford and Sons, who plays with tasteful power on a handful of songs. From Odessa Jorgensen, who lends harmonies and violin to a number of tunes, including the waltz-time love letter Emily, to Robert Ellis who's eloquent and understated guitar work on Fenario and Bad Love is mellifluous.1. Funeral in my Heart
2. Just Like You
3. Waiting for your Love
5. Take this Body
7. Lost Love
8. Lately Right Now
9. Long Road
10. Bad Love$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Monument Singles CollectionImport
Roy Orbison is often credited with having one of the most powerful voices in Rock 'n Roll.
He certainly had one of the most distinctive ones; yet his operatic quavering and impressive range were used to portray a quiet and desperate vulnerability that was foreign to most of his rebelling, sex, drugs & rock'n'roll contemporaries.
This vulnerability is probably why he was so very popular in the '60s, and why after a dip of almost twenty years he could easily reclaim his prominence in the '80s. When David Lynch (in)famously used his song 'In Dreams' in Blue Velvet the public - and Roy himself - learned that there was a different side to his sultryness, and interest in his music was renewed. To celebrate what would have been his 75th birthday Music On Vinyl is releasing The Monument Singles Collection, with amongst others "Only The Lonely", "Crying", and of course "Pretty Woman".
• 180 grams audiophile vinyl
• Including the original mono mixes of Only The Lonely, Crying, It's Over, Pretty Woman and many more
• Gatefold sleeve printed with a bronze metallic layer
• Including printed innersleeves with a bronze metallic layer
• For the celebration of the 75th birthday of Roy OrbisonLP 1
2. Only The Lonely
3. Blue Angel
4. I'm Hurtin'
5. Running Scared
8. Let The Good Times Roll
9. Blue Bayou
10. Dream Baby
1. The Crowd
2. Working For The Man
3. In Dreams
5. It's Over
6. Oh, Pretty Woman
8. Pretty Paper
9. (Say) You're My Girl
10. Paper Boy
1. Pretty One
2. Here Comes That Song Again
3. Today's Teardrops
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Love Hurts
6. Summer Song
7. Candy Man
8. Mean Woman Blues
9. The Actress
3. Distant Drums
4. Indian Wedding
5. Yo Te Amo Maria
6. Only With You
7. Beautiful Dreamer
8. Sleepy Hollow
9. With The Bug$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
36 SeasonsTony Starks returns to Staten Island after 9 years, like a man returning home from a war. He wants the company of old friends, to reunite with his girl, to live a quiet life. But New York has other plans for him Pitchfork Media has said "Ghostface has unparalleled storytelling instincts. He might be the best, most colorful storyteller rap has ever seen". Q Magazine called him "rap's finest storyteller". On his new release 36 Seasons those powers have never been more in-focus, as he takes his listeners on a gut-wrenching journey of double-cross and revenge through the rough and rugged housing projects of New York's Staten Island.
On 36 Seasons Ghostface once again delivers exactly what the hardcore Wu-fans crave: desperate tales from the dark side over soulful boom-bap tracks. The soundscape is provided The Revelations
[Brooklyn's acclaimed soul band/production team]. Their hard-hitting tracks match the intensity of Ghost's violent narrative. His co-stars on 36 Seasons are legendary lyricists and storytellers in their own right, 3 of the greatest of all-time: AZ, Kool G Rap and Pharoahe Monch. The album also features vocal contributions from Blue Note Records' rising star Kandace Springs and gritty soul singers Rell and Tre Williams.1. The Battlefield
2. Love Don't Live Here No More
3. Here I Go Again
5. It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (Interlude)
6. The Dogs of War
7. Emergency Procedure
8. Double Cross
9. Bamboo's Lament (Interlude)
10. Pieces to the Puzzle
12. Blood in the Streets
13. Call My Name
14. I Love You For All Seasons (Outro)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Edge Of The SunCalexico is no stranger to negotiating borders. For
the better part of two decades, eight albums, and
countless trips around the globe, Joey Burns and
John Convertino have crossed musical barriers with
their band, embracing a multitude of diverse styles.
For Edge of the Sun, the band's keyboardist, Sergio
Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain
songs, ultimately co-producing the album along
with Burns, Convertino, and longtime associate
Craig Schumacher: It was Mendoza who suggested
that Calexico physically cross an actual border for a
songwriting retreat to the historic Mexico City borough
In view of the fresh creative perspective provided
by the band's journey to New Orleans to make its
previous album, Algiers, Edge of the Sun's Mexican origins would seem destined to have a major impact
on the album. The writing here shows Burns and
Convertino's ongoing pursuit of the profound melody,
creating music at once hauntingly accessible
and rich in instrumental texture. With guests including
Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, Ben Bridwell from
Band of Horses, Nick Urata from Devotchka, Carla
Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists
from the Greek band Takim, as well
as Neko Case, Edge of the Sun weaves a dense tapestry
from its international roster. "Madrid, Nashville,
Tucson, El Paso, Berlin; it's an eclectic mix,"
says Burns. "This album is about pushing through
the blue to brighter days. Calexico has always had
that element of hope, going back and forth between
a positive outlook and embracing desperate or dark
themes that I think we all share."1. Falling From The Sky
2. Bullets & Rocks
3. When The Angels Played
4. Tapping On The Line
5. Cumbia De Donde
6. Miles From The Sea
8. Beneath The City Of Dreams
9. Woodshed Waltz
10. Moon Never Rises
11. World Undone
12. Follow The River$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Where some artists write from the head and others from the heart, Whigs' songwriter/front man Greg Dulli writes from the groin. His lyrics are filled with dark images of romantic obsession. Perhaps no other band can play with such restraint, letting musical tension build until it can do nothing other than explode. Dulli in his finest voice can move from desperate screams to a quiet sinister crooning at the turn of a chord.
Black Love was released in 1996 and further built on their trademark mix of Grunge, Indie Rock, Soul and Blues. The band lay out dark, raw Grungy grooves for Dulli to sing his twisted lyrics to; a perfect match. Now available on vinyl for the first time since 1996!1. Crime Scene Part One
2. My Enemy
3. Double Day
4. Blame, Etc.
5. Step Into The Light
6. Going To Town
7. Honky's Ladder
8. Night By Candlelight
10. Summer's Kiss
11. Faded$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Keep Away The DeadEven as Siskiyou's first record was delivered to Constellation in early 2010 and getting prepped for release that fall, Colin Huebert remained holed up in Mara, BC (pop. 350) through the winter, writing more songs and eventually being joined by his Siskiyou co-conspirator Erik Arnesen for a few weeks of intensive recording. Unlike the material on their eponymous debut, which was largely recorded in nomadic fashion while Colin and Erik toured as members of Great Lake Swimmers, the Mara, BC sessions found the pair settled, rooted and with keys in hand to the century-old Mara Community Hall.
Most of the tunes on Keep Away The Dead were born at Mara Hall, where bed tracks were laid down in the crisp air during depth of winter. The arctic atmosphere of that empty, cavernous, hardwood structure was the perfect complement to Huebert's sensibility: a tense and acute restraint; a shivering, biting, sometimes bitter rending of barebones, folk-inflected rock music. (Neil Young remains a clear touchstone, overtly so with the album's cover of Revolution Blues as do the pointed, starkly controlled arrangements and textures of contemporaries like Angels Of Light.)
Huebert left Mara in spring 2010 and moved to Vancouver, where Siskiyou began to take shape as a full band with the addition of Shaunn Watt and Peter Carruthers. Coming off a season of extensive touring in Euope and Canada in fall 2010, Siskiyou had coalesced into an incisive quartet and hit Vancouver's JC/DC Studio in early 2011 with engineer David Carswell (Destroyer, New Pornographers), adding to the previous year's Mara sessions and cutting two more tunes for which Carswell ran the mix: Twigs And Stones and Revolution Blues. Huebert recorded and mixed the remainder of Keep Away The Dead (as he did on the previous record).
Where Siskiyou's debut was a stunning little scrapbook of short, sharp tunes, Keep Away The Dead ramps things up with subtle care and clarity, yielding something closer to a rural gothic novella in spirit and scope. The album is a strikingly cold-eyed, tender-hearted song cycle, marked by quiet defiance and desperation. Huebert's acoustic guitar and gently acetic voice, Arnesen's gorgeous banjo and treated guitar lines, and the judicious rhythm section of Watt and Carruthers deliver a superbly compelling album on the knife's edge of darkness, where each tune feels like another precious log thrown on a lone campfire burning in the cold night.1. Keep Away The Dead
2. Where Does That Leave Me
3. Twigs And Stones
4. So Cold
5. Revolution Blues
6. Dear Old Friend
7. Not The Kind
8. Fiery Death
9. Sing Me To Sleep
10. Dead Right Now$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Last Days of OaklandFantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to make it, who got it, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn't, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.
The first life ('who am I and where am I going?'). Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. When, at the age of 12, Negrito's family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, he was hit with an intense culture shock. Oakland in 1980s was a million miles from Negrito's conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day, living in the heart of one of the wildest, most infamous, most vibrant black communities in the nation. Shit was extra real in Oakland.
By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, but he was also caught up in street shit. This went on for several years until a near death encounter with masked gunmen. After that Negrito packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette.
The second life ('I want to be a star I think'). It didn't take long for Negrito to find himself entrenched in the 'Hollywood' lifestyle; clubs and bitches and bullshit politics that have nothing to do with great music. Negrito signed with a big time manager and soon after that, a million dollar deal at Interscope and soon after that, creative death.
The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. He was infected by the constant emphasis on 'what would sell'; which looks, hooks and gimmicks would attract an audience. He lost all sense of himself. The songs stopped coming to him, so he quit. He sold all of his shit and he quit.
In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Though he rehabbed intensely for several years, the damage was permanent. In 2008, he returned home to Oakland.
The third life (the birth of Negrito). Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He settled down, planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. This is when his specific POV of the world came into focus. His conservative Muslim values melded with the liberal, multi-cultural world of Oakland. The cynicism that comes from struggle made room for the hope that comes from cheating death. He truly knew who he was. He was confident about his place in the world because he understood it as much as any man can. And then his son was born.
With his son's entrance into the world, all the creative energy Negrito bottled for years came rushing out. His musical choices were sharp and without doubt. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. Fuck what's hot now, what moves me? Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta.
For Fantastic Negrito, derivative is the devil so to ensure his sound is his own, every chord comes from a place of immediacy. Immediacy opens the door for instinct. Instinct is God's tool that makes an artist into an individual. Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip Woods intact and builds bridges to modernity by looping and sampling his own live instruments.
When you listen to Negrito, you're invited to hear the story of life after destruction. Your dream can die. You probably will give up. But from there, you can start everything over.1. Intro - The Last Days of Oakland
2. Working Poor
3. About A Bird
4. Scary Woman
5. Interlude - What Would You Do?
6. The Nigga Song
7. In the Pines (Oakland)
8. Hump Thru the Winter
9. Lost In A Crowd
10. Interlude 2 - El Chileno
11. The Worst
12. Rant Rushmore
13. Nothing Without You
14. Push Back
15. The Shadows$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Big To-DoATO Records is pleased to commence its relationship with the The Drive-By Truckers beginning with the incomparable rock band's label debut, The Big To-Do. The album is the band's 10th in their thirteen-year career and it features 13 new DBT tracks produced by their long time collaborator, David Barbe (Sugar, Bettye LaVette). Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley continue to handle chief songwriting duties here while bassist Shonna Tucker also contributes two originals. Brad Morgan (drums), John Neff (guitar/pedal steel), and Jay Gonzalez (keyboards) round out the current lineup.
The Big To-Do was recorded in three concentrated sessions during the first part of 2009: ten days in January, five days in March, ten days in May. That added up to 25 songs, a dozen of which sequenced into The Big To-Do. We had it mixed, mastered, and completely done, and Cooley wrote the best song that just needed to be on it, Patterson says with his raspy chuckle. This happens a lot with the Truckers, and it's always a good sign. So we went back in and recorded, mixed, and mastered 'Birthday Boy' pretty much in one fell swoop. Thirteen songs, then.
The balance of the remaining tracks, plus five more they've cut in the interim, will make up the Truckers' next album, which Patterson projects as a quieter affair.
This is, in large part, possible because the Truckers have such a long-standing relationship with David Barbe (ex-Sugar, etc.) and the Athens, GA, studio he calls Chase Park Transduction, which long ago Patterson helped to build so as to earn the right to record there.
It's gotten to where, that day of set-up time to get sounds and levels and all of that takes us about two hours, Patterson says. We can pretty much walk in the door, and we know exactly where to put everything to get that sound, so that's just one less thing to have to think about. I wanted to eliminate the distractions. That clarity of purpose translates into a delicious assortment of Trucker songs themed loosely around crime and (self-) punishment. The Wig He Made Her Wear, Patterson says, is both a true story (as seen on Court TV) and the closest he's come to making the movie he started out to make a decade or more back. The Fourth Night of My Drinking will speak for itself, and This Fucking Job (paired thematically with Cooley's wry Get Downtown) is arguably the most political song the Truckers have made since Living Bubba. Which leaves the deceptive, airy simplicity of Shonna Tucker's You Got Another and (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So to reckon with. We always knew she had that in her, Patterson says, delighted with the emergence of another strong songwriter in the band. It was never a secret. She was writing songs all along. But watching it come out has been a really amazing thing to behold.
Off the road, incidentally, didn't mean out of work. First off, there was the matter of cutting an instrumental album with the legendary Booker T, having previously served as the backing band to the equally legendary soul singer, Bettye Lavette. Potato Hole turned out all right, got a Grammy nod, and Neil Young added his touches separately even though it's pretty much a Truckers effort. But it's what they learned making Potato Hole that counts most. I think doing the Booker album really, really paid off a lot on the musical end of this record, even though stylistically it might not sound anything like that record, says Patterson, and then tells the story.
We made that record in four days, and that included the first day when it was, 'Booker, it's wonderful to meet you!' Maybe the third song we tracked just wasn't going the way he wanted it to go. We weren't quite understanding what he wanted. We were playing it right, but it wasn't right. All the sudden he just stopped the session. He gathered us around, and he told us a story about a Thanksgiving dinner, and the way it smelt in the house, he'd been on the road a long time, and they were all in - cousins and aunts he hadn't seen in several years. He said, 'It's just a day where nothing happens, but it's all really good.'
And we sat down and we played it, and we nailed it. It was like a revelation. We're a lyric-driven band, and our songs generally paint scenes and tell stories based on scenes. He instinctively knew that was how we operated. And I think it taught us a lot about how we operated. Going in and making this record, I could tell a real difference in the way the songs hold up musically. We put a little more care into that side of it than I think we ever did before because of what we learned from him.
...an absorbing hunk of smart, crunchy, guitar-driven music shot through with the bands vivid narratives, balanced storytelling, barroom punch, and Southern accents. Its a set that portrays desperate people trying to survive in these ever more desperate times, with the Truckers joyous pride and spirited attitude warding off any bitter aftertaste. Several songs are sad, and at times depressing, but the moods always point up. As it is for Bruce Springsteen, this blue-collar band not only believes in but preaches rock as salvation, and their iron-clad conviction suggests they wont have it any other way. --Bob Gendron, TONE Audio, Issue 271. Daddy Learned to Fly
2. The Fourth Night of My Drinking
3. Birthday Boy
4. Drag the Lake Charlie
5. The Wig He Made Her Wear
6. You Got Another
7. This Fucking Job
8. Get Downtown
9. After the Scene Dies
10. (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So
11. Santa Fe
12. The Flying Wallendas
13. Eyes Like Glue
14. Girls Who Smoke (vinyl only bonus track)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Wild And RecklessEarlier this year, the Portland, Oregon-based Blitzen Trapper accomplished a unique feat for a rock band who has been releasing albums and touring for the better part of two decades: a staged musical titled Wild & Reckless that ran for 28 performances at Portland Center Stage. Today, the band is announcing a new album of the same title that was born from the stage production and as a companion to their 2008 breakthrough album Furr.
'Rebel' is a song about a guy who for the love of a girl follows in his father's footsteps only to find it to be a scam, explains principal and frontman Eric Earley. After several tries at the American dream he ends up selling cocaine to blue bloods in the Hollywood hills. Something of a lost Raymond Carver story with shambling near-country soundtrack.
The album Wild & Reckless was born from the stage production that the band spent the better part of a year producing. The half musical, half rock-opera dealt with heroin abuse, desperation, true love and western power structures. The story evoked a bygone era of Portland with this sci-fi love story, featuring a rock-and-roll score that paired unreleased songs with favorites from the band's catalog.
Following the success of the production, the band took 7 original songs from the production and developed the theme further into the 12 songs that comprise the new album Wild & Reckless.
Frontman Eric Earley also sees the record as a companion and extention of their 2008 album Furr. Wild and Reckless is something like a cross-eyed stepchild to Furr, in that it chronicles the darker dystopian stories of rural and suburban west coast death-drive via a riffing psychedelic landscape. Ten years after Furr with all its talk of murder and the end of the western world, it seems there's more to tell.
Blitzen Trapper is Eric Earley (songwriter/singer), Erik Menteer (guitar, keyboard), Brian Adrian Koch (drums, vocals), Michael Van Pelt (bass) and Marty Marquis (keyboard, vocals). Wild & Reckless was produced by Eric Earley and Michael Van Pelt and was recorded by Gregg Williams at The Trench, in Portland, Oregon. It was mixed by James Brown (Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Blitzen Trapper's All Across This Land) at The Union.1. Rebel
2. Wild & Reckless
3. Forever Pt. 1
5. No Man's Land
6. Stolen Hearts
7. Dance With Me
8. Love Live On
9. When I'm Dying
10. Baby Won't You Turn Me On
11. Forever Pt. 2
12. Wind Don't Always Blow$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Pearl (Awaiting Repress)
1971's Pearl Showcases Janis Joplin at Her Peak: Chart-Topping Record Includes Hits Me and Bobby McGee, Mercedes Benz, and Get It While You Can
Mastered From the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity 45RPM Pressing is Definitive-Sounding Analog Version of Masterpiece Ranked #135 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Joplin Displays Balance of Impeccable Timing, Devastating Vulnerability, and Raw Emotion: Full Tilt Boogie Band, Producer Paul Rothchild Complete Album Steeped in Soul and Loaded With Spirit
Janis Joplin wouldn't be denied on Pearl. The powerhouse vocalist had kicked her addictions, teamed with a stupendous band, and partnered with a producer that knew how to best showcase her voice on record. She came to the sessions with an armload of astonishing songs, and a burst of creative energy that mirrored her rejuvenated emotional state and undeniable spirit. You can hear it on every note of the 1971 record. Ranked #135 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, Pearl sold more than four million copies and stands as the first female rock superstar's definitive studio work. Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP presents the lasting artwork like never before.
Mastered from the original master tapes, cut at 45RPM, and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl at RTI, the iconic audiophile label's analog reissue takes Joplin and Co.'s stupendous performances to newly transcendent levels. Boasting a fidelity that further magnifies the singer's passion and producer Paul A. Rothchild's clear production, this pressing benefits from increased spaciousness, dynamics, and openness afforded by the wider grooves. Joplin's husky, strong, and penetrating singing has never sounded so vibrant or made deeper connections. Warm, organic, and free of any artificial ceilings, this version lets you step into Sunset Sound Recorders with the performers, such is the degree of realism and authenticity. Indeed, few, if any words, describe Joplin better than authentic, and her spirit comes to life on this 2LP set in positively transcendent fashion. Like its headliner, this pressing leaves it all on the floor.
While Joplin's electrifying vocal prowess is universally lauded - she's recognized as the greatest white female blues singer the world has ever seen - her mix of compassion, confidence, and charm play as large a role in attracting listeners and keeping them ensnared more than four decades after her tragic death. And on Pearl, she burrows into deeper stylistic veins, teasing out sides of her persona and craft she'd never previously displayed. Her signature desperation, sadness, and vulnerability remain - the harrowing, lonely wail that begins her soul-ravishing take on Jerry Ragovoy's Cry Baby, underlined with a Wall of Sound-like piano accompaniment, could only come from a person severely scarred by loss and disappointment - yet Joplin also reveals a sense of humor and beatnik innocence that helped propel the album to the top of the charts for nine straight weeks.
Playfully introduced as a song of great social and political import, the acapella Mercedes Benz reflects Joplin's throaty timbre as well as her enhanced, sunnier mood. Similarly, her definitive read of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee signals a laidback demeanor and a move into country strains, with the delivery as natural, carefree, and loving as any in the rock canon. As she does throughout the record, Joplin invests her all in the narrative so that there's no line between the performer and the song. She makes everything on Pearl feel autobiographical, and by extension, gut-wrenchingly honest, and devastatingly intimate. Joplin achieved these feats often during her brief career, yet there are differences on Pearl, chiefly among them her balance of impeccable timing and raw emotion. Heart-aching anthems such as A Woman Left Lonely offer both grit and control, subtlety and attack, resulting in cathartic releases distinguished with originality, personality, and instinctual passion.
Pearl remains Joplin's finest hour, with credit also owed to the Full Tilt Boogie Band - the only group she ever considered to be her own - as well as the Doors alum that sat behind the boards. Joplin and Rothchild both admitted to sharing a common bond and understanding, with the latter inheriting the role of teacher and Joplin, a willing student ready to discover how she could use her voice in new, more expressive ways. The fruits of the pair's labors fill Pearl, be it the guardedly optimistic Get It While You Can or assertive, fleet-footed Move Over.
Experienced in the new light brought to fore by this definitive Mobile Fidelity analog edition, Joplin's swan song is no longer about a masterpiece that its creator never lived to see finished. Rather, it's about a once-in-a-lifetime vocalist realizing mammoth potential and wringing passion out of every note. It's not a tragedy, but a triumph. Get it while you can.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Move Over
2. Cry Baby
3. A Woman Left Lonely
4. Half Moon
5. Buried Alive In The Blues
6. My Baby
7. Me And Bobby McGee
8. Mercedes Benz
9. Trust Me
10. Get It While You Can$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
King KruleKing Krule's (formerly Zoo Kid) second release brings with it, an expansion of vision, both musically and thematically. The connective tissue between these five tracks is still Marshall's stark, direct lyrics, but over the span of the self-titled EP, there is an arresting sonic progression, as his songs open up to become a loose knit meditation and renewal of hope in the face of desperation. Shades of The Streets' plainspoken and observant ramble dance with the heart on sleeve confessions of Billy Bragg. Archy's influences are a patchwork for his voice to lay in, woven from several generations music as divergent as the 80s romantics, jazz, no wave and dub.
The first vocal track 'Bleak Bake', for instance, opens with levitating keyboards and Marshall clearing his throat, before sampled strings and 808 drum 'pooms' swoon in and he sighs. 'The Noose of Jah City' drives the knife in deeper -some of his most intoxicating incantations to date- with Marshall singing of being "suffocated in concrete" over a lushly upholstered backdrop of chiming guitars and shuffling sampled beats. While in the gorgeous 'Portrait in Black and Blue' he unleashes a bounding piece of classic croon. But even though the subject matter may at times be harrowing, the songs themselves are never anything less than exquisitely crafted, possessed of an almost spectral beauty, as epitomised in the shimmering instrumental intro "363N63".
Taken as a whole, the "King Krule" EP is the sound of a young man growing up and attempting to grapple with the realities of the world he inhabits, and a fascinating, brutal journey it is too.1. 363N63
2. Bleak Bake
3. Portrait In Black and Blue
4. Lead Existence
5. The Noose of Jah City$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Layla (Awaiting Stock)Ranked 115/500 On Rolling Stone Magazine's List Of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Eric Clapton and Duane Allman in the Same Band for the Only Time: Derek and the Dominos' Layla a Timeless Batch of Fire-Pot Blues, Poignant Gospel, Searing Rock, and Lustful Emotion
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Pressed at RTI: Mobile Fidelity 180g 2LP of Layla Is the Definitive-Sounding Analog Edition, Presents Music With Immersive Detail and Realism
The reputation of Derek and the Dominos' Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, their lone record, precedes it. Eric Clapton performing in the studio with Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and more for the only time. A batch of fire-pot blues, poignant gospel, and searing rock - all birthed from the leader's insatiable lust for his friend George Harrison's wife. Now, experience it all, and one of the most famous guitar solos and codas in history, in unsurpassed sound courtesy of this quintessential Mobile Fidelity reissue.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP set exposes the brilliance of Tom Dowd's original production and the scope of the virtuoso musicians' playing. You've never been closer to the aching vocals, stinging leads, tormented emotions, or wowing intensity that grace every track. Clapton's tones emerge with unprecedented soulfulness. Afforded their own space in the mix, Allman's slide-guitar passages crackle with urgency. All-important sonic components such as soundstaging, imaging, and dynamics transport you to the actual event. Mobile Fidelity's analog version testifies on behalf of why fans deemed Clapton god.
Then, of course, there's the title track - crowned the 27th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone. What to say about the outro - arguably the most famous, passionately penetrating, visceral, double-edged guitar solo in history. Clapton's strings weeping with longing, hope, regret, unrequited love. It deserves the best-possible sonic platform, and receives it here, on a pressing that brings Slowhand's every finger moment into great relief. Get inside Clapton's head, burrow into the conflicted emotions fluttering in his heart as he pines for his another man's wife, and in the process, produces an album that forever lives in the souls of anyone who's ever loved and lost.
Clapton's pained yearning permeates everything here. Works such as the swampy Tell the Truth, the pleading Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?, and blues-drenched Have You Ever Loved a Woman? attest to his raw-nerve discomfort, guilt, and desire. He leaves teardrops on the microphone stand and blood on the floor, singing and playing as if his life depends on it and if, by some miracle, the music will serve as both a confessional and apology to Harrison. It's all magnified by Clapton achieving a spiritual and sonic oneness with his band, which matches his high-stakes precision with a rolling, tumbling looseness.
Allman adds firepower and achieves a still-unrivaled simpatico bond with Clapton, but each participant soars. Consider: The call-and-response, Sam and Dave-derived vocal exchanges between Whitlock and Clapton. Rich, creamy, Southern-stoked blends of R&B, blues, and soul. Vibrant tapestries in which the pianos, bass, guitars, and voices explode with ravishing fervor, naturalism, and desperation. Indeed, maybe a combo this great was only intended one shot in the studio. Perhaps the paralyzing degree of potency on display here, and the musicianship that remains the standard by which any blues-rock is judged, is meant to be preserved as one standalone record. Whatever the case, this is the analog version to own.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. I Looked Away
2. Bell Bottom Blues
3. Keep on Growing
4. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
5. I Am Yours
7. Key to the Highway
8. Tell the Truth
9. Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?
10. Have You Ever Loved a Woman
11. Little Wing
12. It's Too Late
14. Thorn Tree in the Garden$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING STOCK Buy Now
All Together Now (Out Of Stock)
Blue Colored Vinyl
Better Than Ezra, known for their hits "Good," "Desperately Wanting," "Juicy," and selling out venues for nearly 20 years, will release their eighth studio album
titled 'All Together Now' via The End Records on September 9, 2014. Better Than Ezra quickly became a staple in the '90s pop/rock scene following their
debut album Deluxe in 1995 via Elektra and immediately releasing two new albums within three years of being signed. 'Friction, Baby', released in 1996, and
'How Does Your Garden Grow?' In 2001, Better Than Ezra released critically acclaimed 'Closer', followed by 'Before the Robots' in 2005. The latter featured the
hit "Juicy," licensed by several commercials and brands, was also featured in the promotional advertisements for the popular ABC television series Desperate
Housewives.1. Crazy Lucky
2. Gonna Get Better
5. Sun owers
6. The Great Unknown
7. Before You
8. Dollar Sign
9. One Heart Beating
10. Diamond In My Pocket
11. I Fly Away$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock